Feel the love this Valentine’s Day by reading through a selection of University of York tales of romance from Alumni Voices
Felipe & Rosa
The first time Rosa and I met was during one of the salsa lessons of the ‘Latin American Society’. Rosa had just arrived from Seville, Spain to do her Erasmus year.
We were introduced by a friend we had in common and since then we became inseparable. We always found an excuse to be together; study sessions in the Piazza building, nachos in the courtyard, coffee breaks in the kitchen, watching tennis in the nucleus of Goodricke and Zumba in the Department of Theatre.
What started as friendship slowly became something more. We will always cherish our time in York and hope to be back soon for another beer in D-bar.
Rosa is currently doing a PhD in University College of Dublin and I am doing an MBA in Trinity College. We couldn’t be more happy of the couple we have become since our first interaction in York. We still go to salsa lessons once per week and have nachos together. We have been able to find a bit of York in Dublin.
“We have been able to find a bit of York in Dublin.”Felipe
Jasmine & Raizal
We met at the first Malaysian society event of the year. I didn’t know anyone there and neither did he. I decided to sit next to him as he was sitting alone and just started chatting.
During winter break, I wanted to travel but didn’t know anyone yet. I decided to randomly Facebook message him and ask if he’d like to travel with me. He agreed, and we went to Malta together.
At the time, neither one of us had feelings for one another. We started hanging out more and eventually became part of a group of friends who’d hangout and play boardgames almost every single day. As time passed, we started spending more and more time away from the group and just enjoying having a friend around.
One day he finally confessed his feelings for me and I panicked. He was my best friend, and I didn’t feel the same way he did. I promised I would go on one date just to show how much we wouldn’t work out, but on that date, I realised I was already in love with him.
We have a lot of fond memories of uni; eating together after classes at Alcuin’s food hall, going on walks around the beautiful campus, playing board games with our friends. We often spent time around York, hanging out at our favourite hidden cafe in the city and having picnics by the garden.
We came back to York for our graduation after Covid, and took some photos for our wedding. We are now happily married and living in Malaysia.
York will always be my favourite city: the city I fell in love with, and the city I found love in.
“I promised I would go on one date just to show how much we wouldn’t work out, but on that date, I realised I was already in love with him.”Jasmine
Fiona & Kirsty
The University of York and love is a family affair. My mum and dad both went to university here. The first person my mum spoke to was Dad and the best man at their wedding, so I was aware I should be careful who I spoke to! Kirsty and I met on the women’s rugby team. Kirsty remembers my first training session really well and although it wasn’t love at first sight, there was definite interest.
On my first social of ‘Cops and Robbers’, as a fresher, I had to be handcuffed to a second/ third year; Kirsty and I were handcuffed together. After a few months of talking and a legendary Friday night social at the Derrymore Arms, the rest is history.
We got married in 2014 and bought our first house in 2016. We both love York and are very settled here, we never thought about moving elsewhere. We occasionally like to go back to campus to think about ‘the good old days’.
“On my first social of ‘Cops and Robbers’, as a fresher, I had to be handcuffed to a second/ third year; Kirsty and I were handcuffed together.”Fiona
Jenna & Seb
I met my now-husband in the spring term of first year, whilst working at the same bar. He had graduated the year before but remained living in York.
We quickly fell in love. Before we knew it, I had (accidentally but wonderfully) fallen pregnant, and our little girl was born on the last day of second term in second year.
We got married the following July. I continued with my degree whilst she was a little baby and didn’t take any time off, and regularly had her on campus with me. My husband was incredibly supportive and both he and my little bean were there every step of the way!
Our family has now expanded and we have two little girls and an adorable cat and dog.
“We quickly fell in love. Before we knew it, I had (accidentally but wonderfully) fallen pregnant, and our little girl was born on the last day of second term in second year.”Jenna
Beth & Dan
We met in the undergraduate teaching labs in our first ever lab session. We were in the same college and therefore ended up in the same lab group. He thought I was Irish (in spite of his own Irish heritage) and called me, ‘Irish Beth’ (I’m from the North East!). He made lab days feel a lot less stressful by always making me laugh.
We were good friends for a few years, we’d get Browns sandwiches for lunch on lab days and bump into each other on nights out. We started dating in our third year (of a four year course), which apparently none of our friends were shocked by.
We’ve known each other for seven and a half years now and been dating for five and half years. We live together in Sheffield while I finish up my PhD; Dan has been a huge source of support throughout; then we plan to move, hopefully to Cambridge; get our dream jobs and buy a house together. We’re making plans for our future together!
