My lovely girlfriend.

Our constitution declares that from time to time, a boyfriend shall give his partner information about the state of the union, and where he stands in the relationship. For 220 years, boyfriends have fulfilled this duty. We’ve done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility, and we’ve done so in the midst of war and depression, at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable, that I was always destined to succeed with you.

But when our union was challenged at that frat party on Saturday night and hot girls kept distracting me from your butter-face, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed right before your birthday and our sex life was beaten by your Bloody Sunday, our future was anything but certain.

These were times that tested the courage of our convictions and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, my hesitations and fears, we prevailed because we chose to move forward as one couple, as one people.

Again, we should get tested. And again, we must answer each other’s phone calls.

One year ago, I took the position of your boyfriend amid the fact that you’re a crazy person. Expert friends of ours warned that if I did not officially become your boyfriend, you might face a deep depression.

So I acted, immediately and aggressively. And one year later the worst of the storm has passed. But the devastation remains: one in ten times that I call you, you feel the need to scream at me. Some parts of my eardrum have shattered. My bachelor value has declined. And for someone who already feels like he doesn’t have enough time on his hands, life has become that much harder.

So I know the anxieties that are out there, and in my head right now. They’re not new. These struggles are the reason I ran away from you that one time. These struggles are what I’ve witnessed for years on movies, television shows, and among all of my other guy friends. I hear about them in the e-mails that we write to each other about girls. The toughest to read are those written by my best friends, asking why they have to move from their rooms to console their girlfriends, asking why relationships are always so much work.

So I face big and difficult challenges. And what you as a girl hopes—what you deserve—is for all of us, male Democrats and male Republicans, to work through our shortcomings, to overcome the numbing weight of relationships, for while all girls have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same, the aspirations they hold are shared: a boyfriend that pays bills, a boyfriend that wants to get ahead, and most of all, a boyfriend who will give them a better life.

You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of fighting. After one of the most difficult years in our history together, you remain busy pestering me, writing me incessant e-mails, calling and texting whenever I’m not next to you. Once, when I responded to seventeen of your text messages one at a time, in a row, you wrote to me and said, “I am strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged.” It’s because of your spirit—your great decency and never-ending bug-a-booing, that I have never been more hopeful about our future than I am tonight.

Despite—despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. In this new decade, it’s time you, as a girlfriend, get the boyfriend that matches your decency, that embodies your strength. And tonight—tonight, I’d like to talk about how, together, we can deliver on that promise.

I should put myself to work building good-energy vibes and give kisses to you when you make your room cleaner, which support clean sex practices. And to encourage you to stay within your borders to give me breathing room, it is time to finally slash your tires when you try to visit me when I am on vacation overseas with my family. Now, I have, over the year, taken a few of these steps. As the first order of business, I urge you to do the same, and I know you will. You will. I’m falling behind on my work. I’m hurting. I need your help. And I want an agreement on that without delay.

But—but the truth is, these steps won’t make up for the 7 million times that you’ve come close to stalking me. The only way to move to a healthy relationship is to lay a new foundation for long-term relationship growth and finally address the problems that men and women have confronted for years.

From the day I became your boyfriend, I’ve been told that addressing your challenges as a crazy person is too ambitious; such effort would be too contentious. I’ve been told by my friends that our relationship system is too gridlocked, that I am too whipped and that we should just put things on hold for a while. For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How often are you getting laid? How long do you have to wait to get your dick wet? You see, my guy friends have been telling me to dump you for months. Meanwhile, Joe’s not waiting to try to get at you; Rahm’s not waiting; Mona’s not waiting.

These guys, they’re not standing still. These guys aren’t playing for second place. They’re putting more emphasis on teaching you some science. They’re building their bodies. They’re making serious investments in your “platonic friendship” because they want to hit that. Well, I do not accept second place for your boyfriend.

As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as our debates may become, it’s time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.

Now, one place to start is serious financial reform. Look, I’m not interested in punishing you for spending my money. I’m interested in protecting my wallet. A strong, healthy financial boyfriend makes it possible for you to access his credit cards and create new outfits. But that can only happen if I guard against your same recklessness that nearly brought down my entire bank account in only three months.

Now, I’ve already tried to teach you a little bit of math. I’ve tried to give you some of that knowledge. And—and your thirst for clothes is trying to kill it. Well, I cannot let you win this fight. And if a bill ends up on my desk that is really just totally outrageous, I will send all of your new shit back to the stores until you get it right. We’ve got to get it right.

Also, you need to give me some more of your goods. Because the more goods you give to me, the more goods I’ll give to you. So…so tonight, we set a new goal: we will double our lovemaking over the next five months, an increase that will support our relationship in America.

To meet this goal, I’m buying a lot of condoms and I’m going to see if you can go back on the pill. We have to seek this increase in sex aggressively—not rapey though—just as those happier couples out there are. If we sit on the sidelines while other couples have tons of sex around us, we will lose the chance to have a lot of sex with each other.

But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so that we as partners play by the rules. No blue-balling me. And I won’t get too weird on you even when I’m really caught up in the moment.

Third, we need to invest in your education. Now, this year—this year, you’ve started actually reading books, which have made our conversations much more interesting for me. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding annoying banter, I only reward B-level conversation and up. Instead of indulging you in your squeals about sneezing dogs and laughing babies, I will indulge you only in conversations that contain at least one multi-syllabic word. I will only invest in magazines for you that do not end in exclamation points.

Now, let’s clear something up. I didn’t choose to be your boyfriend to get some “I nailed that” victory under my belt. And by now, it should be fairly obvious that I didn’t take you on because it was healthy for me. Ha, ha.

Our relationship has had some setbacks this year, mostly when one of us got wasted when the other one wasn’t there—some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that some of our friends have faced this year with each other, and they’re all still together also. And what keeps me going, what keeps me in this relationship, is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of lust and love, that fundamental chemistry that has always been at the core of our relationship, that lives on. It lives on in those dirty text messages you send me. It lives on in the way you don’t tell people how much or how often I cry to you. It lives on in the 8-year-old boy in Louisiana who just sent me his number and asked if I would give it to you—that makes me feel good.

We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult few months. But a new year has come. A new decade—or, like, few months—stretches before us. We don’t quit. I don’t quit. Let’s seize this Valentine’s Day to start anew, to carry our relationship forward, and to strengthen our union once more.

Thank you. I love you. And God bless the United States of America.