Don't Be My Valentine

Story Submitted by Kevin:

My first date with Betsy, who I met online, was on Valentine's Day.  This was just by coincidence, and we agreed ahead of time that neither of us needed to do anything special for the other, as it was just a first date after all.  Still, I'd have felt weird not doing anything, and I already liked her a lot, so I picked up a small bouquet of flowers and a DVD of a movie she wanted.  Both, together, cost me less than $20.

We met in front of a restaurant and I gave her the flowers.  She said, "Thanks... but I thought we agreed that we weren't going to give each other anything."

I replied, "I'm sorry.  I just thought it would be a nice thing to do."

She nodded.  "Meaning that the fact that I didn't bring you anything was shallow and bitchy.  I got it."

"No, I–"

"We had a deal."

I said, "I wanted to do something nice, and I didn't expect anything in return.  If you want me to, I'll take them back."

She raised her voice, "You didn't expect anything?  So you're saying that you don't think I'm the type of person to give you a gift?"


"Did you ask me out tonight just to insult me?"

I pulled out the DVD.  "No!  I just brought you flowers and this DVD because I wanted to do something nice!"

"Meaning that I'm not nice by not bringing you a gift.  I see.  And why the hell would you buy me that DVD?"

"It was just seven dollars.  I saw it in a bargain bin.  I know you said you wanted it, so it seemed silly to walk past it and not grab it for you.  It's really just a DVD."

"I'll say," she said, and took it from me.  "This is going to go in the trash, and if I have to buy a version that costs twice as much, I will.  I can't believe you!"

I asked, "What about the flowers?"

She replied, "I'm keeping them.  Flowers in the trash make me sad."

She seemed to be coming down off of her anger, and we stood there for a few moments in silence.  She asked, "Kevin, have you learned your lesson?"

I said, "I don't know if it's a question of learning a lesson.  I just wanted to give you a nice gesture.  If it makes you feel any better, you can pay for part of dinner, but you don't have to."

I thought it was a reasonable compromise, but of course, I only made things worse.  She said, "Now you're saying I'm too cheap to reciprocate?  The hell with this."

She turned around with the flowers and DVD, threw the DVD on the ground in front of her, and walked off, taking special pains to stomp onto the DVD with her foot as she did.

After she was gone, I picked it up and brought it home.  She called me up and I answered.  She asked, "You didn't grab that DVD, did you?"

Thinking that she was going to apologize and ask for it back, I said, "Yes.  Do you want it?"

She yelled, "Why the hell did you pick it up?  I told you it was trash!  I went back to look for it and wasn't sure if you took it, if someone else took it, or–or–"

I hung up on her and ignored her future calls.  What good would they have done at that point?


  1. Too bad those flowers didn't make her want to kill herself...

  2. PS Spill...what was the DVD? How to lose a guy before a date?

  3. Not that it matters, but you DID break the deal. Stress testing finds flaws in products before they go to market, guess she had a low threshold.

  4. I agree that OP did break the deal, as it's generally now polite to show up with a gift (let alone two) when you agreed to bring none. But the girl went overboard in her reaction. I'd personally be a little annoyed if my date showed up with a gift in the same circumstances, but I'd still be gracious about it and wouldn't turn it into an outright defensive-aggressive ordeal and stomp away.

    I bet her parents used that kind of manipulative negativity with her from childhood. I can't see her being that ridiculous about it without having learned it from a young age.

  5. The two agreed not to do anything *special* cause it was Valentine's, not to not bring anything. Flowers aren't that unusual for a first date, or really anything special in general, sweet & thoughtful yes but anyone who considers a small bouquet & an inexpensive/cheap DVD as special has really had the bar lowered, it's literally like centimeters from the ground. He should've bought her a $600 hat.

    Also he's not the only one who showed up with something, she brought along some baggage too.

  6. My boyfriend and I agreed not to spend money on Valentine's Day. He bought flowers without telling me (I was working on a drawing for him, but it wasn't quite finished.) and I thought it was a sweet gesture since we'd agreed to just be together. Not like it was meant maliciously, and it wasn't a gift of the caliber to inspire guilt. She could have just offered to pay for dinner as thanks if it was really that big a deal.

  7. Seriously, people give flowers or little gifts on first dates all the time. How does bringing some on Valentine's Day make it different? If he had done the same thing on the 15th, would she have made a fuss? I doubt it.

    Plus, it's hard to tell when someone is being serious when they say, "Oh, you don't have to get anything!", especially on V-Day. I once knew a girl who told her BF not to get her anything. When he didn't, she got mad at him and was all like, "Even if I say not to bring something, you should anyway! That's what a guy is SUPPOSED to do!"

  8. She went back for the DVD?

  9. Should have bought her a black eye.

  10. @Baku:

    That's when you break up with said someone for playing stupid head games. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and if at any point you expect me to read your mind to know that you're lying to me about what you want/expect, you can hit the curb. I kinda hope said girl's BF told her to grow up, but it doesn't seem like that happens too often, sadly.

  11. She seems like she'd be controlling and blame the other person for everything, if she was in a relationship.


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