Bridezilla Apocalypse: The Nerve!!!

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  I was recently invited to a destination wedding where the attendees were expected to buy expensive gifts .( A minimum of $500) Many guests declined including yours truly.  The Bride to be and her family didn’t believe their requests were excessive.

This trending story is beyond outrageous.  An extreme example of when the dream is way beyond reality. The bride wanted each guest to pay $1500, to attend her wedding,  When the guest refused the bride attacked.

To the groom, four words… run fast, run far…….

Click on the link below.   I am absolutely sure it will leave you saying WTF?



Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world.

Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world,

Despite what you read and see on television. America and Americans haven’t lost our minds or our way.  We realize you are bombarded with negative sounds and images emanating from our great nation, leaving the impression we aren’t the welcoming nation we once were.

These aren’t the best of times for the United States

Our current President, businessman with no experience on the world stage    Who in short time, has become the President his competitors warned us about during our presidential primary.

He is easily played.   Compliment him and you’re in.  In his mind, he is always successful.

Like you, most Americans are in a constant state of shock .  Many Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of negative and often destructive news emanating from the White House.

Just when we think our President has reached bottom, he finds a way to go even lower.  He has insulted our neighbors ,Canada and Mexico.  Damaging long-term relationships with our Allies and forging relationships with enemies of our nations.    He is impulsive, and often acts without council and doesn’t fully understand protocol.

Most Americans (not all) are frankly embarrassed.

Its seems, by the hour he is dismantling, environmental laws in favor of business.  Relaxing and reversing laws that benefit the poor, laws that once protected women, members of the gay communities and people or color.

 Two America’s

This picture taken last Thursday in Montana,  gives the impression that Americans  overwhelmingly support the President and his policies.   The reality is far from the truth.  Look at the participants in this photo.  They are good Americans, however they do not represent the majority of Americans.

Donald TrumpImage result for president obama crowd

Compare this picture to the one above.  The participants represent the real landscape of America.

Donald Trump rarely travels beyond his fan base.  Our great cities  with their diverse populations, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco,or Honolulu are not on his itinerary.

At these rallies, the Real Estate business man and Reality Television personality  is energized by his fan base.  Where he seems more comedian than politician, here in a friendly enviroment is where he is the happiest, places where he feels loved.

 His words and global intentions, are often designed to keep this narrow base happy.   Our Commander-in-Chief, goes his own way, he doesn’t like to be told what to do.  He oftens ignores the advice of those with decades of experience in global affairs, to spout conclusions that is loosely based on facts.   Which often confuses and angers our allies and friends around the world

He has often said, he and he alone have the answers to the worlds issues.  The Tariffs he is levying on our friends and neighbors and China, does not have the support from most Americans.   Politicians in both parties and the business community and yet he continues.

In Montana, he made fun of the #MeToo movement.  He insulted our war hero’s, Senator John McCain and former President Herbert Walker Bush, who are highly regarded members of his political party.  Both of these men are ill, one is terminally .

In the United States, he has always been a bit of a social media bully, who often acts differently when in the presence of the people he’s attacked.

While he insists upon loyalty, he hasn’t demonstrated any loyalties to anyone including those he appointed and placed in positions of power.

I have lived in the United States  my entire life.  When one group is attack , we react!    Many Americans are currently outraged by the treatment of children, who were stripped from their parents.  Simply to intimidate those who want to immigrate to the United States.  This has never been a policy of America to separate families.  Again, this was done to appeal to some of the  Presidents supporters, many of whom have long wanted to limited the number of  individuals immigrating from south of our Border.

Many of family members and friends who live outside the United States often asked ,how was he elected?   I believe the fault lies with our leaders. 

The day Donald Trump announced he was running for President and then went on to insult Mexican American and citizens of Mexico.  There was no major outrage from either party.

In 1968, George Wallace the former Governor of Alabama ran for President.   Wallace supported segregation and was outraged by the Passing of the Civil Rights Legislation.  The Governor stood at the entrance of the University of Alabama to prevent a black student from enrolling .

Forty eight years later, both parties were relatively silent.  Presidential candidate and former Governor of Florida, (Father George HW, and his brother George W,  were both Presidents of the United States)  Jeb Bush, whose wife is Mexican American, and has three bi-racial children and other bi-racial family members  wasn’t outraged enough to speak against Trump.    Not one candidate from either party, went in from of the Cameras and screamed “The statement made by Donald Trump goes against everything that America is!  They were all playing politics.   There was an assumption, Donald Trump would never be elected president.

