Lifestyle Women

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Striving For Greatness At Any Age…

We are pleased to have guest blog contributor Stephanie Herman write this piece for our readers. Thank you Stephanie!

Dear Readers,

How is it that I am going to be 66 years old in November and yet I feel 40!?!

I was a former principal ballerina in New York City and now am the creator of a new body awareness system that teaches people how to stay younger in mind and body.

What do I do to make myself feel young? Most importantly, I make sure to physically stay in shape. Then I make myself try things that scare me or test my comfort level. But I also sprinkle in the other major activities that I love in my life, such as spending time with family and friends, dancing, acting, performing, teaching, giving back and making sure to have FUN!

I have been teaching my Pilates/Fitness programs for 30 years. How do they stay fresh after so long? I keep reinventing them. I have 2 programs – CoreTique is a Mind Body Educational program that personally educates people about how to best move and control the body. If you know how, then the rest is easy. My 2nd program is “Pilates Ballet by Stephanie Herman,” that is a fun musical fitness program that takes CoreTique to the next level. By teaching these programs, it satisfies many of my loves of life – teaching, giving back, and having fun!

How did I add things that scared me or tested my comfort level? I was teaching my fitness programs and staying in shape by teaching, but began to realize that in teaching, I am not always doing the exercises because I am walking around helping others. I realized I was not putting the proper fitness regimen in my OWN life, so I decided to go back to ballet after a 20 year hiatus. Talk about scary!

It took courage to walk back into a ballet studio, as I was not in ballet shape. And it took courage to show up not in shape. But, I weighed the pros against the cons and realized that I just needed to be disciplined to make myself take on this endeavor. It was not easy, it took me about 1 -2 years to feel better about myself in ballet class compared to what I was 40 years ago. I needed to stop my negative self critique, and focus on one step at a time.   When someone in class said to me “you still have it!” that felt good.

Finally, I felt that I was missing performing in my life. So, at the age of 65, I decided to add more performance in my life. How? By taking baby steps. I started by taking an acting class every Thursday night in SF from 7- 10pm. Yes, that took courage. But I love it. It’s not really performing on stage, but it is starting to bring out the performer in me, inspiring me and giving me courage to try more – it occurred to me that staying young at any age can require courage if you want to be who you want to be. Don’t let yourself or others tell you otherwise. Surround yourself by people who support your dreams!

So what does it take to feel young? It’s your attitude … how you think about yourself … what you put in your life. Optimism, balance, fun, inspiration, passion, love, health and making your dreams come true.

Ok, now that you know the answer, how do you execute on it?

You need to start by understanding which of these elements are missing in your life. Take one thing … Is it your optimism? Is it your balance in life? Are you missing Fun? Love? Health?

Let’s break it down…

Optimism…… Try for the next 14 days to only be optimistic…. Put on the calendar each time you are optimistic and when you are being negative. Being aware is the first step in changing. You might find sometimes that being negative is a habit that just needs to be broken. Try to use the 14 days to believe in yourself, give yourself permission to do what you want to do without blockage.

 

Balance– Do you think your life is balanced? Look at what you do during the week…. Think about it as a giant pie that you want to split into 10 pieces. Each piece is balanced to fit into the pie. Write 5-10 major things that fill your week. Work, Play, Friends, Healthy Habits, etc. Then see how unbalanced it might look. Or, see what you would like to add and subtract. This could be an ongoing work sheet.

 

Now, LIVE IT!:)

If you are in the Bay Area and would like to contact Stephanie and learn about how she could help you achieve your greatest at any age,  you can check out her website at: http://www.StephanieHerman.com and contact info: (650) 465-7919 or Sh1dancer@aol.com

The Fur Ball | Humane Society Silicon Valley

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On April 23rd, my husband and I were invited to attend The Fur Ball supporting the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and sit at the President’s table. What made this evening so special was that our furry pup, Marshall, was invited too!  IMG_0050

If case you’re wondering what kind of bred Marsh is, he’s a mix of German Shepherd, chow, wheaten terrier, and pekingese. *phew!* Yes, we did a DNA test after we rescued him back in 2012. We are in Silicon Valley after all. 😉

Not surprisingly the Fur Ball was sold out and extremely well attended with hundreds of loving supporters, many of whom brought their dogs big and small. Some of the dogs were decked out in “bling” such as fancy studded collars, while others had costumes on, including Marsh in his bow tie and cuff links. Besides seeing all the adorable dogs, we got to meet some really interesting and dynamic people who’ve been supporters of the HSSV for many years. IMG_0047

Some wacky patrons like myself shamelessly hit the dance floor with our four-legged friends.  How many of you can say you’ve danced with your dog before?

