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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » TOWN HALL » Scarleteen Readers Sound Off On... » Sound off on...love

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Author Topic: Sound off on...love
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Busy, busy, busy for me this week, but I'm trying to finish a piece I started for the site about love and views on love in terms of teens and young adults.

It'd be excellent to have some of your own definitions of what love is -- in the broadest sense, not just in terms of romantic relationships, but certainly including that if you like -- quoted in the piece. You might also talk about any experiences in defining love, in what others have said to you about your ability to love or be loved, about any ageism you've encountered in any of that, what have you.

Clue me in!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Thehiddenone
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This is what i think love is;
Love is a feeling, A true one, You can love many people but there is many diffrent ways.
Love for a
family - It's not one you can really feel just one you can tell is there.

One for a friend- that love is mainly trust and friendship.

Love for a partner - This love is special, its that "butterflies in the stomach feeling" It's just amazing you can tell when you're in love.

I've felt all of these, Some have faded [in my past] but they all remain.

An experience -

My boyfriend and I were lazing about watching tv together. We were acually just looking into eachothers eyes, Then he told me he loved me, and i said it back but it felt just SOOO amazing i realised HOW MUCH i love him. And ever since everytime i say it it means something special each time.

Love is amazing...you can tell when you're in it.
Much Love,
Megan

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atm1
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For me, love for family and friends is very similar--it is a deep caring along with truly wanting the best for someone in their life.

Love for a partner, at least as I've come to see it now, is not only that feeling of caring for someone, but a feeling of truly wanting to share your life with someone and trusting them to, well, be a good partner.

A lot of that definition has developed recently for me, and I think that all of us tend to shape our definition of love to fit situations that we're in. My boyfriend and I talk a lot about how we can best be good partners for each other in pretty much every meaning of the word, and so the idea of partnership has become woven into my definition of romantic love. And that's really different from how I viewed love when I was say, 16 years old. (I'm 20 now) Then it was an intense desire to be near someone, a deep caring, and a desire to make them happy. It was more about being a girlfriend than a partner, if that distinction makes sense to anyone. That's not to say I didn't love my high school boyfriend, I just loved him in a very different way. Then it was much more about having fun, trying new things, and not thinking too hard about how I was feeling and why. Now, I still have lots of fun and do new things, I'm just in it for the long haul and engage in all of the conversations that that brings up. Also, instead of viewing a relationship as causing a transition in my life of some sort (which I did with my first relationship), I see my relationship now as being a partnership while my boyfriend and I each go through different transitions in our own lives, him being freshly out of college wondering what the next few years will be, and me having just decided what the next two years will look like for me. Now I don't need everything to be experienced together... things can be experienced separately while we share our lives together. That's a subtle, but really important difference to me.

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Djuna
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I have a few poems written already - I do that, I'm afraid. [Razz]
I'll perhaps write a fresh one tomorrow or the day after. My head's too full tonight. (Is it acceptable to link to a blog, out of interest? I have a lot of poems there).

il va ameliorer ce vendredi

This station where I'm
Waiting for the train
Is free of clutter.
Wide-eyed, lovely,
Lonely people
On benches, watch the sunset
And feel space all around.

Like that new song,
The smooth cadences
Which free and tame.
Alive, with not a thought
Of sleeping
At the end of the day,
When all is cleared aside.

You dry the tears from my eyes,
And still my breathing
In the gentle flesh of your shoulder.
Joie de vivre encore une fois,
And quiet, solemn discourse in the rain.


mon etoile des matins

Morning star,
In the smooth violets
The smooth indigoes
Of the crying sky.

Hush now, tears of joy;
I scarcely imagined
That it could happen again.

Now bright yellows, oranges
A vivacious red
In the midst of all this beauty,
Morning star quietly disappears.

Now the memory
Of morning star
Is all that remains.
My rest has been swept away.

"Hush your tears, dear boy;
You really imagined
That I was gone?

"Now, your life has been swept away,
But evening star, unchanging
Will always return;
Is always longing to return."

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Blue Koi
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Love is when someone who sees the true you and continues to still care about you unconditionally.

People who are in TRUE love are there for each other despite any flaws.

AND, I might add, they can also love someone despite any abilities or acquired skills that might get them fame and fortune. Sometimes the glitz and glamor can trick people into thinking they love someone for who they are, when truly they are just attracted to their talents. Sometimes a person's ability can say a lot about their personalities, so it can be a form of initial attraction, but caring about someone should be the same whether or not that person maintains that skill or loses it.