Today, most members of the Republican party remains silent.  Unlike most of the world, the United States, has primary elections then ,General Election in November.   In the majority of the states.  Members of a party can only vote for members of their party in the primary election.  Only in the General Election can citizens vote for any candidate.

Because of our electoral system, and Donald Trump’s current popularity in his party. members of his party is choosing him over party and country.   To criticize him could mean losing in the primary.    While his actions go against many tenets of the Republican party and against many conservative views of the party.   Most Republican bite their teeth and support the President even though his views and actions are not only damaging to the Republican Party and the United States, it’s having a negative effect on our friends and allies.

His insistence in meeting in Vladimir Putin is a slap in the face to Prime minister May  after several Russian based poisonings in the United Kingdom.

If the Russians intent was to destabilize the Western Alliance by meddling in the US election then they were successful.  Our friends very concerned.  Nothing would make Putin happier than a dismantled Nato.

The majority of his party are afraid to speak out against him  because they need to survive the primary .  Even though his practices conflicts with the party and is damaging to the country.  The few member of his party who are critical of him and his policies are not running for re-election.

There is a bright high!     After the initial shock and disappointment,followed by proposed ban on Muslim immigrants.   Americans are angry!   People are all walks of live are getting involved , in numbers we haven’t seen since the 1960’s

The challenge, unlike the 60’s, it’s not just the Vietnam war,  it’s not just civil rights.   There are so many issues,created by this president we are overwhelmed.    We are less confident.  Conventional wisdom says ,with all of this outrage by the American public, there will be a change after this fall’s midterm elections.    However, conventional wisdom said, Donald Trump could never get elected.

To our all of our friends in:  Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world. .  America is still America, the land of immigrants and the place where dreams can come true.   America is at a crossroads, many American are disappointed with our government.

For nearly 10 years, there has been a civil war within our government.  A war of a zillion words which has been damaging to Americans as our needs have been ignored.   Many frustrated Americans wanted something different, something new, as the old guard had placed their political ambitions and party over the needs of its citizens.

Something you maybe currently experiencing in your country.  In America, we basically have a two-party system, this was deliberate.   The Republicans and the Democrats have made it difficult for other parties to participate in the system.  There are many political parties in the United States.   However, Americans are unlikely.  to hear from them.  They are not allowed to participate in public media debates.

 As a result, we have limited choices in this great nation.   Some, angry americans chose, a business man whose “business” reputation is so poor, he cannot get a loan from an american bank,   A man who had well known credibility problem, a man whose family has a legal history of not renting to people of color,and a man who has little respect for women, over the status quo.  Despite all the money in world, spent to prevent him from being elected,  Donald Trump became President of the United States.

I do not represent all Americans in my views.  But I am sorry.

I hope you learn from our mistake.  I believe in choosing a leader, demand experience, and integrity, empathy and heart.   Avoid, shiny objects, with promise, but doesnt have a history of performance or you may just elect a Donald Trump

Better days to come





Canada: Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows

Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows

Indigenous leaders and environmentalists march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters

Canadian PM vows to push through a $5bn oil pipeline project, but indigenous leaders say it ‘will never be built’.

By: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours\Al Jazzera

Montreal – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been widely criticised for vowing to get a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project built in the face of widespread, indigenous-led opposition that is mounting across Canada.

The prime minister said on Sunday that his government plans to hold a “formal financial discussion” with the proponent of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Texas oil corporation Kinder Morgan.

“We are going to get the pipeline built. It is a project in the national interest,” Trudeau told Canadian media.

But that pledge was immediately shot down by indigenous leaders who have emerged at the forefront of a grassroots campaign against the Trans Mountain project.

The pipeline is proving to be the biggest challenge to Trudeau since his 2015 election, when the now-prime minister ran on promises to protect the environment and build a new relationship with First Nations based on reconciliation.

“[Trudeau is] on the public record saying that governments provide permits and communities provide consent,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

“Clearly, the indigenous community, as well as the citizens of British Columbia, have not provided consent or social licence for this project to proceed,” Phillip said at a press conference this week, reiterating his opposition to Trans Mountain.

