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chelle21689's avatar

What is the difference between caring a lot and loving a person?

Asked by chelle21689 (6831points) December 12th, 2011

I am frustrated because I don’t know what love truly is. I guess in my terms it is sacrificing yourself for someone’s safety, if they were to die you’d be really hurt, something along those lines.

But then again a lot of policemen, soldiers, and firefighters put their lives on line for the safety of other people. But that doesn’t mean they love that person right?

I question if I love my oldest sister because I don’t know her that well. All my life it’s as if we’ve been acquaintances and there’s not really a connection and it’s weird talking to her. I care for her safety, I don’t want her doing bad, but then again I don’t want anybody to do bad even if I’m not close to them….

I question if I love my current boyfriend because I don’t miss him like crazy like I did my ex when we’re apart, I don’t think about him like crazy like I did my ex, but with my ex I wasn’t happy. He didn’t make me happy. My current boyfriend makes me a lot happier and makes my life better so why is it hard for me to realize whether I love him or not? I don’t know why it was easy to realize I love my ex at that time when he hurt me, made me upset 85% of the time, and I was obsessed and craving for his attention because he didn’t give me any really.

I don’t think that if you love someone it necessarily means you’d do anything for them. Like this scene from “The Good Son” where the mother ends up having her son and her nephew hanging by a cliff and she has to make a decision. Her son tried to kill her and she didn’t want him to die and she let him go and saved her nephew. She loved her son and was deeply hurt and distraught at what she’d done.

Again, I honestly dont’ know if I would really die for anyone. I’m not saying that to be cold blooded but so many people say the things they mean and will do but when that time comes at that moment their actions don’t meet what they say. You never know how you’d feel/react until you are in that situation! I mean if you ask me would I die for someone I love I’d say yes but that means nothing until I actually take that action when that time comes.

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35 Answers

Luiveton's avatar

We love what we truly desire.

partyrock's avatar

The difference is a little confusing to me too.. I sometimes used to struggle with loving someone and what my true emotion was..

Some people would say they are both the same thing.

I cared about one of my ex’s, but I didn’t really love him.

I love my family and care about them. I love my best friend Melissa, but I care about her too.

partyrock's avatar

I feel like when you really love someone, you just know, you won’t have to question it.

With some of my ex’s I was always questioning “Do I really love you?” “Are you the one?” “Is this just infatuation or lust?”

I think when you really fall in love with someone you will know deep down in your heart and soul. You will both love and care for them.

Luiveton's avatar

@partyrock Exactly. There won’t be a reason as to why you love them, chances are, you’ll never find a reason, you just know you do. Many of the people I know have said that because they’re so sure they love an individual.

Not to mention that love comes in many forms.

partyrock's avatar

I think in your case you can definitely care about someone without loving them. I care a lot about my friends but I’m not romantically “in love” with them. But I love my cat and care about her too lol.

partyrock's avatar

@Luiveton – Right on :) I miss that feeling!

thesparrow's avatar

Because most people in our society are stupid and, based on presumptions made by TV and media (especially, shows and movies geared toward young girls), confuse real love with emotional instability and neediness.

The feelings you are experiencing with your current BF, coupled with the fact that he treats you well and doesn’t abuse you, probably mean your relationship is off to a good start. It means you are both a] critically thinking about your situation (i.e. making sure you’re not treated like garbage) and b] appreciating the fact that someone cares for you. Love is when you find out you wouldn’t ever want to be with anyone else, and also you care about the health and well-being of the other. I see that in your near future, although it takes time.

chelle21689's avatar

But how do you know if you really love them????? And please no “you just know”

thesparrow's avatar

@chelle21689 I agree. That kind of thinking is garbage. It took me about 8 months to ‘just know.’

chelle21689's avatar

@Sparrow, what kind of thinking? Also, I’m not talking about romantic love also…but also with friends and family.

thesparrow's avatar

I agree that you ‘just know.’ But it isn’t that simple

Keep_on_running's avatar

In my mind:

When someone is hurt and you feel sad for them – you care about them.

