Home Featured There’s a Thin Line Between Love and Like

There’s a Thin Line Between Love and Like


*** SBM Admin Note ***
My newfound friends over at Rants of a Wild Child are holding a little … group activity … for bloggers.  You are to pick another blogger that you have a crush on and submit your sexual fantasy about them to be posted.  Go to their site for details.  I tell you know … I will have the dirtiest, filthiest, most off the wall, swinging from rooftops with handcuffs type of tale this side of the Mississippi.  I invite all my fellow bloggers to follow suite.

Monday’s post was so damn interesting that I struggled to come through with a strong follow up. In the end, yesterday’s content inspired this post in a roundabout way.

There’s a thin line between love and like. Both of the terms are thrown around on the regular. We may tell family members that we love them. We may tell our best friends that we love them, and men may even forget to say “no homo” sometimes when conveying the message to one of the fellas in times of crisis. Actually, a dude will prolly say “You know if you ever need anything, I got you fam. We a cohesive unit. We da best!” (hetero disclaimer goes here). Yeah, that’s conveying the same thing. That’s a different type of love in my opinion. Some may disagree. That’s fine.

But seriously, I think a lot of us confuse love with a strong level of like or desire to remain in our comfort zones when it comes to relationships. Some men/women are skilled at the art of gettin people to fall in love (Con artists make a nice clean example of how this works) with them. Hence, a fella being p*ssy-whipped or having that good stuff surroundin his member. Good stuff could be the ultimate mouth hug or the comforting security of the “love walls”. Dude ends up there afterwards flaccid with toes curled thinkin to himself “I love this chick!” No you don’t homie. You just really like the state she just put you in. Wait 20 minutes then see how you feel. I bet that feeling subsides.

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On the flip, a chick may be gettin the most endowed enriched dose of vitamin D in history and find herself panting, tossing and turning, and clenchin her legs together while thinkin about that special somebody. Yeah, that person may be cool and decent looking. That’s important. She may tell her girls or close male friend that she loves him, but chances are she likes him and loves his stroke/face game. Ya see, there’s a difference. I won’t even talk about what happens when a dude snatches a v-card, since that was so long ago for most of us. Lastly, a couple may have been together so long that one or both people think they love each other, but they’re really just comfortable where they’re at. Regardless, this is some complicated ass sh*t.

I’ve found myself in situations before where I was trying to decipher if I actually loved the person (100% women. None of that flaky ATL stuff), liked them a lot, or if I was just extremely comfortable where I was at. One thing I’ve been very careful about is throwing that love word out there. It’s not a tactic I’d ever use to get the bunz. That’s how dudes end up in court rooms fighting restraining orders, fixing their damaged car, or waking up to their breakfast sausage layin detached next to them. For every action, there’s a reaction…and it isn’t always pleasant when it comes to love.

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The sh*t gets even more complex when you don’t love the person that loves you or vice versa. How do you tell someone you don’t love them after they confessed their love to you? How do you handle being told you’re not loved once you put yourself out there. Unless you’re emotionless, those are awkward and tough situations to be in. Some would say “It’s about maturity. Next topic.”, but from discussions I’ve had with people around me of all ages in person and on my site, I’d argue that most of us don’t feel it’s that simple. I’ve even noticed that a few people who’ve been reading SBM have mentioned divorce and already dealing with a lot of this. I’d be curious to hear their input on this post.

I know this is turning into a ramble, but my greater purpose was to find out how people gauge if they love someone…if they even think about it. Some say love doesn’t require a thought as much as it does an emotion which people just recognize. I kinda disagree. I’m also curious if people have had the “I love you” dropped on them and didn’t respond the way the person hoped or vice versa and how that turned out? And another question, how many folks out there thought they were in love with the person and then realized they confused love with lust?

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Curiously Strong,


  1. Let me preface my comment with this personal tidbit of info…I'm 30 and I'm a virgin (keeping it for marriage — I know it's unheard of these days but it's working for me).

    That being said, in relationships that I've been in, using the "L" word has never been based on sex. Was there physical attraction? Of course there was. Affection? Yes. But sex, no. I must say that sex changes a relationship for both the man and the woman…of course this is based purely on observation.

    I'm an independent kind of girl. I don't just drop my life for any man…even being 30, single, horny, and tired of being single…I will not drop my life for any man. Even a man that I really like. For me, I know that it's love when I rearrange my life to do things for him. I know it's love when I want to meet his family. I know it's love I'm willing to give him my last of whatever it is he needs. I know it's love, when it's over and I'm crying and wanting to be alone in the dark like Ne-yo's song "So You Can Cry."