‘The answer is still no’

The $5bn Trans Mountain project would twin an existing 1,150km pipeline, allowing it to ship up to 890,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia (BC), in western Canada, for shipment to Asia and other markets.

Trudeau approved the project in 2016, saying it would bolster Canada’s economy and create new jobs.
Several lawsuits have been filed against the pipeline, however.

Opponents say it endangers waterways and marine ecosystems, threatens the health of communities, will actually lead to a loss of jobs, and violates indigenous land rights.

More recently, activists have been arrested for blocking construction on oil transport terminals in BC and thousands have protested against the pipeline.

Thousands march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

While Ottawa says the project was approved after a thorough consultation process, several First Nations along the pipeline route say they remain firmly against it.

“The whole issue of consultation is a red herring. It’s a distraction because … the legal bar has been raised to consent. There is no consent,” Phillip said.

“The answer is still ‘no’. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline will never be built.”

Canada-wide debate

The pipeline emerged at the centre of a national debate this month after Kinder Morgan issued what many critics of the project viewed as an ultimatum to the Canadian government.

On April 8, the company said it would stop allocating shareholder resources to the project and suspend “non-essential activities and related spending” as it seeks “clarity on the path forward”.

Kinder Morgan specifically called out the BC government, which has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain, as the main hurdle in getting the project built. It did not mention active indigenous opposition, however.

The company said it would consult stakeholders and come to a decision by May 31.

In response, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, reaffirmed Ottawa’s support for getting the pipeline built and echoed Trudeau by saying the project “is in the national interest”.

“This crucial resource project will expand export markets for Canadian resources and create thousands of good, middle-class jobs and no one should be standing in the way of those jobs and the families that stand to benefit,” Carr said in a statement.

Ottawa said it will seek to reassure Kinder Morgan of the economic viability of the project, but the government has not explicitly said whether it will offer the company financial support, and if so, how much.

“We are determined to find a solution. With all our partners, we continue to consider all available options. As our prime minister has said, this pipeline will be built,” Carr said.

Federal jurisdiction

Ottawa has also painted the problem as a struggle between federal and provincial jurisdiction. Under the country’s constitution, the federal government has the final say over national projects that cut across multiple provinces.

Trudeau said his government would consider tabling new legislation to reaffirm that the federal government has jurisdiction over these types of projects.

Provincial leaders, meanwhile, have emerged on opposite sides of the issue.

Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta, home to Canada’s sizeable tar sands oil reserves, is unsurprisingly strongly in favour of the project.

“The federal government, along with the government of Alberta, has commenced discussions with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk,” Notley said on Sunday.

For his part, BC Premier John Horgan has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain.

The BC government recently proposed a measure to make it more difficult to transport oil through the province, and mayors, federal parliament members and other officials across BC have also voiced their unequivocal opposition to the pipeline.

“The prime minister has failed on this project. He is blowing this into a national crisis because of his mishandling of this file,” said Kennedy Stewart, an MP in Burnaby, BC, which recently hosted a march against Trans Mountain.

The government of Quebec even waded into the fray last week, after a minister published an open letter that criticised the Trudeau government for attempting to impose its will unilaterally on the provinces.

Opposition to other pipeline projects has been particularly strong in the past years in the French-speaking province, which has historically been a staunch defender of rights at the provincial level.

‘Our rights haven’t been honoured’

But for indigenous peoples, the Trans Mountain pipeline is just one example of the deeper problem of various levels of government in Canada bulldozing over their rights.

“This land was given to us by our ancestors and it is our responsibility as elected leaders to protect that land for our children and their children,” said Khelsilem, a spokesperson for the Squamish Nation Council in BC, on Monday.

“We have rights as a nation that have not been met or honoured,” he said.

A protester listens to speeches at a protest rally against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the Canadian government’s support for Trans Mountain also goes against its commitment to respect the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Canada signed on to UNDRIP in 2016 and the declaration states that countries must obtain “free, prior and informed consent” before undertaking any actions that may affect indigenous peoples.

While the current focus is on the Trans Mountain pipeline, in particular, Chamberlin said the debate stems from a deeper issue.

“The underlying, fundamental issue for Canada is the fact that since the beginning of this country they have system disregarded aboriginal rights, aboriginal peoples, and exploited the lands and resources that our own peoples for others’ enjoyment,” he said.

