Sex Equity: Owning Your Pleasure featuring an interactive discussion with Special Guests, Amy Andersen and Tyomi Morgan
Gather is excited to bring you an interactive event which will empower us around a topic we’ve not yet discussed—sex and relationships! Join us as we meet in the Alphy App for a conversation which may help us expand on forward thinking ways to live our best lives!
Here’s what you will receive and why you should attend:
Engage with and learn massively useful, empowering tips from these two incredible women:
Amy Andersen, Founder of Linx Dating, Silicon Valley’s Matchmaker
Tyomi Morgan, Sexuality Coach and Relationship Expert (she’s been on America’s Next Top Model!)
A limited edition, custom made bookmark which will be mailed to you after the event is over (please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery)
A private invitation to the Alphy app, where you’ll join an online community built to help connect and advance women
A free private info session for you and your friends to learn about egg freezing and fertility preservation
$100 off a consultation (cash pay patients only) with a Spring Fertility physician
Register today, and we’ll send you your private code to join the Alphy App, where the event will be held. We’ll also include the discount codes and contact information for you to utilize the gifts from our incredible partners.
Although matchmaking has been my profession and one of my greatest passions for the last 18 years, I have many other interests, and residential real estate is one of them… I love driving and walking around and noting homes that are for sale and, more so pre-COVID 19, touring open homes. I believe deeply in serendipity – random discoveries on Sunday open home drives have led to my two home purchases. There was clearly luck involved, but had I not put myself out there to get lucky, I would not have had the chance to get lucky.
Please humor me today as I engage in some residential real estate comparisons to shed some light on what I do at Linx Dating. Please forgive any simplification in my analogies – I am simply trying to make a few broad points.
In the old days pre-internet, as a prospective home buyer, you generally relied on a broker to do even the very basics of your search, unless you were willing to settle for driving through neighborhoods looking for “for sale” signs or perusing the Sunday local newspaper real estate section. A good broker would get to know you and your needs, would generate a list of potential properties to view from a listing service which was not easily accessed by non-brokers, and take you around to open homes and private tours until hopefully you found what you were looking for. They would then generate paperwork to help you complete the various phases of the transaction, along with your bank if you were obtaining a mortgage, and then earn a brokerage fee calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the home.
The question is, why, in the age of the publicly available and online multiple listing service and seemingly endless choices of secondary apps and services such as Zillow or Redfin, do we still need real estate brokers? They basically do what they used to do.
It’s a fair point. Why should an agent, today, earn 2.5% for creating a list for you that looks like the MLS list and auto-generating paperwork from a repository of documents using “find and replace?” Yes, they can get you into a home during non-open home times, etc. etc. But what distinguishes them? And why, somehow, in light of this, do only 7-10% of homes get listed directly by sellers, meaning they are not using a broker? There has to be more going on.
The parallels to dating are noteworthy. Why invest in a personalized concierge matchmaker when there is Match.com, Tinder and all of the countless others available like the MLS?
Well, this is where it gets complex.
Are all of the available home properties on the MLS? Many are, for sure. But some of the best properties are “pocket listings,” “off-market listings,” or might never even make it to any listing. A good broker has a strong local network and can hear about properties that might be coming on the market in the future, or even owners who might be worth proactively approaching about selling their homes. You don’t get this on Zillow. A great broker is worth their weight in gold – certainly 2.5%.
In the dating world, not all of the great “catches” are on the apps. Why? Maybe they are just uncomfortable with putting themselves out there publicly and they value their anonymity and privacy. Maybe they don’t have the time or energy to invest in volume dating – to cycle through all of the prospects, messages, phone calls, texts, zooms, coffees, drinks, dinners and all of the rest. Or maybe even if they *are* on the apps, their profiles are hidden or they are burned out on the games. Or maybe they are *thinking* about trying online but haven’t yet.
At Linx Dating, we are discreet, we protect your privacy, and we tap our existing massive vetted and trusted network of referrals to find your match whether they are online or not. We can also do highly tailored outbound recruiting on your behalf and come with a stamp of credibility for the “buyer” and the “seller.”
All of this aside, I still haven’t touched on what might be the most important function of a broker – something that for me can be the most frustrating and yet most fulfilling part of my job – and that is working to be a bridge builder, confidante, and psychologist to both candidates at the same time, nurturing the “transaction” and serving to smooth the lines of communication so that a potentially great long term match is not permanently impaired by some early turbulence, miscommunications, and reluctance for candidates to give each other the benefit of the doubt early in a relationship.
