British Columbia·Audio

Matchmakers, profile pictures and philosophy: How the pandemic impacted dating in Vancouver

It's been a tough couple of years for people looking to make new connections. CBC's Summertime Crush series looks at how things have changed, and how people are returning to the dating scene.

Dating is a part of most people's lives at some point — whether they like it or not

A group of people dining at a restaurant.
CBC's series Summertime Crush looks at how the return to dating is going in Vancouver and how the pandemic affected people's ability to make meaningful connections. (Shutterstock/Monkey Business)

After nearly two years of pandemic restrictions requiring people to stay apart and making it difficult to form relationships, many are re-entering the dating scene.

In some cases, solitude encouraged people to make finding a partner a priority; in others, it's just part of the return to normal life.

"The first connection is a whole thing where you have to initially assess somebody for the potential to form a bond or connection," said author and philosophy professor Carrie Jenkins.

"We end up making these decisions really very quickly."

But has dating changed since the spring of 2020? Can it go back to the way it was pre-COVID? And what makes it so difficult to form connections in a city like Vancouver? 

The CBC's Jeremy Ratt explores the Vancouver dating scene in his radio series Summertime Crush.

Many people are returning to dating this summer as pandemic restrictions have lifted. (Rawpixel/Shutterstock)

How has dating changed?

COVID-19 restrictions over the past two years made it nearly impossible to meet up with prospective partners, and some people fell into the comfort of being alone. So, how are people getting back into meeting new people?

How has Vancouver dating changed over the last two years? That's the first question we'll hear more about in the first installment of our new series "Summertime Crush."
As part of Summertime Crush - our new series about Vancouver dating - Jeremy Ratt took to the streets of Vancouver to ask residents what things are like with love right now.

Making meaningful connections

Carrie Jenkins, a philosophy professor and author of Sad Love: Romance and the Search For Meaning, explains how to make new, meaningful connections and how to make old connections feel new and exciting again.

What does it mean to make a meaningful connection? Our latest entry in our "Summertime Crush" series takes us into the world of relationships and connecting with new people. Joining us is UBC philosophy professor and author Carrie Jenkins.


It's not uncommon to hear from Vancouver singles that the dating scene is tough. A panel of matchmakers breaks down the challenges of dating in the city and how they help clients find "the one."

In the latest entry to our dating series Summertime Crush, CBC story producer Jeremy Ratt takes us to Granville Island to chat with photographer Justin Veenema — founder of Photos For Tinder, which aims to help professional clients get the best photos for their dating profiles.

Online dating profile photos

Profile photos are the first thing people see on dating apps, and in some cases, they can make or break a possible connection. Photographer Justin Veenema takes photos specifically for dating apps.

The latest entry in our "Summertime Crush" dating series takes us into a panel with Vancouver matchmakers Jane Carstens and Susan Semeniw.
Online dating is the most popular way to meet people, and having a good profile picture can make or break it when it comes to potential partners. (Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Date Did What?

Vancouver writer Jill Sinclair says people are not "emotionally available," and they are this way because they're afraid of being hurt.

Sinclair chronicled her wild dating experience post-divorce in Vancouver in her 2016 book Date Did What?

What happens when you go on 40+ dates with the quote en quote "Johns" of Vancouver? You write a book about it, of course. We'll chat with a published author and speaker about her dating story in our next installment of our "Summertime Crush" series.
In the next half hour of the show, Jeremy Ratt is going to bring us an interview with author and TedX speaker Jill Sinclair. Jill wrote the book "Date Did What?" which chronicles some of her own interesting and funny Vancouver dating experiences. Here's one of her stories.
Dating can be a rollercoaster, especially post-pandemic. (Allison Cake/CBC)

Listeners chime in

On The Coast listeners share their dating stories. 

We've been asking for your dating stories as part of our new series Summertime Crush, and you have certainly delivered. Have a listen to some of the stories we've received so far.
We've been asking for your dating stories as part of our new series Summertime Crush, and you haven't disappointed. Yesterday we aired just a couple stories, and now, we have a few more stories and responses to share with you.


Jeremy Ratt

Associate Producer

Jeremy Ratt is an associate producer with CBC Vancouver and the host of CBC's podcast Pieces. Follow Jeremy as he embarks on a journey of self-discovery on Pieces, now available on CBC Listen, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Twitter: @Jeremy_Ratt

With files from On The Coast


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