When someone is hurt and you want to feel hurt with them – you love them.

thesparrow's avatar

I don’t want to feel hurt with anyone. Although I am hurt and sad when someone else is.

chelle21689's avatar

Keep on running: good answer!!!

Now if this were to happen I would know.. lol with my sister or bf.

But then again, @Sparrow…is correct.

When my mom’s dad died (grandpa who I didn’t kniow well)...I was sad to see my mom hurt and it hurts to think about what she went through. But honestly, when I hear someone’s sad story it makes me hurt too.

Hey guys…can you honestly say you love all your siblings, parents, grandparents, nieces, and nephews???

This is making my head hurt. I think for now if I love someone it means I care about them a lot, I want them to be well, I would go through trouble for them, and whatever happens to them affects how I feel usually a serious situation. But this “definition” or list still isn’t enough.

flutherother's avatar

You care about someone who is external to you, you love someone when they become a part of you.

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – Some people “Just Know”,and I know you said you did not want to hear that, but it’s a cliche and is true(for some).

and other times you have to go through things with them and it takes time for the love to build up. I feel like if you have to question it you might need more time to figure yourself or the relationship out.

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – I definitely love my mom, dad, cat, and best friend. I know that for sure. I have long lost half brothers and sisters I met not too long ago, and I can say I’m not really sure if I love them or not. I probably care about my long lost siblings than really love them. Some times love builds over time and then you’ll know… then other times if it’s romantic some people are lucky enough to have that “I just know” feeling!

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – There’s also a difference between loving someone and falling in love with someone :) don’t think too hard about it hun !!

chelle21689's avatar

So what makes the difference in what you do and how you feel over long lost sibling and your mom and dad? Is it if they were hurt you’d cry? Explain please

Yeah, with my ex we went through a crap load in a short period of time…with my bf now I haven’t gone through much stuff to test my feelings. Although he did have a premature ejac problem that I hated but I accepted it…and now he is overcoming it lol

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 Haha ejac problem! That’s funny! Glad u guys over came that !!

I don’t really love my new siblings because I’m still getting to know all of them, and I don’t really feel connected to them. I also really dislike one half sister of mine who is a “troll”(better way to describe it)

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – My mom and dad I can physically see them in me. I see traits I have in both of them. So I feel very connected. I have some parts of my mom, and some of my dad. And I love him very much because obviously I grew up with them and they are great parents.

Every relationship is different. I think the love I have with my parents is very deep, but it’s not romantic love. (That came out wrong).

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – One example is I was in a really shitty relationship before with my ex. I was in love with him and I was in a bad place in my life so I let him hurt me a lot. It was really a bad situation. A lot of heartache, tears, bruises, hurt, etc. I was in love with him, but only during that time. And it was abusive so I think that love might of turned into some dependance.

Honestly now that I look back on it, I did realize at one point and time I was in love with him, but it was a different kind of love… My head wasn’t screwed on right….. Now I just don’t give a crap about him, and don’t care…........ If he comes any where near me I will call the police and have him arrested…......

partyrock's avatar

@chelle21689 – The love I have for my family, friend, and cat, and ex that I did really love all comes from a very pure area… no questioning, I just know. I would give my life up for them in a minute. I would travel across the world to be with them. I would be with them if they were in a hospital, and I would stay up hours and not sleep if need be… all for them…

boxer3's avatar

When I think about’s hard to say.
Essentially I feel if you love someone, you always have desire to have contact with them, even if it’s someone of the past. I have loved and do love some people I do not like. But regardless of their many flawed characteristics I can not totally cut them out of my life…
I don’t think you always know. Love is just as confusing as any other emotion or aspect of life. I wish it were black and white cut and dry, but I guess everything comes with time..

