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Do Vancouver Women Suck? A Reader's Response

Katherine Ashenburg's piece, Do Vancouver Men Suck?, generated a huge response from our online readers, and sparked many insightful, often hilarious, comments. Here is our favourite
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Editor's Choice Comment
Editor's Choice Comment

Katherine Ashenburg's piece, Do Vancouver Men Suck?, generated a huge response from our online readers, and sparked many insightful, often hilarious, comments. Here is our favourite

By Jorge Amigo via email, @AmigoJor

This is not necessarily intended as a rebuttal to "Do Vancouver men suck?", but more like an addendum that seeks to add another layer to the discussion of why dating in this city is tremendously complicated. You see, Katherine Ashenburg's article focuses on how men here are a bunch of ski bums who dress like teenagers and have no clue about how to court women. As a Mexican immigrant, I suppose her article does not apply to me...and I don't necessarily disagree with her assessment. However, the dating game is a dance of two, and I feel she misses half the story when she avoids any criticism of women in Vancouver. Thus, to fill the reciprocity gap (and expand on her final sentence), I hereby share my vision of "why women in Vancouver suck".

Warning: this may offend those who are absolutely paranoid about any sort of cultural generalizations. Although I agree that every human is unique and every case is different, blah blah blah, I also find that sketching some general attitudes about women in Vancouver is a useful exercise. As a person who has lived in Mexico, France, and Italy (arguably countries with some of the most romantic/forward men in the world, where women are used to being approached), I see a serious deficit in the way women handle the romantic prowess (or lack thereof, according to Katherine) of men here. Also, my generalizations don't come out of thin air, but are derived from 5 years of constantly meeting women in Vancouver, which has allowed me to find some common denominators in the way that women here react to men. If you disagree with some of these general attitudes, congratulations, you're an outlier. I wish you thousands of successful dates. (And, um, I would love to meet you.)

The best way to get my point across is to present you with some typical scenarios where strangers meet, and then explain how Vancouver women are so "special". Enjoy.

The girl on the bus

Buses are the quintessential way you come into close contact with strangers. They are, by definition, places where you experience close proximity with people you don't know. As such, they serve as a litmus test for the general approachability of people in a city. To me, they're a box full of potential for meeting new faces. Yes, I'm the annoying guy who talks to you on the bus. The dude who asks you, "How is your morning going?" or "Have you listened to the new Bon Iver album?" Yes, I fully believe that casual conversation makes us more human, and I never pass the chance of trying to sit close to the interesting-looking girl in the bus and open my mouth.

You know where this is going. The second you start talking to a Vancouver girl on the bus, you notice the automatic clenching of the fists. The tightening of the cheeks. The rapid eye movement looking for an escape route. I remember a girl who looked absolutely bored riding the #6 bus down Davie, from the West End into downtown. She was most likely my neighbour and, judging by the cool outfit, probably worked in some creative job in a startup in Gastown. She was one of those people that you spot and automatically feel like you would have a billion things in common with and you would already be BFFs if only you had been in the same Film Studies class at UBC. Her reaction to my non-intrusive, "Ahh, lovely sunrise with those heavy clouds in the distance, eh?" A dismissive "yahh," and a microsecond later she buried her face in her iPhone (probably to text Crime Stoppers). She was most likely thinking "HOW DARE HE?!"

Question: do they hire Latino men with my accent to sexually molest girls as part of some safety training in the BC high school curriculum? No? Reaaaaally? Well, IT CERTAINLY FEELS LIKE IT. I cannot stress this enough. Due to some bizarre learned cultural behavior, women in Vancouver experience an explosion of panic the second a man (who did not go to elementary school with them) talks to them. They can't hide it... adrenaline shows in the eyes and the mouth and everywhere on the face, and our brains are programmed to read whether a person is comfortable with you or not. As a guy who gets this reaction almost daily, I almost feel like saying "sorrrry, did I ruin your morning commute by putting your body on high defensive alert for the next 9 hours??"

Now, you might be thinking, maybe, Jorge, you approach women with the look of a hungry wolf that just spotted its prey, salivating at the sight of a mere 2 inches of exposed ankle. Perhaps. But those who have met me know that I'm a "nice" guy, and even if may sometimes be on a "mission", I approach people gently, in a non-imposing and friendly manner. (Yes, you might later find that I'm a bit hyperactive or get overexcited and talk A LOT if I find you interesting, and I'll probably recommend you go to 6 or 7 life-changing films playing THAT night...but that's waaaay after you've given me the initial green light, not after I get the look of a deer about to be murdered with a rifle).

The 18 kms of beaches

In a city with such precious beaches (Kits was recently rated North America's sexiest beach. By someone who clearly needs to travel more), you would think that summer here would be the ultimate place to meet your future life partner. Think again. Vancouver beaches have big logs for a reason. NOT for comfort when you read, but to MARK YOUR TERRITORY.

Let's start with an exercise. Close your eyes and think about the last time you went to Third Beach or Kits Beach or Jericho (Wreck does not count because everyone is high and they're not being themselves ) and played Frisbee with the strangers from the next log over. Or helped them apply sunscreen. Or organized a game of volleyball where nobody knew each other previously. Tough, eh?

You see, the beach is the one place where Vancouver women exercise a particular kind of double entendre. They spend 80 percent of the year getting fit, choose the perfect bikini, and then lay by themselves on a gorgeous beach with a book. But don't you dare intrude on their beach Zen. Seriously, what am I supposed to read from these visual cues? That you want to be left the fuck alone? Obviously.

I won't argue against the fact that everyone has a right to privacy and to enjoying public space without having to deal with some talkative Mexican who wants to meet you just because he happens to be at the same beach as you. However, the reaction I get when I (try to) talk to Vancouver women at the beach is invariably like crashing into a cement wall (mind you, at the beach I'm the quintessential douchebag with a ukulele who plays two songs and then expects all the girls to want to meet me just because I'm more...umm...sensitive). Monosyllabic responses and quickly looking over their shoulder as if the boyfriend were about to arrive, are the norm. Give. me. a. break.

I remember a girl at Spanish Banks once who briefly smiled at me when I glanced over. I was alone, so I decided to walk over and say hi. In a matter of minutes we were talking about music, some show she loved at the Push Festival, and asked about each other's job and family history. I also learned that she had a boyfriend, yet we continued our conversation for about an hour, until she had to leave to meet a friend for dinner. Before leaving she asked if she could text me later so that I could join her for a film with her friends, and I'm glad to say that we have remained close for more than a year now. In other words, she is a normal woman who is not afraid to...oh wait...she doesn't count, she is from Montréal.

