A Quora user asked the community,
“What is it like to be a very attractive single woman in Silicon Valley?”
She got some interesting responses.
While some of these responses pertain directly to living in Silicon Valley, most of the takeaways can be applied to being attractive and single anywhere.
Gentleman, take notes.
1. On guys and their phones
After dating 45 guys+ within 3 years, and still looking, the only thing I can say is this:
“Guys living here in the Silicon Valley need to stop texting on their phones and laptops and start a real conversation (person-to-person).” Tiffany Sun Serious gamer, passionate chef, & beauty enthusiast.
Because more often than not, guys are too afraid to approach and talk normally to an attractive woman for fear that they’ll get rejected. I get this a lot when I’m working out at the gym, waiting in line to buy groceries, or standing around at the mall. They make it obvious that they want to talk to me (multiple head glances, a stare longer than 5 seconds, purposely passing by closer and closer).
But they don’t.
To be honest, it’s pretty frustrating because I’m sure there are a bunch of smart guys out there who have a kind heart. But they just don’t know how to strike up a conversation or socialize.
And actually, from my experience, guys here aren’t as gentlemen-like as they are in smaller cities or from out-of-state. So regardless if you’re mediocre or attractive, men here won’t try as hard to impress you. That or they just don’t have the capability to hold a great conversation to keep you interested.
2. On being the only woman at your workplace
I’m not sure about “very attractive” but as a woman in silicon valley, during a company team dinner, we went around the table and were asked to thank the person next to us for what they contributed to the company. Some people were thanked for their leadership during times of crisis, for their hard work, a particular program they built. Me? I got thanked for being a woman.
“He literally, looked deep into my eyes and said, “thank you for being a woman.”Tiffany Echavez Pintor, Gemini, Filipino, Stanford, Democrat, venture, NPO
3. On shirts, bathrooms, and dating advice
I think this is a little romanticized. It is true that often I am the only girl at a company amongst 50 guys and you are right that is kind of a unique situation. The truth is I actively try to be just another team member. If you do that the whole “OMG it’s a girl!” thing just kind of dissipates. However, it always seems to be a point of interest at first.
There are lots of little unexpected issues that make you different:
The fact that an American Apparel men’s medium t-shirt is not the same as a women’s small (which is somehow confusing).
“So no I will not wear your startup t-shirt to work and yes it will be one of 50 startup tees in my closet designated for manual labour, sleeping, and days where I really don’t feel like going to yoga but force myself anyway.”Holden Steinberg, Most Viewed Writer in Silicon Valley
The women’s restroom is another interesting surprise. They are usually used to using it as a second bathroom and shocked when a girl comes out of it.
I know this isn’t dating specific but it is germain to being a girl in SF. Personally, I think it’s a privilege to be able to work in tech and for me it’s paramount that I remain completely professional. So I am less concerned with the whole choosing men issue and more concerned with being perceived as just another skilled professional.
It does make dating difficult. Most people are in tech and you may have to work with them again even if you end up on a date and things go very badly. So I think the key is to do everything out of sincerity and not focus on who got the last exit.
Choosing who to date is really the same anywhere. I think you just figure out who you click with and see if you can stand one another after that.
The only thing that is unique in SF is how careful I am about saying yes to dates. I kind of feel like you should do that no matter where you are, though. I think it’s become really common to date out of boredom and it’s such a waste of time for you and for the other person.
So there are some noticeable differences but if you are in silicon valley you are usually focused on your career as priority rather than the sheer volume of men here.
4. On spending money
Like all the other ladies here, let me preface by saying that I’m not sure where I fall on a scale of 1 to attractive.
I once had a rather expensive suitor who, among other things, attempted to take me to La Jolla for an extended weekend getaway in his Porsche 911. The gifts and (more importantly) the attention were nice!
“But the more I dated him, the more I realized that his youthful enthusiasm for life (which I found attractive) was actually a mask for erratic, impulsive behavior, and that he was just a little bit crazy (not attractive). ”Anonymous
Needless to say, things didn’t work out.
My next relationship was with a poor grad student. We had a much deeper relationship that lasted a lot longer. All the expensive crap in the world can’t make up for a partner who can’t relate to other human beings in a healthy way!
5. On showing off your “assets”
Let’s cross out the “attractive woman” part and rephrase it to “What its like to be a single woman in Silicon Valley”
You become a commodity, as one of my guy friends would put it.
People are more likely to ask you out for a drink, to hang out after a Meetup activity, or to watch Netflix and chill. Sure you get perks here and there, but it boils down to the guy himself. Some prefer to go-dutch, some prefer to treat.
As to whom to date from such vast selection, compatibility and authenticity. Who would want to date an as*hole who wears his richness as a badge of honor?
“As any woman who has a tech job in Silicon Valley, there’s already a certain level of stability in income, so showing off your assets may not be as effective as you think.”Kate Chan, 20+ years of experiences in being a woman
Finally, my favorite response of all
An attractive friend of mine moved to work in Silicon Valley. When I met her after she’d lived there for about a year, I asked her what social-life there was like compared to New York.
“She said that the old Georgia-Tech women’s adage applied: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd”.Raj Kumar, Curiouser and Curiouser!
There you have it.