Credit: Dont Fret

Romance isn’t as much boring as it is fucking dead, having been dragged out back and executed shortly after the importance of the profile pic surpassed that of the phone call. If you still buy bouquets of flowers and win giant stuffed animals at carnivals, then bully for you; but you’re a dying breed, and honestly, we here at the Reader couldn’t care less about your romantic conquests. We want the dirt, the tragedy, the hate (i.e., we want to feel better about ourselves).

So to do proper justice to Valentine’s Day in this age of romantic ignorance, we asked that you share your least romantic tales (and tweets). To show how the death of romance has been in the making for several years now, we delved deep into the Reader archives and extracted a selection of dismal Missed Connections submissions from the 90s—because what’s more libido killing than shopping at the Gap and Rollerblading? For those of you who simply refuse to give up on this most outdated of holidays, we sought out the most digestible Valentine’s Day dining menus, as well as the best goings-on around the, ahem, holiday (of course, we couldn’t help but throw in our own Anti-Valentine’s Day party at Logan Square Auditorium). And for the hell of it—and it was torture, for sure—we built a flowchart to instruct you on how to be romantic this Valentine’s Day. Heed our advice with caution, though. One small misstep and you’re sure to die alone.

Advice on being romantic this V-Day

Dumbed down and put in flowchart form (you’re welcome)

A sampling of our favorite #leastromantic tweets

@Chicago_Reader asked for ’em, and you dug deep.

Reader readers share their least romantic stories

Futilely Looking For Love in Grand Rapids

By Bianca Sarah Bova

The Pain of a Half-Eaten Burger

By Ruth McCormack

The Language of Love Does Have Borders

By Bill Mayeroff

Thrown Into the Abyss

By Elyse Doll

The Agony of Arrogance

By Nicole NeSmith

Romance in the 90s (or lack thereof)

As seen through the lens of vintage Missed Connections