Signs You Are In A Conditionally Loving Relationship

Signs You Are In A Conditionally Loving Relationship

You have been dating your partner for a few months and you’ve been feeling like something isn’t quite right. Although they can be loving at times, it often feels like their affection is based on certain conditions; when you do something for them, they show you love. You may find yourself feeling guilty or anxious in the relationship and your partner is often critical or judgmental of your actions. Take James and Jenny as an example: they had been together for three years when Jenny began to feel that she needed to ‘earn’ her partner’s love. James had unrealistic expectations of her and only showed his affections when she met these expectations. If this sounds familiar, it’s possible that you are in a conditionally loving relationship. In this article, we will explore some common signs that could indicate if this is the case for you.

Key Takeaways

  • High expectations causing strain
  • Love given only under certain conditions
  • Lack of open communication
  • Concerns not addressed

Your partner only shows affection when you do something for them


You feel like your partner only shows you affection when you do something for them, as if they’re rewarding you for it. This kind of behavior can be very undermining and make you question their love and loyalty. It’s likely that your partner is using emotional manipulation to control the situation, which can be hard to detect because their words usually sound loving and positive.

You might start feeling guilty or anxious in your relationship whenever you don’t give them what they want. You may even start to second guess yourself, wondering if everything is your fault or if there could be something more going on behind the scenes.

It’s important to remember that a healthy relationship should never involve guilt trips or manipulation. If your partner loves you truly, then they will show it no matter what you do or don’t do for them. Instead of letting these feelings define your relationship, take a step back and focus on yourself and how this relationship makes you feel overall. Ask yourself if this kind of dynamic is really what you want out of a romantic partnership? Is this truly unconditional love?

Take some time to reflect on these questions without judgement so that you can gain clarity about whether this type of connection works for both parties involved.

You often feel guilty or anxious in your relationship

Clinging to guilt and anxiety like a lifeline, your relationship can sometimes feel like an emotional roller coaster. When it comes to unconditional love, it can be difficult to tell if your partner truly loves you for who you are or if they expect something in return. If that’s the case, it may seem impossible to reach a place of healthy communication with them. Here are some signs that you may be in a conditionally loving relationship:

  • Lack of Respect: Your partner doesn’t respect your opinions or feelings, and often speaks down to you. You find yourself constantly worrying about what they think and trying to please them by doing whatever they want.
  • Criticism & Judgmental Attitude: Your partner is often critical and judgmental towards you even when there is no reason for it. This leaves little room for any kind of real constructive dialogue and instead fosters an environment of suspicion and fear.
  • Emotional Distance: You don’t feel emotionally connected with your partner due to their lack of empathy. They rarely show any interest in how you’re feeling or try to understand your point of view – leaving you feeling isolated and misunderstood.

These signs create an intense cycle of guilt and anxiety within the relationship as each person attempts to maintain control over the other out of fear that their own needs won’t be met without compromise. This type of behavior makes it difficult for either person to express themselves honestly or authentically as both parties become increasingly wary about expressing their true feelings – afraid of being judged harshly by their partner or worse yet, abandoned altogether for not meeting expectations set by the other person. Without honest communication based on mutual understanding, unconditional love remains elusive – leaving both partners feeling empty inside despite being together physically every day.

The only way out is through open dialogue between both partners where each person feels safe enough to share their true thoughts without judgement from the other side – only then can mutual appreciation blossom into genuine carefree affection that will sustain any relationship through its ups-and-downs over time.

Your partner is often critical and judgmental

Your partner’s constant criticism and judgment can feel like a stifling trap, leaving you feeling unheard and misunderstood. This can lead to self-doubt in your relationship, making it difficult for you to trust your own opinion or feelings. You may find yourself constantly second-guessing yourself, trying to anticipate what they will say before you speak or act. Your partner may be critical of even the smallest of things, leaving you feeling like nothing is ever good enough.

It’s normal to want support and encouragement from our partners but being on the receiving end of criticism all the time can take its toll on your self-confidence and sense of worth. It can also make it harder for you to express how you feel without fear or judgement. In a conditionally loving relationship, it can seem as if love is something that needs to be earned – creating an atmosphere where genuine intimacy is hard to come by.

If this is familiar for you, try not to blame yourself; instead focus on taking steps towards creating better boundaries within your relationship so that both parties have their emotional needs met while still respecting each other’s individual boundaries. Reaching out for help from friends and family who have experienced similar issues in relationships can also provide comfort during tough times so that your feelings are validated by someone who understands what you’re going through. Understanding why these behaviors occur in relationships provides an opportunity for both partners to learn how communication techniques can be improved upon within the relationship itself – paving the way towards a more secure connection with one another built on trust and mutual respect. Moving forward with this knowledge allows couples create healthier interactions which set them up for successful long term relationships together.

