San Francisco dating culture

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.

 

Your New Years Guide to Ghosting

 

iStock-653123384 copy.jpgYou’ve met someone new. You’ve been out on a few great dates. All signs point to a promising future and then nothing. Your date—and any hint of a relationship—disappears into thin air.

 

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. You, like so many others, have been ghosted. When I was dating ages ago, way before the term “ghosting” made its debut, I called this “pulling a Houdini.” Ghosting happens when someone ceases contact without explanation. In lieu of a break-up conversation or a gentle letdown, a ghoster simply disappears in the hopes that the silence will send the message.

 

In this era of digital dating, the rate of ghosting is higher than ever. In one study by online dating site Plenty of Fish, results showed that 78% of people between the ages of 18 and 33—have been “ghosted” at least once.

 

If you’ve been ghosted…

 

Realize that the ghoster’s lack of communication isn’t about you. Ghosting happens when someone tries to suppress their own uncomfortable emotions and, in an effort to numb them, avoids communicating. Ghosting isn’t meant to be malicious; ghosters generally consider their actions to be “nicer” than an upfront conversation.

 

Getting ghosted can be extremely painful. Many people on the receiving end are left not only questioning the validity of the relationship, but also their own judgment. They may wonder why they didn’t see it coming or read the signs. Feelings of abandonment and loss ensue.

 

Though you may not receive the closure you need, you do have the power to write your own ending. A simple message may help you tie up loose ends even when your date has opted for a less thoughtful route.

 

Possible closure messages include:

 

  • “I enjoyed spending time getting to know you. Unfortunately, it seems this wasn’t the right time for us. I’m not expecting an explanation but, if you’d like to chat, I’m available.”

 

  • “Given how close we became, I would appreciate a quick conversation to understand your feelings. Though I’m not expecting to hear from you, some communication could help us land in a better place.”

 

The goal of your closure message is to make a definitive request for communication while also demonstrating that you are moving forward regardless of whether it happens. The request shows that you have self-respect while also giving someone an opportunity to make right or, at the very least, exit the relationship with integrity.

 

An additional thought… If you suspect that you are being ghosted – for example, if you haven’t heard from a date in a couple days and feel like calling it off before getting hurt, reconsider his or her schedule. It’s tempting to assign intent to a lack of communication, but in the preliminary stages of dating, not many people know how to prioritize their personal lives, careers, and new relationships.

 

You could send a message like this:

 

  • “Looks like your week is as busy as mine. Wanted to double check for Tuesday.”

 

If you’re planning to ghost…

 

You’ve been set up with a new date. You’ve exchanged texts and you’re looking forward to meeting. You have a date on the books and then something changes. You might have received an awkward message or a sudden drop in messaging that is causing you to reconsider that first date. Finally, after much deliberation, you send a quick message: “Schedule got a little hectic on my end. I’m sorry I won’t be able to make dinner. Maybe we’ll meet another time!”

 

You thus have canceled the date without an alternative proposal for a new time and are hoping that your date will understand and move on. (I am not even addressing extreme ghosting here, which is even worse and horribly rude – i.e. blowing off the date and not even contacting the person.)

 

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Most ghosters have also been the victim of ghosting, so you can choose to perpetuate the cycle, or not. Although you might argue that this is a case-by-case decision, the way you end a relationship is a reflection of your personal brand. Approaching others with respect and honesty will help you attract someone who subscribes to the same thinking.

 

Before calling it quits, realize that going out with someone is the only way to know if he or she is worth pursuing. Throwing in the towel before meeting isn’t helping you find the love of your life any quicker; it’s just an excuse that’s keeping you from growing and learning.

 

One message you could send if you’re thinking about ghosting:

 

  • “Hi! My week is crazy. I’m thinking it might be better for me to go out for coffee instead of dinner. Does this work?”

 

This message might not be ideal, but keeping the date casual might be better than nixing the date completely.

Observations from a Single Dad in the Bay Area Dating Scene

 

Dad and little girl on beach.jpgIn 2014, I became single after the completion of a thirteen-year relationship, which included eight years of marriage. These days I’m a 43-year old single dad with two girls, ages five and eight, navigating a dating scene that has changed quite a bit since 2001. Amy asked me to write about some of my observations, which I thought would be fun. Naturally, what has worked for me may not work for others and these are just some of my thoughts at this point in time. I’m sure that as I continue to learn and grow my thoughts will also evolve.

 

  • Dating Experience as a Single Dad: Within a few months of becoming single, I started dating again. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time but I wasn’t ready emotionally at all! Looking back though I think it was important to just get out and meet women. I was honest about my situation with those that I met. Shortly thereafter, I found myself in a nine-month relationship, which ended up really helping me to get back on my feet. Since then I’ve been on over thirty dates and while none have panned out from a relationship perspective it has provided me with experiences that I’ve used to help narrow my focus on what I’m really looking for in a partner.

Key Takeaways: Just get out of the house and have fun! Don’t overthink things. Every date doesn’t have to be a perfect match and it is likely that with each date you will learn about something new and will grow as a person. I’ve been on dates including night swimming at Aquatic Park, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, running, formal events and more – all with women that I barely knew. I would have never experienced any of these fun events if I didn’t just get out of the house!

 

  • Online Dating: Of course, back in 2001 there was no such thing as online dating. Sure, you could have surfed the personals in the SF Weekly or Bay Guardian, but that wasn’t something that was done by anyone that I knew. It was really all about getting out and making a real effort to meet women in person. No texting – we would exchange numbers and leave voicemail messages. How fun it was to experience the suspense of waiting for a woman to return a message on the answering machine! Or coming home and asking your roommates, “Did she call?” Sadly, these days if you leave a voicemail instead of a text it seems most women would think you’re crazy.

The biggest issue I have with online dating is that no matter what the person looks like or writes like or even talks like on the phone, you just don’t know how it’s going to work out until you meet in person. This is a very time-consuming process because you end up going out with a lot of women that you would have never gone out with had you met the old-fashioned way to begin with. And while there is a plus side to this in terms of life experience and learning about new people as I described above, the downside is a seemingly constant state of not expressing interest in someone else, or vice versa. Even though everyone knows the process, it can still be a little disheartening, especially when you meet a really nice person and you wish the chemistry could just be there!

I also think that online dating presents a false sense of choice. Yes, there are tons of women that you could go out with, but really there’s only a tiny fraction that you would be compelled to see again after a first date, or vice versa.

Key Takeaways: Online dating can be useful and fun for an immediate high volume approach, but it can also be a time sink. Try to take it in bite sized chunks – do it for two or three months, then take a break. Or better yet, join an outdoor club/team (running, cycling, rock climbing, etc.) Prospects seem to be much better when meeting in the real world through a common acivitity. And in any case, if you meet someone that you really like, put real effort into making time for that person in your life. Don’t take those opportunities for granted and don’t play games.

 

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Shouldn’t life become easier and less complicated as we become older and wiser? While you’d think this would be the case, in terms of relationships we sometimes carry fears with us from prior experiences that can take a long time to heal. But don’t worry – we’re all in the same boat. So, if you’ve ever been in love, be elated that you had it while you did, and if you’ve never been in love remain hopeful because everyone deserves to be in love. I say this because many of the women I’ve met tell me that they stuck around too long for a man that wouldn’t commit and now they’re left with little time to start a family. Regardless of any mistakes you’ve made in past relationships, acknowledge them but don’t dwell on them. Learn from them. We’ve all made fumbles in life and the best we can do is to not repeat history.

Key Takeaways: Everything is working out just the way it’s supposed to. Enjoy the journey! Once you do find love either again or for the first time you’ll be glad that you experienced everything that you did. It will all make sense when it’s said and done.

After writing this piece I’m not sure if I wrote it for you or me! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. I’d also like to say in closing that some of the most remarkable women that I’ve met in the past three years have come through Amy’s service. So, if Amy has a suggested date for you, try not to second guess it. Just go for it and increase your chances of finding love.

Where to Live and Let Love Find You

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It’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t sulk alone in your apartment watching Netflix. If you’re single and ready to mingle, maybe you should move to a new city where love will find you.

Unlucky in love? It’s not you, it’s your city. The dating pool in the nation’s largest cities varies quite a bit. To help people find the places that will give them the best chance to find their soul mates, our friends at Trulia examined U.S. Census data in each of the 100 largest metros. We’ve focused our efforts not only on where you can find plenty of single men and women, but where you’re more likely to find those more or less educated, divorced or not, and places where populations skew young or old.

For now, we limited our study to those seeking the opposite sex, since government data isn’t quite as good when it comes to same-sex statistics.

Taking a guess at what people care about most, we looked specifically at the ratio of single men to single women, the age range of these singles, how many hours they typically work each week, how much education they have and whether they were previously married or not. Note that we only analyze those at or over the age of 21.

For example, if you’re looking for a marriage-material guy– a man in his 30s with at least a college degree who works the standard 40 hours a week or more and has never been married, head directly to San FranciscoSan JoseSeattle or Austin, Texas. San Francisco has the second highest ratio of single male to single female (0.972), where 52% of adult men are single. Of this dating pool, 19.8% are in their 30s and 55.7% work at least 40 hours a week.

If you’re looking for a man…

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For women, searching for your dream guy, find out your dating destination: Click here to take the quiz.

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If you’re looking for a woman…Best places to find Ms. Independent.jpg

For men, searching for your dream girl, find out your dating destination:

Click here to take the quiz.

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On the flip side, if you’re looking for Ms. Independent – a woman in her forties with at least a graduate degree, works at least 40 hours a week and you don’t care if she’s been married before, go East. You’ll have the best luck along the Eastern Seaboard metros of WashingtonAtlanta, Raleigh, N.C., and Baltimore. For instance, in the D.C. suburb of Silver Springs, Md., 44.4% of adult women are single – of which, 14.6% are in their fab forty years and 38.8% work at least 40 hours a week.

If neither of these profiles are your cup of tea, then take the quiz yourself to figure out where you should live to if you’re looking to find love.

