Happy New Year faithful readers! It’s 2022 and I am thrilled to kick off this new year with a strong start. 2021 was a hugely exciting year at Linx Dating with so many successfully paired up couples and VIP clients off the market. I LOVE getting to do what I do on a daily basis for so many lucky people.
I am elated to learn of more engaged couples and multiple Linx weddings on the horizon in 2022. I’m energized to be taking a deep dive on some excellent matchmaking this week and catching up with clients and talking to a handful of prospects as well.
Not only will I be very busy with matchmaking, but I have some very creative projects in the works that I am super excited about. I find great fulfillment in being able to exercise the business side of my brain, with the intuitive and super creative side too!
Are you ready to put yourself out there this January? I always tell my clients and friends that in order to substantially increase the probability of meeting someone great, you really need to have multiple resources working in your favor all pointing towards the one goal of meeting “Mr or Ms Right.”
Tomorrow, January 2nd, in the dating world is known as “Dating Sunday.” It’s like the Super Bowl of dating essentially. Many of you who are single enjoyed your holidays with family and friends and have begun to focus on New Years resolutions to find the partner of your dreams. As such, January 2nd is historically the most-trafficked day for dating apps meaning more users flock to apps on Dating Sunday than any other day of the year.
What’s this mean for you? I think it’s smart to get on a couple of dating apps and begin the application process with a trusted matchmaker like Linx Dating. You can make up a zillion excuses for now not being a good time (not in good enough physical shape, work is ramping up, events on the horizon, or your cat chewed on your keyboard).
Whatever your ‘excuse is’, stop it. If you were sitting across from me in my Silicon Valley office, I would look at you in your eyes and see all your potential. I’d probably be able to relate on some level having done that myself back in the day but today is your day! As Tolstoy said, “Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.”
My closing thoughts are for you all to keep an open mind, stay heart centric, and you never know who is out there waiting to meet you too! The possibilities are endless and the ✨magic✨ is all yours if you want to create it! Remember that you are your greatest investment. Investing into your heart and all its wondrous possibilities is yours if you want it. What are you waiting for? 🌟
Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author ofFirst Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures
What is the book about and why did you write it?
First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures is a collection of true hopeful, hilarious, and horrific tales, plus takeaway tips and inspirational quotes told to me by women in midlife. I wrote it to provide entertainment, camaraderie and guidance to readers who are riding the dating rollercoaster or considering a comeback.
I want all daters to believe that they will find love, no matter how unlikely it may seem at times. To do that, they must keep going on first dates. Dating is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the greater chance you have to encounter your “Mr. Yes” or “Ms. Yes.” Also, you’re much more likely to fall in love after you’ve accepted and embraced who you are and truly love yourself.
Not all the stories in the collection conclude with “happily ever after” endings, but each woman kept showing up for first dates because she believed that she was worthy of receiving love and that there was someone worthy of consuming the gift of her love.
It is my hope that their stories inspire readers to do and feel the same. Millions of women in midlife are riding the first date rollercoaster. First Date Stories will help them take the ride together.
Where did you get the idea from?
The idea was born out of my personal experience. I know what it’s like to date longer and later in life. A demanding career and desire to find my “Mr. Yes” led to me becoming an alumna of nearly 400 dates over the course of 26 years. As friends peeled off into coupledom, it became increasingly difficult to find women who were single like me. By the time I reached midlife, dating had gone from being a supportive, shared adventure, to what often felt like a solo journey.
I discovered that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. I also came to realize that women derive empathy and connection through the sharing of our stories. But when you don’t know others who are in the same place in life as you, there are no stories to hear. If you don’t have people to connect with who relate to where you are, you can feel baffled by today’s dating scene, as well as frustrated, disconnected and possibly even lonely. Many of the women who I met for whom this was true were giving up on finding the love that they desired.
At the time, I was a member of a short story writing group. I casually began chronicling some of my first dates. As I told women about what I was doing, more of them wanted to share their tales. The momentum built. My fellow writers told me that they were curious about what happened following each date, so I inserted a section called “The Rest of the Story.” Realizing that there were lessons to be learned from each tale, I added Dating Takeaway Tips. Quotes from renown women are placed throughout for laughs and to instill some words to live by.
What started out as a side project evolved into this book. But the publishing process takes a long time. Creating a podcast doesn’t. So I launched the podcast and the blog in tandem while I continued to work on the book and the “First Date Stories Initiative” was born!
Do you have a target reader?
Absolutely! The target reader is a woman in her mid-thirties to early-60s who wants to meet a loving lifelong partner. I wrote it for “seasoned daters,” which is a term I coined for people who are in the dating scene longer than they’d anticipated they’d be. It was also written for women who have come out of long term committed relationships, who are divorced or widowed. Early reviewers have also pointed out that men dating in midlife who’d like to gain insights into the female psyche should also buy the book.
Has a book like this been written before?
To my knowledge, this collection is the first of its kind. Through the years, I’ve continued to search for a book that features a collection of true first date tales of women’s midlife dating travails. I have yet to find another one.
How did you keep dating after so many years?
I kept believing I would meet my match. Not every hour of every day, but more often than not. I started writing First Date Stories a few years before I went on the most important first date of my life—with my future husband. We got engaged 10 months later and I became a first-time bride when I was 49 years old.
I share with readers how he and I met, and the first date we went on, in the book’s final chapter. Now I know that all the dating ups and downs that I lived through before meeting him were worth it, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.
I hope that First Date Stories will motivate readers to continue going on first dates. The reason is simple: if they don’t go on a first date, they’ll never go on a second, a fifth, a tenth, and move toward a lifelong, loving partnership.
What are you working on now?
I’m continuing to work on the “First Date Stories Initiative,” which, with the addition of the book, is comprised of three components.
