Columbia Love Stories
Updated: Mar 1
Chronicles of campus crushes, connections, and courtships, collected from @theblueandwhitemag on Instagram.
Streetside dining, 7 train, and Times Square: the quintessential New York love story. The night didn’t start off as much, but neither did we. A pair of friends—one having left the other on delivered for 6 weeks before college—heading on a boba run. But with the ways our conversations flowed, the wind swirled in your hair, and your smile glistened under Chinatown lights, I knew I couldn’t let this night end so early.
I pitched the idea of dinner and you agreed; after all these months together, I’m glad you did. On the 7 train back, you asked for music recommendations and we both held your phone together while we sifted through albums on Apple Music. Our fingers were touching, but I was too shy to ask to hold your hand. Still, I couldn’t let this go by. I couldn’t let you go by. I asked you to Times Square, and there we were, minutes before the subway closed.
In the crossroads of the world, I crossed paths with the one. Maybe it was the chilly air down Broadway, but next thing I knew, your hand was in my hand and your head was on my shoulder. And, right before we returned to campus, someone came by selling flowers; you still keep that rose centerpiece on your shelf. Same shy guy—but that gave me enough confidence to tell you that I want to spend the rest of my life with you that very night.
That night was my first boba. That night was my first love.
— Hassan Javed
We first met on the Staten Island ferry—the perfect start to a good love story. Then, we met again on an NSOP apple picking expedition. We sat next to each other on the bus ride and talked the whole way there and the whole way back. In the fall we became fast friends, and as the year went on we got closer. The two of us would stay up all night talking and a few times it took until sunrise to realize that we had been distracted for so long. I had feelings for her, but I was too scared to say anything and risk our friendship.
On Valentine’s day, we watched a movie together and accidentally fell asleep in the same bed. From then on, we spent every weekend coming up with excuses to spend the night together. Then, in mid-March, we got the news that we had to leave campus and I knew it was my last chance. I told her how I felt, and she felt the same. For the next five months, we talked every day and sent letters across the country, each hoping the other still felt the same.
Then, finally, I was able to come visit her, and she asked me out in the car after picking me up. I said yes, and we’ve been together ever since, somehow never apart for too long. Everyone who knows us said they saw it coming but it just took us a while to see it for ourselves. I think it was well worth the wait.
He just wanted the CHEM1604 Zoom link when he PM’ed me on GroupMe. I needed friends in a new city and continued the conversation in hopes that we’d have something in common. We’re from opposite sides of Florida. I’m from the only relevant city, Miami, and he’s from the yeehaw part of the state we don’t claim. “The Scientology capital of the world,” he said. I was excited when that was his introduction, thinking I met a Scientologist my first week of college. I’m obsessed with the Leah Remini shows exposing the cult, and finally I would hear all about it. Sike, he’s not a Scientologist, just your average white boy.
We had our first date at the Met, and he didn’t know it was a date. I asked if he was going to kiss me at the end of the night, and he thought I was being sarcastic and walked away, saying “We’re not there.” I was there, where was he?'
I ended up making all the first moves. Our first kiss on Floor 8 John Jay Lounge happened during a break from the physics problem set. The rest is history.
He’s seen me at my lowest lows and has helped me grow as a person. He has all my firsts. I never knew I could love before him, and I can’t imagine loving anyone else.
He is family and the person I want to tell everything to when I return home at night.
He is not your average white boy. Matthew Werneken is the love of my life.
— Marian Abuhazi
On a rainy spring night, my friend took me to Columbia’s version of Shakespeare in the Park. The magnolias on campus were in full bloom and it was the most beautiful, magical setting for gay Romeo and Juliet to kiss under the moonlight. As we were waiting around for the next scene in front of Kent Hall, I heard a girl under a different umbrella say: “I was drunk, he was making pasta; that’s my only memory of him. I think I love him.”
I think she was blond. Aside from that I can’t remember her at all. I don’t think she remembers saying those words in the midst of that crowd although I still remember them almost two years later. I hope she got many more pasta dinners with whomever she loved.
— Angela Seowon Lee
My now boyfriend, Jackson, and I became friends when we both went on a pilgrimage in Spain with the Episcopal club at Columbia. We liked each other pretty immediately but a relationship was impossible. He was stuck in a toxic relationship, and I had just committed to not dating while I was getting sober in a 12-step addiction program because I needed time to learn how to be in healthy relationships and fix my damaged relationship with myself.
This led to several uncomfortable and honest conversations on how to navigate this situation when we were obviously romantically interested in each other. But we managed to build a really solid and beautiful platonic friendship, and eventually I was at peace with the fact that we would never be together romantically and that we had both moved on. But when my sponsor in my 12-step program gave me the all-clear to date, I started to notice romantic feelings for him coming up again. We were watching Avatar: The Last Airbender over FaceTime every day (love in the time of the pandemic!), and eventually, I could not deny that we were falling in love with each other again. I told him how I felt and he told me he felt the same way. We celebrated six months together recently, and it’s by far the healthiest relationship either of us have been in, as it’s built on a strong foundation of friendship, mutual love, and respect from before we even started dating.
— Isabel Draper