Ok. I am going to start by saying that I have never experienced the SF dating scene myself. I have been in a relationship since I moved out here three years ago. That being said, I have watched many a friend go through the trials and tribulations of dating in this crazy city and, based on what I have learned, I think that I may have summed it up. San Francisco is a wildly diverse conglomeration of individuals. This is one of the things I love about it. It’s inhabitants are some of the most driven, innovative and, well, crazy people I have ever had the pleasure of living with. Before I go into it, I would like to thank my wonderful single girlfriends for shining a bright light on the sub-culture that is the San Francisco dating scene. Without your hopeful determination, patience and bravery this article never would have found it’s legs.
I now present, the 7 men you will date in San Francisco!
1. The Startup Slick
His name is probably Brad or Daniel or James. He is, well, incredibly slick and you worry that you might slip right off the seat and disappear under the dinner table. He’s got plans. Big ones. Halfway through the date you begin to wonder if he has you confused with someone else. An investor, perhaps. You sit there awkwardly, sipping your wine, unsure of how to tell him that, even though you love his idea for a dance party delivery service, you have absolutely no intention of investing in it. The date ends with a handshake. The next day you receive an ‘in-mail’ from him on LinkedIn inviting you to a networking event called ‘Drinking with Intentionality’. You decline.
2. The Musical Portlandia-Transplant Barista
People call him Smiles. He moves about life at an infuriatingly glacial pace. You agree to meet him at the coffee shop where he works because he doesn’t have a phone. Once you get there, you spend an hour sitting uncomfortably on a stool while he plucks around on a guitar (which seemingly appeared out of nowhere) and ‘writes you a song’. You finally leave the coffee shop and he suggests that you go to a nearby watering hole for a drink. The watering hole turns out to be the apartment garage of one of his buddies. Another guitar mysteriously appears and you spend the rest of the night sipping eight dollar whisky from the bottle while he and his crew play, what sounds like, three different songs all at once. You ask him his hopes for the future, without hesitation he says, “keep on keepin’ on”. The night ends with you excusing yourself to go to the bathroom…forever.
3. The Executive Divorcee
His name is Jim but most people refer to him as ‘Boss’. He has money to burn even though his fortune was cut in half by his recent divorce. He takes you to an impossibly nice restaurant and the whole staff knows his name. You look around and realize that the entire restaurant is full of rich, powerful men and much younger women. He asks you a question and then checks his phone under the table while you answer. The waiter appears and, before you have a chance to answer, he orders for you. Everything from drinks to desert. Once the meal is over, you fiddle around in your purse for your debit card. He reaches over, pats your hand and says, “I took care of it, you can pay me back later.” Then he winks at you. The nights ends with an ’emergency’ call from your best friend alerting you to a fictional crisis. He texts you at 3 AM “wanna come over?” You throw up in your mouth a little bit and block his number.
4. The Still-in-the-Closet Confidant
This guy is the best. Really! SO MUCH FUN. You feel like you can tell him anything. He notices that you are wearing vintage Dior and complements you on your ‘burnt sienna’ blouse. He was born in Utah and has always felt an indescribable pull to live in San Francisco. His roommates are all women and he is dressed WAY better than you. You each order cosmos and he tells you about his mormon childhood. You find yourself pouring your heart out and telling him all about your worst breakup. He strokes your hand in a completely non-creepy way and says, “oh honey” while ordering you another Cosmo. The night ends at the Mint Karaoke Bar where you sing a drunken duet of ‘Love is a Battlefield’. You text him the following weekend and invite him to go shopping with you. He agrees.
5. The Dorky Developer
By far the most harmless of them all. His name is Stuart and he works as a developer for a large tech company. You met online at eharmony and, within seconds of meeting him, you realize that he was much more conversational through instant messaging. You go for coffee at Sightglass and he is well on his way to going the entire date with out making eye contact. You desperately fish for common ground and land on avocados, of all things. His face lights up and he begins telling you everything you might ever want to know about the fruit. Half an hour later-because, really how much can you say about avocados-the conversation has come to another lull and you thank him for meeting you. He slips on his Google sunglasses and practically runs out of the coffee shop. You enjoy a moment of not being the one who has to run away.
6. The Burning Man
He has legally changed his name to ‘Born’. You met him in front of the beverage isle of Bi-Rite. He was purchasing turmeric and $15 pressed almond milk. For your first date he suggests an intimate gathering of some friends. The way he says ‘intimate’ makes you slightly uneasy. You show up to the party wearing universally appropriate/cute first date attire. Upon arrival, you aren’t sure what you could have worn that would have been appropriate. He greets you at the door wearing a full-length faux-fur vest and no shirt on underneath. Horrified. You look around the room to see if anyone is gawking at his ensemble only to realize that you are the one that is out of place. A woman wearing only gold body paint hands you a drink, “it’s a seaweed elixir” she coos before joining a cuddle puddle of about ten other people on the floor. Two hours later he is telling you about his 35 most transformative experiences while petting your hand. You make up a story about being allergic to transformation and run home.
7. The Polyamorous Freegan
This man will never commit. No, really. He will never commit to ANYTHING. He can’t decide if he is gay or straight or bi or a-sexual. He’s not really sure if he is a vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or pesca-vegan. He flows along with the wind and makes money, actually, you have no idea how he makes any money. You met him at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and he invited you on a walk through Golden Gate Park. You are walking and talking about the merits of dumpster diving and come upon a string tied between two trees. A piece of canvas is draped over the string and there is a ‘picnic’ on the ground. You take a closer look and realize that this is where he lives. He cuts the mold off of a peach with a pocket knife and offers it to you, “a peach for a peach?” he says. You give him $20 and run home once again.
Well friends, there you have it. I’m sure I have forgotten a few and I would love it if you would let me know if you think of (or have dated) any others. Ladies, the moral of the story is:
When dating in San Francisco, be sure to pack an extra pair of running shoes in your purse.
Bad at Art out!