There are six girlfriends in the game:
- Denise Robinson: Found automatically in the course of the game's missions.
- Millie Perkins: Found automatically in the course of the game's missions.
- Michelle Cannes: Inside the Driving School in San Fierro.
- Barbara Schternvart: El Quebrados, Tierra Robada (northwest of the Sherman Dam).
- Helena Wankstein: Blueberry, Red County (northwest of Los Santos).
- Katie Zhan: On the edge of the Avispa Country Club in San Fierro (south of the gym).
Each of these women (outside of those that you meet due to missions) will have blue arrows when you first see them; all you need to do to get them to go out with you is walk up to them, then respond positively when they ask you on a date. Note that each woman will have a body type that she prefers; Katie likes a guy with lots of muscles, for example, while Michelle prefers someone a little tubbier. If you don't fit a woman's needs when you first approach them, they'll tell you so. All women require lots of Sex Appeal, though, so get some expensive clothes and a nice haircut before you try to get a girl to step out with you.
When you do have a girlfriend available, her home will show up on your map with a heart icon. If they're home, you can take them out to dinner by showing up and walking into the red circle outside. A woman will be impressed if you show up in a car with a lot of Sex Appeal, itself; there are obviously hundreds of different vehicles from which to choose, but, in general, the more expensive a car looks, the more impressed your woman will be. When in doubt, go for the fastest car you can find; vehicles like the Bullet, Banshee, Infernus, etc., will be sure to get your girl all excited. A damaged vehicle won't impress them overmuch, though, so be sure to get to her house in one piece.
After you arrive for your date, your girlfriend will let you know what kind of entertainment she's looking for. In most cases, she'll request some form of dinner or drinks, so take her out to a restaurant and show her a good time. She might also request to go out dancing, in which case you'll have to take her out to a club, or to have fun, which will vary based on the girl. Denise, for example, will want you to take her to rival gang territory and engage in drive-bys.
After you take your date out and drop her off at her home, you can give her something with the L1 button. You'll notice small bouquets of flowers around San Andreas; that's what they're there for. You don't have to give your girlfriend flowers, though; you can try handing something else off to her, but there's no guarantee she'll like it. You can also kiss her with the L1 button. Each gift or kiss will improve your progress with that girlfriend a bit, as will the date itself.
(As a note, if you progress along with obtain Barbara and Kate as girlfriends, you'll be able to keep your weapons if you get wasted or arrested, so be sure to pick them up as soon as possible!)
Gyms And Nutrition
If you want to keep CJ fit as a fiddle, you'll need to balance two things: his exercise, and the amount of food that he eats. These two tasks are measured with three stats: his Fat, his Muscle, and his Nutrition. The last stat is hidden, and won't be visible to you.
Fat and Muscle are somewhat antipodal properties, but aren't complete opposites, as you might expect; you can have a maxed Muscle bar, but still have a little fat on your bones, for instance, and this is probably the ideal situation for CJ. Muscle is, of course, built up in gyms, by using the weight machines; you can usually max out the Muscle bar in just three or four visits to a gym, so if you're looking to get shredded, you can do so easily. Building up Muscle will also burn off any Fat that you've accumulated, which can be a good or bad thing. Usually it's bad, but you can easily get a bit of Fat back on your bones by eating after working out, so it's not something you need to worry about.
The key fact to remember here is that CJ does indeed have that invisible Nutrition stat lurking in the background; if it manages to run out, CJ's body will start to metabolize its constituent components in order to create energy. (Which is likely the most ridiculous sentence ever used to describe a Grand Theft Auto game, but hey, it is what it is.) If you go too long without a meal, then, CJ will start to burn away Fat and Muscle, or even eventually start to reduce his maximum Health. Not a good thing!
Another reason to bring around a bit of Fat is that you will actually burn Muscle when performing normal game activities, such as running or swimming, if you don't have a bit of Fat on your bones. You'll naturally burn Muscle while idling (which is a good reason to pause the game if you have to step away from your console), but if you're running out of Fat and haven't eaten in a while, the rate of decay appears to quicken. The doctor's prescription: eat a couple of square meals after each of your Gym sessions, or, if you're serious about not burning muscle, eat as much as you can without having it affect CJ's in-game appearance. Don't eat too much, though, as CJ will get sick and throw up if you stuff him too much.