I know this is true in dating – and I am told it’s true in residential real estate. There are so many pitfalls that can derail a home purchase – problems with bank mortgage approval, a housing inspection gone awry, weird neighbors, or just the raw emotions of buying or selling a home. This is where a seasoned broker with not only domain experience, but the right personality, can make a huge difference in closing a transaction that otherwise might have headed into the large abyss of the majority of deals that never get done.
I spend a large chunk of my day walking through my neighborhood with my Apple airpods cranked up, accumulating miles and steps and getting my exercise, as I talk to multiple clients, hearing how their early dates and communications with their matches are going, offering a listening ear, advice if needed or requested, and, on occasion, direct intervention if I feel it is warranted and can be helpful.
In the earliest stages of any relationship, when two people are just getting to know each other and to build trust, differences and misunderstandings can get completely blown out of proportion when emotions run high, and they can sink what could ultimately be a beautiful relationship. It is often my job to steady the ship, to communicate with both people, and to help them see the big picture. This can be as basic as my helping folks interpret signals from each other, or as in depth as providing “color” to both people if they might not initially be willing to give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
Just one recent example comes to mind – I was recently working with a successful 30-something male entrepreneur who had already successfully sold a company and had matched him to a 20-something female entrepreneur who was raising one of her first rounds of financing for her startup. They clearly clicked, had chemistry, and long-term relationship potential. However, a few of the dinners crossed over into business talk and, before you know it, he was giving her stern advice about the mistakes he thought she was making in her business and she, in turn, felt lectured, and that he was condescending, unempathetic in his inability to understand that she might not have the resources to follow his advice. She was deeply hurt and needed to take a break. He did not understand where he could have gone wrong as he was truly trying to help. Enter Amy, as I tried to help them both individually understand how they could listen to each other and save something that could be really special and I am glad to say they are back on track.
I am not here to deny that homes can be bought and sold without a broker, or even that some home transactions use a broker who still basically only does what is available online with a little looking. Similarly, online dating absolutely can work – with some luck and perseverance, there have been countless happy couples that have emerged from the apps.
But I am a believer in economics and survival of the fittest – ultimately, brokers need to justify their worth if they want their 2.5%. This goes for residential real estate and elite matchmaking.
Our client is a dynamic, polished, 33-year-old Caucasian former college tennis player, who stands at 5’11” with brown hair, blue eyes, and a contagious smile. He was born and raised in Southern California and likes to joke that (at least to this point) the best decision he ever made was picking his parents, who devoted themselves to raising a wonderful family and have led by example to show him how to live the most enjoyable and fulfilled life possible. His father is his intellectual inspiration, who helped instill in him a passion for all sorts of intellectual pursuits from mathematics to economics to politics to psychology. His mother provided him with his uniformly positive attitude toward life, best encapsulated by being bestowed the “This is the best day yet” award when he was 13 years old on a 3-week trip to Europe with a group of young teenagers. His parents first met on a tennis court, and his dream-come-true would be for his wife to share the passion for tennis that he inherited from his parents.
Our client is a renaissance man and decorated student-athlete. He was valedictorian in high school and had the top GPA of any student in his class at a leading US university, all the while doing among the most difficult set of majors and having the winningest record on his top Division I tennis team during his final seasons. Before launching into his career, he spent a year in the United Kingdom to get master’s degree in finance and write a couple of books about achieving peak performance on the tennis court, in the classroom, and beyond.
He has had a highly successful career to date, with stints in consulting and private equity before settling on public market investing, where his primary focus is high-growth software companies. He takes great pride in his work, but he is conscientious about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which provides him with ample freedom to pursue his myriad of hobbies, from playing tennis to hiking in National Parks to participating in several conservative/libertarian political organizations to sitting on his balcony perched high above the Bay in his never-ending pursuit to figure out the meaning of life.
Given the wonderful upbringing he had from his loving parents who made raising children their top priority, he is uniquely focused on raising a family and being a devoted father. Having seen how much pleasure his parents had bringing up multiple children, he is excited about the opportunity to pay it forward to his children. A meticulous planner, he has a remarkable “lifestyle-oriented” vision for how he sees his life play out and is looking for an inspiration partner to join with him on the journey ahead.
His dream match is an intellectual and athletic peer, who also had excellent grades, played tennis at a top Division I school, and shares a similar passion for life and vivacious personality. She is an “All American girl” who is 23-27 years old, between 5’5”-5’11”, physically fit, and has light features. She is politically conservative/libertarian and comes from a stable, married family with parents who are still deeply in love after multiple decades of marriage. She is as close to her parents and siblings as our client is and deeply hoping to marry someone who adores her parents as she does. She desires to focus on raising a family as extraordinary as her own, alongside a husband who is equally engaged in her children’s development.
