Valentine's Day AAR

Check out our simple post-February 14 quiz and score your Valentine efforts.

Although we have one more article to go in our series, The Addicted Cop, we decided to sidestep into lighter territory this month in honor St. Valentine's Day. We offer this article as a handy self-test of romantic acumen for all you married and dating cops out there. And even if you happen to be living the exciting, carefree single life right now (i.e. you spent Valentine's Day sitting around in your sweats, watching reruns of The Jersey Shore, and eating Queso dip from the jar with your fingers), just know that that kind of fast-paced living cannot last forever. Someday you may just want to settle down, and what you learn here might give you a romantic edge! You can thank us later.

Next month we will conclude our series on The Addicted Cop, with an emphasis on overcoming addiction. It should post right around St. Patrick's Day. Hmm...

By now the flowers have begun to droop a bit, and the chocolate truffles are almost all eaten. The romantic dinner, expensive French Bordeaux, and dancing into the wee hours are just a glowing memory, but in the days since you still gaze lovingly at each other, warmed by the emotions and renewal of the night...

Or maybe Valentine's Day was perfectly celebrated with your favorite takeout pizza, cold beer, and Netflix. The movies are in the return mail and all that remains of dinner is a crumpled pizza box and empty bottles in the recycling. Sounds good to us. To each their own as long as it works for both of you, as far as we're concerned. Besides, neither of us is really comfortable with an excess of the mushy; we tend to seek some middle ground between the expensive blowout and going with what we know. Much of relational success relies on finding mutual ground, and a holiday dedicated to celebrating your relationship is no different.

The problem for a lot of couples, when it comes to Valentine's Day, is the far too frequent occurrence of mismatched expectations. As so often happens in relationships, we tend to tend to seek, meet, date, and mate our opposites. Felix moves in with Oscar, a night owl shares the bed with an early worm, and squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go up falls in love with squeeze-in-the-middle-lose-the-stupid-cap-and-leave-a-mess-in-the-sink-every-morning. The potential metaphorical mismatches are endless. Don't even get us started on the minefield of how to best load a dishwasher or replace a roll of toilet paper...

Now, most of those other minor but annoying differences are day in/day out matters that, if you are going to have a successful relationship, you learn to negotiate, overcome, or accept. But since Valentine's Day comes just once a year any mismatched expectations carry a greater likelihood of the less romantically inclined partner of... well, really screwing it up and stepping on one of those fun emotional landmines we all enjoy. Since you are reading this several days after the fact, there is nothing we can do to give advice. Maybe you had a great, romantic weekend; you said all the right things, made all the right plans, exceeded all the expectations. We say, Good for you, Cyrano! Bask in the reward of your romantic exploits. But if the day was just so-so, or you know you can do better, or you feel an icy chill every time you and your love occupy the same room, then do we have the tool for you!

Now, we would never want to imply that cops, either men or women, are not the most inherently romantic of folks. Not at all. Never. We're just sayin'... But if you would like to take a simple and quick quiz - a Valentine's Day After Action Assessment - to quantify your romantic efforts, debrief, assess and adapt, then follow along below. Score yourself and remember, this is for fun only!


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