True Love

What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

Everybody loves in their own way, but not everybody puts their own needs first. Selfless means putting the other person’s happiness first, ahead of your own needs and it is the opposite of selfish love. Selfless love is unconditional love, and we are going to answer the question of if love is selfless.

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    Selfish love is when you don’t have the right amount of self-love and care about your own well-being the most. In selfish love, you demand a person to love you back, maybe even more than you love them but that is not true love, and we are going to talk some more about how love is selfless, not selfish, later on in the article.

    You get to say, “I love you,” in your own way, but if your love isn’t unconditional love, it’s not unselfish love. The definition of unselfish love is that you love someone without asking for anything in return, and you put that person’s happiness first. So it is the opposite of selfish love.

    Before we talk about if love is selfless, let’s first define selfless love and focus on the question of what selfless love means.

    What does ‘selfless love’ mean?

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

    Real love is about spending your entire life doing little things that make your partner happy; that is what unselfish love is, after all. It’s a kind of love where you put the well-being and happiness of your partner ahead of self-love.

    Being selfless in a relationship isn’t always easy and sometimes we would have been selfless in different circumstances. It’s important to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. The right amount of selfishness is perfectly fine but it’s important to love others at least as much as we love ourself, if not more.

    So what does selfless love mean? To learn the meaning of selfless love, we have to talk about the qualities that define selfless love. So what does selfless love do?

    1. It accepts

    Being selfless means accepting the other person’s flaws and shortcomings. It’s about accepting that ups and downs that are all part of the adventure. And it’s important to remember that the downs are better when your partner is there anyway.

    2. It doesn’t withhold

    The difference between selfish and selfless love is in the fact that a selfish one holds back and doesn’t feel safe; that is why it doesn’t support others the way that unconditional love does.

    3. It comes from a place of abundance

    Selfless love is enough in itself because the act of loving feels so good and we don’t expect anything in return. People who love this way never worry about whether they are giving more than their partner because that’s how unselfish love works.

    4. It doesn’t come from a place of fear

    People who love selfishly are doing so in order to fill a void and that is coming from a place of fear that diminishes love.

    5. It never ends

    Real love lasts your entire life and so does selfless love. Even if you don’t talk as much as you used to, you can’t just suddenly say that it has been enough love and cut off the supply.

    6. It is always wanted

    Our partner isn’t really all that receptive when we love selfishly and it feeds into the cycle of neediness.

    7. It is a gift

    There is no drama or stress because selfless love is given like a gift and it is received as a gift as well. People are more likely to give back the love when they get it for free.

    8. It connects

    When we love selfishly, we create a complicated relationship. That kind of love doesn’t grow because the focus is on you, not on creating a connection.

    9. It creates growth

    Selfless love is never trying to tie someone down; that is why it provides room for your partner to grow. You are actually giving your partner freedom, and it makes their life bigger and more open.

    10. It knows that love is limitless

    The meaning of selfless love is that it knows that there is plenty of love out there and that by giving more, you will get more.

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

    When we care only about our self-love, it’s important to remember that there is enough love for everyone and we should love others as well. Your love life could be completely changed in different circumstances where you would be the one who does all those little things which make your partner happy.

    Maybe you don’t believe in selfless and unconditional love but give it the benefit of the doubt. We are going to talk about what selfless love in a relationship is like, so if you want to learn more about selflessness, read on to discover more. Use our advice to help you find true love and find out if love is selfless.

    So what is selfless love in a relationship like?

    1. Nobody is perfect

    Selfless love means that you accept the fact that nobody is perfect. It’s about loving your partner for who they are, with all their flaws and shortcomings. And let’s face it, we all have them, so it’s all about accepting people without judgment.

    When you are in a relationship, it’s understandable that things won’t be great all the time and that you will have to face some rough times. But selfless love is about communicating and dealing with problems together. Don’t ever judge someone, especially not your partner; instead, realize that we all have our flaws and you can help your partner improve without being judgmental.

    2. Letting go

    Maybe it has happened to you that you were in a relationship where you still cared deeply for that person… but you knew that it would be bad for you two to stay together at that time. And you had let them go, even though you loved them with all your heart and wanted them to stay in your life forever.

    Selflessness is about having enough respect and love for your significant other and to always choose what’s best for them, even when it’s not something that is best for you.

