Tinder in Berlin

IMG_20160617_182853_165The Bavarian and I have split up so for the first time ever, I am open explore Berlin’s modern dating scene. This can be summed up in one word: Tinder.

For those of you who have been trapped underground or in a relationship for the last few years, Tinder is an app that almost everyone who is single (and a quite a few who are not) is on. It’s like flicking through a catalogue of men in your vicinity on your phone – swipe left for no, thanks, and right for yes, please.

If it weren’t for Tinder, I have no idea how the Germans would hook up. They all either meet in school and stick to each other for life, or through friends later on, which is a pretty limited model. German men, unlike the British men, would never dare chat you up in a bar, or club, or hell, even on the street. As a woman, this is kind of nice because it means you never get bothered or objectified. On the other hand, it makes meeting new people difficult.

There is one subtle thing the Germans do do – so subtle, in fact, it took me years to notice: they look at you. Yes, that’s it. They look. And what the hell are you supposed to do with that? The German government should probably throw Tinder some support, because the app might just help raise the population’s happiness as well as poor birthrate.

Anyway, all this to say, in this exciting new world, I’ve noticed 5 curious things about Tinder in Berlin.

1. Height

Almost every guy on German Tinder specifies his height in centimetres. Apparently, it’s something they get constantly asked about by women, which why they list it.

Conclusion: height is pretty important to the Germans.

2. CEOs

If you were to believe everything you read on Tinder, you might conclude that there are a disproportionate amount of CEOs residing in Berlin. Curious, since Berlin is hardly a business or financial capital. Even more curious; these CEOs are often in their 20s, kinda scruffy-looking, and incapable of writing a sentence without using emojis. The only possible explanation is that we are a city of start-ups, and these men with their over-inflated egos and sense of accomplishment think they can call themselves CEOs because they secured enough funding to spend on ping-pong tables or whatever.

3. Open Relationships

A lot of men list themselves as being in open relationships. In real life, I interact with many different types of people, but I don’t know anyone an open relationship. So either a disproportionate number of Tinder users are in open relationships, or they are lying. In more than a few photos, you can glimpse wedding rings or the cropped off body of a partner. Come on, people.

4. Bathroom Selfies

Why oh why are so many photos taken in bathroom mirrors? What is attractive about that? And it’s not even private bathrooms. Most of them are taken in public bathrooms. How does that work? So you’re out for dinner, or in a bar with your friends, and all of a sudden you decide to go to the toilet, take a photo of yourself in the mirror and post it on Tinder. Why don’t you use literally any other photo of you in the world? Can someone please explain this to me?

5. Sebastians and Christophs

There are a lot of white men in Berlin, and most of them are called Sebastian and Christoph. From the point of view of someone who has had it with German men, this is kind of disappointing. I would love a little more diversity, which I would get in another city such as (my hometown) London. To be fair, of all the cities in Germany, Berlin is probably the most diverse, but it’s still pretty hard to find someone who is not called Sebastian or Christoph, 190cm tall, a CEO in an open relationship and likes taking selfies in random bathroom mirrors…

Here’s to hoping.

16 thoughts on “Tinder in Berlin

    1. Well lady
      I dont mind aliens in my country but if its so bad here why bother with staying?
      To topic I can tell you why german men are so restricted,its the fault of our ladies which mostly react rather quite lets say unfriendly even if one does try to start a polite chat.Very exhausting and sooner or later everybody stops this crappy game.I used to be quite a globetrotter when I was younger and can say for sure in almost all other countries its a lot more fun to chat up women.They take it usually as a compliment what it is while our ladies here often react like its an aggressive act.

      1. I didn’t say it was bad here – to the contrary, I prefer living in Berlin to London, which is why I stay. I also like the Germans. In fact, I was married to one. I like my German female friends too, and I like that the buildings aren’t so badly built, you get drafts coming through the gaps in the bricks like in England. I like the cakes. These are just observations on a particular topic, and what’s nice about Germany is that it is not a dictatorship where you have to pretend to love every single thing about it and its people in order to live here, oder?

