Atherton dating

5 ways people unintentionally sabotage relationships



It’s impossible to break patterns without awareness. Whereas ending a relationship is seemingly straightforward, ending relationships without fully understanding why is a dangerous pattern—a pattern that can’t be broken unless we employ serious self-reflection. Focusing on the outward makes us feel powerless to make changes; it’s easy to surrender to a victim mentality. Below are the most common ways men unintentionally sabotage relationships:


  1. Holding on to a relationship fantasy.

Believing that the grass is always greener—that there is better elsewhere and anything less than perfect won’t do—is a mechanism that shields people from deeper levels of intimacy. If you believe better is just around the corner, there is no reason to invest fully, emotionally or otherwise, in the current relationship.


The belief that better exists is usually rooted in fear—fear of commitment, fear of losing one’s individuality, and the fear of pain. Believing that something better exists outside of the relationship mitigates the fear. Looking deeper within will reveal that the greener grass mentality is a projection of the discomfort we have within ourselves; idealizing something or someone who isn’t real soothes those uncomfortable feelings.


What to do: Take an objective look at your relationship patterns.

  • Are you constantly seeking change?
  • Why did your last relationships fail? What was your role in that?
  • Are you content?

Figuring out what you idealize in a partner might be a good starting point to figure out what you’re missing within.


  1. Inability to address pain openly.

Emotional intimacy can only be achieved through vulnerability. Being unable to share openly and truthfully will inhibit emotional depth and closeness. In The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own, Ken Druck, PhD., writes that men learn that anger is a “good” male emotion as it demonstrates toughness and makes some men feel like they are in control. After years of programming, it’s no wonder that many men act aggressively in the face of stress, fear, sadness, or loss.

What to do: Learn to identify your emotional needs and learn how to get these needs met in and out of your primary relationship. This is a process; a therapist can help make it easier.


  1. Taking feedback personally instead of objectively.

Criticism can be highly triggering; hearing something that challenges a strong ego can cause an emotional reaction. Not only does this reaction reveal insecurity, these emotional reactions make will make it harder for your partner to communicate openly.


What to do: Stop Defending.

According to Robert Taibbi, LCSW, the best way to handle your partner’s concerns is to affirm your good intentions and seek a better understanding of your partners needs. Trying to build a case that refutes your partner’s point of view might stroke your ego, but it will ultimately prolong resolution.


  1. Failing to recognize your partner’s love language.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman describes the most common ways people feel loved: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you haven’t discovered your partner’s language, reading this short book will help you learn how to express feelings more effectively.


Often times we express love in the way that makes us feel most loved, but that is not necessarily the way your partner will feel most loved. Additionally, learning your partner’s love language will help you avoid situations that could be especially devastating. For example, if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, non- constructive criticism or failing to express appreciation will be very painful for a partner who is more sensitive to verbal communication.


  1. De-prioritizing the relationship.

Complicating factors—work, children, aging parents—can certainly detract focus from the relationship. Situational distractions are inevitable, but letting distractions, and the distance that follows, get out of hand is a dangerous pattern that gets in the way of valuing your partner.


What to do: Schedule couple time.

Date night, Skype dates, weekend getaways—whatever you choose is irrelevant. The most important part is that you choose something. Be intentional. The 9-5 autopilot lifestyle can easily suppress passion and spontaneity. The busier you are, the more important it will be for you make room for quality time.


Handsome Harvard educated Bay Area Bachelor seeks Outdoorsy Animal Loving Match to Embrace Life with Together

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Our client is a handsome Caucasian male who’s 43-years old, 5’10”, with a nice athletic build. He keeps fit from regular hiking, mountain biking, weight training and bits of yoga. Wellness is very important to him. Originally from Connecticut, he’s very much at home here in California.

He’s undeniably intelligent, Harvard educated and successful, but also down-to-earth, approachable, and loves to have fun and laugh – especially playful sarcastic banter.

He’s had an eclectic career spanning a number of industries and roles. Most recently though, he realized his true passion is helping people get healthy and has spent the last few years in leadership roles at healthy food companies.

You can just as easily find him leading a company, spending time with friends and family, or going on outdoor adventures with his five and a half year old vizsla.


Our clients vizsla….adorable!

