Sarah Austin

Sarah shares what she's learned about dating in Silicon Valley.

on Nov 19, 2012

When you’re a total geek, like most in Silicon Valley, you start to get insight into your geekdom. From Episode 2 I’ve compiled my learning lessons on what is considered socially acceptable in Silicon Valley. Watch the show Mondays at 10/9c!


1. Friends will throw you under the bus for nothing and then apologize for all the wrong reasons. First, Ben and Hermione yell at me over a three-month-old email. I still don’t know what was so bad about it, and I don’t feel I did anything wrong. Do I need to share it as Exhibit One for a public vote? I’m not concerned about the email, but clearly they are being defensive by spreading rumors in San Francisco -– guess what? I can hear you 30 miles away in Palo Alto. It’s classic Tell-Tale Heart unfolding.

2. You are supposed to accept insincere “Black-Princess” tiaras as a form of apology because women in tech are supposed to support each other and “draw a line under the sand and move forward.”  Huh?

3. If your best friend says that she’s been competing with you for the duration of your friendship, was she ever your friend to begin with? Are friends supposed to be competitive? I’ve learned that they are even when they pretend not to be.


4. Don’t accept a date unless he asks you at least five days in advance. When Jay asked me out the day before, it wasn’t as impromptu as he professed; he had already made his intentions clear when he kissed me in my hotel room a couple weeks before. However, if he cares about you he’ll ask way in advance.


5. Don’t go up to the guy’s place on a first date even if he says he’s taking you to dinner right after. You only subject yourself to allowing him to enjoy his CheapDatedotcom, while you’re left checking out his dirty laundry, Murphy bed, and sink-full-‘o-dishes.

6. You should eat before going on a geek date even if he allegedly made reservations for dinner. If you’re going to have me drive all the way from Palo Alto to San Francisco to go to a restaurant, then I’ll be hungry. I learned that you can’t count on men to follow through with their promises. They may default to CheapDatedotcom or just try to get you drunk on an empty stomach.


7. You aren’t supposed to wear heels or dress up for a date. If Jay’s judging me for wearing heels, did he expect me to wear flats? I dressed for a date wearing a Maggie London dress and Christian Louboutin heels because he said he had made reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant. I’ve learned that’s a no-no with dorks, dress down.