There’s the “First Date Stories Podcast.” On each episode, I interview a woman about a memorable date she’s been on. Guests have revealed all kinds of stories, from whacky to wonderful. There was the veterinarian who showed his date the paintings he made from the blood that gushed out of his nose when it bled, the man who made a racist comment at dinner not realizing that the woman he was out with is half African American, the woman who met her boyfriend during the pandemic in a Comic-Con group on Facebook, and many more!
At the end of each episode the guest shares advice to help listeners become more in-the-know, confident daters.
There’s also the “First Date Stories Blog,” which showcases writings by dating and relationship coaches and self-care experts. All of it can be found at FirstDateStories.com. The podcast can also be heard wherever people listen to podcasts.
You mentioned that your guests on the podcast share dating advice. What’s the advice you hear most often?
Guests have shared an array of advice over the nearly 50 episodes we’ve recorded. There is one theme that’s most common, though. It’s to be open! And by “open,” they mean open in multiple ways.
Be open to being with a partner who’s different than you’d imagined your future partner to be. Be open to meeting them in a way or place that you hadn’t expected to. Be open in your communications with the people you date by telling them what’s essential to you in a loving relationship and what your boundaries and unacceptable are. It’s when we’re open in both heart and in mind to what may come next that we’re more likely to welcome wonderful people and experiences into our lives and grow as human beings.
How did you meet your husband? Please share with me some details about your first date.
Actually, our first date almost didn’t happen! The final story in the collection, which is titled “The Traffic Trifecta,” chronicles how my husband and I met and our first date. There’s a lot to the tale and it’s a wild one. I’ll summarize it.
We’d met at a business networking event earlier in the week. Shortly after unexpectedly asking me what my relationship status was as I munched on an appetizer, which I then nearly choked on, he left the event with my business card in hand. The next day he contacted me on LinkedIn and we set up a coffee date. Given that he’d messaged me on a business platform, I wasn’t sure if we’d scheduled a networking or personal rendezvous.
Although I’d given myself what should have been more than ample time to drive across San Francisco on a Friday afternoon to meet him at a café, I got stuck in the worst city traffic jam I’d ever experienced! Only then did I discover that downtown streets had been unexpectedly shut because the President of the United States was at a meeting! Multiple times I considered canceling and turning around. The longer I stayed locked in traffic, the shorter our date would have to be, as I was celebrating my birthday that evening with family.
I decided that not even President Obama was going to keep me from getting to the date! So I channeled Steve McQueen from the movie “Bullit” and circuitously wound my way through the city’s streets and down alley ways, arriving at the café 45 minute late!
Our time together flew by. We discovered numerous shared interests and a similar sense of humor. I was attracted to him and comfortable in his company. It all felt easy. Natural. When we said our goodbyes, he commented we should get together again.
Later that evening, my mother asked if it had been a date or a business meeting.
“It was a date,” I responded.
“How do you know?” she asked.
“Because he didn’t ask me one question about business!” We burst out laughing!
He asked me out for the following Friday, and we’ve been together ever since. We got engaged 10 months later, and I became a first-time bride at the age of 49 years old.
What a wonderful synopsis! How do you think women who are dating will be helped by reading this story?
First and foremost, I hope that it will be an entertaining and enjoyable read for women and for men who want to learn more about the women they’re courting.
I believe there are at least three lessons to be learned from this story for people who want to find their match. One is to go to events alone. Yes, go solo. Shake off any uncomfortable feelings you might have showing up somewhere without a companion. You’re much more approachable when you’re not with a friend. It was because I wanted to talk to someone at the networking event, and the man who is now my husband was eating alone, that I walked up to him.
The second is to talk to strangers. Forget what you were taught as a child. When you see someone from across the room, you should approach them and try to start a conversation. It’s so easy to miss these opportunities¾these gifts¾to connect with others. You lose out on saying hello to someone new who might add something special to your life, and they’ve been denied the chance to get to know you, even a little.
And the third lesson is that you can find love at any age, at any moment in time, anywhere. Believe that you’re worthy of receiving love, that there’s someone out there who’s worthy of receiving the joy of your love. Don’t settle and keep showing up!
What’s your “secret sauce” to a happy marriage?
There are numerous factors that go into making our marriage such a happy one. What I view as our “secret sauce” is that we are each other’s biggest champion, cheerleader and evangelist. We respect and believe in one another so deeply that we support each other’s goals and dreams unequivocally. It’s an amazing feeling when you find someone who believes that your success is their success and vice versa.
How can readers get your book?
First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures will be published on September 14 by She Writes Press! Readers can pre-order it from their local independent bookstore, Bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and wherever they like to buy their books.
Jodi Klein is the author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures, which will be published on September 14. She founded First Date Stories as a platform for women to share their tales and wisdom so that others can overcome the trials of dating in midlife and find the long-term love they seek. Jodi is a graduate of UC Davis and holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, where she spends time working with local non-profits and rooting for her favorite sports teams. For more information, please go to FirstDateStories.com.
On this episode of the I’m Just Being Honest Podcast, I chat with host Alexandra Ayers. With over 18 years since Linx has been established, I have gathered an abundance of data on finding an ideal mate and in this episode I share my best tips and answer the most commonly asked questions – including what men look for in a partner and being proactive to meet your ideal mate. Thank you to Alexandra Ayers for putting together this great podcast and interview. Let’s elevate dating to a whole new heightened level!
After nearly 18 years in business, we are arguably one of the most seasoned matchmakers in the industry and are regularly spoken of as the top global matchmaker worldwide. Thousands of interviews later, we can confidently say that experience matters when hiring a tier one matchmaker. We offer in-depth knowledge and expertise, as well as unparalleled reach via our network, for our clients.
When doing your due diligence researching matchmaking firms, look for a company where the primary matchmaker working on your search is an industry veteran – someone who has sat through thousands of meetings, made countless matches, and who understands human behavior… someone with strong, deeply honed intuition and pattern recognition vs. a green matchmaker who’s been in the business for only a few years!
