Dating tips for men

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.

8 Things Gentlemen Do on First Dates

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The point of the first date is to discover if there’s real compatibility beyond initial interest. If she’s already said yes, consider yourself off to a good start. If you want to give yourself the best chances of romantic connection—or even a second date—consider the chivalrous route. Here are 8 things gentleman do on first dates that prove chivalry is not dead.

Suggest a first date in a place convenient for her.

Instead of suggesting the restaurant or bar closest to you, you ask what is most convenient for her. Your asking demonstrates consideration and shows that you are willing and able to make her life easier—a feeling that will ultimately make her feel more relaxed during the first date. Same logic applies when you ask about any food allergies or preferences she has. Any research you do before the date will benefit you exponentially.

Observe the 4 p.m. deadline.

If you have plans tonight, text or call to confirm your date by 4 p.m. Many women start wondering if the date is still on, especially if a few days pass between the ask and the event. A short text to the effect of, “Looking forward to seeing you tonight. Let me know if we need to adjust the timing” will keep everyone on the same page.

Mind your (table) manners.

Follow behind as you make your way to the table; she should not be walking in your wake. When you get to the table, ask if you can help her check her coat. At the table, let her order first. Letting her take the lead shows that you are want to make sure her needs are met before yours. This simple gesture is another way you can ensure she is comfortable. Lastly, always encourage a glance at the dessert menu. There’s nothing more sexy than indulging in the senses and enjoying the rich decadence of chocolate.  Even if you’re not a dessert guy, order one to share.

Introduce her.

Should you run into friends on your date, be sure to introduce your date without saying “my friend”. There is no need for an extensive introduction, but you must acknowledge your date if a friend says hello. You could say, “I’d like you to meet [date’s name]. We were both excited to try this place.”

Mind the Drinking.

Pay attention to what she orders and offer a refill when the glass is empty- same principal goes for her water glass. Even though your nerves may want to order a third drink, stick to a two-drink maximum. Slurring your words is not classy.

Pay the bill.

That’s right. Let’s keep this equation simple. Be prepared to foot the bill and keep any conversation surrounding this transaction to a minimum. If she offers to pay, politely decline and change the subject. Paying for her is a sign of interest and shows that you are happily willing to invest when you have feelings. If you both continue to date, it’s very appropriate for her to reciprocate at some point but definitely not on date one.

Offer to get an Uber for her.

When a simple gesture that takes 2 minutes can make all the difference, you should do it. Let her know that you’re interested in getting her home safely, whether that means you ping Uber or offer to drive her yourself.

Close out the evening with a text.

There is nothing gentlemanly about leaving a lady to wonder if she’ll hear from you again. Thank her for her time and company and, if you want to see her again, let her know. Be confident in your actions and consistent with your communications to the woman you’re interested in.

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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

5 New Approaches to Dating for the New Year

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Although it may feel like you were the only person this holiday season without a significant other to curl up with next to the fire and kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve, you are in good company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 50% (124 million) of Americans 16 years and older are single. The dating pool is overwhelmingly large, but many widely used dating techniques may need to be left in 2015 so everyone can find the love they want and deserve in 2016. As you reflect on the past year and set goals for the next, consider the 5 dating approaches below:

Set Clear Personal Goals
At the beginning of each year, most people come up with vague resolutions like “get fit, “eat healthier” and “drink less” that are impossible to track and are quickly forgotten. To attract your ideal mate in the new year, set clear goals that will enable you to become the best version of yourself and meet more people who enjoy activities you love. Examples include “go for a hike/yoga class/run/bike ride/volunteering activity/fill-in-the-blank twice a week,” “finish my passion project by the end of June,” “cook at least 3 healthy meals per week” and “have no more than 3 alcoholic drinks a week.”

Put Your Ideal Match on Paper
You have probably envisioned your ideal partner, but have you ever written down the physical, personality and lifestyle traits you value most? Jot down your non-negotiables and areas where you are more flexible. Examine your past relationships, and rank the traits you have appreciated most in the past and those you want to find in the future. Be clear on your goals and also open to meeting someone who doesn’t check every box. So many people who are hellbent on finding their soulmate and won’t settle for anything less end up alone, so don’t dismiss Mr. or Mrs. Almost Right before giving them a fair chance.

Leave Your Ex in the Past
Perhaps you are hung up on an past relationship or are currently dating someone you know is not right for you. You know you don’t want to be with that person, so stop letting their space on your back burner mess with your chances of heating something up on your front burner. Many people keep past relationships in the present as an emotional crutch, but it’s important to let go of emotional baggage before you can start fresh with someone new. To get closure on a past relationship, consider writing him or her a letter or an email explaining that you need to let go of them and wish them the best in the future.

