Win A $300 Experience Voucher For Valentine’s Day

Win A $300 Experience Voucher For Valentine’s Day
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We’ve already offered some suggestions on buying the right Valentine’s Day gift, but if you win this competition, your problems are solved. One lucky ready will score a $300 voucher from Red Balloon, which you can spend on any experience offered through the site.

This competition runs for just 24 hours, and we’ll email the voucher to the lucky winner straight away, so you can still use it as your main gift on Valentine’s Day — and even redeem it for the ideal gift experience if you want. (We won’t tell if you don’t.)

To enter, just tell us in the comments about your worst-ever romantic experience. The one we find most amusing (or harrowing) wins the prize. Full terms and conditions here. Get searching and get commenting!


  • Once I decided to do something extremely romantic and named a star for my then girlfriend. You don’t get to choose which star you get to name so when I received the certificate and star maps etc.. I searched for the star. Turns out that the star that I had been assigned was in Canis Major (a dog shaped constellation), but what made it Very amusing was that the particular star I had in this constellation looked as though it was positioned right at the anus of the dog. We couldn’t stop laughing..

    • The most harrowing experience was in a beautiful penthouse in the Melbourian. I was just about to propose when she asked if I was going to. I did ask her, but then she thought I wa joking in that awful unsure kind of way. Then we sat in silence, not sure what to say….

  • Not sure I can trust this competition. Terms and conditions say that it opens on 9:30am 13th February this year, and closes at 9:30 am 13th February last year.

    Tell the truth, you just want us to divulge our horrible experiences don’t you?

  • I’d been going out with a lady for a couple of weeks, and decided for Valentines Day to go all out and romance like I’d never romanced before. I’d begun by sending roses and chocolates to her place of employment and continued with a lovely dinner followed by a lovely walk around town with some enormous ice creams. Headed home where I had candles lit etc. Sat down with her and she told me she had a lovely time with me tonight and she enjoyed the time spent with me that I had a great personality, but I wasn’t physically attractive enough for her to want to continue going out with me any more. Needless to say she left, and I never saw her again. She could have had the manners to tell me before I forked out for all the romantic stuff.

  • I’ve been sitting here for just over an hour now, scrambling my brain trying to think of my worst (or best!) valentines day story and I can’t think of anything. I can’t think of anything as I’ve never had a partner on valentines day. I’m 25, female, admittedly I do own two cats but..oh..I see where this is going…

    Thanks, lifehacker, for really driving that point home.

  • Two years ago a complete stranger came into my work, he flirted with me, and then gave me a red rose. I thought this was a sweet and brave gesture, so I gave him my phone number, keen to meet up again. He was handsome and funny, and somene I would like to get to know better!
    For a few days we were sending each other text messages, back and forth, just having fun, before he asked me out to dinner.
    The restaurant he had picked was ok, not fantastic or posh or anything, but still a good place to go to eat on a first date.
    But on the night, there was a problem: The guy I was on a date with was not the same guy that had introduced himself at my workplace!
    I wondered if it was just my memory, thinking I must have forgotten his face etc. but no, it was clearly a different man! He was shorter, younger, and definitely did not have the same witty sense of humour.
    I was a little bit confused and the man seemed nervous, and when I confronted him about it, he said he had no clue what I was talking about! (which just confused me more, of course!)
    I thought to myself “Well I must’ve just been mistaken… maybe I was wrong…”
    We then began to eat dinner and engage in the obligatory small-talk. It was the most awkward time ever, trying to create a conversation based on nothing. We were definitely not a good match at all. Somehow I got through it though!
    At the end of the evening he took me home and walked me to my door. I wanted the terrible evening to be over, so I said “Goodnight” and began to go inside.
    He then asked me “Oh, aren’t you going to invite me in?” to which I replied, “Sorry, no, I don’t even know you.” (I’m not a person who would sleep with someone on a first date.)
    Only THEN does he come clean about the whole evening saying “Oh yeah, I know. One of my friends just gave me your number. He’s got a girlfriend, but he lost a bet and had to ask some random out on Valentines Day.”
    Great. Lucky me.
    It was such a disaster though! I hope this year is better!

  • This is was, by far, the worst date I’ve ever had. It was the most awkward and uncomfortable night of my life.

    He picked me up and as we were approaching the restaurant he said “This is a casual thing, yeah?”. It was our first date so I responded with a smile and said “of course!”, he THEN replied with “oh good, we’re splitting the bill then”. I just so awkward – why would someone want to start the evening off so tense!

