What Is Love?

What Is Love?

Is love an open door or something more?
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Love is an amazing thing. Everyone can relate to it, whether they love something or they are in love with someone. As a hopeless romantic, I love romantic comedies and other books and movies that deal with love and all the romantic sappy stuff.There are tons of movies, books, poems, artwork, and songs that talk about love because everyone can relate to the feeling. One of my favorite quotes about love is actually from the Bible- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a to be exact; "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." I think that this one of the best ways of describing love because love can be difficult to define because there are so many versions of it. Love can be of an object or idea, family, friends, pets, significant other, or something else.

So the question is, what is love? When you ask that question, some people will reply with "baby don't hurt me no more", a lyric from Haddaway's What is Love. I feel like it can be a difficult feeling to really describe, but actions can help express what love is. Just by watching the people around you can give insight to what love is about, whether it's watching your parents, family, friends, or strangers. I feel like it's the little things that mean the most to people because they see that their person understands and knows them. It can be anything from wearing a certain shirt because you know that your person loves how that shirt looks on you, knowing what their favorite superhero is, what side of the bed they like to sleep on, to knowing when they just need to be hugged.I want to be able to go on adventure and do random silly things like just driving somewhere because they have great chocolate chip pancakes, having a late night dance party or watch random documentaries about things we're passionate about on Netflix.

The great part about love is that it can happen to anyone at any point in life, often it comes unexpectedly. With that, it could also mean you waiting longer than you expected to find love. Don't settle for love. A great, real love is worth waiting for and will be worth every minute of heartbreak or loneliness that you have felt. I personally have never been in love, I thought I might of once or twice, but I'm still waiting on that day that I find my person. In the mean time, the only thing I can do is work on myself and enjoy the life that I have been given, knowing that one day I will find what countless movies, songs, books, and people talk about.

Cover Image Credit: floressantfriday.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Four Ways Jess & Gabriel Conte Taught Me About Relationships

Jess and Gabe, thank you for teaching me much more about love than any romance novel or television program ever could.

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1. You Don't Have To Do Anything Physical on the First Date

Honestly, with how television and films shape your knowledge on how dating in high school and college is, I am surprised there are boys in this world that know that "hooking up" and having sex isn't a requirement of the first date. Having Tinder and Bumble at the swipe of your fingertip isn't of any assistance with preventing that idea, however, you would like to think that more than two percent of the male population understandings that the physicality of a relationship isn't the entire relationship. Gabe, however, is a perfect example that there are men in the world that accept and respect that you may not want to even kiss on the first date! Coming from a girl with very little experience in the dating and romance area, I really respect and have a lot of gratitude for boys, men, like that, because I feel much more comfortable going out and building a real connection with them. I think more boys should be learning this idea.

2. Dating is Something You Do Forever

We have this idea that you "talk" to someone, you "date", and then you're official with the person and you have your titles or relationship status and move forward from there. One aspect of relationships that Jess and Gabe taught me is so important is that you date forever. We see on television shows and romance movies that two people will go on dates until they become an "official" couple, and then the date nights are rare and made for special occasions or if there is a rift in the relationship. Going out on dates and having date nights with your significant other will only build your relationship and your friendship (which is so important) and allows you to learn more about your partner to better love and understand them. I think that if you are only saving a date night for an anniversary or if there is an argument, you are going to set your relationship up to fall apart because then you are settling into behaviors that aren't going to bring you closer to your partner - you're going to stick yourself into a plateau and that is where problems arise.

3. Have Faith and Remember That God Has a Plan

Jess and Gabe have taught me a lot about my faith. College hasn't always brought me closer to my faith and my belief in God (understanding His plan for me and why things went amuck sometimes made me question my faith altogether - What was I believing in if what I tried to do and what I really wanted never happened?). It's hard to see the bigger picture when relationships and dating and sex are all around you, and your morals and desires in life don't include half of what most (or how it appears to be) boys our age want. Add your family into the mixture asking why you haven't had a boyfriend or why you don't like anyone at school, and the pressure to have a relationship now - whether the boy is a respectable one or not - is overwhelming.

Understanding all of that and every other pressure influencing my ideas on a relationship, I started searching and searching, coming up empty handed every time, and I felt really discouraged. I couldn't understand how everyone was having relationships or seeming to find a person that was the perfect fit for them, and I couldn't find a boy that would talk to me for more than a week because he learned that I wouldn't have sex with him after knowing him for all of five minutes.

Jess and Gabe taught me that God has a bigger plan for me and my life. All of these boys that I have come across, all of the ones that have been rude, or disrespectful, or not cared for me, are all one more closer to the person that will respect me and my beliefs and my wants to have in a relationship.

4. Good Men Exist, Even If They Are Few and Far Between

Peace Out,

From Caitlin (and the Conteam).

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