Liking someone and being in love are two very different things.
Especially when you’re just starting out in a new relationship, this distinction may not be as obvious to you at first.
But the good news is that if you look at the signs closely, you can clearly tell if someone likes or loves you. Hopefully, after going through this article, you’ll be more discerning about the real state of your own relationships.
So without further ado, check out these differences of like and love:
1) In love, there is a true commitment
It’s normal that when you first start liking someone, your affection towards him/her is all based on feelings.
You may feel butterflies in your stomach when you talk to each other. It feels like all the love songs on the radio are all about you and your lover.
You may also love romanticizing your relationship and endlessly daydreaming about how perfect you two would be together. And every time your crush notices you, it may also be one of the most exciting and thrilling feelings in the world.
These aren’t bad emotions or thoughts in themselves, but it’s very different from when you feel real love towards a person.
With love, you don’t have to rely on your feelings that much to keep the relationship going. You know that feelings can be deceptive and can easily change.
On your own, you have made the clear decision to take the relationship seriously. And you have every intention to keep your promises no matter what you feel.
You are also not easily swayed by what other people may say about your relationship. It’s important that you are able to stand your ground and commit.
2) Love is sacrificial
When you truly love, it means that you’ve learned how to put other people first.
You genuinely want the best for the people around you, so you are fully willing to compromise on certain things. Suddenly, their priorities and values become yours as well.
When people only like others, they may have ulterior motives for wanting to start a relationship. They may be wanting to be with another person with the sole purpose of gaining connections or starting a physical relationship.
But love is more than just that. If you truly love, you’re not entering into a relationship just to show off your partner to your friends.
Your intention is not self-seeking at all. You truly want to have a life partner that you can grow and have a deep emotional connection with.
Maybe in the initial stages of your relationship, you weren’t willing to change your bad habits and actions for the other person. But as you grew in love, you may have found yourself wanting to constantly improve so that you can better your relationship as well.
Sometimes, being selfless also means letting go of a romantic relationship when you know that you two would be better off separately. This is the ultimate act of sacrificial love.
But remember that this doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself completely. All we’re saying is that if you love another person, you stop only thinking of yourself. You have a great desire to go the extra mile in service of others.
3) Love is about being vulnerable with another person
If you haven’t developed real love, you’re still constantly striving to show the best version of yourself, even if it isn’t your most authentic self.
You may be very conscious about how you come across to others and because of this, you often want to put your best foot forward.
It’s not uncommon for you to pretend to be someone that you really aren’t. You may change how you look and the outfits you wear. Depending on who you’re with, you may also start telling different kinds of jokes or bringing up topics that you normally wouldn’t talk about.
Love, on the other hand, is one of the most freeing things in the world. Suddenly, you’re not afraid to show the real you. You’re not worried or anxious about not being accepted for who you are.
There’s no need to impress other people and you can finally say that you are truly comfortable in your own skin. You don’t feel the need to constantly control how you are perceived by others.
4) Love is unconditional
It is true when they say “You like because and you love despite”.
There may be many different reasons why you decide to like someone. You may be attracted to their physical appearance, their accomplishments, or even their character traits.
It’s normal to be very observant about these things, and those are usually the reasons why you want to get to know a person even more.
But once you’ve developed a deeper bond, liking these attributes isn’t enough to keep the relationship going anymore. You’ll know that you really are in love if you are able to accept another person’s shortcomings and weaknesses.
It’s more powerful when you are willing to look past their flaws and disadvantages because you care about them so much.
You’ll also know that you love someone if you don’t hold their mistakes against them. Unconditional love means that you are not the type to keep score over every single thing that others did in the past.
You are always willing to start on a clean slate as long as you’ve both made an effort to admit your mistakes and reconcile your disagreements. For you, these mistakes are all ancient history. You don’t unnecessarily bring up past regrets and errors to hurt another person.
5) Love is developed over time
It’s very easy to be infatuated or to fall head over heels with another person.
In many cases, people are often initially attracted to someone because of what they look like. That’s why the phrase “love at first sight” is so common.
