14 Romantic Gestures That Totally Missed the Mark

We live in an over-the-top society when it comes to our expectations. We can see it in the choice of our words—things didn’t just go badly, they were a complete disaster. It wasn’t funny, it was absolutely hysterical. And when it comes to romance, you don’t want to just be thoughtful, you want to sweep someone off their feet.

And can you blame anyone for trying? All romantic comedy movies usually end in a grand romantic gesture that always seem to go perfectly well. That last minute high-speed trip to the airport, that holding a boom box over your head or that serenade by the window—these are the right things to do. After all, the movies said so!

Of course, in real life, it doesn’t usually pan out that way, as anyone on this list could tell you.

14 My heart will go on


As of this week, Titanic is still in the top 10 grossing movies of all time, and a perennial classic for people that love tearjerker romances. Of course, one of the most iconic scenes from the film is Jack holding Rose at the bough of the boat with her arms outstretched while the Titanic cruises through the water. It’s one of those moments that secretly many people would love to recreate, as it looks like an amazing feeling.

And no doubt it was an amazing feeling for this couple, right before the seagull took a wrong turn and made a head-on collision with the girl’s face. The date may go on, and their hearts may go on, but this romantic moment has definitely sunk. The mild consolation is that this is a hysterical photo that will be preserved for the duration of the internet.

No word on if the seagull survived.

13 Boyfriend in a box


Meanwhile, over in China, Hu Seng decided to surprise his girlfriend by shipping himself in a box to be delivered to his girlfriend at work. He had one friend tape up the box, while another waited at the office to film the surprise. He paid a courier company to deliver the box.

But of course, something went wrong. When the couriers mixed up the addresses, Seng ended up waiting more than 3 hours instead of the expected 30 minutes. With no holes in the box and scarcely sufficient air, Seng nearly suffocated before the box was opened.

Luckily, paramedics arrived on the scene and revived the passed out Seng. Great dedication, dude, but maybe it’s not a good idea to bet your life on whether a package gets delivered in a timely fashion.

12 When she swallows the engagement ring


This is another one of those cliché moments that we seem to see in movies and television all the time, but rarely in real life.

When Harris decided to propose to Kaitlin over a meal at Wendy’s, he hid the engagement ring at the bottom of her thick frosty, which, if you you’ve never been to Wendy’s, is like a super-thick milkshake.

Only problem, Kaitlin sucked that frosty down way too fast—so fast she didn’t realize she just swallowed an engagement ring! The emergency room came next, where they saw the photographic proof of the accident. Then, he proposed for real in front of the X-ray.

The ring eventually passed through her system, so all is well. But it’s probably a good idea to stop hiding engagement rings in food altogether.

11 Horseback ride on the beach

Well, there’s two ways of looking at this. Yes, a horse ride on the beach is stereotypically romantic and would make a wonderful photo to give to the parents. And you could say that this is in no way an acceptable substitute.

However, another way of looking at it is that this couple is that they are bound together for life by their sense of humor, and that’s the real romantic angle on this picture. It’s sort of meta—“look how much we are enjoying how clearly ridiculous this ‘romantic gesture’ is.”

So maybe an old-school mom and dad might not think this was very good. But for others of us out there in the crowd—this looks like a dream relationship. Not every couple can be goofy together, but if they can, they have a definite shot at standing the test of time.

10 Cookie delivery

There are those guys out there that are great at doing the romantic gesture, but would rather go to an early grave than make a fuss about it or talk about it at all. These are the kinds of guys that’ll give you a bouquet of flowers with a note that says, “don’t make a freakin’ big deal out of this.”

This is the kind of gentleman we’re dealing with here. Our original poster writes, “My boyfriend had cookies delivered to me while I was studying.”

And of course, although the cookies are heart-warmingly romantic, the message he includes nearly ruins it, “You better not cry and embarrass this delivery person.” We’re sure the shock of the dry message gummed up the waterworks pretty fast, Romeo.

9 Bad ink

We don’t know what would possess someone to get a full back tattoo of his family. In one way, it does seem kind of wholesome in that you love them so much you want them marked on your back forever. In another, it seems enormously tacky, especially when the tattoo artist does such a lousy job in depicting their likeness.

But the worst thing of all is that shortly after the tattoo, he caught his wife having an affair with a personal fitness instructor.

But wait, it gets even worse. Turns out the wife posed with her lover in the exact same shirt, and seemingly the same location as the family photo with the tattoo. And to add insult to injury, when she and her husband broke up, she kicked him out of the house.

It was a grand gesture, bro. It’s just too bad the ink on your back has already outlasted your relationship.

8 Romantic boat ride

Well, it WAS romantic in the moment, until they heard the retching sounds from behind and saw the photo they actually captured. Such a classy looking couple, too, both decked out in blazers and looking like they’re sharing a laugh and having the time of their lives. At least until the poor lady behind them lost her lunch.

