Valentine's Day usually cleaves single people into two camps: The happy couples lording it over the unattached and the unattached scurrying to singles events like The Bitter Ball.
But there's a third camp you don't read about too much these days: The unattached who are too coupled to be considered single yet too uncommitted to be considered a couple.
These are the people who dither about Valentine's Day almost as much as the truly single. The dilemma morphs from having no good plans on February 14 to having no good options.
After all, where do you take somebody you're not sure you want a future with on Valentine's Day? Take her to an expensive restaurant and you send the wrong message: "I care."
Take her to a burger joint and you also send the wrong message: "I don't care."
Neither sentiment is true, so you have to be careful about how you present yourself on that special day. On the one hand you don't want to overdo it but on the other hand you don't want to kill it off.
Too much or too little will lead to the wrong interpretation. Like the kind when I checked into a hotel last week on a recent business trip. I jokingly said to the lady at the registration desk, "I hope the porn channel in my room is disabled." To which she replied, "No, it's regular porn, you sick b*stard!"
You could always make up an excuse for inaction, but letting the date fall off the calendar or faking a heart attack isn't going to cut it for the thinking man. We don't have the cruelty for the former or the acting chops for the latter.
So what's the solution? Simple. A single flower and a restaurant that's fun but not romantic. This way you acknowledge that there's something going on between you without having to spell out exactly what.
And if you're going to make a mistake, err on the side of abandon not caution. Better that she says, "Oh, you shouldn't have" than "You cheap b*stard!"
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