One of the greatest appeals of Linx is that our clients will work directly with Amy Andersen, the founder and CEO, throughout the search. Clients are not “farmed off” to junior matchmakers or individuals with little or no vested interest in the well-being of the client.
Privacy and Reputation Matter
Keeping our client and prospect information private is a hallmark of the Linx philosophy and we maintain a sterling reputation in the industry, in this regard.
Trustworthiness goes hand in hand with how we conduct our work, and we adhere to the highest standards of integrity to ensure that we protect the identities of our clients and members. This means that we will not reveal any identifiable candidate information until a match is made and we certainly do not gossip about “whom” we work with around town as we live our daily lives.
Founder and CEO Amy Andersen has emerged as the “Cupid of Silicon Valley” having matched many of Silicon Valley’s high profile tech elite, Hollywood, founder & CEOs, and more. Due to the private nature of many of Linx’s high profile clients, we operate meetings in our private offices, gardens, and also offer house visits.
Linx Dating does not cater to the masses – we represent high-caliber clientele who seek our niche, highly reputable approach to matchmaking. There are numerous other services that claim to be “exclusive” and to be working with “elite clients,” but the reality is, they broadcast their services in airline magazines and do not maintain the same standard of quality as Linx.
Linx is the only upscale matchmaking firm that does not publicly advertise its services. We do not need to, as our client base has been built via nearly two decades of word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients and our extended social and professional networks.
Linx is also the only firm to cherry-pick clients whom we know we can genuinely help. We don’t work with everyone who applies and have been coined the “Stanford or Harvard University” of matchmakers. In being selective, we maintain our exclusivity and do not dilute our brand by taking on more business than we can handle.
That said, even if we feel we cannot effectively help someone after our preliminary meet-and-greet, we always provide prospects with options and never leave them rudderless.
The Network Matters
It goes without saying, in hiring a tier-one firm, that you want an incredible network of passive members and premium clients, from whom to draw in sourcing potential matches. In other words, the network is everything! Without such a serious social network and trusted connections, a matchmaker has little to go on.
To center in on a network, you want a highly developed local network. Though Linx has historically specialized in the San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley and continues to do so, it has also accumulated a substantial network in Southern California. As they say with real estate, location, location, location! Linx is wedged in the heart of Silicon Valley and is here to stay! Moreover, though heavily anchored in California, Linx attracts members from all over the US and the globe including Seattle, New York, Texas, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
We know how important marketing is when it comes to our VIP client searches. With the right presentation, we can significantly optimize your positioning when it comes to attracting the ideal match.
We are the only global firm that specializes in leveraging our trusted brand to market select VIP searches through use of social media, our blog, and website. We are consistently applauded for our content and writing. We have a very trusted team dedicated to graphic design, wordsmithing, and photography to make our VIP client descriptions shine, such that they ultimately attract the right candidates to apply to meet the client.
We are proud to share that our method is a proven one. Time and time again, VIP searches that were listed on the Linx Dating website attracted an exact “needle in a haystack” match for our VIPs. After scrupulous vetting, we matched the client to the prospect and, well, the rest is history.
Timing and Preparation Matter
We are experts in carefully helping prospects transition to dating, often after having not dated for a significant period of time, e.g. after the loss of a loved one, separation, breakup, or divorce. We know how vital it is, before you “go on the market” again to get prepared and to go to market with success and gusto. From providing the new client with nuggets of dating wisdom, to strategic thinking around the type of match they need for a healthy and long-term thriving relationship, and countless preparation techniques (wardrobe, coaching, concierge, etc.) we have you covered!
We have trusted partnerships and deep resources when it comes to specialists in various fields. At Linx we know where our core expertise lies and are careful not to dilute our matchmaking efforts. As such, we leverage our trusted connections, as needed, to provide a full suite of offerings to clients. These include wardrobe styling, hair, make-up, photography, date coaching, fitness, nutrition, concierge services, and access to other elite matchmaking firms with whom we might collaborate on certain searches, so as to cast an even wider net.
While most traditional matchmaking firms do not seek to represent women as actual paying clients, Linx is extremely proud to do so – we represent many such educated and dynamic females who are bright, sophisticated, and possess stellar academic backgrounds.
Although we are steeped in old school traditional methodology and human intuition when it comes to matchmaking, we do not operate in the stone age.
Our team regularly utilizes proprietary data science techniques, as appropriate, to cull candidates in executive search/recruiting style “out of network” searches for VIP clients.
Healthy Clients Matter
We work with individuals who are balanced and healthy – mentally and physically – and are in the right place to get serious about finding the loves of their lives!
Our clients typically lead active lifestyles and enjoy the creature comforts with some moderation. Linx is also the only matchmaking firm that chooses not to work with smokers.
Personalization and Passion Matter
As Linx only accepts a select number of clients annually, all of whom work directly with founder/CEO Amy Andersen, our services are highly personalized, narrowly tailored to the needs of the client, and built around regular and direct access to Amy, who built the business from scratch and is deeply passionate about what she does.
I met Jon Birger seven years ago, over lunch in Palo Alto.
A Fortune Magazine writer working on his first book Date-onomics, Jon wanted to talk about Bay Area dating — specifically how the region’s rather unique oversupply of educated men impacted people’s love lives.
Published in 2015, Date-onomics argued that shifting sex ratios among the college educated are behind the rise of the hookup culture and the decline in marriage rates. In nearly every other part of the country, it’s the college-educated women who are in oversupply. Nationally, one-third more women than men have graduated college since 2000.
This might not matter so much if we were more open-minded about whom we date and marry. Thing is, college grads still like to date other college grads, and this preference leads to lopsided sex ratios in the dating pool. And lopsided sex ratios give the scarcer sex the upper hand.
