Like Him, Love Him or Both?

An otter places its paw on the hand of its owner but in a way that implies dislike. The otter appears to be going out for a walk as it wears a leash.

Is liking the same as loving? Are the two words synonymous?

For example, I like chocolate ice cream and you like vanilla cream. Is that the same as loving chocolate or vanilla? Perhaps the word “love” has been cheapened to mean “like”.

People love their local sports team or they love bacon. Is that the same as loving your partner?

I don’t think so. I think that liking something is a matter of simple taste. You either like it or you dislike it.

But loving someone is quite a different matter and this otter depicts it quite well. The furry little creature appears to dislike its owner but is still willing to hold its owner’s hand. That is, it still does something loving despite disliking.

This is the difference between love and like. Love can be understood as seeking the other person’s greater good by giving of yourself. It is not just liking. I could like chocolate today and vanilla tomorrow.

But if I love someone, I am intentional about it. It is my mindset to seek someone’s greater good by giving of myself. The otter seeks its owner’s greater good by giving of itself, despite its apparently unhappy appearance.

So too in a relationship. You must continue to do the things you normally do even if you do not feel like doing them. And so must he.

Humans can hold grudges for a very long time unlike animals. Animals may fight or act aggressively towards one another but a few minutes or hours later, they are together. On the other hand, humans can avoid others for many years, which in a relationship would mean tragedy.

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