Amy Andersen Founder CEO Linx Dating

Small Talk to Real Talk: 5 Ways to Get Him to Open Up

 

iStock-516655374 copy.jpgIf you are dating a strong and silent type, a shy guy, or someone with a more reserved personality, the conversation aspect of the date might not flow as smoothly as the underlying chemistry.

 

To draw him out if his shell and get the conversation flowing, try these five tips:

 

Tip #1: Assume a ‘listener’ stance

 

Square up, make eye contact, and maintain open body language. Make sure your phone is off the table. Being fully present is the clearest invitation that you’re ready to listen. Once the conversation starts flowing, pivot to active listening. Nodding, smiling, summarizing, and asking questions are the best ways to show that you’re interested.

 

Tip #2: Set the example

 

If you’re looking for someone to let their guard down, you should be ready to go first. Mutual disclosure is the foundation for real intimacy—and it can start as early as the first date. Encourage him to trust you and share more about himself by openly discussing yourself. The more comfortable you are revealing your shortcomings or not so stellar moments, the more comfortable he’ll feel doing the same.

 

Tip #3: Come ready with questions that are easy to answer—and ask them the right way.

 

To make preliminary conversations easier on both of you, ask questions about non-controversial, easy topics. Your best bets? Think food, movies, and music. Everyone has an opinion on each of these, and you’ll find that these topics are great spring boards into other topics.

 

THIS WORKS:

You: Glad we’re trying this new Italian place. What kinds of food do you like?

Date: I try to keep it healthy and stick to organic produce exclusively.

You: Have you tried any of the grocery delivery apps?

 

The conversation is naturally pivoting away from food and could move in a variety of directions. You’re giving him a chance to talk about cooking, shopping, using technology, startups, etc.

 

With your questions, be mindful about your bias which could make your date feel uncomfortable sharing an unfiltered perspective.

 

TOO MUCH BIAS :

You: Just had great wine in Napa. What is your favorite winery?

Date: I don’t drink.

You: —

 

Understandably, a question that can be answered with a yes or no isn’t going to have the legs that an open ended question would, but the real problem here is that there’s too much pressure to answer the question a certain way. This nuance, however slight, can make conversation that much harder for both of you.

 

Tip #4: Choose the right activity

 

De-pressurize any first date by picking something more active than the traditional coffee or cocktails focused date. Take a walk through a nearby park, browse the shops on the same street, or try a museum exhibit. Walking can make talking easier, especially when you’re walking around things or places to talk about.

 

If you’d like to get more creative, try a new experience together. Giving yourselves a new skill to learn or an event to attend will alleviate a lot of pressure to make constant conversation.

 

Tip #5: Ask for help

 

Asking for a little favor will encourage your date to invest just a little bit more emotion into you and the date experience. Try asking for something small like, “Could you double check that the restaurant has veggie options?” Or, “Can you tell me where I should take my parents when they visit? I need a list. ” As we mentioned before, the Benjamin Franklin Effect—a principle that explains why a person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person—is a good way to establish connection early on.

 

Remember, relationships unfold at their own pace. It’s natural to want more information about the person who interests us, but never at the sake of their discomfort. Do your best not to take your date’s lack of openness personally; their desire and ability to communicate is part of who they are and not a reflection of your conversational skills.

 

If you desire date coaching to help get you ready for summer, contact our founder Amy at: amy@linxdating.com  Amy can give you some simple skills to help you succeed in love!

 

E. Jean from ELLE Magazine recommends Linx | September 2012 issue

Linx Dating is mentioned on page 498 of the September issue of ELLE Magazine. Columnist and dating expert, E. Jean, recommends Linx and says, “when choosing a matchmaker, go with the best…Amy Andersen of Linx Dating. They handle high-profile humans whose list of demands make yours look like Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s.”  Thanks to E.Jean for the great mention!

Our featured song is Ini Kamoze- Here Comes the Hotstepper featured in the ’94 film Pret a Porter. 

