Love comes in many forms, but there’s a focus on two common types: Unconditional and conditional love. How can we define common beliefs?
Some people believe that conditional love is not true love. I do think that is the most common belief. Unconditional love, on the other hand, is seen as supreme love, true love, and relational enlightenment. So, if unconditional love is true love, then what can we say about conditional love?
Hidden reasons for conditional love
Let me dive further into unconditional love for a moment. I have to because it’s important to understand this type of love in order to see what hides behind conditional love. Unconditional love is the type of feeling we see in relationships that have little expectations.
These unions are pure and with few boundaries. Usually, those who enter unconditional relationships aren’t prone to creating lists of tolerable and intolerable traits that govern the course of the relationship. It’s just a union that doesn’t expect certain things for each person to be happy.
It does border on the idea that we each are whole individuals without the support and need for an “other half”.
Now, conditional love has a few expectations. Here are a few signs of conditional love:
- Feelings change drastically
- Withheld intimacy
- Hatred during disputes
This is actually the more common form of love among couples today. The reason this type of relationship is not considered true love is that it requires rules and expectations or intimacy is reduced. Most people think that true love comes with no strings attached, and with conditional love, there are many things to consider.
Most partners do devise a list of tolerable and intolerable traits in this case. So, let’s take a look at a few things that could be hiding behind conditional love to understand why it’s so common in our society today.
1. You didn’t really love them to begin with
This is a horrifying thing to face, but it must be discussed. It’s true, some people think they love someone when they really do not. It depends on the individual situation. For example: If you are in a relationship that’s going through problems and you leave because of these problems, you may find someone else.
This new person will seem like your hero, and they may even display attractive traits. The problem here is you’re looking through rose-colored lenses and not really seeing the truth of this new person. You think you love them, but you don’t, and so expectations will build after the “honeymoon phase” wears off.
The things you didn’t see before will reveal themselves and you will find yourself with other problems and maybe even more. Your love is conditional because it’s not real love at all. It’s dependence.
2. There is no trust
Somewhere along the way, your partner has broken your trust. Whether it was by cheating or some other betrayal, they have changed the way you see them.
While those on the outside may not know these things about the two of you, they will see the high expectations and boundaries you’ve now set because of the mistrust. The root of mistrust is often hidden, but it signals conditional love is the foundation of the union.
3. Unhealthy partners
When I speak of unhealthy, I don’t mean overweight or out of shape. What I mean is mental health, in this case. If both of you suffer from some form of mental disorder, it will be difficult to embrace unconditional love. There will always be conditions placed on the relationship.
Due to past experiences, which often have influences on the root of mental health issues, this conditional state may be understood to a point. For instance, if one person struggles with narcissistic traits while the other is too empathetic, and yes, this can be the case, the narcissist will often over-power the empath and set rules which can be harsh.
The reason why empathy, in this case, can be unhealthy is that the empathetic person will become too submissive and even understanding to a fault. There is an imbalance which creates an abusive and conditional union.
There are those who wish to constantly be around their partner and this creates tension. Every one of us needs a bit of time alone, and with this type of personality, it can be almost impossible. Rules are often set by the clingy person in order to always have access to the partner, while the partner will set rules to give themselves space.
When this happens, the relationship instantly transforms into a conditional love situation. Yes, there can still be love, but there can never be a healthy sense of self.
5. Hidden Feelings
Some people, when in romantic relationships, will hide the way they feel from their mate. They will often tell friends or relatives about all the things they dislike, but they will keep quiet while in the presence of their partner. Most of the time, this is because they are afraid of confrontation or disagreements.
When hidden feelings become an issue, expectations increase. The partner who hides their feelings expects better things from their mate in order to stop hiding so much. They feel that the only way to be happy is to change their partner so they can be more open about the way they feel.
The idea is, the only way, to be honest, is to always have the same beliefs, conditions, and standards. This is not unconditional love and far from it.
6. You’re fickle
Being fickle is being pushed to and fro by every wind which blows your way. This means that things change according to how happy you are at the time. I’ve seen this happen in relationships and it can be heartbreaking.
While you are supposed to love your partner the same amount whether you are happy with them or if you are angry at them, if you are fickle, it will be conditional. Once your partner makes you mad, you will consider whether you still love them or not.
If it’s that easy to change your mind, then you never really loved them to begin with. You can refer to #1 for that same information.
Conditional or Unconditional: What do you think?
I will admit that there are certain aspects of conditional love that help you maintain your dignity, respect, and basic standards. But if you understand the true nature of the object of your affection, before you engage in a relationship, you can avoid creating conditions.
Unconditional love is true love, but how many of us will really partake in this phenomenal union? It’s hard to say. I challenge you to examine your relationship and count the ways you place conditions on your life with your partner. At least we can work harder to love them for who they are and not for what they provide.
Thank you for reading.
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