Advice for Single men

5 Questions to ask your prospective matchmaker when choosing which firm to work with:

1. How did you get into matchmaking – why do you do what you do?
2. How, and from where, do you source potential matches as “leads” and what is your subsequent vetting process?  In other words, what is the “secret sauce?”
3. Are my ideal match criteria realistic and do you honestly feel that you have high quality candidates for me in your existing database or would you need to source outside the current database?
4. At what point does a “match” become “official?” May I veto potential matches or do you unilaterally make that call?
5. Tell me about a recent success story of yours and why you matched that particular couple.

Are shorter men the hottest accessory of the holiday season?

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I’m 5’11” and love to wear heels, so one of my top dating criteria when I was single was that the man be over 6 feet tall. I remember thinking it was unfair when I saw tiny women dating lofty basketball players or when tall men told me they preferred dating petite women. When I thought about the limited number tall, age-appropriate men in San Francisco and subtracted those who were in relationships, uneducated, commitment-phobes, or were only attracted to shorter women, would anyone be left for me?

In retrospect, my thinking was shortsighted. Limiting your dating pool by height may prevent you from meeting Mr. Right, and expanding your height preferences dramatically increases your options. Most women have their sights set on the less than 4% of American adult men who are over 6’2”, so why not take a more strategic approach? Here are 5 reasons why you should follow in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman and Catherine Zeta Jones and consider dating a shorter man:

  1. They’re confident. What shorter men lack in height, they make up for in presence. Confidence and humor add imaginary inches. Shorter men work harder to refine their social presence. They’re extremely secure and comfortable in their own skin and will be proud to have you by their side.
  1. They’re generous lovers. When you spend the night with a shorter man, you will be in for a treat. Taller guys aren’t used to putting in extra effort since they’re in such high demand, but shorter men know how lucky they are to be with you and will make sure you enjoy every second. And no, his height doesn’t correlate with the size of his member.
  1. They’re funny. When thinking about male comedians and the funniest men I’ve ever known, they’re on the shorter side. Along the same lines, the shorter men I have worked with in sales are absolutely hilarious and have customers laughing within the first few minutes of every sales meeting. While taller jocks retire from sports during the first half of their lives, funny men will keep you laughing all your life.
  1. You’ll have more space. Get ready to sprawl out in bed and fit comfortably with your new man on the couch. You won’t have to significantly adjust the driver’s seat in your car after he borrows it. And you can alternate taking the middle seat on flights since he’s not so tall that he always needs a window or aisle seat. Dating a shorter man makes life easier.
  1. You’ll look and feel like a supermodel all the time. The world is a catwalk for women who date shorter men. Embrace your height in heels and flats as you confidently strut around with your new man. A close girlfriend of mine believes that shorter men will be the hottest accessory of the holiday season!

For more inspiration, check out these celebrity goddesses who love dating shorter men and look fabulous while doing it!

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond

Clare Grant and Seth Green

L’Wren Scott and Mick Jagger

Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg

Tanya Haden and Jack Black

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga

Office Romance – When is it time to get down to business?

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Office hotties – there’s at least one in every company. Men turn their heads when she walks down the hall, and women linger in the office kitchen when he’s filling up his water bottle. Interacting with an office crush can make the workweek fly by.

It’s no surprise that a ton of married couples meet at work since we spend so much time there. How did these couples know that pursuing a relationship with their office crush was worth the risk of being the subject of office gossip and having to work with an ex after a potential breakup?

Consider the questions below before taking an office crush to the next level.