    I've been guilty of throwing around the word love with my friends. I mean, we hang out a couple times and I'm like "love you girl" or "I love you man." But with guys (romantic relationships) using love is completely different. I may THINK I love a man…and for me it happens quickly (I'm kinda flippant that way) but I wait to say it until he tells me. Til that moment comes, I really have to bite my tongue. I've noticed that it takes a man longer to say that word. He needs time to figure things out. I think the man is counting the cost or something. Saying love is risky business.

    But in my experience, the love thing has always been mutual so it's never been awkward.

    Slim, has a girl told you "I love you" but you didn't feel the same way? How did that work out? What did you do/say?

    Anyway, it's 3am and way past my bedtime. 🙂

  2. @ Coco:

    Thanks for the perspective. I really didn't think there was such a thing as a the 30 Year Old Virgin, but power to you for holding strong on that one. On any other posts, I'd follow up by asking "then what do you do" but not today. I've had the "I love you" dropped on me a couple of times and it made things pretty awkward for me. As immature as it was, I just went along with it and hoped I'd feel the same way after some time. And as you probably expected, neither of those relationships ended up working out.

  3. High Five to Coco and the virginity.. That is fabulous chick!

    I've never had an I love you dropped on me that wasn't returned, or vice versa.

    But now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I was ever in love or loved. Maybe I have a pixie dust view of love, but I believe in love, you should be comfortable to be yourself and let your flaws show.

    I can't say that I've ever been that comfortable in a relationship. 😉

  4. "I’ve found myself in situations before where I was trying to decipher if I actually loved the person (100% women. None of that flaky ATL stuff), liked them a lot, or if I was just extremely comfortable where I was at"

    Slim PLEASE PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE remind me to never evah fall in love with you. LOL..

    Got DAYUM this is like a woman's worst nightmare. He tryna figure out if he LOVES HER …………………is you.. Yes IS YOU kiddin me?

  5. Awesome Coco!

    I've been in all of the above situations. About two years ago a FWB told me he loved me, I said okay, and that was that. I said it a few months later when it was finally true for myself. Initially I thought I heard him wrong, but when I finally said it he was like it was about time. It's cool because we had been friends for like 8 years, so the love rings true either way. We're still friends and at first found it hard to move on.

    This year I told the guy I was seriously dating for like 6 months that I loved him. And I actually didn't want to hear it said back. If he would have then it would have made things more complicated at that point. We are still dating and just say luv ya in the friendly way, or when things get intense we say i heart you. yea silly i know.

    With my sons father I thought I was inlove but I wasn't. It was never lovey dovey, just content. Like, "yea, I love you too." whatev.

    There is a thin line between like, lust and love. I've been in enough situations to decipher between the two and understand what situation I'm in. Many people hang on the "like" and "lust" situations because they are afraid of being lonely, or lie about love for the same reasons. It's an introspective emotion, if you start feeling certain things, think it through before you put yourself out like that.

    (I'm going to check that blog fantasy out! sounds interesting) Okay I need to get ready for work, ttyl.

  6. Yeah the love word is an epidemic, men are using it way to loosly now a days. Put in some work first, get your foundation set then contemplate the word. People take the importance or true emotion from the word by saying it all willy nilly to every chick that gives great ……(oh boy!!!).

  7. *flies in with a big scarlet "D" on my cape* Yes, I have been married and divorced, and have encountered some concentrated Vitamin D, so I've been through all stages and aspects of this "love" thing.

    I did used to love my ex husband, and if you've never been in love it is a great feeling. It is a combination of all the things you mentioned, Slim….it's lust, like AND comfort all wrapped up into one. I've also been in situations where my brain was clouded by lust and the rush of the situation to where I thought it was love, but when I really took a step back and looked at the person I realized that I'd bamboozled myself.

    I describe the difference between lust and love like a fireplace (yes, I have odd analogies)…. lust is that gigantic fireball that ensues after you've lit up some lighter fluid soaked newspaper (don't do that in real life). It's big and bright, but doesn't burn very long (and you sure can't cook your s'mores on it). Love is when the logs catch fire…. it may not burn as bright, but it's a lot more enduring. But like a cozy fire, if you don't tend to it, it dies. Then you get divorced.

    I think now I'm VERY hesitant to drop the L-bomb on folks. I want to make sure it is REAL before I go throwing that word out there. One of my fav Jill Scott lyrics: "Love slipped from my lips, dripped down my chin, and landed in his lap"…. and that's exactly how it happens sometimes. But real love is too powerful is too serious to just be playing around with the word and using it willy nilly anytime you get a tingling in your loins. I've been in love and I still have a hard time identifying the real deal, so this is just a toughie for everyone.