The Park

Purely anecdotal. Last summer I walked to the park near Sunset Beach and spotted a girl who was sitting by herself with a full picnic kit (blanket, basket, book, wine, the works). As I walked by, I decide not to pass on the opportunity to meet a new face, so I said: "I was going to sit over there by myself, but you seem to have the perfect picnic setup. Can I join you?"

Now, I wasn't going to steal her food (I was carrying my own hummus and quinoa salad) nor drink her wine. I just wanted a conversation (because, yes, sitting with someone is usually infinitely better than sitting alone. Anywhere.)

After looking at me incredulously for about 6 seconds, she began to mutter something that went like "ahh, ummm... my... I was just about to leave, sorry." And then she packed her stuff and was gone. Wait, whaaat? I knew she didn't have to leave because I saw her set up her picnic blanket a mere 7 minutes before. AND she had to chug her glass of pinot grigio in order to leave.

I imagine that in another city, she may have said, "Sorry, I was hoping to have a picnic by myself, but thanks", or even, "Listen buddy, get your own piece of grass." Again, I understand that you're by yourself on purpose, but is it necessary to act like you saw a Sasquatch if you get approached in public? You see, it's one thing to be socially rigid (Germans, Swiss, etc), but an entirely different thing to be socially inept. Lesson: the problem with Vancouver women is that they leave you standing in the park alone, feeling like you just committed a crime.

Yes, Katherine, meeting women in Vancouver is indeed "daunting, strenuous, semi-natural, and so not romantic."

The Yaletown encounter

Not worth our time discussing this (though it sounds like Katherine's interview subjects , Natalie, Elise and Tracey, are Yaletowners). Like, yahhh. Like, why botherrrr? In all seriousness, though, trying to talk to a girl in the streets of Yaletown is like pretending your pet Chihuahua understands English. You will get the nervous look of a dog that knows it can be crushed by anything taller than a bonsai. That is...if you're not actually talking to her dog (because, the most common way to approach a woman in Yaletown is to direct your ice-breaker towards her pet Chihuahua, and then hope that she gets off her phone and actually says something other than "yahh, OMG, totally, wait...there's a creeper trying to touch my dog, LOL" and disappears into a yoga studio. )

I agree with Katherine that "Vancouver is in a class by itself." When it comes to paranoid, anti-social women, the ones in Vancouver seem to have written the book.

A glimmer of hope: coffee shops

I like happy endings. This treatise of women in Vancouver would not be complete if I didn't mention the only place where I find it somehow easy to have a good conversation with a stranger and get a number. (Omit for a second the fact that coffee shops in the world were INVENTED for that purpose)

In a coffee shop environment (not the chain variety, but real coffee shops, like Nelson the Seagull or Revolver), I find that women in Vancouver are particularly at ease when I smile at them. It may be that it's such a safe and non-threatening location (there's people around that can text Crime Stoppers for them) that they temporarily defrost their Vancouver ice wall. Or perhaps they're at a coffee shop precisely because they're so tired from a day's worth of fending off salivating wolves, that they landed there to rest and don't have any energy left to keep their defensive barrier in place. Whatever the reason, the coffee shop is where women in Vancouver become real: respond normally when you ask to borrow a chair, offer a friendly nod when you comment on the amazingness of the shoes they're wearing, poke fun at your accent, and appreciate some healthy banter. In other words, I haven't left Vancouver because some very sensible people decided to open amazing new coffee shops. Thank you. After all, we all need a place to feel human again.

Jorge Amigo
Twitter: @AmigoJor
Jan, 8, 2012

- dedicated to fedupvancouverguy, for his illustrious comment

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Discussed

This is my reply to "Do Vancouver Men Suck?":
_______________________________________________________________________________

Excellent article. Although somewhat biased and more of a female’s perspective on the matter, it’s about time someone touched on this very important subject.

The fact is that is that this is a complex and multi-dimensional issue. This is a deep topic that can be discussed at length. But I’ll try to briefly touch on some of the main issues as I see them, from a Vancouver man’s perspective.

First of all, a bit about myself. I’m a Vancouver resident in my early 30s. I’m a professional, and spend about half of my time overseas on business and vacation throughout the year, most of which are in Western Europe. I also quite often travel to Eastern Canada (Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa), and like to frequent the US, specifically LA, and San Diego. I consider myself to be physically attractive, successful, educated, fun, and overall well rounded. I do not consider myself to be a “typical” Vancouver male, as I was not born in Vancouver, and have been living off and on in Vancouver for the last 20 years. I don’t ski, follow hockey, have done the grind only a handful of times, but never really timed myself, and I try to dress well. I follow men’s fashion trends from the top designers every season, and keep a healthy wardrobe of designer suits, jackets, sport coats, and more informal, yet fashionable casual clothes. I associate with a group of men with similar tastes and lifestyles. We all own or own downtown condos, and have not lived with our parents since having left for university well over a decade ago.

So let’s talk about some of the key issues here.

The man issue is universal, most prominently North American, and maybe slightly more prevalent in Vancouver due to reasons I’ll discuss:

