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If you’d ever like to see what passionate indignation looks like, taunt me with your Valentine’s Day renditions of doubt—that true love doesn’t exist, or that romantic love simply doesn’t last. Even better, if you’d like to experience withstanding happiness and joy, expand your mind and open your heart to the notion of boundless love.

I consider myself fortunate; true romantic love was always in my sights. Throughout my life I have witnessed the intense and authentic adoration of my parents, who have side-stepped outgrowing their connection to one another over the past 30 years. They’ve shown me what withstanding companionship can be, and I’m better for it.

Love is something essential to happiness.

I believe in romantic love as wholeheartedly as I believe in any physical truths or concepts. It’s been a common theme through my life, through watching my parents as they hold hands in public, kiss when arriving home, and end each departure with an “I love you,” and then within my own relationship. While the cultural presence of amorousness and courtship has molded my status as a hopeless romantic, my own experiences have fed the fire.

Although the real deal may not be quite as extravagant— I’ve never been serenaded with a giant stereo under my window or received dozens of roses— it’s even more satisfying and worthwhile than any media can portray.

There is hurt, there is fear, there is fighting. Yet you learn that if you can work through the hurt, there’s solace. If you can see beyond the fear, there’s possibility of a grander future. And if you can fight, not just to argue, but to contest for each other and to maintain what you’ve worked so hard for—you can both emerge victorious.

Love is something essential to happiness, whether it inhabits friendship, family, occupation, or amorous connection. I love my family, my dearest friends, and this newspaper. On Valentine’s Day, and the other 365 days of this calendar year, I’ll be loving my partner, and cherishing our own lengthy dose of true, romantic love.

—Savannah Nelson

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