atherton singles

Brainy and Athletic Beauty Seeks Adventurous Partner

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Our 34-year old Caucasian bachelorette is a warm, outgoing, athletic and animal loving female.  She exudes feminine energy and joie de vivre!  She is 5’7” with long, tousled dark-blonde locks, beautiful eyes and a beaming white smile.  Although, she lives in Incline Village on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe she loves the Bay Area, spends a good bit of time here, and would relocate for love in a heartbeat!

She is from a small town in Georgia, but has traveled extensively.  Although she is worldly, she is also very down-to-earth, laid back and friendly.  She is very adventurous and is always up to try new things!  She has sailed around the Caribbean, completed multiple equestrian safaris around the world and has heli-boarded in Alaska. She is an intellectual idealist who loves to engage in discussions and healthy debates ranging from current events to literature.

Her best suited match is 27 to 49 years old, adventurous, successful, and an athletic guy who is 5’7” + and of any ethnic heritage. He works hard, fears boredom, owns a well loved passport, and has been waiting to find a partner to traverse through the jungles of life together. He lives for the great outdoors, sports of all kinds (winter and summer athletics), and can also appreciate what it means to chill out at home cooking, drinking wine, and laughing with his match.

If you or anyone you know might make a great match for this athletic beauty, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com

Happy New Years!

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Happy New Years and to a festive celebration wherever you might be in the world! We are so excited to kick off 2016 with gusto, passion, momentum, and what is appearing to be a very booked calendar ahead of appointments.

2015 was a spectacular year filled with so many exciting moments- lots of dynamic clients, many successfully paired couples, weddings, engagements, and babies born from Linx matches! One amazing VIP client in particular met his match in October and got engaged in November! He knew shortly after their first date she was the one for him.

I thought I would share an email from a VIP client in LA that just landed in my inbox today.

“I want to thank you for being in my life. You’ve introduced me to some of the most incredibly awesome women I have met so far in my life, and though I haven’t found “the One” yet, you are my best hope. I really appreciate you always keeping an eye out for me – and sometimes, I wish I just lived in NY or SF. Still, it’s been so rewarding working with you that I feel our final answer is just around the corner – and perhaps in the year that is just about getting ready to start.”

On that note, we have tons of new active searches that are up on the Linx site and will be continuing to add new ones to the website throughout January.  For the females reading this, take a look here at some of our most desirable bachelors and for the single guys reading this, check out some of our most eligible bachelorettes here.

Here’s to an incredible 2016 ahead and look forward to connecting with you all in person, through email or by phone.

XO,

Amy

 

 

 

Meet Our Israeli Bachelor: Recruiting Women Ages 27-47

 

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We are excited to announce a new search. Our intellectual and funny 42-year old Israeli bachelor stands 5’9” with an athletic build, short brown hair, brown eyes, and a kind, warm smile. He has been an attorney for the last 17 years working exclusively with entrepreneurs, startups and venture capitalists.

He grew up in Israel and moved to the US about 9 years ago to get his LL.M degree at an Ivy League. Outside of work, he loves spending quality time with his two children (13 and 11 years old), honing his DJ skills, traveling, dining, attending concerts, and adventures near and far. This candidate has many facets to his personality.

At work, he dresses and acts like a serious corporate attorney, while with friends and family, he’s more casual, relaxed and just himself. Despite his ambitions and responsibilities, he enjoys taking it easy. He is both interested in succeeding in his career and creating a good, fun life for  himself and for those around him.

His best suited match is between the ages of 27-47 years old and of Caucasian, Asian, or Mixed race heritage.  She is feminine, sexy, and social. Our bachelor appreciates entrepreneurial woman who are independent, open-minded, smart, and with a great sense of humor intact. She should appreciate the outdoors, travel (everything from camping to five star accommodations), cooking, children, music, and fun!

If you or anyone you know might make a match for this bachelor client of ours, please email Amy: amy@linxdating.com and tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Finding Love Again After Divorce or Loss of Spouse

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Romance, courtship, and monogamy are wonderful blessings to strive for in life, regardless of one’s age. 2015 has been a fascinating year across multiple axes at Linx, as we have had the opportunity to work with some of the most influential men and women in the nation. What I particularly admire about many of our new clients is that they are well over 50 years old. Many of them have been married once, twice, and in some cases three times. We have even represented many widowed clients who, after having taken sufficient time for healing, introspection, prayer, and quality moments with family and friends, affirm their belief that love with someone new seems fathomable and within reach.

Why spend the rest of your life alone when you could find a companion, a love, a lover, a dancing partner, a best friend- you name it – with whom you could fall in love and experience magic again? Loss, of any kind, fuels the soul with hope and curiosity – it can be very exciting to “hit reset” and to see who’s out there in this giant world of ours. It can make you feel like you’re 16 again and feeling puppy love.

Some of our 50+ year old clients have shared that one of the major things that dissuades them from dating again, after divorce or the loss of a spouse, is worrying about what their children will think. This concern is very real and makes perfect sense on a lot of levels. Understandably, it’s not uncommon for many men and women to have very (and in some cases I have seen, extremely) poor filters when they date for the first time after divorce or losing a significant other. In most cases I see, clients were together with their spouse for 20 years on average, which means that they sort of never really dated to begin with! They got married very young, had X number of children, and never looked back.

