Dating Advice for Men

Virtual Dating Tips and Guidance during COVID-19

As California is approaching nearly 2 months of shelter-in-place, Linx has transitioned to the reality of quarantine with mostly reasonable ease and we have been grateful at the number of people not holding back on signing up for memberships during COVID-19. 

While clients are very much wanting to meet each other in person, they know that this is not the time for that and have accepted the new normal of virtual dates – and some very creative ones at that. 

Approximately 75% of our premium clients are wanting to keep their searches going and try to continue to meet people during quarantine, while the remaining 25% are waiting for this to pass and “freezing” their memberships in the meantime.  Many are very open to long-distance dating, especially during this stage, and finding it such an easy way to explore chemistry without the hassle and expense of having to hop on a plane for an in-person date.   

Virtual dating is proving to be a very quick way to determine if there are some sparks, all while in the convenience of your own home.  


We are seeing a small handful of our clients venture outside to gardens and parks for their first and second dates. Our couples are being safe by placing a large blanket down and sitting at least 6-feet from one another and bringing their own drink and food to enjoy. While this is not the same of getting to dine at a fabulous restaurant with crisp table linens and a well-trained staff, this is our new normal – at last for the time being. Furthermore, there is something old-fashioned and quite romantic about setting up a picnic and slowing down from our days to enjoy fresh air and conversation at a distance.


I’m getting a lot of clients and members of Linx asking advice on how to be successful at their virtual dating. My general advice for virtual dates is to treat them just like any regular date. Always put your best foot forward and remember that just because you are on Zoom or FaceTime, the age old expression “first impressions are lasting ones” does play a very important role during quarantine.  

Some more specific advice when planning your virtual dates… Wear a pop of color (forget wearing white) and for women, do some tasteful makeup.  Guys – clean yourself up and put on a dress shirt, or frankly anything but a sloppy t-shirt and shorts.  Most of us feel our best when we are freshly showered and dressed for the occasion. Imagine you are going to an upscale lounge or restaurant for a meal….you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and flip flops so the same principles apply when dating during quarantine – especially in the early stages as you’re getting to know one another. 

Once you are dressed and looking fresh and vibrant, set the stage for potential romance and create the right ambiance. I have one client who keeps doing his virtual dates at his office. This is a buzz kill for his dates. Why? He is not separating work from pleasure and also not taking the virtual dates seriously. You need to separate your work and work environment from your dating life. So find a location in your home that is appropriate for this – and that definitely doesn’t mean your bedroom either. Think living room, dining room, or family room/den. 

Light a candle, order a “ring light” on Amazon for optimal warm, ambient lighting or if you don’t have the budget for that, read what Tom Ford suggests for looking good on Zoom. Timing is everything. Do the Zoom date when the house is quiet (if you have kids, they are snoozing or in another room doing their homework ;-)) so you’re not distracted. If you drink, pour a cocktail or glass of wine, and if you don’t drink, pour a bubbly water with some citrus fruit or fresh mint leaves to feel festive and start your virtual date! Smile and keep the energy of the virtual date upbeat, happy, and chill. 

What if the first virtual date goes well and you’re wanting to get a little more creative for the next series of virtual dates? For out-of-the-box date ideas, I am sharing the following ideas with my clients including:

1) Be a chef. Open your kitchen, show him/her a favorite recipe you like to make and vice versa. Do this using your favorite tech platform.

2. Be romantic. Flex your brain muscles and read him/her poetry or a chapter from a book you’re reading, or share your screen with some of your favorite YouTube tv or movie clips or music (make sure to select “share computer audio” when you share your screen.) Use it as a launchpad for further conversation. You’re showing him/her a new dimension of what makes you incredibly unique.

3. Be an artist. Even if you’re not going to be the next da Vinci, become your own individual artist! Each buy an inexpensive paint set online, schedule the date for when your respective sets arrive at your homes, set up your Zoom and have a painting date. Use it as an opportunity to giggle at one another’s art work, once canvases are complete.

It is also interesting to me that many clients are immediately removing the superficial layer of first dates and delving very deep in the virtual dates by asking one another intense questions. One recommendation is accessing the The New York Times “36 Questions on the Way to Love” interactive quiz and quickly sizing up if there are long-term foundational values in alignment or not. It’s proving to be a powerful way to determine if there is enough in common to keep virtually dating or rather to move on.  This is yet another approach to incorporate.

With the curiosity and excitement of virtual dating, you might be wondering the risks and downsides. I think one of the major drawbacks is that some people just feel plain awkward dating virtually. It feels weird for them and simply not natural. Also, many people want to see what someone looks like in the flesh, smell their perfume, see the glistening of the gloss of their lips as the sun hits them a certain way, hug them, maybe kiss at the end of the date to test that important chemistry. Clearly you can’t do this with virtual dating, so this is a significant downside.

