Singles vs. non singles

It seems that at a certain age, we become divided into two categorizes in the dating world; the singles versus non singles. As a single surrounded by non singles, I find myself unable to relate to the problems that non singles have, and vice versa.

When it comes to us singles, we mostly think the trivial issues our coupled friends complain about are down right ridiculous. One of my friends a couple weeks ago barked in my ear for nearly an hour about how her boyfriends old college friend was secretly in love with him (speculation only, no evidence to support) and picked a huge fight complete with tears about how she didn’t want him to see her again. The follow up to the story was that other woman actually ended up getting engaged (only a few weeks after meltdown) yet my friend still convinced herself that she only said yes because her man was taken. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I hear this shit ALL THE TIME and I scratch my head. Really? Is that your biggest problem in life? That someone may find your partner attractive? Hell, if that were me, I would be pretty damn happy and flattered, because damn, my mate must be sexy! I certainly wouldn’t be picking a fight over it! Or would I if I were in a relationship? Would I conform to this pattern of thinking?

Then there’s the flip side of this… Some of your coupled friends long for days they can come home to complete silence. The only mess in the house is the one they themselves made, and no one is himming and hawing over the dinner choices. You eat and do what you want, when you want, or at least that’s the assumption. They don’t think about the emotion behind the tragic nature of finding that perfect cut of meat from the local butcher and buying only one, because you eat for one and have no one to share your meal experience with on a day to day basis. The truth is that singles long for companionship, and non singles typically have many complaints about their companionship. We’re never truly satisfied are we?

I can’t help but wonder, will we ever be able to relate to one another or is this where life draws the line down the middle? You’re either on one side or the other, and even if you cross over from one to another, you will eventually become just as the side you join, which is cynical of the opposing end of the spectrum.

What about you? Single or coupled, what drives you batty about people on the other side of your status? I want to hear your complaints!

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The gender gap

This week has been chaotic! I feel as if the sunshine is a reminder that time is ticking to get summer ready. For singles, this usually means frequent trips to the gym, proper grooming, and soaking in the sun for that spring time base glow for our summer tans. Of course, stocking up on BBQ and beverage supplies is also a must. Hello Maui beef short ribs!!

I’ve been observing the statements made by members of both sexes in the land of solo living. Maybe it’s just me, but the twenties seem to be the years where a huge gender gap forms. Men are just as jaded as women and instead of embracing the opposite sex to potentially enter into something that could be great and long lasting, we cower, and cite stereotypes. Women are crazy and men are stupid. Men are dogs, women are high maintenance and too emotional. I’ve been observing these rants and memes on Facebook for months. What is the deal?

The older you get, the harder single becomes and it’s no wonder really; you got hurt. You put yourself out there, you did the best you could and it wasn’t good enough. No one likes failure and no one likes to own up to their own mistakes. So here we are, struggling with the gender gap, as if being an adult wasn’t hard enough.

So where are all the great single people in this city? I pondered this idea incessantly this week. As I went about my daily routines which generally consists of work, the gym, shopping, appointments, cooking, cleaning and Netflix, a lightbulb went on. We’re all at home watching Netflix!! We’re jaded, we’re lonely, and we are scared to take relationship risks. If Netflix had a chat room for all other local single people watching Netflix, there would be a small glimmer of hope for singles everywhere. So I decided my next best bet was to get online again.

Gulp, online dating. Stay tuned…

Markets and market potential

There is something to be said about Vancouverites and sunshine. After months on end of umbrellas and rain boots, people emerge in sea like formations everywhere. And you know what they say about the sea? There are plenty of fish, at least that’s the theory.

My weekend of experimentation was eye opening. Given the fact that people were out and about, it was easy enough to find targets to practice with. First up, a scene I seldom visit, was a night out with the girls for some downtown Granville Street fun.

Now, in my online dating experiences, most people cite in their profiles that they’re “tired of the bar scene” and an absolute fact is that there is no question as to why the bar is not a great place to meet people in this city. The conversation is cheap and meaningless, quite opposite of the cover charge and drink prices. I tried to spark up intelligent and witty chats with Vancouver bachelors and was looked at with the same enthusiasm one gives to their alarm clock snooze button. Now, to be clear, I’m no Lululemon poster girl, but I am pretty darn cute, from what I am told anyways. Basically what it comes down to, is if you’re not ripe for the picking in this “market”, and by ripe, I mean down for mattress hockey, your chances of starting anything meaningful are as slim as a sliver. No dice.

Next up was a trendy visit on Sunday to Granville Island. The time was prime, as the BMO half marathoners were finished and this place was a complete frenzy of people. Among the families, couples, and street entertainers were singles who were blissfully unaware of the market potential surrounding them. I made clear eye contact with everyone I assumed single and smiled on each occasion. How could someone not smile back? I’m thinking, it’s a gorgeous day, dresses, shorts and the scent of banana boat skin are practically an aphrodisiac, and we live among one of the most gorgeous back drops in the world. How could anyone not smile? But low and behold, either all of my John Smiths thought I was smiling at someone behind them, or we really are icier than our Whistler glaciers. I remember one gentlemen in particular, walking across the boardwalk near the marina. I smiled noticeably, to which he then tucked his neck and engaged his iPhone. Moments later I walked by him standing up against a building and I said hello. He forced a hello back, you know the one, its the same one you give your cashier after a bad day of work. That’s another thing; the most pleasant exchanges I had at the market, were those with the vendors. Apparently the only way to feel warm in the 25 degree heat is to be a consumer. At least I got myself some fabulous meats, produce and spices, but my dignity wasn’t on sale today. In fact, I think I was totally ripped off for the price I paid.

Experiment summary: the subjects seem to shy away from direct approach. Some skittish, like feral cats, and some like goldfish, cold and expressionless. Back to the drawing board to strategize my next move…

Disclaimer: No singles were harmed in these experiments.

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Weekend experiment

Some days, singles have an epiphany about the status that seems to define their life. Unrealized, I’ve been leading myself towards a slippery slope which can only be reached when one is in a serious drought. I was talking to one of my best male friends tonight, exchanging single life stories when I was confronted by the sad reality that is my life. After I raved about a two tier chrome dish rack I had just purchased, it became apparent to him, and to me- because he totally called me out on it, that I am bordering crazy cat lady, and yes, I do have a cat.

Is this what it comes down to? Being single causes one to be excited about kitchen fixtures and bath and body works candles? I used to be excited for new skivvies and trips to La Vie en Rose, and now I’m excited for a fucking dish rack? I may as well put the curlers in my hair and wear the pink robe to get my milk the next time I go to Safeway if this is what excites me in life. And so we agreed, it’s time for a serious intervention to my life. It’s time to be open up, and – gasp! – interact outside my circle.

My project for the weekend is to strike up as many conversations with complete strangers. I’m not typically shy by nature, but I let a lot of people who interest me pass by, because I am stuck in the mentality of being a traditionalist, which totally clashes with the aura that is Vancouver. Armed with nothing but my dignity, I will brave the city and its suburbs this weekend with some balls, and a smile of course. What’s the worst that could happen?

The city spell against singles

If you live in Vancouver and are single, you are probably like me, and find that our city and even its outskirts are challenging playing grounds when it comes to the hopeful chance of finding that someone special. As a female in my now late twenties, career focused, and with an apartment in a coveted suburban area, I have somehow done the typical and focused so much on building and securing myself in my career and home that oops ; I forgot to get a love life! So here I am, sad and tragically alone in the city of cell phone zombies, mountain climbers and hockey fanatics.

The worst part about being single in your late twenties, is all the relationships you seem to be surrounded by. You know the ones; the glowing love of your friends and their S/O’s and their constant caring concerned looks telling you “it will happen when it’s meant to happen” and “be patient” … I don’t know about you, but if I hear these things one more time, I might emotionally vomit.

So what do you do in a city boasting active lives, fantastic multicultural food fare and an abundance of working professionals when you are the only single in your immediate crowd? Even making friends here seems difficult, and it’s not just me. I have read countless articles about the icy vibe us Vancouverites give off when it comes to letting anyone new in. I haven’t figured out the answer yet, but I am inviting you, yes YOU reading this, to follow me along my journey to answer the question of why? Why is it so hard to meet people here?

Who am I? I am just like you, I’m a single female living in the near suburbia of Vancouver. I’m in my late twenties, never married, athletic, love sushi, hockey, have a great career, can cook, and I pay all my own bills. I should be quite the catch, but the trick here is finding the bait, and unfortunately here the bait is blissfully unaware of it’s surroundings, thus leaving the hook virgin. There is no reason for it, and there is no real explanation other than the city culture itself is hot on being a playing ground for hook ups and blooming romance, but when it comes to us awkward “in bet-weens; the wallflowers, we are struggling. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have tried multiple online dating sites, I have gone out both alone, and with friends to open myself up to this market of wonderful and dazzling Vancouverites, but I have yet to be dazzled. We are closed off, and I want to know how to break the city spell.