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The Fur Ball | Humane Society Silicon Valley

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On April 23rd, my husband and I were invited to attend The Fur Ball supporting the Humane Society of Silicon Valley and sit at the President’s table. What made this evening so special was that our furry pup, Marshall, was invited too!  IMG_0050

If case you’re wondering what kind of bred Marsh is, he’s a mix of German Shepherd, chow, wheaten terrier, and pekingese. *phew!* Yes, we did a DNA test after we rescued him back in 2012. We are in Silicon Valley after all. 😉

Not surprisingly the Fur Ball was sold out and extremely well attended with hundreds of loving supporters, many of whom brought their dogs big and small. Some of the dogs were decked out in “bling” such as fancy studded collars, while others had costumes on, including Marsh in his bow tie and cuff links. Besides seeing all the adorable dogs, we got to meet some really interesting and dynamic people who’ve been supporters of the HSSV for many years. IMG_0047

Some wacky patrons like myself shamelessly hit the dance floor with our four-legged friends.  How many of you can say you’ve danced with your dog before?

While we walked around the silent auction tables and mingled with new and old friends, it made me realize what a great event this is for eligible men and women to patronize in 2017. PAW_9190(1) copy

Photo with HSSV President…

To find commonality with other like-minded people around the theme of animal welfare and charity. Imagine while you’re clinking glasses with someone you just met, your dogs can be checking one another out as well.

Did you even think your four-legged buddy could help you find the relationship you’ve been waiting for? Your pet can also be a tremendous help letting you know if he/she is getting a good vibe from someone you just met. How is your pet reacting to that new person? For those that want to learn exactly about involving your pet in your love life (keep swiping…woof woof!), Author Sheryl Matthys wrote a book called “Leashes and Lovers– What Your Dog Can Teach You About Love, Life, and Happiness.”

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Marsh meeting a new friend donning a mini top hat!

If large events are not your thing, you can always donate to The Humane Society Silicon Valley or volunteer your time. In fact, they have wonderful ways to get involved with that are wide ranging and might make the perfect match for you!

 

 

 

Egg Freezing Part 2: When should I tell my partner?

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There’s a shift in every woman’s life when they go from doing everything in their power to prevent pregnancy to desperately trying to preserve and fertilize their eggs before time runs out. As discussed in last month’s blog post, egg freezing is becoming a popular choice for women who want to take their fertility into their own hands on their own timeline. Many women who have frozen their eggs report feeling more confident and at ease when dating, but when is the best time to let your date know that your eggs are on ice?

Don’t blurt it out on every first date

Egg freezing is a new concept, so many men, especially those who don’t live in urban centers, are completely clueless about it. Some women in their late 30s and 40s reported feeling the need to tell every man they meet that they are still able to have children since they have frozen their eggs, but the men we surveyed said that sharing this in the first few dates is not necessary and can ruin the mood. You don’t want every first date to turn into a medical lecture.

Share it with someone you care about

Freezing your eggs is a big decision you have made, or are thinking about making, for yourself. The procedure takes a lot of time, energy and money, and speaks volumes about how much you value having the option to have your own children. This is a beautiful gift you can give to a loving, committed partner when the time is right. Most of the men we surveyed said that egg freezing is a smart choice that they respect and admire. It can give couples the time they need to figure out if they are meant to be or not before rushing into having children.

Wait until the topic of children comes up

Learning about your partners’ views on having children can be an immediate deal breaker or can bring you closer together. If you have frozen, or are considering freezing your eggs, having children is likely very important to you. If you want kids and your partner doesn’t, you should have the breakup conversation instead of the egg freezing conversation. People very rarely change their minds about wanting to have kids. If he also wants kids, this is the perfect time to tell him that you’ve frozen your eggs. He will probably be thrilled to share in your commitment to having a family.

Tread lightly

Have a plan before the topic comes up and understand what you want out of the conversation. Carefully explain to your partner why you are considering or have already frozen your eggs. Chances are your partner knows little to nothing about egg freezing and will have a lot of questions. Several men have reported feeling threatened by knowing that their partner can have children whenever and with whomever they choose. Communicate gently and be aware of his feelings.

