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Pheromones and Attraction

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Have you ever found someone completely irresistible, but you’re not sure why? Some scientists argue that we might be picking up on someone’s genetic compatibility with our sense of smell.

When we smell something, tiny odor molecules bind to receptor cells that travel directly to the brain for processing. Smell—unlike the other senses—is analyzed almost instantly. This rapid analysis is the reason why smelling something familiar can trigger an emotional response instantly, and sometimes these responses can be quite powerful. Think of the last time you smelled chocolate chip cookies. Did you feel a cozy, comfortable feeling? What about popcorn? Did you find yourself in an upbeat, casual mood?

If smells can solicit hefty emotional responses, can they trigger us to have romantic feelings?

Scientists still debate the answer, but they all can agree that the discussion starts with pheromones.

Pheromones describe the special cocktail of chemicals that our body releases that may influence the way people behave towards us. These chemicals—when smelled—are known to stimulate the hypothalamus, a part of the brain known to regulate sexual behavior, mood, and hormones.

To figure out how sensitive we are to pheromones, Swiss zoologist Claus Wedekind conducted “The Sweaty T-shirt Experiment.” He instructed 44 different men to wear the same t-shirt two consecutive nights. After collecting the t-shirts, he asked 49 different women to sniff each t-shirt and rate the odor for intensity, pleasantness, and sexiness.

Results showed that the women preferred the odors from men whose DNA was most different from their own. Because choosing a mate with a similar genetic makeup can cause a host of genetic complications for an offspring, the women’s choices show that they have an ability to analyze and gravitate towards men who guarantee greater reproductive success. In other words, women preferred sexual experiences with men who smelled a certain way.

Pheromones also solicit responses based on sexual preferences, not biological sex. In another study conducted by Dr. Ivanka Savic and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, a group of men—some straight, some gay—and women were asked to rate attractiveness to two different pheromones. Both the gay men and women responded strongly to the male pheromone, whereas the heterosexual males preferred the female pheromone almost exclusively.

Despite the science, there is no real way to determine the true effect of pheromones; There are simply too many mitigating factors. For example, it’s impossible to confirm the real reason we gravitate towards certain people we find attractive. It could be the scent they carry, but it also could be related to personality, confidence, appearance, or status.

If pheromones can influence sexual responses, is it possible to recreate certain smells to make yourself more sexually desirable?

Unfortunately, pheromones are an elusive mix of natural chemicals, impossible to replicate in a lab. To date, scientists (and fragrance companies) have not been able to get to the heart of what exactly makes up pheromones, how they are created, or how to emulate them. Some companies tout “love potions”, but these are most likely gentle, pleasant fragrances.

Pheromones could be influencing attraction, but it’s more likely a combination of factors with pheromones playing some small role. Visual cues, body language, and the quintessential “chemistry” of how your personalities mesh all play into your perception of a potential romantic encounter.

 

Are You Dating Someone with Asperger’s?

With nearly 3.5 million Americans falling somewhere on the autism spectrum scale, it’s likely you’ve been on a date—or even a relationship—with someone who may show signs but not may not be formally diagnosed. Asperger’s syndrome is a mild form of autism that makes it extremely difficult to read others; social cues, hints, romantic gestures, and suggestive language won’t make sense to someone with Asperger’s. Paul, a 37-year-old with Asperger’s described dating with his condition as “learning a new language, but instead of words and phrases, I had to learn how to read and speak nonsensical behavior.”

When it comes to dating and relationships, people with Asperger’s, or Aspies, have additional challenges that may frustrate romantic partners. Without understanding the condition, neurotypical (NT) people can feel hurt, annoyed, and embarrassed by well-intentioned singles with Asperger’s. To help bridge the gap, we’ve addressed the top stressors of dating someone with Asperger’s and what you can do to make it easier for all parties involved.

An inability to express sentimental feelings

What you can do: Don’t assume the other person is uninterested, just because he isn’t telling you he likes you or finds you attractive. Let him know what you think and tell him why it is important that he learns how to make you feel special. Employing some structure to this conversation will help everyone feel more open and honest. “Create a ‘safe space’ for discussion and using semi-formal techniques like active listening, time outs with agreed upon return times, and speaker-listener paraphrasing,” says Amy Marsh, a sexologist “set regular times if you have to.”

Lack of understanding about physical affection

What you can do: Affection like holding hands and kissing won’t make sense to your partner. Attaching a gesture to an emotion is not intuitive, so take the time to explain what the gestures mean and why you are doing them. Otherwise, your physical affection can have an adverse effect. According to The Partner’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, hugs can be very uncomfortable as they essentially restrict movement and invade personal space without warning. Best to say, “I want to give you a hug, because it will make me feel close to you. Sound good?” to help your partner acclimate to your style of affection.

Harping on the same subject or telling the same story repeatedly

What you can do: Shift the conversation to something that interests you. If your partner interrupts or continues to talk, gently tell them that this behavior makes it difficult for you to feel interesting. “If you are the more “neurotypical” partner, then you may find yourself playing detective and trying much harder to understand the other person than they ever will try to understand you, and it can feel lopsided” says Marsh. “Remember that for many people on the autism spectrum, social and emotional skills and communication have to be learned more intellectually rather than intuitively.”

