• Thu, Feb 13 - 12:00 pm ET

There’s Still Time To Break Up With Your Girlfriend Instead Of Buying A Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gift

valentineThis morning, my husband and I were having a chitty-chat about the significance of Valentine’s Day in high school.

I only had one short term boyfriend in high school, and I had a pretty good Valentine’s Day experience. I went on a triple date with him, his younger brother and his girlfriend, and his mom and stepdad to a costume-themed restaurant called The Magic Time Machine—where we were served by Princess Leia or Pocahontas, I can’t remember. Yes, it was as cool as it sounded.

My husband didn’t have any comparable Valentine’s Day memories from high school. But he did enlighten me to a trend that I had no idea existed among high school boys.

If you don’t want to buy your girlfriend a gift, or if you simply can’t afford it, make sure to break up with her by February 13, you idiot.

Harsh, but true. My husband said that he and all of his friends were always broke as a joke, working part-time jobs in high school. And then there came the girlfriend, always expecting some kind of beautiful gift that she saw on a cheesy Valentine’s Day jewelry commercial.

Instead of paying $200 to buy a necklace, earrings, chocolate, flowers, and even a nice dinner, it was way better to cut your losses before Valentine’s Day. Even if you really loved her, you could probably make it up to her after February 14 and get back together, as most high schoolers are wont to do. You’d save $200, and you wouldn’t have to put on a tie to go to dinner. From a guy’s perspective, the plan is brilliant.

Now that I’m on to these Valentine’s Day schemes, I’m going to keep a watchful eye on my sons when they hit high school age in a decade or so. Maybe I’ll slip them twenty bucks to buy their girlfriend some roses, or maybe I’ll make them save up for a special gift. Either way, I’m going to kick them in the ass if they even attempt this high school breakup plan to save money on V Day.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • chickadee

    Thank you so much — I have been trying on and off for MONTHS to remember that restaurant! Our high school Youth in Government group always went there after regional competitions. It was The Thing to Do to steal one of the napkins, for some reason.

    • Bethany Ramos

      In Texas?? Or a different one? I love that place so much.

    • chickadee

      In Texas! We moved there from the northeast when I was 11.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Crazy!! What a small world!

    • chickadee

      I know! Which is why I am so familiar with the political craziness about that state. As a matter of fact,once I met Ted Nugent in Austin. It was completely by accident and I had to go bathe in bleach afterwards. The guy I was with was thrilled.

      I dumped that guy.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hahahah awesome!

  • Kay_Sue

    Stage whisper: I did this to a boyfriend in high school. I didn’t like/like him that much anymore, and I didn’t want the pressure that would come with whatever gesture he came up with….

    • Robotic Arms Dealer


      you should have taken the gift on 2/14, then broken up with him on 2/15

      That way, you get the gift and no longer a boy you’re interested in.

    • Kay_Sue

      I won’t say it didn’t cross my mind, but my “total bitch” gear failed that year.

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      I can hardly see a “total bitch” side to you… You don’t seem that type

    • Kay_Sue

      It’s there. I just keep her tightly under wraps until I feel the situation warrants unleashing her righteously.

    • Robotic Arms Dealer
    • Bethany Ramos


    • Guest

      I did this to a guy right before Christmas…I had no clue what to get him and knew it wasn’t working out so I just cut my losses. Found out later I missed out on a pair of gloves and a stolen street sign with my name. Bummer.

    • Kay_Sue

      The street sign would be pretty awesome…

    • Guest

      Knowing the guy…I feel like that street sign is still in the back of the closet. He probably stares at it longingly when he gets clothes out in the morning. I don’t even feel bad though cause he is a little bit of a whackadoo.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Yes on the street sign!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I mentioned downthread that I dumped my ex shortly before Christmas. I forgot to mention that his mother had sent my Christmas gift just before I did so, and it arrived two days after the deed was done. I know sending it back would have been the proper thing to do, but she’d figured out my tastes exceptionally well by that point in time, so I simply sent off a jaunty little thank-you note that completely sidestepped how my Christmas gift to her was her son moving back in for an indefinite length of time.

    • K.

      So not that it has much to do with the original story, but while we’re on the subject of strategic break-ups…

      I dated my TA in college and broke up with him. It was a big lecture class and several of my friends were in it and they were like, “Nu-uh. You march back up there to his office and you say you’re sorry and you will take that boy back at least until after finals.”

