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Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? If you usually celebrate, or are expected to celebrate, you don’t have any time to waste. You need to bring your A-game and stay on the ball. Those sports cliches are there for a reason.

Valentine’s Day 2022 is setting up a lot of people for failure. First of all, it’s on a Monday. That messes with the normal rhythm of celebration. It’s one thing if Christmas falls on a Monday; you’re still getting the day off. Nobody gets February 14th off on a Monday without using vacation time. Ideally, Valentine’s Day is on a Friday or Saturday, but we can’t control the calendar. However, there’s a bigger issue at play.

Yes, we’re still dealing with the pandemic but that’s not going to stop people from expressing their love on February 14th. And, yes, everything costs more these days. That could have some impact on how you celebrate Valentine’s Day. The real pitfall to guard yourself against is Super Bowl LVI.

You may have noticed that the NFL has expanded the regular season from 16 to 17 games. As a result, the playoffs started a week later and it pushed the Super Bowl to the second Sunday of February. This year, that happens to be February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. It’s a nightmarish scenario fraught with peril.

This collision of America’s biggest sporting event, which is practically a national holiday, with one of the biggest greeting card/flower/candy-giving occasions of the year is a relationship disaster in the making. Men are especially at risk, and we already struggle with this stuff. While I was in the grocery store this week, I saw three guys staring helplessly at the seasonal section. Why would they put the rose bouquets and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates next to the heat-n-eat platters of chicken wings and the cookie cakes shaped like football helmets? For Cupid’s sake, they’re going to get someone killed!

Don’t worry, sports fans. I’m here to help with a five easy-to-follow steps:

  • 1. Get on it

    If you haven’t planned or purchased anything for your Valentine yet, stop reading immediately, start shopping, and make a dinner reservation. Wait, don’t stop reading yet. You might need the next four tips.

  • 2. Focus

    When you go to the store, do not get distracted by anything Super Bowl-related. You’ll have time to get the football helmet cookie cake after you take care of your sweetheart. It’s all about priorities right now — the main one being your relationship status.

  • 3. Be flexible

    If you can’t get a reservation anywhere on Valentine’s Day, shoot for Saturday night. Or even Friday night. But for the love of John Madden, do not attempt anything Valentine’s Day-related on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s one mash-up that will never sound good.

  • 4. Do it yourself

    Now, if your significant other insists that you celebrate Valentine’s Day on Monday, suggest that you order in or cook a romantic meal together. You could score some major points for that, especially if you also offer to clean up the kitchen afterward.

  • 5. Do it right

    Finally, don’t try to repurpose Sunday’s chili cheese dip and pigs-in-a-blanket for your Valentine’s Day dinner. However, you can buy the dinner groceries while you’re stocking up for the big game. Two birds, one stone. Good luck!