You might think the difference between loving and liking was that special spark of attraction you have for someone than makes your heart beat faster, but real love is something so much deeper than that. Real love lasts much longer than that initial spark.
Researchers Seligman, Fazio and Zanna at the University Of Ontario in Canada tried to pin down the difference in the nineteen-eighties and came to the conclusion that
- Liking is based on what someone can do for us, mainly superficial, external qualities – he’s good looking, he gives us a lift to work, he’s financially stable, our friends admire him and so on.
- Loving is based on who someone is, their character and personality, the internal characteristics that make them lovable in our eyes. We love them even if they are sick in bed and can’t do a thing for us.
Those with qualities we like, who can do a great deal for us, are a great catch on paper, but it’s only if we also love them that they become soul mates. We may date them for a while but then we often find that there’s really nothing there to base a relationship on for a lifetime.
Then there are those who don’t seem like ideal mates who don’t tick all our boxes that make up our list of superficial requirements in a mate, those that we could love if we got to know them better. What happens to them?
If we get to know them first, love can grow and we have time to notice the things we like about them too. As for strangers (or potential online dates) they rarely make it past the first date (or even to the first date) because we don’t give them a chance. A case for getting to know lots of people as friends first?
It seems love is deeper if your relationship is based on internal qualities even if it’s not ideal on the face of it.
You hit it off on both levels. You just have to be careful you are not blinded by the superficial into thinking you are soul mates when you’re just infatuated. See these articles for more on this
Over to you: What do you think is the difference between liking an loving? Please share in the comments below.