    3. Sacrifice and compromise

    As soon as you become ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, you can’t be completely selfish anymore. Both of you have your own needs and goals as individuals but you also have some joint ones since you are in a relationship. And sometimes you will have to compromise or even sacrifice your own happiness for the happiness of your loved one.

    Just to be clear, you aren’t supposed to always give up on everything you want but it’s crucial to be okay with making a compromise so that both of you get what you want in a way.

    4. Don’t keep score

    Selfless love in a relationship never keeps score of who gave how much because when it’s true love, the simple act of loving someone and expressing that love are the only things that matter.

    So, don’t worry about the amount of love you are getting in return. Instead, love as much as you can and do so with all of your heart. Loving selflessly is not about making your partner feel like they are indebted to you in some way so don’t expect anything in return if you really want to love selflessly.

    5. It creates growth

    Selfless love in a relationship creates space for growth. The more you love your partner, the more will they expand and open up.
    You don’t want to tie them down but to inspire them to become the best version of themselves. Their happiness should be your goal so give them the freedom necessary to follow their dreams.

    6. Benefit of doubt

    You are supposed to trust your partner, so stand by their side even if you are the only one standing; especially then, for that matter. This can be a challenging task if they have given you a reason to doubt them before but selfless love in a relationship is all about choosing to believe your loved one. Allow them to rise up instead of expecting them to fail you.

    7. Work as a team

    When you are in a relationship, you are actually in a team, and there is no ‘I’ in team.

    Love is selfless, not selfish, because it takes a team of two people to make it happen and you should work as a team as well. Stop prioritizing your own needs and goals and trying to get things to go your way. The only couples who stay together are those who work together as a team.

    8. In sickness and in health

    Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan, and we can’t predict the future. Such things as illnesses, tragedies, and accidents happen to everyone. And at some point, one of you may have to take on a greater role and take care of the other.

    True love is about being there for your loved one no matter what. It doesn’t matter how many problems you are facing because you are facing them together and you will never let them separate you. You are supposed to do anything you can to make your relationship succeed and overcome all the hard times.

    9. It is abundant

    Love will never run out, so there is no need to hoard it away or protect it, and people who love selflessly know that.

    And, as I said before, the only way to get more love is by giving it more.

    10. It lasts

    True love stands the test of time. As you learned earlier, you don’t just give up on someone you love and stop loving them just like that.

    Even if you aren’t together anymore, you will still care deeply about them and want to help them.

    Is love selfless?

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

    So let’s finally answer the question of if love is selfless. You could have already figured it out by yourself that love is selfless by reading this article but let’s make it official and say yes – love is selfless.

    Do you need more convincing? Then read on to discover the answer to the question of why love is selfless.

    1. There is no demanding

    Somebody who demands things from you doesn’t really love you as much as they say they do. Love doesn’t demand things. A person who really loves you might expect some things from you but they will never force you with or demand anything.

    2. There are no high expectations

    If your partner always feels hurt because they think that you aren’t meeting their expectations… you probably aren’t meant to be together. In the case of true love, your partner won’t have high expectations from you; instead, they will accept whatever you provide them with. They might say they would like more but will not make a fuss over it.

    3. Their happiness is your goal

    Of course, when you love somebody, you want them to always be happy. That person’s smile is the most important thing and the most beautiful thing that you can see. But if they are happy with somebody else, you let them be. Because even if it hurts you, what matters is for them to be happy.

    4. You feel their pain

    They say that real love hurts the most and that you feel pain when you truly love someone. You also feel like you couldn’t live without the person, literally. But there is pleasure in that pain and you can get addicted to it.

    5. It is not forced upon you

    People will always try to pass off possessiveness and obsession as love but love actually doesn’t shackle a person. Instead, it enriches and empowers a person. Love makes a person love their life and themselves as well. When you love someone, you are showing them that they will never regret choosing to be with you.

    6. Letting go

    Sometimes you have to let someone go when you love them. Whether it’s because of their dreams, their career, another person or their wishes… sometimes you have to let them go to see them happy. It could happen that your love is an obstacle in your partner’s life and your selfless love will make you think of them first and let them go, if that’s all it takes to make them happy.