To dive a little deeper into the traits of singles, we first looked at where the odds are in your favor when it comes to the guy-to-gal ratio. In our study, singles includes anyone who has never been married or was formerly married and age 21 or higher. A larger or smaller guy-to-gal ratio may tell you whether you’re more likely to be surrounded by men or women if you are sitting in a typical bar or restaurant.

  • Looking for men? Cities with the more single men to single women tended to be on the West Coast rather than the East Coast. Specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area – which includes both the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas have some of the highest single men to single women ratios. But it will cost you – these are two of the priciest markets in the nation and the center of Silicon Valley. If those markets are too rich for your blood, consider Bakersfield, Calif., which took the lead in the ranking of where men outnumber women, as well as Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
  • Where are all the single ladies? Look to Sarasota, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Winston-Salem, N.C., which had the highest ratios of single women to single men. But if you’re looking for a big city option, Philadelphia and New York had the 8th and 9th highest single women to single men ratios.
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Next, we looked at the age range – 20s, 30s, and 40s – of these singles for each metro, broken down by gender.

  • If you’re looking for a mate just hitting the Dirty Thirty era, you should head to San Francisco, Austin, Texas, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
  • On the other hand, Upstate New York metros such as Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, and Syracuse have a very low percentage of single adults in their thirties. Same goes for metros in neighboring states, Akron, Ohio and Montgomery County, Pa.
  • Looking for a date that Taylor Swift would describe as “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time?” Madison, Wis.; Virginia Beach, Va.; San Diego; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and El Paso, Texas have some of the highest share of single adults who are in their twenties.
  • Meanwhile, six Florida metros Sarasota, Daytona Beach, Cape Coral, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale have some of the smallest share of singles in their twenties.
  • Want someone who’s firmly adulting? Move to places such as Winston-Salem, Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Greensboro, N.C.; Las Vegas, or Miami where you’ll find more singles in their 40s.

When it comes to education, are you looking for someone who’s book smart or street smart?

  • If you are sapiosexual—someone who’s attracted to intelligent people—the data shows that you should move to San Francisco, Silver Spring, Md., Washington D.C., Cambridge, Mass., or San Jose. These metros have some of the highest percentage of single men and women with at least a college degree or graduate degree.
  • If lack of a diploma isn’t a deal breaker, then inland California might be the place to go. Riverside, Fresno, and Bakersfield has some of the lowest percentages of single adults with a college degree.

Methodology

2014 5-year US Census American Community Survey data gathered via IPUMS-USA at the University of Minnesota were used for this study. For the quiz, we restricted the data to non-married adults with at least a high school degree and aged 21 or older, but younger than 50. There were two underlying factors that determined which metro is the most suitable for the quiz taker. The first factor was the single adult male to single adult female ratio. The second factor was what percentage of the single adult male or female population fit your demographic criteria specified by one’s quiz answers. Rankings of the 100 metro areas based on these two respective factors were used in order to generate a final ranking that is tailored to the quiz takers’ preferences. For the explanation portion of this report that comes after the quiz, the data includes all those who are 21 years of age or over and are currently non-married unless specified otherwise.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new bachelor can do the Dirty Dancing Lift….

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We are thrilled to announce a new search for a well-educated, successful, and dynamic 36-year old gentleman. At 5’10”, this handsome client has an athletic build, auburn hair, blue eyes and a contagious smile. Our client was born and raised in Canada, so you can expect that he will be exceedingly polite, adept in both sun and snow, and knows the difference between maple syrup and Mrs. Buttersworth!

He’s a citizen of the world having lived in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe and the US. Blurring the line between “working in finance” and “outside of work”, he tries to make sure that he spends as much time as possible with people and projects that he is passionate about. Despite his ambitions, load of responsibilities, and tireless work ethic, our client doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He finds that he sleeps better at night if he keeps some perspective that life comes and goes, and while we should try to do great things while we can, it’s really important to enjoy ourselves, smile and appreciate the people in our lives. He’s climbed Everest base camp, plays hockey and tennis whenever possible, hosts large dinner parties ‘just because’, and is extremely close to his family who reside in Canada and the Bay Area. And it’s true…he knows how to do the Dirty Dancing Lift!

Our client has boundless energy, is the person that is always looking to do more in life, and be the best he can be no matter what! He’s hungry for the right relationship and at 36 feels more than ready for marriage and kids.

Our client responds best to women ages 24-34, 5’2” + (taller is better), slender and fit, feminine, stylish, and of any ethnic heritage. Her personality shines like his does and she loves being around people! Friends would be quick to call her witty, adaptable, open-minded, intelligent, and warm hearted.

Like our client loves being in cities, she’s a city girl at heart and loves the pace, energy, and culture metropolitan regions offer. She’s a passionate soul, down-to-earth, physically active, and FUN to be around. As cliche as it sounds, she would just be as comfortable getting sweaty on a hike, as she would be flying to Hawaii for the weekend, or attending a black tie charity function in her finest.

If you or anyone you know might make a wonderful match for this stellar new client of Linx, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com.

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.