Does dinner count as enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?

 You can’t buy my love … but you can buy me food
You can’t buy my love … but you can buy me food

We ask three guys and girls this question: Does dinner count as enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?

Laura Milne
Voiceover agent, 28

Does dinner count as enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?
“Personally, I’d say yes because I think too much thought goes into this. Being taken out for dinner is a lovely gesture.”

Does a man have to pay though?
“It’s whoever instigates the dinner, so not necessarily.”

Instigates? That doesn’t sound very romantic?
“I’m very romantic. I wouldn’t be averse to splitting a bill. If I say to someone ‘I’m taking you out for dinner,’ I’d pay. If I’m invited out, I’d presume that they’d pay.”

What’s been your worst Valentine’s gift?
“Someone wrote song lyrics to me.”

What was it?
“‘The Ballad of Chasey Lain’ by the Bloodhound Gang.” [Sings]  “‘You’ve had a lotta dick Had a lotta dick I’ve had a lotta time Had a lotta time You’ve had a lotta dick Chasey
But you ain’t had mine.’”

Who did that?
“I don’t know. It was bad.”
Is there pressure to have sex on Valentine’s Day?
“Yeah, absolutely — it’s Valentine’s Day.”
You must be thinking, “Every time I get taken out, I’ve got to have sex with them.”
“If I’m going out with someone, yeah there’s a bit of pressure. But it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. If I’m being bought dinner there’s … not an obligation.” [Laughs]

Michael Arthey
Graphic designer, 25

Does dinner count as enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?
“Yes, it’s enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day because it’s expensive and I’m tight. Food and wine is very expensive, and if you’re going to take them for a nice meal – which you should – it’s going to cost you a lot of money.”

Has it got to be Michelin-starred?
“I wouldn’t go that far, I’m only 25. But it has to be nicer than a Nando’s [flamed-grilled chicken restaurant chain].”
Would you split the bill?
“I’d be tempted to ask for that, but I know the answer.”
What’s that?
“‘F– off’.”
Do you get sex afterward?
“It depends how I feel. I might have a headache. It depends.”
Any bad Valentine’s  experiences?
“Well, I didn’t plan one year and I didn’t get a table until about 10 o’clock at night in a pretty bad pub, and I bought her a Valentine’s card that she didn’t see the funny side of.”

What did it say?
“‘Happy F–ing Valentine’s Day’.”
Did you get sex afterward?
No.

Josie Newton
City worker, 26
Does dinner count as enough of a gift for Valentine’s Day?
“As long as there’s a card as well, yes.”
Is that all there is to it?
“Well, when I first met Danny I bought a gift and a card and he didn’t buy me anything — I was a bit offended.”
What did you buy?
“I bought him a nice gift: a CD and some aftershave. And I didn’t even get a card. But he took me for dinner which made up for it. I have since learned not to buy him anything, but he has since learned that he has to get me a card.”
It’s like training a dog, isn’t it?
“A little bit. Dinner is always on him.”
Do you actually care about Valentine’s Day?
“No, but I do want to go out for a meal and get a card. I expect a meal and a card. Actually, we’ve stayed in on Valentine’s Day and cooked before.”
Did you “go dutch” on the cooking?
“Oh I can’t remember.”
So it wasn’t that special then. What do you expect this year?
“A restaurant that I’ve booked because I like it and he’s going to pay. We discussed a few places and we settled on one and I didn’t not want to get a table. You know, it’s been eight years, so it’s not very special these days.” [Laughs]
Do you go home and read a book next to each other?
[Laughs] “Yeah, in silence.”


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