Male to Female Bay Area Gender Ratios: What Online Dating Is Like in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Man Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, San Mateo
Match.com is one of the early pioneers of the online dating industry. With a straightforward approach to creating detailed profile, browsing matches and messaging individuals directly it quickly became a popular destination for singles looking for love online.
Over the years, other entrants came on the scene changing the way singles approached dating apps. Syncing data from Facebook, uploading photos directly from your phone and quickly swiping on profiles made it popular among folks looking for something different.
As such the demographics of Match.com started to change to reflect a migration of users to other apps as well as attracting those looking to elaborate more about their personality, those looking for something more serious than the implied hook-up and casual fling of Tinder as well as those not eager to go all in on mobile only dating sites.
Looking at the demographics of the San Francisco Bay Area on Match.com, one can see the stereotypes surface easily (Man Jose). With an over 3:1 ratio of men to women in the 25-29 range, it is no wonder dating can be brutal not just for men but for women too. (For ratios in the Southern California area, click here).
Men are competing for a smaller pool of women in these markets and a lack of matches, replies or even profile views can lead to frustration, depression, or drastic efforts to get the attention from women. Layer on top of this the fact that Match.com is one of the few dating sites that requires people to pay for subscriptions to message others, frustration can kick in leaving many to wonder if their advances were rejected or if they were ever read at all.
Given that the Tinder’s of the world are viewed as more superficial and photo visual, Match offers a more holistic approach to marketing oneself. This is a big selling point for a number of introverted men who are a bit shy, a bit quirky and lack captivating photos (queue tech workers of Silicon Valley). See how your photos compare to others with this dating photo bingo card.
However, as you browse older groups of folks, the gender ratios across many areas begins to level out closers to a 1:1 ratio of men to women. There are several possible explanations here but I have a few guesses as to why:
- Men are more likely to start using dating sites at an early age than women.
- Women are more likely to start using dating sites later on in life after a life event, desire to start a family or disinterest in using hookup sites like Tinder.
- Men after years of frustration of and rejection from using Match.com abandon it in favor of free apps like Tinder that cater to more casual encounters and don’t reveal preferences like age like Tinder .
- The number of technology and startup jobs that attract more men than women right out of college (selection bias).
- App culture of Silicon Valley where people are exposed to making every aspect of their lives (ordering clothes, cabs, food etc.) easier through their phone.
Moving to San Francisco from San Jose is one way for men to improve their chances with online dating (not just in terms of gender ratios but also frequency of interaction on public transportation, nightlife, cultural events etc). With that said it won’t help if you have poor photos, don’t know how to construct good bios and introductory messages nor if you are on an inferior dating app based on what your demographics or what you seek.
Dating apps (in my opinion) are meant to serve as a supplemental way to meet people outside your normal day to day routine – it is not meant to be a crutch nor the only way for you to meet others. (If you are new to online dating, check out this FAQ guide before you start swiping away).
Online dating is a misnomer – you don’t date online. Dating apps are merely an introduction – you meet online and date offline. Having realistic expectations (preferences, deal-breakers), working on yourself (physically, mentally, socially) as well as putting in a genuine effort through your appearance, photos and app choice will go a long way to improving your chances at success online and offline.
Further reading: One of the best articles that first discussed the Man Jose phenomena is Metroactive, worth a read even after 15 years: https://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/08.03.05/man-jose-0531.html
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/
Dating Profile Critique
For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.
For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/
Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/
Be sure to read this latest piece about dating in San Francisco (what is it like dating in San Francisco, why it’s hard meeting people here and drivers that make it different from other cities: