Unconditional Love – What Does It Mean To Love Someone Selflessly?

What is required to show someone unconditional love when you’re in a relationship?

Perhaps just being there physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, through thick and thin, no matter what may happen, is arguably a workable definition of unconditional love.

The Elements Of Unconditional Love

* The Physical Factor: “Being there” for someone physically means just what the word implies. You’re there for them in person, standing by their side, listening to them or talking with them so they’re not alone. This may be at two in the afternoon, or at three in the morning!

* The Emotional Factor: When you’re with someone emotionally, you’re offering your support by allowing them to honestly and openly express how they feel or their innermost thoughts without fear of judgment or ridicule.

Supporting someone emotionally with unconditional love also means that you’re there selflessly to help them work through any anxieties or fears that may be controlling their day-to-day life. The goal is for the person to rise above the negative emotions and turn them into positive ones. In a sense, you’re their “shoulder to cry on”.

* The Mental Factor: Supporting a loved one mentally or psychologically means that you’re helping them think through their actions, motives, and desires. You help them do this by finding out what’s going on inside. To support someone mentally requires you to help your loved one process their thoughts through to all possible outcomes.

* The Spiritual Factor: Spiritually supporting someone means you pray for and with them, to help them grow in all aspects of their life – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Often spiritual support is given without a person being aware that it’s actually happening.

Does Selfless Love Have It’s Drawbacks?

Loving someone unconditionally doesn’t mean giving into their every whim or demand. Often, people confuse this type of love with spoiling someone. Giving in to a person’s every want or desire when it isn’t appropriate can actually harm their overall well-being.

For example, always giving in to your child’s demands for junk or fast food doesn’t encourage the development of healthy eating habits and may contribute to medical problems as they get older. You might also see it as a way of winning your child’s affection, but is it real affection or a form of emotional bribery?

True love is shown when you try to help a loved one become a better person. Your unconditional love for them is shown when you still deeply care for them even if they refuse to change. And, there are times when it’s necessary to “let go” of someone dear to you when they refuse to take the necessary steps to improve…some people would call this “tough love“.

An example of this would be when someone you care for is an alcoholic or drug addict. You still love the person, but you don’t “love” their actions. When they refuse to work at overcoming their addictions or don’t care about themselves or the consequences of what they do nor who they’re hurting in the process, as hard as it may be, you must be prepared to ‘let go’ emotionally.

Sometimes this requires that you allow them spiral downwards until they hit rock bottom. Often, you get hurt by their actions because you love them and don’t want to see them go down this road. But, loving unconditionally also means that you’ll be there for them come hell or high water when they’re ready to try again!

Perhaps it’s a true saying that love isn’t just an emotion or a feeling – it’s a choice! It’s a voluntary commitment of your total self to someone.

In relationships with that special someone, with family and your closest friends, you show true love by overlooking petty mistakes, forgoing judgment and by not harboring grudges. Love without limits, such as this, requires self-sacrifice and the ability to forgive. You could probably say it’s love that is pure.

But, is unconditional love an innate quality that we all possess or is it something we need to learn and develop? I really don’t know…what do you think??

  • Brittany

    This was wonderful! I need to know the writers name, I would like to read more of your material! Thanks

    • jonel

      Thanks for the compliment, Brittany! 99.9% of the articles are written by me, Jonel :)

  • Geo

    I think I agree with just about everything though I would change “Perhaps it’s a true saying that love isn’t an emotion or a feeling – it’s a choice! It’s a voluntary commitment of your total self to someone.” to ?Love in’t just an emotion or a feeling – it’s a choice. It’s a voluntary commitment of your total self to someone.

    About unconditional love though I do think it is something that you must develop. I know that a year ago I myself would not have been capable of what I am now. Life is full of experiences and from them you learn. Regret nothing as it is what makes you, you. Though remember the mistakes you make and call it wisdom.

    • admin

      Thanks for your comment, it’s appreciated.

      I’ve updated the post to include your suggestion, as I can see what you mean. After thinking more about it, you’re correct, there has to be strong emotions or feelings, of either romantic or platonic love, before someone would commit totally to another person.