A relationship needs a level of understanding between the two partners to create a lasting union. Among what needs understanding, falls each other’s likes and dislikes. A relationship needs compromise and understanding to work, and for Muslims it is no different. It is actually more crucial in Islam, because the only relationship we recognize is marriage.
Fact is, what are your likes and dislikes in a relationship may never be the same as your partners. The sooner we realize that, the better we can make a relationship work. To help us better realize, we talk about some of the common likes and dislikes that men and women have. We talk about what a relationship means in Islam. We also shed light on the likes and dislikes through the lens of Islam.
Lastly, we will talk about how Muslims can address these issues under the framework of our religion.
The Concept of A Relationship In Islam
Muslim Life Partner?
Bear in mind that in Islam a relationship means marriage. Romantic relationships outside of marriage are haram. This is because Islam places a lot of importance on the institution of marriage. It is a means to be closer to Allah, and leave this world a better place.
This is nicely highlighted in Surah Ar-Rum:
And of his signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.https://quran.com/30/21
We find our missing piece in our partners, and a shoulder to rest on during hard times. Allah (SWT) designed us and our world in such a way that we would need a partner eventually to survive. A marriage that endures means there are two human beings in this world who have improved as humans because of their better half.
But being better comes from understanding, and here for your understanding we start off with 10 examples of likes in a relationship.
10 Likes In A Relationship
The most decent human beings are the ones who treat all of Allah’s creations with kindness and dignity. From animals, to beggars, to even their enemies, a good Muslim is good to others.
A Muslim man or woman could be pious, but their kindness towards others reveals who they truly are.
Women like a kind man because of this. It is a representation of how they would be with them, and their family. As they say, kindness is contagious. Men want a woman who respects them, and treats them with kindness.
There is an old saying, honesty is the best policy. This is more fitting in a marriage. Without honesty there is no trust. Without trust there is only suffering.
Being honest is also important for being a good Muslim. Here’s a quote from Surah Al-Ahzab which talks about the importance of being truthful:
O believers! Be mindful of Allah, and say what is right. He will bless your deeds for you, and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, has truly achieved a great triumph.https://quran.com/en/al-ahzab/70-73
Islam preaches modesty as a fundamental principle for all Muslims. Modesty in action, words, attire, etc. This is because an immodest nature takes on away from Allah, and might damage a marriage. It may erode trust as well.
Surah An-Nur is the prime example about the importance of modesty in Islam:
O Prophet!˺ Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their chastity. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and not to reveal their adornments1 except what normally appears.2 Let them draw their veils over their chests, and not reveal their ˹hidden˺ adornments3 except to their husbands, their fathers, their fathers-in-law, their sons, their stepsons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons or sisters’ sons, their fellow women, those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession, male attendants with no desire, or children who are still unaware of women’s nakedness. Let them not stomp their feet, drawing attention to their hidden adornments. Turn to Allah in repentance all together, O believers, so that you may be successful.https://quran.com/en/an-nur/30-31
This goes both ways. Though things are changing, there are Muslim men and women out there who are still too dependent on their partners for a lot of things. Modern Muslim men want to be married to women who are independent, and self determined. Muslim men want to also have their independence as well.
It is normal to want space in this day and age, and being given that space can improve understanding between husband and wife.
A loyal partner is a partner you can trust. If your husband is loyal, you do not have any reason to doubt him when he’s not around you. If your wife is loyal, you can rest easy at night knowing your marriage is going well.
In Islam, not being loyal to your partner means destroying the institution of marriage. The consequences of which will be felt both in this world and the next. In Surah An-Nahl Allah has decreed strongly about not breaking any oath you make:
Honour Allah’s covenant when you make a pledge, and do not break your oaths after confirming them, having made Allah your guarantor. Surely Allah knows all you do.https://quran.com/en/an-nahl/91
- Family Focused
Islam places a lot of importance on family and family values. Being family focused means you are raising a generation that will take your name forward and be a good servant of Allah (SWT). Muslim men and women would both want someone as such.
Allah has instructed to us about the importance of family ties in Surah An-Nisa:
“O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate, and through both He spread countless men and women. And be mindful of Allah—in Whose Name you appeal to one another—and ˹honour˺ family ties. Surely Allah is ever Watchful over you.https://quran.com/4?startingVerse=1
- Confidence and Intelligence
Both men and women want a partner who is confident and intelligent. Being smart and being sure about oneself, is a beautiful trait that makes a Muslim man and woman that much more desirable.
