FeaturesMost Eligible

SF’s Most Eligible

by Michelle Konstantinovsky

Just after New Year’s, I accidentally swiped right on a guy I’d already had a failed first date with the year before. This is it, I thought. The end of the line. The singles pool has officially run dry.

As any unattached San Franciscan will tell you, it’s hard out there for a single. Sure, dating apps and social media have infinitely expanded our options, but finding “the one” among a sea of swipers with Shiny Object Syndrome can be frustrating at best, frightening at worst.

But just as all hope seemed to be lost, I was tasked with putting together our 2018 Most Eligibles list, and let me tell you—this city’s singles market is thriving with A-list men and women. And while anyone would be lucky to put a ring on one of our picks, each unique, charismatic, lovely and talented person who made the list is perfectly complete as they are—partnered up or flying solo.

That said, if someone here catches your eye, you’d better act fast: The secret’s out that everyone on this list is a serious catch worthy of being swept (and swiped) off their feet and off the market.

Kelsey Cullen

As a Peninsula native, Cullen is a natural outdoor adventurer. “I love hiking in Marin, running the Lyon Street stairs, or walking my pup at Fort Point,” she says. As the founder of public relations firm KCPR, Cullen specializes in tech and venture capital clients, but off the clock she’s usually horseback riding, acrylic painting or enjoying all the Bay Area has to offer. “I’ve traveled extensively,” she says. “And I still find San Francisco to be the most beautiful city in the world.”

Joel Goodrich

As one of the Bay Area’s best-known luxury real estate agents, Goodrich is responsible for listing some of the country’s most impressive (and priciest) homes. But the former competitive figure skater and professional pianist is a Renaissance man who’s also executive-produced two films, supported various philanthropic efforts and appeared on a red carpet or two. “I love architecture, design, fashion and orchids,” he says. “They all bring beauty to the world!”

Nikita Shah

After graduating from Berkeley, San Jose native Shah lived in Seattle, Chicago and all around the Bay before settling in SF. The software engineer currently works at a start-up, but finds plenty of time for fun, too. “I love sports—both playing and watching,” says the rock climbing, skiing, soccer and field hockey enthusiast. “But I love watching college football—go Bears!” The outdoorsy athlete is also a big fan of board games and values family, friends and sincerity. Her ideal partner has “hopefully gone through something difficult in life and came out the other side having learned something about who he is or what he wants or how he wants to be able to handle something hard—regardless of how he did in the past.”

Julia Millay Walsh

She may be a New Jersey native, but after a decade in the Bay, Walsh considers herself a true California girl. As the founder of interior design marketing agency Install Day, the Pacific Heights resident helps clients realize their residential dreams. But when she’s off duty, she’s usually enjoying oysters at Zuni Café or sipping Whispering Angel with friends at the Balboa Café. “Design, writing, entertaining, travel and Sancerre are things I love,” Walsh says. “And I make a mean craft cocktail.”

Scott Matagrano

When he’s not striving for success as a hedge fund analyst, Matagrano is seeking self-improvement in other areas, including the golf course. “[I’m] constantly learning and trying to get better.” he says. When it comes to what he’s looking for in a significant other, Matagrano says he’s hoping for someone athletic, energetic, empathetic, thoughtful and equal parts sweet and strong. And while he loves city life, he’s got some tongue-in-cheek ideas about what makes SF special: “All the traffic provides ample time for discovering new podcasts and making phone calls!”

Evan Bliss

Texas-born Bliss put down roots in San Francisco a decade ago and has since made a name for himself as one of the city’s top-producing real estate agents, currently working for Climb Real Estate Group. The novice yogi and “moderately enthusiastic gym goer” is also an advanced cyclist; this will be his seventh year riding from SF to LA. Bliss’s quick wit calls for a partner in crime who can keep up with his quips and teach him something new. “Attractive and wealthy don’t hurt,” he jokes. “Is Christian Grey still with that girl?”

Dana Damara

Hailed as one of the Bay Area’s premier yoga instructors and advocates for female empowerment, Damara is also a mother, an author and a self-proclaimed mystic. “Sovereign women will change the world,” she says, “But not without the love and support of powerful, strong, vulnerable men by our side.” Connection and mutual respect are nonnegotiables for the spiritual entrepreneur seeking laughter and love with a partner who loves yoga, travel, spontaneous adventure and deep conversation. “No skimming the surface, please,” she says. “Life is too short for mediocre.”

