Valentine’s Day brings with it special issues that require some forethought. If you’re married you know what works for/against you—knowledge often gained with some pain. While it is usually considered a day for fostering romance, it has also been known as a day in which many promising relationships have ended. If you wish to preserve the relationship, read on. If you prefer to use the occasion to end it, take the ideas in reverse. This guidance is for single guys. Heck, women don’t need advice. They have it down to a science. But ladies, if the need is there, extrapolate as you see fit.
Know your target: Mushy works for some, but not for others. Then again, humor can work against you. Most important, if you say Be my Valentine, you may be inviting an expectation you don’t want or can’t fulfill. If your card even hints at a strong suggestion of commitment, the game is over. Beware your response to a card from her proclaiming love. This must be nipped in the bud with a sense of censure like Don’t you think you’re coming on a little strong?, unless of course, you are prepared to wave romance’s white flag of surrender.
If the lady has even a dimple in her leg, no candy. If you must, just a single piece of chocolate. She’ll love it. Of course, if you deliver a pound of Bissinger’s, she’ll love that too. But do you want those dimples in her forehead?
Careful, it’s honey trap that has existed for millennia. It was first detected when Neanderthals learned that a tiger tooth could result in sexual favors (with Neanderthal women, not tigers). Men have the same motive today. But give a girlfriend jewelry and they will soon expect an engagement ring. Give her chocolate (if you’re not concerned about those dimples), or flowers.
Ladies love flowers. What more needs to be said? But, have you inquired about allergies? It’s difficult to forge a romantic relationship through a veil of Kleenex, and it can be disgusting.
If you love her, take her someplace nice and propose. If you don’t, make a date and don’t show up. Or, show up and take her to Burger King, give her a handmade card, and something resembling a Cracker Jack prize. If she laughs, compliments you, and says she loves you, marry her.
Some louts actually date two women at the same time—hard to believe I know, but trust me, it happens. Be very, very careful. And, make sure the cards and notes are addressed to the right person. At risk is the loss of both girlfriends, your life—or worse. Think about it.
If you forget Valentine’s Day, you can forget the relationship. Unless you can convincingly feign a hospital stay I didn’t tell you honey, I didn’t want to worry you. Claiming early-onset dementia is a risky choice. You may have to spend the rest of your life either explaining your recovery or continuing the ploy. On the other hand, a lifelong excuse for forgetting things does have its advantages.
Heck, if she wants to, go for it, whether you like her or not.
For the Ladies
If you forget the special occasion, it’s not likely to be an issue. Feb. 14, or any time, you can win his favor by gifting a 6-pack or a bottle of Irish whiskey. If he forgets Valentine’s Day, don‘t rag him. Just know that you can exact a double measure of revenge when he forgets your birthday or anniversary.
Don Marsh hosts St. Louis on the Air on KWMU and is the author of How to be Rude Politely, available in local bookstores and on amazon.com.