The timing and delivery of this personal information will vary by relationship, but we felt compelled to share some general guidelines since this question has come up a lot recently. Whether you are thinking about freezing or have frozen your eggs, it is a big decision that you should share with your partner when the time is right.

Egg Freezing : Is it for you?

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We wanted to present our readers with a very relevant topic and offer you a two part series about egg freezing. In this particular blog entry, you will read about egg freezing from a scientific and data driven perspective and in the second follow-up blog, we will discuss how egg freezing can impact dating and relationships for better or for worse. With so many women discussing the most private aspects of their lives with Linx, often the topic of egg preservation comes up.

Since the invention of birth control almost 60 years ago, no medical advancement has empowered women more than egg freezing. Birth control gave women the freedom to delay conception and decide with whom they would like to procreate, and egg freezing can give women freedom from their biological clocks.

Egg freezing began as a procedure for cancer patients who wanted to preserve eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But over the past 10 years, egg freezing has become a hot topic for single women who don’t want to settle for the wrong guy just to have children while they are still fertile and for those who want to achieve certain professional goals before having children.

The recent popularity of egg freezing has spiked as a result of the marketing efforts of companies like Eggbanxx, a network of egg freezing doctors that attract new patients through egg freezing parties in New York City. Similar to Uber or Airbnb, many view egg freezing as a disruptive technology that can give women more control over their bodies.

Women start out with over a million eggs at birth, that number is down to 300,000 by the time they hit puberty, and it continues to dwindle every month until they are no longer fertile. Especially if they live in large cities, women are having children later in life, and egg freezing can give this option to women who have put off having children for one reason or another.

EggBanxx estimates that 76,000 women worldwide will be freezing their eggs by 2018. Successful pregnancy rates fluctuate greatly based on the woman’s age when she froze her eggs, how many there were, how they were frozen, how fertile she was to begin with, and which doctor did the procedure.

As the technology improves, more women have decided to freeze their eggs, and companies like Facebook, Apple, Citigroup and JP Morgan offer egg freezing to female employees as part of their benefits package. These cushy “insurance policies” are wonderful options for women as long as the companies also provide great benefits and support to women who choose to take time off to have children earlier their careers. In a 2013 New York University study of 183 women who had frozen their eggs, 19% said they might have had a child earlier if their workplace had been more flexible.

The New York Times just released that The Pentagon plans to roll out a pilot program offering military troops medical benefits for freezing eggs and storing sperm. This large scale program takes reproductive health to a national scale and recognizes the importance of giving troops important options.

Similar to cutting edge companies who are paying for egg freezing, celebrities have also brought the procedure into the spotlight. Diana Hayden (42), the winner of the Miss World pageant in 1997, gave birth to a beautiful baby from one of her frozen eggs, and Whitney Cummings (33), actress and comedian, often talks about how freezing her eggs gave her more freedom and less pressure to find the one as soon as possible.

Australian sexologist and author, Dr. Nikki Goldstein (30), also recently froze her eggs and videotaped the experience – from the shots, to the emotions, to the pain. During the process, Dr. Goldstein realized how deeply she wanted children and how important it was for her to have time to find the right partner.

You may want to consider freezing your eggs if:

