Relationship Advice

Finding Love After IPO

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You’ve poured your life into building your business. Long hours, lack of sleep, endless meetings have been your priority and, now, your time and dedication has paid off—your company is going public.

 

And, just like that, your social presence grows overnight. You’re inundated with speaking requests. You’re also inundated with a lot of romantic interest.

 

I’ve met several executives eager to re-prioritize their personal goals in the wake of an IPO. I’ve seen them struggle to find the right person—or even just a legitimate date—after coming into wealth and extra publicity. Ironically, for these clients, I’ve seen the dating space morph into a minefield of sorts.

 

How do you know if your next date is dating you for the right reasons?

 

How can you be sure that your private dating life stays private?

 

How will you know where to find the most eligible singles?

 

Just as you would hire a personal trainer to get fit or an accountant to organize your finances, I’ve been hired countless times to help extremely discerning clientele find their next partner.

 

To help my clients understand what they want in their next relationship and how to get it, I compare the process for finding the right partner to building a business.

 

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?

Perhaps you’re trying to remedy loneliness or are interested in building partnership. Maybe you’d like to “feel alive” with no strings attached, or you’re finally thinking it’s time to start a family. Most successful products and businesses are created to solve a specific problem—what’s yours?

 

Not sure where to start?

 

Envision your future. In five years, what kind of life do you envision? Where are you living? What are you doing? What would your mother say about you? How would your best friend describe you? Write it down.

 

  1. Set realistic expectations about the process.

What steps will you take in the short term to help meet your goals? Clients tend to be clear on their goals, but they can get a little lost on the game plan.

 

Some questions to ask yourself:

 

How much time do you plan to carve out per week to devote to your dating life?

 

How will you meet new people?

 

How will you date? Casual introductions over wine? Grand romantic gestures?

 

  1. Keep Iterating.

The qualities you look for may change during the dating process. Be open to the process and be prepared to adjust your ideas accordingly. Whereas it’s perfectly natural to have preferences (don’t we all?), you might find that your more urgent needs are satisfied by someone without the specific packaging.

 

Tip: Compromise on the packaging, never the standards.

 

  1. Hire your Weaknesses.

The demands of growing an empire may have distracted you from fine tuning your dating skills. Constant travel and other obligations may have limited your interactions to people in your professional network. Instead of trying to solve every problem at once, heed the words of billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely and “hire your weaknesses.”

 

Find the person you can trust; the person who has demonstrated enough experience in the realm of long-term relationships to help you make the best decision of your life. In the wake of money, media attention, and limited time, an extra pair of eyes, ears, and vetting could pay a lifetime of dividends.

 

With over a decades’ worth of experience serving high-profile clientele, I’m privy to the unique demands and sensitivities involved in the search for partnership. If you’re ready to hand off the reins to Silicon Valley’s leading matchmaker, get in touch.

 

Love and best wishes ❤️,

Amy

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Save It For The Judge…..

 

iStock-472711356 copy.jpgI recently had someone challenge me, in an email exchange, about the expectations that we have of the men we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

It is a great and fair question – but the answer is not so straightforward.  An equally great and fair question should be about the expectations we have of the women we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

In this blog entry, I hope I can begin to answer these questions and illustrate that it really does go both ways and that the reality of passing judgment on people (whether men on women or women on men) may not always be pleasant, but is a fundamental truth in the human nature of long term romantic relationships.

 

During the Linx client intake process, there are a variety of questions I ask of the prospect and the type of match (s)he seeks. My primary goal at this early stage is to hone in on the more “scientific” part of the search, as I gather objective data regarding the type of match someone desires. These metrics are powerful, in that they allow me, the expert matchmaker, to create a solid and plausible foundation for a long-term match.

 

Naturally, some of the questions I ask can be a little hair-raising for some clients – for example, when I am asking a female prospect about her dress size and weight or if she has taken fertility measures to preserve her eggs (see more about this toward the end of the blog), some do not appreciate these blunt intrusions into sensitive subjects, while others go through the process with absolutely no objections.

