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What Does the Word ‘Love’ Mean To You?

What Does the Word ‘Love’ Mean To You?

“Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!”

Moulin Rouge – a movie all about love with their well-known quote, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”. The movie perfectly portrays how two people who were not allowed to be together would do everything in their willpower to love each other till they take their last breath.

That’s probably the general view of loving someone unconditionally that you would do everything and anything to be together. However, with over 7 billion people on this planet, not everyone will have the same definition. Love is a very diverse term. Everyone needs it in some way or another, and therefore, everyone has their own definition to what ‘love’ means to them.

Haikal, 12, Romantic, Adventurous

In my opinion, love is not how much you say ‘I love you’ but how much you can prove it’s true. It’s about how patient and kind you are, it does not include boasting, it is not how arrogant and rude you are.

Love means accepting a person with all their failures, stupidities, and their imperfection. For example, love means there is no more busy world, it’s always about priorities. You will always find times you feel the most important about.

So in conclusion, I think love is a variety of different feelings; it’s about accepting someone for who they are and have feelings and do whatever it takes to have their forgiveness or even their heart.

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Joseph, 21, Withdrawn Over-Thinker

I don’t believe in love at first sight. Attraction at first sight, yes. Affection at first sight, perhaps. But love?

Love, to me, rests on the same cline as companionship. And companionship is the foundation of love. Respect, understanding, and enthusiasm are the pillars on which this foundation is built – not initial attraction, not initial perception.

I suppose I am, to an extent, a victim of the ‘mere-exposure effect,’ in which a preference for someone or something comes with familiarity. I was close friends with my girlfriend for seven years before ‘asking her out,’ and I truly think that this friendship has served as an excellent point of reference over the last two years.

Therein lies the crux of my contention: love is not the gunshot signaling that the race has begun, but nor is it the feeling of crossing the finishing line. Love is the race – the journey – itself. Cliché? Yeah, sort of, but I do think it holds that the muddy concept of ‘love’ cannot be confined to the claustrophobic space of initial meeting, and this casts heavy doubts over the idea of love at first sight.

I respect but can’t identify with the desire for ‘one night stands’ or ‘wicked hooks,’ or whatever lingo is being used these days to denote seemingly frivolous dealings with a significant (or not so significant) other. It simply isn’t in my personality to consider such physical interaction to be so detached from emotional connection.

Of course, that’s not to say that love is static; it is an ever-changing construct, arbitrarily named and largely blurred at its edges. For some people, love at first sight might both exist and be fruitful, and I’m totally fine with that. In fact, let me make an amendment to my opening statement: I don’t believe in love at first sight for me.

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Love exists outside the realm of human relationships, but I think nuanced meaning clouds its existence. I love coffee, I love the fresh air, and I love poetry, but I’m not in love with them.

I am in love with my girlfriend.

Kirsty, 23, Secretly Sentimental

An important element of love is to love yourself. Accept yourself and embrace the parts of yourself that you don’t necessarily like about yourself. This is an important lesson in how to love someone else. If you love yourself, you can be more generous with the love you give to others. You find yourself feeling more fulfilled and more loved than you could possibly imagine. You’ll find yourself smiling at the thought of whoever it is that you find you love. Love means seeing flaws and accepting them as positive traits. You’ll feel a sense of completeness that you never knew you were lacking in the first place, and no matter how long you’ve been apart whether it be hours or months you’ll feel like you’re coming home.

Luke, 21, Avocado Enthusiast

To possess a true love for something, some place, some ideology or someone and feel the reciprocation is often perceived as a final hurdle on a pathway to utopia, ‘a hypothetical place or state of things where everything is perfect.’

If I were to use something as simple as an “avocado” as a representation of any human, object or place capable of being truly loved; love can be defined to me as the feelings you are overcome with when you stumble across one of these wonderful green oval-shaped specimens, one that is of perfect ripeness, far superior to any avocado you’ve found on the shelves before. So flawless that as your knife pierces through the delicate skin effortlessly leaving you two immaculate halves not only does your heart and mind constantly discover new boundaries of excitement but a level of contentedness and satisfaction settles in.