Inability to read social cues or knowing which social rules to apply in certain situations

What you can do: Ease him into large social situations like parties or group outings. If he or she is overwhelmed or decides skip the event, try not to take it personally. Social situations are especially trying with so many different social cues coming from so many different people. To help your partner feel more comfortable, try to make the introductions on their behalf and help them transition topics.

Not understanding sexual situations, specifically how to escalate into physical intimacy

What you can do: For many people with AS, physical intimacy is the expression of feelings; however, escalating to the physical realm and establishing the mood with foreplay won’t seem important or necessary unless the NT explains what he or she is looking for in the bedroom. Asperger’s specialist, Dr. Kenneth Roberson suggests the following exercise: “Together with your partner make a list of the things that your partner does sexually that you like. Make a second list of things you would like your partner to do or try sexually. Make a third list of things that you do not particularly enjoy sexually. Ask your partner to generate similar lists. Then sit down together and share the items on your lists.”

If things do not go as planned in the bedroom, wait for a better time to discuss. “DO NOT argue in the bedroom,” says Marsh. “Let that be your area for safe connection with emotions and intimacy. Period.”

The first step in sustaining a serious, long-term relationship with someone with Asperger’s is acceptance. “Don’t confuse acceptance with granting permission to act whatever way your partner chooses. Callous, unsympathetic, and cold behavior, for example, are not things to be supported,” says Dr. Kenneth Roberson, Ph.D. “There is nothing wrong with expecting to be treated decently, wanting to be accepted and loved, and disapproving of anything less, but when your goal is to change the fundamental characteristics of who your partner is, you not only set yourself up for failure but you risk setting the bar impossibly high for your partner.”

 

 

5 Questions Every Single Parent Needs Answered Before Dating

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If you’re a single mom or single dad looking for a relationship, you’ve realized the process is different with kids in tow. Below, we’re simplifying some of the most commonly asked questions from our single parent daters.

 

Where Can I Meet People?

 

Problem: “I’ve aged out of—and lost all interest in—the bar scene. I spend time at the office, my backyard, and PTA meetings…not exactly great places to meet eligible singles. Where can I meet people without sacrificing quality time with my kids?”

 

Solution: Instead of kid-centered locales—like playgrounds—opt for kid-friendly spots like farmer’s markets and parks that will give you a chance to meet new adults. Also, with limited time, consider outsourcing your introductions to someone you can trust. Your friend network is a great place to start and so are the professional matchmakers in your area.

 

When Should You Reveal You Have Kids?

 

Problem: “I am meeting people at parties and online. I feel comfortable starting the conversation, but I am anxious to bring up my kids because I don’t want to scare anyone away or share this personal information too soon. When do I bring it up?”

 

Solution: There is no use skirting the issue: Your kids are going to be a part of any long-term relationship you pursue. With that said, you should weave in this detail sooner rather than later. Once you acknowledge that you have a child, keep the conversation about you. As much as you’d like to talk about your kid’s cutest moments, you need to remember that people want to know who you are first.

 

How Do I Talk to My Kids About My Dating?

 

Problem: “I’m ready to move forward with dating, but I don’t know what to tell my kids—if anything at all. Should I tell my children that I’m seeing new people or just wait until I meet someone to have the conversation?”

 

Solution: This is a situation where less is more. A very simple, “I’m heading out tonight to meet someone new” should be sufficient. If you’re getting pressed for more details, keep the sharing to a minimum and change the subject.

 

When Do I Introduce the Kids?

 

Problem: “I’ve been seeing someone for a couple months, and I’d like to introduce them to my kids before we get more serious. Is this the right time?”

 

Solution: Since children can attach easily, be diligent about bringing someone new into their life. If a new person disappears after your child attaches, it can challenge and stress their emotional ecosystem. Postpone any meetings between your children and your latest partner until your relationship is serious and stable.

 

Do I Have to Introduce My Ex to the New Person in My Life?

 

Problem: “When I’m doing the kid hand-off with my ex wife, I don’t know whether or not to introduce my new partner. How long do I wait to make the introduction?”

 

Solution: New characters only need to be formally introduced if there is a serious future in store. Until that point, there is no need to complicate your pre-existing child rearing arrangements—or your ex’s life. When you are ready to make the introductions, make sure all parties are prepared and you have the goal of the meeting outlined: A cordial relationship between the women in your life that will ultimately spare your kids future tension.

Our new bachelor can do the Dirty Dancing Lift….

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We are thrilled to announce a new search for a well-educated, successful, and dynamic 36-year old gentleman. At 5’10”, this handsome client has an athletic build, auburn hair, blue eyes and a contagious smile. Our client was born and raised in Canada, so you can expect that he will be exceedingly polite, adept in both sun and snow, and knows the difference between maple syrup and Mrs. Buttersworth!