 

A great prospective client I encountered shared, “I would hate to think in the end women are being judged one dimensionally in this process. While I appreciate everyone has preferences I would not be a match with a man that over indexes on a female’s looks and a particular dress size.”

 

I responded and told her that men are wired completely differently than us women. It is a universal and biological fact that men are extremely visual and generally fall in love with their eyes, whereas women appear to fall in love with their ears. The metrics and science of what someone desires is a relatively big part of this equation to find the right match. Every man I encounter has his own stated preferences and desires. From a physical stand point, some guys want Chinese, others East Asian, some Caucasian, no one over 5’5”, no one under 5’5”, long hair, short hair, light eyes, tan skin, no freckles, sexy in her style, or conservative style, light on the make-up, or dolls herself up all the time.

 

The data I gather is a completely eye-opening, scattergram of chaos. To add another layer of complexity, we then dive into a match’s personality, religion, lifestyle, career choice, marital background, hobbies, etc. It goes on and on and on. And this same principle of everyone having his/her own objective desires in a match applies equally to women. Women are just as harsh critics as the men are in what they need in a mate (from height, to hair, to personality, to income, to background, to lifestyle). The overarching conclusion is that even the most angelic people judge others. It’s life. We all secretly like what we like and don’t like what we don’t like. We don’t want to admit that human beings discriminate on a wide range of metrics but it is a fact that everyone I have ever encountered in my 16 years of running Linx has their own stated preferences and deal breakers in a potential match and if they state that they do not, they are, at least to some extent, lying to themselves and to me.

 

Another hot button topic for some women is when I ask whether she’s taken any fertility measures in her personal life to preserve her eggs. Egg freezing has become so popular as the tech giants like Facebook and Google often offer to pay for these incredibly pricey insurance policies. Take it or leave it but the fertility question in the intake is a big one. Not only am I asking women if they have thought about this, or if perhaps have already done multiple rounds of egg freezing, but the men on many occasions lecture me when they come in for their initial in-person meet and greets about a female’s biology and youth optimum IF the male prospect is wishing to have children in his personal life. Of course, there are a ton of men who either have kids, do not want kids, or have kids and do not wish for more. Again, everyone has their own stated ideals.

 

It is fair that fertility should even be a factor in the selection of a mate? Shouldn’t a female be chosen for her brain, heart and soul? Yes, actually I do believe that. But when I look to match, I align core value sets from a foundational standpoint and fertility is a large part of this equation if both parties want the option of having a child or children one day. Women, rest assured, that men are just not looking for a hot female who has ripe juicy eggs. Thank goodness. They actually are not as pigheaded as folklore goes. It is universally true that the types of men Linx Dating work with do “want it all”, just as the females that come into Linx want a man who “has it all” as well. It’s holistic, not just one-dimensional. Men need to be attracted first and foremost and then everything else hopefully aligns – brains, personality, and balance. Women seek financial stability, someone who has a healthy dose of EQ/IQ, and attraction is part of the picture too.

 

Making sure each party has a solid foundation and the match is a long-term match, not some short-term play, is critical. The couples I match enter serious relationships. I am an a bonafide expert and work with my clients to remove the chaos that can envelop mate selection when they are working on their own and “dating in the wild.”

 

No matter how you look at it, people select mates for a variety of reasons and no matter the approach, whether it be meeting someone serendipitously, via online/app dating, through Linx, or at work, we all are built to thin-slice (a la Malcolm Gladwell’s classic book “Blink”) and we do it consciously and unconsciously on a daily basis. Human beings are judgmental and if we if didn’t judge and thin-slice, we wouldn’t be able to create order and make sense of all the information around us.

 

Friends with an ex: Worth the time or time to move on?

 

iStock_000042224340_Small.jpgAfter sharing love and a life together, severing all contact with an ex sounds like a harsh outcome to say the least, but is maintaining ties with an ex worthwhile? Traditional advice seems to support “clean breaks” and “moving on”, but is there something to be said for pursing friendship in lieu of separation?

 

Is friendship with an ex even possible?

