1. The Freshman
He’s most likely the first guy you date in college and a total newb to the city. He doesn’t know which busses take him to the BART station, or where to get decent Spanish food, and considers an evening playing beer pong with his buddies on his dorm kitchen table while comparing Fight Club posters a “crazy night in SF.” But it’s ok. At this point, you too are a probably a freshman and a newb who doesn’t know any better than he does.
2. The 21 Year Old
This is not the guy you meet at a dorm party or at the dining hall. This is the guy you meet in a 300 level class, at the library or in the quad. He’s older, has no ties to anyone that annoys you in the dorms (so you can complain about people all you want to him,) knows the city pretty well by now, lives in an apartment right off campus, can get you booze…and yeah your underage-drinking self is already sold on this. I’ll stop talking.
Now we’re getting to the bigger dogs. The following are the boys you meet around the city as you establish yourself as more than just a student in this 7 by 7 mile community.
3. The PBR Drinker
Maybe he’s that sexy barista at that one place with the wooden furniture, maybe you noticed his impeccable mustache at a dimly lit bar or maybe you liked how much kale he had in his basket at the local grocery store when you met him. Sometimes even you yourself can’t put your finger on what it was that attracted you to him. But you like this guy. You like that he seems to know everyone you run into in the Mission, that he listens to songs your parents listened to in college with excitement as if they’d just been released the week before, and that he knows some damn good places to get brunch. As long as you avoid discussing topics such as healthcare, you two should be fine for a while.
4. The Not So Talented Musician
This guy is the closest thing SF has to the unfortunate stereotype of frat bros (unless you visit the Marina after 8pm,) in that this guy will use his brotherhood in the band as an excuse to why it’s ok for him to behave poorly. He’ll use his band as an excuse for him to abuse drugs, cheat on women, bail out of plans or not spend money on your dates. But nothing’s better than having his arm around you in a room full of girls that like him right? Yeah, until you realize how pretentious his lyrics are and how low the likelihood of him ever spending that coke money on a real recording sesh (session) is. NEXT!
5. The Guy Who Works For That One Big Company
You know that one company. The one in Los Altos…no wait, Palo Alto…no, no…the Financial District. I don’t know. But he works for THAT company. It’s fun to brag to your friends you’re dating “The Twitter Guy,” “The Yelp Guy,” or “The Google Guy,” that is until some hipster friend of a friend explains to you that your boyfriend is “sucking the corporate d-” and ruining the city for everyone. But to that, you can flip your hair and respond “That’s cool, girl. You go ahead and hate over there. I’m busy on my phone picking out expensive Thai-fusion restaurants to check out with him tonight.”
6. The Guy Who Works At That One Startup
This guy will spend half of his time explaining to you why this startup is such a great idea and why this company works. The other half of his time will probably be spent at said startup. Whether he’s busy working to raise money for kids in Africa to have proper footwear, or working on an app that helps wealthy people living in the Presidio to get their dry-cleaning delivered to their homes two hours earlier than usual, this guy will require a lot of reassurance from you that this thing he and his buddy are trying to get off the ground is going to benefit everyone one day. You be the judge of that.
7. The Guy Who Works At That Other Startup
8. The Guy Who Has A Car
This one is completely hit or miss. A car can mean leaving the city whenever you’d like, getting to wear heels more often, no more busses, no more walking around when it’s cold or rainy. But owning a car in the city can make people reliant on it to the point where they never want to take public transportation again, ending their good times at certain parts of the city due to expensive or non-existent parking. Also, be prepared to console him every other day over parking tickets, traffic on the Bay Bridge or someone backing out of their driveway at 20 MPH.
9. The Wannabe Yuppie
That other “Google Guy” was pretty confident about himself. Then again, he’s been working in tech for about five years now and feels pretty good about things. He’s established. But this lucky duck right out of his bachelors program working for a big company is shaking in his Brooks Brother’s suit. But give him a break. He may get to work in a beautiful office and spend time with wealthy thirty-somethings from 9-5, but when they take their BMWs (parked in a $10/hour parking lot all day) to their Alamo Square homes, he’s got to catch the N Judah to the sunset and deal with his housemate complaining that he forgot to buy eggs while he was out. He’s got the job of an adult with the lifestyle of a student, and it’s not easy to deal with the transition. Just be supportive of him for now. That might be you in a couple years, and it’s good to make observations now.
10. The Stoner
This guy is funny. No, really, he’s hilarious. At least he’s hilarious after a few bowls when the picture frames on the wall behind him are moving around by themselves. Don’t get me wrong, almost everyone in SF smokes pot, and people rarely that throw their lives away or get into harder drugs because of pot around here. And this guy’s not throwing his life away either. He’s doing perfectly fine in school and/or work. But he’s so high so often; you sometimes miss his sober self. And that’s ultimately why things end. When it’s over, you’ll miss his grade A medical doobage, his piece that looks like a turtle on his back with its tail as the carb, and watching all those YouTube videos with him. But most nights, you need to leave the house and be a bit more sober to enjoy the greatest city in the world.