Delete Your Dating Apps
Put down your phone! Make eye contact with and smile at people you encounter each day. Remember the “come hither” look you used to give or receive to a sexy stranger in a bar before everyone’s eyes were glued to their phone screens? Those sexy strangers, all 124 million of them, are still out there, but you can’t meet them when you’re busy scrolling through an endless stream of profiles in an endless number of dating sites. Active Tinder users spend over 6 hours a day using the app. Take that 6 hours back, notice people around you, smile, and say hello. Who knows, you may actually meet your someone special in real life!

Ask For Setups
I really admire people who ask for setups, and I am surprised more people don’t do it. Much like the professional world, where over 80% of people get jobs through people they know, using your network to find your next date is key. People who ask for setups frequently go on incredible dates with high-quality, respectful men and women. Share your ideal match with friends and family so they can let you know if and when they meet a man or woman who checks your boxes. Ask your single friends what they’re looking for as well so you can return the favor!

Best wishes for romance, love and laughter in 2016!

Romance and Dining in Silicon Valley

Couple Enjoying Meal In Restaurant

Anyone can book a table for two at the hottest restaurant in town, so what is the #1 key to impressing your dinner date and setting the stage for an unforgettable romantic evening?  Location, location, location!

Far too many Bay Area diners excitedly book prime time dinner reservations at expensive restaurants only to be seated at less than desirable tables for romantic meals.  Your $200+ dinner is well worth it when you’ve scored a private table with a view and feels like a horrible mistake when you’re seated next to the bathroom or an inch away from the couple seated next to you.

Think about it – would you ever spend the same amount for a middle seat in Economy Class on a plane as you would for a window seat in First Class?  Of course not!  In the restaurant business, why should you pay premium prices if you’re sitting at a lousy table? You shouldn’t.

There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances for a successful dinner date.  Obviously, showing up on time and dressed in a manner that shows that you care about your appearance and that you respect your date’s time and attention are top priorities.

However, if you’re in charge of choosing the restaurant, you’d be well advised to also follow my maxim, “You don’t want a romantic restaurant.  You want a romantic table.”  Our new website, mostromantictable.com, helps diners find and book the most romantic dinner tables at restaurants around the world.  We’ve launched in New York, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, Wine Country, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

Here in Silicon Valley, Chez TJ, is well known as one of the most romantic restaurants in the area.  For over 30 years, the restaurant has been the preferred location for innumerable proposals, engagements, and birthday celebrations.  All tables at Chez TJ are great, but dining at either Table 42 or Table 43 will transform your dining experience.  Both tables are located in the quiet, comfortable, tastefully decorated front parlor room of the Victorian mansion that houses the restaurant.  Both are next to windows that will provide you and your date with plenty of conversational fodder as you watch the world go by.  The food at Chez TJ is exceptional, as evidenced by the Michelin stars it consistently earns for its outstanding contemporary French cuisine.

Perhaps the most romantic dinner experience in the valley is in The Champagne Room at Saratoga’s The Plumed Horse Restaurant.  The Champagne Room holds a table for two in a curtained alcove off of the restaurant’s lounge.  Piano music greets you as you sit down at your table while candles and light from a stained glass window illuminate the room.  The Champagne Room offers privacy and an ambiance conducive to an intimate meal.  The Plumed Horse is celebrated for both its food and wine – it’s food has been recognized by Michelin with at least one star every year since 2008, and the Wine Spectator has given The Plumed Horse 1 out of only 81 worldwide Grand Awards for its wine program.

According to OpenTable, almost 70% of their diners wish they could have table specific information when making their dinner reservations.  In general, it’s good advice to call a restaurant either before or after making a reservation to ensure that you’ll be seated at a table appropriate for the occasion.  You can significantly improve your chances for a successful date by choosing your restaurant and your table from the incredible selection available at www.mostromantictable.com.

Guest Blogger Jay Ward, founder of MostRomanticTable.com. After taking his girlfriend to more than 160 restaurants in the first two-and-a-half years of their relationship, Jay conceived of the idea for MostRomanticTable.com.

Love at first swipe?

Beautiful makeup blonde famale model showing secret sign and looking sexy. Closeup toned portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do we kiss?

How you ever changed your opinion of an awkward first date when it ended with a surprisingly good kiss? Or maybe you found yourself questioning the value of an otherwise wonderful experience after a date that ended with no kiss at all? There’s no denying that when it comes to relationships and romance, kissing is incredibly important. And even when it lasts for only a few seconds, sharing a kiss is one of the most intimate and revealing things that two people can do. How much importance do you place on a good kiss? And why do you think it matters? Arab casual couple flirting ready to kiss with love

Take a few minutes to watch this video from the Linx team about The Science of Kissing: