Matchmaker updates

The current state of the matchmaking industry from an insiders perspective

It’s 2018 and I can officially say I am obsessed with being a matchmaker. It’s incredibly hard to believe that I have been running my niche business since December 2003. I will never forget the day that I walked into my former boss’s office at Merrill Lynch and told him I was quitting to become a professional matchmaker. I think his head fell off and rolled across the floor in shock. But it was the right move. I wasn’t happy in financial services. It was neither my calling nor what I was meant to do. I knew deep down in my core that I would start my own company one day and succeed at it – I believed in myself. In the same vein, and at the beginning of another year, I encourage you to believe in yourself. To achieve your dreams, whether professional, personal (e.g. meeting an exceptional life partner), or a combination, you need to believe in your ideas and have a solid confidence.

 

I am writing this particular blog entry to address the state of the matchmaking industry, as I see it. I’d like to think I have a good sense of, and some deep insights into, this space.  My livelihood is my business – I have been at this for 14 years, it runs deep in my blood, and it has been an integral piece of my life’s journey. At the beginning of a new year, I want to share my thoughts with all of you.

 

Not to sugarcoat anything, I have been very disappointed reading the press coverage of many matchmakers over the last several years – last year’s news, in particular, struck a chord with me. Something is just plain wrong with so many of the “high-end” matchmakers and “not so high-end” matchmakers out there – the vast majority of them are volume-driven businesses who’s business ethics are very questionable.

 

As a business owner, I have learned some of my greatest lessons over the last 14 years. A big one is not to take someone on board as a client if I can’t deliver. Seems pretty basic right? Contrary to this principle, matchmakers for the masses (and those handful who claim they are “elite” but have zero filtering or curation), are extremely focused on total revenue. I get it. It’s so tempting when running a business, whether big or small.   BUT I can proudly say that I have worked extremely hard via science (my database) and art (my heart and intuition) to truly “cherry pick” the best of the best clients whom I know I can match and with whom I know I can work. Emphasis on whom I know I can match!

 

Thus, one of the most critical distinctions between Linx Dating and pretty much any of the dating services available domestically and internationally is that we actually turn away a lot of incoming demand. To reiterate, why would I turn away these prospective male and female clients who can help me increase my business revenue? For starters, Linx prides itself in representing a very select group of clientele. There are other matchmakers that make these claims, but I can assure you that the majority of these firms have a revenue model that basically requires them to take all of the business that comes through their door. It is precisely THIS model that gets these other business into serious trouble when they cannot deliver results. In addition to this, a large complaint is that when the matchmakers work with so many clients, it is extremely hard for the client to feel any connection to the team or that anyone really knows or remembers them.

 

The news that I have been reading, and the stories that I keep hearing, involve nasty lawsuits where disgruntled high profile clients file claims against matchmakers time and time again. What are the root causes of most of these cases?

 

  • Matchmakers taking on clients that they probably should not have.

For example, some clients will never be satisfied under any circumstances. Maybe they have unrealistic goals, or haven’t really thought about the most important qualities they want in a match, and this makes it impossible for the matchmaker to ever deliver, as they in search of glorified unicorns that do not exist.

 

  • Due to (1), Matchmakers are under pressure to make introductions that are often so patently “bad” that the client freaks out at the quality of match.

 

“Bad” could be a long list of reasons, with characteristics ranging from undesirable to unacceptable: e.g. the introduction is unemployed, a drug user, a sex offender, convicted criminals….the list goes on and on. Firms do these set-ups like this with random people to meet the quota of introductions for the client. It is a very bad, often times unethical, business that makes this industry at large look bad!

 

I have never been consumed by trying to grow my business to some massively large scale operation and becoming a victim of image, keeping up with the Joneses, or trying to be something I am not.  There’s plenty of matchmakers doing PR campaigns posing in front of fancy cars, private planes, using waifish models to bait men, and bragging about the last names of some of their clientele to the media (which is also a breach in confidentiality mind you.) Instead of resorting to these tactics, I have worked very hard to maintain my core values and business standards throughout the years. While no one is perfect and, sure, I have made my fair number of mistakes along this journey, I know I have done and continue to do a superb job of try to make my corner of this industry shine with integrity while staying true to who I am.

 

If it wasn’t already looking so grim, other matchmakers I’ve read about have chosen to launder money when it was meant for donations to charity, or taken all the membership money, and essentially disappear on some island, all while not returning worried clients’ phone calls, and often literally not even delivering on promised introductions.

