dating expert

Are You… Available?

It goes without saying that everyone who choses to meet with the Linx team has expressed interest in finding a relationship, but that doesn’t mean everyone is actually prepared to be in one.  In fact, figuring out whether or not someone is ready for a relationship can be quite complicated.  And it’s interesting to see the ways in which we all get stuck in places and patterns that keep us from moving forward with our lives.

We often talk about helping people break free from their current dating inertia; for some clients, that involves helping them learn how to date for the very first time; for others, it involves reintroducing them to the dating world after divorce; and for an unfortunate few, it can mean helping them meet incredibly trustworthy, loyal individuals after an experience with infidelity.  These are all, obviously, very big stumbling blocks when it comes to getting into a relationship and they take a lot of work to overcome.  But smaller obstacles can be just as detrimental when it comes to letting another person into your life, and we it comes to find love, many of us are more guilty of standing in our own way than we realize.

Lately, Amy and I have seen a pattern of more and more first(!) dates not even happening because of poor communication and scheduling conflicts.  This is incredibly disheartening for us because we put so much work into each match behind the scenes.  But beyond that, it’s a huge missed opportunity for everyone involved.  And it’s often the result of unreasonable expectations, inflexibility, or not being honest about the amount of time you have to pursue a relationship.

It’s sometimes the case that people honestly do not realize how busy and overcommitted they are until presented with the option of an introduction.  If these are temporary social or charitable engagements that will clear from your schedule in some reasonable amount of time as you get to know someone, don’t sweat it; most of us actually find it attractive when some has a full and active life, and even look forward to eventually being part of it.  Be upfront about your commitments – give your date a roadmap to let him or her know how quickly those obligations might clear, and dating should pretty easily fall into place from there.

If, on the other hand, you find that you really can’t plan to get together because you constantly work late, are always traveling, are on call, or don’t know your schedule, this may not be the time for you to be dating.  And you should admit that.  If work is controlling your life, don’t expect a potential date to let it control his or her life, too.  This may not be your fault, but it’s also not fair to the person attempting to date you.  Let them go for now.  With some luck, he or she will circle back when timing is better on both sides.  But if you press forward when you really don’t have the availability to build a relationship, you’ll just end up engendering hard feelings and frustration.  No one wants that.

If, however, you can’t seem to find the time to meet because you’ll only have a first date on weekends (but don’t have any free time for the next three of them), can’t go out on Thursdays (because you have your fav yoga class on Friday mornings), don’t like Monday dates (because you’re too tired after work), refuse to have a weekend breakfast date because they aren’t romantic (even though you’ll only meet on weekends and don’t have any free weekend evening for the next month) then you may be standing in your own way.  And that is your fault.
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It is really, really important to be open and honest about what you need when you start dating someone.  But it is equally important to not be totally rigid and difficult when it comes to the things you want.  You need to be home by 10pm if it’s a weeknight?  Fine.  You need to meet in the city or in Silicon Valley because you don’t have a car or don’t have a ton or time?  Perfectly understandable.  You only want Saturday night first dates scheduled six weeks in advance with regular phone calls and texts beforehand, and you expect your date to be patient, excited, and agreeable because this is what works best for your social/exercise/shopping/travel calendar?  Absolutely not.  When you’re that limiting and specific with your date, you’re not just telling him or her that you’re busy – you’re telling your date that you expect to dictate all of the terms of your relationship, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of that message.  Ever.

