Date Ideas

What is Cuffing Season and Why Does It Matter?

With holidays approaching, you may find yourself wanting a relationship more than usual. As the days get shorter and the weather cools down, singles are looking for a relationship that will tie them over the next few months, but perhaps not endure into the spring. This heightened desire for a semi permanent relationship occurs during “Cuffing Season”.

Cuffing season begins during that stretch of fall when the weather begins to cool off and everyone you know starts coupling up. It specifically describes the desire to couple up or “cuff” ourselves to a partner during the chilly months—and stay together until spring. The trend is undeniable, but what causes it? Is this preference to cozy up just a preference or are we biologically engineered to get monogamous during the cooler months?

Is “Cuffing Season” actually real?

Short answer is yes—winters yield a higher rate of conception; spring yields changes to Facebook relationship statuses. When Hinge, a popular dating app, polled users, they discovered that men were 15% more likely to look for a relationship in the winter than any other season. Women were 5% more interested in a monogamous relationship, too.

Is “Cuffing Season” the result of biological impulses?

Experts agree that although people tend to pair up during winter months, the urge to couple up is not substantiated by any biological impulse. In fact, humans have evolved to a point beyond mating seasons. Scientists note that humans associate cold temperatures with loneliness, which could prompt the urge to get monogamous, but ultimately, the need to “cuff” ourselves to each other isn’t a biological or evolutionary response.

So, how do I handle the “Cuffing Season” urge?

Those urges to couple up aren’t easy to avoid. Between plus-one invites and fears of experiencing the holidays alone, you might find yourself approaching relationships from a place of neediness instead of real affection. Make sure the chemistry is real by taking any relationship you start this winter on the slow side. Gift giving, family travel, and plus one invites might add a little more complication to your dating life than usual. Don’t let the stress of the holidays rush your love life. Remember, spring is right around the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance and Dining in Silicon Valley

Couple Enjoying Meal In Restaurant

Anyone can book a table for two at the hottest restaurant in town, so what is the #1 key to impressing your dinner date and setting the stage for an unforgettable romantic evening?  Location, location, location!

Far too many Bay Area diners excitedly book prime time dinner reservations at expensive restaurants only to be seated at less than desirable tables for romantic meals.  Your $200+ dinner is well worth it when you’ve scored a private table with a view and feels like a horrible mistake when you’re seated next to the bathroom or an inch away from the couple seated next to you.

Think about it – would you ever spend the same amount for a middle seat in Economy Class on a plane as you would for a window seat in First Class?  Of course not!  In the restaurant business, why should you pay premium prices if you’re sitting at a lousy table? You shouldn’t.

There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances for a successful dinner date.  Obviously, showing up on time and dressed in a manner that shows that you care about your appearance and that you respect your date’s time and attention are top priorities.

However, if you’re in charge of choosing the restaurant, you’d be well advised to also follow my maxim, “You don’t want a romantic restaurant.  You want a romantic table.”  Our new website, mostromantictable.com, helps diners find and book the most romantic dinner tables at restaurants around the world.  We’ve launched in New York, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, Wine Country, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

Here in Silicon Valley, Chez TJ, is well known as one of the most romantic restaurants in the area.  For over 30 years, the restaurant has been the preferred location for innumerable proposals, engagements, and birthday celebrations.  All tables at Chez TJ are great, but dining at either Table 42 or Table 43 will transform your dining experience.  Both tables are located in the quiet, comfortable, tastefully decorated front parlor room of the Victorian mansion that houses the restaurant.  Both are next to windows that will provide you and your date with plenty of conversational fodder as you watch the world go by.  The food at Chez TJ is exceptional, as evidenced by the Michelin stars it consistently earns for its outstanding contemporary French cuisine.

