Love them or hate them, some our most beloved video-game characters have taken us through the best (and the worst) demonstrations of love and life. As Valentine’s Day rounds the corner again, the season of love will have many clamoring for candy hearts and romantic getaways to woo our dearest loved ones. That, however, is for the real world. What can be said about the virtual one? In spite of all the eviscerations and gory dismemberment, some of our most beloved video-games have been more than willing to explore the wonderful art of love. From the depths of space to the darkest castle dungeons, our favorite heroes have traversed the whole worlds and faced death, heartbreak, and insurmountable odds to find that special someone. While I myself do not profess to be any sort of love expert, I take it upon myself to present to you my own personal assessments of the do’s and don’ts of the virtual realm. If you would, take some time away from all the killing and pain and to learn from some of gaming‘s sagely advice for this crazy little thing we call love.

The Do’s of Love:

1. Be a Gentleman (or woman):

It should probably go without saying that being the most sure way into your mate’s heart is by being the best you can be: a true and bonafide master of etiquette. Don’t interpret this as needing to become a learned academic or professor of some great intellect. No, no, my dear boy. What really matters most is being a master of your own manners. Know how to communicate and respect your partner’s wishes, make an effort to show them how much you care. Don’t be that jerk or sad sack in their life, make the special effort to put harmony in the relationship. Whether with your mate, your co-workers, or even your kid sidekicks, it can be said that a proper ship is a happy ship. Be the gentle-person that lets your loved one go first.While it may mean everything from pulling out a chair, holding that elevator door, or sharing your umbrella on a rainy day, even the small things count when you aim to show how special they are in your life. After all, you never know how long you have with someone ‘till they’re the victim of a political conspiracy. Treat  their lives as a treasure. . .

2. Be a Go-Getter:

While a gentlemanly attitude should certainly not be forgotten, keep in mind that, sometimes, you need just a little flair to make things spicy. Si, you are not to always be some shy, stuffy professor worried about the social norm all the time. Va bene, on occasion, the special one in your life needs to be swept up off their feet by that dashing hooded stranger of their dreams. No, the idiot Italian boy who can’t talk to the neighbor girl from across the piazza won’t often cut it. Lovers of both past and present eras have known what they want from the devilish charmer: some pizzaz! You know what you want, and you sure as heck know what that fine duchess lady of yours wants, so cut to the chase and be the daring, devil-may care figure they crave. Climb through that window with confidence in your boots. You’re mate, and their, errm, militia of bodyguards, is ready and waiting. Be the assa--(ahem!), charmer that won’t be blocked by any mere lock and key and take life by the horns.

3. Be a Good Listener

In the midst of your whims of fancy, don’t forget that that person in your life has things to say too. Don’t be taking up all of the conversation. Your relationship will only be all the more pleasant if you also take the time to sit back, relax, and merely listen to their busy day. Think you have all the problems? Yeah, maybe the kingdom’s toilets have been backed up since last fall or perhaps your little brother keeps winning haunted real estate for you to inspect, but you’re only half of the romantic couple here. Maybe they have troubles of their own. Acting as a ruling monarch over a nation of people with fungus for heads who keep all of their money in breakable coin blocks is hard enough, but worrying about your subjects, your love life, your fashion sense, all from captivity half the time?! It’s a difficult life and having no one to tell it too hurts. So be that someone who nods quietly and opens their ears. Empathy is a beautiful thing for either the plumber or the princess in your life.

4. Be Willing to Do New Things Together

Tired of doing the same routine day in and day out? Don’t feel that you should let the relationship fall in a rut. Boredom is the last thing you want damaging the passion between you and the mate. New places and new adventures make for freshening up the scene every once and awhile. Take your loved out to some faraway paradise for a romantic getaway over the weekend to spice things up. Take in the culture and the people, experience some new tastes and new ideas you both will enjoy. Meet some new faces, explore the countryside together, or maybe just take in the alone time to rekindle that old spark. We all know how work tends to follow us on vacation, though, so always think about combining work and pleasure. Got a top secret mission to capture some high-level U.S. target? Try to make it fun. Maybe rent a bike and bring your loved one with you. Bring some gear/weapons and hand him into the agency together. Have a meeting with your Boss to get off your calendar? Even better. The three of you can all get introduced, share some laughs and form some new friendships along the way. Just be sure not to have that comm unit on all the time mister. Bothersome calls while “in the moment” are gonna lose you points for sure. Think about what new things will bring you closer, not what might split you up.

5. Be Ready to Make Mistakes

One of the most critical things to bear in mind is also the most painful of all: learning from your mistakes. Yeah, I know, this ain’t suppose to be school all over again, but love isn’t anything if not educational. You’re a human (or at least a bi-pedal humanoid) like the rest of us, so know that you’re not perfect and sometimes, there’s no going back from some choice-making. Yes, you’re gonna screw up and, yes, maybe you’ll make that fateful decision that makes your life a living hell. Don’t be taking out on your mate or beat yourself up about it forever, though. Sure, you’re face may look like a neanderthal’s after tinkering with the character customization and maybe you missed that one conversation you were dying to have. But that’s life, and the best commanders roll with the punches. Do your homework and learn a little something to not let it happen again and keep enjoying life. If your mate is still in for the long-haul, they’ll go the extra mile for your sake too.

6. Be the Loyal Friend to the End

Love can easily be so wrapped up in all the tough choices and hormone fueled angst that the simplest decision is overlooked: being a good friend. That love of your life doesn’t always have to be the person you have to argue with all the time. Most of the time, they can simply be that timeless pal you love to hang out with and would do anything for. Maybe their funny, or cute, or just plain nice to have a picnic with in the kingdom’s flower patches. Whether you like sneaking around the castle gardens with them or playing door-bell ditch at Ganon’s castle, you merely like being with them so much you would traverse the darkest, most confusing dungeons and the highest towers just to find them again. There always gonna be special to you and you’d never let any annoying fairy or awkward silences get in your way. Loyalty is at the heart of every true love story any simply Hyrulian boy in his treehouse can understand that.

Up Next: The Don'ts of Love