top of page

5 Things You Need to Know About Dating in Vancouver According to International Students

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

We asked over 30 international students, all Thrivvers and from 10 different nationalities, their thoughts on dating in Vancity. And although there were some really interesting responses, we decided to gather the ones that were coincidentally mentioned the most and share those with you.

Dating in Vancity is hard ☠️

When we asked about this statement, we actually thought from the beginning the answer to it was going to be that it is true, but we didn’t expect how overwhelmingly truthful it was!!

79% of Thrivvers believe that dating in this city is hard! That means 8 out of 10 international students feel that way!! And probably the reason why is explained by the answers they gave us.

Cultural differences are hard to deal with

Vancity is famous for its diversity, and you can easily hear 5+ languages just by walking down the street on a regular day. However, the cultural differences that this diversity brings make dating even more challenging than it already is. Here is an example:

“I’m from Mexico, and there we are super used to hugging each other or giving a kiss on the chick when we meet someone for the first time, but here it is not like that. I’m so used to it that I tried sometimes with people I met from Japan or China, for example, and they were kind of scared of me doing that. So I try not to do that anymore, and I just wave my hand instead” - Francisco, 28, from Mexico.

Hookup Culture is a thing

When Thrivvers described what dating looks like in Vancouver, one term that kept on coming up was "Hookup culture". According to our survey, most people seem to be looking for shallow relationships with zero to none-intimacy. Just have something quick, casual and straight to the point.

Part of it could be due to the fact that Vancouver is kind of like a hub. People come and go all the time, so finding someone who is here for the long run is a hard task. Another contributing factor could be our consuming behaviour. Think about how we watch Netflix or consume social media; we binge-watch series in one sitting and then look for the next one! Are we doing the same when it comes to dating? Tell us what you think in the comments.

People rely a lot on dating apps

Like. A lot, and it's kinda similar to the previous example about Netflix and binge-watching. Vancouver dating scene seems to start first on these apps, in which we first judge the book by its cover, and we might be missing out on its content.

"Dating here requires you to spend a huge amount of time on these apps. Setting your profile, coming up with cool pictures, and, as a guy, you usually need to think of creative ways to get the conversation started! Otherwise, you are invisible" - Camilo, 25. From Colombia.

"Vancouver seems to me like one of those places where there's a lot of superficial people, and I think that's why things like Tinder work so well. It's a superficial method to find superficial people. I just don't like it." - Althea, 27, from the Philippines.

It is expensive! So you need to be creative

Most places that you would consider “date material” are kind of expensive. You can easily spend between $30 to $50 per person in these kinds of places. Like, restaurants with good food but also good vibes, either because they are stylish or because they offer fun things to do. Activities like going to the aquarium are also expensive, and, as you know, most international students live on a budget.

So, if you want to be relevant in the dating scene, you need to be creative and think outside the box! Because, if by any chance either you or your date are not into the outdoors, or maybe the weather is just not on your side… then you need to spend money in this city for a date! So Thrivvers consider this is making the whole dating thing even more difficult for international students. #RIPwallet

Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. Help is just a question away!

1,144 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page