Whether you cannot wait to dress up in your Valentine’s-day-themed red and pink outfit each year, you think v-day is an overly commercialised “holiday” that exploits consumers, you love getting together with your girlfriends to rock Galentine’s day, or somewhere in between, once the jingle bells have been taken down, Valentine’s day is inescapable.
Your favourite online card shop will email you reminders saying, “don’t forget to buy a card for that special someone” with messages ranging from sugary sweet to a tad naughty. You’ll go to the supermarket and every box of chocolates is suddenly heart-shaped, has a pink wrapper, or is cashing in on cupid. You’ll see your local florist is gearing up with enticing offers for two-dozen roses, which will only set you back fifty quid! Can you get away with just flowers? And whether you love giant stuffed teddy bears with v-day themes or it sends you gagging, everyone has a Valentine’s story to tell – even if they’ve never had a Valentine, that’s a story too!
So, let’s have a laugh at some Valentine’s Day epic fails. And let’s hope your partner’s surprise this year is not making the list.
Epic fail #1: forgetting it
No matter how busy your day is or how rushed you are on your commute, it seems absolutely impossible to miss any of the signals: emails, social media ads, YouTube ads, anything around Valentine’s Day, so if your significant other comes home empty-handed – assuming you haven’t agreed that you don’t care for anything v-related – then should you read too much into it or is this person really that oblivious? How can this person be that absentminded, right? Everything practically flashes in pink and red this time of the year.
Of course, there are always those awkward “new relationship” scenarios where you’ve been with someone on a few dates or you’ve had a few hookups but are you “official”? Is it Valentine’s level sealed? Do you wait by the phone (figuratively speaking because c’mon no one has a corded phone anymore) hoping that person will ask you out on a date on that fated Monday, 14th of February this year? Do you take it into your own hands and ask them? Or do you make plans with your friends and just say “shove it”?
But what if your relationship isn’t new and v-day rolls around and you’ve been hoping for a surprise and it doesn’t happen and you’ve spent approximately three weeks planning the surprise for your partner and making a scrapbook of your months (or years) together and you got the funny underwear with your face and s/he comes home empty-handed? What you do is up to you but sheesh, you’ve got to be on the same page! If your guy or gal loves a v-day treat, no matter if you think v-day is the most unromantic time, you have to come up with some romantic gesture, anything is better than nothing surely – like breakfast in bed or asking Alexa to play your special song.
Epic fail #2: receiving a terrible gift
For every other holiday, it’s totally the “thought that counts” but with so many v-day themed items to buy around Valentine’s it almost seems impossible to miss the mark.
But if you’re arachnophobic and your significant other brings you a pink sparkly stuffed spider, a personalised tube of love hearts (if you hate them), a pet bean couple (Google it – it’s a thing), a sausage roll bouquet (if you’re a vegan), or a t-shirt with your partner’s face on the front and a list of all the qualities that makes them awesome (also written by them, also actually a thing), then you might start questioning why you got in this relationship to begin with. And if they are deadly serious, have they subconsciously swallowed the fictional article in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?
Emma, Tria’s Marketing Manager, shares her gift fail story with us: “Many years ago, my then-boyfriend got me the most un-amazing v-day gift ever! Unbeknown to me, he’d taken my specs to a lens crafter to have my prescription updated (which I’d been procrastinating over). He seemed elated with his thoughtful gesture. So, same frames, new lenses. Was I overjoyed with his efforts? – Hell no! I thought it was completely weird. Needless to say, our relationship didn’t see another 14th of February after that.”
Epic fail #3: two’s company
If it’s your first married Valentine’s and your husband – who often takes his mother out for Valentine’s day – chooses to bring said mother-in-law along for your intimate date, is it an epic fail? Is it insensitive? Is it sweet that he loves his mother this much? You may unequivocally love your MIL but sometimes your husband has gotta learn how to navigate the sometimes tensile relationship between the two ladies in his life. I mean can you really listen to her talk about her dog, Butterscotch, for the sixth time that year? Especially on a day that’s meant to be romantic.
Or if you think you’re having a romantic dinner and your boyfriend takes you axe-throwing with six other couples, do you just go with it?
The worst v-days are when expectations don’t meet reality and communication fails can leave you in misery trying to down enough red wine to make your night bearable – a scene from Bridget Jones springs to mind.
Epic fail #4: ending up on crutches
Let’s say you’re having an amazing Valentine’s date. Your partner/date/hookup has taken you to dinner, you got the gift you wanted (whether that was nothing/a super cute set of something lacy/a box of your fav vegan chocs), and the night is going swimmingly. Your date would surely not end up on any epic fail list. Except! The toilet is upstairs. You’re rocking a pair of Louboutins – you know not the mid-heel kind that you can walk in – the ones you can’t even try and walk in (car-to-bar heels) and as you descend the stairs (thankfully after going to the loo because that would be a whole different story), you lose your footing and end up tumbling – with everyone watching. Then, your ankle swells up and you spend the rest of the night in the A&E getting a cast on your lower leg (thank goodness you’re freshly showered) and you end the night on crutches. Not exactly how your perfect date had meant to go…
Okay, so that scenario is a little too specific but you get the picture. You have a great date and the universe conspires to mess it up and you end up on crutches/break your arm/twist your ankle/get an epic spot/forget to shave your legs (we can help with this one) and so on.
