What it Means to Date in Berlin…

photo: Rowena Waack / CC

My name is Alix Berber. I’m a girl. I’m in my twenties. I’m bisexual. And my plan is to find Mr. or Mrs. Right(-ish). I’m here to take you on a journey, my dear reader. It will probably be a disastrous (and hopefully entertaining) ride, fueled by bad decisions, online-dating and all the madness that Berlin has to offer.

We all know that one couple that has been a solid, loving fixture on the canvas that is your social circle in Berlin. They’re not crazy in love (well, not anymore) but they stand on a solid platform of mutual affection and comfort. Look at them, marvel in their happy-ish-ness.
They’ll break up – that I promise you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some old hag of a spinster creeping behind bushes to shame happy couples. I was once just like them; in a happy, committed (albeit open) relationship for almost a decade. Going to Ikea, giving joint birthday presents to family members, commitment, love…

And one day I woke up and decided that this wasn’t for me anymore. Boom. That’s the scariest thing about love, isn’t it? That one morning the person waking up next to you decides that they no longer love you. I feel like my mom struggled with my breakup just as much as my ex-boyfriend. She would leave books titled “When Love Ends“ or “Guide To Staying Together: From Crisis to Deeper Commitment“ lying around the house over Christmas to remind me in a motherly loving yet passive-aggressive way how much she disapproved of my decision.

I was fine. I had fallen in love with someone my friends now refer to as “Voldemort“, “Muppet Boy“ or my personal favorite “Guantanamo Bae.” The moral of the story? Just because someone gives you orgasms that are the closest you’ll ever get to a religious experience doesn’t mean they are right for you.

I knew I had hit my personal rock bottom when I found myself crying in public on a low-cost-airline flight out of Berlin. But I was young and stupid then. A year later, I’m still young and stupid but I’m also horny for a meaningful relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on dates for the past months but mostly for my own amusement and distraction. It’s like getting back on a horse after you fall off. It’s all heels down, firm hands and face turned forward from this point on.

I’ve met my fair share of people I’d call “interesting“ (mostly for legal reasons). I went on one or more dates with some of them over the last couple of years. I ended up falling in love with very few. Yet the only thing they all have in common is that I’ve shared bits of my time with them. Some of these people became (big) plot points on my journey while others turned into footnotes. This column will be a platform for stories as well as what it means to date in Berlin, the capitol of the notoriously unattached. I will venture out of my (and hopefully your) comfort zone to find the one person that will make both my heart race and my loins quiver. I will tell stories of desire, infatuation and heartbreak.

Armed with nothing but my dazzling intellect, my startling good looks and a staggering sense of entitlement, I recently compiled a list of attributes I would want my potential partner to have (inspired by a TED talk titled “How I hacked online dating“). As it turns out, my standards are as high as my morals are low.

Text: Alix Berber

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Alix Berber is iHeartBerlin’s newest 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.

You can follow Alix on Twitter and Facebook.


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