A few years ago, I stumbled upon some priceless wisdom; that 'love' and 'like' are two extremely distinct entities. Until then, and I am sure with many people it holds true, like and love were on a simple continuum; first there's like...and then there's love. The latter is just an extension of the former. As in, you meet someone, you like them..if you like them for long enough and spend loads of quality time with them and go through the right amount of awesome and terrible times, eventually you start to love them. So that could hold true for people such as friends, maybe some teachers, people you work with who eventually become friends, your 'better halves'...and so on.
But human beings are just not that simplistic. Which is why I redefined these concepts, for my better understanding ;)
As I see it, 'like' is more objective, more rational; you like someone for various reasons- maybe you admire them for certain qualities, you share similar interests/perceptions, that person is very nice and sweet...endless. 'Like' has a component of respect, of mutual understanding; its based on very clear factors. You can easily say "I like XYZ coz...."
'Love' on the other hand...is extremely irrational; it has no clear basis. You could love someone who is absolutely the opposite of you, who drives you up the wall on most days. Sometimes, you forget why you love someone, you've been doing it for so long! What about those who you love before you were given a chance to like them? Such as family- you never go through the like-turns-into-love phase with them. You have loved them since before you could think for yourself. Then there are people, who you absolutely dislike in terms of the people they are; they say/do/stand for things which you don't agree with at any level. But you cant help but love them, cant help but feel and pray for them.
My world is full of people who I like, but probably don't love; and of those who I dislike, and still inexplicably love. What about you?