Advice for Single women

Three’s Company

A topic that seems to creep into the happy relationships of many couples is the threesome or ménage à trois . Many guys like to flirt with the idea of engaging their girlfriend in a threesome with another hot chick for a steamy night of wild fun to indulge his longest-standing fantasy. iStock_000009128562Small

Mainstream cinema (“Threesome” with Stephen Baldwin, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Josh Charles, “Wild Things” with Neve Campbell, Matt Dillon, and Denise Richards to name two films), the porn industry, and literature fetishize the idea of threesomes from girl girl guy, to girl girl girl action, guy guy girl, and guy guy guy.

Some men even go so far to share with their girlfriend that in order to get really serious about the prospect of marriage, he needs to romp around in the bed as three in order to check that fantasy off his pre-marital bucket list. Sometimes he feels he has leverage because his girlfriend shared she once kissed a girl in college. Seems nearly half of college campuses experiment sexually at some point but that doesn’t mean someone is necessarily “into” other women because of that.

These “bad boy” boyfriends will often slowly work their charm over on their girlfriend. It could be as long as a year in the making of slowly chipping away at this male fantasy of his and how it would be REEEELY fun…just once he promises! I’ll love you SO much more- he might say!

No matter how much this sexual encounter is carefully planned (picking out a friend who consents to this) or spontaneously both picking up a cutie in a bar (after a few too many cocktails on the town), the inevitable is that a threesome brings someone else into the relationship. Three. Not two. Three. Cheating with another woman

A third person into your relationship that you’ve worked hard to make solid complicates things no matter how you look at it. Jealousy, regret, shame, anger, and sadness can all spin out of a night of consensual fun. There’s no predicting the emotions and feelings that could happen during or afterwards.

Men telling their girlfriend that a threesome will help the relationship, or get them down the aisle, or that they’ll be better for it, are all lines of bullshit. That’s correct- complete crap, ladies. Threesomes can wreck your relationship and take it on a wrong turn down an unknown path laden with downside risks.

A female has less power and mastery of her relationship when she gives into this bucket list item of her boyfriend. She indulges his wishes yet automatically rewinds the clock on their relationship. He might make her think, through his clever manipulation, that there is “progress” now that he got to sleep with someone else right in front of her. Yet, chances are that the mere act of his having sex with another partner is a reason to make her feel emotionally and physically unsafe with what was once sacred between the two. That is a major reason why if you are considering engaging in a threesome with your partner, you need to have ground rules and an open dialogue before you start. Really ask yourself if your relationship can survive a threesome. Beyond that, ask yourself why you’re even considering engaging in this kind of thing.

Not surprisingly, there’s even an app out there called 3nder to help coordinate threesomes between consenting adults. It might be ‘safe, simple, and awesome’ as 3nder’s motto states but surely complicated if you’re in an existing monogamous and loving relationship.

Some people do say a threesome can help strengthen a relationship and the couple actually becomes closer as a result if the encounter is one where the ground rules are set up front and details carefully planned out with the third participant.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer about this other than my stance that if you are in a monogamous relationship with the hopes to get engaged and married in the future, don’t fall for something that is not right for your value system.

There are plenty of good men out there who wouldn’t think of jeopardizing all the good that you have going on just between the two of you! I’m a believer that he’ll put you in his “play” bucket if you go there with him, instead of being only in the more rigid “future Mrs.” bucket. A good man who is marriage-minded certainly has sexual fantasies, and hopefully will include you in some of these sexy dreams of his, but doesn’t necessarily need to act on them.

Meeting the Parents

We get a lot of dating advice questions here at Linx each week. This one sticks out as a real dilemma many of us can relate to on some level. The scenario is you’ve been with your partner in a committed relationship for some time now and he/she is shying away from you meeting his/her family. Maybe he/she is only peeling a few onion layers back with you and anything deemed too serious like meeting family and friends has been a topic he/she has walked away from. At this point, it is starting to make you uncomfortable. What is he/she hiding and why is he/she being so private and reluctant about opening up this important part of his/her past and future? Serious woman being mad at her boyfriend

I’d say anytime from 6-9 months is a pretty natural time to bring up discussions about being introduced to one another’s families. You need to lead with an open and very honest heart. Go in gentle and explain how you feel about him/her and how you are “in like”, “in love”, “in awe” with him/her. He/she means the world to you and even though you have only been together for (insert # of months), you feel that it is serious. As such, it is important for you to meet his/her family. You can express this to your partner without using big commitment terms like “when we get engaged” or “this is important for me before I get married.” If your partner is already uneasy, chances are that will make him/her even more nervous about something so serious.

