photos: Kinga Cichewicz.
Just when I thought that being single in Berlin couldn’t possibly get any harder, the level of difficulty has skyrocketed because of the pandemic. It feels like suddenly, one is basically stripped of all the cool Berlin single life privileges but has to carry all of its burdens. Ironically, in pre-Corona times, singles would sometimes get annoyed by some of the very things that actually can bring us solace in the current circumstances of isolation.
A Single Bed
A single bed might not be a part of the perfect scenario for having someone over, but it’s quite practical nowadays. First of all, it affords you more space in what might be an already crowded WG room – so you might be able to throw down your yoga mat and try to get into some much-needed mindfulness. Secondly, you need way less time to make a single bed up, which can be a good morning ritual and half the battle for those of us who find it hard to get on with their daily schedule.
Being a Nerd
Unless you’re really into electronic music, being a nerd might not have served you well on Berlin’s dating scene. Remember all those possible partners, bored out of their minds on dates that were made of high percentages of awkward silence? Well, now the joke seems to be on them because having a niche hobby to keep you entertained is a legitimate coping strategy in times that require you to stay at home.
Inviting someone over when you’re not living alone might result in some pretty awkward bathroom trips and, depending on how tolerant your flatmates are, receiving some noise complaints the next morning. Yet in Corona times, all these considerations seem to be secondary: what matters is simply having someone to talk to that isn’t a tattered David Bowie poster you got at Mauerpark in the summer when you just moved to Berlin.
Living Outside of the Ring
An address outside of the ring is usually not especially sought after and basically makes you think twice about every single outing that doesn’t happen to fall on a weekend and thus involves you planning your night trip back home without the BVG available. But when there are no outings to plan or parties to attend, you get to appreciate the feeling of anonymity you likely have in your uncool neighborhood. It goes along with the lessened likelihood of running into someone you know and spares you the possibly cruel answer to the question of whether they’re not running to greet you because of Corona or because they’ve totally moved on.
The Internal clock
In the past, you could blame your internal clock for falling asleep on the Ringbahn home or not being able to follow your friends to the club, but it’s a whole other ballgame these days. You can only be grateful for a biological mechanism that helps you differentiate between night and day and therefore maintain some structure in times of self-isolation.