The Myth Of Unconditional Love

In this week’s episode of LOVELife I argue that unconditional love doesn’t exist…

Question Of The Day: Love is conditional – do you agree? Let me know in the comments below!

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38 Replies to “The Myth Of Unconditional Love”

  • Hi Matt,
    I am from India have read your book and have been following your advice for almost a year now. I met a few amazing guys thanks to you. Need a bit of advice , there is this one guy I have been talking to for 5 months now. We talk for hours when we meet & he’s someone very kind to me. But, he hasnt asked for my number yet. I dont know if he’s too shy or not interested. How do I come to know ?

    1. I’d say if he’s already talking for hours and being kind to you, then he certainly isn’t “not interested”, you might take the initiative, or go indirectly by planning to something together

  • I absolutely agree with you, Matt.
    If your partner is going through a hard time, then of course it is okay for him to do less than usual. But it is not okay to remain in that state and stop trying or caring.

    Unconditional love is very destrucive, the only concept where it applies or may apply is family-bound.
    A mother loving her children unconditionally is a beautiful thing, natural, too – but it can also destroy her emotionally if she doesn’t get anything in return.

  • The term “unconditional love” is defined differently for everyone. I see it in terms of having WISDOM learned from life. But yes in the general sense of the meaning of the word from the general public you are right. I still hold my belief of unconditional love for my partner but most importantly FOR MYSELF.

  • Hi Matt!I totally agree with you.I truly believe that if a relationship is “abusive or disrespectful or else”you should walk away.And i really don’t understand how some women can stay especially with violent or cheaters men and still “Unconditionally love them”.I don’t understand why some women decide to stay at these men’s side.But WHY?
    They seem to never give up on them no matter what they do to them.
    NEVER STOP TRYING TO IMPRESS YOUR PARTNER is absolutely one of the most greatest advice i took from you…cos most of the time you just take everything for granted but you shouldn’t so THANK YOU MATT!

  • Ouch! I can’t believe you just said that! That is such a controversial thing to say to your audience! But since you have shared your thoughts about the topic, let me share what I feel about unconditional love. The definitions for unconditional love can be different for everyone and it might also vary with the kind of relationships you share with other people. It is true that when you start liking and/or loving a person, you do that because of certain reasons…may be they are good looking, smart, caring, sexy…etc. but when you spend enough time with the person and decide to be with them for the rest of your life or in a long term relationship, in spite of some of their weaknesses, that is unconditional love. Unconditional love is not about how things started, it’s about how you maintain your relationship.

    Also, sometimes it is not possible to stay in a relationship with a person due to several reasons but that does not mean you should/can stop loving them. Staying with someone is not equal to loving them unconditionally and not staying with someone is not equal to not loving them unconditionally. The way you love a person unconditionally can have different forms…sometimes staying away is one of them. It’s how you feel about the person, irrespective of whether the relationship lasted or not. Unconditional love is love that never ends…You have explained the literal meaning of the term unconditional…there is much more to unconditional love..

  • I agree in so many ways with this video!!
    Just a question tho..
    How to put that same thinking across to a guy without sounding needy, as in that you need more from them than they are giving you.. especially when its dating faze?

    and should you be literally giving as much as you can even if you don’t see it always coming back?

    because there;s a common saying: give without waiting to receive ,but at the same time , you do want to receive …

    But you want to be the person who shows their best but sometimes I feel I’m putting more effort in then the other and if the other person is not doing the same that puts me off in making any effort at all.

    Thank you Matthew, Love you!!!
    Kerly (met on the stage in London, liked built guys remember, haha!:)


  • Allo Matthew, I’m not totally agree! but I’ll tell you “what for me is Unconditional love: It’s a gift that is self.
    One should not depend on anyone to be happy and give love.
    If you want to love someone unconditionally is your problem. You accept it as it is! with his inner demons, his Hell and heaven … if you love and are well matched, Congratulations! but love is not just expect you to return a ‘I love you “is given if expecting anything in return. Love in a courtship is different, as a company in which you invest time, commitment, passion, dreams and take risks and know that they will have ups and downs together but here is the crucial time, for the next step of: A Conditional Love! that many accept… so, Mateo! Have a very good weekend! 1000 unconditional bisous ;)

  • :) Beautiful romance :)

    What a romantic day!
    Because Matthew Hussey is here :)

    One may ask: Where are the roses?
    ♥ I believe the roses are in his heart :)

    Husband & wife truly loooooooooooooving each other :)
    Kissing each others hearts every moment of each day :)

    I believe that’s romance :)

    That’s why I agree to Matthew Hussey :)
    Never stop to looooooooooooooooooooooooove each other :) Not even for one second :)if possible ;)

    Matt is so so so so so right :)

