alternatives to dating apps

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

 

Signs that You’re Dating a Man, Not a Boy

 

iStock-500303866 copy.jpgAlthough the exterior looks great, your partner might just be a boy in a grown man’s body. Although we’d like to think age communicates a certain level of maturity, we all know it’s just a number; there will be 50-year old boys and 20-year old men. Maturity and self awareness—gifts that come with life experiences—separate the men from the boys. Here’s how to tell if you’ve found yourself dating a mature adult, or a boy who hasn’t reached full maturity.

 

Boys want to hook up, men want to invest in a real physical and emotional connection.

At some point, the thrill of the chase is just not that thrilling anymore when there isn’t a future. He may have been a playboy in the past, but if he’s ready for one woman, he’s stopped communicating with exes and flings. If he’s still chasing tail at the bars or toggling between dating apps, he’s not ready to commit.

 

Boys slink away, men spearhead difficult conversations.

If someone gets angry, is there silent treatment involved? If so, perhaps your partner hasn’t fully grasped the necessity of effective communication. Whereas boys might become passive aggressive or distant after problems arise, men will spearhead the issues directly. If you’re with someone who can accept criticism, apologize, and tell you if something bothers him, then you are dating a man with serious communication skills.

 

Boys need constant guidance, men handle their business.

If you’re dating a guy who needs you to carry him home after a night out or someone to make him apologize for losing his temper, you’re probably dating someone who isn’t fully self aware. A few wild nights are acceptable, a few wild nights that reveal your partner’s complete lack of self control or poor judgment indicate a lack of maturity.

 

Boys don’t think about their environment, men fine tune their living space.

This point might seem harsh and overly obvious, but how your partner lives reveals a lot about his personal habits. Grown men take pride in surrounding themselves with an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle. He might not live alone or have a lavish place, but you can tell he has invested in his surroundings.

 

Boys live in the moment, men are focused on the future.

A man who is ready to settle down will build a firm foundation—a way to support himself and take care of the people he loves. Although he’s living in the present, men tend to act with a nod to the future. Boys are more interested in the fleeting moments that have no real staying power.

 

Boys tear you down, men genuinely compliment you.

When boys feel insecure, they might resort to teasing or back-handed compliments to chip away at your confidence. Men, however, understand that a woman with self-esteem won’t respond to such behavior. If a boy finds himself overwhelmed by his overachiever girlfriend, he might want to downplay her accomplishments, whereas a man will not only embrace the success, but want to share her achievements with everyone.

 

After a string of unsuccessful dates, it can feel like you have a knack for attracting boys exclusively. Keep going; the right man is waiting for you and if he’s still not showing up, get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

 

 

Working with a Matchmaker | The Linx Difference

If you are stumbling upon this site and blog for the first time and unsure of what it is like to work with a professional matchmaker, look no further.

Let’s begin with that Linx Dating is. Linx is an offline boutique curated dating and social network located in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Founded by Amy Andersen in 2003, Linx has now been matching high caliber, relationship-minded Bay Area professionals for more than a decade.

A couple of general misconceptions stem around our demographic and that we just focus on matching wealthy older men and young women under 30 OR much older women with young men aka “cougar” dating.

Often prospects have read active searches on the Linx website and conclude because some of these select profiles describe representing young women that we must not work with women over 30. The reality is we represent many women of all ages from 20’s to 70’s.

We do know how the “cougar” concept happened and that was from being part of a feature story on Linx in Vanity Fair.  Linx is responsible for creating truly a social phenomenon in Silicon Valley at the iconic Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel and the legend continues years later. It seems like everyone has heard about the hotel and the dazzling Thursday night scene. It was all from one mixer Linx hosted at the hotel that the social scene EXPLODED with popularity and then truly became worldwide news after the VF story published.

Though our current focus remains on San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we represent eligible men and women across the U.S and around the world.  In fact, it is not uncommon for our clients to request that we conduct nationwide (and sometimes even global) searches as we help them in their quests to find true love. We represent a select handful of international VIP clients who reside across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. These clientele include CEOs, founders, prominent public figures, financiers, and members of royal families.