Being flexible isn’t just about dating someone who doesn’t look like the actor you fantasize about or the crush you had in college; it’s about stepping out of the box of your life and realizing that your future is going to look exactly like your present unless you start to make different choices.  Amy hates asking the question “Are you single?” because it’s both too vague and too specific at the same time.  She always prefers to ask people “Are you available?” because it’s important to know if they’re unattached, interested in finding commitment, and willing to do the work it takes to get there.  It’s like asking “Are you single? Are you looking for love?” and “Are you willing to invest in another person in order to find it?” all at the same time.  It’s important to be flexible in a lot of ways when you start dating someone, and that includes being flexible with your time, your attitude, your tastes, and your expectations.  In fact, flexibility is the difference between being single and being available — it’s a measure of how open you are to being surprised, and how willing you are to take a chance on trying to make something work.  It also happens to be attractive. 😉

So what about you?  Are you flexible or are you rigid?  Are you open or are you closed?  Are you just single and expecting a stranger to walk into your life, compliantly play by your rules, and make sure that you live happily ever after?  Or are you available – ready, willing, and able to meet someone else in the middle, prepared to no longer be the obstacle that stands in the way of your own success, and open to finding out what it’s like to let someone else co-star in your personal pursuit of happiness?  The question is yours to answer, but don’t forget that it’s an answer you’re constantly sharing with the world.

Autumn is just around the corner…. are you ready to Fall in love?

September and October always usher in a very active season at Linx, and this time of year is actually great for dating in general. With summer travel over, the holidays not quite in sight, and evenings still warm, this is the perfect time to focus on your personal life! In order to reap the rewards use deserve this time of year (it is, after all, harvest season) it’s important that you do two things; be positive, and look forward. And here is a plan for doing just that.Autumn-Love

Before your next date, I’d like you to do 2 things.

1.) Make a list of all of your positive qualities. And ONLY your positive qualities. Make it a list of all of the reasons you think someone should want to date you. Yes, all of them. And write them as “I AM…” statements rather than “People think I am…” or a “Someone should like me because….”

This should just be a list of ALL of your positive qualities and attributes, even if they seem really minor or trivial to you. For example, here are a few of mine:

I am compassionate

I listen well

I make an outstanding chocolate chip cookie

I’m naturally affectionate

I have nice forearms (according to E. Jean Carroll)

I do not get morning breath

I am close to my family

I’m good with kids

I’m marriage-minded

I am loyal

I have a great circle of close friends

Note that this is just a small sample of MY list. Yours could (and should) be entirely different. And your list should be long, and exhaustive. It should a true inventory of the things you like about yourself, and absolutely know are the reasons someone else could value, respect, and love you. And once you’ve written the list, you need to read it. Out loud. Several times. You need to accept and embrace all of these things as facts about who you are, and you need to read it over and over again until you can say each of these facts out loud, and not let the little voice inside your head follow any of them with a “But….”

Once you start to accept these great things about yourself, it’s then time to face forward, and think about how you’d like to share these parts of yourself with someone else. Do this by making a list of things you either don’t do as much as you’d like, or don’t do at all, but would want to do in a relationship. For those of us who telecommute or consider ourselves homebodies, it’s really important that this be a list of things meant to take place OUTSIDE of your home. Again, here’s part of my list as an example:

I would like to hike more.

I would like to take weekend trips to Carmel.

I would like to spend more time at Ocean Beach

I would like to go to more romantic restaurants

I would like to see more concerts

I would like to have dinner with other couples

I would like to spend a few weekends in Tahoe and Palm Springs

I would like to plan some international travel

I would like to start cycling

I would like to take a couples’ massage class

I would like to go kayaking

I would like to let someone else get to know me.

This list is just as important as the first; the former is catalog of what/who we are, while the second is roadmap for what we want our lives to look like. When you make this list, you are, in many ways, describing what you want in your relationship. You are giving it shape. You are allowing yourself to visualize it. And once you can visualize it, so can the person with whom you’re on a date.

Often, people go on dates and simply describe their lives just as they are. They tell each other all about how they live as single people, they don’t talk about what they might want to be different, and they don’t allow their dates to see how he or she might fit into the picture. If you want someone in your life, you have to invite them in. You have to let them know what role they might take. And you have to give them the opportunity to be part of a negotiation around shaping a future together. So be sure to work on building self-esteem around all of your positive qualities, and invite someone you like into your life by telling him or her all about what you hope to see happen in your short- and mid-term future; if you believe in the quality of your offering and extend the invitation, how else will your date be able to R.S.V.P. for love?

If you’re ready to find your match, email us today amy@linxdating.com

Picture This…

google_stalk_c-425x282Amy and I recently talked to a client about conducting a VIP search on his behalf, and after our meeting, he sent us a short follow up email that simply said “I think it bears repeating that I am not interested in meeting anyone who has an embarrassing web presence.” Given that so many of our clients come to us as referrals, we don’t always do extensive web research on the people we meet, but in this case we knew it would be necessary. And this particular client had encountered an “embarrassing web presence” in a date in the past, so we wanted to be exceedingly careful while conducting his search.

While we weren’t shocked or surprised by anything we discovered, the truth is that most of us have a stray picture or article or comment floating around that we’d rather forget or can’t control, and none of us wants to be Googled or judged by a potential date before meeting. The concept of net neutrality in no way keeps the web itself from being a rather ruthless place – and humans are all too inquisitive by nature – so when you do have control of your web presence, you need to do everything you can to keep it clean and respectable. You should keep in mind that even if we introduce you to the best man or woman in the world, it’s all but guaranteed that someone in his or her life will Google you at some point… and you don’t want to be blindsided by the results.

So how much is too much? How do we know when captured moments of our past might be damaging our future? Where’s the line between private and public, and how do we stay on the right side of it?

Beware of Pictures with Girls

This applies to both men and women, actually. If you’re a guy, do NOT have public pictures of yourself surrounded by seemingly single women. You might think that it makes you seem like a stallion to your friends, but it makes you seem like a player to strangers. And that’s really not an impression that you want to make. If you’re a woman of a certain age (basically any age north of 27 or so) avoid posting the sort of pictures you might have taken at a high school formal with the rest of your dance team. Yes, it’s nice to know that you have great legs, but posing sideways in a line of friends with a dropped shoulder while you lift the hem of your dress to show your thigh is not really going to attract the right guys into your life. In fact, if you’re over 40 it’s a really good way to keep them far, far away.

Stop Double Fisting

I don’t care if it’s a bachelor party, a football tailgate, or an opening night at the opera – having two drinks in your hands is having one two many. It might be a great picture of you and your friends, or maybe your abs have never looked so good, or maybe you’ll never again be able to wear that dress, but two drinks exceeds the allowable Linx limit. If you need to provide a backstory to keep a picture from being embarrassing, then you simply need to hide the picture. Your friends might think it’s funny, but your date’s friends will probably not. This also applies to any pictures where you are drunk, vomiting, doing a keg stand, engaging in a chicken fight in a pool with someone of the opposite sex, or are passed out.

Close Your Legs. Seriously.

Again, this applies to both sexes. For some reason, guys seem to love to point at their packages, to grab themselves, to turn a pool noodle into a giant phallus, and to generally call attention to their favorite part of their bodies. It might have been part of a dumb prank or a great vacation, but it’s not smart to make pictures like that available to the general public. It’s always possible that you’re managing a Jon Hamm or Justin Theroux-style situation, in which case that part of your body needs no help drawing attention to itself, but don’t purposely make it the star of any picture. Ladies should remember to be just that – ladies. Unless you’re squatting at the top of KT-22 and this is the only evidence of that accomplishment, or you were an Olympic gymnast, we don’t need to see how flexible you are.

Exes are a big “Oh No!”

So let’s assume you’re quite prim and proper… public drunkenness? Never! Revealing pictures? Absolutely not. Poses that aren’t age appropriate? Not on your life. Believe it or not, you might still be guilty of photographic crimes. At first blush it doesn’t seem like it would be much of an issue, but if you still have lots of public pictures with your ex, it can signal that you’re not over your last relationship (and for someone who doesn’t know you’re single, it can make you look like a cheater). A lot of us don’t even really think about what’s visible on Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr, but if you’re serious about looking for a new relationship, you need to digitally box up your last one – to the best of your ability – and put it out of sight.6a00d8341d74dc53ef0120a535a2ca970c-800wi

You can’t control what conclusions someone else might draw from pictures of you, but you can try to control which pictures they can see. So if you’re trying to move forward with your life, make sure you aren’t being handicapped by your past… or your friends, for that matter. Take the extra step of doing a “photos of…” search on yourself on Facebook, and request that your friends hide anything that might be unflattering. Getting into a great relationship really is a team effort; we know that better than most. So make sure that your friends and family are doing their part to help you score the guy or girl of your dreams.

In the meantime, be respectful of your potential Linx matches and KEEP GOOGLE OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP- no offense Larry and Sergey ;). When it comes to digging up dirt on a harmless stranger, it’s important to follow the Golden Rule; do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Call Me….Maybe?

The timing of when a man calls to ask you out can indicate so much about how he feels about seeing you, and where he thinks the two of you are potentially headed. I am a big believer that carefully managing the early stages of dating is critical in establishing a pathway towards the relationship you have dreamt of.

I recall having many highs and lows during my single years while looking for my match; in my constant struggle to understand “boy world,” I noticed a familiar pattern surface around when guys I was dating would call me. This new awareness led to great clarity and insight that really helped me figure out my confusing dating life.

Every woman – regardless of age – should strive to be part of a man’s coveted A List… aka his “Dream Team” bucket. Being on this “it” list means a man is in hot pursuit of you, and it can be incredibly empowering and reassuring to know he’s so interested. A guy this engaged might actually call you on Monday to ask you out for a proper Saturday date. In doing so he is making the effort to plan, to think ahead, to get on your calendar, and to recognize that you have a busy life and are a girl in demand! Saturday dates signal something more serious- especially those that are reserved in advance! Ask yourself, are you on his dream team? iStock_000042037726Small

Another scenario is when a man calls (or texts…let’s hope he is not texting to ask you out) on a Thursday for a Friday or Saturday date. This guy has most likely a) been clocking long hours at work and is living in a state of delirium so it is unclear if he has legitimate time for a relationship, or b) is dating multiple girls and his A-Lister just cancelled on him, so you are simply on his back-up B, C, or D-List. We all know B-list, C-list, and D-list actors…those who have never made it to the top of the heap. If you were an actor in Hollywood, would you be ok being placed on the same level as “that guy” or “that girl” whose name you can’t really place but know you’ve seen in some film? Wouldn’t you want to aim to do what it takes to be a bankable star? The same principle applies to dating.

Ladies, wake up and check yourself. I want you to put yourself on the A-List today and believe that you should and can be on any man’s dream team and hot list.

If a man calls you on a Thurs for a Friday or Saturday date, remember my advice and make a hard decision about whether or not you want to go out. You can take a bold stand and turn him down and politely share that you’d prefer the following Saturday. If he is serious about you, he will listen and comply. If he is wading around in the kiddie pool and is not serious with his intentions, move on. Remember to not reprimand him for not calling sooner or being so unavailable; that always turns a man off. Follow your intuition, but be courteous and lady-like when you do.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that at some point we have all agreed to the offer above, and have compounded that mistake by clearing our schedules way too soon in the hope that this guy could be Mr. Right. No no no! Stop in your tracks. Do not go there! Most men (especially Linx guys) find it incredibly desirable to find a woman who has an active and busy schedule filled with many activities, hobbies, friends, travel, and fun. This signals she has a great, happy life… the sort of life that he might eventually like to share one day! call-me-maybe-gif

One final scenario to which I don’t want you to fall victim is (I admit I might have given in one or two times to this “play” bucket) the “booty call.” You know what this is like… you know all about the sneaky guys who text you after you’ve come home for the night with some cute little emoticon and a “hey girl… watcha up to?” Or maybe “would heart to see you.” You and I both know nothing good comes from this other than some fun play and romping around in the sheets. I suppose… if you’re needing a little something-something… then go ahead. But just know that chances are very slim that he’s ever going to be kneeling down in the future and asking for your hand in marriage. Instead, you might be doing the solo walk-o-shame down Chestnut Street in smeared make-up and his baggy sweatshirt (if you’re lucky). We’ve all seen that person. Do you want to be that person? Do you want to be the C- or D-list actress who probably isn’t going to get the starring role? NO! You do NOT!

