Unconditional love can initially seem like an elusive concept. On the surface, the act of accepting your partner, warts and all, may seem simple, but it is in fact incredibly radical.
Most people seem to love others on their own terms and only when it’s convenient for them. A lot of relationships rest on our partners meeting very specific preferences. Many people eventually grow resentful of their partners and aren’t afraid of dropping relationships once they reach the point where their partners’ quirks and habits — which once were charming and cute — suddenly become annoying and bothersome.
In Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love, the new book by YourTango founder and CEO Andrea Miller (in stores May 2nd), she makes a potent case for the importance of bringing empathy into every aspect of relationships and the long-term benefits of looking at your partner’s flaws with kindness rather than judgment. According to Andrea’s philosophy, love is never wasted. It’s not a bad thing to be the one who loves MORE.
However (and this is important), radically accepting your partner does NOT mean being a doormat or putting up with abusive behavior. After all, practicing unconditional love and acceptance should be an empowering act that brings more satisfaction and strength to your relationships. Loving without judgment should benefit both of you, so keep that in mind. You’re not there to make excuses for your partner. You’re there to develop the most open, honest love you can.
When you meet someone you want to commit to, wholly accepting them — even their unloveable parts — requires a tremendous amount of trust and communication. Loving someone unselfishly, striving for true radical acceptance, means loving them in the way that they want to be loved, not the way you want to be loved.
You have so much to give the world emotionally, so why hold back? To inspire you to love unselfishly and accept your partner unconditionally, here are 17 of our favorite quotes from Radical Acceptance in which Andrea Miller (and others) remind us why we need to just shut up and LOVE sometimes.
Allow yourself to accept sincere love in the form it is given to you, even if it is imperfect or not what you expected. That is grace. — Andrea Miller
Love is an action word. Sometimes, the most important action you can take is to open your heart or your mind – Andrea Miller
Radical Acceptance requires radical giving. Giving more, giving your all, and doing it all again, over and over. – Andrea Miller
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything. – Katherine Hepburn
Loving and being loved unconditionally means taking a leap of faith. It means feeling safe in your relationship and making room for vulnerability. It means taking off your mask and enabling him to do the same, so that you can both be truly seen for you are. – Andrea Miller
After all, loving your partner without judgment is only possible, of course, if you truly trust him. – Andrea Miller
Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. – Wes Angelozzi
Give the love you want to feel in the world. – Andrea Miller
Radical Acceptance means appreciating all of your partner, not just picking and choosing the parts that are easy to love. – Andrea Miller
Radical Acceptance forces you to look at a person you care about, acknowledge all of his shortcomings and flaws, and then say, “Okay. I can live with that stuff.” – Andrea Miller
Radical Acceptance means accepting characteristics you don’t like about someone you love. There’s no way to get around that.- Andrea Miller
Loving someone fully and without judgment is the opposite of being a weak pushover. – Andrea Miller
Individuals who focus on putting down their partners miss 50 percent of the positive aspects their partners bring into the relationship. – Andrea Miller
In truth, loving his unlovable parts is the only way the relationship will thrive, as tough and demanding as that may be. – Andrea Miller
The Platinum Rule flips the Golden Rule on its head, and demands that in order to get the most out of your relationship, you’ve got to love your partner the way he wants to be loved, not just the way you want to be loved. – Andrea Miller
Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most. Don’t believe for a second that loving someone deeply and passionately and putting your whole heart into a relationship puts you in a position of weakness. – Andrea Miller
Don’t hang around waiting for love to sweep you off your feet and knock you over. You are one thousand times more likely to get love if you are truly willing to give it. – Andrea Miller
YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.