 

According to The Journal of Social Psychology, friendship after a breakup is more likely if you and your ex were friends prior to the relationship.; the transition is easier if both parties have experience in the platonic realm. Conversely, if sparks flew shortly after meeting, you stand to endure more pain and awkwardness as the romance falls away.

 

The nature of the breakup will also impact the opportunity for friendship. Naturally, break ups that included heated endings—arguments, cheating, or any sort of perceived hostility—jeopardize chances of friendship. However, if the dumper used “de-escalation” tactics—or slowly started pulling away, the ex-partner has time to adjust and consider an alternative dynamic.

 

Why stay friends?

 

If you do decide to remain friends, have an honest conversation with yourself about your motivations. According to a research study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, your desire to remain friends after the relationship probably falls under one of the following reasons:

 

Reliability/sentimentality: your ex “gets you” and you can count on him or her to have your back.

 

Pragmatism: your ex makes your life easier. Your ex has resources you want—connections to business prospects, money, or skills you need.

 

Continued romantic attraction: You’re still in love.

 

Children and shared resources: Joint loans, kids, mortgages, etc. are obligations that make severing contact difficult if not impossible.

 

Diminished romantic attraction: Although the passion has waned, you still share an emotional connection.

 

Social relationship maintenance:You have similar friend groups or family friends.

 

Sexual access: Maintaining enough connectivity to ensure sexual opportunities or, simply, a friends with benefits situation.

 

Although reliability was the prevailing reason for friendship among both women and men, men were more likely to rate pragmatism and sexual access higher than women.

 

If you are pushing for friendship, be sure it’s friendship you’re actually looking for. To get your answer, ask yourself the following:

  • Are you scared to lose support, advice, and comfort?
  • Are you trying to avoid grief?
  • Do you want the benefits of partnership (i.e. sex) without a formalized commitment?

 

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be more interested in filling a void than pursuing a true friendship. If you find yourself pursuing contact for these reasons, the pain and stress of the breakup are probably encouraging some unhealthy rollercoaster emotions.

 

Using friendship as a crutch while your relationship dies will prolong the agony of heartbreak. The sooner you cut ties and take time for yourself—on your own—the sooner you may have an opportunity to pursue friendship.

 

What does creating space for friendship with an ex look like?

 

Firstly—and this may sound dramatic—defriend your ex on Facebook. According to research that appears in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, monitoring an ex on Facebook “exacerbates feelings of distress…and increases feelings of sexual desire and longing for an ex partner.” Although people who de-friended exes still experienced some setbacks in personal growth during their breakup, ultimately they reported less negative feelings than their stalker counterparts.

 

Instead of focusing on the friendship with an ex, you might find more value in revisiting your platonic relationships. The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that cross-sex friends who have always been platonic offer more satisfaction than cross-sex friends who have been lovers. Without sexual attraction or a need to get more serious, platonic friends share a pure connection.

 

Regardless of what you decide, give yourself—and your ex—and opportunity to adjust to the being single. If you do decide to pursue friendship, realize that the strong emotional connection you continue to share could complicate—at best—or preclude—at worst—your chances of establishing a new, totally fulfilling relationship.

New Year, New Resolutions: 7 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year for Love

 

iStock_000027212743Small.jpgIf you’re ready to make 2019 a year of unforgettable connection, I want to give you the best chance of success. The road to love does involve some work; it’s more than just taking risks, it’s also about letting go of the habits that hold us back. To get your 2019 started right, follow these 7 tips to simplify and expedite your path to a meaningful, fulfilling love life.

 

  1. Ditch the lukewarm arsenal of safe bets.

If you’ve been dating, chances are you’ve met some great people but, as great as they are, just aren’t a great fit for you. If you’ve accumulated a collection of “friends” and have found yourself “staying in touch” late at night or spending all your precious free time together, it’s time to cut the cord. Every moment you spend with someone who isn’t your match prolongs the wait for the right person. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

 

Example: As much as I should love having a glorious, no strings attached relationship, I’m going to try my luck at finding something serious. I want you to know that you didn’t do anything wrong; it’s just that I’m planning to try something new. Wanted to make sure you weren’t left wondering what happened.

