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The conversation about the impossibility of finding man-love in Lotus Land ricochets between raucous laughter and thoughtful reflection until the table goes silent and the subject finally sinks, like a stone thrown in an impossibly dark wishing well.“This is not a lighthearted issue,” says Jodi Derkson.“There is a serious problem here.”PHOTOS: MORE SINGLES LOOKING FOR LOVEThis is Vancouver, the women explain, in conversational shorthand that speaks volumes about the city’s widely-perceived shortcomings for straight daters.
Quinlan, who has recently found a girlfriend, has a few quirks, like reciting the lyrics to ‘90s gangsta rap songs, but he doesn’t put it all out there on a first date.Is it the way the city is spread out and shuts down early, its denizens more likely to rise at dawn to pound up the North Shore mountains on their bikes before work than lie in and roll over for a little good morning sex? Is it seasonal affective disorder, a collective low libido?“There is a lack of sexuality in Vancouver,” says Derkson, bluntly.I was dating every night.” Fox has an endearing, girl-next-door vibe: Zooey Deschanel with a healthy scoop of irreverent wench. “We are ghettoized, we don’t intermingle and the landscape isn’t conducive to community.”Sara Stocksand, 38 years old and single for a few years, isn’t afraid to say she wants the whole package, including marriage and children.She also finds it easier to connect outside of Vancouver: she met her most recent love interest at a wedding in France.At 47, Derkson has no kids, and has never been married — nor is she desperate to get hitched. People are cold.” While living in Florida a few years ago, she was turning men away.“I think the Latin culture in Florida really helps; people are warm, men smile at you on the street. Men here, they don’t even turn their head to look at you.”Back in Vancouver, she just wishes that when she smiles at someone on the street, they would smile back.
She’d be happy with just a little more warmth and sensuality. Rachel Fox, a 34-year-old writer, says her experiences of meeting men in other cities, like New York, where she used to live, are incredibly different than in Vancouver: “The pool is a lot bigger there.
Although she works at the Bottleneck and comes in contact with a great number of men, she finds most her age are married.
With a history of committed monogamous relationships, she finds Vancouver’s dating culture challenging compared to other cities, like New York, where she has had more success.
I don’t think it’s fair or accurate to blame the city.
If someone turns you down, just don’t take it personally.
Because Vancouver doesn’t have that dating mechanism, it’s awkward for people to ask each other out.”Many of the men he’s worked with find Vancouver women to be intimidating.