Amy Andersen CEO

Love Line – Your next date is only a ride away!

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As children, we were told to study and practice as hard as we could to accomplish our goals. This is great advice to advance in school and work, but when it comes to love, it’s often serendipity instead of hard work that leads people to their significant others. People always say that they wouldn’t have met their husbands or wives if they hadn’t walked into that elevator, sat next to him or her on that bus, train or plane, or attended that party, conference, or fill-in-the-blank.

When I was a single, career-focused 20-something in San Francisco, I often wondered how I could increase my chances of meeting “the one” during my daily routine. I worked long hours and often only went out on the weekends, limiting the number of new people I encountered each week. Today, single men and women in San Francisco and other major cities can significantly increase their chance of meeting someone by simply sharing their commute with others using services like Uber Pool, Lyft Line and Chariot. My husband and I lived and worked only two blocks from each other, so we may have met one another earlier if we shared our daily commute to the office. Now that these services are available, why wait to meet your better half?

Forget speed dating – step into an Uber Pool, Lyft Line or Chariot, and take a chance on love! Here’s how to maximize your chances of meeting your next date on your next ride:

Uber Pool – Make sure that you have been paired with a member of the opposite sex. If not, cancel the ride and request a new one. Sit next to the person in the back seat instead of in the front seat next to the driver, and strike up a conversation! I rarely encounter someone who doesn’t want to chat, and everyone I have met is nice and interesting. I recently met a good-looking, accomplished British guy in an Uber Pool and set him up with a colleague of mine who I thought would be a perfect match for him, and they hit it off immediately! Even if the guy or girl next to you isn’t a match for you, consider setting them up with a friend.

Lyft Line – Lyft Line is great for meeting people since you actually see their picture before getting in the car, so if the picture doesn’t appeal to you, cancel and request a new one! Lyft Line also often picks up 3 people, which allows you to meet more people at once. Sit in the seat behind the driver so you have a good view of both of the other riders, and check their hands for wedding and engagement rings before asking them out. In general, Lyft Lines are more social and less expensive than Uber Pools, so pick the service that best suits your personality and budget. One Lyft Line passenger let me know that he asked a beautiful rider to be his date for a wedding the next day, and she agreed!

Chariot – Chariot now has 7 different routes to take you to and from work. You can meet new people and save money on your commute in their 15-passenger vans, and you will likely run into people more than once since you’re both commuting to and from the same stops. Put your cell phones and tablets away when waiting for your pickup and look around – are any handsome strangers also waiting for the same bus? When the bus arrives, quickly scan it for the best looking passenger, grab a seat next to them, and ask them a question. An easy option is to ask if the bus stops at your destination, gauge their interest based on their response, and take it from there! A woman I know landed her dream job after sitting next to her current boss on a Chariot ride, and she met her boyfriend during new hire orientation.

The next time you need to go somewhere, close your dating apps and fire up your Uber, Lyft or Chariot apps instead. While riding, smile, maintain a positive attitude, and don’t be shy. Numerous drivers let me know that riders exchange contact information all the time. On your next ride, you may meet your next date, business contact or friend!

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga

Are You A Fan of the hit Bravo TV show Below Deck?! Join them as they set sail….

Dear Linx line readers,

I apologize by the lack of entries lately. This summer has been extremely busy with matchmaking and new clients from all parts of the country. It’s a very exciting time for Linx and in the next week, we will be sharing some of the new searches we are conducting for our newest members. Perhaps you’re a match for one or more of our newest members?

We’ve seen a HUGE demand for our services coming from incredible men of all ages. These guys are literally world class in every dimension of who they are and they’ve been enlisting the help of Linx right and left to help bring them many steps closer to finding their dream match. If you’re an unattached, brainy, attractive, physically fit, and vibrant woman, please submit your info here to potentially be considered for meeting one of these incredible men. With these guys, it is ALL ABOUT TIMING. In other words, this is “their time” to find love and the next woman they enter into an exclusive relationship with with most likely be “it” for the long haul. How exciting is that?

