Q: I have dated three girls so far. But when I look back none of them satisfied me. I can say I like them but I don’t think I love them at all. So I want to know the difference between to like somebody and to love somebody. Also, I don’t have a girlfriend now, but if I find one in the future, how do I love her with all my heart?
P: Understand her. Only understanding is love. Liking someone could be greed or an obsession, because if you like somebody but she does not like you and if you continue liking her; to her that becomes suffering. That is you can make her suffer. That’s not love.
First and foremost you have to understand her. If you truly want to love her try to understand what she wants. Don’t think of your perspective, your needs. And if you do that, that doesn’t bring about any hatred.
Common perception of love centers around the notion, “Because I like you, you must like me in return,” or “I like you this much, but how come you only like me this much.” Then this transaction is not fair. That’s a transaction. That’s a horse trade. That is not love.
Stop engaging in trade. Stop engaging in calculations. You are free to like anybody you want, but don’t demand that she like you in return. Then there’s no side effects to that. It’s just emotion that’s propelling you to like somebody and you are free to do so. That’s making you happy. But don’t mistake that for love.
The important thing is what kind of help are you to her. So that’s why it’s important for you to understand her. That’s why I said before, without understanding love can turn violent. How much do we make people suffer in the name of love? And how much war do we engage in the name of peace? That’s a contradiction. That only happens because that is a love without understanding.