The VD Guide for Couples {Valentine's Day}

The VD Guide for Couples {Valentine's Day}


 The holidays are over which only means one thing: Love is in the air. Yep, my favorite fabricated, overly commercialized holiday, Valentine’s Day (affectionately known as VD) is right around the corner. I say this sarcastically but I can because I truly am a romantic and a wholehearted believer in good love, I embrace this holiday as an opportunity to give thoughtful gifts, write sappy sentiments and envision my life turning out like ‘The Notebook’ (minus the dementia). I love love! I suck at a lot of other stuff, but I have the love thing pretty down pat. Friends, family, precious little old men, and big dogs, step right up- there is enough of my heart to go around. However, this is not to say that my affinity for syrupy love notes, deep eye gazing, and Kenny G has historically ever been shared by a man in my life. In 7th grade I was dumped on Valentine’s Day but not before he ate the chocolate that I gave him, made out with my friend, and then bladed away. It has pretty much gone down hill from there, so it should be a super crappy holiday but for some reason it isn’t. Either I am a glutton for punishment and unrequited affection or I am always a little hopeful that the florist ringing my doorbell won’t instead be looking for my neighbor. I have yet to decide. 

Fact: a lot of new relationships begin on Valentine’s Day. The combination of needing something to get excited about after the ebb of the holiday tide, having a few new cute outfits to wear, and being held hostage by the cold watching eHarmony commercials and Lifetime movies can get the love candle burning for all the singles out there. As the mother of a 16 year old girl who is navigating the workings of a romantic relationship and a woman who still yearns for an audible romantic mix tape to my life, I have a few gems of advice for new couples, particularly the girl part of the couple, that I wish someone had shared with me. Maybe I would have gotten more chocolate covered hugs if they had.

1. If you don’t like his dog, then don’t act like you like his dog. Especially if it is a little dog because they live forever and you will find yourself 13 years later stuck with this dog and it’s not like you can just wake up one morning like “by the way, I hate your freaking dog.” You are laying the groundwork from day one. Remember that.

2. Do not  ignore his farts. The first time it happens call him out, shame him, embarrass him, do what ever it takes. Don’t let it slip because that is basically giving him permission to crop dust you for the rest of your life. His farts will become your morning alarm and your midnight lullaby. Next thing you know, you’ll be washing his skid marked drawers. Nobody wants a Skid Vicious, seriously, don’t be a Nancy. 

3. If he snores, leave him. There is no hope.  It might be hard but you’ll be happy that you did. Break the chains early, Django.

4. Teach him how to properly load the dishwasher. Put the forks with the forks, knives with the knives, etc. It’s a revolutionary concept but when HE unloads it, you just did him a favor by saving some time. You’re welcome, boyfriend.

5. Allow yourself to be the girl. I am guilty of this. So many of us are capable and head strong and empowered that we do it all ourselves, or at least try to. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to… all the time. Otherwise, it will be expected and he will forget that you need him and so will you. Let him take out the trash, and change the oil, and clean up his little nasty, unlikeable dog’s poop. Guys need to feel capable, too.

6. Don’t expect a mind reader. You will only be disappointed. Let him know what’s important to you. Some girls are good at subtly; personally, I am good at interpretive dance. Whatever your method, unless you want diddly squat for Valentine’s Day, drop some hints and drop it like it’s hot. 

7. Don’t fake it or else you’ll be faking it for the duration of the relationship, short changing yourself. That’s just plain unfair. Likewise, give him lots of exciting reasons to want to come home to you at night; candlelit dinners, romantic massages, serving him his Bud Light while wrapped in Saran wrap and humming Boyz II Men - whatever your thing is do it and do it really well.

8. Don’t make everything about you, just most things. Let him have his time to unwind after work, guy’s fishing trips, college sports, and if he is telling a story to his friends- let him tell it the way that he wants to- even if the fish was actually a mullet. Don’t interrupt. The rest can be about you. 

9. Don’t let him get a tattoo of your name. Three microbrews and a shot of tequila might make you think it is a sweet testament of his devotion, but his Mama sure won’t. It will be your fault and next Christmas you’ll get a bag of half empty potpourri and some scrubber sponges from Dollar General. 

10. Don’t treat him like your girlfriend, because he is not. He’s your boyfriend. That’s just too much pressure to put on him. He doesn’t care about shoe sales or periods or looking at a bump on your butt. I promise. If you have inadvertently already crossed this line and he appears to be listening intently, chances are that you are still in the first 6 months of your relationship and he is probably going to dump you soon. Then tell all of his friends that you were too clingy. Don’t be that girl.

11. Keep him guessing. Take the “be a mystery” to another level. This means always leave him wondering what you’re going to do next and not in a crazy “I might cut you” kind of way. Spontaneity and laughter is a gift that you can give 365 days a year.  I once put a potato under the sheets at the foot of my husband’s side of the bed, for no other reason but to entertain myself and watch him wonder why I put a potato in the bed.  Exercise the element of surprise.

12. Learn to make a really delicious sandwich. This is basically the moral of the story.

Of course there is plenty traditional counsel of what to do and what not to do in a relationship circulating out there. Hopefully these extra pointers help you to navigate the battle field of love and help promise many romantic Valentine’s Days to come. So cut out a construction paper heart, put a potato in his bed, and get out the Saran Wrap because VD is just around the corner. 
We’ll talk soon.


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