Unconditional Love Isn’t A Good Thing, No Matter How Badly You Want It

Unconditional Love Isn’t A Good Thing, No Matter How Badly You Want It ©iStock/gradyreese

Unconditional love is supposed to be a black and white thing —  you either love someone no matter what or you don’t. But how can you possibly know if you’ll love someone no matter what until that thing happens that tests your limits? Unconditional love is possible, but it’s best reserved for parent-child relationships where a bond exists that can’t easily be shaken. Romantic love isn’t meant to be unconditional, so we probably shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to make it that way.

  1. You shouldn’t feel obligated to love someone. Love should be something that comes naturally, not something you have to justify. If you have to constantly talk yourself into loving someone, there’s a problem. Relationships may not be easy all the time, but they’re even harder if you aren’t in love anymore.
  2. Loving someone who treats you badly isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s probably not love at all. Maybe you’re just afraid of change, and you’re clinging to a relationship because you don’t want to be alone. As cliche as it sounds, you need to be your own first priority, and insisting you love someone who clearly doesn’t care about you that much isn’t any way to live.
  3. You might take a person who loves you unconditionally for granted. If you know your boyfriend will never dump you no matter what, you might find yourself testing the limits. But can you really be with a guy who doesn’t have enough self-respect to refuse to be treated like crap? If he lets you walk all over him, he probably lets other people do it, too.
  4. The promise of unconditional love makes us lazy. If there’s nothing to work at, you’ll both start to get complacent and let yourselves go. Just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to last forever, and we should never get so lazy that we stop caring about making an effort.
  5. We all have limits. Some people have longer ropes than others, but everyone has their limit. and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admitting when you’ve reached it. You aren’t obligated to give someone a million chances, even if you love them. Believing love will conquer all is only hurting you in the end.
  6. Sometimes you’re better off apart. If you truly love each other, sometimes the best thing is to be apart. You may never stop loving them, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue to be with them. You have to put your own sanity first, even if that means loving them from a safe distance.
  7. It’s normal to fall out of love. You aren’t a bad person just because you realize you aren’t in love anymore. Admitting it and deciding where to go from there is a lot more productive than living in denial and insisting everything is fine. Falling out of love doesn’t necessarily mean you have to break up, because as unromantic as it is, love isn’t the only reason people stay together.
  8. People change. Even if you’re certain you’ll love the guy you know right now unconditionally, what if he goes through something that completely changes him? How do you know you’ll be able to love that person? Same goes for you. Maybe you’ll change so much that while he used to be exactly what you wanted, your needs aren’t the same as they used to be.
  9. You can’t predict how you’ll feel about certain things until they happen. You might be so in love with someone right now that you can’t imagine ever feeling any differently. But how do you know what it really feels like to be cheated on until it happens? Forgiveness is a lot easier said than done.
  10. Love should evolve, not remain static. Just like people evolve, so should love. In the beginning of a relationship everything is simple and exciting. But as time goes on and you experience things together, your feelings will change. Teenagers in love are a completely different thing than a couple who has been together for fifty years.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.