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Learning Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day 2017, GSU Newsroom is taking a look at love:

In spite of Hollywood’s ideas, most of us are not going to fall in love in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower or while a gondolier poles us along the canals of Venice. Most of us will fall in love quietly where we are, doing what we do. That doesn’t mean it can’t be exciting, nor does it imply it won’t last. Real life teaches that love shows itself in extraordinary ways in the most ordinary circumstances, and the bonds forged in the fire of everyday living are tempered and strengthened in ways that the affectionate flame-bursts of sudden romance are not.

GSU has some love stories of its own.

Kendra Warfield, a sophomore in the Communications program, and Christopher Seaton, a junior studying Business Marketing, met at Warfield’s freshman orientation. Confused by the task of choosing classes, Warfield felt overwhelmed. Seaton—then a sophomore and a peer mentoring assistant—noticed and offered to help. The rest is history, but like all history, there are two sides at least.

Ask the couple who chased whom or who played coy, and you’ll get two different answers. Warfield remembers Seaton “checking her out,” but he recalls it another way. Warfield says Seaton loves her for her cooking—Seaton disagrees.

There are more points of agreement than not, though, and their disagreements are underscored with humor. The couple hopes to relocate “somewhere warmer” after they both graduate.

Students aren’t the only people falling in love at GSU.

When Lisa Hendrickson met Luke Helm, she didn’t know she’d met her future husband, particularly because at the time—21 years ago—she was married to someone else. There was no scandal; Hendrickson and Helm just became friends. Although we hate to acknowledge love’s loss—especially in February—the truth is that sometimes it happens. Three years after she met Helm at GSU, Hendrickson and her husband separated. Her work friendship grew.

Years passed, and they became closer. In 2011, they wed. Lisa Hendrickson became Lisa Helm.

Both now employed in the College of Arts and Sciences—Luke as External Programs Manager and Lisa as Administrative Coordinator for the Dean—they talk about their love as something organic and easy. Theirs wasn’t a courtship or wooing. It was two people who simply grew together.

“We’re just so used to spending time with each other,” Lisa says. “Keep in mind, we’ve been friends and best friends forever. We’ve only been married for a little over five years, but we’ve known each other forever. We went from dating to marriage in nine months.”

When we talk about love, we often do it in the context of something grand. We’re looking for magical moments and turning points, first kisses in front of sweeping vistas. But more often it’s like this. It’s Christopher Seaton seeing Kendra Warfield in need and offering to help. It’s Lisa Hendrickson falling slowly in love with her friend, Luke Helm.