The Marcus Graham Chronicles: I Need to Like You More Than Love You

The Marcus Graham Chronicles is my personal journey of dealing with love and relationships. It is called the Marcus Graham Chronicles because of my affinity for the movie “Boomerang” and how the main character of Marcus Graham relates to me as the “black professional” man. You can check out earlier posts in this series HERE.

One of the oldest sayings is that LOVE conquers all and that LOVE will always see you through to the end. We are taught that true LOVE will be our protective shield in a relationship. The essential idea is that we will find a soul mate and that the LOVE between us and our mate will always be able to stand the test of time. These notions are all good in theory but in application I think that they are…WACK! Don’t get me wrong I believe LOVE along with HATE are two of the strongest emotions that a human being can feel (hence the saying “There is a Thin Line Between Love and Hate“) With that being said the jail sentences years of relationships I have had I have come to one new general principle about myself…”I Need to Like A Woman More Than I love Her”.

Marcus Graham’s character in Boomerang had a transformation of realizing that he had to like a woman more than LOVE her. Marcus had spent most of his life looking for the woman who fit the template of the ideas he considered a woman worthy enough to love. He would dog-women diss women because he didn’t feel that heavy emotion of love. When Marcus ran into Jacqueline Broyer he felt just because he LOVED her.  He was so caught up in love her credentials and her powerful stature that he mistook that as a woman he should be on LOVE with. It took that relationship with Jacqueline to understand that LOVE wasn’t the most important thing but the idea of liking someone was more important. Marcus was able to see that he liked being around and with Angela Lewis instead of “loving” her template. He was able to have a good time and kick back without any barriers. Marcus through spending time with her and the children was able to like the person that Angela was more than loving the persona of a woman like Jacqueline.

What do I mean by Liking more than Loving?

In a couple of earlier posts in the Marcus Graham Chronicles “Why DO I Love Jacquelines?” And “Love Really Don’t Love Me” particularly, I tried to explore the idea of LOVE and my attractions in my life. The idea of liking someone more than loving them is a rather new revelation for me. The reason I say this is because loving someone isn’t always enough. I think the idea of you general liking to be around a person is just as or maybe even more important. For instance, if you are upset with your mate it seems to be that it will be harder to make-up with the person if you generally don’t LIKE the person and who they are. At the end of the day how can you truly LOVE someone if you don’t really LIKE being with them?

There is a clear difference many times between LIKE AND LOVE. Yes, in a relationship you are not always going to like what the person does or acts but continually dreading to be in their presences is another issue. Sometimes we become a slave to “loving” ideals instead of liking the person. I hear men sometimes complain about and try to get away from their wives and girlfriends and I understand that sometimes a man needs to get away from all that estrogenial energy (Yeah I made up a new term!). But, have you ever seen the dude that literally never wants to go home or see his wife or girlfriend? The reason is he really doesn’t like her BUT he loves her because of the time and energy he has invested in her. Many times us as men confuse loyalty, great sex, or a woman sticking around as attributes to a person we should love. Yes, a person should be loyal and stick with you through the good and times BUT those ideals can be paramount to dictating your love.

For example, a man may even say something like “I had to marry her man she stuck around and took all my ish. I mean I trust her because she has stayed around me the longest.”, “She sux, fux, and cooks for me so good” or “I mean she has been down with me and has my kids.”

I know am not the only person who has said a man who has said that right? The sad part about this that many men will confuse that loyalty, sex, catering, and relationship attrition as the sole qualifiers of a great relationship or love. Keep in mind this man may not be able to stand to be around her. This ideal at the end of the day is not good for the woman or the man. Because the man will just stay content to “loyalty” or whatever theoretical ideas he has of the reason he loves her. There is a higher possibility this man will end up cheating, becoming disenchanted or straying from this woman because you know what…HE REALLY DON’T LIKE HER.

I have had to evaluate this notion of liking of someone over loving someone sentiment. I have looked at my past relationships and seen that maybe I was more in LOVE with some of the women instead of liking them. I was wrapped up in superficial things that don’t mean a damn at the end of the day.  Even though I will be the first to say that if a woman doesn’t have any loyalty, fuxing and suxing him sufficently, catering and having a compassionate disposition the idea of a man “liking” a woman won’t mean much as well.

What I am saying is that linking the person and loving their presence and being is the one of the keys to love for me. What about when the times get bad? The LOVE won’t mean a damn thing if I really only like being in your presence is when I am ready to eat, sex, or some mandatory time-wasting. I understand that a person isn’t a ready-made wifey but we have to generally love being around one another.

I just starting to believe I can only LOVE someone if truly LIKE being around them. One can say that if you wholeheartedly don’t LIKE someone how can you love them? Ahhh by George you have it! The idea of being “liking” a woman has to go hand in hand with me loving a woman. Ergo the idea of liking a woman more than loving her. Because I didn’t love some of the women in my past right because I couldn’t LIKE them for whom they were.

Side note: I feel like I need to check my “Relationship Credit Score”

What are your thoughts on the idea of Liking vs. Loving?

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21 responses to “The Marcus Graham Chronicles: I Need to Like You More Than Love You

  1. I believe that love is a choice and not necessarily an emotion only, so I come at this topic from a slightly different angle. I believe that you have to be able to put aside the lust factor as well as the pursuit of perfection in order to get to the stage of genuinely liking someone for who they are. Marcus Graham was on the hunt for perfection. He liked Jacqueline because she was beautiful, intelligent, not clingy, presented herself well, was cultured, and had pretty feet. In none of his specifications did he require a woman that was nice, feminine, creative, or fun.

    The idea is to see if that liking, along with compatibility and attraction, leads you to want to decide to love this person and be with them for life. I think that people should be friends first, or at the very least friendly. I’ve not dated anyone I didn’t like. The liking comes first for me. I’ve been attracted to men and never dated them because they sucked as people and I couldn’t stand them. A home, and to a large extent a relationship, should be your sanctuary, not just another battleground or place you hate to go. I think that Marcus was able to fall for Angela because instead of evaluating her as a girlfriend at first, he looked upon her as a friend. Once both men and women try to get to know one another and decide whether or not they like the person without evaluating them on their own preconceived notions of what they want, they may be surprised with how feelings can grow. Of course, having commonality in key areas is important, but loving someone is the result of a process, a combination of attributes that coalesce into love. There has to first be attraction and mutual liking, liking usually born from shared or complementary attributes such as sense of humor, similar morals and value systems that fit together.

    • “A home, and to a large extent a relationship, should be your sanctuary, not just another battleground or place you hate to go.”

      – PREACH!!

  2. I was just having a conversation with one of my male friends about this topic. He always falls in love with ideals and not with the actual woman. Whenever, he describes any woman he has wifed up (he is also a serial monogamous) he usually personifies their “qualities” she has a good job, she is independent, she goes to church, etc. It is nothing wrong with that…you should always look at what the person has to offer and not simply the physical. BUT there should be more. He then goes into a sort of meta analysis of how the woman’s qualities and counter his bad habits and some how will morph him in to a better person, i.e; “She can help me to find my true passion and get a better job, or since she goes to church she will motivate me to go to church”. The other day I told him to listen to how he describes this “perfect” mate and never says anything uniquely about her. Like “she is great”, “I like the way she does this or that”, or something as simple as “I dig her”. He makes them sound like business partners instead of mates.

  3. I see where you were going with this – and I agree with a lot of parts – but not others. Namely the title.

    I agree that you need to both LIKE and LOVE the person who you choose to be with long term – simply to make the time spent after choosing a spouse more enjoyable than not. Er, we’ll just call it maximizing the good times (because lord knows there will be bad ones).

    However, I disagree that “liking” the person more will get you through those tough situations or even years of being together. As a married man and with past girlfriends – I can say that you aren’t going to “like” your spouse everyday (that’s real – folks get on each other’s nerves – its human). And when that happens – the “like” is not what brings you back to center – its is without a doubt the love. Now mind you this is only when its a real “back to center”. Or as Mr. Miyagi would say “more focus Daniel-son”. I used to tell my female friends – the way to get over a guy is to ACTUALLY get over him. Not play like it. A lot of people in marriages or relationships – play the “make-up” game (hey the sex is good right?) – but never actually make-up. They hold grudges, make notes, etc. etc. – Liking somebody doesn’t get you past this (hence my ex’s…and probably a few feel the same about me). Love can though. You go the extra mile for somebody you love. You don’t just “make up” for the person you love. You forgive and forget. You don’t just take her out on date because you are supposed to – you take her spend time planning the details of it – so you can see her smile as she enjoys the time spent. Feel me?

