Dating tips

101 Women Answer What a Man Should Wear On a First Date

This guest post is written by Peter Nguyen, a private personal stylist for successful men and founder of The Essential Man

On our first date, my girlfriend and I went to PDT (above), a really cool speakeasy bar here in NYC hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog shop. They’re known for their amazing cocktails, which we gladly put to the test.

If you asked my girlfriend about our first date, she couldn’t tell you much, except for one thing — the shirt I was wearing. A striped tabbed collar dress shirt from Robert Geller.

“It’s my favorite shirt on you.” She says.

It made such an impression on her that it has survived a good 5 closet purges.

You’ve probably heard the saying “It only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression”.

What if I told you you actually had less time than that?

According to a study done by Princeton, it actually only takes the brain 1/10th of a second to make a snap judgment of someone.

So what does this mean for you my single, dating friend?

It means that before you’ve even opened your mouth, she’s already sized you up. So it’s in your best interest to use the only tool you got in that brief, 1/10th of a second: your style.

BUT WAIT, THAT’S SUPERFICIAL! LOOKS SHOULDN’T MATTER! SHE SHOULD LIKE ME FOR WHO I AM!

Whenever I’m at a party and I tell people that I’m a personal stylist for men, I get one of three reactions:

1. “THANK YOU!”
(This is the #1 response from women.)

2. “Oh man. How’s my outfit?”
(This is where I try to decide whether to give the polite answer or the real answer.)

3. “Cool man. I don’t focus so much on superficial stuff like that.”

Yes, someone said this to me at a party recently.

Here’s how it went down:

“Interesting. What do you mean by that?” I asked him.

“Oh, no offense,” he said.

(I love when people say “no offense”, or “not to sound racist”. It’s usually followed up by something offensive or racist.)

“I want people to like me for who I am, not whether I’m wearing a nice suit or whatever.”

“Totally. Hey, it was great to meet you.”

And then I walked away to pour myself a much-needed drink.

(Conversation tip: Sticking out your hand and saying “Hey, it was great to meet you.” is the best way to leave a conversation you don’t want to be in.)

You’d be surprised how often I get this kind of reaction, especially when I bring up that one of the best “dating hacks” is to improve your style.

“She should like me for who I am!” Guys say in response.

“Ok.” I’d say. “Describe to me your perfect girl.”

What do you think their answer always is?

Their perfect girl is always HOT.

“She should like me for who I am! Meanwhile, I want to date girls that look like this!”

Yeah, shocker, right?

This is what I call “The Perfect Girl Hypocrisy”. People think they’re exceptions. They want everyone else to change their standards instead of raising theirs for themselves.

Obese people want to change health and beauty standards instead of shedding the excess weight. Unqualified job hunters want companies to lower their requirements instead of getting more experience. Guys want hot girls but don’t want to work on and be judged by their looks.

Sorry, my friends, it isn’t happening. That’s not how the world works.

THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH ABOUT OUR LOOKS

Here’s the uncomfortable truth about humans: We judge each other by how we look.

Yes, it’s superficial. Is it bad? Maybe.

The thing is, we’re superficial about almost everything.

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You’re less likely to eat sad looking food in disposable tins because we associate sad looking food with unhealthy. Judging by its looks, It’s probably not as nutritious and is most likely going to make us sick. (Even though this might not be true.)

Vibrant, colorful food on clean white plates symbolize to us freshness, cleanliness, and that it’s healthy to eat.

This is called Thin slicing — it’s making snap judgments on something based on the information you have at hand. When you don’t know a lot about someone, all you can judge them on is what you see. Presentation matters, whether it’s a plate of pasta, or what you wear on a date.

It’s the reason why when surveyed, 76% of patients found doctors who wore white lab coats more trustworthy.

If your doctor came in wearing an oversized shirt, messy hair, sweatpants and dirty shoes, would you want him looking at your kid? NOPE.

GOOD NEWS: IMPROVING YOUR STYLE IS EASY

Before you curse the world, let’s take something else into account. Your style is one of the easiest things you can improve when it comes to dating.

If you’re an introvert, it’s going to take a lot of practice to improve your conversation skills.

Unsure of your career and life path? Good luck changing that in a week.

Bad style? No problem. You can head to a menswear shop and do a complete 180 in 15 minutes.

Of course, you’ll need to know what to get. Luckily, I got your back.

I spent the last 5 months asking women around the world a question: What should a guy wear on the first date?