        Also, I explicitly stated that above that the no-chatting-up thing is, most of the time, very nice and respectful – it’s just that it makes meeting people in the way I’m used to a conundrum.

  1. Not sure if that’s the Berlin mens’ fault. Feel free to observe a male friend trying to chat up a girl in a Berlin bar, club or elsewhere (let alone on the street). You’ ll understand why anybody with a sane mind rather gets a ticket to e.g. Madrid Rome or Cologne (or London, for the very desperate ones) if he wants a flirt in the real world.

      1. I am an old man dear and so I can say for sure its rather the usual reaction by german females at least the majority responds like David said

  2. Nice, but: have You ever noticed the different behaviour of women/girls in other (european) cities? They´re much more open than Berlinas. “Our” women are mostly cold and unfriendly if flirted with(at? to?).
    Btw.: I am 194 and my name is Christian but I am no CEO. Here´s an emoji anyway :-*

  3. Well. I guess a few other things happened the last few years (except the arrival of Tinder, this is). Of course, being in a relationship, you may have missed this. But I can help you out: you are totally entitled to chat up a guy as a woman. So there is no need to wait on the passive end. If you find this difficult, so do many men 😉

    My limited interactions with Tinder (I am married, short and not a CEO…) have led me to conclude the following: (1) Girls mostly give their height in cm (most are bigger than I am). (2) They never give their jobs (because men are not interested in this when hooking up for a night). (3) they never give their relationship status (because men are not interested in this when hooking up for a night). (4) One half post multiple selfies bearing an identical facial expression, inclusing at least one bathroom selfie. The other half posts photos of themselves rockclimbing, parachuting, diving etc, disallowing any facial recognition.

  4. Unfortunately Berlin isn’t well known for the friendliness of its inhabitants. Better try in Cologne – especially on carnival 😉

    P.S. My name isn’t Sebastian or Christian or Kevin, i am not a CEO and I even don’t use Tinder (and I’m proud of it).

    1. I live close to Cologne, and in my experience your point is maintained only by people from Cologne. In fact, women there are just as unfriendly as they are anywhere else in the republic. In average German women simply don’t know how to flirt, so when someone tries they react with the usual initial German reaction, that is being rejective and rude.

      However, the only difference on carnival is that people are in average extraordinarily drunk and that it suddenly becomes OK to chat someone up in the most ludicrous ways. The common denominator on carnival seems to be that “class” is nowhere to be found. The most sexist expression will unfortunately do, it seems to any half-sober observer.

      In addition, mostly this is just to find a sex-partner, and while relationships starting on carnival is not unheard of, it is the exception. Mostly carnival is a welcome excuse to break out of the German standard-thinking, i.e. that ONS are bad and socially unacceptable, and have sex with random strangers. The raise in STDs following carnival is not just a myth, if I can trust friends who are physicians in Köln…

  5. Good morning.

    Flirting by eyes may be a highlight in comparison to men who chat a woman up in a dumb way.
    And vice versa.
    By the way – Tinder has a lot of fake-accounts and I am happy to have kicked it off my phone in between.

    I am no Sebastian, no Christian, no CEO and I do not live in Berlin.
    If you like to drop a line or have a coffee: drop a line. I am only two hours away by car.

  6. No fucking way. I’m from Sweden and my name is Sebastian. I’m 194cm tall. Will visit Berlin in a few days but I guess tinder won’t be my thing.

  7. Hi Madhvi, thank you for your funny description of Tinder in Berlin. You got it all right! It made me really laugh. I don’t know how Tinder works but I just joined another partnership site and also there you find guys taking pictures in the bathroom. Though it made me laugh it is rather a turn-off. I do absolutely agree on flirting habits of male Germans. I am just unable to read the signs of their flirting, and I am German! I rather find men snobbish and cold here. So, what’s the solution? Reading all the replies it seems that German men think it’s a German female problem. Hope it’s not! Enjoy your stay in Germany and don’t give up. The right one is waiting for you…Cheers!

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