Relationship Advice

Dating: Is it Really just a Numbers Game?

iStock-467685128 copy.jpg

After a bad date, string of bad dates, or zero dates, you might hear someone encourage you to try again with the old adage: “Dating is just a numbers game.” Sounds like a straightforward concept, but is there truth to this?

 

Although more dates increase the odds of meeting someone, you are not making the most of your dating experiences or your time unless you are learning more about yourself or figuring out a better picture of what you’re looking for.

 

MEN: If the “numbers game strategy” involves asking every woman you meet on a date in hopes one says yes, you are missing the point. However, if you are employing some level of discernment beyond visual cues, you are more likely to find a meaningful connection.

 

WOMEN: If your “numbers game strategy” involves going out with men with whom you haven’t had a single meaningful interaction but who are simply interested in you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Give yourself a chance to establish baseline connectivity before committing to a date.

 

When dating becomes a numbers game, it pushes us into a quantity over quality mindset, overwhelming our capacity to connect. One, it becomes easier to be more casual, passive about dating if each date is just an outing—not finding an opportunity to really connect. Two, you risk dating burnout. And, three, to achieve stronger, more meaningful interactions—the kind that last—we must know ourselves to filter potential candidates effectively.

 

Think you might be stuck on a lackluster romantic hamster wheel? Try asking yourself the following questions:

 

Does this person offer me chemistry and sustainability?

The chemistry makes things interesting, but what good is amazing chemistry unless it can lead to a deeper, enduring relationship? Unlike chemistry, the sustainability question requires logic. It may feel like you’re conducting an interview but getting clear answers on whether a potential partner is in a place—geographically and emotionally—to invest in a relationship will ultimately save you time and energy.

 

Am I aware of myself and what I am looking for?

Some of us carry negative habits and energy which can block our ability to receive and give love. Left unaware about the things we do to make ourselves less loveable will make it harder for a partner to connect. Furthermore, without knowing our blind spots, we won’t be able to select the right person to balance us.

 

Am I willing to take responsibility for the impact I have on another person’s emotions?

 

Taking responsibility for the way you date will make you more conscious about who you date. When you are deliberately seeking sustainable relationships, you’ll fine tune your ability to sniff out the relationships that don’t serve long term needs.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get Over a Break Up ASAP

iStock_000019224889Small.jpg

Both sides of the break up coin are agonizing. The person initiating the split has to fill the role of bearer of bad news, usually wounding the heart (and ego) of someone who he or she cares for deeply. He or she usually experiences guilt, confusion, and a unique type of stress that stems from knowing the end is near. On the other hand, we have the person receiving a final decision. Stripped of all opportunity to direct the course of the relationship, this person is left vulnerable, helpless, shocked, or disappointed.

If there was connection—real connection—pain is to be expected from all parties involved. We also know that every relationship that doesn’t make it to the next level will end with a breakup, yet we still find ourselves hurting after every split.

So, how do we heal from heartbreak faster?

  1. Avoid Numbing Agents—Shopping, food, alcohol, rebounds, pills, and drugs used to mask the pain will only prolong the agony of loss. Deriving relief this way will only push you deeper into depression, debt, or weight gain.

 

  1. Feed Yourself Well—When your heart is hurting, it’s even more important to monitor what goes in your body. Excessive sugar will crash your system; processed food will challenge your energy; and not eating will stress your heart even further. Now is the time to treat yourself to the best food you can get your hands on.

 

  1. Bring Yourself Joy—It’s easy to fall out of love with yourself just because someone else has. So many factors lead to relationships ending; we forget that so many of those reasons have nothing to do with who we are.

 

  1. Follow the Good Vibes—We tend to feed off of the energy around us. Experiment with a new crowd that offers you a fresh start. Science reveals laughing and smiling are instant mood lifters, so give yourself an opportunity to absorb the joy around you.

 

  1. Remove the Reminders—Pictures, cards, and other reminders should be out of sight. There is no need to live among reminders of relationships past. The mementos, seemingly innocuous, can derail your path to healing. Also, consider un-following—not unfriending—your ex on social media. You can always change the setting when you’re in a better place without anyone finding out.

 

  1. Keep it Simple—This is harder than you think. Attending parties he/she might attend? No. Finding reasons to reach out? No. Keeping in touch with his/her friends? No. It’s easy to think you can “be adult” about crossing paths, but the heavy emotional charge has a way of clouding better judgment.

Ironically, the things we are least likely to do during a break up — eating right, visiting friends, meeting new people—are the things that will help us heal the fastest. Giving yourself the time to cope with loss is going to fast track you to a better place with a better partner.

