A long time ago, a friend’s father told her that he would always love her, but didn’t necessarily like her all the time. She didn’t seem too upset by the comment, I, on the other hand, was devastated on her behalf!
I know some people find it hard to say ‘I love you’ and it should be said more to those around us but how often do you tell those same people that you like them?
There was a slight ‘discussion’ between my husband and I recently about what character traits we did, or didn’t as the case may be, like about each other. We are secure in our love and say those three little words regularly but the issue of liking one another is an entirely different matter.
For me, it’s important to know that I am liked, as well as loved. I want to know that the people I spend time with who love me, also like my company and who I am as a person.
It’s easy, especially with children and spouses and other family members, to know they love us but not feel we are particularly ‘liked’.
The words ‘I love you’ can trip of the tongue so easily that it can seem almost routine and, while it needs to be said, can sometimes feel like the person ‘has’ to love you because you are family.
‘I like you’ on the other hand implies a choice. We feel honour bound to ‘love’ the members of our family but liking them doesn’t always come so easily. Saying we ‘like’ our spouse says to them that we choose each day to enjoy their company. Not because we are married and ‘have to’ but because we want to. Most children in healthy families would say they know they are loved, even if they aren’t told that often, but do they know they are liked? Just for being who they are? Do we, as parents, enjoy their company as people and like them for that reason alone, regardless of the DNA?
I think it’s possible to love someone without liking them. I also think it’s possible, and normal, to not like everything about the ones you love. But that shouldn’t stop you from telling them the things about them that you do like.
It’s a wonderful thing to be loved, that is sure. But, oh, what a glorious treat to know we are liked, too.