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?