    1) Hearts connect :)
    2) Husband & wife kiss each others hearts every moment of each day :)

    That’s a truly romantic relationship :)

    I believe God knows what exists and what does not exist :)
    What I know is that heaven is a place of endless LOVE & PEACE & ♥God♥ loooooooooooooooooooooooves unconditionally :)

    Thank ♥God♥ for creating heaven :)
    & Matthew Hussey who talked about romance today :)

    Roses & Angels in heaven singing hallelujah :)


    1. Today Matt mentioned one of the most beautiful phrases on this planet: ♥ to love unconditionally :)♥

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu :)

      ;) I strongly believe God looooooooooooooooooooooooves us unconditionally every moment of each day & he can kiss our hearts in the best way :)

      May I say:

      Beautiful God in heaven ♥ I love you unconditionally ;)
      & if I love you unconditionally that means I love the human beings you created unconditionally :)

      ♥Who LOVES & FORGIVES is free :)♥

      “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)
      (Lyrics: Father to the fatherless
      defender of the weak
      freedom for the prisoner
      we sing ;)
      This is God in his holy place
      This is God clothed in LOVE & STRENGTH ;)

      Unconditional LOVE to our planet :)

  • Hi Matthew,

    I agree that initially a relationship should be conditional, but what about when you marry someone and you vow “for better or for worse” and that person gets sick? If your partner got terminal cancer or became clinically depressed they probably wouldn’t be able to contribute to the relationship anymore. I think unconditional love exists in that particular situation.

    1. But it’s different!… When someone gets sick like this, it’s not like he/she is being cruel or disrespectful, as someone is when cheating or beating!

      I think some relationships are really something else than ordinary, yes… But don’t know if “unconditional” is the right word to define them. Just when we talk about dog love!

  • This is genuinely beautiful in so many ways!

    Conformability in many points.

    In terms of unconditional love, I think it’s a mindset and I believe in that. What makes it difficult is our ready-made way on looking onto the world. And the judgemental attitude we occasionally have.

    The mindset is to love people for who they are in their very special ways. To trust and respect them in their decissions because we don’t always know what is best for them. To accept that life may be seen differently. We let them discover the world without judging them in mind or with words. etc. We know that the world is diverse and the love we feel affects the hole world. There is no perfection. In order to love unconditionally we need to understand that nobody is perfect. It might not be possible to achieve 100% but it’s possible to get close to that! And I think unconditaional love accures despite being in a relationship.

    In terms of relationships, I do think certain aspects of unconditional love can be applied. Sounds unlikely. Tt’s a mixture of both. I agree on the plenty of meaningful things you said on your definition of a relationship. It’s a concept worth striving for to get to the point of greatness you discribed.

  • Im sorry, but you got the concept of unconditional love totally wrong.
    Unconditional love means, you love them no matter if they are fat or fit, ugly or pretty, weak or strong, unemployed or rich,etc. Unconditional love it’s not about how they treat you, it’s about how they are, and not about how much money they have or what they do, etc. Also another unconditional love that mostly is referred to and I believe it’s one of the real rare ones, it’s the love of family, Mother and her children, and parents those are unconditional love. No one calls a love for an abusive husband unconditional, that’s just not love period. That’s weakness and neediness.
    So I think you got this concept a bit confused with other things Matt.

    1. Please be very careful about accusing anyone in an abusive relationship of being “weak” or “needy”. Anyone with any experience in the field will confirm the extreme power of the psychological manipulations involved in such relationships and also the extreme danger to life that is associated with leaving such. Most partners killed by an abuser are killed immediately after leaving the relationship. If you had ever known with certainty that your partner would try to kill you if you left, you’d be astonished at how appealing your survival mechanism would make the impulse to stay, and all of the safety net details you would need to work out before you could leave.

      I post this comment as a survivor of a former abusive relationship that involved death threats, and now as a woman very happily married to a wonderful man. Yes, it is a testament to my strength that I ended the former relationship, but I can assure you that weakness had no place in my maintaining of sanity, earning my degree, or any other part of my existence within that relationship. My life is easy now. But that is not how I came to know that I am strong.

      Also, leaving an abusive relationship has nothing to do with unconditional love, except as an act of unconditional love for the self. In fact, loving-kindness meditation helped me to heal from the relationship mentioned above as well as a previous sexual assault, and I doubt very much whether I could have learned to love and trust again without forgiving the men who had hurt me. My relationship with my husband is only possible because we both learned to love forgive after we had been hurt. Forgiveness is an act of unconditional love, and you cannot have a healthy relationship without it.

  • Maybe it’s not binary. Maybe you can love someone unconditionally only if they are continuing to impress you and grow the relationship? I don’t think unconditional love means accepting someone who is abusing you or isn’t trying to make you happy. I think it means accepting someone’s flaws. Not flaws that harm you, but little things that don’t harm you.

