It is said that unconditional love is possible between pet owner and pet (and parent to young child), but is it possible in adult human romantic/love relationships? Many of us would like to have that type of deep, intimate, and spiritual love with our chosen love partner or spouse. For those of you who are single, you may look at the divorce rate and wonder if unconditional love—love that stands the test of obstacles and differences—is possible in our fast-moving, multi-option society. After all, the next partner is only a click away—can love last?
Yes, unconditional love between romantic partners is possible if you follow these steps:
*Love Yourself Unconditionally: It’s important to love yourself unconditionally first—without constantly attacking yourself or regretting your past mistakes. You may be harsh and critical with yourself—which then may resonate to the people around you (including your love partner), as you criticize them for their flaws. When you love yourself unconditionally, you are more gentle and forgiving with yourself and others. Also, when you love yourself in the way we are describing, you are not doing so in a selfish or egotistical manner, but in a way that is self-healing. When you take care of your emotional core, you have more energy and power to give to others—to help others—especially your love partner.
*Buy or borrow a pet: Whether you’re a dog lover, cat lover, or some other type of animal lover, being around an animal can give you a glimpse of unconditional love. Your pet will love you—no matter what, even if you kick them out of the house for a while. They are always eager to be petted, to lick you, to jump on you, and to play with you. In turn, you can have love for them as you care for, and play with them. If you have no one else in your life to love unconditionally, start with a pet—the more you give love unconditionally and receive it, the more your unconditional love muscles will grow.
*Practice Loving Kindness Meditation: Research has documented various physical benefits (decreased headaches, stress, and effects of aging) and psychological benefits (increase positive emotions) for those who practice Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM). Even ten to fifteen minutes a day can do wonders in your mental and physical health if you practice LKM. Try this: Close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position, and imagine that you are sending love without expectations to a loved one (parent, child, love partner) sitting in front of you. Imagine that you are shining a light with a certain color (perhaps yellow or blue) that represents that loving energy. Now imagine that you are spreading that loving energy to other members of your immediate circle (family member, close friends), then to acquaintances and coworkers, and finally to people you don’t even know (everyday people; homeless, neglected, lonely, sick, abandoned). Take a deep breath each time you expand your loving energy to more people. Then, open your eyes and feel the love you just projected filling you up inside.
*Express Love Unconditionally Daily as an Action: Realize that love is more than a feeling—it is an action that should be practiced daily, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. Listening with love to your partner when you’re stressed or angry at them is not easy, but it’s important to do so to keep the relationship strong. When you set up a hot bath for your tired mate or surprise them with their favorite musical CD; when you take the time to solve a problem they have—without expecting anything in return—that is Unconditional Love. Strive daily to express unconditional love to your romantic partner, and to those around you (family, friends, acquaintances, strangers). Practice, being kind and helpful to others—smile, say “hello”; help people with practical or psychological issues. Every day can be a training ground for you to express more loving energy without expectations to your love partner and the world around you.
Yes, it is possible to love your romantic partner or spouse unconditionally, as they do the same for you. You can also express love unconditionally to others, and the world itself. Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean that you accept abuse from others, or that you agree with everything they say. It means that you will understand and accept them as they are. In a love relationship, you will love your partner in sickness and health, in wealth or poverty, despite disagreement, conflicts, and problems in life. Your love will flow from your inner nature—as their love flows the same way—until you both intersect in the zone of pure, unadulterated joyful love; the greatest feeling in life.