With a little feta cheese to accompany, all spread over the finest sourdough toast, and experienced in your own personal paradise, each bite brings forth feelings of invincibility and superiority that not a thing in the world can overcome the sheer happiness. I love avocados.

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Sarah, 14, Open-Minded and Exciting

What is love to me? Love is something unconditional and can’t really be explained in words. Of course, I’ve never experienced it yet, but it’s something I wish to feel in my lifetime.

The best way you can really say it is, it’s a feeling that you can’t shake, no matter how hard you try. The feeling when you love that special someone or something you can never live without. The feeling to need them and protect them.

Love is when you look at that person, and your heart accelerates, you get goosebumps. Every time you touch them you feel the electricity radiating off the both of you. You can never feel selfish with them and sacrifice anything or everything if it means you can be with them for the rest of your life. It’s when that person makes you happy no matter how you’re feeling. No matter the gender, ethnicity or person.

But love isn’t easy, it comes with consequences and sacrifices that if you are willing to make you know you’ve found the right someone/something.

I know very few people who are truly, deeply, and madly in love with each other, and let me tell you every time I see that it gives me the shred of hope that there actually might be someone out there for me.

So that’s what love is to me. How bout you?

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Sharvin, 19, Dog Lover

Everyone at a pinnacle point in their life has experienced love regardless if they were loved or have been loved. It’s an inevitable feeling that captures the heart with full on passion, infatuation, and desire. It comes in all sorts of forms like with family, friends or an intimate love. In my experience, love “feels so good but hurts so bad”, I went through many amazing memories of my life with the women I love but at the end, it will either end up a fairytale or just like a wrecking ball being swung at you at immense pace.

My love generally lies in the animal kingdom. Such exquisite creatures roaming on our planet for millions of years and have been proven a predominant significance. Dogs are my favorite, especially pugs, golden retrievers, shih tzu, and corgi’s! I have a pet dog that, in all honesty, feels like another younger sibling. Their presence is a remedy for sadness or stress; they will be there through your ups and downs, which clearly defines the term, “dogs are a man’s best friend”. They may be a little annoying at times when it comes to barking or pooping all over the house but hey they are not as privileged as humans to have an intellect.

Marina, 20, Classic and Eclectic

To me, love is the most powerful thing on this planet. It can make you go crazy, feel every emotion a human ought to feel all mixed together, it can make you sick, and it can also make you feel more alive than anything ever can. Whether it’s loving yourself or loving someone else (or even loving an idea or a thing), it will consume you and make you feel infinite.

To me, I know that love is the greatest thing out there – that without it, we are nothing. Something that pushes you to achieve it, no matter what others say or who stops you. It’s the happiness it can bring you when you’re feeling down and once taken away, that’s when you feel like everything has gone to hell.

To be frank, it is dangerous to love, but it’s a risk you should be willing to take. Love so deeply it overwhelms you. Once you fall in love with something or someone, you’ll know it. Trust me on this. It may take time, but it’ll be worth it. You just need to find your star.

Featured photo credit: Susanne Nilsson via flickr.com

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NOORMARINA ANWAR

Student, Monash University

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

40 Amazing Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, starry-eyed lovers worldwide are getting ready to celebrate their love and planning the perfect date for their partner. However, there are many loving, caring, and generally great people out there who simply can’t think of a single romantic thing to do, let alone create the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience for their loved one. If you are looking for some great date ideas that will put a smile on your partner’s face and melt their heart, then just keep on reading. I’ve got a pretty big list of choices for you. Here are some great ideas ranging from tried and true classics, to the fun and slightly unconventional.

1. Rom-coms marathon

This is a very basic yet highly romantic way of spending the day with your partner. Take a few days to prepare the right playlist and create a romantic atmosphere at home. You can order out some food, open a bottle of wine and cuddle up in front of the TV.