In total, I gathered 101 responses from women of all backgrounds, jobs, ages, and locations. Women from as close as New York City, to as far away as Tokyo, Sydney, and Tehran.

Here’s a brief overview of the women I spoke with:

Average Age: 28
Single: 42%
Relationship (Less than 3 years) 29%
Married: 29%

And here’s what they said:

#1. EFFORT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING

Does it matter if you’re wearing expensive designer clothes on a first date? No. In fact, of the 101 women surveyed, not one mentioned designer clothes.

However, the most common theme in the written portion of the survey? Above all else, effort (e.g. trying to look nice) was the most important quality of a man’s style on a first date.

Our style is a symbol of who and what we are. It represents choices that we’ve made in life.

Getting dressed is an action. And, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Does it matter what kind of car a father drives to pick up his kids? Of course not. What’s more important is that he shows up. It symbolizes that he’s responsible and cares for his kids.

“As a woman, I will make an effort to look nice and pretty for my date because I want to respect his company and effort for asking me out — and I would like the person to feel proud to be with me. When a guy dresses like a teenage boy and it looks like he didn’t care at all, it is distracting and really kills the first impression.” – Morganna, 27

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: If you’re new to improving your style, check out my post “A Beginner’s Guide: 16 Essential Style Tips For Guys Who Want to Dress Better”

#2. THE RIGHT FIT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EXPENSIVE CLOTHES

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Any clothing that doesn’t fit well is an instant put off. – Jennifer, 27

I’ve preached many times that getting clothes that fit will solve 90% of your style problems.

In my experience, men often wear clothes that are too big for them because:

  1. They grew up (like me) in a time where wearing baggy clothes was cool and never learned any better.
  2. They feel that it’s more comfortable.

Ill-fitting clothes wrecks havoc on your attractiveness. It makes you look fatter, shorter, and sloppy. Wearing clothes that fit properly not only makes you look better, it allows you to look good even when you’re dressed in something as simple as a t-shirt and jeans. (See: Ryan Gosling, above left)

If that doesn’t persuade you to wear clothes that fit properly, maybe this will:

Loose fitting [pants] remind me of my dad. – R, 24

There’s nothing that’s going to kill sexual attraction faster than that.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Download my free “Style Starter Triple Pack”. It’s a combination of my 3 best guides, including my “How clothes should fit” cheat sheets that’ll help you master fit in 10 minutes.

#3. STYLE HACK: SWAP IN A BUTTON-UP SHIRT IN PLACE OF A T-SHIRT

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60.2% of the women surveyed loved to see their date show up in a button-up collared shirt, while just 14.8% of women said they wouldn’t mind seeing their date in a t-shirt.

T-shirts are often associated with “casual” dressing. Swapping in a collared shirt signals that you’re putting an effort to go beyond “casual”.

Instant upgrade.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY: Not sure what kind of button-up shirt to get? Read my post on my favorite button-up shirt of all time “Essentails: The Chambray Shirt

#4. SHOES? NOT AS IMPORTANT AS YOU MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT

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This part of the survey surprised me the most, as I’ve heard time and time again that women will judge you based on your shoes.

Yet, when I asked women what kind of shoes they loved to see their date wear, the results were all pretty even.

A nice pair of boots won overall, but just barely, gaining 34% of the votes. The rest was split evenly between clean white sneakers, dress shoes, and “Other”, with the write-in answers consisting mostly of “it doesn’t matter”.

My recommendation? It’s hard to beat a solid pair of boots, as they can work with jeans or dress pants. My current favorite boots are from Thursday Boot Company, shown above.

And whatever you do, just don’t show up to your date wearing Vibram five finger shoes.

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On behalf of all men, I apologize to these poor women.

#5. WOMEN LOVE A MAN IN A NICE LEATHER JACKET

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When asked what single piece of clothing would a woman love seeing her date wear, the clear winner was a perfectly fitted leather jacket.

A perfectly fitted leather jacket (50% of votes) beat a tailored suit (24.3%) by a little more than double, and completely crushed hoodies (2.8% of the votes, sorry readers in Silicon Valley).

If this doesn’t convince you to get yourself that perfect leather jacket, I don’t know what will.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: For those looking to add this essential into their wardrobe, check out my Ultimate Guide to Buying A Leather Jacket here.

