Think about the kind of guy who starts a blog dedicated to the fact that there "aren't girls in San Francisco".
Now find me a group of girls flocking to be in his presence.
If you're in the tech industry, then you probably spend most of your time out at "industry" events. There might occasionally be a couple of cute girls, but you're looking in the wrong place.
I can't speak for SF itself, since I always hung out in the Valley. Dress well, get in shape, and be charismatic, as you'll actually be able to stand out above the plethora of anti-social bufoons. You're also probably passionate about what you do, so make sure that comes across as women seem to respect that too out there.
This all comes from someone who now lives in Miami, where the women are supposed to be unbelievably attractive. They are, but i'll use the cliche and say looks aren't everything. Actually the women here are so dumb and pretentious that it's able to make supermodels become unattractive. The Valley has an awesome balance of looks and brains, so do not take that for granted.
The point is that the shortage doesn't affect all guys equally. The guys with better chances aren't likely theorizing and writing blogs about the shortage.
If you're going to work 70-80 hours on a startup, basically no sane woman is going to join you (I know a couple women that'll do startups, but most seem to want some semblance of a life too.) If you're going to read TechCrunch and Reddit and Digg all day, same thing.
If you go to a yoga/pilates/yogalates class, or a Harry Potter fan convention, it will be practically all women. And even big tech companies have pretty even gender ratios, at least out of my sample size of one. My cube is 3 women and 4 men; so was my last project. Back when I had roommates, it was 2 girls and me.
I think people find the Bay Area so dating-hostile because the people who move here are often hostile to dating. A lot of guys come to Silicon Valley to seek their fame and fortune with this wild-eyed technology vision, where they'll put their nose to the grindstone and concentrate on their code for 5 years. That's not a very good way to meet women; most of them don't exactly care for that lifestyle.
Then again, I've been here for 6 months and am still single. Then again again, I haven't exactly been looking very hard. I'm one of the dating hostile (well, apathetic) folks. ;-)
Not true at all! Really driven, busy women usually choose choose driven, busy men. I worked full time, ran my own company, and had a full classload studying for a business degree for two years. My working breakdown was: 30-50 hours at my job, 20-40 hours at the startup, and 9-20 hours doing classes and schoolwork.
The rest of the last five years haven't been much less busy. In that time, I had a girlfriend who was a fashion editor and had her own talk show, dated an award-winning genius hyper-athletic architect, and had a really cute girl in medicine. All busy girls. I also had a couple other girls who led more casual lives, but came from driven families. My main girlfriend for a while had parents supporting her, and she picked me up and dropped me off from many of my classes, she cooked for me while I was doing my work, and when I got a bit of time off, we'd rent movies or go to a casino or something.
Normal, regular people don't understand busy, driven people. That's both regular men and women. It's hard to have "normal" friends when 70-100 hours of your schedule are blocked out each week with craziness. But busy people understand - so I went skiing and diving and got into trouble with my busy, driven friends when we had some vacation time, and the girls were always happy. Start looking for girls who are hyper-driven themselves: Lawyers, architects, executives, media, etc. And look at girls who have a super-driven father, which is just generally good advice for a driven man anyways.
Regular people don't understand busy people, and get offended, and want a "work-life balance" instead of building an empire. And that's fine, if they're happy. But there's plenty of woman who want, love, embrace, and support a driven man. Get one of those girls and you're cruising. I wouldn't recommend trying to date a "civilian" if you're living a crazy life though, they don't understand, won't understand, can't understand. No big deal - the driven, busy girls are awesome anyways.
Incidentally, I'm kinda curious whether there's any correlation between insane hours and success at the fuck-you-money level. (I know there's one as you go from high-school education to professional degree, but I think the causation is backwards: people work longer hours and get paid more because their jobs are more engaging, they don't get paid more because they work longer hours.) From what I see - and this seems backed up by Outliers and Fooled by Randomness - massive success seems more proportional to how many risks you to take and how much randomness you expose yourself to than how hard you work. Curious if there's any data on this...
I dunno man. A normal girl who likes "shopping and hanging out with her friends", who sleepwalks through a boring shitty low-paying job, who doesn't exercise and doesn't take of herself... that's sane? My girlfriend in London: Family was high in the Communist Party before the Iron Curtain fell, got in the ground floor as entrepreneurs, sent her to study architecture in London and Tokyo, won some design awards, went swimming 4x week and did yoga 3x week. Had great, brilliant friends. When not studying, working, exercising, she'd go to eclectic cafes near Old Street or we'd go to the National Gallery or British Museum or some various gardens or have tea.
She's not sane? Girls who "hang out and shop", follow American Idol really really carefully, and sleepwalk through life are sane? I guess sanity is in the eye of the beholder.
> Incidentally, I'm kinda curious whether there's any correlation between insane hours and success at the fuck-you-money level.
I think there is for a few reasons. First, a job might require 20-50 hours of "firefighting and admin" per week, where every hour over that is actually productive work. Going from a 40 hour workweek to a 50 hour workweek might actually double your productive output. Second, the more you work, actually the more you live and get done. Expression, "If you want something done, give it to a busy person." When I was hyper busy, I'd get little trivial tasks done super fast. Now that I've got more free time, it takes me way longer to do minor bullshit like get car insurance or respond to some letter or something else. When I was hyper busy, I'd only "touch stuff" once. Which cut down time and stress from tasks by a lot. Third, when you're busy working all the time, you actually spend a lot less money, because you're working all the time.
> (I know there's one as you go from high-school education to professional degree, but I think the causation is backwards: people work longer hours and get paid more because their jobs are more engaging, they don't get paid more because they work longer hours.)
That's a good point, sounds true too. I think it's more cyclical than a causation/correlation thing. Longer hours, more skills, more engagement, ability to put in longer hours, more skills, more engagement, and so on. That's my guess anyways. Good comments.
...why does this have to be the alternative to women who work 70-80 hour weeks for a startup? I'm sure that's not what you're saying, as your girlfriend anecdote is neither, but that's how it reads.
But yes, insane people should date other insane people. Nobody else will understand them.
Thats very false. Here is a sample of companies and their ratio:
Median Age 29 years
Median Age 32 years
Median Age 27 years
Median Age 37 years
Median Age 32 years
UC Berkeley (employees):
Median Age 29 years
City of San Francisco:
Median Age 33 years
Ps. While that counts only people that have a linkedIn profile, I would remind you Facebook has more women that guys, so I would assume that women are very familiar with social networks, and not afraid of them.
Here's the thing, though: the guys I know who are single and under 30 also tend to be pretty isolated and nerdy. The ones who have other interests do fine for themselves. So, a protip for young nerdy guys everywhere: if you want to meet a girl, you've got to pull your nose out of the computer screen once in a while.
Otoh, it's also interesting why the gender gap is non-existant or is <b>the other direction</b> in former USSR and China/Taiwan/Korea (you could argue it's Communist legacy for USSR and China, but what about South Korea and Taiwan?).
(Disclaimer: I'm an immigrant from the USSR and the person who has been introduced into was my mother. I remember visiting her work place and many of her coworkers were women too-- and this wasn't considered unusual in any form).
But San Francisco's women are beautiful and amazing. There are few other cities that compare. You may just need a bit more luck than elsewhere.
This usually wears off around age 25 after these girls realize that the world is slightly more complicated than TV portrays it to be.
Note that I'm talking about the ones who date only white guys, not the ones who are normal and will date any attractive guy of any race.
Interestingly almost all straight Asians in SF are there to learn English.
Depends on where she's from. In countries like the Philippines, English education is much more ubiquitous than, say, Japan or China.
For instance, it's common for bars to have a higher ratio of guys; I know a lot of 'nice' guys who will give up in this situation. You might have to step out of your comfort zone to interact with girls, but it's doable.
SF is a massive, dynamic city and it can't be modeled in such a simple way.
A year ago, I returned to the Midwest, and haven't gotten a date since.
That was true when I was there. And they tended to like independent rockers with somewhat long hair, day-old beard, who were smart and literate but never let that get in the way of being physically active most of the time.
How many geeks does that describe? (That described many of the people who got Silicon Valley started .... then)
The other thing it rated high is on coolness, which I guess it is, give the amount of hipsters/piercings/tattoed/non normal people you see here.
Pedersen suggested that people will change many aspects of their behaviour as a knock-on effect of the competition induced by sex ratio fluctuations. For men, these include greater fidelity, commitment to careers, and increased investment in children when women are scarce.
Is there evidence that men are also more committed to marriages in San Francisco? Are divorce rates lower?
Anyone ever been to a technology conference? I felt like I stepped into Harvard circa 1955.
As others have mentioned, Oakland is where African American people live in the Bay Area.
But when I was there during the 97-99 boom there was a noticeable lack of African Americans in tech and web companies.
This article attempts to explain it: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0615/p02s04-usgn.html
It makes sense that since there are more men, women get pickier, so paradoxically there appears to be less good men available to women.
What does game theory predict in such a situation?
The eligible bachelor paradox.
I can't talk about NY, but having lived in LA for 5+ years I can safely say that it's a horrible place for either sex to seek out any form of lasting relationship.
Of course if you love spending your evenings in bars buying drinks for willing girls under 25 (or at least who claim to be) then LA's a great place to live.
As for buying drinks, you know, that depends on the individual's mojo;) I've personally never tasted alcohol so the question of buying someone else a drink is far off. But I get your point.
After a few years though I just found it got kinda old, repetitive and a little shallow. Ironically I now live in SF :)
70% in couples seems high to me, so there's probably another effect at work. It's the same effect that makes it really hard to find a job in a recession: normally you might have 5% of the population out of work and 5% positions waiting to be filled, but if you suddenly have 10% out of work and 1% of positions open (companies that lay off people generally aren't hiring), instead of 1 person for each open job you have 10 people looking for each open job, even though 90% of the population weren't affected at all.
Anecdotal, but I went for a few interviews in that place and it is definitely NOT the place to be for a single straight man in his 20s.
You don't even need to have a whole blog about it.
The neighborhoods with the highest density (scientifically studied over a lifetime) are The Lower Haight and The Mission.
The Lower Haight was the one neighborhood I could count on where I'd go into a bar and there would be literally no women. Even worse odds than the Castro or the tranny parts of the Tenderloin. Try it - go to Toronado any night of the week and count the number of women.
Anyway, the best place to meet women is Union Square during lunch hour during the week. The people there are generally employed, take reasonable care of themselves, and aren't trying to live out some lame grungy hipster fantasy life straight out of 1993...
I met my wife at the Noc Noc, and she doesn't look like Janene Garafalo (not that there's anything wrong with that), but your anecdotal mileage may, of course, vary.
The Toronado is for beer. You go there to partake of their positively astoundingly amazing on-tap selection, not pick up women.
I see -- you were just in the wrong city! If you wanted post-sorority "generally employed" women, you really shouldn't have moved to San Francisco. You certainly shouldn't have been surprised that this restricted your options to department store neighborhoods and office commuter destinations.
I'd suggest a location such as such as LA or Manhattan, which are probably more socially amenable to your cultural presumptions.
You are right - I moved to Manhattan.
For a while now I've been thinking I'd end up in SF or the Valley at some point over the next few years. I can't say dating ratios ever crossed my mind as a reason (not) to go. It doesn't exactly sound fun to be a woman in SF, so I guess I'd better spend more than a couple of weeks there and find out before I commit myself to meat markets and being a rarity...
I read an article a while back (which I could remember the link) that pointed out that as you move from south to north (ie., from southbay/San Jose to San Francisco), you gradually move from engineering/hard science to software to UI design to marketing/PR. There are major, substantial exceptions, of course, but as a general trend, I think it holds true.
As you move from South to North on this continuum, the male/female ratio changes substantially as well. Obviously, the PR, advertising, and design firms in SF have a lot of women working at them. Law firms, especially the ones that are not patent-law oriented, also have a lot of women - as paralegals, secretaries, and lawyers. I'd also guess that there are more fashion/interior decorating type firms in SF than in San Jose (it's not New York, of course, but insofar as the Bay Area has an industry, it'll largely be in SF). SF does have tech/software companies, though I've heard (I can't support this, it's just conjecture) that they tend to be less hardcore tech than the peninsula. The mission bay campus of UCSF may bring a lot of biotech folks to SF - not sure how that will influence things.
I've lived in SF, LA, San Diego, and New York. Because I grew up in SF, I don't have as good a sense of what it's like trying to "meet women", since I already had a large social network from high school and so forth. New York was the best (Manhattan) - girls would actually initiate conversations and give me their phone number. LA has lots of beautiful women, and it's a pretty good scene, but some (not all) women seemed to lose interest when they learned I wasn't a part of the entertainment industry (well, I was doing software for post production, but that counts as outside...)
San Diego was the absolute worst - the ratio of men to women was so high, and the men were so aggressive, that the women seemed to almost shut down and go into a shell. I learned something here - women don't seem to have as good a time when the ratio gets too favorable for them. It's surprising, but it makes sense. Women actually do like to pursue men, but if they're surrounded by a 3-1 ratio of men to women, and the men are very aggressive, they get hit on ever five minutes by a guy who they aren't interested in, it becomes nearly impossible to "make yourself available." Maybe they see a guy they'd like to meet, but if they appear open to conversation, five other guys will pretty much rush in right away. So they shut down and lose all interest in talking with people, or just stop going out to those bars altogether.
Nobody likes a bad ratio, but I've actually found that men and women are happiest closer to a 50-50 ratio.
Seriously, though, it's not that hard. I usually only hear this complaint from guys who are looking to only date white women or suchlike Given that the city is around 50% Asian these days, one might want to consider branching out. that said, i've dated girls of every ethnicity within the last 15 years, though not since I met the outstandingly lucky * Mrs Browl.
* What? She says she's happy about it. Most of the time.