He dumped me via text message and my heart lurched to a stop.
It felt like the hundredth time. I was repulsed by myself, remembering how I pleaded for him to pencil me in, to find a little time. Given our chemistry it seemed like such a waste.
He was still broken from a previous relationship, and that heartache began chipping away at me. How could I be dealing with this crap again?
But with that said, I kind of expected shit to hit the fan – because everyone says that dating in Vancouver is raunchy.
If you feel the pain of dating in Vancouver then I get it, because I have as well. But I, for one, have grown tired of feeling sorry for myself, and you should feel the same for yourself, too.
Haven’t we grown tired of complaining about Vancouver’s dating scene? Can we please come up with a different tagline? Let’s tell each other something that we haven’t already heard.
For the record, dating in Vancouver doesn’t suck. You do.
To explain why dating in this city isn’t actually that tragic, I’ve compiled a list of our so-called problems and the antidote for each.
People in Vancouver suck
The way we know that people in Vancouver don’t all suck is because there are plenty of happy couples, and living in this city didn’t stop these people from finding each other.
Of course, there are horrible people – there is no denying that. But awful people often exhibit hallmark symptoms of dumbassery in the early stages, yet we find stupid reasons for not opting out. So as a general rule of thumb, remember that if you really subscribe to the whole self respect thing, part of that means you only communicate with people who respect you, too.
And for the record, you will find sucky people everywhere you go on this planet – this is NOT just a Vancouver thing. The only way you’re going to meet nice people in Vancouver is if you keep trying. That means you have to turn off your Game of Thrones episode and actually leave your home.
Dating apps don’t work
These days we point to dating apps as the culprit for our lacklustre love lives. The institution that is Tinder needs to go – I get it. But for the record, you’re the only one who can actually delete it from your phone. You’re the one who downloaded Bumble in the first place. If they don’t work for you, do something about it.
Instead, look to meeting someone the old fashioned way. Everything in life comes with a risk, and your dating life will be no exception. You’re scared of rejection but don’t let that stop you from striking up a conversation with someone interesting. Amazing stuff can result just from uttering a few simple sentences.
If you’re still stuck on the idea of dating apps then remember they’re not entirely hopeless. Some people do meet their forever person just by swiping for a while.
Romance is dead
We’re definitely not as romantic as we used to be, but there are still people out there who’d like to woo you. The first prerequisite? You need to find someone who cares.
Sure, it’s not always easy to find this person, but there are things you can do to kickstart the romance. The beginning of the relationship is crucial for setting expectations and voicing what’s important to you.
So if you like receiving flowers, casually mention how small gestures like that make a big difference to you. If this person doesn’t see likewise then it might be time for you to bounce.
It’s too difficult to meet someone
When someone complains that it’s too difficult to meet others I’m just thinking inside of my head ‘bla, bla, bla.’ This one grew old long ago, I’m just the first one who has the gall to tell you.
You think you should meet someone during your everyday tasks – grocery shopping, working out, etc. But you need to stop living inside of that small box and extend yourself to new experiences. Dance at a jazz bar, go to a poetry slam, embark on a wine tour, DO SOMETHING.
No more excuses.
Everyone’s just looking for a hookup
Ahhhh… the hookup. Many people are looking for them, but then again, many aren’t. This is subject matter that you need to put on the table right away by asking the other person what they’re looking for.
Make it clear as to what you’re searching for pronto, and don’t bend. Anyone who’s worth your time will respect that straight away. If they don’t, say sayonara.
We don’t know how to date anymore
Maybe it is true: dating online and using dating apps has desensitized us from the standards we should uphold.
Online dating requires little effort in your pursuit of a great match, and perhaps that compromises the proper treatment of people in real life. These days some of us are too scared to approach someone in person because we lean on dating apps like a crutch.
Listen. We’ve already been over this a few times, but again, if you think that dating apps and online dating are ruining you, then maybe it’s time for you to sign off. There are people who know how to date, you just have to spend time finding them. Again, put on your nicest outfit and exit your house.
Apps and online dating distort reality
I mean, how obvious is this? We can only take anything we see on apps or the Internet at face value, but when it comes to reality, we have to be intuitive. This has been the case since 1991 when the World Wide Web was born.
If you really want to know the person in front of you, show up to that first date with a list of questions in your head. Figure out what it is that you’re looking for. Use your common sense and never rush into a relationship.
Dating sabotages our lives
Perhaps you look at dating as the enemy, but the real enemy is yourself. You control how much leeway dating has in your life. The truth is that a relationship will never vanquish your freedom and flexibility so long as you don’t let it happen in the first place.
When you start dating someone, write down your values and how you plan on staying true to them. Maybe it’s important that you consistently visit the gym, or you confide in others when difficult situations arise. This is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and take care of yourself, too.
This is ultimately one of the biggest problems with dating and that’s because no one wants to hurt. Hurt is one of the main reasons why people move into new relationships with commitment issues or any type of phobia. You will inevitably get hurt in even your best relationships.
But here’s the thing about hurting: it’s ok to let yourself feel. The next time someone unceremoniously ends the relationship give yourself just a few days to feel like crap. Yep, set a deadline. It is important to give yourself some time out, but that other person doesn’t deserve to see you fall apart.
Sometimes our issues are difficult to swallow and it seems like we can never heal. There’s this thing called therapy and you should feel no shame in trying it – it’s called self-care and that’s admirable.
Our standards are too high
This is a myth and it’s a good way to make someone feel guilt-stricken about what they really want. We set standards for the person we’d like to date, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We should expect the best for ourselves as long as we respect others.
With that said, if you have high standards, work for them. Become the equivalent of what you’re searching for in another person. Make sure those standards are justified by integrating constant self-improvement into your life. Because doing your own thing is a turn on, and you should expect nothing less from yourself.
Some of us just aren’t good enough
Some people feel inadequate and complain a lot about how others just don’t appreciate them. This is because it’s easier to deflect our own flaws onto other people than to take an honest look at ourselves in the mirror.
There’s no doubt that you have several redeeming qualities, but you have to model that to other people so they can see it. The bleak truth is that nobody gives a f*ck if you feel inadequate – especially if you’re not even trying. Sometimes we just expect things to happen, but similar to everything else in life you have to work hard to find success.
Like me, you might feel hurt and disillusioned, but you have to carry on with a vengeance to do better for yourself, because you deserve it. Know your value and when something isn’t good enough.
Dealing with heartache? Look at each breakup as an opportunity to reinvent yourself and do some really cool stuff. Happiness is the best form of revenge, and anyway, it’s liberating to take control of your life.
In the meantime, I will be following my own advice because crying became old – fast. You might find me at a quirky bar, a Corona in hand, smiling shyly while I search for someone kind, caring, and funny.
But hey, you could be reading this already – maybe I’ll hear from you, who knows.
Vancouver, you need to change your attitude. If you do, I promise you’ll find something – and it will be big.