6 Signs He’s Boyfriend Material

iStock-520542242 copy.jpg

During the first stages of dating, it’s tough to know if your current date situation is worthy of a more in depth investment—with your time and your emotions. Here are 6 telltale signs that the one you’re seeing has the stuff that boyfriends are made of.

 

  1. He remembers the little things.

Men who are genuinely interested keep track of information that is specific to you—your favorite movies, foods you dislike, places you want to see. Though they may not appear actively engaged, you’d be surprised with how many details they’re absorbing.

 

Here’s what it looks like: He knows you get cold—even when it’s 70 degrees outside. He will make sure you know where to find a blanket or he’ll set aside his favorite sweatshirt or oversized sweater just for you.

 

  1. His values his family.

Staying connected with the parents and siblings reveals that he’s able to maintain relationships with the ones who matter most. Even if drama lingers at home, he has a way of seeing the bigger picture. A guy who prioritizes his family will be more likely to invest in a family of his own and sustain a relationship with you through for the long haul.

 

Here’s what it looks like: He talks about his sister’s upcoming visit…and hopes you will be available to meet her.

 

  1. He has excellent follow though.

If he says he will call, he does. He doesn’t just talk about plans; he actually makes them. If he’s serious, you won’t need to push or prod to see action; he’s happy to orchestrate gestures—big and small—to keep things interesting.

 

Here’s what it looks like: When my client’s date had to fly out for work travel, my client said he would pick her up when she returned. Unfortunately, the date’s plane was delayed. Despite an 11:30 p.m. arrival, he was there to drive her home.

 

  1. He puts you first.

There is nothing more telling about a man’s intentions than the way he prioritizes your needs over his. We’re not talking about a man doormat; we are talking about someone who is committed to ensuring that his date is comfortable and happy.

 

Here’s what it looks like: My friend felt ill at a basketball game with her date. Instead of asking her to stay till half time or getting annoyed about losing out on the great seats, he found her some Advil and quickly escorted her home. The next day he called to check on her.

 

  1. He communicates with you often.

Despite his busy schedule, he always makes time to check in. It’s not the length of the message that counts; it’s the frequency. You might get a text, a phone call, or even a social media nod. Whatever it is, you won’t be left wondering if or when you’ll hear from him.

 

Here’s what it looks like: After two weeks my friend’s date left for international work travel. Between the time changes and the work load, she didn’t think she would hear from him for days. She was pleasantly surprised when he bought a new sim card and called her when he checked into his hotel.

 

  1. He’s interested in growing and evolving.

He realizes that he’s a work in progress and wants to better himself. If he’s aware of his faults and interested in working them out, you’ll save yourself the un-winnable battle of trying to change someone. Openness about his desire to grow and change can be an opportunity that brings you closer together.

 

Here’s what it looks like: When my client first started dating in the wake of a painful divorce, he felt aloof and noncommittal. When he first met his girlfriend, he wasn’t sure how much to divulge about his past. Knowing that a lack of communication caused havoc in his first marriage, my client opted for transparency. He realized that for true intimacy to exist, he needed to experience vulnerability. His openness strengthened their bond and left both my client and his now girlfriend feeling secure about their relationship.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divorced? Here are the Top 5 Questions She Needs Answered

 

Dating after divorce isn’t easy but, with nearly half of all marriages ending in separation, it’s not unusual. However, for some women who haven’t been married before, your divorce can pose some challenges. Many daters associate divorced people with excess baggage. Being upfront and willing to talk openly about your past can clear up these misconceptions and help your date clear up any doubts that are getting in the way of a potential relationship.

Knowing what to reveal about your divorce is half the battle; you also need to know how to talk about your experience.

Here are the top 5 questions women ask themselves when dating a divorced man and tips on how to answer them effectively:

  1. Does he have a crazy ex wife?

 Your date is trying to figure out how your ex wife will affect the relationship you share. She might wonder, “Will his ex be a source of perpetual drama?” or “Is the ex wife vindictive?” Whether or not your ex has handled the divorce maturely is irrelevant; your date just needs to know that you are able to handle any backlash from your past. Although tempting, you should never throw your ex wife under the bus. Not only is it unattractive, it reveals underlying anger on your part that can be perceived as a red flag.

How to discuss: “We were both ready for those divorce papers and once everything was finalized, we both moved on to better things.”

  1. Is he in a rush to get married right away?

To make up for a failed marriage, some men are overly eager to get it right the second time. This question has a way of answering itself, but it’s best to avoid talk of marriage early in the courtship.