For Jon, San Francisco and Santa Clara County were the exceptions that proved the rule. The Bay Area is the one well-populated region of the country where educated men outnumber educated women. Yes, we’ve still got our share of playboys. But generally speaking, the Bay Area boasts some of the highest marriage rates and lowest divorce rates in the country for college-educated women.
As you can imagine, Date-onomics generated a ton of buzz when it was published. Glamour, Time, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and countless other media outlets all produced stories or segments about Jon’s first book.
AMY ANDERSEN: Jon, what inspired you to write another dating book?
JON BIRGER: It had a lot to do with being on book tour with Date-onomics.
The first book was more pop science than self help. Yeah, there was a little bit of advice tucked into the final chapter, but it was only there because my editor demanded it.
My primary goal with Date-onomics was simply to explain why dating had become so hard for young, successful, college-educated women. I wanted to shed light on this strange phenomenon so many of us are familiar with — this plethora of fabulous women in their thirties and forties who cannot seem to find a decent guy.
When the first book came out, I had it in my head that women would be relieved to hear that their dating woes were not their fault. I thought the knowledge-is-power thing would be enough.
Well, you can probably guess what happened when I got out on book tour and started taking questions.
Women still wanted you to tell them how to find a husband.
I’d give speeches to mostly female audiences or go on radio shows with mostly female callers, and they wanted advice on their love lives. They wanted me to explain why other women whom they considered no more attractive or successful didn’t have the same problems they did.
I didn’t have great answers, and that’s what prompted me to write Make Your Move. Backed by the latest research on dating, Make Your Move is all about solutions and strategies for hetero, marriage-minded women who are navigating an unfair dating market. There’s a lot of fun storytelling too. I interviewed all these amazing women with romantic stories about how they found their partners by ignoring the traditional dating rules and norms that had been holding them back.
A lot of your advice in Make Your Move involves encouraging women to make the first move, right?
That’s definitely part of it.
I don’t want to give away too much, but I do believe our culture is at an inflection point. Young women are kicking ass in education, sports, business, media, politics and so much else. So why the heck would anyone tell these women that they’ve got to wait for a man to ask them out?
Do you think men are changing too?
I do. I think the whole culture is changing — which is why this new generation of singles needs a new dating bible!
If you think about it, nearly every best-selling dating guide written over the past forty years — from The Rules to Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy — has told women that in order to bag a man, they must commit to a very complicated game of playing hard to get. The message these books ask women to send to men boils down to “not interested means keep trying.”
I don’t think this was ever a helpful message, but in the post-#MeToo world, it’s really, really unhelpful.
Men have learned important lessons from #MeToo. Maybe we’re not learning as fast as we should, but we are learning. Nowadays if a woman indicates she’s not interested, most men will just take her at her word and move on.
Do men actually want women to make the first move?
Most do. A woman who makes the first move takes away a man’s fear of rejection. She makes it easier for him to be himself around her. There’s less peacocking. More conversation.
I’ll give you an example from the book. It involves a 29-year-old named Becca — someone I know pretty well because she was our Saturday-night babysitter years ago. Becca is attractive, but key thing to understand about Becca is she has a huge personality. She’s a real cut-up. My kids loved her.
Of course, some men find the extrovert thing intimidating. When I mentioned the new book to her, she started telling me the story of how she and her boyfriend first got together. They met at a party. They were talking, having a good time, but it was apparent he was too nervous to do anything about it. So Becca just blurted out, “Hey, are you going to ask for my number?”
That’s how it started for them.
I know there are women out there who will never believe this, but the whole key to understanding men is that men like women who like them. Too many women have been raised on the notion that men love the chase and that a man will become less interested in her the moment she’s too interested in him.
Perhaps that was true once upon a time, but I’ve yet to meet the man who broke up with a woman he liked simply because she was too enthusiastic about him. I’ve also yet to meet a guy who enjoyed guessing which women are playing a game and which just want to be left alone. This is why assertive women willing to make a first move have such an advantage over women who sideline themselves by waiting to be courted.
Is there such a thing as too assertive?
I don’t think the first move has to be anything dramatic.
I know that the rule-followers always conjure up images of women throwing themselves at men any time someone suggests women making the first move. But that’s not at all what I’m talking about. Think about what Becca did. She didn’t grab the guy’s butt. All she did was open the door wide enough to make him feel confident about walking through.
In the book, you urge women to take a break from online dating. Why?
Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to all online dating. There are some niche dating apps that I like a lot, and I do write about them in the book. I also recognize that in COVID times, online dating may be only dating some people are comfortable with.
Still, I think many singles would be happier if they ditched the apps and tried asking out people they actually know instead. Over the past year, the dark side of online dating has really been coming into focus. According to Pew Research, 57% of women report experiencing harassment on dating apps, and 19% say they’ve been threatened with physical violence. Overall, 55% of women believe dating is harder now than it was 10 years ago.
So tell me about the “Make Your Move Offline Dating Challenge.”
It’s one chapter in the book. It’s essentially a step-by-step plan for dating in the real world instead of the digital one — for finding more meaningful connections.
The reason I created the offline dating challenge is there’s too much anxiety surrounding dating right now. Online daters don’t trust each other. The whole purpose of the offline dating challenge is to make people more comfortable about dating. Less jaded. Less fearful.
When I was in my 20s, blind dates with complete strangers were pretty rare. Nowadays, most online first dates are blind dates with complete strangers. What’s so difficult about this is you have no idea what kind of person will walk through the door. Everybody who knows your online first date knows him better than you do, so you really are flying blind.
Now compare the online first date with a stranger to going out on a first date with someone you already know and like — a co-worker or a neighbor or someone from church or maybe a friend of a friend. It’s a much different experience. It’s much easier to fall in like or in love when you share common experiences or common friends — and when you’re not worried the person across the table from you could be an axe murderer.