  8. soon as we start making a persons non sexual actions meet his/her I Love You's the confusion ends.

    Love is a word that people toss around like it doesn't require action.

    Love isn't quite as complicated as people think either (IMO) Ask yourself the tough questions. Would I toss them the keys to my car?, if they were hurt would I take care of them? (im talkin changing diapers and spoon feeding and watchin him drool), would I be with them if we could no longer have sex, etc. Those tough questions will really put love in perspective.

    I've heard I LOVE YOU and not felt the same and of course it was not pretty.

    What I think people fail to realize is that love is a choice. I may fall in love with a dude and love him forever but know that we are not a good match and cannot function together in a relationship.(going on now in my life). Love is a choice. And its also an action word.

  9. There's a thin line indeed, but here's my take on it:

    If you've never been hurt by this person then you don't love them. If you're only offended when they do something wrong and never really hurt to your core then you don't love them. And I take such a bleak approach to it because we are all human, and at some point we will all mistakes.

    At some point be it man or woman someone is going to push their boundaries a bit and cause the other person pain. If you've never felt pain over someone then you don't love them. If tears don't begin to swell up in your eyes, a burning in your nose, or a tightening of your chest, then you don't love this person.

    The biggest compliment you can give someone is to be hurt by their actions…but that's just my take on it. I could be wrong, it happens.

  10. Oh I almost forgot, there's a part B:

    The way to know whether they love you back is once they realize the pain they've caused you, they do everything in their power to make it right, and they NEVER do it again. Growth is about making mistakes, hurting others/yourself and learning from those mistakes.

    If he/she doesn't take notice of the pain they've caused and do something to rectify the situation then they don't truly love you. At that point it's up to you to decide whether you have the patience or desire to continue on. It could be something as simple as communication…but taking the post in another direction, so I'll just stop here.

  11. @Sabrina

    As bleak as you put, you made some excellent points. From stories I've heard and my own doings, sometimes "Love" isn't apparent til sh*t hits the fan or one of your proposed scenarios. Question for the ladies, is this part of the reason that women sometimes try to push a dude to his limits to respond and see how much he cares?

  12. *To real n*ggaz who ain't got no feelins…* —Mobb Deep, Shook Ones

    Well I will say this…Love is very hard for me to say. If someone is close to me, sure i might say it…I might even say it in gest ("Gul, you know I lub you").

    Forgive me folks, but I'm cold and heartless when it comes to that at times. I guess if one day I meet that special magical woman, I can utter those words. For now, love is an expletive very carefully hidden and collecting dust. Damn…I"m cold as hell…

  13. slim, you are hysterical… let me start there…

    how do i gauge love… my mom always told me that you know you love someone when you'd give your life for them… drastic, i know… but i think the point is that you love someone (whether romantic or "no homo") when you couldn't picture your life without that person or thing…

  14. I say I love you to my friends, and that's about it. And when I say it I truly mean it.

    I haven't said I love you to a guy in several years, mostly cause I don't let any get close enough to me for me to develop that deep of an emotion.

    I've never understood the "I'm dickmatized so now I think I love you" thing…and I've had some awesome amazing DI in my time….Love for me is one of those things that is independent of the sex. Sure, the sex can be great, but the things that make me love a person or make me realize I love a person have nothing to do with how good the stroke is.

  15. My guy dropped the "I love you" bomb for the first time in the middle of an argument ::smh:: like that was gonna make everything okay. He was unpleasantly surprised when I said "okay" and walked away. Not sure why I responded that way, I think its cause he caught me off guard, I wasnt ready for that four letter word.

  16. Ahhhh, this topic requires the Diva's full attention, because I recently have been contemplating this. Not to make things more complicated, you forgot to include LUST and "IN LOVE".

    It is my feeling, that I can Love ya, but not be "IN LOVE" with you. So to complicate it even more….here goes:

    Lust is a feeling you normally feel for someone sexually. You "Lust" after what they can do for you sexually, what they have done for you sexually, what you wish/dream they would do for you sexually. Lust is generally short lived for some, as it starts to manifest into something different (although I must say, If I get married I want to have a LUST for my man like no other)

    IN LOVE that feeling that you can't describe, that ache, that overpowering feeling you feel all over…something you can't put into words, maybe it's the can't eat, can't sleep syndrome when the other is away…not sure, I'm still grappling with the "I don't think I've ever been in LOVE thing"

    Love – we all love someone, family, friends, co-workers whatnot…we may differentiate love between things, (i.e. pets & family) but none the less you love em, and would do almost anything for them

    Like I like you, but I don't have to love you. Like is such a loaded word. I like hamburgers…I think Like can develop and progress into something more, but like can be applied to all things in the beginning, (I.e. I like the way he puts it down in the bedroom)

    Can these things grow & develop or fade based on situations, sex or lack there of, YES of course. Can they all exist simultaneously…DEFINITELY

    Sorry for the long post, just my thoughts

  17. @Ziggy

    "My guy dropped the “I love you” bomb for the first time in the middle of an argument"

    A misplaced "I love you" to quell a woman's anger can set a woman off onto a path of destruction. During an argument? He must've wanted to see his life flash before his eyes.