While we walked around the silent auction tables and mingled with new and old friends, it made me realize what a great event this is for eligible men and women to patronize in 2017. PAW_9190(1) copy

Photo with HSSV President…

To find commonality with other like-minded people around the theme of animal welfare and charity. Imagine while you’re clinking glasses with someone you just met, your dogs can be checking one another out as well.

Did you even think your four-legged buddy could help you find the relationship you’ve been waiting for? Your pet can also be a tremendous help letting you know if he/she is getting a good vibe from someone you just met. How is your pet reacting to that new person? For those that want to learn exactly about involving your pet in your love life (keep swiping…woof woof!), Author Sheryl Matthys wrote a book called “Leashes and Lovers– What Your Dog Can Teach You About Love, Life, and Happiness.”

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Marsh meeting a new friend donning a mini top hat!

If large events are not your thing, you can always donate to The Humane Society Silicon Valley or volunteer your time. In fact, they have wonderful ways to get involved with that are wide ranging and might make the perfect match for you!

 

 

 

Egg Freezing Part 2: When should I tell my partner?

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There’s a shift in every woman’s life when they go from doing everything in their power to prevent pregnancy to desperately trying to preserve and fertilize their eggs before time runs out. As discussed in last month’s blog post, egg freezing is becoming a popular choice for women who want to take their fertility into their own hands on their own timeline. Many women who have frozen their eggs report feeling more confident and at ease when dating, but when is the best time to let your date know that your eggs are on ice?

Don’t blurt it out on every first date

Egg freezing is a new concept, so many men, especially those who don’t live in urban centers, are completely clueless about it. Some women in their late 30s and 40s reported feeling the need to tell every man they meet that they are still able to have children since they have frozen their eggs, but the men we surveyed said that sharing this in the first few dates is not necessary and can ruin the mood. You don’t want every first date to turn into a medical lecture.

Share it with someone you care about

Freezing your eggs is a big decision you have made, or are thinking about making, for yourself. The procedure takes a lot of time, energy and money, and speaks volumes about how much you value having the option to have your own children. This is a beautiful gift you can give to a loving, committed partner when the time is right. Most of the men we surveyed said that egg freezing is a smart choice that they respect and admire. It can give couples the time they need to figure out if they are meant to be or not before rushing into having children.

Wait until the topic of children comes up

Learning about your partners’ views on having children can be an immediate deal breaker or can bring you closer together. If you have frozen, or are considering freezing your eggs, having children is likely very important to you. If you want kids and your partner doesn’t, you should have the breakup conversation instead of the egg freezing conversation. People very rarely change their minds about wanting to have kids. If he also wants kids, this is the perfect time to tell him that you’ve frozen your eggs. He will probably be thrilled to share in your commitment to having a family.

Tread lightly

Have a plan before the topic comes up and understand what you want out of the conversation. Carefully explain to your partner why you are considering or have already frozen your eggs. Chances are your partner knows little to nothing about egg freezing and will have a lot of questions. Several men have reported feeling threatened by knowing that their partner can have children whenever and with whomever they choose. Communicate gently and be aware of his feelings.

The timing and delivery of this personal information will vary by relationship, but we felt compelled to share some general guidelines since this question has come up a lot recently. Whether you are thinking about freezing or have frozen your eggs, it is a big decision that you should share with your partner when the time is right.

Egg Freezing : Is it for you?

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We wanted to present our readers with a very relevant topic and offer you a two part series about egg freezing. In this particular blog entry, you will read about egg freezing from a scientific and data driven perspective and in the second follow-up blog, we will discuss how egg freezing can impact dating and relationships for better or for worse. With so many women discussing the most private aspects of their lives with Linx, often the topic of egg preservation comes up.

Since the invention of birth control almost 60 years ago, no medical advancement has empowered women more than egg freezing. Birth control gave women the freedom to delay conception and decide with whom they would like to procreate, and egg freezing can give women freedom from their biological clocks.

Egg freezing began as a procedure for cancer patients who wanted to preserve eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But over the past 10 years, egg freezing has become a hot topic for single women who don’t want to settle for the wrong guy just to have children while they are still fertile and for those who want to achieve certain professional goals before having children.

The recent popularity of egg freezing has spiked as a result of the marketing efforts of companies like Eggbanxx, a network of egg freezing doctors that attract new patients through egg freezing parties in New York City. Similar to Uber or Airbnb, many view egg freezing as a disruptive technology that can give women more control over their bodies.

Women start out with over a million eggs at birth, that number is down to 300,000 by the time they hit puberty, and it continues to dwindle every month until they are no longer fertile. Especially if they live in large cities, women are having children later in life, and egg freezing can give this option to women who have put off having children for one reason or another.

