Single In Vancouver? A New App That Might Just Solve Our City’s Dating Problems


As awesome as Vancouver is, there are still two major complaints about our city we can’t refute: It rains an awful lot, and the dating scene sucks. But why is dating so difficult in Vancouver? In 2011, The Vancouver Foundation undertook a survey of 3,841 people across metro Vancouver, ultimately discovering that Vancouverites are becoming increasingly disconnected from the community. In short, Vancouver can be a pretty lonely place to live.

Further studies have proven that women have a hard time dating in Vancouver, and men find it difficult to meet women here as well. Both men and women lament that we lack a dating culture. In late 2012, Denise Ryan of the Vancouver Sun decided to study Vancouver’s dating culture and its shortcomings. She confirmed that Vancouver is definitely a city where meeting people is difficult, and she pointed out that we’re missing the necessary initiatives that would need to be taken to score a date. We’re missing “the appreciative or inviting smiles, casual conversations struck up on street corners, in bars, restaurants, grocery lineups …”

Fast forward three years and all of these problems still exist, but the dating app Happn is looking to solve several of these issues. It uses real-time technology and hyper-location to tell you who you’ve crossed paths with in real life, and then makes that crucial first move for you. This also solves the problem of missed connections. Happn already boast nearly 10 million users in more than 30 cities, and they recently launched in Vancouver – a city that really needs help connecting with others.

One of the interviewees for Denise Ryan’s article about dating in Vancouver was 47 year old Vancouverite Derkson, who stated that even if a woman smiles at a man on the street, he won’t smile back. 34 year old Vancouverite Rachel Fox agreed and told Ryan, “people here are inhibited.” Vancouverites often complain about missed connections caused mostly by inhibition, passivity and a sense of disconnect. We may see someone we’re interested in, but nobody takes initiative to introduce themselves – which is why we often rely on dating apps to meet people instead. That’s why if you’re single in Vancouver, you may want to download Happn since it introduces you to someone you might have missed out on meeting due to inhibition. Here are 5 more reasons why Happn could be the solution to our city’s disconnect:

  1. Because we’re often too passive or inhibited to make the first move. We don’t tend to have the balls to introduce ourselves or chat up a cute stranger. Even if we’re at a bar full of singles, many of us are still too clouded by a perceived disconnect and habitual passivity to attempt to make a connection with someone. Since Happn shows you singles you’ve crossed paths with, it gives you a second chance by making that key introduction for you that you failed to make happen back at the bar.
  2. Our dense downtown core is ideal for a location-based app like Happn. Vancouverites often spend a lot of time downtown. Many of us work downtown, live downtown, or head downtown often for dinner or drinks. Downtown Vancouver is a hub for office buildings, apartment buildings, restaurants, bars, movie theatres, sports arenas and more. This means we’ll cross paths with a plethora of singles in our dense downtown core, and our Happn app will therefore be firing cuties our way all day.
  3. We want to meet people we share something in common with: On Happn, you’re matched with people you actually have something in common with rather than randoms. Since Happn introduces you to people you’ve crossed paths with, that means you likely have a similar lifestyle and share some things in common which makes forming a connection much easier. Happn gives you the ability to meet someone who works in the same office building as you or goes to the same coffee shop as you every morning. The brilliant app can even give you a sense of how similar your lifestyles are. For example, if Happn tells you “you’ve crossed paths with Chris 31 times” that means Chris could very well be your neighbour, or work in the same building as you, or go to the same gym as you. Why don’t any of us know our neighbours? Wouldn’t you love to meet your neighbours?
  4. It’s hyper-local. You don’t have to ride the same elevator as someone in order for them to show up as one of your crushes on Happn. Their hyper-local technology means that you can be matched with someone who works in the same office building as you or even someone who simply walked by your office building while you were at your desk working up on the 23rd floor. Happn makes it easy to meet someone local who clearly lives or works nearby by using a 3 block radius, and we all know that convenience of location makes for a much better relationship than one that requires a commute to maintain.
  5. It’s just real. There’s something comforting about how real Happn is. It’s real-time technology means it’s down to the minute, so we can see if someone was walking near Kits beach at the same time as us. In many ways Happn is connecting us with each other and giving us the gift of a perceived common ground before we even start talking to each other. With common ground already established, our perceived disconnect fades and forming a new connection becomes that much easier.