He’s a citizen of the world having lived in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe and the US. Blurring the line between “working in finance” and “outside of work”, he tries to make sure that he spends as much time as possible with people and projects that he is passionate about. Despite his ambitions, load of responsibilities, and tireless work ethic, our client doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He finds that he sleeps better at night if he keeps some perspective that life comes and goes, and while we should try to do great things while we can, it’s really important to enjoy ourselves, smile and appreciate the people in our lives. He’s climbed Everest base camp, plays hockey and tennis whenever possible, hosts large dinner parties ‘just because’, and is extremely close to his family who reside in Canada and the Bay Area. And it’s true…he knows how to do the Dirty Dancing Lift!

Our client has boundless energy, is the person that is always looking to do more in life, and be the best he can be no matter what! He’s hungry for the right relationship and at 36 feels more than ready for marriage and kids.

Our client responds best to women ages 24-34, 5’2” + (taller is better), slender and fit, feminine, stylish, and of any ethnic heritage. Her personality shines like his does and she loves being around people! Friends would be quick to call her witty, adaptable, open-minded, intelligent, and warm hearted.

Like our client loves being in cities, she’s a city girl at heart and loves the pace, energy, and culture metropolitan regions offer. She’s a passionate soul, down-to-earth, physically active, and FUN to be around. As cliche as it sounds, she would just be as comfortable getting sweaty on a hike, as she would be flying to Hawaii for the weekend, or attending a black tie charity function in her finest.

If you or anyone you know might make a wonderful match for this stellar new client of Linx, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com.

Recruiting Single Women in So Cal Ages 28-40

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We are pleased to announce a new VIP search for a bachelor in Southern California. Our dashing 55-year old entrepreneur stands 6’0” with an athletic physique, brown hair, and inviting baby blue eyes. He grew up in the enchanting, medieval town of Cáceres, Spain and has been living in beautiful La Jolla for years.

Our client has excelled professionally ever since he founded his global company 30 years ago. Today, he enjoys overseeing the company as a very hands-on President focused on maintaining high quality products and unparalleled costumer service. Our bachelor has a true passion for life and people! Always out and about, he loves sports, tennis, Bikram yoga,  and fine dining. He has a thirst for travel and new experiences. A family man by nature, he cares deeply for his two young adult children, siblings, and parents. 

Our client finds all women beautiful and is typically drawn to Caucasian and Latin women between 28 and 40 years old. His ideal match is fit, taller, feminine, and stylish. She has a vibrant, outgoing personality, a great sense of humor, and a kick in her step! She lives between San Diego and Los Angeles or is open to moving to Southern California to be with this amazing client of ours.

If you or anyone you know might make a great fit for this stylish, fun, and successful bachelor, please email Amy at amy@linxdating.com. Thank you so much!

Love at first swipe?

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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

Announcing a new search for a handsome 28-year old gentleman….

Easy-going and confidentOur client is an adventurous and exceptionally well-rounded 28-year old Caucasian man who is a total catch in every way. He is brand new on the dating scene and is not one to put himself online or tinker with apps – he just doesn’t have the inclination or the time and furthermore seeks the utmost quality match to complement his life.

Physically, he stands 6’4”, with an athletic build, short brown hair, pale blue eyes, and has a preppy sense of style. His smile is effortless and eyes twinkle when he speaks. Fitness and health are very important to him – he enjoys crossfit, hiking, soccer, skiing, and playing lacrosse when he has the time. He’s a former cowboy who worked on a ranch in Montana when he was younger and still finds enjoyment in riding horses to relax.

Our client’s professional and academic career have taken him down some very diverse paths including recently having returned from serving as an officer in the Marine Corps, completing deployments to Afghanistan and the Western Pacific. He’s currently working in finance and will begin an MBA in the fall.  He’s driven, goal oriented, and successful, yet very humble.

His eclectic past has taught him to adapt quickly and to be comfortable in a variety of environments. He enjoys everything from seeing plays, to strolling through museums, river rafting, camping, all sports, and even dabbling in woodworking. He’s a family guy who was raised in a loving home and looks to his parents as role models of marital success.  He’d love to have a partner to travel with, and is eager to keep filing up his passport. While he can be lost in the kitchen, he shares he makes a great sous chef and is adept at firing up the grill.

You will find him to be a natural born leader, organized, and confident. He’s social but not the life-of-the-party and has an easy-going calm way about him. What is most impressive is that this is “his time” to find the woman of his dreams. While he’s been awarded medals and ribbons with valor for heroic actions during his combat operations, at the end of the day, family is most important to him and that means the missing piece in his life is finding the girl of his dreams with whom to settle down.

Our bachelor is looking for a young woman who is between the ages of 24 and 32, where 28 is the ideal age. Since he’s blessed with height, she is ideally taller with an ideal height of 5’8” (but he’s open to a wider range). He responds positively to femininity, naturally pretty women, who have longer hair of any color, and are slender to athletic, with some nice curves. His dream girl is stylish, enjoys the outdoors, and keeps healthy like he does. She can work in any industry and have any title but the key is to be passionate and love what she does! She must be social, very family oriented, spunky, caring, happy, fun, and confident enough to call him out at times! Wallflowers need not apply!

If you or anyone you know make a great potential match for our dreamy bachelor, please contact Amy at amy@linxdating.com