Finding love on a poster


Marlies Seifert



Silvia Triebl in ihrer Küche

Silvia Triebl dreams of a husband and children. After trying Tinder, matchmaking agencies and countless dates with little success, she has now moved on to a somewhat more unconventional method.

Smiling faces, married couples, holiday shots: the gallery wall in Silvia Triebl’s small loft conversion in central Zurich is a colourful collection of lovely memories. There are many pictures of babies and children, too. «I’m a triple godmother and aunt to six nieces and nephews», the 42-year-old explains. But her own family life has not quite taken off yet, even though there is nothing that Silvii, as her friends call the trained painter and church restorer, wants more. Time is not on her side. Triebl remembers: «When I last saw my gynaecologist, she said I really ought to hurry.» Crestfallen, she headed home. «When I walked past a Migros poster, I had a bit of an epiphany.» She explains: «I looked at the vegetables on the poster and thought to myself: I should be on this, then everyone would be able to see me.» She rapidly swung into action to make her curious idea come true: come January, her poster was on display on Zurich’s Theaterstrasse, a street in a prime location right next to the opera, for a whole week. «Pot seeks lid», it read. «The pun was perfect: I am a passionate cook», Silvii clarified. Like any self-respecting Austrian chef, she prefers to cook hearty dishes. «Wiener schnitzel, for example», she laughs.

«I‘ve just been unlucky»

Triebl has already received more than 100 messages. «So far, my lid has not been among them.» Many simply got in touch because they found her idea funny or brave. Again and again, people ask her why it hasn’t worked out for her yet. After all, she is such a wonderful, lovable woman! Her answer: «I’ve just been unlucky.»

Originally from Austria, Silvia Triebl has lived in Zurich for 19 years. She had four relationships during that time. Her first boyfriend was a violent drug user, the second cheated on her, and her third love was overshadowed by illness and ultimately succumbed to the situation. «I suffered terribly», Silvii remembers. But she never gave up. Writing a children’s book gave her solace, and the self-declared «hopeless romantic» never lost faith in love, even after countless unsuccessful dates. She hired an expensive matchmaking agency – in vain.

Finally, she met a new man and promptly fell in love head over heels. For a year and a half, the two met regularly, but «he wasn’t ready for a relationship.» When the two saw each other for the last time, Silvii fell pregnant. «Our relationship was over, but I was incredibly happy. And the baby’s father would have supported me, too.» But she miscarried.

Plakat von Silvia Triebl

Silvia Triebl is a passionate cook, but her dating life is still missing the right recipe.

I want to be a mum. With or without a man – it can be perfect either way.

Silvia Triebl

«I have become very cautious after all those experiences», Triebl admits. At the same time, she is very forward about her desire to have a child when she goes on dates these days. «I know exactly what I want now.» She no longer wastes time on men who won’t commit. «I’d rather stay single!» Silvia wants a relationship, craves it. She dreams of marrying and starting a family. «I wish for a partner who will sing and dance with me, someone I can spoil. But it needs to be the right person.»

She has given herself until the end of the year. «That’s when I’ll move on to Plan B.» – Meaning that Silvii will pursue her plan without a partner. «I have already spoken to a sperm bank. If all else fails, I will leave no stone unturned.» In Switzerland, sperm donation is not available to single women. Many travel abroad instead. And Silvii is not the only woman in her early forties with a strong desire to have a child: «I get many messages from women in a similar situation, and some of my friends have had their eggs frozen just in case.» Silvii has missed that chance. But she has no doubts: «I want to be a mum. With or without a man – it can be perfect either way.»

An advisor for Plan B

For now, however, Silvii continues to look for her lid. She has only met one man so far: «He is quite a bit older and would be better as a substitute grandad», Silvii explains. She was only 18 when she lost her own father. «But his encouraging message was very touching. And if I do end up pursuing Plan B, he would be an excellent advisor», she laughs. How so? «He’s a retired gynaecologist.»

Photos: Désirée Good