Right and Wrong ways to show you care on Valentine’s day

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It’s February and for most people that means Valentine’s Day is on the mind.

Part of me wants to chastise the creation of what I consider a fake holiday made up for candy companies to use of the bulk supply of chocolate left over from Halloween and Christmas.

Another part of me remembers I’ve been with the same woman for five years and while I try my best every day to show her how much I love her, this day is as good as any other to exclaim your love for one another.

The problem is that it seems everyone goes on autopilot on Valentine’s Day, especially with big box stores filled with heart-shaped boxes before the New Year even begins.

It’s formulaic almost: Buy candy. Get her a shiny necklace. Lull the masses into a consumerist stupor.

I don’t feel that way, though. Valentine’s Day should require thought, or at least a game plan and knowledge of what’s right and wrong to give to your love.

Because I am such a giving person, here’s a guide to making it through next Friday’s holiday without missteps.

DO

Plan a date at your favorite restaurant. It doesn’t have to be a fancy place, but that would earn some bonus points.

Go someplace you like to go, somewhere you can look at each other while waiting for your meal and just talk. A good, solid talk is a vastly underappreciated facet of any solid relationship.

DON’T

Score another victory for apathy and buy the heart-shaped pizza at Papa Murphy’s.

It never actually looks like a heart. And it’s called the “Heartbaker,” which doesn’t exactly elicit warm and fuzzy feelings for the love of your life.

DO

Make a new playlist on your love’s iPod.

Or compile a playlist and burn a CD.

If you do either, remember the important part: THINK about what the songs you chose actually mean. Don’t just hit “add to playlist” because something has a catchy hook or a slow beat. Remember you are utilizing someone else’s poetry to express how you feel about this particular person.

Don’t be the person playing “Every Breath You Take” by The Police at a wedding, the song is about stalking.

DON’T

Slap together some playlist with songs you have construed as romantic and not do any research.

Just because songs such as Pearl Jam’s “Black” sound pleasant, mellow and romantic, doesn’t mean they actually are.

Listen to the lyrics.

If you don’t understand the lyrics, use Google to filter them out better. Maybe the reason so many relationships fail in this world are coalescent with a lack of paying any attention to the lyrics of the songs you share.

DO

When it comes to movies I think you have one of two viable options, but the key to both is make it a special occasion.

You can go out and see a new movie in the local theater, though usually early in February the cinemas are filled with a collection of bad films.

The other is stay at home and have a pajama-clad movie night complete with plenty of popcorn, ice cream and snuggling.

If you share hobbies, make sure you take advantage of them no matter how benign, trivial or nerdy you think they may be.

From personal experience there is something fun about challenging each other to a six-on-six Pokemon battle, or seeing who’s better at “Magic: The Gathering.”

DON’T

Just pass up the opportunity to do something as simple as sitting down and both enjoying something together.

Even worse is you taking the reins and making the night about what you want to watch without asking your significant other their opinion.

Just because you like “Night of the Living Dead” doesn’t mean they will.

Actually, if you think that’s an appropriate move for Valentine’s Day, you may need more tips than I can provide.