Canadian Dating: Something To Talk About

Do they date, mate and fall in love all that differently across the border?

couple sledding in snow

The 2010 Olympics were a great introduction, but we know what you really want to know about Canada: Is there love across the border? And, if so, what does it look like? We dove into the dating and mating habits of the exotic Canadian species (translation: talked to youngsters who've lived in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec) and dug up a few anthropological gems.

Sadly, no one mentioned "finding inventive uses for maple syrup" as a Canadian quirk.


Canadians Are Slower and More Reserved

"There's a slower pace in Vancouver. It's smaller and more innocent. Dating in the U.S., at least in NYC, is more competitive and more results-oriented, as opposed to a more casual, 'We'll see what happens' approach. People want to see if there's potential right away and not waste time."

- Jennifer,* 23, Vancouver, now lives in NYC

"I think that in general Torontonians (and I say this because different parts of Canada are quite different) tend to be a bit more reserved at the initial stages of meeting. People are less forward when it comes to approaching or meeting new people and don't talk to strangers often. I think it's also less well-received."


- Caroline,* 25, Toronto

Canadians Fall In Love In The Winter

"One thing I noticed is that dating seemed really seasonal. People got into relationships in the late fall and early winter so that they could be settled in them for the cold months, when no one wanted to be alone or be going out finding someone. I've noticed a wave of spring romantic energy in the States, but in Canada, there was sort of a corollary wave in the fall. I think in Montreal, part of the lack of dating was not wanting to put yourself out there physically, in the elements. Going on dates is cold and labor-intensive if it is 40 degrees below."

- Sara,* 25, American, attended college in Montreal


"I met two of my three girlfriends in Canada during the colder months. It's really cold and you're bundled up, in like negative 20 Celsius, and you are just bouncing from indoor place to indoor place. It's really sterile, in a way, because you're so bundled. But you warm each other up, holding each others' hands and stuff."

- Jon,* 23, Calgary, Alberta, now lives in NYC

Canadians Are More Tolerant

"One of the major differences is that people tend to be less religious and less moralistic than in parts of the States."

- Caroline*

"There's a much more sex-positive culture in Canada generally, as compared to the United States. There's much less of a double standard about sex, and much greater openness and acceptance of different sexualities, but also just of having sex at all."


- Sara*

Canadians Really Are Nicer (Generally Speaking)

"I think it depends where you're from! In general, people from the West and the Maritimes are considered friendlier and nicer, and my experience supports that assumption on the whole. Ontario has a reputation of being the least friendly province."

- Caroline*

"People are nicer in Canada (but maybe that's just because I live in NYC!). Calgary only has about a million people, but it's sprawling, at the size of NYC's five boroughs. Perhaps it's friendlier because it’s less dense. Also, here in NYC, I've asked for phone numbers and tried to get in touch, and it seems like it's more typical for people not to respond because they have more options."


- Jon*

Canadians Love Drinking and Curling

"The one Canadian I dated called me drunk from a curling competition once, which I'm pretty sure would never happen in the U.S."


- Madeleine,* 25, American, attended college in Montreal

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent Canadians/ex-pats.

No Canadians have been harmed during the writing of this article.