Over the last couple years, I've gotten a lot more serious about finding a life partner. This piece is an exercise in outlining who I am, what I bring to a relationship, and what I'm looking for in a partner. I've often struggled to articulate these things effectively, so I've decided to sit down and write this, however cringey it may be. In large part, I'm writing this for myself, but I guess it might help to share it too.
If you think you're right for me (or have someone in mind), please reach out.
My name is William Wolf (né Strimling).
I'm 28 years old, but I'm a bit of an old soul. I generally find that I relate more to people older than me. I'm on the cusp of Gen Z, but I'm definitely more of a Millenial at heart.
I am 5' 7" (~169cm) tall, if height is important to you. It's probably the thing I'm most self-conscious about and also my superpower, because I find that it causes people to underestimate me.
I have a large, blended family. My parents are divorced, and each has a new partner. I have three siblings: one biological sister, a step-brother, and a step-sister. I'm the youngest. I have cousins I don't have much of a relationship with, and second-cousins once-removed who I see often. There are also many people I consider family who aren't related to me at all.
I grew up in Piedmont, CA, which is just across the bay from San Francisco. Most of my family still lives around there. I hate San Francisco because I love San Francisco.
I went to the University of Washington in Seattle, where I studied Computer Science. I didn't really like Seattle. The weather was too dreary, and I found the people standoffish. That said, I don't think there's anywhere in the world more beautiful than Seattle in the summertime.
I love to travel. I always feel like I haven't done enough of it. New York City is home right now (and the best city), but San Francisco is the center of my world (both personally and professionally), and my heart is in Tel Aviv. Eventually, I'd like to live a life that allows for traveling frequently or even living across multiple places.
I'm a creative technologist. I know that term sounds kind of bullshity, but it's the most descriptive way I've come up with of describing the work I do. Right now, I'm the founder of a venture-backed tech startup (my second one). In the past I've been a software engineer, a product designer, a product manager, a visual journalist, and a researcher. I'm most interested in the ways technology can help bring people closer together — which was the basis for my current startup and my previous one. You can learn more about my professional career on my website.
I am Jewish, and had a Bar Mitzvah, but am not very religious otherwise. However, I resonate a lot with Jewish values and find a lot of belonging in Jewish communities. So, I think of it as being an important part of my identity. I have also lived in Israel, and consider myself a Zionist.
I am socially progressive and fiscally moderate. I believe love is love, you can identify however you want, and that a woman should be empowered to choose to end a pregnancy. I support social safety nets, universal health care, and regulation against anti-competitive business practices. I love America; it's not without its faults, but I love how it enables class mobility, supports entrepreneurship, and fosters unparalled diversity.
I'm an avid reader. I enjoy reading everything from contemporary fiction, to German literature, to dense biographies, to research papers, to popsci, and everything in between. I used to read 50+ books a year, but now it's closer to one every other week.
I live an active life. I exercise almost every day, usually for about an hour. I enjoy weightlifting for fitness and as a sort of meditative activity. For recovery, I've been getting into yoga. For cardio, I try to run or erg 2-3x a week. As trite as it sounds, I really like walking, and try to get in at least 15k steps per day. I also enjoy hiking and snowboarding, but don't get to do either nearly enough.
I try to eat well, but don't follow a strict diet. At one point I followed a ketogenic diet, but I found that obsessing about carbs was itself unhealthy, and, more importantly, it made me unhappy. Being flexible about what I eat is one of my greatest joys — I love trying new foods and cuisines without much consideration for ingredients. That said, I do my best to avoid processed and fast foods.
I don't smoke or do drugs. I sometimes drink alcohol, but almost never to the point of being drunk. I have infrequently smoked weed in my life, but it's not something I'm into. I have tried psychadelics too, but again, it's not something that's important to me.
I'm fairly extroverted. I prefer being around people and enjoy meeting strangers. I maintain a lot of friendships including childhood friends, college friends, work friends, and random people I met at parties, hostels, and coffee shops. I'm not really into "going out," for the most part. I find crowds overwhelming, and I vastly prefer sitting and having a conversation with someone. I love dancing, but mostly poorly at home, rather than at a club.
I take life pretty seriously. I like to have fun and go on adventures, but I don't think anyone would describe me as care-free. I find what makes me happy is focusing on what gives me purpose (my work, helping people) and what gives me belonging (family, community). I love investing in relationships and projects. For most things I do in life — I'm in it for the long-haul. I don't give up easily on people or on things I believe in. I do what I say I'll do, and I show up.