Be easy and light in your approach but with a firm intention expressing your value system. You want to meet them, understand where he/she came from, and continue getting to know him/her on a deeper level. Study your partners reaction. Is he/she able to react in a positive way at all or has he/she retreated and ‘caved?’ If the later, back off. Chances are your partner has listened and heard you loud and clear. My advice (as sensitive as it is to you and important..and how it has probably been brewing inside your heart for some time now) is to not lash out or criticize.

It is now even more important to truly become a “student” of your relationship. You are seeing first hand how your partner handles conflict. This is clearly something he/she is not liking. Every couple faces crap. It is just a matter of how you effectively communicate it, address it, and tackle it together…as a team! 🙂

In a few days, see if he/she comes back to you with his/her ideas. Maybe no ideas about meeting your wishes of a “meet the parents” but another onion layer pulled back on some level (we hope…yes…no?!) It could very well be it simply is not the right time for your boyfriend/girlfriend to “go there” with you. It will be up to you if you can accept that and you will need to start asking yourself how much longer you are willing to wait. young man in grass

No one likes timelines but relationships are about sacrifice and compromise. It is about listening to one another’s needs and desires. As painful as these observations and data can be, sometimes that person you are desperately in “like” “awe” “lust” or “love” with is not the long-term for you. The timing could be completely off for him/her and unfortunately he/she needs another few years before going down that road. There are no easy answers to this question but only you know how your heart feels. If something is tugging deep inside you, listen carefully and follow your heart. If your honey meets your request, now you can start packing, planning your perfect look, and making travel reservations.

We welcome your dating and relationship questions anytime. Send me an email to: amy@linxdating.com and I can assure you your question will be kept anonymous.

Holiday Heartbreak – How to Put Back Together the Pieces

According to statistics compiled from Facebook status updates, the holidays are one of the peak times of year when breakups occur. This adds an extra layer of difficulty to an already complicated time of year. It is essential to take care of yourself and your aching heart so you can get back into the game as soon as possible.

Friend of Linx, Daniela Tempesta, who is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco has put together some great insights into holiday heartbreak. If you are experiencing some holiday blues this season, consider gaining a fresh perspective that Daniela offers in order to gain momentum in 2014 in your personal life. Here are some of Daniela’s tips on strategies for putting back together the pieces and how speaking with a therapist can assist that process.

1) Don’t Carry The Baggage Of Your Last Relationship Into Your Next One

People often run from one failed relationship to another in a desperate attempt to forget the pain in the arms of a new love. But if we don’t seize the chance to really process the grief from a breakup, we are likely to bring it with us into the next relationship. We may project feelings and memories onto our new partner that have nothing to do with them. For example, your ex may have severely broken your trust and as result you are constantly suspicious or accuse your new partner of deceiving you even though they are not. This is likely to result in you walking away from someone wonderful, or pushing that person away. Therapy can help you clear the marks of your last love and give you a clean emotional canvas to work with.

2) Own What Is Yours And Let Go Of The Rest

Many people incorrectly blame themselves for a relationship not working out. They are so busy feeling bad about themselves that they fail to take responsibility for the way they actually did contribute to problems with their ex. It is important that you are able to examine what happened with someone who can help you see it objectively. It is essential that you stop blaming yourself for things that are not your fault, because sitting with blame and shame weighs us down and keeps us stuck. It is also important that you uncover the problematic behaviors or patterns that you did engage in that were not helpful. A lot of the problems that came up in your last relationship probably existed long before you ever met your ex. That is because we have internal dynamics in place for understanding ourselves and relating to others that have been in place since childhood. It is essential to untangle this web before you step into the next relationship so that you don’t repeat the same patterns again.