 

  1. Let your on again, off again relationship rest in peace.

If you broke up, the relationship is, well, broken. If you have separated or called it off, and are thinking about trying again, ask yourself: “What has actuallychanged?”

Loneliness summons all types of uncomfortable feelings—like regret—while also only allowing you to see the good times and forget the reasons that led to the break-up in the first place.

 

Don’t let these lonely feelings fool you into trying again with someone you were certain wasn’t right for you or someone who was certain you weren’t right for them. The relationship isn’t right, especially at this time, so give yourself the space to grow.

 

  1. Leave the ghosts of your past where they belong: the past.

Heartbreak is a part of life. If you’ve looked for connection, you’ve experienced the pain of losing it. Spending time discussing the ghosts of relationship past will only allow them to keep haunting the future. Each time you choose to relive the happy moments of a past relationship or rant about where an ex went wrong, you resurrect a broken relationship from the dead. Give your new relationship every opportunity to thrive; keep the ghosts at bay.

 

  1. Evaluate how much you want a relationship. Align your behavior accordingly.

Just because you are single doesn’t mean you are seeking a relationship; behavior is the only true indicator of what you truly want. I say this—as obvious at it seems—because so many times people want a relationship but do not do the work to be in one. If you want to be in a relationship, get matched, say yes to new people, make a move. Do something! It might not feel good, but it will prove that you are actively pursuing your personal goals.

 

  1. Refuse to negotiate the red flags.

If you like someone, it’s easy to let the feelings of infatuation cloud better judgment. Instead of making excuses for someone else’s error, re-claim your power by making very intentional mental notes.

 

If your date, for example, is going hard on the drinks and you find yourself unimpressed or concerned, you can try one of two approaches:

 

  1. I have noticed that my date is drinking beyond what makes me comfortable. I am choosing to note this for now. If it happens again, I will choose to be with someone who makes me feel less concerned.
  2. I am uncomfortable with my date’s drinking and have decided that I want to be comfortable. I choose to move on.

 

Every time you make an excuse for someone, you are stripping away your ability to make a choice. Once you break the habit of being forced to accept to being able to choose, you will feel much more aware of your standards and much less open to people who don’t meet them.

 

  1. If the present fulfills you, don’t let the future stress you.

Have you met someone who makes you feel fantastic? Get familiar with those feelings and let yourself experience them totally! Too many times, I have seen clients sabotage happy, functional relationships in their efforts to “know where it’s going”. Sometimes, the most challenging part of a blossoming relationship is allowing it to unfold organically. If you do find yourself pushing for answers early on, consider the source of your fears and giving yourself time to sort them out before they jeopardize your next connection.

 

  1. Discover what makes you most magnetic.

Whereas people have their preferences when it comes to physical looks, no one argues with the allure of a happy person. That happy energy—the joy of genuine contentment—is universally attractive. Discovering those things that make you feel alive—cooking, hosting, fixing, building—whatever it is, will help you broadcast something special. Cultivate your own happiness and let that new energy work for you.

 

If you’re intent on making the magic happen this year, consider outsourcing some of the work to the professionals. I receive dozens of new clients who want to meet people beyond their traditional circles. Get in touch! Maybe I’ve just added your next match to my rolodex.

 

I’m sending you best wishes for happiness and love in 2019!

Warmly,
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Amy Andersen
Founder & CEO
Linx Dating LLC 

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Here’s what the science says about coming on too strong…

How often has the following happening to you:

Your great date has suddenly disappeared.

  • You always initiate contact with the person you’re trying to see.
  • You’ve heard “I’m just not ready” or “I think we’re moving too fast” within the first few dates.

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably coming on too strong. This type of oversharing can be attributed to the misalignment between how someone sees themselves versus how others perceive them. At University of Texas, researchers applied the self-verification theory to explain why people continually overshare. In an effort to get people to view them the way they view themselves, some people reveal too much too soon–overly personal details, traumas, and strong feelings.