When I was dating up a storm from online sites in my 20’s, the biggest problem was lack of filtering. Lots of good guys but those guys were looking for only fun in the here and now. Their goal was getting laid over actually finding a compatible partner.
Hah. That’s obviously a familiar experience for lots of women, though I have seen research showing women use apps for sex as often as men do.
I think a fundamental problem with dating apps is the anonymity fosters miscommunication and mistruths — especially on that all-important question of whether the other person is looking for a hookup or a long-term relationship. It’s just easier to behave badly with strangers than with people connected to your daily life.
A woman I interviewed for the book described online dating to me as “a doubter’s game,” and this struck me as a really interesting turn of phrase. Based on past experiences, she just assumed most men on dating apps were lying to her. She’d spend first dates trying to poke holes in their stories.
Needless to say, that didn’t lead to a lot of second dates.
Well, this woman is now engaged to a man she met through a mutual friend. Before her first date with the now-fiancée, she didn’t even bother googling him. She told me she didn’t have to because she knew her friend would never set her up with a man who was unkind or untrustworthy.
“It’s more of a believer’s game,” she said about old-fashioned dating. “I was just more inclined to find the positive. It was actually the closest thing to love at first sight I’d ever experienced.”
In the book, you cite research showing that couples who meet at work, in college, through friends, in church, etc. stay together longer than those who meet on the apps. Why do you think that is?
Human beings evolved as social animals, and we bond through shared experiences. Those shared experiences — those fun stories we like to tell and re-tell — become building blocks for deeper connections. This is why couples who know each other tend to have lower breakup rates than couples who first meet online.
What’s your opinion of professional matchmaking?
I put matchmaking into the “met through friends” category.
I have no doubt that your best clients view you as confidante and friend more than as a paid advisor. The only difference between being set up by a close friend and being set up by a good matchmaker is the matchmaker has a much longer list of single men and women to choose from. (I’m always reminded of that scene from “When Harry Met Sally,” when Carrie Fisher pulls out her rolodex during lunch and tries unsuccessfully to come up with men she can set up Meg Ryan with.)
That being said, not everybody who’ll read Make Your Move can afford to spend five figures on a high-end matchmaker like Linx. Most can’t. But I still want them to know that there are other, better ways to date than swiping on Tinder.
2020 was a challenging year for everybody, but finding your dream partner can make even the darkest times seem brighter. Have you seen anything that should give people hope in 2021, at least when it comes to love and romance?
Absolutely. Maybe it’s all those “How it began … how it’s going” memes floating around social media, but I see plenty of reasons for optimism. I love all the videos of women proposing to their boyfriends, for instance. I love the then-and-now photos of couples who started out as friends — and not as Tinder matches! — and are now celebrating anniversaries.
Those are the kind of things that gives me hope.
When does Make Your Move go on sale? Where can people buy it?
FYI, I’m usually willing to meet virtually with book clubs that buy and read one of my books. For info on the book-club Q&A’s — or on anything else related to Make Your Move or Date-onomics — folks can reach out to me via my author website, jonbirger.com.
Dating a man in his 40s is an exciting experience. He wants to provide for a companion and has the means to do so—unlike many younger men, he’s usually established in his career and rather self-assured about his place in the world. In fact, studies like this one from the Atlantic show that a man’s desirability typically peaks around their 40s and 50s.
On the other side of the coin, there’s also a higher likelihood that he’s been married and/or has children. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may be daunting for some women.
So, what are the top 4 essential things to know about dating a man in his 40s?
(1) He likes clarity and honesty
A man in his 40s is more discerning and direct about his dating life—and expects you to be the same.
Playing games like intentionally delaying messaging back for a few days, playing hard to get, or talking about other men to entice jealousy doesn’t sit well—for a man in his 40s, this behavior is more likely to be interpreted as a lack of commitment, and he may simply assume that you’re disinterested.
He’ll appreciate you clearly expressing your interest, and he’ll also appreciate an honest and direct conversation if you’re not interested. With life experience behind him, he’ll more than graciously accept a thoughtful rejection, rather than a slow, time-wasting denouement.
(2) He needs his space
A man in his 40s is serious about keeping up with his responsibilities. You’ll have to respect that he may be preoccupied during the day and may not always message back immediately, or that he might want to get to bed early in order to wake up early.
The good news is that you’ll have more time to focus on yourself, especially when you have your own business, friends, and hobbies.
(3) He may want a family
While every situation is different, it would be wrong to assume that every man in his 40s wouldn’t be interested in starting a family with you simply because he is divorced or has kids already.
If he has kids already, it is also important to understand that he may take his time to introduce you to them—this is normal as he’ll want to be assured things are serious before he takes that step in intertwining your lives. Again, give him the space to do this at his own pace.
(4) He’s not a fixer-upper
Lastly, studies like this one by Costa and McRae have shown that personality traits remain relatively stable in adults after 30. This explains why it is incredibly challenging—or nearly impossible—to fundamentally change a 40-year-old’s personality, and it is important to recognize that trying to do so will most likely only lead to frustration for both of you.
So, for example, if he’s consistently not interested in an outdoor hike on your favorite trail, then chances are slim that he’ll ever be.
A man in his 40s has been shaped by his life experiences, both good and bad, and he’ll have a much stronger sense of self for it. The major benefit for you—if you have the chance to be with someone who truly knows himself—is that this illuminates a clearer path to connection.
If you find yourself searching for love but not knowing where to begin, don’t hesitate to get in touch—I’m here to help.
As California is approaching nearly 2 months of shelter-in-place, Linx has transitioned to the reality of quarantine with mostly reasonable ease and we have been grateful at the number of people not holding back on signing up for memberships during COVID-19.
While clients are very much wanting to meet each other in person, they know that this is not the time for that and have accepted the new normal of virtual dates – and some very creative ones at that.
