Got your head in the clouds when it comes to dating? You might as well earn a few air miles.
The dating startup The Dating Ring has started a Crowdtilt campaign to fly eligible New York women from their man-barren metropolis to tech-bro-saturated San Francisco.
There are 150,000 more single women than men in New York City, according to Census data. San Francisco bachelors face their own deficit, and gender imbalance in the tech industry likely contributes a surplus of 50,000 men in the Bay Area. While equilibrium isn't likely, The Dating Ring hopes to narrow the gap.
While some have compared the idea to "comfort women," The Dating Ring does not exist just to fly eligible women to male-dominated urban enclaves. If the campaign is funded, a bevy of Bay Area dudes will be flown into New York to meet single women. Like Fleet Week with hot nerds.
In a Huffington Post blog, The Dating Ring CEO Lauren Kay explains that they got nearly twice as many signups from women as men when they launched the service in New York. But when Kay brought the service to San Francisco, twice as many men signed up as women. "I began joking around that we could fix this problem pretty easily: by flying single women in NY to SF, and single men in SF to NY," she wrote. "But you know what they say -- make a joke 10 times and it becomes a Crowdtilt."
To announce the campaign, The Dating Ring posted a YouTube video with hopeful singles relaying their city-specific dating travails. "I would fly across the country for love," they insist.
New Yorker Lisa Hoehn is one such hopeful. "A different coast would give me a different perspective," she says in the campaign video. For Hoehn, who founded an online dating ghostwriting service called "Not-Just-Ok-Cupid," navigating the dating scene in New York is both a personal and professional enterprise. But any decent businesswoman (and self-respecting single lady) knows when to change strategy. "What I do know is that I've been in New York for almost four years, and it's not working. So, it's time to try something new," Hoehn told HuffPost Women over email.
For single New Yorkers who come in contact with hundreds of people a day, the constant opportunity to make connections just amplifies disappointment when we don't find them. "Here, everything is at your fingertips, so it's like, why wouldn't a great boyfriend be, too?"
Beyond the numbers advantage, looking for a long-distance love connection -- among a pool of singles who have also committed to the process -- weeds out those who aren't serious about finding a partner. "The anonymity [of New York] gives someone too many opportunities to be a skeez (in a place where a lot of people are professionally skeezy)," Hoehn said. The Dating Ring CEO herself founded her company after confronting this familiar adaptation of urban males, and a suitor completely "faded me out [translation for my mom: stopped responding to my texts and cut me out of his life without an explanation]."
When you consider how incidental geography can be as part of a larger matrix of compatibility (values, shared sense of humor, lifestyle, etc.), The Dating Ring idea doesn't seem so radical. "This whole experiment, to some extent, is just another new option that the dating world has presented. Just like online dating was a new option 10 years ago... Why not embrace all of the options?" Hoehn said.
Indeed, online dating emerged as an alternative for singles who didn't expect to just happen upon Mr. or Mrs. Right. Making the leap from analog to digital dating came relatively easily -- going through TSA on the way to a first date might not be far behind.