What Unconditional Love Looks Like In A Healthy Relationship

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What Is unconditional love like in healthy relationships

Five experts share what couples can do to build unconditional love, together.

Romance is amazing. But what if a relationship begins with romance and after awhile it just ... stops?

In the best relationships, you fit together like a hand in glove. The familiarity is reassuring.

But sometimes comfortable love becomes lacksadasical or even careless, and that can easily undermine a healthy relationship. Fights brew, disagreements simmer and the spark that pulled you together intially can fade. 

People crave romance, acceptance, and, ultimately, unconditional love. But is unconditional love real? And how do people in healthy relationships show unconditional love that can last?

Bailing out when times get tough is certainly not what you signed up for  — and it's far from the unconditional love you've always dreamed of. 

In order to understand what unconditional love is, and how it looks in real life, we should explain the technical definition of unconditional love — though of course that may vary based upon your family history and unique personality.

Wikipedia's definition is both concise and accurate, stating, "Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions."

RELATED: 4 Reasons Why Some People Consider Unconditional Love To Be A Myth

You might not be able to choose who to love, but you got into a relationship because you wanted to, not because you had to.

With movies and songs romanticizing only the beginning of a relationship, knowing what love is meant to look like in a long-term relationship gets confusing fast. Unconditional love seems so far away from that. 

But if unconditional love is your goal, you're going to have to learn to grow your love together — to commit to deepening your love so that it will last. Even if it sometimes feels less passionate, unconditional love can carry you both through the natural changes of a relationship that's built to last. 

We asked our in-house YT Experts to help us understand the different ways people show unconditional love in healthy relationships.

Here's what they told us:

1. Unconditional love gives us space for what is needed to grow.

“The trick with unconditional love is to focus on the authenticity of a person; seeing their inner beauty and strength without getting caught up in on what they say or do.

If you don’t agree or like what your loved one says or does, you don’t take your ultimate love away and you don’t take it personally.

And if you have to let them go, you can let them go in love.”

Ellen Nyland is a certified Life and Business Coach whose passion is helping you find your inner treasures.

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2. With unconditional love, partners choose who they want to be and when. 

“Unconditional love in the real world involves accepting your partner for the flawed, flesh and blood person they are, not the idealized version you might want them to be.

It means accepting their feelings, perceptions, experiences, and viewpoints at face value without the need for them to defend or justify them because they are different from yours.

Unconditional love can include making requests for changes in their behavior but being able to graciously adjust if the answer is ‘no’.”

Lesli Doares is a therapist, couples coach, and the founder of a practical alternative for couples worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy. 

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3. Unconditional love means understanding that there's a difference between feelings and reality.

“Unconditional love is being able to witness the anger, the sadness, the shame or guilt that arises in your partner and yet remain focused on the core of who they really are.

Gaze upon your partner, see through their personality characteristics and focus upon their divine love within.

When we witness the divine in another, we bring that part of us to the forefront, and from this place comes the capacity for unconditional love.”

Mandy Agnew PhD is a therapist, healing guide, spiritual mentor and the founder of Core Wisdom.

RELATED: Love Is Something You Do, Not Something You Feel

4. Partners realize the value of staying present in the moment. Feel the connection, then speak. 

"First connect, then act. What if we pause for a moment, turn to the present moment, feel the heart and connect with each other for real before we speak or take action?

Even the most challenging issues can be taken care of — if we give precedence to truly meet each other first. It is simple, feels natural, but connecting takes practice.

For, when we feel in touch with the pulse of life and each other, love emerges and shows a way, one you may not have seen before.”

Nicola Amadora, PhD is a psychologist, mindfulness teacher, relationship & leadership educator, speaker and writer. 

5. With unconditional love, both partners understand that there's room for 'we' and 'I'.

“Intimacy is essential to a healthy relationship but clinging not so much. Paradoxically, the joy of being together is enhanced by the necessity of having time apart.

Love in its authenticity understands that each partner is not dependent but interdependent. The need to be constantly connected to one’s partner is more about fear, whether known or unknown than it is about love.

Love transcends space, so partners truly in love understand the power of their love regardless of their physical proximity at any moment.”

Stephen Dynako provides coaching as a Courage Builder and is author of The Self Aware Lover.

RELATED: If You Love Him, You Have To Love All Of Him, Even The Unlovable Parts

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Aria Gmitter, M.S, M.F.A., is YourTango's Senior Editor of Horoscopes and Spirituality. She studies with the Midwestern School of Astrology and is a member of the South Florida Astrological Association.