  1. Does your company allow interoffice dating? If not, there are certainly ways around it, but you will have to be very sneaky. One of my favorite couples met while working at a company that didn’t allow interoffice dating, so they had to keep their relationship under wraps for several years until they got married. If your company allows it, make sure you are allowed to date someone in your crush’s role. Some companies don’t allow employees to date direct managers, subordinates, or colleagues on the same team.
  1. Is your work crush marriage material? If so, give it shot! He or she may be the one. If not, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. You are likely to get a reputation if you hook up with multiple people at the office, and if your current work crush isn’t your future spouse, maybe a future hire will be! Don’t let a short-term fling ruin your office reputation and your chance of meeting your future spouse at the office.
  1. Do you both have the same relationship goals? Are you looking for love while your crush is just looking for a fun night? Make sure you’re on the same page and have thought through the consequences before you get to first base. A girlfriend of mine was head-over-heels for a close guy friend on her team at work. When he made a move after a happy hour one night, she was ecstatic…until he never pursued anything further. Their friendship fell apart along with her dream of dating him. As with all things in life, clear communication is key.
  1. Does your work crush have a good reputation at the company? Is he or she known for their solid work ethic and integrity or for taking credit for other people’s work? Does he or she treat the office staff and janitors with respect and appreciation? Are they trustworthy? Do your due diligence by observing their behavior at work and asking others for their impressions of the person. A major plus of meeting someone in the workplace is being able to do a light background check on him or her.
  1. If it doesn’t work out, will you still be able to work together? Ignore your hormones for a moment and spend time thinking about this before dipping in the company pool. If the answer is no, how important is this job to you, and will you be able to find a new job that’s as good as the one you have? Consider your long-term career and relationship goals, your crush’s reputation, your company’s policy on interoffice dating and your shared relationship goals before engaging in business time at the office.

Here is another thought… Just because the bar should probably be high for you to date someone in YOUR workplace, why not join forces with friends from other companies and be your own matchmaker and host/hostess.

We’d like to suggest that you invite 5-8 friends from your company, and 5-8 colleagues from another company, out for a happy hour one night.  Mix, mingle, and see what happens!  Playing host and stepping outside of the office might allow some sparks to fly for you (or others) with someone whom you had never really met or thought about that way! How is easy is that?!?

How I Found My Husband in San Francisco…

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After several years of fun, but unsuccessful husband hunting in San Francisco, I discovered that the love of my life lived only 2 blocks away. Dating pretty much every single college-educated guy over 6 feet tall in New York and San Francisco during my 20s was a thrill! Meeting men through friends, in bars, and on Match, Tinder and eHarmony, I certainly met my fair share of men who never asked questions, expected to split the check on a first date, older men who claimed to be around my age, and extremely short men who claimed to be over 6 feet. Despite a few uncomfortable conversations and awkward hugs, I feel so fortunate to have met so many interesting men, several of whom have become good friends and business contacts. Most importantly, my active dating life enabled me to determine exactly the type of man who would be my ideal match. All I needed to do was find him…

I remember feeling frustrated when people told me that I would only find someone when I stopped looking. How can you find someone when you’re not looking? As I approached my late 20s, I decided to take this advice, but with a twist. I deleted my dating accounts and stopped going out as much socially. I also worked with Amy Andersen to complete my ideal match profile, which helped me become very clear on the traits I valued most in a life partner. Instead of Tindering to find the tallest, hottest guy, I set forth my intention to the universe to find a loyal, intelligent, charismatic man, and I stopped looking for him.

To fill my free time, I pursued my two passions – rowing and yoga. I signed up for a 200-hour yoga teacher training and started a group of Bay Area women who rowed in college. Between work, yoga and the rowing group, I had virtually no time to date, and guess what? I met my husband right away. In the first 5 minutes of a co-ed rowing event I helped organize at an upscale bar near my office, my future husband and I locked eyes. Our chemistry was off the charts, and we quickly discovered that we had several common interests a ton of mutual friends in San Francisco.

After 6 months, I moved 2 blocks away into his apartment, after 9 months, we were engaged, and 2 years later, we are married. As cliché as it sounds to find your match when you aren’t looking, it’s exactly what happened to me. I feel so fortunate to be married to the man of my dreams, and I’d love to share some tips I learned along the way.

