Social media provides a conversational approach to relationships

Chris Grace and Tim Muehlhoff discuss the day’s topic of love.

Caitlin Blackmon, Features Apprentice

Valentine’s Day brings about various conversations concerning love, and whether romantic or relational, the word “love” floats around on everything from candies to bouquets. The Center for Marriage and Relationships saw the opportunity to use this day to bring a healthy discussion about love.


The CMR held a live podcast on Facebook, encouraging the community to consider what love really means on a day when supermarkets and commercial brands reimagine what love looks like.

“We used the fact that it’s gonna be on Valentine’s Day to try to promote it a little bit. It’s gonna be themed, or titled, ‘The Real News about Fake Love,’” said Ben Longinow, CMR accountant executive. “They’re kind of gonna talk about that topic—the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships [and] real and fake love.”

According to Longinow, CMR director and psychology professor Chris Grace and his wife wanted to provide the community with strength and resources for relationships, so they created the Center. Following this vision, they launched a series of podcasts on relationships.

This particular podcast streamed live, meaning viewers had the option to engage in the podcast, which resulted in a more conversational podcast, since Grace and communication studies professor Tim Muehlhoff responded directly to comments.

“This event is kind of unique because it’s not just a podcast recording, but we’re also streaming it on Facebook Live,” Longinow said. “So students, families, anyone, even if you don’t have a Facebook profile can watch the video and comment in questions asking them to cover a certain topic, or saying, ‘Hey, I don’t really agree and here’s why.’”


Sophomore communication studies major Josh Frederich believes that since several meanings of love exist, each performs differently with unique outcomes, according to its kind.

“There’s different types of love, so it’s hard to say that real love looks like one thing, because it can manifest in so many ways—romantic love, or the love that we share with a friend, or the love that God has for us,” Frederich said.

Regardless, love in the Christian sense derives its meaning from Christ’s sacrificial love, according to Frederich.

“When you read the story of Christ objectively, it’s not him dying on a cross out of love was to any personal gain for him. It’s acting in love for people when it’s no gain of your own,” Frederich said.

Specifically, romantic relationships resemble the relationship God maintains with Christ followers, junior communication studies major Meli Angulo noted.

“The reason God created marriage was to symbolize the body of Christ—the bride coming to him, the groom,” Angulo said. “I would say Christlike love, even in the body of Christ, that’s the way we’re called to live—unconditionally and in unity.”

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