 

And then there are other matchmakers who loathe the success and positive media attention of their competitors so much that they resort to guerilla tactics that I have had to deal with over and over again in my business – e.g. false reviews posted on Yelp from “people” who were never even clients. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” -Colin Powell

 

To thrive in business and life, one must be prepared for critics and for those who wish to see you fail. While it can feel very out-of-control in the moment when it is happening, the silver living becomes your greatest blessing. The silver lining is the motive of the competitor. Envy. They recognize something great, likely question “how” such a small, niche business has managed to get to where it’s at, and want to copy its success. There really is no greater compliment than a person wanting to model your success.

 

As you are possibly researching matchmakers to hire, I encourage you to meet with many and do your due diligence. Do meet and greets, ask them questions, see which ones feel right, ask if they offer references (often we cannot, due to the strict privacy policy, but sometimes a client is willing to speak), and most importantly follow your gut. Just like I tell my clients when they are on dates, study your date’s body language, look into their eyes. What feeling are you getting? Is it a good one where your intuition is telling you to keep exploring the chemistry over the course of future dates or does something feel off?

 

The greatest lesson I have learned is never to ignore your intuition. There is a reason we human beings have it. My biggest regrets, and luckily they are few and far between, have been going against my intuition in business hires or in admitting a client or two whom I definitely should not have. So I encourage you to do the same, listen to what your heart and mind tell you.

 

While I continue to try to make a positive impact on the matchmaking industry, I wish you a strong start to your New Year filled with health, peace, prosperity, and clarity into your love lives in 2018!

Dreaming about Lake Como….Meet our Latest VIP!

 

Lake-Como-Linx-Header.jpgWe are pleased to announce a new VIP search. Our client is in his early 50’s, athletic, 6’1″ and 187 pounds – a European gentleman born and raised in France who has spent his entire adult life in the US. Our client believes in developing and pursuing passions in life, and feels he is finally very privileged to do so. On the professional front, after years in venture capital, he became a successful angel investor supporting entrepreneurs in building their dream companies. He now has the ability to help others who are not as privileged to access opportunities such a supplemental education and athletic activities for underprivileged kids.

Outside of his career, our client is a wanderlust who enjoys discovering more of the planet every year. In 2016 and 2017, this bachelor traveled to Patagonia in Argentina, The Galapagos, Peru, The Serengeti in Tanzania, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka in Japan, Tulum in Mexico, Capri and Lake Como in Italy, and soon to Spain, and back to Japan at the end of the year! Talk about a love of travel!

He has developed a special interest in Japan after six years in a traditional martial art school, and an interest in Zen, Japanese cuisine, and the current modernization of capital markets in that country. With a very progressive social conscience, he perceives himself as a citizen of the world.

He would like to find a partner to share some passions with, and possibly explore and develop new ones in common. Of Northern Italian descent, he would love to own a house overlooking Lake Como one day. Currently, he resides in the San Francisco Bay Area most of the time, and at a second home in Southern California in Northern San Diego County.

His best suited match is between the ages of 35 and 45. She is 5’5”+ , physically fit, with beautiful soulful eyes, and presents herself in a classy, elegant fashion. At her core, she is kind and compassionate, smart, sophisticated, passionate, loving, and has her own robust, dynamic life outside of a relationship with a man. She appreciates a strong, alpha male and recognizes that some of the best relationships are where men and women each bring their own unique characteristics to the relationship.

Notable adjectives to best describe her would be: nurturing, highly feminine, and not aggressive or competitive with her partner. She must be accepting and loving towards all creatures including a love of animals and children. Friends might comment how she exhibits a soft energy around them and is filled with light, love, acceptance, and warmth.

If you or anyone you might know could qualify as a candidate to meet this extraordinary European VIP, please email our founder, Amy, at amy@linxdating.com

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Why you should break your dating inertia

In conversations with countless individuals, we have discovered that people assume that matchmaking is about arranging marriages; this really isn’t true. For some people, marriage is definitely the next step in their dating lives, but for many of our clients this process is simply about learning how to move forward.

At Linx, matchmaking is about helping your break your dating inertia. Our goal is to simply help you move forward and get into the serious, lasting relationship you deserve.

One of the great advantages of working with a matchmaker is that we have the ability to help avoid the triggers and landmines of your past relationships when providing you with new introductions. We can best position you for success by pairing you with others who understand – or even share – your particular dating difficulties.

Need someone who isn’t threatened by your success, grad degree, identifiable famous last name, or unusual hobbies….look no further. Want someone else who has been in a serious committed relationship or previous marriage and “gets it?” We can actually help with all of that. In fact, it’s part of our job.

If you a prospective client or curious to see if you might make a match for some of our current clients, take a look at some of our select male client bios here and select female clients bios. Email our founder, Amy, and tell her a little bit about yourself amy@linxdating.com

 

Working with a Matchmaker | The Linx Difference

If you are stumbling upon this site and blog for the first time and unsure of what it is like to work with a professional matchmaker, look no further.

