‘I want to fall in love again’

If her many fans are to be believed, Desiree (55) was a welcome guest in B&B full of love this year. She thought that Hans, whom she met in Italy, felt the same way. Still, things didn’t work out between the two. “We had a good time, but he wasn’t ready for a relationship, I noticed.”

Desiree: “I had a good life, I was happy. It’s never boring for me. ‘Experience it with Desiree, don’t ask how it’s possible, but take advantage of it’, say my friends. I have been single for sixteen years. Before that I was in a relationship for eleven years. I was engaged, we were going to get married. He was a widower and had three children. When they were teenagers, they didn’t always get along with me. Then he chose his children. It was difficult.
I had already bought a piece of land on which we wanted to build a house. My parents bought part of it, then we both built a house there. My father died suddenly three years ago. He suddenly fell over dead in the house, my mother found him at the top of the stairs.
She still lives next door to me. She has lost a lower leg due to a bacteria. I am her carer, she eats with me every day. I’m never alone. I have many friends and always have people over for dinner, drinks or concerts because I play recorder and alto, oboe, piano and I sing.
When I was with my mother for Christmas last year, I saw the appeal on TV from Hans, who lived in Italy and participated in Bed & breakfast full of love. I saw a pleasant, smooth man who was as well traveled as I was. I said to my mother: ‘Well, what a nice man, I can answer that.’ I gave up on the impulse.
I wondered if I would like to live in Italy. But I thought: let’s see if it clicks first. If he wanted to sell stuff there, I can do that too, and then we can live by the ocean together in Aruba, the Caribbean, or the Bahamas. And of course my mother comes along.”

Not pleased

“In retrospect, it turned out that a great many women had responded to Hans’ call. But when I was with him in Pistoia, I knew within a minute that I wouldn’t be happy there. It was quiet, there was little to do and financially things were not going well either. Furthermore, Hans’ ex also lived there. I quickly understood that he could not leave there for the next ten years due to a contract with his employer. So the idea of ​​living in the Caribbean was impossible anyway.
But I could talk to Hans. Very good. I was his favorite. The TV viewer saw nothing of it. I went out to dinner with him, we took the train to Florence to see the city and walked there hand in hand. Another candidate had already arrived before me, Hayriye. She didn’t like it at all, she didn’t even unpack her suitcase. In the end she went before me.
Hans also turned out to be different than I had thought. I don’t think he was ready for a relationship at all. He later said that himself on TV, but I already noticed that. When I came I had given him a present. But he hadn’t bought us anything. He made no compliments, asked no questions, and did a lot of talking himself. We had to prepare our own breakfast.”

The Pickle Rebellion

“One evening I wanted to cook, I’m good at that. As a side dish, I would make tuna salad. I had asked Hans the day before if he had things like pickles and mayonnaise in stock. That was all, he said. But that turned out not to be the case. I decided to ask his ex Libera about it, but because of the language barrier it didn’t go so well.
When I wanted to send Hans an app to ask if he could pick up the ingredients at the supermarket on the way home, Hayriye reacted with irritation. She thought I couldn’t. It became quite a commotion. Libera called Hans to say I was making a scene. To which Hans came home in a hurry.
In the end it didn’t work out for Hans. He said he didn’t fall for a woman like me. It didn’t bother me. We had a lovely day together. I think he actually liked me as a person, but not for how I had behaved. Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong. He finally sent me home. But I think he didn’t mean it that way and thought it was way too complicated. There are none of the other candidates left either.”

The fans

“I’m now used to the fame I got after participating in Bed & Breakfast full of love. It’s unprecedented: not a day goes by without people talking to me. Then they say they enjoyed me so much very much that they want my autograph and a picture with me. Even on the freeway, people will drive next to me. They honk and wave and take a picture so quickly. I like it, I like it.
I try to be nice to my fans, I always talk to them when I see them. ‘You’re going to hear a lot from me, I’m probably going to get my own TV show,’ I say. It is not yet clear what kind of program it will be. I’m so versatile, they can go in any direction with me. Test recordings have already been made. I didn’t even know I was that good at it. The Dutch public loves me. I have also received criticism, but I don’t care.
I’m still looking for a nice man to suit me. But it must add something to my life. I’m looking for someone who can stand over me. I don’t need a man for a nice house or a nice car, I have that myself. If he’s divorced and has kids and it’s all complicated, I don’t need that either – I just want to enjoy myself.
On the other hand, I also like the freedom I have now. I have many single men around me that I am friends with, but I am not in love with any of them. Yes, I want to fall in love again. Maybe I would prefer my fiance back. He was the perfect man for me then. I think he’s seen me on TV now. If he asked if I wanted to continue with him, I would do so immediately.”

Follow Desiree on Instagram? Search for desireevantons

Text: Ella Mae Wester
Photo: Yasmijn Tan

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