Confidence and intelligence also give off a sense of trust and safety. A man who is sure about himself and his decisions is a man who is respected and loved. A woman who is intelligent will always be a source of reassurance for her husband.
- Love and affection
Men love a woman who cares deeply for them, loves them, and is a source of strength and support for them. It does not take much to make most men happy. Cooking a good meal, doing the small things that help them go through the day, and just being there when times are tough, are enough to make a husband happily married.
Women obviously want the same. A man who will be there for them emotionally, and to help them move through the uncertainties of life.
Muslim men work hard not for themselves, but for their family. Their purpose is their wife and children. Women want to feel appreciated and recognized in a relationship by their. Showing love and affection are simply just ways the two can be achieved.
Your likes and dislikes may be different in a relationship, but being affectionate is universally appreciated.
- Intimacy and Romance
Both emotional and physical intimacy are essential for a successful relationship. Our religion states it no differently.
In the Quran, and throughout many hadiths, there are instructions and guidance regarding having a healthy romantic relationship. Even our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave guidance on this topic. In Bukhari Sharif he has given a prayer that we should recite before being intimate with our partner.
Ibn Abbas narrates:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If anyone of you, when intending to have intercourse with his wife, says: ‘Bismillah, Allahumma jannibna-sh-shaitan, wa jannibi-sh-shaitan ma razaqtana,’ and if the couple are destined to have a child, then Satan will never be able to harm that child.https://sunnah.com/bukhari:6388
- Faith and Iman
Lastly there is nothing a righteous Muslim man or woman wants more than having a partner who is pious and helps them be a better Muslim. There is this beautiful verse in Surah Az-Zumar which highlights how elevated a devout Muslim is in the eyes of Allah (SWT):
What about someone who worships devoutly during the night, bowing down, standing in prayer, ever mindful of the life to come, hoping for his Lord’s mercy? Say, ‘How can those who know be equal to those who do not know?’ Only those who have understanding will take heed.https://quran.com/39/9?translations=18,19,20,21,22,84,85,95,17,101
There are more we could have mentioned, but the thing is that positive traits go hand in hand. Someone who is honest, may also be very humble. Someone who is humble may also be very modest. The list of what people like in a relationship and in their partner could be endless.
But for each like, there will always be a dislike. Here are 10 common dislikes.
10 Dislikes In A Relationship
- Lack of Self Respect
Among the things to dislike in a relationship, this is significant for both men and women. A lack of self respect is usually a symptom of issues within a person. Women tend not to like a man who lacks respect for themselves. It is also against what the Quran teaches to be an ideal Muslim.
In Islam, a wife would expect their husbands to be a proud patriarch, and vice versa. This difference in self worth, will make it hard to build a life together.
- Insecurity and Jealousy
Insecurity about their partner speaks volumes about the other’s personality. It usually means the person has insecurities that they cannot come to terms with. These insecurities manifest into toxic actions which detriment their partner’s mental health.
There is this verse in Surah Al-Baqarah which shows the damage jealousy can cause:
Humanity had once been one community ˹of believers before they lost faith˺. Then Allah raised prophets as deliverers of good news and as warners, and revealed to them the Scriptures in truth to judge among people regarding their disputes. And no one disputed the Scriptures except the very people who received them after clear proofs had come to them—out of jealousyhttps://quran.com/2?startingVerse=213
- Anger and Violence
Insecurity and jealousy often leads to anger and violence. It is not only a man who can be abusive in a relationship. We hear stories nowadays of women being violent towards their husbands as well. The Quran is not compromising on abuse, and forbids it in any manner.
Anger is a sin, and in Surah Ash-Shuraa, there is a verse which talks about how Allah (SWT) will benefit those who swallow their anger:
Whatever ˹pleasure˺ you have been given is ˹no more than a fleeting˺ enjoyment of this worldly life. But what is with Allah is far better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord; who avoid major sins and shameful deeds, and forgive when angered.https://quran.com/42?startingVerse=37
This is another train that makes both men and women lose faith in their partner. A partner who is foolish, makes mistakes constantly, and most of all is not a good family person will always be a point of criticism and blame when things go wrong in a relationship.
Which leads us to the next one.
- Criticism and Blame
We often hear about wives complaining about how their husbands are to blame for everything wrong in a relationship. We also hear stories about husbands ranting against their wives and blaming them. This is a relationship dynamic that everyone dislikes massively. This ties into being too emotional or not giving enough space.
