alternatives to online dating

Digital Dating Detox

Dear faithful readers,
I’m re-posting a blog entry from a talented friend who’s a writer, editor, and digital consultant living in New York City named Micaela English. Micaela is a spectacular individual and just launched a website and journal (blog.) Rather than sending editors writing clips when pitching stories, she needed a one stop shop to show the work she’s most proud of. She also has so many stories that don’t get picked up and feels passionately about sharing her work with the world which you can find in her “journal” (a fancier💎 way of saying blog.) Her first story she published? …. “Why Silicon Valley’s top matchmaker (Linx Dating + Amy Alex Andersen) told me to go on a digital dating detox last summer, and how it led me to meet the loveliest human being.” So enjoy and please consider following my dating advice and perhaps you too will meet the love of your life next. XO- Amy  iStock-635698096 copy.jpg

The Best Piece of Advice Silicon Valley’s Top Matchmaker Gave Me? Stop Dating

Last year, I was totally and completely burnt out from dating and relationships. I had that Charlotte from SATC moment,“I’ve been dating since I was 15. I am exhausted. Where is HE?” After my last relationship with someone I was sure I had long term potential with abruptly ended, I reached a breaking point. In a desperate move, I asked for help. I wrote an email to a matchmaker I had interviewed in the past for an article, and had really clicked with. Her name is Amy Andersen of Linx Dating. Amy is not only the top matchmaker in Silicon Valley (think entrepreneurs, CEOS, and the like) but she is also insanely smart, contagiously funny, and warm. She not only responded to my e-mail right away but she also gave me the best dating advice of my life. In the spirit of SPRING FEVER, and people coming out of their winter cocoons, ready to get our there again, I want to share her advice with you no matter what stage or status you are in on your relationship journey. To the broken hearted, there is light at the end of the tunnel, take some time to celebrate and date YOU!

So what did Amy say to me when I told her I had just about had enough of the swipes, dates, pseudo-relationships, and breakups? She said I needed a complete and total digital dating detox. A digital dating detox? What is that? Amy explained in tech terms, “It’s about getting off the spinning hamster wheel going nowhere and removing the digital noise and distractions from your life. It’s a “reboot” of yourself and a defragmentation of your internal hard drive. Or in Silicon Valley lingo, it’s a CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Like a computer that’s a few years old and running slow, you might not feel as if you are mentally as agile and optimistic as you used to be. With a computer, it’s likely that you have stored cache, installed apps by accident, have a million old e-mail downloads that are hogging memory, and have a ton of junk on your desktop. My digital dating detox is a personal “clean up” program created to empower anyone who has experienced dating fatigue. The goal is to make you stop feeling burned out and give yourself a necessary break and reboot.” Does that click with you? Keep reading.

1. Invest in yourself and Delete.The.Apps.

First things first. Delete the apps. Amy told me to delete every single one of them for a few months, which I did. To be honest, I was super anxious about it, they were my security blankets to getting dates, but not having alerts and “homework” swiping as part of my daily routine was truly one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. Amy’s philosophy? “Invest in “YOU time” until you can look forward to it again. My most important advice is to take a well-deserved break and get off all apps, online, and just focus on making a personal investment in yourself. Get in the best mindset and health, and do things that make you genuinely happy.”

2. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people who are doing cool things in their lives.

As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I truly believe this. Living in New York City, there are so many choices, invitations, and “we need to catch ups.” In order to stay overall positive and healthy during my experiment I chose to spend my time with people that genuinely felt good to hang out with, inspired, and supported me. It was as simple as that. I still truly believe this, I love seeing people, I’m sure you do too.

3. Start spending your time doing things that YOU want to do instead of what others want you to do or what society says you should do.

This one really resonated with me. My calendar was so often filled with things “I needed to do”. Dates were scheduled like workouts. It was exhausting. I decided to throw that all out the window. If everyone was going away for Memorial Day weekend and there were invites to travel, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t. I spent it going to the spa and doing things that felt good for me. I listened to my mind and body and took my emotional temperature of what I was open to doing, one day at a time.