    Then at the restaurant he had to check with the waiter THREE times that the water was free. When he handed his plate back to the waiter he said “Yeah, I just wasn’t feeling it”. What??? Then as we were leaving, I saw him stuff his pockets with about ten packs of crackers in his pocket . It was the most bizarre thing I had ever seen.

    Finally when he stopped the car outside my house he asked me if I had any male friend, I said yes, and he responded with “sweet, how many are bed buddies”. I have never gotten out of a car that fast before.

  • My boyfriend took me out for a private cruise for our anniversary. The day started well, but it took a weird turn when one of the male waiters onboard was BLATANTLY hitting on my boyfriend. I felt like I was in some weird twilight zone because I was the only one that noticed it. I’m pretty sure exclusively refilling my boyfriends glass and touching his thigh “playfully” is flirting. To top off the evening, the captain of the boat was breathalysed for a random breath test by the water police and was found to be intoxicated. I’m not sure what was worse, the waiter slipping my boyfriend his number, or having our boat escorted back to shore by the water police.

  • i once went on a date with a guy i had been chatting to online for a couple of months. he seemed normal (they always do, right?) but during dinner he told me, in great detail, about his different kinds of tracksuit pants.
    going out trackies,
    staying in trackies,
    trackies that are ok for going to the iga, but not to coles or a regular shop,
    sleeping trackies that were different than staying home trackies.
    he even takes them to a tailor to get turned into shorts if they get too worn out on the cuffs, but he still loves them, and wants to use them as summer trackies.
    i dropped him back at his place and by the time i’d got home and onto my computer, he had deleted me from chat.
    maybe i didnt own enough trackies….

  • Prior to meeting my wife, I was going through an awkward dating period, and one in particular springs to mind.

    I picked the lady up for a 45 drive to the beach for lunch. About halfway into the drive, the topic of conversation wound its way around to the atrocities of female circumcision in third world countries. Hmm. Not really the sort of light conversation you want on a first date.

    Needless to say, there wasn’t a second date.

  • Well, it involved a very romantic dinner with my girlfriend at the time at a nice restaurant in Western Sydney (nowhere near where either of us lived), unfortunately her Mother and Father had also planned a nice dinner at the same restaurant and her parents had banned her from seeing me because I was also a female.

    It ended in tears. As well as me being covered in food.

    Turns out they didn’t want their 22 year old daughter to be involved with another woman.

  • Although its not valentines yet, but since my partner and I will be deadly busy throughout the week, we decided to have our valentines last weekend. I gave her the typical roses and v-day card, a beautiful corset that she wanted so much and matching dress, and a winnie the pooh DVD/BD which she also loved. All wrapped in red and hearts wrapping.

    She gave me a photo album of last year’s Queensland floods in a Queensland Museum paper bag.

  • I met a backpacker many moons ago from the Seychelles Islands and after being very drunk together that night ended up going home with her.

    Its not my usual thing and I liked her so I decided to be the romantic guy , but my ideas at romance couldnt have been worse.

    I first took her out to dinner to Doyles , turns out that she is allergic to seafood. So you can imagine how bad the dinner went.

    The second part of the night was 2 tickets to a gig at the metro by The Whitlams. She absolutely hated it , to the point of her turning to me and telling me it was the worst music she had ever heard. 1/2 way through the gig she said she was off to the toilet and she just didnt return.

    To top it off after the gig I walked to the nearby Henry the 9th Bar ( when it was still open ) to see her in there hooked up with someone else.

    Moral to the story , research , research and more research works better than spontaneity.

  • First date with a girl. Arrives on the dot and we head off. Unfortunately she does a U-turn, a car smashes into us and I find out its her dad’s car. Long conversations later, exchanges of details etc and the date never the same…

  • My worst ever romantic experience was I was about 15 or so going to a movie (i think it was the 3rd of 4th date?) and halfway through the movie, I realised there was this foul B.O stench – like overwhelmingly bad. A few minutes after this, I realised that it was me, and that I had forgotten to put on deodorant. I got out of my seat and went to the bathroom at the cinema, and washed my armpits out in the sink before going back to the seat – of course, it didn’t really work and the smell got worse throughout the rest of the movie. I think I was almost in tears by the time it finished.

    To the guy’s credit, he didn’t say a word, and afterwards when he dropped me off home, he said that he was schizophrenic and had stopped taking his medication, and that it was maybe best that we didn’t see each other again. I thought that was the biggest load of BS in the world, but a creative way of dumping someone – and it wasn’t until a few months down the track that he was telling the truth!

