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Man’s Best Friend or Competition? How to Date Someone with a Dog


iStock-615075394 copy.jpgForget the mother-in-law. Sometimes the most difficult family member is the four-legged hairball who drinks out of the toilet. Managing an obnoxious animal can be difficult, but the real difficulty lies in dating someone whose priorities are out of order.


If you’re feeling like a powerless third wheel, there are ways to get your relationship in a better place. Below, we’ve outlined the most common problems that arise when dating a pet owner and how to approach them.


Problem: The dog sleeps in a bed—with both of you.

Solution: Tell your SO (significant other) that you’d like to keep the bed on hold for sleeping and other “special activities”. Between the pet hair and the lack of space, this request shouldn’t come as a surprise. Snag a dog bed and keep it in the corner of the bedroom to accommodate the new arrangement. If you’d prefer to keep the dog outside of the bedroom entirely, vets suggest putting the dog bed in a warm enclosed area away from heavy traffic areas (i.e., hallway, family room, home office, etc).


Problem: The dog is poorly trained, and your significant other isn’t doing anything about it.

Solution: Explain how the pet’s behavior makes you feel. For example, you could say, “Rover went crazy and tried to bite the mailman. It was really stressful, and I was worried about liability issues.” Then, pivot to the solution: “I think we need to enroll in some obedience classes. Here’s one that has rave reviews.” If your partner pushes back on the formal classes, suggest some in-house training that includes crating the dog after bad behavior.


Problem: You are allergic to your partner’s dog or cat.

Solution: This is tricky. Aside from suggesting some antihistamines, there isn’t much you can do. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the best way to keep allergies at bay is to:

  1. Keep animals away from the bedroom
  2. Vacuum often with a HEPA filter
  3. Wash your hands after handling your pet
  4. Try to bathe your pet once a week or you can hire a doggy concierge to arrive to your home and clean the furry loved one in a mobile van in the driveway.

If cohabitation is in jeopardy because of your partner’s pet allergies, you have to figure out which relationship you value more: the one with your partner or the one with your pet.


Problem: You can’t go on vacation, because the pet “has anxiety” without his owner.

Solution: Before traveling, set up some time to interview pet sitters. Give your partner (and pet) some time to get comfortable with the idea of a new caretaker. Once you’ve picked the right pet sitter, you can leave for vacation worry free. If your SO is still hedging with the pet sitter, frame the situation from a cost perspective. One-way flights with a pet in tow can cost $100-150 or, as much as $1000 for a long stint in cargo. Hotel fees can also add up to $100 per night.



Problem: Your partner co-parents the pet with a crazy ex.

Solution: Establish some boundaries. Encourage your partner to come up with a set schedule for pet care and get it confirmed well in advance. Last minute changes or pet sitting requests can add unnecessary emotional reactivity.


The best way to approach any issue is to have a solution in mind. A new plan might not be the perfect answer, but it’s a start. For many people, the pet is family, and family is forever. If your partner isn’t prioritizing your needs over the pet, you will need to decide if you can handle being #2 in your partner’s life.


Stellar Linx Testimonials

I wanted to post these three very nice testimonials from new clients and from a gentleman who referred his good friend recently to become a client. Both of these emails with feedback arrived in my inbox today and it really reinforces why I do what I do. 🙂

Testimonial #1

“I must confess that we matched on Bumble the night before you sent the intro. (Which is totally irrelevant at this point – the credit is undoubtedly yours… I wouldn’t have even looked at 40-year olds if it weren’t because of your suggestion.) When we made the match ‘official’, we already had a pretty clear idea about each other…I wanted to send you a note to express how amazed I am by how precisely you nailed my type. He looks absolutely attractive, he’s accomplished, educated, and sounds very intelligent, caring and thoughtful. Most importantly, he takes his partner search very seriously.

When it comes to men, I tend to be awfully picky – hence when I described you the person I’ve been looking for, I didn’t expect you to come up with someone exactly like that!? I am very impressed and compelled that you are great at what you are doing. I have been somewhat skeptical about matchmakers since I hired one last year and she came up with zero potential candidates. 😦 I wish I had paid you instead of her! I hope things will work out with my first match, but if they don’t, I will definitely consider upgrading to a full Linx membership.”

-30 something Stanford Research Scientist Ph.D.

Testimonial #2

“I want to thank you for taking my friend, (name removed), under your wing. I spoke with him yesterday. As you know, the former Navy Seal and government agent is not one to get all excited. Yesterday, he was. He thinks the world of you. I, and my family, are happy when he is happy.”

