I wish "liking" someone was simple. Sometimes, people think they like someone when they don't really like them. This phenomenon is based on your situation and circumstance in the dating world.
Here are some reasons you may think you like someone:
A friend of mine recently visited NYC and got the runaround from an older guy. After he was a jerk to her, she continued to try to convince me that he wasn't a bad guy. She returned home and we discussed him at length. Then, Summer ended and she began studying for LSATs. I never heard about the guy again. When you don't have much going on, or much to think about, sometimes you end up getting fixated on a romantic interest out of boredom.
I have to admit, I've had many instances where I met a girl and thought she was "the one" just because I got her number. When I'm feeling desperate, I get way too into it before I even know the girl.
Everyone Else Likes Someone, So Why Shouldn't You?
That feeling of being the only single one in the group intensifies around the holidays or a flurry of weddings with your friends. When you're the last single person in the group, there's a little extra pressure to find someone.
You Got Caught Up In The Moment
After you finally have time to catch your breath after certain meetings, you decide you weren't really into someone as much as you thought you were when you were dancing, drinking, and having a great time. It's the "honeymoon is over" phenomenon. The time it takes to "snap out of it" varies: it could be a day, a week, or even longer.
I didn't like my girlfriend in college. But by the time I was a senior, I wanted to experience having a girlfriend in college after three years of single life. I ended up dating a girl that I wasn't even attracted to but, at the time, I thought I liked her.
You Like What They Represent
I got back from this past Labor Day thinking of a girl I met at my favorite bar in Dewey Beach, DE. But it turns out that I was missing what she represented: my Labor Day vacation with the boys. There is also "looking good on paper," as my friend Margaret calls it- being attracted to their "stats," but not their personality. This could be a doctor or lawyer or someone with an attractive last name like Rockefeller or Kennedy. Maybe you like that he wears madras shorts and attended Yale. Or maybe it's the long-haired struggling artist who bartends. I once dated a girl because she lived next to Ravens stadium and I could tailgate there every Sunday.
They Are Unavailable
The unavailable person presents a challenge, and you work for the day you can win them over in triumph. Or, they keep you away from the person that might work out because you're actually afraid of getting into a real relationship.
Humans are so unpredictable—sometimes they like challenges, sometimes they just like it when things are easy. So, maybe they aren't attractive—they have a pool, their dog is cute, you can borrow their car whenever you want, and there's a Chic-fil-a around the corner from their place. Sign me up!
You Were Different Back Then
How many exes and conquests do we look back on and chuckle because we can't believe we even liked them? As you change, so do the people you're attracted to. Years ago you were into jerks or bad boys, or you didn't know what you wanted. Nowadays, you look for that less than 1% of guys that are actually nice and attractive. You've learned!
When you like someone for the wrong reasons, it just means you're not ready for a serious, mature relationship. If you're desperate, bored, or pressuring yourself to find someone, for example, your life is not in a good place for you to be happy on your own. And, if you are not happy on your own, you are usually not going to be happy with somebody else. The mind can sometimes convince you that you're doing the right thing. I think most of the reasons above (well, the Ravens Stadium situation was a legit reason to love a girl) occur unconsciously during moments of weakness.
Have you ever liked someone just for the sake of liking them for any of the above reasons? What other reasons would you add to the list above? How do healthy relationships differ from the times you like someone just for the sake of liking them?
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/richravens