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Your Valentine’s Day Questions Answered (ft. Wise CWRU Students)

 

The dreaded day that everyone hates is approaching: Valentine’s Day. With the overly embellished supermarkets, and everything looking like it was taken out of a disney princess movie, who would like this stupid day?

 

Marketers are bringing their A-game, and as a result, Valentine’s Day usually means expensive gifts, unrealistic expectations, chocolate, and maybe a pint of ice cream. So this year, let’s take a step back and try to think about what this day is really about! Love…? If so, what the hell is this “love”??? I certainly don’t think I know what it is, so with the help of a few intelligent CWRU students, let’s look at how relationships truly mean in our lives.

 

HerCampus: Hi!

Students: Hey, Hi! Sup.

 

HC: Thanks for being brave souls and taking on this role to answer some mind boggling questions. Could you guys tell me your names*, ages, genders, and sexual orientations?

Hannah: 20, female, heterosexual

Andrew: 20, male, heterosexual

Leo: 20, male, gay

Nadine: 20, female, heterosexual

Ben: 22, male, heterosexual

Milly: 20, female, heterosexual

Jill: 19, female, queer as f***

Oscar: 20, male, heterosexual

 

HC: So, let’s just get right to it. Do any of you guys believe in love at first sight?

Hannah: No, definitely not.

Andrew: Yes

NadineI’m back and forth about it. I believe it’s lust at first sight.

MillyI believe in infatuation or good impressions at first sight, not necessarily love. I believe love occurs over time when you develop feelings towards someone based on getting to know someone. But, this infatuation or good impression can lead you to want to get to know someone better and eventually fall in love with them.

JillI fall in love a hundred times a day to people with whom I’ll never speak to.

 

 

 

 

HC: Interesting, so then have you guys experienced being in love?

Andrew: Yes

Leo: I have definitely been in love before. I fell head over heals for the first guy who I was in a long term relationship with. We had incredible chemistry and really enjoyed spending time with one another. He was my first everything… Including my first major heartbreak, unfortunately.

NadineI’ve loved people, but I don’t think I’ve been “in love.”

Ben: Yes.

Jill: Absolutely. I love, and I love hard when I do. It’s a pisces thing.

Oscar: No, I think in order to truly feel love as a mature adult, a part of it involves having such an emotional connection with the person to the point where all you have to do is look in their eyes and you already know what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. This type of understanding takes a long time and I’ve personally never reached that special point with anyone.

 

HC: Dang, going through a heartbreak definitely sucks. Which brings me to the question, are all of you single…? or…?

HannahI am not single, and I like being committed because it feels secure to have a partner who shares similar values and goals in your life with you. Also your spouse is the only family member you get to choose in life therefore I think being in a committed relationship provides not only security but also reflects the type of people you want in life (partners are big influence in your life).

Andrew: Single, but not unhappy being single. However, I think being committed could be beneficial to my health and bring a positive boost to different aspects of my life.

Nadine: Single and I’m definitely happy being single!

Milly: I am not single, I am in a relationship and I am very happy. 

JillI am the most miserable single person– I should rephrase, I’m the most miserable person when not getting regular sex and intimacy. I can find the sex when single, but the intimacy is lacking.

 
 

HC: Cool, so we have a good mixture of people, slightly single-sided but that’s okay haha. So this one’s a bit personal. Do you think sex is appropriate before marriage and has society’s views on this changed since you were younger?

LeoThis is a really weird question for the LGBT community in general. Saving sex for marriage wasn’t realistic until the whole legalization of gay marriage this past year. Before then, I never considered saving sex for a legally recognized commitment that I couldn’t ever have. I was raised as a Catholic, so, sure, I was told that I should save it. But I think that understanding and exploring sexual chemistry with a partner is really important for a healthy relationship.

NadineI think sex is appropriate before marriage because i think every relationship needs a good physical connection, but it’s definitely not necessary. It depends on what society you’re in. I think there is definitely a huge jump between generations. My views have remained constant. I do not adhere to a religion so I have always seen sex as simply a physical act and the meaning behind it is dependent on what you want to tie to it. Whether you believe sex is only between two married or unmarried people who are in love, or just a physical act of human nature. It can go either way and I think it’s always situational.

BenI think sex is definitley appropriate and needed in a relationship, because I find it normal that two people want to have sex when they love each other. I think of it as an act of love.

JillI might as well get married in a black dress at this point. The white origin wedding is so 1980s and so overrated.

OscarDefinitely, its an important part of love. If you don’t have sexual chemistry with a person then that destroys a lot of the passion and fire of a relationship and the love that goes with it. If you’re already married you can try to force the chemistry if its not there but I don’t think love should be forced either way. Society’s views have gotten a little more liberal towards it but honestly since the 60s its always been more relaxed. It’s almost become a necessity for most people in a relationship and a way to strengthen it. My views have also gotten more liberal the more I have detached from religion over the years.
 
