illustrations: Berk Karaoglu
I came across an article offering “Unique Ways to Meet Quality People”. Since dating apps have become a haunt for the visually unfortunate and dull over the last years I was keen to find other options to acquire a “quality” mate. Please humor me when I say that I’m not quite sure how to spot a “quality person” in the wild and the guide offers little advice on that matter. But I wasn’t going to be stopped by such a minor obstacle. I followed the instructions step by step (or as close as personally possible). Here is what happened…
1. Find a Hobby
(“Try making a match at meet-up groups, classes, trade shows, and conferences.”)
To my surprise and disappointment having the masturbation habits of a 14-year-old boy somehow doesn’t count as a “hobby” per se. In an attempt to find such avocation, I tried to come up with things that I enjoy: waiting for death, eating dry cornflakes straight from the box at 3am, and writing. As you’ll have keenly observed, my dear reader, the commonality transpires to be “not wearing pants” and “being alone.” It dawned on me that I might not be the “hobby” type.
2. Become Cultured
(“Scope out singles at a book signing or investigate which museums in your area offer after-hours singles mixers.”)
At this point I could have realized that this experiment might have been a mistake. Thankfully, there is no such thing as bovine as “singles-mixers” in Berlin museums. I went to the Gemäldegalerie anyway. Standing in front of Caravaggio’s Victorious Cupid I had the sublime opportunity to witness American tourists opinionating over Cupid’s rather provocatively bared scrotum (“Oh my gosh, Robert!”). “But what about hot singles?” I hear you ask. Well, the only close personal encounter that afternoon was a guard following me around, literally breathing down my neck. I’ll put that down as “possible erotic experience for people entirely starved of human touch”.
3. Play the Numbers Game
(“When you are the only woman in a sports bar or the only guy in a yoga class, your odds increase exponentially.”)
Since I don’t care for watching sports, I tried to remember where I had last seen reasonably attractive singles in my area (the ones pop ups on dodgy websites keep telling me about them). I ended up in a hot yoga class. Although I had previously deluded myself
into thinking that a simple “dead bug pose” would attract a mate, the reality of marinating in my own sweat and regret while grabbing my feet was very different. The truth of hot yoga is that you’re more likely to hear the person you fancy moaning to cover their farts than in the throes of ecstasy. I would imagine that’s the level of intimacy you reach shortly before the divorce papers come in, rather than before a first date.
4. Phone a Friend
(“These are the people who are in your life who might know the type of person you would want to date.”)
As I hate phone conversation and 99% of my friends do too, the common reaction was: “Why on earth would you call me if it isn’t an emergency!?”. I took to Facebook asking friends to tag someone I should date. The only reaction came from my mom who tagged my ex-boyfriend. Thanks, mom.
If you love your friends, I recommend not using them as suggestion bots. There is no scenario in which you’ll ever be able to enjoy one of their house parties again. Unless “John from Accounting” was deliberately dis-invited. Believe me when I say there is no bounce back from “I don’t think I should meet your parents after just one date.” Not for him anyway.
5. Don’t Trivialize Trivia
(“Attending a trivia night at a local bar is the perfect way to score a date who is sexy and smart.”)
I love trivia nights because I love knowledge and I’m a show-off. Yet having been brought up watching 00’s reality tv, there seems to be an unshakable dissonance between what trivia night means to me vs what it means to other people. Let’s be honest: I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win.
Turns out (to my obvious surprise), that no one wants to date someone that JUST FUCKING HUMILIATED THEM in the quick fire-round. I’m sorry, cutie at table 3, this isn’t amateur hour. You really should have done some reading on leisure culture in 17th century Norway before coming here.
6. Use Your Feet and Open Your Eyes
(“Opt for walking or taking public transportation so you can come face to face with other singles.”)
I love public transport, especially in Berlin. So, I hopped on the next Ringbahn to try my luck. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I rode it for three rounds (that’s three hours!), hoping to engage some hottie in a staring contest of passion. To cut it short: I didn’t find love, but did acquire a copy of “Motz”, a leaflet about the dangers of “chemtrails” and an invitation to an “open meeting” of what I’m sure is a cult. My journey to love and passion was abruptly cut short when it became apparent that my Monatskarte had expired. The only man chasing me that day was a BVG ticket inspector.
Exhausted and disillusioned about the apparent lack of “quality people” in Berlin I went home, ordered pizza and watched some porn. But my dear reader, what did I learn?
I mean, what didn’t I learn!? Apparently, I’m completely unable to bag myself a quality mate whatsoever, even when following such an enlightening guide. I truly must be hopeless. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be writing this column for all our entertainment if I wasn’t.
Text: Alix Berber, Illustrations: Berk Karaoglu
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Alix Berber is iHeartBerlin’s dating columnist. The Tattletale Heart tells stories of desire, infatuation and the ghosts of lovers past. They are the dating-chronicles of a hopeless romantic with serious trust issues in the capital of the notoriously unattached.