Loving Someone You Don't Like

One of the worst side effects of love is being able to still love someone you don't really like as a person.  We know what you're thinking, "How can you love someone and not like them at the same time".  Trust us it happens. 

Couples fall in love and say they cannot imagine their life without the other. Love is a deep connection, and anyone who has fallen in love understands that you can love someone even when you don’t always like them. Your partner can begin to annoy you or you begin to see parts of them you don’t like.  Whatever the reason, it happens to many of us. Sometimes it is feeling negative about ourselves that makes us dislike our partner, but more likely it has to do with a change we begin seeing in our partner that we hadn’t noticed before. Our partner seems to change before our eyes in a way we never thought possible. All of a sudden, we are in love with a person we cannot stand.

This is the story of my ex and I.  I love him.  Lawd knows I do, but I don't want to be in the same room with him.   I still care about him, theres nothing I wouldn't do for him, I just don't like him a lot anymore. 

Long before falling out of “like” with your partner, you may have been putting less effort into the relationship. Perhaps you focused on your career, or a sick parent, expecting your partner to stay the same loving person while you were preoccupied with another project. This is a fallacy of thinking, because all relationships require time and care. People who begin seeking someone else or filling their emotional space with distractions are basically replacing a space once fulfilled by their partner. That person then begins to resent the loss of this space and attention. They start to see many faults in their partner that were once overlooked due to their feelings of love. All of a sudden, they may begin to wonder why they are with this person they no longer like. Growing out of like with your partner is a much better predictor of a breakup than falling out of love with them. Many recently separated couples will usually say, “We still love each other, we don’t like each other anymore.”

Couples often fall out of like with one another when they are not aware of the warning signs. When couples get busy with life, they might start taking each other for granted and they aren’t aware of the changes going on between the two of them. Here are three warning signs that happen prior to falling out of like with your partner. If you notice these, it would be wise to schedule a date night and talk about the changes you are seeing. Then have a plan of action that the two of you come up with to get the relationship back on track.

1.One of the partners finds it increasingly difficult to spend time with you.

If your partner begins getting very busy with work and it begins taking time away from the two of you, it is wise to discuss this. Establishing boundaries with work and your relationship is one of the most important things the couple should establish. Ignoring this leads to resentment of one of the partners and, ultimately, falling out of like with your partner. Maintaining balance might mean the couple has to expect one of the partners to work longer hours. Discussing this openly and planning your time together despite the work load has to take precedence.

2. Decreasing touch.

When partners are really engaged and like each other, they also enjoy holding hands and touching one another. If this suddenly changes and you can no longer sit next to your partner and expect them to reach out for you, there is a problem. Talk about this, voice your concern, or quietly begin holding their hand or caressing their shoulders when you are near them.

3. Sex diminishes.

When couples are in love and like one another, they enjoy sex with one another. If you notice your partner no longer wants to have sex or be intimate with you, it may be  a warning sign that they are no longer engaged or want to be near you. Sex and intimacy are a form of communication that expresses love and allows one to feel loved in return. Rejecting sex is analogous to you not finding your partner interesting enough to talk to. Wanting sex for them is the same as you wanting conversation. Neither is better or worse, right or wrong. They are both healthy forms of expression for intimacy.

Liking your partner takes more work and action than loving them for life, but it is also the foundation for a strong relationship. I have never seen a couple in a happy relationship who don’t like one another. However, I have seen many breakups where the couple still loves one another, but no longer liked each other. Be engaged, stay aware of your partner’s self growth, and make sure at the end of the day you still like the person you share your bed with.