Perhaps the most romantic dinner experience in the valley is in The Champagne Room at Saratoga’s The Plumed Horse Restaurant.  The Champagne Room holds a table for two in a curtained alcove off of the restaurant’s lounge.  Piano music greets you as you sit down at your table while candles and light from a stained glass window illuminate the room.  The Champagne Room offers privacy and an ambiance conducive to an intimate meal.  The Plumed Horse is celebrated for both its food and wine – it’s food has been recognized by Michelin with at least one star every year since 2008, and the Wine Spectator has given The Plumed Horse 1 out of only 81 worldwide Grand Awards for its wine program.

According to OpenTable, almost 70% of their diners wish they could have table specific information when making their dinner reservations.  In general, it’s good advice to call a restaurant either before or after making a reservation to ensure that you’ll be seated at a table appropriate for the occasion.  You can significantly improve your chances for a successful date by choosing your restaurant and your table from the incredible selection available at www.mostromantictable.com.

Guest Blogger Jay Ward, founder of MostRomanticTable.com. After taking his girlfriend to more than 160 restaurants in the first two-and-a-half years of their relationship, Jay conceived of the idea for MostRomanticTable.com.

Don’t Date Like an Antelope!!! Leave the Bar behind…

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Sometimes it helps to provide some metaphoric imagery to get our point across when it comes to dating.

Imagine yourself on the African savannah. If you were a male antelope, you might very well be the type to line up alongside other male antelope, in discrete “mini-territories,” waiting for females to arrive on the breeding grounds, so that you could court them.

It is not unlike when men line up at a bar waiting for a prospective date to walk through the door.  The scientific term for this is called arena or “lekking” behavior.  It’s a strange word—so it’s no wonder that it hasn’t caught on, or yet found its way into Urban Dictionary. But a handful of animal species do it, and human males attempt to do it all the time, especially at the bar.

In breeding season, male antelope and males of other species have a few options when it comes to courting potential significant others.

They may defend and protect harems, or guard property and possessions.  Some may choose to dominate other males. If those options don’t appeal to them, they may choose to “lek”, just like you would at the bar.  In fact, if you walk in the bar and aren’t already accompanied by a bevy of attractive women, didn’t just leave your Bentley with the valet, and aren’t an alpha male, you may consider it your only option.

And if you do choose to lek, like an antelope, you will have to do your best to look as confident and attractive as possible, while females approach at the bar.  You may even have to look like Matthew McConaughey or have game that defies logic to get the attention of women at the bar.   Although the lekking or bar option may be of benefit to a handful of species of antelope, fruit bats, and sea lions, it doesn’t seem to be working too well for a lot of men out there these days, and it is certainly not an atmosphere in which many of our clients excel.

Yes, many women may converge upon the bar, but meeting them at such a venue rarely leads to something substantial like a relationship.  We hear about unsubstantial, and perhaps, sordid flings all the time, but even those are usually few are far between, in reality.

Without getting into too much detail concerning mating systems of the animal kingdom, the occurrence of lekking seems to be density dependent. By that, we mean that finding success by sitting at the bar stool is really a numbers game. Hence, the success of lekking depends on how many men vs. women show up to a given venue. It seems to work as a courting strategy when there are a lot more females than males converging upon a given location.  Reality-based TV shows like The Bachelor showcase the benefits from lekking when there are 20 girls to each guy. Real life—not so much!

Most men tell us here at Linx Dating that on any given weekend evening there are usually a lot more men hanging out at bars than women. Even if there are just a few more men than women, the most confident alpha male still has to work really hard to attract and court a prospective mate. This is why lekking at the bar is generally a poor strategy for humans out on the dating scene.

If you are back on the market, we suggest that you extinguish the arena behavior and leave the lekking venue (i.e., the bar) behind.  One way to do this is to develop a hobby or passion that draws a particular type of person to an event of mutual interest.  Trust us, if antelope had time for hobbies they would much rather lure a date to do something fun and of mutual interest, than try to prove themselves on the one day out of a whole year that the females are in heat.