#6. WHEREVER YOU GO, MAKE SURE THERE’S SOME ALCOHOL

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While many women agreed that you don’t need alcohol to have a great first date (a few even said bar dates were uncreative and cliché) the data still showed they all wanted the option to drink. (Relax the first date nerves, perhaps?)

When asked what was their favorite place for a first date was, 65.8% of the votes went to places that had alcohol.

A nice cocktail bar received 27.8% of votes, a great dinner captured 25% of the votes, and a fun dive bar got 13% of the votes.

The remaining votes were split between coffee (19.4%), and “Other” (14.8%), which included write-in answers ranging from “it depends on the guy”, “a nice walk in the park”, and “a museum”.

OK, NOW WHAT?

Not sure what to do with this advice yet? Not to worry.

To help you out, I’m sharing with you some date and outfit idea combos based on this data to get your first date off to a great start.

THE MUSEUM DATE

Museum Date Look for Men

Eyeglasses: Watts Eyeglasses by Warby Parker – $95, Wool Scarf: Acne Studios – $180, Blue Suede Bomber Jacket: Valstar – $1,135, Mandarin Collared Strip Shirt: FOLK – $185, Slim Fit Stretch Chinos: NN07 – $160, Socks: The Workers Club – $40, Boots: Thursday Boot Co. – $199

The Date: Museum dates are a great way to break up the monotony of meeting up a bar, but it requires a bit of strategy.

The biggest mistake you can make on a museum date? Spending a lot of time looking at the art and reading the text! I know, it doesn’t make sense, but hear me out. First dates are all about getting to know each other. When you’re examining the art and reading at a museum, you have a tendency to be quiet. The real focus of your date isn’t the art, it’s your company. Think of the museum like a beautiful backdrop, just the same as if you were strolling through a park.

Here’s a better strategy, thanks to my friend Nick Gray, founder and CEO of Museum Hack:

  1. Grab a map for you and your date.
  2. Next, walk and talk, glance at the art, but don’t stop, especially to read the text. That takes away from precious time to get to know each other.
  3. After the initial walk through, take a break at the museum café, order some food, talk some more, then pick parts of the museum you want to have a second look at together on the map.
  4. Go back to the spots you chose and enjoy the art.
  5. Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop and pick up something nice. (Like the wallet from the MoMA above.)

The Outfit: The key items in this look are the collared shirt and boots. Wearing a suit on a first date, especially something like a museum, can feel like overkill. You want to communicate that you’re putting a little effort into it, and this is why instead of a t-shirt and sneakers we swap in a button-up shirt and boots. Blues and browns are a great color combination that help you stand out, especially if you’re visiting a museum in NYC where everyone loves to wear black. Give it a pop of color with a bordeaux colored scarf.

THE NON-CLICHÉ COCKTAIL BAR

Cocktail Bar Date Look for Men

Leather Jacket: Hugo Boss – $745, Grosgrain-trim collared polo: Lanvin – $375, Wool dress pants: Suit Supply – $189, Socks: FALKE – $28, Suede slip-on sneakers: Common Projects – $420

The Date: I love a date at a cool speakeasy, but securing a spot at one can be stressful, especially on a first date. There are plenty of cocktail places with great stories that don’t require you to search for a hidden, unmarked door – like Bar Goto, a Japanese bar opened by ex-Pegu club alum Kenta Goto. Order his signature Sakura martini – a blend of gin, sake, maraschino liqueur finished with a beautiful sakura blossom. (Photo above)

The Outfit: The polo is the happy medium between a t-shirt and button-up shirt. The key to not looking like your dad is picking one that’s slimmer cut in a non-traditional color, like this sleek Lanvin number. Slip on sneakers can sound like an odd choice at first, but like the polo, we’ve elevated it. This suede model from Common Projects isn’t your 16-year-old brother’s Vans, and gives a nice casual contrast to the formal dress pants. Bordeaux and charcoal gray is my all time favorite color combination. It’s warm and romantic, paired with a sleek black leather racer jacket, you’ll be hard to forget.

THE LOW-KEY DINNER DATE

Dinner date look for men

Cashmere Coat: Suit Supply – $699, Brushed twill shirt: J.crew – $39, Watch: IWC – $3,950, Wool Drawstring Pants: Acne Studios – $350, Embroidered wool scarf: Paul Smith – $225, Socks: FALKE – $28, Derbys: A.P.C. – $455

The Date: Dinner on a first date can sometimes feel like a trap. What if you realize you two aren’t really into each other and your entrees just came? Instead of a proper dinner for a first date, I recommend getting some wine and tapas.

