Loving on Cloud Nine

Sofia Rojo-Kratochvil '24

Describing love, Franklin University Switzerland student Natalia de Leon calls it “heavenly” and as if “you’re on cloud nine.” 

Open to receiving and giving love, Natalia enjoys this sentiment and affirms that “there are different types of love.” She emphasizes that knowing what type of love is being received can curate a better understanding of how you show affection towards your loved ones.

Well versed in this, Natalia listed some examples including: 

  1. Nurturing Familial Love 

  2. Affectionate Friendship Love

  3. Romantic Partnership Love 

Each type nurtures each aspect of Natalia’s warm-spirited soul. The “common denominator in all of these types of love is happiness,” she states. “Effortless.” With mutual respect and understanding, love brings a soft breeze of “peace” and “no stress.” She emphasizes the importance not only lies in recognizing the type of love but how one loves. 

She places high importance on how others receive love as she believes it is a tool that helps “set clear boundaries to develop a healthy relationship”, as Natalia mentions. Using these principles as her guide allows her to understand, not only her loved one's emotional needs but, her own as well.

Natalia is part of the 20% of the population that states that quality time is her love language. She enjoys spending time with those she cares about as this is a key indicator for Natalia. She mentioned that “if you keep wanting to be around them, it's because they bring positivity to the table.”  

“I am just not an extremely touchy person... But I enjoy having someone’s presence with me, just enjoying the simple things of life together.” She values this time as she likes expressing her love with undivided attention. This previously is the reason why Natalia recently broke up with her ex-boyfriend. She explains that she and her then-boyfriend, Andre, were dating for three months but decided to break it off. Putting her needs first, Natalia made the mutually difficult decision to not proceed with the long distance between Guatemala and Switzerland, as their lives would be night and day. Quite literally. 

“I think long distance can be done for short periods of time,” Natalia states, “But in my situation, it would be difficult to sustain a romantic relationship when two individuals can't even communicate with each other because we are both so busy.”

According to Natalia, she was saving her relationship as she wanted to avoid a bad breakup and continue a friendship because of a mutual understanding of timing. But her close friends think otherwise. 

Natalia still is in communication with Andre, “they text each other I love you every day” and continuously update each other on their day-to-day lives. Her close friends state that they “would prefer that they were in a long-distance relationship then have this pseudo-like friendship.”

Natalia values people's advice as she knows it comes from a place of love. “They’re telling you this because they care about you,” states Natalia. But in this particular situation, Natalia is choosing to listen to her heart and she has to take herself “into consideration.” “I feel like relationships are really important, and they are between two people. So at the end of the day, you need to do what feels best in your heart.” 

Natalia continues to text Andre and is happy with her decision.

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This article is part of an assortment of student-written journalistic pieces from Fall ‘21 semester’s “Issues of Journalism” course with Professor Elettra Fiumi
Learn more on this exciting project here.