geek culture

Beauty and the Geeks…Linx Featured in Los Angeles Magazine

 

Happy .jpgHIGH-END MATCHMAKERS ARE DOING A BRISK BUSINESS PAIRING LOVELORN L.A. LADIES WITH SILICON VALLEY CEOS. Beauty and the Geeks Story for Los Angeles Magazine written by Sean Elder.

 

Did you hear the one about the actress who caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman?  “Tom!” she cried. “What are you doing?”  “Well, I got a speaking part in the new Spider-Man,” he replied, “and an American Express ad. …” Mona (not her real name) is a 45-year-old former movie actress who’d had it with fickle Hollywood types. “In my 20s I would only date guys in entertainment: actors, musicians, producers, directors. I needed the excitement. And then you have some experiences, and you get a little wiser.”

She dated businessmen and other professionals and fared no better until she started seeing a shrink who made her realize that she was dating the same kind of men and expecting different results. “The men that I was attracted to had narcissistic tendencies,” she says. “These guys were all successful and also very self-focused and pleased with themselves, perhaps a little too much.” That’s when she sought out a matchmaker.

For years any time one of her girlfriends became single, the others would say, “Head up to the San Francisco Bay Area.” “When I was younger, I probably would have never thought about dating a Silicon Valley guy,” says Mona. But according to Amy Andersen, the San Francisco-based matchmaker who worked with Mona to find the right man, the trend is bigger than her and her girlfriends. “About two and a half years ago, I started getting a ton of pings and inquiries from women living down in Los Angeles trying to find a good, like-minded man,” Andersen says.

As fate, or some algorithm, would have it, the tech world is rife with men with similar complaints. Some are modern masters of the universe. They work for companies and, in some cases, have created or developed products that changed the world and made them and many other people millions. But that does not mean that they can find the right woman Saturday night.

Take Jay, a pseudonym for a San Francisco investment mogul in his early 50s who, like most people in this story, didn’t want to be identified. Jay was married for 17 years before divorcing amicably. He missed the rise of online dating, though he made up for lost time a year after his divorce. “I was mainly immersing myself for the first time in dating sites and found it to be a very significant waste of time,” he says. “I developed empathy for my children in understanding the way these sites are set up to make you addicted to them and keep spinning faces to look for somebody.”

After spinning through a lot of faces, and going on a lot of dates, Jay decided to seek professional help. “I began interviewing a few matchmaking firms—actually I had my assistant do that—and then I got it down to a few, and I met them,” he says. After hear- ing what he was looking for in a woman, “they all told me you’re not likely to find that person in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

Andersen founded her company, Linx Dating, in part to find women for the men of Silicon Valley, who can be peculiar, to say the least. She grew up in nearby Marin County but got into a serious relationship with a “quintessential Silicon Valley geek,” to whom she is now married. “I witnessed that there was a huge surplus of eligible men and a dearth of women,” she says. The statistics back her up. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there are 40 percent more men than women just in Palo Alto (home to SAP, Tesla, and Hewlett-Packard). Bear in 2018 women held only 20 jobs in tech. 

The line you’ll hear from women about dating in Silicon Valley is: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.” Chances are that a genius coder or engineer spent his college years in his dorm room hunched over his laptop, while his less talented roommate was practicing pickup lines at parties. Those “odds” who went on to make their fortunes
didn’t do it by settling…..

Jay is wealthy enough to pay for a VIP, customized matchmaking experience. The woman he sought would be beautiful, yes, but older, preferably with kids—and into having more. “I’m looking for truly external and internal beauty,” he says. “And the external beauty factor in the Bay Area doesn’t seem to get divorced. I’ve now talked to five of these firms in depth for the last 20 months, and they all say the same thing, and no one has an explanation. There are just not many. There’s one: my ex. There are coyotes all over her.”

Jay says he has met some beautiful, intelligent, divorced women in the Bay Area. But he has complaints. “They have not taken care of themselves like these women that are in more vanity oriented cities,” he says. “Mainly skin care my friend. The sun does bad things. Yes, there are women in great shape in the Bay Area who do all this outdoor activity, but their skin shows their age.”

