Relationships are hard work, and they are fraught with deep, philosophical questions. Who are you as an individual? Who are you as a couple? Where are you going? Are your life goals complementary or are you doomed to become a “trailing spouse” with your partner coming first and all your hopes and dreams shelved while you work at a low-paying, garbage career and organize socks and worry about whether or not the baseboards are dusty? All questions about your relationship and your future are answered by one question: What are you getting for Valentine’s Day?
You met online and your relationship is pretty new. It’s going well, but you’re pretty sure they’re more into it than you are.
2. Drugstore Candy
You two are above Hallmark holidays and being peer-pressured into public displays of consumerism disguised as romance, but you are not above perfunctory and semi-ironic displays of affection with candy that you will enjoy unironically. If the gift is a package of Reese’s peanut butter cups, all is well. If the gift is a heart-shaped red box full of milk chocolate that is about 70% good and 30% gross cream-filled things, all is still well, but you’re going to have a red heart-shaped box covered in lace sitting around your apartment until you finally throw it out over Labor Day.
3. Fancypants Candy
You two are not above being peer-pressured into public displays of consumerism. Heck, you’re pretty sure it is not what you say or do, but the things you buy that define you. If that’s true, you’re pretty awesome, because you buy great stuff. You’ve Instagrammed a new piece of jewelry or a designer shoe at some point in the past three months, and if anyone implied that was tacky, they were just jealous.
4. A stuffed animal
Marie Kondo would have an aneurism if she saw your house. You’re surrounded by clutter. You guys really need to clean. Those Beanie Babies are not going to get any more valuable than they are right now. You can’t even put a picture of your new Valentine Bear on Instagram, because there isn’t enough clean space in your apartment to compose a photo that doesn’t have dirt or junk in it.
You are constantly bewildered by adulthood. Are you being sexy? Are you supposed to be sexy? How do you pay your taxes? What’s a 1099? Do you think you’re getting your security deposit back? It’s a good thing your significant other is old as heck, otherwise you’d have no idea how to file quarterly taxes or how much to tip the bathroom attendant at a swanky restaurant.
You guys are in it for the long haul. You’ve been together so long you’re starting to take each other a little bit for granted. Your habits annoy your partner, and your partner’s habits annoy you, but it’s all small beans in the grand scheme of things. Your biggest arguments are about who has to decide where you order dinner from.
Your partner is generous and thoughtful, but always at least a little bit thinking of themself. You will, after all, be expected to share.
8. Staying in and putting the cost of an evening out into your IRA
Some people might say you guys are boring, but they don’t know how boring you are. Someday soon you’ll buy a house with just the right number of bathrooms, and you’ll put 20 percent down so you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance, and you’ll instantly double the value of the investment by replacing all the carpets with hardwood floors and adding some crown moldings. You love watching TV shows where people decorate things. If you haven’t yet, try watching The Great British Bake-Off. You’ll thank me later.