Often the most romantic thing a young person can hope for in this city is that the guy or gal they were making eyes with at the bar last night will write a Missed Connection about them the next morning.
While there’s definitely romance involved in a connection based on mind-blowing sex or a common appreciation for an obscure ’80s TV show they only made two seasons of, another realm, a rare kind of connection exists – one in which your capacity to create thrives as your relationship progresses. In this type of relationship, the real romance exists in making each other better human beings.
Perhaps it’s because we live in a city where making the rent alone is an exhausting challenge, or maybe because there is an overwhelming amount of creative ambition, there’s something about San Francisco that harbors passion-hungry individuals. From artists to chefs, pop-up shop owners to tech entrepreneurs, these people are not working to merely pay rent. In their case, the 9–5 workday does not apply. This city sifts through the weak, the unmotivated, the listless, like a landlord holding 50 rental applications in his hands, making room for only those who are die-hard for their cause.
It’s no coincidence that these people find solace in one another. The collection of couples listed below come from different backgrounds and each have different perspectives on love. Yet, after tracking down and interviewing each insanely busy couple, I found they all have one thing in common: They are just as deeply involved in bettering each other as they are in bettering San Francisco.
Aimee Le Duc (SF Arts Commission gallery manager) & Dana Younkin (chef de cuisine at Boulevard), with cat Sappho
Together since: 2005
Met at: Blind date at a mutual friend’s house
Live in: the Mission
Together since: 2006
Met at: Dolce bar, North Beach
Live in: South Beach
Valerie Luu (Rice Paper Scissors co-founder) & Iso Rabins (Forage SF and Underground Market founder)
Together since: 2008
Met at: Friend’s house party in the Haight
Live in: the Panhandle
James Freeman (Blue Bottle Coffee founder) & Caitlin Freeman (executive pastry chef at Blue Bottle Coffee), with son Dashiell
Together since: 2004
Met at: Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Live in: Alamo Square
Together since: 2001
Met at: the beer aisle at Safeway
Live in: Outer Sunset