Marquette community explains what love means

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Photo by Collin Nawrocki (collin.nawrocki@marquette.edu)

Love means different things to different people.

The month of February brings a day that can be filled with either love and joy for some people or just a regular day for others. Valentine’s Day gives people the opportunity to do whatever they can for their significant other to show their love.

But what is love?

The four letter word may seem simple, but it has different meanings for different people. For Nico Townsend, a junior in the College of Communication, there are multiple aspects of the word.

“You can love certain things, you can love certain people. Sometimes it can be unconditional, sometimes it can be conditional,” said Townsend. “It’s still a strong feeling that you can have for something.”

A major difference for love in this generation versus the past is now the implementation of social media, said Townsend. Being single, Townsend feels like social media has changed the meaning of love in a negative way.

“The way love was treated before is not gonna be the same as it is now, especially with social media and everybody glorifying things they wish that they had. A lot of those things are attainable, but it’s what you got to do to get to that.” Townsend said.

While Townsend believes that love has changed for his generation, Laura Schram, a professor in the College of Communication, thinks otherwise.

“I think love is eternal. Love is truth, supernatural,” Schram said in an email. “Expressing it might be different from generation to generation, but it is essentially the same since the beginning of time.”

Schram has been married to her husband, Bob, for nearly 17 years. She explained how her love for him grew as the years went along being around one other.

“I can’t trace back to one moment when I knew I was in love with Bob. It wasn’t like the movies. It was an evolution, progression.” Schram said

Schram also believes if you are truly in love, you are willing to make sacrifices within your relationship to better one another.

“One in love sacrifices total independence, time, and money. Nothing is mine anymore. It’s ours. The sacrifice isn’t a form of suffering. You don’t have resentment about it. The sacrifice comes from duty and provides joy.” Schram said.

Anna Lovell, a senior in the College of Business Administration, has been in a relationship with her boyfriend Louis Jackson, a senior in the College of Communication, for three years. When they first met, she felt that love right away.

“Ever since I met Louis, I would say love is easy and it’s finding your other half,” Lovell said. “I would say it’s just having a safe, comfortable place to be with one another and truly loving all of one person. That means flaws involved, everything.”

Lovell is the daughter of University President Michael Lovell, who has been with his wife Amy Lovell since they were in college. For Anna Lovell, she feels like her parents’ marriage has had an impact on what she believes love is.

“(My parents) have set the standard of what love is to me. They are really grounded in their faith and pray a lot together. I look at my parents and they’re still so happy after it’s been twenty-something years. And I think that has shown me that true love does exist.” Anna Lovell said. 

And watching their marriage has also shown how different love is from their generation to now, Anna Lovell said.

“Back then, you had to try harder to express your love for somebody because you didn’t have a cell phone. Literally, my parents wrote letters to each other, or they would call off the landline. Nowadays, it’s so much easier to do the least amount of work.” Anna Lovell said.

Anna Lovell had some advice to give for those who are just getting into a relationship or thinking about getting into one.

“I think it’s really important to let things happen naturally. Because a lot of people try to force themselves into situations because they see people they think are happy, when really those people aren’t happy. You just need to come about it naturally and I really do believe it’s important to be great friends first.” Anna Lovell said. 

Despite the different takes on what love is, it is clear that true love does exist when looking at Schram and Lovell’s relationships. And no matter how you feel about love, Valentine’s Day gives you a chance to love yourself, regardless of what your relationship status is.

This story was written by Rashad Alexander. He can be reached at rashad.alexander@marquette.edu.