That said, the upshot I keep telling my clients is to keep exploring the virtual connections and when restrictions are lifted, to be able to imagine how exciting it will be to finally see their love interest in person. I think the potential of how magnetic the chemistry could be at that moment could be life-changing. 

COVID-19 has placed each and every one of us in a vulnerable place and sharing that vulnerability with someone else could not only forever bond that couple but catapult them into a love that can be tested through time.  

With that said, though, it is important not to force the transition to meeting in person – we are all (including our government) trying to figure the right time and pace to begin re-introducing social contact, and it will probably come down to each person’s comfort and tolerance for different types of risk.   Please be tolerant as we each are dealing with this in our own way and in the meantime keep staying healthy and safe. 

If you are on Instagram, I do daily simple inspirational posts to which many folks have responded very positively. If you would like to follow me, please do so at “Ms.LinxDating.” Thank you so much!

Put a ring on it: Engagement ring shopping 101

As you can imagine, the engagement ring will arguably be the biggest part of any proposal- besides her saying “YES!” To help all my favorite bachelor clients blossom into confident grooms, I’ve put together a little cheat sheet.

Finding the perfect stone, band and setting can be tricky, especially when you’ll probably end up shopping alone—WeddingWire’s 2019 Wedding Report shows that only 20% of couples pick out a ring together. So, how can you find the right ring to symbolize your forever commitment? 

Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend

Although any stone can be used for an engagement ring, WeddingWire’s 2019 Wedding Report shows that 71% of engagement rings have a diamond as the main stone. According to the American Gem Society, diamonds have signified union since the 1400’s when Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy

Sizing

If you’re planning a surprise engagement, purchasing the right ring size will require a little finesse. To save yourself the headache and extra expense of resizing, simply steal a ring that you’ve seen your partner wearing on a ring finger and bring that to the jeweler to measure. Remember, some settings won’t accommodate a change in band size, so do whatever you have to do to make sure you get the size right.

Shape

Most diamond rings are one of ten unique shapes. Although most women prefer the traditional round shaped diamond, others may enjoy something more unusual. According to The Knot, different shapes can represent different personalities.

For example, an emerald cut tends to be more glamorous, the asscher cut suited to a vintage lover, and the marquise more romantic.

In addition to shape, consider the size of your partner’s hand. Pear, marquis, or oval shaped diamonds tend to suit long, slender fingers, whereas round or princess shaped diamonds are better for smaller hands.

Although shape is important, the cut will impact the quality of the diamond the most. Whereas shape is about the geometry of the stone, the cut is about the angles of the facets. 

The 4 C’s: A Matter of Quality

The Gemological Institute of America created the 4Cs to assess diamond quality. Those 4Cs include:

Cut describes how well a diamond’s facets interact with the light. A well cut diamond will sparkle through the top of the stone. Of all the 4Cs, cut is the most complex to analyze since it’s based on 7 factors: brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, polish, symmetry, and durability. Cut is also the most important “C”; even if the remaining 3 C’s are perfect, it won’t matter if the cut isn’t right. 

Clarity describes the cloudiness of the stone. Naturally occurring internal “inclusions” and external “blemishes” can lower the value of the diamond. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value. 

As a general rule, try to avoid stones with inclusions on the top and in the middle. These areas have the biggest effect on the way the light passes through 

Color is graded based on how little of it exists. The grading system ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow); white color diamonds are the most popular (and tend to carry more value) but yellow diamonds and even black diamonds have grown in popularity.

Carat describes how much a diamond weighs. Diamond price increases with carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable. But, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on the other 4C factors.

Settings and Metal

The setting, which describes how the diamond is placed on the ring, plays a big role in the look and feel of the ring. According to WeddingWire, the setting is the most important feature for women, whereas the quality of the stone is most important to men.

Just like the shape, there are a variety of different settings:

As you can imagine, different settings offer different benefits: The Halo is ideal for those who love a bit more sparkle, the Bezel setting offers a clean and modern look, and the Prong setting can really highlight the beauty of a main stone. 

When it comes to the metal for the band, gold and platinum are generally the most popular choices. Platinum is the most expensive given its purity. It’s also a great hypoallergenic choice for those with sensitive skin. Gold offers more flexibility with colors, including white, yellow, rose and even green.

Get your certificates

Before purchasing, ask to see the grading certificate from a recognized gemological lab like the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America; it’s the best way to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. And, please, please, please insure your ring as soon as you get home!

Love is not on lockdown….

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Dear Faithful readers,
First, our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the CV climate. Like you, we are safely bunkered down in our homes and home offices. Although not making daily human contact in person (and gosh I miss that so much), we are extremely connected with our prospects and clients alike via brilliant technology created here in Silicon Valley.
I wanted to share with you some useful notes from a recent Goldman Sachs conference call with 1,500 companies dialed in. Given the tremendous amount of uncertainty swirling out there around the corona virus, the financial markets and our lives generally, I hope this can give at least one perspective.