4. Try and do new things out of your comfort zone.

Amy suggested that I “Think about the “types” of people you would like to meet and center yourself in those environments. If you have always wanted to learn rock climbing and find men who do this to be incredibly attractive now is your time to take indoor rock climbing lessons after work .” Doing these new things will also prove to yourself that you are constantly growing and doing new things. It’s a win/win!

5. Stay open. Stay kind.

This point really hit home with me. I used to feel frustrated after an unsuccessful date and like it was a waste of time but Amy made a really good point to me. “You never know whom you are going to meet. Even if he/she is not the one for you , he/she might have a friend who ends up being your match. Be kind and compassionate to your date with the goal of sending out positive energy and good karma. Although you and your date might agree that there is not chemistry between you, maybe he/she will extend an invite to a BBQ to meet some of his single friends. It is precisely at this even that you could meet the true love of your life. Lesson, don’t burn bridges or play games. Remember any single person is in the same boat as you and probably doesn’t actually enjoy dating just for the sake of dating- much like you!” Be kind, it will never hurt you in the long run.

6. Ask people around you if they know anyone for you?

The good old friends of friends approach. Amy says to, “Tell your trusted network of friends and family that you are taking a 2-6 month digital detox and are going to “old school” it for the time being. That you are excited at the possibilities and put it out there that you’d love to be considered for any set-ups if they have a single friend in mind. Have a sound bite ready for your approach with anyone you are talking to….”I came out of a relationship a few months ago and I’ve checked out some of the dating apps but truthfully it’s challenging from a time and lack of vetting perspective. That’s why I was hoping to get out there and just meet people a little more organically, like you.”

6. STAY POSITIVE and don’t overthink all of this.

And Amy’s most important advice of all, “The energy you radiate is what’s given back to you.” Hell yes. “Additionally, you have to enjoy being in the moment and letting go of concerns or any negative messages or doubts. When you are literally having fun and carrying on with a giant smile and a “I don’t really give a flying f*ck” attitude because I am happy THAT is exactly the energy people want to be around. You’ve reached a much more enlightened point and have shifted your energy from tired and frustrated to “light, easy, and breezy.” You’re radiating a confidence and certain je ne sais quoi that many people wish they had.”

So what happened to me, after my digital dating detox? I fell in love with myself again. And with being in love with myself, I felt this magical aura around me once I “got back out there” I went on my first Hinge date after no dating for a few months and there he was, the healthy partner I manifested while taking time to be the healthiest version of myself.

For more information on Amy Andersen, linxdating.com

Spring is here! April updates and Linx testimonials

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Last week, I hosted my first Link & Drink cocktail party in nearly 4 years and what a night it was! For those of you who have attended Link & Drinks in past years, you might recall they really exploded with popularity. Picture 500+ guests mingling, meeting, networking, and sparks flying for quite a few guests.

Despite the national and international attention my events received- especially after Vanity Fair featured Link & Drink, I realized they needed to evolve into something exclusive and intimate. As such, instead of blasting my database and letting guests invite a gaggle of their friends, I decided to limit my next mixer to 50 and have it be 100% private- including keeping the location on the DL, off social media, and no last names of guests given to any attendees for privacy.

I curated an elite list of Silicon Valley who’s who- from female entrepreneurs, financiers, techies, CEOs, etc. Some of my guests flew in from Southern California, Texas, and Washington DC and arrived with an open-mind, open-heart, and approachable disposition. Everyone wore cocktail attire- the women looked beyond spectacular in satin dresses and heels and the men looked dashing in sport coats and slacks.

