Get Me LOVE: Alyha
An interview with Berlin based creative Alyha Love on the subject of LOVE
Touring the streets of Berlin we are met by a diverse range of young people out and about, each with their own ideas on love and life. How has it been influenced by the variety of free spirits roaming Berlin, and in what way has the increasing rise in popularity of dating apps influenced the ways we are looking for love? In a world exceedingly connected through online media, how are young people developing new relationships, and how do they deal with their FOMO when they are caught up in a long term monogamous relationship.
We meet up with Alyha, Alyha Love is what she calls herself on social media, even more reason to get to know her. Alyha is currently living in Berlin but grew up in California, USA. She runs New World Dysorder Berlin and she models. She is a transgender and she has been in a relationship with the same person for a few years now.
How would you define your relationship?
I’m in a complicated relationship. (Laughs) Because they always are! I have a partner who lives in England and we have been together for five years now. It’s a long distance relationship. It started when I was young, like 18, and we have been together ever since. At first it was a monogamous relationship, and then… I met him at the beginning of my transition and as time went by I got more comfortable with my body and needed to explore other people, and so that is when it became open. At first there were some issues that we had to deal with, but now he’s okay with it.
I met him online, and we talked for a long time, before he came to see me.That’s how it started.
How do other people respond to you being in an open relationship?
I think people understand, and I think that especially with this generation monogamy is not really a thing anymore. I think a lot of people are open or polyamorous. Especially in the bay area [California], there were always couples on Tinder and OKCupid looking for other people to have fun with, but then they were still together and I think they were doing it as a couple which was cool.
Being in an open relationship, is jealousy an issue?
Oh there is a lot of jealousy, a lot of it. (Laughs) On both ends, but that is something that we work trough. And we communicate with each other. I think communication is the biggest key to being open, and knowing each other’s boundaries, and talking about it. Just checking in and see how they’re doing. Jealousy is just jealousy, also when we were monogamous. I mean it’s always going to be there, I think it just depends on how you look at it. Some people don’t talk about sleeping with other people, they have rules that they just don’t talk about it. Other people want to know every little detail. It’s just what you come up with, with your partner. The best way to deal with it is to talk about it.
Do you think dating apps are changing the future of relationships?
Yeah, definitely, it’s easier for you to meet people. With Tinder and OKCupid and social media and dating apps. But I just feel like it might be easier to meet people but it might also be harder to start a relationship with somebody. Because I think that dating apps are just for fun. Sometimes people do start relationships through the apps. But most of the time I think it’s just for fun. I think the best way to meet somebody is to follow your interests. Go to an art show, a concert, or a book store, whatever you like. I don’t think dating apps are a serious thing. People do look for relationships on there but I think most of the time it’s just a sex thing, really.
Why do you think dating apps are so popular nowadays?
The amount of control definitely. I think when you get into a relationship with someone you should have the same interests. Like I was saying before, when you share the same interests it’s just easier to connect with somebody. And I guess OKCupid helps with that, because you can be like ‘hey, we are an 80% match! I think it’s cool but at the same time it’s also really nice to talk to the person that you’re interested in and experience your interests together because you can learn something new from them.
How would you describe today’s zeitgeist?
It’s definitely a generation of technology, everything is just available to you at hand, or in your little smartphone. So I think that might be a lot for some people, I mean for myself at least. I am like o my god there’s so much information and there is so much to do and it can be overwhelming, and when it’s overwhelming for me I get a bit like self-destructive, or I just don’t know what do to and that is my problem with living in this time. There are so many possibilities and you can do anything you want but it’s just like, what do I choose? I am trying to figure that out at the moment.
What do you think this means for monogamous relationships? Will they disappear?
I think it’s definitely disappearing but there are still people out there who believe in it. For me personally, I think I have already found my main partner, the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and so being open shouldn’t be an issue because he knows that I love him and that when I do anything with anybody it’s not anything serious. It’s not like I’m starting a new relationship with anybody, it’s just fun. Or just sex, really. You know? I mean especially being in a long distance relationship.
Do you think technology is making people feel more alone?
I think people do feel lonelier. We are able just to go on the app and look for anybody and if you guys match then you guys can have a conversation but it might take a while for you to meet up and when you do this person might not even be right or you might not even vibe well with them. And because it’s so available people are like, ‘I have so many other options that I don’t need to stick to one thing. I can just do this and then find another person to experience something else with, and I don’t want to miss out on somebody that can enrich my life, whether it can only be for a day or we become friends for life. It takes time and it takes energy to invest in other people and I feel not a lot of people are willing to do that. A lot of people are just willing to hang out and have sex. Getting married as the main goal in life is definitely disappearing as we speak, a lot of women are independent now. And they don’t need a man to pay their bills or anything which is great so I think the future is definitely going towards that direction.
I think the most important thing is to have a relationship with yourself first, before you get into a relationship with anybody. Get to know yourself and love yourself, and once you do love yourself someone will see that and hopefully you can find the right person by loving yourself. I’m still learning how to love myself, it’s hard when the world is so against you, and there are some parts that I do love. And I think that is the way to do it, to find things that you do love and expand on that.
Interview & photos by Hanna Eenhoorn
Text edited by Abel Enklaar
Photos & Interview by Hanna Eenhoorn
Text edited by Abel Enklaar