Her friends would describe her as proactive, cheerful, optimistic, judicious, and highly organized. She has a job that is intellectually demanding and ambitious, but also one that has (or at least will have) reasonable hours so she can live a balanced, wholesome life with plenty of time to pursue her many other interests.
On weekends, her favorite activities include playing tennis, hiking, reading, and socializing with friends. She enjoys taking trips to national parks and visiting new cities and towns. She is unafraid to be a globetrotter and to take the road less traveled to explore interesting far-fetched places that have their charm but are not the common spots that tourists go.
Our client has not been married before and does not currently have any children, but he envisions both in his future and plans to take this role very seriously.
If you or anyone you might know could qualify as a candidate to meet this extraordinary VIP, please submit your information here. There are NO fees for qualified candidates to meet our client.
Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author ofFirst Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures
What is the book about and why did you write it?
First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures is a collection of true hopeful, hilarious, and horrific tales, plus takeaway tips and inspirational quotes told to me by women in midlife. I wrote it to provide entertainment, camaraderie and guidance to readers who are riding the dating rollercoaster or considering a comeback.
I want all daters to believe that they will find love, no matter how unlikely it may seem at times. To do that, they must keep going on first dates. Dating is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the greater chance you have to encounter your “Mr. Yes” or “Ms. Yes.” Also, you’re much more likely to fall in love after you’ve accepted and embraced who you are and truly love yourself.
Not all the stories in the collection conclude with “happily ever after” endings, but each woman kept showing up for first dates because she believed that she was worthy of receiving love and that there was someone worthy of consuming the gift of her love.
It is my hope that their stories inspire readers to do and feel the same. Millions of women in midlife are riding the first date rollercoaster. First Date Stories will help them take the ride together.
Where did you get the idea from?
The idea was born out of my personal experience. I know what it’s like to date longer and later in life. A demanding career and desire to find my “Mr. Yes” led to me becoming an alumna of nearly 400 dates over the course of 26 years. As friends peeled off into coupledom, it became increasingly difficult to find women who were single like me. By the time I reached midlife, dating had gone from being a supportive, shared adventure, to what often felt like a solo journey.
I discovered that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. I also came to realize that women derive empathy and connection through the sharing of our stories. But when you don’t know others who are in the same place in life as you, there are no stories to hear. If you don’t have people to connect with who relate to where you are, you can feel baffled by today’s dating scene, as well as frustrated, disconnected and possibly even lonely. Many of the women who I met for whom this was true were giving up on finding the love that they desired.
At the time, I was a member of a short story writing group. I casually began chronicling some of my first dates. As I told women about what I was doing, more of them wanted to share their tales. The momentum built. My fellow writers told me that they were curious about what happened following each date, so I inserted a section called “The Rest of the Story.” Realizing that there were lessons to be learned from each tale, I added Dating Takeaway Tips. Quotes from renown women are placed throughout for laughs and to instill some words to live by.
What started out as a side project evolved into this book. But the publishing process takes a long time. Creating a podcast doesn’t. So I launched the podcast and the blog in tandem while I continued to work on the book and the “First Date Stories Initiative” was born!
Do you have a target reader?
Absolutely! The target reader is a woman in her mid-thirties to early-60s who wants to meet a loving lifelong partner. I wrote it for “seasoned daters,” which is a term I coined for people who are in the dating scene longer than they’d anticipated they’d be. It was also written for women who have come out of long term committed relationships, who are divorced or widowed. Early reviewers have also pointed out that men dating in midlife who’d like to gain insights into the female psyche should also buy the book.
Has a book like this been written before?
To my knowledge, this collection is the first of its kind. Through the years, I’ve continued to search for a book that features a collection of true first date tales of women’s midlife dating travails. I have yet to find another one.
How did you keep dating after so many years?
I kept believing I would meet my match. Not every hour of every day, but more often than not. I started writing First Date Stories a few years before I went on the most important first date of my life—with my future husband. We got engaged 10 months later and I became a first-time bride when I was 49 years old.
I share with readers how he and I met, and the first date we went on, in the book’s final chapter. Now I know that all the dating ups and downs that I lived through before meeting him were worth it, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.
I hope that First Date Stories will motivate readers to continue going on first dates. The reason is simple: if they don’t go on a first date, they’ll never go on a second, a fifth, a tenth, and move toward a lifelong, loving partnership.
What are you working on now?