Guests sipped exquisite cocktails, fine wines (Neyers chardonnay and Faust cabernet), French champagnes, and enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres after work and felt relaxed.  This was no “Millionaire Matchmaker” episode in the works with forced connections and a plethora of awkward, dramatic moments.  After the event ended, around 20 of us went to a restaurant next door for more bites, cocktails, and conversation. Laughter filled the room and new and old friends continued to have fun till nearly 11pm. Some guests

A handful of my guests shared the most lovely feedback and follow-ups on my mixer…

“I attended one of Linx Dating’s “Link and Drink” events and had a fantastic time. The venue, food and drinks were all great, and I had fascinating conversations with several really interesting people (men and women alike). The event was in a pretty small space, so it was very intimate, and the crowd seemed to be everything that Linx promises — beautiful, successful and jet setting (I met two people who had flown in just for the party). Amy is an amazing host who flittered around the party making introductions and making everyone feel comfortable and welcome….my only complaint is that they don’t happen more frequently!”

“Linx Dating is the crème-de-la-crème of matchmaking.  Amy goes above and beyond to make sure that every client and event is nothing short of exceptional. She thinks through every detail and is truly passionate about helping people find love. I’ve seen this first hand.  I appreciate Amy’s sincerity, but more importantly — honesty.  In an arena that is not so easy to navigate– especially in the digital age, Amy has this intuition that I can’t quite explain. A decade ago, I use to work for Amy; since then, I have been a fan of hers ever since.  It is heartening to see her bring together countless couples to find their happily ever after.” 

“I attended Amy’s recent Link and Drink event and had an amazing time. It was at a beautiful venue in San Francisco and was so tastefully put together. I drank sparkling rosé while mingling with other guests. Amy is particular about the clients she represents and is very well connected in the Silicon Valley. She is extremely professional and great at what she does. She’s told me about various success stories of her clients and you can tell that she’s so passionate about what she does, which is an important trait to have as a match maker. While I’m sure the business of matchmaking can be done in all different ways, Linx is extremely classy and tactful. I’d absolutely recommend Linx to anyone looking to get into the dating scene. You won’t be disappointed!”

 

“THANKS SO MUCH AMY!!!! So awesome seeing you. Super super appreciate the invite!!! Such awesome people. Was telling my sister about the event haha she says she’s down to be set up! And me too :))) Happy to help you source, have a ton of awesome single friends!! Thanks again! Met some cool people – grabbing drinks with (name removed for privacy) tomorrow.”

 

“The recent Link & Drink mixer Amy organized was a blast! I had such a great time! Amy did an amazing job. Venue was very cool. Participants were so different, but Amy helped to break the ice. Awesome networking, great connections! It was such a pleasure to be a part of it!”

 

“Great fun last night Amy, you put on a really lovely event.  Interesting group of people and fantastic venue. I did get (name removed for privacy) number and will keep you posted on progress with her.”

 

“Great seeing you on Thursday, and thanks again for inviting me to your event!  I had a good time meeting a bunch of folks there.  You surround yourself with a great network of people.”

 

“I’m the one who owes you another round of hearty thanks. Kudos for organizing a lovely event! I really enjoyed myself and so appreciated the opportunity to take part in the fun.”

 

“I met some really nice people who were surprisingly open about their love lives. In a good way — not a bad way. I am a believer in the idea of allowing love and chemistry to build, but I know not everyone feels that way.”

 

“Thank you so much for a fabulous evening on Thursday, I think it was a great event with lots of interaction going on:).  I personally enjoyed meeting different men and chatted with few that appeared quite interested.  I have cards from 5 men!”

 

“It was a fantastic evening….Please do let me know if you find yourself in Washington DC.”

 

“You always throw such a tasteful event. Sorry I couldn’t stay longer.  The drawbacks of being the boss….”

 

“I thought your event was super, the people classy, and it seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves, so that is success in itself. You are the master at introductions…you must have a memory of a steel trap:)”

 

If you would like to be considered as a guest at our summer cocktail soiree in the San Francisco Bay Area please send an inquiry to Amy Andersen at: amy@linxdating.com and tell her a bit about yourself. Happy Spring to all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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