LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH
Loving and liking are two completely different terms. For some of us loving comes easier than liking while it is the complete reverse for others. It is possible to like a person but not love them or you can love a person and not like them.
Loving seems to be easier for some. You don't need to like that person at all. You just need to be attracted to them at a mental level. Kind of what I feel the lyrics in this song lends itself to. "If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you are with." Just in my own opinion, I can't buy that. To me, that is not love, that is lust. And you can see that relationship going down the tubes fast.
I did read that the difference between like and love is a complicated scenario. This person felt that there is nobody who can ever find someone that they like as well as love. Really? I find those are the marriages or relationships that really last.
Those little quirks that a lover may have are just that. Little hiccups along the way. Maybe they don't put dishes away. So does that mean you don't like them? There is a play that I once saw called, "I Love You, You Are Perfect, Now Change." Just in my opinion, no, no, no. There was never love there. If so, you can forgive those little imperfections, because believe me...we all have them.
To fall in love with someone you have to respect and admire them. You can only do that after you know enough about them to respect and admire. Maybe you are attracted to their looks, but when you find out more about them, you no longer respect or admire them, so you fall out of love with them. Actually, you were never in love with them to begin with but may have thought you were. It is true that you can care about someone you do not like if you have spent enough time with them and bonded through experience, but you will never be 'in love' with them.
Every relationship is different. People's needs and wants in a relationship are very different. The one thing that stays a constant is that you want to feel important to that person. You want to feel like you truly matter to them.
There are some who believe that like is largely conditional, and I totally disagree that like is a watered down version of love. We like something or someone if it puts us in a good mood. We like someone if our tastes converge.
I believe that part of love is also liking. True love does require respect, esteem, believing the person to have qualities worth admiring. If what you are mistaking for love is something else, perhaps lust or infatuation or just a kind of need for attention, you are in for heartache. Love is built upon liking. In my mind, you can like someone and stop short of love but you cannot love without first liking. No matter what the lyrics say in the song, "Love the one you're with."