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Random topic, as you might imagine, I’m contacted all the time by producers wanting to do TV shows on Linx. I’ve turned down the reality offer dozens of times because it simply isn’t what Linx is all about and wouldn’t be a smart business decision for the brand- especially with the privacy and discretion of what is Linx. That said, I’ve been approached by the casting department for the hit Bravo TV show called Below Deck and have a cool opportunity for any of you readers who might see this as the opportunity of a lifetime.

Bravo is gearing up for “Below Deck Mediterranean,” and they are set to sail on the Mediterranean seas in September! This season is scheduled to air this fall, and being one of the first 3 charter groups onboard the yacht is an amazing opportunity to be a part of the marketing promos that Bravo has prior to the show’s airdate! For you Linx readers, this is actually a GREAT way to get primetime air time and promote your business, your brand, etc OR just grab 8 of your buddies, split the costs, and have a crazy wild time on the yacht.

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This season the backdrop will be in the Cyclades in Greece – a famous group of islands in the Aegean Sea. Gorgeous sandy beaches, architecture in white and blue, traditional lifestyle, and barren landscapes are an ideal fit for the exclusive yachting world. With 12 action packed episodes of fun-filled drama, adventures, and high-end living, this tropical paradise will be nothing short of spectacular!

With 5-star service, gourmet meals catered to your every need, secluded beaches only accessible by private yachts, and all the water sports and island fun that you can imagine, Below Deck is the ultimate luxury vacation! Each charter group will have the chance to create their own unique itinerary. Of course, the “catch” is in applying to be considered as a charter guest, your voyage is filmed for the show. Not to worry too much though, as the majority of the “drama” actually happens below deck (hence the name) with the crew- not the charter guests.

Once you arrive, the activities you can choose from are boundless. From jet skiing to wine tasting to fishing for your evening dinner, everything you desire is right at your fingertips! For a discounted charter rate you can be a part of this phenomenal show that has become a fan favorite and household name on Bravo!

You will be escaping on a luxury yacht at least 155’ long, with spacious decks and a master suite. This mega yacht sleeps will sleep up to eight guests comfortably. In addition, guests will have access to all of the boat’s water toys, which may include waverunners, seabobs, paddleboards, kayaks, snorkel gear, water skis, wake boards, and assorted inflatable toys. All of these details will be confirmed once your charter group has been locked into a specific charter date!

The charters this season will be 3 days, 2 nights and the charter fee will be $40,000 or groups can go for 4 days, 3 nights and the charter fee will be $45,000. This charter fee covers round trip economy airfare to/from Greece for everybody in the group (we recommend keeping the number of guests between 4-6 people), accommodation the night before and the night after your charter, all food and beverages on the yacht, and a fully planned itinerary and all inclusive boat activities (beach picnics, snorkeling, water sports, boat toys, etc.) Additionally, the charter group is responsible for a cash gratuity, which is a 15 percent minimum, with most guests last season giving 20 percent and above because they were so happy with the service provided. mediterranean-beach-wallpaper.1024

Available Charter Dates (this does not include your travel days):

Charter 1: 3 days – departs September 9th– returns September 11th ($40K)

Charter 2: 3 days – departs September 13th – returns September 15th ($40K)

Charter 3: 3 days – departs September 18th– returns September 20th ($40K)

Charter 4: 3 days – departs September 22nd – returns September 24th ($40K)

Charter 5: 4 days – departs September 27th – returns September 30th ($45K)

Charter 6: 3 days – departs October 4th – returns October 6th ($40K)

Charter 7: 3 days – departs October 8th – returns October 10th ($40K)

Charter 8: 3 days – departs October 12th – returns October 14th ($40K)

Charter 9: 3 days – departs October 15th – returns October17th ($40K)

If you are interested in being considered CAST for this incredibly cool opportunity, please email me: amy@linxdating.com and I will put you in touch with the producers. Bon Voyage! XO

How Do I Let Him Know I Am NOT a Gold Digger?!?!?