Remember that a person cannot be the only person at fault in a relationship.
Surah An-Nisa talks about the different gender roles that men and women should have in a relationship and that they should work together as a team:
Men are the caretakers of women, as men have been provisioned by Allah over women and tasked with supporting them financially. And righteous women are devoutly obedient and, when alone, protective of what Allah has entrusted them with.https://quran.com/en/an-nisa/34
- Being too Controlling
Eventually, criticism and blame in a relationship gives way to a person becoming too controlling. Too controlling of her husband’s actions, or his wife’s actions. Controlling small decisions like what to wear and where to eat, and controlling the other’s emotions. Eventually all of this will only lead to suffering.
Continuing from Surah An-Nisa, there is also a part about men in this case:
And if you sense ill-conduct from your women, advise them ˹first˺, ˹if they persist,˺ do not share their beds, ˹but if they still persist,˺ then discipline them ˹gently˺. But if they change their ways, do not be unjust to them. Surely Allah is Most High, All-Great.https://quran.com/4:34?font=v1
As you can see, there is no mention of being too controlling as a method of “fixing” a relationship.
- Being Unfaithful
This goes hand in hand with loyalty. If your partner is unfaithful, this is breaking the very fabric of what binds the Ummah together. Marriage is a sacred institution in Islam. So much so that the punishment for zina (adultery) is very severe.
Surah An-Nur instructs:
As for female and male fornicators, give each of them one hundred lashes,1 and do not let pity for them make you lenient in ˹enforcing˺ the law of Allah, if you ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a number of believers witness their punishment.https://quran.com/en/an-nur/2
- Being Unclean
This is one of the most common things people dislike. It is basic human decency to be clean and hygienic. A person who is not, will not only be disgusted by their partner, but looked down upon by Allah (SWT) as well. Surah An-Nisa is a great example.
O believers! Do not approach prayer while intoxicated until you are aware of what you say, nor in a state of ˹full˺ impurity—unless you merely pass through ˹the mosque˺—until you have bathed.https://quran.com/4?startingVerse=43
Allah forbids us from even praying until we are clean.
- Insensitivity and lack of Care
If you look at the previous verse from Surah Ar-Rum, you will notice that we are meant to find a loving place in the arms of our spouse. Allah created us in pairs and we were destined to be with each other.
As such, when we don’t look after and care for our partner, it is as though we are not looking after and caring for ourselves.
And we have created you in pairs” – Surah An-Nabahttps://surahquran.com/english-aya-8-sora-78.html
- Lack of Piety
This by far is what a Muslim may dislike most in their partner. A husband or wife who takes them away from the path of Allah is equally as bad as a partner who does not bring them closer.
This often-times, ends up becoming a leading reason for couples to separate, because a person who is pious is a person who will understand what will make their significant other happy.
- Dealing with the Differences
Surah Ash-Shuraa states:
who respond to their Lord, establish prayer, conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, and donate from what We have provided for them.https://quran.com/en/ash-shuraa/38
There are two main ways to deal with differences between likes and dislikes; having a dialogue and turning to Allah (SWT). Have a frank conversation with your spouse, and tell them about the relationship problems. Along with that, talk to Muslim scholars and get their understanding. Most importantly turn to the Holy Quran and pray to Allah to guide you. Surely he will open the right doors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Strong Dislike For Someone?
As a Muslim, not being pious is a strong dislike. Muslims want a partner who can elevate them towards Allah (SWT).
How Do You Describe Your Likes And Dislikes?
The best way to do it is to have an honest and open conversation with your partner. Sitting down and having a frank talk tends to solve most issues in a couple.
Why Do People Have Likes And Dislikes?
It is normal for human beings to have likes and dislikes. What makes us unique and different, is that we have different points of views and yet come together and co-exist on this planet.
What Does A Girl Like In A Relationship?
A girl likes it when a man is confident and intelligent, and is a responsible family man. She is able to see a good future as a husband with the man, and raise a decent and pious family.
There are many common threads among what men and women like and dislike in a relationship. Men and women also share common likes and dislikes directly or indirectly. For example, being a good parent is essential. Women like a kind partner as much as men do. No one likes to be criticized and blamed too much, and being a good Muslim is essential as a married Muslim couple.
So learn to accept the differences when possible, and try to resolve any issues in a polite manner. You will find that what are your likes and dislikes in your relationship, are more similar than you think.