In terms of people qualified to write a Valentine’s Day column, let me tell you, there is no one more qualified than me.

I have dated exactly one person during my time at Creighton, and it was a deeply fulfilling relationship that I have absolutely no regrets from. I wouldn’t change anything about the relationships I’ve had, and that’s only partially because I’m incapable of growing as a person. I have always started and ended my relationships with grace and dignity, and I haven’t shot any previous crushes’ boyfriends with a potato cannon, ever, even if it was considered.

Obviously, coming from someone so well adjusted and self-aware, it should come as no surprise that for some reason, I’ve become some type of guru on relationships and love to a number of my friends. I usually charge for this service, but because it’s Valentine’s day, I’m now offering this unsolicited advice free of charge.

I promise, that if you listen to my advice, as a leader and expert in love at the forefront of the issue at Creighton, you too can have many relationships just as fulfilling as mine.

So, when you’re planning that date for tonight, or any other plans more long-term, here’s what I have to offer:

To start off, it’s never too early to start saving up for a wedding ring. This should be obvious.

If you’re planning a date, don’t let risk or chance get in the way. Plan the safest thing possible. Go to a movie, maybe get dinner. Everyone loves someone who plays it safe. It really shows them that you’re level headed and responsible. You might be thinking, “wow, they must be bored out of their mind right now,” but trust me, they’re thinking of just how great you’ll be at setting up your 401k later in life. 

Sure, you could be doing something exciting and non-traditional that could leave an impact, or maybe even go someplace special that has a deeper meaning between the two of you, but that’s more of a fling thing. This shows your date that you’re really committed to the long term and will be there still doing your thing when the relationship gets boring.

Romantic comedies are written by people who, like me, have had great, fulfilling love lives. They give wonderful and complex pictures of relationships, and if you’re ever in doubt about what to do, I recommend binge watching them until something clicks. 

Whenever you find the opportunity, bring up your ex. It makes your date feel like you know what you want in a relationship, even though you definitely don’t, and have thought about it extensively, even if you definitely haven’t. It also lets them know that you’ve moved on and are now in a place where you can maturely talk about your past.

If you’re ever considering telling someone that you love them, you’re never going to get the timing or place right anyway, so I suggest committing to telling them in a text exactly a week after you’ve met them. It really just clears the air and lets them realize what you’re putting into this relationship, and that you have expectations of them to be doing the same. It might seem like a lot of pressure, but the real ones will commit. The text is to let them have space; an “I love you” is a big deal in a relationship, especially when it’s coming only a week in, and it really just lets them have time to process their feelings. If they don’t text you back immediately, there is absolutely no need to panic.

If you’re not sure where the relationship is going, I suggest making your love known in a high-pressure, public spectacle. Let them know that you’re willing to shout their name from the rooftops and expect them to be able to do the same, on the spot, in front of others. If they can’t commit, break up with them immediately. Also make this as much of a public spectacle as possible. Never do anything halfway when it comes to love.

A surprise joint savings account is always the good type of surprise. Any questions like, “why?” or, “did you steal my social security number?” will quickly be forgotten.

Constantly be as awkward as possible in social situations. Make everything weird. If they can’t love you at your worst, they obviously don’t deserve you when you reveal it was all an act and are actually suave.

When anyone texts you ever, ignore it. This is just an advanced way of playing hard to get. Find them interesting? Give it a week before responding because what if you mess it up? Don’t like them at all, might as well just leave it for a week also. This isn’t being mean, it’s just letting them know that you hold all people on the same playing field and treat them equally. Trust me, I don’t expect this to make sense to any of you non-love experts, but it just works.

You are completely defined by your relationships to others. No matter what you’re friends say, they think you’re a loser if you can’t find a relationship. When you’re in a relationship, make that the center of your life, and have all things revolve around it. People don’t want someone well-rounded and interesting; they want utter devotion.

If there is anything that you should learn from this, it’s that nobody will ever love you for who you are. Cover that up and be someone cool. People want to be in love with the idea of you, not you yourself.

Side-note: a friend has a potato canon I’m trying to sell if anyone is interested. Homemade, all high-quality PVC, only used once, and completely unrelated to any ongoing investigations or previous relationships. This is a limited time offer and getting rid of it quickly is of the utmost importance. Again, selling for a friend, not related to me at all. Call me.

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