The Rich Women’s Dating Dilemma | Linx in The Daily Beast & Newsweek

More Rich, High-Powered Women Are Turning to Matchmakers to Find Love

Where can a powerful woman find a prospective mate? Work and the gym are often out—and, increasingly, top-tier matchmakers are in. Paula Froelich reports on the new breed of high-end love gurus and their wealthy clients.

A couple of years ago, during a rooftop dinner in Chelsea celebrating Eric Ripert’s PBS show, Avec Eric, Martha Stewart was overheard complaining to her dinner companions, “I can’t get a date. You know anyone you can set me up with?”

It’s a familiar complaint uttered by single women all over New York. There are blogs, endless newspaper columns, and television shows devoted to the hapless single lady looking for love. But the ladies in the top financial tiers have an even bigger problem. Not only can they not pick up guys in bars for fear of appearing on Page Six, they can’t shop online without knowing that somehow their profile will mysteriously appear on sites like Gawker, which will mock them mercilessly. Or even worse—as in the case of Paula Zahn’s millionaire husband, Richard Cohen, who was caught using Match.com to date and dump women after telling them they were his “soul mate”—their dating peccadilloes and seemingly bad behavior also might be chronicled by the city’s tabloids. 

And if the women go out too much, it could hurt their reputation, says Amy Andersen of Linx Dating. “A really powerful, high-caliber woman, when it comes to her personal life, she should make it as private as possible,” she says. “A lot of these types are going to charity events to try and meet men. They shouldn’t hyperexpose themselves and become a depreciating asset, so when they are introduced to the right guy, he hasn’t read about her everywhere.”

Some, like Katie Couric, have magical friends who just happen to know nice, wealthy, single financiers, and get set up that way. But more often than not, those men, the elusive unicorns of the dating scene, are dating younger, not-so-powerful women. Even supermodels find it tough. Bar Refaeli recently complained to Conan O’Brien, “Let’s put it out there. No one hits on me.”

So what’s someone like Arianna Huffington, socialites Marjorie Gubelman or Tinsley Mortimer, or even poor Bar to do? 

Increasingly, high-powered women are turning to matchmakers—some of whom charge up to $200,000 a year—to help them find love (Note: we have no idea if any of the single ladies mentioned above have ever worked with a matchmaker.) And we’re not talking someone like Bravo’s cantankerous Millionaire Matchmaker star Patti Stanger, who holds cattle calls with random people to set her wealthy clients up with. The new breed of high-end matchmakers is highly selective, running background checks not just on clients but potential dates, and they say they accept, at the most, 25 percent of potential clients, the majority of whom are women.

Margaret Griffith, who heads the New York office of Premier Matchmaking, says, “We get a lot more inquiries from women than men” in New York. That sentiment is echoed by Amber Kelleher, head of Kelleher International, who adds: “What’s hard for women is you don’t know if the guy you just met is married or has a stable job. Attractive women have a harder time. There’s no screening process. They like the security of us meeting them first. Granted, we can’t guarantee if the guys are as good as they sound, but if these men are going to submit to a background check and a litany of questions, they must be at least interested and sincere about getting into a relationship.”

Griffith adds that wealthier, high-profile clients have a harder time meeting prospective mates, as “there are challenges. It’s not the best of ideas to date within your work circle. And as these women spend so much time at work, there is a lack of exposure. Where does a typical person go? They go to the gym in the morning—not a great idea to date someone at the gym. If it doesn’t work out, then you have to change schedules or gyms. After work, they have clients and socialize. They can’t date their clients!”

But with more money comes more problems.

Men are intimidated by high-powered women,” says Kelleher, who has worked with Lady Victoria Hervey and Tia Carrera. “Dating in New York is even tougher. Because of the nature of the city itself and working, you have a tougher skin. There’s always an edge.”

And as many of the wealthy women are well known, their public persona can stymie the process.

People like Martha Stewart’s reputation precedes them,” Kelleher added. “There’s an immediate intimidation—but I’m like an agent. Not to falsely sell somebody but find qualities I really love, and I touch on those qualities. I turn an icon or title or an unknown with an intimidating profile into a human.”

