I love you for who you are.

I came across the line from a BBC Radio’s drama, and wondered what’s the difference from saying “I love you as you are,” or “I love you for what you are.” Would you explain the three of them?


2 Answers 2


I love you for who you are = My devotion is inspired by your personality (or, possibly, by your influential family connections).

I love you as you are = You’re perfect in my eyes and I don’t want you to change.

I love you for what you are = I admire above all your noble and endearing qualities.

  • Between monsters the last expression might mean "I admire above all your brutish and nasty qualities."
    – MetaEd
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 0:13

There is a common expression:

"I love you for what you are, not who you are."

This always seems to be said to someone who is either famous or powerful in their own right or from an influential family so "what you are" is about the person's own qualities such as their warm personality, kindness, ability to fill others' needs, etc.

To love someone "as you are" brings to mind the disclaimer used with discount merchandise - "sold as-is", meaning with all its inherent value and (any) hidden defects. ;-)

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