Dating in San Francisco is kinda-sorta complicated. Being in a relationship in San Francisco, though? Well, let's just say it's not all painted ladies and gourmet ice cream cones up in this piece. It's also to-the-death arguments about these nine things, from being cold at Outside Lands EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOU TO WEAR LAYERS, to spending 45min circling the neighborhood while looking for parking.
If you've got a car, but not a parking space, this is where couples are really screwed. Because one person is going to spend an hour and a half commuting home from their job in the South Bay only to spend another 45min circling the neighborhood, looking for a place to park the car and literally no one in the history of people has experienced that and then not gotten into a fight afterwards. And worse, if you try to avoid that parking fight by taking public transportation to work, you'll just happen to do that on a Street Cleaning day. Hello parking ticket; goodbye $64. Basically, there is no way to have a car in San Francisco and not end up in a fight at some point.
San Francisco has 39 restaurants for every 10,000 households, which means it has the most restaurants per capita of any US city. By, like, a lot. We also happen to have some of the best food in the world as well as tons of different types of cuisine from which to choose. Which is a real gift. Unless you’re trying to pick somewhere to eat. Seriously, if you’re part of a couple and you haven’t gotten in an argument about Thai vs. sushi vs. burritos vs. Burmese vs. sausages vs. food trucks vs. hamburgers, then you’re perfect and should probably get married right now.
The fog & wind
Last summer, a guy I know took his girlfriend to Outside Lands. “Wear layers,” he said. “It’s warm now but it will be cold later,” he reminded her. But she had some crazy notion in her head that she wanted to wear her trendy “festival” outfit and so a skimpy dress and sandals it was. “Fine,” he conceded. “But just don’t complain when you’re cold.” To which she readily agreed. Of course, then Karl showed up to the party, she forgot her promise, complained non-stop, and they broke up a week later.
Are layers attractive? Not always. But would you rather be slightly unfashionable or DIE ALONE?
Many people who attend Burning Man consider themselves to be more evolved than the average San Franciscan. They have their Burning Man family, their communal art projects, and refer to actual life as the “default” world. They’re open to new things and talk about “surrendering to the experience.” Which is all great... until one of the experiences part of the couple wants to surrender to is a “poly party.” Can you think of anywhere worse to get into a fight about monogamy than a crowded, dusty desert? No. No, you can't.
It doesn’t matter how much you have; there will never be enough of it, despite the fact that you pay more rent than anyone you know. Layering requires a lot of clothing, after all. And that's all there is to say about that.
One of the best things about San Francisco is how small it is. From the physical size (46.9 square miles) to the population (about 840,000 people), everywhere and everyone feels close. Which is super fun when you bump into your best friend at brunch and super not fun when you bump into your really hot ex while hanging out with your new not-yet ex, also at that same brunch. Toooootally you should all sit together! NO, NOT REALLY.
You wake up slightly dehydrated and with a headache. You’re hungry. Like, now. But you still have to shower, get dressed, and (Fight #1!): agree upon a brunch spot. Once you’ve done that, you have to actually get to the brunch spot, and when you do, you'll see the line. The long. Ass. Line. Is it worth the wait? (Fight #2!) Ultimately, someone will decide -- with a huff -- that you might as well just stay there, because by the time you find another place and wait in their line you would have been seated already. So you go to put your name on the list. And one of you decides you want to wait for outside seating. Congrats! You just ensured Fight #3! Fight #3 is the worst of the brunch fights, because by now you’re so hangry you'd fight one of the ducks at Stow Lake for a piece of stale bread. And also because it's going to go on for the full hour you have to wait to be seated.
The good news? Nothing solves the brunch fight like a plate of pancakes and four...teen mimosas.
One person in the relationship will see nothing wrong with promising friends in Marin and Oakland that you’ll go there to hang out on Saturday night. The other, not so much. Like, really, really not so much.
Peter Pan Syndrome
Being a grown-up comes with, ugh, grown-up responsibilities. Dishes need to be washed. Tires need to be rotated. Laundry needs to be folded. And you’re definitely 100% going to get to that... just as soon as you finish spending the entire afternoon lounging around Dolores Park, crushing copious amounts of beer. The problem with San Francisco, you see, is that it’s just so tempting to enjoy it. Even if you did promise that this Sunday was really the Sunday you were going to finally going to clean out that closet that doesn't fit all of your clothes.