Fast forward decades later in this era of modern dating, the social and dating landscape couldn’t be more different! A very laissez-faire attitude amongst many singles has manifested itself over the last few years and comes hand-in-hand with the rise of a million dating apps, niche dating sites, and an underlying current of complete and utter disregard for courtship and chivalry- some of the original principles upon which Linx is built. What it means to be a gentleman and what it means to be a lady. Alas, I digress.

In the multiple cases to which I have been privy about dating for the first time post divorce or loss of spouse, the stories can be gruesome to say the least. For many men, they pick someone purely based on physicality. Unfortunately after a few dates or, in some cases, an actual relationship, these men realize that the match they chose comes nowhere close to the magnitude and quality that their late spouse or even ex possessed. It is their children who regard the new flame as a poor fit for their parent and remind them that they can do a lot better.

For women, they will often chose someone who makes them feel safe, loved, and where they feel a strong emotional pull. Many of the men that these females chose on their own do not match up to them financially and lifestyle wise. In other words, they are not in the same socio-economic class but, more importantly I feel, they lack sophistication. These females are reminded by their children that the new relationship is indeed threatening, and that the new guy is simply after her money. As the saying goes, love can be blind.

So even though I have heard so many stories of dating in the wild for the first time post divorce or loss of one’s spouse and as many times as I “feel” for my clients, in many respects it is important to go through this and see what’s out there before starting Linx. I believe it makes people (my clients) appreciate the quality and caliber of our clientele even more.

So in closing, if a dear friend, colleague, or parent is sailing through the seas without a rudder as they navigate dating in 2015-2016 alone, give them the encouragement and hope that finding love is indeed possible again. Remember it’s a sensitive subject and can take time, a lot of work, moments of sheer frustration, and rejection but that they too can believe in love again and make it happen. Let them try to pilot dating on their own with some tools to start with (i.e., get online, go to singles meet-ups, etc) and once they have dated a bit and practiced, then hit them with higher stakes dating where courtship and romance is simply a click away to: amy@linxdating.com

How I Found My Husband in San Francisco…

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After several years of fun, but unsuccessful husband hunting in San Francisco, I discovered that the love of my life lived only 2 blocks away. Dating pretty much every single college-educated guy over 6 feet tall in New York and San Francisco during my 20s was a thrill! Meeting men through friends, in bars, and on Match, Tinder and eHarmony, I certainly met my fair share of men who never asked questions, expected to split the check on a first date, older men who claimed to be around my age, and extremely short men who claimed to be over 6 feet. Despite a few uncomfortable conversations and awkward hugs, I feel so fortunate to have met so many interesting men, several of whom have become good friends and business contacts. Most importantly, my active dating life enabled me to determine exactly the type of man who would be my ideal match. All I needed to do was find him…

I remember feeling frustrated when people told me that I would only find someone when I stopped looking. How can you find someone when you’re not looking? As I approached my late 20s, I decided to take this advice, but with a twist. I deleted my dating accounts and stopped going out as much socially. I also worked with Amy Andersen to complete my ideal match profile, which helped me become very clear on the traits I valued most in a life partner. Instead of Tindering to find the tallest, hottest guy, I set forth my intention to the universe to find a loyal, intelligent, charismatic man, and I stopped looking for him.

To fill my free time, I pursued my two passions – rowing and yoga. I signed up for a 200-hour yoga teacher training and started a group of Bay Area women who rowed in college. Between work, yoga and the rowing group, I had virtually no time to date, and guess what? I met my husband right away. In the first 5 minutes of a co-ed rowing event I helped organize at an upscale bar near my office, my future husband and I locked eyes. Our chemistry was off the charts, and we quickly discovered that we had several common interests a ton of mutual friends in San Francisco.

After 6 months, I moved 2 blocks away into his apartment, after 9 months, we were engaged, and 2 years later, we are married. As cliché as it sounds to find your match when you aren’t looking, it’s exactly what happened to me. I feel so fortunate to be married to the man of my dreams, and I’d love to share some tips I learned along the way.

