If you’re in a relationship, you’ll know that a few things are expected of you come Valentine’s Day – and vice versa, of course.
The bear minimum is usually a thoughtless last-minute card, some flowers from Waterloo station on the way back from the office and maybe a meal out. For most of us, that’s more than enough – especially considering those flowers probably cost you £45 and the restaurant you’re off to is insisting you order off a special ‘Valentine’s Day menu’ that night.
Which just means pasta dishes for £35 and Prosecco bottles for £45.
That may seem like an acceptable amount of effort to most, but if you tried pulling that s**t with 22-year-old Chantal Blakey from Blackpool, you’d be newly-single right now.
Chantal, who starred on Season 2 of Channel 5’s Undercover Girlfriend, is such a keeno for the “magical” day, that she actually draws up a list of gifts and treats she expects to receive (yep, just like an Christmas list) and gives it to her fiancé Joe Kyles, ahead of the big day. Oh, and the celebrations have to go on for at least a week.
I’ve heard of people pulling this kind of diva s**t for big birthdays – any maybe when you’re 7 and it’s December – but this is something else. In fact, I think I hate love now.
According to Chantal she’s actually dumped boyfriends in the past for not living up to her Val Day expectations.
Here’s what Chantal told The Sun regarding her special relationship with Valentine’s Day. FYI, the names of her previous Valentine’s dates have been changed.
“When I was 13 I was dating a boy called Jack. I was so excited for my first Valentine’s Day, so when he gave me some fake flowers I was devastated.
“Aged 17, my boyfriend Tom told me he was taking me out for dinner, then pulled up at a KFC.
“I couldn’t understand why he thought KFC was romantic.
“He said he’d got a voucher for a free meal. I ended it over chicken wings.
“Then I dated Brad. He made an effort to take me out for a lovely meal and gave me flowers.
“But the next day I looked at the chocolates he’d given me and they were out of date. He’d bought them from the reduced rack.
“I had no choice but to end it.”
Yeah, that all makes sense.
Chantal revealed to The Sun that diamond jewellry, designer clothes, lingerie, a three-course home-cooked meal and a long weekend away at a five-star hotel were just some of the things on this year’s list, which she expected Joe to make happen.
“I start making lists for Valentine’s Day 11 months beforehand. It’s so important that it goes exactly right.
“This year my list tops £2,500 ($3,200). A big trend now is ‘flower bombing’. You get multiple bouquets of all different types sent throughout the day so your desk is ‘bombed’ with flowers.
“My list details the whole day and starts with rose petals on the bed and flowers when I wake up.
“I always want breakfast in bed – last year he made my favourite, pancakes with bacon and syrup.
“I always want a Valentine’s card in the morning and it has to have a long message in it.
“If it just says, ‘To Chantal, love Joe’, then I’d make him rewrite it.”
“Last year he followed my gift list to the letter and I opened a £400 pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, sexy lingerie, a £350 dress, £200 earrings, champagne, make-up, designer bath products and perfume.
“He booked a luxury meal and treated me to a five-star hotel spa weekend.
“He even arranged to have a fresh flower wall for us to have pictures taken in front of.
“I know people think I’m over the top but it’s important to me.”
To be fair to Chantal, Joe isn’t the only one putting in the leg-work come the big day.
Here’s what Chantal does to ensure her Valentine’s Day is nothing short of perfect:
“I start listening to my favourite love songs, watch my favourite rom-coms and start decorating the house with balloons, red hearts and pink love signs,” she said.
“In my eyes, nothing is more important than celebrating love.”
That must’ve all been on Joe’s list.
Actually, jokes aside, Joe doesn’t do too badly on Valentine’s Day.
“I do get him gifts. I’ve bought him a designer shirt and a watch, but I think the emphasis is on the woman to get spoilt.”
Fiancée Joe posted the following image and caption on Instagram yesterday, stating that he loves Chantal no matter what, and plans to spend just as much on her next Valentine’s Day:
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow