Canada is a great place to fall in love! Canada is a great place to be in love! Canada is a great place to be married and have a family. Make no mistake about it, Canada is a great place for lovers.
And the truth is, we fell in love in Canada today. You can, of course, read that two ways. Those of you who have followed our writings and musings about love and successful marriage know that we fell in love with each other some 49 years ago and today we celebrate our 48th Wedding Anniversary in Canada! And it is true that we fall in love all over again each day of our lives together. But today, we fell in love with Canada all over again!
Currently, we are in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) interviewing happily and successfully married couples for our new blog tentatively entitled, “How to Marry the Right Guy in Canada.” After spending several days in Vancouver, British Columbia and environs, we are struck with the beauty of Canada and the friendliness and warmth of its people. We are also struck with the strength and quality of Canadian families and marriages!
This is our seventh trip to Canada to interview successfully married couples. To date, we have interviewed couples in nine of Canada’s ten Provinces, all 50 states in the USA, in 49 countries, and on all seven of the world’s continents. We also love coming to Canada for our work.
First – the beauty of Vancouver. We sat in a wonderful restaurant for dinner today in Vancouver with a terrific view of Coal Harbor called the Cactus Club Cafe. The view of the water and mountains are undeniably beautiful! Seeing the mountains and the beautiful water, watching the sleek sailing boats, witnessing the many single engine planes taking off to give tours of the harbor, and all the while contemplating the awesomeness of it all, is humbling, to say the least. The mist on the mountains is, in many ways, more surreal than real. It has a mystical and magical look to it and almost felt dreamlike today as we admired it over a glass of a delightful Canadian Chardonnay from the Okanagan Valley.
The Seagulls were graceful and splendiferous as they squawked their way from outcropping to outcropping, from tree to tree, from boat to boat, and from dock to dock. These beautiful birds are wonderful creatures. Can you imagine an ocean without seagulls? We can’t! Their squawking accentuates the beauty of the water. Ocean water and Seagulls – they go together like a hand and a glove. The Ocean and the Seagulls seem to particularly complement each other in Vancouver.
Secondly, the warmth and friendliness of the people of Vancouver is simply awesome. Everywhere we have gone so far – our hotel, the local restaurant we visited today, the airport, the rental car kiosk, a local wine store, the gas station – we are greeted by people who are polite, relaxed, good-natured, humorous, and in love with life. We have been smitten by the Canadians of Vancouver! They are delightful and wonderful!
The food here has been amazing. Just tonight, we ate at a marvelous restaurant with great food and even better service. Our waitress was Joan and she made our whole romantic meal on this, our 48th Wedding Anniversary, even more romantic. She just turned 25. And she is in love! We gave her our business card and suggested she check out our latest book, How to Marry the Right Guy! She said she would. We almost adopted her on the spot!
Today we interviewed several delightful couples in Vancouver. Tomorrow we head to Victoria. Thursday, back to Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler. We finish our interviews on Friday near Squamish Valley, north of Vancouver. Here is what we have discovered so far – marriage is alive and well in Canada!
Recently, we reviewed a report written by the Department of Justice of the Government of Canada entitled Portraits of Families and Living Arrangements in Canada. We were particularly interested in the section of that report labeled “Family Demographics.”
The Canadian couples with successful marriages we have interviewed so far on this trip mirror the results of our interviews in the USA and around the world that we have conducted over the past 32+ years. Canadians still are engaging in traditional marriage in overwhelming numbers.
Here are pertinent “family” facts – in 2001 a little over 70% of Canadian “families” were headed by married couples. In 2006, that figure still hovered near 69%. In 2011 the number was 67%. While there has been a slight downward trend in families headed by married couples over the past decade, it is clear that married couples remain the dominant family structure in Canada.
In addition, “common law couples” represented 14% of “families” in 2001 and a little over 15% in 2006. In 2011 – the most recent date for which trustworthy data are available – 67% of Canadian “families” were headed by married couples and “common law couples” who represented 16.7% of all census families.
Overall, nearly 85% of Canadian families are headed by couples – married (opposite and same sex) and common law. It is important to note that some 10-15% of Canadian children are living in single parent families.
Canadians should celebrate the fact that a couple-marriage is still something that some 85% of “family structures” in their country mirror. To suggest otherwise is to mislead the public into believing something that is not true. Marriage is alive and well in Canada and no “playing around with the data” is going to change that.
And, oh, yeah, romance is definitely in the air in Vancouver and the surrounding areas!
For more tips to enhance your relationship get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.
By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts