What's the difference between "care about" and "care for"?

The phrases "care about" and "care for" each have several meanings The best way to learn them is with some examples.

Care for

I didn't care for that movie.

"I don't care for ___" means that you don't like something. You usually use this when you're talking about food, movies, or something bad that a person did.

I really care for you.

To "care for" someone means that you love them. This may be a romantic feeling or more of a family/friend feeling.

Care about

He doesn't care about money. He just cares about coming across as successful.

To "care about" a topic means that you're very interested in it. It's important to you.

I really care about you.

If you "care about" a person, it means that you like them. This might mean that you feel romantic feelings, and it might not. "I care about you" is often followed by

...but I'm just not ready to start a relationship.


...but I'm not in love with you.

Sometimes, though, it can be positive:

I care about you so much! That's why I want you to be safe and happy.

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