EggBanxx estimates that 76,000 women worldwide will be freezing their eggs by 2018. Successful pregnancy rates fluctuate greatly based on the woman’s age when she froze her eggs, how many there were, how they were frozen, how fertile she was to begin with, and which doctor did the procedure.

As the technology improves, more women have decided to freeze their eggs, and companies like Facebook, Apple, Citigroup and JP Morgan offer egg freezing to female employees as part of their benefits package. These cushy “insurance policies” are wonderful options for women as long as the companies also provide great benefits and support to women who choose to take time off to have children earlier their careers. In a 2013 New York University study of 183 women who had frozen their eggs, 19% said they might have had a child earlier if their workplace had been more flexible.

The New York Times just released that The Pentagon plans to roll out a pilot program offering military troops medical benefits for freezing eggs and storing sperm. This large scale program takes reproductive health to a national scale and recognizes the importance of giving troops important options.

Similar to cutting edge companies who are paying for egg freezing, celebrities have also brought the procedure into the spotlight. Diana Hayden (42), the winner of the Miss World pageant in 1997, gave birth to a beautiful baby from one of her frozen eggs, and Whitney Cummings (33), actress and comedian, often talks about how freezing her eggs gave her more freedom and less pressure to find the one as soon as possible.

Australian sexologist and author, Dr. Nikki Goldstein (30), also recently froze her eggs and videotaped the experience – from the shots, to the emotions, to the pain. During the process, Dr. Goldstein realized how deeply she wanted children and how important it was for her to have time to find the right partner.

You may want to consider freezing your eggs if:

  • You are in your mid-30s and single or not interested in having kids in the next few years
  • You are single and in your mid-30s to mid-40s and would regret never having a biological child
  • You are willing to research egg freezing and understand that there is not a 100% guarantee that you will be able to conceive a child from your frozen eggs in the future
  • You wouldn’t notice the $10-$15k egg freezing cost missing from your bank account (if your company doesn’t pay for it)
  • You understand the costs of extracting, freezing, storing and replanting your eggs, which can cost upwards of $50k total
  • You are committed to injecting yourself with hormones and are okay with being extremely bloated and in abdominal pain for a month before the doctor extracts the eggs
  • You realize that you may have to go through the egg extraction process 2 or 3 times if not enough good eggs are collected the first time
  • It is 100% your decision. Egg freezing brokers are popping up all the time to capitalize on women’s insecurities of ending up alone and childless. Do not get pressured into freezing your eggs – do it because it makes sense for you.
  • You want to take the pressure off finding the future father of your children on every first date.
  • You have been strategic about every decision in your life – where to go to school, which job to take, where to live, etc. – and you want to decide when and with whom you would like to have children
  • You have found a good doctor that you trust to perform the procedure
  • You have no religious issues with the concept of egg freezing
  • You live in or frequently travel to South America and don’t want to have children until the Zika virus has been wiped out

With only 2,000 births worldwide from egg freezing so far, the success rates are difficult to predict, but one thing is certain – egg freezing provides a groundbreaking opportunity for women to live their ideal lives on their own terms and timeline free from biological constraints.

Finding Love Again After Divorce or Loss of Spouse

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Romance, courtship, and monogamy are wonderful blessings to strive for in life, regardless of one’s age. 2015 has been a fascinating year across multiple axes at Linx, as we have had the opportunity to work with some of the most influential men and women in the nation. What I particularly admire about many of our new clients is that they are well over 50 years old. Many of them have been married once, twice, and in some cases three times. We have even represented many widowed clients who, after having taken sufficient time for healing, introspection, prayer, and quality moments with family and friends, affirm their belief that love with someone new seems fathomable and within reach.

Why spend the rest of your life alone when you could find a companion, a love, a lover, a dancing partner, a best friend- you name it – with whom you could fall in love and experience magic again? Loss, of any kind, fuels the soul with hope and curiosity – it can be very exciting to “hit reset” and to see who’s out there in this giant world of ours. It can make you feel like you’re 16 again and feeling puppy love.

Some of our 50+ year old clients have shared that one of the major things that dissuades them from dating again, after divorce or the loss of a spouse, is worrying about what their children will think. This concern is very real and makes perfect sense on a lot of levels. Understandably, it’s not uncommon for many men and women to have very (and in some cases I have seen, extremely) poor filters when they date for the first time after divorce or losing a significant other. In most cases I see, clients were together with their spouse for 20 years on average, which means that they sort of never really dated to begin with! They got married very young, had X number of children, and never looked back.

Fast forward decades later in this era of modern dating, the social and dating landscape couldn’t be more different! A very laissez-faire attitude amongst many singles has manifested itself over the last few years and comes hand-in-hand with the rise of a million dating apps, niche dating sites, and an underlying current of complete and utter disregard for courtship and chivalry- some of the original principles upon which Linx is built. What it means to be a gentleman and what it means to be a lady. Alas, I digress.

