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Four Little Letters

by (/) about a year ago in love

...But what do they mean?

Four Little Letters
Photo by Jiroe on Unsplash

Love: It's a word we use every day, but do we really know what it means? Is there a way to define it?

I decided that in my search for the definition of "love," I would ask members of a community that's all about love and acceptance: the LGBTQ+ community.

Here are some of their thoughts.

Note: there is a glossary at the end of this article for words you may not recognize.

The Meaning of Love

"Love is when you look at someone and see your entire happiness. You feel safe and wanted and it's like nothing else in the world matters- you realize that that is where you are meant to be. You see your whole future with that person. They get you and you get them, everything just makes sense with them and you know you can always go to them for whatever you need. Love itself isn't easy but loving a person should be. You shouldn't have to try and look for reasons to love them, you just do." - Yveliz, pansexual cis female

"Love means never leaving the other's side. Love mean being able to talk about anything and everything without feeling judged for your opinions. Love means feeling safe when that other person is around. Love is unconditional and ever-growing." - Max, queer non-binary person

"Love is a fluid emotion that can change shape, grow, shrink, or stay the same." - Melissa, lesbian

"Love is when just the thought of someone feels like coming home. Love is consistent and kind; it is taking in the best parts of someone else and giving yours to them. You can be doing nothing but sitting beside that person, unable to think of anything better that you could be doing. It is unconditional, accepting and infinite. It's an indescribable feeling that fuels you to be a better person. Love changes you- whether it is for better or for worse depends on who it is you love. " -Alanna, queer cis female

"To me, love is accepting another person for exactly who they are. You don’t want to change them, because in your eyes, they’re perfect. When you’re together, you do more good in the world than each of you could individually." -Parker, panromantic, demihomosexual, genderfluid person

"As an aroace, I can't fall in love, although I love my friends and family. When you love someone, you support them unconditionally, but you also can see weaknesses and accept them. Love is equality, acknowledging and forgiving." -Helen, aromantic, asexual cis female

"Love to me is a mutual trust. It's when you hold someone and feel safe in their arms, when you think about them and hope for a future with them. Love is when you know how to communicate with each other. Love is feeling happy when you see or think about them, and loving the sound of their voice and their passions and quirks. Love is wanting to know them forever and knowing everything will be alright when you see them. Love is knowing you don't have to lie to them, knowing they'll love you throughout your struggles and battles. Love is wanting their happiness more than you do your own. " - Vicente , lesbian (questioning her gender)

"For me, love means being there for someone and trusting that they'll be there for you too. It means that the thought of them makes you smile, or maybe it even makes you cry. It's wanting to share every moment with them, the good and the bad, because your happiness is tied to their happiness, but your sadness can always be remedied at least a little just by something as simple as their presence. It's taking a dive off a cliff and never knowing for sure if they'll be there to catch you, but believing that they will be nonetheless. " - Lily, asexual biromantic cis female

“In all honesty, I’m young. I don’t really know [what love is] yet. But I will tell you that safety and comfort are a big part of love." - Kassy, pansexual cis female

"Love is this warm and fuzzy feeling that you get with a special person. It's the feeling of knowing... this person has become your everything. This person is someone who you want to be in your life, and you know they want you in theirs. It's knowing you'll do everything you can to make sure this person is safe and happy. It's being willing to go through hell and back, just to see them smile. It's a beautiful thing when you think about it. " - Minnie, asexual cis female

"Love is mutual trust, respect, and commitment to each other." - Vee, bisexual genderqueer person

"Love is a combination of care, responsibility, knowledge, trust, and respect. Love is honesty. There cannot be abuse in love- you can't abuse someone and love them. Love is separate and different from care." - Bri, bisexual panromantic cis female

"Love is what you feeling comfort when you're with someone unique. You grow attached to them, you begin to feel them fill all the parts that were missing and even some you didn't know about. When you're near them you have never felt more at home. You could be with them, vent, laugh, or just sit in silence without doing anything and just feel so comfortable. Love is more than just a feeling; it's innocent and pure, kind but can hurt sometimes. Love includes pain, but without that pain, we wouldn't appreciate the joy we do have. Love is what purifies someone's heart." - Jake, bisexual cis male

"To me, love is something very pure. It’s an emotion someone has for another that is genuine and unconditional. To love someone is to have a great amount of positive feelings toward that person without expecting anything from that individual. Love is complicated and love is messy, but in the end love is strong and always wins." - Daniella, trans female

"Love can mean so many things, but to me, love means doing anything for your significant other and cherishing them with your whole heart. It means showing that they mean everything to you and loving them with all you have. Every good relationship must have trust and communication, but if there’s no love then there’s no relationship." - Carolann, bisexual cis female

Lessons To Learn

No two people are exactly alike. You may never find someone who has exactly the same idea of love as you do, but when you take a step back and look at all the different ways people think about love, you'll realize that the little differences are what makes love such a captivating, fascinating thing.

As Yveliz, Max, and Kassy mentioned, it's important to feel safe with the people you love. However, as stated so beautifully by Jake and Daniella, it's also important to know that there is pain in love, and that real, true love won't stop just because things hurt.

Last but not least, Melissa's more scientific definition of love reminds us that feelings can change. Remember, though- Alanna, Parker, Helen and Minnie were absolutely right when they said that the love that's right for you will feel just like home.

Glossary

Cis: shortened form of the word cisgender. "Cis" describes a person who identifies with their biological sex. For example, a cis female is a girl or woman who was born female.

Trans: shortened form of the word transgender. "Trans" describes a person who does not identify with their biological sex. For example, a trans male is a boy or man who was born female.

Non-binary: someone whose gender is neither male nor female.

Biromantic: someone who is attracted to two genders romantically but may not be attracted to them sexually.

Panromantic: someone who is attracted to all genders romantically but may not be attracted to them all sexually.

Pansexual: someone who is attracted to all genders sexually.

Aromantic: someone who does not experience romantic attraction.

Asexual: someone who does not experience sexual attraction.

Aroace: someone who identifies as both aromantic and asexual.

Genderqueer: someone who does not want to or does not know how to define their gender identity.

Genderfluid: someone whose gender identity changes from time to time.

Queer: someone who is not straight.

Demihomosexual: someone who experiences attraction to the same gender after forming a connection with them.

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