Let’s begin with that Linx Dating is. Linx is an offline boutique curated dating and social network located in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Founded by Amy Andersen in 2003, Linx has now been matching high caliber, relationship-minded Bay Area professionals for more than a decade.

A couple of general misconceptions stem around our demographic and that we just focus on matching wealthy older men and young women under 30 OR much older women with young men aka “cougar” dating.

Often prospects have read active searches on the Linx website and conclude because some of these select profiles describe representing young women that we must not work with women over 30. The reality is we represent many women of all ages from 20’s to 70’s.

We do know how the “cougar” concept happened and that was from being part of a feature story on Linx in Vanity Fair.  Linx is responsible for creating truly a social phenomenon in Silicon Valley at the iconic Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel and the legend continues years later. It seems like everyone has heard about the hotel and the dazzling Thursday night scene. It was all from one mixer Linx hosted at the hotel that the social scene EXPLODED with popularity and then truly became worldwide news after the VF story published.

Though our current focus remains on San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we represent eligible men and women across the U.S and around the world.  In fact, it is not uncommon for our clients to request that we conduct nationwide (and sometimes even global) searches as we help them in their quests to find true love. We represent a select handful of international VIP clients who reside across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. These clientele include CEOs, founders, prominent public figures, financiers, and members of royal families.

Beyond being a matchmaking firm, Linx is also a robust network of highly educated Silicon Valley professionals.  If you are new to Silicon Valley or the Bay Area and would like to make connections in a given industry or sector, this is a great way to network and expand your connections. In fact, though dating is our specialty, some of our most unexpected success stories have come from countless platonic social and business connections that can trace their origins to the broader Linx network.

The Linx Difference

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Linx works exclusively with college-educated nonsmokers (in fact, roughly 75% of our clients have pursued graduate-level education) and we pride ourselves on meeting each and every member of the Linx network in person.  Our vetting process is significant, and all Linx clients complete at least one interview as well as significant “homework” as we get to know more about them, their goals, and what they hope to find in their next relationship.

There are no complex matching algorithms at Linx but there is a comprehensive proprietary database and a human brain (Amy Andersen) that has interviewed every single one of the thousands of people in the database. In the style of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Amy has a highly developed sense of pattern recognition and intuition around people and what potential matches will work and those which are less likely to succeed. We are also a very small team; our clients are not handed off to junior staff or assistants once we decide to work together.  Our approach to matchmaking is team-based, and remains so for the duration of our relationship.

Though Linx has been fortunate to receive regular inbound requests for interviews and other media coverage, we neither advertise nor retain a PR firm – we take tremendous pride in staying away from buying up expensive ads in glossy magazines and airline publications to market ourselves.  We simply do our jobs well, as the vast majority of new clients come to us through referrals from past and current clients.

Our clients also appreciate our discreet approach to matchmaking, and value the importance we place on their privacy.  Client confidentiality is a core value at Linx, and we take the unusual step of not maintaining a cloud-hosted database.  It may seem like an unnecessary measure to some of our clients, but it’s definitely a source of comfort for others.

Linx is also unusual in that our matchmaking process is done client-to-client.  We represent both men and women as clients, which is rare in an industry that tends to focus on men.  We find that the successful, well-educated men of Linx appreciate and value that women are equally committed to this process, and also financially invested; when both parties approach an introduction with equal gravity, they tend to have greater respect for each other, and are more open to the possibilities that can result.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Years!

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Happy New Years and to a festive celebration wherever you might be in the world! We are so excited to kick off 2016 with gusto, passion, momentum, and what is appearing to be a very booked calendar ahead of appointments.

2015 was a spectacular year filled with so many exciting moments- lots of dynamic clients, many successfully paired couples, weddings, engagements, and babies born from Linx matches! One amazing VIP client in particular met his match in October and got engaged in November! He knew shortly after their first date she was the one for him.

I thought I would share an email from a VIP client in LA that just landed in my inbox today.

“I want to thank you for being in my life. You’ve introduced me to some of the most incredibly awesome women I have met so far in my life, and though I haven’t found “the One” yet, you are my best hope. I really appreciate you always keeping an eye out for me – and sometimes, I wish I just lived in NY or SF. Still, it’s been so rewarding working with you that I feel our final answer is just around the corner – and perhaps in the year that is just about getting ready to start.”

On that note, we have tons of new active searches that are up on the Linx site and will be continuing to add new ones to the website throughout January.  For the females reading this, take a look here at some of our most desirable bachelors and for the single guys reading this, check out some of our most eligible bachelorettes here.

Here’s to an incredible 2016 ahead and look forward to connecting with you all in person, through email or by phone.

XO,

Amy

 

 

 

Are You A Fan of the hit Bravo TV show Below Deck?! Join them as they set sail….