How to discuss: “After being married X years, I know myself better and have a clear picture of the kind of woman I’d like to share my life with. I also know that being in a rush to make that happen would ruin the fun.”

  1. Is he afraid of getting married again?

A painful divorce could deter anyone from round two, so it’s important to convey that you are open—but not rushing—to marriage. She wants to know that you won’t let a bad experience get in the way of a future with her.

How to discuss: “Marriage didn’t work out the first time around, but I’m excited to figure it out again and share my life with the right person.”

  1. Why did they get divorced?

In the early stages of dating, you can answer this question sufficiently without going into much detail. Even if you made some serious mistakes during your marriage, you can address them later once the relationship has progressed. In the meantime, stick to a message that reveals how much you learned and evolved from your first marriage.

How to discuss: “Marriage for us wasn’t right in so many ways—it’s hard to pick just one reason why it fell apart. I’m glad I went through it because I’ll make a better partner next time around.”

  1. If kids are in the picture, what does that picture look like?

If you have children, absolutely mention them early in the relationship; they should never come as a surprise to your date. She will want to know about the relationship you have with your kids and the role they will play in your courtship.

How to discuss: “I have two kids from my first marriage, and I share custody with my ex wife. I’ve got the kids on weekends, and I love being involved in their lives. I try to give them as much stability as possible, so I generally keep my relationships and kids separate in the beginning. Would love for you to meet them one day when the time is right for both of us.”

Remember, your divorce is not a deal breaker, it’s just a part of your story. Being open about your failed relationship and framing it the right way will help your partner realize that although your first marriage was broken, it gave you an opportunity to be a better partner in your next relationship.

 

The best first dates, start with you being you. Read tips on being the best version of yourself on a date here

 

 

Happy Fall and Linx Testimonial

Couple taking selfies in a park.

Dear Readers,

Happy *almost* fall! I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last entry. Truth is it’s been extremely busy on the matchmaking front, focusing a lot of my energy on a handful of international VIP searches.  It seems like the summer flew by in the blink of an eye and it’s hard to believe that October is only two days away!  The summer brought in some incredibly new dynamic Linx members of all ages. It also meant a fair amount of members took time off from dating to travel for pleasure and to gain a fresh new perspective and clarity about the type of match he/she needs for the long term. Sometimes, taking time off from dating for a month or two can actually be the best thing that happens to you. It allows a shift in focus, mental clarity, and gaining mastery over dating anxiety and being single.

In July, a beautiful and incredibly smart early 30’s female came into my office for a screening. Although there are several steps that lead up to the actual matchmaking phase, the initial “meet and greet” marks the beginning of our scrupulous Linx Dating screening and vetting process as we delve deeply to get to know all about a prospect, who he/she is,  and what he/she seeks in a perfect match.

The art and science inherent in this careful “due diligence” is one key factor that distinguishes Linx from other run-of-the-mill matchmakers who mass market their services and often have no real desire to get to know their clients.  Our discreet, closed-network approach is unique, and further differentiates us as the firm of choice for high caliber and well-educated professionals. I personally sit down with EVERY prospect and client one-on-one and take the time to really get to know another.

When she came into my office, I immediately liked her. She had a real infectious energy about her, a warmth, curiosity about the world, and empathy. This hard-working young professional based in San Francisco opened up about past relationships and in hearing her story, I knew I could immediately help her. I instantly recognized patterns in her dating which included picking the wrong types of guys where she gave these relationships her ALL yet didn’t get what she deserved in return. Ever been in one of those “one-sided” types of relationships? You give, give, give, and try really hard to make it work and the other just seems to take, take, take, and you feel an on-going void.

I told this Ivy educated prospect I wanted her to jazz up her image a bit if we were to work together- think Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s meets Olivia Wilde as Beatrice Fairbanks in The Longest Week.


 

One of the many unique dimensions and value-adds of being invited to join Linx is that matchmaking is done using a holistic approach from date preparation (this could involve date coaching, wardrobe consult, hair, make-up, fitness training, nutrition, etc) to actual matchmaking, valuable feedback, and a continual open dialogue with client to ensure he/she is on track for relationship success!

The prospect told me she was ready for love and wanted to work with Linx. After our meeting, I prepared a proposal with an outline of how I could best help her. This honest feedback included some preparation for (hair, make-up, review of her date clothing she already had in her closet) and making sure she was 100% ready for this journey with Linx.

