Trends

Where Are The Men in Silicon Valley?

Linx is featured in this month’s Town & Country annual Top 50 Bachelor’s issue. Ladies, grab a copy today to check out T & C’s list of the most desirable bachelors hitting the singles scene. These guys range from: Sergey Brin, Aaron Levie, and Uber’s Travis Kalanick to name a few. -1

Linx was asked to name some of my picks of where the techie bachelors go when not working and the toys they like to spend hard earned dollars on. In summary, ladies head to BJ’s in Cupertino on a Thursday for happy hour.

BJ’s is very casual and is a chain restaurant- think nachos, beer on tap, big screens, and a lot of guys! This is across the street from Apple’s campus and is swarming with techies in black turtlenecks with iPhone in hand and beer in another. Now please don’t mistake BJ’s for the next Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel swanky scene. It is anything but upscale! 😉

Ladies, dress casually yet chic and don’t forget a ponytail if your hair is long enough. As I told Emily Holt in T & C, guys love ponytails- especially the techies! Remember they tell me everything!

 

 

Finding Love Again After Divorce or Loss of Spouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferragamo Would Be So Proud: What to Know About Women’s Shoes

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We’d like to draw your attention to an article entitled ‘What Can You Tell About A Woman From Her Shoes’ that appeared in a 2014 Issue of Men’s Health. In it, the authors cite a 2012 study from the University of Kansas, which asserts that “people are able to accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality, including their emotional stability, simply by looking at their most-worn pair of shoes.”  Well, we haven’t seen the study, nor are we interested in disputing its findings. But we are very interested in your acumen (or, more likely, the  lack thereof) for women’s footwear because we think that this is more practical in the context of coaching you as you embark on your dating adventures.   Why?

Two reasons:

(1) Even if you wanted to, you can’t apply the results of the above study if you don’t first have a solid working knowledge of women’s footwear.  Moreover, though, there is definitely value in ascertaining the emotional stability of someone by assessing their most worn pair of shoes, we feel fairly confident that most people don’t wear their most worn pair of shoes out on a date. So, in the context of dating we feel it is much more important, pragmatic and constructive to teach men about what actually lies behind the doors of a closet dedicated to shoe apparel before they go much farther.

(2) To even get beyond an initial introduction to a lady of interest, you will need to sustain her attention and you should be able to converse about more than just what you are comfortable with – i.e. you need to be comfortable out of your comfort zone. Women’s shoes are a great example of a “high yield” topic with which you should be familiar.  If you are seeking a long-term relationship, which most of my clients are, the chances are good that you will spend quite a bit of time shopping with your significant other or at least enough time that you will want to know a thing or two about women’s shoes.  Our clients tend to be interested in fashionable women, and fashionable women tend to appreciate men who have some appreciation for women’s shoes. After all, some of the women you will meet will have quite an obsession with shoes, possibly own hundreds of pairs, including some that have only been worn on a single occasion.

Let’s pose a question to demonstrate what you probably don’t know… and don’t feel bad… you are in the great majority of men on planet Earth if you don’t know the answer to the following question. Here it is: What’s the difference between a slingback espadrille wedge and a peep-toe ankle strap platform wedge?

Most of you are computer savvy. So if you look up “espadrille” you’ll find a Wikipedia entry that reads as follows “Espadrilles or alpargatas are normally casual, flat, but sometimes high-heeled shoes originating in the Pyrenees.”

Wedges, which were made popular by Salvatore Ferragamo, also have their own entry, which reads “Wedge boots, wedgies or lifties are shoes and boots with a sole in the form of a wedge so that one piece of material, normally rubber, serves as both the sole and the heel.”

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We are assuming that you don’t have the time or inclination to do a ton of “field research” on things like this.  As such, we are here to help.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, we decided to introduce a comprehensive infographic covering just about every contemporary shoe style you might find in a woman’s shoe closet……

Pop-Chart Lab published the Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear (and we think it is pretty phenomenal and helpful.)

