Post # 1
Loving your SO, does if come with “strings attached?” When you show them love in a “practical” way (non-sexual, e.g. chores, cooking etc.) is it because you love them or you want something in return? Whether it be praise, thanks or reciprocation at some point.
Yesterday, my fiancé and I were having a discussion about this. He currently lives with his parents and works the late shift, from 2-10pm and when he returns home there is a sandwich waiting for him, made by his mum (she shows her love through food, not words!) Now, I haven’t got an issue with his mum making him a sandwich, if that is what she wants to do. But I did say to him that that doesn’t automatically mean that I will make him a sandwich for his tea every single night. He said, fair enough.
(On another note, his family’s very traditonal in terms of it is the women who do the cooking and usually most of the washing up and I can’t work out if that is his attitude too, he will help me with things and is getting better at doing it without being asked)
So I decided to ask him, “would you make me a sandwich?” And his reply was “No such thing as unconditional love in our relationship!” And I see where he is coming from, I will only make him a sandwich if he makes me one, appears to be my attitude, but is unconditional love shown in practical ways or “emotional” ways? (I think one of the main reasons I won’t do it all the time is because he needs to know that I am definitely not his mother, he should be able to do these things for himself, which I know he can…she just mothers him)
So, do you do things for your partner (regularly, not off the cuff) and not respect anything in return? Or do you require some sort of praise, recognition or reciprocation?
Post # 3
I do nice things for FI because him being happy makes me happy. So I always get something out of it.
If I felt like I was the only one investing in the relationship or felt neglected, I wouldn’t go passive aggressive and quit doing nice things… I’d probably just end the relationship.
That being said, I think it’s really important to understand your partner’s love language so you can identify acts that they do to express love that you might not otherwise notice. There are usually 5 types and plenty of online tests to help! Some folks just don’t speak the same language…
Post # 4
I wrote out a whole long thing about the 5 love languages and my browser crashed! TWICE! 🙁
OP, have you read about the 5 love languages?
Seriously, it saved my relationship!
FI and I have different love languages. My love language is “acts of service” his is “gifts”. So I show love by doing things for people and people doing things for me makes me feel loved. He shows love by giving things to people and people giving things to him make him feel loved.
So no, I do not think it is about expecting reciprocation like, “I do your laundry all the time, why can’t you ever do mine?” or “I buy you things all the time, why do you never buy me anything?” But it is about showing love and feeling as if you are loved in return.
Now that we know what our love languages are, FI is always doing things for me, and I occasionally come home with a little surprise for him.
Post # 5
On occasion, I will do something and ask for something small in return, eg. I’ll get you a drink if I can have a kiss. Nothing major. I don’t do things because I want anything out of it. If I want a kiss, I’ll get a kiss! 😛 I feel like I may have been like that in the past. Sometimes he’ll pick me up from concerts and I’ll offer to get him an ice cream from Maccas or something as a way of saying thank you, but neither of us really do things to get anything out of it.
Post # 6
I make my SO lunch sometimes and she’ll do the same for me. Little things like that? I’m not sure these things seem like “unconditional love.”
Unconditional love to me is the fact that I am wide away at 6 am on a Sunday and have been for an hour because my SO is on call & I’m trying to help her get through what she’s doing. Even though I just freaking want to go to sleep. & the fact that I was a crying MESS last night and my SO still loves me.
Post # 7
I don’t think romantic love is ever unconditional. It’s always conditional on them making you happy (not necessarily happy 24/7, but looking at the overall picture you’re happier with them than without). And most people have other conditions like fidelity, agreeing on major life choices, financial…
EDIT: I’m not sure that I understood quite what you mean. But my repsonse still makes sense I think- you might do things for your partner without expecting them to do things for you, but overall your love is always conditional on them making you feel appreciated and loved in return.
Post # 8
@ms_protea: I haven’t read the book but I have done quizzes online for the love languages. It is interesting because with my fiancé I am one thing, but with other people I am something different. I may do it again and find out what I am.
