Credit: Kurt Iswarienko/TV Guide Photo: The Cast of Vampire Diaries Pose in TV Guide Magazine, Fall 2009 Preview

“I love you Elena.” The words stop us in our tracks every time. And that’s why you know we couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass without revisiting the best romantic moments on our favorite show. Here is our list of the best heart-tugging, tear-jerking, make-you-cry-so-hard-you’ve-got-to-press-pause moments from The Vampire Diaries. Disagree with us if you dare.

7. Sealed with a slice
Episode: “Kill or be Killed”
On TVD, love bites — literally. So when Elena saw that Stefan was determined to follow through with his plans to build Katherinesque strength by drinking human blood, she decided he should feed from her. Picking up a letter opener, she held out her palm then sliced into her own flesh. “I don’t want you to do it alone,” she said. “Its you and me, Stefan.” Then she extended her hand for him to drink. Her blood ran the color of love.

6. Up, up, and away
Episode: “Brave New World”
It has long been Elena’s dream to share a smooch or two on the top of the Ferris Wheel. In “Brave New World,” Stefan made her dream come true. After his girl had experienced the worst Mystic Falls Carnival ever, he picked Elena up and flew her to the top of the ride. “I came back to this town to start a life with you,” he said. “We can’t forget to live.” No, we can’t.

5. Bonnie breaks
Episode: “Rose”
“Witchcraft has its limits.” Before Bonnie could say those words, she felt them. When the Witch Miss of Mystic Falls pulled off five big spells in one 24 hour-period, her body called it quits. Bon-Bon’s nose bled and she passed out on Jeremy’s bed. Thankfully Jer was there to nurse her back to health. And when she came to, the two bonded in a way Bonnie thought she never would with her best friend’s little brother. No, they didn’t cross any physical lines. But the time they shared — and the confessions — were innocent and sweet.

4. Jeremy plays Romeo to Anna’s Juliet
Episode: “Founder’s Day”
Vicki broke Jeremy, yes. But it was his feelings for the young vamp Anna that pushed him over the edge. When Damon told him that his Uncle John had killed her before setting the building on fire on Founder’s Day, Jer could not go on. He drank a vial of her blood then took a bunch of sleeping pills in hopes of dying and rising to live — in her honor — in the eternal night. How tragic.

3. Jeremy and Vicki sitting in a tree…
Episode: “Pilot” and “Haunted”
Say what you will about Stefalena, but there has been no love as pure as the twisted love Jeremy felt for Matt’s rebel big sis, Vicki Donovan. Remember how hurt he was in the series premiere when the waitress publicly dissed him for Tyler? Poor Jer! The textbook example of a bad influence, Vicki was all wrong for Elena’s kid bro. But she was also Jeremy’s salvation in the months after his parents’ fatal accident. And when a newly turned Vicki kissed Jer on the lips and drew blood, it was his heart that bled.

2. Damon says The L Word
Episode: “Rose”
After his first duel-to-the-death with O.V. Elijah, Damon Salvatore snuck into Elena’s bedroom just as she was getting ready for bed. The reason for his visit (or so he claimed) was to return her Vervain-filled charm necklace. But as the sexy vamp stood there with the trinket in his hand, something came over him. “I just have to say something,” he said. “I just have to say it once. You just need to hear it.” He inched seductively close to Elena, looked in her eyes and said,  “I love you Elena. And it is because I love you that I can’t be selfish with you… I don’t’ deserve you. But my brother does.” Then the elder Salvatore kissed his beloved’s forehead and compelled her to forget his most honest confession.

1. Elena takes Stefan for all that he is
Episode: The Turning Point (Airdate: 11.19.09)
It was a night of firsts: The first time Elena told Stefan she loved him; the first time Stefalena got — ahem — physical; the first time Elena found out she was the human doppelganger to Katherine. But some of us prefer to remember it as the first night Stefan showed Elena his vamp face. Don’t remember? Let us set the scene. The couple is kissing ferociously. We’re talking hands in hair, bodies pressing, heavy breathing… their passion is contagious it’s so strong. But then in a fit of ecstasy Stefan’s eyes go dark and veiny and he gets that face. You know, the non-human one. He turns away from Elena. “Don’t,” she says. “Elena, I can’t,” he replies. “Yes, you can,” she counters. “Don’t hide from me.” Stefan turns to face the teen more than 130 years his junior and he looks like a monster. But Elena doesn’t recoil in fear or disgust. Instead she caresses his face then proceeds to kiss the look of death of his cheeks. They make love and sales of “Cut” by Plumb (the song that’s playing in the background) soar.