It’s Valentine’s Day, something a few years ago no self-respecting Dutch man or woman would think worthy of mention. Alas, this Anglo-American celebration of Cupid has become latest foreign fad to get the commercially-minded Dutch going.
Not everyone has fallen for the marketing hype, however. A survey by ING economists in 2016 found just one in five Dutch people planned to give their loved one a Valentine’s Day gift and the average amount they spend is €16. We admire their thriftiness. Here’s 11 more reasons why Dutch partners need to be celebrated.
1. A Dutch boyfriend will give you flowers – even if you don’t live in the same country. One member of the DutchNews.nl crew was the envy of all her flatmates in London while in a long-distance relationship with a Dutchman. Every week, a beautiful bouquet of flowers would be delivered to her door.
2. A Dutch boyfriend will treat you as an equal and won’t patronise you by paying for everything. So don’t forget your purse when you go on a date.
3. Dutch men are not afraid to wear pink. The Ajax football club pink kit from the 2013-14 season is still a much sought-after item.
4. A Dutch boyfriend will not tell you that you look fine in that too-tight dress worn with those shoes. He will tell you that you should put something else on.
5. Dutch men are tall – mostly – and often handsome.
6. A Dutch boyfriend knows how to fix your bike, fix your coffee machine and fix your dinner (stamppot).
7. A Dutch boyfriend knows how to do all those Dutch things that you don’t learn about in inburgering classes: read the water meter, tip the newspaper delivery people and get adequate insurance.
8. Dutch boyfriends are down-to-earth about bedroom issues and they are not afraid of contraception. Little wonder then that the Netherlands has the lowest rate of teenage motherhood in the entire EU and one of the lowest abortion rates in the world.
9. When they are ready to embrace fatherhood, usually in their early 30s, Dutch boyfriends make great fathers. Go to any park in the Netherlands on a sunny Wednesday afternoon and you are sure to find a good sprinkling of dads and their offspring, enjoying what has become known as a papadag.
10. Dutch boyfriends are family-orientated. They will expect to celebrate your birthday and they will expect you to celebrate their mother’s.
11. Your Dutch boyfriend will put you on the back of a bike and whizz you through town. Dutchmen not romantic? Nonsense.
Before anyone gets indignant about our focus on Dutch men, the DutchNews.nl male team members tell us almost all of the above could be applied to Dutch women… although pink is usually confined to little girls.
*Riding it Dutch Style features Rutger Hauer and Monique van der Ven from the classic Dutch film Turks Fruit.