Vancouver Dating

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chances are that if you’re from Vancouver then you’ve read Vancouver Magazine’s recent article “Do Vancouver Men Suck?”". (If you haven’t read it, or aren’t from Vancouver, then go read it.) And even if you don’t think that the article is relevant to you since you’re not actually from Vancity, read it anyway and weigh in!

After gathering some opinions from Twitter & Facebook, there are 2 clear camps – the men vs. the women. Both think the other is at fault, and I’m here to bring the 2 sides together and try to make you see that it's not that black and white.

The dating scene in Vancouver is dull, to say the least. In summer, dating is easy (but extremely cliché): take a walk on the Seawall, grab some gelato and watch the sunset in English Bay, or find a patio and throw back a few drinks. But winter? How many movies can you see, and how many restaurants can you go to where it’s so loud that you can’t have decent conversation? Vancouver does lack nightlife for the older (late 20s+) crowd. There are no chic lounges for dancing or places where you can grab a few drinks without massive crowds and screaming across the table. The Vancouver nightlife industry doesn’t seem to understand that there comes a time in your life when getting loser drunk and having to worry about drunk girls stepping, falling, or puking on your new Brian Atwood’s isn’t cool. And thusly, my first point: the Vancouver nightlife scene does not facilitate much beyond that random you hooked up with last weekend. (And also, stop being a cliché.)

That said however, Men, what is it with your inability to dress yourself like an adult? I get it; jeans and a t-shirt are comfortable. Great. I’m down for comfort. But, did you know that there’s a way to wear jeans a t-shirt that doesn’t make you look like a) an IT guy, b) Seth Rogan from Knocked Up, c) a 20 year-old college student who can only afford to eat Mr. Noodles, d) like you just don’t care? Dressing well doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, just take your girlfriend, best girl friend, co-worker, or best gay to the nearest H&M, Club Monaco, Holt Renfrew, or local boutique. Don’t bring along the guy you spent all night playing WoW with last night on your xbox. I’m not saying you need to be a style icon, just make it look like you care. Why? Because what women see is, “Oh, he looks like a slob”, or “He looks like he doesn’t care”, and to us that means that he isn’t going to put forth the effort in the relationship (or worse, in the bedroom). And for the record, it has nothing to do with the so-called “hipster” culture (as was mentioned while gathering opinions), it has to do with effort. Effort = good. So before you spend $70 on the new hot game (that once you beat, you won’t play again), think about spending that $70 elsewhere, like on a nice shirt.

Women! You’re at fault too. I can admit that a significant number of Vancouver women walk around with permanent bitch-face when they’re out. Hell, sometimes I’m guilty of it. But at the same time, where did the bitch-face come from? Maybe it’s because they’re jaded from the dating scene after dating a bunch of lemons? Those women are allowed a night out too. So women, unless you’re botoxed and restylaned up, get rid of the bitch-face and hopefully good things will happen.

In a similar vein…

"Vancouver men are a little babyish," she explains. "You really have to hold their hands during the whole dating thing, telling them that was a really nice date, coaching them through the process. I have to be very careful with my body language to make it clear that I am not going to reject them." Now she dates much more often but wishes she didn't have to take all the initiative. She wonders, Will he pay? Should I pay? Will he pick me up? "There's not a lot of guidance from the guy." So she takes charge. "But sometimes I just want to go on a date-date."

This is me (not actually).
I am a strong woman. I have a strong personality. I know what I want and I cut to the chase. I come off as aggressive. I want to date someone who isn’t intimidated by me, who is willing to take charge and act like a man (but not in an Ed Hardy wearing douche kind of way). You would be surprised at the difficulty of this.
My last boyfriend never put forth any effort to make plans. If I didn’t make suggestions or plans, then weekends were spent at home with me on my laptop and him watching something utterly inane on TV. He said later that he did that because he “thought I liked making the plans”. That is a cop out. It is a lazy excuse for failing to put forth effort, take charge, and be decisive. It is a failure to be an active participant in a relationship.

