“I love you, but I don’t like you very much right now.”

Have you ever had a similar thought run through your mind when you’re thinking about your spouse? This could be while in an argument or maybe after many years of marriage. Or maybe you’re reading this and realising for the first time that there’s a difference between “liking” and “loving” someone – yes, even in marriage! 

Let’s talk about this more. 

Liking vs Loving

Can you remember the first time you realised you liked your significant other? I remember feeling like I was in a romantic movie with my boyfriend then (now husband). We would spend up to 12 hours on the phone talking about everything under the sun during our early courtship. Flash forward to the present, our conversations are now centred around our toddler’s potty-training schedule and whether or not he had a good day at playschool.

Have you ever noticed some couples who don’t seem to enjoy each other’s company? In fact, they seem almost resentful of each other and often use their children to distract them from needing to have real conversations with each other. Sarcastic remarks and eye-rolling when the other person speaks become the new norm in their relationship. 

Perhaps it’s not that there’s no love left in the relationship. But I often wonder, are there any feelings of “liking each other” left?

Love in marriage is often associated with responsibilities upheld by the marital vows you exchanged at the altar. We often put so much emphasis on love to ‘carry’ us through the relationship. Little do we know that liking your spouse has equal emphasis if not more than loving the person you chose to spend your life with.

“Liking” your partner can be expressed as: 

  • Excited about them coming home daily (cue butterflies in your stomach)
  • Constantly curious about how they see the world
  • Complimenting them regularly
  • Dressing up to impress them
  • Laughing together


Why is this concept of “liking” so important?

Nietzsche once said – “Lack of love does not make for unhappy marriages, lack of friendship does.” 

We underestimate the importance of liking our partner as we fail to realise that it can manifest in other ways in our life. A real consequence I often see in marriages around me is when one partner avoids coming home early because they do not want to spend time with their significant other. As a result, even the children miss out on their presence at home. 

There is also a higher chance of infidelity as you start to seek solace and comfort in another person that can provide that. In the long run, you could end up being bitter and resentful as you feel like you have wasted all your time and energy on a relationship that was not fulfilling.

So how might we start liking our partner again?

Revisit your past

With reflection, we might sometimes realise that we were our best selves early on in our relationship by displaying more empathy, respect and thoughtfulness. As time went on, basic phrases like ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ fade from our vocabulary as these behaviours become somewhat expected. Time to include this back in and witness the positive changes it may bring to your relationship.

Stay curious

Never assume you know the other person. We are all constantly evolving as human beings through different phases of life. What food do they now enjoy? What books have they read recently? My husband and I set out to have these conversations long after putting our toddler to bed. Many nights, this fails because our young child wakes up and needs soothing to go back to bed. But for the few nights that it does, it provides an intimacy that even sex cannot replace. 

Provide space

Encouraging your partner to focus on their hobby/ go out with friends can bring you closer. It may sound counterintuitive but try supporting them in going out by taking care of the children or handling chores for that day. Your partner will come back well-rested and excited to be in your presence. Remember, they were once someone else with dreams and desires long before you came along!


Sure, along the way, things like a colicky baby, meddling in-laws, and job losses may come in the way of that adoration you may feel for your partner. But the truth is the narrative for your marriage can also be one that is joyful, fulfilling and complete provided you make an effort to constantly like and love your partner. 

After all – you once did, right?






About Tasha Culas

Tasha Culas is a mother to a young son. She enjoys filling up her weekends with a good hike as well as swimming with her husband and toddler in tow. In 2020, she took a bold step to leave the corporate world and start her own business in the hair care industry so that she can spend more time with her family.

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