The Berlin Dating Scene: Underground and Hard to Join

Dating nowadays is a special kind of hell. From my experience, you have people playing grown-up that disregard honesty and beat around the bush playing mind games. Dating in Berlin? Might as well plan a visit to the local animal shelter and start considering names for your first of many cat adoptions.

I am by no means an expert at dating, especially in Germany. However, I can share the knowledge I have gained thus far. I don’t really consider myself dating or not dating. I am not going out of my way looking for someone, but if I meet someone that I’m interested in I don’t turn and run the other way either. Well, usually not. Usually I just avert eye contact, forget my name and stumble on the sidewalk.

The reason I am even sitting down to write about dating in Berlin is because it is so far out and unusual. The best part is that the people are aware of it and it’s become some kind of self-deprecating joke about the Berlin culture. Kid you not, I went to a comedy show in Friedrichshain and the comedian told us he was in a long-term relationship…. of 3 weeks.

But why is it so hard to date in this city full of trendy-attractive and culturally diverse people? I have engaged in a lot of conversations about dating in Berlin since I have been here. The top three reoccurring themes in our conversations are these: homosexuality, passivity and sex.

  1. Homosexuality

First of all, Happy Pride! I hope you are all gearing up and preparing for July 28th, the day the Pride festival lights up Berlin. This city has always been a home for risqué scenes where sexuality didn’t hide or pretend to be something else. Before the War, it was known for its drag scenes and promiscuous displays of sexuality. Despite the War’s attempt to exonerate this culture from Berlin, it still thrives today. Berlin prides itself on tolerance and freedom of existence. They have entire webpages on their official page dedicated to the LGBTQ community and visitors to find hotels, bars, clubs, parties and events.

The LGBTQ community flourishes in this city, however, this does lead to some problems when dating. Why? Regardless of your sexual orientation, there are so many people in this city that you have no idea who is interested and who isn’t. If you are heterosexual or part of the LGBTQ community, you see someone on the subway and you think YAS mama! Then your second thought is…. Oh gosh what is their sexual orientation? In this city? You never know.

  1. Passivity

You heard me right. Say goodbye to drinks being sent to your tables, being approached in a bar and across-the-room flirting with your eyes and sly smiles. Men in particular do not approach women here. They don’t even look at you. I’ve heard so many of my heterosexual friends saying they came from very machismo cultures and came to Berlin and actually thought there was something wrong with themselves because of this extreme passivity. In almost all of the interactions I have had with men in Berlin, I have been the one who has initiated the contact. I can’t say this to be entirely 100%, because there have been a few times where a man ran after me on the street to tell me I was beautiful or something.

Me when one person says I’m beautiful.

But usually, if you think they are cute, you better get a big dose of courage and go up and tell them. Otherwise? Good luck ever speaking to a man. Which has been exactly my problem.

  1. Sex

    For those of you that don’t know, Berlin is the city of sex. It is literally famous for sex. While we have our famous fetish clubs and openness to sexuality of all kinds, the common theme in all of this is, you guessed it, sex. Most of the conversations I’ve had about dating always come back to one thing…Tinder. I have very mixed emotions about Tinder. I was curious about it when I came to the city, so I downloaded it…and it lasted about 4 hours before I deleted it again. I just can’t get on board with the entire thing, however, I know so many friends who do successfully use the app. What I’ve noticed is that sex is so easy to find in this city that it’s 10,000X more difficult to find anything more.

  1. Upsides

    The upside to dating in Berlin is that this city is so culturally-diverse. There are so many different kinds of people, who speak different languages that it can be cultural-melting-pot-Heaven in terms of meeting interesting and amazing people. Also, this city is not lacking in the amount of attractive and gorgeous humans. Not only are they attractive, but so well-dressed!

    This city is also a great place to explore your personal beliefs, as its diverse residents produce an insane number of scenes and sub-cultures that you can experience and learn from. While I’m in no rush to settle down, which also makes Berlin a great place for me, I am loving the idea of one-day stumbling into a hot-broad-shouldered-blue-eyed-German man and getting a visa out of it. Just kidding. Or am I? Love would be nice too, I guess.

    While dating in Berlin is different, it isn’t impossible. You just have to give it time. There are 3.47 million people in this city. Cut that roughly in half to get a more accurate representation of who’s available and then subtract a little more to get an even more accurate representation and you’re looking at about 1 million potential love-matches. Not to mention that if you make it to date 3 that means you’re, like, together. Happy hunting!

    To finish this off right, some awesome GIF’s I found while writing this thanks to Giphy.

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