Love chase!

Dating can be a hot mess. Let SN&R break down amorous options for this Valentine’s Day.

Don’t look behind you. It’s getting closer. You can practically feel its breath on the back of your neck—that cloying smell of candy hearts, overpriced roses and crushing expectations. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us.

Sacramento’s night-life scene has grown exponentially in the last decade. And online dating sites have enlarged the dating pool to oceanic proportions. Undeniably, there are more dating options in Sacramento than ever before, but somehow, it doesn’t seem any easier to meet people.

After a few hours scrolling through profiles on or, everyone starts to sound the same. And despite the proliferation of Foursquare, Grindr, Facebook check-ins and a half-dozen other apps that let you know which sexy people are sharing the bar you’re in, it hasn’t gotten any less frightening to approach a stranger and express interest.

We get that, so we’ve created this issue to help you find your buoyancy in the dating pool. We collected pickup strategies, niche dating ideas and professional relationship help from SN&R advice columnist Joey Garcia. And just to make you feel better, we also printed our readers’ most horrific and hilarious bad-date stories.

But first, begin with SN&R’s Official Dating Breakdown Guide, basically a Wikipedia for aspiring lovers and singles on the prowl in Sacramento. If your past efforts at hooking up have, well, broken down, this is the breakdown you’ve been looking for.