Our candidate is an empathetic, compassionate, direct communicator, in touch with his emotional side and unafraid to communicate it in caring ways. He’s definitely a bit of romantic and gives his whole self when in a relationship. He loves to travel and has been to at least 50 different countries, with dozens more on his wish list.

Favorite places so far: The night sky in the Maldives, the top of Mt. Whitney, Yarra Yering winery north of Melbourne, Borobudur Temple, the Whitsunday Islands, the wine in Saint-Emilion, his couch and a good Netflix series.

He approaches all aspects of life with creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, and doesn’t believe there are problems that can’t be solved. He believes you should always treat people fairly and equally, regardless of background. You can be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but if, for example, you treat service people as second-class citizens, he can’t be with you.

He would love to build a family and believes raising children will be the most important thing he’ll ever do – creating wonderful human beings and teaching them to go out and help change the world for the better. He learned that from his parents and wants to do the same for his children. Most importantly, our candidate is inherently happy and likes being around other happy, uplifting people.

His best suited match is between the ages of 28-40 years old. At her core she is highly compassionate, caring, and a giving soul. O. Henry’s book, “The Gift of the Magi” is a great example of the type of relationship our client strives for. Where two people give more to each other than take from one another.

As our client is into health, fitness, and overall wellness, it’s important that his match share a love of balance and healthy living too. In terms of physical appearance, she’s fit, naturally attractive, and isn’t greatly influenced by “keeping up with the Joneses”. She’s comfortable in her own skin, isn’t driven by money, highly altruistic, and looks forward to love deeply and to be deeply loved in return.

If you or anyone you know might make a great match for our handsome Bay Area bachelor, please email Amy at:

Harsh Truths: 6 Reasons Why Your Relationship Fell Apart


Relationships end for a variety of reasons—some we can control, others we cannot. Before your next relationship, consider asking yourself if any of these issues are sabotaging your efforts at finding a deep, committed relationship.


  1. Your ex is STILL coming up

We all have a past, but when the past becomes the fodder of our present, you are creating a rift between you and your partner’s ability to connect. Talk of past relationships not only reveals that you’re not moving forward, it also jeopardizes your chances of a future. If you find yourself beginning sentences with “My ex and I…” or “When I dated X…” consider taking some time away from dating to understand why you’re still telling these stories.


  1. You couldn’t trust

It’s no surprise that trust is the crux of all healthy relationships; without the bond of trust, a couple will miss an opportunity to experience true intimacy. Aside from cheating, trust issues can also indicate jealousy, game playing, and possessiveness.


If relationships have ended because you couldn’t trust, ask yourself if it was because of actual events (i.e. your partner lied to you, broke promises, hacked into your phone) or if you are feeling unable to trust without cause (i.e. you feel jealous even though your partner has never strayed). Being able to differentiate feelings that stem from actual events versus unsubstantiated paranoia will help you uncover barriers to intimacy.


  1. You were Mr./Mrs. Right Now, not Mr./Mrs. Right

The relationship is guaranteed to fail if you find yourself on either side of this equation. Not all relationships are built to last—and that doesn’t make them any less important to our growth—but if you are looking for a life partner, meeting someone who is open to the same is crucial for long-term success.


If you are with someone until you land your dream job, move, lose weight, or meet someone better, you are wasting your time and your partner’s time. If your partner is not your priority, you aren’t ready for an enduring long-term relationship. If you’re wondering if you’re the top priority—you’re not.


  1. You harbor contempt

Dr. John Gottman, a leading expert on couples’ studies, concluded that the single, best predictor of divorce is contempt. Contempt, a toxic combo of anger, disgust and frustration, stems from a superiority complex. When we are unable to see our partner’s point of view because we believe they are less intelligent, sensitive, or competent than we are, we are making it impossible to communicate about the things that bother us.


In addition to contempt, there were three other closely related patterns of toxic communication: criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling (shutting down, no eye contact, etc.)

  1. You were emotionally dependent

If you are unable to make yourself happy, you will always seek someone who can distract you from the uncomfortable feelings you have towards yourself. Not only is it unfair to expect your partner to keep you afloat, it’s dangerous to allow someone else to hold the keys to your happiness. Codependent people usually don’t keep high standards when it comes to how others treat them, so it’s more likely that they end up with a partner who doesn’t treat them well. There are many ways to heal from codependency, but they all start with a belief that you—and you alone—can make yourself happy.


