Valentine's Day disasters: The bad dating experiences putting many off love

Written by Flirtini team

For 31% of people, Valentine’s Day is just another day in the calendar. No fancy meals, bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates, or fun flings to end the night.

Not necessarily because they don't have a special someone to spend it with — just 46% of those that won't celebrate say it's due to not having a significant other. Rather, for many, their reluctance is due to negative dating experiences and the expectations to spend big.

Flirtini surveyed 2000 people on their Valentine’s Day plans and past experiences. The results show that, for many, it isn't a day of love and connection — Rather, it's a day of extortionate costs, bad break-ups, and food-related faux pas.

Counting the costs of love

Aside from not having found ‘the one’, the most common reason for skipping Valentine’s Day this year is the extortionate cost of wining, dining, and gift-giving. With 64% of Americans living pay cheque-to-pay cheque as the cost of living continues to rise, 21% are putting their love life second to pay the bills.

After all, nobody wants to hear the dreaded beep as their credit card gets declined in the middle of a packed restaurant — A Valentine”s Day nightmare that 19% of people have unfortunately experienced.

“I forgot my wallet, so I wasn't able to pay the bill,” a Flirtini user recalled. “My date paid and I had to owe her.”

Swapping roses for rejection

For many, Valentine’s Day doesn't fill the stomach with butterflies; It fills the mind with memories of heartbreak that they would much rather forget. Some 32% of men and 61% of women have been dumped on or just before the day of love — Likely not the gift they were expecting.

As if breaking up with someone on Valentine’s Day isn't heartless enough, many people don't even wait to do it face-to-face, which at least shows that the relationship meant something to them. Instead, 22% of people have seen their relationship come to an unexpected end over the phone, through voice message or text message.

At least they got an explanation and a little closure, right? That's more than the 16% whose partners ditched them without so much as an explanation received.

“I was once dumped a few days after Valentine’s Day,” a Flirtini user admitted. “I got this girl chocolate and flowers, and a few days after she broke up with me.”

A night of lust loneliness

You spend hours planning the perfect date, picking out an attractive outfit, and making sure you look your best, only to pull up to the restaurant and find out that your date hasn’t bothered to show up. If you've been ghosted by a Valentine’s Day date in the past, you're not alone. It's an unfortunately common part of dating that 30% of people have experienced.

But what's worse than getting ghosted? Heading to the local bar to drown your sorrows, only to see your former Valentine enjoying the evening with a different match. Some 34% of people have been stood up, only to see their date out with someone else.

“They canceled our date and went out with my best friend at the time instead,” a Flirtini user recalled. “I saw them both at the local bar that night making out.”

Unexpected date night interruptions

When romance is in the air, a nice meal and a few drinks usually lead to the bedroom. However, for 13% of people, it isn't the sex that leaves them red-faced, but the embarrassment of being caught in the act by one of their parents.

“During an intimate session with my ex, my parents walked in on us,” a Flirtini user admitted.

However, the awkward interruption often comes much earlier in the night for those who suffer from digestive problems. For 17% of people, the wrong ingredient is all it took to bring a Valentine’s Day date to a premature end.

A recipe for disaster

For many people, food is the way to the heart, but it's also the cause of many dating faux pas.

Many of us hope that our dating partner will end the night by stripping down (but perhaps not in the middle of the restaurant). With Valentine’s Day encouraging people to splurge on fancy and filling meals, 32% have eaten so much during a date that they had to unzip their pants.

It's better to eat it and feel ill than to wear it, I guess. For the 30% of people that have spilled food or wine over themselves or their date during Valentine’s Day dinner, chances are they didn't stick around for dessert.

But there are worse things to be covered in… such as your date’s half-digested meal. After a fancy dinner and a few cocktails too many, it isn't uncommon for a Valentine’s Day date to end in illness, with 10% of people even ending up in hospital.

“I made a reservation at a nice restaurant, but ended up throwing up on the table and my date,” a Flirtini user recalled.

With so much that can go wrong, it's understandable why many choose to treat Valentine’s Day like just another day. But for every date that ends in disaster, there are many more than lead to unforgettable flings and lasting love — so if you've suffered through bad experiences in the past, pick yourself up, pull on your best outfit, and put yourself back in Cupid’s firing line.

Methodology: To create this study, researchers from Flirtini surveyed 2000 adults aged over 18 years old. The study includes participants of all genders and ethnicities.

Dating disasters: Flirtini users share their worst Valentine’s Day experiences

  1. “My date took a call from her ex, proceeded to talk with them, then left me to be with them.”
  2. “One time, me and this girl went to the movies on Valentine’s Day, then she got really sick and threw up everywhere, including on her gift.”
  3. “I went to a fine dining restaurant with my girlfriend, then we went to dance. She said the place was full of old people and wanted to leave.”
  4. “My date left me because I didn't get the right kind of flowers.”
  5. “At the height of primal sex, her parents used the spare key and came into the house. They heard everything, from the moans to the bed knocking against the wall. I walked downstairs (buck naked) to get us a cold drink and they were both sitting in the living room with big smiles on their faces!”
  6. “I met someone and took them out to dinner. While we were there, they ordered all the expensive items on the menu. I realized she was just trying to get into my wallet, so I told her I was going to the bathroom and just left.”
  7. “The worst one was when I was invited to a block party. I showed up and everyone was partying, but my date was so faded that she threw up all over me.”
  8. “I had a second date with someone that I had just met. Their fiancée simply dropped by THEIR apartment since it was, after all, Valentine's Day. Apparently, he still had the key to the place since she had just recently found out that he was cheating, four days before their scheduled wedding day. She certainly got even — and then some.”
  9. “On Valentine’s Day, my partner and I were about to go and eat, then her phone rang. She got out of the car and got into another car. She was cheating.”
  10. “My ex-wife walked in with divorce papers. I guess it can't get worse than that.”
  11. “I had a woman take me out, but when the waiter came back, they said her card was no good. It was embarrassing and I had to pay.”
  12. “I was at my girlfriend’s parents house. Her parents had a Valentine’s Day date planned, so we did also. The restaurant overbooked and they came home to a half-naked daughter.”
  13. “We broke up right after I gave her all her gifts. We didn't talk for almost five months after that, even though we work together. After a while, she reached out to apologize.”
  14. “I went on a blind date to a nice restaurant and brought flowers. She showed up and was definitely not the person in the picture. It was a catfish. She ate a bunch and, needless to say, it ended after that.”
  15. “I took my date out to eat and while we were eating, her ex walked up and made a scene, ruining the moment.”
  16. “I had to work. My significant other got mad and decided to find a different person to take her out for Valentine’s Day. That was the end of our relationship.”
  17. “Met my date at a restaurant. They proceeded to tell me it wasn't going to work out, but they still wanted to experience the date and possibly just be friends. They tried to order over $100 worth of food, so I excused myself to use the restroom and left them there.”
  18. “I was getting ready to take my girlfriend out for dinner and a movie. We were on the phone while getting ready, then I hung up and told her I would call her back once I was heading to the restaurant. While in the taxi, I dialed her number and it was no longer in service.”
  19. “We had the waiter spill everything on top of us while we were eating, then immediately blame us for causing the incident.”
  20. “My boyfriend of four months planned a dinner date at Red Lobster for Valentine’s Day. I texted him numerous times on iMessage while I was on the way, but he never saw my messages. I texted him once more and the message was green, so he had blocked me.”

Playing Cupid: What would Flirtini users change about Valentine’s Day?

  1. “I would decommercialize it and make it more about the connections.”
  2. “I would make it less about the gifts or what a person can give, and more about spending quality time together.”
  3. “Valentine’s Day should be for single people as well. Not just for couples.”
  4. “I would make Valentine’s Day about self-love and family.”
  5. “There should be more specials at restaurants and bars for single folks.”
  6. “It's fine the way it is, but people should lower their expectations about the day and share the love every day of the year.”
  7. “I would make a law stating you can't dump someone a week before, a week after, or on Valentine's Day. If you do, it's punishable by 30 days in jail.”
  8. “Make it more about love than gifts. I think we’ve lost the meaning of Valentine’s Day — It's about romance, not gifts.”
  9. “I would make it less about love and more about lust. That would be a great holiday — Everybody having fun instead of spending money on gifts that don't mean anything anyway.”
  10. “If I could change one thing, it would be that you have to spend the whole day with your partner on a special date, doing something that you’ve never experienced before.”
  11. “I would completely change the day, making it so that no romance is involved. Everyone would have a day off from work or school so they can go to bars, clubs, and smoke lounges to get blasted.”
  12. “I would extend the day so that I can spoil my girl for longer.”
  13. “Valentine’s Day should be celebrated twice a year.”
  14. “I would change the monetary expectations — Instead of going to a nice restaurant or out to do something, people should just stay at home, cook dinner, and avoid all that expense.”
  15. “I would change the date so it falls during a hot season. Around June or July, so people can really go all out.”
  16. “I would make it a national holiday, so everyone gets the day off with pay.”
  17. “I would get rid of the love hype. It should be a day for everyone, not only the folks that have a great relationship.”
  18. “I would make it a celebration of LOVE. Not just your partner, but love for your family, friends, and people around you.”
  19. “I would change the fact that people feel like they need to shower their significant other with gifts on Valentine's Day when it should be something they do on any given day. We should love each other like we do on Valentine's Day every day.”
  20. “I would make people understand that Valentine’s Day is not all about sex.”
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