Don't Be "That Guy" this Valentine's Day

Jim Daly | President, Focus on the Family | Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Don't Be "That Guy" this Valentine's Day

Since stepping into my current role at Focus on the Family, I've been called all kinds of things, both positive and negative. And over time, I've learned to take the good with the bad. My sense of self-worth is shaped by neither praise nor criticism. Instead, I ultimately live for an audience of one: my Lord and my God.

But then, there's Valentine's Day.

I can take the slings and arrows of activists and ideological opponents. I can even handle the perspectives of journalists who don't agree with me or the manipulation of writers who take me out of context.

But when it comes to the 14th of February, the one thing I don't want to be referred to is this:

"That guy."

You know who "That guy" is...

At worst, he's the guy who forgets about Valentine's Day altogether, at least until he gets to the office and is reminded when he sees all the red and the flowers and boxes of heart-shaped candy on the desks of his female colleagues.

He's the guy who waits until 6 p.m. on Valentine's night and stops off at the supermarket to try and fulfill his obligation. He can usually be seen, dazed and confused, examining the picked-over flowers and chocolates near the bananas.

He's the guy who buys the card, but just signs his name to it, figuring the stranger at Hallmark must know what his beloved wants to hear better than he does.

He's the guy who may ignore the holiday altogether, citing some contrivance or conspiracy of greedy capitalists. "We don't need one day to acknowledge our love when we do so the other 364," he might say, feeling pretty smug.

He's the guy who ignores his wife all week, instead sitting in the glow of the lights of ESPN's “Sportscenter,” but expects her to suddenly become romantically inclined because he is.

He's the guy who buys his wife a vacuum cleaner for Valentine's Day

Don't be "That guy!"

But wait. Am I setting the bar too high?

I have to admit -- years ago, I was guilty of being "That guy." I forgot about Valentine's Day until a friend reminded about it -- halfway through it! It wasn't a pretty scene. 

But I've been trying to sand my rough edges and in the years since, I've attempted to show my love for Jean each Valentine's Day by cooking a special meal for her. I pull out the candles and the tablecloth. I try to find a recipe that she'll love almost as much as I love her.

Of course, in the process, I run the risk of being "That guy," too, as in "That guy who almost burned down his house, nearly poisoned the family and caused his wife to ban him from the kitchen."

But it's a risk I'm willing to take. :)

What are your plans or tradition for Valentine's Day? What's your most memorable February 14th? Wives, I want to hear from you, too!

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