Approximately 75% of our premium clients are wanting to keep their searches going and try to continue to meet people during quarantine, while the remaining 25% are waiting for this to pass and “freezing” their memberships in the meantime. Many are very open to long-distance dating, especially during this stage, and finding it such an easy way to explore chemistry without the hassle and expense of having to hop on a plane for an in-person date.
Virtual dating is proving to be a very quick way to determine if there are some sparks, all while in the convenience of your own home.
We are seeing a small handful of our clients venture outside to gardens and parks for their first and second dates. Our couples are being safe by placing a large blanket down and sitting at least 6-feet from one another and bringing their own drink and food to enjoy. While this is not the same of getting to dine at a fabulous restaurant with crisp table linens and a well-trained staff, this is our new normal – at last for the time being. Furthermore, there is something old-fashioned and quite romantic about setting up a picnic and slowing down from our days to enjoy fresh air and conversation at a distance.
I’m getting a lot of clients and members of Linx asking advice on how to be successful at their virtual dating. My general advice for virtual dates is to treat them just like any regular date. Always put your best foot forward and remember that just because you are on Zoom or FaceTime, the age old expression “first impressions are lasting ones” does play a very important role during quarantine.
Some more specific advice when planning your virtual dates… Wear a pop of color (forget wearing white) and for women, do some tasteful makeup. Guys – clean yourself up and put on a dress shirt, or frankly anything but a sloppy t-shirt and shorts. Most of us feel our best when we are freshly showered and dressed for the occasion. Imagine you are going to an upscale lounge or restaurant for a meal….you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and flip flops so the same principles apply when dating during quarantine – especially in the early stages as you’re getting to know one another.
Once you are dressed and looking fresh and vibrant, set the stage for potential romance and create the right ambiance. I have one client who keeps doing his virtual dates at his office. This is a buzz kill for his dates. Why? He is not separating work from pleasure and also not taking the virtual dates seriously. You need to separate your work and work environment from your dating life. So find a location in your home that is appropriate for this – and that definitely doesn’t mean your bedroom either. Think living room, dining room, or family room/den.
Light a candle, order a “ring light” on Amazon for optimal warm, ambient lighting or if you don’t have the budget for that, read what Tom Ford suggests for looking good on Zoom. Timing is everything. Do the Zoom date when the house is quiet (if you have kids, they are snoozing or in another room doing their homework ;-)) so you’re not distracted. If you drink, pour a cocktail or glass of wine, and if you don’t drink, pour a bubbly water with some citrus fruit or fresh mint leaves to feel festive and start your virtual date! Smile and keep the energy of the virtual date upbeat, happy, and chill.
What if the first virtual date goes well and you’re wanting to get a little more creative for the next series of virtual dates? For out-of-the-box date ideas, I am sharing the following ideas with my clients including:
1) Be a chef. Open your kitchen, show him/her a favorite recipe you like to make and vice versa. Do this using your favorite tech platform.
2. Be romantic. Flex your brain muscles and read him/her poetry or a chapter from a book you’re reading, or share your screen with some of your favorite YouTube tv or movie clips or music (make sure to select “share computer audio” when you share your screen.) Use it as a launchpad for further conversation. You’re showing him/her a new dimension of what makes you incredibly unique.
3. Be an artist. Even if you’re not going to be the next da Vinci, become your own individual artist! Each buy an inexpensive paint set online, schedule the date for when your respective sets arrive at your homes, set up your Zoom and have a painting date. Use it as an opportunity to giggle at one another’s art work, once canvases are complete.
It is also interesting to me that many clients are immediately removing the superficial layer of first dates and delving very deep in the virtual dates by asking one another intense questions. One recommendation is accessing the The New York Times “36 Questions on the Way to Love” interactive quiz and quickly sizing up if there are long-term foundational values in alignment or not. It’s proving to be a powerful way to determine if there is enough in common to keep virtually dating or rather to move on. This is yet another approach to incorporate.
With the curiosity and excitement of virtual dating, you might be wondering the risks and downsides. I think one of the major drawbacks is that some people just feel plain awkward dating virtually. It feels weird for them and simply not natural. Also, many people want to see what someone looks like in the flesh, smell their perfume, see the glistening of the gloss of their lips as the sun hits them a certain way, hug them, maybe kiss at the end of the date to test that important chemistry. Clearly you can’t do this with virtual dating, so this is a significant downside.
That said, the upshot I keep telling my clients is to keep exploring the virtual connections and when restrictions are lifted, to be able to imagine how exciting it will be to finally see their love interest in person. I think the potential of how magnetic the chemistry could be at that moment could be life-changing.
COVID-19 has placed each and every one of us in a vulnerable place and sharing that vulnerability with someone else could not only forever bond that couple but catapult them into a love that can be tested through time.
With that said, though, it is important not to force the transition to meeting in person – we are all (including our government) trying to figure the right time and pace to begin re-introducing social contact, and it will probably come down to each person’s comfort and tolerance for different types of risk. Please be tolerant as we each are dealing with this in our own way and in the meantime keep staying healthy and safe.
If you are on Instagram, I do daily simple inspirational posts to which many folks have responded very positively. If you would like to follow me, please do so at “Ms.LinxDating.” Thank you so much!
As cities around the country and the world go into coronavirus lockdown, your search for love doesn’t have to shelter in place. In fact, being in quarantine is a great opportunity to look inward to ask yourself what qualities you really want in a partner and is a chance to prepare yourself for a relationship once the quarantine ends.
Cultivating solitude and embracing it to find love
For naturally social creatures, getting locked into our homes with no end date can be tough to navigate, even for those of us with high levels of immunity to loneliness.
To make peace with solitude, scientists recommend reframing the loneliness.
