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Vancouver’s dating game: Outdoors edition

Here at Loose Lips we want to make things easier for our readers. We’ve given you advice on where to meet others in the city, we’ve even given you advice on what’s culturally (and geographically) appropriate to name your baby.

But no one has mentioned the in-between stage: the after meeting someone and way before babies stage. So the questions is, how do Vancouverites date?

The answer is not well.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll wake up to the stark realization that you have become the third but platonic (for some), partner in your best friend’s relationship.

It’s not on purpose. It’s just my thoughts usually turn to dating when I crawl into bed alone at the end of a day. I’ll superficially start swiping while also balancing a bowl of ice cream on my chest. I’m a multi-tasker at heart.

That rings true with a lot of people my age. We’re millennials. We may get a lot of flack for being softer than other generations, but we are busy. And as much fun as swiping is, using my precious spare minutes on awkward first dates isn’t always high on my priority list.

Working, working out, hanging out with friends, writing, rediscovering my love of lounge ware, cleaning the hair out of my drain plugs all rate higher than suffering through the estimated 10 first dates it takes to find someone you click with.

Vancouverites are known for being intolerably active. Half of dating profiles cite loving the outdoors or boast photos of conquering mountains, slopes and waves. We love our seasonal sports, and who wouldn’t with the scenery we’ve got? Or maybe it’s all those amphetamines in our water system.

So, in true Vancouver fashion, I’ve compiled a list of outdoorsy date ideas to help break the ice. Not literally though, that’s for my winter dating edition.


For the date you don’t want to get too sweaty with

 People say when women sweat, it’s more of a sexy sheen. They’ve obviously never seen me after cardio. If you feel the same but still want to get outdoors on your next date, check out Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver.

The trails are all relatively easy and you get the added bonus of taking future couple photos at the actual lighthouse. There’s something unbearably romantic about being isolated and left alone for years on end cooped up in a lighthouse shack.

If the date is going well, you could even suggest the two of you becoming lighthouse keepers together.


For the date you think might be a little awkward

Afraid of running out of talking points? Worried about prolonged pauses at the bar? Anxious about whether you’ll run your mouth off while he politely listens and sips his coffee? There’s a solution to that, and it cusps two-thirds of our city.

Pick a mountain, any mountain. Guaranteed there’ll be a number of trails with some wicked gain to get your heart rates up and muffle the conversation. Besides cutting the awkwardness, it’s also a kick-ass booty work out, which no girl is ever going to complain about.

Check Outdoor Vancouver for hikes that will fit your fitness levels and time commitments. Or better yet, join a hiking group because there’s nothing more satisfying than high-fiving after reaching the summit.


When you’re more into getting sun-kissed than French kissed

 Working through the summer means we miss out on acquiring that outdoorsy golden tan. If you want to trade the vampire complexion for the beach volleyball star, suggest some water activities to brighten up your day.

Go canoeing or paddle boarding in Deep Cove. That way, if your date isn’t as beautiful as he seemed online, at least the scenery will be.

Deep Cove Kayak rentals has Friday night date nights, with half-price kayaks after 4 pm.

If you’re really adventurous (and really sure about your date), look into overnight rentals. There are a bunch of little nooks and islands up the inlet with free camping available.

The pros: He’s on an island. He literally can’t leave, especially if you decide to embrace nature and run around in a loincloth. The cons: You can’t leave. Maybe wait a couple dates before proposing this adventure.


For the date you can get dirty on

Be a little selfish in the dating game. If you want to take an intro rock climbing class at the Chief, go for it and invite your latest match along. You’ll be able to gauge whether he’s true to his profile about loving adventures. Bonus: You get a great view of his butt on the way up.

And, if at the end of the day you decide your date is not for you, at least you haven’t wasted precious spare time and managed to check something off the wish list along the way.


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Originally published in Loose Lips

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