11. The Socialite
You start to think the guy you’re with must happen to be famous, because strangely enough every single mailman, Lyft driver and restaurant owner knows exactly who he is. But that’s not the case. This guy just knows how to run this city. His Facebook is filled with pictures of him at different events around the city from marathons to gay rights campaigns to some sort of event where EDM was playing live and paint was splattered on him…and each picture has over 100 likes. His mind is like a more elaborate version of FunCheapSF. But you as his girl always feel out of the loop, since every hour you’re not with him he’s having an equally amazing time with boatloads of other people. The question is: Will you sit back and enjoy the luxuries that come with being with a guy so popular and adventurous, or let the cons of the situation make you feel insecure?
12. The Player
This guy either has a lumberjack physique, a meticulous beard and perfectly tight clothing or looks like an ad for Hugo Boss, because he the quintessential San Francisco ladies man. His Facebook wall is filled with girls posting “Haven’t heard from you in a while. Hope everything is #okbetweenus.” He’s got nineteen “Ashley’s” in his phone. NINETEEN. That doesn’t even count all the “Ashleigh’s” and “Ashlee’s.” And pretty much every coffee shop, theater and retail store is off limits because he has bitter exes working at them. It feels nice to kiss him at the bar or enter a restaurant on his arm, but it feels less nice after you find the waitress or bartender’s number written on said arm, later. Have fun, but don’t put all your eggs into THIS basket.
13. The Successful 30-Something
You are very impressed with yourself that you’re sipping mojitos in the SOMA with this one. He chose one apartment complex over another because he had a preference for exposed brick, personally knows the best mixologists in town and has a group of sommelier friends. You constantly wonder how this relationship is even possible, when you’re so young. This must mean you’re more sophisticated than you thought and you can roll with the big dogs, right? Possibly, but watch out for this guy’s ego in the event that there’s a reason why he’s not dating someone his own age. He may have his Ph.D., more life experience and a job that puts your part-time retail gig to shame, but don’t let him talk down to you because of that. It’s true, you can’t compare to him. Not right now. But 30-year-old you might be able to whoop his ass down the line. It’s a fantastic learning experience spending time with older people, but you don’t have time for him comparing you to the success level and life experience of his 30-something-year-old exes.
14. The Noise-Cutter
San Francisco is a crazy yet beautiful city with a lot going on. It’s easy to get caught up all of the action and the superficiality. But it’s known for something not every big city is known for: Having a lot of heart. What makes San Francisco beautiful is its ability to appeal to the mainstream, but take pride in being different. It holds some of the biggest companies in the world, yet has an attitude of sticking up for the little guy being in favor of things that are independent. A few miles away from its elegant skyscrapers are beautiful beaches and parks, and a few blocks away from its ritzy nightlife venues are architecturally stunning churches and sweet hot dog stands to pick up some grub for the bus ride home. It’s a well-rounded city, and you need a well-rounded person to cut through the noise and the distractions and enjoy a place like this with you.
You want a person that will want to spend the night bar hopping and spend the next morning at Dolores Park with you. Someone who will rent a car and take you to Napa Valley for the weekend AND take the night bus with you at 2am when it’s raining. Someone who will show you some crazy beautiful art gallery and will be blown away by your favorite Korean BBQ restaurant. Someone who will get blazed with you on a Saturday night and wine and dine you on a Sunday night to avoid the crowds. No, he’s not checking out that other girl, although he probably could nab her number if he wanted to. No, he’s not drunk to the point where you’re forced into a $50 cab ride home. And no, you not having the connections to get reservations at that one place doesn’t bother him. This is just a person who loves the city you’re both in and wants to re-experience what he already likes and experience new things, with you.
I’m not going to pretend like everyone meets someone perfect. He’s a mix of some of the people listed above in good ways AND bad (mostly good.) But he’s also dated the female equivalent of #1-13 and knows what’s up. There will be less mind-games, less pressure on you to be something you’re not, and no limitations as to what you as a couple can do in a city this great. It’s very idealistic and romantic to think that there’s a person like this. But if we didn’t believe in a guy like #14, we SF ladies would never be able to enjoy the good times/get over the bad times with guys #1-13.
Thank you, San Francisco and most importantly, thank you to people like guys #1-14 and everyone in between for giving us the experiences that make us better and teach us how to enjoy this place whole-heartedly. Hope everything is #okbetweenus.