Perhaps women are at fault for having such high expectations. Perhaps it’s our society’s fault for pushing women to be equals to men, and thus intimidating them. Or is it men who are at fault for accepting the status quo, rather than blazing a trail?

All I know is that I am far too quality to be in a relationship where my partner is not an active participant. I am far too quality to not expect to be treated well. And I am certainly far too quality for you to ask me out on Facebook (Fun Fact: that’s happened at least 3 times). Oh, and I’m also far too quality to dumb myself down, so I hope you brought your Thesaurus.

The problem, as women, is that we have accepted this behaviour and complacency for far too long that the old school values of chivalry, courting, and courtesy (for the most part - AKA from my experience) have fallen to the wayside. And because of this, when a guy approaches us at a bar/restaurant, we get all bitchy to them (so not cool). Don’t be a cow, be polite. Unless he gets creepy or angry (guys, that’s not cool either)...

Am I totally out of line when I want an attractive guy, with a decent job, who can dress well, is educated, treats me well, and has a sense of humour?


Anonymous said...

Good take! But there ARE guys out there who are fit, educated, dress accordingly for the moment...hell, I don't even play video games! But this morning every attractive woman I saw as I left my gym had her 'dont talk to me...don't even look at me' face on. Bad timing? Perhaps. But not all Vancouver men suck, ladies...don't give up on us. ;-)

Lesley said...

I agree with the above comment. Fully.

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest problem of this whole issue is the evolution of society. There are two type of guys in general. Lazy ones and Not.

The Lazy ones don't matter. Women don't want to date them anyway. But the whole stigma of the article I think comes from women interpreting the "not lazy" ones as "lazy" based on signs that no longer are very reflective.

I think it all comes down to the evolution of how young adults interact with their careers.

I recently moved to Vancouver from the aforementioned Toronto where we guys are apparently a friendlier breed. I moved here for personal reasons, not financial ones.

Upon arrival I quickly discovered a few things. First, wages are abysmal for educated young professionals. My income right now is less than it was in Toronto when I first graduated with no experience and I got one of the better paying jobs I could find. (Most offers I had were around minimum wage for someone with what would be considered senior level experience in Toronto)

Yet, cost of living is the same, thus my spending power plummeted.

At the same time though, the companies here seem to expect much more effort from their employees despite the lower wage. And thus all of a sudden I was working much longer hours struggling to just make rent doing the same job I did out east living comfortably.

That &70 you said should be spent on a shirt instead of a video doesn't really exist. I haven't bought a $70 video game since High School.

But money isn't the only thing. The biggest factor is time. In Toronto I had time to play on 2 soccer teams and still be social. Now it is all I can do to manage getting 6 hours of sleep in a given night.

Thus the question quickly becomes: where will I find time to shop and preen as suggested? Am I a sloth because of this? Does working 12-14 hours per day make me lazy?

That said guys aren't blameless in all this. I think the article brings up two conflicting issues. The second revolves around the nature of the date itself. Men and Women are becoming more and more split in how we communicate. Something that is obvious to one sex is completely hidden to the other.

Men need to learn more about women. Period. We have no excuse there. Women spend huge amounts of their time studying relationship theory and dating. (on average).

Men spend none. While a women will read a magazine filled with dating advice and psychological insight. 99% of guys will read the sports section.

Men don't stand a chance. Its like putting a 6th grader up against an Engineer in a math contest.

But then again the Engineer wouldn't blame the 6th grader for being a 6th grader? would he?

So yes, this needs to change, if men want to be stronger daters, they have to learn more about the art of dating. That is on us 100%. But at the same time that isn't an easy stigma to pop. Everything in pop culture paints guys that even remotely pay attention to that sort of thing as "metro sexual" or "wimps". If any of my guy friends caught me reading dating advice I would be chastised to no end.

