Ivy League Dating Network

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.

 

Recruiting Single Brainy Athletic Women Ages 24-36

Announcing a new VIP search for an extraordinary new client. Our bachelor is a handsome 6’4”, African American, Star Trek nerd in his early 30’s who commutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco.  But don’t let the Trekiness make you think he spends all of his time indoors playing World of Warcraft with the other nerds.  He’s also a former USA Men’s National athlete and is much more comfortable scuba diving with sharks or on safari in the Serengeti than he is sitting in front of his computer screen. He recently started skiing and while he won’t keep up with you in a race down the mountain, he’ll definitely compete in the race to the lodge to sit by the fire and have a hot toddy. Exercise is a necessary part of life for this guy. He works out 3-4 for times a week for 2 hours.

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It’s nearly impossible to grasp how dynamic this client is on pretty much all levels – professionally, interests wise, and personality.  He’s an individualist who has taken unusual twists and turns professionally and has confidently strided into his family’s elite business managing and growing assets.  Growing up in a family of educators where academics was always a major focus, he earned a BA from Stanford and a post graduate degree from another top school – but Stanford definitely has his heart. His father was one of the first African Americans to get a Ph.D. from Stanford and his sibling is currently an MD/Ph.D. student at the university. He considers himself to be a self-motivated type; ambitious and competitive, but you’ll also find him to be silly at times, geeky, giving, introspective, and romantic too!

His best suited match is 24-36 and African American, Caucasian, or Latin heritage. She is ideally taller- so think between 5’8″-6’1″, with athletic slender physique, and competitive like our bachelor. As sporty and active as she might be, she appreciates and enjoys being feminine. More so, she understands an entrepreneurs mentality, likes to win in life, and is driven by adventure and fun.  She’s a proud nerd at heart and thinks geeking out about space exploration over sushi in Tokyo one night followed by skydiving in the morning somewhere else in the world sounds like a dream come true.

If you or anyone you know makes a great fit for this truly world-class guy, email Amy at amy@linxdating.com.

“Do You Have Anyone… Younger?”

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

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

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

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

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

Fido- Best Friend & Matchmaker

My husband, Alex, and I got the most gorgeous rescue dog a few months ago named Marshall from the central valley SPCA. Our pup (a stunning blend of German Shepard, chow chow, Pekinese, and soft coated wheaten terrier) has brought us so much love and fun into our busy lives.  The photo below is at the SPCA. Marshall is the lil guy on the left in pic. 

There are countless favorites that top my list about our little guy (including how he hiccups and his deliciously soft Buddha belly that bulges after a big meal) but an obvious is getting to walk Marshall and decompress from the day. It’s been obvious to me before but now crystal clear that being accompanied by a dog often attracts a lot of attention which can be a great ice breaker in dating. 

Having a dog is one of the greatest gifts on earth. Besides bringing so much joy, unconditional love, a profound impact on lowering stress levels, they are the perfect tool for eligible men and women searching for the one. In other words, fido can become your date coach and matchmaker for an inexpensive price and a potentially huge upside!  

I walk down the street with this gorgeous 23 pound muscular 4 legged boy and people stop. They ask questions about him and then all of a sudden talk from training techniques, soft versus wet food, and dog parks bridges the gap into other adult topics.

I’ve noticed that a lot of dog owners are very eager to befriend other dog owners. Unlike getting to choose the parents that your kids become best friends with in school, you can actually choose which dog owners you’d like to hang out with when doing doggie play dates. 

Already have a dog? Great! If not, consider rescuing a dog from your local shelter (the central valley is flooded with so many breeds and many of these innocent pups are put down to lower costs). It’s a great starting place if you are considering getting a dog and fun to check out the different types.

Though my dog did not put me in touch with my husband… he has played played a very important role in brightening our lives and we have so much fun having a new addition to the family!

You can see how much he’s grown in these pics. The first one was when we had just gotten him. Lil boy! The last pic here is from a few weeks ago. He had officially outgrown his bed. And yes, he has a spotted tongue- that’s the chow in him.