Single In Vancouver: What's holding you back?

Single in Vancouver? Let’s face it; dating in Vancouver is anything but easy. The common complaint among both men and women is that our dating scene, is, well, a bit of a nightmare. Men have assumptions and stereotypes that we are snobs who wear nothing but yoga pants, while women have the impression that this city lacks any real men with the balls to spark a conversation unless influenced by alcohol and dim lighting. In a city full of false impressions and assumptions, it’s hard to get a fair shot at gaining approval- if there are already negative preconceived notions, how will we ever get past this dating “nightmare?” Men have their opinions on the single women of Vancouver, women are constantly passing judgments on the men and the overall fear of rejection is the cherry on top of the collapsing cake- we are setting our selves up for a lifetime of solitude in a city that depresses us with rain 99% of the time and is way too expensive to comfortably live alone. I, for one, feel the need to change the outlook before we all give up.

The male perspective:

Men commonly complain that women are difficult to talk to, that we aren’t easy to “pickup” and aren’t exactly approachable. They see women standing with their arms crossed, sipping on pink cocktails, focused on their cell phones with the inability to smile and they generalize. Surely all women must be “high maintenance”, pretentious and uninterested in conversation.

The truth:

Believe it or not, some women go out in hopes of being approached. We don’t all roll our eyes at every man who kindly says hello or turn our heads to those confident enough to ask our name at the bar- some of us, although assumed to be unapproachable, are waiting for some male contact. Don’t let the high heels, short skirts, batting lashes, and over all appearance scare you- we dress to impress, not to intimidate. We are all sick and tired of hearing men call us “unapproachable.” I’ve personally thought long and hard about what it might be. Specifically: Should I smile more? Am I too tall? Should I stop wearing heels? Perhaps I should wear toques more often to come across as a low maintenance hipster, or better yet… I’ll get a T-Shirt that says: “I may look like I don’t want to talk to anyone but I kind of do.” If I’m an example of an average single woman in her 20s, well then it’s safe to say this whole dating game is almost impossible!

The female perspective:

Women commonly complain that men are difficult to talk to and don’t often spark conversation. There is an assumption that all men go out to get laid, that they love beer, sports, video games and vagina and are of course lacking the balls to start conversation with women in the daylight. From personal experience, I can’t help but wonder why the only men who talk to me at bars are drunk on the about-to-vomit level or just need to borrow a lighter. It’s easy to say: “Women aren’t easy to talk to” when you aren’t even attempting to spark a conversation with one. To women, it seems as if men lack the ability to communicate in a productive way- specifically when attempting to meet women they may be interested in picking up.

The truth:

Believe it or not, some men aren’t just looking to get laid (also for the record, not all men love beer, sports, video games and vagina). Although I’m sure some women are lovely, some are also the reason we are stereotyped as “snobby”, leading men to believe we must all aspire to be Paris Hilton. This is, in simple terms, a miscommunication. Once you’ve been shut down or embarrassed by someone, it’s difficult to keep trekking on. When it comes to hitting on the opposite sex, men are usually expected to make that first move, which will scare any man who fears rejection. It takes nerve to approach a woman and not all men have the confidence of Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. In most cases, if straight and single, men would love a woman to strut over and make that first move- it would take some of the pressure off.

The fear of rejection:

The fact of the matter is, you’re never going to meet someone if you don’t make the effort, yet so many of us walk right past those we are attracted to because we fear rejection.

The fear of rejection is human nature- it’s a part of life just like getting old and wrinkled (it’s going to happen so we might as well embrace it). At a young age rejection feels like the end of the world (I know this because my journal from grade 9 tells me so). The girl who didn’t say yes to your invitation to the school dance, the boy who laughed when you told him you had a crush on him- this is the beginning of a lifetime of rejection and disappointment (in other words: reality). Sure, in the moment, you feel as if you will never get past the embarrassment, but by 40 you’ll forget all about that weird looking kid who hadn’t gone through puberty and didn’t like you.

Being single gives you an excuse to converse with new people- some will like you, some won’t…. It’s a good idea to come to terms with this now. This doesn’t mean you are unattractive, weird, a loser, too fat, too old, or anything else you will be quick to assume is the reason; we must be the problem, right? WRONG. This just means that you aren’t what that specific person thinks he or she is looking for. Everyone is looking for something and sometimes we just aren’t it, at least not at first impression. The key is to never take it personally…although it’s hard not to when someone rejects YOU. There’s nothing wrong with you, just because one person isn’t interested.

It’s a sad reality that people are passing up opportunities because they fear a split second of embarrassment. You only know the person for a short time so who really cares- at the end of the day there are bigger things to be concerned with.

Take advantage of what Vancouver has to offer:

We live in a city with snowcapped mountains as our backdrop, with attractive people spread throughout the streets that we so often walk down, with award worthy restaurants and endless bars and pubs filled to capacity on weekends. Vancouver provides us with the outline- the framework. It is up to us, the single and looking, to take advantage and take initiative (in other words- grow a pair and start having conversations with the people you find yourself drawn to). Never assume someone won’t be interested because you will never know unless you make an attempt….. and remember: Rejection builds character (so does being ugly in highschool). Good luck!