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3. Revisit a Memory, Explore a Wish
There's nothing wrong with spontaneity, but neither is there anything wrong with a little planning. So go ahead and prepare some talking points for Valentine's Day.
For the couple who have been around the block a few times together, be thinking of a memory of some amazing shared experience. Maybe you once watched the sun come up together. It could be the first time one of you professed love for the other -- all the better if it was on the same occasion. Nothing tops the memory of the first time you saw your partner, as long as you embellish appropriately and talk over questions to which you don't recall the answer. ''Do you remember what I was wearing?'' ''I remember your smile took my breath away.''
With new couples -- or triads, or what have you -- the conversation to start is one about where you hope to go, literally or figuratively. It needn't be heavy. Don't hijack Valentine's Day to suggest a visit to your parents and ring shopping. That's all too, too risky. Instead, talk about where the two of you might like to visit, making sure it's not a place that's already been vetoed. Better still is to mine your partner to figure out what adventure she might like to take, and then bolster that. Remember, shy of making any commitments, you're simply making conversation. If she says, ''I really want to compete in the Iditarod,'' you shouldn't have any problem responding with, ''I've always wondered what Anchorage might be like in winter.'' Even if you haven't. Save the skepticism and indulge in a daydream.
Singles should do the same. Chances are, you won't be alone forever. Valentine's Day is your alarm that, possibly far sooner than you think, you'll be accommodating a partner's wishes. That's part of the bargain. For now, think about what you want to do while you can still do it. Want to go to Comic-Con? Maybe now's the time. Up for whitewater rafting in Oregon? Your next partner very well may not be. Valentine's Day also exists to remind singles to enjoy their single status. And if that new beau wants to go to Burning Man just as much as you did, then just go again and be his guide.