How do you know the difference between unconditional love and conditional love?

Many people have surely heard of conditional love meaning or wondered if unconditional love really exists. This is because the term unconditional love and conditional love is increasingly popular and used.

It is often something that we tend to confuse in various facets of our life, without really knowing what the difference is between each of them. After listening to the terms, it is normal to wonder which of the two we have been living or how it should be for each person.

That is why below we will explain what unconditional love and conditional love are, as well as their differences to be able to recognize when you have one of these two types of love in your life.

Meaning of unconditional love

If you wonder what is unconditional love in the couple or if my love is unconditional? Well, we explain that unconditional love is one of the purest, most genuine, and authentic loves that exists. And precisely for this reason, it is one of the most difficult loves to achieve, since unconditional love means loving and accepting the other person as they are.

To describe unconditional love, phrases like Yvonne Pierre’s  “Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.”

What is conditional love?

What is conditional love? Conditional love meaning consists of the most frequent love both in couples and in all kinds of relationships. It is a love that is generated or provided under conditions. Where the loved one must behave or act in a certain way to be worthy of that love.

Most loves start as unconditional love that gradually transforms into conditional love, and this is not necessarily bad, it is natural. Examples of conditional love are married love, conditional love from a mother or father, or love between friends.

Unconditional love transforms into conditional love over time. When the person begins to idealize his partner when he begins to have or think about expectations regarding that relationship.

How to know if love is conditional or unconditional in a simple way?

The differences between conditional love and unconditional love are quite marked, so identifying when it is one or the other is not a very difficult task.

However, the simplest way to know when we are feeling one or the other is based on what we feel when the person we decide to love performs an act that is not to our liking.

Conditional love tends to have rules and limits, it is always waiting for a response from the counterpart that adapts to what we think or that fulfills our expectations and the most important thing is that it has an opposite pole which is hatred that normally manifests itself with anger. or annoyance.

When the person does something that is not to our liking and we react by limiting love or doing acts that simulate punishment then that type of love is clearly conditional.

Now, if what the other person does and causes us harm does not lead to change our way of treating or loving them, but on the contrary, we can understand that each head is a world and each person lives their own process that is totally different from ours, So that kind of love is unconditional.

In unconditional love, you do not feel hatred or resentment and this does not mean that it does not hurt, it means that we can understand what is happening and empathy is part of this understanding.

Differences of unconditional love and conditional love in the couple

There are differences between these two loves that allow us to differentiate them, normally these come out of the characteristics of conditional love and unconditional or unconditional love. As are the following:

  • Unconditional or unconditional love is mostly the first to be generated in relationships, however, over time it becomes conditional love. While unconditional love is characterized by unconditionally loving another person, accepting them as they are.
  • Conditional love is characterized by loving another person under conditions, who must behave or act in a certain way to be worthy of love. Likewise, if he acts or does inappropriate things for the person, he stops being loved by him.

Unconditional love is the purest and most genuine, which most aspire to achieve. However, it is the most difficult to achieve, since it requires a lot of trust and security, as well as being able to love the other person as they are.

  • Conditional love is one of those that mostly turns into toxic love. Because people tend to possessively control the other so that he or she can be what he or she wants him to be.
  • Unconditional love is so difficult to achieve that in some cases it requires deep meditation to achieve it. While conditional love is the most prevalent between the two.

In this way, you already know what unconditional love and conditional love are. As well as their characteristics and differences to be able to identify which of the two you have with your partner, family, or friends.

And finally, it is important to note that both loves, unconditional love and conditional love, are positive loves. In this way, having either of the two loves is good news.

The important thing is to control feelings, so we can prevent some of these two loves from becoming toxic love. This will be done with good communication, with respect for the other person but above all with acceptance of oneself, and of the loved one.

What are the consequences of conditional love and how to deal with them?

Conditional love goes hand in hand with heartbreak and within relationships, regardless of whether it is a partner, family, or friends, it can leave consequences that are usually painful.

Among these consequences, the following can be identified:

  • Annoyance: This annoyance is not only with the second person but also with oneself. When expectations of a relationship are created or idealized, there comes a time when things do not go as expected and then that can lead us to act out of anger and pain.
  • Discussions: Something quite common is when the person who gives conditional love does not receive what he expects. He feels in a disadvantageous position and this causes arguments to arise that lead to a demand from the other person delivery of love more in line with what is being received.
    • Feelings of inadequacy: The person who conditionally loves may feel at some point that what he gives is not enough and that is why he belittles himself and does not feel good about himself, thinking that what he gives does not fill the other person.


    • Low self-esteem: Conditional love hits self-esteem when the reality is experienced and collides with heartbreak. You can come to think that the problem is yourself and that there are things that have to be fixed so that the other person acts as he wishes.


    • Misunderstandings or enemies: Conditional love can generate misunderstandings that lead us to distance ourselves from the people we say we love and even see them as an enemy who did not value all the love that was given to them at some point.

    The best way to deal with these consequences is to first feel the emotions that it produces, then try not to look for the guilty and open the mind to think that things really are not as we idealize them since each person is different and acts based on their needs.

It is a painful work of introspection, but after doing it, it leads to calm and the understanding that no one is obliged to give something in exchange for something.

Why give unconditional love and not conditional love?

Perhaps this question can be justified with the thought that ¨ If I give love I deserve to receive it in the same way ¨. And you may be right, but even if it is true, it is not always the case and this is what leads to pain and disappointment.

Loving unconditionally is associated with freedom, both your own and that of the person you love. This freedom frees you from expectations and idealization and the most important thing about this is that when we face reality, pain may appear, but it is temporary and does not torment.

Unconditional love doesn’t bind you to one person and you don’t even have a need to feel tied or the other person to bind you. You enjoy the moment you are living and if it were to end you would understand it and you could continue without the burden of attachment.

All the benefits of giving unconditional love are summed up in one word PEACE. And within any relationship that makes you feel peace, love arises freely since you do not think about doing something to receive love to the same extent that you give it.

Is unconditional love harmful?

No, as long as it is awarded within limits. Everything created has a limit, the sea, the land, animals that respect others, the material also has a limit such as tables, buildings, etc.

This means that just as the world is limited we have to learn to set limits. You can grant unconditional love to the extent that you love yourself unconditionally, because if you give love in an excessive way you run the risk of being left with nothing.

Many people tend to take advantage of the unconditional love that other people give and it is precisely for this reason that love must begin with ourselves, by loving ourselves we can know to what extent to offer unconditional love so that it does not become harmful.

All this is directed not only to the love of a couple but to any type of love, that of family members and even friends, since love, no matter how unconditional, if it has no limits, can lead to chaos.