THE KEY ECONOMIC TAKEAWAYS WERE:
-50% of Americans will contract the virus (150m people) as it’s very communicable. This is on a par with the common cold (Rhinovirus) of which there are about 200 strains and which the majority of Americans will get 2-4 per year.

-70% of Germany will contract it (58M people). This is the next most relevant industrial economy to be effected.

-Peak-virus is expected over the next eight weeks, declining thereafter.

-The virus appears to be concentrated in a band between 30-50 degrees north latitude, meaning that like the common cold and flu, it prefers cold weather. The coming summer in the northern hemisphere should help. This is to say that the virus is likely seasonal.

-Of those impacted 80% will be early-stage, 15% mid-stage and 5% critical-stage. Early-stage symptoms are like the common cold and mid-stage symptoms are like the flu; these are stay at home for two weeks and rest. 5% will be critical and highly weighted towards the elderly.

-Mortality rate on average of up to 2%, heavily weighted towards the elderly and immunocompromised; meaning up to 3m people (150m*.02). In the US about 3m/yr die mostly due to old age and disease, those two being highly correlated (as a percent very few from accidents). There will be significant overlap, so this does not mean 3m new deaths from the virus, it means elderly people dying sooner due to respiratory issues. This may however stress the healthcare system.

-There is a debate as to how to address the virus pre-vaccine. The US is tending towards quarantine. The UK is tending towards allowing it to spread so that the population can develop a natural immunity. Quarantine is likely to be ineffective and result in significant economic damage but will slow the rate of transmission giving the healthcare system more time to deal with the case load.

-China’s economy has been largely impacted which has affected raw materials and the global supply chain. It may take up to six months for it to recover.

-Global GDP growth rate will be the lowest in 30 years at around 2%.

-S&P 500 will see a negative growth rate of -15% to -20% for 2020 overall.

-There will be economic damage from the virus itself, but the real damage is driven mostly by market psychology. Viruses have been with us forever. Stock markets should fully recover in the 2nd half of the year.

-In the past week there has been a conflating of the impact of the virus with the developing oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. While reduced energy prices are generally good for industrial economies, the US is now a large energy exporter, so there has been a negative impact on the valuation of the domestic energy sector.
-This will continue for some time as the Russians are attempting to economically squeeze the American shale producers and the Saudis are caught in the middle and do not want to further cede market share to Russia or the US.

-Technically the market generally has been looking for a reason to reset after the longest bull market in history.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
-There is really NO systemic risk. No one is even talking about that. Governments are intervening in the markets to stabilize them, and the private banking sector is very well capitalized. 
-In particular, for the U.S., even though quarantines and shut downs can certainly do recessionary damage stateside, thank God we live where we do – the US Govt is extraordinarily well-equipped / well-capitalized to respond with monetary and fiscal policy to bridge us through this… 
-In sum, this feels more like a 9/11 shock than it does like a 2008 parting of the earth.
 
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LINX AND YOU?
-I am offering prospect meet and greets, as well as new client meetings for the next few weeks via Zoom!
– Zoom is super easy to download, free, and user friendly (trust me – I am a total dinosaur with technology). We can easily discuss working together and how the Linx ladies can get started on your search to “build your dating pipeline” now. 
-In my opinion, this is THE time to allow us to get started with our recruitment, exploration of prospects and clients in our database, and research on your behalf.  
I am finding that people are even more eager to want to find LOVE NOW and meet their dream partner – especially once this current “shock” is past us.
-Linx contracts are 24 months, which is standard with any membership. 24 months allows you sufficient time to slowly date each candidate, not to rush, and to see if there is long-term merit.
-Once you’re on-boarded, no matter what climate we are in, it takes time for my staff to begin to develop your pipeline of introductions. This is not about rushing the process, but rather about carefully curated matchmaking that adheres to the philosophy of quality over quantity.  
-Once we start lining up candidates for you to meet, you can get the ball rolling and meet matches via tech like Zoom or FaceTime. This is what making dating a PRIORITY means.
– This is seizing the moment, not letting your fears swallow you up, and not hitting pause on finding your match.
– You’re being smart and executing a dating strategy, even during a pandemic, that will pay dividends in the future.
– I wish everyone good health and comfort during these challenging times.  Remember to laugh and love.  We will get through this together. Stay connected and remember love is not on lockdown! 
Warmly,
Amy Andersen
Founder & CEO
Linx Dating LLC
Are you linked? 

Two hearts

 
 

Matchmaker Updates

Dear Readers,

This week has been another super busy one taking many meetings with mostly men who qualify to meet some of our female VIP clients (interestingly, all the men we met this week are from Europe!)  We’ve even been doing house appointments to ensure complete discretion and privacy for some uber high profile VIP clients and prospects. In fact, last Saturday the Linx ladies arrived to a very high profile gentleman’s home in Silicon Valley to chat about matchmaking. We hear time and time again Linx Dating is the only matchmaker that well-educated, high caliber individuals would hire. Why? Due to our A+ reputation, scrupulous screening process, esteemed private network, and tireless dedication to our craft to name a few!