    I think really people don’t so much confuse love and like. But rather love and lust and/or love and loyalty. The example you gave of the guy who stays with his wife/girlfriend/baby-mama because he feels he “has to”? – That’s confusion of loyalty (or more specifically guilt) with love. This is no different than leaving a job. You hate the gig…but maybe like your co-workers or boss. You hate to put them out there, etc. by leaving. But the reality is that if something that much better came along you’d bounce. Guys in this loyalty situation are really just waiting for something that much better to come along. Once he can justify his happiness over his loyalty… (Lead man exit stage left).

    To address the lust vs. love scenario – I’ll keep using the workplace example. So you sought out this dream job (the spouse with all of the criteria you want) and you don’t find it but a suitable salary replacement (someone who piques your interest but they don’t fit all the criteria). In short its not your dream job but the pay and the benefits (sux, fux, etc – as you said) are good. So you take the job – do th work – but you always know that dream job is out there right. But they pay you this “nice check” (or not so nice – I realize its a recession) – so you GOTTA stay right? Wrong. You don’t have too. You just lusting after that check. Because the truth is if somebody offered you a little more lust (or rather check) you’d move over there too. What about all of those benefits? Or even better if your job is good why entertain that side hustle (side chick). People “lust after their list” of requirements for a spouse too much too often.

    Really long term relationships are about finding a connection with someone who inspires you to maintain that relationship/connection against all odds and detractors. I like a lot of people a lot. And I still wouldn’t do for them what I do or sacrifice for my wife. Because I love her.

    Great post D!

    • Oh I agree with you Ed! I know you won’t always like them but my idea is if you don’t really even generally like being around the person things will fall apart so much faster

  4. I think the entire like vs. love is a relationship you have to explore with yourself; as you did. I’m hoping to actually like and love someone soon. I think that’s the better relationship to have.

  5. You came HEAVY! With those post! Real shit differing the idea of liking someone and loving them. This one really hit home bruh!

  6. Never thought of it like this but I have always believed that love will conquer all! Maybe I am just a hopless romantic…sigh!!

  7. Great Post D…. Finally catching up on them from my side of the world…
    Keep dropping knowledge…..

  8. This is very very very deep! The idea of wanting to be around your mate and value theur friendahip is an underappreciated thing

  9. I think that for a relationship to continue to last and have true substance there must be a whole lot of liking and loving going on. I think that a whole lot of liking makes you feel good around your mate and makes you really enjoy the company of your mate. A whole lot of liking of your mate will make you just enjoy your mate’s presence, even if there’s no sex going on. Now, a whole lot of love/loving will lead one to wanting to build an institution with his or her mate; that is, a marriage. Love is what gives a relationship staying power, but that staying power cannot emerge without you really just liking the person. Meaningful relationships are heavily dependent on having a strong presence of both loving and liking. Nice juxtaposition of the concepts of liking and loving in this piece!

  10. I really dig this post D! I appreciate you being so introspective…. It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen and heard this “…he really doesn’t like her BUT he loves her because of the time and energy he has invested in her.” That applies to women as well.

    It’s an exploration of what/who you’re comfortable with, not just who you THINK you should be with because they align with your “list.”

    I’d rather not love an ideal…at the end of the day I want to like my partner within and outside of our relationship. Love is a choice.

  11. I absolutely agree with you. My past relationship (an on-again, off-again 3 year saga) is a prime example of liking AND loving. I truly believe that we both love one another because of the time invested and the feelings that grew. But we couldn’t get along and we didn’t understand one another. I honestly think he didn’t truly “like” who I am. I think he was in love with the thought of me and the idea of us.

    I’ve been thinking the things that you spoke of for a while now. Confirmation.

    Good stuff. :)

  12. Nice post. While I do agree that liking the person you love is important for a healthy and happy relationship, I do not agree with liking more than loving. I think the problem most people run into when they find themselves “loving” someone they never liked is the fact that they have confused infatuation with love. Infatuation fades while , I believe, love does not. “like” is such a soft term that I think it precedes love should any develop. The love is maybe three steps up from like leading to enjoying the person you love.

  13. This was right on the money. Once I realized this very fact my husband found me. Thanks for flagging your blog in Black Love on FB. I will definitely be back.

  14. Great blog D! SO relevant to my life RIGHT NOW! I love the point about people staying together because they fell obligated or she/he has been “holding me down”… We should never be with someone out of obligation. It should be because, although we truthfully could live without the person, we enjoy our lives so much better with them in it…

  15. Pingback: The Marcus Graham Chronicles: No DIME Left Behind « From Ashy to Classy·

  16. Pingback: The Marcus Graham Chronicles: Love Should Brought Your Ass Home « From Ashy to Classy·

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