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How would you define love?
You might have different answers to that question depending on what stage you are in life. Maybe you were set on a fantasy when you were younger, then fell for its complete opposite growing up. Maybe now, you’re not thinking of it at all. Whatever your answer is, one of the beautiful things about love is that it can grow and change like we do.
In the same wave, society has had its own definitions of what love should be. For years, heterosexual relationships have been the standard for happily ever after. But now, we’re throwing away the script and seeing love beyond boundaries.
While we’re on a more inclusive path to breaking down walls against LGBTQ+ relationships, dating remains a crazy rollercoaster ride. But experience is still the best teacher, even more so for those paving their own path.
This Pride Month, we spoke to members of the LGBTQ+ community to find out what dating advice they wish they heard when they were younger – and the sage advice they would give to the younger LGBTQ+ community today.
Don’t rush it
Ayie Licsi, a 25-year-old queer woman, would tell her younger self to be patient while she’s still figuring out her sexuality.
“Sure, everybody around you is getting into relationships, but just be patient,” Ayie shared. “You’re probably crushing on boys right now and soon you’ll figure out you don’t really like them!”
On the other hand, 48-year-old gay man, Kraus Estanislao, also shared a practical piece of advice we need to hear when we’re lovestruck and deep in the moment: “Don’t say I love you on a first date.”
“Always have room in your heart for yourself, follow your intuition, it’s always right,” Kraus added.
55-year-old Maddy Tolosa, who identifies as a lesbian, also echoed their advice and emphasized the importance for LGBT youth to get to know someone before falling in headfirst “I would advise my younger self to take it easy and not to rush dating any girl that shows interest in her. It ends up messy. I would advise her to stick to one.”
Surround yourself with people who accept you
You might think that someone as confident as a drag queen would be an ace in dating, but 29-year-old drag queen and gay man Bryce Montecalvo (also known as Ultraviolette) shared that the insecurities he had growing up made him the star he is now.
“The number one rule I would give my younger self is to accept yourself first,” Bryce shared. “You have to understand that you will grow up in a world that’s different from the norm and that’s why it’s worth it.”
Bryce adds that you might feel pressured to mold yourself into being a socially-acceptable and “dateable” person, but you have to be who you are because “if they can’t accept the real you, they don’t deserve the best you.”
Aside from a partner, it’s also important to find people that understand that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community comes with its setbacks and judgment from society, but they just want to bust misconceptions and let others know that their love is as pure and tender as any relationship.
“Who doesn’t know any LGBT couples nowadays?” 37-year-old gay man AC Gabat queried. “Little do they know that our love is incomparable and is always overflowing, romantically or not.”
“The love we pour into everything is pure and selfless. No one is allowed to dictate who we ought to give our love to or who deserves it.”
It’s also important to remember that while they deserve acceptance, traditional gender roles shouldn’t be the standard when it comes to perceiving LGBT couples.
“People also think that same-sex couples have to fill certain gender roles in the relationship, but we don’t. Nobody’s the man in a sapphic relationship and nobody’s the woman in a gay one,” Ayie shared.
“We just wanna love our partner and take care of them the best we can in our own ways, gender roles and stereotypes be damned.”
Learn to give love
While it’s important to find someone worthy to love, Kraus added that it’s important to be someone who knows how to give it too.
“It’s just as important to ask yourself the same question: Do I even pass the list of requirements that I made for others to be with me? Can I give them the love that they need from me?”
Kraus is now happily married to his husband from the United Kingdom, and they made the purpose of their relationship clear as early as the second date.
“We said that we’d like to be together and we agreed to get to know each other on a daily basis, that way we can understand each other better. After 18 years together, we still try to know each other.”
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship like Kraus or still in the infatuation stage, there’s nothing better than boldly expressing your love. For when you want to live and love out loud, grab a cone of Cornetto Pride – Cornetto’s new creamy & crunchy ice cream that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community.
With its rainbow of colorful flavors and an all-new loud-and-proud design, Cornetto Pride is here to show your authentic colors and proudly express yourself to the people that matter most.
There’s nothing wrong with taking that leap, and acts of love like sharing Cornetto Pride prove that you can love in any way you want.
Define love for yourself first
Dating as part of the LGBTQ+ community is hard enough in terms of finding someone compatible and who holds the same values as yourself, but Ayie also learned to see love beyond the usual heteronormative code and define what it actually means for her.
“I always saw love as something that happens to everyone but doesn’t for me. Mostly because I never thought I’d be in a relationship with a man or have that family-picket fence,” Ayie shared. “I’ve come to learn that love doesn’t need to be like that. There’s no one way for love to look,” she said.
AC likewise would tell his younger self to set standards and boundaries – and that means not compromising your values.
“You now have your checklist of red flags. You look for profoundness in anything, in everything. You just do not let your love alarm ring the way it used to before.”
“You have to invest time to know the person,” AC added. “And if you realize that he is the one, then that person is someone with whom you share your dreams, goals, failures, and triumphs.”
Who would you share your dreams, goals, failures, and triumphs with? These proud LGBTQ+ stories and pieces of advice prove that there’s no one-size-fits-all package on who to love – and how it can start.
Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or a proud ally, remember that you can celebrate love in all its colorful forms with Cornetto Pride.
Cornetto Pride is a delectable new treat perfect for the summer and the month of June with its creamy strawberry-yogurt ice cream, sprinkled multi-colored cereal balls, strawberry sauce, a dual-colored cone, and a crunchy choco tip.
As an extra treat this Pride Month, Cornetto is also partnering with Metro Manila Pride and donating funds to LGBTQIA+ student orgs around the Philippines to support their Pride activities within campuses.
Express your love with Cornetto Pride, available in all leading supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.