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12-Hour Romance

Five years ago I decided against staying in a 7-year relationship. Some short and long romances later, I’d summarize that I don’t regret having made this decision. Alongside some dating flops, I sometimes get to experience something wonderful. Like yesterday.

It was the last day of Springfestival, Graz’ largest festival for electronic music and arts. I was having a wonderful week and fell in love with the charm of a big festival in a small city. On the last day of the festival, some friends and I decided to go to an outdoor pool as they were also hosting a Springfestival party.

While I love techno parties and clubs, what I don’t love is how alienating it sometimes feels when there is no space to relax and have a conversation with someone. That’s why it felt so refreshing to dance barefoot outdoors – where you only have to take a few steps back to sit on your towel. It also reminded me positively of the outdoor party demonstrations I went to during Corona times. Needless to say, it is also pretty sexy when everyone’s dancing in swimwear. And while many cute guys were there, one especially caught my attention.

The problem with being a gay man in a small city.

It already takes a lot of courage to go and talk to a stranger but when you don’t even know the stranger’s sexuality, flirting is even harder. Unfortunately, I have made bad experiences showing interest in straight guys, trust me. But this guy was very open and friendly from the start. Which can mean everything or nothing. I started with a simple ‘Hi’ on the dancefloor when we (more or less coincidentally) ended up standing next to each other. He offered me Vodka with cranberry juice and I commented that I loved a good Cosmopolitan as a settle hint. I don’t know if he picked up on it or not. I was unsure if he was flirting with me and later he told me that he asked himself the same thing about me.

We lost each other in the crowd and right when I was about to leave he came and talked to me some more. We casually touched our bodies, mostly on our backs when we wanted the other one’s attention. I was still unsure if that meant anything or not. He told me that he was from Berlin and here on (party) vacation. I told him that I loved Berlin and was gonna be there again this summer. We went to have a smoke together and he kinda started making me so nervous I could barely roll a cigarette. However, sitting on his tiny towel, I was now certain that he was flirting with me. He asked about my plans for the night and casually mentioned that he didn’t want to go home after this.

At one point he said that I caught his attention early on and he had to leave the dancefloor because he was getting excited. I laughed and probably turned red. Then, he came very close to my face and kissed me. The kiss was intense and deep and longer than I’d expect a first kiss to be. The first thing I said afterward was that he certainly got my attention now and he replied that I had even more of his. So, we sat there, made out some more and joked about how we didn’t behave very family-friendly. As it got later, all our friends went home but we stayed until the pool closed. Always being a careful person has protected me from lots of almost-mistakes. But in this case, I trusted my instincts and asked him if he wanted to come home with me.

We went on a bike ride through the city and when we got to my place I only had water to offer to that guy. Water and Gin. However, he knew what he wanted and didn’t waste much time. Afterward, we both lay on my couch. Resting my head on his fluffy chest I was happy to hear him say that he didn’t wanna leave right away. ‘I’m in no rush’, is what he said multiple times. We just relaxed for a while in silence until eventually, my OCD took over and I wanted to have a shower. When he came out of the bathroom, I had prepared my living room with some candles and Palo Santo and I asked him if he wanted to stay a while longer. He smiled and replied that he hadn’t planned on going home anyway. Usually, I am a person who really needs his space. I don’t enjoy sleepovers, I need my alone time. But in this case, I was just excited to have this wonderful person around for a little longer.

At astronomical speed, we became comfortable with each other,

talked about everything and nothing that life had to offer. We still had a long night ahead of us and him an even crazier next day considering his train home was gonna depart at 10 in the morning. We started drinking a little and listened to our favorite pop music, did some bad karaoke and some shots of Berliner Luft. Obviously. Then it became time to get on our bikes again and head to the club.

Inside we instantly met his and my friends and merged groups. Considering we were less sober now and there was heavy pounding techno playing in the background, we probably created fewer memories in the club than on my couch. One time, however, we went up the Schlossberg for a smoking break. Looking over the dimly lit city in a rose garden sure made this an extra special memory. I’m skipping over many wonderful details now, but in summary, I had a really nice time up there. How could I not with this intelligent handsome guy at my side.

Everything after happened pretty fast.

We danced and talked as much as we could but as I mentioned it is pretty difficult to form connections in clubs. Eventually, he said that it was time. He had to leave to get his stuff and catch the train. We had already established that we should meet again when I’m in Berlin in the summer, but naturally, I was a little sad that our 12-hour romance was coming to an end. But that’s what we were in for from the start. So, we kissed one last time and said goodbye. I watched him leave the club and wondered if we were actually gonna meet again. A lot can happen in just a short amount of time.

I ended the night with his friends dancing some more before we all decided it was time for us to leave too. I wasn’t sad when we exited the club and the new day had already started. I was happy for having had such a wonderful last day at Springfestival. I don’t know for sure that I am going to see these people again but I’m happy to have met them. And for anything else, I’ll wait and see.






By the way…

I am writing a book

Compulsive nonconformist who left the 9-to-5 world after studying psychology and has since then devoted himself to design and writing on a freelance basis. Has at least four different kinds of chips at home at any given time.


  • 2. July 2022


    Yes to this. This type of experience perfectly defines a spring fling and I love the memories such a perfect, intense and intimate experience provides.
    Hopefully, you can meet up in Berlin, but if you don’t…you have this memory!

  • 30. June 2022


    Happy for you, Ben! Hop he’s been in contact!!! My partner and I are together for almost 3 years and 9 months at the end of June. Talk about small city… cannot be worse than a small rural town.🤣 We are both in education an see each other over holidays with breaks of weeeeeeeeks in between. So many complications to overcome. Magic when we do see each other.

    I’m 53 and he is 47. We’ll just have to get closer somehow. I see me moving closer to him. My family not used to me being out. His family okay with him. I can see us staying together forever. We will have to. The distance is killing us although we talk every single night.

    Will be great to see you find happiness again! We all deserve LOVE in the end. I am very much in love and I certainly hope that my partner and I will grow old… together!



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