Roses Are Red. That’s a Cliché. Here Is Your Guide to Valentine’s Day.





If you’re alone and want to wallow …

Keep a few things in mind:

• Love is not a feeling that must be confined to another human being; you can feel it intensely for a city, for instance, as this writer does for New York.

• Neither is loneliness. If you think you’re having trouble finding a mate, just try being Jeremy, the lefty brown garden snail whose unusual shell made it nearly impossible for him to find a suitable partner.

• For every warm and fuzzy love story, there’s a crushing tale of heartbreak. We even compiled proof. Here are a few tales of breakups and bad dates that are sure to make you happy to be alone.

• And, even if you think you’re in love, there’s a pretty good chance you will marry the wrong person. Awesome, right?

But if you insist on falling in love …

Video

36 Questions That Lead to Love (Again)

“Tell your partner what you like about them, and be very honest.” We asked three couples who know everything about each other to try out Modern Love’s 36 questions, intended to bring strangers closer.


By SAMANTHA STARK and BONNIE WERTHEIM on Publish Date November 17, 2017.


Photo by MJ Lat for The NYT.

Watch in Times Video »

It’s easy! As this now-famous Modern Love essay tells us, just ask the person you wish to fall for this series of 36 increasingly personal questions. (If, however, you find that those questions worked entirely too well and you’ve made a terrible mistake — i.e. “married the wrong person” — you can extricate yourself with these 13 questions that lead to divorce.)

Or take an example from someone else.

The Times often writes about how couples go from dating to “I Do.” One of the most memorable recent stories of this kind came from C.J. Chivers, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a 2016 article about an Afghan war veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last year, he wrote again about the veteran, the woman who had loved the veteran since elementary school, and the long, weary road to their wedding day.

So, you say you still need to buy your sweetheart a gift?

Wirecutter has some great suggestions. This guide includes everything from a sleeping bag built for two to the perfect bottle of pink bubbly.

For those who already caved and bought flowers at the drugstore, we can at least offer you some guidance on how to make them last longer.

And if you’re one of those crafty people who wants to show your love by making something, you can always create a paper Valentine. The Huntington Library has a collection of about 12,000 cards, and we’re offering you a peek inside that may ignite your imagination.

Of course, if you don’t have a sweetheart to consider, you might as well use today as an excuse to buy something nice for yourself. Here are 10 ideas that are not a quart of ice cream.

But we won’t judge you if you go with the ice cream. The day will be over soon.

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