Are there any proverbs in the English-speaking world that are close in their meaning to the Russian proverb "стерпится - слюбится"?

Meaning of the proverb: if you do something unpleasant at first for a long enough period of time, you will actually end up liking it.

  • 1
    Sort of the opposite: 'familiarity breeds contempt'
    – Mitch
    May 19 '15 at 17:29

There is no corresponding idiom in English, so popular and so synthetic. The meaning is: "стерпится, слюбится" =

"frequenting is liking", "you will like it(/her/him) when you get used to it". There are some sayings that convey roughly the same meaning, anyway:

  • do it first and you'll like it later;
  • liking comes of habit.

and referring to marriage:

  • marry first, and love will come afterwards;
  • marry first, and love will follow;
  • age/winter and wedlock tames man and beast;
  • a love comes with habit.
  • 1
    I like "liking comes of habit" and your translatiion of the proverb as "frequenting is liking" :)
    – user132181
    May 14 '15 at 6:19
  • @user132181, Yes, if it were a set phrase, known to the general public, like "seeing is believing", it would be the perfect translation.
    – user119052
    May 14 '15 at 6:24
  • 2
    Liking comes of habit is NOT a typical English idiom or saying. On Google it only has 14 results. And do it first and you'll like it later has only four results!
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18 '15 at 7:03
  • And your last variant a love comes with habit garners only 11 results.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 18 '15 at 7:06
  • 1
    Mark, it's good to be explicit. I wasn't aware of these phrases before, and thought that maybe some people use them, but @Mari-LouA did actual research, confirming my doubts. If the OP already knew any of this, why would they ask?
    – Mitch
    May 19 '15 at 18:13

An "acquired taste" conveys a similar meaning. Although it's most often used in the context of food and drink, it would be understood in other contexts.


The following in bold type are idiomatic sayings that convey the sense of adapting to change over time and how that might, initially, be a struggle, but with perseverance and patience one may begin to even like the new situation.

  • You don't really get to choose, but you can grow to love1 someone over time.
  • For me, growing up in southeast London, it's so inconceivable that in my life I'd play this man and grow to love him.
  • For starters, it took me a while to get used to the idea 2 of a computerized test
  • People get used to the idea of doing something that yesterday was considered impossible.
  • I'm happy to report Marcus is adjusting well to life 3 as a college freshman.
  • Even for the most independent and sociable teenagers, adjusting to college life is tricky.
  • These hot Mexican dishes seem impossible at first. They take some getting used to, I agree. But it's worth it.
  • It takes some getting used to 4, but this color scheme is much easier on your eyes

How about Fake it till you make it?

Essentially, pretend to be something until you are.

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