So ladies, I implore you to start tuning in to when a man calls, and become extra aware of the motivations for this. And for any men who are reading, we do appreciate when you call! And ultimately (despite some of the mixed signals you’ve probably gotten from us girls) we love it when you court us and behave like gentlemen. We applaud and value that sort of courtesy and chivalry… and we look forward to your next call.

America wants to hear from you!

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I wanted to get a post up as soon as possible to announce some creative media projects we are currently working on both domestically and internationally right now.

These are all high-end TV related projects and documentaries about the Silicon Valley ecosystem and what makes this a mecca for some of the sharpest minds in the world, a breeding ground for multi-billion dollar ideas, and a hot spot for dating!

I am looking for a handful of professional men and women who are somehow involved with Linx (i.e., a client, a prospect, attends Link & Drink events, general fan, etc). and who would be willing to share their story about navigating the dating scene in the Silicon Valley and beyond. Your input would be extremely valuable and help make a very compelling story.

One of these is a local story on how toxic and unhealthy loneliness can be, the other is a national story (extremely high-end) on the SV ecosystem, and the other is an international news piece on the valley and the movers/shakers that make up this vibrant community.

For entrepreneurs, business owners, etc this could be incredible exposure for you on a professional level! On a personal level, you never know “who” will watch and email us at Linx wanting to meet YOU! Everyone has something to share on some level. In fact, pretty much everyone I have ever sat down with has joked “Amy I could write a book at this point about dating!” So please don’t be shy, email me to inquire more…

Please send me an email to: amy@linxdating.com

Thank you Linx readers! XO

“Do You Have Anyone… Younger?”

We hear this question perhaps more often than any other — at least once a day, sometimes once an hour, and never, ever, in jest. We hear it from men and women young and old, from divorcees and widows, from single mothers, lonely dads, and those hoping to find a Happily Ever After that keeps them from becoming one of the above. We hear it… all the time.iStock_000019428153Small

There are a lot of reasons someone might want a younger spouse; beyond the superficial, men tend to point out the desire for fertility in women (funny we’ve never heard that one before guys!), and women tend to point that men don’t live as long as they do, so each gender can certainly make a valid point. But most of the time that we get asked for an introduction to someone younger, age actually has very little to do with it. Most of the time, people aren’t looking for someone young. They’re looking for someone youthful, and they’re hoping to go on a date with a man or woman who is willing to exhibit real, unbridled enthusiasm; they’re looking for a date who is excited about meeting them.

For those of us who’ve been dating for longer than we’d like, or who’ve cycled through the same three first date restaurants far too many times, we can start to think that every first date will be just like those that didn’t work before. We already know where we want to sit, what we’ll likely order, and how bad or good a particular waiter might be. We can fall into a familiar routine far too easily, and treat our dates like they’re part of a longstanding pattern that he or she did nothing at all to establish. In fact, it’s OUR responsibility to try to break that pattern; after all the only common link in all of those failed first dates is… us.

Try to remember that it’s not your date’s fault that you already go to Left Bank with your friends every Thursday night. Don’t talk to the guy across the table from you about all of your ex’s past sins. And please, please, don’t tell the woman you’re trying to court all about how you “destroyed your ex-wife in the courtroom.” Young people think a lot about the future; older people think a lot about the past. Which one do you find more attractive? And which one do you think you want to be? Age may dictate lots of things about your body, but it doesn’t have to play any role at all in your attitude; you may not always be young, but you can always be youthful.

