Follow along as Ottawa-based sports reporter Ian Mendes writes about the joys of raising daughters, Elissa and Lily, with wife, Sonia.
Valentine’s Day is one of those occasions that can test the strength of your relationship. Kind of like when your mother-in-law comes into town—only with more chocolate and less judging.
In the early stages of a relationship, Valentine’s Day is a major date on the calendar. You buy each other romantic gifts, head out for candlelight dinners and celebrate your love. And if you don’t treat the date appropriately, you could find that your relationship takes a turn for the worse.
But over time, the importance of Valentine’s Day lessens—especially once you start having kids. Sadly, those little thoughtful little gifts and gestures for your partner disappear and are often replaced with indifference towards the occasion.
So, take my Valentine’s Day quiz to see if you still have the spark in your relationship.
1. What did you do on Valentine’s Day last year?
a) We went to an Italian restaurant and had a romantic dinner.
b) I honestly don’t know what I ate for breakfast this morning… why are you asking me about what I did a year ago?
2. How would you describe your last massage from your partner?
a) It was sensual—with soft music, oil and candles.
b) I know it happened in 2007. After that, the details become a little fuzzy.
3. What is the last romantic movie you saw together?
a) Endless Love
b) Do Pixar movies count? Because we both cried at the end of Toy Story 3.
4. How many times per week do you have sex?
a) Five times per week.
b) Five times per week. Oh wait, the question was how many times do I step on a piece of Lego coming down the stairs, right?
Read more: The sex lives of Canadian parents >
5. When was the last time you and your partner shared chocolates?
a) Last week—I bought a box of Belgian truffles and we shared them with a bottle of wine.
b) We rummaged through the kids candy after they went to sleep on Halloween night.
6. Describe the last Valentine’s Day card you bought.
a) I actually made it myself by embossing two intertwined hearts on a satin ribbon, centred on a thick, white card stock.
b) It was a pack of 30 Garfield cards for my daughter’s class.
7. How did you last express your romantic side in the kitchen?
a) We opened a nice bottle of red wine and fed each other French bread and cheese by candlelight.
b) I classed up the Hamburger Helper by adding a sprig of parsley on the side of the plate.
8. Describe your last night in a hotel.
a) Let me just say, there wasn’t a lot of sleeping going on—nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
b) Let me just say, there wasn’t a lot of sleeping going on—because the baby refused to fall asleep in the hotel crib.
9. Do you hold hands together in public?
a) All of the time—it’s very romantic.
b) All of the time—so that the other person doesn’t escape.
10. What do you usually wear to bed?
a) Lingerie for her and silk boxers for him.
b) We both wear sweatpants and a nighttime mouth guard.
If you answered “a” to most of these questions, there’s a pretty good chance you are in the early stages of your relationship with your partner. You will probably spend Valentine’s Day expressing your love and sharing some intimate moments with your soulmate.
If you answered “b” to the majority of these questions, there’s a great chance that you are married with kids—and you’re just trying to get through the day without a Pop Tart exploding on your shirt.