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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 Easy Ways to Get Him to Approach You…and Ask You Out

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If you’re not getting approached, you might wonder, ‘What are these men looking for?’ or ‘What is wrong with me?’ To answer the question, it’s important to note the difference between desirability and approachability. We all have traits that make us desirable, but unless we look available and willing to engage in conversation, our best qualities will stay a secret. In other words, YOU are not the problem, but there might be something wrong with the SIGNALS you send.

When it comes to approaching an interesting stranger, men and women are quite similar. We all have egos to protect. To make sure they don’t end up embarrassed or rejected, men look for any clue that reason to initiate conversation. If you want him to make the first move, try these five tips.

  1. Choose your group wisely.

Women tend to go out in packs, adding extra pressure on someone deciding when and how to approach. When he knows he will not only have to impress you, but also your friends, you’re making it easier for him to bow out.

Men are also sensitive to other males. It doesn’t matter whether he’s your brother or gay best friend. He’s not paying attention to the context, just the chromosomes.

Pro Tip: If the group is large, stand to the side so you can be approached without forcing him to engage the group. If you’re not interested, you can easily segue back into the group setting.

 

  1. Cultivate an inviting vibe.

Your facial expression and body language matter. Smile at him and the people around you to put out the ‘I’m friendly and won’t be standoff-ish’ vibe. To escalate the moment, catch his gaze for sustained eye contact. All nonverbal communication has meaning, so consider what your posture and demeanor are saying.

Pro Tip: Always scan your surroundings to see if someone is trying to communicate with you via nonverbal cues. If you’re fixated on the conversation, you’ll miss opportunities to reciprocate interest.

 

  1. Give him something to say.

For men, the hardest part of the approach is knowing what to say. You can grease the wheels by inadvertently supplying the topic via clothing or behavior. You might wear a sports jersey to give him an invitation to talk about the team or the upcoming game. Or, you could peruse the menu at length to give him an invitation to talk about what he ordered.

Pro Tips: Bring a prop. If you’re at the coffee shop, leave the book you’re reading on the table. It will give him the perfect springboard into conversation.

You might also consider wearing an unusual pendant when you’re out and about. The pendant doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to stand out to be a great ice breaker. As you’re sitting in the café, run your fingers along the chain while “reading” your book and glance up, locking gaze with an attractive male. You’re signaling interest without saying a word and inviting him to talk to you.

A pendant with a great story will help you gain even more traction. Maybe it’s an unusual crystal you had cast in silver from a hike you took in the Dolomites or a coin from your great grandmother. Sharing an interesting story about yourself is a great way to keep his attention and reveal your sense of adventure. And who doesn’t love being entertained by an interesting, worldly woman?

 

  1. Remember: Location, Location, Location.

Proximity is one of the biggest factors when it comes to the approach. If you’re moving around, you’ll be a lot harder to catch. Try to stay in the same place to give him an opportunity to make a move.

Pro Tip: Settle in a place that is central to the room. If you are in a corner, not only are you harder to access, but you’ve raised the stakes by making it harder for him (and you) to move along if there’s no conversation.

 

  1. Give him a reason to contact you.

Getting him to approach you is only the first step. You can escalate the conversation by bringing up topics that segue into plans. Upcoming events make for perfect conversation, even if you don’t end up attending the event together. In the conversation, you might ask about an extra ticket, but days later you might find yourselves circling back to talk about how the event was.

Pro Tip: Have personal calling cards with you at all times. Whereas business cards reveal too much personal information (like your last name) and tend to set the stage for business, a personal calling card is a smart dating tool that gives him all the information he needs to get in touch. Think first name, personal email, and mobile. Simple, classic, and elegant is best.

Ultimately, all of your actions should be inviting and reassuring to help your partner escalate the interaction into a more romantic situation. Smiling and encouraging the conversation to flow will make you more attractive to interested strangers.

 

 

Announcing our San Francisco Restaurant Entrepreneur Client Search….

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We are thrilled to announce a new search for a dynamic and marriage minded client. Our bachelor is a highly successful, passionate 39 year-old Caucasian restaurant entrepreneur. He’s 6’1” with a slender and athletic build. He works out regularly, has short brown hair, hazel eyes and an infectious smile.

Our client is passionate about food and fitness, and loves to travel. He attended UCLA for undergraduate and business school, and has lived abroad extensively in Spain, Japan and Italy and speaks all three languages! He is an avid golfer, and enjoys weekend trips to Napa, and even spontaneous trips to Hawaii to relax and take a break from his busy lifestyle.

Social and family oriented, he has a strong ability to put others at ease through humor and his compassionate nature. You will also find our bachelor to be introspective and with depth. He meditates regularly and is grateful for all that he has in life.

Ever dream of a man who knows how to cook? Look no further! This bachelor loves to cook all different types of food, checking out new restaurants in the Bay Area and all over the world when able. He is intelligent, caring and kind and has a great sense of humor.

His dream match would be between the ages of 26 and 32 years old, passionate about food, fitness and travel. She could see herself spending a month or two in Europe each year with her leading man! He is attracted most to Caucasian and European women who are slender and fit, feminine and classy, with a warm and compassionate heart. Our client is looking for someone who is excited to travel the world with him and also enjoy each day at home, ultimately with a family and a dog. 🙂

Deal breakers include: she doesn’t like traveling, hates dogs, has kids, doesn’t want kids, vegetarian (he enjoys meat), not compassionate,

If you or anyone you know thinks you might be a good match, please don’t hesitate to email founder and matchmaker Amy at: amy@linxdating.com.

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. 

She’s brainy, balanced, and Christian…

FOR SINGLE MEN AGES 37-49 YEARS

Our client is a feminine 40-year old Asian American woman who has a petite 5’1” frame and is young at heart.  Her style is classic, and she can be comfortable in both heels and sneakers.  She enjoys indoor spinning, running and yoga.

She has a graduate degree and currently works for a technology company in Silicon Valley.  She is very passionate about her job, but is also able to enjoy life outside of work.   She is looking for a person who is intelligent and ambitious but with a strong ethical core, a flexible nature and a fun-loving side.

Outside of career, she is balanced! This candidate loves fitness, flexing her artistic muscle through painting, hunting for the best cheeseburger in the Bay Area, and taking early am spin classes.
So who’s her match? Her best suited match keeps healthy and fit, with kind eyes and an empathetic heart. He could be any ethnicity with a slight preference for Asian American men. He is passionate about his career, sincere, secure, funny, and possesses strong family values.

As our client’s Christian faith has increased in importance over the years, she would love to find someone who would be willing to participate in church together as a couple and with a family one day.

If you or anyone you know might make a strong match for her, please email our founder Amy today at amy@linxdating.com!

How I Found My Husband in San Francisco…

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

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

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

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

5 Tips to Meet your Ideal Match

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

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

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.