During the last few decades, the Western definition of being a man has changed, and has become somewhat skewed. The days of “men being men”, of James Bond’s Sean Connery and Marcus Aurelius are long gone. Traits such as being masculine, cool, confident, decisive, romantic, ambitious, classy and fun seem to have dwindled to almost non-existence in many places. This is a result of several trends and movements in Western society. One being, the Women’s movement. Without going into detail, the Women’s movement has hit North American men so hard, that much of it has symbolically castrated men. This movement has become so ingrained in North American culture that it has become an accepted fact, and the norm. Just turn on the TV and watch a few commercials, a few minutes of popular sitcoms, and Hollywood movies. The men are generally incompetent, boyish, whiney, and weak. The inept man knocks over the glass of juice, and the woman comes to the rescue by wagging her finger with hand on the hip, shaking her head with disappointment at the moron male. The man stands there scratching head much like an ape, trying to figure something out, and the woman walks in to save the day. She rolls her eyes and fixes whatever foolish mistake the incompetent man has made. The man stands there like a buffoon, baffled by what just took place, but is appreciative that the woman was there to fix what he did wrong. Boys and men are constantly bombarded by this type of social reinforcement all day, every day. So no wonder many men perceive themselves as inept, who in some cases need a woman to take them shopping and dress them. This kind of North American cultural reinforcement is also exasperated by fathers who either don’t know how, or don’t bother to teach their sons how to be men. Many fathers of the baby boom era, who suffered from overbearing, disciplinarian fathers, have failed to teach their sons how to be men. Creating a crisis for this generation, and ones to follow. Men have lost their “initiation” phases into manhood, and never symbolically “graduate” from being a boy, to becoming a man. This results from aloof fathers who failed to teach their sons fundamentals of being a mature man, and well intentioned and overbearing mothers who raised “nice boys”, or “mama’s boys” who need their mommy to buy them underwear and clean their rooms. As a result, these “man-boys” grow up to be frustrated, confused, passive-aggressive whiny boys in a man’s body. They try to fulfill this critical gap in their lives by resorting to passive-aggressive acts of macho behaviour and violence in public, trying to create a unique tough guy persona as the drug dealer, MMA fighter, devout sports spectator, outdoorsman, in your face businessman, etc. The fact is that many men have lost their ways in North American culture. A current interesting phenomenon is a growing underground “men’s movement”, that has also become big business for the “pick up artist”, and “seduction” scenes. To answer your question, this is why men are forking out up to $5000 for self-improvement. The ones who’ve realized that they’re missing these critical elements, are now trying to make up for the lost lessons by taking these crash courses in self-improvement. The sad reality is that most men have no idea what they’re missing, the critical features of being a man. So, they don’t even bother to seek help.

As I briefly described some fundamental issues of men in general these days, let’s take a look at Vancouver men.

The Vancouver city demographic has a lot to do with it, but not fully to blame:

The Vancouver dating scene is a unique scenario. And before going into the “Vancouver men issues”, let me add that Vancouver women are just as equally to blame in many aspects. I’ll explain that in a bit. But before that, let’s look at the city.

The fact is that Vancouver is still a small city, comparatively to “true” Metropolitan cities such as Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, etc. In fact, given Vancouver’s size, demographics, and population, Vancouver is far from being even considered a Metropolitan city. The city of Vancouver has a population of just over 600,000 (Metro population of a bit over 2,000,000), with a downtown core population of just 80,000. That’s smaller than the population of most major US university campuses. In comparison, New York has a population of over 19,000,000 (Yes 19 Million), Los Angeles with a population of over 15,000,000, with over 4,000,000 being in the core, and London with the population of close to 14,000,000, with a core population of close to 8,000,000, a far cry from Vancouver’s 80,000 (Yes, 80 thousand). So anyone who complains about Vancouver being “small” and “boring” for a “Metro” city really needs to get on a plane and go to some real Metropolitan cities. The point is that with the “small city” persona, you get small city mentality. Other than the immigrants of Vancouver, most Vancouverites have moved to the city from even smaller surrounding places in the quest to live the “big city life” in “Metro Vancouver”. They have very little world travel experience, and have lived in the Vancouver “bubble” most of their lives. So they really “don’t know what they don’t know”, and are quite content living the “big city” life in Vancouver. As a result, if you come to Vancouver from a true big city, you’re going to have a hard time adjusting to the lack of social life. And lack of variety in men and women. Vancouver is so small that everyone seems to know everyone, the same people hang out at the same places over and over again, and everyone seems to be in everyone else’s business. But again, these are quirks of living in a smaller city.

Weather:

Although Vancouver has somewhat “mild” weather compared to other cold Canadian cities, Vancouver really has only a few months of decent weather in a year where people can get out and mingle in the open. And if you’re used to spending summers in sunny beach destinations such as Mexico, Greece, Southern Spain, etc, you know that the Vancouver sun is not enough to comfortably hit the beach with your clothes off and not risk catching a cold by the end of the day. The endless months of rain also really put a damper on people’s moods and have documented psychological and physiological ramifications leading to deficiencies and chemical imbalances such as vitamin D deficiencies, decrease Testosterone in men, mood disorders, and depression to name a few. Not to mention, that going out in the rain is not the most pleasant experience, and quite often enough of an excuse for the unmotivated to just stay in and watch TV instead.

So without going into too much detail about how the city itself in many ways hinders a healthy social lifestyle, let’s look at why the Vancouver men and women are the way they are.

Vancouver breeds, and attracts mediocrity:

Given the fact that Vancouver lacks many of the things true Metropolitan cities possess, Vancouver does not generally attract the young, ambitious, go-getter types. In fact, it detracts any such person. Like myself, many of my friends who were very goal oriented with big plans in life, all ended up leaving Vancouver for bigger cities with more opportunities, better study and career choices, and much more options for spending your hard earned cash in your first years of building your dream career, and living it up while you’re still young and have money in your wallet. Vancouver does not have a major “corporate” scene with many young professionals loosening their ties after work and hitting happy hour after a day of battling it out in the stock market. Vancouver’s wealthy are generally older, and many make their money overseas. We don’t have major corporations in the downtown core, and large numbers of young ambitious men and women who work and play hard. As a result, many of the guys and gals who stay in Vancouver dominate the labour sector and can barely scrounge enough cash to pay for their small rental condos in downtown that they may be sharing with a few others. Many of the attractive females work in the restaurants, boutiques, and salons, and are generally not very ambitious and some have a hard time carrying an intelligent conversation as they are limited in their life experiences. Not saying that mature and intelligent women don’t exist in Vancouver, It’s just that the former seem to dominate the social scenes. Vancouver is the only city where girls are content and quite proud of being a server at a restaurant, calling themselves with pride a “Cactus girl” etc. Many men on the other hand take pride in being small time drug dealers, and take pride in being doormen and bartenders. Some have family money that they may have invested in small businesses, and are content managing a small business, or working for their fathers. The fact is that social status in Vancouver is very bizarre. But, this is a result of an immature and inexperienced demographics of people in their 20s and 30s living in Vancouver.

The combination of Vancouver being dominated by the unambitious, lack of career choices with decent salaries, an overinflated housing market, and lack of choices in socializing scenes, reaching a certain level of maturity in Vancouver can be very challenging. Due to these issues, many end up relying on living with their parents for a very long time, lack travel, work and life experience, and are generally immature compared to their European and Asian counterparts in the same age range.

Although both sexes in Vancouver generally seem to suffer from the lack of ambition thing, but I guess this is more of an issue for women as they would want an ambitious man, as opposed to men who care more about looks than the woman’s career ambitions.

I have approached and dated girls in Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Dubai, and many other places around the world, and I have never seen women in those places behave the way some of the women in Vancouver behave.

Just as I pointed out several fundamental missing elements in men, especially in Vancouver, the same issues exist with women in Vancouver. Vancouver is also filled with girls trapped in a woman’s body. Vancouver has many attractive women who really go out of their way to “flaunt it”, yet at the same time lack the maturity to know “what they really want”. A mature and sophisticated woman “knows what she wants”. Unfortunately, many women in Vancouver don’t reach this stage until they’re in their late 30s. Many end up spending their weekdays working unsatisfying jobs, and spending their weekends in drunken stupors running around in high heels from club to club, getting validation from random guys and regretting it for half of the following week. And continue the cycle once again the following weekend. By the time they start to realize what they want out of a guy, and out of life, many are pushing 40, and now have to compete for the “good men” with 20 some year olds. Vancouver is the only city I’ve seen where hundreds of girls take hours to get ready in skimpy and sexy clothes and refuse to wear a jacket in the winter just to walk around downtown to have guys look at them for validation. I’ve seen packs of girls in mini-skirts and short dresses walking around Yaletown, Gastown, and the Granville strip, as they shiver in the cold, just to get some social proof and validation from the guys who care to look at them. But that’s where it ends, where most seem to just want the “validation”, and just to feel good for that moment, or night by having a few drunk guys stare at them and approach them with cheesy lines. But if the same women are approached by a “man’s man” as most complain no longer exist, many of the same women react in the most abhorrent, immature, and offensive manner only unique to Vancouver women. The fact is that normal, well adjusted, psychologically well women don’t behave like this.

Just ask any guy in Vancouver and they’ll tell you endless stories of immature and offensive acts and gestures by immature “girl-women”. I cracked up once as I saw a young good looking European man in downtown who looked like a tourist ask one of these girls for directions, and she responded by saying “I have a boyfriend” and gave him a dirty look as her drunk friend pulled her away as though she was saving her. The poor guy stood there holding his little map, just baffled at what just took place. I’ve approached women in lounges and bars and have had them tell me that “they know the deal”, they knew “what I was doing” etc, etc. Well, I hope they knew the deal, that’s why people go out, to socialize and meet people! In some cases, even as the conversation was going well, another immature “friend” ran across the room and violently dragged her away as though she was about to be sexually assaulted. All these behaviours are reminiscent of high school dances, or interactions between elementary school boys and girls on the playground. An example of another true story, I watched a well-dressed, classy looking young man approach a woman in her mid 20s. As he smiled and said hi, she actually yelled “eww!” and stormed off. The poor guy stood there, holding his drink for several minutes as he digested what just took place. He did nothing wrong, but was a victim of an immature, poorly adjusted Vancouver woman. These are just a few of the record breaking observations in immaturity I’ve witnessed in the Vancouver night scene.

So, when faced with some of the mentioned female behaviours in Vancouver, it’s not hard to explain why many guys who are already struggling with their masculine identity issues, refuse to approach women. No wonder many of these already wounded men refuse to approach women all together.

Again, this does not make up for the fundamental self-development issues Vancouver men also need to deal with, and I don’t intend to paint all Vancouver women with the same brush. I’ve met many beautiful, mature, and well-adjusted women in Vancouver as well. But they’re very hard to come by.

Now as far as stories of 60 year old women having issues finding men. Well, if you’re 60, have been divorced, and have dated hundreds of men without success of being able to develop a meaningful relationship, it’s not hard to pinpoint the source of the problem. In a case like that, one must take responsibility and stop blaming “Vancouver men”, and thinking a Jewish, Muslim, black, or white man will save the day. That’s typical of a woman who never grew up and doesn’t know what she wants. The fact is that a true healthy relationship takes a lot of compromise, and if you don’t reach the level of maturity to be able to compromise, then you’ll always be single and pissed off. You have no one to blame but yourself.

If you think men from other nationalities and religions may suit you better, then I encourage you to go and test this theory. You may find the one. I know of men and women who met their life partners in a different country, or a different continent. But this shouldn’t stop you from looking within and dealing with your own issues as opposed to trying to search the world for someone who will “tolerate” your bad qualities.

The funny thing is that when I lived in Italy, I dated a beautiful Italian girl who always told me what a great guy I was and how Italian men were such selfish jerks, and how Canadian men were so gret, etc. I was told the same thing by my ex-German, and Brazilian girlfriends. So, if you think you can deal with a Brazilian, Greek, Italian, or any man other than “Vancouver men”, then go and explore that. Let us know how that goes.

Although I have a lot more to say and can discuss this issue for a very long time, I’ll leave it at this.

by Alex Vancouver Guy on Feb 22 2012 at 5:35 AM

Sorry, but this misses the point entirely. It actually helps the "Vancouver Men Sucking" case more... I'll repost my reply on this page as well:

by Alex Vancouver Guy on Feb 22 2012 at 5:33 AM

I'm an Architect and recently moved to Vancouver to do a training program, As someone who has also lived in various places from my natal Mexico to Spain, US, UK and France I could not agree more. You can smell the paranoia, also the whole argument people is "nice" I would say is actually repressed as it doesn't take more than 2 beers to have a full bar into a dumb fist fight (with various slurs being screamed raging from lowbro to plain racism) ... so much for niceness I guess.

There a few comments arguing that women would not talk to men if they are not physically attracted to it... which if you think about it is LAME, It ads to the notion women can't have a normal friendship with men, are they merely reproduction objects then?, Is that their goal in life? not to establish any kind of relationship that is not necessary to their primal needs? wow..

by Omar Gonzalez on Jan 31 2012 at 11:35 PM

I hadn't realized it before reading this, but whenever I'm approached by anyone (except very small children) I assume they're going to ask me for money. My whole body stiffens and I tense, like: "Oh God. What do you want from me? Please don't make a scene. Where's my pepper spray?" It's a relief when someone asks for directions instead.

