Five things to think about before Valentine’s Day gets here

Here’s this week’s column, just to get you all warmed up for the big weekend.

“Okay, so my name might be a clichรฉ, but my mostly successful relationship with my man is not. One thing I’ve learned in the last twelve years is that love needs romance, and Heaven gave us Valentine’s Day to make sure that happens at least once a year.

So if you find yourself in the “ho hum” crowd, the group of old together forever’s who don’t need no Cupid because what does he know about commitment anyway, might I recommend a quick body scan?

(Frankly, Cupid must know something about the appropriate use of romance. There are times in my marriage when it’s a really good thing I’m not carrying around a bow and an arrow. I don’t know that I’d use it quite as judiciously.)

Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to feed your relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together for a week or a millennium, every relationship can take a little heat. Here are a few Annie Valentine approved activities and suggestions for the hypothermic relationship. And, while romance should never be one-sided, I find Valentine’s Day to be a great opportunity for chivalry. Somehow this kind of romance means a whole lot more when the man is the driving force.

1. Surprise your lover. I don’t care if you jump out of the closet with a box of chocolates, or hide under a blanket in her backseat, getting a gift means so much more when it’s arrival is unanticipated. Go ahead, get flowers, but leave them single stemmed, in strategic places around the house when she wakes up. You can attach a note saying, “I love you 12 ways, go find them.” A rose on top of the washing machine says, “I know you care enough about me to pretreat my favorite t-shirt, thanks!”

2. Go the extra mile. Swinging by the grocery store for a last minute card is awesome, but getting a sitter for the kids or making a special dinner reservation is even better. This is your chance to say, “I choose you, I want you, let’s make out in the car like when we were dating.”

3. If you can’t do it on Monday night, that’s okay. Planning a special event means you’ve got to be flexible, especially if Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday. But instead of using it as an excuse to bail, knock your plans forward or backwards and make them happen. (But it’s nice to save a little something for the actual day, just to make sure all your bases are covered. Bases, get it?)

4. There’s plenty of love for single people. If romantic love isn’t on your present chopping block, there’s plenty of alternatives to take its place. Take a grandchild or a sister to lunch, tell them why you love them, and celebrate the fact that you’re not alone on this big green earth. This holiday is for everyone; we all need an excuse to remember the ones we love.

5. Fake it to make it. If you’re playing along out of duty and think this holiday is hogwash, then I say make it a good performance. Most of the time, effort alone will get you much further than you ever anticipated, so give it a whirl and put your best foot forward.

Loving someone is about more than simply staying together. In every relationship, loving someone involves effort, it involves passion, and it means sometimes you put yourself out there, even if your only reward is a simple smile, a look of delight, or the sheer knowledge that you gave someone the best part of you.

And no matter what happens, it’s better to have loved and lost, than to forever sit around watching Seinfeld reruns on your own.”


  1. This is where you surprise me a little with your wisdom. Not that you don’t seem wise . . .

  2. Did you just say “lover?” I don’t think I can respect that.

  3. Maybe loving and losing is better than Seinfeld…but I’m not so sure it’s better than Friends:)

  4. Great advice.
    Hmm…probably tacky to forward this to my honey though ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Love this, especially the idea for those who are single or not into the romantic thing. It’s about so much more than boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/etc. Lots of ways to show love to lots of different people!

  6. My kids call Valentine’s Day “I Love You Day” from hearing that on a “My Friends Tigger & Pooh” episode. Y’know what? I don’t even bother correcting them. I think that’s exactly what V Day is about. LOVED this post so much! Tempting forcing my husband to read it… just kidding. ๐Ÿ™‚

    p.s. YOU’RE MOVING?!!!! Where have I been?!! What a horrible friend & this is such heart-breaking news!!

  7. I wondered if Valentines day made you a little bit big headed……..a holiday named after you after all!
    Great reminder to get things heated up!

  8. I’ve always loved your posts….but even MORE now that I know the adorable gal behind them.
    My valentine surprises are not appropriate for family rated blogs (tee,hee)
    I agree that romance needs to be sparked all the time……… not just valentines day.

    we plan on playing “hearts” in the nude.
    OR NOT

  9. That is good advice. Maybe I should have my hubby read this…granted it’s a little too late for him to plan anything at this point. Oh, well. There’s always next year, right? If you want to see how we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I wrote a little poem about it on my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. So do you think him coming home to me in bed, with only a couple ribeye steaks covering all my lady bits, is romantic enough?

  11. Uhhh…pretty sure nothing is better than Seinfeld re-runs. I have a very strong testimony of Seinfeld. Not so much of Valentine’s Day.

    This was a great post, though!! I love Valentine’s Day because it reminds me of YOU!!!