Latest news - it is 2009 and the notes on this website go back to around 1994. They are still valid but we now have a much more up to date website. Can I suggest that you go to
to see our latest relationship advice and information including this page


Making Your Relationships Work
What is Love?

It’s a question we all ask. Here’s my favourite definition -
Love is an unconditional and healthy concern for the well-being of another person, held in balance with an equally strong concern for one's own well-being. So if it's really love, your concern for that someone special has to be unconditional - you give it without requiring anything in return. The only limit, but it’s a big one, is that you love yourself to a similar degree. Leave that out and again, it's not really love.

What is Commitment?
However, healthy relationships also need commitment, which is conditional. If a relationship is defined by conditions agreed on by both people then it has commitment.

What is a Successful Relationship?
If you can hold the balance between unconditional love and conditional commitment you have learned one of the great secrets of successful relationships.

What is an Unsuccessful Relationship?
Any imbalance between unconditional love and conditional commitment is a source of major trouble in relationships.
The worst relationship problems arise when one partner (or both) give unconditional commitment (love addiction) in combination with conditional love! This means the inner selves are running everything and the aware adult system is not even present in the relationship.

See also

The Many Languages of Love

The gifts of Friendships and relationships

Personal and impersonal styles in a relationship

Choosing Between Personal and Impersonal Channels
The fable of the two codependents

Copyright John Nutting 1996 - - 2004  and      GROWING AWARENESS   All rights reserved World Wide  

Don't worry about these copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.  Until that day, please feel free to copy and even adapt them for your own use and for friends as long as you acknowledge me as the author and owner of the copyright and you don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them professionally or commercially (charge a fee for them) or for clients, each sheet you hand out must include full acknowledgment of copyright ownership as above and if  you are benefiting as a result, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.


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