“What does ‘I like you a great deal’ mean?”
"I like you a great deal" is one of those phrases that means a lot of different things, you know. Someone could use it just to get your attention so you will amuse them, or do something for them, if they have no real attachment.
The sincere use of "I like you a great deal" could mean the person you address is on your mind a lot, but that you (the speaker) are using it to say "I don't know if I have enough certainty to start a relationship, but we are beginning to build comfort and trust to where maybe I could believe you."
It could also mean "I am really liking the thought of you and me a lot, but I don't know if you will feel the same...if you want that with me, or if you have someone else in mind, or if you like to play people to get what you want from them until you get bored."
It's a way of saying there needs to be more trust, and maybe time, before love. It's a way of being careful not to lose your heart, but trying to give a way to your heart, if the person is willing to win your trust.
A lot of people out there can give their bodies away without their heart attached, but I will talk to you about that if you want to understand; it has to do with the energy a person gives away with their intimacy. I am one of those people who wants to give that away to someone who sincerely wants to give it back. Like a lot of guys (and some women), I once thought the idea of unattached sexuality might be fun, but it wasn't how I felt, and when I fantasized it might be fun, I came to realize the version I cherish is where the people involved really love each other and be thoughtful for each other, and try to be part of each other's life.
The difference between the fun of saying those things and the willingness to sacrifice comfort sometimes to prove it is the difference that makes love true or not.
Then there is another meaning: "I like you a great deal" could be a way to tell someone you both share something refreshing and memorable. However, the speaker doesn't feel the attraction is strong enough for a full relationship with sex, sacrifice, and commitment. Like, if you like a boy or girl more as just your friend, and know you must keep your options open for someone you just can't get out of your mind!
So: "I like" is fondness that is not quite love, but friendship. "A great deal" signifies how much the time you spend together means. All of this, of course, depends on the actions and truthfulness of the speaker! Only time, and what happens next, really tells you.
So, try sharing your thoughts and understanding on this. What are your definitions of "like", "love", "play", and "trust"?