Love is a magical thing. It is a free agent, not a conditioned one. You can improve your ability for loving, but you can not create love if it is not given to you. Love will come when it pleases, not because you created it.
So, if you wish, you can look at the empathy as the ultimate skill required for perfect love. If you can feel what others are feeling, you are equipped for loving them. Actually, you will love them, because the illusion of separateness will disappear, and the only thing left will be unity, or better, oneness. And that is exactly what love is.