Relationship Advice and Date Ideas (Romantic and Platonic) From Columbians This Valentine’s Day

Looking for a fun way to spend Valentine's Day with loved ones? These Columbians have ideas for you. Plus, ways to stay connected, even after graduation.

Kara Avanceña and Kelly Moffitt-Hawasly
February 10, 2023

Whether love of a partner, love of a friend, or showing a little love to yourself, there’s something special in the air uptown and around Columbia’s campuses around Valentine’s Day. 

Each year, Columbia Alumni Association collects and shares Columbia love stories from our alumni (check out the amazing Columbia LOVE albums here). This year we thought we’d expand our collective experiences with love to all members of the Columbia community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others by asking you for your advice on relationships, both romantic and platonic, and your ideal Columbia date. 

Looking for more V-Day inspo? Check out this list of uptown experiences and treats, a Pantone 292-themed wedding (IYKYK), Columbia love stories to make you smile, and a delicious conglomeration of treat-yourself recipes by and for Columbians

What is your ideal way to celebrate Valentine’s Day at or near Columbia?

Riverside park bench and trees in the fall.

“Going for a long walk on Riverside Park." —Mariana Reyes (CC’25) | @marianareyesldz

“Solving problem sets in Butler Lounge with a cup of joe.” —Student in the MA economics program (GSAS’23)

Stefani Shoreibah (BC'21) and her boyfriend, Shaan Pandiri (CC’21), on Columbia’s campus with a magnolia tree.

“My favorite Valentine’s Day was a candlelight dinner in my Watt apartment with my future spouse!” —Steph FigPope (CC’13) | @stephfigpope

“Stuffing my face at JJ’s.” —Max Carter (BC’26) | @m.axinecarter

“Date night at Le Monde!” —Gabby Grunfeld, visiting student at Columbia College | @gabbygrunfeld

“My boyfriend and I met at Columbia (CC’21 and BC’21). Our suggestion to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Columbia is to spend time with your significant other in a way that’s meaningful to both of you! We loved going out to different restaurants around Columbia; Pisticci and Jin Ramen were our go-to spots for a Valentine’s Day date.” —Stefani Shoreibah (BC’21) | @stefaniashoreibah

What are your top tips for maintaining friendships after graduating?

“Although I’m not a graduate yet, it’s the same as whilst a student — really putting in effort.” —Andrew Cronson (GSAPP’25) | @acronson

Mack and her husband, Griff Curtis (CC’11, VP&S’17)

“Send postcards from your travels!” —Columbia graduate (GS’20)

“Weekly scheduled FaceTime.” —Florianne Jacques (GSAPP’23) | @florianne_aj

“Travel together ❤️.” —Patricia LaBorda (SIPA’15) | @labordap_5

“Go to Columbia grad school together! 🤣” —Lisa Mack (SEAS’12, VP&S’17) | @lisamack9

“Call them just to check in. You don’t need to have a big announcement to share.” —Chris Smith (SIPA’23) | @chris.n.smith

“Check in regularly and meet in person when possible!” —Boris Ter-Avanesov (CC’23) | @boris_ta_72