TBT: 1995 Valentine’s Day ads gave students a chance to profess love


Kat Sampson

In the days preceding Valentine’s Day in 1995, The Daily Texan ran a coupon in the paper that gave students the opportunity to buy a 1-inch, heart-bordered advertisement. For $9.20, the buyer had 20 words to express any Valentine’s Day message to a loved one. The “Express Your Love Texan Valentines” filled two pages of the newspaper with promises of unwavering faithfulness, inside jokes and nauseous pet names. 

The most common type of message was the sappy declaration of desire. Students either made mentions of eternal love or cliché connections between the ocean and their lovers’ eyes. Some students were uncomfortable being sincere and took a sarcastic approach. One student wrote, “Although you’re mean to me, I love you.” 

The cheekier significant others went with an innuendo containing suggestive wording or physical promises. More often than not, lovers used pet names in the provocative ads — probably to conceal the identity of an embarrassed girlfriend or boyfriend. If you are looking for a nickname to call your hubby this Valentine’s Day, consider throwing it back to 1995 with Huggabear, Lovebug-Valentine, Lovedawg, Mooncakes or My Italian Stallion.

The “Express Your Love Texan Valentines” section looked an awful lot like the Missed Connections section on Craigslist at some points. Hopeless romantics bought ads to describe a brief interaction they had with an unidentified person who caught their eye. They often suggested a meeting place and time to reverse fate. Other students offered “free coffee and a kiss” to anyone willing to meet them.

Messages written by students for The Daily Texan’s “Express Your Love Texan Valentines” section ranged from optimistically gushy to down-right uncomfortable. It’s hard to say how many connections remained missed or how many of the relationships lasted, but one thing’s for sure — a simple chocolate sampler and bouquet is always a safe bet for Valentine’s Day.