I grew up here, so I don't know if this is just a Vancouver thing, or if girls who grew up in other cities feel this way too. I've lived in other places, though, and I couldn't shake my reaction, even though I was rarely approached for cash. In other cities, half the time I was approached it was for directions, and the other half by random people, making conversation or making a move. Here, it's 50% for directions, and 50% for money. The money approach isn't so bad, either, it's just the odd time that the person asking yells at you if you say no. When I was younger, it used to really scare me. It still does, a bit.

by emily10101 on Jan 30 2012 at 11:06 AM

Jorge, I think you're one of the very few men in Vancouver that has the balls to approach ladies to say hi at coffee shops (or to tell them to shut up at the library -hah!). I appreciate the frustration that the small minority of you guys must have from the frigid responses, but I say, keep it going! I doubt every single woman in France, Mexico, Italy, etc that gets approached by a stranger stops to have a 20 minute conversation. But I appreciate that Vancouver is a bit of a close-minded anomaly (in terms of both genders) and these kinds of conversations might hopefully make everyone slowly, but surely, relax a little and be less uptight about meeting new friends, etc.

by naseam on Jan 23 2012 at 12:06 PM

Not sure if I should find comfort in the fact that other men seem to be on the same page, or depressed that I may grow old alone in Vancouver. I divorced a few years ago and went back to school, so the first two years as a newly divorced man immersed in school and didn't look (which I'm told erroneously is the time when you're supposed to miraculously meet a women--not sure how that's supposed to happen when Vancouver women never take the initiative.)

After school finished I figured it was time to put myself out there as I'd spent some time on me and had time to heal emotionally. I read some books on dating and meeting women, actively worked on breaking out of my shell and approaching women and striking up conversations, and I think I'm a pretty good conversationalist and make an effort to be a good listener. So over a year later, after speed dating events, internet dating sites, mixers and just asking out women that I've met in public, I have a whole lot of nothing to show for it. I got one lousy date out of all that. Anyone will tell you that no one will continue an activity where they expend an enormous amount of time and energy and are met with nothing but failure.

So lately I find myself very despondent and depressed about my lack of a dating life and have given up. The only glimmer of hope has been some of the foreign women I've met or French Canadian girls who have at least been friendly. I'm now planning a trip to Eastern Europe and, hopefully, Latin America down the road. I'm either going to spend the rest of my life alone or meet a quality women thousands of miles from Vancouver, because I feel I'm about as likely to be struck by lightning as to actually wind up with a Vancouver girlfriend.

I've been told by women I've come across who weren't available that I was good looking, to really good looking and they volunteered that, I wasn't fishing for compliments. I'm athletic and work out every day and watch what I eat. I'm 41 but people usually guess early 30s and I'm well groomed and have a bit of money and a good job. I'm respectful and a good guy with some great friends. While I can meet new guy friends with ease, it's damned near impossible to get a woman to be open and friendly in this town. I'm in agreement with the other comments, that it's the frostiness of Vancouver women that creates the type of passive men they complain about. Even guys I've talked to who were from other cities and countries started out initially very outgoing and approached lots of women because that worked for them back home. After being shot down repeatedly, they too went into shells. I've met a lot of guys who've drawn the same conclusions as me, that it's not worth the time and effort meeting Vancouver women and we'd all just rather hang out with our buddies and do hobbies.

I would love to have a special woman in my life, but I just don't think it's going to happen here.

by trevzilla on Jan 16 2012 at 10:24 PM

Though this was not meant to be a rebuttal, I'm glad that someone offered up another perspective. Naturally my curiousity was peaked at who this @AmigoJor was, and so off to Twitter I went on my search. I had to laugh once I saw his photo: I remember seeing Jorge once at a social media gathering for non-profit types. I thought he was cute and intelligent and would have approached him were it not for the rather unfriendly look he had on his face the entire time. Perhaps I should have given him the benefit of the doubt? Lesson learned.

Don't give up Jorge, otherwise, there's always Montreal.

by outsidelookingin on Jan 14 2012 at 1:50 PM

@ZAPH i can't say that i would agree with your statement. I have met people on the bus and have remained friends with them for years now. one that i met i've been friends with her for over 4 years now, but guess what, she was an exchange student from japan at that time and she was with her group when i met her.

vancouver women are just a whole different level from what i can say.

by ramir on Jan 13 2012 at 2:21 PM

Unmotivated, low sex drive, paranoia, anti-social. Judging by the commentary, it appears Vancouver culture shares many of the same symptoms associated with marijuana addiction. Perhaps coincidentally, I see a similar kind of attitude in San Fran.

Whatever the cause, this is a general cultural issue that is not isolated to inter-sex interactions, but extends more broadly to Vancouver's business culture and a general "Work not so hard, play not so hard" attitude that sucks the dynamism out of the city. I travel all over the world and I recently moved here from New York, but Blandcouver has me eying the door, and I know many ex-Vancouverites who have left because they find Vancouver's insipid culture to be oppressive and bleak.

Rob Leclerc
robert.leclerc@gmail.com

by rdleclerc on Jan 12 2012 at 12:34 PM

None of this addresses the root causes of this profound loss of social norms and structured behavior. Gender roles, culture, and technology have changed so fast that we no longer need to follow any rules. Adapt, or lose.

by Sicklove on Jan 11 2012 at 11:36 AM

I agree with the readers who commented on the inappropriateness of approaching women in public places such as transit and the beach. Women deal with a considerable amount of harassment in public, ranging from mildly annoying to life threatening. When I am at the beach, I just want to be left alone. I do not care to have my space intruded on by a stranger, no matter how well meaning a stranger. There have been times when I have made the effort to be friendly to men who approached me in public. Most of the time, I have regretted those efforts. The men in question would rudely proposition me, touch me inappropriately, or attempt to follow me home. If I talked about those experiences to others, they would often blame me, saying that my 'approachable, inviting attitude' and 'naivete' were to blame. In short, it is the sense of entitlement that some men have around women. They feel that women 'owe' them attention in public. This is a huge problem. Please leave us alone. Join a group or meet women through your circle of friends, or go on a dating site. Please leave me alone when I am commuting to work. I just want to listen to music and not be bothered. Thanks!

by MargaretH on Jan 10 2012 at 11:09 PM

I though this was a funny and well-written article but I have to agree with the comment from Bijjy. While admittedly pretty excessive, a lot of our defensiveness really does come from experience. Like the time I gave my number to a guy I met at the beach and he spent the next few weeks leaving explicit pornographic voicemails on my phone on a daily basis. Or the guy who started up what seemed like a friendly conversation that somehow ended with me listening to a 20 minute vendetta on life that was so bizarre as to be almost completely unanswerable. Or the older guy who seemed nice enough until he launched into the many reasons he likes young women "around his daughters age." I could go on. Now, I know MOST guys are NOT like this, but in my experience, of the pool of guys who are actually gutsy enough to approach a random woman on the street/beach/bus, you've got about a 50% chance of getting a Jorge Amigo, and a 50% chance of getting a bonafide creeper or someone who just wants to listen to themselves talk for awhile. And some days, you just don't feel like playing those odds. It sucks that the nice gents suffer from this and we women definitely need to stop assuming everyone is going to be the latter, but the creepers of the world (who range from annoying to actually dangerous) need to share some of the blame too.

