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Is that right both sentences are fine? The first one shows a long process of thinking, but the second one shows the complete action and the fact in the past. So, the difference that Past Continious adds some emphasis of thinking of somebody here. The second sentence sounds without so much love as the first one. Right?

I was thinking of you while driving back home.

I thought of you while driving back home.

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    The first shows more thought, but more thought does not imply more love. The speaker could have been thinking how much they hated the other person.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 6, 2022 at 13:32

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It has nothing to do with the degree of love being shown!

I was thinking of you means that you spent some time thinking about the person.

I thought of you could also mean that something suddenly brought them to mind. The British postal service had an advertising campaign some years ago to encourage people to send parcels - "I saw this and thought of you", meaning that the speaker saw something in a shop and it occurred to them that a friend or relation would like it, so they bought one and posted it to them.

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  • I suppose Stuart F gave a right thought. Past Continuous emphasises the period of thinking. "I was thinking of you while driving back home." - all trip long there was the process of thinking about someone.
    – Sergei
    Jul 6, 2022 at 20:21

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