In practice it can be difficult. The traits that got the women to the top in business are usually what disqualify them in love.

It’s very challenging for high-powered women to get a date,” says Andersen, who specializes in Silicon Valley millionaires. “They’ve had to adopt certain characteristics to get ahead—aggression, being tough, ball busting—and in the dating world they will carry over more masculine characteristics, and guys don’t want that. I do a ton of date coaching to play up all strengths: never downplay your smarts or success but dealing those cards in the right fashion, accentuating your femininity. Not downplaying your achievements, but let the man be the fricking man!”

I was a matchmaker to a well-known, high-powered man. I was sitting in his Bel Air home interviewing him and he had some friends over. A young woman happened to walk past him—she was probably 27 and was a friend of his daughters’—when she backed up into a table and knocked over a $50,000 vase. Now anybody else, an older woman would have been so embarrassed, apologized, or been shocked. This young girl starts laughing, looks at me, laughed and said, ‘Look at that—I come to introduce myself and I make a klutz out of myself!’ She walked away and my client said, ‘Did you see what just happened? That’s what I want! That type of fun!’ And that’s what it is—women lose that fun. Women who are high powered are not very fun. They offer a job, an education, looks, but there’s such a hard edge. All guys want is somebody who is soft, feminine, who feels good. They don’t need to feel protective or challenged. A 50-year-old man doesn’t want that. But it’s hard for women in New York to not be the woman they are at work in their personal life. Women in New York are survivalists.”

Ah, that old nugget again. “You’re too manly!”  “You’re not young/fun enough!” It haunts many women who’ve made it to the top of the ladder. Perhaps that’s why many powerful women end up in role-reversal situations. Women like Lucky magazine editor Brandon Holley, Glamour magazine’s Cindi Leive, and HollywoodLife.com’s Bonnie Fuller all bring home the bacon while their husbands—a guitar player, a film producer, and an architect, respectively—contribute a secondary income. But while it may have worked for these three, such role reversals don’t always take.

I get divorced women saying ‘I spent 20 years supporting my husband and I can’t do that again,’” says Kelleher.

And then there’s the cougar syndrome. “A lot of women, if they’re older, want to date younger men at first,”  says Kelleher. Like Jennifer Lopez, who after splitting with Marc Anthony started dating Casper Smart, a dancer 20 years her junior, “women emerging onto the dating scene will typically gravitate toward much younger men,” Griffith says. “It’s sexually charged and fun, but it fizzles because this woman is used to specific things, like jetting off to Hawaii. The boy toy can’t keep up financially.” (You listening, J.Lo?)

Griffith adds: “The best type of match for a high-end woman is someone at the same financial strata, if not higher. It can be really threatening for a lot of guys who don’t make as much money. They can say they’re cool in the beginning, but it catches up to them and bites them in the butt in the end.”

But perhaps more interesting is the 50 Shades of Grey trend. Every matchmaker contacted admitted to female, and male, clients bringing up the sexually explicit S&M-themed novel.

Says Andersen: “A couple of individuals have said they want a Christian Grey … they don’t necessarily say they want to be dominated, but they do ask for that character.”

Most [high-powered] women, when they come home, want someone else in charge,” Kelleher says. “We all want to be a passenger in someone else’s car, but you gotta find the right guy.”

And that is harder than it seems. The Daily Beast heard a story about one wealthy woman who was set up with a well-known Silicon Valley billionaire who has a famously open marriage.

She was shocked. I mean, this guy is instantly recognizable,” the woman’s friend said. “She was like, ‘Aren’t you married? And why the hell is a matchmaker setting me up with you?’”

All of the matchmakers contacted for this story say they do not work with married men, but one adds: “It is difficult. We all do background searches, but if we do one on a Californian man, the test may show he’s not married in that state, but he could be married in Idaho. No one does searches to see if someone is married in all 50 states.”

But by and large, the matchmakers claim a high success rate—all say that is because they screen their clients as well, and all three say they have refused difficult, rigid clients—as wealthier women start to view them not as a dirty little secret anymore but as a necessity.

