Nick Clegg promised a "surprise" for wife Miriam today to make up for the fact that they are spending Valentine's Day apart.
But the deputy prime minister resisted an invitation to send a Valentine message of love during a live radio interview from Mozambique, saying it would be too "schmaltzy".
Clegg, 46, is spending the romantic day 6,000 miles away from his 44-year-old wife, on a three-day visit to Africa as part of the UK's presidency of the G8 group of rich nations.
During an interview on LBC 97.3 radio, he was asked whether he would be in trouble with his wife for missing Valentine's Day.
He replied: "I think I've been married long enough that maybe it is not quite the issue it might have been a decade and a half ago, or 20 years or more, when we first met.
"A surprise is on its way to Miriam and I don't think I should announce it on the radio because it would ruin the surprise."
Presenter Nick Ferrari told Clegg he could use the opportunity of his live interview to send Miriam a message.
But the Deputy Prime Minister laughed off the suggestion, saying: "I could, but I don't want to turn this show into quite the schmaltzy one it would become if I did."
Clegg met his Spanish-born wife when they were studying in Belgium more than 20 years ago. They married in 2000 and have three sons.