Most people, especially men, would agree that a good friendship is the basis for a lasting relationship. Ask any man that’s been happily married for more than five years what it is that keeps his marriage alive and you will get the same answer, “She’s my best friend.”
So if all it takes is a friendship to have a lasting relationship, why is it so hard for so many people to have lasting relationships, but so easy to have friendships that span decades. How is a friendship different than a relationship-friendship? Why does it seem that we like our friends in a different way than we like our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, partners etc.? I don’t know the answer to either of those questions, what I do know is this: There is a big difference between liking someone and loving them, and it’s the like that will keep two people together, not the love.
I know, I know, love conquers all and it can move mountains…but think about it. Do you have family members that you love but absolutely cannot stand being around? You love them but you don’t like them. And trust that a woman in love will accept and be patient with a man that isn’t treating her right, but the minute she stops liking him, it’s over.
Have you ever heard about something bad that happened to an old friend, maybe an ex, and you immediately felt bad for them even though you hadn’t seen or spoken to him or her in years? That’s because you have love for them, but you’re not in love with them and you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy being around them either—you don’t like them anymore. You can have love, it’s not fleeting and it can be kept for someone forever regardless of whether or not you are with them.
Like on the other hand, comes and goes, but it’s more important than love for a relationship to last. Sometimes love is just simply not enough. For two people to stay together, they have to like each other. They have to like talking to each other, like being around each other, like helping each other, like the sex they have with each other, they have to like the person that the other person is when they’re not together. If love were enough there wouldn’t be so many men cheating on women that they love with a woman they like, but that’s another topic.
Don’t misunderstand me. This is not to say that you either have to love or like someone and that you can’t have both these things in one relationship. You can, that’s the ideal situation. It’s just my humble opinion that liking someone trumps love for a relationship to last.