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The number of people meeting on dating apps is at an all-time high (partly driven by reliance on technology, WFH, covid isolation, regression in social skills, on-demand mindsets and opportunities for scams).

Just because people are meeting with the help of online dating, doesn’t mean those dates are great, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences such as ghosting, regression in social skills, physical/emotion fatigue, depression or sexual assault.

In places like San Francisco and the Bay Area, many people rely on apps for most, and in some cases all, their dating efforts. This is an unhealthy approach as it can lead to frustration, loneliness and a jaded outlook on life. Most people are more selective on apps than they are in person (thanks to endless options but also to counter lying from others i.e. height, makeup, filters, old photos etc.).


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People are frustrated with apps, their algorithms and bad behavior and are seeking new ways to meet others organically or at least offline. Eventbrite is reporting a 63% year-over-year increase of speed dating events on their platform. While the stat is interesting, it does require some context.

An increase in events doesn’t mean these events are of quality. It doesn’t mean anyone is attending them. It doesn’t mean people are meeting people at these events, and it certainly doesn’t mean people are happy with said events. Eventbrite doesn’t have a way to rate organizers, and there are a lot of listings on Eventbrite that are not worth anyone’s time.

Jardiniere Bar Interior, San Francisco


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If you Google singles events, speed dating events and singles nights, you will encounter endless options for events. Some are one-off, some are recurring, others are in well-known places while others look a bit sus. In most cases, there are no Yelp/Google reviews for events or organizers. If there are, there are usually too few reviews to make a confident decision in said events/organizers.

Meetup is a little better in that you can read commentary or see who is attending events but if the cost is free or too low, the public invite lists are not reliable. Not everyone who rsvp’s will attend (same thing can be said for singles events posted on Facebook or other similar social media platforms) 

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Many moons ago, when I was single, I attended my fair share of singles events. I did so partly for research, partly to make friends and partly to see what kind of people attended events. I accidentally attended a Jewish singles mixer at the Cellar because of a fantastic happy hour special (turns out no one was there for the happy hour). 

I am the type who will try anything once but after a few events, I noticed a few things. Most organizers did a horrible job of planning events. They would just advertise events but basically use it to get people to attend an off-night at a bar. There were no ice-breakers, itineraries, introductions etc.

In other cases, there were no attendee minimums (small turn outs) or focus for the event. Ages, lifestyles and backgrounds were all over the place. It was like being set up by someone who doesn’t know you or the person they are setting you up with.

Yes, once in a blue moon you meet someone interesting at these events but typically, you can have better odds if you are focused with where/how you spend your time.


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You have to be ready at all times to meet the person of your dreams. Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. Be more strategic, focused. People in SF ignore soft skills i.e. date planning, being present, being proactive, trying new things, expanding hobbies/interests, conversation skills, social skills, dating etiquette, eye contact, first impressions, hygiene/grooming etc., prioritizing dating.

If most people spent as much quality time as they do on work, exercise etc as they would on dating, they could do much better. Most people could benefit from social skills/image consulting/self-work/EQ. Spend time at places that attract the type of people you want to meet. Take on new interests/hobbies so you become more interesting. Evaluate how you spend your time and see if they bring you closer to meeting people you want to meet.

If you spend too much time at work, the gym, with friends at brunch or breweries, or at home, that is likely contributing to why you are not meeting enough people. Do the things you love but make sure some of those things also attract people you want to meet.

In my coaching sessions, I create itineraries of places, classes, activities and events that people can explore on their own or with friends.  These are customized based on gender, age, orientation and lifestyle. Similarly, I offer image consulting services to help you become more self-aware about how others perceive you (looks, social skills, personality and more).

Most people are at their best when they are with the people they love, are at places that make them happy, are doing things that bring them joy. My job is to take those efforts and re-focus them with greater efficiency and a bit of compromise, as well as uncovering biases and misconceptions.


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Most places don’t have Google or Yelp listings. Of the ones that due, Google is usually higher i.e. Events & Adventures – 3.8 on Google, 2.2. on Yelp.

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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.