2. Recreate your first date

Rated pretty high on the “romantic gestures scale,” this is guaranteed to impress your significant other. It requires a good memory and a bit of work to make it just right, but it is well worth it. Walk down the same streets where you first kissed and have a couple of drinks in that old coffee shop where you had your first drinks together. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra and add a little romantic gift into the mix.

3. Cook for your loved one

Start researching good recipes for a romantic dinner for two, get the right ingredients and prepare a couple of practice dinners to make sure you’ve got your technique and presentation down pat. Cooking for someone can be a big turn on and you can create some incredible meals without spending too much money. Take it up a notch by dressing classy, decorating your dining room and presenting your partner with a printed menu.

4. Organize your very own ancient Greek party

Here’s another one of those creative date ideas for the stay-at-home couple. The ancient Greek private party can be a very fun and erotic experience. You can decorate by using big bowls full of grapes, spreading some white sheets all over the place, placing some plastic vines here and there, putting up a few posters depicting Greek parties and having plenty of wine lying around. Wear nothing but light sheets or costumes and channel some of that hot-blooded Greek spirit.

5. A romantic weekend getaway in the mountains

For those looking for a change of scenery and an escape from the busy city, there is nothing better than a quiet, romantic weekend in the mountains. There are plenty of fun activities like skiing that will keep you active. You can have fun making a snowman or engaging in a snowball fight, and, of course, there is plenty of privacy and great room service waiting for you back at your room.

6. Fun day at the shooting range

A bit unconventional but an incredibly fun and exciting date that will get your blood pumping and put a huge smile on your faces. Try out a number of guns and have a bit of a competition. Some outdoor ranges have fully automatic rifles, which are a blast to shoot.

7. Rent an expensive sports car for a day

Don’t be afraid to live large from time to time—even if you can’t afford the glamorous lifestyle of the stars, you can most definitely play pretend for a day. Put on some classy clothes and drive around town in a rented sports car. The quick acceleration and high speed are sure to provide an exhilarating experience.

8. Go on a shopping spree together

Very few things can elicit such a huge dopamine rush as a good old shopping spree. Get some new lingerie, pretty shoes, a nice shirt and tie, a couple of new video games or whatever else you need or want. This is a unique chance to bond, have fun and get some stuff that you’ve been waiting to buy for a while now.

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9. Hit the clubs

For all the party animals out there, one of the best date ideas is to go out drinking, dancing, and just generally enjoying the night life. Visit a few good clubs, then go to an after-party and keep that party spirit going for as long as you can.

10. Spend the day driving around the city and visiting new places

This one is geared towards couples who have been together for a year or two and want to experience a few new things together. Visit a few cool coffee places on the other side of town, check out interesting restaurants you’ve never been to, and consider going to see a play or having fun at a comedy club on open mic night.

11. Wine and chocolates at sunset

Pick out a romantic location, such as a camping spot on a hill overlooking the city or a balcony in a restaurant with a nice view, open a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates and wait for that perfect moment when the sky turns fiery red to embrace and share a passionate kiss.

12. Ice skating

There is something incredibly fun about ice skating that brings people closer together and just keeps you laughing (maybe it’s all the falling and clinging to the other person for dear life). You can have some great fun and then move on to a more private location for some alone time.

13. Body painting

Speaking of private locations and intimate moments, body painting allows you to spice things up back at your place and add a new element of fun to foreplay. You’ll need adequate body paints and some brushes and the rest is up to you. You can do tiger stripes, paint a t-shirt on your partner, or go for something more abstract—the choice is yours.

14. Model clothes for each other

This one goes well when combined with a shopping spree, but you can just get a bunch of your clothes—old and new—from the closet, set up a catwalk area and then try on different combinations. You can be stylish, funny or beautiful. It’s a great after-dinner show and a good way to transition into a more intimate atmosphere.

