If you managed to make it through yesterday without posting a picture of flowers, jewelry, dinner, chocolates, etc. that you got from your significant other… well then congrats – You are not an asshole.

He's buying a card for his 11-year old paperboy, "Billy"

This picture was being shared around Facebook yesterday, and I got called a “Grinch” for my stance on Valentine’s Day. Look, I had a great Valentine’s Day… I’m sure I’ll have an even better Steak and Blowjob Day when it comes around March 14th. Actually, my band is playing with Dizzy Reed from Guns n’ Roses that night – so who knows? The point is, it’s supposed to be this cute picture of an old man buying a card for his dead wife or something, and people melt for that stuff. I’ll admit, there is something inherently adorable about seeing an 80-year old married couple still holding hands in public and flirting like they did 60 years earlier when they got married. It’s those types of images that prey on our hope for the same type of love. We hope for the same type of monogamy. We hope for the same type of stability.

Here’s the problem: It’s 2012, and not 1952. Times are substantially different now. Back then, you were run out of town and called a heathen for getting a divorce. As a result, more people stayed in bad marriages, lived unhappy lives, didn’t bail when times got tough, and so on. We don’t see that as much anymore because it’s easier and more accepted to just say fuck it and chuck up the deuces.

You want to know the secret to a good, healthy, long-term relationship? It’s really quite simple

The idea of romance has evolved. I got flak for identifying myself as a “Hopeless Romantic” when I am so vehemently opposed to the idea of love having a day of obligation. I just don’t think it works that way. Without passion, there can be no romance. Here’s the Hopeless Romantic, circa 2012:

The modern day Hopeless Romantic doesn’t get deterred when they get turned down over and over again. They don’t give up when they constantly find people flaking on plans with them. They don’t get mad when they see a girl with a guy who treats them bad – they say, “Wow, I know if I got the chance, I could treat her better.” The Hopeless Romantic keeps texting, keeps calling, keeps trying to be nice with the hopes that maybe THIS TIME things will work out the way that they want. The Hopeless Romantic knows that a kiss on the forehead while cuddling and watching the Pens can be WAY more romantic than overpriced roses on Valentine’s Day. You love the Hopeless Romantic like a brother. You think the Hopeless Romantic is too good of a “friend” to ever date… There are WAY too many good people in the “Friend Zone” when they do not deserve to be. The modern-day Hopeless Romantic knows that dating has evolved, and wants to compromise. They know that they are going to keep putting in more time, more effort, more interest, and more hope than the rest of them out there – and that sometimes all that work STILL means going home to an empty bed.

But the Hopeless Romantic doesn’t give up. They do not settle. They do not quit. They eventually win. They aren’t bitter and jaded like a lot of people who have had some bad relationships. They know the next one will be better.

THAT is romance – it’s the eternal optimism that love is out there in whatever form that you want it to be, and it’s just a matter of time before you find it. That’s what keeps us going – even in the face of feeling rejected, alone, and unwanted from time to time.

How ’bout THEM apples?