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Single Ladies in the Bay: Part 1

For women, dating in the Bay Area presents its own sets of challenges. Many obstacles are similar to the ones that women in any major city would face, but there are some circumstances that are unique to this area. What is dating other than skilled adult play? Sometimes women can be too calculating when searching to find her love, keeping everything on a schedule with timelines of what should happen, and when. Submitting to family pressures, societal expectations, and biological clocks, not only take the fun out of dating, but is also exhausting. Premature emotional overinvestment is draining and sends women on an emotional rollercoaster of many excitements and disappointments, before even knowing if the person is worth the psychological energy. Inappropriate emotional displays and availability, too early on, signals to the partner that you are too much work and signifies how things will be treated later when faced with life’s real challenges.

On the other hand, there are some women that learn to master being single, not knowing who will leave or who will stay, and so these women push everyone away. For these women, it becomes easier to not let anyone in to avoid disappointment and impending heartbreak. This only masks a fear of intimacy. These women (and many men), see only the flaws and limitations in relationships. Regrettably, marriage is seen as the beginning of the end of eroticism, fun, and spontaneity.

Sometimes after finding love that is expected to last, it ends. Taking some time away from dating after being emotionally wounded is necessary to have space to grieve a significant loss. The loss may be due to a break-up, divorce, distance, or death. Whether feeling heartbroken or demoralized from being single, misguided hyper-social activity and partying can lead to problems. In our society, and especially in the Bay Area (where a variety of thrills are just a short walk, bike, drive, Bart, Muni, Uber, or Lyft away), where people are taught to keep busy as a distraction from distressing feelings. So there becomes an increased need to party with the intention of meeting new people and maybe becoming sexual with new people. This plan often backfires! Not only does the next morning after partying feel rough, but those casual encounters don’t compare to a partner that a high quality woman would actually want to seriously date, or to the partner that still occupies her heart after heartbreak. This causes a downward emotional spiral. Not to mention, being out late doesn’t show people being at their best (usually at their worst), and this causes women to feel even more hopeless with dating.

There are also practical barriers to dating and finding high quality partners. We live in a Swipe left/right, online dating society where options seem endless, but social engagement and connection decreases in value and priority. So many cities in the Bay Area clustered together, but still so far away. If you live in the East Bay, and date someone living on the Peninsula or SF, even that can feel like a long distance relationship and lots of work. Transplants moving into the area and gentrification pushing people around, makes it difficult to establish a lasting bond with someone when there are external factors either keeping them together (price of rent) or pushing them apart (price of rent).There is a plethora of diversity and culture that makes the Bay Area feel less like a melting pot and more like a beautiful mosaic picture.

Unfortunately, there are a number of black women that complain of feeling less desired when compared to other women and also disappointed in perceived options. Some women are only attracted to certain types of partners and don’t feel attracted to the observed options. So, if or when a woman finally meets someone even remotely intriguing, she hangs on tight like that person is the last pair of designer shoes at a half-off sale, regardless of whether or not that person is a healthy option for her that serves her long-term relationship goals (emotionally available).

How can single women in the Bay Area learn to manage loneliness and these dating challenges? How can a single woman inspire devotion from a high quality partner when she finds one? Stay tuned for Part 2.

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