**UPDATED as of Sept. 2018- originally published in 2016. Two years wiser and more time spent in San Francisco means a fresher perspective!

My instagram is @TheVioletFog if you want to discuss more after reading! I love a good opinion!



*** Quick heads up: this viewpoint pertains to straight women but we also have an article for Lesbians dating in the city here– written by an awesome contributor!

It’s easy to get down when it comes to San Francisco dating.

Many times in my 4 years there, I would say:

“It’s la la land here. Men don’t want to settle down.”
“It’s too hard finding a guy who hasn’t dated at least one of my friends.”
“No one really ‘dates’ here. And men rarely approach women.”

Truth is- I wasn’t far off. A lot of guys in San Francisco fit that mold. But simply pawing around on those thoughts again and again won’t do anything in a dating landscape where- if you want to stay happy and have fun- you neeeed to stay positive. Why is it worth staying positive? Because there ARE great men in San Francisco. You just need to change up your approach when things aren’t working for you. You need to be intuitive. You know where larger quantities of “fuck boys” or “Peter Pans” (adult men who won’t grow up) frequent. Spend less time at those spots if you are looking to increase your chances of finding someone of quality and true connection.

There are idiots and jerks in San Francisco. But there are idiots and jerks everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Remember that. And girls can be jerks too…. just saying.

The optimistic side of dating in San Francisco: it’s fun, quirky… and mysterious. So many different kinds of people in this city. So many flavors. So many walks of life when you really start exploring other neighborhoods. 

Let’s discuss the cons of San Francisco dating first. Just to get them out of the way. 

Do we see a lot of guys who don’t want to settle down yet? Yes. Totally.

There’s also men who want a relationship. They will tell you. They will make it known. If they don’t make it known, chances are they aren’t looking for a relationship– and there you go. You have your answer. Don’t try to change his mind. Don’t waste your time. Don’t complain that no guys here want a relationship. There are men who do- move on and look for those guys! ALSO… if a guy doesn’t want a relationship, we can’t knock them for wanting to stay single AS LONG AS they aren’t actively leading someone on and not being clear about their agenda.

Will there be moments when we realize that guy we just met actually once dated someone we know? Yes. Totally.

This is just another reason why you need to get out of your comfort zone and explore many different neighborhoods. Don’t just keep frequenting the same environment where all your friends reside. Diversify… and increase your chances of finding someone with zero to little mutual acquaintances.

What I hate most about dating in San Francisco

The number of guys there that have a disgusting sense of entitlement and attitude towards dating. THAT was annoying. Often they’re the ones getting such great praise (and pay) at work that they think it translates into them being hotshots outside of work as well. Like they are too good or something. What sucks about these bad apples is that they often come off as charming at first. But alas, the arrogance and shallow attitude always reveals itself eventually. So just run when you suspect that big-paycheck-big-ego persona thing going on. Don’t walk, RUN.

Also annoying: San Francisco has a lot of “adult frat boys” who still haven’t shifted out of their immature college lifestyles. They act like teenagers. Newly 21ers. They brag about how much they can drink. They try to “hang out” with you but never ask you out on a date. They troll bars every weekend with that tired quantity over quality mentality when it comes to women. Yep, we definitely have adult frat boys here. “Fuck boys”… whatever you want to call them. Me? I never had issues because I could spot them from a mile away. But sometimes, in their work attire, they could come off as something different so I see why women have a problem here.  But ladies, listen and observe… you know if a guy is looking for a hookup and not wifey. Don’t give that guy the time, and just because of “yet another” bad encounter, don’t get down on the entire dating scene. There are good guys out there.

DATING APPS IN SAN FRANCISCO?

Don’t get me started. We have the guys who will seriously date a woman only for us to find out months later that they’re still on Bumble, The League, Hinge, whatever… because to them, something new and shiny around the corner seems more important than nurturing one true and beautiful connection… it’s a shame really. But this isn’t really specific to San Francisco.