We do our best to rise to the challenge when our clients ask to meet someone younger, but more often than not, we know that an age gap isn’t really the solution. Our clients quickly realize it too, but instead of understanding that the difference in age is too big, they usually decide that it simply isn’t big enough. When we’re really, really lucky, they finally admit that they might be better off taking our advice about the men or women they should date. And in the very best cases — when we’ve met people who are optimistic, full of life, and looking toward the future — we’re able to say to our clients “We happen to know an incredibly warm and youthful person you should meet… and the two of you happen to be about the same age.”

To Love or Not?

Some people have never fallen in love and don’t know what it means to be in love. They ask questions about what it “feels like.” Unlike many people out there who have their first high school love, their serious college love, and maybe one or two real loves post-college, these ‘outliers’ haven’t experienced that yet. hunk flirting with profile of woman

Others fall in love easily. They love a lot. They fall fast and hard. Sometimes their definition of love crosses over from their current boyfriend, to loving their new Kate Spade tote, and loving their Peet’s latte. So, in other words, they love many things from humans to intangible objects. This sort of person can be very emotional as well and constantly express themselves through their outpouring of happiness and love for all things and people in their inner circle.

But what about those who haven’t felt love before? Is it fair to say that someone who has loved many times and experienced the sensation of being in love is a higher evolved human than someone who has yet to experience love?

Have you met someone who was in his/her early 30’s and admitted in a moment of vulnerability that he/she has never had a boyfriend/girlfriend? This happens. I see this in my line of work. When he/she shares that, what do you think? Do you feel sorry? Do you draw the conclusion that something is wrong? Or if you’re both living in the Bay Area, maybe you assume he/she has been 150% on work and hasn’t even come up for air to contemplate dating. Or maybe these folks have just never had their luck in love and the timing hasn’t been right.

There are no right answers for the case of the individual who has loved a lot or never loved at all. To love a lot can raise the question of someone having a less filtered selection process in mate choices and, in some cases, perhaps settling. Some people hate the thought of being alone and would much rather be in a relationship than be by themselves. The thought of being solo for friends’ dinner parties, work functions, or the holidays can make that person spiral into a crazy head space. In this mindset, to be alone and single can feel like being a societal misfit.

Others are inherently private and take cautionary steps towards letting someone into their lives. In a similar vein is the type of individual who has loved hard once and got really burned from a terrible break-up. He/she builds a very strong defense mechanism to self-protect from hurt again and, in the interim, starts to build a very long list of mate requirements. The ideal match list is so long that it hinders he/she from actually finding someone. The list, as a direct result, is a protection from finding love. This person can live their life in a state of fear and would almost rather be single than fall for someone with the risk of getting hurt again. Arab casual couple flirting ready to kiss with love

Where do you fall? Have you loved hard before or are still searching for that special person to feel love and be loved by someone else in a romantic relationship for the first time?

Find Love There Are No Excuses

In my journey to find my husband, I often wondered if I would ever find true love and sometimes reached a deep level of concern within my conscious soul that I indeed might not. Back then, I did not like that feeling and found it empty, sad, and disconcerting. I needed an exit, an outlet, a way to see the positive from what was a void in my life… I seemed to be caught up in what society was telling me to do. I never really listened to my heart until I had a revelation one day – in wine country, at a pet parade, of all places!

In a moment of clarity, everything hit me. It was as if time and reality were suspended right in front of me – so I listened…

As I listened to my heart, I knew I had to make some changes in my life. Part of those changes for me, personally, meant moving and taking some time off from dating. Certainly I am not saying that everyone should move and take time off from dating. Yet what I am preaching to you today is to listen to your heart and to do what YOU need to do. As Hemingway once wrote, “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

Take 15 minutes this week to have a moment within yourself. Get away from all of the noise surrounding you and create a sacred quiet place for just you. I know so many people who never spend alone time. Try it. During this time, close your eyes and block out all distractions. You cannot reach the state I am asking you to get to without removing all chaos from around you (roommates stomping around the apartment, dogs barking, cell phone buzzing, music playing…you get it). Get to a place of calm by closing your eyes and breathing deeply into your diaphragm and belly.