CaptainHarley's avatar

Love, real mature love, is very difficult to explain. It’s far, far more than that fluttery, intense feeling you get when you lay eyes on the one loved, although there’s that element to it. It’s closer to a spiritual epiphany than anything else I can describe. Loving someone brings out all of the protective male instincts, enough to make you willingly sacrifce yourself for the loved one, but it’s also far more than that. Loving someone will make you get up in the middle of the night when they are sick, so you can hold their head when they vomit, and then go fix them some tea to settle their stomach. Loving someone will make you realize that here is another human being whose welfare and life you value above your own. You would willingly step between them and a bullet.

If I were Longfellow, or Wordsworth, or Coolerage I might find the right words to properly explain love, but I am comforted by the fact that even those fine writers admit that they fail to properly explain love.

JLeslie's avatar

For me love regarding an SO is during the calm, feeling incredible respect and bonding with the person. I think it usually takes several years to really be in love. I feel like my bond with my husband is much more intense than when we were first dating or first married. I think being married makes a difference, but I know some might disagree. I am sure for some it is just as intense without being married. And, I don’t mean more passionate when I say intense, I mean he is family to me, I feel like I will always be with him, I want to be with him. We grow together, support each other, have a history together. We share experiences in our lives together that no one else knows; they may know about the event, but the feelings associated with the experiences are ours.

With siblings, well, typically a sibling relationship is the longest relationship in your life. Siblings know what it was like to grow up in your specific crazy family (and I mean all families have their craziness). Some siblings don’t get along, my relayionship with me sister is strained the last few years, and I cannot believe it. I valued and loved her intensely, she was incredibly important to me, like my husband, I find it very dissappointing.

Love with family, especially people in your nuclear family usually also stems from how much time you have been with them, and knowing they would be there for you and vice versa. Blood is thicker than water is usually true, but sometimes it isn’t.

Love for a child, this will answer you question about willing to die for someone. I don’t have children, but I figure from the time a child is born, most parents have an overwhelming feeling that now it is they responsibility and desire to make sure their child keeps breathing, every day. You’ll see parents watch a baby’s chest go up and down while they sleep…just checking…and the intense love they feel for the baby, well the idea of losing a child, usually the parent feels their own life would be over emotionally. So, when given a choice, most parents will save their child before themselves. They love their child more than themselves, and want their child to experience life.

Some people will die for a loved one or risk themselves who is not a child, it depends probably on the person, and the circumstance.

chelle21689's avatar

JLeslie, so you would die for anyone you love without a doubt? Friends, family, etc.

Very good explanation though.

JLeslie's avatar

@chelle21689 No, I don’t think I would. I feel sure for my children (if I had any) I would give my life for them. Other relatives I am not sure, I think it would depend on the situation. How much time I had to think in a particular stuation. I guess that would apply to whether to take a dangerous risk, but to give up my life for sure, I don’t think I would.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

If you are willing to stick around if, say, the person ended up with cancer or ended up disfigured for some reason or other and neither of those things would change your warm and affectionate feelings for the person in a negative way.. then I think it’s fair to say there may be true love involved.

Dsg's avatar

@CaptainHarley : Wow! What a explanation! You are right on!! I couldn’t have said it any better.

Dsg's avatar

Loving that person unconditionally….no matter what the faults. Loving through good times and bad times. Being willing to express your feelings and not being afraid of what the other might think. Totally being yourself. Hearing that person’s voice on the phone and feeling over joyed by the sound. Getting goose bumps when he tells you something special and how he feels when he’s with you or thinking about you. Missing the sound of their voice. Your heart skips a beat with the thought of holding their hand and then when you do….its electric! I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. Sorry! I’m a true Romantic.

hopeful5141's avatar

I think caring means you feel badly or joyous for a person’s misfortunes or successes, but love moves you to try to fix that which is wrong and actively celebrate good things. If I care about you, I will commiserate with you, but if I love you, I will try to fix whatever is wrong. I think it’s degree of effort!

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