I believe that at the essence, love is one emotion that can be applied to all types of people in your life. Yes, society dictates different ways of expressing love to certain people depending on whether it is a lover, mother, father, grandmother, best friend, family dog, teacher, or next-door neighbor, but the emotion towards them, and the fundamental root of our intentions, I believe is compassion.

But that's just what I think at the moment. My opinion changes all the time.

--------------------
"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

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Djuna
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I absolutely agree. [Smile] Although, I hate the word 'despite' sometimes. Perhaps the most powerful is when you can love someone for their flaws, if you know what I mean.
Of course, the cynical answer is that love is just a few chemicals whooshing around our brains. [Razz]

--------------------
“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Heather
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So, what's "true" love then, anyway? Ad how would a person who believes in such determine what was "true" and what wasn't?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Freya137
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i've never really understood how you can difefrentiate between "true love" and "love" -is one supposed to be more real than the other?

To me love-eitehr romantic or family/friend- is wnating to share your life with soemone. I wa nt to tell my boyfriend about all sorts of things from finding a good chip shop to wanting soemone to talk with when my grabndad was in hospital.

I think someone you love must be soemone who can make you happy.

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atm1
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The distinction between "true love" and "love" is way hyped up by pop culture. I do feel that there is a real difference between love and infatuation, but the phrase "true love" always makes me cringe a little bit. I completely understand why someone would use the term, and I want to make it clear that I don't want to sound like I'm talking down to anyone... but to me, it feels like this false idea of looking for "true love" is fed to girls in fairy tales--ie that "true love" will come and find you one day and this is really all you should hope for in life. To me, it's too closely wrapped up in a heterosexist and sexist worldviews. I've always felt like I've been told that "true love" is something that happens TO women, therefore taking away a certain agency... It denies that any relationship, particularly romantic ones, take a lot of work and that they are things that people MAKE work. Love is an active thing, not passive, and I feel like the notion of "true love" as it appears in American culture denies this and disempowers women through that denial. And I really think that it so strongly marketed to girls from such a young age that it's really unhealthy and sets women up to have unrealistic expectations for love and relationships later in life... I don't know, I'm just uncomfortable with it.
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Blue Koi
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quote:
Originally posted by patrickvienna:
I absolutely agree. [Smile] Although, I hate the word 'despite' sometimes. Perhaps the most powerful is when you can love someone for their flaws, if you know what I mean.
Of course, the cynical answer is that love is just a few chemicals whooshing around our brains. [Razz]

I think I meant to be inclusive of "for" when I said "despite," because you can love someone for their flaws and their strengths. Although the word may seem a little harsh, just because you're in love doesn't mean you pretend the other person doesn't have flaws (that falls more in the infatuation category, I believe), but you say, o.k., this person does [insert serious flaw that you find annoying] or sometimes even this [insert flaw that is kind of cute or something], but I still love them.

AND if you think about it, atoms/chemicals/particles are all we are made of, so yes, just those few chemicals mean the world to us! Crazy!

I could try and play devil's advocate on the whole "true love" thing, but yes, I agree with the above two posts--isn't that a little redundant?

--------------------
"Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

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Heather
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Since I'm noticing this in some of the comments, too....can you love someone/have love if one or both of you does NOT feel any desire to spend a whole life together? Can love exist off a timetable, or with the knowledge that a relationship is fleeting or to some degree, temporary?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Freya137
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i think so. soemone can be a part of some of your life not all of it. it doesn't make it any less important to you
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feefiefofemme
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I define love as wanting another person to be happy, even if you're not the one making them happy. In the case of my own romantic relationship, it feels great to be able to make my girlfriend happy, but if I wasn't making her feel that way anymore, I'd want her to find someone or something who could. Yes, I entertain (rather seriously) ideas of us spending the rest of our lives together, but mostly I just want whatever turns out to be best for both of us, whether or not that includes being together. The same goes for my friends and family whom I love. I just want them to be happy and healthy and live their life in a way that fulfills them, and if I can support them and help them do that, then so much the better.
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Flutterby
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Love (in a relationship) is when that first rush of infatuation has faded and you still care about them as much as you did at the start. You care for and support each other through the hard times and you share many good times together. You accept each others flaws and try to work through any problems you're having together and come up with solutions that work for both of you....even if it means being apart at times.
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Hollie5626
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
You might also talk about any experiences in defining love, in what others have said to you about your ability to love or be loved, about any ageism you've encountered in any of that, what have you.

Clue me in!

Heather, not sure if your've already written the article by now, but anyway...

