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Love Is

Love Is – Voices

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“There’s a very stereotyped portrayal of what sexuality and what romance means in a Valentine’s Day advertisement and I believe love is so much more than just coupled lovers.”
Franklin, TN

Photo Credit: Katherine Puello

Valentine’s Day has become like many other major holidays, like kind of a corporate advertising scheme. When you go to a card store or wherever you’re going to, to buy your ‘sweetie’ a card, it’s usually directed towards cisgendered-heterosexual couples, which is really frustrating because I think there’s more love that’s out there than just partner-to-partner romantic love. There’s a very stereotyped portrayal of what sexuality and what romance means in a Valentine’s Day advertisement and I believe love is so much more than just coupled lovers. You can send your friend a Valentine’s Day card or whomever, whatever gender they are. There are so many romantic loves and sexual loves to explore than what’s represented in Valentine’s Day advertisements.

Millennials are one of the most gender-diverse generations that exist and we’re also one of the most sexually-variant generations that exist as well. So, I think that in the future I hope to see so much more diversity in terms of racial diversity, gender diversity and sexual diversity represented on Valentine’s Day. Not only are Valentine’s Day ads directed toward cisgender and heterosexual people, but also to white representations of love as well. I hope to see a diversity of love on all fronts. Even with non-able-bodied love. Disabled bodies are just as worthy of love than able-bodied people. So there’s a lot of diversity of love that we should be fighting for because love is intersectional and includes a variety of different bodies and identities.

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Love Is

Love Is – Voices

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“While love can be an amazing thing between two people, it can also be something that breaks you. I think that that makes this weird obscure emotion, one of the most powerful things in the world.”
Norwich, CT
I think that love means caring for someone or something to an extreme, not at all in a bad way. It means having their concerns and their ideas in your mind when making decisions, and considering them when doing things that could put you in harm. Love is not being selfish and is so immense that it fills all of you. If you really love somebody, then you’re going to do things for them. Not because you feel like you have to, but because you want to. I think that it’s also doing things for yourself because you know the people around you would want you to. If the person loves you back then it’s just great. On the other hand, loving somebody that does not love you back can be very painful, and often their lack of love does not come from a lack of caring but from a difference in interest. While love can be an amazing thing between two people, it can also be something that breaks you. I think that that makes this weird obscure emotion, one of the most powerful things in the world. It drives a lot of the decisions that people make, both good and bad, and can create unbelievable happiness as well as unbelievable sadness. I feel that my experience with love has gone both ways. A lot of the time, the bad parts seem to outweigh the good, but when you have the chance to look back on a person or thing that you loved, even if you have lost them or don’t get to feel that way again, I think that we are privileged to have the ability to experience that emotion at all.
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Love Is

Love Is – Voices

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“I once heard love is patience and kindness and I could not have said it better.”
Newark, NJ
Love is unique. I feel like there are different types of love. They range from the love you have for your friends, the love you have for your partner, and the love you have for family. Each one has a different feeling or intention behind it. When I knew I loved you, it was a tingling feeling that pushed me to say I love you. I don’t have the ability to say I love you to everyone including family. Individuality is what sets my love apart. When I’m shown what no one else has seen, from you or anyone else, it brings me joy and that makes me realize you love me before I have to ask. Love comes with those that are caring, and compassionate. People who have hate and bitterness in their heart don’t care about your feelings. I don’t feel like love and hate are hand and hand. They are distinctly different because I don’t have the ability to love someone I once hated. I don’t harbor that feeling of hatred because the love I have established with others. I would tell my younger self that it is ok for everyone not to love you and also that you can’t love everybody. I feel like when you are younger, you have this unrealistic idea that if you love someone enough, they will be there for you. However, I have learned that is not the case at all. I would tell my older self to keep her walls up and stay focused. Follow the lead, but do not get too caught up in it. Don’t allow what you have already experienced to be the determining factor of what you have yet to see. When you are ready for love, you will know exactly what it is. I once heard love is patience and kindness and I could not have said it better.
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Love Is

Love Is – Voices

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“When you’re in love, you start to focus your energy on the more important things and you realize that certain problems in your life seem smaller.”
Roxbury, NJ
When you’re in love, little things that are negative and used to matter, don’t anymore. You start to focus your energy on the more important things and you realize that certain problems in your life seem smaller. I think, in a few ways, love has changed from previous generations. I think social media can make people believe they have to put a front on for other people regarding their relationship, but the use of technology can also help couples stay close to one another, especially with long-distance relationships. There are different kinds of love. For example, the love you have for your mother is not the same type of love you have for your boyfriend. There is romantic love, family love and friendship love. I believe that unconditional love is a love that can be present in families (example would be between a mother and her child), but doesn’t necessarily have to exist (when families fight and don’t make amends). The feelings you have for someone can change, but it doesn’t mean that your love for them wasn’t real at that time or moment.

It’s important to tell people you love them because life is too short to hold back your true feelings. If you love someone, letting them know, reassures them that you care deeply in a capacity that isn’t just surface level. When someone tells you that they love you, it makes you feel a million different emotions, and when you tell someone you love them, it’s definitely makes you feel a little vulnerable at first. I think the most important element in a relationship is comfort. Feeling comfortable and safe around someone is so important because it helps you trust them and feel close to them.

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