He says New York and L.A. have the best “supply side of women,” but the pool of eligible bachelorettes in their late 30s to 40s is greater in Los Angeles. “There are enormous numbers of women that either never got married, and now they’re 38 or had long-term relationships that didn’t work out, or they’re divorced,” he says. “And they’ve taken good care of themselves. There’s so many of them that want to get married to a monogamous partner, and the guys in L.A. are not capable of it.”

“The upside of Los Angeles is that arguably the most beautiful people in the country, if not the world, live there,” says Mona. “And then the downside of that is that it’s like a candy store for men.”

Through Andersen, Jay met a woman in Orange County who fit his bill. She owned a fitness business and had two kids in grade school—a plus for him. And if a fit, fun, smart woman of a certain age (presumably with great skin) was a novelty for Jay, you can imagine how he looked to his new girlfriend. “I feel like I’m a unicorn down there,” he says. “Like, you want to get married again? You actually are open to having children?” But after introducing her to his family and touring Europe with her on his yacht, Jay decided that his dream date still had issues she needed to sort out with her ex, and at press time they were on hiatus.

Unlike online dating, matchmakers are expensive. Andersen recruits eligible women to be part of her database and then tries to pair them with the right bachelor. Some women compensate the matchmaker if the pairing is successful, paying a bonus if they get married or engaged. But generally it’s the men who pay.

“People on the VIP level want us to exercise all options and not limit our search to an existing database,” says Andersen. “They want strategic searching, very akin to a professional headhunter looking for the perfect CEO for a tech company.”

Take Jack, a Silicon Valley pioneer in his 40s who worked for one of the biggest names in tech before moving on to help develop another brand-name technology. He also found dating apps a waste of time, though he partly blames himself for that. “I try to think of myself as a very kind person; I like to think of everyone as an amazing person that I could learn stuff from,” he says. “So I wouldn’t meet someone and go, ‘You’re not the right person for me’ and then cut it short. I’d end up spending three hours with them.”

And what wasn’t he finding in Silicon Valley? “A lot of the women were not as feminine as what I was used to in my upbringing,” he says, adding that his parents are “European.” “Even the women that are working in marketing jobs in tech companies, they’re just not as feminine as what I had acquired as a standard.” In a place where even the saleswomen don’t necessarily wear makeup, what’s a boy to do?

Enter Marie, who is in her late 30s and runs a successful entertainment company in L.A. “I never had any problems meeting men or [them] even wanting to pursue more serious relationships with me,” she says. Andersen introduced the couple over the phone more than a year ago; within a few months of meeting, Jack had bought a house in West L.A. not far from Marie. He proposed, and she accepted—but that relationship, too, has gone the way of all flesh. Jack decided he wanted to keep his options open, according to Andersen. “He can’t face the reality that relationships take work,” she says.

Mona was the itinerant partner in her relationship. She met her boyfriend through Andersen a few months ago, and they dated quite chastely. They went on eight dates before they kissed and waited three months before they slept together. He’s 60, a divorced dad, and a recognizable name in the tech world. “His experience was similar in that, when he went to Andersen, he said, ‘I’m looking for the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with,’” she says.

The early signs were good. Despite her career as an actress in the world’s vainest city, Mona had resisted the pressure to get Botox. Miraculously her new Silicon Valley boyfriend told her he found the age lines around her eyes “beautiful.” Now they are moving in together, and he even bought them a second home on the beach in Malibu so she can stay close to her L.A. network. They’re talking about a wedding, and while they may not have settled on where to have the ceremony, they want the matchmaker to marry them.

 

 

International World-Class VIP Search

silhouettes of camels at sunsetWe are thrilled to announce a VIP search for an international gentleman in his late 20’s who represents the merits that the Linx network has been built upon. He’s the eldest sibling from a large globally-minded family, and he splits his time between California, the Middle East and Switzerland.

Our client stands 5’10” and will sweep you off your feet with his jet black hair, gorgeous dark brown eyes, fit physique and inviting smile. While he leads a healthy life abstaining from smoking, alcohol, tea, or coffee, he is completely open-minded and comfortable around social drinkers.

You will find our client to be patient, down-to-earth, compassionate, responsible, liberal, loyal, determined and intellectually curious. He enjoyed earning his undergraduate degree from a leading university in the United States and continues to have a strong thirst for knowledge.

