Female, 25, single

What does romantic love mean to you?

It means having someone you can count on to be there for you. It means giving someone the power to hurt you, and trusting that they won’t. It’s caring so deeply for someone that you would sacrifice so much to make them happy and keep them safe and they would do the same for you. At least, that’s what I like to think it is.

What is the difference between platonic love and romantic love?

Sexual attraction/chemistry. I have friends and family that I love just as deeply, if not more so, as I have ever loved a romantic partner, the difference with the romantic partner was the sexual aspect of the relationship.

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

I need people in my life. I need to know that there are people I love and who love me in return. And as far as romantic love is concerned, it would be nice to have that love coupled with a sexual relationship.

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

I like to think there is more than one love for me or any person. No one is perfect, but you can find someone who is pretty close. The idea of there only being one perfect person for each individual is daunting. There are 8 billion people on this planet, finding just one when you don’t know who they are or where they may be is something I’d rather not think about. I think there are several people out there that would make a great match to someone, and finding them is difficult enough without making only one person the be all, end all.

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

I think everyone, men and women, should pursue someone they are interested in. At least as long as that someone is available and hasn’t already made it clear that they don’t return the interest.

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 have been in love several times in my life. I have a strange and morbid way of knowing for sure when I really love someone. I have nightmares about them killing me. For me, that’s my subconscious’ way of telling me that this person means so much to me that they are able to hurt me more than most.

I wrote a whole blog post about it, if you want to include the link, here it is http://dnici.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/how-do-you-know-when-you-love-someone/

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

I don’t have any experience here, but I like to think that being open and honest about how you feel, what you think, and what you need out of the relationship is key. Keeping the pathways of communication open is important. This is not just verbal, maintaining eye contact while talking, looking at each other and smiling are good things to keep in mind. Also, small touches during everyday life. I have watched couples that have been together for a long time, and they are always touching one another. Just a quick squeeze of the hand, a hug, a passing touch on the arm, or a hand on the back are little caresses that seem to make a big difference.

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

I love how men are always warm. I get cold a lot and I love to have someone warm to get close to. They also give the best hugs. I think what I most dislike about men is how they don’t pay much attention to detail. It’s upsetting when you do something that seems like it makes a big difference to you but he doesn’t even notice it.

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

No matter what kind of relationship it is, you should always get out of it what you put in. Whether it’s romantic, friendship, family, or even work colleagues, everyone involved should put forth the same amount of effort and energy to maintain the relationship. If you are the one doing everything, that is not a relationship you want to have, and you need to end it for your own sake. But there are many ways to put forth the effort. It’s not just emotional or financial. It could be shown by reliability, doing little things for the other person, or paying genuine compliments. If you feel like you are being taken advantage of, then you need to cut ties with the person doing it and you should strive to not be that person in other people’s lives.

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