In the multiple cases to which I have been privy about dating for the first time post divorce or loss of spouse, the stories can be gruesome to say the least. For many men, they pick someone purely based on physicality. Unfortunately after a few dates or, in some cases, an actual relationship, these men realize that the match they chose comes nowhere close to the magnitude and quality that their late spouse or even ex possessed. It is their children who regard the new flame as a poor fit for their parent and remind them that they can do a lot better.

For women, they will often chose someone who makes them feel safe, loved, and where they feel a strong emotional pull. Many of the men that these females chose on their own do not match up to them financially and lifestyle wise. In other words, they are not in the same socio-economic class but, more importantly I feel, they lack sophistication. These females are reminded by their children that the new relationship is indeed threatening, and that the new guy is simply after her money. As the saying goes, love can be blind.

So even though I have heard so many stories of dating in the wild for the first time post divorce or loss of one’s spouse and as many times as I “feel” for my clients, in many respects it is important to go through this and see what’s out there before starting Linx. I believe it makes people (my clients) appreciate the quality and caliber of our clientele even more.

So in closing, if a dear friend, colleague, or parent is sailing through the seas without a rudder as they navigate dating in 2015-2016 alone, give them the encouragement and hope that finding love is indeed possible again. Remember it’s a sensitive subject and can take time, a lot of work, moments of sheer frustration, and rejection but that they too can believe in love again and make it happen. Let them try to pilot dating on their own with some tools to start with (i.e., get online, go to singles meet-ups, etc) and once they have dated a bit and practiced, then hit them with higher stakes dating where courtship and romance is simply a click away to: amy@linxdating.com

Love Line – Your next date is only a ride away!

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As children, we were told to study and practice as hard as we could to accomplish our goals. This is great advice to advance in school and work, but when it comes to love, it’s often serendipity instead of hard work that leads people to their significant others. People always say that they wouldn’t have met their husbands or wives if they hadn’t walked into that elevator, sat next to him or her on that bus, train or plane, or attended that party, conference, or fill-in-the-blank.

When I was a single, career-focused 20-something in San Francisco, I often wondered how I could increase my chances of meeting “the one” during my daily routine. I worked long hours and often only went out on the weekends, limiting the number of new people I encountered each week. Today, single men and women in San Francisco and other major cities can significantly increase their chance of meeting someone by simply sharing their commute with others using services like Uber Pool, Lyft Line and Chariot. My husband and I lived and worked only two blocks from each other, so we may have met one another earlier if we shared our daily commute to the office. Now that these services are available, why wait to meet your better half?

Forget speed dating – step into an Uber Pool, Lyft Line or Chariot, and take a chance on love! Here’s how to maximize your chances of meeting your next date on your next ride:

Uber Pool – Make sure that you have been paired with a member of the opposite sex. If not, cancel the ride and request a new one. Sit next to the person in the back seat instead of in the front seat next to the driver, and strike up a conversation! I rarely encounter someone who doesn’t want to chat, and everyone I have met is nice and interesting. I recently met a good-looking, accomplished British guy in an Uber Pool and set him up with a colleague of mine who I thought would be a perfect match for him, and they hit it off immediately! Even if the guy or girl next to you isn’t a match for you, consider setting them up with a friend.

Lyft Line – Lyft Line is great for meeting people since you actually see their picture before getting in the car, so if the picture doesn’t appeal to you, cancel and request a new one! Lyft Line also often picks up 3 people, which allows you to meet more people at once. Sit in the seat behind the driver so you have a good view of both of the other riders, and check their hands for wedding and engagement rings before asking them out. In general, Lyft Lines are more social and less expensive than Uber Pools, so pick the service that best suits your personality and budget. One Lyft Line passenger let me know that he asked a beautiful rider to be his date for a wedding the next day, and she agreed!

Chariot – Chariot now has 7 different routes to take you to and from work. You can meet new people and save money on your commute in their 15-passenger vans, and you will likely run into people more than once since you’re both commuting to and from the same stops. Put your cell phones and tablets away when waiting for your pickup and look around – are any handsome strangers also waiting for the same bus? When the bus arrives, quickly scan it for the best looking passenger, grab a seat next to them, and ask them a question. An easy option is to ask if the bus stops at your destination, gauge their interest based on their response, and take it from there! A woman I know landed her dream job after sitting next to her current boss on a Chariot ride, and she met her boyfriend during new hire orientation.

The next time you need to go somewhere, close your dating apps and fire up your Uber, Lyft or Chariot apps instead. While riding, smile, maintain a positive attitude, and don’t be shy. Numerous drivers let me know that riders exchange contact information all the time. On your next ride, you may meet your next date, business contact or friend!

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga