31 Answers To "What Is Love?"

31 Answers To "What Is Love?"

Love is so many things, encapsulated in one word.
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It's that time of year where being a little romantic, mushy and cheesy about your significant other, or SO, is socially acceptable thanks to Valentine's Day. Truth be told, I never really cared about V-Day, and while I still don't totally buy into it, I don't mind getting into the romantic spirit.

I've been with my boyfriend for two and a half years. I never really got what love was, or the multitude of things that are attached to the feeling of love, until I began dating him. (Cue my family and friends calling me sappy.) I've learned over time that love is more than a feeling; it's also actions, other emotions, and experiences. The following list is just some of many things that love encompasses for me.

Love is...

1. Stealing food from their plate, even when you have your own

2. Letting your SO finish your food because your eyes turned out bigger than your stomach

3. Watching your SO get excited over something they care about and getting excited for them

4. Dancing together like no one is watching

5. Getting excited over the same things

6. Feeling happy when your SO is happy

7. Introducing each other to new things or interests that you’d otherwise not be into

8. Having serious discussions on various topics


9. The feeling of wholeness that your SO gives you, even if you never felt like a part of you was missing

10. Waking up before your SO and feeling a surge of emotion at the peaceful look on their sleeping face

11. Going on casual dates more often than fancy ones, and enjoying them so much more

12. Simply enjoying one another’s company

13. Spending all day watching YouTube or Netflix because you're both unapologetically lazy

14. Watching your SO kill it at the things they do best and feeling proud AF

15. Paying attention to what they like (and getting them gifts based on that)

16. The feeling of safety and “home” you get from your SO

17. Long hugs that make the world go away

18. Coming to your SO when you’re having a bad day, knowing they'll make you feel better

19. Feeling proud of their accomplishments as if they were your own

20. Learning each other's likes and dislikes

21. Planning trips for “one day,” even if they might never happen

22. Watching your family happily envelop your SO into the fold

23. Saying “I love you” in more ways than just those three words

24. Talking about your future together like it’s guaranteed

25. All the shared experiences, both good and bad

26. Going on trips together

27. Fighting over both dumb and serious things

28. Being your weird, crazy, true self in front of them and never judging/feeling judged

29. Stealing your SO’s clothing and wearing them because they're basically yours

30. Your SO seeing you at your worst, but staying anyways

31. Always having someone to talk and gossip with

32. All the many, many memories you've created together

Cover Image Credit: Shani Goloskov

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Plan These 13 Dates For Your Girlfriend This Fall And Thank Me Later

Listen up, guys.

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If you are a boy and you are reading this, plan one of these dates and you'll make your girlfriend the happiest person alive. Yeah, you can thank me later.

1. Go to a pumpkin patch.

This may be super basic but who doesn't want a cute little pumpkin around Halloween time. Usually, you will take a hayride to the pumpkin patch which is always a nice time to spend together. It will also be really cute seeing how excited she gets over finding the perfect little pumpkin.

2. Go on a hayride.

If you go to a pumpkin patch you may have the opportunity to go on a hayride and you definitely should! You will get to see all around the farm and the scenery is usually beautiful in the fall with the leaves changing colors!

3. Go apple picking.

This date will always allow for a cute photo shoot opportunity and everyone will be able to see your Insta post later captioned "the apple of my eye." Also, if you love apples what better place to get them then a local farm where you pick them yourself! Make sure you check your local farm to see when your favorite apples will be ready for harvest!

4. Bake something together.

There are so many amazing recipes for fall, apple pie being one of them. Which will be the perfect thing to bake with your S.O. after apple picking (two dates in one)!

5. Go to a local festival.

No matter where you are from there are probably a ton of local festivals around you throughout the fall. Whether it is a food festival, fall fest, music festival or even a lantern festival all of them are usually a perfect date. You can experience new things together and enjoy the fall weather.

6. Go to a football game.

Whether it is high school, college, or a professional football game any football is good football in the fall. Between a fun tailgate and an exciting game, if you are into sports football is the way to go.