Thus I think BOTH sides of the conflict need to meet in the middle. Guys, yes, we need to spend a bit more effort learning how to be better socially. Women, perhaps, maybe you need to spend a bit less time on that same subject. Ignorance is bliss. It is this same subject that could make men so much more aware that also is serving to make women hyper sensitive to any red flags that a guy might put out.

Either that, or perhaps, just perhaps, we could all just dump the pop culture dating stereotypes and just focus on being "who we are" instead of working so hard to mask it? But that might be crazy...

Anyway, lunch is over, back to work. Happy Friday!

@nsfwgravy said...

Quote: "All I know is that I am far too quality to be in a relationship where my partner is not an active participant. I am far too quality to not expect to be treated well. And I am certainly far too quality for you to ask me out on Facebook (Fun Fact: that’s happened at least 3 times). Oh, and I’m also far too quality to dumb myself down, so I hope you brought your Thesaurus."

We all feel we are "quality." Yet so few (women and men alike) actually put forth real effort! Much has been said of the laid-back lifestyle here which promotes adherence to the lowest common denominator (and pick your area: fashion. Career aspirations. Whatever) and I think that is severely detrimental to dating. When I visit Toronto, or Calgary, or even Victoria people there seem to be putting forth much more effort to become attractive. Ladies, Uggs are not to be worn if you want a date! Guys, stop dressing like everyone else in hipster garb (y'all look the same to me) or metrosexual jeans (ditto!)

Surely there's room for eligible people to grow up, be friendly / social, ditch the yoga pants, and start aspiring to be cool with people outside your clique?

Anonymous said...

Hm. its definitely a two way street that feeds off one another. i too am guilty of complaining about Vancouver dudes but its true, if you give off a friendlier vibe and just do the things you love then the guys flock to it.

the dating scene is rough but i met my fair share of quality guys that fit your description. maybe not so much on the dress up factor but i guess that's the culture Vancouver attracts. people come here because Vancouver is known to be laid back.

I guess van mag was describing a particular guy for a particular girl.

Anonymous said...

Erin bring out a good point that I completely agree with: wanting to date an "equal".
I don't want to brag but as a well-to-do female in my late 20's I rarely come across guys who are in my caliber. I spent the early years of my 20's building up my professional life so that now can enjoy a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. When everyone else was getting drunk and puking on the sidewalks I was building up my company and now can enjoy the life's finer things such as eating out at good restaurants and traveling abroad.

I'm not blaming it all on men but hardly I come across a guy in this city who's close to my age and can afford the same life style. Mind you I don't spend money on clothes and spend half of my time painting my face like the Cactus Club waitresses to find a sugar daddy.

Back to my point of not putting all the blame on the guys, a lot of the females in this city have nothing to offer except knowing how to look good. Don't get me wrong, I exercise eat healthy and take of my appearance but you need to have some interests other than shopping and getting your nails done...this is what I hear from my single guy friends.

All in all I'm looking for a guy who's equal and refuse to be in a relationship just for the sake of not being alone.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone that the women need to open up more just as much as guys need to put in more effort.

One thing that just blows my mind since I arrived here is how attractive women act who run the till at the grocery store I shop at.

I am a pretty friendly guy and always try to make fun conversation with whoever is ringing in my groceries or what not.

I have been almost floored several times when I say something to start a conversation to an attractive female teller and she quickly answers a short one word remark then actually turns around and stands with her back to me while we wait for the debit machine.

If I strike up the EXACT same conversation with a guy at the till or a much older women we usually have a nice little chat but young attractive women, forget it. They shut me completely down and all I am trying to do is be friendly, I was hitting on them. I wasn't asking for a date. I was just trying to be nice and friendly while she rang in my groceries.

I don't really do the "club scene" but if the women there act anything like I have experienced at the local Safeway then I am not at all surprised they are having a tough time meeting friendly guys.

Anonymous said...