These hobbies and passions could be literally anything from: coed hiking clubs, coed book clubs, embracing your inner geek with continuing education at Stanford University,  or sailing class. Maybe it means sweating your way through regular spin class at Soul Cycle. Bring your A-game and friendly attitude and introduce yourself around the room. If you’re a novice at something like spin for instance, admit it, smile, ask for help getting set up, and make new friends. Survey the room and plant yourself next to someone of the opposite sex. Adopt the mentality that he/she might not be “the one” for you but maybe that new spin buddy has friends and can open your world up to new opportunities and connections. You gotta work it and work at it to get ahead in your personal life!

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If you have always wanted to learn how to cook or perhaps are already an experienced cook who enjoys learning new techniques and recipes and you live in the Bay Area check out cooking classes through Sur La Table or Dragers Market.

As you make plans this weekend to grab drinks at the local wine room with your single friends, remember to not date like an antelope! Leave the bar behind and try something entirely new. You might very well meet that special someone you never expected!

8 Outdoor Dates for June in the Bay Area

Even San Francisco fog can’t fully disguise the extended daylight hours of the next several weeks, so do yourself a favor and get outside for a date or two as Summer displaces Spring. From a Japantown food tour to ultimate Frisbee to a nighttime walkabout through important parts of SF history, the month of June promises to let the intrepid among us sample a little bit of everything.iStock_000026905060Small

Two Valleys for the Price of One…

Daily during the summer – If you want to cross Yosemite off of your bucket list but don’t like to drive, hop on a tour bus that takes you from San Francisco all the way to Yosemite Valley and back, with a stop in the agriculturally vital Central Valley along the way. Be sure to take your camera. And sunscreen. And bug spray.

East Meets West…

June 6-8th – Head to AT&T Park this coming weekend to see the SF Giants take on the NY Mets. If watching the national pastime in a stadium with ocean views isn’t enough for you, Saturday tickets include free Sergio Romo Superhero Socks, and Sunday tickets entitle you to your very own Hello Kitty Giants Plush. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks are available for purchase.

Ready Oar Not…

June 9-13th, Daily – See how well your date can bond with your fur-covered best friend as all of you set out on a Russian River paddle-canoe raft! Canine (and human, of course) children are welcome on these relaxed and refreshing outdoor adventures where you can see if your pet really knows how to doggy paddle.

Tune in, Tokyo…

June 13th — If you like your seafood raw and your furniture small and colorful, this Japantown walking tour of outstanding eateries might be just right for you. Stops change regularly, but the focus is neighborly rather than culinary, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself in DOSA Fillmore or Crown & Crumpet. Sushi aside, it might help to know exactly how you like to take your tea.

Who You Gonna Call…?

June 14th – If you manage to survive Friday the 13th, step out the next night for a viewing of Ghostbusters with thousands of other SF locals. There’s no better excuse for spooning in public than watching an outdoor movie at night, but you might want to bring a couple of blankets and pack a picnic as well; just breathing the air in Dolores Park has been known to conjure all sorts of appetites.

A Little Bit of History Repeating…

June 18th – If you’ve ever been curious about the seedier side of San Francisco’s history, try a walking tour of the old Barbary Coast. A local crime expert and noted historian will guide you out of the present and into the past as you visit the birthplace of the gold rush, explore the sites of some notorious brothels, and (probably) find out how the City by the Bay came to be famous for booms, busts, and bourbon-based cocktails.

Join a Biker Gang…

June 20-22nd – Arrange a double date or invite some friends to meet the minimum requirement of four riders in order to form a personal peleton for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on motorized bicycles. Cruise into foggy Sausalito for lunch, and then take the ferry back to urbanity. No one needs to know you had a little help maintaining your cruising speed; just tell your friends that the entire experience was… electric.

Duck, Duck… Oops!

June 28th – Revisit your college days (and try to avoid getting hit) as you watch perfectly nice guys with great educations chase flying saucers across a grassy field by taking in a game of Professional Ultimate Disc! The SF FlameThrowers are a franchise team in this fledging sport, and – just like in college – these guys are still trying very hard to get attention.

