There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being loved. Not even fresh, hot chocolate chip cookies (with a little extra raw dough on the side) gives you the same warm, comforting feeling of knowing that someone out there really, really loves you.
And that someone can be anyone: a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a best friend, your dog. It just feels good to be loved.
I remember the first time my dad told me he loved me. We aren’t really one of those “I love you” families that shares feelings (unless making really sarcastic jokes at one another’s expense counts), so it wasn’t until I was off at college that I heard my dad say those words. At first I panicked, called my mom and asked if he was dying (true story). But when she told he was fine (“I’d tell you if he was dying, dear.”) and that he’d just been talking lately about how proud he was of me and how much he loved me, it just felt…good. Like I was warming up from the inside.
It bothers me that the focus of Valentine’s Day rests so heavily on “romantic love,” because there is just so much love out there that should be cherished. Whether or not you have someone to get naked with exchange chocolates with on Sunday, we all have a lot of love in our lives. And we can’t forget it. This week I asked the CollegeCandy writers to share one moment when they really felt loved. If these don’t melt your heart (like the gooey chocolate on a fresh-baked cookie), I don’t know what will.
Ricki – University of Michigan: When my ex got back from Puerto Rico at 1am, the first thing he is was drive over to my house just to say goodnight and he missed me before going back home and crashing.
Rachael – University of Miami: For my 21st birthday, my friends did two amazingly sweet things: my closest friends, who live next door, secretly baked me a cookie cake the night before my birthday and came to my room about a quarter to midnight to surprise me and wish me happy birthday. A few nights later, a friend who I hadn’t been able to see on my birthday cooked dinner for me and two other friends. He went all out – amazing homemade curry, rice, and naan, a fresh salad, fruit, place settings, the whole deal. Just the fact that they put so much effort into doing something special for me made me incredibly happy, and was the best part of my whole birthday weekend.
Kim – Stanford: Freshmen year after only being at school for less than a month, my amazing new friends through me a huge surprise birthday party! I remember being shocked because I had only known these girls for about 30 days and I already knew they would be my best friends throughout college… and they still are!
Nina – Michigan State University: I was in a long-distance relationship at the time, and I’d been traveling all day so I could visit my boyfriend. The weather was crappy, and I just wanted him to hurry and pick me up. We were supposed to meet in a public square, so I was just standing there with my luggage, feeling annoyed that he was late. Suddenly he came from behind me with the most adorable smile I’ve ever seen and a bouquet of flowers. Bad day? Not anymore.
Carly – Grinnell: I am so loved, so it’s hard to pick just one thing. I think it’s a three-way tie. 1: Despite getting severe heat stroke and running out of water to drink, my mom stayed with my friends and I at an all-day outdoor concert when we were preteens just so we could see the Backstreet Boys perform at the end of the day. 2: My old boyfriend was visiting his family in India and swore he would have to miss my college graduation because he couldn’t get back in time. Then he booked a different flight to surprise me. 3: Sophomore year, my friends made a scavenger hunt for me for my birthday. They did HOURS of prep work and hid clues literally all over campus. It was the BEST!!
Hannah – Assumption College: Sophomore year a guy that I had just met from a different school called me on Valentine’s Day saying that he had something for me. He had come onto my campus with the gate guard telling him he had five minutes to find me. He showed up at my door with a single yellow rose for me. Yellow roses are my favorite and it was such a sweet gesture.
Sara C – Fordham: This may sound corny, but around last Valentine’s day I was very low on funds and generally surviving off cereal and pasta. For V-Day my mother bought me a beautiful green cardigan and told me that no matter what, you should always have some luxury because you should always feel beautiful. It was a simple gift but I still cherish it.
Leah – Ryerson University: My bathroommates made me a birthday “shrine” in our bathroom for my 19th bday.
Sarabeth – University of Texas: I had to fly to Wisconsin for a week, and when I got back my boyfriend ran up the escalator just so he could kiss me sooner.
Jackelyn – San Francisco State University: The guy I was dating last year never showed any appreciation for me. I’m a hopeless romantic, so in the first stages of a relationship, I LOVED celebrating the monthsaries. He, on the other hand, didn’t. So when another monthsary came around and nothing happened, I was a bit disappointed. My best guy friend who understood what had happened came to my house later that night with flowers and stuffed animals for me! He wanted to make sure I knew that even though this guy didn’t get me anything, that I was still loved. Probably the sweetest thing ever!
Brittany – University of Saint Thomas: Simple and sweet, a boy I dated in high school and I were sitting at lunch one afternoon. Lunch of the day: Chicken Chow Mein (ew). Regardless, fortune cookies were also on the menu. My boyfriend (sitting promptly right next to me) opened his fortune cookie, looked up at me, smiled, and moved to the other corner of the table. As a young high school woman and clearly in love, I was outraged. Um, hello? Then, he handed me his fortune which said: Love is around the corner. I melted in a puddle of adolescent mush.
Desiree – Columbia University: Before we started dating, my current boyfriend bought me an espresso brownie from Starbucks and brought it to my room at midnight on my birthday. He stuck a candle in it, lit the candle with a lighter that had my zodiac sign on it, and sang happy birthday. That was when I knew I needed to date him for real. I still have that lighter, too.
Charlsie – Hollins University: The most romantic thing my boyfriend has ever done for me was make a trail of Hershey Kisses from his car (with notes attached that said things like “I Love You”) to a hiding spot in the bushes. After following the trail, I found him where he was holding a sign that said “To me, you are perfect” (just like in Love Actually). That moment has been pretty unforgettable.
Christie – NC State University:For my birthday this year I had a plan set, but the day of it fell through. I was in my room crying, because I wasn’t sure what to do (I never celebrate my birthday and I had my hopes up for the one time I decided to), but my friends came up with a list of activities and taped them to my door with cheerful messages. It ended up being one of my best birthdays ever, and none of my friends were disappointed or backed out.
Brithny – Duke: He told me that he wanted me to meet his mom. And gave me an oatmeal raisin cookie she mailed over.
Emmy- Loyola University Chicago: One summer I traveled through Australia and New Zealand. My old boyfriend wrote me a bunch of letters for while I was gone, and I got to open up a new one every other day. He even drew me pictures and wrote me silly poems, and they were the most adorable letters I have ever received.
Jessica – Delaware: I haven’t dated the most romantic guys, but I have the best friends in the world. The nicest thing they’ve ever done is throw me an amazing surprise birthday party in my friends apartment. Some even traveled for hours just to be there!