With its breathtaking views, incredible cuisine, and tense political climate, you’re not moving to San Francisco so much as forging into a relationship with it. One that will change, challenge you, and cost you a lot of money. Anyone who has lived at the 7×7 at one point will tell you that loving San Francisco isn’t always easy – but who said it was core-shaking relationships?

I was born in San Francisco but grew up 30 minutes north when I was two. I lived in an apartment in Nob Hill for six and a half years, paying rent for both freelance and technical salaries. I am white and was born third due to the zip code I inherited. That being said, moving to SF from anywhere can provoke some serious emotions and possibly be one of the more complex relationships in your life.

San Francisco Rafael Ramirez Lee / Shutterstock

The first stage: The Chase

At this point in the game, you don’t really know San Francisco. But you know about it. How could you not SF is both in demand and overexposed – much like the famous Instagram. We can hardly go through a news cycle without someone writing a trending piece about the 7×7 or one of its neighbors. And if the city were a true single woman, she’d share her Instagram with lots of pictures of the lush curves of its coastline. Maybe even with the hashtag #wokeuplikethis if she feels it. San Francisco isn’t just a flirt, it’s a city of legend and myth, and if you are about to start a relationship with SF, it probably seduced you long before you met its pretty shores.

What you are doing: Online stalking. It’s okay, there is literally no other way to find an apartment here.

San Francisco Flickr / Giuseppe Milo

The second phase: the honeymoon phase

Welcome to an adult playground. Jump right in – the water is cold but you don’t care – you are here! Now that you have arrived, you are in that dizzying, exhilarating phase where you are dying to discover all of the wonders of San Francisco and soak up everything it has to offer, from pubs to hiking trails. You’re love drunk and confused more than a little bit of alcohol.

What you are doing: Nightlife in any museum, on the way through bucket lists and those 53 things (preferably before you turn 30).

San Francisco Flickr / Davide D’Amico Follow

The third stage: your first fight

There comes a time in any relationship with San Francisco when you see a side of it that leads you to become “meh”. It’s 50 degrees in July. There is a 45 minute wait for brunch. Ugh Muni.

Whatever annoys you about San Francisco, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but it is definitely the seemingly small thing that stays a constant annoyance with every subsequent problem you have with this high-maintenance city. A bit like when you first discover what struggle you will have with your significant other until you either break up or one of you dies. Take a deep breath; we will make it.

What you are doing: Probably talking about the weather. It’s too cold; it’s foggy in one corner but sunny in another; Even though you’re hot now, you’ll need a sweater later. What’s the shortest distance you can drive to find the sun?

San Francisco Flickr / Chris Goldberg

The fourth level: The Netflix and chill zone

Even if San Francisco isn’t perfect, it’s hard to stay angry when it looks this good.

At this point, you and SF have a good thing ahead of you. They know their secrets – especially when dealing with the bar – and think every day about how lucky you are to live in the best city in the world (on these 13 things).

What you are doing: You can still be Facebook RSVPing on activity dates with your boo, but San Francisco’s epitome of flakiness has impacted you, which means you choose to go to your favorite neighborhood pizza just as often as you do in this one Be super indulging. cozy SF-local feeling. If you are lucky, this stage will take a long time, and if you are very, very lucky you can come back to it even after facing the impossible expectations of the city and the terrible struggles for money, gentrification, and weird people in the bus.

Santa Cruz Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

The fifth stage: Spicing It Up

You still love San Francisco, but you’re not ruling out the occasional three-way deal with Oakland. Or Alameda. Or Marin. Or Santa Cruz. In fact, you’ve lived here long enough to realize that one of the best things about living in San Francisco is leaving the city to visit its neighbors.

What you are doing: Road trips to California, weekend getaways near SF, and day trips. Every warm weekend is booked with trips to waterfalls, wine country, breweries and even special trips to eat oysters.

San Francisco rain Flickr / Thomas Hawk

The sixth stage: “Is the juice worth the pressure?” phase

You’re starting to notice something you’ve always known: San Francisco is in trouble. There’s the incredibly high rents, the lack of diversity, and a culture that is often only aimed at the wealthy elite. Muni is still sucking and it really was the coldest summer. In other words, you feel trapped in San Francisco’s golden handcuffs.

Whether you can remember San Francisco before that last tech boom or came here because of it, this city forces you to ask yourself difficult questions: can you make it work? Will you make change Or will you watch helplessly as things change around you? Its relentless ups and downs and extremes in all areas, from the elevation to the distribution of wealth, constantly raise the fundamental question of the worthiness of a relationship: Is the juice worth the pressure?

What you are doing: Combing Craigslist – this time for Oakland Apartments.

San Francisco Flickr / Thomas Hawk

The seventh stage: acceptance

There is some good news about this strained, deliciously dysfunctional relationship. If you can do it, there won’t be a more worthwhile place to go. With all its problems, SF has it all – from the wide view (apparently around every corner) and the closeness to nature. Culture is a constant state of revolution against the backdrop of history, protected and perpetuated by those who believe in the idea of ​​this small but powerful city.

I too felt the weight of San Francisco’s golden handcuffs, maybe now more than ever – the feeling that it also means leaving behind everything I fell in love with … maybe forever. I don’t know if I’m ready for this type of commitment. During my worst fights with San Francisco, I remember that there is no denying that this beautiful place offers an unforgettable proposition no matter how long it takes.

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Amy Copperman’s relationship with San Francisco became Facebook official in 2010, but it was long before that. Stalk San Francisco on her Instagram.