02/08/2011 11:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What Are You Getting for Valentine's Day?

Flowers, candy or a brick ... what will your Valentine's Day bring? Hopefully, it will be a romantic celebration with chocolates, a candle light dinner, or a dozen roses. However, if your relationship is on the rocks, I suggest you dig deeply to see if there is a brick in your life.

Why a brick? There's a legend stemming from the bloody St. Valentine's Day Massacre way back in 1929, when seven of Bugs Moran's gangsters were brutally murdered in a red brick warehouse on Clark Street in Chicago. The site became a tourist trap which was eventually torn down and, as the story goes, anyone having contact with its bricks (stolen or purchased for $1000) was struck with bad luck from financial ruin to divorce or even death.

Today, like the warehouse on Clark Street, events beyond our control can suddenly turn our life upside down, especially in the mysterious world of love. There are many theories, including John Money's "love map" theory that we each have messages encoded in our brain by the time we are eight years old, telling us who our ideal mate is. Our individual map covers our likes and dislikes in a mate, from hair color to personality and it's primarily determined by our first love... Mom and her attributes. Dad also plays a role as we tend to model how he treats Mom.

So, to spare yourself the agony of divorce, if you haven't already tied the knot get to know your significant other's family well and study their interactions. Metaphorically speaking, you'll get to know the building's history, brick by brick, and you'll have a snapshot into your future as a couple. That was my dad's advice which regretfully, in my youthful wisdom, I chose to ignore.

Should breaking-up happen, remember knowledge is powerful and the more you know about the separation and divorce process the greater your chance of saving money and pain as you navigate its complexities. Simply put, you'll end up with a better settlement and smoother
transition if you know how to stay in control of the process.

Just as importantly, give yourself the gift of time before you jump into a new romance. Unless
you uncover your "love map" you are likely to pick someone just like the partner you've
separated from. However, by understanding your own wiring, you can make the necessary changes, heal your wounds, rediscover your gifts, and transform the trauma of breaking up into a brilliant, new beginning ... which just might include a new, healthy romance.

So, if you are fortunate to have a mate you can work with to build a mature, loving relationship, congratulations as you celebrate the rewards of togetherness this Valentine's Day! If your relationship is really rocky my heart goes out to you. Giving up the "happily-ever-after" dream, especially at holiday time, is devastating.

And, if you have a friend crushed by a cursed brick and facing Valentine's Day all alone, I challenge you to surprise him/her with an act of kindness. It will mean more than you'll ever know.

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