While our client is an introvert at heart, he has learned to become more outgoing to excel in his professional life. Up until this point, our VIP has been 100% focused on his career and fiduciary responsibilities in his country, so it is only now that he is extremely motivated and excited to find the love of his life!

An old-fashioned romantic, our client told us he will know within the first few minutes whether or not he has met his wife. He views marriage as a lifelong partnership and looks forward to supporting his future wife’s career goals and dreams.

Career-wise, he has outperformed most people decades older than him in terms of achievements and success at such a young age. While a large percentage of his focus is in the hospitality sector, he is deeply invested in technology in both Israel and Silicon Valley. His love affair with investing will continue throughout his life, but now his focus is on the most important investment of all – an investment into his heart and finding his one true love!

Outside of work, our VIP loves all water sports, luxury travel, reading, socializing, philanthropy, family, the outdoors and fitness.

Who is our clients dream match? His ideal match is 20-33 years old, 5’8”+ (height is a plus for our client), Caucasian, and naturally voluptuous. He appreciates a woman’s natural beauty without a lot of make-up. She has beautiful, feminine curves and a healthy appearance. 2016-04-Linx-Dating-Stanford-Postcard-01 copy

Our client finds intelligent and accomplished women to be very desirable, and he would prefer to date someone who has graduated from Stanford University or the Ivies. Maybe she is in graduate school now at Stanford.

At her core, she is loving, family centric, smart, poised, loyal, and incredibly sweet. She looks forward to an extraordinary life with a world class man and building a loving, strong family together.

If you or anyone you know might make the perfect match for this VIP, please submit your information here.

There are NO fees for qualified candidates to meet our client. 

When Harry Met Sally

Couple cuddling affectionate on the beach in winter with the sea in the background

As a professional matchmaker, I experience more than my fair share of moments of serendipity, coincidence, and bizarre irony. If only I could share the details of all the crazy stories and situations from the last 12 years of running Linx Dating…

Today, I watched a very interesting situation unfold from within my network, and see a great opportunity to illustrate two very important points about dating.

The story goes like this. A former female client of mine (let’s call her “Sally”) moved last year from the Bay Area to Boston for grad school. I had worked closely with her when she lived here and had actually matched to her someone with whom she had had a significant relationship. She arrived in Boston, single, and has been dating there with mixed success. Though I am not regularly in touch with clients who have moved, I do keep them on my radar, in my database, and in my mind, should a tailor-made opportunity arise.

Separately, my husband has a friend who recently referred a prospective male client to me who is based in Boston (let’s call him “Harry”). After corresponding with the candidate, we both realized quickly that I am probably not the best day-to-day matchmaker for him, given his plan to stay in Boston. However, I offered to do whatever I could for him with my limited Boston network, including introducing him to friends who might have tips about being single in Boston.

It then occurred to me that “Harry” and “Sally” could be a great match and beyond this should no romantic connection transpire, “Sally” could help strategize about ways to date intelligently in Boston.

I immediately reached out to “Sally” to see if she was still single – delighted to hear from me, she said that she, in fact, was still single and would be open to an introduction. I provided a very high-level overview of the potential match – basic biographical information, age, etc. She almost immediately interrupted me and said, “this guy’s name isn’t ‘Harry’, is it?” I said, “well, yes, it is Harry… wow… you know him?” She went on to say that she had had a first date with “Harry” months and months ago, had been interested and attracted to him, but had never heard from him again, then figuring that he had no further interest in her. She asked me to find out from him if she had done “something wrong” that had subsequently “turned him off.” I agreed to ping him to conjure up any intel I could.

I turned around and reached out to “Harry” and asked if he remembered “Sally,” explaining that apparently they already knew each other. “Harry” immediately remembered their date, described “Sally” to a tee, and said he had been interested in her, but had not followed up because he thought that she had no romantic interest in him. I couldn’t believe what I was reading right before my eyes!

After a few emails back and forth, both “Harry” and “Sally” were game to pick up the pieces where they left off. I proceeded then to “broker” a new meeting so that “Harry” could meet “Sally” again and now we’ll see what happens.

What lessons are here for those of you who are single and looking?