  18. @Slim: The simple yet dumb answer is ABSOLUTELY!

    It's a foolish thing to do and I have learned in my old age to avoid testing a man's love and affection for me. It doesn't have to be something big to hurt someone who cares about you, sometimes it's as simple as not picking up your phone when they really need you.

    @CPT: One day you will…

    good luck with that buddy. 🙂

  19. I don't drop the L bomb too often outside of my close friends. I'll be like "love ya back" or whatever.

    But for me, Good "Vitamin D" as you put it, has had me confused before. "Damn I think I love this fool" I had to step away for a while and get my bearing straight and realize "I love what he does, not all of who he is" Good wang is a helluva drug.

  20. I throw around that L-bomb to friends, family…even coworkers. But, with a man, it's different. There ARE different types of love, which makes it so great.

    When it comes to uttering the L-word after that good "Vitamin D" or "Acquafina Flow", I think people need to step back and really contemplate WHICH L word that feeling was. Was it the connection with that person that made you high, or was it the the simple fact it felt so damn good? Or was it a combo of both?

    "I may THINK I love a man…and for me it happens quickly (I’m kinda flippant that way) but I wait to say it until he tells me."

    This was exactly what I was thinking about while reading this post. The very conundrum of uttering the word at all is probably trumped by who says it FIRST. I've heard all the "He/She who says it first has the power" talk before, of course. I've never been in love (*tear*), so I can't speak on it, but I've always imagined that I wouldn't want to say it first. Even if I end up feeling it first (which, I really wouldn't know that for sure, would I?). Is that wrong?

  21. Ah man…let's see…I usually love and love damned hard.

    Sabrina I agree with you in 8 and 9.

    I do think that if a man/woman is capable of hurting your feelings (on a real level) then you possibly might just a little bit love that person.

    I also think the person you love and that loves you back is going to do what it takes to be sure you have exactly what you need.

  22. Stopping through to let everyone know that today I’m doing a workshop on my favorite topic – Blogging.
    Be sure to stop by and leave your comments with your blog address:

    If you like to read, I have a few books to giveaway too (but you have to go to the workshop or my blog to see how you can enter to win).

    Also if you're an aspiring writer, I was on a panel yesterday on publishing, so browse the site when you get there.

  23. Now about today's topic:

    Sex can blind your emotions. That's why I think introducing sex too early on when you meet someone is not healthy because if the sex is good you may find yourself involved—when you really didn't want to be.

    Take the time to get to know the person first and if other things line up like–values, etc…then add sex to the equation.

    It's hard telling someone who says they love you–that you don't love them. I know I don't like hurting other folks feelings, but it's not fair to the man not to tell him. If I feel like I like him a lot and may fall in love with him, then I might keep it to myself; otherwise, I tell him as gentle as I can that I don't.

    Initially, it's more "in like" or "lust" than love, but when it's love, you'll know it.

    When I can see the man for what he is and not who I want him to be and still love him—that's when I know I'm really in love.

  24. Haven't read all the comments yet … but I know I wholeheartedly believe in this. I have come to realized that I have misused the L-bomb too many times.

    3 people have heard it from me … and in all honesty … I think I only truly meant it (in hindsight) with the first one. I know the second person didn't deserve it … cause I actually retracted it 2 hours later.

    I will say … this is something I struggle with on the daily … makes me wonder why i never wrote about it before … Hmmmm.

  25. @SBM You can still write about it. I like hearing your perspective on things.

    But yeah I read everyone's comments and the thing we must keep in mind is that we each define LOVE different. What causes me to say I love you is completely different than why another person would say I love you.

    For instance…JG said that "getting good wang is helluva drug"…so hilarious. But whose to say that isn't enough to say "love" to one person. Of course I define that as lust…but hey, my gauge of love is different from that other person.

    I think people each possess the capacity to love others differently…a phenomenon that will never and can't ever be dissected, nor explained, or taught. It's all encompassing of feeling, emotion and action based on personality, past experiences, and your upbringing.

