Are There Limits To Unconditional Love?


The Rules of Unconditional Love
Unconditional love is misunderstood; here are some tips to get it right.

I was recently working with a couple who were in a very intense place in their relationship; they were spending time with me to gain clarity on the continuance of their partnership. The woman was upset because her partner had been her that she was overweight and he was concerned — she had gained 40 pounds in less than a year. At one point in our session she screamed, "You are supposed to unconditionally love and accept me!" The man stared at her and said, "I am trying to support you being healthy for you and for me. That is what unconditional love is." She replied that "unconditional love has no conditions." At that point, I shared with them my thoughts — now I want to share them with you.

Unconditional love is misunderstood. Yes, we should be accepting and respectful of our mates. We should honor their choices and support their dreams and visions. However, a truly loving relationship contains compassionate truth-telling. Unconditional love refers to the honoring of our self and our partner. If I see my partner doing something that is not healthy for themselves or our relationship, and I do not speak up about it, the integrity of our relationship wavers. When that kind of withholding occurs, the breakdown of the relationship begins. Resentment starts to build a home in our thinking, and our trust erodes.


Here are some questions I gave the couple I counseled. Ask them of your relationship and begin to recover unconditional love yourself:

1. Is my partner truly being destructive, or am I exploring a need I have to control? A need to control is about having things done your way, and does not take into consideration the needs of the partner.

2. Am I communicating in a way that includes how much I love this person? Begin with the desire for longevity in the relationship, the deep love you feel, and then share your observations — not your judgments.

3. What unhealthy or bad habits do you have? Are you willing to listen to your partner and change? Our partners often mirror our own character defects. In a healthy relationship, we do our own inner exploration, listen to our partners and make healthy choices.

4. What will you choose if your partner refuses to make healthy or positive choices? This is a big one. If you choose to stay, then you must unconditionally accept the choice of your partner. You do not get to nag or complain.

5. Are you willing to get help? Sometimes a couple needs a therapist or counselor to support. If you are not willing, you are making a choice — a choice that might be detrimental to your relationship.

We are all here to love and be loved, and one of the best manifestations of that emotion is unconditional love. Unconditional love is being awake in the context of the relationship, and daring to be vulnerable, honest and authentic. What can you do to cultivate that in your relationship?

More Love Advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Cynthia James

Spiritual Coach

Cynthia James

Upcoming Events


Location: Pine, CO
Credentials: MA
Other Articles/News by Cynthia James:

The #1 Way To Keep The Spark Alive In Your Relationship [VIDEO]


Even though falling in love can be really easy, making things work can be really hard sometimes. Being in a relationship isn't just about going on dates and spending time together. Being able to really connect with your significant other can make the difference between a healthy relationship and a strained one. In fact, if you seriously want the love, as ... Read more

The #1 Secret To Making Your Relationship Last [VIDEO]


Finding a love that makes you want to do anything to keep that smile on your partner's face isn't as hard as you may think. If you want to know what makes a relationship truly great and long-lasting, the answer starts with you. Even though this may sound like a cliché, it's totally true! Hearing spiritual coaches Cynthia ... Read more

Watch The Sparks Fly: How To Keep The Sexual Chemistry Alive


Wanting to spice up the sexual energy in your relationship is nothing to be embarrassed about; in fact, the need to find ways to get closer to your partner is completely natural. But is there a way to keep the chemistry alive from the beginning without having to struggle to reignite the flame? Spiritual coaches Cynthia James and Carl Studna discuss ways to ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular