The Importance of Love and Like in Relationships

Are you confused because you love your partner but do not like him or her? The following explanation of the differences can help you become clearer of why you feel that way and improve your relationship.

To begin with, we have four parts: mind, body, emotions and spirit (Higher Self). Your all loving spirit falls in love unconditionally. That is the easy part of relationships and it feels so good. It is a deep and general feeling of deep caring that you experience in your heart.

However, being human you also have a personality which is composed of your mind, body, and emotions. These parts have likes and dislikes. They are specific and can change.

For example, “I love that you are kind to me, and I don’t like when you leave your clothes on the floor for me to clean up. I would appreciate if you would put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket.”

Or, “I love you, and I don’t like when you yell at me. Please tell me your truth in a calm, loving way.”

Notice that you are expressing two separate emotions. You can feel both love and like at the same time. Can you relate?

When I counsel couples, I notice that love is not the problem. It is all the dislikes that have blocked their love feelings and caused them problems in their relationships. I first help them communicate in a loving way, like the examples above. Then I teach them how to resolve their issues with win-win solutions. I also assist them to understand and honor each other’s differences.

One of the common problems is that we are either left brain (logical) or right brain (feeling) dominant. Most of the time, I notice that the logical person will complain that their partner is too emotional and illogical.

John, a 34-year-old man, complained to be that his girlfriend Bonnie was irrational. At the second session he said, “Helene, I figured out how to not get upset with her. I think of the most illogical response, and then I am not surprised when she responds that way.”

On the contrary, the right brain dominant people will often say, “My partner is so cold and unfeeling.”

These dislikes cause many issues in a relationship. What I explain to my clients is that opposites do attract to help each other be more balanced. For example, we all need logic to balance our check-book. However, when we are intimate, we need to be in our feelings. It is important to be able to switch between right and left brain, based on the best part to react in specific situations.

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