With Valentine’s Day here, love is surely in the air — along with a few other less-pleasant things. 

broken heart

Two hands holding broken paper heart

College makes for an excellent place to find a romantic connection, and sometimes those connections are sealed by one or two key, distinct moments; instances that could define the relationship for the rest of its course. By that token, it is important to make sure these moments aren’t completely ruined and damaged beyond repair by any number of things.

So, when you’re trying to make moves on your potential sweetheart, here are a few things to consider and look out for before you turn your lovely setting into a disaster:

1. Personal hygiene (or lack thereof):

Sweet-talking your beloved is significantly harder if your breath smells like ripe onions, and snuggling is difficult when your partner is feeling as greasy as a mechanic’s jumpsuit. Showering and taking care of yourself at least one time before you go out is incredibly important and can make or break a big moment. Someone significant smelling your cologne is fine; someone getting a startling whiff of your natural musk is not.

2. Animals! Both wild and domestic:

 The dog is man’s best friend, except when he is attempting to court his second-best friend— women.

That heated kiss is going to be difficult to complete if your prized hound leaps in the middle and gives both your cheeks some slobbery tongue. Your pet bird screaming a song for you and your beloved likely won’t set the moment either. 

Of course, the danger doesn’t end once you’ve gotten away from your living space, however. Now you’ve got to contend with nature. That sweet tea your date is drinking seems awfully appealing to that nest of hornets, and you better believe that goose is about to ruin your stroll through the park. Romance and feral beasts often do not go hand-in-hand, contrary to fairy tales, so do your best to keep an eye open for the dregs of the wild.

3. Inclement weather: 

It seems a storm is rolling in, and unfortunately for the pair of you, a walk through the rain is significantly less attractive than it might seem. Was it cold outside last night? Be careful on those hills, or else you and your date might be Slip’N Sliding right back down them and straight into the E.R. At least you’ll have matching casts! She went and did up her hair, and now that 30 mph wind is gonna do it up too — in a significantly worse way.

4. The Hazards of Morgantown: 

You and your sweetheart managed to be alone together on the PRT—fantastic. Perfect time to talk and spend some time together as you head from Evansdale to Downtown. And then the car slams to a halt and doesn’t move for several minutes. A voice buzzes over the intercom saying they’ll have your problem fixed shortly. It’s getting awfully muggy in there, and you’re starting to notice how sticky that ancient carpet floor is. I hope you brought some snacks.

Walking by a bush? Be careful of Snapchat-fame hungry students hurling themselves into it, and potentially you, too. 

Broken bottles, shards of glass and trash all around—the perfect scenery for your romantic getaway. You’re wearing shoes, right?

5. Rambunctious roommates and appalling apartments: 

You finally listened to my advice and escorted her to your apartment, safe from the outside world and its many complications. Hopefully you put Fido in his cage for a little bit, too. 

You open the door and reveal to her not a love den, but Gollum’s damp, dingy cavern. Pizza boxes are stacked high to the ceiling, the dishes flood the sink and are covered in some form of fuzzy mold, and the air could best be described as pungent. Don’t worry, though. Your roommate and your neighbors next door are playing you a blasting symphony of trap music and the sounds of post-drinking retching into a toilet. 

6. Strange behavior: 

Last but not least, an impressive way to kill any and all chemistry is to simply act so bizarre that it kills it in its crib. Hearts won’t be a flutter in your sweetheart’s eyes if you’re staring at them with the wide-eyed, bloodshot gaze of a serial killer. Talking to yourself isn’t a good way to start a talk with someone else, and following them everywhere is not a decent proposition to getting them to follow you back on Snapchat. Everyone has their own little quirks, but being aware of them can go a long way.

Hyperbole and over-exaggerating? Perhaps just a bit, but nonetheless true. In all seriousness, if you don’t want to “kill the mood” this Valentine’s Day, treat your significant other with care. Give them respect, ask them what they’d like. Be considerate of both them and your situation. Take pride in your appearance and the appearance of your living quarters. Most of all, just try and be yourself. Have fun.

The worst that could happen is that they simply decide it isn’t going to work out, and at the end of the day, there are millions of fish in the sea., and millions of chances to try and get the mood right again.