So, like everywhere else, we got pricks, dicks, and FOOLS all over the city. But you know what? Here’s the kicker…

San Francisco truly has some amazing men. Who want relationships. But you gotta deepen your lifestyle, in where you go and who you hang out with. Think variety variety variety… and keep your heart and eyes open. If you’re negative about finding love, that is what you will attract again and again. Point blank.

What we gotta do, is stop giving attention to the dum-dums. You know, the man-boys. How do we do it? Well, first off… we *know*… we know in our gut when the guy we are seeing/talking to/dating isn’t going to love us the way we want and deserve to be loved. Or treated. Right? Deep down, we know it! But too often we’ll try to convince ourselves otherwise… just hoping we are wrong. When really, we need to trust that instinct and trust it right away. Think about it… has it ever been wrong in the past? How often do you wish you would have listened to that gut feeling?

But okay. The good guys out there in SF. Plenty of them! These are men who will offer MORE than something superficial. Men who are more in tune and want to treat women right. Their priorities are straight. And it’s clear from the get-go. No act. No silly games. And they follow through. It might have took them awhile to get there (or maybe they’ve always been this way) but present day they are GOOD MEN. And they’re everywhere in the city!

These guys are the ones we should aim to be dating. And they too deserve a really, really great woman.

Perhaps it’s time to be more optimistic about dating in San Francisco. AKA… let’s not let the bad seeds give the good ones a bad rep anymore.

Many men in San Francisco think that overall, the women in this city are incredible. They describe us as independent thinkers, career driven… women who doll up only if we want to and not because we feel we have to. They see us as having a deep affinity for culture and rich experiences and they really like that about us. Class over ass, baby!  In fact, they’d actually like to punch the pigs out there saying that women in SF are a “city of sevens” or classic “4 to 9ers”… aka women who look like 4s but act like 9s. (….WOW.) <—and Man Skills Academy is the biggest joke of a publication I have ever, ever seen by the way.

Okay, sure… it can be very la la land here. But there’s also plenty of men who’d be happy to slow down with the right woman. And would love to find her! Men who are also starting to get tired of the dating scene. Men who maybe still want to stay in San Francisco (or don’t!) BUT want to experience it with a partner in crime now. Their future lady sidekick. There ARE men on that level here. Trust me I know- I went on many dates with SUCH GOOD DUDES. (They just weren’t the right good dude for me.)

Here’s something to consider and be grateful for when it comes to dating in San Francisco

We have so many SMART and established men in SF. Most of them are very driven and work their asses off. You actually won’t find many who aren’t hard workers here. It’s pretty damn hard to survive in San Francisco by being lazy and not doing shit. Even a lot of those adult frat boys we talked about at least work hard. If intelligence and career drive is something you look for (NOT to be confused with rich), then lucky you for having this ginormous pool of men with those exact qualities right here in your city. Or just right over the bridge.

Also, a lot of the men here have or have lived such colorful lives. Everyone here seems to have a cool story. Where they’ve traveled, grown up, the interesting things they’ve studied and experienced. Perhaps why they are here in the first place. It’s cool because it makes going on dates here so fun. Fascinating conversation? Likely! Chance of learning about a new topic, idea, or quirk about the city? Also likely! Even if it doesn’t work out, it does keep dating here pretty amusing.

Oh and gotta mention: We have a strong presence of men in San Francisco who are deeply creative in ways that can be very romantic. Music. Art. Cooking. Culture appreciation. Nature lovers. Photography. Foodies. Etc. For the women who desires a partner with an appreciation for some of these kinds of things… these dudes all over SF! Or maybe you’re a super active gal who loves being outdoors. Lucky for you, a LOT of men here have legit adventurous sides to them. Hiking, camping, road-tripping, excursions on the weekend, sailing, surfing! They’re probably looking for a lady with similar interests to connect with too!

All in all, from a woman’s standpoint… dating in San Francisco can be awful, or it can be fabulous. It all comes down to how we choose to view it. I chose to remain optimistic my entire dating life in San Francisco. And even though I ended up meeting someone from Austin (go figure!) I really loved my dating life in San Francisco. I felt I chose them well, never lowered my standards, and most importantly- always looked at the silver linings. From every date! Every fling!