    Alls I know is that word is HEAVY and like salt and cooking…should be measured and used sparingly…too much can put a bad taste in your mouth and ruin a good thing.

    Don't you just hate when people use too much salt??!! Pisses me off…lol.

  26. I have said I love you maybe a time too many, but I meant it everytime…just differently. I can admit that I use it as a source of manipulation at times and I'm not proud of it, but it's come to be apart of who I am.

    I think love is simpler that the new generation has made it. Loving someone should require more than just a emotional reaction. Love is something that you can grow into doing. Too much emphasis is focused on love and not enough focused on compatibility. Can you build a life with this person, alot of the times that has absolutely nothing to do with love.

    @SBM: So if my theory is correct you're saying that you've only been wide open once and she was the only who could have caused you pain, good for you.

    Not all of us are so lucky.

  27. Okay, I think a guy friend of mine had the best description of love in words I have ever heard so far. The way he decribes it is sort of like a panacea to all that he had missing in his life. Take the famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire, "You Complete Me," as clique as it sounds to love someone truly and unconditionally must mean you make that person apart of you. You and Your Love combine to make a third human being (not like a child), but like a unification of two spirits, minds, and bodies to make one. When that person hurts, you feel it to the very core. You will do your utmost to be careful with that persons feelings, because their feelings are your feelings. You know true love when you go through all the pain and agony of a tumultuous relationship and all you want to do is do it again just to get that feeling of wholeness you get with that person. He said true love is not about sex, as he said if he could never have sex with his wife again he would still say with her forever and not have sex with anyone else. He said if his wife got into an accident, lost all her limbs, and had 3rd degree burns all over her body. He would still stay with her and take care of her forever. I don't know but it sounds like TRUE LOVE to me. That being said, if it's true that we only have four TRUE LOVES in our lifetime then I have 0 down and four to go. *sigh*

  28. "You will do your utmost to be careful with that persons feelings, because their feelings are your feelings. You know true love when you go through all the pain and agony of a tumultuous relationship and all you want to do is do it again just to get that feeling of wholeness you get with that person."

    I can ride with this.

  29. Slim I agree with confusing love with a strong level of like.

    I say I've only been in love once, yet as I get older the more I begin to question my once solid affirmation.

    was it love? or infatuation? or counter dependency? who knows, i aint going back to find out haha

  30. ~Love isn't something that you earn, it's deserved,Love is something I can give cause I'm worth it…~Floetry Supastar. I have to agree with this line. Love is something that is now commonly perceived to be thrown out almost as frequently as salutations. I think that the L bomb should only be dropped after thorough evaluations of one's feelings toward another. Often folks do get tossed up in the mixture of lust and drop "love" off as a ending to a ravishing encounter.

    I thought I loved my son's father, but it was pure immaturity as our ages differences played a huge part, and mostly because he knew better and I didn't. So now, I am to be ever so careful, when I drop the next L bomb!!!

  31. i think that love is love… we all should love each other for whatever reason. love should be expected not somehow earned or whatever. sometimes our reason gets in the way of love… love doesnt need reason- marriage does, lol

    the heart of understanding is a wonderful book

  32. Yay Coco! IMO love is like Chris Rock said, loving the crust of a mofo. Would your feelings change about this person if they were toothless, broke, funky, etc. True love is patient and enduring and yea, a little stupid. If a person could lose all their material trappings and physical attractiveness and your feelings would remain, I would say that is true love.

  33. Love has no definition.If we knew what it was, it wouldnt be so great…

    Trying to give it labels, only causes someone to check off the requirements and assume they are in it because all the qualifications line up.

    A doctor making a diagnosis.

    We always want what we cant have, Love is that elusive ideal that we chase our whole lives, hoping and wishing that we can catch it

    We want so badly to feel it, experience it, that we force squares into circles, and create sub-titles (lust,like,in-love) for instances in which we thought we finally had it! Just to see it get away once again.

    I agree, love is a choice. At some point you come across someone or something that fits the proper description and you decide that you found it, i.e. now you can stop running, chasing, searching.

    What happens when you thought you found it, then it goes away? Divorce? Complacency? Compromise? Making it Work? Etc.

    Its really a matter of Stamina. How long can you try to attain the unattainable?

    Things that make you go hmmm


  34. Only used it once and she wasnt my girl but I thought she would be that was about 4 yrs ago. I dont use loosely at all. As for what it is well you do things without provocation or a reward you just do em. Thats why we question if we really love someone cuz we are going down the path of selflessness and it can be very dangerous with the wrong person.


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