Readers share their disastrous Valentine’s dates: ‘Pack a swimsuit and a towel’ he said

‘More than 20 years later I still get a kick out of remembering the look on his face when we got there’

With the annual festival of awkward romantic gestures upon us, we asked readers to share their experience of the bad ones: those terrible, disastrous, unforgettably cringey dates or romantic notions. We also asked for tales of a particularly good date or romantic gesture but strangely no such stories were submitted.

A selection of your responses is below.

“I was going out with a guy for a number of years and we had moved in together. Valentine’s Day was approaching and he decided to organise something ‘special’ for me. I was told to ensure I had a swim suit , towels etc and naturally thought I was going to a hotel that had a swimming pool, possibly a trip away.

I arrived home from work that day to find the curtains in the sitting room closed and was asked not to open them. I remained there for quite some time, while he got my “surprise” ready outside.


I was then told to get changed into my swimsuit and have a towel ready. I started to get worried at this point. A while later I was brought outside and around the back of the house and lo and behold, there was a old bath tub, suspended in a rickety wooden frame about three feet off the ground!

Underneath were two metal canisters, filled with burning wood and coal, the flames of which had turned the bottom of the bath a vibrant glowing orange!

The water in the bath was bubbling and steaming. As I stood there, freezing cold, in a swimsuit , in February, in the back garden, thoughts of third degree burns on my backside and legs should I attempt to use this makeshift jacuzzi, raced through my mind!

My suggestion that hospital was the likely outcome and that I was reluctant to explain to staff in A&E what I was doing that had resulted in burns, surprisingly didn’t go down well and apparently ‘ruined the romantic atmosphere’ for him!

Let me say again, the interior of the bath was glowing orange!

In fairness he never was exceptionally good at DIY, and the fact that he took great umbrage at my refusal to use this contraption, and possibly be hospitalised or at best stewed alive, was a big ORANGE flag about the future of the relationship!

They say God loves a trier but a man’s gotta know his limitations! That said it was not a red card and the following year, when he had forgiven me for not jeopardising my safety and I had gotten over his tendency towards risk taking and amateur jacuzzism, we went to a hotel.”


“He drove me to a coal museum. A coal museum!!!!! No context needed.”


“A nice fella wanted to take me out (go on a date in old parlance!) I agreed and I said we’d ‘go for a pint’.

I took him to the Blood Bank!

More than 20 years later I still get a kick out of remembering the look on his face when we got there. Fair play to him, though terrified of needles, he saw it through. Mind you - he never repeated the act.”


“I had a date about 8 years ago with an online dating guy. We’d gotten on so well on the phone we decided to met at a hotel. I frocked up with a sexy red dress and when I get there he has three teeth in his head, is unshaven and not dressed up. He even asked me to pay for my dinner too. Yep, never saw him again.”