“When a company from the United States declares that May 31 is the drop-deadline to go forward, this is an ultimatum to the Canadian government to run over and disregard the human rights of aboriginal people in Canada,” Chamberlin continued.

“I want to believe that Canadians find this unacceptable.”

“MUMMY” Senior kept mummified mom in apartment for 30 years

Well, not exactly but a 77-year-old Ukrainian woman kept the mummified remains of her mother in her apartment for more than 30 years. UNIVERSAL PICTURES

She wanted her mummy close by

By Brad Hunter/Toronto Sun

According to reports, a Ukrainian pensioner has been living with the mummified body of her mother for a staggering 30 years.

Cops say the 77-year-old senior kept the rotting remains in her squalid apartment in Mykolaiv that was also littered with garbage and stacks of yellowing newspapers.

Investigators discovered the mummified body surrounded by religious icons. It was lying on a couch and dressed in a white dress, head-covering, socks and shoes.

Concerned neighbours dropped the dime on the ghoulish senior.

The senior — alive when police arrived — is paralyzed in both her legs and in desperate need of help. The apartment had no water, gas or electricity.

Cops say the woman was a hermit who never answered her door. Officers were stunned by what they discovered in the shambles of a home.

“In one room on the floor was sitting a woman surrounded by rubbish,” a police statement said. “Having checked other rooms, police found a mummified body of a woman.”

The report added: “Nobody guessed that the woman was living with a dead body of her mother. Now the mummified body was removed from the flat and sent to forensic experts. The pensioner is now in hospital.”

Wife finds Jokes about Hubby’s Penis humiliating


Dr. Rod Kunynetz and his wife Valentina leave the College of Physicians and Surgeons at a lunch...

Photo: Toronto Sun

By Brad Hunter/Toronto Sun

The wife of the infamous Dr. Rod said puerile penis puns that accompanied stories about her hubby were “humiliating” and the hardest part of her family’s ordeal.

Former Barrie dermatologist Dr. Rodion “Dr. Rod” Kunynetz is currently in the midst of a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario penalty hearing for sexual impropriety. A number of women have claimed that dermatologist rubbed his penis against them.

Criminal proceedings are also taking place with the doctor facing a number of sexual abuse and gross indecency charges.

Kunynetz’s lawyer has used a unique defence for his client: His stomach is too big and his penis too small for the contact his accusers have suggested.

He was found guilty by the discipline committee of one count of sexual assault and unprofessional conduct.

He denied the allegations and most charges of sexual abuse regarding the penis rubbing were dismissed. Kunynetz has been suspended from practising since October 2015.

Valentina Kunynetz, 63, told the tribunal her husband was dedicated to dermatology and that she, too, played a part in the business, acting as office administrator.

“In December 2015, I was on the way to the dentist and on NewsTalk 1010 they were talking about Rod, mocking him, making fun of him … that his penis was undersized and his belly was enormous,” Valentina said.

That day’s merriment was triggered by a front page Toronto Sun story headlined: Dr. Rod’s wee defence.

“It was the salacious details … friends, family and colleagues were all reading this. It was disrespectful,” she said.

“The children (the couple has three sons) were getting calls from their friends and in the paper, were all the details about the size of his penis. It was terrible.”

Calling the family’s ordeal “demeaning” and “humiliating,” Valentina — dressed in a long dress and sandals — wondered aloud: “How many times do we have to read about the size of Rod’s penis?”

The ordeal cast a pall over the weddings of two of their sons and left Kunynetz’s practice that he had built over 30 years in ruins.

And the allegations left her husband devastated. The couple — married 37 years — stopped socializing and travelling.

“There was no joy in Rod’s life,” she added.

Under cross-examination, she conceded that the stories were accurate but she took exception to their “mocking” nature.

One urologist called as a witness at the hearings examined the doctor and determined that, yes, because of his large stomach and small penis he could not have committed the crime.

Another disagreed.

His lawyer, Matthew Sammon, spent most of the afternoon going over errors in the college’s investigation.

Among his greatest concerns was the length of time the matter has taken and a general abuse of process, pointing to the doctor’s lengthy interim suspension.

The hearing continues Tuesday.

Court Awards Burger King Employee $46,000 after being fired for taking Fish Sandwich

Surrey, BC: FEBRUARY 11, 2017 -- Usha Ram was fired from her job at Burger King on Granville Street in Vancouver, BC because of a miscommunication about taking food home after her shift. Ram sued the franchise and was awarded $46,000 in a wrongful dismissal suit.