And Bijjy has it totally right - coffee shops, volleyball teams, house parties (and, I would add, the many casual-style pubs and lounges in our great city) are perfect environments for casual conversation in a safe, congenial social setting. Buses and beaches, on the other hand, are not ideal. Women are already in a somewhat vulnerable/exposed position and likely to feel put on the spot. On a bus, your conversation is almost guaranteed to be overheard by the rest of the people who are often sitting silently or texting or whatever. I don't think I'm a particularly shy person, but definitely find it embarrassing to be picked up in front of an audience of 30+ strangers with front row seats to your awkward first conversation. (Same goes for airplanes, by the way). At the beach women are also in an immediately awkward position because we are physically exposed right from the start, in the sense of being half (or nearly fully) naked. I know it's hard to believe, but there really is something inexplicably liberating and wonderful about being able to lie by the ocean and soak in the sun without layers of clothing on that is not just about attracting men. (If I could do it in my own backyard, I totally would, but like most apartment dwelling vancouverites I don't have a backyard….so here we are). Anyway, I would say if you're approaching a woman at the beach, there's a chance she's going to eat it up because that's what she's there for, but also a chance she's going to feel super vulnerable and insecure because she is fully on display and may not be 700% confident about her exposed body. By all means, still go for it if you want, but don't take it personally if you get rebuffed or a shy/awkward reaction…. everyone's understanding of what's "romantic" is different, and I bet when you meet the right lady, she'll love your approach (and by that I mean, if you meet a woman who likes being picked up on the bus, marry her immediately!).

by vcvrwoman on Jan 10 2012 at 6:54 PM

I got asked out for "a coffee" by a girl in Vancouver, wich in Europe - where I'm originally from - means like "I like you as a person, lets hang out and maybe become friends". In her idea, it was the context for a full date. And I was not interested in "dating" since I years. These strict idea's of what an exchange between two persons can - and must - mean, bothered me a lot when I lived in Vancouver. The trust in the fact that relationships will grow organically - as well as friendships do, seem to lack. Everything is a bit estimated and calculated beforehand. I expected a bit more of an "relaxed" attitude from people that are being stoned all the time.

by JasonEvans on Jan 10 2012 at 5:47 PM

I find these two articles are a sad example of the lack of social fibre that Vancouver has as a large Canadian city. Unfortunately the content in both articles is true and both come down to a lack of socialization skills by both men and women. If you have travelled to any other big cities in the world you will find people much approachable, much more outgoing and there are definitely NO articles about whether their populations (men or women) suck.

Do you think they have articles like this in New York, Paris, Milan, San Fran? I think we should be ashamed that we need to write articles on whether men or women suck in our city! Where is the friendly Canadian Spirit we are known for? Why in Vancouver can't we be social with our fellow Canadians. We can't talk to each other on the bus, at the beach or at a park? Have you ever run into another Canadian in another country on a bus, at a beach or a park? You are very social when you run into a Canadian on the bus in Argentina, the beach in Bali, or the park in New York. You are often glad and excited to see them. So why can't you be social with them in Vancouver?

This is the Number #1 downfall that Vancouver has, its social scene. People don't talk to each other, they don't make eye contact and they definitely aren't friendly, guys or girls. Ironically in Canada, there is no other city as "cold" as Vancouver when it comes to socializing and making new friends.

While we banter back and forth on who "sucks" more people in Montreal are meeting new people at concerts, people in Winnipeg are chatting at grocery stores and people in Edmonton are making friends while helping cars out of snow banks. I say grow up Vancouver, quit acting like teenagers and start being nice and friendly to each other.

How can we live in the BEST CITY in the world when all the men and women suck?

by kaihawki on Jan 10 2012 at 4:28 PM

Approaching someone who is listening to music, reading a book or doing anything else that requires them to not have someone speaking to them in order to continue doing is actually rude. And thinking that they owe it to you to put down what they are doing just because you approached them is unbelievable.
Your attitude toward women at the beach is grossly sexist. Suggesting that a woman who maintains a fit figure and wears a swimsuit to the beach is a hypocrite for not wanting to be hit on while sunbathing is just disgusting.
There are many reasons why women in Vancouver react negatively when you approach them. First of all, most people (not just women) dislike the ultra chatty bus guy. People don't like the bus. They ride it to get where they are going, not to make friends. Everyone is tired and they just want to listen to their music and close their eyes while they bus in to work. Being pretty doesn't make someone less deserving of this.
A commenter above mentioned the enormous number of weirdos who absolutely will hassle you and sometimes assault you in broad daylight if you let them engage you in conversation. Every woman in Vancouver has had numerous encounters with these people. There are literally thousands of them. You might be the one normal "nice" guy among all the crazies but don't expect us to know that!
Now you're probably going to assume that I am one of these women who looks at you like you're an axe murderer when you try to chat, but I am actually not. A great many of my friends were met at the beach, in parks, on the street...etc. Maybe it's because I have lived in East Van long enough to be familiar with and no longer terrified by the weirdo approach. Maybe it's because I am not afraid to tell a person who is being rude (demanding that I put down my reading on account of them) that I'm not here to make friends today. I speak to people in public very comfortably all the time. I'm very comfortable telling a man "Thanks but no thanks" if an awkward date proposal arises and I'm okay with being perceived as unfriendly which will inevitably happen because women are neither allowed to refuse nor accept your conversation without it somehow blowing up in our faces.
A little anecdote of my own: I was in a coffee shop waiting for my boyfriend to arrive. I had an enormous bouquet of flowers with me that he had sent to my work earlier for my birthday. The guy at the table next to me struck up conversation. We chatted for about 10 minutes (about what, I don't remember. Music maybe.) Eventually the conversation got around to the enormous bouquet on the table. He asked who they were for. I told him they were for me, that it was my birthday and my boyfriend had sent them. He immediately let out a huff, turned to his laptop and silently proceeded to click away angrily on his computer and ignore me as he quickly sucked back the last of his coffee then hurriedly packed up his things and stormed out. You see, by responding at all to his ice breaker, I was flirting and should have known better than to speak to a man in public if I didn't intend for it to end in sex. What a silly tease. Setting aside the fact that this man was extraordinarily stupid to see a woman with a bouquet of flowers and not think they might have been a gift from a boyfriend, this type of encounter is all too common. Any woman who occasionally engages a stranger has had more or less this encounter. The number of men who believe that friendliness is the same as flirting and that a woman owes them a date simply because she responded positively to being spoken to is overwhelming. Again, maybe you're not that guy, but you have all the other guys who are that guy to thank for the fact that much of the time, women feel as though they are better off just ignoring you.
Of course I'm not blaming all of this on men. Women in Vancouver need to learn how to boldly but graciously turn down a date. That way they don't have to live in fear of being asked out. Unfortunately, however, to do this we also need to learn how to deal with the immensely sexist and childish emotional outbursts of the men they turn down. I guess to sum this all up, yes women and men in Vancouver both suck when it comes to dating. But your article failed to shed any light on this. All you succeeded in doing was to illustrate to us the many ways in which you suck at dating.