Tapas are small plates of appetizers and snacks that you share over drinks. I love it because the tapas themselves become a conversation point. Decide on ordering things you’d never normally try, get adventurous. Start with a few plates and see how things go. If it’s going well, you two can order more and keep the date going. Not feeling it? No worries, you share a few bites and don’t have to commit to a conversation over an entire entree. Grab the check and part ways.

Some recommendations for you first-time tapas eaters: Dátiles con beicon (dates stuffed with almonds and cheese, wrapped in bacon) and patatas bravas (crispy potatoes with an aioli) are easy crowd pleasers. My all time favorite: Jamon Iberico, slices of ham from pigs fed acorns then aged for 36 months. Fatty, nutty, and worth the (very expensive) price.

The Outfit: Suits on first dates is a little too much. Subtle style substitute – wear a tailored topcoat. It gives the same feeling that you “dressed up” without going full blown suit.

When I think tapas, I think sharing food, drinking wine, having an amazing conversation. So take off your coat and relax a little bit. You’re going to be moving plates around and passing food to her, so don’t be afraid to unbutton and partially roll up your sleeves. This is a great opportunity to show off a nice watch. My pick: IWC’s refined entry Mark XVIII. It’s a watch that says “I have really good taste and I don’t need to be flashy”.

GET THAT SECOND DATE

First dates are like movie trailers, a preview to get her interested and excited and make her want to see more.

While I’ve armed you with some style tips to make sure you look your best, remember that clothes don’t make the man, they just enhance him.

To make sure you kill it on your first date and get her asking when can she see you again, I’ve put together a free bonus guide for Linx with some of the best first date tips.

Flooded by Jealousy

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

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

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

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

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

Serious woman being mad at her boyfriend

How to be yourself on a first date

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There’s a common misconception that dating is like interviewing. While both dating and interviewing tend to make people nervous, most people don’t enjoy being interrogated or talking exclusively about work on a first date. How do successful daters transition from formal work mode into a more relaxed dating mode? Here are some tips on how to be yourself on a first date.

Before the date

Research your date spot – If you have time, check out the date location a day or two before to get a feel for the setup, ambiance and menu. Identify the best tables in the bar or restaurant, determine which of your outfits would make you feel most comfortable in this location, and scan the menu ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about what you’ll want to order. If you are planning the date, pick a place you’ve been to many times before where you feel comfortable and confident. Your date will likely be impressed if you are on a first-name basis with the waiters.

Brush up on your date’s interests – If you have met your date through a matchmaker, friend or online dating service, you probably know a few of their interests. Do a quick Google search on their favorite sports team, the place where they volunteer or the location where they just went on a long trip. Having a few talking points on your date’s interests in your back pocket will ease your first date jitters and show them that you’re interested in getting to know them better.

Exercise – It’s hard not to be in a great mood after completing a solid workout while listening to your favorite energizing playlist. Make time to go for a run, pump iron or do a spin class before a first date to help you feel confident and refreshed. With endorphins flowing and a post-workout glow on your face, you will feel more relaxed after having burned off your nervous energy before the date. Let your date know that you just came from a workout, and they will probably appreciate your commitment to health and physical fitness. In addition to working out, or instead of it if working out isn’t your thing…

Do something you love – Do something that is SO YOU, whether that is getting fresh air at a farmer’s market, cooking something to feel accomplished, talking to a friend or relative, meditating and relaxing with a bath or book or watching your favorite movie. The possibilities are endless, but do something that makes you smile so you’re grounded in who you are before heading out. This will help the real you come out when you are face-to-face with your date.

 During the date

Be an engaged listener – Ask open-ended questions about travel, passions, family and what they did last weekend. “Tell me about yourself” is a great opener because it gives your date the opportunity to let you know what is most important to them. “Teach me something I don’t already know” is also a great way to learn about your date’s hidden talents. Ask questions about things you are genuinely interested in learning. And make sure that the conversation is not one-sided – if you have been asking your date a bunch of questions about their woodworking hobby, sit back and wait for him or her to ask you about yourself.

Give physical clues if you are interested – If you’re having a great time, make eye contact and consider innocently touching your date to let them know that you are attracted to them. Grazing your hand along your date’s lower back as you walk to your table or briefly touching their or arm after they make a funny joke will make your date feel comfortable and admired. Making great eye and physical contact during a first date lets your date know that you are interested in them and will help secure Date #2.