As the scope of our VIP client projects are vast and detailed, I’m hiring a highly skilled individual I’ve known for years to help with recruitment. She will leverage her existing networks and help source eligible individuals for us to add to our existing database and importantly, find people who could be that perfect “needle in a haystack” match for our VIPs. Following the Linx process, she will screen all candidates in person and cherry pick the best, weeding out the rest.

We protect our male and female clients all day long and serve as a giant filter for them. In the era of dating apps and dating “in the wild” on your own where you simply don’t know “who” you are dealing with, one can’t place a premium on the value we bring to our trusted clients.

We are also in the midst of planning a fabulous private Spring soiree in Silicon Valley. Linx events are always well attended and in high demand. Stay tuned for more on any upcoming events….

Next week is another very busy week with lots of matchmaking, appointments, and media projects. We are so grateful to our wonderful clients, match candidates in our database, and friends who provide such on-going support and love of Linx.

My dating advice for your upcoming dates this weekend is to always remember to be genuine! The worst thing you can do on a date is misrepresent yourself. Don’t pretend to be interested in things that truly bore you. Don’t bring up topics you don’t want to discuss. Don’t be silent about your own likes and dislikes because you don’t want to be judged.

Remember that, at heart, all Linx members are looking for the same thing – real and lasting human connections. So if you find yourself sitting across from a first date and neither of you knows what to say, start with the question that most single people would like to be asked more often; smile, take a deep breath, and open with “How was your day? ❤️

Have a great weekend ahead!

XX- Amy

 

Are You Choosing To Be Thankful?

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With the holidays just around the corner, this can be a great time to meet someone new. Here are some ideas for getting through the holiday season in good cheer, and maybe even building some relationships (romantic or otherwise) along the way.animated-thanksgiving-desktop-backgrounds-wide-photos-hd-wallpapers-free-thanksgiving-desktop-wallpapers-backgrounds

Host a “Misfit” Thanksgiving…

If you don’t already have plans for the holiday, ask around in your circle of friends or even post to Facebook; you’ll probably find that you’re not alone.  If you’re not a great cook, you have plenty of options that could still make you a great host or hostess.  Plenty of restaurants and grocers (like Draeger’s and Whole Foods) offer complete or a la carte solutions for Thanksgiving dinner.  You may find that one or more of your guests is a great home chef, so give them the opportunity to bring dishes (or just encourage them to bring wine or desserts) and fill your home with new friends and holiday cheer.  Speaking from personal experience, this can be a truly wonderful way to spend a holiday, and can be much more intimate and fulfilling than you might expect.

Take Yourself Out to Dinner…

If spending the day alone is inevitable, and you know you know that staying inside all day isn’t good for you, make a reservation for yourself at one of the many, many SF restaurants that will be serving dinner this Thanksgiving.  Some of the restaurants promising to give you reasons to be thankful this year include Spruce, Epic Roasthouse, Campton Place, and One Market, so odds are that you’ll be experiencing plain pilgrim fare taken to an entirely new level.  You might also want to stop into a great bar or lounge for an after dinner drink and some great conversation; you won’t be the only person spending the day without family, and you definitely won’t be the only person open to connecting with someone new.

Lend a Helping Hand…

For some people, volunteering on Thanksgiving is a tradition unto itself, and the Bay area is full of opportunities for helping out.  At Linx, we always think that volunteering is a great way to meet someone (who doesn’t like dating a man or woman with a heart of gold?) and the single person you’d meet volunteering on Thanksgiving will be just as impressed with you as you are with her or him.  Even if scoring a date isn’t the first thing on your mind that day, it’s not a bad consolation prize for being a good citizen. 😉

Good sources for finding volunteer opportunities include Glide Memorial, Hands on Bay Area,  Little Brothers, Meals on Wheels, Palo Alto Community Thanksgiving Meal  to name a few.

You could also contact your local church or food bank or even a retirement center for more ideas; lots of people would love company this holiday season, and not all of them have the option of leaving their homes.People-volunteering-at-so-012

Relax and Reflect…

There’s nothing wrong with just taking the day to yourself and doing nothing at all.  You don’t have to leave the house.  You don’t have to eat turkey.  You certainly don’t have to eat pumpkin pie.  Eat sushi like me! You could stay in, do laundry, sort piles of receipts, and downshift from everything going on in your life.

You could take the day to really think about your life, and examine all of the reasons you have to be thankful.  It would be very easy to focus on being alone, and to fixate on what you consider the missing pieces in your life, but it’s so much more valuable to take an inventory of what’s right in your world.

