For every pop song about the glory of love, there’s another one about how it turns us into idiots only to leave us heartbroken. But what if the reason love is complicated is because we make it that way?
It’s time to simplify your love life. On Valentine’s Day, Dr. Ximena Lopez Garcia, 7, and Dr. Holly Marjorie Bubbles Hook, 6, will be answering your love queries at (appropriately) Pete’s Candy Store, the Williamsburg concert venue. If you think about it, they’re perfect for the job: Love never gets less complicated than before middle school, so they’re probably your best chance at straightforward, unbiased advice.
We asked the Greenpoint-based duo to give us a preview of their group therapy session to demystify this thing called love and set you up for many happy Valentine’s Days to come.
Stop overthinking: Dr. Lopez sums up love as “something very pretty that happens,” but each person has to do their part: be good to each other and tell your partner how you feel. Love requires compromise, but the benefits are mutual, notes Dr. Bubbles. “If they like you a lot you should do what they say, and then sometimes they’ll do what you say.”And remember that love starts with you: “If you don’t love yourself, it makes your heart sad,” says Dr. Lopez. “But if you love yourself, it makes your whole self happy.”
Necessary qualities:When it comes to what the doctors consider important in a person they love, nothing material came up — take note, those who are prone to grand gestures on Valentine's Day but never pick up milk. Besides valuing happiness and politeness in a person, Dr. Lopez reminds us that love requires a little bravery: “They can’t be that shy because if you want to be in love, you have to tell the person.” Dr. Bubbles appreciates her boyfriend Milo "because he’s nice to me and because he always plays with me,” and comforted her after a recent soccer injury. Chivalry is not dead, guys!
Date ideas:The doctors differed on the best date idea to bond with your special someone. Dr. Lopez would do something low-pressure like a dateViVi Bubble Tea(790 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint), while Dr. Bubbles suggested getting out of your comfort zone entirely by going to a place you’ve never been — ascientifically provenmethod of bonding. When the weather warms up, Dr. Bubbles enjoys the beach and swimming, and theSeaglass Carouselin Battery Park was also recommended for the unique experience of crawling into the belly of a fish together. And because she’s a modern woman, show her you’re a feminist, too: “If there is a march, you can take your boyfriend there with you and protest."
Unsupportive friends:When not everyone is supportive of your relationship, Dr. Lopez notes that “if you don’t like love, you’re going to be a miserable person." Whether they're jealous, don't like your significant other or concerned that you won’t spend time with them, Dr. Bubbles advises that a person in love should react with compassion and find a way to make his friends understand that they still have a place in his life: “He shouldn’t do the wrong thing; he should be nice to them and turn over a new leaf.”
Stories of love:There’s nothing like a good love story to set the mood for Valentine’s Day. Dr. Lopez likes Princess Leia and Han Solo (love doesn’t always happen at first sight!), while Dr. Bubbles prefers the “twu wuv” of “The Princess Bride” and the low-key couple Alf and Minnie on “Lark Rise to Candleford,” the BBC drama about 1880s rural Britain: “It’s a peaceful [show] that is kind of about love.” Stream it now on PBS with some tissues handy.