3) Re-Discover Your Identity As A Single Person And Learn To Love Yourself

A large part of coping with the loss of a relationship is learning how to be single again. This involves learning how to be alone and really getting to know and love an independent you. Skipping this step can lead to dating people who are not right for you as a way of filling an empty hole in your heart. We often lose parts of our identity in our relationships, and therapy can help you connect with your truest self and put the pieces back together. In order to really love someone else, we must learn to love ourselves.

4) Improve Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is hard. It is both an art and a science. Communication problems are often the number one culprit in a failed relationship. Before moving onto your next relationship it’s important to examine how your communication style may have been the source of strife. Is your communication style passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or altogether non-existent? For a relationship to work you need to be able to express yourself in a way that honors your voice and desires, but does not alienate or harm others. Remember, it’s not usually what people are saying, but how they are saying it (or what they are afraid to say) that is getting them into trouble.

It’s a timing thing…

I am definitely a big believer in the “taxi cab light” theory in analyzing and studying the dating game – especially for how men behave.

When a man is ready to find love, his taxicab “on duty” light is on.  In observing the male species, it is a short window of time from the moment the light is on to the moment it is off.  In that time frame, he is searching for, and desiring, a woman with whom to fall in love. It is his time and we all know darn well, it’s a timing thing. It is either a man’s time to get serious about finding the love of his life or NOT.

It can be extremely hard to navigate these waters without a life preserver when you are dating on your own. To add to the complexity, it is really hard to map out which guys have their “light on” and whose might be turned off but he is still out their playing the dating game casually and in “hook up” mode versus “wedding bells mode.” I know what this is like because when I was in my twenties (like a year ago lol kidding), I found it particularly hard to decipher which of the guys in whom I was interested would end up being casual, right here, right now, versus long-term.

In running Linx, I can’t even express how interesting it is to see some men who have been prospective clients of Linx for many (yes, MANY) years now FINALLY pulling the trigger.  It’s a timing thing and their taxi lights are bright, on, and blaring out to the world. This prototypical male has dated a fair amount, gotten the casual hookups out of his system, and it’s game on, with it all now just being a matter of how to find HER in a sea of contenders.

Another observation is that men seem to also need to feel that there is harmony in their professional careers to be ultimately positioned to find love. If his career is unstable, it is not his time to get serious about love. When his career is in a good place and he’s sick of the random hook-up, that is his time.

My best advice to women is that you cannot legislate outcomes and force a man to be ready.  All you can do is consistently put yourself in position to meet those guys that ARE ready and to put your best foot forward when you do so.San Mateo-20130501-01091The intoxicating smell of fresh fragrant garden flowers at the Linx offices. 

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.” 
-John Lennon

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Busiest January Ever!

It’s only January 15th and we are swamped! Love all of you writing us and clients coming in to renew and catch up with us as well. Today we had a meeting with a gorgeous 50-something woman, followed up a catch up with a 50-something VIP gentleman who is super sexy and successful (if you are a 30-40 gorgeous gal, ping me ASAP…this guy wants marriage and babies!), and a lovely interview with a charming and sophisticated 28-year old East Coast bred female who is preppy and smart!  Lots of calls today with clients and matchmaking too.San Mateo-20130115-00762 copy

Lovely fresh flowers at our office this week…..

Tomorrow we have interviews with two gentleman, one who is an accomplished scientist in the Valley and beyond cerebral (early 40’s) and another who is a late 40’s very good looking (slightly shy) venture capitalist.  I love LOVE love my job!

I just ran into two separate couples that I set up over the weekend too. One was at a dinner locally with my hubbie. I did a double take and saw one of our younger Linx couples (both mid 20’s) sitting together with his mother at dinner in the booth next to us. So cute! He introduced me to his mother after their dinner. This couple is so fabulous and living together! Both their VERY FIRST introduction through Linx. Talk about success. The next day, I ran into another Linx couple (both are in their 60’s). He was her first match and she was his second introduction. They were seeing a film together (Life of Pi…a major mist see but be prepared for a serious tear jerker) and I had never seen her so happy before! At peace, radiant, happy, and looking healthy. To find that elusive chemistry….San Mateo-20130115-00763

I‘ve also gotten good feedback from clients about matches they (at first) were a little skeptical about. Maybe from a different look, career, or age. Being open-minded and having a malleable mind and approach is KEY to successful matchmaking. Too restrictive, unrealistic, or close-minded simply doesn’t work for us at Linx. You must let go of the list and trust in this unique ultra-personalized process of matchmaking to see the success you desire. Sometimes matches do not work out after a few dates or months. That is life. Nothing is predicable yet in being open, you substantially increase your odds of meeting that incredible match to call your future husband or wife! IMG-20130114-00759My project is almost finished. A cozy new “passionate” nook in my study. Walls are done. Now waiting to get some art work for my mom to complete the look. 

