People face the confusion of differentiating between the feelings of like and love more and more in recent times. This is natural to happen. Both of the feelings can be very similar, so we are going to have problems distinguishing them and will feel confused. Therefore, there is often such occurrence for people to misunderstand these feelings or take one for the other.
Ideally speaking, liking someone is more of a surface-level thing. It is milder in nature. Whereas loving someone is a much more serious affair. It runs far deeper than just liking someone. You can love or fall in love with the person you like. And you are going to like that person you love. But that can be said otherwise. You won't necessarily like the person you don't love.
You may think that you have already found a special someone for you. But then, later, it turns out that you didn't really love them. It was just you liking them.
So, the question that arises now is how do we sort out our feelings? Is it love or just simply like? How can I even divide these two from each other? How to recognize what you truly feel for someone?
Worry not! The following points will help you evaluate your feelings properly.
Like Is Mostly Superficial While Love Goes Deeper
You like someone based on their appearance, their hypnotic eyes, their alluring smile, or how their hair feels in your hands. If your feelings for them are based on these aspects, then you definitely just like them. This is what we all call attraction. If your feelings for them are superficial, then you don't love them; you are merely attracted to them.
Love, however, is not at all superficial. It might start with physical attraction, which is understandable. But it is sure to go way beyond that with the passing time. Their physical appearance will start to matter less and less each day together.
Instead, you are going to love them for how they are from the inside. Their character, their personality, and what kind of a person they are will make you love them.
Thrill Vs. Happiness
When you just like a person, you feel the thrill of being with them. You always get excited by being with them or just thinking about them. This is more experienced in the initial stages of your feelings. You feel lucky to have them in your life.
But when you love someone, this feeling will slow down. You might not feel as excited as before at their mention. Excitement will be there, but it will be more than that. It will feel joy, calm, peace, and happiness. They will feel like home to you.
You Want To Be Your Best Self Vs. Your True Self
When you like someone, you are going to feel self-conscious around them. You will want them to see your best self and not any other way. You will always try to conceal your flawed, true self from them because you want them to like you too. You want to impress them.
Unlike this, you want them to see who you actually are when you love them. You want them to accept you with your imperfections and flaws, your true self. Because love is a long-term deal and serious, and you cannot keep on pretending to be something you are not for the whole time you will love them.
Like Happens In A Flash & Love Takes Time
When you like someone, you are attracted to them. You will feel like you are many feet off the ground or like your world suddenly changed when you meet their gaze. This is what we see in movies typically. It could be possible that it is love at first sight or just deciding in a matter of less time to realize they are the one for you.
Love will take time, though. You won't be able to tell anyone when or why you love the person when asked. This is because love will happen over many instances and many factors, slowly and eventually. You may begin to love them overseeing how caring and kind they are. How determined they are for what they believe. Or how you have started feeling safe to be vulnerable with them. Love happening this way is going to take time.
You Pretend To Show Interest Vs. Genuinely Being Interested
You will try to show that you like those things that they like. Or at least you will try to make them feel like you also have an interest in what they say or do. You want them to see that you care about their interest, about their opinions, about them because you like them and want to impress them.
But when in love, you don't have to pretend these things. You are genuinely interested to know where their interests lie. You want to know them better and want to understand them. You will try your best also to help them if they need it. It's not about impressing them at all but genuinely caring for them.
Emotion Driven Vs. Choice Driven
You are with the person or want to be with them because of the emotions they evoke in you. You like them because when they are with you, you feel excited, giddy, ecstatic. You will stop liking them once you stop feeling these while being with them. It will end then.
But you decide to be with the person you love no matter what. Things are definitely going to change between you both. Your feelings are going to evolve relating to them. But that won't be a reason enough for you to say goodbye to them and break the ties. You will choose to be with them over and over, no matter what, if you love them.
Proud To Be With Them & Proud Of Them
You will want to be seen with the person or want to be seen with them in public when it is just you like them. It is you want to flaunt yourself with them, and how great you both look together. You want to make a statement or make others jealous/envious of you both.
But you will love the person and be proud of them irrespective of what others think about them. They may be the most undesirable person on earth for others, but for you, no one can be more perfect other than them. You feel proud for who they are and that you got to be with them just because you love them.