I hate to use that phrase but it’s the big elephant in the room in the media regarding dating in Silicon Valley – and, unfortunately, we have to address it head-on because it has serious implications.  This is a somewhat nasty blog entry but it’s also a nasty problem.

As just one example, yesterday, I screened a female prospect for one of my male VIP clients, and she asked for my advice, as she’s met a couple of guys out there who clearly have a chip on their shoulders about this issue, assuming that all women are after for them for their money.

My first observation… let’s not be naive. As a relationship between two people grows, money will eventually become a practical consideration, and an important conversation to have, because it does affect lifestyle, planning, and all of the rest.

But… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.   It really should NOT be much of an issue at all in the early stages of dating.  You’re just getting comfortable, having fun, establishing chemistry and rapport, and all of the rest.   Frankly, you don’t know each other well enough to be broaching that subject and if money stuff is polluting things this soon, it’s almost certainly not the right person and you can cut bait if you are getting bad vibes.

Trust your intuition – if you are a well-intentioned woman dating a guy who has ANY emotional intelligence whatsoever, he will pick up on the fact that you are not only down to earth, but non-materialistic as well.  And if he doesn’t get it, well then…

That was the stock advice that I used to give to women on this topic.  And I still do believe it, for the the most part.

HOWEVER, let’s reverse roles, go a bit deeper and try to understand the guy’s point of view a bit.

Many of these dudes have had bad experiences with women who were with them for the wrong reasons – we all know women like that. The guys then build a bit of a calcified shell to protect themselves from being burned and that can be really unpleasant to deal with.

A lot of guys have a tough time, in social settings, picking the right girl.  “He” could be a good guy, but also be wildly attracted to someone, typically thinking with his ‘other’ brain.  But “she” could be precisely the type who quickly discovers he has deep pockets and is in it for the wrong reasons.

So… how can you tell if the guy is being an overly judgmental arrogant ass, or if he is really just a good guy who is a bit jaded with a protective shell, but who has a wonderful core?

Well, build trust and, over time, peel back your layers to be a little “raw” and even a bit vulnerable.  Allow him to see this more exposed side of you and hopefully he will feel comfortable opening up so that you all can get at what is causing him to feel this way, and then you go naturally on from there.

But understand that, by opening yourself up this way, you could get hurt.  That is always a risk when you are getting to know someone.   And so you MUST rely on every bit of emotional intelligence that you have.

Just the way some really good guys have a disturbing habit of being attracted to the wrong kind of women, some guys are also just general douche bags who lead with chauvinism and a strong materialistic overtone. They flaunt their wealth and peacock with their possessions to attract women and this has nothing to do with calcified shells to protect themselves.

This “shiny sports car” sort of guy typically ends up with the wrong women and keeps this pattern going through relationships, or sometimes even marriage after marriage. He does this to feel worthy, wanted, desirous, and like the big d**k in the room.

Those are the guys you obviously want to avoid.

So what do you do, net net?  I say don’t be scared to put yourself out there and to show your kind heart, should your intuition be telling you that you’ve found a good guy who happens to be somewhat impenetrable.  But you need to hone your asshole detector so that you don’t get your heart ripped to shreds by the coyotes who are looking for an easy dinner.

This Week at Linx

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As Memorial Day quickly becomes a distant memory, I hope you all had a tremendously relaxing and special holiday weekend. Perhaps some of you headed for the beach for days filled with BBQs, cold beer, sandy toes, and sun-kissed noses, while others of you hopped on a plane to see family or to hit some exotic destination. Or maybe it was good down time just chilling, while others packed in socializing, shopping, and fun brunches out with friends.