“He made lab days feel a lot less stressful by always making me laugh.”Beth
Maria & George
We met during our very first term at York, at the ‘Doctor Who Society’! After one of the society meet-ups a few of us went to play pool but George and I ended up talking until 3am in JJ’s. I wasn’t really sure if I’d ever see him again after that night, but hoped I would.
Fortunately, we both continued to go to the society each week and our first date was either going to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire or a night out in York (Evil Eye, Stone Roses, Dusk, then onto Willow). While we both love the whole city, our special places are probably the campus itself and my second and third year house on Bad Bargain Lane.
We got married in March 2022 in York, after buying a house together a few years ago. We still live in the area because we love the city (and each other!) every bit as much as we did years ago, and I recently returned to the university for work.
We like to spend our weekends out in nature, taking photos of wildlife (including the campus ducks), or cooking and planning our next holiday. Sometimes we still even watch ‘Doctor Who’.
“Sometimes we still even watch ‘Doctor Who’.”Maria
Rhyanna & Jordan
Jordon and I first clocked eyes during Freshers Week on the ‘Viking Raid’. We then started talking to each other in lectures and picked similar modules on the course.
Our first official date was (very cliche) on Valentine’s Day but Jordon likes to point out that our first date was actually when he invited me to his accommodation at James College and cooked me a meal. This was a ‘Pot Noodle’ – something I had never eaten before (I grew up in Spain and it’s definitely not a Spanish delicacy). He gave me a piece of paper as a tray! Who says romance is dead?
We had a lot in common as we both wanted to be teachers. We weren’t sure dating at university was a good idea but we gave it a go. 10 years later we are now husband and wife (after two postponed weddings due to Covid).
We both teach English at secondary school level and love what we do. We now live in Manchester and have a dog called, ‘Gatsby’. The plan is to eventually move back to York and start a family.
“Our first official date was (very cliche) on Valentine’s Day.”Rhyanna
Gerard and Mary
I don’t think I or Mary can say exactly where or when we first met, except that it was on campus. One reason we have different memories of that occasion is that it was more than 50 years ago.
Mary graduated in 1971 and returned to work in the Biology Department two years later. I studied Philosophy and started as a mature student at York in 1970. After our summer together, I moved to Oxford. The demands of finding permanent employment meant that Mary left York in 1977 and by 1980 I had taken a job in Denmark and we lost touch.
With the advent of electronic communication, I traced Mary online and on 19 July 2005 she made her first visit to meet me again. She recognised me at the airport as I was wearing a University of York T-shirt.
For the next ten years, we travelled between our home towns in the U.K and Denmark as well as visiting European capitals and the Baltic States.. Finally, when we had both retired, on the 29 January 2015, I moved from Denmark to settle with Mary in the U.K. A long time and ours was a long journey.
Now we are in our seventies – it has been 50 years since we first met at York. That shows perseverance!
“With the advent of electronic communication, I traced Mary online.”Gerard
Thom & Hannah
We met on the very first day as we were both living in the same block in Derwent. We were coupled up within a week thanks to ‘Access All Areas’ and a few alcoholic beverages! Our first official date was at an Italian restaurant called, ‘Tuscany’ (sadly long gone).
14 years later and still going strong. In 2018 we took a career break and travelled around the world including a quick stop off in Las Vegas to get married!
We are both chartered accountants. We lived down South for a few years after graduation before the lure of Yorkshire beckoned us back and we are now happily ensconced just outside of Leeds. We are both keen walkers and so love the fact that the Dales and Moors are just on the doorstep.
“In 2018 we took a career break and travelled around the world including a quick stop off in Las Vegas to get married!”Thom
Ashleigh & Mark
Mark and I met when friends of mine directed us in a ‘Drama Society’ show. A wonderful friendship flourished over the course of the rehearsals and we became incredibly close – I remember thinking how amazing it was that someone I had only met a few months ago could understand me so well.
We decided to use the Christmas holidays to try and take a break from talking every day; we were both hesitant to ruin a great friendship by dating, or getting into a relationship too soon. However, we ended up texting throughout the Christmas holidays.
On returning to York, Mark invited himself over to my house to ‘catch-up’ during our first week back and it was then that we decided to, and I quote, ‘give this a go’. And give it a go we did!
