This Is What Adult Love Really Looks Like

03/25/2015 02:04 pm ET | Updated Mar 25, 2015

What does it take to make a romantic relationship work?

A new video from The School Of Life, a London-based organization that centers on emotional intelligence, takes a closer look at that question -- and at love in general.

As the video explains, the first love we ever experience is the love of our parents. And in most cases, that love is unconditional. “The relationship [between a child and parents] is almost always entirely nonreciprocal. The parent loves, but they don’t expect the favor to be returned in any significant way," the narrator says, adding, “each party is on a very different end of the axis.”

When we grow up, we look to romantic relationships to provide us with that same love, School of Life says. We want a partner to love us unconditionally, and are often surprised or unsuccessful when romantic relationships involve a lot of give and take.

“For any relationship to work, we need to move firmly out of the child and into the parental position," the narrator points out. "We need to become someone who can sometimes subordinate their own demands to the needs of another.”

Psychiatrist Marcia Sirota wrote about loving like an adult in a blog for The Huffington Post.

"People in adult relationships aren't constantly frustrated with their partner, complaining about them or passive-aggressively leaking anger at them," she wrote. "Adults are willing to work on a relationship that they feel is worth saving, but they're able to walk away when it's clear that it no longer make sense to stay together."

Now that's some food for thought.

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