How come I love you but I don’t like you? This dilemma was posed during a session and I HAD to go there because it is so relevant to all of our lives. We have all had, or been, the person who loves but then doesn’t like. It may be at the time we didn’t have the awareness to be able to say it so well, but we all know the feeling. You connect with someone, you learn to love or you come in loving when you are a child, and then over time that love vibration is still there but there is another one in the picture.

This vibration in the picture is the like vibration. The one that gives you that feeling in your center that you may want to hang out with this person. The one that shows up as you age when you are developing all those skills of socialization and belonging and groups. The one that in kindergarten has you loving everyone but by second grade realizing who the kids are that you don’t want to hang out with, if your parents would only listen because they want you to have tons of friends and hang out with everyone even though your senses tell you otherwise. (Parents; pay attention here, listen to the kid!)

There is a definitive difference between love and like and it has nothing to do with romance. It has everything to do with where it lands in your body and in your senses. Love is there, love can’t often be described, love shows up when we least expect it, but like, like has to be worked at and has to be searched out sometimes and is cultivated over time. Oh, love can be those things too, but like is overlooked in this area. So often we talk of loving someone without ever taking into account who they really are.

These days someone loves someone two days after they start dating. WHAT is that? Two days? Really? It came on that quick and you knew to your core, why, because you are soulmates? Please. While I grant you there can be an immediate attraction and perhaps a knowing that you would be good together, according to my husband this happened for him and twenty seven years later we were still together, so I guess I have to concede that point, but we also spent almost a year to see if we even LIKED each other before heading into a relationship. I’m not suggesting you wait that long, it is after all a quarter century ago, but I am suggesting you take the time to know who you are, make sure you like THAT person and then connect with others.

So, what happens if you are born into a family and decide later, ya know what, I don’t like these people. Well, as in every situation, one must give themselves permission to not like anyone. What? Do you need to read that again, go ahead, I’ll wait……..

Circling back to the kindergarten reference, we should trust our instincts, or the facts, when deciding to like someone or not like them. Like is all about character for me. If you have a character that is needy, greedy or bleedy, I will fade out, not make eye contact and remove myself from the situation. Needy is exhausting, greedy is self explanatory and bleedy, well that is when the whole relationship is about the other person. They just bleed their stuff all over you without a sense of containment. Blek. I can see the soul in someone and I can appreciate that and even the learning process they are in, but when it comes to my personal space and who I like, I am picky and I am suggesting that you be as well. So, give yourself permission to walk away from any situation or relationship that isn’t resonating with you. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.

We choose our families, no matter how we came to be in them, so yes, in laws count but just like any other opportunity in life to learn, this is a good one to realize where are your own boundaries. You may have more tolerance for the needy, greedy, bleedy type than I do and that is great. As long as it isn’t taking away from your joy and you aren’t minimizing yourself for the sake of others, have at it.

I am not suggesting that we walk away from family, unless its abusive,  I am simply suggesting that you become savvy in realizing what works and what doesn’t. Often what we don’t like in another is what we don’t like in ourselves so it can be a great opportunity to get to know self through your reaction or , hopefully, response to someone else. In being able to see a separation of each person’s journey and that they are they way they are and that is great, but may not be on your most want to hang out with person list, you will empower your own self and your ability to make choices in every area of your life.

One of the things to do when considering the factor of do I like that person is to meet them for the first time. I wrote about how I came to this exercise in my book, Everyone Has An It, (I’m told I am supposed to promote it, so there you go.). When you meet someone, see them as if you are meeting for the first time. You will of course, still have a history but if you meet them with where they are today instead of carrying all the baggage of yesterday, you may just be pleasantly surprised at who you have in your friends and family. If, you come to the conclusion that yup, today isn’t any better than yesterday and you have given that person the space to be themselves without any of your own issues clouding the picture, then perhaps it is time to find that space.

I firmly believe that humans are capable of having great relationships and when they have run their course, be able to say, “It was lovely knowing you, I appreciate all I have learned and I’ll be going now. ” and the response being ” I am grateful too and while this may hurt for a bit, I wish you well. ” You can throw a “ta ta” in there if you would like. 🙂

I have been on the other end of the I’d rather not hang out with you any more statement and I was so appreciative of the process I had gone through to realize that it was the other person’s choice and that even if I couldn’t see the how, I completely honored the why. How had we gotten there may not be completely visible but the why on their part is valid to them, and that is really all I needed. Did I miss them, yes, at times I did, but then I realized I missed who I was when they were around and maybe it was about that rather than the other person. Allowing myself to be silly or allowing myself to be soulful, whatever the direction, I didn’t need the other person to be me, I needed me to be me. (wow, that is a grammatical nightmare isn’t it? So funny.)

So, whether the relationship is obviously not a good one, or subtly not a good one, it doesn’t really matter. It only matters that you are willing to look at it and say I love you, but I don’t like you and that like is a big deal so I am going to respect that feeling and not have it have to make sense and take a break here. (note: it is not necessary to SAY this to the other person, only to self.)

Take this week to do some inventory in your life and see if the above resonates at all for you. It can be an undertaking but you will be glad you did, for you just may find some truth in your life and be much happier for the work you have done.

I wish you well and abundance of those that you not only love but like in your life.