So with that introduction, we direct you to the following infographic. For the guys out there, the next time you’re at the mall running some quick errands consider our advice and head to women’s shoes in a high-end department store. Strike up a conversation and ask a cute girl trying on a pair of d’orsay pumps her opinion on which shoes she would recommend getting for your sister/mother/aunt/cousin/etc. It’s a “target rich” environment with high yield potential for single guys or dare I say someone with a serious foot fetish.;-)

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eComm 101

Written by: Linx staff Michael Normangay-feature

The past week has involved a lot of conversations about how people communicate while dating, and nearly all of those conversations have been about some form of frustration with hearing – and not hearing – from a date. Amy and I have heard complaints about frequency (both too much and too little) concerns about content (both too formal and too familiar) and timing (as in “Isn’t this a little too soon?” and also “Who sends a text at that hour?”) A good friend of mine insists that if you’re seeing someone who’s really into you, there’s no wrong way or bad time to contact a love interest, but given my own recent frustrations with a Poor Communicator, I’d have to disagree. Since the object of my affection is currently bedridden on the East coast in a fin de siècle-style typhoon of influenza, salmonella, and some other viral/bacterial pestilence that is likely the result of too much time spent in airplanes and not enough time spent asleep, I’m letting him off the hook for now. But for everyone else, here’s a refresher on communicating in a mobile and hyperconnected age… sometimes it’s still hard for me to believe that as a teenager, I actually had to be in my bedroom in order for someone to call me.

Control Your Text Drive….

Text is, by far, the easiest form of communication to abuse. It is also, unfortunately, one of the most dangerous. No matter how many emoticons you throw at your date, text messages are meant to be brief, and that brevity tends to make it very hard to understand any suggestion of tone or nuance contained therein. So don’t assume any particular tone or nuance was properly conveyed. Between people who hardly know each other (in other words, with someone you’re newly dating) texts should really only be used to convey facts. You should only use a text to send an address, to let someone know you’re running late, to convey a change in plans, etc. You should use a text to tell someone you’re standing outside, to tell him you’ve claimed a table at the bar, or to let her know your flight just landed. But use text messages sparingly when dating, and only use them to convey information that cannot be misunderstood. If you absolutely must use texts to say something other than “I’m wearing a blue sweater, gray plaid pants, and Prada loafers,” limit yourself to “I had a really great time last night and I can’t wait to see you again.” A text to someone new shouldn’t include words like “sometime”, “possibly” or “maybe.” Ever.
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Know Your Audience…

Some people love attention; they crave daily texts and phone calls. Some women love it when a guy showers them with text messages, and calls them “Baby” or “Sweetie” after a first date, and some men consider any contact at all between dates to be unnecessary and superfluous… and never the twain shall meet. Most of us are right in the middle, but regardless of where we stand, we all tend to assume that our dates should feel the same way that we do; after all, how could our own stance be anything but reasonable, and assuming we are attracted to reasonable people, should they not feel exactly the same way about how to communicate? It turns that’s not always the case. i-didnt-text-you-jack-daniels-did

When I look at my own relationship, for example, I know that Mr. Poor Communicator literally buries his head in work, spends more than 100 hours a week on his company, and often falls asleep on his couch in positions that are doing permanently bad things to his neck. When we see each other, he is fully focused on being with me, and does an excellent job of blocking out the rest of the world. But when we’re not together, I become a victim of that very same focus. For him, taking the time to call or even text me is just a distraction from the work he needs to finish in order for us to actually be together in person. What he doesn’t understand (because really, when do you bring something like this up?) is that I’m an only child, and my mother used to punish me with days on end of silent treatment, so when I don’t hear from someone I care about – no matter how well I might be able to grasp the underlying intellectual rationale for that silence – I eventually start to feel like I’ve done something wrong or disappointed them. Obviously, it’s important that I figure out a way to convey to him some portion of this.