15. Dance the night away

If you and your significant other are relatively good dancers, or if you simply enjoy moving your body to the rhythm of the music, then a night at salsa club or similar venue is the perfect thing for you. Alternatively, you can set up dance floor at home, play your favorite music, have a few drinks and dance like there is no tomorrow.

16. Lock the doors, turn off the phones and have the whole house to yourselves

This one might seem a bit obvious and kind of redundant seeing as how I’ve already mentioned a bunch of stay-at-home date ideas that require this step as a prerequisite, but when I say, “Have the whole house to yourselves,” I literally mean turning the whole house into romantic stage where you can explore your fantasies. Decorate each room a bit differently, have a lot of snacks and drinks lying around, put a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and go from room to room throughout the day. You can start off with a steaming shower, have a romantic meal, then watch a movie cuddled up on the couch and eventually make your way to the bedroom.

17. Organize a nature walk

Being outside has many health benefits, but what you are going for is the beautiful view, seclusion, and the thrill of engaging in some erotic behavior out in the open. You can rent a cottage far from the city, bring some food and drinks, and explore the wilderness. This is nice way to spice things up a bit and get away from the loud and busy city life.

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18. Act out a fun scenario wearing costumes

Some role-playing may be just the thing you need to spice up your love life after a few years of being together, but it can be a very fun experience for new couples as well. Work on the scenario together (wounded soldier and nurse, a female cop arresting a robber, etc.), buy the right costumes and accessories beforehand and find a good setting. You could also rent a hotel room to add to the forbidden-fruit vibe.

19. Travel abroad

This takes a bit of planning in advance and may be a bit costly, but if you can afford it, there are very few things that can match a trip to France, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, or a number of other excellent locations.

20. Go on a hot-air balloon ride

These are very fun and romantic—you get an incredible view, get to experience the thrill of flying, and you’ve got enough room for a romantic dinner and some champagne. Just be sure to wear warm clothes, it can get pretty cold high up in the air.

21. A relaxing day at the spa

Treat your body, mind and senses to a relaxing day at the spa. You and your partner will feel fresh, comfortable and relaxed—a perfect date for the more serious couples who don’t get to spend as much time with each other as they’d like.

22. A trip down memory lane

This one is great for long-term couples who will benefit from reminiscing about all of their fondest memories together from the start of the relationship through to the present, reliving some of the most significant moments they shared.

23. Fun times at a karaoke bar

A great choice for couples celebrating their first Valentine’s Day together—it’s fairly informal and inexpensive, yet incredibly fun and allows for deeper bonding. Once you have a few drinks in your system and come to terms with the fact that you are making a complete fool of yourself, you’ll have the time of your life!

24. Helicopter tour of the city followed by dinner

A modern equivalent to the hot-air balloon ride, the helicopter tour is among the more reasonably priced date ideas and is incredibly romantic and exciting. After about half an hour or an hour of sightseeing you can finish off the upper-class experience by dining in a nice restaurant.

25. Horseback riding

Horseback riding is incredibly fun, especially if you’ve never done it before. And what girl doesn’t dream of a prince coming to take her on an adventure on his noble steed? It evokes a sense of nobility and is a very good bonding experience.

26. Plan a fun date night with other couples

Take a break and rent a cabin in the woods, go to a mountain resort, a couple’s retreat, or just organize a huge date night at someone’s place and hang out with other couples. This is a great option for couples who have spent at least one Valentine’s Day together and allows you to customize your experience to suit your needs. Also, you can always retire early and get some alone time with your partner if you so desire.

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27. Cocktail night

This can be done privately, or with other couples if you are organizing a group Valentine’s Day celebration at someone’s house. All you need is a bunch of different drinks, a few accessories like fruit and spices, and internet access to check out some cool recipes online. Try out all sorts of fun cocktails and mix some brand new ones on your own. Make it a fancy dress night for added fun.

28. Make reservations at an exclusive restaurant

A fairly old school move, except this time you can pick out a restaurant that serves a particular type of cuisine you’ve never tried before. Go for a place that has unusual menus and likes to make a show out of presenting the food, rather than just going for your regular “suits and monocles” type venue.

