Katy Perry has a new song entitled “Unconditionally.” The song refers to the notion of romantic love being unconditional. Although this is a very appealing notion, I believe it to be more of a romantic wish than a reality. Many people have the expectation that they will find a partner that will love them unconditionally. It is an ideal that would be rarely realized. Healthy adult relationships are based on mutual honesty and trust. When trust is broken and a person feels disrespected by their partner love can be damaged or destroyed. People grow apart and love sometimes ends.
We are most likely to see unconditional love by a parent for their child. Parent/child bonds are very strong. When someone does not receive that kind of love and acceptance from their parent, they are likely to seek that in their romantic relationships. They expect to find someone that will love them unconditionally. This leads to approval seeking behaviors and unrealistic expectations of those they have relationships. With the expectation of unconditional love comes great risk. Self-worth and esteem are tied to the love or lack thereof from another. When someone expects unconditional love and that love ends it can result in feelings of not being good enough and shame.
Our value as a person does not come from how others feel about us. It is important to love ourselves unconditionally and embrace our humanity and flaws. Then we will not have unrealistic expectations about the love of others.