Unconditional love is surely the thing we all want from a partner.
We also want to be the ones to give it in a relationship and not to be hung up on setting limits to our love.
But is unconditional love actually even possible in a relationship, and is it something that we should be looking for?
The answer to both of these questions is a resounding “YES!” but it can be hard to find or take time and energy to develop.
But there are people out there who love their partners unconditionally.
These people share 9 special traits in their relationships that make them fantastic partners.
1) They’re selfless.
When someone says things like “I’ve made so many sacrifices for you,” or “I wanted to go out for dinner, but now you’re too busy,” they’re doing something selfish.
They’re putting the “I” before the “you”, and this isn’t a spelling rule, even if it sounds like one.
Instead, it’s something that people do when they are not putting their partner first.
But people who love their partners unconditionally do the opposite.
They’re selfless in the relationship and are always willing to prioritize their partner’s happiness even over their own.
Because when they see their partner succeeding and happy, they feel satisfied and happy, too.
So they have bottomless motivation to help their partners and do whatever they can to make their lives great.
2) They’re agreeable.
One important trait shared by people who love their partners unconditionally is agreeableness.
But don’t confuse this with being a pushover because that’s not at all what this is about.
Being agreeable in a relationship is about not fighting, complaining, or putting up unnecessary resistance. It’s the opposite of being combative or argumentative.
And this is the way these people are with their partners because they’re not focused on always being right or having their own way.
They feel like their partnership means they’re on the same team and working towards the same goals in life.
But this doesn’t mean they just go along blindly with everything their partner says or does.
They still have their own preferences and personalities and can express them in the relationship.
They just pick their battles wisely and don’t get hung up on the small stuff.
3) They’re respectful.
A big part of unconditional love is respect.
This isn’t just treating the other person with respect, either, but it also includes actually feeling respect toward them.
This means having regard for the person’s abilities and worth, valuing their feelings and opinions, and treating them like an equal, not someone who’s beneath you.
It means giving them the same consideration you would want for yourself.
How does this play into their unconditional love?
They don’t feel the need to judge their partners and treat them differently according to how they’re behaving.
It also means they accept the other person’s faults and flaws because they know that everybody has some.
4) They’re caring and compassionate.
You know somebody loves you unconditionally when they bring you soup and mop your sweaty brow when you’re down with a horrible flu.
You know – wrapped in twisted bed sheets, hair all frazzled, and wearing your grottiest sweatpants.
That’s when you’re at your grossest and wouldn’t want 99% of the people in your life to see you.
They feel empathy with your situation, and their only thought is to help you get better as soon as possible.
And they don’t just do this when you’re sick…
Whenever you’re feeling physically or emotionally down, they’re there for you because they care.
They feel your suffering and want to do whatever it takes to make it all better.
5) They’re supportive.
Not only do they care about you, these unconditional lovers also support you.
They’re like the rock beneath your feet and the pillars holding you up strong and proud.
What kind of support do I mean?
It could really be anything because they want to give you what you need.
If their finances can handle it, they might support you with money to help fund your dream project or take care of your expenses when you’re out of work.
When your dog dies, they’re there with a shoulder to cry on and a big box of those nice moisturizing tissues so you can blow it all out without getting chapped.
They hold you up when you need it and would never dream of letting you down.
6) They’re proud.
It might be surprising to read that people who love their partners unconditionally are proud, but that’s probably because I mean it in a somewhat different way.
This isn’t wave-the-flag or support-the-team pride.
I mean that they take pride in both their partners and themselves.
To love someone unconditionally is to truly recognize their worth and value it. This makes them proud to have their partners and never feel like they have to hide them away or, worse, explain why they’re with them.
And it also makes them proud of themselves. In a kind of love-in feedback loop, feeling proud of their partners makes them look back at themselves and be proud to be in the relationship, too.
They feel that their partners are great, and so they must be pretty darned OK, too, to have the opportunity to love them.
7) They’re able to be vulnerable.
One trait missing in so many relationships is vulnerability.
We’ve all put ourselves out there before, only to have our hearts beaten to a pulp and handed back to us wrapped in butcher paper.
This makes so many of us build up defenses to protect ourselves from getting hurt again.
But people who love unconditionally have managed to tear their walls down.
They’re open and ready to give their all to the relationship and that means they take the big risk of being vulnerable. They share their secrets, speak their truth, and reveal their flaws to their partners.
They risk getting hurt, but who cares?
It’s all or nothing and you’d better believe they’re giving their all without any limited-time offers or conditions applied.
8) They’re forgiving.
One big part of unconditional love is knowing that sometimes it will hurt.
There will still be arguments, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings in any relationship, even when people love each other unconditionally.
The secret is that they forgive each other.
When someone lets you down or makes a big mistake, it can be tough to forgive them and next to impossible to forget about it.
In fact, the more you care, the harder it can be.
But people who love their partners unconditionally accept that there are always going to be bumps on even the smoothest of roads. Once they go over them, they quickly leave them behind in their rear-view mirrors.
They don’t dwell on emotional injuries and thoughtless mistakes. They forgive, live on, and let those negative feelings die away.
9) They’re generous.
I mean, generous is probably not the right word here.
What’s 1000 times more generous than generous?
When people love their partners unconditionally, they have this incredible trait of being able to give whatever they have without holding anything back.
That can be anything as humble as the last slice of pie all the way down to some of the most precious things they have, like their time and attention.
They give because they’re selfless and because they want what’s best for their partners.
They give because they have an almost endless supply of love and goodness to share.
You know that old joke – What gets bigger the more you take away from it?
The clever answer is a hole. But I think love can get bigger and better the more you give it away.
What does conditional love look like?
So now that we’ve looked at these 9 traits of people who love their partners unconditionally let’s take a moment to examine the opposite.
What is conditional love?
It’s just how it sounds. It means that love is contingent upon certain things happening or getting something in return.
People who love conditionally don’t have to be narcissists, though this is one hallmark of a narcissistic personality.
Anyone can give love conditionally, and I bet we all have in at least some of our relationships.
This is love with strings attached. This is love with limits.
Conditional love is only offered some of the time and then snatched away again when the right conditions aren’t met.
You’re loved if you’re good and not when you’re bad.
You’re loved only if the other person is happy.
This is love with an “if,” a condition that has to be met. So unconditional love is inconsistent, unreliable, and ultimately, unreal.
But if you’re able to nurture and love yourself, I believe you’ll be able to both give and receive unconditional love in your relationship, too.