Is Unconditional Love Just A Fantasy?

By

Relationship Expert: Unconditional Love & Expectations
Are you searching for something that just doesn't exist?

Ever hear this (or think it yourself)? "I want to marry a man who will love me unconditionally." Really? I believe unconditional love is a myth based on fairy tales and Hollywood movies. Sorry to burst your bubble. "But Sandy, when I find my true soul mate, we will love each other unconditionally." I don't think so. "How about the love between a mother and a child?" There are conditions there, too. “Aw, come on Ms. Grinch, surely the love between a dog and his owner is unconditional.” Sorry, that’s conditional, too. Allow me to explain…

Let's define love
I do believe in love — deep, connected, bodice-ripping, we-were-meant-to-be-together love. But I also believe in mature, romantic love, the devotion between two independent people responsible for their own emotions, able to effectively communicate feelings and needs. Both of whom have full interesting lives independent of each other. When they bond together in a relationship, they enhance each other’s lives. And they understand that relationships require tender loving care.

Conditional love
In any relationship, there are conditions. If one partner doesn't hold up his or her end, the partnership will eventually fall apart. For example, Joan and Sam were married for ten years. They began their marriage with deep attraction, care and respect for one another. After their two children were born, Sam began to work longer hours and Joan stayed home with the kids. When Sam came home from work, he wanted attention and sex from his wife. She was exhausted and depleted after a long day tending to everyone's needs but her own.

When Sam's needs were not met at home, he sought attention outside the marriage. He eventually had an affair with Cathy. After a five-year marriage, with two kids under the age of four, Joan and Sam divorced. This couple began their relationship with passion and love, but they didn't properly take care of themselves or the relationship. 

Relationships are like a garden. Just as you need to regularly pull weeds and put down fertilizer in order for plants to thrive, you need to give attention to your partner, your child, and even your dog, in order for those relationships to continue to flourish and grow. It's unrealistic to expect to love someone (or for them to love you) without restraint and forever without a little effort on your own part. 

The five-to-one ratio
Dr. John Gottman is a relationship expert famous for his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. One of his guiding principles for a successful relationship is the five-to-one ratio. He says that for every negative interaction in a relationship, you need five positive interactions. Relationships thrive when you keep increasing positivity. They will eventually fall apart if you don't. If you're sitting around, waiting for the positive to happen, it probably won't.

So don't take any of your relationships for granted. Whether you're a parent, a friend, a pet owner or a romantic partner, increase your positive interactions, pay attention to your needs as well as theirs, and you'll meet the conditions for a great relationship.

For a copy of my FREE report, "The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)" please click here.
Please "like" my Facebook page for posts on dating and relationships & links to my weekly radio show.

Find out more about the Last First Date Inner Circle! Monthly topic-based Q & A calls about dating over 40, a private forum for women to connect and share their experiences and much more, all at a ridiculously low price. Check it out here.

More relationship expert advice from YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Sandy Weiner

Dating Coach

Sandy Weiner

http://lastfirstdate.com/

For a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” please click here.

If you are serious about finding love this year, there’s nothing like group coaching to keep you accountable and give you solid dating tools that work. In the Last First Date Inner Circle, you'll have access to two monthly topic-based Q & A calls about dating over 40, and a private forum for you to connect and share your experiences. All calls are recorded and transcribed, and you get a free chapter a month of my upcoming book. If you're a woman over 40 and want ongoing coaching support at an affordable rate, check out the LFD Inner Circle today. 

Location: Stamford, CT
Credentials: ACC, CPCC
Specialties: Dating/Being Single Support, Empowering Women, Online Dating
Other Articles/News by Sandy Weiner:

3 Post-Divorce Red Flags That Say He's Not BF-Material (Yet)

By

Jane (all names have been changed) has been divorced for five years. After a string of disappointing first dates, she was excited to discover George's profile on Match.com. He had many of the must-have qualities she was searching for in a partner: a good sense of humor, a similar religious belief system and he was a good listener. But towards the end of ... Read more

How To Write Online Dating Emails That Get You To The Next Step

By

Online dating emails can be tricky. You have a small window to make — or break — a first impression. You can't hear his voice, so you don't know the true intention behind his words. Be particularly careful about what you write and how you react to what he writes. I recently had a fun email exchange with a man on OKCupid. I'm sharing it ... Read more

Help! How Do I Know If He's Just Not That Into Me?

By

Dear Sandy, I am going on a third date with a man I met on Match.com. I notice he's online 2 or 3 times a day. I login through an empty profile to check, but it sort of tells me he is not really that interested, right? It's particularly confusing to me, because last week he had taken down his profile, and now he is very active again. Should I ... Read more

See More

GET MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS IN YOUR INBOX!

Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB