All the single gentlemen, SF version
December 17, 2013 9:31 PM   Subscribe

How do I meet single men in their 30s in SF?

I'm a 33-year-old woman living in San Francisco. I've been living here since April, so it hasn't been a long time. I'm still getting my bearings here.

Most of my friends here are coupled up, and everyone at work is too. I hardly know any single people here at all, and it's really getting to me when I realize that I'm the ONLY single person at a gathering or when everyone is talking about their significant others and families. Thanks to many, many life changes--like moving three times in two years--I've also been single for about four years.

I am pretty much an old soul, so the things I like to do are old people things (watch old movies, go to book talks, go to classical music concerts, etc.) The demographics here can be weird--the same things that I did in New York are what I do here--but I'm invariably the youngest person there by decades. I like to exercise (biking and jogging on the beach), but since I'm also asthmatic, I'm not one of these hardcore athlete types that you get around the Bay Area. Not much of a drinker either.

OKCupid (here's my profile) has been mildly successful in that I'm meeting new men, but although they are nice we don't have much chemistry. I put in my profile in here because perhaps there is something off-putting about my appearance or the way that I'm presenting that I'm not aware of.

I'm looking to meet single, straight men in their 30s, quirky nerdy and geeky types who are looking for a long-term relationship. Where do I find them here? Besides online dating, I have tried asking my friends to set me up, going to OKCupid events, and volunteering. I used to do more Meetups when I lived in Mountain View, but I found that I was mostly meeting more couples or much older folks.
posted by so much modern time to Human Relations (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not a resident of San-Fran so I can't give specific advice as to individual places and what not, but it seems like you're doing everything traditionally "right" in finding a guy. Your OKC profile is pretty great looking to my eyes (I'd make your second picture your profile pic though, I think it looks the best). Maybe a bit wordy, but for the nerdy/geeky type of guy interested in a LTR, you putting obvious thought into it will probably be seen as a good thing.

It may be frustrating meeting guys that don't give you that spark, but online dating is largely trial and error I think. Just keep at it, stay open, and (perhaps most importantly) be prepared to take the initiative. I know lots of guys who would call you a dream girl based on your interests and stats on paper, but a girl who seems too good can be intimidating. By the same token, in real life most people will take the safe bet that a great gal in her thirties will already be taken.

So don't be afraid to ask that guy you just met for coffee if you're interested. All you got to lose is a wasted afternoon, and many guys will be happy and extremely flattered to be hit on.
posted by johnpoe50 at 10:10 PM on December 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Try this:
posted by bananafish at 10:46 PM on December 17, 2013

Best answer: Keep meeting men from okc until you find one that you have chemistry with. Sex advisor Dan Savage sometimes explains on his podcast that a key difference between meeting people online and meeting them in some other context is that online you don't know right away if you're attracted to them. In a bar you automatically filter out all the people you're not attracted to and only pay attention to the ones that strike your fancy. On line, you have to do all that sorting manually, so it can feel a lot more tedious, and you have to meet a lot of people in person who work for you on paper and find out that you don't match up in real life. It's not that it doesn't work. It's just that it takes a lot of conscious effort and time.

So how many people from OKC have you gone out with? Five? Ten? You have a long way to go.
posted by chrchr at 11:21 PM on December 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding My wife and I met when we were in our 30s at a onebrick event in San Francisco. There are a wide variety of activities that attract all sorts of different ages. If you want to avoid people much older than you (and it sounds like you do), try to do more of the outdoor volunteer activities.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 12:37 AM on December 18, 2013

Best answer: Bike touring. Bike touring for the win. Oh, and join CHAOS, the outdoor club associated with Cal. Trust me.
posted by cairdeas at 1:02 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've been there sister. San Francisco is more of a challenge. It just is.

Let your hooked up friends know that you're interested in meeting their single dude-friends. Try other dating sites, match or eharmony might skew older than OKC. Try, if nothing else, you're widening the pool of non-single people who might be able to connect you to a single person.

Don't lose faith.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:44 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I looked at your profile. I'm a married 38yo mom in Brooklyn, so that's the context of my advice. I've helped many friends with online dating. Two things:

--at the end of your profile, you say that the immigrant/expat life is a requirement for the background of a guy you are interested in. True? Seems limiting. Also leave off the last two things. They are negative and come across as prim and condescending.

--reconsider your photos. You are clearly attractive, but your photos are very "friend" oriented. It feels almost wrong to look at them and thing, "wow, sexy" because you aren't trying to come across that way at all, so far as I can tell. If you are looking for someone as more than a friend (even eventually) you need to show that side of yourself a little. IMO guys are visual, and if you had a more sexy photo that would go a long way toward making your profile more attractive. You don't need a bathing suit shot, but your body is almost completely obscured in all the photos. I suggest a full-length photo of you in an attractive, form fitting outfit. Also, it wouldn't hurt to give the camera a somewhat serious, sultry stare.

