Lucky-Stories-Ep-3

True Berlin Dating Stories #3: Dating Online Is as Bad as Dating IRL

Reasons why I do not date on the internet, nor do I date in real life.

 

I match with a guy who asks me if Berlin is more chaotic than New York and I think he’s out of his mind. Of course it isn’t, New York may be a rate race, but he’s convinced Berlin is more disorganized regardless of the culture. The endless parties are his limit, and I wonder why he doesn’t just leave. We agree to disagree.

 

I match with an old man who, upon giving him my WhatsApp, won’t leave me the fuck alone. After not speaking for a month he texts me, “Did I see you at The Clash last week? On Wednesday around 8:30 pm?” I never want to show my face at The Clash again.

 

I match with a man whose Tinder bio reads he’s 35, but up close and personal he looks more like 45. I was right about my prediction that he was a Capricorn based on his profile pictures. I invite Sophia to accompany me to his apartment after confirming he’d enjoy a third. We gawk at the goat skull sitting above the second couch of his bedroom. After he switches the horns of the skull upside down, I feel an energy shift and “fall asleep” as they go at it.

 

 

I match with super tall hot women that I know would never give me the time of day in real life and wonder why they do on the internet. It feels like the German stare, the stare in which they have no shame in making you their object, never cracking a smile or breaking when you decide to stare back. The only difference with Tinder is I don’t feel their eyes, but I know they’re looking at me.

 

I match with a 30 year old saxophonist and meet him at the cute and quaint Villa Neukölln. He super liked me, but at the bar I can not be sure that he is “super liking” our time together. The environment is too cute for our casual date, but that’s what he gets for asking a foreigner to choose the meeting point. After two beers, we join his friends at another bar around the corner. He has one friend that sparks my interest immediately due to his odd foreign accent that sounds slightly British, even though he’s from the states. He reeks of insecurity and when I tell him to have more faith in himself his friends quickly say “No no no, he’s better off this way,” and he agrees.

The main topics of the night were his kids, wife and how out of place he’d be without them, gentrification, marriage visas, and the Jewish Museum. After about two hours of me engaging in political dialogue with everyone but my tinder date, I’m left with the saxophone and the father. I decide to ask them, “What’s up with the all the staring people do here anyway?” And they both reply that it’s a mixture of my cuteness, my blackness, and my cleavage, which prompts the father to excuse himself to the bathroom. I think of course, of course, that’s why they stare.

 

I match with so many men commenting on my breasts that I actually find it intriguing when one woman messages me that she’d like to see my tits and even show me hers. Now that’s an offer I don’t want to miss out on, but I never respond to her message.

 

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I match and match and match and match and match and match and feel like nothing but a journalist entering a field of research. So much so that I have changed my bio to “Here for research and to make friends, no sex plz and use it as a sight to promote my literary endeavours.” I mean what are we really here for anyway?

Tinder has never served me well in the past, which is not to say that I didn’t have frequent hookups, but that they were usually unpleasant with dry sex… and there comes that ex lover creeping in again. I projected my unwillingness to date onto him, which manifested itself in a kind of Tinder war. I used to pride myself on deleting my Tinder while in the States to say Look how good I am, I can pull dates in real life, and shaming him for using the evil app. The reality was I was holding myself back, I wasn’t ready for anything serious, but meaningless Tinder sex also reminded me that I truly just wanted deep intimacy, and that I was not ready to sort that out.

I’m still convinced Tinder is better when you’re not in your hometown, but that’s my bias speaking because Tinder in Berlin is especially popping off. With all the sex Berliners have I figured Tinder would be unnecessary, but alas, I can walk down the canal or hop on the U-bahn and see at least one Tinder match a week.

Let’s not forget that being a black woman on Tinder makes it even more of a hassle to find educated and considerate partners. If you are a POC, ask yourself, how many Tinder dates have I been on where I didn’t have to have to explain myself in relation to my cultural oppression? It’s so hard to find POC in Berlin that I’ve decided to swipe right on every black person just to confirm that we’re out here, seeing each other.

In every instance, we match.

 

I match with a guy who’s just my type; he seems fun and non-threatening so I send him the first message. After going back and forth a bit, he hits me with the “I’ve never had anything with a black woman,” and I tell him that the statement is problematic, hoping it will spark some sort of discourse. He ignores the message completely asking me for 420 and cuddles. I un-match with him.

 

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I match with some dude who asks me to imagine our children together. I do, until I realize he already has a child and that freaks me out. I un-match with him.

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I match with so many men that are a waste of my time, that for a while I have my preferences set to only women. I match with many of them. We never talk. I switch it back to both.

 

 

I match with a cute nonbinary POC on vacation from New York and think great, this will go nowhere until we meet up at a picnic in Hasenheide Park and I finally find the Berlin queers. Queers, not gays. I can tell that they’re awkward and I talk to almost everyone else but them, yet when we pee together in the bushes I find the moment intimate and cute. At a talk on discrimination in hybrid spaces they invited me to, I see them again but they show up sick and late, and mostly sleep through it. They seem indifferent about grabbing food after so I assure them that it’s fine if they’d rather go home. When they do, I am grateful. They fly back the next morning but we keep in touch.

 

And this is why I don’t date, not on the internet and not in real life. It feels like no matter what, men are going to be predators and that I’ve almost given up on attempting to make nothing into something with women. I once again feel lost in this big city, so I give up, at least for now.

Now I lay low, while Berlin keeps churning and pushing and people keep matching and un-matching.

 

 

Cover picture courtesy of abbilder

Lucky - is a soul who lives to heal through writing, music, and food. As someone who oberserves their surroundings with an empathic body and mind, they use this talent to archive the histories of the communities they belong to with both humor and vigor.
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