5 Tips to Meet your Ideal Match

  1. Enjoy dating! Interacting with new people helps to broaden your horizons, learn more about yourself and the traits you value most in a partner, and to appreciate meeting the right person for you.   Especially in San Francisco, dating is an opportunity for you to grow both professionally and socially. In such a small city, you will run into former dates frequently, so focus on building a strong brand in the dating world. Your future husband may be your awkward Tinder date’s best friend! And meeting people through location-based apps like Tinder enable you to meet new friends and tour guides while traveling.
  1. Identify the traits you value most in your ideal partner. Spend time thinking about similar traits in people you have dated, in your parents, and what you value most in a life partner. Be specific on the key traits, flexible on others, and understand your non-negotiables. Write everything down and discuss with friends, family, a therapist, or a matchmaker. Don’t write off someone whose company you enjoy just because they don’t check every box. It wasn’t until I became clear about what I wanted in a relationship and shared this vision with people that my ideal partner walked into my life.
  1. Focus less on finding Mr. Right and more on becoming Ms. Right. Be the best version of yourself. We hear this advice all the time because it’s so true. If you aren’t into watching sports and you love running, join a running club instead of trying to meet men at a sports bar. I am not interested in watching sports and have been guilty of this many times! If you don’t like your job, get a new one. Don’t pretend to have your life together and rely on Mr. Right to fix your problems. We continue to work on ourselves throughout life, so get to a good place where you and your future partner can work on yourselves together.
  1. Choose happiness! – Life is full of challenges. Make a conscious decision to be happy and stay positive though the worst of times. Radiant, happy women attract similar qualities in others. Be the happy, upbeat person people want to be around. Greet others with smiles and compliments. I have always found volunteering, celebrating others, and travel to lift my spirits and open my heart to endless gratitude. And it’s so easy to meet new people while volunteering and traveling!
  1. Refine your body and mind. Exercise, drink more water, and get enough sleep. Your body will thank you, and fit, healthy people are valued in athletic cities like San Francisco. Attend classes and groups you enjoy, to meet like-minded people. Your husband may be waiting for you in your next boot camp, rock climbing or meditation class! Go outside, breathe deeply, feel the endorphins, and appreciate the natural beauty around us. Get into the best shape of your life, take care of yourself, and SHINE!

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

The Dog Park Ain’t Just for Dogs

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A few cities may rival San Francisco as the most dog friendly metropolitan area in the US, but we still think we dote on our dogs more so here in the Bay Area than anywhere else. And why wouldn’t we?! We have some of the most scenic dog parks in North America! For example, what offers a more incredible panoramic vista than a view from the Bernal Heights off leash dog park?

Bernal Heights, as just one example, is not only a great place for some dog-dog and dog-human bonding. Believe it or not, this 35-acre off leash park is a great place for some human-human bonding. It draws an eclectic crowd of dog lovers because it offers spectacular visuals of the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, and the hills of the East Bay and more.
Quite frankly, your dog can never get enough exercise and dog experts tell us that regular trips to the dog park can help strengthen your relationship with your canine family members. But we’re people experts here at Linx, and we are convinced a dog park is also a great venue for meeting a significant other or to bring a date. Make it a double date with your dogs and kill two birds with one stone.

If you don’t yet have a dog, it might be worth the investment.  We suggest you go rescue a dog and help reduce the overpopulation of pets. Organizations like the SPCA or the Humane Society are wonderful resources if you want to learn more about pet adoption! It’s a great service to companion animals and it might just help you find a human companion. My husband and I adopted the most loving pup in 2012 from the Fresno SPCA. We drove nearly 3 hours to get him and instantly fell in love! It was heartbreaking walking through the SPCA with the hundreds of animals of all ages and breeds looking for that special family to take them home.

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Actual photo of our pup Marshall in the SPCA FB advertising used to market this litter of the “7 Dwarfs” that were dumped on the side of the road in Fresno. All the girls had been adopted when we got to the Fresno SPCA and 3 boys remained. Lucky us Marshall was there waiting for us! 🙂

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Marshall as a little 3 month old pup- doesn’t he look like a rabbit?!

Your prospects for meeting a mate via the dog park couldn’t be greater than they are in the Bay Area. It is also a great place to introduce your dog to your date, if you’ve already met someone. You’ll quickly learn a lot about your new potential love interest in seeing how he/she interacts with furry friends and responds to them. You might quickly have your answer as to keeper or time to keep looking!

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When Marsh was little and fit into a bag as a pup, I used to carry him all around town. Here we are in Carmel. Talk about an ice breaker. Everyone wanted to know what breed he was. We still make people guess when asked what breed he is. It’s a great conversation starter and something you can do to when you adopt a pet. 😉

If novel social situations can be at all uncomfortable, and they are for everybody in some context or another, we encourage people to go places and do things that take the focus off of you. A dog park offers just that, even for people with the most well-behaved dogs. When you are with your furry family member you have something obvious and easy to talk about. Your dog may not just be the love of your life, he or she is also a great conversation piece and ice breaker.

Nothing is more true than the notion of meeting someone who falls for your puppy, right? It is a scene played out in countless films and that is probably because it works. If you elected to visit Lafayette Park you might even encounter some local luminaries with their pooches. It is a haven for the well heeled crowd avec chien.

Fort Funston offers some pretty fabulous off leash dog park recreation as well. You may have to compete with people on horseback or bicycles, but the view is absolutely stunning.

Other great locations include close to Corona Heights Natural Area is Corona Heights Dog Play Area near the Randall museum. It’s pretty rustic, but your dog is guaranteed to love it.
Mountain Lake Park on the southern border of the Presidio has a dog designated site. It is a dog walker’s delight and comes highly regarded by those in the profession as a great place to exercise dogs. Its also a wildlife haven with active natural resource restoration programs ongoing.

For a list a great dog parks, check out this article from Rover.com

Finally, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission has designated several dog play areas. Here’s a comprehensive list.

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.

Breaking up is hard to do

Written by: Marilyn Nagel in collaboration with Linx Dating

unhappy  couple in bedroom under stress

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?