By Dana Lynch
That Vancouver--one of the most beautiful cities in the world--can be romantic is indisputable (what's more romantic that sharing a sunset at English Bay Beach?). Yet Vancouver has a reputation as a difficult dating scene.
But romance and dating in Vancouver can be easy--or at least, easier--when you know how to meet people, where to go for a smashing first date, how to date on a budget, and where the best nightlife districts are.
Use this Guide to Romance & Dating in Vancouver, BC, to find everything you need to make a love connection, find romantic activities and budget dates to share with your special someone, and find romantic gifts to wow any partner. In other words: Everything you need to know to make your Vancouver romance blossom or keep your romance alive!
Both Vancouver newcomers and single Vancouver residents often complain that it's hard to meet people (for friends or romance) in Vancouver. But it doesn't have to be! In my Guide to How to Meet People in Vancouver, I explain that, while Vancouver culture can seem "cool and aloof" to newcomers, friends, contacts and romantic partners can be found, it just takes patience and the desire to make an effort.
Learn more: How to Meet People in Vancouver, BC
Sharing food (and drink) is a time-honored way to get to know someone on a first date (and second and third date), but finding the perfect first-date restaurant can be tricky. The ideal first-date spot should have great food (of course), but it should also have an atmosphere that lets the couple be either casual or dressy (so there's no pressure on appearance), gives the couple something to talk about (the ambiance, the food), and, for many people, isn't too expensive (so that, if one person treats, the bill won't be too big, or, if the couple splits the bill, the amount should work for most budgets).
So where is the perfect first-date restaurant in Vancouver? Hapa Izakaya is great choice (it also works for vegetarians and meat-eaters).
For more traditional romantic options: Top 5 Romantic Restaurants in Vancouver
Dating and romance in Vancouver doesn't have to be expensive; there's no rule that says you have to splurge on white tablecloths at swank Vancouver Fine Dining restaurants. Get creative, take advantage of Vancouver's natural beauty, and use my list of the Best Cheap Dates in Vancouver--including communal dining, nightlife bargains, and cheap entertainment options--to plan a romantic date that won't bust the budget.
Learn more: Best Cheap Dates
If you're under 40 (or gay), meeting and mingling in Vancouver's hot nightclub scene can be a viable way to meet potential romantic partners. Yeah, it's a meat market scene, but sometimes that works. (I met my partner of 9+ years in a bar.)
It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to have an excuse to treat your sweetie to a romantic gift; in fact, sometimes a surprise romantic gesture is an even better way to woo your partner!
Use this Guide to Romantic Gifts in Vancouver to find the best sweets-for-the-sweet, spa packages, flowers, and more.
Vancouver, BC, is perfectly positioned for day trips and weekend getaways; we're surrounded by incredible outdoor spaces, mountains, islands, and fascinating cities.
Romantic getaways from Vancouver can accommodate any style and budget, and don't take long to reach: in just a few hours travel time, you can find yourself skiing in Whistler, soaking in the Harrison Hot Springs or snuggling under the covers at a bed-and-breakfast in Victoria.
Learn more: Romantic Getaways from Vancouver
Want an ideal setting for popping the question? Vancouver has loads of options for unique places to propose, from secluded beaches to fancy restaurants to tandem bikes on the Seawall.
Learn more: 10 Unique Places to Propose in Vancouver