-50 something Silicon Valley executive

Testimonial #3

“Thanks again for another terrific introduction! I really enjoyed meeting my match last night, and you were spot on in terms of what you thought that I would like about her and what the potential issues could be.

As I have mentioned many times, I find there to be a ton of value in gathering these high quality data points.

I’m a broken record here – but can’t thank you enough for all the help! This has been a tremendous 1st year in working with you…”

-30 something Bay Area male financier


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.

5 ways people unintentionally sabotage relationships



It’s impossible to break patterns without awareness. Whereas ending a relationship is seemingly straightforward, ending relationships without fully understanding why is a dangerous pattern—a pattern that can’t be broken unless we employ serious self-reflection. Focusing on the outward makes us feel powerless to make changes; it’s easy to surrender to a victim mentality. Below are the most common ways men unintentionally sabotage relationships:


  1. Holding on to a relationship fantasy.

Believing that the grass is always greener—that there is better elsewhere and anything less than perfect won’t do—is a mechanism that shields people from deeper levels of intimacy. If you believe better is just around the corner, there is no reason to invest fully, emotionally or otherwise, in the current relationship.


The belief that better exists is usually rooted in fear—fear of commitment, fear of losing one’s individuality, and the fear of pain. Believing that something better exists outside of the relationship mitigates the fear. Looking deeper within will reveal that the greener grass mentality is a projection of the discomfort we have within ourselves; idealizing something or someone who isn’t real soothes those uncomfortable feelings.


What to do: Take an objective look at your relationship patterns.

  • Are you constantly seeking change?
  • Why did your last relationships fail? What was your role in that?
  • Are you content?

Figuring out what you idealize in a partner might be a good starting point to figure out what you’re missing within.


  1. Inability to address pain openly.

Emotional intimacy can only be achieved through vulnerability. Being unable to share openly and truthfully will inhibit emotional depth and closeness. In The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own, Ken Druck, PhD., writes that men learn that anger is a “good” male emotion as it demonstrates toughness and makes some men feel like they are in control. After years of programming, it’s no wonder that many men act aggressively in the face of stress, fear, sadness, or loss.

What to do: Learn to identify your emotional needs and learn how to get these needs met in and out of your primary relationship. This is a process; a therapist can help make it easier.


  1. Taking feedback personally instead of objectively.

Criticism can be highly triggering; hearing something that challenges a strong ego can cause an emotional reaction. Not only does this reaction reveal insecurity, these emotional reactions make will make it harder for your partner to communicate openly.


What to do: Stop Defending.

According to Robert Taibbi, LCSW, the best way to handle your partner’s concerns is to affirm your good intentions and seek a better understanding of your partners needs. Trying to build a case that refutes your partner’s point of view might stroke your ego, but it will ultimately prolong resolution.


  1. Failing to recognize your partner’s love language.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman describes the most common ways people feel loved: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you haven’t discovered your partner’s language, reading this short book will help you learn how to express feelings more effectively.


Often times we express love in the way that makes us feel most loved, but that is not necessarily the way your partner will feel most loved. Additionally, learning your partner’s love language will help you avoid situations that could be especially devastating. For example, if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, non- constructive criticism or failing to express appreciation will be very painful for a partner who is more sensitive to verbal communication.


  1. De-prioritizing the relationship.

Complicating factors—work, children, aging parents—can certainly detract focus from the relationship. Situational distractions are inevitable, but letting distractions, and the distance that follows, get out of hand is a dangerous pattern that gets in the way of valuing your partner.


What to do: Schedule couple time.

Date night, Skype dates, weekend getaways—whatever you choose is irrelevant. The most important part is that you choose something. Be intentional. The 9-5 autopilot lifestyle can easily suppress passion and spontaneity. The busier you are, the more important it will be for you make room for quality time.


Meet Our Newest Los Angeles Based VIP Bachelor…


Our client is a distinguished, affable, happy, and very successful Caucasian gentleman who is in his early 60’s, although he appears years younger. He’s fit, athletic, with a bright smile, a nice head of dark hair, and blessed with good genes.  He’s kept active his whole life, sharing fitness has been a huge source of stress relief throughout his career.

Living in Los Angeles, our bachelor relishes in the Southern California lifestyle, but has an insatiable curiosity about people, places, and ideas. Far from provincial, our client loves travel — both domestic and international — and now has a tremendous freedom to do so. Passions include: golfing at his country club, ranching, art, music, great cabernet wine, healthy eating, paddle boarding, horseback riding, and spending quality time with his adult children at his vacation hideaways in Malibu and the desert.

