Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash
The difference, again, is the objective character. My secretary can see my coffee cup, and that it is half full. She can touch the cup and feel that the contents are no longer hot. The attorney in the office next door can do the same thing.
Let's say now that, instead of the cup of coffee, I say, "There is a jack-o-lope sitting on my desk." Jack-o-lopes are imaginary, and have no objective character - that is, my secretary, or the attorney in the next office, cannot experience the imaginary jack-o-lope with their senses.
Why is something you can't touch less real than your cup of coffee? You can't touch protons, neutrons, love, etc., so are they less real for being a concept rather than a physical "reality"?
The existence of protons and neutrons is verifiable - emotions are internal states that are normally only observable by others by how those emotions cause us to behave. But, assuming we consider observable behavior to be outward manifestations of our internal states, then I don't have a problem with emotions being real. If we can ascertain the existence of black holes by observing the effect they have on their surroundings, then I see no reason why the same cannot be true for emotions.