New York Times

Virtual Dating Tips and Guidance during COVID-19

As California is approaching nearly 2 months of shelter-in-place, Linx has transitioned to the reality of quarantine with mostly reasonable ease and we have been grateful at the number of people not holding back on signing up for memberships during COVID-19. 

While clients are very much wanting to meet each other in person, they know that this is not the time for that and have accepted the new normal of virtual dates – and some very creative ones at that. 

Approximately 75% of our premium clients are wanting to keep their searches going and try to continue to meet people during quarantine, while the remaining 25% are waiting for this to pass and “freezing” their memberships in the meantime.  Many are very open to long-distance dating, especially during this stage, and finding it such an easy way to explore chemistry without the hassle and expense of having to hop on a plane for an in-person date.   

Virtual dating is proving to be a very quick way to determine if there are some sparks, all while in the convenience of your own home.  


We are seeing a small handful of our clients venture outside to gardens and parks for their first and second dates. Our couples are being safe by placing a large blanket down and sitting at least 6-feet from one another and bringing their own drink and food to enjoy. While this is not the same of getting to dine at a fabulous restaurant with crisp table linens and a well-trained staff, this is our new normal – at last for the time being. Furthermore, there is something old-fashioned and quite romantic about setting up a picnic and slowing down from our days to enjoy fresh air and conversation at a distance.


I’m getting a lot of clients and members of Linx asking advice on how to be successful at their virtual dating. My general advice for virtual dates is to treat them just like any regular date. Always put your best foot forward and remember that just because you are on Zoom or FaceTime, the age old expression “first impressions are lasting ones” does play a very important role during quarantine.  

Some more specific advice when planning your virtual dates… Wear a pop of color (forget wearing white) and for women, do some tasteful makeup.  Guys – clean yourself up and put on a dress shirt, or frankly anything but a sloppy t-shirt and shorts.  Most of us feel our best when we are freshly showered and dressed for the occasion. Imagine you are going to an upscale lounge or restaurant for a meal….you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and flip flops so the same principles apply when dating during quarantine – especially in the early stages as you’re getting to know one another. 

Once you are dressed and looking fresh and vibrant, set the stage for potential romance and create the right ambiance. I have one client who keeps doing his virtual dates at his office. This is a buzz kill for his dates. Why? He is not separating work from pleasure and also not taking the virtual dates seriously. You need to separate your work and work environment from your dating life. So find a location in your home that is appropriate for this – and that definitely doesn’t mean your bedroom either. Think living room, dining room, or family room/den. 

Light a candle, order a “ring light” on Amazon for optimal warm, ambient lighting or if you don’t have the budget for that, read what Tom Ford suggests for looking good on Zoom. Timing is everything. Do the Zoom date when the house is quiet (if you have kids, they are snoozing or in another room doing their homework ;-)) so you’re not distracted. If you drink, pour a cocktail or glass of wine, and if you don’t drink, pour a bubbly water with some citrus fruit or fresh mint leaves to feel festive and start your virtual date! Smile and keep the energy of the virtual date upbeat, happy, and chill. 

What if the first virtual date goes well and you’re wanting to get a little more creative for the next series of virtual dates? For out-of-the-box date ideas, I am sharing the following ideas with my clients including:

1) Be a chef. Open your kitchen, show him/her a favorite recipe you like to make and vice versa. Do this using your favorite tech platform.

2. Be romantic. Flex your brain muscles and read him/her poetry or a chapter from a book you’re reading, or share your screen with some of your favorite YouTube tv or movie clips or music (make sure to select “share computer audio” when you share your screen.) Use it as a launchpad for further conversation. You’re showing him/her a new dimension of what makes you incredibly unique.

3. Be an artist. Even if you’re not going to be the next da Vinci, become your own individual artist! Each buy an inexpensive paint set online, schedule the date for when your respective sets arrive at your homes, set up your Zoom and have a painting date. Use it as an opportunity to giggle at one another’s art work, once canvases are complete.

It is also interesting to me that many clients are immediately removing the superficial layer of first dates and delving very deep in the virtual dates by asking one another intense questions. One recommendation is accessing the The New York Times “36 Questions on the Way to Love” interactive quiz and quickly sizing up if there are long-term foundational values in alignment or not. It’s proving to be a powerful way to determine if there is enough in common to keep virtually dating or rather to move on.  This is yet another approach to incorporate.

With the curiosity and excitement of virtual dating, you might be wondering the risks and downsides. I think one of the major drawbacks is that some people just feel plain awkward dating virtually. It feels weird for them and simply not natural. Also, many people want to see what someone looks like in the flesh, smell their perfume, see the glistening of the gloss of their lips as the sun hits them a certain way, hug them, maybe kiss at the end of the date to test that important chemistry. Clearly you can’t do this with virtual dating, so this is a significant downside.

That said, the upshot I keep telling my clients is to keep exploring the virtual connections and when restrictions are lifted, to be able to imagine how exciting it will be to finally see their love interest in person. I think the potential of how magnetic the chemistry could be at that moment could be life-changing. 