      Yeahhhh…I took one for the team. (Sorry, dude.)

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      LOL my ex did this! He waited until I was LITERALLY going in to my first exam before texting me (coward) to say he was sorry, it was over and btw BEST OF LUCK in your exams.

      Dick lol

    • tSubh Dearg

      My ex waited until the morning after my final college exam, brought me a cup of tea and said “I think we should break up”. Then he pulled his packed suitcase out from under the bed and left. I honestly wish I had thrown the tea in his face.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      o my god!!!
      WTF, why can’t they just say ok, we need to work on some things. Let’s try for another month and see how we feel.

      I think the funniest (looking back) was catching my fella in bed with my cousin.
      My male cousin.
      My ex literally fell out of bed trying to cover himself while my cousin burst into tears.

      I didn’t have the heart to get angry lol I kinda laughed nervously, averted my eyes from the bed (so many scrotums…) and left the house.

    • Bethany Ramos


    • tSubh Dearg

      Yeah it turned out his ex was back from her Erasmus course and he wanted to back together with her. They’re married now and have a baby. In retrospect I was a year long rebound.

    • Kay_Sue

      That is pretty amazing, actually. Way to take that one! ;)

  • pixie

    I really want to go to that restaurant now.

    And I knew plenty of guys who did that, or broke up with girls right before Christmas, or the girl’s birthday. I think I even knew a couple who would break up with their girlfriends before every gift-giving occasion and get back together with them like the next day. I always shook my head at those guys and wondered how the girls didn’t catch on (ok, a few of them might have, but I knew at least one girl who never caught on).

    • Bethany Ramos

      Um, yes, I knew and probably dated these people too!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Try having your fiancee calling you on your birthday WHILE he’s having sex with someone else, to ask do I mind if we begin to see other people.
      LOL what a winner

    • Bethany Ramos

      Omg, NO!

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      sadly yes lol.
      ironically, he asked me back a few months later.
      I told him to take a long walk off a short cliff.
      In the politest manner possible of course.

    • pixie

      Oh wow…I have no words.

  • Tinyfaeri

    Dumb question: when did it become a thing to get a huge or really expensive gift for Valentine’s Day? For anyone I’ve ever been with, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancĂ©, husband, etc, we did a card, maybe flowers, usually some kind of chocolates, and never more than $20 for all of it. Maybe I’m just a cheap date…

    • Kay_Sue

      The first truly expensive gift I ever got was my first Valentine’s Day with my husband. Who was not my husband at the time, but my boyfriend of just two months, and you should have seen my face when I opened that box. My eyes bugged. Even he says it’s probably the stupidest thing he’s ever done.

      I don’t know when that tradition started either. In high school, romantic gestures were flowers (usually carnations, because who could afford roses) and a trip to Longhorn Steakhouse, because it was so GROWN UP and had a bar and everything….I can’t imagine expecting an experience of $200 or more….

  • NotTakenNotAvailable

    While it was not my primary reason for doing so, the fact that I would not have to buy my boyfriend of six years or his parents Christmas gifts by breaking up with him two weeks before the holiday totally reinforced the overall rightness of my decision. Probably not girlfriend or wifey material.

  • Andrea

    Bethany, I’m right there with you. I WILL be kicking ass if I ever find out they treat a girl in such a cavalier fashion.

  • Snarktopus

    I must be the cheapest date ever, because if my husband EVER spent $200 on me for Valentine’s, I would smack him upside the head. Hell, if he spends more than $10 on me for Valentine’s, I’m tempted. Our exchange is as follows: I write him a sappy love note and make something special for dinner, he gets me candy and/or fancy dice.
    Jeez, when he got me my engagement ring I basically told him to roll both Christmas and Valentine’s into the ring.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Yup, I feel SO guilty even if my fella pays for the takeaway on a Friday Night!
      I went mad at him today cos not only did he get me flowers and a gorgeous card, he got me two boxsets AND a new game for the PS3.
      I nearly kicked butt until he told me- You work 6 days a week, you come home and look after me and the kids, kids that aren’t yours. You treat them like your own. That’s why we love you, that’s why I’m spoiling you so SHUSH!

      I shushed.

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    Well now I have to go watch Wayne’s World…

  • Alex Lee

    Nice try, Eve – but we are never breaking up.

    ///okay, never has now stopped looking like a real word.

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