    Although to be honest this valentine’s days not looking up either – I’ll be spending it in hospital!!!

  • Okay so took a girl out to eat. i got a fancy reservation and everything. She was a vegetarian so i picked a suitable place WELL little did i know her ex was also a vegetarian and ALSO was going to this restaurant with his more recent girlfriend. Needless to say we ate and outside of that restaurant he dropped to one knee and proposed to my girlfriend. Apparently it was both of there favorite restaurant and bad luck goes she said yes.

  • Invited a girl i had a crush on for a long time to dinner (first date) on valentines day. I told her i would pick her up and take her to a surprise location for dinner
    (think regional town)… All excited on my way there, she calls to say she has a stomach bug, and cancels the date. I end up going to the restaurant anyway, as i had preordered slow cooked steaks.. So there I am table for one surrounded by romantic tables for two, with couples everywhere….and in walks my date..with another guy for dinner!….The upside…that night I met a girl who is now my wife…of 7 years!

  • Not the Kind of Suprise I was driving home for…
    I was in a long distance relationship and once finished work at around 12:30am and drove for 3 and a bit hours in the morning to surprise my GF that I had an extra 2 days off in a row. I arrived and called cause her family was staying in the lounge room of her small unit. I told her I was standing out the front, she said she didn’t believe me, then I looked up as the sliding door on the second floor opened and a guy’s head popped out over the balcony. At this point I was a point like… what the… She came and opened the front door, with the guy in toe and I was not very impressed and soon realise her night out with the family turned into a little more. After waking everyone up from some heated discussions, I was not happy and very upset after driving for over 3 hours to surprise her and ended up leaving hastily in my car to stay at a friend’s place. surprised to say we broke up no long after. So from a surprise romantic guesture to an eventual break all from an impromt drive down the freeway.

  • My worst romantic experience happened a few years back. And was truly AWFUL;

    I’d been going out with this girl for just over 11 months. Things were going great, we’d become not only a couple but pretty much best friends. I knew she was completely against the idea of Valentines day (‘Its disgusting and just an excuse for Hallmark to make more money’), and had refused to plan any sort of date with me, but nevertheless, being the great guy that I am, decided to buy her some roses and chocolates and drop them off at her house.

    So, I pulled up outside her house on my motorcycle, walked up to the door with the bunch of roses behind my back, and anxiously knocked. 10 seconds passed, and finally she answered. Immediately, she began to tell me how she told me she didn’t want to see me today. Obviously, i then produced the flowers and the chocolates, in the hope that they would at least bring a smile to her face. WRONG. Yes she took them from me. I asked her could I come inside. she said no, and asked me to wait while she put the roses inside.

    So here I am, on Valentines day, stood on my girlfriend’s doorstep, feeling like the biggest idiot around. She comes back to the door, and begins to shout at me for coming to see her, and that I shouldn’t be there (obviously I’m confused at this point, and unsure what I had done wrong). A few minutes pass, obviously I keep rather quiet and try to be the understanding guy, to eventually have the door slammed in my face.

    Needless to say I broke up with her 5 days later.

  • a few years ago i was going out with this chick. we went out for a good 3 months, but it wasn’t really working out. long story short, i ended up breaking up with her over a chat room on valentine’s day, without even realizing it was valentine’s day.

    the next day i received death stares from her friends, my OWN friends and even some of my school teachers were giving me menacing looks. she came to my locker during a recess break, threw me out of the way and pulled her valentine’s present out and screamed “F*** YOU, I’M RETURNING THIS PRESENT. I HATE YOU.” i was emotionally heartbroken, she took Die Hard 4 on DVD. i was more depressed about parting ways with the DVD than my ex-girlfriend.

  • So, I got married to the girl of my dreams (we’d been together for 4.5 years) and we headed off to Vanuatu for our honeymoon. We had a lovely little Villa right on the water of an island resort. It was an amazing place and we were both quite keen to “get to know each other” a bit better as we don’t believe in sex before marriage.

    Unfortunately we both got a stomach bug and spend the whole week alternating who got to use the bathroom which was only separated from the rest of the Villa by a partition and all noises/smells were in no way obstructed…

    Needless to say, neither of us felt very romantic and while we both got to know each other quite well, it certainly wasn’t in the way we had anticipated, lol

  • I was taken on a romantic birthday getaway to Byron bay a few years ago. The weekend started brilliantly because it was a surprise. We had an awesome picnic lunch on the beach and headed back home later, but there was an incident in the spa that night. We were getting in the mood and he had put his head below the surface (for reasons we wont go into). I looked down as he bobbed up from the water because he couldn’t breathe. He collided with my jaw so hard that the tip of my tongue was hanging by a thread and i had a mouth full of blood. I couldn’t talk properly or taste anything for the weekend so we awkwardly watched movies and walked on the beach then left the next day. Not the best birthday memory to date..