Try to reach a state of peace and quiet and once there you might achieve a clear state of heart and mind about what direction you should be heading in your personal life.

If you want to find love, then go find it, there are no really excuses. Finding your soul mate is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Do not wallow in your miseries or feel sorry for yourself. Only you can be an agent of change in your life. Why not pave the way for a bright and successful future? Too many people dwell on all of the negative garbage of the past and worry that they will never find anyone. Too many people also create so many lists of “must haves” in their mate that these lists actually become obstacles and block and progress in finding a partner.

This is the present, relish in today. Listen to what your heart tells you.

P.S. If this all sounds a bit contrived and like a meditative yoga class, here might be another way to get to the same place. My husband read this blog entry and really loved the message, but asked if he could add the following for another perspective 😉 :

I certainly agree with Hemingway that most people never listen (rather, they hear but often don’t listen.) But in my experience, at least, you can’t just decide to listen. You need to be ready and in the right place to listen and you can’t control that – you just need to be aware enough to let it happen naturally. I don’t recommend you force it – just be open to it.

Be open to finding big insights about yourself in what might seem like the small routines in life. Maybe rather than creating artificial silence and peace in a chaotic environment and consciously trying to reflect, you should just take time (whenever it just seems to hit you) to think about what really makes you happy. What do you look forward to? What do you not? How can you make it a point to do more things that make you happy? If tradeoffs are involved, how might you reconcile the different competing forces? Grappling with these important questions will likely give you many insights into what could be really important qualities to look for in a soulmate and also ways that you might better put yourself in position to meet that person. Remember, if you are in a good place yourself, you have a much better shot at attracting your perfect match.

Dating Advice for Men and Women

We get many questions surrounding early stage dating and how to successfully get from date one, to date two, and beyond.

Simple advice for men: Keep it simple guys. Remember that chivalry is not dead. Women love when men are confident and have manners. I always tell guys who suffer some pre-date nerves to head to the restaurant ahead of time- this could mean even the day prior to your date to familiarize yourself with the setting, the menu, wine list, and start visualizing success. DSC_7260 Here we see a Linx client confidently walking into the restaurant ahead of time to scope it out.

For a lady, chivalry means walking on the outside of the sidewalk, opening doors, paying for her dinner date (especially if the man is the one who asked her out), giving a genuine compliment, and actively listening. DSC_7388 This is a perfect example of what a guy should do on a date. Our client is walking on the outside of the sidewalk- he is protecting his date from traffic and making her feel safe. The Linx team also loves how both our client and his date have dressed for the occasion. He looks dapper and well put-together and she is wearing a sexy maxi dress, paired with leather jacket, hair down….effortless and revealing *just* the right amount of skin.

When you sit down for your date, start with a little liquid courage. It’s fun to shake things up and order a cool cocktail instead of a standard glass of wine. If you both are feeling some sparks already, why not suggest your date has a sip of yours and vice versa? Now what to do if your date is a teetotaler? That is unfortunate for you. Kidding! Our advice if you or your date abstains from booze is to not make a big deal about it because that is a personal choice. If you want a glass of wine, order a drink but limit it to 2- especially if your date doesn’t drink. If you don’t drink as a result of sobriety, we have helped a handful of individuals develop techniques to combat anxiety and prepare themselves.

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On your date, engage in the senses on your date- specifically touch. Body language is everything- from leaning in towards your date while you are deep in conversation, to even being in the moment and scooting chairs closer together. Our client felt that sitting across from one another would feel too formal and stuffy for this date. He responded quickly to being seated at a table for 4 and instead knew it could increase affinity if seated next to his date (while respecting personal boundaries). Definitely a smart move! Note this is a staged date and she is not a client of Linx. DSC_7303.