We totally sympathise. There’s always next year!
Epic fail #5: a date to remember
Scenario 1: you were not the lucky winner of the date above (minus the ankle accident). Oh no. Your date did take you out on v-day (win?) but this person made your date memorable…for all the wrong reasons. We have all been there: the person who will not stop bringing up their horrible/crazy/messy ex in every conversation in such an epically angry way that you can see the red flags waving behind their eyes. You cannot wait for the date to be over. Oh really? It has only been fifteen minutes and how much longer can you endure? Do you pull one of those moves like in the movies where you go to the loo and then crawl out the window? Is this person bad enough that you should just take a stand and run for the door? Torture!
Bring on the next scenario!
Scenario 2: in this case, you’re a vegan. Everyone who is vegan is clear they are vegan. That’s why those picketing kinds of vegans get a bad name. Maybe you should have been one of those because seriously, then this never would have happened. You’re pretty sure the fact you’ve never eaten meat and you’ve mentioned you’re vegan and you’ve been dating this person for three months would give them a clue. But no! They have cooked you a lamb dinner with a whole side of bread. Did you mention you’re gluten-free, too? I mean, you could maybe forgive the bread but the deceased animal on the plate: that is a step too far. You may want to ghost this person and run for the hills. ASAP!
Scenario 3: the date has gone well and you’re in the bedroom and this adult person’s room looks worse than that one roommate you don’t talk about from university because that person never washed anything – especially themselves. So, of course, the linen looks filthy and you really thought at your age that wouldn’t be a thing. You see it’s now a thing. You gingerly sit on the bed trying not to think about it. You realise you are absolutely far too sober for this moment so what happens next is even worse. This person opens up the bedside drawer and it is full of toys, body chocolate, whips, condoms (hallelujah for that at least?), the works. This person then suggests you try the body chocolate (and the provocative face that came with that suggestion makes you question your sanity) and you look at the label and it’s out of date. OMG! How do you even get out of this one?
Scenario 4: you’re comfortable with the person you’re about to get busy with and they are nothing like the person from Scenario 3 (phew). The house is clean, the sheets are clean, you’re feeling the vibe, jamming to some great tunes, and you’re about to surprise your partner with that nurse costume you got as a laugh when you were first dating seven years ago. You go to put on said costume and it’s a little snug. Oh no! Do you go with plan B? Is there a plan B? You frantically dig around in your lingerie drawer trying to find something seductive that actually fits…and when you find that thing, you discover there’s a rip in it (or was it crotchless before?). Nevermind, it’ll have to do. Okay so you’re finally ready, but the heat has evaporated, what next? Maybe a naughty toy. You grab your fave and go to get busy only to learn that the batteries are flat. Two zings in one night. Eek!
Whether you’re giggling years later with fondness, crying into your cocktail, or just thanking fate for your lucky escape, you will definitely never forget dates like these!
Epic fail #6: no one to babysit
Moving on a few years and you have a happy little family or you’re a single mother or father rocking that life or you have a yours-mine-and-ours blended family or whatever the case. It’s the busiest dating night of the year, so all your trusted child carers are busy out enjoying themselves, or their services have been booked up months in advance and the best/reliable ones are just too damn expensive.
Oh well, date night with kids it is, complete with candy popping-corn and a Disney+ movie. But let’s hope they’ll go to bed early and you can salvage some passion time or at the very least, some adult conversation.
Epic fail #7: going for broke
All joking aside, no matter your budget level, you can ensure your partner has a lovely Valentine’s Day with a little pre-planning. So, if all you can afford is to write 100 notes of affirmation and love for the 100 days you’ve been together, detailing the 100 things you love about them, then you can’t go far wrong. If your budget allows for something more grand-romantic-rom-com-style-big-gestures, then go for that, but what you shouldn’t do is go for broke.
That will not leave happy v-day memories down the line. If you rent a gazebo and fill it with 1,000 roses, book an expensive dinner at an exclusive restaurant, and buy a vintage piece of jewellery your significant other has had his/her eye on for ages and later they find out you couldn’t afford such a lavish gesture, then they will feel awful. It’s always worth making gestures that fit your budget because, at the end of the day, v-day is about your love (or lust) for one another.
What can we learn from these less than charming scenarios? That expectations have to match up when it comes to v-day. If you don’t care for v-day and your partner forgets it, then it’s not a big deal – but it feels thoughtless and uncaring not to do something for someone who absolutely loves it. So, the lesson of the day is to communicate how your partner wants to be shown love on the day – simple or grand – and keep in mind you budget too!
Personally, my Valentine is actually really good at getting me lovely Valentine’s surprises and making me a special dinner each year (mostly to save himself from extortionate restaurant prices) but let’s just say Christmas and birthdays don’t always hit the mark – I could write a few funny stories about some of those presents!
So, Valentine’s Day – do you love it or hate it, do you have an “epic fail” dating story to share or some “words of wisdom”? Join in the conversation on our Facebook page and look out for our special Valentine’s Day themed competition for your chance to win a fabulous prize.
Whatever you decide, have an amazing 14th of February, folks!