Be Vulnerable – Just because you don’t know a person well doesn’t mean that you should just nod and smile all night regardless of what’s going on in your head. Feeling anxious? Had a terrible day at work? Feeling butterflies? Worried about jumping into a new relationship so quickly after your last? Talk to your date about it. It’s more fulfilling to go on a first date with a real person than someone who doesn’t speak their mind. Vulnerability is sexy.

Be Flexible – Make a plan before your date, but be ready to throw it out the window depending on how things are going. If the date is going well, consider grabbing dinner even though you planned on drinks, or propose going on a long walk even if you planned on seeing a movie. Whether or not you planned the date, the proposed itinerary is merely a suggestion, and you should do what feels right in the moment. Dating is not a math problem to be solved – you need to feel your way through it stay true to yourself.

Most importantly, remember to to enjoy yourself and keep in mind how lucky your date is to be spending time with you. If you have a great time on the date, let your date know in person or in a text or call after you get home. Before, during and after a first date, be honest, be real, be yourself.

 

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

Office Romance – When is it time to get down to business?

Two young business people working on computer in the office. There are people in the background.

Office hotties – there’s at least one in every company. Men turn their heads when she walks down the hall, and women linger in the office kitchen when he’s filling up his water bottle. Interacting with an office crush can make the workweek fly by.

It’s no surprise that a ton of married couples meet at work since we spend so much time there. How did these couples know that pursuing a relationship with their office crush was worth the risk of being the subject of office gossip and having to work with an ex after a potential breakup?

Consider the questions below before taking an office crush to the next level.

  1. Does your company allow interoffice dating? If not, there are certainly ways around it, but you will have to be very sneaky. One of my favorite couples met while working at a company that didn’t allow interoffice dating, so they had to keep their relationship under wraps for several years until they got married. If your company allows it, make sure you are allowed to date someone in your crush’s role. Some companies don’t allow employees to date direct managers, subordinates, or colleagues on the same team.
  1. Is your work crush marriage material? If so, give it shot! He or she may be the one. If not, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. You are likely to get a reputation if you hook up with multiple people at the office, and if your current work crush isn’t your future spouse, maybe a future hire will be! Don’t let a short-term fling ruin your office reputation and your chance of meeting your future spouse at the office.
  1. Do you both have the same relationship goals? Are you looking for love while your crush is just looking for a fun night? Make sure you’re on the same page and have thought through the consequences before you get to first base. A girlfriend of mine was head-over-heels for a close guy friend on her team at work. When he made a move after a happy hour one night, she was ecstatic…until he never pursued anything further. Their friendship fell apart along with her dream of dating him. As with all things in life, clear communication is key.
  1. Does your work crush have a good reputation at the company? Is he or she known for their solid work ethic and integrity or for taking credit for other people’s work? Does he or she treat the office staff and janitors with respect and appreciation? Are they trustworthy? Do your due diligence by observing their behavior at work and asking others for their impressions of the person. A major plus of meeting someone in the workplace is being able to do a light background check on him or her.
  1. If it doesn’t work out, will you still be able to work together? Ignore your hormones for a moment and spend time thinking about this before dipping in the company pool. If the answer is no, how important is this job to you, and will you be able to find a new job that’s as good as the one you have? Consider your long-term career and relationship goals, your crush’s reputation, your company’s policy on interoffice dating and your shared relationship goals before engaging in business time at the office.

Here is another thought… Just because the bar should probably be high for you to date someone in YOUR workplace, why not join forces with friends from other companies and be your own matchmaker and host/hostess.

We’d like to suggest that you invite 5-8 friends from your company, and 5-8 colleagues from another company, out for a happy hour one night.  Mix, mingle, and see what happens!  Playing host and stepping outside of the office might allow some sparks to fly for you (or others) with someone whom you had never really met or thought about that way! How is easy is that?!?

How I Found My Husband in San Francisco…

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

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

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

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

5 Tips to Meet your Ideal Match

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

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga

This Week at Linx

Lische

As Memorial Day quickly becomes a distant memory, I hope you all had a tremendously relaxing and special holiday weekend. Perhaps some of you headed for the beach for days filled with BBQs, cold beer, sandy toes, and sun-kissed noses, while others of you hopped on a plane to see family or to hit some exotic destination. Or maybe it was good down time just chilling, while others packed in socializing, shopping, and fun brunches out with friends.

