All you need is love…

JCCC sophomores Molly Richardson and Jeff Dahnert recount their love story, starting with a chance meeting in Mr. King's class, to now being in a relationship for three years. As they share what Valentine's Day means to them, they reflect on the journey that brought them together. By Eliana Klathis.

Charles M Schulz, a famous American cartoonist, once said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then never hurts.” This famous quote has been written on at least 1,000 different Valentine’s Day cards.

Every February 14, the United States and a handful of other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a day to celebrate the ones we love, whether they are romantic partners, family members, or furry friends. 

Valentine’s Day has become increasingly popular. According to Statistica, past spending habits suggest that the U.S. would spend a combined 25.9 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day activities or gifts, such as evenings out, candy, and flowers. 

Traditions and symbols of this holiday include hearts, gift giving, romantic dinners with significant others., asking to be someone’s valentine, chocolate, teddy bears, etc. It might have grown in popularity recently, but this holiday has been immensely admired and accepted for centuries.

The origins of this holiday are relatively unknown, although there are a few theories surrounding the mystery of this holiday.

According to Brittanica, Valentine’s day was not celebrated on February 14 until the 14th century. Past historians have suggested that Valentine’s, more formally known as St. Valentine’s day may have derived from the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February. Lupercalia celebrated the arrival of spring, which included fertility rites of women and a lottery that paired women with men. Pope Gelasius I, eventually ended this festival at the end of the fifth century. 

Another standing theory for how the holiday started features a martyred priest named Valentine, who was executed by Emperor Claudius II in 270 CE. One source claims that the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to a jail warden because he had befriended him.

As times have changed Valentine’s Day has become a highly commercialized holiday to celebrate the ones we love. It became increasingly commercialized from the end of the renaissance to the beginning of the industrial revolution. Messages or valentines first began in the 1500s; by the late 1700s, commercially printed cards were being given and received. 

In modern times, Valentine’s Day’s highly accepted traditions have grown internationally, as it is celebrated in Britain, Canada, Australia, Argentina, France, Mexico, South Korea, Greece, and many other countries.

According to cloudwords, 323 million people worldwide used dating apps or dating sites to meet new people in 2021. However, these two JCCC love birds sophomores Molly Richardson (20) and her longstanding boyfriend of three years Jeff Dahnert (20), they met 

“In Mr. King’s class. It was the first day of the junior year and I saw this girl walk into my class late, and I thought she was really pretty… and then she ended up sitting with my group at lunch, so I made an effort to talk to her,” Dahnert said. 

For Richardson, it was a bit different.  

“When I first came into the class, I’m thinking I’m late for class where do I sit… But at lunch, at first, I thought you were really nice and funny and I wanted to get to know you more.”

The meaning of Valentine’s day can be different for each couple. Dahnert believes

“It’s just a reminder of valuing the other person. When you’ve been dating for so long, it’s easy to just get into the routine and not appreciate each other. But Valentine’s day, is a reminder of why you fell in love with that person.”

Richardson later said for her Valentine’s day plans, she plans to surprise her boyfriend with homemade cookies and activities like building a lego set together.

Dahnert secretly shared that his valentine’s day plans

“Involves crab legs.”

For another flourishing JCCC love match, sophomores Victor Monterroza (19) and Alyssa Jimenez-Garcia (19),

Sophomores Victor Monterroza and Alyssa Jimenez-Garcia, a flourishing couple at JCCC, celebrate Valentine’s Day with appreciation for each other and plan to spend quality time together. By Victor Monterroza.

Monterroza said, “It’s a day full of appreciation for each other. Being a couple comes with a lot of  struggles, a lot of hard times, so being able to overcome those is really celebrated on Valentine’s day.”

Garcia shared their special plans, saying, 

“The day after Valentine’s Day, is when we’re actually celebrating. Because it will be his birthday and anniversary…We like to spend time with each other, really. And we both like food and hanging out, and trying new places, so that’s what we’ll always do whenever it’s a special day.”

During this season of love, the couples give some romantic advice to JCCC students looking for love.

“Don’t rush it, it takes time. The right person will come along, you just have to be patient.” Garcia said. Along the same lines, Monterroza says “It takes patience and respect. You have to have respect for yourself and respect for the person your interested in.”

“Be patient, have good standards,” Richardson said. Dahnert added, “If it feels like a movie,  you’re doing something right… Also, never stop trying, because she rejected me at first,” “But he did not give up, and here we are.”

More Valentine’s Day information and campus activities can be found at

Eliana Klathis, features editor

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