    7. It doesn’t force people to change

    When you love someone, you accept them for who they are, with all their flaws. You don’t force them to change but inspire them to become the best version of themselves. You are the wind beneath their wings. They can be themselves around you without fear of you judging them. And you are their biggest support.

    Ways to achieve selfless love

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

    Now that you have learned all about what selfless love in a relationship is and if love is selfless, it’s time to talk about the ways to achieve such love.

    It’s important to trust your partner once you have gotten to know them and have accepted them as who they are. It’s also important to face challenges together, and no problem will be big enough if you work on it as a team. Encourage your partner to grow and give them space to do so. They will value their freedom and will love you more for giving it them.

    When was the last time you put your partner’s needs ahead of your own? Try doing that more often and focus more on making them happy.

    1. Have trust

    Relationships are never easy and you have to trust your partner that they will always do their best. Doubting them won’t get you anywhere anyway and it is especially wrong to doubt them if they have never given you a reason to. Relationships are built on trust so do your best to work on the trust in your relationship.

    2. Accept the good and the bad

    Even when your partner messes things up, they should still be worthy of your love. Don’t focus on the bad things, but don’t ignore them either. Try working together on anything that’s bad. Don’t ignore the good things either, but celebrate your successes and strive to have even more.

    3. Encourage them

    Everybody needs some cheerleaders in their life to accomplish great things and it’s a known fact that cheerleaders don’t cheer only when something good is going on. Instead, they chant for every situation and they always mean it. You should be your partner’s cheerleader and you will see how that will do wonders for them.

    4. Empathy and sympathy

    Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is something you can practice. And it is important because when you are finally able to understand where they are coming from, it can help you avoid unnecessary fights. You have to learn how to truly see their point of view to understand them better.

    5. Have the right mindset

    Always keep in mind that it takes two to make a relationship and that means that things can’t always be about you. Care about how your partner feels. Consider their needs and wants. Loving someone selflessly involves being willing and ready to do selfless acts.

    6. Compromise

    You have to learn how to compromise when you are in a loving relationship. In every situation, you can come up with a compromise that will prevent unnecessary arguments. You have to keep in mind that you can’t always be right when you are in a relationship. It’s all about accepting your differences and making it work despite them.

    7. Appreciate their interests

    You don’t have to pretend that you are into something your partner likes but still, try to learn about it and understand why they like it so much. Focus on how happy it makes them when they are doing it and it will do wonders for your relationship.

    8. Forgive

    By giving them a chance to love you, you are also giving them a chance to hurt you. But you have to learn to forgive. Because at some point, your partner will surely make the mistake of hurting you.

    9. Be honest

    Being selfless means that you don’t want anything in return, so be honest. You have to be genuinely selfless for it to be the real thing. Be selfless because you want to and because you simply are.

    10. Don’t talk about what you did for them

    Don’t throw those selfless acts in your partner’s face when you are fighting. Instead of broadcasting what you have done for them, pretend that they were not a big deal. Don’t make them feel guilty because, after all, you did it because they deserve it.

    11. Appreciate their selfless gestures

    Keep in mind all those times when they were the one who was selfless. It will do wonders for your relationship if you just remember all the selfless acts both of you have done for each other.

    12. Going the extra mile

    It means knowing what they aren’t saying. When they are craving something, drive to get it, even if it takes you hours. Make them hot tea or chicken soup when they have come down with the flu.

    13. Listening

    You have to learn how to be a good listener and really care about what your partner is saying; that is the only way to really understand what they need and how they feel and maybe that was all they wanted after all.

    14. Balance

    You don’t need to be selfless all the time because you need to be selfish sometimes. So the point is to find the balance and know when you should be selfish and when you should be selfless.

    Selfless love in a relationship is the best kind of love there is, so if you have someone who loves you selflessly, fight for them because that person is a keeper. Such love can rarely be found and many of us are too selfish to learn it, so once you have it, preserve it and never let it go because you are one of the lucky ones.

    What Selfless Love Really Looks Like (And How To Achieve It)

    About the author

    Kirsten Blackwood

    A mental health writer and advocate. Currently I write about depression. My work has always been centered around health as I previously worked at a variety of healthcare-focused agencies. I wanted to help people who were struggling with an illness or disability, but often times didn’t feel the work I was doing was providing the right voice to the people I was trying to help. Here, I can connect to you in your journey by encouraging you to share the good, the bad, and moments in-between.

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