Reed Larson, professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that solitude is like “a medicine which tastes bad, but leaves one more healthy in the long run,” that creates more positive emotions and less self-reported depression down the line. Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet, says “solitude is a crucial and underrated ingredient of creativity.” This time of social distance is the perfect opportunity to get close with solitude.
So, how is solitude relevant to finding a partner?
Researchers Christopher Long and James Averill write that time alone allows us to order our priorities according to what we need, rather than the needs of others. Solitude is a powerful experience that allows us to prioritize what we want in our relationships.
Start by asking yourself the following:
Am I listening closely to what I want?
How much do I weigh what my friends or family want for me?
What story does my dating life tell?
If answering these questions feels confusing, you’re not alone; isolation can make it difficult to experience clarity, but hang in there and don’t let this opportunity slip away.
Sherry Turkle, researcher and the founder of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self talks about our apprehension towards embracing solitude in her Ted talk: “The moment that people are alone, even for a few seconds, they become anxious, they panic, they fidget, they reach for a device. Just think of people at a checkout line or at a red light.”
Turkle goes on to urge people to create sacred spaces to embrace solitude, where you don’t get distracted or reach for your phone—such as an hour in the morning or lunchtime in between your remote conference calls. It can be over a quiet cup of tea, a soak in a hot epsom salt bath, or whatever else might work for you.
That said, even once you’ve had a chance for solitude, your mind might still not be the easiest place to dwell. Past relationships and other noise can make it impossible to ask ourselves the questions we need to answer before continuing the search for a loving partner.
Consulting with a matchmaker can help bring focus into the equation. Not only can we be a sounding board to get clarity on what those relationship priorities are, we’ll be able to jumpstart your love life once social restrictions are lifted.
Building connection amidst quarantine
If you were already dating before the quarantine, you’ll need to get creative to build and sustain the connection.
Host a remote movie date. Netflix just released their Netflix Party Chrome extension that lets you watch “Netflix remotely with friends, e.g. for movie nights with that long-distance special someone. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chat.” Should pair well with a quarantine.
Take a (virtual) museum stroll. Google Arts & Culture has partnered with some of the world’s most popular museums to give patrons a chance to see art and exhibits through their computer screens. The virtual tour might not be the most ideal, but you’ll get some brownie points for creativity.
Spend a night at the opera. The Met is live streaming their operas each day. Of course you’d be more inclined to watch from the first row balcony, but desperate times call for alternative seating.
Try a new (love) language. With quality time and physical touch on hold, give acts of service and words of affirmation a try. Support your favorite local restaurant and get a meal delivered. Check in frequently with texts and calls—don’t skimp on showing appreciation.
As always, I am here to support you! Consider scheduling a virtual matchmaking session to get the process started. Once quarantine is over, you’ll be ready to mingle with some of the most eligible singles from around the world!
First, our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the CV climate. Like you, we are safely bunkered down in our homes and home offices. Although not making daily human contact in person (and gosh I miss that so much), we are extremely connected with our prospects and clients alike via brilliant technology created here in Silicon Valley.
I wanted to share with you some useful notes from a recent Goldman Sachs conference call with 1,500 companies dialed in. Given the tremendous amount of uncertainty swirling out there around the corona virus, the financial markets and our lives generally, I hope this can give at least one perspective.
THE KEY ECONOMIC TAKEAWAYS WERE:
-50% of Americans will contract the virus (150m people) as it’s very communicable. This is on a par with the common cold (Rhinovirus) of which there are about 200 strains and which the majority of Americans will get 2-4 per year.
-70% of Germany will contract it (58M people). This is the next most relevant industrial economy to be effected.
-Peak-virus is expected over the next eight weeks, declining thereafter.
-The virus appears to be concentrated in a band between 30-50 degrees north latitude, meaning that like the common cold and flu, it prefers cold weather. The coming summer in the northern hemisphere should help. This is to say that the virus is likely seasonal.
-Of those impacted 80% will be early-stage, 15% mid-stage and 5% critical-stage. Early-stage symptoms are like the common cold and mid-stage symptoms are like the flu; these are stay at home for two weeks and rest. 5% will be critical and highly weighted towards the elderly.
-Mortality rate on average of up to 2%, heavily weighted towards the elderly and immunocompromised; meaning up to 3m people (150m*.02). In the US about 3m/yr die mostly due to old age and disease, those two being highly correlated (as a percent very few from accidents). There will be significant overlap, so this does not mean 3m new deaths from the virus, it means elderly people dying sooner due to respiratory issues. This may however stress the healthcare system.
-There is a debate as to how to address the virus pre-vaccine. The US is tending towards quarantine. The UK is tending towards allowing it to spread so that the population can develop a natural immunity. Quarantine is likely to be ineffective and result in significant economic damage but will slow the rate of transmission giving the healthcare system more time to deal with the case load.
-China’s economy has been largely impacted which has affected raw materials and the global supply chain. It may take up to six months for it to recover.
-Global GDP growth rate will be the lowest in 30 years at around 2%.
-S&P 500 will see a negative growth rate of -15% to -20% for 2020 overall.
-There will be economic damage from the virus itself, but the real damage is driven mostly by market psychology. Viruses have been with us forever. Stock markets should fully recover in the 2nd half of the year.
-In the past week there has been a conflating of the impact of the virus with the developing oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. While reduced energy prices are generally good for industrial economies, the US is now a large energy exporter, so there has been a negative impact on the valuation of the domestic energy sector.
-This will continue for some time as the Russians are attempting to economically squeeze the American shale producers and the Saudis are caught in the middle and do not want to further cede market share to Russia or the US.
-Technically the market generally has been looking for a reason to reset after the longest bull market in history.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
-There is really NO systemic risk. No one is even talking about that. Governments are intervening in the markets to stabilize them, and the private banking sector is very well capitalized.
