alternatives to online dating

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

 

VIP Couple Testimonial

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“The first time I heard about Amy was back in 2011 when a friend and Stanford classmate of mine asked me to attend a holiday Link and Drink event with her in the city. I decided to attend the event with a few female friends. I had previously never been to a matchmaking casual event and did not know what to expect, but left the night having met a few interesting friends.

A year or so had passed, and I was still in the midst of founding my startup from Stanford, so I was quite busy with fundraising and entrepreneurship. Since I did not have much time to go out to many events, and more importantly, since I believed in Amy and in her well-regarded reputation in the Valley, I decided I would sign up to be an official client in the beginning of 2013. Shortly after joining, I met with Amy and her colleague and they went through a detailed questionnaire and interview process with me. Amy then set me up on one date- a good guy but ultimately not my soul mate. Afterwards, and mostly since at that time I was too focused with my company, I decided to put her services on a pause until my work schedule cleared up a bit.

In 2016, she reached out to me to meet a potential VIP client. By then, I was very much ready to be in a happy long-term relationship and build a family as my startups had matured and I felt it was the right time in my life. I decided to give her match a chance as he sounded like a great potential fit in the description.

And I’m sure glad I gave him a chance, and listened to Amy. As the match and I got to know each other, we realized we were soulmates searching for each other this whole time. It may sound cliché, and I did not know that these phenomena can occur outside of movies, but it was truly love at first sight. The more time we spent together, the deeper became our love and adoration for each other. We were compatible from all aspects of life, including our similar cultures, our dreams and goals in tech, our visions in how we would raise a family, and more importantly, our outlook on the everlasting power of true love. I am happy to say that it is through Amy that I found the love of my life, and I cannot thank her enough for bringing my soulmate and I together. Since him and I lived in different geographical locations, we would have never been able to meet without Amy connecting us.

My soulmate and I are now happily married, and expecting our first child in the coming months. Amy is an angel for bringing us together. I highly recommend placing your trust, time, and patience with Amy, as she is highly capable of finding the perfect match. She is the reason my husband and I met each other, and I cannot wait for her to meet our little one soon. My husband and I cannot thank Amy enough for bringing us together and helping form our growing family. She really does make magical dreams come true.”

-30-something Stanford University educated entrepreneur

 

Observations from a Single Dad in the Bay Area Dating Scene

 

Dad and little girl on beach.jpgIn 2014, I became single after the completion of a thirteen-year relationship, which included eight years of marriage. These days I’m a 43-year old single dad with two girls, ages five and eight, navigating a dating scene that has changed quite a bit since 2001. Amy asked me to write about some of my observations, which I thought would be fun. Naturally, what has worked for me may not work for others and these are just some of my thoughts at this point in time. I’m sure that as I continue to learn and grow my thoughts will also evolve.

 

  • Dating Experience as a Single Dad: Within a few months of becoming single, I started dating again. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time but I wasn’t ready emotionally at all! Looking back though I think it was important to just get out and meet women. I was honest about my situation with those that I met. Shortly thereafter, I found myself in a nine-month relationship, which ended up really helping me to get back on my feet. Since then I’ve been on over thirty dates and while none have panned out from a relationship perspective it has provided me with experiences that I’ve used to help narrow my focus on what I’m really looking for in a partner.

Key Takeaways: Just get out of the house and have fun! Don’t overthink things. Every date doesn’t have to be a perfect match and it is likely that with each date you will learn about something new and will grow as a person. I’ve been on dates including night swimming at Aquatic Park, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, running, formal events and more – all with women that I barely knew. I would have never experienced any of these fun events if I didn’t just get out of the house!

 

  • Online Dating: Of course, back in 2001 there was no such thing as online dating. Sure, you could have surfed the personals in the SF Weekly or Bay Guardian, but that wasn’t something that was done by anyone that I knew. It was really all about getting out and making a real effort to meet women in person. No texting – we would exchange numbers and leave voicemail messages. How fun it was to experience the suspense of waiting for a woman to return a message on the answering machine! Or coming home and asking your roommates, “Did she call?” Sadly, these days if you leave a voicemail instead of a text it seems most women would think you’re crazy.

The biggest issue I have with online dating is that no matter what the person looks like or writes like or even talks like on the phone, you just don’t know how it’s going to work out until you meet in person. This is a very time-consuming process because you end up going out with a lot of women that you would have never gone out with had you met the old-fashioned way to begin with. And while there is a plus side to this in terms of life experience and learning about new people as I described above, the downside is a seemingly constant state of not expressing interest in someone else, or vice versa. Even though everyone knows the process, it can still be a little disheartening, especially when you meet a really nice person and you wish the chemistry could just be there!

I also think that online dating presents a false sense of choice. Yes, there are tons of women that you could go out with, but really there’s only a tiny fraction that you would be compelled to see again after a first date, or vice versa.

Key Takeaways: Online dating can be useful and fun for an immediate high volume approach, but it can also be a time sink. Try to take it in bite sized chunks – do it for two or three months, then take a break. Or better yet, join an outdoor club/team (running, cycling, rock climbing, etc.) Prospects seem to be much better when meeting in the real world through a common acivitity. And in any case, if you meet someone that you really like, put real effort into making time for that person in your life. Don’t take those opportunities for granted and don’t play games.

 

  • Be Kind to Yourself: Shouldn’t life become easier and less complicated as we become older and wiser? While you’d think this would be the case, in terms of relationships we sometimes carry fears with us from prior experiences that can take a long time to heal. But don’t worry – we’re all in the same boat. So, if you’ve ever been in love, be elated that you had it while you did, and if you’ve never been in love remain hopeful because everyone deserves to be in love. I say this because many of the women I’ve met tell me that they stuck around too long for a man that wouldn’t commit and now they’re left with little time to start a family. Regardless of any mistakes you’ve made in past relationships, acknowledge them but don’t dwell on them. Learn from them. We’ve all made fumbles in life and the best we can do is to not repeat history.

Key Takeaways: Everything is working out just the way it’s supposed to. Enjoy the journey! Once you do find love either again or for the first time you’ll be glad that you experienced everything that you did. It will all make sense when it’s said and done.

After writing this piece I’m not sure if I wrote it for you or me! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. I’d also like to say in closing that some of the most remarkable women that I’ve met in the past three years have come through Amy’s service. So, if Amy has a suggested date for you, try not to second guess it. Just go for it and increase your chances of finding love.

Why you should break your dating inertia

In conversations with countless individuals, we have discovered that people assume that matchmaking is about arranging marriages; this really isn’t true. For some people, marriage is definitely the next step in their dating lives, but for many of our clients this process is simply about learning how to move forward.

At Linx, matchmaking is about helping your break your dating inertia. Our goal is to simply help you move forward and get into the serious, lasting relationship you deserve.

One of the great advantages of working with a matchmaker is that we have the ability to help avoid the triggers and landmines of your past relationships when providing you with new introductions. We can best position you for success by pairing you with others who understand – or even share – your particular dating difficulties.

Need someone who isn’t threatened by your success, grad degree, identifiable famous last name, or unusual hobbies….look no further. Want someone else who has been in a serious committed relationship or previous marriage and “gets it?” We can actually help with all of that. In fact, it’s part of our job.

If you a prospective client or curious to see if you might make a match for some of our current clients, take a look at some of our select male client bios here and select female clients bios. Email our founder, Amy, and tell her a little bit about yourself amy@linxdating.com

 

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.