By:Stephanie IP\Vancouver Sun

Usha Ram worked at various Burger King locations in Vancouver Canada as a cook for more than for 24 years . With no record of any formal discipline.

At the end of her shift on Dec. 27, 2013, Ram asked Yayyaba Salman, the manager on duty, in Hindi if she could take home what was later translated in court as “fish fry” without paying, as she did not have her wallet that day.

Her manager who also spoke Hindi, agreed and Ram packed a fish sandwich, an order of fries, and a pop. The manager later testified that she thought Ram was asking only to take home “fish” as in a fish sandwich, and not an order of fries as well.

The following week, Salman waited to see if Ram would pay for the extra food she had taken, which came to a total cost of $1 once staff discounts were accounted for. When Ram did not, the manager notified Janif Mohammed the co-owner of the Burger King, and Ram was pulled into a meeting and accused of stealing.


According to court documents, Burger King employees are entitled to free drinks during their shifts and half-priced food outside of shifts, unless otherwise approved by a manager. The judge noted there was some ambiguity as various testimonies shared different understandings the staff policies.



When Ram began crying and offered to pay for the food in hopes of keeping her job, she was told to leave. Ram left the premises in tears and uncertain whether she was still employed. Ram claims she suffered mental distress as a result of the incident. Ram was a full time employee earning 21,000 a year


Ram is a 55-year-old wife and mother who immigrated to Canada from Fiji in 1987. She has a Grade 8 education and a basic level of English. Throughout the trial, Ram testified in Hindi using an interpreter.

Ram is the sole breadwinner, supporting both her physically handicapped husband and a mentally disabled adult daughter.


Janif Mohammed, co-owner of the Granville Street fast food joint, represented himself in court and countered that he had a zero-tolerance policy for theft and said Ram took a sandwich, fries and soft drink, though Yayyaba Salman, the manager on duty at the time, testified she thought Ram had asked only to take a sandwich.

prv030302crash01 -- See cityside by Lora grindley -- Vancouver -- March 03 2002 -- Janif Mohammed with his daughters Zainab, age 8, and Aaliyah, age 4, visit the site of a fatal car crash that killed one woman and injured five others. Five of the six young woman were employees at the Main st Burger King. Province staff photo by Gerry Kahrmann [PNG Merlin Archive]


B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren concluded Ram was not given an appropriate chance to respond to the allegations and clarify that it was the result of a miscommunication.

Warren also ruled Mohammed and franchise co-owner Michael Lacombe “behaved in an unreasonable, unfair and unduly insensitive manner” the day Ram was confronted with the allegations, noting  Mohammed failed to take into account the difficulty Ram would face trying to find a job elsewhere, considering her age, poor English skills, and lack of education.

Warren ordered the franchisee to pay Ram general damages of $21,000, which reflects a year’s worth of salary, and $25,000 in aggravated damages for Ram’s emotional turmoil following the dismissal.

Looking for love online-Swipe to the right !

Vancouver’s PlentyOfFish recently made headlines for selling for $575 million US to Match Group on July 14, 2015. The Sun interviewed a couple that met on POF and a karaoke host who uses started with POF and now uses Tinder for online dating.

Online dating is more popular than ever, but that doesn’t mean it has stopped evolving


Virginia Lynn is dating again, this time with the help of Tinder.

For better or worse, online dating has long since lost any whiff of the lonely hearts stigma. The biggest game-changer for the lovelorn is Tinder app.

On Tinder, there’s no need for a thoughtful profile. You choose your match based on a quick look at a photo, swipe right for yes and left for no. If that person also swipes right on your photo, you can message each other — it’s sort of like shopping with a pre-approved mortgage.

Tinder’s giddy, rapid game of choosing a match based on looks alone has a predictable downside (Vanity Fair blames the app for bringing on a “dating apocalypse”). With nothing at stake, and nothing to lose, the messages Virginia gets are half-serious — and sometimes half-naked.

This tweet on Virginia’s feed says it all: “Got a marriage proposal from one hopeful & a hook up inquiry from a 19yr old. Still got it—ish. Ugh.”