Every time I started to write a new blog entry over the weekend, I somehow get completely sidetracked by an urgent client email that required an immediate response, or a new match that I needed to make. Such are the realities of running a small niche business.

It’s been a whirlwind last few weeks at Linx as we have onboarded some truly exceptional new clients – interestingly, a heavier concentration of 45 + individuals in the last few weeks – all extremely successful in their own right, refreshingly down-to-earth, candid about what they seek in a match, and ready for love now! I look forward to doing some new blog entries in the coming weeks to announce a few of these key searches.

I have also been squeezing in some date coaching and even a wardrobe consultation, and I believe there are lessons for everyone in these sessions.

During this particular stretch, though I worked with my clients on a variety of techniques, we focused primarily on early stage dating. For one young woman in technology, I discussed the art of “Flirting 101.” My main lesson was that being too eager or overly sexy can lead a man to discount you as a potential mate and love interest, but not enough flirting can leave even the most intuitive guy confused and unclear about how to proceed. I find it very surprising that so many people see this as a black and white thing. It’s actually very gray. As a woman, you don’t have only two choices.   It’s all about subtlety – each individual has to build an awareness and confidence that allows her to almost unconsciously calibrate a situation and then react naturally in a way that smoothly and metaphorically telegraphs what she is feeling. I’m not saying this is easy. In fact, it is hardest for my clients that come from very analytical backgrounds. Tapping this art means being in touch with your softer, more emotional side and also getting experience across a wide range of interpersonal situations (whether it is at work, with friends, family, or ideally dating.)

For another client, I helped strategize about how to combat shyness. One of the hardest things about building dating confidence can be overcoming stranger anxiety…  you know, the stuff that sets in when we’re about 18 months old, and (for most of us) never really goes away?  The ultimate goal is to build enough confidence to approach strangers you find attractive AND to carry that undeniable confidence over into real life dating. I gave this client homework where her goal was to have small, simple interactions each day with people she does not find attractive, for example asking for the time, making chitchat while waiting in a grocery store line, etc. Seem counter-intuitive? Well, the stakes are low and it is a lot less pressure especially for an exercise like this that can be pretty nerve-wracking regardless of how “hot” or “not” someone is.   Start on the easier end of the spectrum, build up, and don’t immediately try to boil the ocean.

So I can sit here and preach all of this advice and speak in generalities… but I can just hear a reader saying, “that’s great but how do I actually DO this stuff and improve?”

Well, one option is to let me date coach you. LOL. And then you get a ton of individualized attention and narrowly tailored practice. Another client who is doing coaching work just sent in this feedback this morning, “all these efforts have been wonderful in putting my focus on the future, and rediscovering the happy person I am naturally. The coaching process has been very helpful to dig into what is real and make sure that my best self is visible.  It feels good to make an investment in myself.  I appreciate all your help.” It is always nice to receive emails like this where the effort and hard work clients are putting into this process are not only rewarding but they feel as if they are entering a new chapter in their lives with the gusto and confidence required.

A cheaper option to Linx coaching, and I know this may sound corny, is to watch emotional movies (they could, but need not be, romantic comedies) or to read a classic romantic novel, even if you aren’t getting a lot of practice in the real world. My husband uses, to great effect, literature and movies in his Stanford courses on entrepreneurship and leadership because those topics have so much to do with people and even fictional material like movies or books allow a whole class to experience the same people and situations with their diverse real life lenses and to have a productive discussion about all of it. I believe the same thing applies in improving in your artistic dating skills.

On a lighter note, I also did a quick wardrobe consult for one client this week. This 30-year old entrepreneur needed some nice dress shirts, a sport coat, and some pants that were alternatives to jeans. He mentioned that he had a gift certificate to Nordstrom so I headed over there and spent a hour pulling a few select items for him with the help of one of their personal shoppers. I think my client will be pleased with my picks – classic yet with a youthful modern twist- Hugo Boss, AG pants, J Brand pants, and a few dress shirts too.

Beyond all of the coaching this week, we also have screenings for new prospective clients, a couple of new client interviews, and… drumroll… a Dutch media company visiting Linx this week, flying out from the Netherlands to meet with me. Germany has always had a love affair with Linx and Silicon Valley but perhaps the Dutch are catching the virus as well. They will first interview me, and then (this is the best part) set up one of my young male clients with the host of the show – a gorgeous 24-year old who apparently is edgy, vocal, and hip! This will all air in August in a short documentary.

Have a spectacular weekend ahead!

When Harry Met Sally

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As a professional matchmaker, I experience more than my fair share of moments of serendipity, coincidence, and bizarre irony. If only I could share the details of all the crazy stories and situations from the last 12 years of running Linx Dating…

Today, I watched a very interesting situation unfold from within my network, and see a great opportunity to illustrate two very important points about dating.

The story goes like this. A former female client of mine (let’s call her “Sally”) moved last year from the Bay Area to Boston for grad school. I had worked closely with her when she lived here and had actually matched to her someone with whom she had had a significant relationship. She arrived in Boston, single, and has been dating there with mixed success. Though I am not regularly in touch with clients who have moved, I do keep them on my radar, in my database, and in my mind, should a tailor-made opportunity arise.

Separately, my husband has a friend who recently referred a prospective male client to me who is based in Boston (let’s call him “Harry”). After corresponding with the candidate, we both realized quickly that I am probably not the best day-to-day matchmaker for him, given his plan to stay in Boston. However, I offered to do whatever I could for him with my limited Boston network, including introducing him to friends who might have tips about being single in Boston.

It then occurred to me that “Harry” and “Sally” could be a great match and beyond this should no romantic connection transpire, “Sally” could help strategize about ways to date intelligently in Boston.

I immediately reached out to “Sally” to see if she was still single – delighted to hear from me, she said that she, in fact, was still single and would be open to an introduction. I provided a very high-level overview of the potential match – basic biographical information, age, etc. She almost immediately interrupted me and said, “this guy’s name isn’t ‘Harry’, is it?” I said, “well, yes, it is Harry… wow… you know him?” She went on to say that she had had a first date with “Harry” months and months ago, had been interested and attracted to him, but had never heard from him again, then figuring that he had no further interest in her. She asked me to find out from him if she had done “something wrong” that had subsequently “turned him off.” I agreed to ping him to conjure up any intel I could.

I turned around and reached out to “Harry” and asked if he remembered “Sally,” explaining that apparently they already knew each other. “Harry” immediately remembered their date, described “Sally” to a tee, and said he had been interested in her, but had not followed up because he thought that she had no romantic interest in him. I couldn’t believe what I was reading right before my eyes!

After a few emails back and forth, both “Harry” and “Sally” were game to pick up the pieces where they left off. I proceeded then to “broker” a new meeting so that “Harry” could meet “Sally” again and now we’ll see what happens.

What lessons are here for those of you who are single and looking?

  1. COMMUNICATION, SIGNALS, AND GAMES

I live this every day through my clients. Most of you probably know that there is a whole school of dating thought out there around strategic game playing, veiled communication, pickup artist stuff, etc. At the end of the day, no one wants to be bored and find complete predictability in their romantic dating – and it can be very hard to be transparent, vulnerable or open about your feelings early on in dating because you put yourself at risk to be hurt, and you also might worry that revealing too much too soon could either scare off the other person, or make them feel it is too “easy” and not enough of a challenge.

I won’t deny that there can be truth to all of that. But you have to follow your instincts – if you are out with someone and you honestly believe that there is something there, you don’t have to let it ALL hang out, but give the other person a bone. Show them SOMETHING. Whether it’s a flirtatious comment, touch, look, or whatever… or maybe you just say something if you are comfortable. If you don’t, you run the risk of being in a situation that “Harry” and “Sally” were in. And you might never have known what could have been.   So be aware of how you are coming across, and if you are “feeling it”, don’t get too cute or play it too cool or you just might miss out on something special.

  1. THE POWER OF TRUE NETWORKS

Networking is a brutally abused term. It conjures up images of cheesy salespeople exchanging business cards over a superficial exchange of pleasantries and promises to follow up on whatever they might have been discussing.

But true networking is a long-term investment and I am reminded, on almost a daily basis, how hard anyone, whose career is based heavily on networks, has to work to expand, maintain, and nurture the network.   And I believe you have to build your network with TLC over time, with no regard as to how it might benefit you or anyone else in the future. In other words, it is often a selfless labor of love where you must enjoy the journey and know that it will bear fruit in the most unexpected ways.

The most successful real estate agents work hard over years and years to build meaningful relationships that result in repeat business and high-yield referrals. Moreover, they skillfully mine their specialized markets as arbitrageurs of even the smallest tidbits of information. And, in the process, they have hundreds of prospective deals that never happened, thousands of tidbits of advice they gave that netted them no money, and countless moments of frustration. But all of that work nets them a great reputation and plenty of wonderful deals to secure their business.

Linx Dating, in many ways, is no different. Had I not spend the last 12 years building my network this way, I would never have been in the position to allow my brain and my database to lead me to (unknowingly) reconnect “Harry” and “Sally.”

Everything else aside, it is the power of the Linx Network, that sets us apart in the matchmaking world.

Linx Featured on The Tim Ferriss Experiment

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You all know Tim Ferriss– the best selling author (amongst a sea of other ventures of his) of The Four-Hour Workweek…well just this week he finally got the digital rights to his TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment.

Linx is thrilled to be part of it and had a ton of fun filming with him. Think of the show as Mythbusters meets Jason Bourne- pretty cool. It was filmed and edited by the Emmy award-winning team behind Anthony Bourdain (Zero Point Zero).

In each episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment (#TFX), he partners with the world’s best teachers (Laird Hamilton, Stewart Copeland, Neil Strauss, Tim O’Neil, yours truly.), who train him and give him the skills to master a certain topic. Linx is featured in Episode 14 called “The Dating Game.”

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In this episode, he deconstructs the process of dating by making the qualitative, quantitative. Over the next five days, he takes the arduous goal of finding a date and makes it measurable by test driving three VERY different approaching to finding his match: a) hacking through the world of online dating with Samy Kamkar b) working the art of pick-up with Neil Strauss and c) high caliber, high stakes offline matchmaking with Linx Dating.

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I spent an afternoon with Tim (a day after I got back from Hong Kong no less…no jet lag at all lol) and grilled him about his type of girl. One of my favorite parts was when he told me how important a females rib cage is…no joke…you gotta watch for yourself to see why! Of course I did a LOT of prep work ahead of filming to get an idea of “his type” and then work on a real actual match. I figured out THE perfect girl for Tim- brains meets beauty meets super down-to-earth…and most importantly (in my opinion) a total firecracker! A match to keep a guy like Tim (who runs at 600 horsepower) on his toes- and then some!

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After filming at my office, Tim hosted a cocktail party at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco where he used his three dating methods to invite at least three women. My pick for him, Emily, was a great sport and even danced with Tim at the cocktail party. In the end, which of the three methods worked best? Online which tends to be very high volume and potentially low yield, or the art of pick-up which is medium volume and medium yield, or matchmaking which is low volume, high yield. Tim said, it’s not a question of which method is better, instead…it’s a question of which method is better for you. It all depends on where you’re at in your life, how much time you have, how much money you have, you chose the right tool for the job. And that’s a wrap.

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With Neil Strauss author of the New York Times bestseller The Game

Breaking up is hard to do

Written by: Marilyn Nagel in collaboration with Linx Dating

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Yes, it may sound familiar because it was a song that Neil Sedaka released way back in 1972 that has had staying power, probably due, at least in part, to its title and very real subject matter that resonate with so many people.