  • A few years ago, I wasn’t having much (well, any) luck with the ladies, for quite a long time. I realised that I needed help.

    So I asked my long time friend/housemate for advice about asking out this girl that I was pretty much falling for at the time. He suggested this nice local Teppanyaki restaurant. I asked her and, what do you know, she actually thought it might be a fun date!

    The day rolled around, I was getting psyched to take her out for dinner that night, and she called me to cancel. “Oh well,” I thought. She had a reasonable excuse, and I figured that if she was interested in going out with me this time, surely we could reschedule?

    Apparently not.

    I tried rescheduling, I tried coming up with other ideas, but she kept turning down any further offers. Not long after that, she got back together with the man that she broke up with almost a year beforehand, and about a year later, they got married.

    I still don’t know what I did wrong.

  • To cut a long story short, try imagining setting up a bed with candles and rose pedals, stark naked and your mum (who has a key) coming over before your girlfriend does! Still haunts me to this day.

  • I when’t to ask a girl i’d been interested in a while out. not only did i get friend zoned while trying but she then asked for advice on how to ask someone else out.

  • I whent to ask a girl i’d been interested in a while out. not only did i get friend zoned while trying but she then asked for advice on how to ask someone else out.

  • I went to ask a girl i’d been interested in a while out. not only did i get friend zoned while trying but she then asked for advice on how to ask someone else out.

  • Since New Years Eve, I’m supposed to be back in a relationship with my ex-boyfriend. He came back and said that he’s leaving the girl (that he still had over while we were together) because he can’t see himself marrying and having kids/a future like that with her). So stupidly enough I thought that the 3 and a half years apart (dating her) and with his new approach to me and him that things had in fact changed. Two months later and I’m still waiting for this girl to stop sleeping in the same bed as him and find her own place to leave. He refuses to kick her out or make her sleep on the couch because he “still gets along really well with her” and see’s no point in making problems that are avoidable between them – and wants to have her as a close friend still. He lives in Sydney and I live in Queensland by the way, so I only get to spend the weekends with him whilst she gets to be there every day of the week. It’s the day before Valentines day and I can’t be in Sydney with him. I KNOW that he’s going to spend Valentines day with her because I asked him about it and his reply was “I’m not going to say no if she’s got somewhere nice booked and asks me to go”. He won’t even change his facebook status from being in a relationship with her to being in a relationship with me. That and this one guy has never bought me a birthday/anniversary present. And on every birthday THUS far has made me cry.

    Blergh, I’m going to leave it at that.

    Someone explain to me why I love him?

  • I went on a first date with this girl I really liked (and naturally because I really liked her, I was incredibly nervous).
    We went to see a movie and I was too nervous to try anything like hold her hand, put my hand on her knee or anything like that until about halfway through. I went to put my arm around her shoulder but I did it too quickly and punched her in the face. She screamed and started to cry and everyone around us thought I was hurting her. She ran out and I was left with a face as red as a beetroot.
    She called the next day to tell me she didn’t want to see me again. I noticed she had a slight lisp on the phone and I stupidly asked her what was wrong with her voice and she started screaming and swearing at me, telling me I had hit her so hard that I had bruised her cheek to the point that she coulidn’t talk properly. Worst. Date. Ever

  • Some years ago in Canada I had a job at a ski resort and for good performance I was given 2 lift passes. I asked my girlfriend at the time (admittedly, things weren’t going as well and the writing was on the wall) whether she would like to accompany me skiing for valentines day. Her response was an unenthusiasic, ‘meh’. My response was to invite out a very pretty german girl I’d recently been introduced to…no sense wasting the lift pass. As fate would have it, my soon to be ex girlfriend decided that she would in fact go skiing that day and surprise me…and wasn’t I surprised to be busted skiing with another girl! I was 15 or 16 at the time and it was the only time I’d ever, sort of, cheated and got caught red handed. Not cheating by today’s standards I’m sure but I learnt my lesson.

  • It was probably only a month or so into our relationship. I was suave. I was cool. I was, let’s be honest – more experienced with her in relationships and had a bunch of tricks and impressive feats up my sleeve.

    And then… well that happened.

