Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. Let’s spend a minute or two talking about that over-commercialized holiday which is...

Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound.

Let’s spend a minute or two talking about that over-commercialized holiday which is just around the corner. You know the one, the one that has been on the store shelves since Christmas, as if you could really forget: Valentine’s Day!

This year I think you should look at changing things up a bit. I mean, you can do the candy, flowers, and postcard thing, but I would like to suggest another way. It is a four-letter word…no, not the word you are thinking of right now (love), the word is time. Yes, make time for the both of you. Real time. Here is my suggestion.

T is for doing something together. That means leaving the kids with the babysitter, and it also means leaving your smart phones turned “off.” If the babysitter needs a contact…have them call your parents. If you do not have kids…then have your parole office call your parents (only kidding). Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is what you both want to do and don’t make it a last-minute thing at 5 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. Taking time to be together is important and healthy for a good relationship…so putting in the effort shows you really care.

I is for intimate. This does not have to be an expensive restaurant or rose petals scattered across the bedroom floor. I mean, you can do those things, but fancy and expensive does not always translate into being really intimate with someone. You need to go someplace where you can talk. Avoid the places that have 10 televisions blaring or so many people talking at once that it is a distraction. Also, it should be someplace where you are not jammed in with others like sardines so everyone at the next table can eavesdrop on your conversation. You need some space so you can feel safe talking about your true feelings (without shouting), and also a place where you can actually hold hands or cuddle over dessert. Physical contact is very important.

M is for making time to talk just about the two of you; no need to discuss the kid’s science project, your mother’s upcoming birthday, should we go to Mars, or what stocks look good this year. Really talk to each other…talk about where you have been, where you are going, or what do you want to do this year…together. It is important to always continue to talk about your hopes and dreams no matter how old you are or how long you have been together. By all means, share; do not sit there and eat in silence or mumble a few sentences between bites of steak…. actively engage with your partner and listen. Yes, really listen. Enjoy the company.

E is for expectations. Like all good things, to get the most out of something, you have to be prepared. The two of you need to find a place other than your house…change the scenery. I mean, it could be in the parking lot eating a Subway sandwich, just as long as you are both involved. Key word here is “both”. Also, take some time to write down some notes on what you would like to say to that person or what you would like to talk about. There is nothing wrong in having a cheat sheet to make sure your “time” together meets expectations. Not everyone has the gift of gab, but we all can make an effort if we want our expectations to be met.

My time is up! Get it? Time. Oh well. Might add, you can throw in some humor too…can’t hurt. As always, be good, do good, play safe, and remember, if you care, make an effort.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • JR

Walter Wilson Jr. is an Ohio native who lived in Chester from 1991-2000, where he worked for Allied-Signal (Honeywell). He now resides in Sullivan, Ind.