Difference Between Love and Affection

Main Difference – Love vs Affection

Love and affection are two inseparable feelings. Love is often described or defined as a deep affection whereas affection is a feeling of liking and fondness. However, we’ll look at these feelings separately in order to examine the difference between love affection. The main difference between love and affection is that love is deeper and stronger than affection. If we love someone, we’ll feel affection for that person, but we don’t love everyone we feel affection for.

In this article, we’ll look at,

1. What is Love? – Definition, Characteristics and Qualities 

2. What is Affection? – Definition, Characteristics and Qualities 

3. Difference Between Love and AffectionDifference Between Love and Affection - Love vs. Affection Comparison Summary

What is Love

Love refers to a wide variety of emotions and feelings. Primarily among these feelings are affection, caring, liking and attachment. It is an emotion we feel towards a close person. Love is often defined as a strong affection. For example, the Oxford Dictionary defines love as a strong feeling of affection and Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.

Love is always associated with positive feelings like caring, warmth, and happiness. According to ancient Greeks, there are four types of love known as storge, phileo, eros and agape. Storge refers to the love we feel towards family and relations. Phileo refers to the warm, affectionate, platonic love. This is the kind of love we feel towards friends. Eros is a passionate love which is between lovers; this is characterized by desire and longing.  Agape refers to pure and ideal love, as opposed to eros. As these classifications suggest, love does not only refer to passionate or romantic love. It can refer to the love for parents, siblings, parents, children, etc.

Love is a complex emotion since it consists of a wide variety of feelings, and states; the love we feel towards a person differs according to the familiarity and relationship with that person. Love feels towards a child is different from the love we have for a lover. Love for a child is tinged with other emotions like caring, warmth, kindness, affection and protectiveness while love for a lover is tinged with emotions like desire, warmth, attraction and affection.

Main Difference - Love vs Affection

What is Affection

Affection can be defined as a gentle feeling of fondness, caring or liking. It is a moderate feeling or emotion compared to love. Unlike love, affection does not consist of passionate or romantic feelings. Yet, affection makes you feel safe and cared for.  Affection can be seen in a relationship between a child and a mother, two friends, wife and husband, etc. In simple words, when you love someone, you also feel affectionate towards that person. But affection is something you can also feel for those you don’t love. For example, you may feel affection for your neighbor, but this does not mean that you love your neighbor.

Affection can be communicated through gestures, words, or touches.  Hugging, kiss on the forehead, cheek, or nose are considered to be gestures of affection.

Difference Between Love and Affection

Difference Between Love and Affection


Love is a strong and deep affection.

Affection is a gentle feeling of fondness, caring or liking.


Love is stronger and deeper than affection.

Affection is a mild feeling compared to love.


Love may imply romantic love or passion.

Affection does not consist of passionate and romantic feelings.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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