  • You are in your mid-30s and single or not interested in having kids in the next few years
  • You are single and in your mid-30s to mid-40s and would regret never having a biological child
  • You are willing to research egg freezing and understand that there is not a 100% guarantee that you will be able to conceive a child from your frozen eggs in the future
  • You wouldn’t notice the $10-$15k egg freezing cost missing from your bank account (if your company doesn’t pay for it)
  • You understand the costs of extracting, freezing, storing and replanting your eggs, which can cost upwards of $50k total
  • You are committed to injecting yourself with hormones and are okay with being extremely bloated and in abdominal pain for a month before the doctor extracts the eggs
  • You realize that you may have to go through the egg extraction process 2 or 3 times if not enough good eggs are collected the first time
  • It is 100% your decision. Egg freezing brokers are popping up all the time to capitalize on women’s insecurities of ending up alone and childless. Do not get pressured into freezing your eggs – do it because it makes sense for you.
  • You want to take the pressure off finding the future father of your children on every first date.
  • You have been strategic about every decision in your life – where to go to school, which job to take, where to live, etc. – and you want to decide when and with whom you would like to have children
  • You have found a good doctor that you trust to perform the procedure
  • You have no religious issues with the concept of egg freezing
  • You live in or frequently travel to South America and don’t want to have children until the Zika virus has been wiped out

With only 2,000 births worldwide from egg freezing so far, the success rates are difficult to predict, but one thing is certain – egg freezing provides a groundbreaking opportunity for women to live their ideal lives on their own terms and timeline free from biological constraints.

Announcing a new VIP search for our 6’7″ Bay Area bachelor!

Our 48-year old Bay Area bachelor will fill your life with love, laughter and adventure. Together you’ll enjoy traveling, exploring the great outdoors, and solving the world’s problems over a bottle of nice wine. The first thing you’ll notice about our client is his height. This Caucasian man is 6’7” with an athletic build and a full head of brown hair. He stays fit by biking, running and participating in athletic challenges. He is an honest and kind family man who has found no greater satisfaction in his life than a heartfelt hug from his kids, and he’s looking for a partner who also values family and the loyalty of good friendships above any personal prestige.

Professionally, he has worked as an international attorney in New York and a technology salesperson on the West Coast, and he currently enjoys working in executive positions. He is Ivy League educated with an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy and a graduate degree in law. Between undergrad and law school, our client spent four years living in Europe studying the effects of European wine on the American physique and learning French, German and Italian. Be sure to let him order for you in an Italian restaurant!

His ideal match is between 28-45 years old, taller, with medium to long hair, beautiful eyes and a warm smile. She’s fit, pretty, exudes feminine energy and can engage with him in both intellectual discussions and witty banter. He’s typically drawn to Asian, Caucasian and mixed race women with a curiosity for life who can bring a joie de vivre and a strong sense of humor to the relationship.

If you want to try kayaking or cross-country skiing, know that caesar was not just a salad and think that puns are the highest form of wit, this is the man for you! If you or anyone you know might make a wonderful match for our bachelor, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving week!

Are shorter men the hottest accessory of the holiday season?

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I’m 5’11” and love to wear heels, so one of my top dating criteria when I was single was that the man be over 6 feet tall. I remember thinking it was unfair when I saw tiny women dating lofty basketball players or when tall men told me they preferred dating petite women. When I thought about the limited number tall, age-appropriate men in San Francisco and subtracted those who were in relationships, uneducated, commitment-phobes, or were only attracted to shorter women, would anyone be left for me?

In retrospect, my thinking was shortsighted. Limiting your dating pool by height may prevent you from meeting Mr. Right, and expanding your height preferences dramatically increases your options. Most women have their sights set on the less than 4% of American adult men who are over 6’2”, so why not take a more strategic approach? Here are 5 reasons why you should follow in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman and Catherine Zeta Jones and consider dating a shorter man:

  1. They’re confident. What shorter men lack in height, they make up for in presence. Confidence and humor add imaginary inches. Shorter men work harder to refine their social presence. They’re extremely secure and comfortable in their own skin and will be proud to have you by their side.
  1. They’re generous lovers. When you spend the night with a shorter man, you will be in for a treat. Taller guys aren’t used to putting in extra effort since they’re in such high demand, but shorter men know how lucky they are to be with you and will make sure you enjoy every second. And no, his height doesn’t correlate with the size of his member.
  1. They’re funny. When thinking about male comedians and the funniest men I’ve ever known, they’re on the shorter side. Along the same lines, the shorter men I have worked with in sales are absolutely hilarious and have customers laughing within the first few minutes of every sales meeting. While taller jocks retire from sports during the first half of their lives, funny men will keep you laughing all your life.
  1. You’ll have more space. Get ready to sprawl out in bed and fit comfortably with your new man on the couch. You won’t have to significantly adjust the driver’s seat in your car after he borrows it. And you can alternate taking the middle seat on flights since he’s not so tall that he always needs a window or aisle seat. Dating a shorter man makes life easier.
  1. You’ll look and feel like a supermodel all the time. The world is a catwalk for women who date shorter men. Embrace your height in heels and flats as you confidently strut around with your new man. A close girlfriend of mine believes that shorter men will be the hottest accessory of the holiday season!