Acceptance & Non-Acceptance
The moment you see the flaws and imperfections in them, you will turn away when you only liked them because your feelings were apparently based just on the perfect version of them that you held in your conscience.
You never acknowledged the negative traits of their personality before being with them. Therefore, you will face trouble accepting those parts of them.
This is not the case when you love them. You will accept them with their flaws and imperfections (if that is not a bad habit) wholeheartedly. In fact, these flaws and imperfections might make them perfect for you. You know the saying, imperfectly perfect together.
Seeing Them In The Future Or Not
The person whom you are in love with becomes a part of your future or is included in your future plans. As stated before, love is for the long term, not temporary. You definitely see yourself with them while you purchase your own house or start a family with them.
But when you like someone, they won't make it in your future plans. And might just remain in your dreams since they will be on your mind every time all day. They will be your fantasy more than your reality.
Being Spellbound Vs. Being Level Headed
You will experience being head over heels with the person you like. You will be on your toes to do anything for them, will not bear to hear anything negative about them, and neither will you be open to advise or suggestions regarding them.
This won't happen with the person you are in love with. Sure, you will do almost anything for them. But you still have a sense of practicality when it comes to them. You will use your brains along with your heart as well. And while making judgments related to the person or your relationship, you will be able to make sensible decisions.
Tolerating Vs. Reprimanding
You are, in a way, enchanted with the person you like. Therefore, you are going to tolerate their misbehavior. You don't want to disappoint them or hurt them or offend them. So you tolerate them because their opinion mattress more than yours.
But you will reprimand the person you love when they do something bad or make a mistake. You want them to be the best of themself and excel. So you are not going to tolerate their misbehavior no matter what, even if they get mad at you.
Closeness Soar it Or Dwindle
As you get closer together with time, your feelings will dwindle for the person you like. You won't feel as attracted to them or like them as you initially did. As the closeness between you both increases, you begin to see those sides of the person you don't like. Hence, your feelings for them dwindle.
This will be the exact opposite of the person you love. As explained, you will be able to accept their flaws and imperfections; the same goes for you too. So you both can be your true self and be comfortable with each other. This just makes your love grow and also bloom beautifully with time, just like a flower.
It Is About You Vs. Them
When being in love with someone, you will think about their well-being first. You will put them before you. You want to take care of them more than the opposite is happening.
But when you just like them, things are going to be more about you. Your relationship will be centered more around you rather than both. You will focus more on them taking care of you and not the other way around.
Center Of Attention
As per the above statement, if you like someone, you want to be the center of their attention. You want them always to prioritize you, just have eyes for you, and may as well force them to do so. This might be the reason for disputes between you both for the majority of the time.
Contrary to this, they are your center of attention when you love them. They will always be the focus for you. No matter how many things or people are there to look upon, but your gaze will always be directed to them.
Can Sustain Through Distance Vs. Cannot
Distance is hard to bear for everyone. But love is powerful enough to bear it and deal with it. When you are in love with someone, distance won't be a matter to worry too much about. No distance can stop you from loving them. You are going to endure it and will be willing to wait.
The feeling of just liking someone won't sustain when there is a physical distance. As stated before, you constantly want them to be near to you. So it will be a struggle to maintain the distance if there is a distance between you and them.
Possessiveness Vs. Understanding
When you love someone, you understand that they are their own person. They have their own things and people apart from you. You will find the important part of their lives, but it won't revolve around you. And you will be okay with that fact.
But you won't like it if someone takes up their time or gets close to them. You want them to be with you or to be their world. That is a very impractical thing and won't be helpful in making your relationship sustainable.
Even if both the feelings are significantly interchangeable, there are few points that successfully divide them from each other. The main difference is when you like someone, you ignore the bad about them or the unlikeable things that are associated with them. You do not want to deal with them at any point in your relationship. This makes the relationship and your feelings temporary.
Whereas, when love is involved, there are bad traits or problems you face by being with them won't affect you to not be in a relationship with them. Not unless it is abusive or contains red flags. It just makes your love for them grow more each day and gets stronger. It makes your relationship solid and much more permanent, everlasting. The affection and emotions are way more than just superficial attraction for them.