Conditional vs. Unconditional Love

By Kyla Miller, R.H.N.;

What does love mean to you? From what I understand, love means something different to everyone. However, I’ve come to believe that it can quite simply be narrowed down to two key opinions; these being conditional and unconditional love.

Conditional love is most often displayed by those who put restrictions on their love, meaning that if they disagree with us and/or our life choices, we are not worthy of their love. They criticize and judge us for what they think we are doing wrong in life. This is the type of love that people give to us when we do what they want. It is usually displayed by those who like us because we made them feel good. In other words, we have to buy their love, but for the most part leaves us feeling empty, unhappy and frustrated. This type of love is a form of manipulation. Through self-examination, if we notice ourselves frowning, sighing with disappointment, speaking harshly, or in any way expressing our anger at other people, we are exhibiting conditional love. Giving or withholding acceptance based on another person’s behavior is the essence of this love. Although it is most often given unintentionally, it allows the cycle to continue. Those who conditionally love others, usually only receive conditional love in return.

On the other hand, there are those who love unconditionally. These are the ones who truly love us for who we are and who are always there to support us no matter what the circumstance. This doesn’t mean that they agree with everything that we do. We all make mistakes and can cause real pain and disappointment to others. It simply means that they do not judge or guilt us for it. They are able to let go and forgive us without harbouring resentment or bitterness. When someone is genuinely concerned about our happiness, do we not feel a strong connection to that person? We feel included in his or her life, and in that instant we are no longer alone. Unconditional love is a powerful energy that can lift us through even the most difficult times.

Unconditional love must first begin with ourselves, because without self-love, we cannot know what true love can be. Instead of focusing on our mistakes and failures, we can concentrate on the benefits of our experiences and what we’ve learned from them. Rather than living our lives to please others, we can choose instead to grow to understand and learn what makes us complete. By learning to love ourselves, we are allowing the feeling to generate within us. Only then can we share it to everyone and everything around us. Only then can we accept love.

I have been on the receiving end of both conditional and unconditional love. I definitely know which one I prefer to receive. Everyone wants to be unconditionally loved, so why not start the cycle? Meditating on this quality has caused me to reflect on the kind of love I am displaying towards others and has motivated me to begin the journey of treating everyone I meet with unconditional love. Which will you choose?

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth 'you owe me'. Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky". ~ Hafiz

Your questions: Have you ever been loved unconditionally? How did it make you feel? (post your comments below)

About the Author : Kyla Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. She has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is currently studying to become a Reiki Master.


  1. Yes I have been and still am loved unconditionally. It makes me feel like loving everyone else the same way so that they can know how good it feels. It allows me to truly be myself , warts and all, and still know that I'll be loved. It makes me smile all the time.

  2. Thanks for the comment Helena!



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