Meeting people in Berlin seems to be especially difficult for the single crowd. I am 29 years old, and I am working ( in finance now). I go out enough, but I do find it hard to meet people for any real connecting. I have spoken to many people here, they seem to have the same issue. Berlin is a tourist town, so many of the people you meet are only here for a few days, or a few months at the most. It can be harder to find someone willing to hang out for any longer than this. I do not feel that it is a problem that is unique to Berlin, rather most larger cities seem to have this problem. I had the same issue in Los Angeles, which is how I got to Berlin in the first place (chasing love). If you are single, however, like I am, and wanting to meet someone for a longer term possibility, please just be patient and try not to rush things. I have found in this fast pace city, relationships often move rather slow. I have attempted to compile a list of where you can meet people based on whatever you might be into.
Dating as a “Black” woman I have found to be quite interesting. After a conversation with my friend (who is European French lady) I realized, yes there is an added element to dating here while Black. There are some cultural differences, a lot of ignorance. This is not coming strictly from the white side, I had many many MANY stereotypes about Germans and White people in general. I had to take each as they come in order to stop my brain from counting someone out before I had the chance to get to know them.
Disclaimer: I am not a dating guru
1. Tinder / Adult Friend Finder vs. Less Sexually based ways of meeting up OkCupid
If you are looking for a hook up or something casual, these websites can be helpful in your search. I have used adultfriendfinder and OKCupid. I do not use Tinder. I at least want to have a conversation with someone to find if there is anything attractive about the person. If you find it hard to meet people while out and about (which is hard to do in any big city), then you might want to try these websites. Tinder and OkCupid are free, while you have to pay for the other one. There will be plenty of expats, and English speakers. I put my entire profile in English, and I am often written. It’s probably because of my body, since most of the comments or notes are “nice tits.” I wonder if they think I have not heard that one before? Online dating is always a hit or miss experience for me. It would serve you well to thoroughly read through profiles. Often you will find hints to what type of person you might be meeting. Of course, people put their best foot forward online, but I would advise to take time in meeting people in this manner, unless you are just trying to get a quick lay, then by all means, have fun. OkCupid can also yield some long term prospects, however, this has not been the case in my experience. I have tried to meet the ones looking for long term, and have crashed and burned on several occasions. I have taken it slow, I have asked for what I wanted, but in my case, when I say.. hey we should probably do this exclusively to really see if there is something here, they turn into a ghost. Could be me, I could the problem here, or many other issues.
2. Berghain / Karter Holzig vs. Low Key spots
If you want to just hook up, and you do not want to go online for whatever reason, try some huge stupid electro club. Berlin is full of them. Most of the people are tourists, or expats, the music is awful, and everyone is on their drug of choice. I have been to Berghain, and went home with the worst mistake of the last 3 years, a friend of mines roommate. yuck. I am not looking for this at all, but take your pick, it is very easy to meet a person in places like this around the city. Just do not be mad when you never hear from them again, which in some cases, might be a good thing. If you are looking to actually talk to someone, you may want to find low key bars or book stores, coffee shops. I tend to meet people everywhere I go, male or female. It mostly starts with curiosity. Most opening questions being: “Where you from?” My favorite response right now is .. “The same place you are from, Earth” Jokingly of course.
3. Social events or hanging with coworkers
Talk to people at social events. Berlin has something for ALMOST everyone, and you are guaranteed to find someone new and interesting, and let’s hope they speak German or English. There are so many ways to find people in this manner, just keep an open mind. I find people tend to stick in a clique of friends, and never try to explore the person that is staring at you from across the room, or one that drops hints about perhaps meeting you at a later date. Sometimes many people miss the social cues, and subsequently miss out on meeting someone new. You already know you have something in common, so it might make things easier.
I would also suggest to hang out with your coworkers. Most expats I know are working for start ups. When I was not single, I did not want to be around my co-workers, because I knew they were trouble, but when I became single, I started to go out more. The bigger the net, the more fish you might catch. It is nice to meet someone through introduction, which is how most Germans I know do it, that is if you are looking to meet a German person. I would not suggest sleeping with your coworkers, even with high turnover in startups, it’s not a good idea.
4. Explore Berlin vs. Volunteering
I think this can depend on your personality when it comes to exploring and volunteering. I have a person in my life who always says you might be having a hard time, but it could just be you. You take you where you go, so make sure you take the time to figure out what could be your issue. In easier terms, if you are shy and you are exploring Berlin alone, you still might not ever meet anyone. Volunteering might be better to force social situations with people who have like minded interest. They have places like “give back Berlin” that might help you start on your journey.
5. Speak German, Go to classes, language exchanges
Lastly, perhaps, your attempts to learn German might help you meet people. Many of the classes that I have are full of other new people to Germany, and you have to work together, so many times you can talk about many other things, which could lead to a social/romantic connection. Languages exchanges are also interesting ways to meet people. If you already know German, you are ahead of the game. My German skills do not exactly make me popular with the men, I generally tend to avoid having to speak it outside of professional situations.