For more inspiration, check out these celebrity goddesses who love dating shorter men and look fabulous while doing it!

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond

Clare Grant and Seth Green

L’Wren Scott and Mick Jagger

Rhea Durham and Mark Wahlberg

Tanya Haden and Jack Black

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

Love at first swipe?

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While enjoying Sunday brunch with girlfriends the other week, one of them revealed that a man we knew and respected as a devoted husband and doting father had been cheating on his wife with not just one, but several different women. He was one of the 30 million users who was exposed in July for using the Ashley Madison website that lures people in with the radical slogan “Life is Short. Have an affair.” We all shook our heads in unison as we scanned photo after photo of his beautiful family on Facebook. Why would someone with a seemingly perfect life want to destroy it?

We considered our own Facebook profiles. Endless photos of smiles at gorgeous weddings and on exotic vacations don’t accurately reflect our lives, either. We portray an image of ourselves that often doesn’t paint a full picture of life’s ups and downs. We tend to exclude funerals, arguments, breakups, layoffs, and de-tag ourselves from photos where we don’t look happy and thin.

This is an innocent example of how we represent ourselves to the world, but the same blurred lines exist for everything else we see on the Internet, including dating profiles. Online dating comes with all of the major issues of the Internet, including a lack of transparency, privacy and trust. While in many ways it’s great that the Internet has opened up the dating pool immensely, it also lends itself too much towards fabrication. Why be honest in a dating profile when you can portray yourself as taller, thinner, younger, employed, single, etc.?

With no last names, limited information and no guarantees that any information is actually true, online dating apps have become a breeding ground for infidelity. To my knowledge, no dating sites require people to prove they are single, or even unmarried!

The term “catfish,” popularized by the documentary and MTV show, refers to people who create fake identities on social media and dating sites with the sole purpose of misleading people into romantic relationships. While the show is often humorous, showcasing people pretending to be beauty pageant winners, models and singers, the extent to which people go to pretend to be someone they’re not is quite unsettling. Many of these people are married, and there are serious implications in the real world for both the people who created the fake identities and those who were persuaded by the fake profiles.

According to a recent New York Times article entitled After Ashley Madison Breach, Online Daters Check Credentials, the Ashley Madison data breach “served as a notice to those in the online dating trenches, some of whom have taken to hiring private investigators or matchmakers or turned to specialized data sites to uncover the marital status and reputations of those they are dating.” As easy as it may seem to swipe right or virtually wink at someone to score your next date, the Internet can be a dangerous place to meet someone. Even if you didn’t sign up to use Ashley Madison, you may be someone’s mistress without even realizing it.

At the end of brunch, the single ladies at the table joked that they may have to hire a private investigator or background check service to make sure the guys they meet online, in bars or in coffee shops aren’t drug-addicted, married, sex offenders. It dawned upon us that the only way to know for sure that you are going to meet an honest, single, commitment-minded person, without being a stalker, is to meet people through friends, family or a trusted dating network like Linx Dating.

Family members, friends, and professional matchmakers complete the due diligence for you and understand the full picture of every person in their network, so you don’t have to worry that your next date will be 20 years older than his or her photos or even worse, married and just looking for a little side action. The silver lining to the Ashley Madison hack is that now is a great time to join the honest people who value integrity and loyalty as they flock to professional matchmakers during this time of uncertainty in the dating world.

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.