Recently asked what I liked about someone’s personality, other than things that are useful to me, I found myself coming up against a rock and a hard place. The very act of liking anything and anyone brings a sense of joy and wonder to a thirsting soul seeking satisfaction. Disliking does quite the opposite. How does a question such as this get answered with any level of honesty?
I read once on a list of Life Priorities once where the top item stated: “Choose the right partner. This one choice alone will determine 95% of your success and happiness.” I cannot emphasize enough how truthful and relevant such a statement is, in spite of all our romantic leanings, and desires to make-things-work.
Toxic workplaces have higher levels of absenteeism, and higher levels of mental health claims. Do we expect we would fare any better in a relationship that is proving toxic? So the question now causes me to turn to who would inquire about what I like about them, besides what is useful, and wonder: Why would you want to hear the answer ‘Nothing’?
Don’t get me wrong, we all have mediocre qualities we all could do-with or do-without and we’d barely notice. But that’s a big difference than the intent behind the question. In a personal and intimate relationship, the values, behaviours, traits, characteristics, and so forth, are either compatible and healthy, or they are not. Attraction happens based upon these things exhibited during a courtship. Over time, the real everyday behaviours, traits, and characteristics show up.
In every relationship between two partners, an agreement is formed in principle that there will be a common ground for respecting each other. How this looks in action often leaves parties struggling to feel that they are being respected 100% of the time. As well, none of us is ever perfect as we keep growing and changing.
It’s a give-and-take, and an ebb-and-flow, as it is with life. The better we are at following the give-and-take, whether it represents a short-term or long-term commitment, the better success the individuals will have, and therefore the better success the union has as a couple.
What do I like about anyone that is not useful? When I like, liking is useful. It does things inside me, like when you smile. Like when you whisper in my ear. Like when you giggle when you’re being silly. Or like when you’re laughing heartily at my jokes. Liking someone is useful. Don’t you think?