Ten Bay Area Date Ideas for May…

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael Norman

Even though summer has yet to officially start, the Bay area social scene is already hot with options for shaking up the status quo. Whether you want to step out with someone special or just grab a friend and step out of your comfort zone, the month of May is ripe with opportunities for making new memories. Check out ten of our favorites below: iStock_000038766014Small

Save the Bay… and Save Room for Dessert

Oysters have long been thought an aphrodisiac, so taking your date to the Bubbles and Bivalves benefit on Thursday, May 8th could make you seem sexier in more ways than one. Enjoy offerings from Epic Roasthouse, Domaine Chandon, Lusk 25, Speakeasy Brewery and others while you support the Watershed Project and its Living Shoreline program.

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away…

If your preferred Friday night activities involve a DJ and a dance floor, but you’re still looking for a bit of variety, consider a Midnight Cruise from SF Nightlife on May 9th. Depart from Pier 40, boogie the night away on a luxury yacht with a crowd of strangers dressed in their Friday night finest, and spend Saturday reliving the dream (and recovering).

Hurray for Bollywood!

Take advantage of the Bay area’s multicultural flavor by spending May 10th at the Nonstop Bhangra dance party at Public Works. After months of headliners and big name talent, this month is a “Back to Basics” event, with lessons and instruction that make it perfect for beginners and Bollywood buffs alike.

Get Over Hump Day with… a Blunt?

On Wednesday, May 14th, recording artist James Blunt will be performing live at the legendary Fillmore in SF. The British recording artist and heartbreaker will be singing songs from his latest international smash album, Moon Landing, as well as other highlights from the past decade of his career.

Get to Know a Gallerina…

Slated for May 15-18 at the Fort Mason Center, this year’s ArtMarketSF promises to deliver the best of the contemporary Bay area art scene in the confines of one historic building. Along with local standouts, galleries from London, New York, Idaho (yes, Idaho) and even Tel Aviv will be present. With so many options in one place, something (or someone) is bound to get your attention.

Dress for Excess…

Surprisingly, Bay to Breakers is actually the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world, and the 102nd edition will take place on the morning of May 18th. Participants have been known to dress up (and down) in all sorts of ways for this 12k race, so while we can’t guarantee that your date will only have eyes for you, we can safely say that the dress code for this is event is No Jacket Required.

Exercise Your Eye for Fashion…

On the evening of May 18th, check out Midnight Metropolis at Ruby Skye where students from the Fashion Department of City College of SF showcase their creations while competing for a scholarship to attend the Academy of Art. This year’s inspirations include Braveheart and Burning Man, among others, so consider this a glimpse of life on the Playa.

Set Some GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLS!

From May 23-25, take part in Carnaval, the largest multi-cultural celebration held on the West coast. This year’s theme is a celebration of the World Cup, so be part of the fun as the spirits of soccer and samba take over eight full blocks of Harrison St. in San Francisco. More than 400,000 visitors are expected; you may want to bring your own ball.

Look Out For Giants…

On May 24th and 25th (and most weekends over the coming months) take a ride aboard the Salty Lady to the Farallon Islands where you can participate in hunger, seasickness, and whale watching! Warning: the hunger and seasickness are actually optional(plan ahead for both cases) but the seafaring and tight quarters are not.

Spin the Bottle at Bottle Rock…

A great fit for the culinarily curious and the culturally omnivorous, the annual BottleRock festival in Napa takes places May 30-June 1. More than sixty acts (from Smash Mouth to Howie Day, Outkast to LL Cool J) provide the entertainment while restaurants and wineries like Morimoto, Il Posto, Rombauer, and Clos Du Val provide nearly everything else. Pick a day of preferred entertainment, take a date, and make a toast to bon appetit… for two!

What’s Happening in Silicon Valley?

Are you watching HBO’s “Silicon Valley”- last night was the second episode. It’s comical and entertaining into the lives of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs trying to build the next big thing! According to journalist Evelyn M. Rusli with the Wall Street Journal, it is not exactly accurate in terms of how fundraising in Silicon Valley really works though. marriage_proposal

We’ve been so inundated here at Linx lately and there is SO much excitement. I JUST got news of another Linx engagement today…..I am seriously on cloud 9 for them. He proposed 9 months after their very first Linx date! Yeay! Yeay!