Most of us are drawn to positive, optimistic people, and the best way to be positive is to really be aware of the gifts in your life; you probably have many.  And you probably know what most of them are.  Don’t be afraid to make a list, and check it twice.  Christmas, after all, is just around the corner. 😉

Not interested in going out again with your date? How to reject with class. 👏🏻

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I had a client email me this week inquiring about how to reject the idea of another date if she is genuinely not interested in a future with her match.
She asked, “How/when should I let me date know if I’m not interested? I never want to disappoint them after the date, so I don’t always say exactly what I feel. And sometimes I need some time to think it over. I feel bad when I have to text that I’m not interested because I don’t think it’s the best way. How should I go about being honest with them in the moment?”
I told her a good rule of thumb is to either call or text about mid day the next day. I would wait till after the date and both parties go home. If he texts right after the date and you know you definitely do not want another date, just wait till the next day to respond.
Saying in person at the end of the date is off-putting and painful to hear. So sudden! So soon! No time to reflect and digest. Ouch! It’s like a giant slap in the face. So instead, wait till the next day to gently let your date know you’re not interested. This is a bit more elegant and mature approach to modern dating.
If you are not comfortable calling, in the early stages of dating, a text is fine. If you have had multiple dates with someone, it is best to get together in person to explain you’re just not feeling it or a phone call is acceptable.
A good “template” to follow involves starting the conversation with compliments and praise. Random examples are:
-Thank you for finding such a cool dinner spot last night. I had never even heard of that restaurant and I am so glad you introduced me to such unusual tapas. 
-Thank you for being a gentleman and so kind. It is honestly rare that men open doors anymore and to treat me as well was a welcome surprise! 
– I loved your creative sense of style and the fact that you sewed your own dress by hand is beyond cool. Very unique- especially when everyone seems to go to find easy solutions to buy clothes with online purchases. I’ve never met anyone that knows how to sew and do it with such precision. 😉 
-I was blown-away when you mentioned you completed your Ph.D. program in 3 years on top of full-time work.  That’s truly impressive and no small feat. 
-I loved your story last night of how you decided to start volunteering on the weekends. Finding someone as compassionate and empathetic as you are is frankly rare! 
It then segues to you having taken the necessary time to digest the date and subsequently reflect. Upon your reflection, you feel the long-term chemistry isn’t fully there to warrant another date. (I like people to volley back with a question after this statement such as, and perhaps you agree with me?)
Pay another compliment to the effect of how you have no doubt that he/she will find the love of their life in due time.
This is an extremely kind and tasteful way to gently let your date down and pay it forward with compliments good modern dating behavior. It is so much nicer than ghosting or getting into a texting dialogue, thus leading the other person on- especially if you have no intension of going out again with him/her.
Standout from everyone else by handling the more difficult conversations with elegance when you’re out there dating. You will not only make your date feel better about themselves but in-turn, you will feel great about taking the high road.

 

Digital Dating Detox

Dear faithful readers,
I’m re-posting a blog entry from a talented friend who’s a writer, editor, and digital consultant living in New York City named Micaela English. Micaela is a spectacular individual and just launched a website and journal (blog.) Rather than sending editors writing clips when pitching stories, she needed a one stop shop to show the work she’s most proud of. She also has so many stories that don’t get picked up and feels passionately about sharing her work with the world which you can find in her “journal” (a fancier💎 way of saying blog.) Her first story she published? …. “Why Silicon Valley’s top matchmaker (Linx Dating + Amy Alex Andersen) told me to go on a digital dating detox last summer, and how it led me to meet the loveliest human being.” So enjoy and please consider following my dating advice and perhaps you too will meet the love of your life next. XO- Amy  iStock-635698096 copy.jpg

The Best Piece of Advice Silicon Valley’s Top Matchmaker Gave Me? Stop Dating

Last year, I was totally and completely burnt out from dating and relationships. I had that Charlotte from SATC moment,“I’ve been dating since I was 15. I am exhausted. Where is HE?” After my last relationship with someone I was sure I had long term potential with abruptly ended, I reached a breaking point. In a desperate move, I asked for help. I wrote an email to a matchmaker I had interviewed in the past for an article, and had really clicked with. Her name is Amy Andersen of Linx Dating. Amy is not only the top matchmaker in Silicon Valley (think entrepreneurs, CEOS, and the like) but she is also insanely smart, contagiously funny, and warm. She not only responded to my e-mail right away but she also gave me the best dating advice of my life. In the spirit of SPRING FEVER, and people coming out of their winter cocoons, ready to get our there again, I want to share her advice with you no matter what stage or status you are in on your relationship journey. To the broken hearted, there is light at the end of the tunnel, take some time to celebrate and date YOU!

