By Morgan Davy
BELLEVILLE – It was almost two years ago that Lindsay Conley, a second-year graphic-design student, got her wishes granted in a very unconventional way.
Eden was her best friend. They went to high school together, spent nights at each other’s houses; he even occasionally took her out to dinner at Montana’s.
Eden was aware that Lindsay’s feelings for him were growing deeper, but he just brushed it off and ignored her changing behaviour.
“I had a huge crush on him forever, like was just totally in love with him. And he knew, and it made things kind of awkward sometimes.”
Lindsay, 21, was forced to watch as the love of her life dated other girls, but decided their friendship was too important to pursue her true feelings.
In the spring of 2012 Lindsay and a recently single Eden were watching a movie and shared their first kiss.
“We were just sort of hanging out and watching a movie one day and we looked at each other and just kind of kissed.”
For Lindsay, everything had changed. But Eden couldn’t seem to make up his mind about what he wanted their relationship to be.
She was left wondering if she was gaining a boyfriend or losing a best friend.
A few days later, in Belleville’s Wal-Mart parking lot, she got her answer.
“I was like, ‘If you don’t decide, I’m going to be really mad at you,’ and we started arguing until he was like, ‘Fine, we’re a couple!’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’ ”
Almost two years later, they are still happily in love.
Lindsay remembers the beginning of their relationship fondly as the international day of romance is upon us.
Lindsay and Eden will be one of 16 million couples in Canada celebrating Valentine’s Day Friday. According to Statistics Canada, $3.34 billion was spent on jewelry in 2012 for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and candy manufacturers made almost $1.5 billion in revenue in 2011 on this special day.
Lindsay and Eden aren’t the only students at Loyalist who have a noteworthy love story. Some Valentine’s Day stories are just sad.
Katrine Dussault, a third-year architecture student, had only been seeing Matt for about a month, but things were going very well – or so she thought.
“It had gotten serious enough that we went Facebook official.”
Katrine says that when they made their relationship public, Matt’s attitude toward her changed.
“He was afraid of commitment and I don’t know if it was just out of his comfort zone, but something just clicked in.”
He was distant and wasn’t spending time with Katrine. Finally, on Feb. 14, she confronted him and begged for honesty. She needed to know where they stood.
“He just told me ‘I don’t want to see you anymore.’ ”
Not long after that Matt moved away, and left nothing but a terrible Valentine’s Day memory, she said.
In other cases, romance starts off roughly.
Amanda Pendleton, 21, met Cory at her best friend’s birthday party. Their first encounter was not very romantic.
“He called me antisocial because I was texting and not paying attention to what was going on.”
Amanda took part in an age-old college tradition and tried her hand at a drinking game. If it weren’t for her lack of skill, she wouldn’t have drunk so much and would have missed her chance to spend more time with Cory.
“I ended up vomiting, and he was actually holding my hair the entire time. He got me a glass of water and took care of me.”
The next day Amanda woke up to a text from her knight in shining alcohol. Cory wanted to take her out for pizza. That was eight months ago, and they are still happily together.
“I’ve never had someone who loves me and takes care of me like this before. He is one of the most important things in my life. He makes me laugh, and I think that’s what all girls should have.”
Brandi Akey has been with her boyfriend for about a year and a half. She thought she knew what to expect in their relationship, but last Valentine’s Day, he pulled off the ultimate surprise.
When Brandi woke up on the morning of Feb. 14 she found nothing waiting for her. No gifts, no candy, and no breakfast in bed.
“It sucked. I was so sad.”
She took time out of her day to surprise him at school with V-Day treats, but he had nothing for her in return.
After a seemingly normal dinner later that night, Brandi was sure he had forgotten all about the day of romance.
But she was more than a little intrigued when he asked her to close her eyes and trust him.
“He put a necklace around my neck and gave me a bouquet of flowers.”
Valentine’s Day is about more than just mushy cards and melted chocolate.
Lindsay Conley reminds us all that it doesn’t matter what gifts you buy, it’s who you spend the day with.
“I just really love him. He’s my soulmate and I know that he feels the same. I just couldn’t imagine doing this without him. I rely on him, maybe too much sometimes, but he’s the best thing in my life.”