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‘Sketchy’ and ‘tough’: What it’s really like to date in San Francisco

I was once told by my Uber driver that dating in San Francisco is a nightmare—or at least that’s what all his passengers ridesharing home from disappointing dates told him

So ahead of Valentine’s Day, I went out on the streets to ask locals what they really think of the Bay Area dating scene. From hopeful to disenchanted, I got a variety of answers. 

“Sketchy,” one veteran dater told me. Filled with “finance bros” and “flakiness,” remarked others. People with sky-high expectations for their prospective partner, said one person. And many looking for a fun time but no commitment, remarked another.    

Despite the disenchantment, the folks I talked to still had hope for finding romance. Many also cited the city’s lively restaurant and bar scene and beautiful parks as perks of the local dating scene and—if all works out—perfect backdrops for falling in love. 

“You could still meet people organically, talking to somebody on the street, on the bus. Just keep putting yourself out there,” said a Marina-based attorney named John.

“People are very friendly. People are smart here,” said Vikash, a software quality engineer who's been in the dating scene for a decade. “So you will actually have really good conversations with people. Just keep swiping right, and you'll find somebody.”

Or you could try what one of our interviewees did and go to Tahoe

“The times I was trying to find someone, it never worked,” said Lisa, a nurse based in Cow Hollow. “But then, when I was having fun, I met someone.”

Christina Campodonico can be reached at

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