29. Go to a concert

There are a whole bunch of things happening around Valentine’s Day, so go online and check out what’s happening near you. You’ll surely be able to find tickets for a cool concert or some type of festival with live music.

30. Fancy night on the town

Buy some elegant new clothes, rent a limo for the night and go to a nice restaurant, followed by a jazz club or gallery exhibition. Walk tall, make a few sarcastic quips, and have a few laughs with your partner while letting your inner snob take charge for a few hours.

31. Take a tour of the historical and cultural sites of your city

For the cultured crowd and history buffs among us, a day spent learning about some of the local history and delving deeper into national culture is both incredibly fun and a great way to share a unique experience with a loved one. You’d be surprised to find just how much you don’t know about the place you live in.

32. Live out a James Bond film at a casino

A beautiful lady in a simple yet sensual, form-fitting, black dress, and a strong and handsome, if somewhat stern-looking man in a fine suit walk up to a roulette table with drinks in hand and place bets at random as they smile at each other seductively. This is a scenario most of us wish to play out, but rarely get a chance. It can be a bit costly, but this is one of the most incredibly adventurous and romantic date ideas.

33. Go bungee jumping

People in long-term relationships often talk about things like keeping a relationship fun and exciting, doing new things together, trusting each other and using aphrodisiacs. Well, bungee jumping is a fun, exhilarating activity you can both enjoy; it requires trust and the adrenaline rush you get from it is better than any aphrodisiac out there. Just saying, give it a shot and you won’t regret it.

34. Take a tour of a winery or brewery

Taking a tour like this can be a great opportunity to learn new things about wine or beer (or perhaps whiskey) and how it is made, while at the same time getting a chance to taste some excellent drinks and get a few bottles for later in the evening.

35. Make a fun music video

Meet up earlier in the day, take decent camera, and start shooting a music video. Rehearse the lyrics (you can even make up your own silly song), dress up, and start filming. You’ll have tons of fun doing it and you can edit the video later and have a cool memento.

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36. Play some sports

Some one-on-one basketball, a soccer match against another couple, a bit of tennis, or even something as simple as a table tennis tournament (make it fun by stripping off items of clothing when you lose a game). You can combine this with date idea #13 and paint team uniforms on each other and play in the nude.

37. Visit a club with live music

A great option for just about any couple—pick a club that has live performers (whether it’s jazz, rock or even a poetry reading) and dress up for the occasion. Be sure to make reservations in advance to avoid the Valentine’s Day rush, and focus on making your date feel comfortable.

38. Take skydiving lessons

Another adrenaline-filled date, skydiving is sure to get your heart racing like crazy and leave you with a goofy grin for the rest of the day. You can offset all the excitement by ending the day with a quiet dinner at home.

39. Go for some paintball

Playing war games is an excellent way to get your body moving, focus on some of that hand-eye-coordination, and engage your brain in coming up with tactical solutions in the heat of the moment. It is also a great bonding experience, adrenaline-fueled fun, and role-playing all wrapped into one. And when you get back home, you can always act out the wounded soldier scenario (see #18).

40. Fill the whole day with random fun activities

Just say no to plans, reservations and clichés—take your partner by the hand, have your credit card ready and just go out and have some fun. Bowling, followed by a drink at a coffee shop and then a romantic movie? Sure, why not? Going for lunch at a nice restaurant and then organizing a double-date game night? Go right ahead. Going for a long walk in the park, visiting a museum, followed by romantic meal at home and then going out to a club? Hey, who am I to say no? You can use some of the ideas from this article and mash them up together to create a fun-filled Valentine’s Day you’ll both remember.

There you go, a whole bunch of useful date ideas for all you loving couples out there. You can pick out any one of these, make some adjustments or even combine different options to create the perfect Valentine’s Day date for your significant other. Plan ahead, have fun and celebrate your love proudly.

Featured photo credit: Relevante design via unsplash.com

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