The plan had been for this to be my best Valentine's Day in a while. The past half-decade of Feb. 14ths have been spent either solo or taking my kids out to dinner, but a few months ago a psychic friend of mine assured me that by this night, things would have changed. She said I'd either be dating a tall, thin, age-appropriate brunette that I'd known for a while or a shorter, rounder blonde, 10 years my junior, who I had yet to meet.
Well, I've encountered some perfectly nice women during the past year, but for one reason or another, nothing has resulted in a Valentine's date. However, I refuse to sulk about being single again this year. That's because my psychic friend was at least partially right. I actually have met a true love to spend the evening with, and there's no need to spend a fortune on flowers, candy and lingerie. My love's name is Television, and here are some of the Valentine's Day presents she (or he, depending on your preference) has for all of us.
Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?/Scorned: Love Kills, ID, 11 a.m./10 a.m. CT
Many years ago, I made the mistake of arranging a couples counseling session on Valentine's Day. I will never forget walking out of the therapist's office afterward and seeing all these happy couples walking hand in hand down the street, fighting the urge to push them all into oncoming traffic. Of course I'd never do such a thing. It was just the mood of the moment. But for anyone spending Valentine's Day in an equally unhappy, "love stinks" moment, why not sit through this day long marathon of these two true crime series about love gone extremelywrong? It will most definitely take the edge off.
The Newlywed Game, GSN, 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT
It's a Newlywed Game marathon. It's Valentine's Day. A match made in TV heaven. And isn't today all about finding a perfect match?
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, USA, 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT
I've always heard that there's no better way to meet someone than by taking your dog out for a walk. Your playful pup pulls in people who can't resist him or her, and there you go – instant icebreaker. Even better than online dating. (Fetch.com, anyone?) However, if this approach hasn't worked for you, maybe your dog just isn't trying hard enough. Perhaps inviting that special someone over to watch this live broadcast of the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York, complete with dozens of cute dogs, might do the trick instead.
Sex And the City, Style Network, 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT
Guys, here's a tip. Let's say, for the sake of argument, you forgot to make dinner reservations for your special woman. You didn't want to wait in line at the store to buy chocolates. And when you finally got to the florist, all they had left were a couple of daisies with half the petals gone. That's not a good way to spend the evening with your beloved, but how about suggesting you two cuddle up to watch a few reruns of Sex And the City to show your devotion? It's either that or turning over to a shopping channel to see how quickly they can send a necklace over.
Love At First Byte: The Secret Science Of Online Dating, CNBC, 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT
I could use this space to explain my personal frustrations with online dating by mentioning some of the people I've met using the sites. I could reminisce about the woman who referred to herself in third person all night or the one who brought a date to our date. But this news special promises to prove that there is indeed a science to this process that will result in beautiful and fulfilling relationships if online dating is given time to work. So I guess I should give the show a chance and hold off talking about the online date who spent 90 percent of our dinner telling me she broke up with her last boyfriend because all he did was complain about his last girlfriend.
Geek Love, OWN, 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT
There are a couple of things I've grown accustomed to hearing from coupled friends during my second spin as a single man. First, there's the never helpful "I'm so glad I'm not out there anymore," followed by the suggestion to just go about doing what I like to do, and I'll naturally meet someone with whom I have things in common. In my case, that would mean meeting someone on my couch eating white chocolate Kit Kat bars watching Die Hard movies. And in the case of the self-described geeks in this completely charming reality series, it means going to Comic-Con in a Star Wars or Wonder Woman costume and trying speed dating. Watching what they go through can be painfully awkward at times, but in the end, I love it because it's a reminder that there really canbe someone out there for everyone.
Cougar Town, ABC, 8:30 p.m./7:30 p.m. CT
In the beginning, there was a show called Cougar Town, about a forty-something divorced mom who was trying to readjust to dating by sleeping with younger men. Three seasons later, though, there is a show called Cougar Town, about a forty-something divorced mom who has found love again while collecting an eclectic group of friends around her. Other than the fact that both versions of this series star Courteney Cox as the mom in question, they have very little in common. The current take, which starts its third season tonight, is definitely one of TV's quirkiest comedies. But it's also got one of the sweetest and most accurate looks at second-chance love I've ever seen on TV courtesy of Cox's relationship with Josh Hopkins. It's so good, I'm willing to overlook the bitter, petty jealous rage I fly into whenever I see how much fun they're having.
Everybody Loves Raymond, TVLand, 9 p.m./8 p.m. CT
So you've been married for so long, Valentine's Day now consists of take-out from KFC and flowers purchased from the convenience story up the street. The magic isn't just gone. It's left no forwarding address. If that's your situation, I highly recommend a couple of Raymond reruns. As odd as it seems, Ray and Debra Barone can serve as role models to help you appreciate what you've got there at home. Sure their crankiness may have made The Lockhorns look like loving newlyweds, but at the end of the day, they were always there for each other (even if Ray did it as much out of fear of his spouse as love). Even if it was just to complain about his family. At least that's something to bond over.