Love: Dissected

Krista Tschetter

Krista Tschetter

Oh, love.

It’s the abstract, nearly inexplicable concept that’s been said to make the world go round. Whether you love love or hate love, it’ll likely be crammed down your throat should you leave the house this February 14. So we’re giving you both sides of the coin, the black and white of that crazy little thing called love.

So to the cynics and the skeptics, we salute you. There are all sorts of reasons love is rotten.

And to the true believers, believe on. May you get all the chocolate truffles and fuzzy bears your little heart desires.

Why love rules …

There are probably as many reasons love is good as there are individual definitions of the concept of love itself. There is platonic love, romantic love, divine love, unrequited love, sexual love, family love and about a zillion others that fall somewhere in between.

According to Deb Johnson, a counselor at Health and Counseling Services, any kind of love, as long as it’s healthy, is good.

“Love is a valuable thing,” Johnson says.

“It can’t really hurt unless it’s distorted or misrepresented.”

Johnson adds that it’s not love itself that can be detramental, but unhealthy relationships that are the problem.

Carrie Fenner, a sophomore majoring in microbiology, says she agrees that it’s important to have someone close, whether it’s someone you’re in love with or simply a good friend.

Fenner has been dating her boyfriend Zach for a year and a half. They met on a Midwest Ambassador’s of Music trip to Europe two summers ago, but didn’t start dating until they started school at SDSU.

Fenner said she does believe in some form of true love.

“I would describe (true love) more as a connection between personalities, between feelings.

“Love at first sight is usually pretty empty,” she adds. “If it’s love at first sight it’s based entirely on appearance, not how well you know someone.

“True love is a lot deeper.”

There are those who still believe in love despite being exposed to some of the not-so-nice aspects of loving relationships gone wrong.

Elliott Lee Risty, a private investigator at Confidential Investigations Consulting in Sioux Falls, says that about two-thirds of the cases he works on involve infidelity.

“I really don’t like those cases, but I have to buy groceries,” Risty says. “I don’t even really think (infidelity is) about love.”

Risty has been married for 13 years and has been a private investigator since 1997. He says seeing the wrongs people do hasn’t affected his view of love.

“Even though it’s been kind of rough on our cases for many years now, it hasn’t changed my idea of love.”

Then there’s the romance aspect. While excessive romance isn’t necessarily an indicator of true love, it’s not hard to associate the two.

Calista Crooks, owner of Bloomingvilla Florist in Brookings, says she notices different types of romantics come into the shop around Valentine’s Day.

“You have the guys that are funny that come in and say ‘if I don’t do this, I’m going to be in trouble’,” Crooks says.

“You can tell the guys that are real romantics,” she adds.

“Those are the ones that come in and are excited, and trying to be creative, especially if they’re going to propose.”

Why love sucks …

Newton’s law of inertia states that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. In love, this opposite reaction can be very real and very painful.

“Love relationships can, often, lead people to counseling,” Johnson says.

“People sometimes use love casually. That’s one of the unhealthy ways.

“(They use it) as a word casually, they don’t put actions with it. Love is more then just words, it has to be actions.”

She adds that people can sometimes think it’s expected of them to stay in a loveless relationship, out of either guilt or passiveness.

Johnson says there’s also a growth process in relationships.

“Occasionally people are sorting out their identities, they may be at a different stage of developing then their capabilities of loving. Needs may be different.”

For one 21-year-old student, who wished to remain anonymous, love turned bad in one of the worst ways.

“I had a really long relationship and we have a child together,” she says. “(The father) verbally abused me until I took him to court.

“I used to want to get married,” she adds.

“But now I’m not so sure because I don’t want to go through that again.”

She says she only speaks to the father via e-mail, and only about visitation with their child.

Then there’s romance gone wrong.

True, a tattoo declaring permanent love and affection might seem like the ultimate romantic gesture.

But according to Bob Bosworth, owner of Body Illustrations tattoo shop in Brookings, it may not be such a good idea.

“In this business, it’s almost like there’s a curse.

“Just about everyone I’ve put a name on has come back and had it covered.”

Bosworth, who has been a tattoo artist for 13 years, says he would estimate that about 75 percent of customers that get a name tattoo end up returning for a fix.

“One in particular, an older guy probably in his late 40s, said he wanted to get this tattoo of a dagger with this woman on it, his girlfriend’s name in a banner (across the dagger).

“In my opinion, it was not a good idea.”

“Two weeks later he came in, she (had) dumped him.”

Bosworth says all they could do was black the name banner completely out, so now the tattoo is a dagger with a big black bar running through it.

“I would never put someone else’s name on my body, unless it was my mom or my daughter,” he says.

So there you have it. Just a few opinions on why love is good, bad or in-between.

But it doesn’t really matter what we say.

Whether you spend this Valentine’s Day canoodling your sweetheart or on a 22-hour whiskey and cookie dough Haagen-Daaz bender, take a few moments to reflect on just what love means to you.

We love it if you formed your own opinion.