As difficult as it might feel right now, know that there is hope; recognizing when we are caught in a cycle of conditional love helps us break free from destructive patterns so that we don’t remain stuck in unhealthy dynamics

Your partner makes you feel like you need to earn their love

It can be hard to feel like you need to constantly prove yourself in order to gain your partner’s love, as if a tightrope of expectations were strung across the relationship. Signs of a conditionally loving relationship include:

  1. Your partner doesn’t trust that you are doing what you say you will do, leading to frequent arguments and questioning;
  2. There is an underlying feeling of emotional manipulation when they express their love with conditions;
  3. Unspoken rules and expectations that you must meet in order for them to remain happy with the relationship.

The lack of trust and emotional manipulation are often at the root of a conditionally loving relationship, creating an atmosphere where it’s difficult to feel comfortable or secure. It can be difficult not to take the criticism personally or let it affect how you view yourself, especially when your partner has unrealistic expectations of you. You may find yourself feeling anxious or guilty because your feelings aren’t reciprocated without any effort on your part – a sign that this kind of relationship isn’t healthy for either party involved.

In such situations, it’s important to remember that no matter how much effort is put into the relationship by one person, unconditional love should still be present in any healthy partnership. If there isn’t mutual respect and understanding within the relationship, then it may be time for both parties involved to reassess their roles and commitments within it.

Your partner has unrealistic expectations of you

Having unrealistic expectations placed on you can make it difficult to feel appreciated or respected in a relationship. When your partner has an idealistic view of how you should behave or act, it’s natural to become overwhelmed and frustrated. This can lead to feeling like no matter what you do, it won’t be enough. It’s important to discuss boundaries with your partner and come up with solutions together that both of you are comfortable with. Remember that it is ok for mistakes to be made; instead of focusing on the mistakes, focus on forgiving them and learning from them as a couple.

It’s also important to recognize when your partner’s expectations are placing too much strain upon you. If their expectations are going beyond what would usually be expected in a healthy relationship, then this could be indicative of a conditionally loving relationship where love is only given if certain conditions are met. In these situations, communication is key – talk openly about any concerns that arise and explain why they don’t feel right for either of you.

Making sure both partners feel heard and understood is essential for creating a loving environment where trust and open communication flourish between two people. The most important thing here is being mindful of each other’s needs while still maintaining realistic expectations which take into account the individual strengths and weaknesses of each person involved in the relationship. Doing so will help create an atmosphere where unconditional love can exist despite occasional disagreements or shortcomings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if I’m in a conditionally loving relationship?

You may feel like you’re in a conditionally loving relationship if expectations from your partner are always shifting, or if they use emotional manipulation to get what they want. It’s important to recognize these behaviors and take care of yourself. Know that it is possible to create an intimate, caring connection with someone.

What signs should I look for to identify a conditionally loving relationship?

You’re constantly questioning if your partner truly cares about you. Signs of a conditionally loving relationship include manipulative tactics and emotional manipulation from your partner. Be aware of the subtle ways they try to control you – it’s never okay. Seek support to help you make sense of their behaviour in a compassionate, knowledgeable way that prioritises intimacy.

How can I improve communication with my partner in a conditionally loving relationship?

Try to talk more openly and honestly with your partner about intimacy issues and communication barriers. Be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding of their feelings. Focus on building trust and creating a safe space for both of you to share your thoughts without fear of judgement or criticism.

How can I set boundaries in a conditionally loving relationship?

You can recognize and set boundaries in your relationship by understanding what you expect from each other. Show compassion while setting expectations, so that both of you can find the intimacy you desire. Suspensefully explore the boundaries to achieve a strong connection.

What strategies can I use to cope with feeling guilty or anxious in a conditionally loving relationship?

Seek help to heal from guilt and anxiety. Develop healthy habits such as journaling, exercise, and meditation. It’s ok to ask for understanding and support. You don’t have to be alone in this journey. Be kind and gentle with yourself; you deserve love and compassion.


No matter how hard you try to please your partner, it seems like nothing you do is ever enough. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells and can’t do anything right in their eyes. Unfortunately, this is a sign that you are in a conditionally loving relationship. It’s painful to realize that no matter how much effort and love you put into the relationship, it may never be fully reciprocated—and that’s totally okay. Make sure to take some time for yourself and focus on self-love; it will make all the difference.

A seeker of serenity in a bustling world, Bryan crafted Calm Egg from his own journey through meditation and wellness. Passionate about sharing the peace he's found, Bryan has curated a haven for those navigating life's stresses. Off the digital realm, he's often found deep in meditation or enjoying nature's tranquility. Dive into Calm Egg and discover Bryan's handpicked practices for a balanced life.

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