I also got word of another couple having a baby together….from a match that was made years ago. There were break-ups involved and now they are seriously back together, happy as clams, and with a baby on the way soon! That’s life for you. It’s uncertain, crazy at times, completely exciting, and fun. Bartender with group at bar

We have a lot of great new clients in the network and it keeps growing by the day. We are in the midst of planning a summer Link & Drink….I know….can you believe it? The demand is huge for the next event. It has been 2.5 years since an actual Linx soiree and this one is going to be huge, fabulous, and THE summer event of the season. Stay tuned.

We are also gearing up for a massive VIP search for one phenomenal Silicon Valley bachelor client of ours. He’s young, he’s a CEO, good looking, and ready for marriage and babies. Bay Area ladies, stay tuned for major updates about this exciting opportunity we will be announcing soon.

On a different note, a lot of people ask me for “the” places to check out in the Valley.

I am contacted by media pretty much weekly to ask me about the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel. My honest opinion is that it still has cache and its best asset is the real estate. On a warm summer night, I will say it is a ton of fun to go there with a carefree attitude and mingle on the deck with a diverse group of men and women of all ages, backgrounds and, of course, agendas! 😉 Thursday nights have shifted a bit. I have gone there and the older female crowd is definitely on the prowl, yet other Thursdays are younger women and older men. Certainly some young techies do go there to see “who” is there and sometimes they rub elbows with an older mature woman. Many younger women go there on the hunt for their future husbands as well.

Why go there? Well, I think the actual restaurant is excellent for “power breakfasts”- VCs, entrepreneurs unite to talk deals and enjoy a beautiful setting for a 60 min breakfast at the hotel. Has a sort of New York feel to it in the sense of being time efficient and a place to bang out ideas/deals over eggs and French pressed coffee. It is very popular for this. Dinners- my personal opinion is the food is lacking for a Michelin star, the prices are way too high, appetizers better than the entrees. Wine list $$$ and worth it? Mixed feelings. So go their for summer cocktails al fresco, power breakfasts to ink a business deal…..

And what about other trendy spots to check out in Silicon Valley? Lure + Till is brand new. I think it is a hot spot for cocktails, fun appetizers, and a trendy afterwork scene that draws a younger crowd. The dinner menu is pretty limited, the service needs some work. A lot of techies go there, so be prepared for a more casual crowd, hoodies and all!

Reposado is definitely a happening spot- packed every night for dinner and the bar scene is hopping. We are very excited for Delfina opening soon…w2

Let’s not forget about The Four Seasons Palo Alto. It certainly is considered on the “wrong” side of Palo Alto but eclipses the Rosewood in terms of service and I think quality and sophistication of food. The bar scene is great and I’d really like to see a sort of renaissance happen by getting more people there, who remember what a quality experience the Four Seasons is, and how they really bend over backwards to make your experience 5 star (plus)- whether you are enjoying a wonderful glass of wine on a date and their fabulous pizzas or higher-end inside Quattro with an exceptional menu and service.

A Dozen Easy Date Ideas for April…

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael NormanHer feelings for him are true

Now that days are getting longer and the clocks have sprung ahead, the Bay area is teeming with cheap and creative options for you and your next date. We’ve tried to find something to please every palate and every budget (actually, these are all free) so don’t be afraid to try something new; in fact, sharing new experiences is an important part of any healthy relationship. Even if you are without a date, head to these cool events and you never know who you will end up meeting! In fact, grab a friend and try all of these out, keeping an open mind and a fun attitude. Keep in mind that most of these are monthly (and sometimes weekly) events, so if April doesn’t work, May might be an option.

Tuesday, April 1st, hours vary: Be a Voyeur(or at least take in an exhibit or two)

Going to a museum is pretty standard early date fare; you can go at your own pace, find out things that interest each other, and follow it up with drinks/dinner/coffee… or even more. Thankfully, San Francisco is full of museums, and admission to some of the best happens to be free on the first Tuesday of every month. Check out the de Young , the SFMOMA, the Legion of Honor, the YBCA, and even the Conservatory of Flowers on the first day of April in 2014. And no, the free admission is not an April Fool’s joke.

