Unconditional love or love without expectation is highly underrated and often misunderstood.
It’s not compromise or sacrifice.
It’s the most liberating experience of love.
You love someone unconditionally or without expectation, not for some selfless greatness. Rather for a very selfish (in a good way) reason — to be happy and grow in love.
Every frustrated heartbroken lover will tell you how their love wasn’t reciprocated and how that shattered them completely. What if they didn’t expect love in return? What if they just loved because they loved to love? What if they loved because that’s what made them alive?
Every time we hear a love story turned cold, mostly the culprit has been expectation. More we walk along the journey of love, more we start expecting from our lover. And when those expectations aren’t met, we lose interest in love, we lose the capacity to love.
What if we didn’t keep any expectations in the first place? What if we never cared about what our lovers do, or how they react, and just love them? Just love them, because we love to love them. Nothing they do affect our love for them in our hearts. Because our love is far deep rooted than what can be shaken with some surface experiences.
This kind of love is the fresh air, huge relief. There is no winning or losing in this love. Only love is there, that is all consuming and life transforming.
The person you love, may or may not be yours. You can have your lover today and might lose them tomorrow and might again find them back someday. But what no one can take from you ever, is your love, what you feel deep in your heart. That’s yours, forever. If you don’t abandon it, you can’t lose it.
Let me prove you that the love you feel is most important for you than whether the person loves you back or whether they meet your expectations. Take 2 persons — one person you love madly and another person who loves you madly (unfortunately you don’t have any feeling for this person). You know the second person loves you so much and ready to do whatever it takes to make you happy, but why then your heart starts beating faster when you think about the first person, why can’t you stop thinking about the first person? Because your feeling of love is for the first person. You can’t help it. I am not getting into right-wrong, fair-unfair, ‘you should get married to the person who loves you not whom you love’ etc. I am talking about the feeling that you have for a person, that’s beyond your control. If this feeling was born within you without any response from the person you love, don’t you think this feeling can survive and thrive independent of the person?
If your love is reciprocated, awesome! If it’s not, do you want to find someone else to love, who might reciprocate? Cool. But it’s okay to hold on to this one sided love as well. Why ruin your life mourning for the loss of love? Did you own it in the first place?
If you could fall in love with the person, not knowing how they felt about you, why can’t you continue to love that person knowing that they don’t feel the same about you? They can choose to not reciprocate your feeling, but can not take away your feeling for them. That’s forever yours.
Let that love warm you, keep the spark within you alive.
May be this love will someday attract someone in your life, who’d love you and you’ll be able to love them back. But even then, feeling for the earlier person can stay in a compartment of your heart. And that’s perfectly fine.
Even if you choose to carry on your life with the feeling of love only, that’s fine too. This ever consuming feeling of love inside you might get out in the form of art, writing, charity, adventure or anything you can imagine. But one thing for sure, this love doesn’t ruin life.
Say you are among those lucky few whose love is reciprocated and you get a chance to live with the person you love. Do you think it’s easier than loving someone who didn’t reciprocate your feeling? Nope.
When you love someone and don’t get to live with them, you continue loving your perfect impression of that person. You never get see the real person with ‘not so loveable’ sides of them. You never get a chance to grow expectations from them, as you know they don’t feel the same about you.
But when you start living with the person you love, you get to see that person for real, the light and dark both. Unconsciously you start developing expectations, you start taking things for granted. Suddenly the love that was pure, simple and innocent, becomes complex and suffocating.
Why do you let your love be dependent on your partner? When you fell in love, you didn’t come up with a conditional logic like ‘I will love this person if … this person dresses like this, reacts like this, does this and doesn’t do this, etc etc’. You just fell in love and wanted to spend the life with the person. Well your prayer is answered and this is how this person is. Why is it so hard to accept? Why do you so desperately want to change the very person you fell in love with? Isn’t this love troubling?
Why not let it go and just enjoy the unconditional love? That favourite line: ‘Love your partner most, when they least deserve it. Because that is when they need it most’. Is it that difficult to practice?
Try this next time. When your partner is at their worst, literally driving you mad, amidst your anger and the desire to shout some bitter words, look at their face and think ‘Don’t I love this person? Isn’t this the person I wanted to spend the life with? Aren’t we happy most of the times? Aren’t they good to me most of the time? Didn’t we have many great times? What if I lose this person tomorrow? What did I just feel? It’s love! If I love this person, can’t I just accept these moments peacefully and move on?”.
When you are on the verge of expecting something from the person you love, can’t you remind yourself that there is nothing more important than having this person in your life. Why expect more? Rather feel grateful and express your delights at every little thing this person does for you. This person had the choice to not reciprocate your love and be somewhere else in this world with someone else. But they chose you. Isn’t that enough for you?
Come on! I am not asking you to be great. Being great is tough. I am asking you to be selfish. Being selfish is easier. Waking up everyday and feeling relieved that the beautiful warm feeling of love inside you for someone isn’t dependent on anything or anyone, what can be more exciting than that? This is a decision you are making for yourself. You are choosing to feel great about love, you are choosing to let love colour your life instead of letting it ruin your life.
What if people exploit us, if we love them unconditionally or without expectation? Hope you love yourself too. If you love yourself, I hope you will be able to detect exploitation and save yourself from it.
You might be thinking that, saying all these is easy for me as I am living with the person I love. Trust me, we didn’t reach where we are now smoothly. When I was at my worst, she never stopped loving me. When I was being a role model to the world, inspiring people, I was pouring my frustration on her. I was being terrible and she continued loving me. Even I developed feeling for someone else and told her about it. And she continued loving me.
During the most difficult phase of our story, when she made it clear that we were done and we could never be together, I couldn’t stop loving her. For more than one and half year, as I missed her badly, as I writhed in pain, I continued loving her. In fact, she continued loving me as well. She knew that she didn’t want to be with me, but that didn’t mean she could stop loving me. I felt that no matter what she said or whether we get back together or not, I can never stop loving her.
This love was and still is beyond our control and independent of anything external. This love is a feeling inside us for each other, that we can’t turn off ever. This unconditional love, helped me to rebuild my life, even when I lost this relation. Even when I knew we had no chance of getting back together, this love inspired me to get better physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually — to be a better person in all areas of my life. This love helped me to never give up, never stop trying to get her back. No matter how harsh she was during this time, I never could stop loving her. My love for her, helped me to see that she was suffering inside. This love dissolved my ego reminding me that there is pain behind her anger. This love miraculously brought us back tougher and gifted us the beautiful life we are living today.
Even now when we live together finally, learning to love without expectation made life beautiful. We are living together, not because we are married and we should. We are living together because we are ‘home’ for each other. There is no other place in this world we’d rather be, there is no one else in this world we’d rather be with. And everyday we express the gratitude to this universe for gifting us each other. We expect nothing from each other and express delight in every smallest thing we do for each other. It’s an incredible relaxing sensation. Both of us have the freedom to say, think, be, do, have anything we want and behave in any way we feel like. We know that our love for each other won’t get affected by anything.
You know we tried the other way. The normal popular love that gets conditional with time, expecting more and more from each other. That literally sucked the life out of each of us and nearly killed our relationship. We used to have so much trouble, that we doubted if we’d ever be happy together. But now as we are finally happiest (touch wood) practicing this different perspective of love, we are realising this is the most beautiful and relaxing way to love. Try it and see for yourself.
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