Well, no permanent damage. There’s always Photoshop, so they could easily crop the photo or simply edit her out of it. Plus, whoever had the idea for the romantic boat ride can’t be blamed for how it misfired. Everything seemed kosher until this very moment.

As for the lady behind them, we would recommend not eating any heavy foods or drinking any alcohol if you’re new to the waters. You’re kind of giving us the impression you don’t go on boats very often.

7 Wrong place, wrong time


Good communication is the hallmark of any great relationship, so it’s the mature thing to do to ask for a little more attention if you’re feeling neglected. This wife writes, “So I told my husband I wanted him to be more romantic…he hid these around the house.”

The husband, rebelling in a passive-aggressive yet hilarious way, wrote a note on the toilet paper that reads, “my dearest love. Use this moment to reflect on the special bond we share…please use this note to wipe yourself as a symbol of our intimacy.” First of all, ew. Second—that kind of paper is going to be pretty abrasive on your more sensitive regions, and may not be large enough to actually be useful.

In fact, we’d like to carefully file this image memory away somewhere in between “gross” and “things to definitely think about while trying to get turned off.”

6 Crash and burn

Well this poor, misguided individual is just checking of all the wrong boxes on how to impress a girl. Drunk-boasting that he could fly a plane, he drove his girlfriend while intoxicated to an airfield and practiced a little breaking and entering into a small plane. After successfully starting the plane, they tried to take off. That’s where it gets real interesting. He never made it into the air. First, he somehow caught the wing on fire before he took off. Then he missed a curve in the runway—you know, with all the bright lights? Yeah, well, he veered way off course while still on the ground, and ploughed into a field of soybeans.

As far as romantic gestures go, crashing a plane and getting caught by the police is pretty near the bottom of the list.

5 Um…thanks?

Ask any man of a certain age to express anything sentimental without the help of alcoholic lubrication, and you’ll probably find that it’s hard for most. Yes, of course, there are plenty of affectionate men out there, but just as many that have a hard time with the simple expression of feelings.

The man’s wife writes, “Husband thought this was a suitable message for me.” And hey, in its own way, “I hate you the least” IS charming. And almost any message is acceptable if it is written on a delicious brownie cake. Or giant cookie, whatever that delicious-looking thing is.

Though “I hate you the least” may be unorthodox, we think the relationship judges will accept it as a legit expression of love. For now.

4 The romantic bath


The person who posted this image writes, “The one time my boyfriend and I try to have a romantic bath.”

We’re gonna take a wild guess here and assume your boyfriend took on the “measuring the bubble bath” responsibilities. With lighter fluid, barbecue sauce and frosting, more is always better, right? It also goes to show you that this was most certainly his first attempt at making a bubble bath. For future reference, usually just a cap or two ought to do it.

But try to look on the bright side. Just make a little change in the agenda. Trade out the candles for some festive lights, find your favorite EDM music to play on your wireless speakers, put on some dance clothes and have yourself a foam party. Look at all the money you saved by not flying to Ibiza for the same privilege!

3 Enticing dance

First of all, we’d like to tip the hat to the girl who still loves her boyfriend after this. She clearly appreciates a sense of humor over fine physical prowess or actual dance ability, so good on her.

She writes, “I asked my boyfriend for a dance, and this is what I got.”

Well, what she got is somewhere between a knockoff Chris Farley Chippendale’s joke and painfully deluded choreographically challenged plea for help. It’s pretty low on the spicy and attractive scale, but on the other hand, pretty high on hilarity. It’s the kind of dance that we think most women would pay all the cash in their purses NOT to see.

She’s a good sport about it. We have no idea if they are still together, but if they are, rest assured it has nothing to do with this “dance.”

2 Wrong direction

Well, it starts out as sort of a clumsy but romantic gesture. Posting a sign asking someone to marry them by the side of the road can pass as charming. And posting a series of signs has been tremendously popular since the movie Love, Actually.

But then it takes a dark turn. The next sign says, “just kidding.” Then, “I’m breaking up with you.” And finally, “you have 6 days to move out.” There are speed limit signs and traffic warning signs, but these are definitely “heartbreak ahead” signs.

As far as breakups go, this seems particularly cruel. But then again, we don’t exactly know the circumstances that led to this. Let’s just hope both have moved on to happier times. Also if your significant other is stockpiling poster board and sharpies, that might be a bad omen.

1 Nice try, frozen food aisle

Nothing says “romantic dinner” like chickens raised en masse, fed with chemicals, injected with antibiotics and hormones and then slaughtered with a giant machine and industrially processed into heart shaped nuggets to be shipped off to the frozen food aisle.

Gross, dudes. There’s really no way to dress up chicken nuggets as a romantic deal. They just scream cheap, industrially processed junk food. It’s not like pizza, which can be multi-purposed into romantic dinner with a few candles, a bottle of red wine and some fresh Parmesan. There’s always the classic choices of steak and or lobster if you want to pay a little more or a fancy vegan place for those that don’t eat meat.

But heart-shaped chicken nuggets belong in the dustbin of failed romantic history, like gas station flowers or the toilet for two.

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