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Speech focuses on love, sex

Love is a four-letter word that can cause a mix of emotions and a heap of confusion especially among college students. Tonight in room 202A in the Union at 8 p.m., Mary Beth Bonacci, founder and president of Real Love Incorporated, hopes to dispel some of that confusion and present students with an understanding of what love really is.

In her speech, titled “Looking for the Real Meaning of Love?” Bonacci will address relationship issues, define the meaning of love and answer the questions surrounding the Christian teaching on human sexuality.

With a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of San Francisco, a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the John Paul II Institute at Lateran University and an honorary doctorate in communications from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Bonacci has spoken to thousands of people across the United States and internationally since 1986.

The event, sponsored by Creed on Campus, has the potential to appeal to a majority of the student population based on the nature of the topic being discussed.

CO-President of Creed on Campus, Eline Teixeira, said the group recognized that Bonacci speaks to a wide array of audiences and asked her to direct her speech toward college students.

Several members of the organization have heard Bonacci speak previously and wanted to present students and the community with the same opportunity.

“Everyone knew how good she was and wanted her to come to the BG community so they could have the opportunity to learn as well,” Teixeira said.

After struggling with issues of love and relationships in college, Bonacci decided she wanted to make a career out of educating people about similar topics.

“Love is the root of struggle and unhappiness among college students,” she said. “It’s an age when they start thinking about marriage and about the future. There’s a lot of pressure to have somebody now.”

Teixeira feels that the media shapes many students views on the meaning of love in relation to sex. She feels Bonacci will offer a different perspective and will clarify misconceptions surrounding the subject.

“She’ll talk about sex, love and relationships in a way that especially students don’t know exists,” she said.

Being confronted with sex is something causes fear among some people. People grow up believing sex is bad and the Catholic church says sex is a gift from God and it should be enjoyed inside the context of marriage, Teixeria said.

Sex has become casual and is not viewed as special.

“It loses it’s special meaning because people don’t see it as a true gift of love,” Teixeria said.

The actual definition of love is something that Bonacci will touch in during her speech. Part of the danger that exists is when people feel that love can’t be defined.

“If you can’t define what love is, it’s meaningless,” Bonacci said. “It means nothing unless we define it.”

Love is something that everyone desires. It’s the most basic human need on an emotional level and many people have the misconception that sex will create love, Bonacci said.

“We call sex making love,” she said. “We buy into the idea that it will make love and create love. It doesn’t work that way.”

Having sex intensifies a bond between two people making it more difficult to walk away if they are not right for each other, Bonacci said.

“Hormones are released in sex that bind people together,” she said. “It takes away clarity of thought and reason to walk away.”

Bonacci. a single woman, feels that people need to build a life for themselves and be completely fulfilled before inviting someone to share their life with them.

“We are set up to believe we need to fulfill that need for love right now,” Bonacci said. “Then we think if we let go, we’ll be all alone.”

University senior and core team member of Creed on Campus Clarissa Kinzel has attended one of Bonacci’s speech and said she walked away with a deeper understanding of the importance of finding someone of quality rather than settling for less.

“It’s okay to be single for a while,” Kinzel said. “You have to be patient.”

The hour and a half long event, Bonacci hopes, will provide students with a sense of their own dignity, their own importance and worthiness.

“You don’t have to trade yourself, because you have incredible dignity.”

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