If you’re in a new relationship or feel like there’s a disconnect in the communication style in your current one, this can be a really important thing to address. And it’s really critical to focus on how you feel, rather than to try to place blame or cast yourself as a victim. For example, I can explain to my guy that “When I don’t hear from someone I care about for a long period of time, I start to worry that I have offended or disappointed that person,” or I can say, “When you ignore me, you make me feel bad about myself.” One of those is likely to elicit an empathetic response and lead to a compromise that deepens the relationship, while the other could just as easily lead to a breakup. Since I don’t want a breakup, it’s really important that I focus on my feelings and my experience and that I give him the chance to be empathetic. If you would also like a compromise and a healthy change in your relationship, then you should give your companion the chance to understand your experience, too.

If you have the opposite problem of hearing from someone too frequently, you can take the approach of saying “I really like you. In the past, I had the tendency to move way too quickly in relationships, and it’s important for me to move slowly. I’m comfortable texting a couple of times a week at this point. That obviously will change as we get to know each other better.” Too often, we tell people what’s “wrong” with their behavior instead of simply expressing to them our needs, expectations, or boundaries. The truth is that there’s usually nothing “wrong” with their behavior; but that doesn’t mean it’s right for us. So have the conversation about what works best for you. Get to know your audience; I hope to be following my own advice as soon as he regains the 9 pounds he lost last week and can actually get on a plane again.

Work on Your Timing…

With travel and time zones playing such big roles in everyone’s lives, it’s really important to pay attention to where you are on the map… and to how far away your love interest happens to be. While you may be counting the days or hours until you can see him or her again, you should also really be counting the hours (on the clock) that separate you. If you leave the country, know what time it is before you text someone; there is nothing more frustrating that getting a 4am “Just saying hey from Seoul” text message, especially if your job requires that you leave your phone on overnight because someone’s life might depend on it. Be respectful of the life and career of the person you’re dating. We all know that traveling for work brings with it a tremendous amount of loneliness and boredom, but you want to be sure that you’re met by excitement – rather than frustration – when you return. An occasional mistake is bound to happen if you’re an avid texter, but if you do regular long haul travel for work, trade in your texts for emails. But if you’re somehow restricted to your phone and you still insist on texting, you can keep yourself out of trouble by sending all of those texts to… an email address.1C6005838-rosagolijan28FA413D-7FBA-FDD4-0A61-331979C22A42.blocks_desktop_medium

With so communication tools at our disposal, it can be hard to know the right tool to use in the right way with the right man or woman, so it’s important to use the oldest tools at our disposal – our mouths and ears – and actually ask about these topics in person when we have the chance. It turns out that in a wired (and increasingly wireless) world, that we’re all wired a little bit differently, so don’t assume that you and your date are automatically going to operate on the same wavelength. Dating is about getting to know someone, and that requires communicating, so you should actually be motivated to figure out the most efficient way to do it. In fact… the sooner you figure out the best way to communicate, the sooner you can start building a real relationship.

Picture This…

google_stalk_c-425x282Amy and I recently talked to a client about conducting a VIP search on his behalf, and after our meeting, he sent us a short follow up email that simply said “I think it bears repeating that I am not interested in meeting anyone who has an embarrassing web presence.” Given that so many of our clients come to us as referrals, we don’t always do extensive web research on the people we meet, but in this case we knew it would be necessary. And this particular client had encountered an “embarrassing web presence” in a date in the past, so we wanted to be exceedingly careful while conducting his search.

While we weren’t shocked or surprised by anything we discovered, the truth is that most of us have a stray picture or article or comment floating around that we’d rather forget or can’t control, and none of us wants to be Googled or judged by a potential date before meeting. The concept of net neutrality in no way keeps the web itself from being a rather ruthless place – and humans are all too inquisitive by nature – so when you do have control of your web presence, you need to do everything you can to keep it clean and respectable. You should keep in mind that even if we introduce you to the best man or woman in the world, it’s all but guaranteed that someone in his or her life will Google you at some point… and you don’t want to be blindsided by the results.

So how much is too much? How do we know when captured moments of our past might be damaging our future? Where’s the line between private and public, and how do we stay on the right side of it?