So what did Amy say to me when I told her I had just about had enough of the swipes, dates, pseudo-relationships, and breakups? She said I needed a complete and total digital dating detox. A digital dating detox? What is that? Amy explained in tech terms, “It’s about getting off the spinning hamster wheel going nowhere and removing the digital noise and distractions from your life. It’s a “reboot” of yourself and a defragmentation of your internal hard drive. Or in Silicon Valley lingo, it’s a CTRL + SHIFT + ESC. Like a computer that’s a few years old and running slow, you might not feel as if you are mentally as agile and optimistic as you used to be. With a computer, it’s likely that you have stored cache, installed apps by accident, have a million old e-mail downloads that are hogging memory, and have a ton of junk on your desktop. My digital dating detox is a personal “clean up” program created to empower anyone who has experienced dating fatigue. The goal is to make you stop feeling burned out and give yourself a necessary break and reboot.” Does that click with you? Keep reading.

1. Invest in yourself and Delete.The.Apps.

First things first. Delete the apps. Amy told me to delete every single one of them for a few months, which I did. To be honest, I was super anxious about it, they were my security blankets to getting dates, but not having alerts and “homework” swiping as part of my daily routine was truly one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. Amy’s philosophy? “Invest in “YOU time” until you can look forward to it again. My most important advice is to take a well-deserved break and get off all apps, online, and just focus on making a personal investment in yourself. Get in the best mindset and health, and do things that make you genuinely happy.”

2. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people who are doing cool things in their lives.

As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I truly believe this. Living in New York City, there are so many choices, invitations, and “we need to catch ups.” In order to stay overall positive and healthy during my experiment I chose to spend my time with people that genuinely felt good to hang out with, inspired, and supported me. It was as simple as that. I still truly believe this, I love seeing people, I’m sure you do too.

3. Start spending your time doing things that YOU want to do instead of what others want you to do or what society says you should do.

This one really resonated with me. My calendar was so often filled with things “I needed to do”. Dates were scheduled like workouts. It was exhausting. I decided to throw that all out the window. If everyone was going away for Memorial Day weekend and there were invites to travel, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t. I spent it going to the spa and doing things that felt good for me. I listened to my mind and body and took my emotional temperature of what I was open to doing, one day at a time.

4. Try and do new things out of your comfort zone.

Amy suggested that I “Think about the “types” of people you would like to meet and center yourself in those environments. If you have always wanted to learn rock climbing and find men who do this to be incredibly attractive now is your time to take indoor rock climbing lessons after work .” Doing these new things will also prove to yourself that you are constantly growing and doing new things. It’s a win/win!

5. Stay open. Stay kind.

This point really hit home with me. I used to feel frustrated after an unsuccessful date and like it was a waste of time but Amy made a really good point to me. “You never know whom you are going to meet. Even if he/she is not the one for you , he/she might have a friend who ends up being your match. Be kind and compassionate to your date with the goal of sending out positive energy and good karma. Although you and your date might agree that there is not chemistry between you, maybe he/she will extend an invite to a BBQ to meet some of his single friends. It is precisely at this even that you could meet the true love of your life. Lesson, don’t burn bridges or play games. Remember any single person is in the same boat as you and probably doesn’t actually enjoy dating just for the sake of dating- much like you!” Be kind, it will never hurt you in the long run.

6. Ask people around you if they know anyone for you?

The good old friends of friends approach. Amy says to, “Tell your trusted network of friends and family that you are taking a 2-6 month digital detox and are going to “old school” it for the time being. That you are excited at the possibilities and put it out there that you’d love to be considered for any set-ups if they have a single friend in mind. Have a sound bite ready for your approach with anyone you are talking to….”I came out of a relationship a few months ago and I’ve checked out some of the dating apps but truthfully it’s challenging from a time and lack of vetting perspective. That’s why I was hoping to get out there and just meet people a little more organically, like you.”

6. STAY POSITIVE and don’t overthink all of this.

And Amy’s most important advice of all, “The energy you radiate is what’s given back to you.” Hell yes. “Additionally, you have to enjoy being in the moment and letting go of concerns or any negative messages or doubts. When you are literally having fun and carrying on with a giant smile and a “I don’t really give a flying f*ck” attitude because I am happy THAT is exactly the energy people want to be around. You’ve reached a much more enlightened point and have shifted your energy from tired and frustrated to “light, easy, and breezy.” You’re radiating a confidence and certain je ne sais quoi that many people wish they had.”

So what happened to me, after my digital dating detox? I fell in love with myself again. And with being in love with myself, I felt this magical aura around me once I “got back out there” I went on my first Hinge date after no dating for a few months and there he was, the healthy partner I manifested while taking time to be the healthiest version of myself.

For more information on Amy Andersen, linxdating.com

Man’s Best Friend or Competition? How to Date Someone with a Dog

 

iStock-615075394 copy.jpgForget the mother-in-law. Sometimes the most difficult family member is the four-legged hairball who drinks out of the toilet. Managing an obnoxious animal can be difficult, but the real difficulty lies in dating someone whose priorities are out of order.