We spent the next year and a half, until I graduated, performing in shows together with both CHMS and the Drama Society and exploring York as a couple. We were lucky enough to make amazing friends there too, who were friends to us both long after graduation. Our ‘dates’ often consisted of visiting York Theatre Royal, or coffee and cake at Gatehouse Cafe! Mark and I now live in Essex together.
We got married in May 2021, after Covid ruined our plans three times, which was the most wonderful day. We make sure to head back up to York at least once a year, just to reminisce where and when we met. York will always have a very special place in our hearts!
“I remember thinking how amazing it was that someone I had only met a few months ago could understand me so well.”Ashleigh
Harriet & Freddie
Freddie and I met on the first day of university. We were both moving into the top floor of B3 in James College and Freddie knocked on my door to introduce himself. I thought he was the funniest person I’d ever met and spent most dinners at the Roger Kirk Centre laughing at his jokes. I think our housemates knew before I did that I liked him!
We hung out together everyday and started officially dating in October. We both loved going out to the clubs in York, especially Salvo’s! Freddie was involved in a lot of sports, including rowing and badminton, whereas I joined the more obscure ‘Cat Soc’ and ‘Swift Soc’, as well as volunteering with ‘RAG’.
We knew we wanted to live together in second year so signed for a house with some of our B3 housemates, who we lived with in third year as well. We both really enjoyed our time at York; a particularly fond memory was the Summer Ball in our third year – we spent the whole evening together dancing and celebrating our time at York together.
Freddie and I live in Leeds by the river. At the weekends we love exploring all the nearby Yorkshire villages and going for walks in the Dales. We particularly like to try Sunday roasts! We love visiting York and reminiscing about our time there, although we haven’t been back on campus.
Freddie asked me to marry him in the Lake District in September 2022, exactly 7 years since we first met at York! We’re hoping to get married in 2024 somewhere in beautiful Yorkshire.
“I think our housemates knew before I did that I liked him!”Harriet
Grace & Poppy
We met during the third lockdown in January 2021; I was in my third year and Poppy was in her second year, studying Politics. We met online and spent our first date on a socially distanced walk to the ‘Beekeeping Society’ beehives in Heslington. I was the president of ‘Bee Soc’ at the time and had to feed the bees some winter food. I was running late and when I saw her standing waiting she was just the most beautiful person I’d ever seen.
For our second date we went on another socially distanced walk into York, we got a takeaway coffee and sat on the back steps of the City Screen, which was my favourite place to watch the sunset. We sat and talked for hours until it was completely dark and we were completely frozen; and I fell in love with her.
After our fifth date, feeding the campus waterfowl and looking for Longboi, I told her I loved her and asked her to be my girlfriend. Thankfully, she said yes. I taught her how to beekeep that summer and she went on to take over from me as BeeSoc president. We both graduated in 2022, moved in together and started our first graduate jobs; I work for the University as part of York Conferences and Poppy is now an education worker. In June we went on our first holiday and she asked me to marry her at sunset on the beach, little did she know I had intended to do the same and pulled out a ring for her. We both said yes!
We got engaged in June 2022 and have our wedding booked for May 2024. We have just bought our first house and are excited to move into it with our little dog, ‘Chester.’
“I was running late and when I saw her standing waiting she was just the most beautiful person I’d ever seen.”Grace
Sophie & Ant
I met Ant when I was in my final year of my BA, and he in his MA year.
I worked for YUSU bars, and was mainly based in the Glasshouse. Ant lived on campus, so he would come into the Glasshouse for breakfast. There was a piano in the room, and he would often be playing it as I arrived. It was such a nice start to my shift, and I was both impressed by his playing and his confidence to do so in front of me!
We slowly got to know each other over a term, and eventually started to spend time with each other outside of work. The rest is history!
We moved in together in the second year of my MA. We decided to get married, and announced our engagement in 2019. We had a pandemic wedding in 2021, getting married at Fountains Abbey with the maximum 30 guests. In July 2022, we welcomed our little girl, Robin.
We studied different subjects, have different interests and were in different academic years. We would never have met if not at university, had I not taken shifts at the Glasshouse, or had he not lived on campus. This lovely life that we now share together would look very different!
“There was a piano in the room, and he would often be playing it as I arrived.”Sophie
Thank you to all of our alumni couples who submitted their stories to us – we’ve loved hearing about how you met and how far you’ve come together! If you’d like to have your own love story featured, please fill in this form.
Keep up with more love stories over the coming weeks on our social media channels with the tag @UoYAlumni