  1. You stopped appreciating your partner

A lack of appreciation comes in many forms. Perhaps you’ve stopped making an effort—to make fun plans, to keep up your appearance, to remind your partner how special they are. Taking someone for granted is a quick way to kill the romance and up the apathy.


When someone is asking what is best for “us”, compromise ensues. If you stop appreciating your partner’s efforts, it’s easy to stop asking “What is best for us?” and replacing it with “What is best for me?”


Of course not all reasons our relationships end are because we are at fault. Without the right timing, otherwise compatible people won’t be able to connect for reasons outside of their control. Age, seemingly just a number, will start to matter if he’s 28 finishing grad school and she’s 34 looking forward to starting a family. Life situations can also affect our chances of connection. If he’s ready to move things forward while she’s healing post divorce, the couple will not be able to connect on the same level. Situations can change, broken hearts can heal, and different phases can pass, but if the timing is going to be ‘off’ for more than a few months, it is better to make a clean break and revisit at another time.


Laid back Silicon Valley retiree seeks feminine and adventurous match!

Our Caucasian bachelor is a smart and down-to-earth Southern gentleman who’s 51 and resides in Silicon Valley. He is 5’11”, brown hair with flecks of grey, and hazel eyes.  He has youthful good looks, a bright white smile, and sun kissed skin.

After spending nearly a decade in LA in the entertainment business, he made the move to Northern California in the mid- 90’s to work in the Internet space as an executive. Despite his success, you will find this candidate to be remarkably low key and someone who deemphasizes prioritization on material things, and keeping up with the Joneses.

Entrepreneurship and leadership were his two main characteristics for over 10 years building, launching and selling various companies.  For the past 8+ years he has been consulting and investing in companies as well as focusing on his teenage children, while serving on various boards.

Passions in life outside of his beautiful kids include: international travel (soon on his list is Italy with his extended family), playing tennis, seeing friends, dining, and adventures near and far. You will find this candidates personality to be very outgoing and at the same time balanced with an easy going demeanor. He is giving, open, honest, and straightforward. This candidate wants to laugh with you, have fun with you, and avoid drama and ego at all costs!

He is best matched to a woman between 35-48 years old who takes pride in keeping a healthy and active lifestyle. She’s feminine, stylish, and attractive.

Friends would describe her as: social, smart, fun, adventurous, passionate, creative, ambitious, and balanced. She’s drawn to intellectual pursuits and while she’s self-sufficient, she has the time for a vibrant relationship and is interested in enjoying life to its fullest! She prioritizes family, intellectual pursuits, and any chance to travel with her partner.

If you or anyone you know might make a great match for our desirable bachelor, please email Amy at: No fees for qualifying candidates.

What is Cuffing Season and Why Does It Matter?

With holidays approaching, you may find yourself wanting a relationship more than usual. As the days get shorter and the weather cools down, singles are looking for a relationship that will tie them over the next few months, but perhaps not endure into the spring. This heightened desire for a semi permanent relationship occurs during “Cuffing Season”.

Cuffing season begins during that stretch of fall when the weather begins to cool off and everyone you know starts coupling up. It specifically describes the desire to couple up or “cuff” ourselves to a partner during the chilly months—and stay together until spring. The trend is undeniable, but what causes it? Is this preference to cozy up just a preference or are we biologically engineered to get monogamous during the cooler months?

Is “Cuffing Season” actually real?

Short answer is yes—winters yield a higher rate of conception; spring yields changes to Facebook relationship statuses. When Hinge, a popular dating app, polled users, they discovered that men were 15% more likely to look for a relationship in the winter than any other season. Women were 5% more interested in a monogamous relationship, too.

Is “Cuffing Season” the result of biological impulses?

Experts agree that although people tend to pair up during winter months, the urge to couple up is not substantiated by any biological impulse. In fact, humans have evolved to a point beyond mating seasons. Scientists note that humans associate cold temperatures with loneliness, which could prompt the urge to get monogamous, but ultimately, the need to “cuff” ourselves to each other isn’t a biological or evolutionary response.

So, how do I handle the “Cuffing Season” urge?

