We as sentimental beings, love stories about self-sacrifice and martyrdom. However, in real life, not many of us actually follow the principles we admire, be it values in the workplace, family, or in a relationship. Unselfish love seems utopian. But, it isn’t.
If you think about it, most of us have been taught to be unselfish in relationships. Men are expected to provide for their family without expecting anything in return and women are taught to be selfless while loving her husband and children. This is what translates to unselfish love and eventually a good and successful marriage.
But how many of us actually follow through with what we’ve learned? And, do we really understand the real concept of unselfish love and true love. What is unselfish love?
What is unselfish love?
In the textbook sense, we are made to believe that unselfish love is selfless love. It is when you put your partner’s love before yours and make sacrifices to keep them happy.
It is a culturally and socially ingrained concept. Here, men are taught to be physically selfless, that is to provide for their family, put their family’s needs before theirs, and take a physical risk whenever required. Men are seen as the “protectors” and are expected to go to any extent to take care of their family. Whereas, women are taught to be emotionally unselfish and prioritize her husband and children’s happiness before hers.
Couples and marriages that do not conform to this unselfish love arrangement are often looked down upon. This is why career-oriented women and stay-at-home dads are more than often treated as outcasts in society.
The truth is that we’ve glorified the concept of unselfish love. We have dignified our parent’s sacrifice and held it up on a pedestal. We have redefined being selfless and declared that prioritizing others needs before ours is a “sacrifice”.
However, the real lesson here is that we’ve been viewing unselfish love and the unselfish love meaning in the wrong way. Being selfless and being in true love doesn’t mean “unselfish” love.
8 Things You Need To Know About Unselfish Love and True Love
- Unselfish love doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your dream and your career.
You shouldn’t have to give up on your dreams, your goals, and ultimately your career to be with a woman. If your love is true, and if it really is unselfish love, you will find an arrangement that will work for both of you. Nobody has to sacrifice their dreams for the other. If it’s meant to be it will. But, that doesn’t mean either of you gives up on your dreams. Unselfish love occurs when both of you support each other’s decisions.
- Have the right mindset.
To be in a relationship or to experience unselfish love, you have to have the right mindset. Remember that things are not about you always, and neither should it be about her individually. It should be about both of you. You have to keep in mind both your partner’s and your well-being. Both of you should take decisions that will benefit you as a couple and not as individuals. You have to consider both your needs.
- The Power of Compromise
The power of unselfish love relies on compromise (not sacrifice). And, the power of compromise lies in the balance. This means that both of you have to compromise equally. If one’s efforts are clearly more than the others, the love isn’t true love or unselfish love.
Whenever you are at crossroads and both of you share different perspectives, it’s important to have a healthy discussion. Sit down to talk and consider both party’s insights. Then, work out an arrangement that works for both of you. That is a compromise. And, compromise is crucial to unselfish love.
- Unselfish Love isn’t demanding
You both came into a relationship because you like each other and like being with each other. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect your partner to change for you. And, neither should your partner expect you to change for them. Being in true love or unselfish love doesn’t mean you give up on your individuality. Nobody should make demands for the other to change. You both should be able to accept each other the way you are.
- Unselfish Love is grounded in friendship
What is unselfish love? It is friendship. Before being romantic partners or sexual companions, you should be friends. You don’t have to be each other’s best friends, but it’s necessary to be friends with each other. At the end of the day, true love is just two friends who each other’s company and have a healthy sexual relationship.
- The Importance of Forgiveness
In order to sustain unselfish love, you have to learn to forgive. You can’t hold grudges or be angry at your partner forever. Ultimately, we are all humans and we are not infallible. Therefore, learn to forgive. Forgive yourself first. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and relieve yourself of the guilt. Then forgive your partner for whatever mistakes she makes. If you can’t forgive yourself, you can’t forgive anyone. If you love your partner wholeheartedly and selflessly, you will be able to forgive her.
- Learn to Appreciate
Unselfish love is grounded in appreciation. There will be times when you don’t necessarily like the things your partner does, but it’s important to be appreciative and supportive. You don’t have to pretend like you like the things your partner enjoys, but appreciate their passion for it. Focus on how doing that thing makes your partner happy. And, find happiness in their joy.
- Unselfish Love comes naturally
Are you having doubts about your partner? Are you working too hard trying to make the relationship work? Do you think that your partner isn’t the one or isn’t right for you? If you’re having these doubts frequently and asking yourself too many uncertain questions about your partner and your future together, then you’re probably not in love.
When you’re in unselfish love, you don’t question. Just being with them feels right and feels enough. Therefore, unselfish love comes naturally, you don’t need to go to the ends of the world to make things work. If you and your partner love each other and are in unselfish love, then you’ll make things work no matter what.
In the end, remember that love isn’t enough. Be it true love or unselfish love or whatever. Love isn’t enough to make a relationship last or for you to have a future together. There are other things that matter, like trust, commitment, and support. Make this count.