News - February 14, 2019

FAILENTINE - What was your biggest romantic flop?

Luuk Zegers,Gina Ho

Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance, but it can lead to awkward situations. So Resource went looking for the worst bloopers, the most memorable rejections and the biggest romantic flops. In short: who was your Failentine?

Text Luuk Zegers and Gina Ho illustration Henk Ruitenbeek

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Tony Gunawan

Master's student of Organic Agriculture

‘When I was a teenager I met this girl on Friendster (a social media website). We were chatting non-stop for three months and we agreed to meet up on Valentine’s Day in a shopping mall, as you do in Indonesia. I got there full of happiness and huge expectations. When we did meet, though, I was disappointed and she probably was too. With hindsight, no one would ever live up to the imagination you’ve built up after three very intense months. She was taking a lot of time hesitating about whether she should leave her friends and come hang out with me alone. I was annoyed so I just stormed off, as teenagers do. When her friends called out to me, I didn’t know why but I started running for my life, and for some reason they all started chasing after me. And there I was, running away from a group of girls in a huge shopping centre on Valentine’s Day. I’ve done a lot less running away since then.’

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Natascha van Lieshout

Junior researcher at Plant Breeding, Wageningen Plant Research

‘When I was 20 I went out with a classmate. Unfortunately, I hadn’t heard his name properly when we first met, but he had very long hair, a curly moustache and a goatee beard so he looked very like a musketeer. I thought his name was Aramis, just like one of the three musketeers. We started dating and after a while, a friend told me, “That’s not his name at all”. But by then we’d been dating too long for me to ask him his name, so I just used pet names like ‘sweetie’. After six months, we were chatting and I told him how bad I was at remembering names. He suddenly asked me, “Do you know my name, actually?” And I had to tell the truth. He asked: “We’ve been dating for six months, how can you not know my name? Couldn’t you have asked my friends?” But all his friends though it was funny that I didn’t know his name, and he wasn’t on any social media so I couldn’t check it. He’s called Armin, so I wasn’t far off. It was awkward, but he did forgive me.’

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Anoniempje I

Bachelor’s student of Health and Society (name known to the editors)

‘At my secondary school you could send each other lollies on Valentine’s Day. I was in the final year and my boyfriend was in the same class. The lollies were brought around during Social Studies. My teacher was a joker and he decided to read out all the notes. The note to me said, “You’ll get my lolly later”. The whole class burst out laughing and so did the teacher. I nearly died of embarrassment, and my boyfriend was even more embarrassed, I think.’

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Lukasz Grus

Assistant professor of Geo-information Science and education coordinator for Data Science

‘It’s not a real failure but since I’ve had a girlfriend – now my wife – I am rather torn on Valentine’s Day. Christmas is a tradition you grow up with. You feel the atmosphere as a child, so you develop a feel for it. But Valentine’s Day wasn’t a big thing here when I was little. It’s not part of our culture, originally, so it feels like something imposed on us by American influences. Nowadays the supermarket is all red from the beginning of February. It’s a day that is about love and emotions. Someone decided that you have to do something romantic on this particular day. It feels artificial. But I do usually do something for my wife on Valentine’s Day, because she likes having a surprise. And if you don’t do anything, there’ll be a row at home.’


Luuk Zegers

Education and student editor at Resource

‘I was 20 and I was on an internship in Hilversum. Every day after work I passed a shop on Utrecht Central Station where they sold delicious apple pie and it just so happened that a beautiful girl worked there. Every day that she was working, I admired her lovely smile and so I had to buy an apple pie, although I couldn’t really afford it as a student, of course. At some point I couldn’t face another apple pie, but I did want to see her. It was nearly Valentine’s Day so I plucked up all my courage and decided to ask her out. She said, “yes, why not?” and I went home with a big smile on my face. Once we were having a drink, though, it soon became obvious that we didn’t have much in common. After a couple of drinks, I wanted to pay the bill. Bleep bleep: balance too low. I’d had too many apple pies to be able to pay for the drinks.’

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Anoniempje II

Master’s student of Plant Sciences (name known to the editors)

‘I’d had very nice contact with a boy on Tinder. As we chatted, he asked me to go to an open day at some place where they made boat engines. I thought: funny place for a first date, but okay! So I went along. When I saw him for real, he was not at all like he was on Tinder. When we messaged, he talked very fluently but on our date he hardly said a thing. I tried to keep the conversation going by asking questions like, “what is this engine for?” but it really was very awkward. That’s Tinder: people can look very different in the flesh, and behave very differently. After about 40 minutes of awkwardness, he asked if I wanted another cup of coffee. I made up something about a Skype appointment and went away.’