Most every Valentine’s Day, I have spent single. Usually I would try to get together with other single friends. We would refer to it as “Single Awareness Day”, partly to celebrate our singleness and freedom, but also because you FELT very single and alone, as everyone around you seemed so in love, getting gifts lavished upon them, and caught up in the emotion and hype of this overly commercialized holiday. To this day, I have only been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day three times. So, as promised, here are my good and bad Valentine’s Day experiences.
Since I won’t use his real name, we will call him Dan. Dan and I met at the very beginning of January and began dating. He was 35, I was 30. He had not been in many serious relationships, but did have a mother and sister, so I assumed he kinda would know how to treat a woman. Whenever we went out, it was always what HE wanted to do, or where He wanted to go. I could give input, but most things I suggested he was opposed to. I’m sure you might be asking yourselves why I continued to date him, which I sometimes asked myself as well. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he hadn’t dated much, and also, to be honest, I think it was just a time in my life where I was lonely and craved any kind of attention from a man. I did give Valentine’s Day as the “make it or break it” day in my head. As it approached, he didn’t really mention it. That year, V-day was on a Saturday. It was Thursday night when he finally mentioned something about Saturday being V-day and asked if I wanted to do “something”. I asked him if he had anything planned, which he replied “no” but said he would “figure something out”. I told him he should really make a reservation somewhere. I didn’t hear from him on Friday, and he knew I had plans Saturday morning. He called me as soon as my Saturday thing had started and I couldn’t really talk. He said he had a basketball game at 4pm and would call me as soon as it was over, so he could head home to shower and change, and asked if I could drive to his house to meet him. He thought he would be done by 5/5:30. I hadn’t eaten all day, because I hadn’t really known what we were going to do. I assumed it would be around dinner time.
Dan finally calls me at 6:45pm to say he was just leaving from the game; he had stayed around talking to some of the guys and was going to take a guy home and to come to his house by 8. I started thinking this was not starting out well and wondered how it would end up. I get to his house a little after 8 and he asks me in. He gives me a quick tour and then hands me one of those small, stuffed dogs, behind jail bars, that plays an Elvis love tune when you press the dog’s ear, and says, “I saw this at the store on the way home and thought of you.”. Guys, let me tell you a couple of things: #1) most women do NOT want a stuffed animal/musical animal thing. We are not babies. What am I supposed to do with a toy? I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, I’m just expressing my own distaste for a stuffed animal. A simple card, chocolates, or flowers would have been much more appealing. #2) Do NOT tell the woman you are with that you just got this for her on the way home, when it is Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday. The holidays occur on the same date each year, so you have time to plan ahead.
So we leave to go to dinner, at which point he tells me he does not have a reservation and no plan on where to go. Again he does not want to go anywhere I would like, even for just one special day. So we drive around for a bit and finally settle on a restaurant. We order food and it is 9:30pm. We eat in silence and at the end of the meal, he asks me to come watch a movie at his place. I reluctantly agreed. He pops in one of his favorite movies, gets himself a drink and plops down on the couch next to me. About 30 minutes into the movie, he is sound asleep. I elbow him and tell him I’m leaving. He apologized and said maybe we could get together the following weekend, but I told him no and left. That was the end of that relationship.
We will call this guy, Peter. Peter and I met about 4 weeks ago. We have been slowly dating, going out for dinners and watching movies here and there; mostly just getting to know each other. Peter is much different than Dan; he is more agreeable to try new foods and go places that I recommend and has an interest in things that I like. He does not like sushi, but knows that I love it. So yesterday, he took me to a really nice sushi restaurant for dinner. We had good, ongoing conversation, and he dressed nicely (I forgot to mention that Dan would always take me out in a ratty t-shirt and worn out jeans, or sometimes even his gym shorts). After dinner we went to his place, where I gave him a few gifts, and he gave me a nice card, some chocolates and a really nice picture with a quote on it, that was very meaningful to him and to our developing relationship. Then he put on a movie that he knew I would like and we just had a really nice, enjoyable night. I appreciated that he put effort and care into selecting the gift and planning out the evening for us. It was a welcomed change.
So there you have 2 out of 3 of my Valentine’s Day experiences while in a relationship. The 3rd one was nice as well. It was 6 years ago, with my then fiancée at the time. We went out to dinner and then just enjoyed a nice quiet night at home. It was a week later, when I learned some devastating things about his past, and caused us to break off our engagement. So I guess we could call that one the Ugly, even though the day itself was nice.
Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories as well. And if you haven’t shared your story yet and still want to, please feel free to share in the comments and/or link to your blog post.