So I fell in love when I was about to turn 14...or I thought I did. I guess neither of us really knew what love was, and most people gave us the impression that, whatever love was, we were too young to have it. So we doubted ourselves, it was more a case of "I think I love you" We knew how we felt about each other, and as far as we could figure it fitted the definition of love, but what is love really? Can't love be different things for different people? We knew that just having each others company made us happy, and we cared about each other just as much as we cared about ourselves, the touch of each others bodies made us feel all warm and fuzzy. If we shared those feelings for each other, and we both agreed that we could call it love, then that was all that mattered wasn't it? I don't think there was any other person that could come in, analyse our feelings and say "Ah, actually no thats not love, thats...(somthing else)" It was only about us. IMO anyway

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Heather
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(Still writing, so I appreciate the adds!)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kadkitty
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I know...I am weird but I really see love as defined by Ayn Rand, and Terry Goodkind

Rand says somewhere "Love is the expression of one's values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another."

I think it is a high appreciation in life for something/or someone.

I also love reading Terry Goodkind's series and he shows how love is a reaction to a person's values. Like the characters that love life are attracted to those who also have those qualities.
I read an essay (I can't remember where it is) but someone said how love is a reaction to value judgments and what we do.
It's based on your core beliefs of what is right and wrong...like if you believe in ownership it would be hard to love a person who steals. (sorry that is the only example I could think of)

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Nailo
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Love is growth.

--------------------
"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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Ashe Angel
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Ahhh. Love. Such bliss. Such blindness. Some believe it is an emotion. Some believe it is a choice. Some believe you can only be in love with one person. I know that to be false. You can be completely in love with two people at once, and it's a very hard place to be. However, back to the topic at hand.

I believe love to be that breaking point, where you stop caring about your wants and needs and happiness, and begin to only think of how that other person feels. It is complete selflessness. It is when you would rather be miserable and have that person happy than know they were even slightly uncomfortable. It's when you care so much about someone that it almost hurts. It's when no one else even compares to him/her. You don't see anyone else because you only see them. You don't have to ask for anything because with them you have everything. It's that euphoric feeling of bliss. It's when you know, that he/she is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. It's complete honesty and trust with that person. I have been in love. And I am in love. And I'd like to share my story with you.

My name is Ashleigh, and I'm 17. I turn 18 soon. I was dating a guy named Coty who ended up moving away for college and cheating on me. So, we broke up. I was hanging out with some friends one Saturday at the mall like normal when my friend Johnathan told me he'd like for me to meet his cousin. I wasn't exactly interested. I was still upset about Coty. I walked into a store with another friend. When she and I walked out, Johnathan was standing there with someone I had never met.

He was gorgeous. Perfect blue eyes. Dark curly brown hair. And an amazing australian accent (which I later found out was fake, but it was so real). He looked at me, held out his hand and told me his name was John. I stammered for my own name... I forgot my own name?!? What the heck was going on? I couldn't believe it. I said the first thing that came to mind and told him he had gorgeous eyes. Then told him my name when I stopped shaking. My knees were weak.

Within 30 minutes I was riding in his car with him while he took his friend home. We were gonna meet up later with Johnathan and my other friends. During this ride, I basically told him my life story. What was going on? Here I was being completely reckless. Riding in a car with someone I barely knew, telling him all about me. This wasn't like me at all. ((NOTE: This is dangerous and stupid. I don't reccomend anyone doing it.))

Anyways, we got back to the mall and went and had lunch at McDonalds with my older brother and his girlfriend. We talked some more, and I found out that John was 23 and had a 3 year old son named Caleb. John got up to go get me some ranch for my chicken when my brother (also 23) asked if we had kissed yet. I told him no. When John got back Jeremy (my brother) just looked at him and told him to kiss me. So he did. I had butterflies. There seemed to be sparks flying around the whole room. I couldn't believe it. We ended up spending the whole night together and were inseperable after that. He told me he loved me 3 days later and I said it back with the biggest smile my face has ever held.

We've been together 6 months now, and he'll be leaving for the army soon. His baby's mom and I have become best friends. And his son will turn 4 in about a month. John lives with me and my family. And we'll be getting married as soon as he gets back from basic training.


I know I love him. I wouldn't change him for the world. There is nothing that could break us and I know that. Yeah we have our fights and our differences, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Because my feelings for him now, are stronger than they were that very first day.

And there ARE STILL sparks in a room when we're in it. People in public point us out. You can tell, we're in love. [Big Grin]

--------------------
I LOVE JHS! 458

NO, I'm bisexual, YOU are confused.