 

If you’re feeling like a powerless third wheel, there are ways to get your relationship in a better place. Below, we’ve outlined the most common problems that arise when dating a pet owner and how to approach them.

 

Problem: The dog sleeps in a bed—with both of you.

Solution: Tell your SO (significant other) that you’d like to keep the bed on hold for sleeping and other “special activities”. Between the pet hair and the lack of space, this request shouldn’t come as a surprise. Snag a dog bed and keep it in the corner of the bedroom to accommodate the new arrangement. If you’d prefer to keep the dog outside of the bedroom entirely, vets suggest putting the dog bed in a warm enclosed area away from heavy traffic areas (i.e., hallway, family room, home office, etc).

 

Problem: The dog is poorly trained, and your significant other isn’t doing anything about it.

Solution: Explain how the pet’s behavior makes you feel. For example, you could say, “Rover went crazy and tried to bite the mailman. It was really stressful, and I was worried about liability issues.” Then, pivot to the solution: “I think we need to enroll in some obedience classes. Here’s one that has rave reviews.” If your partner pushes back on the formal classes, suggest some in-house training that includes crating the dog after bad behavior.

 

Problem: You are allergic to your partner’s dog or cat.

Solution: This is tricky. Aside from suggesting some antihistamines, there isn’t much you can do. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the best way to keep allergies at bay is to:

  1. Keep animals away from the bedroom
  2. Vacuum often with a HEPA filter
  3. Wash your hands after handling your pet
  4. Try to bathe your pet once a week or you can hire a doggy concierge to arrive to your home and clean the furry loved one in a mobile van in the driveway.

If cohabitation is in jeopardy because of your partner’s pet allergies, you have to figure out which relationship you value more: the one with your partner or the one with your pet.

 

Problem: You can’t go on vacation, because the pet “has anxiety” without his owner.

Solution: Before traveling, set up some time to interview pet sitters. Give your partner (and pet) some time to get comfortable with the idea of a new caretaker. Once you’ve picked the right pet sitter, you can leave for vacation worry free. If your SO is still hedging with the pet sitter, frame the situation from a cost perspective. One-way flights with a pet in tow can cost $100-150 or, as much as $1000 for a long stint in cargo. Hotel fees can also add up to $100 per night.

 

 

Problem: Your partner co-parents the pet with a crazy ex.

Solution: Establish some boundaries. Encourage your partner to come up with a set schedule for pet care and get it confirmed well in advance. Last minute changes or pet sitting requests can add unnecessary emotional reactivity.

 

The best way to approach any issue is to have a solution in mind. A new plan might not be the perfect answer, but it’s a start. For many people, the pet is family, and family is forever. If your partner isn’t prioritizing your needs over the pet, you will need to decide if you can handle being #2 in your partner’s life.

 

How and When to Talk Kids with Your Date

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When it comes to deal breakers, we start filtering with the usual suspects: smoking, level of education, religious background, etc. However, life goals—like the decision to have children or not—shouldn’t be treated any differently.

 

According to the US Census Bureau’s survey in 2014, 28.9 percent of women between the ages 30-34 are . This percentage is at an all-time high and, according to other surveys, this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. Women are postponing pregnancy or not having children at all. For many women thinking about their waning fertility, the topic of kids—to have them or not—is a topic better had sooner than after months of dating.

 

Although men don’t have a biological clock to contend with, they might have family expectations of their own or want to be sure their partner wants to remain before committing. In one poll conducted by the Associated Press in 2013, more than 8 in 10 men said they were interested in becoming fathers. With men’s continued desire to procreate and more women opting to postpone pregnancy, figuring out where kids—or if—kids fit into the plans is a crucial milestone.

 

Talking about future family plans is important, but it’s a tricky conversation to initiate. Women worried about family planning will want to initiate the conversation sooner, but often they do so at the risk of scaring potential partners off or making their partners feel like sperm donors. Men, on the other hand, might feel like they’re adding pressure to their partners to bear the burden of pregnancy.

Step 1. Consider timing.

 

The first three dates should not reference a future. Talking about your future life together before spending enough time together sends a desperate message: Your partner’s personality and behavior isn’t that important. If you’re bringing up kids before establishing any real connection, your partner will feel more like a means to an end instead of being an actual end.

 

The best time to weave hopes of a future family is when the relationship is transitioning from dating to something more serious. When it’s safe to assume you’ll see each other rather than wondering if you’ll see each other, you can start weaving in references to a future family without any kind of pressure-inducing discussion.

 

Step 2. Consider your word choice.

 

When you talk about a future family, nix the deadlines. The point of the conversation is to understand where your partner falls on the family-planning spectrum—not when you’d like to get pregnant/impregnate.