by JackieTee on Jan 10 2012 at 12:53 PM

The universal fact is if a man is not attractive to her, no woman will be interested in conversation.

by mcha2394 on Jan 10 2012 at 5:52 AM

Hm. I find this interesting as a woman who was born and raised in Vancouver. I've been away for 6 years overseas and honestly I don't think this phenomenon is special in any way to Vancouverites. Unfortunately if you're not attractive to her no women will be interested in conversation. I think this is pretty universal.

by mcha2394 on Jan 10 2012 at 5:41 AM

This article does make some good points, but let's be honest here: Vancouver is a weird place, with weird men. I have struck up conversations with the random guy who approached me and who seemed perfectly nice, only to have them say something crazy or lewd a second later. I have been followed home five times, once by a guy who pretended to masturbate while skateboarding and moaned disgustingly. Was I dressed provocatively, throwing out signals that begged them to harass me? Nope. I was wearing jeans and a coat, and happily minding my own business. Perhaps some women are snotty or rude, but some of us are just wondering what the hell these guys are up to, striking up an awkward conversation with us. Some of them sound mentally unbalanced and expect to women to be riveted, or to appreciate their efforts, which is a signal the guy is a bit off.

Finally, I absolutely agree with the first article regarding how men are terrible in Vancouver. I, too, was starting to wonder what was wrong with me when I couldn't get hit on recently. Then, I realized I'd moved into a hipster neighbourhood where everyone -- guys and girls alike -- were too busy looking down at me to be polite. And when I open the door to go through, an idiot man-child who is twice my size will bolt through with nary a "thank you", or mow me down on the sidewalk rather than giving me a little space to walk in the opposite direction. They call themselves men, but they act like petulant, self-entitled children who have tantrums when they don't get their way. It makes me want to hunt down their parents and smack them for raising guys with such poor manners. I sincerely hope I find a nice man who has recently moved here, or that I move to some city where there are more men of true character.

by pft1 on Jan 10 2012 at 2:48 AM

Fantástico Jorge!
Since the first day I landed in this city (that I love) I felt that Latin and Mediterranean people have something to bring from our culture and share with vancouverites so we all benefit from the best of everywhere we luckily have here.

I'm not talking about the "latin lover" cliché but friendlier and warmer spontaneous relationships in general. A smile and a bit of chit chat never killed anybody.

This summer I'm planning to print t-shits saying: "Don't talk to strangers, just in case you make any friends"

Now we have an extra challenge: teach this city what is a real good coffee. But this is another story.

by Ani Lopez on Jan 9 2012 at 10:19 PM

So, as a dating blogger, I figured it would be better to just write a post than a never-ending response (because I tend to ramble...I'm a rambler...ramble ramble ramble...word has lost all meaning)...so...yeah...here it is:

He Sucks, She Sucks, We All Suck Vancouver

http://www.somethingshedated.com/2012/01/he-sucks-she-sucks-we-all-suck....

by Something She Dated on Jan 10 2012 at 11:38 AM

I have to admit, you're absolutely right. I do find that on the rare, rare occasion that a guy speaks to me on the bus or on the street, I am a bit wary at first. But I have tried to chat with guys on the bus as well, and I find the same thing happens; they look at me like if I'm crazy enough to talk to a stranger on the bus, I'm not someone they want to get stuck talking to. Maybe it's because the only people who have the guts to approach anyone on the street are usually asking for change, and so our first instinct is to think "what do they want from me?"

Yesterday, while walking up Commercial Drive, I tried an experiment. I tried smiling at every guy I saw, whether or not he was my "type" (and I wish it was otherwise, but I find very, very few guys are my "type"). Only one returned a smile, clearly surprised. The other five or so didn't even make eye contact or look at me long enough to even see that I was looking in their direction, let alone notice a smile.

We are a city of outsiders. We don't know how to get in, and we take our social cues from the people around us, who are doing the exact same thing.

Time for me to start going out to coffee shops more. Thanks for your post.

by aahlookout on Jan 9 2012 at 9:34 PM

I read the article and found it interesting. I think anytime you interact with strangers in a certain country though, you need to be tactful in the way you do it. Going up to a girl who is sitting alone with her picnic spread at a beach and inviting yourself to join her just because you can do it in France is like going nude to any beach in Vancouver just because you can do it in France, or drinking alcohol in front of the cops on the street, or bringing your dog to any restaurant just because you can do it in France.

Same with a guy going up to a random guy and slapping him on the back and starting convo. You can't do it here just because you can do it in Mexico. Political and historical climate dictate this. Our strict alcohol policies stem from bad historical fur trader / first nations incidents. Likewise, I theorize that Vancouver females' heightened suspicion of male strangers making conversation comes from things like having extraordinarily high numbers of mentally ill people roaming the streets (closure of Riverview, etc). If you ask any girl, the majority of the time, that nice guy making convo is someone mentally ill, or some needy guy hoping any girl will talk to him, or a creepy guy like such: http://tinyurl.com/77euw28.

