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Love is kind, love is patient, develop personal bonds


By Minsoo Kim     2/9/16 9:20pm

Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.’”

-Erich Fromm

If you search “finding love at college” on Google, the first link will be a Cosmopolitan article entitled, “Don’t Fall In Love In College.” Here is the world’s best search engine telling you to give up, to stay away from love in college.

And there’s reason behind that. Love can get messy, nasty, terrifying and heartbreaking — why experience that when you can avoid it? Sure, it may give you the best time of your life, but it can also give you the worst. College is a place where we enjoy and utilize our youth to the fullest. It is not meant for finding this thing called “love.”

But is love really this special thing that one miraculously finds one day, changing his or her entire outlook on life? Will it suddenly fill you up with passion so strong you can’t sit still? I disagree. Sex can do a better job in both changing your world and giving you an irresistible urge. And love, I believe, is so much better than sex.

We often have a very skewed view of love in our minds. Our world tells us that love is Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on a sinking ship, Mr. Darcy as he professes his love to Elizabeth, and Romeo and Juliet calling for each other amid their family’s feud. Our perceptions of love are tinted by our exposure to the perfect, exciting love we see in movies and read in books. Maybe this is why America’s divorce rate is hovering around 40-50 percent. Happily ever afters aren’t common.

Because finding love really is not like that. Love is more subtle, gentle, gradual. Love is kind, love is patient. You find love through a slow process, without even being aware of it. When you study with peers, get dinner with friends, or make conversations with classmates, you’re gradually immersing yourself in relationships. And, as you get to know others better, you learn of their talents, personalities, flaws and secrets. Love is when you accept all these things without a question or doubt in your mind. You spend a long time with someone, and you love everything about him or her. That is love. And it doesn’t always have to be romantic love.

So, as Valentine’s Day rolls around, try looking at your relationships a bit differently. Each friend, classmate or even acquaintance could be someone you end up loving. I’m not telling you to flirt with everyone you meet, but rather to get to know each and every person on a deeper level than just from football games or parties. Rice’s cultures make it so easy to meet new people, so why not take it a step further? Obviously, there will be people you end up disliking and people who you feel are too weird. But even so, be patient and nice, and try to understand everyone you meet. The next thing you know, you may be in love with someone you never expected.

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