Henriette Hell is 36, unmarried and childless. Your answer to that? – “You can take me as I am. My pretty life without child and career. In her new book (Graefer & Unzer Edition), the journalist, author and DJane writes about the second puberty at the age of 30, outdated life plans and the pressure to suddenly have to put up with questions and demands about marriage, children and careers over the age of 30. This text is taken from the chapter “Love and Madness”.
Henriette Hell in conversation with Julia Hackober in our podcast THE REAL WORD:
It was raining. I stood at the Platform Holstenstraße and waited for the S 31. My gaze fell on a gigantic advertising poster by Fernet-Branca. “I have so much love to give, but no one wants it!” it said. That’s exactly how I felt. I had just turned 33. For months, I had only attracted disturbed people like the light moths, while in my mailbox the invitations to some wedding piled up. terrific. Where was he, my dream man? A magical being who voluntarily endured it permanently and gladly with me?
Well, at some point it would come. I was sure of that. Frank Drebin only met his great love Jane at the age of 62. And Charlize Theron, from the magazine Esquire the Sexiest Woman Alive 2007 and the woman who was rumored to have once ghosted Sean Penn was also single for ten years. At the time, she jokingly described her love life as a desolate wasteland. Someone has to show backbone and talk to her, she is shockingly ready for a relationship. Joa, I was too. It just didn’t seem to interest anyone on this planet that I myself found hot.
Contritely, I googled which advertising agency was behind this appropriate liquor slogan. Their website stated that the campaign had been developed with the aim of spreading “bitter truths” in the trendy districts of the big cities, “with provocative messages”. Ok. Goal (group) reached, you little pisser.
I got on the train and did what I always did when I wanted to upgrade my own life quickly and effectively: I looked at before-and-after photos of crystal meth junkies and crashed ex-teen idols on the net. Awesome, Aaron Carter had apparently had a face tattooed on Instagram and insulted his entire family on Instagram!
Who has the energy for dates?
Right away I got on better. In direct comparison, my own life immediately seemed like Glücksbärchi-Town. My feeling was so high that I thought about meeting with an admirer in the evening. The annoying thing was that you could never have guessed before whether the whole effort – showering, make-up, picking out a cool outfit – was worth it in the end.
But hey, nothing comes from nothing and the guy hasn’t let up for weeks. He was the roommate of an acquaintance. A long-haired bohemian who wrote poems and produced electronic music – exactly my thing! However, a certain reputation preceded him. “Since I’ve known him, he’s never had a solid relationship,” my acquaintance told me. So did I seriously want to imagine that I of all people would be able to tame this young savage? Did I even have the energy for a date? At the same time, I might as well go to sports, read a book, meet friends. Stay in my comfort zone. If you don’t risk anything, you can’t get injured – but you can never win the big trophy. I thought and pondered…
Sometimes I felt like I suffered from pronounced schizophrenia, as far as my ideas of a fulfilled private life were concerned. As a rule, I was damn proud of my independent and free life. After all, I had spent 13 of my 16 adult years in solid relationships. But the older I got, the more complicated the men’s thing was. When I was single, there were always days when I thought I had to die lonely, although of course that was nonsense. The thing that really pulled me down were the dates and liaisons with men who didn’t suit me at all.
It’s crazy: You were just 22, could take care of your sex life in a relaxed way, gain experience abroad and experiment at work. You laughed heartily at such desperate singles as Bridget Jones or Charlotte from “Sex and the City” – and now you suddenly sit compassionately in front of the TV and think: Shit, this is my life! All of a time, one drinking buddy after another says goodbye to parental leave. Engagement here, pregnancy there. From all sides it is suddenly said: “You should, should, could slowly also times …”
Almost like in a sect, all the couples try to pull you to their side. At parties, you are suddenly no longer the sharp eye-catcher, but a difficult to mediat Ü-30 hardship case. Not even high-flyers like Emma Watson are spared from this. Recently, the actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador no longer describes herself as single – she states her status as “in a partnership with myself and very happy”. “If you haven’t built a house, if you don’t have a husband, if you don’t have a baby and you’re 30 and you’re not in an incredibly safe, stable situation in your career (…), there’s just an incredible amount of fears.” I feel you, Emma.
Where is the dream man?
Somewhere I read that statistically speaking, you have to date 100 people to find someone who fits you halfway. Seriously, who has so much time? You would have to get out of your job for half a year to start looking for a partner full-time. And it’s not for the faint of heart.
Just the other day I had a date with a (supposedly) very attractive man whom I had met through a dating app. We wrote back and forth for a week, even talking on the phone to rule out any mental deficiencies. He constantly emphasized that he was not interested in superficial women. According to his profile, he measured only 1.60 meters. It didn’t bother me because I’m just as small myself. And from my circle of friends, I knew that smaller men were often particularly charismatic and entertaining. So we met. He came from another city and rang my doorbell.
Through my glass hallway door I saw the misfortune from afar: The guy was … tiny! He measured a maximum of 1.50 meters and tried to compensate for this with a completely exaggerated Johnny Depp memory outfit. The leather hat he wore was at least ten centimeters high, with all sorts of feathers and beads attached to it. In addition, the man had hung himself over and over with jewelry. His motto seemed to be: “More is more.” However, his exalted style did not distract from his size, but rather created a completely bizarre overall picture. It was clear to me after two seconds that we could never become anything. My voice immediately took on a maternal nuance.
But somehow I didn’t really want to admit that everything should have been in vain. I wanted to give the guy a real chance! Because he was really attractive and we could have a wonderful conversation. As we passed an ice cream stand, I intuitively offered to give him a scoop. Afterwards we stopped at a restaurant. After a glass of wine and because he was sitting all the time, I had the feeling for a millisecond: Hm, maybe that could be something after all.
But as soon as we walked next to each other again, everything was over and over. And I was ashamed. For the fact that I was obviously more superficial than I had ever wanted to admit to myself. I used to make fun of my girlfriend Sabbel, who chose her dates primarily based on size. No one could get to bed below 1.90 meters because she herself is very tall. I had always found this to be completely exaggerated.
Now I myself was at this point. More than a platonic farewell hug was not possible. I skilfully ignored his attempts to kiss me. At night there was a hail of passionate text messages. The next morning I received the first unsolicited dickpic of my life. I had no choice but to block the Minimacker. whether it may have been similar with Charlize Theron and Sean Penn? We can only speculate about this …
After this experience of a special kind, I realized that I had to stop watching dating so doggedly. Love had a lot to do with coincidence. I couldn’t do anything but be open to all the good that the universe hopefully still had in store for me. And until then, I wanted to use my superpowers for other fun things.
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