Have you ever considered that it’s better to be liked than loved? Although this sounds a bit counterintuitive, it will start to make sense when we understand the difference between the two.
Understanding what it means to be loved
When you think about what you want in a partner, what are the first things that come to your mind? Someone who looks a certain way, acts a certain way, enjoys the same things as you, works in a particular type of career, wants or doesn’t want children? Usually, people will list qualities like these when explaining who might interest them. However, a quality they will rarely list is being liked. This concept rarely occurs to anyone.
If you think about love and what we’ve all been taught, our perception of our ideal partner gets split into what would make them perfect – being kind, athletic, adventurous, etc. – and what would make them imperfect – dull, annoying, lazy, etc. We are all about welcoming those perfections and shaming those imperfections. Love then turns into this notion that you will love a person despite how horrible they are.
Love starts to only reside in those expected perfections; it has to have that magical feeling. Considering love as perfection is unreasonable. You’re essentially saying, ‘if you loved me, you would never be those negative things.’ This is a perfectionist attitude and suggests that loving that person is conditional and based on being the ideal version of themselves.
These high expectations may seem like a way to value yourself in a relationship. However, what it’s really saying is you’re insecure and creates a power dynamic of someone being less than you. So, what do we do? We hide our imperfections from each other. Because for us to seek out love, everything has to be perfect.
‘Perfect’ is an unattainable standard, and focusing on achieving perfection is rarely going to lead to happiness. Therefore, it’s better to find someone who likes you for you and not solely for the perfect qualities you possess.
Understanding what it means to be liked
If you take the example of a best friend, they likely know all about your imperfections – your quirky habits, your relationship troubles, your poor career, and all of your other downfalls. They have likely seen you at your worst and experienced parts of your personality that strangers probably haven’t. But despite ALL of the imperfection they witness in you, they still like you. Isn’t that amazing? They accept your perfect imperfections. Liking someone means encompassing the whole picture – the perfections and the imperfections.
Love demands intensity and is super-charged with emotion. When that feeling is gone, usually, so is the relationship. Liking someone, on the other hand, is quiet. We can enjoy that calm emotional state and still enjoy their presence without the need for performance or perfection.
Liking is also more accepting. It forgives and has no demands. We give so much more grace to those we like than we do to those we love. And in return, someone who likes us is accepting of us. They know that we are not perfect and get that. Some may say that is what love is, but how many people can honestly say they live that love?
If you love without liking, you’ll find that it’s much more difficult to find it within yourself to provide patience, honesty, vulnerability, and transparency.
These things are why it is essential to reexamine the idea of being liked versus being loved.
Enjoy The Journey
To learn more, check out the video here:
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