5 Tips to Meet your Ideal Match

  1. Enjoy dating! Interacting with new people helps to broaden your horizons, learn more about yourself and the traits you value most in a partner, and to appreciate meeting the right person for you.   Especially in San Francisco, dating is an opportunity for you to grow both professionally and socially. In such a small city, you will run into former dates frequently, so focus on building a strong brand in the dating world. Your future husband may be your awkward Tinder date’s best friend! And meeting people through location-based apps like Tinder enable you to meet new friends and tour guides while traveling.
  1. Identify the traits you value most in your ideal partner. Spend time thinking about similar traits in people you have dated, in your parents, and what you value most in a life partner. Be specific on the key traits, flexible on others, and understand your non-negotiables. Write everything down and discuss with friends, family, a therapist, or a matchmaker. Don’t write off someone whose company you enjoy just because they don’t check every box. It wasn’t until I became clear about what I wanted in a relationship and shared this vision with people that my ideal partner walked into my life.
  1. Focus less on finding Mr. Right and more on becoming Ms. Right. Be the best version of yourself. We hear this advice all the time because it’s so true. If you aren’t into watching sports and you love running, join a running club instead of trying to meet men at a sports bar. I am not interested in watching sports and have been guilty of this many times! If you don’t like your job, get a new one. Don’t pretend to have your life together and rely on Mr. Right to fix your problems. We continue to work on ourselves throughout life, so get to a good place where you and your future partner can work on yourselves together.
  1. Choose happiness! – Life is full of challenges. Make a conscious decision to be happy and stay positive though the worst of times. Radiant, happy women attract similar qualities in others. Be the happy, upbeat person people want to be around. Greet others with smiles and compliments. I have always found volunteering, celebrating others, and travel to lift my spirits and open my heart to endless gratitude. And it’s so easy to meet new people while volunteering and traveling!
  1. Refine your body and mind. Exercise, drink more water, and get enough sleep. Your body will thank you, and fit, healthy people are valued in athletic cities like San Francisco. Attend classes and groups you enjoy, to meet like-minded people. Your husband may be waiting for you in your next boot camp, rock climbing or meditation class! Go outside, breathe deeply, feel the endorphins, and appreciate the natural beauty around us. Get into the best shape of your life, take care of yourself, and SHINE!

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga

The Dog Park Ain’t Just for Dogs

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A few cities may rival San Francisco as the most dog friendly metropolitan area in the US, but we still think we dote on our dogs more so here in the Bay Area than anywhere else. And why wouldn’t we?! We have some of the most scenic dog parks in North America! For example, what offers a more incredible panoramic vista than a view from the Bernal Heights off leash dog park?

Bernal Heights, as just one example, is not only a great place for some dog-dog and dog-human bonding. Believe it or not, this 35-acre off leash park is a great place for some human-human bonding. It draws an eclectic crowd of dog lovers because it offers spectacular visuals of the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, and the hills of the East Bay and more.
Quite frankly, your dog can never get enough exercise and dog experts tell us that regular trips to the dog park can help strengthen your relationship with your canine family members. But we’re people experts here at Linx, and we are convinced a dog park is also a great venue for meeting a significant other or to bring a date. Make it a double date with your dogs and kill two birds with one stone.

If you don’t yet have a dog, it might be worth the investment.  We suggest you go rescue a dog and help reduce the overpopulation of pets. Organizations like the SPCA or the Humane Society are wonderful resources if you want to learn more about pet adoption! It’s a great service to companion animals and it might just help you find a human companion. My husband and I adopted the most loving pup in 2012 from the Fresno SPCA. We drove nearly 3 hours to get him and instantly fell in love! It was heartbreaking walking through the SPCA with the hundreds of animals of all ages and breeds looking for that special family to take them home.

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Actual photo of our pup Marshall in the SPCA FB advertising used to market this litter of the “7 Dwarfs” that were dumped on the side of the road in Fresno. All the girls had been adopted when we got to the Fresno SPCA and 3 boys remained. Lucky us Marshall was there waiting for us! 🙂

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Marshall as a little 3 month old pup- doesn’t he look like a rabbit?!

Your prospects for meeting a mate via the dog park couldn’t be greater than they are in the Bay Area. It is also a great place to introduce your dog to your date, if you’ve already met someone. You’ll quickly learn a lot about your new potential love interest in seeing how he/she interacts with furry friends and responds to them. You might quickly have your answer as to keeper or time to keep looking!