The 27-year-old Vancouver karaoke host and DJ recently returned to the dating scene after a long-term relationship ended. Despite the regular and unsolicited “dick pics” her Tinder hopefuls send her, other, more genuine prospects are also swiping right for her. And that feels good (ish).

Virginia, like plenty of others, is looking for a real relationship. Love. Sure, lust needs to be part of it, but she’s not on Tinder just to hook up. She’s on Tinder because, she says, “everyone else is.”

The app is changing how we date online, and although its reputation as a hook-up app is changing, for some users, anything goes.

“It’s Russian roulette,” Virginia says with a laugh. “I’m looking for the traditional kind of dating. But it’s 2015, and things are completely different now. I just hate that I remember how it used to be.”

How it used to be is relative to how old you are, but are Millenials still talking online dating, which has its own surprising and disappointingly conventional norms.

According to data collected by Plenty of Fish, the Vancouver-based online site that claims about 80 million users worldwide, men do the hunting — firing off messages to women they find attractive — and women do the gathering, sorting through the messages and deciding who they will respond to. The Plenty of Fish data shows the breakdown of all contacts initiated by women is as low as nine per cent in Vancouver’s core, and the national average is a mere 13 per cent.

According to Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, the app was created to give women more control (you won’t get messages unless you’ve already “swiped right” on someone). It launched in 2012 and includes geo-location so you can find someone in your own neighborhood, or at the other end of the bar, and was similar to the gay-male-oriented meetup app, Grindr. The app was launched on college campuses and caught fire. By 2014, Tinder was claiming a billion swipes a day worldwide. And it’s free.

Tinder’s upside is that it’s fun. No more lonely nights sitting in your apartment combing through profiles in front of a computer. Tinder is a social experience — friends Tinder with friends.

“I’ll be at the bar waiting to set up for a show, and all of us will be sitting there on Tinder together,” says Virginia.

But even if the app changed the way we meet, the social conventions that stigmatize women who make the first move may take longer to change.

NYU Sociologist Eric Klinenberg, who recently co-authored a book, Modern Romance, with comedian Aziz Ansari, said in a phone interview, “Online dating is the most common way Americans meet their spouses, and 70 per cent of people in the U.S. in same-sex relationships. It’s an incredibly high number, and it’s growing.”

Klinenberg’s research shows that 80 years ago, people in North American cities overwhelmingly married people who lived just steps away, or on the same block. “The new technology gives us the ability to have relationships all around the world, and different kinds of relationships.”

People are marrying later in life, and because women are more educated and self-sufficient, the very nature of why we marry has changed. “People used to seek out what we called the ‘good enough’ marriage, someone who was stable, and reliable and trustworthy, and who would be a good person to have a family with. If you knew their parents and they knew yours, that was a plus. If there was romantic passion, that was great, but it wasn’t always necessary.”

“In 1967,” said Klinenberg, “the great majority of women in the U.S. said they would marry someone they weren’t romantically in love with.”

It is this change that has altered what it means to date. “We are looking for the soulmate marriage. We are after the perfect person, and we hope our marriage fills an enormous number of needs for us, from intimacy and romance to passion, spontaneity, familiarity, co-parenting, a spiritual connection, intellectual connection. We ask for an enormous amount from our partners, and we are willing to look for a long, long time.”

“Tinder and Grindr have made online dating a much more social experience,” says Klinenberg, “much less sad and lonely.” The downside is that you get less information about people. “It’s a little like walking into a bar and walking up to people you are attracted to and walking away from those you aren’t.”

Finding a soulmate, however, is about more than just attraction. “To find a soulmate you need to have a second and third and fourth interaction. You have to get beneath the skin.”

The downside to any online dating platform is what Klinenberg calls “selection paralysis.” Too many choices. (Or, in webspeak, FOMO — fear of missing out on others.) “When people have too many choices, they tend to have more problems. It’s hard to make a choice, it’s hard to figure out what is the best option, and after making a choice they wonder about all the ones they turned away from.”

Klinenberg cites the well-known grocery store example — when there are 30 flavours of jam, consumers are less likely to buy even one. When there are only six, they can more easily make a choice.

Ironically, the one dating stigma the online interface hasn’t changed is the pattern of men making the first move.

“We talked to a lot of women who said they would like to make the first move online, but they feared that would make them look desperate and unattractive and that men would be less likely to go out with them if they reached out first.”

Silvia Bartolic, a UBC sociology instructor said the socialization of men and women has not caught up with technology. “In general, women are socialized to be pursued and men are socialized to be the pursuers,” said Bartolic. “Those are the social norms we are taught and perpetuate. The online forum or presence doesn’t change the norm.”

Although the social norms are “still complicated and unclear,” she cites Monica Moore, whose research suggests women signal men in various ways to indicate they are willing to be pursued, whether it’s face-to-face or online, “women give out signals that say ‘Come talk to me. I would like you to approach me.’ And then we wait. Do we get to choose? You could say we do because we give the signal.”

Even so, there seems to be no shortage of relationship possibilities for online daters who know what they want, know how to use the technology and feel comfortable doing so.

Plenty of Fish, the Vancouver-based dating site that claims to be the world’s largest traditional meet-market, relies on a team of data scientists to monitor patterns, detect scams and develop matching algorithms that are more meaningful, and hopefully more successful, than what a swipe app can offer.

Steve Oldridge, the research team lead at Plenty of Fish, said data is “critical” to developing the matching algorithms that make the site successful. “Our matching algorithms, a lot of them are machine-learning based. They use the data itself to build models that help predict better couples.”

The questions users answer about what they are looking for, and their “chemistry test” creates data that becomes part of a matching algorithm and determines which profiles are sent to you. The data is also used to create new and evermore refined “matching algorithms” that will help you find a mate.

Vancouverites Romina San Jose and Brendan Wilson met on Plenty of Fish two years ago, and just announced their engagement.

Brendan says his Plenty of Fish profile was “honest” — something he believes is crucial. “If the goal is to actually meet someone, you want to come across as who you really are.”

Brendan sent Romina the first message after seeing her profile. “She wrote a very straightforward, honest and open profile,” said Brendan

“I was getting probably a hundred messages a day,” says Romina. There was no way she could sort through them all. Brendan’s pictures attracted her attention. “He was outdoorsy” she said, even though she wasn’t. And most importantly, he was looking for a serious relationship.

Brendan says he feels lucky to have gotten a reply from Romina, who he found “stunning.” Once they met — for appetizers and drinks at Earl’s — their chemistry was evident.

Romina spontaneously kissed him — just a peck — when they parted. That impulsive smooch took both of them by surprise — “Normally I would never do that. I don’t know what came over me,” said Romina.

The couple has been together ever since.

Perhaps the no-kissing-on-the-first-date rule might be like other “rules” — made to be broken.

Darren and Jessica MacDonald also met on Plenty of Fish about five years ago, and they are now happily married. Contrary to “the rules”, Jessica initiated contact with Darren. “I saw his photos. He was a firefighter and I sent the first message.”

Darren wasn’t at all put off by Jessica reaching out first. “She’s a beautiful girl who I shared lots of interests with,” he said.

Nicole Paradis, a 29-year-old single parent from Coquitlam, hasn’t found her love match yet, but she has used online sites for about eight years. Paradis has had no shortage of dates, but says it has taken a few years to figure out how to have a good first date. She recommends avoiding the deadly coffee date, letting a friend know where you are going, and doing something where there are “lots of people around.”

“Do something fun, something you’ve wanted to do, that way even if it’s not a romantic connection there’s something fun to do.” She’s gone go-carting, gone to a shooting range, the Aquarium, the Grouse Grind and Stanley Park.

Over time, she has developed her profile to include “every detail about what I really am passionate about.” After a few bad experiences (including with a married man who duped her for a year), she has become more forthright in her profile about what kind of relationship she wants, and she checks out potential dates’ Facebook and social media sites. If she can’t verify their identity through a secondary source, she won’t date them. “There are a lot less people just wanting to hook up. You get the people who want to go out for dinner.”

With all the online dating options and apps available to us, Klinenberg said, “this should be the golden age for being single. But the closer you look at the experience of trying to find the right person in today’s environment, the harder and more stressful it looks.”

The bottom line is, no matter what app or site you are using, dating still involves putting yourself out there and risking rejection.

For Virginia Lynn, the risk is worth it. She is still having fun. She just has to swipe away the “dick pics” — “that’s an automatic delete” — and move on to the next.

But she has also decided to take matters into her own hands. She will be hosting her own dating-game-style singles nights called Plenty of Fishery starting in October at the Displace Hashery in Kits. “I think it’s time to go back to meeting in real life,” she says.