If you're thinking of performing some grand romantic gesture for your S.O. this coming Valentine's Day, you might first want to consider how that token of affection will be received.
Why? Because a misguided attempt at romance can often backfire, leaving both parties simultaneously horrified, ashamed, and generally drowning in the bottomless sea of awkwardness.
To avoid this, just keep reminding yourself behavior is context-dependent. Complimenting someone on their outfit on a first date is contextually appropriate, even expected. Handing them a 4-carat cubic zirconia engagement ring and saying you want them to have your babies on the same date is contextually inappropriate.
You might think this all sounds a bit obvious, but some people seemed to have missed this very important life lesson.
We culled just a few of these people's romantic failures from Reddit, where one intrepid Redditor asked the question, "Ladies, what's the creepiest thing a guy has done that was meant to be 'romantic'?"
Though some of these would-be-lovers are well-intentioned, their attempts at romance might make you cringe.
1. This only works in movies.
"Came to my house about two months after I broke up with him and starting serenading me from the driveway. I hadn't spoken or heard from him since we broke up, and he just rocked and starting singing. So weird. He honestly thought it was a good idea."
2. Romantic rodent.
"He was a budding animator who had a crush on me. As a romantic gesture to win me over, he created an anthropomorphic 'sexy' squirrel character based on me, and drew several, very detailed and graphic, pin-up type pictures of it, and uploaded them to his online portfolio. He was a pretty skilled artist and the face of the character was noticeably me. He said it was how he saw me in his fantasies."
3. He should have gotten you a bouquet of red flags.
"It was my first job out of college, and I went to a lot of networking events. I met a guy who was older (grey hair, balding) and had maybe a 15-minute conversation with him about very mundane topics. We exchanged business cards and moved on to the next contact.
Next day at work I get a huge bouquet of flowers. This thing easily cost over $100. They arrived right as I was leaving for a meeting with a co-worker, so I didnt really have time to think about them. Get back and I have two messages from the guy asking if I have received the flowers. As I'm listening to the messages, he calls again.
I share an office with my 30-something male boss, so personal phone calls are already awkward. The flower sender is asking if I got the flowers, what did I think, and telling all these other things he thought about sending but he wasn't sure what I liked. When he finally stops talking, I thank him and tell him the flowers were a little much, which causes him to tell me that it meant nothing. He was just trying to be friendly.
When I got off the phone my boss (who could only hear my side of the conversations) said 'I hope that guy doesn't know where you live.' "
4. All on the first date? Stolen underwear is really a third date thing, isn't it?
"Gave me stolen underwear and cheap jewelry [sic] a couple of hours after we'd met.
This guy also asked me when he could put a baby in me, and confessed his love for me.
One of the weirdest nights of my life."
5. Guys, read the last sentence and commit it to memory. And never do this.
"A guy showed up on Halloween dressed in a costume to match mine. I was Cruella DeVille, he showed up as a 6 feet 6 inches Dalmatian puppy, complete with a leash. He had stalked me through my friends to find out what my costume was going to be.
I had met the guy like once before. I was so mad that I didn't even bother to get to know the guy. He may have had a chance if he wasn't so damn creepy."
6. So. Horrifying.
"I was flirting with a guy in a club, we talked all night and finally kissed. He was awesome and really hot. Then he told me to close my eyes and he put a silver necklace with a cross around my neck. I looked at it and said, 'Uhm, thanks...?' He smiled and said: 'It belonged to my first girlfriend. She died in a house fire when I was 15.' "
Tell us about the worst attempts at romance anyone's every tried on you. We'd love to hear your horror stories in the comments below.