COVID-19 has placed each and every one of us in a vulnerable place and sharing that vulnerability with someone else could not only forever bond that couple but catapult them into a love that can be tested through time.  

With that said, though, it is important not to force the transition to meeting in person – we are all (including our government) trying to figure the right time and pace to begin re-introducing social contact, and it will probably come down to each person’s comfort and tolerance for different types of risk.   Please be tolerant as we each are dealing with this in our own way and in the meantime keep staying healthy and safe. 

If you are on Instagram, I do daily simple inspirational posts to which many folks have responded very positively. If you would like to follow me, please do so at “Ms.LinxDating.” Thank you so much!

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 I stopped playing the numbers game

By: anonymous male, San Francisco VIPI_next_to_his_description

When I first rejoined the dating scene several years ago I followed the well-worn path of many other people my age and joined a handful of online dating sites. After a few false starts, a friend explained to me that I was completely doing online dating the wrong way. She said that it was a “numbers game”, and that I should try to go on multiple first dates a week, week after week, until I find “The One.” I didn’t realize at the time that this was how many people treated online dating in the Bay Area. I said, what the heck, and gave it a shot.

At the beginning I found it to be fun. I realized I was meeting people that I would have never met before, and this gave me a huge amount of confidence that I would run into the woman of my dreams. I also made two very good friends and met one woman with whom I had a multi-year relationship. Even though it didn’t work out, I am still grateful that she was in my life.

After some time of playing the numbers game, I became frustrated and disenchanted with the entire process. I started to realize I was going out on dates where nothing progressed beyond small talk and running through lists of shared hobbies and travel destinations. Even if we both felt there was the potential for something more, follow-on dates started becoming fewer and fewer, mostly due to scheduling conflicts, and that quickly became a lack of interest.

Worse, I realized that the disappearance of my date didn’t bother me, as I knew that there would be someone else who was, well, let’s just say a “swipe right” away. While intellectually I knew that this was the same thought process my date was going through, I still felt a bit icky about the whole experience. As a family-oriented guy that has been in long term relationships for the majority of my life, I felt that this isn’t the behavior of the man that I thought I was or wanted to be.

I could not understand how, with all of the opportunities to meet someone that were available to me, that it was so incredibly hard actually to meet someone. Recently an article appeared in the New York Times that spoke to how I felt. The author reaches the conclusion that all of the online dating technologies have caused us to think in terms of the “numbers game”, and that there was an infinite number of possible partners, and we should toss each aside until we find the perfect mate. If this is our dating mentality, why should we ever bother committing to a person, as a better option could be right around the corner?

I knew the numbers game didn’t work for me, and stopped playing some time ago. I started to pick up on when I was a participant in someone else’s rapid fire dating game, and was able to understand how it felt. When you are playing the numbers game, every person you date becomes a number and not a human being.

Whenever you go out on a date, you have to remember that the person sitting across from you is a person, like yourself, with their own hopes and dreams, anxieties and fears. They have felt both joy and hurt in relationships, and are very possibly hoping that the first date they are on, with you, right now, will be their last first date ever. I can’t think of a more disrespectful action than what most serial daters do, namely walk into the date with the intention of making a judgment in the first five minutes, then hopping back onto Tinder.

The numbers game causes you to focus on quickly observed superficial qualities, such as hobbies, material possessions, and clothing, rather than what really determines the suitability of a partner. The important stuff, like ability to communicate, shared values, empathy, and capacity to provide support in stressful situations, can’t be determined from only one date.

The numbers game relies upon the idea that not only there are an infinite number of partners, but also that you have an infinite amount of time. We don’t. As a guy in my mid 30’s, I for one don’t want to be an “old dad”, and want to be in good enough physical shape that, if I get to have children, I would not only play with my kids on the floor but also be able to walk any future daughters down the aisle when I am twice my current age.

Women, well, they have much more defined biological clocks, with 35 being the medically recognized fertility cliff. While the numbers game can go on forever, our bodies can’t.

There are some things I miss about rapid fire dating. I miss finding instant chemistry. I miss learning about someone’s way of viewing the world. I don’t think it works, however, and would much rather spend time getting to know a small number of quality people than get three cocktails a week with complete strangers.

This Week at Linx

Just in…a nice little testimonial from a client of Linx…

I had a great experience with Linx & Amy. She listened to me very well in the interview, & within a year, she had 2 good matches for me. The first one in September; the second one in June. One match was so close that we dated for a year, & we have remained wonderful friends.I have recommended my friends to her. Match-making is not a science; it’s not a sure thing to find a match. But the odds are better than other services where there is no screening (other than by yourself) or going out to advertised “singles” events. Her pricing is steep but life is like that at times.

This week has been super crazy busy at work especially with the mention in the Sunday style section of The New York Times. LinxNYTLots of great inquires from all over have been landing in my inbox. I’ve received so many emails from prospects- especially really young movers and shakers in tech (think FB, Twitter, Palantir, Box) and a lot of folks in the VC and angel investment community as well. From San Francisco, to San Jose, Atherton, to Manhattan, and Newport Beach. Funny how the NYT mentioned LinkedIn as a resource for me scouting talent. I haven’t logged into my LinkedIn profile in probably twelve years. No offense Mr. Jeff Weiner. wink wink.