Dear Linx line readers,

I apologize by the lack of entries lately. This summer has been extremely busy with matchmaking and new clients from all parts of the country. It’s a very exciting time for Linx and in the next week, we will be sharing some of the new searches we are conducting for our newest members. Perhaps you’re a match for one or more of our newest members?

We’ve seen a HUGE demand for our services coming from incredible men of all ages. These guys are literally world class in every dimension of who they are and they’ve been enlisting the help of Linx right and left to help bring them many steps closer to finding their dream match. If you’re an unattached, brainy, attractive, physically fit, and vibrant woman, please submit your info here to potentially be considered for meeting one of these incredible men. With these guys, it is ALL ABOUT TIMING. In other words, this is “their time” to find love and the next woman they enter into an exclusive relationship with with most likely be “it” for the long haul. How exciting is that?

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Random topic, as you might imagine, I’m contacted all the time by producers wanting to do TV shows on Linx. I’ve turned down the reality offer dozens of times because it simply isn’t what Linx is all about and wouldn’t be a smart business decision for the brand- especially with the privacy and discretion of what is Linx. That said, I’ve been approached by the casting department for the hit Bravo TV show called Below Deck and have a cool opportunity for any of you readers who might see this as the opportunity of a lifetime.

Bravo is gearing up for “Below Deck Mediterranean,” and they are set to sail on the Mediterranean seas in September! This season is scheduled to air this fall, and being one of the first 3 charter groups onboard the yacht is an amazing opportunity to be a part of the marketing promos that Bravo has prior to the show’s airdate! For you Linx readers, this is actually a GREAT way to get primetime air time and promote your business, your brand, etc OR just grab 8 of your buddies, split the costs, and have a crazy wild time on the yacht.

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This season the backdrop will be in the Cyclades in Greece – a famous group of islands in the Aegean Sea. Gorgeous sandy beaches, architecture in white and blue, traditional lifestyle, and barren landscapes are an ideal fit for the exclusive yachting world. With 12 action packed episodes of fun-filled drama, adventures, and high-end living, this tropical paradise will be nothing short of spectacular!

With 5-star service, gourmet meals catered to your every need, secluded beaches only accessible by private yachts, and all the water sports and island fun that you can imagine, Below Deck is the ultimate luxury vacation! Each charter group will have the chance to create their own unique itinerary. Of course, the “catch” is in applying to be considered as a charter guest, your voyage is filmed for the show. Not to worry too much though, as the majority of the “drama” actually happens below deck (hence the name) with the crew- not the charter guests.

Once you arrive, the activities you can choose from are boundless. From jet skiing to wine tasting to fishing for your evening dinner, everything you desire is right at your fingertips! For a discounted charter rate you can be a part of this phenomenal show that has become a fan favorite and household name on Bravo!

You will be escaping on a luxury yacht at least 155’ long, with spacious decks and a master suite. This mega yacht sleeps will sleep up to eight guests comfortably. In addition, guests will have access to all of the boat’s water toys, which may include waverunners, seabobs, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear, water skis, wake boards, and assorted inflatable toys. All of these details will be confirmed once your charter group has been locked into a specific charter date!

The charters this season will be 3 days, 2 nights and the charter fee will be $40,000 or groups can go for 4 days, 3 nights and the charter fee will be $45,000. This charter fee covers round trip economy airfare to/from Greece for everybody in the group (we recommend keeping the number of guests between 4-6 people), accommodation the night before and the night after your charter, all food and beverages on the yacht, and a fully planned itinerary and all inclusive boat activities (beach picnics, snorkeling, water sports, boat toys, etc.) Additionally, the charter group is responsible for a cash gratuity, which is a 15 percent minimum, with most guests last season giving 20 percent and above because they were so happy with the service provided. mediterranean-beach-wallpaper.1024

Available Charter Dates (this does not include your travel days):

Charter 1: 3 days – departs September 9th– returns September 11th ($40K)

Charter 2: 3 days – departs September 13th – returns September 15th ($40K)

Charter 3: 3 days – departs September 18th– returns September 20th ($40K)

Charter 4: 3 days – departs September 22nd – returns September 24th ($40K)

Charter 5: 4 days – departs September 27th – returns September 30th ($45K)

Charter 6: 3 days – departs October 4th – returns October 6th ($40K)

Charter 7: 3 days – departs October 8th – returns October 10th ($40K)

Charter 8: 3 days – departs October 12th – returns October 14th ($40K)

Charter 9: 3 days – departs October 15th – returns October17th ($40K)

If you are interested in being considered CAST for this incredibly cool opportunity, please email me: amy@linxdating.com and I will put you in touch with the producers. Bon Voyage! XO