As a single lady living in San Francisco for more than 18 years, I can say with expert-level knowledge that dating in San Francisco isn't easy.
I've had plenty of dismal dates with wannabe indie rock stars, crazy artists, money-obsessed biz-dev dudes, clueless Glassholes, smug hipsters, and even a guy who insisted on wearing a cape (and not in a sexy cosplay way) everywhere we went. I've had longer relationships, and more reliable ones, with my local pizza delivery guys. I've always thought San Francisco is one of the hardest cities for a single gal to find Mr. Right. Too many of us settle for Mr. Good Enough.
But according to The Dating Ring Crowdtilt Campaign, there are more datable straight guys here in San Francisco than in New York City. And there are supposedly more available single gals looking for serious relationships in New York.
Because of this single-guy-to-girl ratio, The Dating Ring wants to play cross-country Cupid with those hoping to catch a few love arrows by bringing a planeload of New York ladies to the Bay Area.
"It would be amazing if there was a plane of amazing women that were flying out to San Francisco to meet guys, myself included, I think that would be a lot of fun," says one eager San Francisco bachelor in The Dating Ring video.
And, "I feel like a different coast would give me a different perspective," a New York woman is shown saying.
For the New York City women, each $20 donation earns them a chance to be selected to win a free flight to San Francisco. (Not a guarantee...a chance!) For $500, an NYC lady gets a flight to San Francisco, three dates, a private cocktail party, and a large bash in her honor. For $1,000, she gets the same but also housing. And for a whopping $1,250, the lucky lady gets everything mentioned plus three 30-minute matchmaking and dating coaching Skype sessions with a Dating Ring matchmaker.
For the San Francisco men, $20 buys them a ticket to the San Francisco Memorial Day bash that all the New York women will be attending. For $100, they get a ticket to both the bash and the cocktail party. And for $350, three 30-minute matchmaking Skype sessions as well as tickets to both parties.
All funds collected for The Dating Ring Crowdtilt Campaign (excluding direct purchase of the $500 flight or $1,000 flight and hotel) will go toward sponsoring free trips for additional NYC women.
So let's say a bicoastal love connection is made, then what should the potential couple do? "They can fill their next few months with romantic Skype dates, text messages, and cross-country trips, and perhaps even one day have an epic thumb war to determine where they settle down with two kids and a dog," The Dating Ring's FAQ states.
"If someone had tried to convince me to move to the Bay Area to improve my dating odds a few months ago, I probably would've balked at the idea," Lauren Kay, CEO of The Dating Ring, said in The Huffington Post. "But after meeting hundreds of single people in both cities, skipping the unending winter-2014 blizzard for weeks of 70-degree weather and experiencing firsthand the effect of the gender imbalance in both cities, I don't think it's that far-fetched of an idea. There are great career opportunities and restaurants and people in both cities. If your job is mobile, and you've lived in one city for a while with no dating success...well, it can't hurt to try a new city out. So why not let fate in a city with better odds have another go-around at this crazy thing called love?"
It may sound unlikely, but the Crowdtilt page has already raised $3,280. However, New York women looking for the same kind of good-looking, successful, ambitious men in San Francisco might be in for a shock when they discover...those men are indeed here, but they are also just as picky and flippant as their counterparts in the East Coast. Or worse.
The Bay Area is full of eligible bachelors, it's true; however, many of them just don't have the time to put into the dating scene. Many men at tech companies are constantly under looming deadlines and keep crazy work hours. Not all companies encourage a social life. Work hard, then socialize when you have a spare moment, that's the ethos.
And then there's that pesky "Peter Pan" problem. How can women find a grown-up man -- if that's what they're looking for -- when many startups and tech companies make a point of offering ping-pong tables, video games, Nerf guns, and every toy anyone could ever want? Not that there's anything wrong with that! But when guys are encouraged to act like they are still in college, they may not think in terms of moving on to stages of life such as settling down, marriage, and the two kids and a dog Kay talked about.
Then again, we can't just blame the lads. And can we really blame San Francisco? Cities do have different cultures, but some things are universal. Why gamble on a crowdsourcing venture or fly across the country just to have the same problems?
The truth is, women are just as picky as men. And that's the problem. Letting go of perfection and giving guys we wouldn't normally date a chance is key. If you only date hedge fund guys, why not try going on a date with a guy who runs your favorite food truck? Instead of chasing after lawyers at trendy bars, try flirting with the guy you see reading "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" on your Muni commute to work. Give others the chance to prove that love exists in every city, no matter the guy-girl ratio.