During his first period living in The Hague (1869–1873), Vincent had contact with the Haanebeek family, distant relations of his. It is likely that he was in love with one of them, Carolina “Caroline” Adolphina Haanebeek (1852–1926). His love went unrequited, however, and in 1873 Caroline married Willem Jacob van Stockum (1846–1900). Vincent’s brother Theo, in turn, fell in love with Caroline’s sister Jannetje “Annet” Haanebeek; she died in 1875 after an illness, to Theo’s great sorrow. Vincent’s friendly feelings for Caroline – in spite of her failure to return his love – are evidenced in several letters he sent her and her husband from London. He told them he retained happy memories of evenings with the family at Lange Poten. While living in London, Vincent advised his brother Theo, who had just moved to The Hague:
During his second period living in The Hague (27 November 1881–11 September 1883), however, Vincent rarely mentioned the friends who had played such a prominent role during his first stay.