A recent article published in The Washington Post titled “Why Silicon Valley singles are giving up on the algorithms of love” illuminates the struggle single people face, even while living in one of the countries wealthiest and most educated urban areas, attracting young, ambitious people from all over the world. While the San Francisco Bay Area remains a high ranking city for adventurous singles, others find themselves tired of FOMO-driven dating sprints and casual hook-ups and start to crave the intimacy of a committed romantic relationship. To be single and searching for ‘the one’ in the Bay Area is complicated according the wide range of people I encounter through my executive coaching practice with entrepreneurs and other high performers in the tech ecosystem. The single women are far outnumbered by single men making the odds good for heterosexual women, but they’ll quickly tell you the “goods are odd”, describing tech guys as low in EQ and difficult to navigate with through early stages of dating ). Even with the odds stacked against them, single men in Silicon Valley are more selective in their search for a romantic partner than literally, anywhere else in the country. These findings are completely consistent with the feedback I get from the millennials I work with in tech.
Back in 2014 I penned an article for techcrunch.com titled #Love: Hacking Social Isolation, bringing attention to how the increasing reliance on technology is making it more difficult for millennials to form and maintain authentic relationships with others. Not unlike Silicon Valley startups whose valuations promise more than they actually deliver, millennials continue to rely heavily upon dating apps, an investment that is more likely to lead to user fatigue and burnout than to the relationship promised land. This is a new kind of failure, and Silicon Valley hasn’t come to grips with it yet. You can’t swipe right for automatic intimacy, you have to build it. Slowly and unpredictably, at least for now.