The Good

  1. Food
    • Without a doubt, the food in the Bay area is among some of the best. I wasn’t a believer, but after leaving I developed a stronger appreciation. So, this in turn makes dates more exciting. Even if the date doesn’t go well, you’ll have finales tried out that Burmese restaurant you’ve been eyeing for months. So it’s a win-win. 
  2. Tech gossip 
    • People in the Bay have all sorts of crazy background and life visions. It was so much fun to hear what start ups people are working on, what crazy cults they accidentally joined and crazy stories retelling early days at some of the biggest companies in the area. And of course, real time updates on the internal scandals at various high growth companies like Uber or AirBnb. If you love a good story, Bay area dating will deliver. 
  3. Offline encounters
    • When it comes up in person events, the Bay area is matched only by NYC and LA. It’s so easy to get out and join in on an event. It’s even easier to cross paths with other people there who are looking to network, make new friends or score phone numbers. If you’re extroverted and want to widen your circle, Bay area dating makes it easier to meet and date offline so you can stay off the dating apps. 

The Ugly

  1. Expensive
    • Like everything else in the Bay, those Burmese restaurant dates add up fast. And before you know it, you’ll need a separate line item for expenses of dating so you don’t go overboard. It also doesn’t help that Bay area men as not as chivalrous, so getting your dinner or drinks paid for might be a little less common than in other cities. 
  2. Indecisive
    • Bay area men are scrambled; they’re all over the place mentally & emotionally. The downside of having access to so many opportunities and options is that people easily end up going back and forth, trying to sample a bit of everything. Which means that their life is in constant flux and they can’t dedicate the mental focus needed to date in a considerate way. It’s pretty common for people to do annoying things like: flaking at the last minute, showing up late, canceling all together, not being super responsive and then suddenly being very responsive or combining the date with something else they also wanted to do ie. a tech happy hour just so they can “have it all”. 
  3. Laziness
    • Bay area men are some of the laziest I’ve ever met. And it’s no surprise. When everything you could possibly want can be delivered in 2 hours or less and your company caters meals and alcohol, it’s easy to start assuming dating should just be similarly “convenient”. Only in the Bay would a guy deliberately tell you where he lives so that you can choose a place closest to his house. Or only order appetizers because an entree might take more than 20-30 minutes to arrive and they don’t want to be forced to converse that long if they change their mind mid-date. They will all take you the the same conventional spots, and expect you to act surprised; even though there are so many places in the Bay that could be more romantic. 
  4. Distance
    • Because there are so many bridges & tolls, distance is a strong deciding factor in who you might date in the Bay. If someone lives in the Marina and you live more than 30 minutes away ie. Berkeley, Redwood City, Hayward, SOMA — there’s a good chance you will both give up on the relationship before it even begins, just because the back and forth driving takes a toll. Also, because a lot of locals already comment heavily for their jobs, on the weekends/after work, they want to be able to just walk or take a quick Uber to meet up with friends and dates. So if the type of people you like are concentrated in a certain area, you will probably need to move near there to get a shot at dating them. 
  5. Ego
    • The egos are substantial in the Bay area. A lot of people will come into the conversation with an air of arrogance/assumptions that is unique to living in California and being part of “Silicon Vally”. But it’s worth pushing past it because usually they’re just normal people looking for love and acceptance, like everyone else. They just need their bubble to be popped so they can float back down to earth. 

At the end of the day, dating in any city is what you make of it. So hopefully this helps shed some light on what to expect from Bay Area dating!