Beyond being a matchmaking firm, Linx is also a robust network of highly educated Silicon Valley professionals.  If you are new to Silicon Valley or the Bay Area and would like to make connections in a given industry or sector, this is a great way to network and expand your connections. In fact, though dating is our specialty, some of our most unexpected success stories have come from countless platonic social and business connections that can trace their origins to the broader Linx network.

The Linx Difference

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Linx works exclusively with college-educated nonsmokers (in fact, roughly 75% of our clients have pursued graduate-level education) and we pride ourselves on meeting each and every member of the Linx network in person.  Our vetting process is significant, and all Linx clients complete at least one interview as well as significant “homework” as we get to know more about them, their goals, and what they hope to find in their next relationship.

There are no complex matching algorithms at Linx but there is a comprehensive proprietary database and a human brain (Amy Andersen) that has interviewed every single one of the thousands of people in the database. In the style of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, Amy has a highly developed sense of pattern recognition and intuition around people and what potential matches will work and those which are less likely to succeed. We are also a very small team; our clients are not handed off to junior staff or assistants once we decide to work together.  Our approach to matchmaking is team-based, and remains so for the duration of our relationship.

Though Linx has been fortunate to receive regular inbound requests for interviews and other media coverage, we neither advertise nor retain a PR firm – we take tremendous pride in staying away from buying up expensive ads in glossy magazines and airline publications to market ourselves.  We simply do our jobs well, as the vast majority of new clients come to us through referrals from past and current clients.

Our clients also appreciate our discreet approach to matchmaking, and value the importance we place on their privacy.  Client confidentiality is a core value at Linx, and we take the unusual step of not maintaining a cloud-hosted database.  It may seem like an unnecessary measure to some of our clients, but it’s definitely a source of comfort for others.

Linx is also unusual in that our matchmaking process is done client-to-client.  We represent both men and women as clients, which is rare in an industry that tends to focus on men.  We find that the successful, well-educated men of Linx appreciate and value that women are equally committed to this process, and also financially invested; when both parties approach an introduction with equal gravity, they tend to have greater respect for each other, and are more open to the possibilities that can result.

7 Ways to Nurture Your New Relationship

 

iStock-541824336 copy.jpgOne of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the opportunity to share life’s joys with someone else. Unfortunately, so much of us are conditioned to seek the things—and the people—either out of our reach, or that might seem to satiate what we see as the current shortcomings in a current relationship. It is easy to start believing the grass is greener instead of investing in what we have. To save time, we want to know who “checks all the boxes”, and are quick to nix a future with anyone who might not follow the image we had in mind. For these reasons and so many more, we unintentionally jeopardize and sabotage our relationships.

 

Strong relationships take work and self awareness. The strongest relationships are built on a firm foundation between two partners who share the same values. To nurture a new relationship or breathe some new life into the one you’re currently in, try the following:

 

  1. Foster dependability.

Can you count on your partner to do what he or she says they’ll do? Can you be relied upon in the same way? If you are unsure if your partner will have your back during the hard times, you might ask yourself, “what’s missing?” You or your partner might not be taking the relationship as seriously as it should be for long term viability.

 

Take your promises seriously and only say what you’re sure you can deliver. If for any reason you fall short, acknowledge your mistake. Try to anticipate your partner’s needs in advance, so you can practice dependability without expectations.

 

What it looks like: Knowing that his girlfriend had to get her oil changed, Paul offered to pick her up from the mechanic to spare her a long wait time. When he arrived to pick her up, he asked the mechanic about the flashing engine light and proceeded to fill her tires with air. Though his gesture was a simple one that took 15 minutes, his actions spoke volumes about his commitment and dependability.

 

  1. Honest communication.

Be honest with each other at all times — even if the consequences may somewhat hurt the other person. When your partner is communicating, listen with an open mind, without interruption, and notice the tone of their voice and facial expression. Not all conversation is verbalized; sometimes your partner will tell you everything you need to know without any words.

 

What it looks like: Annie knew it was ridiculous to feel jealous of her boyfriend’s attractive female coworker, so she kept this to herself. “Why bring drama into this? Obviously, they just work together,” she thought noting her own insecurity. When she learned that her boyfriend had an upcoming work trip with the attractive coworker, she started acting distant and passive aggressively. Finally, she fessed up. “I’m sorry to say, but I feel jealous and insecure.” When her boyfriend learned what was going on, he reassured Annie and suggested that she join for the next happy hour so she could meet all of his coworkers.

 

  1. Asking for emotional support.

Expressing vulnerability is the cornerstone of building an emotionally supportive and sound relationship. Talk to your partner about the things that scare you, that embarrass you, that challenge you. Talking about these uncomfortable things is not just an exercise in your communication skills, it is an opportunity to build trust.

 

  1. Fine tune the romantic intimacy.

As your communication skills improve and your relationship evolves, so will the way you express physical connection. If you refuse to communicate about what you want in the bedroom, be prepared to have a less than fulfilling love life. If you intend on staying in a monogamous relationship, give your partner a chance to satisfy your needs.

 

  1. Balance alone time with partnership.

The cure for trouble in a relationship is not always more face time. It’s important that both people feel they can take space when they need it and return to their partner without anger or resentment waiting at home. It’s important to honor the urges we have to be by ourselves, but realize the impact our absence can have on our partners. If you feel an urge to be alone, make it easier for yourself and your partner by letting him or her know in advance that you need some time. Some reassurance that your absence is not the result of anything he or she did will help a new partner understand your needs without confusion.

 

  1. Assess the way you fight.

In any serious relationship, disagreement is inevitable. Arguments will arise, and they may escalate into some heated conflict. If you find yourselves disagreeing often, ask yourself, “How am I contributing to this?” Sometimes the need to be right will stress the relationship in ways that are neither necessary or helpful. You will not be able to control your partner, but you can control the way you approach conflict.

 

What it looks like: A former client called crying after her boyfriend stormed out after an argument. “Every time we talk, I end up having to repeat myself, and finally I lost my mind and told him, “’You never listen to me and that’s why this relationship isn’t working.’” After calming down, the client realized that, when she lost her temper, she couldn’t acknowledge her boyfriend’s efforts to understand her. Instead of attacking his short comings, she started the conversation appreciating his efforts before moving into new ways they could improve the relationship together.

 

  1. Maintain your sense of self.

Do you lose yourself in a relationship? Establishing and maintaining your boundaries is necessary to keep your standards firm and your self respect intact. Letting a partner decide what you should and shouldn’t tolerate will lead to resentment from you and loss of respect from your partner. To compromise your personality to “fit” your relationship will ultimately ruin any chance at long-term sustainability.

 

These tips will help you nurture and build a strong, loving relationship, but they will only work their magic with consistent reinforcement. The effort and sacrifice will pay off, however, when you find yourself in a loving, sustainable relationship.

Searching for men ages 28-44 for our 33-year old Dr. bachelorette

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Announcing a new search for a young client. Our client is a half Swedish, half American woman who is intellectual and attractive. At 33-years old, she has a willowy 5’9” frame and long golden red hair that has never been touched by artificial dyes. She is beautiful, bright, friendly and very athletic.

She grew up in Woodside back in the day when it was just a redwood forest, pre-Silicon Valley boom. Athleticism has always been a huge part of her life and in high school and college she was an Academic All-American volleyball player. She headed East for undergrad, studying molecular biology and French literature at Harvard University.

Our bachelorette then moved to NYC at age 21 where she worked as a model and personal trainer before deciding to go to medical school at Columbia University. In medical school she became fascinated by neuroscience and decided to become a psychiatrist. She also found meaning and inspiration in working with people who struggle with mental health.

After graduating, she moved back to the Bay Area to complete her residency training at UCSF where she could be near her family. She is delighted to finally be done with all her training and beginning her dream job as a psychiatrist in a group private practice. In her free time, she likes outdoor yoga classes, hiking the hills of the Bay Area, running marathons and traveling to visit her family in Sweden and France. Most importantly, she loves spending as much time as possible with her family and friends.