To feel happier, people want to be viewed the same way they view themselves. The person who comes on too strong believes he or she is putting your anxiety at ease by confessing their own feelings. That person believes he or she is providing important information you need to have right away, because he sees himself as a romantic or someone in love. If the feelings are unrequited, or incongruence happens, the self-verification theory notes that the oversharer will experience a negative outcome.

People who come on too strong tend to keep doing so, because they believe–on a fundamental level–that they are doing the right thing and when incongruence strikes, it’s especially debilitating because it jeopardizes the way the person sees himself.

So, how do I know if I’m coming on too strong?

Take a minute to evaluate your date’s responses. Did your date ask you lots of questions? Did (s)he initiate kissing, touching, or contact of any kind? Did (s)he propose a time or place to get together again? If not, slow down the pace until you see reciprocal positive signs that invite attention.

But, what’s the problem with telling someone how I feel?

There’s nothing wrong with sharing feelings, but it’s in your best interest to apply some objective, non-emotional thinking to ground you. For example, it’s been two dates, and you’re feeling very interested. Understand that the other person involved only knows you as much as he or she has experienced with you to that point. That person won’t know that you’ve turned down countless dates or are hard to get; they only know that it’s been a short period of time, and that’s all it took to win you over.

Without having had to “earn” your affection with positive behavior or sufficient time to show you who he or she really is, the other person won’t be able to figure out a legitimate reason for you to have such strong feelings.

When someone says too much too soon, it suggests an immediate need to fill a void versus a well-considered, intentional selection based on someone’s unique character. Just as you wouldn’t want to feel like your partner could be with anyone, and that you were just the first to come along, you shouldn’t give any reason for the person you’re dating to feel this way.

So, when should I express my feelings?

There is no “right” time to voice strong feelings. The only “right” thing to do is to try to understand what your true motivation is for doing so. Are these strong initial feelings stemming from a place of neediness? Has it been a while since you’ve met someone halfway decent? If you feel a sense of urgency to share the love, spend time figuring out the why.

 

7 Practical Ways to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work

 

iStock-925386886 copy 2.jpgMaybe you’ve met someone on vacation or you’ve decided to look for love in more than one (local) place—and found it. Either way, you want to see where the relationship is going, and you don’t want distance to get in the way. To make the best of your long distance relationship, we suggest these 7 practical ways to help make that (temporary) distance a mechanism to bring you closer.

 

  1. You spearhead constant communication.

Naturally, you and your long distance partner will share bigger life events, but it’s talking about the small stuff—the daily minutia—that will make your relationship feel “normal”. Ask the small talk questions and try to track the recurring characters. The goal is to get enough information so that you can hear updates without having to ask the who, what, or why each time.

 

  1. You make being accessible a top priority.

Work schedules and sleep schedules across different time zones can make connecting more difficult, but not impossible. A little bit of planning can bridge the gap.

  • Send What’s App messages before bed so that your partner can wake up with you.
  • Spend one lunch break, breakfast, or dinner together via skype. Yes, that’s right. Pull out the computer with your glass of red.
  • Download WhatsApp or Facebook messenger to avoid unnecessary costs associated with international messaging fees.

 

What it looks like: One client went for a 30 day meditation retreat in northern India. Although she prepped her partner well before her month-long departure, she sensed his skepticism and slight resentment over her plans. To bridge the gap and stay true to her break from technology, she wrote him a letter or post card almost every day detailing her thoughts and realizations. His inability to communicate back left much to be discussed upon her return. Instead of creating distance, the month apart ultimately brought them closer together.

 

  1. Try different types of communication.

Spice up your communication style with something new. Take a break from the texting or phone and opt for a video call. After so many texts, you can miss important nuances and forget the little personality quirks that make your partner unique. The point is to make distance seem more like a slight inconvenience than a real barrier. The phone calls will give you insight to tone and mood; the video chats will help you decipher the real emotion. Even snail mail might help you see a more serious, intentional emotional side.

 

  1. Be romantic.

You won’t be around to make her coffee or buy her flowers, so find new ways to make her feel loved. Coordinate a flower delivery—out of the blue—to show that yes, you value romance and will make that happen regularly once you’re together. Use this temporary time apart to provide a preview of coming attractions.