Those urges to couple up aren’t easy to avoid. Between plus-one invites and fears of experiencing the holidays alone, you might find yourself approaching relationships from a place of neediness instead of real affection. Make sure the chemistry is real by taking any relationship you start this winter on the slow side. Gift giving, family travel, and plus one invites might add a little more complication to your dating life than usual. Don’t let the stress of the holidays rush your love life. Remember, spring is right around the corner.








Announcing our San Francisco Restaurant Entrepreneur Client Search….

Young couple in their kitchen

We are thrilled to announce a new search for a dynamic and marriage minded client. Our bachelor is a highly successful, passionate 39 year-old Caucasian restaurant entrepreneur. He’s 6’1” with a slender and athletic build. He works out regularly, has short brown hair, hazel eyes and an infectious smile.

Our client is passionate about food and fitness, and loves to travel. He attended UCLA for undergraduate and business school, and has lived abroad extensively in Spain, Japan and Italy and speaks all three languages! He is an avid golfer, and enjoys weekend trips to Napa, and even spontaneous trips to Hawaii to relax and take a break from his busy lifestyle.

Social and family oriented, he has a strong ability to put others at ease through humor and his compassionate nature. You will also find our bachelor to be introspective and with depth. He meditates regularly and is grateful for all that he has in life.

Ever dream of a man who knows how to cook? Look no further! This bachelor loves to cook all different types of food, checking out new restaurants in the Bay Area and all over the world when able. He is intelligent, caring and kind and has a great sense of humor.

His dream match would be between the ages of 26 and 32 years old, passionate about food, fitness and travel. She could see herself spending a month or two in Europe each year with her leading man! He is attracted most to Caucasian and European women who are slender and fit, feminine and classy, with a warm and compassionate heart. Our client is looking for someone who is excited to travel the world with him and also enjoy each day at home, ultimately with a family and a dog. 🙂

Deal breakers include: she doesn’t like traveling, hates dogs, has kids, doesn’t want kids, vegetarian (he enjoys meat), not compassionate,

If you or anyone you know thinks you might be a good match, please don’t hesitate to email founder and matchmaker Amy at:

Flooded by Jealousy

In today’s modern dating world, it’s safe to assume that most singles are dating around until they enter into a monogamous relationship. If you really like someone in the early stages of dating, it’s normal to feel jealous when you see other people write flirty comments on their social media pages, hear their phone blowing up with text messages, or run into them when they’re on a date with another person.

Jealousy is a natural human emotion that we all experience from time to time. While the root causes of jealousy may vary, the damage jealous behavior can cause to a relationship can be detrimental.

If jealousy sets in when you start dating a new person, consider the tips below to set yourself up for a successful relationship:

  • Play it cool – Don’t go through your date’s texts and emails. No good can come from snooping, and you will quickly lose their trust in doing so. Give them the same trust and respect you expect to receive from them. If you see them out to dinner with someone else, don’t immediately jump to conclusions about the nature of the dinner or the person’s trustworthiness. Dating around before entering into a committed relationship with one person is perfectly normal.
  • Speak up – If you want to date this person exclusively, let them know. Tell them you don’t want to see other people and learn if they feel the same way. Share your relationship goals and desires to see if they line up. If they don’t, this person wasn’t right for you anyway. Communicating early and often is always important. It’s a good idea to have this talk around date 5. Don’t waste precious time dating someone if he/she doesn’t share your same goals. Similarly don’t be afraid to express what you need and desire. Finally, don’t assume you are exclusive unless you’ve had the talk. I have seen this too many times that just because you are seeing a lot of one another does not mean you are an official ‘item’ until the talk happens.
  • Understand your triggers – Has something happened in one of your past relationships or in your parents’ relationship that makes you question people’s loyalty? If so, try to leave these jealous emotions in the past and give your current flame a chance to prove their loyalty to you. It is exhausting and physically impossible to track someone’s whereabouts and know who they are with at all times, so just relax and give them the opportunity to earn your trust.

When feelings of jealousy creep up in the initial stages of dating, put yourself in your date’s shoes before jumping to conclusions or making rash decisions. Be the person you are trying to attract. Playing it cool, speaking up when necessary and understanding your jealousy triggers will help you turn your budding romance into a long-lasting, trusting relationship.

Serious woman being mad at her boyfriend