But unfortunately, this kind of attraction is instantaneous and can be fleeting. Real love, on the other hand, is something that is cultivated over time.
There are no shortcuts to love. You have to be patient in getting to know the other person not just on a physical level, but also on an emotional one.
To develop a deep unbreakable bond, you need to undergo many experiences with another person. It is only through time that you can truly discern if you are compatible with one another.
6) Love lasts a lifetime
If you only like someone, your affections can be very unpredictable.
Your feelings can be turned on and off very quickly depending on your circumstances. If you find someone else that you like even more, you can also be quick to change your mind about what you feel.
But the reality is if you truly love someone, you can’t unlove him/her. That love will last for as long as you live.
This affection can definitely change into different forms of love. From a romantic type of love, perhaps it could change into more of a platonic kind of love or vice versa.
But at the end of the day, it will still be love. If what you feel is real and genuine, that will never change. It’s not something that is temporary or short-lived.
7) Love trusts
It’s difficult to put your full trust in someone other than yourself. If you don’t have a strong connection with another person, you may be worried that he/she isn’t as committed to you as you would prefer.
Do you find yourself always asking your partner endless questions about where they’ve been or who they’re with? Are you always anxious whenever you’re not together? Do you always feel tempted to check his/her phone for any unwanted messages?
These are signs that you only like each other.
But if love is involved, you have no reason to feel jealousy towards other people. You trust that you and your partner will not do anything that would compromise the integrity of your relationship.
There are also no secrets between the two of you. You are able to tell each other every single detail about your life without hiding anything.
And even if you find yourself in a long-distance relationship, you are able to sleep soundly at night. You are absolutely confident that your significant other will not break his promises to you.
8) Love isn’t only concerned with the present
But if you’re in a loving relationship, it’s natural for the both of you to plan for a concrete future together. You are heavily involved in each other’s lives because you plan on sticking together long-term.
As a couple, you may also like discussing your individual dreams and timelines together. Your ultimate goal is that you can find a way to align both of your plans in the best way possible.
Love is also about making tough decisions based on what is good for the long run and not on what is convenient at the moment.
Yes, it may be easy to just focus on short-term wins. But love isn’t about taking the easy route. It’s about doing the right thing for the good of everyone involved.
9) Love perseveres
We all know that relationships entail a lot of hard work. It’s not always going to be rainbows and butterflies especially if you’ve been together for a long time.
Because nobody is perfect, it’s inevitable that we will all run into numerous trials and problems in our relationships. If you only like someone, it may be easier to just give up whenever you feel tension arising.
But love is all about being hopeful that you can overcome all the challenges that you run into. You have faith that you can learn from all of your not-so-good experiences so that you can keep moving forward in your relationship.
With love, there is real authentic contentment in your relationship despite the presence of countless setbacks. You feel great peace and security in having your loved ones by your side.
10) Love is truthful
When you’re with people who you aren’t that close with, you may be more willing to tell little white lies to make them feel better. You may think that it’s not your place to correct or point out the mistakes of others.
But if you truly love a person, you are concerned about helping him improve even if it may be difficult to confront him at first.
For example, when you know that your significant other is doing something wrong, the more loving solution would be to tell this to him directly instead of ignoring his mistake.
At first, this may feel very uncomfortable for you. You may not want to upset your partner or cause conflict between the two of you. But if you really love him, you would rather be honest about this so you can ultimately help your partner grow and improve.
Love can change the world
Perhaps after reading this article, you realized that you want to experience more love in your life.
If this is your desire, we want to remind you that love takes time to build. It’s not something that can just happen overnight.
Give it the proper time to develop. Nurture and cultivate it with the people around you in different ways. And once you’ve created a strong and profound connection, love can truly change the world for the better.
As people, love is simply what we do best. It’s the only thing that ensures that we can be sacrificial, trusting, persevering, truthful, among many other life-changing traits.
With this said, we hope that you feel more encouraged to keep on loving your community with great passion and purpose. Never lose hope in the great impact that love can bring to our world.
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