    What if they *do* lose some traits that first attracted you? Not become mean or cruel to you, but lose their looks or their health or their wealth or their confidence as years pass?

    I don’t feel that people are advocating staying in a relationship that becomes toxic, but it’s a huge difference between that and staying in a relationship that’s a little stale or boring or well, you think you might like someone else better. Sometimes a partner absolutely has to leave; other times both just have to work a little harder.

    The wisdom is knowing the difference between the two situations.

    1. I like your thoughts :) I feel unconditional love is a two way thing. When someone chooses to abuse or neglect a relationship then they have already walked away there’s not much you can do.

  • Matthew,
    As usual you are spot on! I wish I had found you years ago. You could have saved me a lot of heartbreak! You are right that it is in meeting each other’s needs and acting in a caring manner everyday that maintains love. It takes effort! I love how you said we should be continually trying to impress our partners. When I got married, our minister told my ex husband to never stop courting me. I almost snorted right in the middle of the ceremony. He had stopped courting me ages ago. I should have stopped the wedding! Last year I discovered he had been cheating on me throughout our whole marriage. We have two young kids, so choosing to leave him was really difficult. But I had given him 15 years of my life, and he chose not act in a caring manner. Although I gave him the chance to try to become more caring, and try to repair our marriage, he wasn’t interested in putting in that much effort. I’ve been holding on to a lot of guilt about breaking up our family. But following your blog, reading your book, and working through the Man Myth has really changed my thought process about this. I now believe I deserve someone who wants to put in that effort. I want to show my kids what a wonderful loving relationship looks like, and the level of care and commitment it takes to stay in love forever. For those of you that disagree with Matthew please take some time to think over what he has to say. I’ve yet to hear or read something he has thought that hasn’t rung true for me personally! The man is truly a genius! Thank you so much Matthew! :)

  • Matthew,
    As usual you are spot on. Many women will probably not agree, though many women who have been in a relationship or marriage which became damaging will find a reasonance in all your words. I think a lot of the romantic cliches we grow up with, and are still fed us in formulaic romantic films are partly to blame. And this is also leads to the guilt emotions.
    It can be a prison, no exaggeration. Not a nice place to be and hard to break out of.
    You tackle some really important issues. I don’t know how you have not just the insight but the articulation to portray your message. We are all very grateful you do.
    Kathryn x

  • Great thought provoking episode! On first thought “unconditional love ” sounds so romantic. However, when you really delve into it as you have, the notion of loving someone no matter how they act, etc does sound rather dark and eerie. It actually devalues and takes away some of the worth of real love. It really does seem more romantic to have a love that 2 people put effort into and value enough to realize that it is not unconditional. Thanks again!

  • I think one of the greatest things we can learn here on this earth is to love unconditionally. We all have our freedom to choose and if someone chooses to mistreat you then I feel the vow is null and void. You can still have love in your heart for the person but you would have to be an idiot to stay. I do understand what you’re saying though but I think in a way it’s possible.

    1. You may be right about that, but it ultimately also comes down to how you define “loving”. Like the Christian loving of one another, it is quite different from devoting yourself to a person and a relationship.

      If love meant “devoting yourself to that person”, then surely unconditional love can be quite destructive. And unrealistic. I’d thought of this strong one as the one described.

      However, carrying kindness and respect towards those who were once dear to you or any and all people out there – which might well be called “loving” – is something possible.
      Beautiful, too.
      But “those who were once dear” would be a condition already, just as grouping people or whatever might be. And loving everyone and everything on, beneath and beyond the earth is more romantic than anything else.

  • Is it just me or are a lot of these ladies really trying to butter you up……Awe snap yes I did go there.

  • Love is unconditionally. This is the only thing in the world that is unconditionally. You can only love someone as much as you love yourself. Therefore if you say love is conditionally. It shows how much you love yourself. This also means that you will always be in a search for confirmation that someone loves you.Always looking for another person to complete you, to make you happy and to love you. The thing is nobody can make you feel these things. Only you can make yourself feel loved. All unconditionally knows is love. When you have felt love within, all you want is to let it move outwards.You want to emerge what already was established on the inside. You so want to do so because you have felt it within. You know the possibilities and the happiness it wants to bring you. Love will say: STOP this is not love. It is okay to let go of that person. Can’t you see? To end a relationship you do out of love. You ought to know that you are loveable and desirable. And even after an ending of a relationship you are endlessly loveable. You oughta know!

  • Jeez what are my standards??? Besides good looking JK Matt but my old finance professor taught us to look for the 4Cs cash car condo career or the 4Ts truck trade tools title

    Come to Houston


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