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Nailo
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Ashe... I am very happy that you are so thrilled with John, but I have to disagree with you on this: "you stop caring about your wants and needs and happiness, and begin to only think of how that other person feels."

My mom stopped caring about herself for years because she loved my father. She left the relationship a codependent, and I left his house with abuse that was ignored for years because my mother didn't want to believe it. You can't stop caring about yourself, you can't stop loving yourself in order to think only of the other person. I beg you, don't, because that mentality caused us suffering that was almost unbearable. Because sometimes, what the other person feels and wants can hurt you; yes, even if you love the person and don't believe they could do you any harm. And most definitely, DO NOT stop caring about your happiness- because if you do, your love could bring you down. I don't believe love is unconditional- people need to protect themselves. Nor do I believe that you have to only think of yourself when you love someone. I say love is growth because not only do you keep loving and caring for your wants, your needs and your happiness,and you may even learn to love yourself more because of the other person; you grow because you care about the other person and both sides make compromises and pitch in, and learn new lessons in order to keep the relationship strong over the years- it's not just me anymore, it's not just him. It's both of us.

--------------------
"Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

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Ashe Angel
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Allow me to clear myself up and I'm sorry for the confusion. I do not mean that one no longer cares for themself. I know that there are boundaries. And I know there are situations when one must forget the other person and do what is best for themself. I know that any relationship where one is put through physical/mental/emotional abuse is not healthy. And I know that not caring about yourself at all is completely unhealthy. My definition of love is not completely literal. Please don't take it that way. I understand, and know, that you shouldn't ever forget yourself for another person.

I guess what I meant to say, and should have worded better, is that while still caring about yourself, you want their happiness. If they are abusive to you, they are definatley not happy, and neither are you. (Unless you both have a mental problem and enjoy that sort of thing.) More along the lines of, the other person's happiness is what makes you happy. it is what brings you joy. That is what I believe love to be.

--------------------
I LOVE JHS! 458

NO, I'm bisexual, YOU are confused.

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thismoment
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Love is something which I think exists, but I don’t think exists as much as people use the word. I think people often use the word flippantly, like ‘I love you’ after meeting someone for a week. In relationships, I think people hinge on love too much; if the person says they love you, but treat you like ****, we think we should hold on to them, but if they treat you well but won’t say the ‘Ily’, it seems to be that the relationship isn’t as important. I think we’re tought to aspire not only to sex, but also love. The media sells us the idea of love as something to gain, something to work towards, something which will solve all our problems and make us content or happy.

I think love is more in the action than in the words; if we act out our love, in daily life, consistently, that is more than any words or promises can do. (Can you tell I got too many promises and not enough reality in my last relationship? I think so!) Love is a kind of care, as far as I can see. A selflessness where we do truly do things for other people; it is also putting yourself on the line, making yourself to some extent vulnerable. It requires trust, between people, and not just between two people, or for a distinct amount of time.

Although I think it’s important, I think what’s most important is that whilst communication is important, for all the way the word ‘love’ is loaded – ‘I love’, ‘in love’, ‘fall in love’, ‘love-struck’ etc., maybe what’s most important is that we focus on what it means to us. If it’s such a great thing, what is this for us?

For me, it’s a kind of looking after, a kind of selflessness which I do find difficult but I also find happens sometime. It’s not something that will happen quickly, and it can be confusing (in a kind of, ‘how can I care so much about another human being? This is mad!’ sort of way), and it is a personal thing. It’s a sort of trust, for me. A trust in myself and in other people. I think this is what is meant by the idea of learning to love yourself; learning to trust; to accept your mistakes, to move on, to pave the path you want, and to accept that it’s not always easy, you will make mistakes, but you’ll also trust yourself to hold yourself up and hold up others on the way.

It’s a support, really. A support which helps you to grow, develop, become humanised, not petty and unsharing and selfish. For me this love has come not most of all from any partners; it has come from a few of my really close friends, and a couple of relatives who I don’t see that often, but when I do, I am so glad.

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earthtobellax
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In all honesty, sometimes I think of it as a moment in time when you feel invincible.
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StrangePudding
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Love is looking in to his eyes and knowing that he's the most beautiful person you've ever known and knowing that he feels the exact same way.
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bluejumprope
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Love for me is feeling safe with someone. It's like I feel like I can't say the wrong thing because they're the "right" person; we're on the same track, and I can trust them to always see me as basically likable and interesting.

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without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

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Ecofem
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Here's Heather freshly-minted article on love: Love Letter. [Smile]
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