I’m continuing to work on the “First Date Stories Initiative,” which, with the addition of the book, is comprised of three components.
There’s the “First Date Stories Podcast.” On each episode, I interview a woman about a memorable date she’s been on. Guests have revealed all kinds of stories, from whacky to wonderful. There was the veterinarian who showed his date the paintings he made from the blood that gushed out of his nose when it bled, the man who made a racist comment at dinner not realizing that the woman he was out with is half African American, the woman who met her boyfriend during the pandemic in a Comic-Con group on Facebook, and many more!
At the end of each episode the guest shares advice to help listeners become more in-the-know, confident daters.
There’s also the “First Date Stories Blog,” which showcases writings by dating and relationship coaches and self-care experts. All of it can be found at FirstDateStories.com. The podcast can also be heard wherever people listen to podcasts.
You mentioned that your guests on the podcast share dating advice. What’s the advice you hear most often?
Guests have shared an array of advice over the nearly 50 episodes we’ve recorded. There is one theme that’s most common, though. It’s to be open! And by “open,” they mean open in multiple ways.
Be open to being with a partner who’s different than you’d imagined your future partner to be. Be open to meeting them in a way or place that you hadn’t expected to. Be open in your communications with the people you date by telling them what’s essential to you in a loving relationship and what your boundaries and unacceptable are. It’s when we’re open in both heart and in mind to what may come next that we’re more likely to welcome wonderful people and experiences into our lives and grow as human beings.
How did you meet your husband? Please share with me some details about your first date.
Actually, our first date almost didn’t happen! The final story in the collection, which is titled “The Traffic Trifecta,” chronicles how my husband and I met and our first date. There’s a lot to the tale and it’s a wild one. I’ll summarize it.
We’d met at a business networking event earlier in the week. Shortly after unexpectedly asking me what my relationship status was as I munched on an appetizer, which I then nearly choked on, he left the event with my business card in hand. The next day he contacted me on LinkedIn and we set up a coffee date. Given that he’d messaged me on a business platform, I wasn’t sure if we’d scheduled a networking or personal rendezvous.
Although I’d given myself what should have been more than ample time to drive across San Francisco on a Friday afternoon to meet him at a café, I got stuck in the worst city traffic jam I’d ever experienced! Only then did I discover that downtown streets had been unexpectedly shut because the President of the United States was at a meeting! Multiple times I considered canceling and turning around. The longer I stayed locked in traffic, the shorter our date would have to be, as I was celebrating my birthday that evening with family.
I decided that not even President Obama was going to keep me from getting to the date! So I channeled Steve McQueen from the movie “Bullit” and circuitously wound my way through the city’s streets and down alley ways, arriving at the café 45 minute late!
Our time together flew by. We discovered numerous shared interests and a similar sense of humor. I was attracted to him and comfortable in his company. It all felt easy. Natural. When we said our goodbyes, he commented we should get together again.
Later that evening, my mother asked if it had been a date or a business meeting.
“It was a date,” I responded.
“How do you know?” she asked.
“Because he didn’t ask me one question about business!” We burst out laughing!
He asked me out for the following Friday, and we’ve been together ever since. We got engaged 10 months later, and I became a first-time bride at the age of 49 years old.
What a wonderful synopsis! How do you think women who are dating will be helped by reading this story?
First and foremost, I hope that it will be an entertaining and enjoyable read for women and for men who want to learn more about the women they’re courting.
I believe there are at least three lessons to be learned from this story for people who want to find their match. One is to go to events alone. Yes, go solo. Shake off any uncomfortable feelings you might have showing up somewhere without a companion. You’re much more approachable when you’re not with a friend. It was because I wanted to talk to someone at the networking event, and the man who is now my husband was eating alone, that I walked up to him.
The second is to talk to strangers. Forget what you were taught as a child. When you see someone from across the room, you should approach them and try to start a conversation. It’s so easy to miss these opportunities¾these gifts¾to connect with others. You lose out on saying hello to someone new who might add something special to your life, and they’ve been denied the chance to get to know you, even a little.
And the third lesson is that you can find love at any age, at any moment in time, anywhere. Believe that you’re worthy of receiving love, that there’s someone out there who’s worthy of receiving the joy of your love. Don’t settle and keep showing up!
What’s your “secret sauce” to a happy marriage?
There are numerous factors that go into making our marriage such a happy one. What I view as our “secret sauce” is that we are each other’s biggest champion, cheerleader and evangelist. We respect and believe in one another so deeply that we support each other’s goals and dreams unequivocally. It’s an amazing feeling when you find someone who believes that your success is their success and vice versa.
