Even with today’s numerous ways of approaching ladies, some men still remain single against their wishes. Countless articles write about the dating problems of men in the tech industry, which become more and more serious as the tech industry grows. Many people agree that tech men are by nature quiet, shy and introvert, with their mind focusing on their job 24/7. A job becomes their dominant culture that overshadows all other cultures that they might already be a part of, such as dating. Practices applied in their professional life are not transferable to fit the standards of modern love. It seems like, unfortunately, every aspect of their career handicaps their romantic life.
Finding love has never been an easy task, but nowadays it is almost a mission impossible especially in Silicon Valley and Seattle where tech culture becomes increasingly dominant. There is a high gender imbalance issue in Silicon Valley, where it is currently 144 single men for every 100 single women, which is an exceptionally high ratio of men to women. Tech companies just seem to employ way more men than women, which creates cities full of single tech men who don’t seem like they’re making any progress in their romantic life. Being single is becoming a part of programmer culture.
To see why techies can’t find their better halves, let’s first take a look at the qualities men need to have in order to be considered desirable. According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, high social status, wealth and physical strength (such as a tall and muscular build with broad shoulders) make an ideal male mate. Women tend to like richer men because they can afford a higher standard of living, which makes them feel safe and protected. They care about men’s physical appearance because strong men can pass on their good genes to offspring. According to Kanazawa, long-term commitment, and being able and willing to invest resources are other qualities that women want to see in the father of their children.
In order to have a complete picture of what a wanted male mate looks like, we need to switch gear from evolutionary psychology to social science. High confidence, sense of humor, social skills and emotional support in relationships is what makes an ideal male mate, according to Aziz Ansari. Even though he is primarily recognized as a comedian, he talked about this in the context of social science, supported by his own research. It looks like, at the end of the day, women want a supporting, compassionate and caring family man.
When thinking about techies at first sight, it is hard to imagine them with a lot of previously stated advantages. Let’s see whether a stereotypical male tech worker can fit in the culture of modern dating.
There is one contradicting point that sticks out. Tech men earn a lot of money and it gives them high socio-economic status. Kanazawa points out that women like men that are wealthy and have a high status, but many women claim how tech men are extremely boring. They invest all their time in the work and nothing else besides work. Women also complain that tech men treat a romantic date more as a job interview, which is definitely not an advantage.
There is also a question of their physical strength. They are not in peak physical fitness because their job simply doesn’t require it since they spend their working hours in front of the computer. Studies show that sometimes it takes them even more than 60 hours in a week.
Our society doesn’t consider a stereotypical techie as a beautiful man, especially after many women complain how they don’t even care what they wear on the dates. More likely people see them as socially awkward nerds with lack in physical appearance. If not job-related, women claim that tech men don’t even have interactions with women. They show their immaturity by not being able to make eye contact or just rarely interacting with women in general. Geeks and techies instead get indoctrinated into their own “geek” culture, a culture that often fails to adhere to the standards of modern love and dating.
Is that something they choose on purpose or is it just an occupational hazard? In the Silicon Valley culture, competitiveness reaches the maximum and the level of stress has no limits. Kim Malone Scott does a good job of giving many examples of that stressful competitiveness in Silicon Valley in her novel, “Virtual Love”. One of her characters, a techie named Bo, is extremely addicted to the videogames. The proof of the seriousness of his problem is that he actually ends up going to the rehab. He presents an exaggerated stereotype of a techie and that’s why so many women complain. They don’t have time for anything besides job and their job-related hobbies and that kind of a lifestyle closes them up in their own “nerdy” culture – their only comfort zone.
Being surrounded by other male workers all the time definitely leaves some impact on male tech workers’ behavior. They’re not used to having women around, or even having simplest interactions with them, women complain. Right now in the tech industry, ‘fratty’ behavior is very common, so there is no surprise to see popped collars, bad beer, and programmers calling everybody ‘bro.’ Tech companies are not only a place of work but also a place where techies eat and mingle, and live out much of their lives (they’re provided dry cleaning, fitness on-site, and nap pods etc.).
Techies’ passionate dedication to their jobs proves that they are good at doing their work, and that’s why they are paid so much, but it seems like every other aspect of the life falls behind. If they are not capable of doing their laundry by themselves, how could they be able to be in a relationship? The fact that they surround themselves only with guys doesn’t help them either. It looks like women are just not welcomed in their “nerdy” culture. But as a solution to this issue comes a new service called Dating Ring. If you thought it is just another ordinary dating site, you thought wrong. Dating Ring flies single women from New York across the U.S. to meet single men in San Francisco. There is a historical precedent for this, it turns out. Back in 1849, women from all around the country were coming to the California Gold Rush in order to find a rich husband. California was jam-packed with single men whose only goal was to become rich. JoAnn Levy writes in her book “They saw the elephant,” that the enriching part wasn’t even near as successful as these men were hoping for. Neither was the dating service. Even with a perfect set up like this one, socially awkward tech dudes don’t know what to do when meeting a lady. Women claim that a lot of the time they lack a filter or say inappropriate things to women on these dating apps online before the date even begins.” Things like, “Are you really a C cup?” or “How sexually freaky are you?” Some women complained that they even got touched inappropriately on their dates.
Techies’ jobs don’t let them have many opportunities to socialize with women. Even when an opportunity comes they usually either do nothing or blow things up, since they find themselves out of their comfort zone because it is not a part of the culture they are familiar with.
If they want to finally find love, techies need to make some adjustments. They should be honest and embrace their geekiness, but not let it overwhelm the conversation. They can become more socially aware and express positive and confident body language. I understand it may be a little challenging and uncomfortable at first, but I believe that somewhere deep inside, techies are hiding their romantic souls.