First of all, I heartily thank everyone who submitted to this carnival.
I am making TWO lists. The first list is purely links for people who want to access the submissions in a compact form. The second list contains descriptions and quotes. All submissions are represented in both lists, I’m just trying to accommodate different reading styles. Both lists are in the order that I received the submissions.
SHORT FORM LIST
I Ramble About Love. by Sara K.
“Those Magic Words ‘I Love You'” by Siggy
“Obsessed With Love” by Chara C.
“Love vs. Radical Kindness” by techno
“My Experiences Feeling Demiplatonic” by Magni
“Love is Just a Feeling” by Magni
Carnival of Aros – Love by Neir
“On ‘I Love You'” by Lokiana
“What about love?” by Scoop
“My experience with “love” being aromantic” by Isaac
“Love Is a Flower” by Ax
“The Baggage of Love” by Briar
“Growing Up Platoniromantic: Colours of Love” by Blue Ice-Tea
“Thoughts and Quotes about Love” by Soulriser
“Some Thoughts on Love” by raavenb2619
LONG FORM LIST
I Rambled About Love. It’s the kind of thing I write when my weekly blog deadline is coming up, and I need to write something, even if my thoughts have not crystallized as much as I want.
Siggy discusses cultural narratives of declarations for love and how they (don’t) work in his life in “Those Magic Words ‘I Love You'”:
Myself, I cannot remember when I first said “I love you” it to my husband, and I cannot remember whether I said it in any of my previous relationships. It’s not that important to me, because whether I’m in love is forever indeterminate. It’s the greyro dilemma: Do I not experience love, or is it just that love feels very nearly like nothing to me? It’s not that I don’t know the answer, it’s that I know both answers are true, they’re two narratives describing the same set of facts.
Chara C. wrote the poem “Obsessed With Love”:
I like love
I don’t love love
I don’t love the way “love” means “romantic love”
And if the tears of frustration build in my eyes
Don’t try to help me, to make me love-wise
I just don’t understand, and I likely never will
Why love is said to make the world turn still
techno argues that we need to advocate kindness over love in “Love vs. Radical Kindness”:
There is a prevalent idea in the world that Love Conquers All, that if we only love one another enough then the world will be a better place. But that totally ignores the fact that you can love someone and still hurt them; how much love someone is able to feel does not define their character. We all know that love is not a choice. Kindness, however, is.
Magni discusses zer experiences with forming and dissolving friendships in “My Experiences Feeling Demiplatonic”:
I dislike “love” and the societal expectation of it as a universal human experience even outside of its ties to romance, because non-romantic relationships are not universal either. There’s this narrative that people can only find happiness through love and I find this harmful. There shouldn’t be a societal expectation for any type of love or relationships, because not everyone feels or wants these things.
Magni also wrote a poem about not being obliged to feel love – “Love is Just a Feeling”:
What is love? I know it not;
This word so heavy in weight,
Yet feeling so hollow in meaning.
I love the world around me as much as I do my friends, as much as I do the person I’m romantically attracted to, as much as I do myself (though still working on that last one). What it means for me to love, as an aro, is to hold endless wonder and curiosity for life.
Lokiana talks about how being judged about the way she expresses love affects the way she feels about ‘love’ in “On ‘I Love You'”:
So forgive me my bitterness when I am told the “world needs more love”. I’ve been expressing it all my life, and every time I do I am told that it’s fine – but I’ll find the “correct” kind sometime.
Scoop reacts to the phrase “The world needs more love” in “What about love?”
I think there are many things the world is in more immediate need of. Motivation for one. Discipline to guide that drive. Kindness to fuel it. And maybe just a dash of unity. But love?
Why, dear magnanimous stranger, would you want that?
Is there a drought? A shortage? Have you checked in the back? What do you mean by “love”?
Isaac discusses what he has learned about platonic love in “My experience with “love” being aromantic”:
If I hadn’t found the aromantic community, I would have assimilated squishes toward girls to crushes, and dismissed those toward boys, although both lack sexual and romantic features in my case.
In “Love Is a Flower”, Ax uses flowers a metaphor for love:
Many people admire it’s beauty, wish to own it, cultivate it. They coo over it’s bright petals and exclaim it as beyond compare, never realising that not everyone cares for flowers.
In “The Baggage of Love”, Briar reflects on what ‘love’ means to them:
Maybe love is a messy concept that’s broad and narrow, felt by everyone and felt by no one (depending on each definition), and carries only as much meaning as you give it. Maybe love has no inherent feeling that’s universal, and it’s all down to action and inaction, like radical kindness. (I don’t know.)
Blue Ice-Tea describes a system of ‘colors’ for different types of love developed to deal with growing up as a platoniromantic person in “Growing Up Platoniromantic: Colours of Love”:
I wanted to be able to use the word “love” and have it mean what I meant, without any ambiguity. I also wanted a way to talk about different kinds of attraction and appreciation that did not conflate them all together. My strategy for doing this was to make up my own vocabulary for talking about love and attraction. I didn’t use this vocabulary with others, but it was nice to have even just for myself.
SoulRiser shares “Thoughts and Quotes about Love” which speak to them:
Another thing I’ve noticed with some people is that even if you want to love them unconditionally, they find it hard to accept. It’s like they don’t know what to do with it. I guess this is because of past experiences, maybe some trauma, and being surrounded by people who grew up in a culture where “love” is about possessing and controlling a person (this kind of bullshit starts early, with parents possessing and controlling their children, and claiming they do it “out of love”).
raavenb2619 shares their own thoughts on Love:
Regardless of whether it’s easy for me to tell them or not, the friends and family that make up the people that I love matter quite a lot to me. So when people try to exclude me from the idea of “love”, it hurts because they’re delegitimizing my feelings. They’re saying that they don’t “count”, likely with the unstated implication that my feelings are “less powerful/important”, simply because my feelings don’t fit into the conventional narrative of what love should be and look like. It hurts because, while not everyone shares this sentiment with me, my potential to love and the fact that I do sometimes love is meaningful to me on a very personal level.
Thanks to everyone who is reading these submissions! This carnival had a great turnout! Let’s have many more submissions to the Carnival of Aros in 2020!