Beware of Pictures with Girls

This applies to both men and women, actually. If you’re a guy, do NOT have public pictures of yourself surrounded by seemingly single women. You might think that it makes you seem like a stallion to your friends, but it makes you seem like a player to strangers. And that’s really not an impression that you want to make. If you’re a woman of a certain age (basically any age north of 27 or so) avoid posting the sort of pictures you might have taken at a high school formal with the rest of your dance team. Yes, it’s nice to know that you have great legs, but posing sideways in a line of friends with a dropped shoulder while you lift the hem of your dress to show your thigh is not really going to attract the right guys into your life. In fact, if you’re over 40 it’s a really good way to keep them far, far away.

Stop Double Fisting

I don’t care if it’s a bachelor party, a football tailgate, or an opening night at the opera – having two drinks in your hands is having one two many. It might be a great picture of you and your friends, or maybe your abs have never looked so good, or maybe you’ll never again be able to wear that dress, but two drinks exceeds the allowable Linx limit. If you need to provide a backstory to keep a picture from being embarrassing, then you simply need to hide the picture. Your friends might think it’s funny, but your date’s friends will probably not. This also applies to any pictures where you are drunk, vomiting, doing a keg stand, engaging in a chicken fight in a pool with someone of the opposite sex, or are passed out.

Close Your Legs. Seriously.

Again, this applies to both sexes. For some reason, guys seem to love to point at their packages, to grab themselves, to turn a pool noodle into a giant phallus, and to generally call attention to their favorite part of their bodies. It might have been part of a dumb prank or a great vacation, but it’s not smart to make pictures like that available to the general public. It’s always possible that you’re managing a Jon Hamm or Justin Theroux-style situation, in which case that part of your body needs no help drawing attention to itself, but don’t purposely make it the star of any picture. Ladies should remember to be just that – ladies. Unless you’re squatting at the top of KT-22 and this is the only evidence of that accomplishment, or you were an Olympic gymnast, we don’t need to see how flexible you are.

Exes are a big “Oh No!”

So let’s assume you’re quite prim and proper… public drunkenness? Never! Revealing pictures? Absolutely not. Poses that aren’t age appropriate? Not on your life. Believe it or not, you might still be guilty of photographic crimes. At first blush it doesn’t seem like it would be much of an issue, but if you still have lots of public pictures with your ex, it can signal that you’re not over your last relationship (and for someone who doesn’t know you’re single, it can make you look like a cheater). A lot of us don’t even really think about what’s visible on Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr, but if you’re serious about looking for a new relationship, you need to digitally box up your last one – to the best of your ability – and put it out of sight.6a00d8341d74dc53ef0120a535a2ca970c-800wi

You can’t control what conclusions someone else might draw from pictures of you, but you can try to control which pictures they can see. So if you’re trying to move forward with your life, make sure you aren’t being handicapped by your past… or your friends, for that matter. Take the extra step of doing a “photos of…” search on yourself on Facebook, and request that your friends hide anything that might be unflattering. Getting into a great relationship really is a team effort; we know that better than most. So make sure that your friends and family are doing their part to help you score the guy or girl of your dreams.

In the meantime, be respectful of your potential Linx matches and KEEP GOOGLE OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP- no offense Larry and Sergey ;). When it comes to digging up dirt on a harmless stranger, it’s important to follow the Golden Rule; do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Why I stopped playing the numbers game

By: anonymous male, San Francisco VIPI_next_to_his_description

When I first rejoined the dating scene several years ago I followed the well-worn path of many other people my age and joined a handful of online dating sites. After a few false starts, a friend explained to me that I was completely doing online dating the wrong way. She said that it was a “numbers game”, and that I should try to go on multiple first dates a week, week after week, until I find “The One.” I didn’t realize at the time that this was how many people treated online dating in the Bay Area. I said, what the heck, and gave it a shot.

At the beginning I found it to be fun. I realized I was meeting people that I would have never met before, and this gave me a huge amount of confidence that I would run into the woman of my dreams. I also made two very good friends and met one woman with whom I had a multi-year relationship. Even though it didn’t work out, I am still grateful that she was in my life.