DSC_7328This couple also understands good body language and maintaining eye contact.

On the date, focus on your date! Don’t be Mr. “ADD” looking around the room or having shifty “crazy eyes.” Slow down, be in the moment, and block out all distractions around you (including distractions in your head about ‘what to do now’, ‘what to say’, ‘does she think I’m funny’, ‘does she find me attractive’ …) Try to stop that tape running in your mind- at least for now!

DSC_7341 This couple is great at using body language to not be stiff…more so an example of her in this particular photo.

Express yourself, use arm gestures, laugh, smile, and most important have fun on your dates. Remember that the goal of the first date is not to get into a relationship. Instead it is to get to date two. Date two is to get to date three. If you apply this way of thinking you will immediately remove pressure on yourself. DSC_7306 DSC_7312

Remember that your next date will be unpredictable- as is life! As much as you want the perfect outcome (if perfect really exists) there are inevitably going to be variables out of your control. What do I mean by this? Examples include: the waiter takes forever to take your order, it is noisier than you prefer, your date is not laughing at your jokes, the water you just sipped went down the wrong pipe and now you’re coughing like a maniac, you tripped on the way up the stairs to the table, your credit card just got declined even though there is plenty of cash in the reserve, your date is all of a sudden not hungry, your dish came out cold, you ran into an ex, your boss is seated next to you, your date just insulted you with profanity,…the list is frankly endless of hiccups that can happen and WILL happen!

Gain mastery over dating by being prepared (dating is a skill, repeat that over and over), being natural, being in the moment, and trying not to stress yourself out by the random invariables out of your control. The more you analyze things on your date, the higher probability of short circuiting the entire date!

Don’t be too quick to judge your date (maybe he/she has a bad work day). If you are stressed, you will come across as a stress-case and ‘Serious Sam’ or total ‘Debbie Downer.’

You gotta riff, embrace spontaneity, let the proverbial hair down so to speak, and STOP WORRYING SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU. If you “let go” and “go with the flow”, chances are you have just increased your chances of a next date. Case in point, our couple snapped on camera locked arm-in-arm leaving Nola’s last night! DSC_7383

Create your own Endless Love | Relationship Advice

If you are experiencing a new budding love with someone special, have established exclusivity with your partner, are planning your wedding, or already married, it is essential to place a premium on a regular date night and make a habit of it. Lische

We all live very busy lives- some much more chaotic than others. With hectic commutes, juggling business travel, finding time to exercise, carving out time to see friends and family and keep things happy in your relationship..it can all seem very overwhelming at times. When you add everything up in our lives, it can lead to general “noise.” Putting date night off yet another week can stir up problems later on.

Really ask yourself if you putting the necessary time, devotion, open communication, and support into your relationship. If you haven’t been calendaring date night, ask yourself what brought you both together in the first place? Slow down a little and get to that special place. Sit down with your honey and be proactive to discuss literally calendaring “date night” each week. Take turns planning date night. Keep in mind that date night does not need to be complex or fancy. In fact, too complicated and high-end, might make you both give up on being routine about this. Senior Couple Holding Ice Cream Cones

When planning your weekly date night, simplicity is best but do make a point to look good for your honey. Try a casual new restaurant in town, see a film and go for an ice cream stroll afterwards, cook together and open a great bottle of wine, or drive out to the scenic coastline and breath in the fresh air. My advice would be to *really* look forward to the ritual in this personal couples time each week. It is your special quality time and that with your partner- no one else, no distractions, nada!

According to “The Date Night Opportunity” report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, “couples who manage to devote time specifically to one another at least once a week are markedly more likely to enjoy high-quality relationships and lower divorce rates, compared to couples who do not devote as much couple time to one another.”

The study also shares, “couples who spend more time together also report higher levels of communication, sexual satisfaction and commitment. Weekly couple time also offers both married and unmarried, cohabiting couples a chance to de-stress.”