Every time I started to write a new blog entry over the weekend, I somehow get completely sidetracked by an urgent client email that required an immediate response, or a new match that I needed to make. Such are the realities of running a small niche business.

It’s been a whirlwind last few weeks at Linx as we have onboarded some truly exceptional new clients – interestingly, a heavier concentration of 45 + individuals in the last few weeks – all extremely successful in their own right, refreshingly down-to-earth, candid about what they seek in a match, and ready for love now! I look forward to doing some new blog entries in the coming weeks to announce a few of these key searches.

I have also been squeezing in some date coaching and even a wardrobe consultation, and I believe there are lessons for everyone in these sessions.

During this particular stretch, though I worked with my clients on a variety of techniques, we focused primarily on early stage dating. For one young woman in technology, I discussed the art of “Flirting 101.” My main lesson was that being too eager or overly sexy can lead a man to discount you as a potential mate and love interest, but not enough flirting can leave even the most intuitive guy confused and unclear about how to proceed. I find it very surprising that so many people see this as a black and white thing. It’s actually very gray. As a woman, you don’t have only two choices.   It’s all about subtlety – each individual has to build an awareness and confidence that allows her to almost unconsciously calibrate a situation and then react naturally in a way that smoothly and metaphorically telegraphs what she is feeling. I’m not saying this is easy. In fact, it is hardest for my clients that come from very analytical backgrounds. Tapping this art means being in touch with your softer, more emotional side and also getting experience across a wide range of interpersonal situations (whether it is at work, with friends, family, or ideally dating.)

For another client, I helped strategize about how to combat shyness. One of the hardest things about building dating confidence can be overcoming stranger anxiety…  you know, the stuff that sets in when we’re about 18 months old, and (for most of us) never really goes away?  The ultimate goal is to build enough confidence to approach strangers you find attractive AND to carry that undeniable confidence over into real life dating. I gave this client homework where her goal was to have small, simple interactions each day with people she does not find attractive, for example asking for the time, making chitchat while waiting in a grocery store line, etc. Seem counter-intuitive? Well, the stakes are low and it is a lot less pressure especially for an exercise like this that can be pretty nerve-wracking regardless of how “hot” or “not” someone is.   Start on the easier end of the spectrum, build up, and don’t immediately try to boil the ocean.

So I can sit here and preach all of this advice and speak in generalities… but I can just hear a reader saying, “that’s great but how do I actually DO this stuff and improve?”

Well, one option is to let me date coach you. LOL. And then you get a ton of individualized attention and narrowly tailored practice. Another client who is doing coaching work just sent in this feedback this morning, “all these efforts have been wonderful in putting my focus on the future, and rediscovering the happy person I am naturally. The coaching process has been very helpful to dig into what is real and make sure that my best self is visible.  It feels good to make an investment in myself.  I appreciate all your help.” It is always nice to receive emails like this where the effort and hard work clients are putting into this process are not only rewarding but they feel as if they are entering a new chapter in their lives with the gusto and confidence required.

A cheaper option to Linx coaching, and I know this may sound corny, is to watch emotional movies (they could, but need not be, romantic comedies) or to read a classic romantic novel, even if you aren’t getting a lot of practice in the real world. My husband uses, to great effect, literature and movies in his Stanford courses on entrepreneurship and leadership because those topics have so much to do with people and even fictional material like movies or books allow a whole class to experience the same people and situations with their diverse real life lenses and to have a productive discussion about all of it. I believe the same thing applies in improving in your artistic dating skills.

On a lighter note, I also did a quick wardrobe consult for one client this week. This 30-year old entrepreneur needed some nice dress shirts, a sport coat, and some pants that were alternatives to jeans. He mentioned that he had a gift certificate to Nordstrom so I headed over there and spent a hour pulling a few select items for him with the help of one of their personal shoppers. I think my client will be pleased with my picks – classic yet with a youthful modern twist- Hugo Boss, AG pants, J Brand pants, and a few dress shirts too.

Beyond all of the coaching this week, we also have screenings for new prospective clients, a couple of new client interviews, and… drumroll… a Dutch media company visiting Linx this week, flying out from the Netherlands to meet with me. Germany has always had a love affair with Linx and Silicon Valley but perhaps the Dutch are catching the virus as well. They will first interview me, and then (this is the best part) set up one of my young male clients with the host of the show – a gorgeous 24-year old who apparently is edgy, vocal, and hip! This will all air in August in a short documentary.

Have a spectacular weekend ahead!