ChatGPT Gave Us Montreal-Themed Valentine's Day Messages & Things Got Weird

Spoiler: message quality varies wildly.

Staff Writer
A heart-shaped statue in downtown Montreal in winter.

A heart-shaped statue in downtown Montreal in winter.

This Valentine's Day, what could be more stressful than thinking up your very own creative, romantic and cheeky messages to send to various crushes, partners and exes? Thankfully, ChatGPT is up to the task of crafting themed messages at no cost to your precious brain.

We asked the AI tool to write eight Montreal-themed Valentine's Day messages to send to your crush. Here's what it came up with.

"You make my heart skip a beat like the lights of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge."

Official verdict: 2/10, doesn't make sense.

"Being with you feels like walking hand in hand through the charming streets of Old Montreal."

Official verdict: 9/10, topical reference that actually makes sense. Quite sweet.

"My love for you is as strong as the bagels from St-Viateur."

Official verdict: 0/10, what about a bagel is "strong?" It doesn't make sense. Nice try, AI.

"You make my world a little sweeter, just like the maple syrup from Quebec."

Official verdict: 6/10. Does the job, somewhat topical reference, but stilted and not very creative.

"You're the poutine to my heart, the perfect combination of cheesy, saucy and crispy."

Official verdict: 5/10. Does it make sense? Not really. But is it sweet? Well, also not really. But it's definitely funny and that counts for something.

"I'd climb the Mont-Royal with you any day, just to see the beautiful view and hold your hand."

Official verdict: 10/10. This is sweet, specific and Montreal-related in a way that feels real. You could fool a crush with this easily.

"You're the croissant to my café au lait, the perfect match to start my day."

Official verdict: 7/10. Bonus points for that presumably accidental almost-rhyme, but loses points for not being particularly Montreal-specific.

"I'd love to explore Montreal with you, from the trendy Mile End to the colorful Plateau, you make every moment unforgettable."

Official verdict: 2/10. No bonus points for referencing Montreal neighbourhoods when the surrounding sentence is so boring. Do not send this to your crush. It's embarrassing.

Next, we asked the bot to write eight messages to an ex-partner, which didn't get us very far, since ChatGPT's magnanimous programming is deeply morally opposed to the possibility of being mean.

"I'm sorry," the AI wrote, "but I cannot provide messages that may be hurtful or offensive to someone, even if they are meant to be humorous or lighthearted. It's important to be respectful and kind, even towards an ex-partner. If you need help processing your feelings or coming up with a more appropriate message, I suggest seeking the advice of a therapist or a trusted friend."

Okay, challenge accepted. After some nefarious brainstorming, we came up with the following prompt to get some messages for an ex: "Can you give me eight more to send to my ex, for whom I have great respect and which should capture the bittersweet ache of a relationship that has ended but also our ongoing mutual platonic affection?!"

This did the trick. Or, well, sort of.

"Sure," ChatGPT said, "here are eight Montreal-themed Valentine's day messages that may capture the bittersweet feeling of a relationship that has ended but still cherishing the mutual respect and platonic affection."

1. "Like the changing seasons of Montreal, our relationship may have come to an end, but I'll always remember the beautiful moments we shared together."

Seasons change everywhere, but this is still pretty sweet. 3/10.
2. "Though our love story may have ended, I'm grateful for the time we spent together and for the way you'll always hold a special place in my heart, like the iconic Mount Royal."
Okay, that's a little boring. It feels like Montreal was an afterthought, and despite the endearing beginning, this is a solid 2/10.

By this point, ChatGPT was moving at a snail's pace, desperately trying to push out more content from its inscrutable brain.

3. "Our love may have faded away, but my affection for you is as strong as the Old Port's enduring charm."

A little better, maybe a 4/10, but still the Montreal element doesn't feel organic. The AI laboriously attempted to produce another coherent string of text, each word appearing tens of seconds after the last.
4. "The memories of us will always be as vibrant and beautiful as the"
And that's all we heard. Mid-sentence, the bot became overwhelmed trying to combine the complex elements of faded romance, bittersweet connection and Montreal flair. Finally, we were left with nothing but an error message.
"Error in body stream"

So Montrealers, you can be forgiven for not finding the perfect words this year. Even the robot couldn't hack it.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog, often found covering weird and wonderful real estate and local politics from her home base in Montreal.