Unconditional Love Does Not Mean Unconditionally Staying In A Relationship

Dr. Darcy, my boyfriend says he loves me for me but when we’re having a fight, he wants me to turn into a different person and if I don’t he walks away and leaves my place and it makes me FURIOUS and only escalates things.  

I’m a fiery person and I don’t think I should have to turn into a monk to be in a relationship. Whatever happened to unconditional love?


Unconditional love does not mean unconditionally staying in a relationship or agreeing to be the target of a partner’s unmanaged emotions. 

Your feelings are valid — whatever they are — and the way you express yourself needs to be skilled. 



First of all, you shouldn’t be having conversations when you’re heated above a 5 or 6 on an emotional discomfort scale that ranges 0 -10 because you’re not even capable of having a productive conversation, regardless of what you may think, when you’re that upset. Which is exactly where most people are when they’re having a fight. Your job, in moments like that, is to ground yourself until you’re calm enough to be in the part of your brain that allows you to choose words that move the conversation forward rather than carelessly firehose your guy with sloppy thoughts you’ll regret in hours or days. 

It sounds like you got lucky and landed yourself a partner who’s further along in his development than you are. We usually attract and are attracted to people who reflect our level of emotional fitness and the fact that he won’t tolerate you projectile vomiting anger onto him makes me think he knows his value and wants appropriate boundaries. Healthy relationships do require balancing our need to be loved with respecting our self-worth.

It is a myth that the right partner will allow us to show up in whatever form we feel motivated to present with at a given moment. No one wants to see that version of you and you will live a very lonely life if you don’t wrap your head around this truth. 

You need to find a therapist who can teach you emotional management skills so you can keep this guy. Otherwise, he’s eventually going to get tired of dating someone who behaves like a rabid animal caught in a paper bag. And he will move on. 


Writer’s Demographics

Gender: Female 

Sexual Orientation: Straight