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When Marsh was little and fit into a bag as a pup, I used to carry him all around town. Here we are in Carmel. Talk about an ice breaker. Everyone wanted to know what breed he was. We still make people guess when asked what breed he is. It’s a great conversation starter and something you can do to when you adopt a pet. 😉

If novel social situations can be at all uncomfortable, and they are for everybody in some context or another, we encourage people to go places and do things that take the focus off of you. A dog park offers just that, even for people with the most well-behaved dogs. When you are with your furry family member you have something obvious and easy to talk about. Your dog may not just be the love of your life, he or she is also a great conversation piece and ice breaker.

Nothing is more true than the notion of meeting someone who falls for your puppy, right? It is a scene played out in countless films and that is probably because it works. If you elected to visit Lafayette Park you might even encounter some local luminaries with their pooches. It is a haven for the well heeled crowd avec chien.

Fort Funston offers some pretty fabulous off leash dog park recreation as well. You may have to compete with people on horseback or bicycles, but the view is absolutely stunning.

Other great locations include close to Corona Heights Natural Area is Corona Heights Dog Play Area near the Randall museum. It’s pretty rustic, but your dog is guaranteed to love it.
Mountain Lake Park on the southern border of the Presidio has a dog designated site. It is a dog walker’s delight and comes highly regarded by those in the profession as a great place to exercise dogs. Its also a wildlife haven with active natural resource restoration programs ongoing.

For a list a great dog parks, check out this article from Rover.com

Finally, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has designated several dog play areas. Here’s a comprehensive list.

Geek is Chic: Guys Get Your Glasses On

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Think of Bono, Karl Lagerfeld, Spike Lee and Elton John. These gents are iconic, and so are their spectacles. In fact, you probably wouldn’t recognize them without their signature frames.  Glasses have become extensions of their faces, if not their personas.

The frames of the rich and famous are not only synonymous with the people wearing them, they have become fashion fixtures embedded in popular culture. The stylish eye wear of celebrities are often so iconic in their own right, they transcend time and continue to set fashion trends. Some may simply be fashion accessories but, regardless of their purpose, they have become part of our culture. You don’t have to be a fashionista to sport some trendsetting glasses.

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Pop Chart Lab, Inc. in Brooklyn, New York produces an eye chart of famous eye wear. So if you are out shopping for a cosmetic touch, you can first test the look of some famous frames, including Benjamin Franklin’s bifocals, Elvis’s sunglasses, Maverick’s aviators and even MC Hammer’s oversized glasses.

It is always interesting to us that so many people seek elective corrective eye surgery only to later adorn glasses for cosmetic purposes.  But the data speaks for itself and it says frames are “in” with or without anything in them, literally. LeBron James has popularized eye wear sans lenses at press conferences. And curators at the London College of Fashion, where the exhibit Framed received much acclaim, asserted in recent years that overt design has replaced a trend of minimalism when it comes to eye wear.

But you need to pay attention and stay current as it seems minimalism is back for the Fall of 2015 along with some audacious rims. Sleek seems to be chic with retro-90’s and 60’s looks designs making their way into fashion publications, but so too are bold, thick frames from the 70’s.

Three years ago Harris interactive conducted an online survey on behalf of the new eye wear retailer Ditto.com. They found that 87% of women find glasses on men to be sexy and 91% of women found that sunglasses on men were sexy.  Indeed, everyone looks (fill in your favorite adjective) -> hotter/sexier/bolder/mysterious/polished/hip/cool/trendy in sunglasses.

BUT, before you head out to the nearest retailer, heed some of our advice on what frames to consider and what to ignore. Not all spectacles are spectacular. And just because you think Will Smith’s sunglasses look great on him in Men in Black, it does NOT mean they will look great on you. They don’t have to fit your face, but they do have to fit your look. If you are bold enough they can even MAKE your look. 

If you can’t figure out what to consider buying, you can’t go wrong with the classic black rim glasses. They are simple, yet sophisticated and are perfect for just about every occasion. But if you aren’t looking for something safe, but really slick and avant-garde, we’d be remiss if we failed to introduce you to Tom Ford’s Hugh Polarized Square Wayfarer Sunglasses

Beyond those glasses, we also love Tom Ford’s Marko Aviator Polarized Sunglasses. If you’re thinking you want to mix up your look this Fall and try a new optical look think Oliver Peoples. Our top Oliver Peoples Optical frames include: Jack Huston RX, Executive I, and Calidor.