-In particular, for the U.S., even though quarantines and shut downs can certainly do recessionary damage stateside, thank God we live where we do – the US Govt is extraordinarily well-equipped / well-capitalized to respond with monetary and fiscal policy to bridge us through this…
-In sum, this feels more like a 9/11 shock than it does like a 2008 parting of the earth.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LINX AND YOU?
-I am offering prospect meet and greets, as well as new client meetings for the next few weeks via Zoom!
– Zoom is super easy to download, free, and user friendly (trust me – I am a total dinosaur with technology). We can easily discuss working together and how the Linx ladies can get started on your search to “build your dating pipeline” now.
-In my opinion, this is THE time to allow us to get started with our recruitment, exploration of prospects and clients in our database, and research on your behalf.
–I am finding that people are even more eager to want to find LOVE NOW and meet their dream partner – especially once this current “shock” is past us.
-Linx contracts are 24 months, which is standard with any membership. 24 months allows you sufficient time to slowly date each candidate, not to rush, and to see if there is long-term merit.
-Once you’re on-boarded, no matter what climate we are in, it takes time for my staff to begin to develop your pipeline of introductions. This is not about rushing the process, but rather about carefully curated matchmaking that adheres to the philosophy of quality over quantity.
-Once we start lining up candidates for you to meet, you can get the ball rolling and meet matches via tech like Zoom or FaceTime. This is what making dating a PRIORITY means.
– This is seizing the moment, not letting your fears swallow you up, and not hitting pause on finding your match.
– You’re being smart and executing a dating strategy, even during a pandemic, that will pay dividends in the future.
– I wish everyone good health and comfort during these challenging times. Remember to laugh and love. We will get through this together. Stay connected and remember love is not on lockdown!
When I look back at my modest beginnings—matching friends locally who were completely exhausted and disenchanted with dating—to growing a world class matchmaking business for clients around the world, I realize I couldn’t do it all without a little help from the universe.
The law of attraction is the single most powerful law in the universe. It states that you will attract that which you give. So, for example, if you stay positive, excited, and appreciative, you will send out this positive energy and will, in return, attract the same type of energy.
We are all responsible for our own destiny and, with the Law of Attraction, we can encourage our goals and desires to manifest.
Where did the Law of Attraction come from?
Despite seeming like a new age trend, the Law of Attraction speaks to a philosophy that’s appeared in countless religious texts. You can find it in the Book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7, which states “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. Buddha also captures the sentiment when he said, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”
The phrase ‘Law of Attraction’ was formally coined in the late 1800’s by Helena Blavatsky in her book Isis Unveiled. Although studied by various authors in the 1900’s, the 20th Century marked a resurgence in popularity, with best selling book, The Power of Positive Thinkingand Blockbuster film, The Secret.
How do I get the Law of Attraction to work for me?
Ask for what you want. Get specific.
Get intentional about how you communicate with the universe. To do this, start envisioning what your future will look like if you get what you want. Will you be doing the same things during the day? Who will you spend time with? What will you feel when you receive what you want?
The universe wants to know what you want. How it will come to be, however, may not be the path or timeline you expected.
“I want to feel peace in my relationship–unconditionally loved by my partner.”
“I want to feel valued for my work contributions and proud of my work.”
“I want to build a home that allows me to host loved ones and feel self-expressed.”
Believe that you’ll get what you ask for, and then start moving towards the goal.
Maintaining positive energy about your goal and the certainty that you will accomplish it will propel you into action. Understand that forces beyond you are now working on your behalf. If it is love that you want, becoming more loving and generous will help you attract people who operate on this wave-length.
If “I want to feel peace in my relationship–unconditionally loved by my partner” is your intention, propel yourself into action by:
Remembering that you can choose the type of relationship you want.
Welcoming opportunities to meet people who may turn out to be just one you had in mind.
Allowing yourself to be present for your partner’s vulnerable side.
Showing your own vulnerabilities and appreciating your partner’s support.
Become the “vibrational match” for what you ask.
Maintaining positive energy is not always easy—especially after a string of bad dates. It takes practice and, many times, a new perspective. Having trouble focusing on the good, the happiness, or the wins in your life? Focus on gratitude. Several dates fell apart? The person you liked didn’t feel the same? Thank the universe for taking these people who aren’t the right fit out of your life quickly.
After a bad date, try thinking: “This experience helped me realize that I need a partner who’s less arrogant. Meeting the ones who aren’t for me will make it that much easier to see the ones who are special.”
After a break up: “Though painful, I’m grateful that I won’t have to convince someone to be with me. I now have time to meet someone who sees a future together.”
Who else believes in the Law of Attraction?
Lady Gaga: “It happened around 5 years ago but it’s sort of like a mantra. You repeat it to yourself every day. “Music is my life. Music is my life. The fame is inside of me. I’m going to make a number one record and the number one hit.” And it’s not yet, it’s a lie. You’re saying a lie over and over and over again but then one day, the lie is true.”
Eckhart Tolle: “Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world. Whatever you think people are withholding from you – praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on – give it to them.”
Will Smith: “I believe that I can create whatever I want to create. If I can put my head on it right, study it, learn the patterns, and — it’s hard to put into words, it’s real metaphysical, esoteric nonsense, but I feel very strongly that we are who we choose to be.”
Having the opportunity to share my passion has paid dividends. Following my unique path and letting the universe help me reach people on their path has been such a rewarding experience. I’ve met so many beautiful people on their search for love. Together, we’ve figured out exactly what kind of partner would be the best fit while, I, in the background, work on making quality introductions until both my client and the match are head over heels.
With over a decade of experience, I understand the romantic landscape—not just in the Bay Area, but worldwide. I’ve worked with clients from abroad and right here at home in Silicon Valley. I’ve had the privilege of attending weddings, anniversaries, and even baby showers for clients who’ve benefitted from Linx matchmaking.
I’ve manifested my best life, and, now, it’s time for me to help others manifest theirs.