The Charger Blog

Charger Blogger: ‘Don’t Let External Sources of Love Define Your Life’

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 discusses all things love – from her own crushes to online dating and the importance of self-love.

December 15, 2023

By Beatrice Glaviano ’26

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 (left) with her friends.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26 (left) with her friends.

From day one, I have been the most hopeless of romantics. Over the course of my life, I have had the following fictional or real-life crushes: Luke Skywalker, Daniel Jackson (Stargate/SG-1), Chris Pratt, Tom Cruise, Norman Reedus (do not come for me on that one), Chris Evans, Henry Cavill, David Tennant, Batman (also don’t attack me please), Tech and Crosshair from The Bad Batch; Star Wars), and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The list really goes on.

Personally, I’m more of a characteristic/personality person rather than general attractiveness. Yes, I do have my preferences for physical attributes, but it won’t matter if you’re drop-dead gorgeous if talking to you is like talking to a wall. On that note, actually, one of the most important traits for any potential future partners is intellect. Make me question things, get my mind going, and charm me with knowledge that I haven’t heard yet and I’ll keep running back. I also enjoy a blend of wit, sarcasm, and a teasing of sweet-but-deadly charm.

May I have that to-go? Thanks. Oh, can I grab a donut too? Plain, with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles please.

Anyhow, I’m a fairly simple person. Though as I am a woman saying this, perhaps not. Honestly, just show up with a healthy plant, baked goods (homemade preferred), and a really nice card and you’re basically golden. Personally, I don’t believe doing that is that difficult. I prefer the thought that goes into things rather than the monetary value of them.

I think love nowadays is very different from what it was before. There are these things called “situationships” that sound more like James Bond dangling from a ceiling than anything else.

[Author wrinkles nose, as she is not a fan.]

I just don’t understand the point of talking to multiple people at the same time, though I’m not innocent in the slightest. I’ve had my fair share of chit-chatting, but at this point, I’m just tired and not interested: I have better things to be doing, and people to be doing them with. Also, I feel like with dating apps it’s always a competition of “who is more attractive” than genuinely trying to find someone who matches you in interests. On that note, I’m an organic person. Not only do I get my produce from the organic section, I like meeting people organically. I don’t like my options being picked out by a random platform programmed to bother you with “X liked you!” because they just want you to feel alone in order to make profit.

Beatrice Glaviano ’26.
Beatrice Glaviano ’26.

And I refuse to have my singularity exposed like that, especially when I have been alone for the vast majority of my life.

Alright, this article is becoming cynical. I know I’m a mostly positive person, but today, we’re tapping into some negativity and frustration. Buckle up and settle down, it’s about to get really negative here.

Dating in the modern age is horrible. People don’t read. People get gift cards instead of trying to find or make something for you. Grammar doesn’t exist. Everything has to do with sex or a “body count” or how attractive you are and I’m just tired of it all. (Though attraction does play an instinctual, physiological role).

I don’t want to have to tell you I like plants. You should be able to do so by looking at my apartment and my passions. I don’t want to tell you I love nutrition because I talk about it incessantly. People are becoming increasingly dull, and I absolutely loathe it because I need interesting. Give me interesting, and give it to me strong.

Also, another rant? Sugar coating...I hate sugarcoating. Give me the truth, always, no matter what it is because I want to avoid problems down the road. For myself personally, lying is a huge sign of disrespect and/or a sign of distrust in me. I understand the use of white lies, but lying about important things to my face? Don’t. That’s all I have to say on that matter. I deserve the truth, whether it be as a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a leader, whatever. Don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings because the amount of hurt that can happen now is probably a lot less than what it would be in the future.

[Author takes a breath and composes herself].

I have this habit of collecting poetry and stuffing it into a Pinterest folder. I’ll start with that. Most of it is just angsty teenage whatnot, but there are a couple that have added to my life as a whole, and I’d like to share them:

  • “You’re laughing. I told you a joke and you’re laughing. I love you.” (I adore this one especially)
  • “In another universe, me and my high school friends are still having lunch together”
  • “I want to talk to you. Of course I want to talk to you. I’m just not too sure you want to talk to me.”
  • “And God said ‘Love your enemy’ so I obeyed him and loved myself”- Kahil Gibran
  • “Having so much love in your heart is beautiful and amazing right up until you’re alone in your bedroom clutching at your chest and whimpering like a wounded dog”

I think one of the best, and inversely, worst parts about being a human being is the ability to feel. Some days, I’m hugging those who are stressed for any reason or texting words of encouragement to those who may be going through it. Other days, I’m crumpled up on my bed sobbing myself into my pillows because I cannot figure out why I’m hurting, and I only want everything to just stop. College has taught me that it can be very hard to mend yourself, but that it’s even harder to have the courage to wrap something up so tenderly in yourself in the first place. They tell you that healing takes time and patience and courage, but they don’t tell you how hard it can be to want to heal in the first place.

At one point, I feel as though we all become so comfortable with the hurt we collected. Similar to bones, things can heal imperfectly. Our bodies simply fill in the cracks and smooth things over, but the break itself never quite goes away. The body remembers it, and, in a way, preserves it in its own healing. Are we not the same way with our heart? Don’t we hold onto hurt so as to avoid it in future? It’s always so easy to remember pain than it is to remember sweetness; we’d rather live our lives in avoidance of one than in pursuit of the latter.

Beatrice Glaviano’s relaxing space in her room.
Beatrice Glaviano’s relaxing space in her room.

It’s scary to feel. But it’s also what makes us what we are, I think. Well, who we are – that’s a better way of putting it. How we go about showing or accepting our emotions can be so unique; while some of my friends love being hugged, others prefer more subtle forms of care (i.e. sending them memes or cute animal photos) instead of physical contact. Yet, remembering to put love toward yourself – in the same you would a friend, but far more intimate – is one of the best ways that we can allow ourselves to heal. At the end of the day, we really do only have ourselves to turn to but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn to others as well. As a stubborn person, I know that asking for help can be really, really hard, but you will always be surprised at how many are willing to fulfill that call.

To try and wrap this article, I think it’s very, very important to make sure you don’t let external sources of love define your life. For a while, I let the amount of attention people gave me give me a sense of worth, and I’m just going to tell you now to derail that train of thought as soon as possible. You – and only you – determine what defines you, if that’s even anything at all. Why limit yourself in the first place? Who said you only had to draw plants or animals? Or listen to a certain genre of music because you have since middle school? Draw a human being. Maybe death metal is something you never thought you’d enjoy. Who knows? You certainly won’t unless you try. Sometimes change happens gradually, and other times, you just gotta throw yourself in. It’s all up to you.

Whichever way it goes, don’t let other people limit you. And if they are, you need to take it upon yourself to change that because this is your life, and you deserve to live it however you’d like.

Anyhow, make sure to take some time for yourself this holiday season. Try some new self-care habits, get some more sleep, and most importantly, be gentle with yourself. I know that we all love being in the “grind set” but realistically, you need some time to decompress in order to allow your brain to properly soak up information. You got this dude. If anyone has questions, comments, or just needs to let some stuff out, feel free to email me at or my personal email,

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week, and that we all stay sane as we complete the semester.
All the peace, swag, and almond butter,

Beatrice Glaviano ’26 is a health sciences major at the University of New Haven.