Romance doesn’t thrive when the temperature gauge is showing minus thirty, and that’s often the case in Berlin winter. What we get instead is an adapted form of love that’s more honest, more subtle and in the end more raw than the love that flourishes in other places. It’s a mutation, a hybrid creature borne out of extreme seasons and a transient bunch of neighbours. It’s maybe not to everyone’s liking. The truth of the matter is that we’re all single in this town. We’re casual as a tracksuit. As committed as a holiday romance, and have about as much thought for the future as glue sniffers.
You’ll not find a more independent populus than the inhabitants of Berlin and sadly independence and love come together like oil and water.
But deep down. I mean once you’ve crawled beneath the lack of attention and the me, myself and I outlook of a typical Berlin relationship, you do find love, and you’ll also find someone who loves you. You just might not notice it straightaway.
And that’s because love in Berlin is lazy. At the weekend, the girls don’t put on their glad rags and the boys don’t take off their dirt rags. You can bat your eyelids and throw come-to-bed eyes like ninja stars across the floor, but it ain’t going to move even the most desperate of us if we’ve found a comfy chair to drop on.
Love is also brutally honest. If something better comes up, you’re entitled to flip all other plans out the window. If the person you thought you were about to have breakfast with gets wind of an after party, they’re completely in their rights to drop you at the U-bahn station and burn off into the night on a squeaky bicycle. You shouldn’t be offended. It happens to the best of people. You see no matter how hot, interesting and ‘going places’ you are, you’re never going to be able to compete with what Berlin might have to offer next.
But in spite of the laziness and the honesty, there is still a good dollop of love for everyone who wants it in Berlin. You just got to keep your chin high and your eyes peeled. It’s there. This city is a baby factory. We’ve all got jobs on the assembly line and the orders keep on coming, and it looks like it’ll be another weekend working our asses off to fill them. Thousands of babies, everyone wants one, and if we can remember anything from our schooling, it’s that the number one ingredient in a baby recipe is love. Berlin creates more babies per capita than anywhere else in Germany. Adding it up that means Berlin’s got more love to give than anywhere else.
And if you don’t believe that, fine. You can just go join the other cynics and find your love floating on top of a lukewarm späti cappuccino at 5am in the morning.