Love, Gaels: Different types of love


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Adara Johnson reflects on the various types of love she’s encountered in her life.

Adara Johnson, Contributing Writer

They say the greatest joy in life is to love and to be loved. With Valentine’s Day coming up, many couples will take this day to perform over the top gestures for each other, and people without significant others may scoff at the mawkishness of this Hallmark Channel holiday. However, Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day you should be exuding love. Additionally, love exists on so many levels other than romantic.  

The first type of love I’ll be touching on is a platonic kind of love. Platonic love is the love found in friendship, and to me, this is one of the strongest and sweetest forces there is. Love between true friends is capable of surviving just about anything. It’s perhaps the most comforting kind of love, because from the right people it seems to always be there even when you don’t feel deserving of it. It’s warm and comfortable and familiar in a world where most things are not. I find that this type of love is often found in people you never would’ve imagined meeting, but now can’t imagine a version of your life where they don’t exist.  

It’s interesting to think about your friends and the bond you share with a person you didn’t know you had been sharing the universe with for years.  

Federica Mantini, one of my sorority sisters and closest friends, shared her thoughts on love in friendships.  

“Think about it. One day you’re 13 years old and wallowing in your bedroom feeling like no one understands you, except for the other 13-year-olds you spend every day with,” Mantini said. “Then you’re 17 and you feel like you can’t trust many people with the secrets of your adolescence, but your friends gently hold them in their hands and pass back their own. Then you’re in your 20s and home is just a house you haven’t been back to in months, but you turn to your roommate snoring away in the lofted bed across from yours and categorize all the ways in which you realize you’re not alone.”  

In a story about love, I think it’s crucial to include what’s probably the most challenging kind of love to find, self-love. Although finding it isn’t always an easy task, self-love is the most important type, and having it is necessary to successfully love anyone else. You show yourself self-love by recognizing your worth and your needs. Self-love is an intentional practice that can sometimes take a lot of work. Oftentimes, we are our own worst critic. It can be easy to focus on the aspects of yourself that may be considered less than perfect when you are looking from the inside out, but we often forget to celebrate the things about ourselves that make us so uniquely wonderful.  

Each of us is a one of a kind being that the universe felt this world needed. Someone’s life is better because you are in it, so you should take care of yourself like someone you love and remember you bring something to this world that it’s never had before, and it’ll never have again.  

Finally, I’ll be talking about the love of life. Having a love for life is such a precious quality because it can be so difficult to slow down and recognize how much beauty can be contained in the mundane. There are so many wonderful things we get to experience every day that we let just pass us by, but would deeply miss if they were gone, like feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin or the excitement when that song you know all the words to comes on. We often look at everyday tasks as things we have to do instead of things we get to do. When we start to look at life with a more positive spin, we begin to realize how much joy can be found in the ordinary. Life is short, the world is big and there’s so many things and people out there that we will love and be loved by that we haven’t even gotten to encounter yet.