 

What it looks like: One client started dating a man shortly before he fielded a work assignment in Germany. Whereas she wasn’t interested in dating across continents, he had different plans. Shortly before Valentine’s Day, the man got in touch with the client’s closest friend to figure out the perfect romantic gesture. Together, they decided the client needed a anti-stress holiday. He reserved a hotel room and a spa day for both women and arranged for a bottle of champagne and cheese plate to be delivered shortly after they arrived. The thoughtfulness and surprise factor was all the client needed to wait out his return.

 

  1. Always have a meeting in the works.

To survive the hurdles of distance, it’s easier to have a goal—like a meeting that’s right around the corner. Have the next meeting in the works before you end up apart. Whether it’s a short trip or a long holiday, all that matters is that you two know you have definitive plans to be together.

 

  1. Get a credit card with travel perks.

It’s as obvious as it sounds, and yet lots of couples miss out on the perks. Find a card that pays you back in miles or upgrades or lounge visits. If you’re anticipating time apart, get a card that’s going to make it even easier to get together.

 

  1. And, finally, remember just how little time you’ll be apart in the grand scheme of things. Something special is worth the wait. If you’re meant to be together forever, one week, one month, or one year, will hardly matter. Linx has brought so many couples together who are separated by cities, states, and countries. Couples have navigated these waters by following the aforementioned tips and ultimately overcoming distance, to say “I Do!”  💍 ❤️

He wants to try polyamory. What do I do now? 5 Questions to ask yourself before proceeding

 

iStock-859766444 copy.jpgThe popularity of non-monogamy—the practice of engaging in many intimate relationships—is on the rise, but is it the right path for your relationship? If you’ve found yourself in this situation, the most important piece of the puzzle is getting clear about what you want.

 

It’s important to understand what a polyamorous relationship entails. Firstly, it is a relationship built on consent. So, if you or your partner engages in another relationship without the consent of the primary partner, that’s not polyamory, that’s cheating. Also, polyamory is not exclusively about having multiple partners – if that were the case, you’d be describing an open relationship.

 

Sound a little complicated? Well, I’d agree with you. I’ve seen the invitation for multiple partners complicate functional relationships for years. To be fair, the relationships were on shaky ground before the discussion of additional partners was on the table, but each time the conversation about additional partners came up, someone was left feeling disappointed.

 

I believe the best decisions come from a place of honesty. Before you decide if polyamory is for you, consider the following:

 

  1. What led you to this decision?

If your partner surprised you with the proposition, it’s already looking like an unnatural evolution of your relationship. However, if you did some deep soul searching and believe that multiple partners will help you become the best version of yourself, I think you should listen to that voice.

 

  1. Are you doing this to please someone?

Compromising your picture of the relationship to paint someone else’s will only backfire. Instead of ensuring closeness, you’re building a strong case for resentment and contempt. In addition, it is common for jealously to flood the brain.

 

Ask yourself: Will my partner’s feelings towards me change based on my response?

 

  1. Are you doing this to fix something “broken”?

Compromising your needs in an attempt to “get the relationship back on track” or “try a new experience together” are just falsehoods to help us cope with the knowledge that the relationship is flawed on a fundamental level.

 

Ask yourself: How, specifically, will my partner’s new relationship with someone else strengthen our relationship?

 

  1. Are you able to speak openly about jealousy, sexual health, and feeling insecure?

Are your lines of communication open enough to discuss some of the harsher realities of polyamory? Some common drawbacks include feeling jealous, insecure, and secondary. Will you be able to talk about the physical implications of more than one sexual partner? Are you able to talk about feelings of insecurity at the risk of sounding needy? If any of this gives you pause, consider how much stress the polyamorous relationship could put on the level of communication with your partner.

 

  1. Are you able to set boundaries? Are you prepared to leave if they are crossed?

This point echoes the sentiment above; are you able to communicate openly about your needs in the relationship? If you are entertaining a polyamorous relationship, are there certain people off limits to your partner? If you are not able to voice these concerns for fear of upsetting your partner, you will sabotage your emotional well being.