If anyone tells you to be realistic about your possibilities on Valentine's Day, simply reply, "Who needs reality?"
Online, communities of virtual romantics are already exchanging all manner of digital bouquets, chocolates, teddy bears and love notes at a speed that could never be equaled in old-fashioned real life.
In the world of FarmVille, the popular Facebook game in which users cultivate crops in an effort to build agricultural empires, love-struck users have plowed under their corn and soybeans to plant vast expanses of virtual roses.
The most dedicated players are even inscribing their fields, crop-circle style, with messages like "Be my valentine" and "L'amour."
Game players can also exchange special virtual presents for the holiday -- in essence, small pictures of flowers or heart-shaped boxes. FarmVille users have given one another 690 million valentines since the promotion began Monday, according to Zynga Game Network Inc., the game's maker.
Taking advantage of a holiday that celebrates intimacy and togetherness, marketers across the Web are attempting to tap into the spirit of the day, inviting consumers to gather at special online events or offering an array of free virtual gifts (nearly always bearing the brand of the product, of course).
NBC.com offers a slate of free valentine "e-cards" based on popular comedy shows such as "30 Rock," "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live." The messages tend to stop short of professing true love, instead expressing sentiments like "You are awesome."
Lauren Kester, a new-media professional in Brooklyn, N.Y., said receiving such a card can be fun under the right circumstances.
On the other hand, she said, "if it was the only valentine you got from your significant other, you might have some problems with your relationship."
If you're not impressed with FarmVille romance, check out the wilds of EverQuest II, an online fantasy game from Sony Online Entertainment. There's a sweet surprise hidden over every hill and dale. According to an ad released by the company, "during this holiday, players . . . have a chance of finding love notes or message candies when they kill mobs all across Norrath."
But just as in real-life romantic adventures, caution is warranted.
The computer security firm McAfee warns that cyber criminals are hiding nasty software demons behind images of puppies and cute red hearts. Clicking on such photos -- especially in e-mails from people you don't know -- can be perilous.
Valentine's Day or no, you don't want to wake up the next morning with a virus. On your laptop.