Dating in San Francisco vs New York in 2023: Pros and Cons

Dating is universally challenging, but each city has a different dating vibe to it. San Francisco dating and New York dating are polar opposites and so far from each other on the dating spectrum that we put together this handy guide to understanding the key differences between dating in San Francisco vs New York and what you need to know to navigate the often complicated and always entertaining landscape.

Dating in San Francisco: An Overview

Dating in San Francisco

San Francisco has always been a hub for freethinking people and it’s no wonder that tech giants and venture capitalists have descended upon the Bay Area and made it their home. The city is full of people arriving and departing and a huge issue facing relationship seekers is meeting people a second time. Ghosting is a big problem in the region, which makes sense given how many people are coming and going on a regular basis.

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Pros of San Francisco Dating

Open To Anything

San Francisco has a reputation for being very liberal and willing to embrace every person no matter what. Someone with specific tastes in a partner can find a match with no trouble. Here you can explore polyamory or the kinky side of BDSM and finding partners is easy. In other words, anything goes.

No Push For Relationships

San Francisco singles aren’t looking to settle down anytime soon. Hanging out or hooking up every now and again is enough for some people. They’re not looking for long-term relationships.

Lots of Dating Hotspots

It doesn’t take much effort to find singles in the city and surrounding area. They’re everywhere. There are plenty of fun and trendy bars and events to visit where singles abound, and you’ll find that they’re out looking to meet new people, too. Many of the people out there are recent transplants to the area thanks to the booming tech economy, so being able to play tour guide will definitely win you some bonus points.

Cons of San Francisco Dating

Hard to Find Long Term Relationships

Cons of San Francisco Dating

If you come to the city looking for something to extend beyond a few dates or the occasional hookup, you might be hard pressed to find anyone who fits the bill. The reality is that many of the singles working at tech firms aren’t ready to settle down anytime soon. The volatility of the tech and startup industry requires long hours and lots of movement, which means they want to focus on careers and not relationships.

High Costs

San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area has become incredibly expensive thanks to the influx of people moving into the area. Going out for drinks every now and then is fine, but don’t expect to eat out and live in anything bigger than a shoebox. Unless you’re making good money, it’s hard to afford dating in the city.


You went out twice, thought you hit it off and then you never heard back from her again. Ghosting is a big problem in San Francisco, mainly because no one is looking to settle down. You might be good for a few dates before the other person disappears without a trace, having moved on to the next person without notice. With a city so full of people, unless the other person lives in the neighborhood it’s more than likely that you’ll never see each other again anyway.

Dating in New York: An Overview

Dating in New York

When it comes to dating in New York, the focus is more on finding someone so as to not be alone. One writer talked about how dating in New York is often a means to cheaper rent or a meal companion, and in a lot of ways it’s true: With so many things to do in the city, who has time for long-term relationships?

The irony, of course, is that compared to San Francisco the majority of relationship seekers in New York are looking for just that: Relationships. However, before people seeking relationships start heading to the Big Apple it’s important to understand that the singles in New York are more concerned with convenience than finding life partners.

Pros of New York Dating

Cheap Dates and Rent

You don’t have to be in love to move in together. If they hit it off with someone, many New Yorkers will move in together to share the cost of housing, food and cars. This is great for singles not looking to settle down but want someone to be with. They want to be with one person and perhaps things will work out in the long term, but for now they’re happy just being together.

Places to Meet

Pros of dating in New York

New York is the city that never sleeps. There is always something happening and that means there are no shortages of places to meet people. If you’re new to the city, sightseeing and meeting new people go hand in hand. And if a date doesn’t work out, there’s still the beautiful city to explore.

Dating App Lovers

New Yorkers are busy people and they love their dating apps. Whether they’re swiping on the subway or selecting a Tinder date from the back of a Taxi, New Yorkers know how to make the most out of dating apps. The nice thing is that everyone is doing it so there’s no awkwardness associated with it, but more importantly it keeps things interesting on a regular basis. Though dating can be challenging, New Yorkers embrace it by using the latest tools to make connections.

Cons of New York Dating

Roommate Rather Than Relationship

New York Singles enter into relationships for a variety of reasons. Some are in it for love, while others are looking to share other things. Like rent. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is a means to splitting rent and perhaps even the cost of meals and car services, so for some New Yorkers getting into a relationship is more of a means than an end.

Busy Lives

Cons of living in New York

New Yorkers are always on the go, and that can lead to lots of hookups and waiting for her to call you back. While it’s true that New Yorkers are more likely to pursue long term relationships than singles in San Francisco, they don’t often lead the kind of laid back lives that allow them to be free every night. They work hard and play hard, so relationships often take a back seat to upward mobility.

In and Out

Like so many other metropolitan cities, New York is full of people who travel in and out of the city regularly. Some people commute to the city every day and live elsewhere. With so many people to choose from on dating apps, it’s possible that you’ll encounter people who are only in town for short while. That might make it hard to connect on a deeper level, and knowing they’re only around for a while can be a challenge, especially if you feel like you’re getting along well.

Wrap Up

Dating in San Francisco and New York is like night and day. One city is looking for hookups and the other is looking for hookups for cheaper rent. The key in both cases is carefully vetting the people you meet, being aware of their relationships goals and making the most of the situation in case things work out. If they don’t, there are plenty of other singles to choose from and in either case you have the added benefit of living in a beautiful city.

chelsea king - chief editor of romancescams
Written by Chelsea King

Chelsea has been a direct victim of romance scams herself losing over $35,000 in a span of a year in 2015. She joined and took over operations of in 2015. She brings first-hand experience in studying romance scams, and also experience in vetting dating sites for legitimacy. Read more of Chelsea's articles.

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