When you start dating someone, the last thing you are thinking about is breaking it off. But when you know that it just isn’t the right relationship, you need to gracefully and tactfully end it – the question is… how to do it in the most respectful way possible?

Don’t Have Dessert First

If you know you are going to end it, don’t have sex first, then break up. It sends a very mixed signal since sex is something enjoyable for both parties and is an indicator of intimacy, not breaking up. Women feel closer to a man after sex… so, when a man breaks up with her after sex (and/or sex then a night spent together), it feels like he took advantage of the fun part, and that shows a lack of respect for her as a person. For women, breaking up after sex makes her seem like she wanted to give him one last treat and that does not show particularly strong character, either. Of course, breakup sex between two mutually informed parties is one thing, but bad juju otherwise.

A Private Place and in Person

Don’t break up over email, text, Facebook message, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other impersonal digital excuse. If you have been seeing one another for awhile (more then 3 dates) best to break up in person at a place that is easy to leave, and if one of you feels emotional, no one will be embarrassed. This probably should not be in someone’s home (and certainly not in the home of the person breaking it off because it makes it awkward to ask the other person to leave) but it could be at a park, or a booth at a restaurant/bar/coffee shop that is not one of your neighborhood hangouts. Ideally, meet there so you both have transportation home and you don’t have to be together afterwards in what can be a silent (or worse) car ride together.

Avoid Blame

Most importantly your goal is to break things off honestly but without assigning specific blame. Avoid using the cliché “it’s me, not you” while you are trying to take some responsibility – it is so non-specific and over-used that it is almost patronizing even if you mean it honestly. You can also end up getting a lot of push back and fall into the trap of highlighting and debating the specifics you don’t like about the person – and that means blaming them. The fewer details you provide (this is not a performance review, they will not be improving or changing based on your feedback), the better, because what does not work for you may be exactly the right thing for the next person.

The Exceptions: If the person did something very specific i.e. cheat on you, berate you in public, lie to you, scream at you, force something you don’t like sexually, then give the specifics of your example and let them know that it is just unacceptable.

Breaking up is rejection – if after only 3 dates, or after 6 months, rejection brings up all the other rejections we have felt in our lives so best to stay away from specifics. Any particular shortcomings that you highlight will be relived over and over again and cause greater hurt then you want. You can say something like, “I can’t even tell you anything specific because there is nothing, I just know that I don’t want to move our relationship forward and feel it is only fair to break things off now before we go any further.” And then stick to your guns and try not to let it devolve into a deposition.

Apologize

It is good to say you are sorry that things did not work out and then wish the person well. If you have been dating for awhile, you can apologize that you did not let them know sooner and share that you had some wonderful times with them. You can say, “I’m so sorry, I did not want to hurt you and know that I am at this moment doing that” or “I am not an expert at this, and apologize for hurting you in any way, I am so sorry.” Then let the person retain their dignity, wish them well, get the check and get going.

Let’s Be Friends

Really? Be careful with that. Many people think they have to throw it out there that “I hope we can remain friends” and some even suggest getting together to do some shared activity. This is another mixed signal – I like you but not enough for a relationship, and that can be hurtful. I can tell you from years of coaching men and women, that if it doesn’t work out as a couple, it’s probably best to take a break and make it clean and cordial. If you both love biking, golf, or any shared activity, you may run into each other and want to be friendly but best to let some time pass and regroup with existing friends.

Preparation

Take some time, before you meet up, to think about the conversation, anticipate reactions, and to “put some meat on the bones” of what you might say, exactly. Maybe even develop some good graceful “sound bites” that include responses to potentially awkward moments. If you are really nervous, get a friend to role play with you. Think about it – if you were a manager and had to fire someone (a truly awful thing to have to do, in most cases), you would practice, right?