 

HC: It’s interesting to see how most of you guys agreed that sex before marriage is appropriate, even necessary in a committed relationship. What do you think are the guidelines for a successful relationship?

LeoCommunication is key. Both individuals have to be 100% clear about what they want out of a relationship and occasionally check in with their partner about how things are going. Not only should you address things that are troublesome, but things that you enjoy and appreciate as well.

NadineAll kinds of trust. Trust that your partner is committed, trust that your partner is never judgemental of you but only helping you improve. I think a successful relationship should make two people better individuals. With that level of trust, i think each partner should feel very comfortable with each other. No one should ever have to feel like they need to prove something to the other.

Ben: Be supportive and respectful towards each other.

JillGood sex. Good communication. Respect.

 

 


 

HC: Looks like you guys know a ton more about relationships than I do. Would you say your previous relationships/encounters have affected how you approach dating now?

AndrewI have a better understanding of what it takes to make a relationship work and what I need in a partner to make a relationship work. I also definitely have trust issues. I’m much quicker to see faults in partners and whenever I get close to a possible commitment I panic and bail.

LeoI don’t really think that my previous relationships have shaped how I approach my love life today. I’ve been cheated on in two committed relationships and others have just fizzled out, but I still let my walls down and give it my all when I’m in a relationship with a guy.

NadineI have a good idea on what I look for when dating. I know to trust my gut and when the feeling just isn’t right, it just isn’t right. That’s probably what I’ve learned most from relationships/encounters. I should never have to convince myself I like someone or that I don’t like someone. In the wise words of Selena Gomez, the heart wants what it wants.

BenI have been cheated on twice, so I’m a lot more careful about who I trust and date. I think I’m better at reading people’s personalities and motives after my previous experiences.

JillMy last relationship– which was over a year long and I thought would be the love of my life– has taught me that I deserve so much better.

 

HC: How do you feel about your significant other having close friends of the opposite sex? (same sex if homosexual)

HannahI don’t feel that comfortable but if they were friends since they were younger, then it’s okay.

AndrewI think it’s healthy and important.  I think that it isn’t wrong to find a little discomfort in it but trust is a huge part of a relationship and the last thing you want is for something so small to ruin everything.

LeoFirst of all, the issue of sexuality complicates this question because your partner could be bisexual or pansexual and just not tell you. In all honestly, if you think that your partner could cheat on you at all, you need to take a serious step back and think about if it’s really worth being in a relationship with that person. I think that monogamy is an extremely sensitive subject and should be one of the most steadfast qualities of a committed relationship unless an open relationship is talked about and agreed upon.

MillyI do get jealous of my boyfriend sometimes when he talks about other girls more than I would like, but at the end of the day, I know that I am his closest girl friend and he is mine and I think that is very important.

NadineI will definitely have close male friends and I expect my partner to be okay with it. I will always tell this significant other that I don’t mind, because that’s only fair. However, I have to like these close friends. I have to be able to get along with them and trust them. If these close friends are both very attractive, sly, and seem like they have a hidden agenda with my partner then I will definitely bring that up. But, if these friends are people who I can myself call as friends, then I’m perfectly okay with that.

Ben: I don’t really care. It’s not a big deal.

 
 

 

HC: What would you say is a deal breaker for you in a committed relationship?

AndrewThe biggest deal breaker is a lack of support or mutual respect. In the end, a SO is someone who is able to provide a safety net that allows you to grow and develop, if they act as a weight that brings you down then something has to be done.

LeoCheating is the biggest deal breaker. Also, doing hard drugs. That’s a huge no no in my book.

Ben: Don’t f***ing CHEAT. Don’t f***ing do it. Don’t do it. 

Milly: Cheating is definitely a deal breaker, any form of aggression, abuse or violence is a deal breaker, and any attempts to change who I am at the core is a deal breaker. #byefelicia

JillAbsenteeism. I am needy, and I know it.

Oscar: From a partner, I will always need some attraction, respect, and communication: in that order. If we don’t have those things then I personally could never have a committed relationship with that person.

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With the excessive decorations and pressure to make this “holiday” special, Valentine’s Day wins the award for most annoying holiday of the year. However, what Valentine’s Day really may be celebrating is the existence of life itself and the incredible and intimate relationships we form with our significant others, friends, family, and even ourselves.

So if you’re in a relationship, appreciate and celebrate the wonderful person that your significant other is! If you’re single, celebrate your friendships by reminiscing on those unforgettable shambly nights or the days constituted by tears of sadness or joy. Call or text your parents, your grandparents, or whoever you cherish! And if you’re unhappy with your current relationship, maybe spend a few minutes examining why your current relationship isn’t bringing you the joy that your other relationships bring you.

Happy celebrating love everyone!!!

 

 

*Special thanks to all the amazing students who took their time to answer these questions!*

 

*All names have been changed to respect privacy

 
 
Nicole is a junior studying nutritional biochemistry and psychology. She soon hopes to obtain a driver's license, because she will cry if she has to carry around her passport for much longer.
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