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In water, there exist several of me;
On paper, I'm even more aplenty;
And though I am a sign of love;
Not even one of me does anyone want. (edited)

What am I?

Edit: so I did not intend for this to happen, but it turns out there can be many answers that fit. I check-marked my intended answer but everyone technically is correct! Thanks all for expanding the creative interpretation of this riddle.

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I think you are a

stroke

In water, there exist several of me;

In swimming there styles such as backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.

On paper, I'm even more aplenty;

Lines made with a brush or pen.

And though I am a sign of love;

A pet may be stroke to show affection.

Not even one of me does anyone want.

A medical condition when blood supply to the brain is interrupted.

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  • $\begingroup$ Aha! This was my intended answer, bravo! Though I don't take away from the other day answers, because they're all very creative and plausible. I guess it's cool to see multiple solutions too $\endgroup$ – anodyne Feb 23 at 15:44
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I think you are

a tear.

In water, there exist several of me;

Ever cried? The resulting water has your tears in it.

On paper, I'm even more aplenty;

Paper often exhibits tears (as in, it is torn).

And though I am a sign of love;

People who love each other cry when they, for example, see each other after a long time.

Not even one of me does anyone want.

No one wants to cry!

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  • $\begingroup$ Once again another answer I didn't think of that fits fantastically. I like the impact of this answer too $\endgroup$ – anodyne Feb 23 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ You can cry from laughter, or tears of joy. Which to some would be desirable. So I guess the answer doesn't strictly fit the last line. $\endgroup$ – musefan Feb 24 at 14:01
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I think you are a

Swan.

In water, there exist several of me;

Swans are animals that live most of the time in the water.

On paper, I'm even more aplenty;

One of the most popular sculptures in origami is the swan.
As it's easier to make a swan out of paper than a real swan, so there are more swans on paper.

And though I am a sign of love;

The swan boat is the main entertainment for love couples on lakes.

Not even one of me do you want.

It's difficult to take care of a swan at home, since a large amount of water is needed, so few people would like to have one of these.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very nice guess, I didn't think of that and the explanations are feasible. Unfortunately it's not what I had in mind. For the sake of this problem, let's say literally nobody would ever want "me". I'm assuming at least a few people out there rot13(jbhyq gnxr n fjna sbe n crg). :) $\endgroup$ – anodyne Feb 23 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ Damn, I was so confident in this one! But thanks anyway, I'll try to think some more. $\endgroup$ – Enzo Feb 23 at 1:30
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My guess:

sickness

In water, there exist several of me;

Water-borne diseases can make you sick

On paper, I'm even more aplenty;

Many reports have sickness have risen lately in the newspapers.

And though I am a sign of love;

People in love may seem love-sick

Not even one of me does anyone want.

Technically no one wants any form of sickness

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  • $\begingroup$ These responses are making me realize my riddle was not so good - there seem to be multiple good answers, including this one! And I almost like this one better than my intended answer. I'll leave room for one more guess. If none come, I'll coinflip to give out the check mark, then post the intended answer. $\endgroup$ – anodyne Feb 23 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ @anodyne: I personally think some of these wrong answers are stretching a bit to try and fit them in. And while you can see the logic of them, it doesn't make your riddle bad. $\endgroup$ – musefan Feb 24 at 14:04

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