Bromke: Valentine’s Day

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It’s officially February, ladies and gentlemen. Love is in the air. Punch a tree to death with your bare hands, build a canoe from its remains, and take your special someone out on the lake. He’ll be very impressed, I guarantee it.

Over the course of our relationship, I’ve managed to successfully lower my girlfriend’s romantic standards to the point where practically anything we do together, no matter how boring, will pass for a hot date. The last time she begged me to surprise her with something nice, I told her to close her eyes and hold out her hands, then fished around in my navel for a few seconds and pulled out some lint.

Don’t get the wrong idea — this isn’t on purpose. I’m not trying to be an emotionally abusive psychopath. When she asks me over for Netflix and chill, I don’t take it as an invitation to stuff her in the freezer while I watch The Office. When I say “lowered romantic standards,” I’m talking about how our expectations of one another aren’t as unrealistic as they were when we first started dating.

Maintaining a relationship is difficult when you can’t take physical closeness or financial stability for granted. The sad fact is, my girlfriend and I are both full-time students with part-time jobs — our schedules make it impossible to see one another during the day, and even if we could, we’d still be broke. The only time I can ever take her on a real date is when our timetables sync up long enough for us to go hiking in the Pine Barrens or something, and that happens about as often as a solar eclipse.

If you’re in a situation like ours, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten depressed thinking about it. It weighs on your mind and eats away at your self-confidence. You might even consider breaking it off, saying you’ll stay friends, keeping cherished memories intact without the risk of ruining the past by not being good enough for the present. “It was fun while it lasted,” right?

Don’t ever do that. Things may not be the way they were when you first met, but the fact that they aren’t exactly the same anymore isn’t a reason to end your relationship. It can always get better.

This Valentine’s Day, forget about what made you fall in love (or in bed, or whatever) with your significant other in the first place. Focus on what makes them enjoyable to spend time with, in the present tense. You’ve got the rest of your life to look back on how things started, whether you stay together or not, so take a day to live in the moment with one another.

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