Unconditional Love Is Not The Answer
“I pursued unconditional love for years and ended up being a single woman with a cat. Only after I created my FOUR CONDITIONS did I attract a healthy partner into my life.”
The follow article is written by a colleague of mine—who is also a member of the Live Conscious community. She recently shared with me the secrets to finding a good man. She said the key was giving up on the notion of unconditional love. Instead, she took the time to develop her FOUR CONDITIONS, which she explains below:
What’s Better Than Unconditional Love?
In the last few years of my life I dance tango, start the practice of Live Conscious settle more into my career, was adopted by a cat, tattooed myself and survived cancer.
After all my growth and transformation I found myself being fully alive physically and emotionally as never before . . . but still struggling with dating. I wanted and was longing to find myself in a meaningful, intimate relationship.
After continuing to disappoint myself with the dating scene I had enough information from my dates to write the screenplay for a horror movie.
At one of the Live Conscious Retreats I went to—in these retreats everyone gives themselves a new name—I named myself “Single Women with a Cat.” That’s when I decided to be alone (with my cat) until meeting a good and mature Man. No more compromising!
To make sure I didn’t compromise again, I developed 4 conditions that any future partner would need to say “YES” to, or else I would discontinue dating him.
1) He had to say to me: “Yes, I want the same thing you want.” I wanted a committed, exclusive, long-term relationship. No doubts, no games, no drama, no “but”, no excuses.
I needed this before I would continue moving myself further with more dates (spending time together, movie and ice cream).
2) I needed to hear him saying, “Yes, I am in a great place in my life and I want to share myself with you.” For me, this was about his self-esteem and his financial/job/career stability. I wanted to see him having a full appreciation for his personal growth up to this point in his life and enjoying the opportunities that life was offering him in the present.
I needed this before making any further commitments (traveling together, family involvement, living together).
3) I needed him to tell me, “Yes, I am done with the past.” This meant that he had processed and grown himself from the valuable lessons from his past relationships. And that he had no ghosts, unfinished business or still any emotional lingering with his ex-partners. I wanted to experience him clear and ready to step into the present to explore a new beginning with me.
I needed to hear this before sleeping/making love/opening sexually.
4) I need for him to tell me, “Yes, I want YOU.” For me this was about seeing him focusing his energy on wanting to attract and capture my attention, making himself available to me/us.
I needed to experience an ongoing dynamic of nourishment and emotional safety before I would give myself fully to him.
I have come to realize that some “yes” answers are forever, and others may change over time. In others words, “yes to letting go of the past” can be forever, but “yes to wanting you” depends on many things. For lovers to say, “yes, I want you,” will be conditional. For me, I will require my partner to be faithful, mature and kind. So some “yes” answers need to be renewed every day.
I am happy to say that the above 4 conditions have worked really well for me. I now am with a partner. It took us 3 months before we could each answer “Yes!” to the other person’s conditions.
I found it very helpful to be “intolerant” in the beginning. This is something Live Conscious advocates, being intolerant during the dating stage of relationships. I used that concept as a tool so as not to compromise what is important to me, and to remind myself that my life is too short to “un-health” myself by being with the wrong partner.
I have inspired myself by Jake’s and Hannah’s input, wisdom and personal testimony of their own relationship. I see them offering a new model for creating and sustaining healthy relationships
If you have any questions, please post them and I will respond to you.
No longer “A Single Woman With a Cat”
If you are looking to find a good partner, or to improve the romantic relationship you have, I strongly encourage you to develop your own FOUR CONDITIONS. Then, all you need to do in stay true to your conditions, don’t compromise, and you can break your cycle of attracting the wrong partners into your life. Could it be this simple?
To learn more about creating healthy romantic partnerships:
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I love this post. I’ve been posts on other sites where people talk about wanting unconditional love. I keep thinking NO! I don’t want that. I don’t want to love anyone unconditionally and I DEFINITELY don’t want anyone to love me unconditionally. I know what that looks like and it’s almost always
b) need based – Me/they need someone in my/their life to fill a void
c) unrealistic – it’s usually based on an illusion of who I am or who the other person is.
d) doesn’t hold up over time
The reality is that for any healthy relationships there are always conditions. “Unconditional love” just means you don’t know what the conditions are…. yet.
Jessica — I so agree with you. I disappoint myself to see so many teachers and people advocating unconditional love. I think it feeds into a certain fantasy—and dare I say—naivete.
And too often, what I see is that the people seeking unconditional love end up hurting themselves when their partners don’t meet the unspoken conditions—and I believe their are always conditions.
Hi Jessica and Jake, I appreciate your comments and also find myself agreeing with both of you. When thinking about conditions, I clear myself if I remind me that “I get what I settle for”, so with this awareness, I made a commitment to not settle for less of what I want and honor in me.
I think that people that advocate for unconditional love sometimes risk to find themselves compromising their values or needs for what they consider important to have with a partner.
To me this post was wonderfully written and a great share. I just happened upon it and the timing was perfect. Yes, it was a neccessary wake up call for how I was handling current dating and relationships. Although my perspective on unconditional love is quite different than what is proposed here. The issue I have with people in general is being over tolerant, understanding and compassionate with others to the point where I overlook my own needs, desires and values. Inner conflict then arises along with resentment then, boom…all the consequences from that arises. So what this has taught me is that it is okay to have conditions, and to be strong enough to stay true to those that which I’ve created. It’s a wonderful form of self-love and acknowledgement of worthiness. I can and will still love all unconditionally. What doesn’t exist is the attachment, even with someone that meets my conditions. Attachment is different than connection. You can have a deep connection and be close with someone if you choose but not be attached to this experience or relationship. Attachment is the dependency, need, false or unrealistic expectations in a relationship. That is when it doesn’t hold up. Unconditional love is a space in which you exist with people. It’s very rarely ever accomplished anyway. Maybe it’s just the “lingo” that is being referred to here. In any event, I have a lot of gratitude for Cecilia for sharing her experience. In brought me to a very necessary and helpful awareness.
I appreciate sharing your thoughts on the article.
I expand myself reflecting on your distinction between attachment and connection.
Also, I like the idea of thinking about unconditional love as a space. For me, this concept relates to my “unconditional capacity” to choose to open, explore and grow myself with others in Loving and Intimate relationships.
Thank you so much for your comments.
El artículo es claro, profundo, alentador, con coraje y un gran sentido del humor: ¡No hay nada más pre-cio-so que una mujer “plantada en sus dos pies”!
To me, it has been an amazing learning experience to witness Cecilia´s process of becoming a butterfly. Thanks Cecilia for sharing it!
To each their own. I love unconditionally in my romantic relationships and I expect the same. Yes, I do mean that in the most ABSOLUTE and EXTREME sense. I set no conditions and have no boundaries/limits. I don’t love for any reason; I love the person despite who/what they are, what they do, anything. And you know what? I’m happy and healthy BECAUSE of it.
Conditional love is useless to me.
I have read this post many times, and each time I REinspire myself about the potential for a healthy mature loving relationship. Thank you Cecilia for sharing your wisdom to the community. I feel much gratitude for your words.