Unconditional love, simply put, is love without strings attached. It’s love you offer freely.
You don’t base it on what someone does for you in return. You simply love them and want nothing more than their happiness.
This type of love, sometimes called compassionate or agape love, might sound somewhat familiar. Maybe it brings to mind the love your parents have for you or the love you have for your own child.
While people often associate unconditional love with familial love, many look for this love in romantic relationships, too.
Wanting someone to love you for yourself — no matter what — is an understandable desire. Yet this type of love might still seem like the stuff of fairy tales and movies, not something most people encounter in real life.
Is this love as elusive as it sounds? Can it even happen in romantic relationships?
Read on for a deeper understanding of what unconditional love is (and isn’t) and some strategies for cultivating it.