 

 

The Finesse Behind Socializing

I am always struck by the importance of first impressions, creating connections in general and how some people have an understanding and command of what could be considered “softer skills” and others on the flip side have limited ease when socializing.

In throwing various networking events and serving as a matchmaker to the Bay Area’s elite population of professionals, I have become even more fascinated in watching people, trying to understand the psychology of why some people get it, and others seem to miss the bigger picture.

Recently, at an event, I observed attendees mingling, many of whom were meeting one another for the first time. It was a happy hour to bring together a few select friends and handful of clients to end a long work week.

I observed that some people have a skill deep within them that allows ease in getting to know a stranger. There isn’t any awkwardness and there also isn’t a forced connection or a superficial, “My name is so and so and I am a program manager at Google.” Instead, for some of these types, the connection in meeting a stranger develops with a seamless conversation of “how did you end up here tonight, oh you live in Palo Alto too, ah you just moved here from the East Coast as well, how funny, me too…..” and from there a solid comfort level has been established and the rest is history.

I was having a conversation this morning with my husband trying to understand what I have observed for a long time.  Maybe, not coincidentally, this is one example of exactly what he is trying to teach many of his entrepreneurship students at Stanford about intangibles that go beyond mastery of analytical skills or knowledge.

There are those whom I believe were raised in a home where they watched their parents and through nature and nurture gained a depth of knowledge and/or comfort about how to interact with people in general – maybe it’s empathy, curiosity, or both.  And, having been raised in this environment, it is deeply engrained in them. Then, there are many who are not born as extroverted or aware of personal dynamics, but who certainly are forced to learn to become very social and at least perceived as being “at ease” in a crowd of people due to their professional success and being in the spot light.

Remember that almost everything that happens in life has people involved – professional transactions, family interactions, friends, romantic connections.  And this means that feelings and personalities come front and center.

I think many people forget in general how important first impressions are and that what could be a huge opportunity right in front of them for a love connection NEVER HAPPENS because they don’t make an effort.  At this little event, I was struck by a couple of females who plopped themselves in the plush club chairs at the lounge and never once made any effort to extend themselves in a positive way by, for example, introducing themselves to any of the guests next to them and trying to be friendly. The perception by the men was that these women were unfriendly, uneasy, and uninterested and really weren’t bringing much to the party. Even if these girls were legitimately interested in these eligible men, these guys wrote them off and had already moved on.

In the extremely competitive world of dating, there is a short window to maximize each and every possible opportunity and you need to stand out. Unless you are Heidi Klum (and it wouldn’t even hurt for her to follow this advice), you need to accentuate all of your positives and shine in every possible way – find your competitive advantage(s) and maximize it (them). If there aren’t a lot of positives that you can find right now, discover and develop some of them and work it.  This goes for men and women but, for these particular observations, women.

Men have a very limited window in which they will be interested and pay attention to a woman. If someone sits there like a sloth and doesn’t impress an eligible man by being friendly, semi-outgoing, and inquisitive, he will mentally check out and focus on someone else.  That train will have left the station and that opportunity to create a great first impression is lost in translation.  He might have exchanged a business card to be friendly and a week later you might reflect and then email him to say hello – but chances are he will write a short “nice to meet you too” email but not express interest in seeing you.

I even noticed this happening last night at a friend’s party in San Francisco. The ratio of females to men was around 3 : 1. Pods of women plopped on couches, clustered around one another, almost like bees on honey.  The bulk of guys did not approach because these female pods were closed off and even though I will place my bets on their being eligible, their body language was closed off, even for a matchmaker to show interest. The socially successful guests at this event were the ones who maybe weren’t the most extroverted but were making an effort and fled the honey bee hive for the night for a different sort of nectar.