I'm ambitious, but not goal-oriented. I love to build things, and I get most excited about projects that have the potential to effect change at-scale in some way. I also try to constantly challenge myself and compare myself only to who I was before, rather than to other people. I think it's nice to have goals, but either you don't reach them and feel an undeserved sense of failure, or do reach them and ask yourself "now what?" Instead, I try to focus on continuing to find ways to do what I love to do, so long as I'm able to provide for myself (and eventually, my family).
I pride myself on being self-reliant. I don't want to ever depend on someone else for my happiness, safety, or sense of purpose.
I love drinking tea. I got really into it during COVID, in lieu of baking sourdough bread. Now I collect tea, and enjoy the ceremony around it. I also love the vibe of sharing tea with friends and strangers — I find it to be intimate in a way that alcohol and coffee are not. In my senior year of college, I even did a tea-related social experiment.
I practice monogamy. As a rule, I don't really do 'casual' relationships, and the idea of seeing multiple at the same time gives me anxiety. I've been in two significant long-term relationships, each about 4 years long, and a few serious, shorter relationships. Ultimately, each relationship ended because we either grew apart or wanted different things.
I try to be open-minded about people. I find it difficult to reduce people to 'types' or choose one as my preference. As a result, I've dated a variety of people including both men and women. I also generally find myself most attracted to people based on a shared emotional connection, rather than any physical traits.
As I've gotten more serious about dating, I've also become more picky. I still lead with my heart and don't care so much about your body or how you identify, but I do care about your values, habits, and goals.
In other words, I care about what you care about.
I want my partner to value family. This starts with me and you, in addition to our respective families. That doesn't mean you need to have a great relationship with your family, but ideally you aspire to. I want kids, but I am open to adoption and fostering — I believe every kid deserves a loving home, and if/when I have the means, I'd like to find a way to open mine to those who don't have one.
I want my partner to value community. Hopefully you care as much as I do about being an active member of your community and society at large. It doesn't matter if that means volunteering in a soup kitchen, working at a summer camp, running for office, or something else entirely, as long as you like to be involved in our world.
I want my partner to believe in something. You should be generally optimistic about the future. I find nihilism and pessimism exhausting. Ideally, our beliefs are mostly the same, but it's more important that you arrived at yours independently and respect my own. You should also care about politics and social issues, possibly to the point of activism — I find this is a good proxy for people who care about society and their place in it.
I want my partner to contain multitudes. I think it's important that no one belief or aspect of your identity should dominate your personality. Per Walt Whitman, I find the mark of maturity is the capacity to simultaneously hold a set of beliefs that are apparently contradictory.
I want my partner to value health and fitness. This is a big part of my life, and it matters a lot to me that we both prioritize living a long, healthy life, for ourselves and as role models for future kids. To me, this looks like abstaining from smoking and addictive drugs, limiting alcohol consumption, and having a lifestyle oriented around being outside and moving your body.
I want my partner to be ambitious. I actually prefer that it's not in the same way I am. It might be through your career — maybe you're a doctor, lawyer, artist, or are trying to effect change in the world through a newsletter you write. I think it's even possible to be ambitious about family. All that matters is that you have a growth-mindset, and happen to the world, rather than letting the world happen to you.
I want my partner to be curious. I love learning about new things, and I want to share that with my partner. Maybe you value continued education, or read the news every day, or fall down wikipedia rabbit holes regularly. It doesn't matter really how you're curious — I just have a hard time relating to people who accept things at face value and don't ask "why?"
I want my partner be well read. It could be pulp romance; I just think reading says something about your attention span, and demonstrates an interest in engaging with new stories or learning new things.
I want my partner to be Jewish. This one is the hardest for me to assert because I was not raised to be particularly religious, am not religious now, and don't believe in any conventional definition of God. I have also never adhered to Halakha. Judaism is important to me for three reasons:
- I like the culture. I find the traditions very meaningful, and like that they've persisted over generations.
- I found a sense of belonging in the Jewish community, especially in my twenties, and especially in Israel.
- I find that this is a good proxy for a set of ineffable values that matter to me in a partner.
I want my partner to be my partner. While this main seem tautological, it's important to me that our relationship is a partnership where together we are greater than we are individually. We should contribute different things to the relationship, and support each other in our individual endeavors. We are a team — my success is your success, and vice versa. Instead of allowing adversity or conflict to come between us, we approach everything that comes up as us against the problem.
I'm pretty open-minded about where life takes me long-term, so I hope you are too.