Thursday, April 3rd, 6-10pm: Feed a Starving Artist (or just yourselves)

The Upper Polk/Tenderloin Art Walk takes place on the first Thursday evening of every month. More than a dozen galleries stay open late to participate in this mini-festival, and there are plenty of special events and food trucks to round out the experience.

Sunday, April 6th, 2pm: Visit the Gates of Hell (while keeping good company)

On the first Sunday of every month, you can take a free and guided tour of the Stanford University Outdoor Sculpture Collection. Artists include Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, and of course, Auguste Rodin.

Tuesday, April 8th, 6-9pm: War of the Words (Get ready for prattle)

Take part in the Radar Reading series at the Main Branch of the SF Public Library. The series focuses on upcoming and emerging local authors who write in a variety of styles. Hearing a piece in the author’s own voice can put any work in an entirely new perspective.

Saturday, April 12th, 10:30am: Expose Yourself to Some Art-chitecture

Have you ever wondered why Treasure Island looks so unlike the rest of San Francisco? Learn more about the lasting impact of architect Timothy Pflueger, and the his ideas behind the Art Deco structures that were the celebrated backbone of the Golden Gate Internation Exposition of 1939-40. We also have him to thank for some very outstanding local works by Diego Rivera.

Saturday, April 12th, 12-4pm: Get Your Hands Dirty (while doing a good deed)

Join the monthly volunteer work party at the ECO SF school farm, where the two of you can learn more about farming, ecology, sustainability while developing your green thumbs. All skill levels (and refreshments) are more than welcome.

Saturday, April 12th, 1-4pm: Get All Decked Out (but don’t go overboard)

Join the Cal Sailing Club for their monthly Open House, where you can get a free introductory sailing lesson. Quarterly memberships and lessons are cheap and available if you find yourself bitten by the sailing bug, but it all starts with getting (your feet) wet.


Wednesday, April 1th, 7:30-11pm: Spend a Night with the Gintelligentsia

This event isn’t actually free (it’s $8 per person), but Nerd Night at Rickshaw might be just your thing if you like hearing really smart people talk about their passions while consuming large amounts of ethanol. Recent topics included microbes, private space exploration, and what books to include in a library meant to survive beyond the end of civilization. Think and drink at the same time!

Thursday, April 17th, 5-8pm: A Different Take on Men’s Furnishings

The third Thursday of every month brings late hours at the SF Design Center, where you can shop for the furniture of your (or her) dreams while sipping on local wines and delectable edibles. You may want to stick with white wine, just in case you have to buy the couch if you stain it.

Thursday, April 17th, 7-10pm: Rate the Game, Date the Player

Every month, the Go Game Headquarters hosts an open “Sandbox” for developers of real world, real time games to test their newest logic and strategy creations on anyone willing to show up and play. Set up a friendly wager with your date, and help a fellow entrepreneur create their own kind of magic.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 7-9pm, Strive for Work-Life Balance (by walking a tightrope)

The Circus Center in San Francisco offers free monthly classes that give you the opportunity to ride a unicycle, learn to juggle, walk a tightrope, and practice myriad other circus skills. If you’ve ever been told you need more balance in your life, this might be the place for you. Clowning around may or may not be encouraged.

Saturday, April 26th, 11am-4pm: My Baby is a 10. We Dressing to the (Ca)nines

If the two of you need a double date with your dogs, or simply have one canine companion who’s tired of being a third wheel, the annual Dogfest in Duboce Park should be right up your alley. This is the biggest SF dog event of the year, so hang out with other dog owners while your own canine kid competes for Best Coat, Best Costume, and plenty of other high honors. Dogfest is also a great date opportunity for those of you who also have (human) children; there is face painting, a bouncy house, and plenty of other kid-friendly diversions. Beware: You might be tempted to add another member to your family, and volunteers in the Dog Rescue zone will be there to help you do just that.