After some time of playing the numbers game, I became frustrated and disenchanted with the entire process. I started to realize I was going out on dates where nothing progressed beyond small talk and running through lists of shared hobbies and travel destinations. Even if we both felt there was the potential for something more, follow-on dates started becoming fewer and fewer, mostly due to scheduling conflicts, and that quickly became a lack of interest.

Worse, I realized that the disappearance of my date didn’t bother me, as I knew that there would be someone else who was, well, let’s just say a “swipe right” away. While intellectually I knew that this was the same thought process my date was going through, I still felt a bit icky about the whole experience. As a family-oriented guy that has been in long term relationships for the majority of my life, I felt that this isn’t the behavior of the man that I thought I was or wanted to be.

I could not understand how, with all of the opportunities to meet someone that were available to me, that it was so incredibly hard actually to meet someone. Recently an article appeared in the New York Times that spoke to how I felt. The author reaches the conclusion that all of the online dating technologies have caused us to think in terms of the “numbers game”, and that there was an infinite number of possible partners, and we should toss each aside until we find the perfect mate. If this is our dating mentality, why should we ever bother committing to a person, as a better option could be right around the corner?

I knew the numbers game didn’t work for me, and stopped playing some time ago. I started to pick up on when I was a participant in someone else’s rapid fire dating game, and was able to understand how it felt. When you are playing the numbers game, every person you date becomes a number and not a human being.

Whenever you go out on a date, you have to remember that the person sitting across from you is a person, like yourself, with their own hopes and dreams, anxieties and fears. They have felt both joy and hurt in relationships, and are very possibly hoping that the first date they are on, with you, right now, will be their last first date ever. I can’t think of a more disrespectful action than what most serial daters do, namely walk into the date with the intention of making a judgment in the first five minutes, then hopping back onto Tinder.

The numbers game causes you to focus on quickly observed superficial qualities, such as hobbies, material possessions, and clothing, rather than what really determines the suitability of a partner. The important stuff, like ability to communicate, shared values, empathy, and capacity to provide support in stressful situations, can’t be determined from only one date.

The numbers game relies upon the idea that not only there are an infinite number of partners, but also that you have an infinite amount of time. We don’t. As a guy in my mid 30’s, I for one don’t want to be an “old dad”, and want to be in good enough physical shape that, if I get to have children, I would not only play with my kids on the floor but also be able to walk any future daughters down the aisle when I am twice my current age.

Women, well, they have much more defined biological clocks, with 35 being the medically recognized fertility cliff. While the numbers game can go on forever, our bodies can’t.

There are some things I miss about rapid fire dating. I miss finding instant chemistry. I miss learning about someone’s way of viewing the world. I don’t think it works, however, and would much rather spend time getting to know a small number of quality people than get three cocktails a week with complete strangers.

America wants to hear from you!

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I wanted to get a post up as soon as possible to announce some creative media projects we are currently working on both domestically and internationally right now.

These are all high-end TV related projects and documentaries about the Silicon Valley ecosystem and what makes this a mecca for some of the sharpest minds in the world, a breeding ground for multi-billion dollar ideas, and a hot spot for dating!

I am looking for a handful of professional men and women who are somehow involved with Linx (i.e., a client, a prospect, attends Link & Drink events, general fan, etc). and who would be willing to share their story about navigating the dating scene in the Silicon Valley and beyond. Your input would be extremely valuable and help make a very compelling story.

One of these is a local story on how toxic and unhealthy loneliness can be, the other is a national story (extremely high-end) on the SV ecosystem, and the other is an international news piece on the valley and the movers/shakers that make up this vibrant community.

For entrepreneurs, business owners, etc this could be incredible exposure for you on a professional level! On a personal level, you never know “who” will watch and email us at Linx wanting to meet YOU! Everyone has something to share on some level. In fact, pretty much everyone I have ever sat down with has joked “Amy I could write a book at this point about dating!” So please don’t be shy, email me to inquire more…

Please send me an email to: amy@linxdating.com

Thank you Linx readers! XO