He Likes Me for Me, or Not, Part 1

In the spirit of love and romance brought on by ubiquitous candy-red hearts, here is a February series about The One Successful Setup and some of the many that failed before him.

What one quality do you love best about your significant other? I’m going to break into song to tell you, in true Bollywood musical fashion.  Blessid Union of Souls released “Hey Leonardo” the summer I headed off to college, and the chorus of this song has always resonated with me: “She likes me for me, and not because…”  It’s a simple concept, but a heart-warming one when you think about what it really means.

K doesn’t like me for all the things he can change about me, for my job or my hobbies or my appearance.  He doesn’t place limits on what is likable or lovable about me.  Instead, he likes me for me, and when I met him and realized this important fact, it showed just how poorly other setups I’d seriously considered had treated me and how unhappy I would have been in longterm relationships with them.

Let’s start with the Misogynistic Divorcee: I’d been introduced to him before his first marriage, and we talked about movies and music before drifting apart.  He was funny, and all our interactions were quite lighthearted.

Shortly after his divorce, I heard from him again, possibly because our mothers reconnected.  But his little comedy routine had an angry edge to it, and his jokes seemed meaner, more anti-women, and our conversations left me amused, bemused and a little insulted.  Soon I decided all his woman-bashing didn’t work for me, even if it was only meant in jest.  Why would someone so intent on being rude to me insist on contacting me regularly?

Lesson learned: don’t put up with anyone who comes across as a jerk.  If he likes you, he’ll treat you well, whatever that means to him.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series!

Image: “Candy Hearts” by Michelle Tribe is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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