Is It Okay for Love to Be Conditional?

BY: - 21 Apr '17 | Relationships

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If I had to say what I love most about my relationship with my husband, it would be how he loves me unconditionally. He’s never made me feel like his love for me has conditions attached to it. Never makes me fee like I am constantly trying to earn his love. For that, I adore him.

I have seen people I love in relationships overflowing with conditions and it breaks my heart. Why should anyone feel like they are always trying to earn someone else’s love? Don’t we all deserve better?

Frankly, when someone loves you with conditions, I have to wonder if it’s really love. After all, wouldn’t true love be given freely, not based on every single thing you do (or don’t do)?

If you are wondering is you’re being loved with conditions, you need to think about how you feel when you are with your partner. What does he or she expect from you before genuine affection is shown?

Some may argue, what’s wrong with conditional love? Shouldn’t I have standards?

Yes, I think we should all have standards. I hate to see anyone settle. But for me, conditional love is not about settling. When you love someone conditionally you are saying that if you meet certain conditions, you can earn my love.  But if you don’t, I just can’t love you.

And whether you truly love someone actually isn’t the same as whether or not you should spend a lifetime with that person.

When someone truly loves you, they love you for who you are. They don’t withdraw love based on what you do or don’t do. For example, think about your children. On the day your child entered your world, do you remember how immensely you loved him or her? Hasn’t that love grown with time?

And no matter what your child does, will you ever stop loving him or her? Probably not. You may disapprove of your kid’s choices but your love never goes away—even if your kid messes up big time. You just keep on loving her unconditionally. That’s what true love is.

So what do you do if you find yourself being “loved” by someone with a list of conditions? I think you need to ask yourself why you are there? Is that person really giving you what you need and deserve, or have you told yourself that conditional love is better than no love.

I say go it alone. I know, I know—a lot easier said than done. But listen, you shouldn’t spend your lifetime feeling like you are constantly trying to meet someone’s expectations. Rather, you should feel like the person you are with just loves you for who you are—flaws and all. That’s what real love is about.

But I should point something out, though. Although my husband’s love for me may not be conditional, I certainly think his decision to stay married to me is. And I am okay with that. I think we have mutual conditions when it comes to staying married, like respect, fidelity, and a few others. But those conditions have nothing to do with how much we love each other. They simply have to do with whether or not we should stay with each other. Do you see the distinction?

So even if my husband messed up big time and cheated on me with a friend, I can’t sit here and tell you that I will stop loving him. That’s a lie. You can’t stop loving someone overnight because he messed up. But does that mean I will stay with him? Not necessarily.

And although I think true love is never conditional, I do believe that the decision to stay with someone for a lifetime has a few conditions, whether we choose to admit it or not.

But as we all move through life looking for true love, we should always remember that we are lovable just as we are. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Maybe being married comes with a few conditions, but not being loved. In my opinion, being loved should be condition-free.

BMWK family, what are your thoughts on conditional love?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 488 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at To work with her, visit her at Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.


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