Don’t Date Like an Antelope!!! Leave the Bar behind…

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Sometimes it helps to provide some metaphoric imagery to get our point across when it comes to dating.

Imagine yourself on the African savannah. If you were a male antelope, you might very well be the type to line up alongside other male antelope, in discrete “mini-territories,” waiting for females to arrive on the breeding grounds, so that you could court them.

It is not unlike when men line up at a bar waiting for a prospective date to walk through the door.  The scientific term for this is called arena or “lekking” behavior.  It’s a strange word—so it’s no wonder that it hasn’t caught on, or yet found its way into Urban Dictionary. But a handful of animal species do it, and human males attempt to do it all the time, especially at the bar.

In breeding season, male antelope and males of other species have a few options when it comes to courting potential significant others.

They may defend and protect harems, or guard property and possessions.  Some may choose to dominate other males. If those options don’t appeal to them, they may choose to “lek”, just like you would at the bar.  In fact, if you walk in the bar and aren’t already accompanied by a bevy of attractive women, didn’t just leave your Bentley with the valet, and aren’t an alpha male, you may consider it your only option.

And if you do choose to lek, like an antelope, you will have to do your best to look as confident and attractive as possible, while females approach at the bar.  You may even have to look like Matthew McConaughey or have game that defies logic to get the attention of women at the bar.   Although the lekking or bar option may be of benefit to a handful of species of antelope, fruit bats, and sea lions, it doesn’t seem to be working too well for a lot of men out there these days, and it is certainly not an atmosphere in which many of our clients excel.

Yes, many women may converge upon the bar, but meeting them at such a venue rarely leads to something substantial like a relationship.  We hear about unsubstantial, and perhaps, sordid flings all the time, but even those are usually few are far between, in reality.

Without getting into too much detail concerning mating systems of the animal kingdom, the occurrence of lekking seems to be density dependent. By that, we mean that finding success by sitting at the bar stool is really a numbers game. Hence, the success of lekking depends on how many men vs. women show up to a given venue. It seems to work as a courting strategy when there are a lot more females than males converging upon a given location.  Reality-based TV shows like The Bachelor showcase the benefits from lekking when there are 20 girls to each guy. Real life—not so much!

Most men tell us here at Linx Dating that on any given weekend evening there are usually a lot more men hanging out at bars than women. Even if there are just a few more men than women, the most confident alpha male still has to work really hard to attract and court a prospective mate. This is why lekking at the bar is generally a poor strategy for humans out on the dating scene.

If you are back on the market, we suggest that you extinguish the arena behavior and leave the lekking venue (i.e., the bar) behind.  One way to do this is to develop a hobby or passion that draws a particular type of person to an event of mutual interest.  Trust us, if antelope had time for hobbies they would much rather lure a date to do something fun and of mutual interest, than try to prove themselves on the one day out of a whole year that the females are in heat.

These hobbies and passions could be literally anything from: coed hiking clubs, coed book clubs, embracing your inner geek with continuing education at Stanford University,  or sailing class. Maybe it means sweating your way through regular spin class at Soul Cycle. Bring your A-game and friendly attitude and introduce yourself around the room. If you’re a novice at something like spin for instance, admit it, smile, ask for help getting set up, and make new friends. Survey the room and plant yourself next to someone of the opposite sex. Adopt the mentality that he/she might not be “the one” for you but maybe that new spin buddy has friends and can open your world up to new opportunities and connections. You gotta work it and work at it to get ahead in your personal life!

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If you have always wanted to learn how to cook or perhaps are already an experienced cook who enjoys learning new techniques and recipes and you live in the Bay Area check out cooking classes through Sur La Table or Dragers Market.

As you make plans this weekend to grab drinks at the local wine room with your single friends, remember to not date like an antelope! Leave the bar behind and try something entirely new. You might very well meet that special someone you never expected!