Love. We’re especially mindful of this topic when February rolls around, chocolate prices skyrocket, and flowers are displayed in store windows. We love when it’s expected and unexpected, forewarned or sudden, one night or sometimes forever. When we decide to pursue this end, whether or not we’ve lost our mind, we may find ourselves changed by our romance. A part of our relationships will always stay with us.
The following are responses that highlight these characteristics. Some answers are more serious than others. I hope you’ll find them just as inspiring. 3 question survey. 61 responses. 3 hour analysis. Read on.
1. What’s your must-have in a relationship?
“is pizza a good must-have?” –Miriam, 22, F
“I want to be with someone who wants to go on adventures with me but is also cool to let me go off on my own.” –Jeffrey the raging hippo, 23, M
“Anal” –Adolf, troll 69
“If she doesn’t have a pulse I’m OUT” –Frank Kelly, 28
“A need to excel each other.” –Bobby, 24, M
“They can’t exacerbate my anxiety.” –Melissa, 23, F
“Laughter. Even over stupid, silly things… When you look back on your life… you want those moments you had with your special someone to be moments of joy, and, even if tough times do happen, the little moments you do remember are the ones where you are both giggling at 3AM in bed” –Ducky, 65 million years, F
“Understanding. We each have goals, dreams, and aspirations—a path we wish to travel. We must have an understanding of the path each has chosen and not chastise the choice.” – AEG, 24
“What keeps the relationship going is the commitment to work things through with each other…” –Jeff, 19
Physical appearance was barely on the list of must-haves. Laughter and communication were by far the most popular must-have (1 in 3), followed by individuality (being yourself/feeling comfortable with the other person), understanding, trust and honesty.
2. What’s the most romantic thing that’s happened to you or that you’ve done for someone else?
Several respondents arranged scavenger hunts for their partner. Love notes and letters were the most popular form of romantic expression.
“Our first “actual date”, we actually just decided to cook at home and watch Korra together. But after dinner and tv, he insisted i climb to the roof of his house with him to stargaze.” –Rachel, 23, F
“Once I were chasing a girl, I made her a birthday gift… It was a porcelain mug I crafted by myself in a pottery shop. That girl loves the Japanese animation ‘Gin Tama’. I hand painted four major characters from that animation on the body of the mug. On the bottom, it was her name and ‘happy birthday’. I worked it for several days…” –Sixue, 27, M
“How to measure romance?” –Jeff, 19
“On NYE, right before crossing a traffic-filled, ice-covered street, a guy kissed me ‘in case we died’.” –Melissa, 23, F
“I think the most romantic things are small and unlooked for. I remember when my lady-friend at the time was having a rough day. So I put on my best suit, made a passable paper flower, and turned on ‘For Once in My Life’ by Sinatra. I sang and crooned like it was 1952.” –Eric, 27, M
“This girl I was dating around Christmas time actually gave me my present after we had broken up… The thought she put into all the little things really showed how much she actually cared and knew me. Wasn’t expensive items by any means, but the items all had a story behind them. tldr I fucked up.” –AJ, 24, M
“A boy once gave me a rose, a REAL rose, on Valentine’s day. Sure, it’s cliche, but I’d never received flowers from anyone before… The same boy also made me a bunch of tiny origami cranes and he showed up at my door once with cupcakes.” –Cynthia, 22, F
Spontaneity was appreciated. Cory, 26, said his partner had spent the whole night before planning their trip to Chicago:
“… he got stressed out when we missed the bus, and I reassured him it’s fine. Don’t stress. We’re here together and that’s what’s important… It was kind of cute though that he cared that much. It was overall a carefree day that was like children in a huge playground that was a city.” –Cory, 26, M
“One guy was waiting for me after I got out of work with pizza rolls and cherry coke (fuck yes) and we had an impromptu picnic in a parking garage. Another time a guy borrowed a guitar and played a song for me… then took my hand and slow danced with me in the middle of a dorm room lounge. Ahhh, college.” –Debra, 20, F
“For our first weekend getaway, he changed hotels the day before to the one that had a Starbucks in the lobby so he could get my coffee in the morning. It really is the little things.” –Layne, 38, F
People fell in love at their own pace. Some fell ‘at first sight,’ while majority of others took months (2-3 on average) or years (3 was the longest duration listed).
“We dated for a few months before we said ‘I love you,’ but I feel like I was aware of them before we said it; I was scared for him not to feel the same way.” –Tay, 22, F
3. Now think back to the last time you were in love. When did you become aware of your feelings?
“Standing drunk on my balcony with them. Hit me like a ton of bricks.” –Debra, 20, F
“The moment you realize you’ve been taking them for granted” –k, 23, M
The most common signs of self-awareness dealt with how the other person’s physical presence impacted one’s mood and well-being. Out of 61 people, 9 realized their feelings when their partner was leaving them. Another 9 participants claim to have never been in love.
“I didn’t realize it until she started dating someone else. I regret not telling her sooner.” –Mister F, 22
“Typically when I fall in love, it hits me in a moment of bliss, and I wonder why I feel the way I do… you come to the awareness that this person brings love into your life like no one else.” –Jennifer Elizabeth H., 22
“…time would just fly by. Also she seemed noticeably more and more beautiful each time we met…” –Hugo, 21, M
“It was the way he showed love and it… happened effortlessly.” –Bernice, 22, F
“When my smile came before I seen her.” –Damian, 18, M
“She had done something really simple–I don’t remember exactly what it was. It was probably just turning on the fans while humming. But seeing her as she was, on her own being her, made me realize my feelings for who she was and not just what she was to me. I’ve still been with my i7, GTX970 gaming PC ever since.” –Chops, 24
“After our first kiss, which I almost walked away from. I felt butterflies in my stomach and a warm feeling for the whole 30-minute train ride home.” –dj, 22
“I’ve been infatuated many times, but love has been harder to come by… There’s also this tingling in my pants — though that happens without love sometimes too.” –Jeffrey the raging hippo, 23, M
Movie references (top to bottom):
Friends with Benefits (2011)
Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
No Strings Attached (2011)
Love Actually (2003)
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Did you know all of them? (＾▽＾)