 

If you’re sure you want children, try:

  • I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually looking forward to driving a minivan full of little leaguers.
  • Not now, but in the next few years, I’d be interested in starting a family.

 

If you’re sure you do NOT want children, try:

  • Although I enjoy kids, I’ve never felt the call to have my own. I want to make sure you know that upfront, so you don’t miss out on any life experiences you might be looking forward to.

 

If you aren’t sure about having children, try:

  • I haven’t spent too much time thinking about my future family. I think so much of that answer depends on my partner.

 

Step 3. Get honest about your needs.

 

If you’re sure you don’t want children and you know your partner does, do the right thing and set your partner free. To continue dating despite misaligned future paths is a waste of time for both of you. If, on the other hand, you’re sure you do want kids, and your partner doesn’t feel the same, do not waste your precious time trying to convince him or her otherwise.

8 Scientifically Proven Ways to Appear More Attractive to Women

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What do women want? Although it may seem like every woman has a long list of ‘must haves’ and an even longer list of ‘have nots’, there are some things you can do to up your appeal. To help improve your chances of finding a girlfriend, we’ve tapped into some qualities that are scientifically proven to help you be more attractive to the the female population.

 

  1. Build some muscle, but not too much.

If you’re looking for a long term, serious relationship, forget the washboard abs and rippling biceps. To understand what women found attractive, researchers at UCLA showed 250+ women pictures of shirtless men and asked them which ones would make the best long and short term partners.

 

For shorter term relationships, i.e. flings, the women preferred the muscular builds however, for long-term relationships, the women preferred a medium build. When asked for an explanation, the women associated the muscular builds with sexual prowess and physical dominance, but also assumed that these same men would be less likely to commit. Unsurprisingly, the women weren’t wrong; the muscular men reported more lifetime sexual partners and more affairs than their less muscular counterparts.

 

  1. Wear deodorant.

It’s no surprise that women prefer men who smell great; however, it’s not for the reason you might expect. While studying two groups of men, researchers gave the first group of men a scented spray and the second group of men an unscented version. When women watched both groups of men from a separate room, they rated those given the scented fragrance more attractive than those without the fragrance. Apparently, the men who smelled better acted more confidently earning higher ratings.

 

  1. Throw some food in the mix.

According to a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, sharing food is the best way to create interpersonal closeness. Going out to dinner is a strong start, but crossing into each other’s personal space via eating off each other’s plates will help your date feel closer and more comfortable.

 

Food and intimacy have a strong link. Nursing usually our first, most intimate food experience has a comforting effect for both giver and receiver. As we grow, sharing meals continues to establish positive feelings, but it is the actual transfer of food item from plate to plate that encourages deeper connectivity. Research on nonverbal behavior—including this type of action—reveals that, `In general, the greater the intimacy of the relationship between the partners, the higher the level of mutual involvement will be’ (Patterson, 1991, p. 470). In other words, sharing food reveals a higher level of shared intimacy.

 

  1. Grow some facial hair, but stay groomed.

Try ditching your razor for a couple weeks or at least until you have a healthy amount of stubble. According to research published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, Australian researchers Dixson and Brooks had women rate male attractiveness and masculinity of male subjects with varying amounts of facial hair growth. In each test, women rated heavy stubble as most attractive followed by light stubble, heavy beard, and clean shaven.

Love your beard? You’re in luck.

As for perceived masculinity, both men and women rated the men with full beards as most masculine, best equipped to parent, and healthiest.

 

  1. Make her laugh.

According to researchers at the University of Louisville and Lakehead University, a sense of humor can help take your relationship to the next level, but only if you’ve already established mutual attraction. How much can your wit help you? A lot. In one experiment, the confederate who told jokes was 3 times more likely to walk away with a phone number than the confederate who didn’t.

 

According to researcher Jeffrey Hall, humor is also part of the social script we’re all following: “Men act like jokers, and women play along. ‘The script is powerful and it is enduring, and it dictates everything from asking someone out to picking up the tab’.”

 

  1. Avoid millennial talk

Yes, we’re all busy, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to spell out words in your texts and emails. According to OkCupid, the average man has a 37% response rate. This percentage can plummet to 10% if someone opts for ‘ur’ instead of ‘you’re’ and ‘wat’ instead of ‘what’.

 

  1. Try some community service

Women in the market for a long-term relationship “significantly preferred” altruistic men. According to a study published in the Journal of Research and Personality, women considered men who donated time or helped others in a pinch as altruistic. Seeing men operate in this capacity also leads to a positive halo effect. In other words, if a woman sees you do something dutifully for others, she will use this visual as a proxy to assign a judgment for your entire character.

 

  1. Wear something red.

In a 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women rated the men wearing red in front of a red background more sexually desirable than the men donning other colors. The perceived characteristics stopped at desirability, though; the women did not rate the men wearing red as more extroverted, likeable, or agreeable.