No matter our age or how many heartbreaks we’ve endured– we can’t control when love will strike next (and it will!)… but we do know that time is going to pass anyway. So just for ourselves… I hope we choose to be happy in the meantime. And thankful to be setup in a beautiful city with plenty of amazing men.

To THOSE men: We appreciate the living shit out of you. Thank you. Don’t change a thing. And come talk to us… lol. Just a tip- not enough guys approach women anymore! If you do so in a sincere and kind way… that’s going to give you a leg up. Just saying. 😉

Stay positive ladies… hope is not lost when it comes to dating in San Francisco!  #BrainIsTheNewAss #NiceGirlsClub

LET’S BE FRIENDS! Want to discuss more? Add me on Instagram at @TheVioletFog

Katey Yurko
Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||

About The Author

Katey Yurko

Katey || INFP || Founder/Director of Violet Fog ||

29 Responses

    • Violet Fog
      Violet Fog

      Well we were half talking about 30s men too but shoot really didn’t mention where to MEET these guys huh? Perhaps that should be a post in and of itself.. thinking we could actually ASK eligible 30s men where they go to hang out? But I will tell you one thing… Lunch time and Happy Hour in the Financial District is MAN HEAVY and it’s really, really nice haha. Also, I know a lot of men in their 30s are doing a lot more volunteer work (usually in conjunction with an organization they are a part of) so could be worth perusing events to see where the do-good men are donating their time? What’s your take on dating in the city so far? Thanks for writing in!

      Reply
      • Laura

        YES! I agree. 40 and haven’t been asked on a date in 3 1/2 years here. Online dating, check. Volunteering, check. Being out and about, check. Give us an article with more concrete advice or set us up! 🙂

    • Sarah

      She said it above they are all over the city you must step outside of your everyday circle but I can assure you also the guy that is right for you will likely not come in the package you would have hoped for or that you have in your head as what happiness looks like for you( eg he will not be Thor)and that will be why some women don’t give that person time of day.

      Reply
  1. Dan

    Can violetfog do a piece on the opposite viewpoint (e.g., how men view dating in SF)?
    Was talking with my lyft driver last night about this exact topic (he just moved from SoCal and wanted a lay of the land of dating in SF, and he gave us his first impressions of dating in NorCal).

    Reply
      • Violet Fog
        Violet Fog

        That’s such a great idea Dan!! We will start looking for the perfect writer to create such a piece. Definitely one we would want to read!

  2. Rob

    The main problem with San Francisco, along with other big cities, is that it creates a hypergamous culture in a vacuum.

    When the author writes: “What we can roll our eyes at is the number of guys here who have a disgusting sense of entitlement and attitude towards dating. THAT is annoying.” What is really going on, is that, pursuant to the simple fact that women are the choosers when it comes to sex, and men are the sellers. While men will have relationships with a much wider variety of women, often times with women far less attractive than him- he will only enter a long term monogamous relationship with a women close to him on the social/attractiveness ladder. Average Women, thus, find it fairly easy to get in a series of short run sexual relationships with men often times more attractive than her *(relative to his/her gender)- whereas the corresponding average man finds it much more difficult. The average women, however, will oft be having relationships only with the small percentage of most attractive men, whom will only end up getting in a monogamous relationship with the most attractive women. During this time, however, the average man is set to sit on the sidelines, relatively speaking.

    The problem for women is, during that time, most men are amassing resources and value that is otherwise associated with the ability to attract a female (others let loose or turn to drugs or completely remove themselves from the dating market, which does not help the female cause). Naturally, due to biology, that man, now in his 30’s and sometimes beyond, with more power to attract a mate, will look to younger and more attractive women as they represent the best genetic possibility for his offspring. This creates an in-balance in the market, which further inflates the sense of value of the younger 20 something female, and leaves 30 + women out to dry.