As a 30something male I fully agree w/ this post. This city is in dire need of good nightlife for us "adults". I'm sick of going to clubs occupied by teeny boppers and idiots that thinks they're in a rap video. Can't we just have a nice lounge with chill music where we can have a drink or 2 after dinner. Whatever happened to the art of conversation? This city needs to grow up and mature a little.

Raul (hummingbird604) said...

In addition to what I posted on Facebook (which I'm about to repost), let me add that both men and women here need (a) lessons in fashion (b) lessons on how to be driven to success (forget the Vancouver, West-Coast laissez-faire attitude) and (c) lessons in etiquette, manners and courtesy. I have had both men and women think here that I'm hitting on them when I'm being friendly. Seriously? I'm FRIENDLY. I'm not asking you out on a date. Also, I'm gay so if you're a straight male or a female, chances are, I definitely AM NOT asking you out on a date. If you're gay, then we come to the question of standards (and yeah, I have high ones).

As for my Facebook comment:

So I'm just going to throw this out there: I have about 15 straight single women girlfriends who would DIE to be dating a good straight single guy in Vancouver. Right this very second. They ALL concur that Vancouver men AND the Vancouver dating scene sucks. So there.

Ryan Gosling said...

Everything's amazing and nobody's happy.

Anonymous said...

I have been in a relationship for 4 years so I have been able to look critically at the dating scene from an outside perspective.

First of all it seems like all date-able men (driven, well dressed, educated) do not frequent the clubs and restaurants etc. that is Vancouver's night-life. Possibly as mentioned above that they are busting their asses to get their careers on track. It seems that when they do have a night off they choose to go out with their guy friends have some drinks and watch a game and are therefore not looking to hang out and pick up ladies and would rather just spend one of the few nights off with their friends. Also something that is worth mentioning the time zone in Vancouver allows men to be able to watch hockey, football, baseball (whatever the season brings) from 4pm-11pm whereas in Toronto for example you really only get to see the 7pm game. Which can consume an entire night if the guys felt like watching that many games (which my boyfriend absolutely insists on doing).

The "men" that seem to be the majority out at the bars in Vancouver are all the guys that don't seem to care (about hygiene, attire, relationships etc.). Maybe they are not interested in a relationship and that is why they just don't care. However there are enough women in the city that will take the pass when some sweaty poorly dressed guy comes and grabs them from behind and proceeds to dance with their butt without saying a word to the girl. Therefore these guys in their mind don't think anymore effort is necessary because hell whatever they're doing seems to work, in their minds at least. These men are everywhere just the other night I was out while in Toronto and a guy pushed me to get through without saying excuse me and spilled my entire drink on me, he didn't apologize or offer to buy me a new drink (real shocker).

I think the biggest fault of women is expecting to find a decent guy out in the night life of Vancouver (as mentioned in the article Vancouver hasn't figured out anything from the mid to late 20s) yet women still look for relationships out there and are disappointed. This leads to the "bitch look" because who really wants to have a conversation via screaming across a table over some terrible dub step music.

In the end I really think it is the nightlife that causes the terrible dating scene. Whether it is by discouraging women from all the lemons they have met while at Caprice that causes the "bitch look" scaring off all decent guys from approaching them. Or maybe it's the insanely high cost of living that keeps all the decent guys slaving away at work feeling like there's no time to meet girls. Or the fact that some girls will go for the douchey idiot that is out there encouraging more guys to act just like them.

Regardless I really do not think that one sex is to blame.

Anonymous said...

I think a big part of the problem is expectations. Here are a list of the expectations that the average guy has in women he dates:

Is attractive.
Is fun (for some men this is optional)

Where in contrast, women seem to have a much longer list:

Is attractive (but not vain)
Dresses impeccably (but doesn't spend too much time getting ready)
Is Chivalrous (but also treats her as equal)
Is Funny (but also compassionate)
Is Sensitive (but also tough)
Is Aggressive (but also nice)
Is Ambitious (but also has tons of time for her)
Is wealthy (but also down to earth)
Does not do "nerdy" things (but is also smart)

I think I am missing a few as well. But I think not only do women have much much much more stringent expectations than men but what is even more telling is that they tend to expect qualities that are complete opposites to both be simultaneously present in their guy.

