Date Idea: Ice Skating on Vancouver’s Many Indoor and Outdoor Rinks

flickr: spantossed

Flickr: spantossed

My best first date involved skating at The Robson Square Ice Rink. I arrived at the rink with my skates and a picture on my phone of the guy I was supposed to be meeting. Ah yes, the joys of on-line dating! When he finally did arrive, I was blown away by the immediate chemistry. We were holding hands, skating side-by-side on the ice, within five minutes.

Ice skating is a lovely date since it’s inexpensive, more active and inventive than your usual chatting over coffee, and invites G-rated physical contact. If you’re feeling wobbly (or just pretending to be so), you can reach for your partner’s gloved hand and, suddenly, you’re a unit gliding along frozen water. And if you’re like me and manage to spectacularly fall at one point during the date, you can laugh at yourself with good grace.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner (hint hint), you might consider lacing up. Fortunately, Vancouver has tons of rinks, each offering a unique way of enjoying this classic winter sport together.

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Date Idea: Ice Skating on Vancouver’s Many Indoor and Outdoor Rinks

Dine Out Vancouver Date Ideas: Three-Course Meals, Cocktail Masterclasses, and Food Crawls Galore!

Sai Woo's pressed spiced lamb neck

Sai Woo’s pressed spiced lamb neck (sourced from restaurant)

A few years ago, a guy I was interested in suggested that we have dinner at a restaurant participating in Dine Out Vancouver (this year January 15-31). I readily agreed since I’m obsessed with food and restaurants in the city.

As I discovered, Dine Out is an excellent date idea for the following reasons:

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Dine Out Vancouver Date Ideas: Three-Course Meals, Cocktail Masterclasses, and Food Crawls Galore!

Vancouver Winter Date Idea: Snowboarding at Cypress Mountain

Source from Cypress Mountain website

Source from Cypress Mountain Facebook page

My boyfriend (“S”) and I drive to Cypress Mountain in the early morn. We’ve settled into an easy silence and suddenly, we round a bend of the road and enter wintry splendour. Clouds and fog obscure the city below, and it feels like we’re far away from our usual urban environment. When holding an umbrella aloft in the Vancouver rain, I often forget that there’s snow on the mountains.

This is the first time we’ve gone snowboarding together and for some reason, I’m feeling a sense of nervous excitement about this particular winter date. I recall my initial snowboarding at Cypress, which, embarrassingly, was only two years ago when I was single.

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Vancouver Winter Date Idea: Snowboarding at Cypress Mountain

How to Meet New People at a Gym in Vancouver

Sourced from the Mount Pleasant Community Centre website

Sourced from the Mount Pleasant Community Centre website

Once upon a time, I had a gym crush. He was incredibly good-looking and fit – as well as completely oblivious of my existence. Each time I went to the gym, I tried to muster the nerve to talk to him as I laboured on a nearby StairMaster (believe me, it wasn’t sexy). Eventually, I managed to start an awkward, halting conversation, only to discover that he was taken. Darn.

In the New Year, you might be (once again) aiming to incorporate more physical activity into your life. If you’re single, making romance more of a priority could also figure in your resolutions. The question is: how can you achieve both goals simultaneously? As evidenced by my story, my own strategies are not the best. Instead, I sought out a gym expert in order to find out more about socializing while working out.

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How to Meet New People at a Gym in Vancouver

Best Kissing Spots at Festival of Lights: Romance at VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Flickr - Photo Credit: Raymond Chan, Photomedia

VanDusen Flickr – Photo Credit: Raymond Chan, Photomedia

The first time my boyfriend (“S”) and I kissed was after watching an episode of Game of Thrones in my apartment about two months after our initial date (it was a long wait since he was living in Fort McMurray at the time). Call me old fashioned, but in this age of hyper-speed Tindering and hooking-up, I still believe in the romance of the first kiss.

During a recent visit with S to the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden, as we wandered together around the many pathways, I got to thinking about first kisses and Christmas lights. Why are first kisses so important? And why do we love things that sparkle so much?

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Best Kissing Spots at Festival of Lights: Romance at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Locally Made Vancouver Gifts for that Person You’re Sorta or Seriously Seeing

Sourced from Wikimedia Common - Evalowyn

Sourced from Wikimedia Commons – Evalowyn

My boyfriend is lovely but gift-giving is not his strong suit. His first present to me consisted of a hockey stick and baseball glove (and believe me, I’m not the sporty type). When it was my birthday, he begged me to take him shopping and not so subtly point out items I might want. He’s even admitted to breaking up with girls before the holidays because he wanted to spare himself the ordeal of shopping for them. I tried not to judge him.

I, on the other hand, come from a family that adores presents, both giving and receiving them, and so, over time, I’ve somewhat perfected the art of giving good gifts. I will admit though that presents to significant others can be tricky, especially in the early stage of dating when you want to set the tone right. Here are some basic strategies and ten gift ideas that may help you as you start your shopping this month.

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Locally Made Vancouver Gifts for that Person You’re Sorta or Seriously Seeing

A Date over 550 Feet in the Air: A Visit to the Vancouver Lookout

Sourced from the Vancouver Lookout website

Sourced from the Vancouver Lookout website

The first couple of months after my boyfriend (“S”) and I met were characterized by a gradual unfolding of information: “I have two elder sisters.” “Getting my degree has been my greatest achievement.” “I’ve cried in every single Disney animated movie.” There is something wondrous and nerve-wracking about getting acquainted with, and potentially falling in love with someone new.

Now that we’re in couple territory, that initial exciting novelty has faded and been replaced by a knowing comfort. He’s seen me without my fake eyelashes, and I’ve witnessed him cleaning his bathroom. And as much as I enjoy not having to wildly impress him anymore, I have to admit that I sometimes miss that initial thrilling stage of dating.

The other night I declared we were going to “do something romantic.” I didn’t want it to be another dinner out, or watching the latest James Bond movie (which, by the way, was incredibly boring). Then, I had a date idea. After all, it was a clear night, a perfect night for what I had planned.

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A Date over 550 Feet in the Air: A Visit to the Vancouver Lookout