    And nowadays, online dating, Tinder/apps, social media, etc- all are forces that exist to exacerbate the situation. Women now can filter through an almost endless amount of mating possibilities, selecting the few that meet all of their criteria (and surprise, often times all the criteria of all the other women in the area)- and then act surprised when they don’t get selected by those men as long term mating partners.

    “What we can roll our eyes at is the number of guys here who have a disgusting sense of entitlement and attitude towards dating. THAT is annoying.”

    If the plight of the average man was understood by the average women, lines like this would be instantly be deemed laughable. Particularly in a city where there are more men than women.

    Of course, the above is a huge simplification. A male “7” can attract a harem of female 5’s (I really do hate the numbering system, people are not numbers- but it is useful here to illustrate a point). But he would likely end up committing to a female 7, the vast majority of whom (female 7’s) would turn down his advances as they mate in the harems of male 9’s.

    And to stress again, its a simplification of dating to reduce it simple to a market- obviously people date based upon a ton of characteristics outside of a cold rational analysis of his/her partners attractiveness. But these underlying forces are a way to describe, again in a simplified sense, what takes place in highly dense populations where monogamous relationships are less common.

    This is why, San Francisco, and other highly hyper-gamous places seem to have the highest rates of single 30 something women, despite a total “sex & the city” lifestyle enjoyed by younger women. Women, who unwittingly overrate their long term mating potential in their 20’s, pay the price when the bubble bursts in their 30’s and beyond.

    I want to end that the above may contain some harsh truths, and be dismissed as sexist at first. But if this were made clear to every young person currently in, as well as those entering the dating market in the next generation, it would vastly improve the lives of many of those people.

    Reply
    • Violet Fog
      Violet Fog

      First off, we appreciate how you took the time to really provide thought out insight to another specific POV. Both fascinating and entertaining to read.

      Second, agree to disagree! 🙂 Hope that you keep sharing your take on our stories that interest you though- we value honest conversation! Thank you, Rob!

      Reply
      • Hans

        From a factual standpoint there is not much to disagree. Rob’s summary is succinct and has enough data points to prove this hypothesis. Female hypergamy is standard biology/science and its detrimental effects to LTRs/family have been long known. There are very few areas with more late 30s/40s marriage-less/divorced (and often childless) women, of whom only few are genuinely happy with their situation.

      • Steve

        For anyone still reading this in 2017, Rob’s analysis is the absolute reality in SF, especially with the widespread use of dating apps. These apps have driven people to become ruthlessly efficient and rational with their dating behavior and exacerbate the market imbalances he so aptly described. While I appreciate Violet Fog’s general observations, from a guy’s perspective, it kind of misses the mark and fails to get at the root cause.

        My short summary of Rob’s point is this: Women who are down on the dating scene in SF and complain about men who aren’t willing to commit are targeting men who think they can get a higher value woman and are willing to hold out for her to come along. There are a few exceptions but they don’t work out in the woman’s favor e.g., he prefers variety over quality, doesn’t believe in monogamy or prioritize a stable, committed relationship.

        And from a man’s perspective, the result of the aforementioned imbalance is overwhelming competition and decreasing ability to hold the attention of women who have a veritable buffet of men (as one attractive female date described her options).

        Stripped of its veneer and emotional appeal, the dating woes in SF and other similar cities generally boil down to this: Women, who unwittingly overrate their long term mating potential in their 20’s, pay the price when the bubble bursts in their 30’s and beyond. On the flip side, many men who chase and get burned by attractive women in their 20s end up de-emphasizing physical appearance in their 30s and seek less superficial qualities in their potential mates.

        Oh, and as for that attractive date? It went well and she excitedly texted me the following day, but then shortly fell off the face of the Earth soon after.

      • Violet Fog
        Violet Fog

        I appreciate your input! Some parts agree, some parts choose not to, but regardless really appreciate a well thought out response!! P.S Ghosting sucks doesn’t it?!?!

