4 Simple Ways To Avoid Screwing Up Valentine’s Day...For Once

Family & Relationships

Walking through any store in late January to early February is a nightmare. Every aisle is strewn with ribbons and hearts all pink, red, floral, and chocolate. It’s inevitable: Valentine’s Day is upon us. Look, we all know it’s a capitalist greeting card holiday, but trust me, your girlfriend (or boyfriend) wants you to give a shit.

1. Acknowledge that it’s happening.

It’s happening whether or not you celebrate it, but if you’re in a relationship, it’s wise to accept it as a thing you need to celebrate. As a girl, I wield a lot of knowledge about the female psyche. We are going to tell you we hate Valentine’s Day because it’s a contrived, forced celebration of love. And although the sensible parts of us know this is true, when we say it to you, it is most definitely a lie. We know you hate it, but we’re irrational. Just play it safe and assume we want a Valentine’s Day celebration of some sort. Also, for you women reading this, men like chocolate too. This shit goes both ways.

2. Order the flowers ASAP. Don’t wait until Feb. 14 and end up with the shitty leftovers.

Buy your flowers early. Or chocolates. Or that six-foot-tall Teddy Bear stuffed with 10 million rose petals that sings “My Funny Valentine.” But really, if you are doing long distance and plan to send something to your girlfriend, account for shipping time. If you try to hit up 1800flowers.com 12 hours before Valentine’s Day, you’re going to fail at getting flowers at all. That, or you’re going to end up sending a $90 bouquet of orange striped carnations, and she’ll hate it.

3. Make a reservation for a restaurant. A good one.

If you are home or on leave to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make a reservation. It’s is a huge day for dinner dates. Do not assume that you will be able to just wander into a restaurant with your significant other. Valentine’s Day is not about spontaneity. It’s about strategery, tactical strategery. Don’t know where to go? This is not the day to ask your single buddies for recommendations. There’s a reason they are single. Try Yelp, or ask someone who is in some semblance of a grown-up relationship.

4. Don’t like these tips? Then you should probably just break up with your significant other.

Being single is perhaps the most obvious way to avoid fucking up Valentine’s Day. That way there is no one to disappoint but yourself. But let’s be real, there is nothing sadder than crushing eight Miller Lites alone while watching Wedding Crashers for the 157th time all while wondering, “Goddamn, what is wrong with Owen Wilson’s nose?” Or, maybe that’s just a Saturday for you.

DoD Photo
Ryan Kules

Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.

On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

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Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.

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"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."

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(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

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Roman Sabal, 58, originally from Belize, came to the San Ysidro Port of Entry around 7:30 on Monday morning with an attorney to ask for "parole" to attend his naturalization interview scheduled for a little before noon in downtown San Diego. Border officials have the authority to temporarily allow people into the country on parole for "humanitarian or significant public benefit" reasons.

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Jeff Schogol

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