Women are warming up to getting used to doing something like this and using our services,” Andersen adds. “I mean, they outsource everything else in their life—fitness, jobs, cleaning—so why not this?”

Paula Froelich is the New York Times bestselling author of the debut novel, Mercury in Retrograde. Previously at Page Six, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider, she is now blogging for the Sundance Channel, working on her next novel, a radio show, a TV show, and other projects.

Our featured song for this entry is Missy Elliot Work It.

Happy Valentine’s From Linx

Happy Valentine’s to you all……I hope you have fun plans. If you are without a date for tonight, I hope you are going out with the girls for festive drinks or heading to your best GFs home for some good wine, potluck, and The Bachelor on Tivo.

I have my money on him choosing Courtney, although I wish he would pick Lindsey. They seem to have a very good lifestyle compatibility connection and are better matched physically and emotionally too.

I‘ve been tweeting like a passionate cupid today and if you aren’t following me on twitter, please do @linxdating and tell your friends to follow too. Here are some of my tweets from today that I will elaborate more on…..

Both men and women can overcompensate when dating. Dial it back. See what happens.
I think both men and women can do this all the time. For the guy who buys the girl he likes all her favorite candies every time he sees her, stocks his fridge with all her favorite vitamin waters, and submits to all her crazy requests and demands…is asking for trouble. She will take advantage of you.
For the woman who bakes the guy she likes chocolate chip cookies and her grandma’s apple pie on date two is asking to get bulldozed. Guys love food and what guy won’t eat the cookies and granny’s pie- they all will. Yet it is trying too hard in the beginning and doing too much too soon.
My advice would be to stock the fridge with the vit waters and get her the candies, bake him the cookies ONCE exclusive and in a monogamous relationship.

– Develop an edge. Whatever that edge may be. Reveal that edge when dating. It’s sexy.
There are some people (i.e., Ben from the Bachelor) who lack an edge. I hear from a lot of clients that both men and women desire meeting a potential mate with “something” there worth exploring.  
Even Ben said he likes Courtney because she has an edge- which she does. An edge could be an internal strength, a confidence, some random interest that you are crazy wild about, or the fact that you are out there dating a few prospects and don’t always accept a date on a Saturday (leaving some room for mystery).

-Consider a firm handshake when meeting. A cold fish and weak one is such a turn off. That is a matchmakers first data point about someone!
Child, there is nothing worse than a handshake that is like a cold, wet dead fish in your palm. No one likes this. I always use a new client or prospective clients handshake as a benchmark of who they are. Weak ones give anyone the willies. Firm it up. It speaks of your confidence. Couple that with good eye contact. A winning combo.

-Call your match! What is with some guys? They ping me for an introduction then let 10 days go by before calling. Get on the clue train!
Like seriously? I get so many emails each day from clients requesting “match me.” As I follow through with a new match, I am often taken aback by a few of these super desirable guys who just forget to call. Sorry Amy, I was sick. Amy, I had to go to Europe last minute. Amy….this and that. An unspoken truth is that women love a man who calls period. Match that to calls when he says he is going to call. A winning combo.
-Don’t force a connection. Allow a connection to unfold naturally and organically. You can’t manufacture love.
I have a friend who is extremely eager to find love. Before she even has met possible matches, she is already planning the wedding. Men pick up on that frenetic energy and will close the loop before even meeting because it is “too much.” She will send long emails even before meeting for date one about why they are great together and a data dump of her life. This is a total turnoff. Stop the long emails, the data dumps, and just be casual about it. If you feel the frenetic clutter in your mind building up, go workout, or call your best GF.  
-Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
I say this all the time. It just happened again how someone I know is literally casting away every other potential opportunity and connection because she had ONE good date with a cool guy. He did all the things a gentleman and good guy does on the first date and actually seems like a very nice young man. That being said, to close off every other opportunity to meet other potential suitors because she is banking on him being her husband has disaster written all over it! For all she knows, he is out there courting 5 other women (doing the same thing, saying the same thing, etc etc).