By now (if you have a Valentine you’d like to keep) you’ve likely bumped shoulders with the throng in front of the drugstore rack, searching for the card most suited to express undying love, contentment, or at least tolerance of your chosen one. Hopefully, you are feeling more of the former and less of the latter. If you haven’t made the trek to your local card shop, dollar store or mega-drug outlet, it’s time.
So, which way to go — sappy and decadent, minimalist, suggestive, humorous? My advice: take your cue from your mate. If she regularly gives you flowery, expressive cards and you’re presenting her with cartoon-illustrated bathroom humor, don’t expect her to get the joke. If she’s the one pushing the amped-up bedroom innuendo, that non-commital, you’re-a-special-person missive might not make her day.
Not feeling the love like she is? Your problem is bigger than which card to pick. As you are now painfully aware, a meaningful conversation about the state of your relationship is warranted and should have happened long before February 14. Good luck to you. Since Valentine break-ups are cruel and unusual, be nice, take her to dinner and suck it up until St. Patrick’s Day. You’re going to have to choose a middle of the road message here.
Long-term relationships sustained with humor on a daily basis can be fairly represented with a humorous card, but be careful, this might be the one day your mate would really like to hear the depths of your love. If you are serious about the person, err on the side of caution and stay away from over-the-top comedy. Having a partner who treats the relationship like a joke is just not funny.
Can’t decide? Take a trusted friend and get a second opinion. Whatever you do, don’t do nothing, and don’t think a text or email is going to get you off the hook. Digital messages are a nice addition to your everyday relationship, but they aren’t V-Day quality on their own. If nothing else, get out a pen and scrawl a heartfelt note to paste on the bathroom mirror or slip onto your honey’s desk. Then relax, you have eight months until Sweetest Day!