Valentine’s Day is pegged as the most romantic day of the year.
Sadly, whether it’s down to couples’ clashing expectations or just terribly bad luck, Valentine’s Day celebrations don’t always go to plan – as people sharing their stories with Yahoo Style UK have been keen to point out.
From near-fatal experiences to tinned ravioli, these Valentine’s Day horror stories are enough to make you wave goodbye to high expectations for the big day.
The one with the viral campaign
“I dated a man for a couple of months in my second year of university, but decided to break things off in December before we went home for Christmas. Unbeknown to me, he had booked a romantic surprise days earlier: a one night stay in a five-star hotel, romantic meal, drinks, everything. Worse still, it was all non-refundable. I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do.
“Within a week, I discovered my resourceful ex had gone viral with the hashtag #FindMyValentine, launching a nationwide campaign to find another woman to go with him, via a charity auction. I had wanted to switch off from Valentine’s Day altogether, but everywhere I went I was bombarded by his face in the papers – and the whole campus was talking about this poor man who got dumped.”
The one with the speeding ticket
“When I was at university, my boyfriend and I were too poor to splash out on an expensive dinner – so last minute he thought he’d surprise me with a dine in meal deal instead.
“Pushing the boat out, he decided on a whim to drive all the way to a Marks & Spencer which was quite far from campus. Rushing to get back before I returned from the library, he then got a speeding ticket which cost $127 (£70) – far, far above the cost of our Valentine’s dinner. It was the most sweet and stupid gesture ever.”
The one with near-fatal experience
“I nearly died one Valentine’s Day. Sharing a creme brûlée dessert with my boyfriend at the time, I got a piece of the sugar topping caught in my throat and started choking. Meanwhile, my now-ex was telling me to stop being so dramatic.
“I had to give myself the Heimlich manoeuvre while everyone else in the restaurant just watched and didn’t help. I can laugh about it now…but only just!”
The one with the lost racket
“I’m a romantic at heart, and Valentine’s Day is a big deal for me. I’d been dating someone for a few months and, as he wasn’t really fussed, I suggested I plan something special.
“I booked the nicest restaurant we could afford, borrowed a dress from a friend and spent the afternoon getting ready. But, as I was getting ready, my ex – who played tennis semi-professionally – called to say he’s been asked to play a match last minute, but would do his best to make it.
“Although he arrived half an hour late, I decided to let it go so that we could have a nice evening. But 15 minutes in, he looked at me, panicked, and said “S hit! I’ve left my tennis bag in the taxi”. The tennis gear in there – including two rackets – was worth almost $2.600 (£2,000) – and there was no way of tracking the taxi, which he had picked up at a rank.
“I felt sorry for him – until he turned on me, claiming it was my fault for “rushing him”. H e stormed out of the restaurant and refused to go back in, claiming it was “tainted” while I stood in the rain wearing a dress and heels. We ended up at the local Odeon instead. He never did get his bag back, and that was our first and last Valentine’s Day together.”
The one with the food poisoning
“Valentine’s Day was coming up, and I suggested my long-term boyfriend and I plan something simple together. However, in the spirit of chivalry, he insisted he would cook a romantic dinner for the two of us at our flat. As the date got nearer, I kept asking whether I could help, or make dessert, or even book a restaurant just in case – but he remained stubborn that he had it all under control.
“I worked shift work at the time, but booked the whole day and evening off to get ready in expectation of our night together – as he seemed to be going to such a huge effort. So I was already disappointed when he arrived late, without shopping bags, but assured me: ‘Plan B was coming’. Plan B was a pizza delivery.
“A huge backlog of orders meant the food didn’t turn up until 10pm. Food hygiene standards must have slipped, too, because soon after eating, I started violently throwing up. This lasted throughout the night – only to get up at 6am for a hotel breakfast I had planned for us the next morning.
“The worst part? After two years together, he hadn’t even remembered what pizza I liked – ordering his favourite American Hot and garlic bread for himself, and a default-order Cheese & Tomato for me.”
The one with the tinned ravioli
“I had been dating a guy from work for a few months. He told me to keep Valentine’s Day free as he wanted to organise something.
“The night before, I asked him what we were doing – and he said he wasn’t sure. It was one of those surprises where they secretly have something planned; he really hadn’t planned anything.
“Knowing everywhere gets booked up well in advance of Valentine’s Day, I said to him that I would book a show and he needed to sort out dinner. We went to the show, and he fell asleep about 15 mins in. Then, after the show finished, he told me to come home with him as we were going for dinner nearby.
“We got off the tube, and started walking down the street towards his house when he popped into Sainsbury’s and emerged with a tin of beef ravioli. I decided to pass. We then went back to his, where his flatmate was waiting with an amazing three course meal – which he had cooked for his own date – while I went hungry.
“The next morning, he had offered to take me into work on his motorbike – but realised he didn’t have a spare helmet. Instead, rather than travelling in, he got on his bike – leaving me to get the tube alone. He was early for work and I was very, very late. I ended it with him later that day.”
Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.