I care about you vs I love you

We all use words such as I love you and I care about you in our relationships without actually understanding their meaning. We use them to address our different feelings, but both these phrases stand for something else.

Many questions pop into our heads when we hear these words like,
Are these similar?
Do I love the person I care about?
What do they mean when they say they care about me?

But don’t worry, you don’t have to ponder it anymore. Because in this article, we will list all the similarities and differences between the phrases I love you, and I care about you to help you understand the meaning between these two. So, the next time someone uses these, you will know the reason behind them.

What is love?

Love is a deep affectionate feeling that you feel towards someone. It is a selfless experience associated with positive feelings like warmth, admiration, and affection. Loving a person means you would do anything for their happiness and will never shy away from expressing your feelings for them. Love is mainly associated with intense emotions. We use phrases such as “I love you” to express our love for someone, which conveys the meaning that we love the other person with all our hearts. In short, love is a feeling you experience with your close friends, family, and loved ones.

What is caring?

Caring for someone is different from loving someone. Caring is more like a compassionate feeling that arises from the desire to help people. It means that you don’t want the other person to get harmed and want to protect them from any harmful situation.

what is caring | HappyLifeCry

Care is a part of love, as we automatically care for the people we love. But it is hardly the other way around. You can care for a person without loving them. Caring for someone is more platonic than romantic. We can say that caring is associated with concern; to show concern, it is not always necessary to have a close relationship with them.

Similarities between I love you and I care about you.

Here are a few similarities between the phrase I love you, and I care about you. If someone uses any of both the terms, they mean this:

  • They value you.
  • They have feelings for you.
  • They care about you, as love is caring.
  • They want to protect you.
  • They want to see you happy.
  • They don’t want to see you with any problem.
  • They would do anything to help you.
  • They are ready to take responsibility.
  • They take you seriously.
  • They are always available for you.

Some differences between I love you, and I care about you.


Caring and loving are different from one another in the aspect of commitment. We only confess our love to those with whom we want to share a long-term bond. But signs of caring is different in this aspect, as we also care for those with whom we don’t share a long-term bond. So, loving someone is more long-term than caring for someone.


As we have discussed earlier, loving and caring differ from one another, and I love you and care about you stands for different meanings. Saying I love you to someone signifies that you love that person wholeheartedly, and saying I care about you reflects that you are concerned for the other person’s well-being and life.

I care for you vs I love you | HappyLifeCry


Loving someone and caring for someone varies a lot based on the feelings involved in them. Feelings associated with love are more intense, like admiration, attraction, and affection. On the other hand, feelings associated with caring are mild, like compassion, kindness, and concern.


You only say I love you to those people with whom you share a close bond. Like your partners, family, and some close friends. But we often say I care about you, to those with whom we aren’t very close. It means that love is felt towards people with whom we are close. And care can be felt for anyone we consider valuable.


Well, this is obvious that love is more intense when compared to care. We love only those we feel intensely for. So, if someone says they love you, they feel intensely for you and want you to know. The significant difference between love and care is intensity. Love is more intense than care.

differences between I love you and I care about you | HappyLifeCry


Well, love and care are not interdependent but are partially dependent. It means that the people who love you automatically care about you. But those who care for you might or might not love you. So, if someone says they love you, they also care about you.

The critical difference between I love you and I care about you.

CommitmentLove requires a long-term commitment.Care requires a short-term commitment.
MeaningSaying I love means you love that person wholeheartedly.Saying I care about you signifies that you are concerned for them.
DerivationLove is derived from the old English term “lufu”.The word care originated from an old English word “caru”.
FeelingsFeelings associated with love are admiration, affection, and attraction.Feelings associated with care are compassion, kindness, and concern.
RelationshipWe say I love you to those we share a close bond with.We can say I care about you to those we don’t share a close bond with.
IntensityLove is more intense than care.Care is less intense than love.
InterdependenceLove and care are interdependent.Care and love are partially dependent.  

In which phase of the relationship does a person say, “I Care about you.”

People usually use phrases such as I care about you in the early stages of a relationship, where you are friends with each other. It is a crucial stage of the relationship as this lays the foundation for what can happen next. So, people generally use words such as I care about you when the things between two people are not exclusive and they are figuring out their way in their relationship. People also use these phrases with friends and some loved ones.

In which phase of the relationship does a person say I Love you

phases of relationship I love you | HappyLifeCry

People say I love you when they are sure about someone and want to turn their friendship into something more. They use these words to express their love for the other person. It means that they dated the person long enough to understand that they want to take their relationship with them to another level. At this point, they have crossed their caring phase and have decided to move further in the relationship.

Wrapping Up

Both love and caring are beautiful emotions and are essential to make any relationship complete. Though they are not synonyms and hold different meanings, both of these feelings are special in their ways. Love is more complicated and broad, while caring is more narrow and mild. Now, with the help of the information listed above, you can easily understand the difference between the two. And will know what people mean by the phrase “I love you” and “I care about you.”

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