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Alison Sweeney: 5 love lessons I learned from Sami Brady

It’s hard to miss the approach of Valentine’s Day, isn’t it? The hearts, the candy… everything is pink and red. I have always thought that Valentine’s Day must be Sami Brady’s very favorite holiday.

For those longtime Days of Our Lives fans out there, you know what I’m talking about, right? Sami dedicated most of her awake life to the pursuit of love: finding love, holding onto love, stealing love from someone else. You know, the usual. In honor of my longtime Days role, I’m sharing the romantic wisdom I gained from the unsinkable Sami Brady.

More: Alison Sweeney: How I make my relationship work

1. Don’t fake getting beaten up to get your crush to protect you

OK, maybe we’re not all going to the lengths Sami would, but I bet a lot of women have done this to a (much) lesser extent. Have you ever tanked a putt on a miniature-golf date so the guy would feel good about winning? Or perhaps you slightly exaggerated a twisted ankle to have his strong arms carry you back to safety? Be the strong, badass real you. I imagine most guys these days would be proud to have a girl who can open her own mustard jars.

2. If you think you have to dress up to impress a guy, maybe he’s not the right guy for you

Sami definitely spent a lot of time trying too hard to get a certain guy’s attention (ahem, Austin). There are lots of reasons to get dressed up and have a fun night out, but you gotta know your guy is just as into you when you’re watching Netflix in sweats. (They didn’t have Netflix when Sami was chasing Austin — sigh.) If you don’t feel confident enough in the relationship to be comfy sometimes, you need to figure out why.

3. Being trapped in an elevator with someone isn’t necessarily a sign you’re supposed to pursue that person forever

I believe in signs and omens, but we can also convince ourselves of anything. It’s important to step back from the situation and try to look at it objectively. If things aren’t working out or you’re invested way more than the other person, you need to be aware of that.

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4. Cheap caviar and ginger ale do not mix

True story: One time I had to shoot a romantic date scene at 9 a.m. The prop department had provided a lovely (looking) caviar dish and what substitutes for champagne because the actors have to actually remember their lines — ginger ale. Let me tell you, pretending it was delicious took serious acting.

The lesson here is when you’re on a real date, don’t try to fake it. Real life is never going to look like the dates on The Bachelor, so make your dates as romantic as you want! And then appreciate them for what they really are. Dave and I often find ourselves “dating” at home when we don’t have a babysitter. We cook a delicious dinner and enjoy our time together. It doesn’t have to match up to anyone else’s expectations. It’s what works for us that matters.

5. Wear your heart on your sleeve

I don’t know that I can give objective advice here. I just know I have always admired Sami’s determination when it comes to love. She never went to bed wondering, Could I have tried harder, done more, said something?

For all her faults (and there are many), Sami always took a chance on love — willing to embarrass herself but never willing just to give up without a fight. I can appreciate the strength of spirit that takes, especially when you consider how many times she had to pick herself up and try again. So as we approach Valentine’s Day, I leave you with my favorite Sami quality: Even if it’s just for one day, take a chance on love, say how you feel, and go for it.

Alison Sweeney is an actress, author, producer and spokesperson for ARM & HAMMER™ Truly Radiant.™ She will release her third novel, Opportunity Knocks, on April 5.

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