Good luck! I met my husband online, and also another long-term boyfriend. Both were "your type" as you describe it--international, curious, well-informed about politics, adventurous.
posted by tk at 7:03 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Out here, certain sports are known for being pick-up sports. For example, ultimate frisbee. I have no idea why, it just is.

If you are in SF, you should meet plenty of nerds! Engineering guys outnumber women 10:1. I did not make this up, the actual stats are 10-12% women in electrical engineering. I hear it is ladies choice. Especially if you work in the tech industry.

I am not in the bay area but I would look for nerdy guys in the following places: nerd meetups (star trek, coding groups), church (yes, church, or meditation groups or...), hiking groups, coffee shops near some of the major tech offices. Yes I know you want SF proper, but maybe you could widen that circle a little. You could suggest in your OKC profile that you're open to areas further south for example.

You could also try an online community of a common interest, like meta-filter but with more mixing in real life. Buddhist geeks for example, or other things that draw your fancy. Engineers without borders meeting or Habitat for Humanity. Or try a meetup that, while not 100% in your interest, is prone to younger people. I found language meetups to be total mixers, but YMMV.

Just keep trying, keep putting yourself out there. Things do calm down over the holidays but they will pick up in the new year for sure. You are fine, all you need is a little luck.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh and I agree with tk, you can sex-up the photos a little. My guy friends eviscerated my OKC profile because the photos were too "girl" and not "woman." They took a new photo of me (we were all going out that night) and I put it up and all of a sudden I got tons of emails. (I had to weed through the "you so pretty!" emails but hey.)

Another dirty secret about OKC... when you put better photos up, you get lots of votes. Get enough votes and they send you an email and you are put in the "inner circle of hotness," which then opens your profile up to a whole different range of people that you couldn't see before. Lame but true.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:09 AM on December 18, 2013

You are clearly attractive, but your photos are very "friend" oriented. It feels almost wrong to look at them and thing, "wow, sexy" because you aren't trying to come across that way at all, so far as I can tell.

Yeah, there are a couple of photos there where you are clearly very physically attractive, but there some other photos are more like snapshots and don't really "market" you that well.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:36 AM on December 18, 2013

Response by poster: Wow, these are insightful points people are making about the photos. All the guys I have met off of OKC have said that the photos don't do me justice. That's a project to sort out over the holidays then.

I actually try very hard to not present as sexy, even in real life, since I have often gotten the impression that couples regard me as a threat. Single men too, I get a lot of "please don't hit on me" type of vibes from the ones I do meet.

Also, I have already tried One Brick and gone a few times. It was okay, I enjoyed it for what it was.

Point taken about how tedious online dating is...admittedly, I have only met about five guys off of OKC.
posted by so much modern time at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2013

I actually try very hard to not present as sexy

Irrespective of sexiness, your current profile photo is taken from too close. (I've made this mistake myself: you want to give the clearest view of yourself, but when then camera is at that proximity your features look distorted.) Your other pics are nice--maybe go with the SFMoMA one?

As far as advice on meeting guys IRL: do you spend much time in the East Bay? You might find more young professionals in Oakland/Berkeley where it's more affordable yet still hip.
posted by psoas at 10:12 AM on December 18, 2013

Is the Marina Safeway still a pick-up spot? Is it still straight?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:52 AM on December 18, 2013

There's a continuum between presenting as a sexy vamp or whatever and as an inoffensive, fun-loving nerd. Perhaps a better term might be presenting as "feminine."
posted by KokuRyu at 12:01 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've lived here since May of 2012, after moving here from Brooklyn, NY. I found dating to be *a lot* easier here compared to NYC, and I also went the OKC route. I came here single, went on tons of OKC dates, and eventually found my boyfriend (who also was on OKC) via a mutual friend.

Your profile reads very well, and I agree with the other posters about you needing body shots, and photos that show some sexuality. Another good place to get OKC-specific advice is from a very helpful and encouraging bunch of folks at

SF from my perspective seems easier to date (as a woman), but more difficult to make friendships. If you already have the friendships, utilize that to expose yourself to new people and events.
posted by vivzan at 1:48 PM on December 18, 2013

It’s great that you mentioned a lot of things such as your views, movies and musics that many people can relate to. Your line “I'm the kind of person who gives up her seat for old people” captured my attentions the most. My advice is cut the lengthy descriptions by half. I would remove the line "Less seriously: There are a lot of guys on here who like Downton Abbey. Intriguing." to avoid talking about other people on okcupid. I also think that you should specify your food preference, be it a certain food or certain dining experience. You’re trying to say that you’re not a picky eater, however, your photos suggest that you enjoy unique food experience. Also, try the profile picture quiz to find out which is your best profile picture and how okcupid guys rate your photos.

I don’t live in SF but I’ve been to SF. If you’re looking for the geeky expat type, consider staying in a youth hostel (I know this idea sounds strange). I know several single guys living in the international hostel I stayed in. Their jobs require them to travel constantly and therefore they prefer not to rent a place. These people are unlikely to go out or join an online dating site.
posted by liltiger at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2013

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