Our bachelorette is best suited for men between the ages of 28 and 44, Caucasian or mixed race, and she is most attracted to men who are tall. She would like to find someone who lives primarily in San Francisco or the Bay Area. Her ideal partner is bright, authentic, and full of curiosity. He has high aspirations in his career as well as hopes of having a family.

If you or anyone you know might make a great match for our client, please email our founder Amy at: amy@linxdating.com

Harsh Truths: 6 Reasons Why Your Relationship Fell Apart

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Relationships end for a variety of reasons—some we can control, others we cannot. Before your next relationship, consider asking yourself if any of these issues are sabotaging your efforts at finding a deep, committed relationship.

 

  1. Your ex is STILL coming up

We all have a past, but when the past becomes the fodder of our present, you are creating a rift between you and your partner’s ability to connect. Talk of past relationships not only reveals that you’re not moving forward, it also jeopardizes your chances of a future. If you find yourself beginning sentences with “My ex and I…” or “When I dated X…” consider taking some time away from dating to understand why you’re still telling these stories.

 

  1. You couldn’t trust

It’s no surprise that trust is the crux of all healthy relationships; without the bond of trust, a couple will miss an opportunity to experience true intimacy. Aside from cheating, trust issues can also indicate jealousy, game playing, and possessiveness.

 

If relationships have ended because you couldn’t trust, ask yourself if it was because of actual events (i.e. your partner lied to you, broke promises, hacked into your phone) or if you are feeling unable to trust without cause (i.e. you feel jealous even though your partner has never strayed). Being able to differentiate feelings that stem from actual events versus unsubstantiated paranoia will help you uncover barriers to intimacy.

 

  1. You were Mr./Mrs. Right Now, not Mr./Mrs. Right

The relationship is guaranteed to fail if you find yourself on either side of this equation. Not all relationships are built to last—and that doesn’t make them any less important to our growth—but if you are looking for a life partner, meeting someone who is open to the same is crucial for long-term success.

 

If you are with someone until you land your dream job, move, lose weight, or meet someone better, you are wasting your time and your partner’s time. If your partner is not your priority, you aren’t ready for an enduring long-term relationship. If you’re wondering if you’re the top priority—you’re not.

 

  1. You harbor contempt

Dr. John Gottman, a leading expert on couples’ studies, concluded that the single, best predictor of divorce is contempt. Contempt, a toxic combo of anger, disgust and frustration, stems from a superiority complex. When we are unable to see our partner’s point of view because we believe they are less intelligent, sensitive, or competent than we are, we are making it impossible to communicate about the things that bother us.

 

In addition to contempt, there were three other closely related patterns of toxic communication: criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling (shutting down, no eye contact, etc.)

  1. You were emotionally dependent

If you are unable to make yourself happy, you will always seek someone who can distract you from the uncomfortable feelings you have towards yourself. Not only is it unfair to expect your partner to keep you afloat, it’s dangerous to allow someone else to hold the keys to your happiness. Codependent people usually don’t keep high standards when it comes to how others treat them, so it’s more likely that they end up with a partner who doesn’t treat them well. There are many ways to heal from codependency, but they all start with a belief that you—and you alone—can make yourself happy.

 

  1. You stopped appreciating your partner

A lack of appreciation comes in many forms. Perhaps you’ve stopped making an effort—to make fun plans, to keep up your appearance, to remind your partner how special they are. Taking someone for granted is a quick way to kill the romance and up the apathy.

 

When someone is asking what is best for “us”, compromise ensues. If you stop appreciating your partner’s efforts, it’s easy to stop asking “What is best for us?” and replacing it with “What is best for me?”

 

Of course not all reasons our relationships end are because we are at fault. Without the right timing, otherwise compatible people won’t be able to connect for reasons outside of their control. Age, seemingly just a number, will start to matter if he’s 28 finishing grad school and she’s 34 looking forward to starting a family. Life situations can also affect our chances of connection. If he’s ready to move things forward while she’s healing post divorce, the couple will not be able to connect on the same level. Situations can change, broken hearts can heal, and different phases can pass, but if the timing is going to be ‘off’ for more than a few months, it is better to make a clean break and revisit at another time.