Anonymous said...

I'm a single 30 yr old professional. I've owned my own place since I was 24. I come from a blue collar family, who raised me with respect and manors. I hold doors open all the time. I plan the date. I pay for the date. I'm complimentary. I'm the "good" guy you hear women complaining there is none of. It's really tough to date in this city.

There are a lot of beautiful women in Vancouver, but the problem is they (not ALL) are entirely cliquey, unapproachable, superficial, social ladder climbers. Approach a woman and if she doesn't turn her back on you, her friends will basically tell you to get lost. Buy a girl a drink, she think your a chump and will want another and a round for her friends or she's on to the next guy.

It seems the only guys who get any attention are rich satellite kids (who get used for their family's money) or meat head wannabe drug dealers (who also get used for their money) Which leads me to believe their is a large amount of superficial gold diggers out there.

The unreported issue is the large amount of women in this city that whore themselves out on the side. They'll advertise "Not a pro. Part time only." as if that doesn't still make them a hoe. Money and superficial things play a large role. Everybody wants to keep up with the Jones. Women want to live the movie star lifestyle because that's what they see around them. If they can't find a sugar daddy; a lot of them turn to whoring. That jades them even further, and they're not interested in true love anymore. It's wholly financial at that point.

I love travelling because women in different cities and countries are noticeably more friendly and open. They are comfortable with being feminine and being the woman. They appreciate the little things.

Women can't have it both ways. On one hand women and media popularized metro-sexual men as the more attractive man. Then on the other hand woman say they want the assertive man's man. Well you can't have an assertive guy in a salmon(pink) shirt. Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Try to approach a Vancouver women at a pub or bar and unless you are dripping money or are her dream guy, most likely she's going to look at you like "who the hell are you?."

I have girl fiends that tell me when girls are out with their girls, don't approach them, they don't want to be talked to. Well when the am I suppose to talk to them? Lose the attitude. Break away from your cliques once and a while. Hang out with others outside your race. Open up and be warm.

Anonymous said...

I'm the nice, sweet, romantic, kindhearted guy that all woman want...but you're all b!tches and only care about looks & not what's on the inside

Anonymous said...

You can't playWoW on an XBOX. There. Somebody had to say it.

ko0ty said...

I have a bitch face too but that's just the way I was born. :( My lips naturally point down a little and I'm not going to be smiling constantly 24/7. I know a girl who does that and she just looks stupid.

I agree both guys and girls are at fault though... I'm sure there are good ones out there and you just need to weed out the majority / the horrible ones.

I make my own money and the image of a strong independent woman is set deep in my mind but a guy with a decent job and ambition is a plus. I don't want him mooching off me. Lol.

I actually don't know too much about the Vancouver dating scene since I've been with my BF since high school (8 years) but I just had to have my input. :P

ko0ty said...

Oh and I just saw that comment by an anonymous commenter at the top... I always purposely have a bitch face and make NO effort to smile or look approachable at the gym because the gym is NOT a place to socialize. I hate it when people interrupt my workout!

Anonymous said...

@ko0ty: In fairness, the women I was referring to were actually on the street as I walked to my car after leaving the gym, presumably hustling (possibly late?) for work, not AT the gym. I completely agree - the gym is 'me-time', get in and get out. It was just something I happened to notice yesterday morning, and then came across Erin's post.

That being said, I've always wondered if it is appropriate to say hello at the gym, or is it too cliche?? My spin class every morning at a certain club downtown is usually 70% women. Or if you continually pass by the same woman around the weights or stretching area, is it ok to say hello (depending on level of bitch-face, of course?)

See, I don't even know the wonder it's so difficult!

Good discussion though, and I love your Jamis road bike!