It didn’t come as a surprise that she needed to take a few days to digest my proposal and in fact, it’s highly encouraged versus rushing a big decision. She came back to me over email with open arms and said she was ready to embrace my plan of action. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE when a new client is 100% ALL IN, trusting, ready, and their excitement is palpable.

I thought it would be particularly helpful for readers to hear her experience. Here’s her testimonial about the Linx process so far.

 “I explored working with Amy at the start of the summer, after hearing about her from a family friend who had overheard someone discussing “the best person in California to help you find the right spouse.” I’d experienced loving relationships in my past but had not found “the one” yet and was turned off by the non-committal, often judgmental dating scene of the Bay Area. I went into our initial meeting open-minded and cautiously optimistic. What type of men did she work with, what type of woman were they looking for, and was that me? Were they really looking for commitment and a family? Would the quality of potential matches justify the cost?

My initial meeting with Amy went better than I expected. She carved out a large chunk of her morning to talk to me in detail about what I value, my history, my personal passions, and what I thought I was looking for in a future husband. She also suggested particular qualities and areas to focus on that I had not previously prioritized, based on her years of working in the industry and seeing both successful and unsuccessful relationships. This was particularly helpful, and where it is crucial to be open-minded – Amy has seen it all and can recognize needs or patterns instantly. The moment I opened up to her (often small) ideas, I noticed a change in my mind-set and happiness in the dating land.

The process of working with Amy is a dream. You get out of Linx what you put in. Amy is available to email or message literally every day – if you have your important first date on a Saturday, she makes herself available that evening to see pictures of what you are wearing and help you make decisions if you’d like it. She is your best cheerleader and coach, providing encouragement and tips as you navigate the early stages. Amy will provide honest and insightful style tips; she helped me tweak my look in a way that I had never imagined and makes me feel beautiful every day. Matches will come at the cadence you’d like them – whether that be immediately upon becoming her client or more gradually. Amy is very thoughtful about who she matches you with, thinking about both of your needs and desires. She talks you through the initial matching phase, answering questions you may have about the other person and providing insight into why she thinks this particular person is so well suited for you.

My personal Linx experience has been fulfilling, enjoyable, and unbelievably rewarding. Within one week of becoming Amy’s client, I had my first official match with a man who was basically my “dream guy.” We became exclusive almost immediately, and things continue to progress very well. It’s still relatively early, but I couldn’t be happier. I’m so grateful to Amy for her continual guidance and encouragement along the way.”

 

 

 

Flooded by Jealousy

In today’s modern dating world, it’s safe to assume that most singles are dating around until they enter into a monogamous relationship. If you really like someone in the early stages of dating, it’s normal to feel jealous when you see other people write flirty comments on their social media pages, hear their phone blowing up with text messages, or run into them when they’re on a date with another person.

Jealousy is a natural human emotion that we all experience from time to time. While the root causes of jealousy may vary, the damage jealous behavior can cause to a relationship can be detrimental.

If jealousy sets in when you start dating a new person, consider the tips below to set yourself up for a successful relationship:

  • Play it cool – Don’t go through your date’s texts and emails. No good can come from snooping, and you will quickly lose their trust in doing so. Give them the same trust and respect you expect to receive from them. If you see them out to dinner with someone else, don’t immediately jump to conclusions about the nature of the dinner or the person’s trustworthiness. Dating around before entering into a committed relationship with one person is perfectly normal.
  • Speak up – If you want to date this person exclusively, let them know. Tell them you don’t want to see other people and learn if they feel the same way. Share your relationship goals and desires to see if they line up. If they don’t, this person wasn’t right for you anyway. Communicating early and often is always important. It’s a good idea to have this talk around date 5. Don’t waste precious time dating someone if he/she doesn’t share your same goals. Similarly don’t be afraid to express what you need and desire. Finally, don’t assume you are exclusive unless you’ve had the talk. I have seen this too many times that just because you are seeing a lot of one another does not mean you are an official ‘item’ until the talk happens.
  • Understand your triggers – Has something happened in one of your past relationships or in your parents’ relationship that makes you question people’s loyalty? If so, try to leave these jealous emotions in the past and give your current flame a chance to prove their loyalty to you. It is exhausting and physically impossible to track someone’s whereabouts and know who they are with at all times, so just relax and give them the opportunity to earn your trust.

When feelings of jealousy creep up in the initial stages of dating, put yourself in your date’s shoes before jumping to conclusions or making rash decisions. Be the person you are trying to attract. Playing it cool, speaking up when necessary and understanding your jealousy triggers will help you turn your budding romance into a long-lasting, trusting relationship.

Serious woman being mad at her boyfriend