Valentine’s Day 2021 – The Love Conference

by | February 12, 2021 |

Valentine’s Day 2021 falls on Sunday. The Love Conference is two days later. Namely, February 16 at 4:00 pm EST. So, close enough! Phillip M. Carter has organized it. And I am a happy participant.

Valentine’s Day 2021 – Choose Your Love

Many kinds of love exist. English has but one all-encompassing word for this complex emotion. While Ancient Greek has seven:

Valentine's Day 2021

Eros – romantic love

Philia – deep friendship

Ludus – playful love

Storage – unconditional, familial love

Philautia – self-love

Pragma – committed, compassionate love

Agape – empathetic, universal love

What do I love (!) about the conference? Phillip has put together a group of people who will speak to the range of possible loves.

We’ll hear about love for other species. And love for the planet. Along with love for Others. Oh, yes, and romantic love.

Valentine’s Day 2021 – Join Us

I’m looking forward to the event. I’m sure I’ll expand my understanding of love.

In the decades of writing romance novels, I’ve learned a few things on my own. I’ll share two thoughts with you here.

Love is necessary. When I began, I thought writing romance was fun but also perhaps frivolous. I still think it’s fun, but I no longer think creating for a reader the vicarious experience of falling in love is frivolous. I admit to having early on internalized the stigma surrounding romance novels, but I have long since exorcised it.

What do we fear most? Rejection, isolation, alienation, despair, loss. What do we want most? Acceptance, belonging, warmth, satisfaction, connection. Our smart phones give us connection, but they can’t give us the kind we most want: loving touch.

It’s anxiety-inducing to acknowledge our deepest fears and deepest desires. But I’ve learned to do it. Love is not a frivolity. It’s a necessity.

Love is generous. When we fall in love, we put ourselves at risk for what we fear most (see above). No doubt about it. Once we take the risk, we greatly improve our chances of finding love when we begin to listen generously, that is, while not “under the influence” of thinking of all I have to do today, of how hungry I am, of wondering whether the person I’m talking to likes me, and so forth.

The characters in a romance novel – or any novel – who most deserve their Happily Ever After are the ones who listen without judgment and without an agenda. When you practice generous listening, love in all its flavors finds you.

For more (and a bit of the same), see:

Love: What Romance Novels Have Taught Me

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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen

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