Female, 28, single (and loving it)

What does romantic love mean to you?

Romantic love is when two people mutually CHOOSE to commit to each other and intimacy that is spiritual, emotional, and physical. It can also be friendship plus sexual attraction. Friendship is important otherwise what else will hold it together.

What is the difference between platonic love and romantic love?

The difference is that physical attraction isn’t there and there isn’t sexual attraction. I don’t mean sex in just the physical act of sex. But there is something more to it. Sex also means gender and since men and women are different, it’s how one man and one woman come together.

Why do you (or we, if you don’t) seek love?

We all do seek out love because that’s what we’re made to do. There are periods when I didn’t seek a relationship because I needed to prepare to receive a relationship and learn how to be a better relationship partner. Or focus on college. There will be those times. Then there are also people who do not want to get married. That doesnt mean they don’t experience love or being in a community for example nuns and people who choose celibacy.

Is there one perfect person out there for you, or can you, through selfless loving, have a great relationship with someone very special?

No, the idea of “soulmates” is a foolish, naive idea. I hate that. There is no one perfect person. I believe that both people need to equally work to make it happen. The idea of the perfect one out there takes away personal responsibility for being a person who serves the other and a great relationship takes humility, patience, sacrifice. Denying that and expecting someone else to make you happy and give you the perfect relationship is a sign of emotional immaturity because it avoids personal responsibility of any kind and tends to blame others and circumstances when things go wrong.

I do believe there’s compatibility. Opposites attract is a total myth. Unlike the movies, in real life most people choose partners who share commonalities. Compatibility depends on people to people. Personally, I have an idea of what makes a guy compatible yet doesn’t need to have everything in common with me. It’s up to you to decide what you must have and what you can compromise. And be realistic.

Should, and do, men pursue women that they are interested in? Should women pursue?

Men and women are different yet differences aren’t always simplistic. Acting as if gender differences don’t exist is naive, yet that doesn’t mean conforming to old arbitrary rules. I think men should pursue because that shows he’s interested and willing to invest in the relationship. When women pursue what usually happens is the guy thinks he doesn’t have to give in as much and she usually gets a guy who’s mooching off her. It has to do with gender differences. There are guys out there who expect the relationship to happen without any effort. Having a guy pursue you weeds out those losers (sorry!). I’m speaking based on what I’ve observed. Yet, having the man take initiative does not mean that a woman cannot flirt, go get to know a guy, or break out of it. Why play games? For example, one time I asked a guy out. He smiled and joked, “Oooh, so you’re asking me out on a date.” I said, “What if I am?” He agreed but on the date he wanted to open the doors, pay for it and I let him be a man. While we were out, he lead the date. I like that he didn’t feel emasculated or insulted but dealt with it with humor. This was a good test. Yes, women and men are different but it’s ok to be willing to think out of the box. How men are men and women are women can look different to different people, so please don’t judge others. I lived abroad and in some cultures, it’s usually the women or the girls family who makes the initial “asking out” yet expect the men to be men. The men continue the relationship and function as the man, while women function as women. I talked to someone and they said that in this culture, it is considered very rude and inappropriate to approach a woman if she doesnt show interest. So women are the ones who make the first move. She’d go flirt with him and ask him out. But he takes her out and pays. Chivalry expresses itself differently in different cultures. But since we’re in America, and the ways things are here. I’d say I expect the man to take initiative, but that doesnt mean women have to be passive either.

If you are in a relationship (especially if you are married), how did you know that was the person for you?  If not, have you ever been in love, and how did you know?

I’m single. I have dated and been in relationships but knew they were not the ones. I know it didn’t work because of differences in faith and other areas. I think love is a person who you know you can fully commit to, accept, and can live in unity with. A friendship with compatibility + sexual attraction is what sums up love to me.

How do you stay in love, or make it last?

Commit to each other, value each other and serve each other. It’s gotta be mutual. One person alone can’t make it work. Think of love as a garden. If love was a garden and to keep it flourishing and going, it needs two people who can communicate, cooperate, equally give in to it. It’s also a bad idea to think you can change someone, especially if he or she isn’t that interested.

What do you love best about the opposite sex, and what do you dislike the most about them?

Hmmm… six pack, biceps, nice, tight butt lol. Those things are nice but since we know that’s not the only thing, I like how men are different. It’s like dancing. The lead has his role of being the one who sets the frame. It doesn’t mean it’s any more difficult than the follow or the follow is not as talented or important. I like the sense of protection a man brings in.

I dislike egotism, blaming others for situation and it’s unattractive when a man is insecure about his masculinity and tries to make up for it by bullying, abusing and tearing down, especially his own wife and children. I also can’t stand men who feel insecure about successful, intelligent woman. A truly confident man will not feel emasculated by successful, intelligent, strong women.

What advice would you give?  Love related, but anything at all to anyone at all.

Don’t be desperate and you won’t be dateless. Goes both ways. If you are unhappy as a single, what makes you think a relationship will magically cure that. To some girls, I want to scream “Nothing magical happens after marriage, you are still the same person.” Don’t be codependent and depend your entire happiness on another person. It is not healthy and tends to attract insecure, controlling, or even abusive men. A normal, confident, healthy guy will feel uncomfortable with a clingy woman. One of my guy friends told me that it’s a lot of pressure on him and it feels like he’s alone except dragging another person along. It is difficult to relate to a person who has no sense of self, no interests, and latches on. I say this because I used to have a friend like that. Even though our friendship was obviously platonic between two women, I found the friendship overbearing and unable to relate to her. I felt like I wasn’t getting any proper support. She wouldn’t give any opinion on where to hang out and where to eat. Someone else always made that decision. It made me very uncomfortable. And plus, anyone could easily take advantage of her. That kind of behavior is not love, it’s codependency and immaturity. Another thing I noticed is that our American culture being self-centered and consumeristic tend to view love the same materialistic way. Love is not a commodity. My final thoughts are: each person’s love story is different.

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