It's hard not to immediately reject someone when this pattern happens consistently. I have been walking to school in broad daylight outside Harbour Centre and been approached by a man who started chatting, then grabbed my arm in a tight lock, and started screaming at me, saying it was my fault the world was ending. I know another girl (tall blonde outgoing successful girl) who, on separate occasions, was stalked by men on the street, had one try to run her over with a car, and had one chat her up in a friendly manner on Davie St. last new years (clean cut friendly guy, apparently appeared to be gay), only to steal her wallet and push her out of the way; she fell, got a concussion, and now has short term memory loss.

Of course there is the occasional random nice guy from outside of Vancouver who just wants to chat. This happened to me on the N-17 bus last month.. a huge crowd of partiers got on my bus at 4 am, and a guy immediately spotted me, intentionally sat next to me, and chatted all the way home about his adventures as a musician. No ulterior motive, just a friendly chat, and he sauntered off cheerfully with a wave. This is RARE. I was at first a bit standoffish, but later warmed up.

Most people can recall a time when they were approached say, on public transit, by someone seemingly normal, started talking, only to slowly find there was something intrinsically creepy about them, or they are mentally ill. And then you try to slowly back out of the conversation but it's too late.. you're trapped. Therefore, it is hard to strike a delicate balance between being open to a potentially nice conversation, and being on guard enough to be able to exit quickly. As for where good places are for guys to meet girls, Jorge's example that women act totally differently in coffee shops proves it is the environment and context that dictates the reaction.

If Jorge was smart, he would look for events where multiple separate social networks meet in a common place for a certain activity: Joining a volleyball team on Spanish Banks or going with friends to a house party. Girls are more relaxed and open to meeting people, because the fact that he is already clicked in to a social network and they already share mutual friends is instant proof that the guy is not a sociopath. And that's all girls really want in such a situation: Safety, security, and no time wasted. They don't act as they do just to be a bitch.

by Bijjy on Jan 9 2012 at 7:00 PM

I read the above article and found it interesting. I think anytime you interact with strangers in a certain country though, you need to be tactful in the way you do it. Going up to a girl who is sitting alone with her picnic spread at a beach and inviting yourself to join her just because you can do it in France is like going nude to any beach in Vancouver just because you can do it in France, or drinking alcohol in front of the cops on the street, or bringing your dog to any restaurant just because you can do it in France.

Same with a guy going up to a random guy and slapping him on the back and starting convo. You can't do it here just because you can do it in Mexico. Political and historical climate dictate this. Our strict alcohol policies stem from bad historical fur trader / first nations incidents. Likewise, I theorize that Vancouver females' heightened suspicion of male strangers making conversation comes from things like having extraordinarily high numbers of mentally ill people roaming the streets (closure of Riverview, etc). If you ask any girl, the majority of the time, that nice guy making convo is someone mentally ill, or some needy guy hoping any girl will talk to him, or a creepy guy like such: http://tinyurl.com/77euw28.

It's hard not to immediately reject someone when this pattern happens consistently. I have been walking to school in broad daylight outside Harbour Centre and been approached by a man who started chatting, then grabbed my arm in a tight lock, and started screaming at me, saying it was my fault the world was ending. I know another girl (tall blonde outgoing successful girl) who, on separate occasions, was stalked by men on the street, had one try to run her over with a car, and had one chat her up in a friendly manner on Davie St. last new years (clean cut friendly guy, apparently appeared to be gay), only to steal her wallet and push her out of the way; she fell, got a concussion, and now has short term memory loss.

Of course there is the occasional random nice guy from outside of Vancouver who just wants to chat. This happened to me on the N-17 bus last month.. a huge crowd of partiers got on my bus at 4 am, and a guy immediately spotted me, intentionally sat next to me, and chatted all the way home about his adventures as a musician. No ulterior motive, just a friendly chat, and he sauntered off cheerfully with a wave. This is RARE. I was at first a bit standoffish, but later warmed up.

Most people can recall a time when they were approached say, on public transit, by someone seemingly normal, started talking, only to slowly find there was something intrinsically creepy about them, or they are mentally ill. And then you try to slowly back out of the conversation but it's too late.. you're trapped. Therefore, it is hard to strike a delicate balance between being open to a potentially nice conversation, and being on guard enough to be able to exit quickly. As for where good places are for guys to meet girls, Jorge's example that women act totally differently in coffee shops proves it is the environment and context that dictates the reaction.

If Jorge was smart, he would look for events where multiple separate social networks meet in a common place for a certain activity: Joining a volleyball team on Spanish Banks or going with friends to a house party. Girls are more relaxed and open to meeting people, because the fact that he is already clicked in to a social network and they already share mutual friends is instant proof that the guy is not a sociopath. And that's all girls really want in such a situation: Safety, security, and no time wasted. They don't act as they do just to be a bitch.

by Bijjy on Jan 9 2012 at 6:59 PM

Dude, I wanted to buy this argument. After the last article I was waiting - waiting! - for some brave soul to step to the plate and say that maybe, maybe, all Vancouverites take themselves too seriously. That maybe Vancouver women don't necessarily mature much more quickly than the men. I wanted that so badly. And I saw this headline, and I was so excited.

And then I read it. Man, picking up anyone on the bus is straight creepy. They're not in public to be hit on. Leave them alone.

by ZaphodB on Jan 9 2012 at 6:16 PM

Dude, I wanted to buy this argument. After the last article I was waiting - waiting! - for some brave soul to step to the plate and say that maybe, maybe, all Vancouverites take themselves too seriously. That maybe Vancouver women don't necessarily mature much more quickly than the men. I wanted that so badly. And I saw this headline, and I was so excited.

And then I read it. Man, picking up anyone on the bus is straight creepy. They're not in public to be hit on. Leave them alone.

by ZaphodB on Jan 9 2012 at 6:15 PM

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why same-sex relationships are so prominent in Vancouver. Because same gender conversations are not as threatening. Then women ask why is it that all the good men are gay. All that being said, I can understand the challenge for Vancouver women - to be alone and talked to in public - what if you're not careful and something bad happens, can she risk it? Where is the balance? Gut feeling? Or maybe she simply was not that into you, sorry Jorge.

by smallcdnvoice on Jan 9 2012 at 5:40 PM

I'm honoured to have inspired such a well-written, interesting response to what was, at best, a poorly-written, sexist, inaccurate portrayal of dating in Vancouver. Couldn't have put it into better words myself, even if I'd tried.

by FedupVancouverGuy on Jan 9 2012 at 4:57 PM