alternatives to online dating

Are You Choosing To Be Thankful?

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With the holidays just around the corner, this can be a great time to meet someone new. Here are some ideas for getting through the holiday season in good cheer, and maybe even building some relationships (romantic or otherwise) along the way.animated-thanksgiving-desktop-backgrounds-wide-photos-hd-wallpapers-free-thanksgiving-desktop-wallpapers-backgrounds

Host a “Misfit” Thanksgiving…

If you don’t already have plans for the holiday, ask around in your circle of friends or even post to Facebook; you’ll probably find that you’re not alone.  If you’re not a great cook, you have plenty of options that could still make you a great host or hostess.  Plenty of restaurants and grocers (like Draeger’s and Whole Foods) offer complete or a la carte solutions for Thanksgiving dinner.  You may find that one or more of your guests is a great home chef, so give them the opportunity to bring dishes (or just encourage them to bring wine or desserts) and fill your home with new friends and holiday cheer.  Speaking from personal experience, this can be a truly wonderful way to spend a holiday, and can be much more intimate and fulfilling than you might expect.

Take Yourself Out to Dinner…

If spending the day alone is inevitable, and you know you know that staying inside all day isn’t good for you, make a reservation for yourself at one of the many, many SF restaurants that will be serving dinner this Thanksgiving.  Some of the restaurants promising to give you reasons to be thankful this year include Spruce, Epic Roasthouse, Campton Place, and One Market, so odds are that you’ll be experiencing plain pilgrim fare taken to an entirely new level.  You might also want to stop into a great bar or lounge for an after dinner drink and some great conversation; you won’t be the only person spending the day without family, and you definitely won’t be the only person open to connecting with someone new.

Lend a Helping Hand…

For some people, volunteering on Thanksgiving is a tradition unto itself, and the Bay area is full of opportunities for helping out.  At Linx, we always think that volunteering is a great way to meet someone (who doesn’t like dating a man or woman with a heart of gold?) and the single person you’d meet volunteering on Thanksgiving will be just as impressed with you as you are with her or him.  Even if scoring a date isn’t the first thing on your mind that day, it’s not a bad consolation prize for being a good citizen. 😉

Good sources for finding volunteer opportunities include Glide Memorial, Hands on Bay Area,  Little Brothers, Meals on Wheels, Palo Alto Community Thanksgiving Meal  to name a few.

You could also contact your local church or food bank or even a retirement center for more ideas; lots of people would love company this holiday season, and not all of them have the option of leaving their homes.People-volunteering-at-so-012

Relax and Reflect…

There’s nothing wrong with just taking the day to yourself and doing nothing at all.  You don’t have to leave the house.  You don’t have to eat turkey.  You certainly don’t have to eat pumpkin pie.  Eat sushi like me! You could stay in, do laundry, sort piles of receipts, and downshift from everything going on in your life.

You could take the day to really think about your life, and examine all of the reasons you have to be thankful.  It would be very easy to focus on being alone, and to fixate on what you consider the missing pieces in your life, but it’s so much more valuable to take an inventory of what’s right in your world.

Most of us are drawn to positive, optimistic people, and the best way to be positive is to really be aware of the gifts in your life; you probably have many.  And you probably know what most of them are.  Don’t be afraid to make a list, and check it twice.  Christmas, after all, is just around the corner. 😉

Finding Love After IPO

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You’ve poured your life into building your business. Long hours, lack of sleep, endless meetings have been your priority and, now, your time and dedication has paid off—your company is going public.

 

And, just like that, your social presence grows overnight. You’re inundated with speaking requests. You’re also inundated with a lot of romantic interest.

 

I’ve met several executives eager to re-prioritize their personal goals in the wake of an IPO. I’ve seen them struggle to find the right person—or even just a legitimate date—after coming into wealth and extra publicity. Ironically, for these clients, I’ve seen the dating space morph into a minefield of sorts.

 

How do you know if your next date is dating you for the right reasons?

 

How can you be sure that your private dating life stays private?

 

How will you know where to find the most eligible singles?

 

Just as you would hire a personal trainer to get fit or an accountant to organize your finances, I’ve been hired countless times to help extremely discerning clientele find their next partner.

 

To help my clients understand what they want in their next relationship and how to get it, I compare the process for finding the right partner to building a business.

 

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?

Perhaps you’re trying to remedy loneliness or are interested in building partnership. Maybe you’d like to “feel alive” with no strings attached, or you’re finally thinking it’s time to start a family. Most successful products and businesses are created to solve a specific problem—what’s yours?

 

Not sure where to start?

 

Envision your future. In five years, what kind of life do you envision? Where are you living? What are you doing? What would your mother say about you? How would your best friend describe you? Write it down.

 

  1. Set realistic expectations about the process.

What steps will you take in the short term to help meet your goals? Clients tend to be clear on their goals, but they can get a little lost on the game plan.

 

Some questions to ask yourself:

 

How much time do you plan to carve out per week to devote to your dating life?

 

How will you meet new people?

 

How will you date? Casual introductions over wine? Grand romantic gestures?

 

  1. Keep Iterating.

The qualities you look for may change during the dating process. Be open to the process and be prepared to adjust your ideas accordingly. Whereas it’s perfectly natural to have preferences (don’t we all?), you might find that your more urgent needs are satisfied by someone without the specific packaging.

 

Tip: Compromise on the packaging, never the standards.

 

  1. Hire your Weaknesses.

The demands of growing an empire may have distracted you from fine tuning your dating skills. Constant travel and other obligations may have limited your interactions to people in your professional network. Instead of trying to solve every problem at once, heed the words of billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely and “hire your weaknesses.”

 

Find the person you can trust; the person who has demonstrated enough experience in the realm of long-term relationships to help you make the best decision of your life. In the wake of money, media attention, and limited time, an extra pair of eyes, ears, and vetting could pay a lifetime of dividends.

 

With over a decades’ worth of experience serving high-profile clientele, I’m privy to the unique demands and sensitivities involved in the search for partnership. If you’re ready to hand off the reins to Silicon Valley’s leading matchmaker, get in touch.

 

Love and best wishes ❤️,

Amy

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Linx on Instagram! ms.linxdating

Dear Faithful Readers,

Yes, I am very behind the times setting up a professional account for Instagram but at long last, it’s up!

Please follow me on Instagram at  ms.linxdating  

If you enjoy all things related to Linx, dating, relationships, events, VIP client travel, glamour, and happenings in Silicon Valley and beyond please follow!

XO,

Amy

Save It For The Judge…..

 

iStock-472711356 copy.jpgI recently had someone challenge me, in an email exchange, about the expectations that we have of the men we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

It is a great and fair question – but the answer is not so straightforward.  An equally great and fair question should be about the expectations we have of the women we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

In this blog entry, I hope I can begin to answer these questions and illustrate that it really does go both ways and that the reality of passing judgment on people (whether men on women or women on men) may not always be pleasant, but is a fundamental truth in the human nature of long term romantic relationships.

 

During the Linx client intake process, there are a variety of questions I ask of the prospect and the type of match (s)he seeks. My primary goal at this early stage is to hone in on the more “scientific” part of the search, as I gather objective data regarding the type of match someone desires. These metrics are powerful, in that they allow me, the expert matchmaker, to create a solid and plausible foundation for a long-term match.

 

Naturally, some of the questions I ask can be a little hair-raising for some clients – for example, when I am asking a female prospect about her dress size and weight or if she has taken fertility measures to preserve her eggs (see more about this toward the end of the blog), some do not appreciate these blunt intrusions into sensitive subjects, while others go through the process with absolutely no objections.

 

A great prospective client I encountered shared, “I would hate to think in the end women are being judged one dimensionally in this process. While I appreciate everyone has preferences I would not be a match with a man that over indexes on a female’s looks and a particular dress size.”

 

I responded and told her that men are wired completely differently than us women. It is a universal and biological fact that men are extremely visual and generally fall in love with their eyes, whereas women appear to fall in love with their ears. The metrics and science of what someone desires is a relatively big part of this equation to find the right match. Every man I encounter has his own stated preferences and desires. From a physical stand point, some guys want Chinese, others East Asian, some Caucasian, no one over 5’5”, no one under 5’5”, long hair, short hair, light eyes, tan skin, no freckles, sexy in her style, or conservative style, light on the make-up, or dolls herself up all the time.

 

The data I gather is a completely eye-opening, scattergram of chaos. To add another layer of complexity, we then dive into a match’s personality, religion, lifestyle, career choice, marital background, hobbies, etc. It goes on and on and on. And this same principle of everyone having his/her own objective desires in a match applies equally to women. Women are just as harsh critics as the men are in what they need in a mate (from height, to hair, to personality, to income, to background, to lifestyle). The overarching conclusion is that even the most angelic people judge others. It’s life. We all secretly like what we like and don’t like what we don’t like. We don’t want to admit that human beings discriminate on a wide range of metrics but it is a fact that everyone I have ever encountered in my 16 years of running Linx has their own stated preferences and deal breakers in a potential match and if they state that they do not, they are, at least to some extent, lying to themselves and to me.

 

Another hot button topic for some women is when I ask whether she’s taken any fertility measures in her personal life to preserve her eggs. Egg freezing has become so popular as the tech giants like Facebook and Google often offer to pay for these incredibly pricey insurance policies. Take it or leave it but the fertility question in the intake is a big one. Not only am I asking women if they have thought about this, or if perhaps have already done multiple rounds of egg freezing, but the men on many occasions lecture me when they come in for their initial in-person meet and greets about a female’s biology and youth optimum IF the male prospect is wishing to have children in his personal life. Of course, there are a ton of men who either have kids, do not want kids, or have kids and do not wish for more. Again, everyone has their own stated ideals.

 

It is fair that fertility should even be a factor in the selection of a mate? Shouldn’t a female be chosen for her brain, heart and soul? Yes, actually I do believe that. But when I look to match, I align core value sets from a foundational standpoint and fertility is a large part of this equation if both parties want the option of having a child or children one day. Women, rest assured, that men are just not looking for a hot female who has ripe juicy eggs. Thank goodness. They actually are not as pigheaded as folklore goes. It is universally true that the types of men Linx Dating work with do “want it all”, just as the females that come into Linx want a man who “has it all” as well. It’s holistic, not just one-dimensional. Men need to be attracted first and foremost and then everything else hopefully aligns – brains, personality, and balance. Women seek financial stability, someone who has a healthy dose of EQ/IQ, and attraction is part of the picture too.

 

Making sure each party has a solid foundation and the match is a long-term match, not some short-term play, is critical. The couples I match enter serious relationships. I am an a bonafide expert and work with my clients to remove the chaos that can envelop mate selection when they are working on their own and “dating in the wild.”

 

No matter how you look at it, people select mates for a variety of reasons and no matter the approach, whether it be meeting someone serendipitously, via online/app dating, through Linx, or at work, we all are built to thin-slice (a la Malcolm Gladwell’s classic book “Blink”) and we do it consciously and unconsciously on a daily basis. Human beings are judgmental and if we if didn’t judge and thin-slice, we wouldn’t be able to create order and make sense of all the information around us.

 

Matchmaking Magic 🤩 🏹

Spring is on the horizon (thank goodness!) and there are so many Linx couples who are exclusive and completely in love. As founder of Linx, in my 16 years of running my company, quite honestly, I have never seen anything like it. My craft has been significantly fine-tuned over the years and so much of my matchmaking style goes on “gut” and instinct. Far less on metrics and science. I am predicting many engagements occurring in the next 12 months.

Here is a testimonial from a former client who’s now off-the-market. He’s extremely private but agreed to write something for you readers to enjoy…

“I was a skeptical of matchmaking and Amy completely changed my views on that. The third person she matched me with is truly the soulmate I have been looking for in the 8 years since I got divorced.
had never come close to finding true love with my numerous mobile app dates. Her process was very detailed and I appreciate she spent considerable time in-person getting to know me.
I am over the moon now that I found my beautiful and amazing sweetheart through Amy.
When you search for a needle in a haystack you are far better off with the help of a needle magnet like Amy! Don’t waste your time elsewhere!” 
 
– Anonymous 40-something entrepreneur 

Matchmaking In a League of Our Own

When you hire Linx Dating to find the ❤️ of your life, you work directly with me, Amy Andersen. As my client, you receive my individual attention and I am involved in absolutely every aspect of the matchmaking process. What are some aspects that make Linx far superior and different compared to run-of-the-mill matchmaking firms and so called “dating services?” Here are some differentiating points that separate Linx and put Linx in a league of its own.

-Linx is discreet, does not cater to the masses, represents a very high caliber group of clientele who seek out its niche, highly reputable approach to matchmaking, and has built a stellar reputation over 15 years.

-There are many other services that claim to be exclusive and to be working with elite clients, but the reality is they are broadcasting their services in airline magazines.   Linx is the only upscale matchmaking firm not to advertise its services – we do not need to, as our client base is built via word-of-mouth referrals from happy clients and ours/their extended social and professional networks.

-Being selective in whom we admit for membership and, in return, doing an excellent job for our clients,  Linx holds itself to a higher level of ethnical business standards. Many local Bay Area and “global” businesses have gone out of business or deal with very unfortunate ramifications from bad business practices. It has never been our goal as a business to take on more clients than we can handle or to be so eager as to close business without really making sure that it is mutually synergistic. *That* is precisely where other matchmakers run into trouble. Most agencies are so focused on “closing the deal” and can come across as extremely pushy and frankly don’t really care about the actual prospect or their unique story.

-We personally vet every match in painstaking detail so that each introduction is carefully curated and worth a serious investment of your time in getting to know them. This is the antithesis of online or offline “volume dating” where you might hope to get lucky with the law of large numbers.

-Linx is extremely proud to represent many FEMALES as clients. It sounds “backwards” but the truth is that most firms don’t represent educated and dynamic women as actual clients. Linx represents many extremely bright, sophisticated, and elegant women as our clients who also have stellar academic backgrounds, for example. Should you research other firms, most firms would simply place you in their passive database with thousands of other women, rather than take you on as a fulltime client.

-We provide highly personalized service in all aspects of the experience. Linx accepts only a select number of members annually and one of the appeals is that they work with me, the founder and CEO, directly throughout the search. In addition to Linx matchmaking, we have partnerships with exclusive lifestyle and luxury international concierge agents, as well as, stylists, fitness trainers, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, domestic and estate help, and much more.

-Linx is highly responsive at all times, 24-7.  Why? Because I care. I am beyond passionate about my craft and feel extremely grateful to work with the best of the best clientele.

 

 

Going the distance: How feasible is long-distance love?

 

iStock-1027701870 copy.jpgMaybe you met someone abroad. Maybe someone from abroad met you. Either way, you’re wondering if those romantic feelings can lead anywhere at all because of the distance. Of course distance can pose some unique challenges compared to dating a local single, but you might be surprised to learn those extra miles could be the fastest track into your next serious relationship.

Does distance make the heart grow fonder? The short answer: Yes.

 Two scientists, Crystal Jiang, City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey Hancock, Cornell University, compared intimacy levels among couples in LDRs and local relationships. Surprisingly, the distance couples reported much higher levels of intimacy.

Researchers attributed the additional closeness to two unique characteristics. Firstly, the people in the LDR disclose more about themselves—more details, more vulnerability—that promote a higher rating of closeness versus the everyday chit chat from couples who live together. Secondly, distance couples tend to idealize their partners. Without opportunities to see their partner’s off days, people in LDR’s can hold on to that idealized version of their love interest longer.

In theory, my heart might grow fonder, but in reality won’t there be communication issues?

Ironically, couples communicating across distance enjoyed a greater sense of closeness than local couples. In one study published in the Journal of Communication, researchers found that although couples in LDRs weren’t always in constant communication, the overall quality of the communication was rated highly. After analyzing the diaries, texts, calls, and video chats, researchers learned that couples in long distance relationships shared more personal details.

Additionally, The Journal of Communication reports that the communication style between distance couples was rated less “problematic” than couples living closer—probably attributed to the fact that distance forces time between an emotional response and a reaction.

So, how much does the distance really matter?

Apparently, not that much. One study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy reported that couples living apart were just as happy as couples living in the same city. Even before the realities of distance set in, distance couples “perceived a lower likelihood of breaking up with their partner” when researchers wanted to measure commitment compared to locally-based relationships.

Ultimately, when these same participants were polled four months later about their relationship status, the break up rates between distance and local couples were the same.

Perhaps, we’re spending too much time wondering how the distance will make things harder rather than how it can help us get more intentional about connecting. If the chances of making love last are the same, why not see where those loving feelings take you?