Professionally our client is at the very top of his industry as a world-class doctor, treating all walks of life from Hollywood stars to international royalty. While his days used to be very long and intense, he’s now on sabbatical which signals to us that this is “his time” to find his beloved Queen.

Though our bachelor is very content with his extraordinary life, he is looking to find someone with whom he can share affection and life’s adventures.  At his core, he is down-to-earth yet assertive and a take-charge gentleman. These traits are well complimented by his easy-going attitude and adaptable nature – he is romantic, fun, traditional, non-judgmental, extremely giving, and very chivalrous and is hoping to meet a woman who appreciates, and takes interest in, all that he has to offer.

His spiritual practice holds a central role in his life and has allowed him to live a very exciting life. While he’s not actively seeking a woman to attend church with him, he would certainly embrace the chance to meet someone who holds her faith close to her heart. A true and dedicated family man, our client holds the role of father as one of the greatest things he has ever done in his life.

His ideal match would be 30-50 years old and best described as very beautiful, slender to athletic, any height, feminine, and classy. She’s happy and it’s infectious; people love being around her fun and kind personality. She’s social, with a good sense of humor and not afraid of getting teased and can tease right back!

She’s spiritual and holds her values close to her heart, not letting external sources influence her negatively. She’s comfortable in her skin, can let the proverbial hair down, and is ready to embark on a grand adventure and take an active seat as her new role as our VIP clients Queen.

If you or anyone you know might make the perfect match for this VIP, please email our founder Amy at amy@linxdating.com. There are NO fees for qualified candidates to meet our client.

Is your relationship cheat-proof? Research reveals the most common reasons partners stray


jealous girl at party.jpg

After polling over 100,000 people, Chrisanna Northrup published extensive research on infidelity in her book The Normal Bar. Her findings explored not only the prevalence of cheating, but also perhaps more interestingly, she learned the situations that were most likely to encourage committed partners to stray.


  1. The Business Trip

For frequent travelers, life on the road comes with loneliness and stress—two circumstances that make meeting a beautiful stranger a welcome distraction.

36% of men and 13% of women admitted to cheating on a business trip. Respondents claimed that the sexual liaison was just too enticing to pass up, even if they had a robust sex life at home. Researchers concluded that the infidelity was related to sex, but also with the thrill of being wanted sexually and being able to engage and get away with it.

How long into a relationship is the business affair most likely to happen? 6-9 years.


  1. An ex

Even though the relationship maybe over, the feelings can still exist—especially for women. 32% of women admitted to having a fling with an ex or old interest, compared to 21% of men. Those who cheated with an ex reported a satisfying sex life at home; however, the forbidden nature of sleeping with someone who still holds emotional connectivity proved tempting.

How long into a relationship is an ex most likely to tempt? 2-5 years.


  1. Boredom in the bedroom

A mundane sex life is a big reason men and women entertain the idea of getting their needs meet elsewhere. 71% of men and 49% of women cheated after claiming boredom in the bedroom. Often times, people cheat because they are ashamed of their bedroom preferences. In an effort to avoid the conversation, people will suppress their desire and ultimately engage in an affair later to indulge it or, unfairly, project the shame onto their partner.


  1. Revenge infidelity

After a partner cheated, 9% of men and 14% of women admitted to cheating for revenge.


  1. An inability to be monogamous

Despite entering a committed relationship, many people just can’t dismiss the urge to cheat. 46% of men and 19% of women who strayed and were asked why said, “I just can’t help myself.”


But are there reasons people cheat that are beyond their control?


We are ultimately responsible for our decisions, but some factors can certainly cloud our better judgment. After meeting someone interesting and attractive, the brain produces a surge of dopamine. The dopamine rush triggers an intense, addictive euphoria—a euphoria that leaves us begging for more, even if it’s outside of the confines of our relationship.


There could also be a genetic propensity for cheating. In one study,  researchers surveyed 294 participants and discovered that those who had at least one parent cheat were twice as likely to cheat as the participants who had parents who maintained committed relationships.


Is there hope after infidelity?


Ironically, affairs don’t necessarily indicate a broken marriage. Although difficult, one of the biggest hurdles to getting the relationship back on track is working through the “victim/perpetrator” mentality. According to Dr. Joe Kurt, Ph.D., LMSW, the betrayed partner can start thinking that because he or she was cheated on, it’s up to the cheater to make everything right again. This blame-focused approach will ultimately sabotage any chance at reconciliation.


The best hope for a couple is to talk through the cheating—both the cheater’s experience and the injured partner’s response—in the presence of a counselor or therapist. Together, they can figure out the best ways to rebuild trust and demonstrate transparency.

Dreaming about Lake Como….Meet our Latest VIP!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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