Romance Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst  

Ashley Reign
64.2k votes 4.6k voters 85.9k views 28 items

List Rules Upvote the romantic, thoughtful gestures that you actually wish no one ever did for you.

Hopeless romantics love a good John Hughes movie because they give hope that no matter how bad the situation, true love wins in the end. However, as anyone who has ever dated can tell you, elaborate romantic gestures that work on-screen don't always work as well in real life. So the next time you’re reaching for ideas to declare your love, refer to this list of the worst romantic gestures of all time before you do anything. 

Before you decide to present your significant other with that giant teddy bear or hire a mariachi band to serenade them in public, scroll through this list of some of the worst romantic gifts, cheesy gestures, and just plain annoying attempts to impress. Then, take steps to keep them from ever happening to you.

Whether you are a budding romantic or are just tired of striking out, you are in luck here. These definite "don'ts" help put your best foot forward on your next date or at the very least keep you from tanking out the gate. Put away those racy undergarments you planned to gift your person for their birthday and study up on what not to do during your next relationship.

list ordered by

1
1,815 1,058
Kissing Someone Mid-Sentence is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Kissing Someone Mid-Sentence

It's plain rude to silence someone with a kiss. This gesture instead conveys to your person you aren't interested in what they have to say. 

2
1,931 1,154
Showing Up In The Shower Uninv... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Showing Up In The Shower Uninvited

It might seem super steamy in the movies, but the truth is shower time is one of the few personal moments most people get in a day. Unless you received an innuendo-laden invite to the shower stall, wait your turn. 

3
1,838 1,097
Making Out In The Rain is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Making Out In The Rain

Kissing in the rain ruin everyone's clothes. Plus, the droplets are cold, so in mere seconds, the gesture goes from slightly romantic to significantly uncomfortable. 

4
1,694 1,281
Proposing In A Super Public Pl... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Proposing In A Super Public Place

What if the other person turns you down? What if they only say "yes" because they don't want to embarrass you? So many things can go wrong with a public proposal. 

5
1,608 1,243
Showing Up Unexpectedly At The... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Showing Up Unexpectedly At Their House

Never go to someone's home uninvited. What if they're not even home? What if they are engaging in some bizarre solo ritual? What if they are taking a nap? The bottom line is showing up unexpectedly is just plain creepy. 

6
1,555 1,245
Watching Them Sleep is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Watching Them Sleep

Watching a sleeping person is an invasion of privacy. And it's more strange than romantic, to be honest. 

7
1,499 1,207
Throwing Them A Surprise Party is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Throwing Them A Surprise Party

Some people don't enjoy an ambush by a group of animated strangers and others would prefer to have a hand in planning a celebratory event. 

8
1,356 1,393
Initiating Spontaneous Sex In ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Initiating Spontaneous Sex In Super Uncomfortable Places

It's just not practical and depending on the location, it might not even be allowable. 

9
1,208 1,358
Spending An Hour Winning Them ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Spending An Hour Winning Them A Stuffed Animal At The Fair

You waste time and money. Moreover, if you're both adults, the sentiment is much less potent. 

10
1,051 1,265
Social Media PDA is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Social Media PDA

People on social media don't need to know everything that's happening in your relationship.

11
1,107 1,376
Surprising Them With An Unexpe... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Surprising Them With An Unexpected Pet

Gifting a pet is akin to saddling your person with years of potentially unwanted responsibility.

12
1,061 1,380
Buying A Giant Teddy Bear For ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Buying A Giant Teddy Bear For Valentine's Day

Where do you even store those giant teddy bears?

13
1,038 1,365
Trying To Pass Off Lingerie As... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Trying To Pass Off Lingerie As A Gift 

Lingerie is generally more of a gift for the giver versus the giftee. It can also fall flat if you don't know proper sizing or preferred style. 

14
889 1,181
Making Someone The Center Of A... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Making Someone The Center Of A Sappy Poem

If you're not Shakespeare, chances are your person won't be keen to listen to you pontificate through poetry about your feelings. 

15
971 1,295
Introducing Food Into Sex is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Introducing Food Into Sex

It makes everything messy. Also, if the wrong thing gets in the wrong place - well - you get the idea. 

16
886 1,212
Public Serenades is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Public Serenades

Public serenades make everyone uncomfortable.

17
803 1,134
Anything That's Ever Happened ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Anything That's Ever Happened In A Romantic Comedy

Romantic comedies tend to oversimplify everything. Nothing in real life will ever go according to plan quite the way it happens on the big screen. 

18
853 1,211
Getting Their Name Tattooed On... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Getting Their Name Tattooed On Yourself

Tattoos are very permanent and very painful. 

19
844 1,202
Hiring Musicians To Declare Yo... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Hiring Musicians To Declare Your Love Through Song

It's okay to declare your love without adding a third party with a guitar. 

20
785 1,122
Constant Attempts To Initiate ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Constant Attempts To Initiate PDA

PDA can be downright unsettling. The truth is it's unlikely the people in your general vicinity want to witness your public affection.

21
829 1,208
Hiding A Ring In Their Food/Co... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Hiding A Ring In Their Food/Cocktail

What if they swallow it? What if the contents of the drink ruin the jewelry? There are too many ways this one can go wrong. 

22
744 1,132
Assigning Them An Overly Chees... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Assigning Them An Overly Cheesy Nickname

Don't even utter cheesy nicknames outside of the privacy of your home.

23
683 1,202
Giving Roses With The Thorns S... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Giving Roses With The Thorns Still On

Are you trying to show your love or cause a prickly situation? Giving roses with thorns almost assuredly means the latter. 

24
655 1,202
Telling Them How Much Better T... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
Telling Them How Much Better They Are Than Your Ex

If you always compare your current love with your ex, ask yourself if you are truly over your former flame. 

25
620 1,180
'Defending Their Honor' By Pic... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Romantic Gestures That Are Actually the Worst
'Defending Their Honor' By Picking A Fight With The Ex

No one wants a current love to physically engage with an ex. Stay far away from this scenario.