Single in Vancouver: Dog panting and racial slurs

Dec 19 2017, 5:07 pm

Dating in Vancouver leads to some often comical, often discouraging stories. Because we know oh so well how painful dates can be, we thought for entertainment purposes we should share these unfortunate experiences. Which is why we reached out and asked for your bad date submissions and I can honestly say I’ve been laughing at emails ever since. Keep them coming! Send bad dates to chelsea [at]

I met this guy online. That first sentenced may have some readers sighing, thinking to themselves, “She should know better,” but my best friend just married the love of her life who she met on Plenty of Fish. Apparently, there’s hope – but for me it seems there is less and less with each date I go on.

Our correspondence on the dating site was extensive. We’d send lengthy messages discussing books, film and life philosophies. Our “online chemistry” was through the roof which made me think this could actually turn into something.

The first date was mediocre and could be described as “nice.” With my mother’s words, “sparks don’t last,” ringing in my ears; I decided to go out with him again despite the lack of anything resembling even a sliver of a spark. On a Saturday night, we planned to have a drink and see a VIFF film. We made the walk up Commercial Drive in search of a drink. For whatever reason, we were having a hard time connecting on a conversation topic. But things started to go seriously awry when he was reminiscing, loudly, about his childhood, “I was always mature for my age, you know never the kind of kid that used words like,


People on the sidewalk started to look at us. I laughed nervously, unsure of how to make him stop without being rude.


Strangers still looking…


Strangers turning away.

Well, what’s a Vancouver date between two twenty-somethings without being at least slightly publicly embarrassed?  We continued walking and I tried to steer the conversation into something a) remotely interesting and b) that would prevent him from showcasing his misplaced sense of humour.

At the restaurant, he had a 15 minute long conversation with the waitress about the name of a drink, Miami Ice versus Miami Vice – which was it? He started to tell me a story about his experience in the park across the street.

“I was sitting under a tree reading.”

Finally, something I could relate to.

“And this dog comes up to me, starts sniffing around, then lifts his leg and starts to pee on the tree missing me by mere inches.”

Wow dude, that sucks!

“And I tell him to get lost, but you know, all he could say was…”

And then he looked at me, opened his mouth, stuck his tongue out, opened wider and began to pant like a dog. The man panted at me. On a patio, at a nice restaurant, with a beautiful woman, wine and nice lighting – he panted at me, then laughed like it was the funniest joke in the world.

My dumbfounded lack of response only made him try harder.

“I bet I can make you laugh, or smile at least.”

Oh god, no. I bet you you can’t. I became afraid. Loudly, very loudly, he says,


People are staring.


I want to die.


Please stop.

At this point I didn’t know what to do. I don’t even remember what I said, only the feeling of complete and utter shock at how he could so absolutely misread my reaction. I wanted to vomit, I wanted to stand up and say, “If there is a man in here with any idea of what a woman wants to happen on a date, please stand and leave with me now.”

It was time to go, we were going to be late for the movie. I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d make it. I stood up, he stood up and added “Let’s roll, n****!”

I stopped in the middle of the restaurant and put my hand over my face in utter disbelief. At this point in the story I should clarify that we are both white.

“Did you actually just say that?” I said, with a look of absolute horror.

“Uh yeah, sorry I was just kidding,” he fumbles with a response – obviously ignorant of the fact that perpetuating structural discrimination and upholding historical oppression by appropriating words that don’t belong to us might not be an attractive thing to do. Then he continued on with, “Well, you know it doesn’t mean what it used to mean…[insert classic response about reclaiming words, normalization by rap music, etc., etc., that only makes someone seem more like an idiot].

Everything in my body told me to leave him now. I knew I would never go out with him again. Unfortunately, we continued on to the movie. Him – oblivious to how much he made my skin crawl. Me – thanking god that at least the movie was good. After it was over I said I had to go home, despite my protests he insisted on walking me to the bus stop, still trying to yell-talk to me as I crossed the street and waved goodbye.

Image: CREATISTA/Shutterstock

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