I think what I was trying to say is, I am happy to do things for my fiancé, no doubt about it. But I think these can only be true acts of love if you are doing them without being told to. For example, I get home from work and see that there is no tea for him in the fridge so I decide to make him one…that’s love. I get home from work and find a note that says, “please make me a sandwich”, if I make one then it isn’t out of love but out of being told what to do. Hope that makes sense!
Post # 9
Why does it matter what acts are love or not? It’s still doing something to make your partner happy or to make their life easier. Sure, it feels better on the receiving end if its done without asking, but that doesn’t always make a difference. I’ve seen so many threads on here where people are unhappy because their partner isn’t doing x y and z, but their partner also doesnt know they want that to happen. Sometimes you have to ask to make things happen, and that doesn’t mean the act isn’t done in love.
Post # 10
I think unconditional love only happens between a mother or father and child. No matter how much of a little shit my kid was, I would always love them. However, if my husband cheated on me, abused me, or treated me like shit for an extended period of time with no hope of changing – well, hell. Life is a choice and that’s not one I would make.
I do thinks for my man because I want to. I love him more than anything in the world. That still doesn’t mean I would tolerate cheating, abuse, or not giving a damn about me and my happiness. Relationships are partnerships, not one person doing everything while the other sits around and enjoys it.
Post # 11
I love doing little things to make DH happy (like surprising him with homemade cookies/pies or saving articles that he would like), but I wouldn’t call my love “unconditional”, because if he ever succumed to a drinking problem (as in, didn’t want help) or beat me (or my unborn child), I would definitely not love him if his actions repeatedly hurt me or our child and he was unwilling to get help.
I love my unborn child unconditionally, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only person I can say that about!
Post # 12
I like doing small things for my husband just for the pleasure of doing them, such as surprising him with a small gift or making a special desert for him. I don’t expect any reciprocation. I do it “just because”. He does the same things for me too. When I think of unconditional love, I think of some of the couples I’ve seen in the nursing homes where I’ve worked. One spouse will be so chronically ill, and the other spouse is in there day in and day out. Their marriage has changed for ever. They will never live together again. They will never have a normal sex life again. They will never enjoy the small things that rest of us take for granted, such as the ability to go for a walk together. These aren’t always old couples either. A lot of times they are people who should be enjoying the prime of their lives. These are people who have been role models for marriage for me. I have also seen people whose spouses divorced them when they got sick too. When rubber met the road, it wasn’t for “better or worse”, it was “for better or forget it”.
Post # 13
@FromA2B2013: I do things without expecting something in return. And so does DH
Post # 14
I always do things for FI and he always does things for me…but, I don’t do thing for FI because he does things for me, I think we both just try to make each other’s lives easier/more enjoyable. I would absolutely have dinner waiting for FI if he worked 2-10 everyday, but I know he’d do the same for me too. I feel like keeping a mental checklist of things you’ve done vs. things he’s done leads to a nasty place, and in a good relationship there’s a natural balance that each partner brings to the table. Maybe he wouldn’t have a sandwich waiting for you, but maybe he’d make sure your laundry was clean and folded, or maybe he’d make sure you didn’t have to clean when you got home. Don’t worry about being “tit for tat” 🙂
ETA-I do believe in unconditional love, but with a *…haha, I will love you unconditionally *unless you are abusive or a cheater 😉
Post # 15
@MrsPanda99: relationships are partnerships, not one person doing everything while the other sits around and enjoys it
I would do things for my fiancé out of love, but if I was doing everything for him and he just sat there and did nothing, then it would irk me definitely.
Post # 16
I love FH very much or I would not be marrying him. But unconditionally? No. If he was ever abusive, or returned to drugs or alcohol (he has been clean and sober for 19 years!), became controlling, or even asked me to give up my feline masters – he would be out the door. And FH is perfectly aware of how I feel.
I loved my daughter unconditionally. I love my cats unconditionally as well. No one else.