@Anonymous user at the top

Anonymous said...

I agree while I'm running on the treadmill is not the time to try and strike up a conversation. @anonymous above maybe say hello and gauge the response of the woman and if it's a good one try again next time you cross pathes at the gym. I know in my spin classes I get pretty sweaty and do not feel attractive at all so it is likely that the women in your spin class think you don't see them as attractive because they are working so hard. Maybe say hi before the class starts and try to have some small talk and that can progress each class. I think its ok to have a chat at the gym while you are stretching but pretty annoying while you are working out.

Anonymous said...

as a Vancouver guy I have to agree with the women walking around with the bitch face, and when guys do approach they play the "i'm too good for you routine"

IMO women from around here and over 30 are definitely jaded, been around the block with guys they consider losers and now are looking for the holy grail that no guy can surmount to. thats why i steer clear of women over 30!! they can't adapt to the new dating game and are holding onto a world no longer out there for them.

my advice date older women in the 30's should be seeking men 10 to 15 yrs older who are from their time warp.

Anonymous said...

What! you are the one that open this can of worms! well you opened, it now it is your turn to deal with it!

First, i think Vancouver women are insane!, not to be mean but but legal definition!, which is described as a person ho does the same thing over and over again and expect a different result!, Van chicks and some very successful one i might add, keep going out to shitty, teeny bober, poser, and gangster wanable clubs, and go " oh, woe is me , i cant find mister right" night after night, do you not learn.

I also laugh about the i am a strong female, yes, guys ( i do) like that, we like a women in charge it is hot, and sexy!, but tone it down a bit, i know many women in my professional industry( about me, late 20s,i am registered professional, I make very good money, but i am having to much fun in life to be dragged down by others!)I would love to date, but cant because they are all, i am a women in business hear me roar! exmaple: me: " hey wanna grab lunch?" her:" i am a women, i will not be subjected to by you evil male, i am a women! do you hear me!!" me: "ok...., so that is a no?" her: " roar!!!!!" me: "fuck this shit, where the hoes and sluts at!?", and she is also the same women who every monday morning comes in and goes off for the first hour about how bad her weekend was about finding dates at the same shitty club was as last weekend.

In short, van chiks need to tone it down!, be ( omg dare we sugeest!?) forgiving. i wear a suit M-F, ...maybe i like to wear jeans and a T on the weekend!, you guys wear lulu's ( hey i am not one to complain, love those on you gals!), so dont be bitching on my lax wardrobe. Also, yeah, i may say something stupid, or not say they coolest think, but Van gals, need to learn about other things being sexy like, financial responsibility!( no i don't have a Porsche on lease, or have 50,000 credit card debit, thus i am not going to ask you for money( also a side note, wtf, i am on a date, i am not going to be droppin 500 on a first date, get that shit out of your head, coffee yes, basic dinner, yes, dinner at an exclusive restaurant, no!, maybe after we are serious!)), or reliability, being there for you when the shit hits the fan, and helping you out or giving you advice when it counts. Unfortunately van chicks are to focus on posers, and OMG he can skate board, looks at his abs!, ...and thus why you are stuck with the chief floor moper at McDonalds!....cant wait to hear you guys talking about your weekend, again...on Monday morning!

Anonymous said...

Vancouver women are the worst and should be avoided especially if you meet one in her 30's!!

Steer Clear!

Anonymous said...

Vancouver women are insane! I've had great success here with foreign women here and abroad. If I join a dating website here I get nothing...if I join one in asia I'm flooded with thousands of messages. It's not only Vancouver though, women in North America and the anglosphere are not even women, they are a third gender stuck in between men and foreign women. I'm actually selling all my stuff right now and will be moving to Asia soon. The reason is how awful the women are here.

Anonymous said...

The only common denominator in ypur dating life is YOU maybe YOU need to change. Perhaps you're jut too high quality to be in a relationship. Or maybe your just a headcase.