Nora Kim

An ambitious Chicago native (she’s lived in D.C., Boston and the Philippines), Kim is always up for a challenge. Deeply committed to her fundraising role at Safe & Sound, a nonprofit working to end child abuse, she still finds time to foster SPCA dogs and train for athletic adventures. “I just ran a half marathon trail in Hawaii, and I’m looking to do my first triathlon in 2018,” she says. “I’m afraid of water, so this one is terrifying!” Something tells us she’ll succeed with flying colors.

Sukanya Kalia

A senior-level position at Sutter Health and the draw of the coast may have been what brought the Minnesota native out West, but Kalia quickly became hooked on Northern California life. “I love that there is constantly something fun and new to add to my never-ending bucket list,” she says. The avid traveler (Scotland and Costa Rica are favorites) and music fan (“’90s hip-hop is life”) considers the combination of humor, wisdom and passion a recipe for success. “My favorite people in the world share one trait: They make me laugh,” she says. “Also, intelligence and an unequivocal enthusiasm for life!”

Andrea Kochenderfer

It’s no surprise Clif Bar sourcing manager Andrea Kochenderfer is all about a healthy, active lifestyle, but the Auburn native is also passionate about salsa dancing and travel. (She just returned from Peru.) San Francisco’s diverse culture and scenic views have kept her planted in the city for 12 years, but she’s always up for an escape into nature. Kochenderfer’s ideal partner is on the same page, and should be “someone who shares my values and wants the same things out of life.”

Brianna Haag

Singles are likely familiar with her work (she heads up marketing for the dating app The League), but Haag may be more renowned for her philanthropic efforts: She’s raised more than $1 million for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by creating the legendary Mr. Marina Competition. Her professional experience has taught the avid skier and aspiring tennis player that SF is full of romantic potential. “It’s a city that attracts women and men who are total catches: driven, smart, athletic and kind,” she says. “I have been part of building something that has helped so many people find love—I decided 2018 is my turn!”

Thatcher Baker-Briggs

Canadian-born Baker-Briggs has dedicated his career to the finer things in life: specifically, fine dining. Now director of service and beverage at Saison, the chef and sommelier has traveled all around the world, recently returning from two years in Tokyo. (“Mostly to eat sushi and drink sake but also to work a little.”) His ideal partner has to meet at least two criteria: “The ability to differentiate between white and red wine is a must,” he says, “Sorry, no gluten allergies allowed!”

Jimmy Garoppolo

There are three types of people: Those in awe of Garoppolo’s skills on the gridiron, those in awe of Garoppolo’s Adonis-like looks, and those who fall into both camps—there are no in-betweens when it comes to Jimmy GQ. The Chicago-born 49ers quarterback comes from a tight-knit Italian family and first caught the eye of football fans when he shattered Tony Romo’s Eastern Illinois University touchdown record. In 2004, the single star quoted his dad’s advice during an interview with Dan Patrick: “Stay single as long as you can—you’ll be married the rest of your life.” No word on whether Garoppolo is ready to start the rest of his life now, but inquiring minds (and authors of eligible singles articles) want to know.

Elon Musk

If the thought of dating an internationally renowned entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $20.5 billion doesn’t intimidate you (or the fact that he’s been on and off with actress-lover Amber Heard), then Musk may be your dream man. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the thrice-married tech mogul (twice to the same woman, British actress Talulah Riley) and dad of five said, “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy.” Anyone up for filling that role?

Todd Hamblet

Hamblet has his hands full as the head of Uber’s corporate legal team, but his main job is being a devoted dad to his 9-year-old son. (That includes basketball and lacrosse coaching duties.) The New Hampshire native and UC Hastings alum loves to travel (go-to getaway: Maui), read (non-legal documents) and strive for the ever-elusive single-digit golf handicap. (He’s not too shabby in the kitchen either.) Hamblet loves San Francisco’s innovative spirit and wealth of “intelligent and talented people who are driven to truly change the world.” He also believes romance is alive and well. “Chivalry is not dead,” he says. “There are gentlemen in the world.”

Kevin Durant

In a world where singles routinely encounter lying, cheating and—ugh—ghosting, Durant’s reputation as an NBA nice guy deserves major bonus points off the court. The 6’9˝ Golden State Warriors champion has won just about every professional accolade imaginable (including an MVP award and two Olympic gold medals), but the newly minted YouTuber (with more than half a million subscribers and counting) is still surprisingly single. Are you the Ayesha to his Steph Curry? The Kate to his William? The Amal to his Clooney? You get the idea.

 

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