Love Without Expectations – Is That Even Possible?

5 minutes
“Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconception that I’d like to see you be or do. I have no desire to foresee you, only to discover you. You can’t disappoint me”  ~Mary Haskell

Spiritual teachings and scientific literature alike agree that the ability to love without expectations is a quality worth pursuing and achieving. It is not just between people;

Unconditional love is a state of being.

Of the entire gamut of possible human emotions, when one chooses to be in a state of expectation-free love in any given situation, it is said it has the power to change one’s chemistry, physiology, perception, why altogether the DNA! This renewed positive energy is bound to have its ripple effect, impacting your environment and people around you for better.

love without expectations

As young kids, we are resilient, content, connected. The complex thinking process has not yet contaminated our experience with doubt, judgment, mistrust, grudges, inferiority or insecurities. Love is simple, complete and limitless in a child’s experience. Children love unconditionally, with absolute acceptance and trust. They have no intention to judge nor expect either from themselves or from others.

However, as teenage and adulthood approaches; we stop connecting with ourselves and our surroundings. We begin to assume, define and analyse. These intellectual functions create expectations. For example, we assume that good friendships mean lack of conflict or a good marriage means blind faith or good parenting means having all the solutions for our children’s problems. We define love, compassion, trust, etc. and evaluate others with our definitions. We analyse other people’s behaviour and continuously monitor the impact that they have on us. These intellectual functions can make us intense and mature and have a positive effect on relationships on one hand, but can also catch us in an endless loop of analysis and expectations on the other.

There are simple ways to love for the sake of love; without judgment and expectations. Consider these few points as food for thought:

  • Connect to yourself again:

Love yourself, understand yourself and feel the ‘hero’ of the story of your life.

  • Work on your inferiorities to feel complete:

Sometimes expectations are misplaced. For example, if you want to develop security and belief in yourself, then you need a teacher or a coach who can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. We confuse this need for learning how to ‘believe in self’, with the need for appreciation, expecting our family and friends to appreciate us.

  • Honour your commitments to yourself and other people:

Say ‘no’ if your intention is to say ‘no’. Doing things from a position of fear of hurting or losing others creates expectations for ‘fair’ transactions. This expectation for ‘fairness’ makes us judge every action and effort; leading to resentment, guilt, anger and an internal vacuum. So be aware of your willingness or unwillingness to do something.

  • Introspect and understand your own weaknesses:

Forgive yourself for your mistakes and give yourself another chance to improve your weaknesses. This would translate into acceptance of other people’s weaknesses and mistakes. You can then help them or give them a chance to improve on their weaknesses in their own way.

  • Be the Hero of your own story!

Being a victim makes us search for a ‘superhero’ to rescue us. Believe in yourself and being your own ‘hero’. When you think of a hero, you take charge and create your own life, destiny and happiness.

  • Kill the crime, not the criminal!

Loving unconditionally means not mixing up the person’s actions for the whole person. It means loving the person, although you can be annoyed with certain traits of theirs, or angry at some behaviour. Some say the true test of loving is when it is the hardest to love somebody! Allow people to live out their own flaws and mistakes than wanting to change them to fit your ideal picture.

  • Expect conflicts to be able to love without expectations!

Differences, arguments and conflicts are an inevitable part of relationships and of life. If you expect a bed of roses, thorns will prick as well! Listen, resolve, accept, forgive – these are a few key mantras to smoothen out conflict zones.

  • Fill up on love, to be able to emanate love!

Loving one person does not mean restricting our time, attention and energy in only that relationship. Create a balanced life by exploring your professional desires, healthy friendships, a connect with nature and the faith in God.

  • Love is an energy, not just emotion!

Here’s a small exercise for you to try and practice unconditional love. Visualise some person or animal you care for and get a fuzzy warm feeling in your heart at their thought. Now allow this fuzzy warm feeling to flow through, washing every cell of your body! Now imagine that person is not loving you back as you may have expected, and yet continue feeling this warm fuzzy feeling throughout. See how long it lasts, and practice again, and then again till it becomes your reality! 🙂

Love is not blind. It is acute awareness and acceptance of oneself and the other; it is communication and exchange of energy. Love is honest, not compromising or restricting. Love, for the sake of love.

Shruti Singhal

Shruti is your special friend from Your D.O.S.T team. She is a practicing psychotherapist with 11 years of experience in the field of clinical psychology. She has worked with clients of different age groups, dealing with a wide variety of psycho-social & life adjustment problems that people face in everyday lives. Shruti believes that if we learn the skill to master our emotions, then we would all have that immense mind power to create a successful life of love, joy and purpose. It is her lifelong passion & pursuit to develop and help develop this skill. Through Your DOST, she would like to touch minds and souls to make a positive difference in their lives