For centuries, the perfect end result of any romantic relationship is unconditional love. We’ve read it in magazine articles. Love novels. Movies. Blogs on the Internet. Everyone is searching for unconditional love in their romantic relationships. The question today, is one that’s been around forever, we wonder how many people who claim they are in relationships filled with unconditional love really are?
Is it Unconditional love? Or Codependent Love?
She did. I was shocked. But maybe I shouldn’t have been.
Her answer was that she unconditionally loved her boyfriend, which is how she could stay with him during his weekend bouts with alcoholism. She went on to say that even though he neglected her many days during the week, never returned her calls, and chose not to attend any family functions with her, she still unconditionally loved him.
Red flags were dancing all through my head. I was thinking how sad it was that we’ve come to this point in society, that we put up with peoples bullshit, nonsense, emotional abuse and addiction. But somehow that allows us to claim that we just unconditionally love that person.
It’s nonsense. It’s ridiculous. What I eventually was able to show her, is that she didn’t necessarily unconditionally love this person, but she was unconditionally codependent with him as hell.
It’s the same with unconditional love, or in most cases, codependency. Until we go to the root of the codependent behaviour, the enabling, the justification, the denial, there is no way that these relationships will ever show any sign of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is extremely rare between two people in a romantic relationship. It might even be impossible to reach sometimes but it’s worthwhile going after.
Believe it or not, unconditional love can be shown in the way we set boundaries and consequences. In other words, if I didn’t love this person so much, I wouldn’t bother setting boundaries and consequences. But because I want to see this relationship last, grow, and thrive, I will set boundaries and consequences knowing that the person might walk away and reject me. That’s how much I love this person, and myself. Yes, setting boundaries is also a
David Essel, M.S., is a master life coach, counselor and author of Focus!, a motivational book to change the way that we approach success, goal achievement, and profound love.