  1. COMMUNICATION, SIGNALS, AND GAMES

I live this every day through my clients. Most of you probably know that there is a whole school of dating thought out there around strategic game playing, veiled communication, pickup artist stuff, etc. At the end of the day, no one wants to be bored and find complete predictability in their romantic dating – and it can be very hard to be transparent, vulnerable or open about your feelings early on in dating because you put yourself at risk to be hurt, and you also might worry that revealing too much too soon could either scare off the other person, or make them feel it is too “easy” and not enough of a challenge.

I won’t deny that there can be truth to all of that. But you have to follow your instincts – if you are out with someone and you honestly believe that there is something there, you don’t have to let it ALL hang out, but give the other person a bone. Show them SOMETHING. Whether it’s a flirtatious comment, touch, look, or whatever… or maybe you just say something if you are comfortable. If you don’t, you run the risk of being in a situation that “Harry” and “Sally” were in. And you might never have known what could have been.   So be aware of how you are coming across, and if you are “feeling it”, don’t get too cute or play it too cool or you just might miss out on something special.

  1. THE POWER OF TRUE NETWORKS

Networking is a brutally abused term. It conjures up images of cheesy salespeople exchanging business cards over a superficial exchange of pleasantries and promises to follow up on whatever they might have been discussing.

But true networking is a long-term investment and I am reminded, on almost a daily basis, how hard anyone, whose career is based heavily on networks, has to work to expand, maintain, and nurture the network.   And I believe you have to build your network with TLC over time, with no regard as to how it might benefit you or anyone else in the future. In other words, it is often a selfless labor of love where you must enjoy the journey and know that it will bear fruit in the most unexpected ways.

The most successful real estate agents work hard over years and years to build meaningful relationships that result in repeat business and high-yield referrals. Moreover, they skillfully mine their specialized markets as arbitrageurs of even the smallest tidbits of information. And, in the process, they have hundreds of prospective deals that never happened, thousands of tidbits of advice they gave that netted them no money, and countless moments of frustration. But all of that work nets them a great reputation and plenty of wonderful deals to secure their business.

Linx Dating, in many ways, is no different. Had I not spend the last 12 years building my network this way, I would never have been in the position to allow my brain and my database to lead me to (unknowingly) reconnect “Harry” and “Sally.”

Everything else aside, it is the power of the Linx Network, that sets us apart in the matchmaking world.

Text from NPR Marketplace Feature on Linx

by Shannon Service:

Online dating is a billion dollar industry, and one in three Americans met their match through websites or dating apps. But algorithms don’t always work for everyone, even in Silicon Valley.

Michael Ralston is a software designer and a client of Linx Dating, a boutique matchmaking service in Palo Alto. There’s a lot that he likes about online dating — the time to craft thoughtful responses, multitasking while chatting with someone — but he wasn’t having much luck.

So he tried Linx.

When Ralston joined the matchmaking service his wardrobe was the typical Silicon Valley uniform: jeans and T-shirts. Amy Andersen and Michael Norman of Linx dating took him shopping, got him a haircut and figured out what Michael needed to become more dateable. It is full service, top to bottom.

“Dinner reservations and recommendations, sedan bookings should they not want to drive for the date,” Andersen lists some of Linx’s many services. “Shopping for some proper hand towels, making sure the refrigerator is stocked with some decent wine.” Andersen takes clients ballroom dancing to work on rhythm and letting go.

Linx counter-intuitively brings “Fiddler on the Roof”-style matchmaking to the most connected Valley in the world, but business is booming. Andersen charges up to $100,000 for tailored matchmaking services.

Andersen hit on the idea for Linx one night during a dinner date. She is a strikingly beautiful and charming Stanford grad, yet her date kept looking over her shoulder.

“So I called him on it,” she says. “I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he literally said ‘The BBD’. And I said ‘The whatah, whatah, huh?’ and he said ‘the Bigger Better Deal.’”

The “Bigger, Better Deal” is a Silicon Valley anxiety disorder in-which one can’t stop searching for the next hot start-up. Andersen realized that the sheer number of singles online creates a kind of dating BBD.

“The grass is always greener,” Andersen says, “there has to be someone else who’s just a little more interesting, or a little more of a better match.”

