Why Liking Someone Is More Important Than Loving Them

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All you need is love. Love is the answer. Love is all you need. Love makes the world go ’round. But does it, really?

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Love is an incredibly important part of any relationship, whether it be family, friends, or significant others. Love is seen as the cornerstone, the very binding fiber that brings and keeps people together. But what if I told you…it doesn’t really work that way?

I used to hear people say things like “I love them even on days that I don’t like them” and had a hard time wrapping my head around the concept as I was younger. Today though, I can appreciate the love one may have for a family member, or even a pet, who may bring aggravation at times but you would still do anything for them.

I think that when it comes to relationships, we put a lot of weight on love. So much weight, that it is very difficult to tip the scale in the other direction. People seem to need tons upon tons of disappointment, arguments, or incompatibility to make the “love weight” budge. For this reason, they tend to ignore a lot of the bad things because they still have that one good thing.

Anyone who has had more than one relationship in their life understands the reality of falling in and out of love. Feelings towards someone can intensify but then also fade, over time. Some quicker than others. Is this to say that love never lasts a lifetime? No, I think it can. My parents have been together for over 35 years and my grandparents have been married for over 60 – but is love the only thing that kept them together?

No way.

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Love is not all you need. You need mutual respect, compromise, sacrifice, understanding, the willingness to work at it and stand by him or her when times get rough. You need to be willing to be by their side not only during the bright days but also during the dark ones. To encourage them to become the best version of themselves, but also to love and accept them as they are today.

You can fall in love with someone who is not right for you. Who you are not compatible with. Even with someone who mistreats you. We see and hear stories all the time about abusive relationships and always ask ourselves – “Why does he/she stay with them?!” Because they are in love. But they don’t have the other pieces of the puzzle mentioned above.

You can love someone, but understand that they are not right for you. That they don’t fit into aspects of your life that you’d like them to. That your personalities are just so different that a long term commitment simply won’t work. This doesn’t make your love for them any less real, but it puts the rest of the relationship into perspective.

Love may let you look past your differences for some time, but it will not actually help you overcome them. It won’t help you work through them and it won’t help you solve your problems – only to endure them longer while they still persist.

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Nietzsche once said – “Lack of love does not make for unhappy marriages, lack of friendship does.” Think for a moment how powerful that statement is. How much you truly need to be friends with someone below the surface in order to really make things work. Think about all of the good qualities your relationships with friends have, now take them away and replace them only with love. Would you still be friends? Doubtful. 

If you wouldn’t accept poor treatment or inconsistency from a friend, why would you accept it from a lover?

Those other qualities are what really keep people together. Actually liking who they are as a person, the fun you can have together, the ability to talk about things, the comfort of knowing you can trust someone because there is mutual respect in your relationship. The knowledge that they have made a commitment to stand by your side because they want to. The foundation of a relationship that lies in the fact that they actually like who you are as a person, and that you like who they are, too.

Love may be the fire of a relationship, but if it is left alone, any fire will eventually burn out, no matter how strong. Friendship, actually liking someone as a person, and all of the great qualities you share is the kindling. It is the consistent stoking that will keep the fire burning.

You can have a friendship without a relationship, but you can’t have a relationship without a friendship. Build your foundation first, and only then will you be able to weather the storms together, side by side, as friends.

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14 Comments

  1. booboojing on August 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Great post and could totally relate to it. I fell in love with my colleague and despite all the crazy things that she had put me through over an entire decade, I still love her the same.

  2. Brittany on August 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Spot on, as usual. Great post, James!

  3. Julxrp on August 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Julx's Blog and commented:
    So true….

  4. Julxrp on August 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Spot on.. Awesome post. 🙂

  5. rlcarterrn on August 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    GREAT post. I honestly don’t understand how there can be true love without friendship… which is not to say you have to be friends first & lovers later. I just mean I can’t understand having a lover who wasn’t someone I’d have as a friend even w/o the sex/romance. Anything else is just illogical to me.

  6. emwasbur on August 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I have been married for 25 years and dated him for 4 years before that. I met him when I was 17. We started out as best friends, spending countless hours sorting through life’s problems and just enjoying time together and from that our love story began. That friendship has been what has held us together through the rough patches these past 29 years. But over the past few years that friendship has sort of fallen apart. I don’t know where it went wrong and I don’t know how to get it back. I love him more than anything and can’t imagine life without him. But he has gotten old…in a 48 year old body…and cynical. I do not get the emotional support from him that I need and I feel us drifting further and further apart. I do not want to divorce him, I love him. But I am not getting what I need out of this anymore. I would never have an affair, that is not what I am about, but any attempt at trying to fix what is wrong falls on deaf ears, and he tells me that I am the one who has changed, not him. I thought that maybe I am going through a mid-life crisis and hoping that he can weather the storm, but why should I take the blame? It works both ways, right? I want to go and have fun with friends and family and all he wants to do is sit at home and watch TV. You get tired of being the only one trying to make it work and he sees no problem with himself. We have 2 kids. One, a successful college grad. with a great job. The other, a junior in high school. Great kids, with great futures ahead of them, they are both in great relationships and wise beyond their years. They see what is going on and actually feel sorry for me. I don’t want their pity. I want to know how to fix what is wrong but can’t seem to find the answer. Any suggestions from anyone is appreciated.

    • Beth on January 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      My crazy reply is…follow your heart. That’s all you can do. And to take it a step further, if you are having trouble understanding who you are and DOUBTING those feelings, consult your ACCURATE astrology report. Your astrology map was crystalized the moment you were born. You will ALWAYS have free will, of course, but this map shows you the agreements you made before this life began. Challenges can be incredibly difficult, but they also encourage growth and introspection.

  7. wantingextraordinary94 on August 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Dream More. Complain Less. and commented:
    Love this.

  8. Naicker, Jeeva J on August 27, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Wow…so true..
    And makes so much sense..
    ☺☺

  9. Matt on August 28, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    I see so many happy healty marriages and they all said the same thing…”I married my best friend!” That is indeed the way to make it work.

    • James Michael Sama on August 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      100% Matt! They figured out the secret that isn’t really a secret.

  10. Exuro on November 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

    That’s because the ‘love’ these people have isn’t really love at all: It’s lust. Society and pop culture in general have confused lust with love and most of what you write about is dealing with the fallout of this confusion. Lust feels good though, it can feel really good, and it can be addictive, which is how the confusion started in the first place: the whole “If it feels good, do it” and “if it feels good, it must be right” mentality. Basing a relationship on lust is a terrible idea though, particularly because it fades over time, but it’s cheap and easy to find (love at first sight is really lust at first sight). Real love doesn’t just happen, it takes time and commitment from both parties to form. Lust can give way to love if the time, commitment, and compatibility are there. Real love can even regenerate lust, but lust alone will eventually self destruct.

  11. Frederick on January 22, 2015 at 12:00 am

    There are different types of love. When most people speak of love between two people, who are intimate and are new in the relationship, they speak of romantic love which in itself is great but can never last. This is the same type of love that people speak of being blinded by it. They are blinded by it, because they never in the first place never know what they’re looking for. They are just going by feel. Hence, when red flags are popping up, they don’t even see it. A person needs to know what values, character, principles, etc. they are looking for in a perspective mate. When they have that set in their minds, red flags are easily seen. Thus, ceasing the relationship before it goes any further; however, when a person has found that ideal mate, the highest form of love – agape love – has to be at its foundation. This is a self-sacrificing love. ‎This is a selfless kind of love that involves giving without expectation of anything in return.‎ This is the type of love that puts the person before oneself. This is the type of love, if they are in that situation, would die for their love one. There is no greater love than this. If this love is applied by both parties, then the sky is the limit.

    • Julie on July 31, 2015 at 6:05 am

      Brilliant reply Frederick!

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