Since Valentine’s Day is coming soon, and we usually talk about serious-minded topics, I thought we would lighten things up and poke a little fun at relationships, while gaining some insight at the same time. Looking at relationships from a whimsical and cynical slant, these stories teach us what we shouldn’t do in a relationship--what we should avoid--namely selfishness, harshness, and criticism. On a positive note, we finish up with an uplifting piece on how children view love.

By the way, remember that humor is good for your physical health and can boost your immune system. So, have a few laughs and enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

The Cheap Husband and The Perfume Store

A cheap husband was strolling with his wife in the shopping area of town. They passed by a perfume store with delicious scents.

Enjoying the aroma, the man’s wife breathed deeply and hinted to her penny-pinching husband with a hopeful smile: "Honey, aren’t those scents wonderful? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

"You’re right dear. Let’s walk past one more time to get another smell just in time for Valentine’s.

MORAL OF STORY: Nothing can choke love quicker than a tight or cheap spirit.

Stiff at Last

The grumpy old married couple had been arguing all day, and they got to their usual boiling point.

“You know what, sweetheart,” said the grumpy old man to his wife. When you die, I’m going to put on your tombstone a little phrase: “Cold, as always.”

“Ok, sweetie” replied the grumpy old wife. “When you die, I’m going to put on your gravestone a little phrase too: ”Stiff at last."

MORAL OF STORY: Mean and critical verbal attacks between mates escalate until there is a full-out war, and the couple find themselves on a downward spiral of negativity.

The Last Piece of Meat

A selfish married couple always angrily quarreled over who would get the last piece of meat at dinner. They would keep fighting over the meat until their dinner was spoiled. Finally, they reached a truce. To enjoy a peaceful meal without quarreling, they agreed to not speak to each other during dinner. If one of them should say something during mealtime, the one who remained quiet would get the last piece of meat.

One night, a burglar entered the house with the intent of robbing an empty residence. Startled to see the married couple sitting at the dinner table, he started to escape, until he realized that the couple was not moving or reacting in any way to his intrusion. The burglar thought: “Maybe, they are paralyzed; now I can take advantage. ”

Moving quickly and confidently toward the still speechless and unmoving married couple, the burglar began to search through the woman’s clothes for any valuables.

Steaming angry that her husband was not coming to her aid (he was just sitting there mute), the wife finally couldn’t take it any longer, and exploded:

“You idiot, how can you just sit there without moving or saying anything when this man is attacking me? Aren’t you going to say something?”

“Yes, I am,” responded the husband with unbridled joy. "You talked first. I get the meat!

MORAL OF STORY: Selfishness (“What do I get out of this?”) is at the root of many relationship failures.

The 6th Grader Love Quiz

Before Valentine’s Day a few years ago, teachers asked their 6th graders what their definition of love was. Here are a few of the kid’s responses:

Tabitha: “Love is when grownups put their faces together in a yucky way.”

Johnny: “Love is when mommy leaves daddy his favorite chicken piece for him to eat.”

Mary “Love is when grandpa cuts grandma’s toenails for her because she can’t do it anymore by herself.”

Susan: “Love is even when they fight, mama and papa still end the night with a kiss and say three magic words: ”I love you."

MORAL OF STORY: Seen through the eyes of childhood innocence, love is giving all you have to someone you care about--without expecting anything in return. Love is Above All Things: It is Pure, Simple, Natural.