    • Mae

      Wow. That was intense. It’s admirable the work you put into that, and that I read it all! Ha!. I would hope that the next time you walk by a woman that you are attracted to, whether a 4 or a 9, that you just simply say ‘hello, you are beautiful,’ and just keep it simple. Because whether she is 21 or 41, she might be thinking the same about you or too afraid to just initiate after thinking too much about all of these things as well…as we all seem to these days. While statistics and masses affect likelihoods and stereotypes at large, you never know one on one just what that one person has inside of them and what they are waiting for or afraid of or drawn to. Nice work though, I’m super impressed.

      Reply
    • Scott

      If you don’t buy Rob’s analysis, I would point to a few things in your article and response to Dominique that speak to the hypergamous nature of women in cities like SF & NYC…

      After saying that women are after hardworking, career-minded men, you note that this is “not to be confused with rich.” But elsewhere you suggest that women troll bars in the financial district, seek men who are “established,” etc. To any guy over 25, these niceties are code for money. Given that many of the smart, driven men do not meet the minimum requirements that women list on their dating profiles “[earth emoji] Travel is a MUST!! [airplane emoji]”; “Me: know a gentleman when I see one — You: have your own place”) because they’re working on a startup or something in a field less lucrative than tech, I think a lot of men spend their energy trying to ‘level up’ their resources rather than waste time dating women who will cast aspersions on the neighborhood they live in, the size of their apartment, lack of trips to Tahoe and the like. This conversation is happening among men ALL THE TIME. When you tell ladies to go fishing for bankers, you start the cycle Rob’s talking about.

      Reply
    • Josephine

      This is a new perspective (having read A LOT on dating in cities). Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  3. bob

    dating sucks here because the women here would rather burn whole in the ground with their eyes rather than
    accidentally smile at a stranger. When a woman looks at me with a “don’t you dare” face, I don’t dare. And that is all day every day in SF.

    Reply
  4. Mae

    This was nice to read. I am a36 yr old female just out of a long term relationship that I spent my valuable last bits of procreatic years with. (Zero daddy issues, but for some reason always dated men a decade older than me with their own children and now….here I sit…childless and over the hump of 35). Now I find myself moving to San Francisco in 1.months.time. *Sigh.* I am relocating to pursue my passion of photography after leaving my career of 16 years in the medical field, and was well aware that I would indeed, die alone in SF since I am moving to this place that is amazing in so many rights, yet impossible to find a life partner in. I am not a dating ap or a one night stand girl. “Maybe I’ll become a nun,” I’ve been thinking. But, sweet Violet Fog, I am not physically unnatractive, I have a lot to offer in the love department, great values, creative, open to try new things, and absolutely terrified I’ll fall victim to all these stigmas I’m constantly warned about in SF. I digress. It is nice to read someone being positive about the potentials of dating in the city because, I know I’m a great catch, so there HAS to be my male counterpart feeling the same, right? In the meantime, it’s about loving ourselves enough to not sweat it and feed our own souls (hence photography happening NOW). So…I thank you for writing this and am happy I happened upon it, because I needed a dose of hope. In the meantime, when I get there, I’m heading straight away to this Samovar Tea Bar so I can live a much longer, healthier life…alone! Haha!

    Thank you for sharing,

    Leaving the country life for SF

    Reply
    • Violet Fog
      Violet Fog

      Girl now that’s been a few months– how is it going?! And have you tried Samovar Tea?? We are starting a VF mostly book club– aka an excuse to get the readers together to drink wine and meet like minded females! Maybe you can meet some fellow wing women?! Stay tuned, you should join us!

      Reply
    • Victoria

      I’m single and don’t feel like settling down right now. San Fran seems like the place to be 😜

      Reply
  5. James

    Come on Rob, dont waste your time explaining Logic to fairer sex. It’s like hitting your head to the brick wall. They will only learn when they are discarded into their 40’s after being used up in their youth by tinder fcukboys while riding the carousel in their 30’s waiting for the cad to commit to them. Keep whining ladies you are winning sooo much.

    In essence the pro feminist pussification of men in california and newyork is complete. Again even the 30’s woman can find a guy who she can divorce rape in her 40’s cause her gina tingles are gone. Daddy govt will step in to pay her bills.

    Reply

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