The Reality of Dating in San Francisco: Why Is It So Annoyingly Hard?!


Why is Dating in SF So Damn Hard?!

Dating and meeting new potential partners can be fun. But let’s be honest—it’s often quite stressful!

No matter how hard you try, it can be challenging to find people you really click with. You might have to endure some awkward dinners. And, at times, you’ll find that someone you’re really into doesn’t feel the same way about you, or vice versa.

Dating is tougher in some cities than others. If you’ve ever complained about the San Francisco dating scene, you’re not alone!

Some people might assume that finding “the one” in such a large, progressive city would be a piece of cake. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Here’s what makes dating in San Francisco so uniquely frustrating.

Dating Apps

This is San Francisco, where it seems like everyone is a tech whiz. Naturally, most people are using some kind of dating app to connect with each other. Welcome to Silicon Valley!

Out here, it’s all about Tinder, Bumble, and other popular apps. You might prefer meeting people face to face, but if you want to get in on the action, you’ll have to download these apps. That fact alone can be frustrating, and really making their services work for you can add to that.


Lots of people move to San Francisco from all over the world to work at startups and new tech companies. But that also means they’re more likely to travel elsewhere when they have time off rather than hang around for dating and socializing. After all, many of their loved ones will be living far away.

And if the startup flops? Well, it’s time for them to pack up and leave. Short-lived residency can easily mean short-lived romance.

Sky-High Rent

It’s tough to raise a family in San Francisco these days. The cost of rent is ranked as the highest out of any American city.

This means that a family-oriented partner may not want to settle down here in the future. People who want to start families often look elsewhere when it’s time to buy a property. And that can be an obstacle for single people who are looking for love and want to have children.

Busy Schedules

Long hours at work, the struggle to make enough and save enough to pay rent and still have a safety net, commuting long distances to work because of the crazy rents in the city—well, it all adds up to San Franciscans having packed schedules.

Naturally, this means people can be flakey, and it’s hard to schedule a real date. Majorly frustrating!

Skewed Ratio

According to some statistics, there are way more single guys in San Francisco than single women. This means that, while women may have it a bit easier when looking to date men, males seeking romance with females may have some extra competition.

Hence, it can be frustrating being a young, single guy in San Francisco. For every woman out there, a few other men are vying for her affections.

Relationship Preferences

There’s nothing wrong with people who choose not to be monogamous. Unless, of course, you’re looking for someone who strictly wants to date you—and they would rather keep their options open.

This is fairly common in San Francisco. So, while that might be a perk for polyamorous folks, monogamists may find themselves disappointed.

Financial Stress

Managed to actually lock someone down in San Francisco? Good for you! Just be prepared for the possibility of some serious pressure to move in together early on.

Those increasing rent prices we’ve talked about previously make moving in together a pretty smart financial idea. However, living together also means tackling all of the challenges that come along with it. This can easily make or break a fairly new relationship as rushing to move in together can be very stressful.

The Outlier - “Relationship Baggage”

If you have tended to repeatedly end up in disappointing romantic situations there is likely also a more personal factor. Call it “relationship baggage”. For some people relationships seem to happen easily, for others it’s more complicated.

We can’t control for many of the challenges of dating in San Francisco and her surrounding communities, and they DO affect our dating lives and relationships. However, if you’ve fallen into a pattern of repeatedly frustrating relationship dysfunctions or dynamics, this may be one area where you CAN assert your influence and get control of your relationships.

Feel like you need a little help navigating the San Francisco dating scene? If you’d like to know how my approach to relationship and dating therapy can help you, let’s connect. Feel free to leave a comment below, drop me an email, or if you want to some help changing how you relate and are creating the love you want in your life - feel free to call me for a free 15 minute phone consultation at (415) 797-8297.  I am San Francisco’s resident relationship therapist helping successful couples and singles create the love and life that they want!