If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be in unconditional love, you’ll know that it makes you willing to do almost anything for the other person. I once knew someone who drove across the country and back just to get his partner a loaf of her favorite bread.
The challenge sometimes comes when you feel unconditional love for someone else but you’re not sure whether that love is reciprocated. If you’re not careful, you can end up being consumed by self-doubt and it can have a negative impact on your relationship.
So how can you tell whether someone loves you unconditionally? Well, one way is to look at their actions, because they say that actions speak louder than words.
So let’s take a look at 12 things that people might do if they love you unconditionally.
1) Not expect anything in return
This one is pretty much the definition of unconditional love – if someone loves you unconditionally, they do so without conditions. That means that they don’t expect anything from you in return.
This is very different to the more transactional kind of love which we normally default to. In our society, we normally start relationships based on mutual attraction, then move into conditional love before finally reaching the unconditional stage.
If someone is willing to love you without expecting anything in return, you can take that as a pretty good sign that they love you unconditionally. And if you can love them without expecting anything from them, that unconditional love is mutual.
2) Always have your back
When someone loves you unconditionally, they’ll have your back no matter what happens in your life. Even when they think you’ve done something wrong, they’ll still have your back and be there to support you.
This one can be a difficult one to judge because you won’t be able to test it without running into adversity. Your significant other won’t need to have your back if everything’s going well in your life because you’ll have it covered yourself.
One of the great things about this kind of unconditional love is that when someone’s got your back, it gives you an extra shot of confidence. For example, my girlfriend says that me having her back means that she feels better able to try new things.
3) Put your needs above theirs
Speaking of my girlfriend, this is something that I try to do to show her my unconditional love. I go out of my way to prioritize her needs, even when it means putting my own on the back burner.
If we’re both hungry, I’ll make sure that she eats first. If we both need the bathroom, I’ll let her go first.
And when we’re both tired but one of us needs to go to the shop for supplies, I’ll take the bullet and go to the shop while she lies in bed with her feet up.
One thing to bear in mind is that if you constantly put your partner’s needs ahead of your own, you risk burning out. You need to take care of yourself enough for you to be able to take care of them – and if your partner doesn’t respect you, you risk being taken advantage of.
4) Support your dreams
Most people support their partner’s dreams, at least to an extent. But when someone loves someone unconditionally, they take this support to the next level. They’ll be willing to work extra shifts so that money is less of an issue and they can focus on following their dreams.
It’s those who are unconditionally in love who go above and beyond and who support their partners’ dreams even when they might seem unrealistic. This is something of a double-edged sword, because sometimes what your partner needs is a dose of reality and practicality.
Still, and like the point we made about knowing that someone has your back, your partner will appreciate the love you have for them if they know that you support them in their endeavors.
And this holds true whether they dream of starting a family or whether they dream of becoming the world’s bestselling author.
5) Display affection both in public and in private
Affection is important in any relationship, from the affection that a grandparent shows to their grandchildren to the romantic affection between two lovers. So it goes without saying that being able to display that affection in private is important for any relationship.
Taking that to the next level and showing affection in public is a good indicator of unconditional love because it shows that you love someone so much that you can’t help yourself. You just have to display that affection, no matter where you are.
Not everyone is comfortable with public displays of affection, and that’s okay. Just bear in mind that there are different levels of affection, and sometimes a peck on the cheek or the willingness to hold their hand is all you need.
6) Be proud of you no matter what you do
Someone who loves you unconditionally will always be proud of you and help you to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter what those accomplishments are.
This holds true even if it’s something that they don’t really understand.
For example, my partner plays a couple of online games that I’ve never played myself, and she likes to tell me about her progress and to share her achievements with me. I’m proud of her when she levels up or completes a new objective, even when I’m not quite sure what she’s playing or why she’s playing it.
I’m not saying that your partner should be proud of you if you kill someone or rob a bank, but if they love you unconditionally then they’ll love you in spite of that. Which brings us on to the next point.
7) Forgive you for all mistakes
When someone loves you unconditionally, they forgive you for your mistakes, no matter what those mistakes might look like. That’s why you hear stories of parents who stand by their children even after they’ve been convicted of murder.
Of course, if someone loves you in return, they’re going to try to avoid making those mistakes. When we love someone, we try not to let them down because we want them to be proud of us, even when we know they’ll be proud of us no matter what.
If you’re lucky enough to be loved by someone who forgives you for all of your mistakes, just remember that forgiveness isn’t always easy.
You owe it to them to repay their love by thanking them for their forgiveness and by trying to avoid making the same mistake again in the future.
8) Accept you for who you are
We live in a world where it can often be difficult for us to feel accepted, whether we’re talking about the workplace or whether we’re talking about the communities that we belong to.
One of the side effects of large amounts of diversity is that we can often see a lack of empathy and acceptance.
As much as we’d love to see more acceptance in the world, it’s not a perfect place and so we might be waiting for a while. However, we can expect our partners to provide us with that acceptance, and they’ll be more than happy to if they love us unconditionally.
A great example of this acceptance comes from a pansexual couple I know where one of them came out as transgender. Their partner supported them through their transition and they’re still together today, with a relationship that’s stronger than ever.
9) Waive all judgment
Building on from the last point, someone who loves you unconditionally won’t judge you for your decisions and opinions. In fact, it’s by waiving all judgment that someone is able to accept you for who you are in the first place.
In my experience, this can actually cause problems.
For example, my partner will regularly try out two different outfits and ask me which one she should wear. Because I love her unconditionally and waive all judgment, I think she looks great in both. I struggle to give her the feedback that she wants.
The good news is that it only causes problems in isolated cases like these when it doesn’t really matter, while it’s super useful at more important times. For example, if she makes a mistake at work, I’ll be there to tell her that it doesn’t matter and to give her my unconditional love and support.
10) Share deep secrets
It’s totally fine for people to have secrets of their own that they don’t even share with their partner, as long as they’re not secrets that affect the other person. In fact, it can be healthy to have a secret or two.
But as a general rule, if someone feels comfortable enough around you to share their deepest secrets with you, there’s a good chance that they love you unconditionally. In fact, they love you so much that they see you as an extension of themselves, and so it’s not like sharing a secret at all.
Of course, it should go without saying that if your loved one shares a deep secret, you should respect that and keep their secret without telling anyone else. If you break their trust, you’ll hurt them – and they might even lose that unconditional love they feel.
11) Give you a body part
This one’s a little extreme and we can all hope that it never actually comes to this, but if someone loves you unconditionally then they’ll be willing to give you a kidney if it means saving your life.
In fact, this is why when you hear about people giving their loved ones a body part, it’s often a parent donating it to a child. That’s partly because they’re more likely to be a genetic match and partly because of that old saying that blood is thicker than water.
And so if you’re not sure whether someone loves you unconditionally and you want to put it to the test, tell them that you need a kidney and see what happens. Except maybe don’t do that.
12) Help you pee
This one is a stand-in for any sort of bodily hygiene task, from helping you pee to giving you a sponge bath or helping you to wipe after you… well, you know.
This is another one where people might occasionally do this professionally, such as if they’re a nurse or a carer. However, if they’re willing to do it for free because they love you but you’re ill or aging, you can safely say that it’s an unconditional kind of love.
In fact, I’d say that falling in love and finding a relationship is all about finding someone who’ll help you pee when you need it. And they say romance is dead.