With Halloween right around the corner, why not head out in true Silicon Valley style with your own chic personalized dress-literally. 1380312_674503142569152_654454838_n
Wearing your Facebook profile as a dress takes social media to a whole new level. Talk about an ice breaker!

I‘ve seen a funny trend in the past two weeks with multiple couples coupling up who share the same name. For instance three male clients named Mark who were matched to three totally different girls named Sally and now each new couple reports back that they are going exclusive. Mark + Sally couple #1, Mark + Sally couple #2, and Mark + Sally couple #3. I haven’t seen that one ever actually. Had some great meetings today with clients and prospects and the rest of the week is about matchmaking, client calls, and some fun work related projects. That’s all for now.

Follow me on Twitter @linxdating

Match Me To!

If you could meet anyone in Silicon Valley or San Francisco whom you consider to be one of the hottest bachelor or bachelorettes, who would it be? You know there is someone out there that you either think would never go for you, or who might go for you but you don’t have access to him/her, or you are too shy to put it out there that you have a crush on them!

Getting linked and matched to your sexiest crush just got easier! Even if you aren’t a client of Linx, email me your wishes and perhaps we can increase your odds. Did you know that hundreds of brainy and successful young professionals email me each week inquiring about our invite-only matchmaking and about ways to fire up the engines of their dating life? We have thousands and thousands of names in our proprietary database.

Our clients submit their wish lists of “Match Me To’s” when they join. Sometimes one of their names is a client or in the database. In other cases, if it is a Linx VIP client, I will recruit outside the network to try to make their wish come true. This was the case today in my email correspondance with one uber successful Silicon Valley male CEO VIP client of Linx. He reached out to tell me how he knows of a gorgeous Fullbright Scholar whom he thinks is quite the cats meow. Although this brainy babe isn’t in our network (yet), I’ll take it as a chance to leverage our brand and reach out to her. 07BACHELORVILLE-superJumbo Photo is from a New York Times article June 2013 quoting Linx.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/fashion/public-offerings-high-tech-high-worth-bachelors.html?pagewanted=all

Who’s on your Match Me To list? Your secret is kept confidential with me: email amy@linxdating.com

Follow me on Twitter @linxdating

Linx in the New York Times June 7th 2012

Bachelorville’s Big Fish

By ALEX WILLIAMS

WHEN Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, recently, one of the world’s youngest billionaires was off the market.

But that doesn’t mean that there is a dearth of eligible singles in Silicon Valley.

Perhaps nowhere on earth are there more young, bright, wildly overcompensated hyper-achievers who are currently unattached. The Facebook initial public offering alone spawned, by some estimates, 1,000 millionaires (never mind that $1 million these days barely buys a ranch house in Palo Alto, Calif.). And every year, the pool grows, as a new crop of kids arrives from Stanford and Harvard, fueled by Mountain Dew caffeine and I.P.O. dreams.

But with everyone in a sprint to make their killing before the next crop of dreamers arrives to take their place, many find it hard to find time for dating. Faced with 16-hour workdays, it is hard enough to find time to shave.

Part of the reason for the glut of singles is demographic. For all the inroads that female power brokers like Marissa Mayer of Google or Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook have made, the upper echelon of the tech world remains largely a male domain. Of the American start-up tech firms with venture capital backing, for example, only about 11 percent had female chief executives or founders as of 2009, according to Dow Jones VentureSource data, cited in The Wall Street Journal in 2010. (The industry’s gender imbalance also lurks at the core of the recent high-profile sexual-discrimination lawsuit by Ellen Pao, a female junior partner, against her employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers).

The imbalance is also painfully clear to the male tech executives in the Santa Clara Valley, who bitterly joke about living in “Man Jose” or “Manta Clara.”

For women, “the ratio certainly can work in your favor,” said Julia Allison, a former tech journalist who divides her time between New York and the Bay Area, and says she finds digital entrepreneurs more satisfying partners than Wall Street moguls: “Wouldn’t you rather be with someone who was changing the world?”

Unlike Hollywood, or even New York, Silicon Valley is not a nightclub culture. People talk work even for fun in their supposed off-hours, trading industry gossip in low-key spots like Philz Coffee or the Old Pro, a sports bar, in Palo Alto, said Amy Andersen, who runs Linx Dating, a Menlo Park-based dating and social network that caters to high-earning tech executives. It’s an insular world. “Silicon Valley connections — whether they are for business, love, or friendships — occur from trusted sources,” she said.

Our admittedly unscientific roundup of some of the unmarried tech executives who inspire the most buzz in Silicon Valley and its East Coast counterpart, Silicon Alley, is still mostly men who have a net worth in eight or nine figures. But that could change in the next few years as a generation of hard-charging single women in their 20s (Alexa Hirschfeld of Paperless Post, Hayley Barna from Birchbox or Melody McCloskey from StyleSeat) begin to make their move.