7. Walk or hike around a state park.

No matter where you are from there are always state parks around you! Fall is the perfect time to go on an outdoor because it's not too hot to too cold. The scenery is always beautiful with all of the leaves changing colors. If there is a lake you could always go kayaking or paddle boating!

8. Visit your local farm.

A lot of local farms have fresh veggies, apples, baked goods and of course pumpkins! Also, check and see if your local farm has any fall family days. On those days they usually have a lot of fun activities, animals, hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkins and if you're lucky they'll have amazing apple cider donuts!

9. Stay in for a cozy movie day.

With Freeform starting their 31 days of Halloween this leads to the perfect excuse for a night on the couch. Pick out your favorite Halloween movie, make some popcorn and have some warm apple cider while cuddling up on the couch.

10. Visit a haunted house.

If you are down for something a little scarier then a Halloween movie, check out a haunted house near yours. It could even be a haunted hayride or haunted corn maze.

11. Take her out to breakfast.

Girls are always down for a cute breakfast date. Especially when you can roll out of beds in your sweats and keep them on in the cozy fall weather.

12. Spend a night carving pumpkins.

Once Halloween rolls around you should grab a cheap carving supplies kit, roll up your sleeves, and carve a cute pumpkin together. Whether you write your initials or create a jack-o-lantern it will probably be full of fun memories of pulling out pumpkin guts.

13. Go to a Halloween party.

Take some time and hit up Pinterest for a super cute couples costume and eat all the candy you possibly can!

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Sure, Condoms Don't Feel As Good As Nothing, But Nothing Feels Better Than Safe Sex

You want to do it, but at least be safe.

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Let's talk about sex.

Condoms are great. I love them. You should too. They reduce the chances of pregnancy and contracting a sexually transmitted infection. When you're doing it with a person you met online or met just recently in person, they're the cheapest form of protection. They're not 100 percent reliable when it comes to minimizing the risk that a sperm fertilizes an egg and that zygote implants itself in your uterus, so I like taking another form of birth control just as a backup. Watch season 1 or 2 of "Weeds" if you want to be spooked a bit.

The academic year has just started, and if you're meeting new people who you want to have sexual relations with, it's important that respect is established. You're letting someone use parts of you for sexual pleasure and vice versa. They're not entitled to those parts, and if someone wants to use a condom, don't argue with them.

It doesn't matter what kind of birth control they have, or how good they are at pulling out. It's scary when accidents happen, and it's scary to see your body changing and not knowing if it's just weight gain or pregnancy, or it it's a heat rash or an infection you may be spreading to others.

I've had potential sexual partners refuse to wear condoms, and I left them because I wasn't going to let them inside of my body because, "the condom was too small." As a woman, I can't leave a pregnancy like guys can, and if given the choice to protect myself from contracting a sexually transmitted infection, I will take it, and I won't let anyone try to make me feel guilty about it.

No one should have to convince someone else for respect, especially when you're participating in an act where so much could happen physically, not to mention emotionally. Most people probably feel the most vulnerable when they're having sex. It might not be the case for all people, but if someone asks to use protection, don't argue with them about it. And if someone refuses to listen to you and respect you, walk away. There are plenty of other people out in the world who will respect you, and you shouldn't have to settle for less when your health can be affected.

When I first started dating an ex and he found out I had an intrauterine device, he immediately started putting together a presentation about why we should stop using condoms. It didn't matter to him when I said I didn't fully trust my IUD or that I was very uncomfortable with not using them. If he decided he didn't want to pull out, and my IUD failed, and I would be the one who got pregnant and had to deal with it, not him. He could choose to be supportive and stay with me through it, or he could block me on all social media platforms and Spotify.

It was a red flag that he didn't respect me, but that made me realize I didn't fully trust him. If he respected me, it wouldn't have been up for debate, and he wouldn't have tried to use my birth control against me to make me think I was being irrational. It's correct that IUD's are effective 99.9 percent of the time, but I didn't want to be the 0.01 percent who experience its failure.

Condoms don't feel the best (yes, girls feel them too), but I prefer using them because I feel safer, especially if I'm engaging in an intimate act with someone whose sexual history I don't know completely.

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