How can readers get your book?
First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures will be published on September 14 by She Writes Press! Readers can pre-order it from their local independent bookstore, Bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and wherever they like to buy their books.
Jodi Klein is the author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures, which will be published on September 14. She founded First Date Stories as a platform for women to share their tales and wisdom so that others can overcome the trials of dating in midlife and find the long-term love they seek. Jodi is a graduate of UC Davis and holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, where she spends time working with local non-profits and rooting for her favorite sports teams. For more information, please go to FirstDateStories.com.
On this episode of the I’m Just Being Honest Podcast, I chat with host Alexandra Ayers. With over 18 years since Linx has been established, I have gathered an abundance of data on finding an ideal mate and in this episode I share my best tips and answer the most commonly asked questions – including what men look for in a partner and being proactive to meet your ideal mate. Thank you to Alexandra Ayers for putting together this great podcast and interview. Let’s elevate dating to a whole new heightened level!
“When I met Amy I said something along the lines of ‘I know some men just like beautiful women that are quiet and don’t talk’ and she immediately chimed in and said “that’s not my clients. My clients want a woman who is beautiful but also interesting to talk to, who has hobbies and passions, who would be complementary and value-add to their lives.”
“I was so relieved to hear this as a woman in her mid-30s frustrated with dating in Los Angeles. Amy’s clients are very successful and high caliber individuals, and they are ready for commitment. They have arrived at the realization that 2 is better than 1 and they are missing a life partner, someone to build a life with. It has truly been a refreshing change to meet Amy. Amy is very thoughtful about her introductions and is all about quality over quantity.
She is very responsive and communicative and has my back. You can’t even compare Linx Dating to dating apps. As a female, I also really appreciate that Amy interviews all her clients in person and won’t work with people she can’t help or simply are not ready for something serious. I’m excited to see what the summer has in store for me with my Linx match.”
Our client is handsome and highly successful, a youthful 48-year-old clean-cut white gentleman. He lives in an idyllic, private golf course community nestled in the rolling hills and vineyards of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Born and raised in Southern California, our client remains very close to his entire family: his parents, his sister, and her two boys. He stands at a physically fit 5’7”, his dark brown hair is perfused with soft grey highlights, and he has kind green-blue eyes that sparkle when he smiles. He has a relaxed sense of style, going for what he calls a “Steve Jobs look” at work.
What he values most are family, ambition, balance, and creativity; at his core he believes that life is for living, and living means fun and passion. His disposition is kind and generous; he treats others with respect, and is the sort of man you can trust and feel safe with. His confidence never tips into arrogance, and is tempered by his easygoing personality.
A father of two, our client starts each day bright and early, making breakfast with his two adorable and inquisitive sons, aged 11 and 13. Both are straight-A students and have Dad’s passion for innovation and invention. After dropping the boys at school, he’s usually no more than a five-minute drive to his latest startup, where he can explore his passion for his next big idea.
Our client has been creating businesses since he was in his 30s; he takes great pride in the culture at each company, often working with the same great group of friends and colleagues who have accompanied him to each new startup. A leader in his field, our client is the very definition of the successful serial entrepreneur. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from one of the top engineering schools in the country and holds over 200 patents for his various technologies. But unlike a lot of classically trained, introverted engineers, our client has a highly developed emotional intelligence; he’s a social guy who likes being around people.
He recently celebrated another big win through his latest company’s IPO, and his new ventures continue to display his Midas touch in business. All he really needs is a partner to celebrate life’s victories with him, a woman who is emotionally supportive and loving.
At heart, our client is an active outdoorsman, one who is reinvigorated by active time in the natural world. He’s a near scratch golfer, loves winter skiing and summer hiking, and plays as hard as he works by dining and wine-tasting with a close-knit group of friends.
In a world of inconsistencies, our client is a stand-up guy, reliable and steadfast. But he’s spontaneous and creative too! This multi-talented man just designed and remodeled his entire modern-contemporary home; now he’s dreaming of relaxing evenings under the starry skies, sitting beside the fire pit and the swimming pool, with a glass of wine, and his sweetheart snuggled affectionately by his side.
One of his passions is real estate, and he is thrilled to have just closed on a stunning lot in an exclusive Lake Tahoe enclave. Here he will begin building a dream home from the ground up, and he hopes his dream woman will be by his side to help him.
After years of burning the midnight oil running his companies, our client has learned that balance is critical. Now he needs a partner to continually remind him! He has a passion for travel, having explored Tokyo, Singapore and Bali, and hopes to indulge his wanderlust with the right woman.
His ideal match is between the ages of 32 and 42, petite to slender in build, 5’0”-5’7”, with medium to long hair, a beautiful smile, inviting eyes, and feminine in appearance. Her look is sweet and kind, her style tasteful and not provocative.
His dream match is social and comfortable with others, a positive person who sees life with a glass-half-full perspective. Adventurous with a go-with-the flow attitude, she’s the kind of bubbly and carefree woman people like to be around. As his career can be demanding, she must be incredibly supportive, his greatest cheerleader.
This is a woman who responds best to a strong male that she can inspire, support, and love. She’s all about the little details, whether it’s planning a quiet night with wine and cheese by the fire when he gets home or an adults-only spontaneous get-away to Hawaii, with less than 48 hours to pack! Her mission is to make her leading man feel loved and cherished through the strength of her affection and the warmth of heart.
While she might have a career of her own, our client doesn’t require it. He’d be just as happy if his dream woman was in charge of the home and family—though she could easily have a career on the side, if she so desired. He’s also open to a woman who’s been relentless in her career, and is now ready to hang up the reins and focus on family.
Maybe she’s has been waiting to take on the CEO role of a household, and genuinely enjoys making a happy and beautiful home. She’s very good at planning everything, from the kids’ schedules to dinner parties to intimate couple’s nights, and all the little details in between. Our client and his family will be her priority.
Our client is a loving and very involved father to his boys, but he’s open to the idea of blended family with a woman who has children of her own; having more children together; or being content with their family of four.
He has tried the single life, and found it wasn’t for him. Now he’s ready to embark on a glorious monogamous relationship with someone as incredible as him.
I met Jon Birger seven years ago, over lunch in Palo Alto.
A Fortune Magazine writer working on his first book Date-onomics, Jon wanted to talk about Bay Area dating — specifically how the region’s rather unique oversupply of educated men impacted people’s love lives.
Published in 2015, Date-onomics argued that shifting sex ratios among the college educated are behind the rise of the hookup culture and the decline in marriage rates. In nearly every other part of the country, it’s the college-educated women who are in oversupply. Nationally, one-third more women than men have graduated college since 2000.
This might not matter so much if we were more open-minded about whom we date and marry. Thing is, college grads still like to date other college grads, and this preference leads to lopsided sex ratios in the dating pool. And lopsided sex ratios give the scarcer sex the upper hand.
For Jon, San Francisco and Santa Clara County were the exceptions that proved the rule. The Bay Area is the one well-populated region of the country where educated men outnumber educated women. Yes, we’ve still got our share of playboys. But generally speaking, the Bay Area boasts some of the highest marriage rates and lowest divorce rates in the country for college-educated women.
As you can imagine, Date-onomics generated a ton of buzz when it was published. Glamour, Time, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and countless other media outlets all produced stories or segments about Jon’s first book.
AMY ANDERSEN: Jon, what inspired you to write another dating book?
JON BIRGER: It had a lot to do with being on book tour with Date-onomics.
The first book was more pop science than self help. Yeah, there was a little bit of advice tucked into the final chapter, but it was only there because my editor demanded it.
My primary goal with Date-onomics was simply to explain why dating had become so hard for young, successful, college-educated women. I wanted to shed light on this strange phenomenon so many of us are familiar with — this plethora of fabulous women in their thirties and forties who cannot seem to find a decent guy.
When the first book came out, I had it in my head that women would be relieved to hear that their dating woes were not their fault. I thought the knowledge-is-power thing would be enough.
Well, you can probably guess what happened when I got out on book tour and started taking questions.
Women still wanted you to tell them how to find a husband.
I’d give speeches to mostly female audiences or go on radio shows with mostly female callers, and they wanted advice on their love lives. They wanted me to explain why other women whom they considered no more attractive or successful didn’t have the same problems they did.
I didn’t have great answers, and that’s what prompted me to write Make Your Move. Backed by the latest research on dating, Make Your Move is all about solutions and strategies for hetero, marriage-minded women who are navigating an unfair dating market. There’s a lot of fun storytelling too. I interviewed all these amazing women with romantic stories about how they found their partners by ignoring the traditional dating rules and norms that had been holding them back.
A lot of your advice in Make Your Move involves encouraging women to make the first move, right?
That’s definitely part of it.
I don’t want to give away too much, but I do believe our culture is at an inflection point. Young women are kicking ass in education, sports, business, media, politics and so much else. So why the heck would anyone tell these women that they’ve got to wait for a man to ask them out?
Do you think men are changing too?
I do. I think the whole culture is changing — which is why this new generation of singles needs a new dating bible!
If you think about it, nearly every best-selling dating guide written over the past forty years — from The Rules to Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy — has told women that in order to bag a man, they must commit to a very complicated game of playing hard to get. The message these books ask women to send to men boils down to “not interested means keep trying.”
I don’t think this was ever a helpful message, but in the post-#MeToo world, it’s really, really unhelpful.
Men have learned important lessons from #MeToo. Maybe we’re not learning as fast as we should, but we are learning. Nowadays if a woman indicates she’s not interested, most men will just take her at her word and move on.
Do men actually want women to make the first move?
Most do. A woman who makes the first move takes away a man’s fear of rejection. She makes it easier for him to be himself around her. There’s less peacocking. More conversation.
I’ll give you an example from the book. It involves a 29-year-old named Becca — someone I know pretty well because she was our Saturday-night babysitter years ago. Becca is attractive, but key thing to understand about Becca is she has a huge personality. She’s a real cut-up. My kids loved her.
Of course, some men find the extrovert thing intimidating. When I mentioned the new book to her, she started telling me the story of how she and her boyfriend first got together. They met at a party. They were talking, having a good time, but it was apparent he was too nervous to do anything about it. So Becca just blurted out, “Hey, are you going to ask for my number?”
That’s how it started for them.
I know there are women out there who will never believe this, but the whole key to understanding men is that men like women who like them. Too many women have been raised on the notion that men love the chase and that a man will become less interested in her the moment she’s too interested in him.
Perhaps that was true once upon a time, but I’ve yet to meet the man who broke up with a woman he liked simply because she was too enthusiastic about him. I’ve also yet to meet a guy who enjoyed guessing which women are playing a game and which just want to be left alone. This is why assertive women willing to make a first move have such an advantage over women who sideline themselves by waiting to be courted.
Is there such a thing as too assertive?
I don’t think the first move has to be anything dramatic.
I know that the rule-followers always conjure up images of women throwing themselves at men any time someone suggests women making the first move. But that’s not at all what I’m talking about. Think about what Becca did. She didn’t grab the guy’s butt. All she did was open the door wide enough to make him feel confident about walking through.
In the book, you urge women to take a break from online dating. Why?
Just to be clear, I’m not opposed to all online dating. There are some niche dating apps that I like a lot, and I do write about them in the book. I also recognize that in COVID times, online dating may be only dating some people are comfortable with.
Still, I think many singles would be happier if they ditched the apps and tried asking out people they actually know instead. Over the past year, the dark side of online dating has really been coming into focus. According to Pew Research, 57% of women report experiencing harassment on dating apps, and 19% say they’ve been threatened with physical violence. Overall, 55% of women believe dating is harder now than it was 10 years ago.
So tell me about the “Make Your Move Offline Dating Challenge.”
It’s one chapter in the book. It’s essentially a step-by-step plan for dating in the real world instead of the digital one — for finding more meaningful connections.
The reason I created the offline dating challenge is there’s too much anxiety surrounding dating right now. Online daters don’t trust each other. The whole purpose of the offline dating challenge is to make people more comfortable about dating. Less jaded. Less fearful.
When I was in my 20s, blind dates with complete strangers were pretty rare. Nowadays, most online first dates are blind dates with complete strangers. What’s so difficult about this is you have no idea what kind of person will walk through the door. Everybody who knows your online first date knows him better than you do, so you really are flying blind.
Now compare the online first date with a stranger to going out on a first date with someone you already know and like — a co-worker or a neighbor or someone from church or maybe a friend of a friend. It’s a much different experience. It’s much easier to fall in like or in love when you share common experiences or common friends — and when you’re not worried the person across the table from you could be an axe murderer.
When I was dating up a storm from online sites in my 20’s, the biggest problem was lack of filtering. Lots of good guys but those guys were looking for only fun in the here and now. Their goal was getting laid over actually finding a compatible partner.
Hah. That’s obviously a familiar experience for lots of women, though I have seen research showing women use apps for sex as often as men do.
I think a fundamental problem with dating apps is the anonymity fosters miscommunication and mistruths — especially on that all-important question of whether the other person is looking for a hookup or a long-term relationship. It’s just easier to behave badly with strangers than with people connected to your daily life.
A woman I interviewed for the book described online dating to me as “a doubter’s game,” and this struck me as a really interesting turn of phrase. Based on past experiences, she just assumed most men on dating apps were lying to her. She’d spend first dates trying to poke holes in their stories.
Needless to say, that didn’t lead to a lot of second dates.