A third of Americans agree that online dating’s masses make it hard to pick just one. But if you do win the electronic love lottery, studies show online couples have higher satisfaction and lower divorce rates. So Linx offers a blend—a large enough pool to find deep matches, but not so many that clients get stuck in choice paralysis. Andersen also works with each client individually, zeroing in on their romantic pitfalls.

Her client Michael Ralston is smart, interesting and very sweet, but his weaknesses are confidence and real time communication with women. So Andersen gently hammers away at these challenges.

She runs Ralston through a mock version of the pre-date phone call.

“Ring,” Ralston says, holding his hand like a phone to his ear.

“Hello?,” Andersen replies.

“Hi Amy, this is Michael…. Amy from Linx gave me your number.”

“Oh hi Michael! How was your workday?”

“Um, pretty good. So…” Ralston stumbles, blushing.

“Tell me about it, tell me about your workday,” Andersen says.

Ralston gives up and breaks down laughing.

Andersen drops character and says, “What were you feeling right then when I said, ‘How was your day?’”

“I was like “Oh no!” to be honest,” Ralston says.

They practice the call several times until Ralston is able to go off script and be more spontaneous.

Life lessons, wardrobe make-overs, mock dates. All this costs Ralston over ten grand. But does he think it’s worth the price?

“I’ve always been socially awkward and I think I’m less so now,” he says. “It is expensive. But from one point of view, the answer to that question is—is it going to work?”

High-end matchmakers often say they successfully match up eighty to ninety percent of their clients. But what successful match means is harder to pin down.

Featured in: Marketplace for Monday September 29, 2014

Linx on NPR Today | Playing matchmaker in Silicon Valley

dating

Are You Open to the Possibility of Real Love?

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael NormaniStock_000023385179Small

If you’re a Linx member, you know that finding true love can be difficult under any circumstance, and especially challenging when trying to navigate work schedules, family obligations, travel commitments, and, of course, personal preferences. At Linx, we always encourage seeing someone at least two times if you feel even a hint of a spark, and to be as open as possible when thinking about the details of what you expect your match to be/do/look like.

While it’s true that our physical type is often something we cannot control (or even influence) it’s also equally true that you can be surprised — and extremely satisfied — by a relationship with someone who doesn’t look like every one of your exes. (Those relationships didn’t work out for a reason, you know.)

Make sure you know the difference between what you need and what you want; you may want tall, dark, and handsome, but do you need all three? You may like natural blondes with small waists and high arches, but is the character of a woman ever really linked to the size of her waist or the shape of her feet?

In my circle of friends, many of the deepest and most fulfilling relationships actually started with a connection that was barely on the warm side of ambivalence. And believe it or not, that can be a good thing. When someone doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of what makes an ideal mate, it’s easier to relax, throw out your expectations and projections, and get to know them. You can find yourself drawn to their inner qualities instead of being mesmerized by their outer attributes. You give them a chance without realizing it, and you can find yourself comfortable and and connected in a way you couldn’t anticipate.

At Linx, we do out best to bring you a match who is ideal on all fronts. But occasionally, we ask that members stretch themselves, and be open to someone younger or older, darker or lighter, shorter or taller than they requested. We do that because we know our members very well, and we often see opportunities where two people make sense together, even if it’s unlikely to be a case of love at first sight.

We also ask people to be open because it’s practical. We have thousands of people in our database of all shapes and colors and sizes, but we don’t always have the match you want in the package you expect. The more narrow you are about your physical type and restrictions, the harder it is to meet someone — and that’s true whether you’re a client of Linx, or not.

Here is a video that breaks down the odds of love for one single 25-year-old woman in New York City. The numbers might surprise you, and when you watch, keep in mind that hair color, eye color, height, body type, shoe size, graduate degrees, minimum salaries, past relationships, and favorite sports team are NOT part of this equation. 😉 We don’t know the odds for the Bay Area, but maybe a quant-minded Linx member would like to provide the answer for us?

Are you really open to the possibility of true love? Or are focusing on a lot of tiny details that stand in the way of having your emotional needs met?

Silicon Valley goes to HBO

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Mike Judge (“Office Space” , “Beavis and Butthead”, “King of the Hill”) brings his irreverent
humor to HBO in a new comedy series called none other than “Silicon Valley.” I can’t wait to see what it is like!