"Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed"
This is an amazing proverb because it compares two different things and values open rebuke over concealed love. This is amazing. It will take some digging to understand how the thinking works here.
The word love is the Hebrew word abaha. It is the word used in the second great commandment: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. It would fit this idea of love as meeting needs, pursuing, and pleasing.
The word concealed is the word satar which means to hide or to conceal.
This proverb is saying that an open rebuke is of more value than someone who has a desire to meet your need, pursue you, or praise you but never actually does anything about it.
We often misinterpret this and other proverbs that involve love because our current definition of love is about a feeling that we feel towards another person. But neither in the Old Testament nor the New Testament do we see love as a reactive feeling but rather an action that you perform. It is meeting the real needs of the other person, pursuing them, or pleasing them. Love is what you do, not what is done to you. In our culture, we have labeled the feeling we have when our needs meet as love. Therefore we are on the constant search for others who will meet our needs, because we want the feeling. But that is not biblical love; it is the result of biblical love.