    We had met her at work and I fell hopelessly for her – had a crush brewing for her for months. In fact, I think everybody knew. It was hard not to. I’m a pretty confident, happy go lucky guy, but around her… I was a mess.

    Eventually I asked her out, we went on a few dates and had a great time. Things were going really well. I had put to use all my experience in wooing girls for this one. My game was perfect – it had to be.I was, to be honest, in love with her in probably the first few weeks.

    I had also bragged about my culinary skills. I’m a pretty darn good cook thanks to a mum who insisted I learn as a teenager. So I eventually planned a big night and made a tasty meal of Turkish chicken burgers and caramelized peaches.

    Things went well. She loved it. We laughed, ate and had a great night.

    And then… I started to feel a little off. A little green. I couldn’t sleep and my stomach was starting to cramp up. A few hours later and it was midnight, with me sweating like a pig, trying not to groan too loudly and wake her up.

    Cut to three am and it felt like Obi Wan and Darth were saberin’ up and down my belly. I couldn’t stop shivering. I ended up running a hot bath and sitting in it, huddled up like a big, fleshy pretzel. The girl came and checked on me, but ‘I was fine’ I insisted. ‘Just fine’.

    Reluctantly she left me to go back to bed (she did have work in the morning)… but, as soon as the door closed I felt it. Something I had never felt before yet knew unmistakably what it was. Like somebody knuckle dustered my stomach.

    Oh god. No. I had never vomited before in my life and then. I stood up and for some insticinctive reason turned to the sink and BOOM! Shotgunned vomit all over the mirror, vanity and filled up the sink.

    Jesus it was horrible. Chunky, half-digested peices of bread and chicken and peaches.

    And poor Girl, she walked right back in, looked me up and down, standing naked and dripping vomit and immediately got to work picking the chunks out of the sink drain.

    She cleaned everything up (including me), rolled me into bed and looked after me like a nurse for the rest of the week.

    It was the most horrible, disgusting and lovely thing I had ever experienced.

    And I still love her for it.

  • I once went on a date with a lovely girl to a nice popular restaurant in the city. We had plenty of fun and the food was great, she picked it and said her parents went quite often. Low and behold, her parents show up and we exchanged pleasantries, which wasn’t awkward at all and her parents seemed very happy. After what I thought was a fantastic evening, she tells me that the whole thing was a set up to prove to her parents that she wasn’t batting for the other team. Turns out, and unbeknownst to me – she was and already had a girlfriend.

  • I met a girl online years ago and we spoke a few times via chat/phone before meeting face to face.

    We had a drink, pub dinner, then played pool (plenty of cliche “I’ll show you how to play” moments) and then sat down for a few drinks. She turns to me and asks if I believe in fairies. Straight faced and she kept pushing until I agreed.

    As we’re leaving she kisses me and says we should catch up again tomorrow, she’d love to spend more time together but has to collect her sister from some kind of training. I say goodbye, she leaves.

    And then she sends me an SMS not 5 minutes later saying “I’m so sorry I’ve thought about it and can never be with someone who doesn’t truly believe. Don’t call me again”.

  • We went to what seemed like a lovely Italian restaurant in Pyrmont.
    Their chef’s cooking was awful. It was strange and tasted off and had pile of oil. Inedible.
    We sent it back – – rather than a refund, they attempted to ‘fix’ it.
    And then charged us twice. (It was the same plate!)

    Away we went, hungry and angry. To what better, than the food court in Harbourside and some greasy greasy KFC. Isn’t it funny when the KFC was less oily than the pasta? (Although much more hairy?)

    We had also booked the Sydney Observatory for a night tour.
    It rained heavily and the giant telescope was shut off.


  • Took a girl on a first date to the movies many years ago. Turns out that feminists don’t have a sense of humour especially with a film like The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. How was I to know that was the definition sexist, I was only 16 at the time.

    Anyway I laughed my arse off and she stopped shaving her armpits and turned lesbian. At least I had a good time.

    • I once entered a Valentines competition which was to be drawn on Valentines day, the entries were meant to be reminiscant of your worst Valentines day…well, today is the day and all I’m left with is a handful of heart breaking memories and no prize. Thanks Lifehacker.


  • Feeling queasy on our first date. My Tummy rumbled, followed by a few silent yet deadly gas bursts , then whoosh!!!! A wet fart!!! As I bolted to the bathroom, my heel got caught and tangled on a diners handbag strap (which was on the floor), I lost my footing, and sprained my leg. And guess what???? My date actually saw me again!!!! I call him hubby now.

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