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One of the biggest mistakes women make when they're looking for love is writing off potential dates because they don't fit a predetermined set of criteria, be it occupation, education level, income or past relationship status, she said.For Snider, however, finding a good match is less about social or employment status than it is about a worldliness that, after living in London, seems in short supply in Calgary.

We want someone who understands that feminism and masculinity are not mutually exclusive.It is possible to be the kind of guy who can talk about his feelings, cook dinner and look after kids and also love hockey, ride ATVs, go hunting (or whatever) and hold the door and ravish us in bed."And of course it's always done in connection with what we call 'emphasized femininity,'" she explained.But what really stood out was the way those meetings progressed in a respectful, timely, and appropriate manner into actual dates.You know, outings with a stranger where you both put on clean clothes, put your best foot forward and courageously acknowledge you are hoping to find romance. For those who haven't spent time in lotus land, the chief complaints from straight-leaning women are that men seldom make a move or pick up on flirtations.And if by some miracle, you do manage to exchange contact info with a guy, he'll often put minimal effort into making plans or trying to impress you in the unlikely event that you do wind up on an actual date — and whatever you do, don't call it that.

Instead, Vancouverites often "hang out" with their new friends for months, or even years, in undefined relationships aimed at lowering the emotional stakes but invariably leading to mismatched expectations and hurt feelings.Case in point: one friend had a guy offer to sell her a beer at the end of their date in exchange for bus fare home. I'd left the coast behind and moved back to Calgary for a guy — potentially for keeps — only to have the relationship torpedo as soon as the ink was dry on our one-year lease. But as I contemplated returning to the dating scene, I consoled myself with memories of that one charmed summer.I wondered if my limited experience of dating in Calgary was the rule rather than the exception. Calgary's demographics favour women, she said, simply because there aren't as many of us here.And then there's another group of men who, to me, were very meek, very docile men who were very sweet and gentle and calm and kind.As a self-described loud, dominant, feminist, Snider, who grew up in Cochrane, says she feels the latter group can't keep up with her feisty personality — they tend to defer to her rather than engage.Of course, this is not just a Calgary thing, but this city's tendency to promote a certain veneer of stereotypical manhood can put the question of men's motivations into particularly sharp focus."I feel like guys in Calgary, they are such city guys trying to be the best, trying to get ahead, trying to experience everything because you only live once, that I feel like there's pressure on to be this imaginary stud thing," said Stewart.