If there’s one thing all of my friends know about me, it’s that I am a huge George Strait fan. I find that his lyrics about life and love, speak especially to the different phases of intimacy. As I was listening to my favorite song of his, “I know she still loves me,” I got to thinking about what a great point he was making about how feelings of lust, love and like evolve into one another.
If you think about it, there is a world of difference between the initial, passionate lust; the deep, lasting love; and the enduring liking of a person. Of all of those, I would argue that even though we put so much emphasis on love, it is really and truly liking someone, and being liked in return, that are the two most important parts of any relationship in life.
Although it’s most often the shortest lived of the three emotions, lust often leaves a lasting memory of that feeling of instant sexual attraction. And while lusting is the most passionate of the three, it is not what will sustain a lasting relationship.
If you’re not familiar with the song, in the chorus he sings, “I know she still loves me, but I don’t think she likes me anymore.” By saying that he knows she loves him, he is singing to the kind of love that feels obligatory. For example, when we say things like “I’m always going to love him because that’s the father of my baby,” or “Even though he was mean, he was my dad, so I loved him anyway,” we are demonstrating that we love them because we feel like we have to, but don’t always like what they’ve done.
To like someone, however, is an earned affection. The people we like are the people we want to be with and choose to open up to. So when he goes on to sing, “but I don’t think she likes me anymore,” we can really start to understand that the love we all tend to think holds a relationship together, isn’t as important as really liking someone.
I can’t tell you how important it is to always remember that there’s so much more than love to keep a relationship (whether intimate or otherwise) going. Don’t allow the habits and routine of being in love to overshadow fact that you still have to like each other, too. It’s the evolution of these three emotions that create a lasting relationship that works. As love grows, lust becomes a distant memory, and it’s your like of one another that will truly sustain.