Well, this woman is now engaged to a man she met through a mutual friend. Before her first date with the now-fiancée, she didn’t even bother googling him. She told me she didn’t have to because she knew her friend would never set her up with a man who was unkind or untrustworthy.
“It’s more of a believer’s game,” she said about old-fashioned dating. “I was just more inclined to find the positive. It was actually the closest thing to love at first sight I’d ever experienced.”
In the book, you cite research showing that couples who meet at work, in college, through friends, in church, etc. stay together longer than those who meet on the apps. Why do you think that is?
Human beings evolved as social animals, and we bond through shared experiences. Those shared experiences — those fun stories we like to tell and re-tell — become building blocks for deeper connections. This is why couples who know each other tend to have lower breakup rates than couples who first meet online.
What’s your opinion of professional matchmaking?
I put matchmaking into the “met through friends” category.
I have no doubt that your best clients view you as confidante and friend more than as a paid advisor. The only difference between being set up by a close friend and being set up by a good matchmaker is the matchmaker has a much longer list of single men and women to choose from. (I’m always reminded of that scene from “When Harry Met Sally,” when Carrie Fisher pulls out her rolodex during lunch and tries unsuccessfully to come up with men she can set up Meg Ryan with.)
That being said, not everybody who’ll read Make Your Move can afford to spend five figures on a high-end matchmaker like Linx. Most can’t. But I still want them to know that there are other, better ways to date than swiping on Tinder.
2020 was a challenging year for everybody, but finding your dream partner can make even the darkest times seem brighter. Have you seen anything that should give people hope in 2021, at least when it comes to love and romance?
Absolutely. Maybe it’s all those “How it began … how it’s going” memes floating around social media, but I see plenty of reasons for optimism. I love all the videos of women proposing to their boyfriends, for instance. I love the then-and-now photos of couples who started out as friends — and not as Tinder matches! — and are now celebrating anniversaries.
Those are the kind of things that gives me hope.
When does Make Your Move go on sale? Where can people buy it?
FYI, I’m usually willing to meet virtually with book clubs that buy and read one of my books. For info on the book-club Q&A’s — or on anything else related to Make Your Move or Date-onomics — folks can reach out to me via my author website, jonbirger.com.
Dating a man in his 40s is an exciting experience. He wants to provide for a companion and has the means to do so—unlike many younger men, he’s usually established in his career and rather self-assured about his place in the world. In fact, studies like this one from the Atlantic show that a man’s desirability typically peaks around their 40s and 50s.
On the other side of the coin, there’s also a higher likelihood that he’s been married and/or has children. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may be daunting for some women.
So, what are the top 4 essential things to know about dating a man in his 40s?
(1) He likes clarity and honesty
A man in his 40s is more discerning and direct about his dating life—and expects you to be the same.
Playing games like intentionally delaying messaging back for a few days, playing hard to get, or talking about other men to entice jealousy doesn’t sit well—for a man in his 40s, this behavior is more likely to be interpreted as a lack of commitment, and he may simply assume that you’re disinterested.
He’ll appreciate you clearly expressing your interest, and he’ll also appreciate an honest and direct conversation if you’re not interested. With life experience behind him, he’ll more than graciously accept a thoughtful rejection, rather than a slow, time-wasting denouement.
(2) He needs his space
A man in his 40s is serious about keeping up with his responsibilities. You’ll have to respect that he may be preoccupied during the day and may not always message back immediately, or that he might want to get to bed early in order to wake up early.
The good news is that you’ll have more time to focus on yourself, especially when you have your own business, friends, and hobbies.
(3) He may want a family
While every situation is different, it would be wrong to assume that every man in his 40s wouldn’t be interested in starting a family with you simply because he is divorced or has kids already.
If he has kids already, it is also important to understand that he may take his time to introduce you to them—this is normal as he’ll want to be assured things are serious before he takes that step in intertwining your lives. Again, give him the space to do this at his own pace.
(4) He’s not a fixer-upper
Lastly, studies like this one by Costa and McRae have shown that personality traits remain relatively stable in adults after 30. This explains why it is incredibly challenging—or nearly impossible—to fundamentally change a 40-year-old’s personality, and it is important to recognize that trying to do so will most likely only lead to frustration for both of you.
So, for example, if he’s consistently not interested in an outdoor hike on your favorite trail, then chances are slim that he’ll ever be.
A man in his 40s has been shaped by his life experiences, both good and bad, and he’ll have a much stronger sense of self for it. The major benefit for you—if you have the chance to be with someone who truly knows himself—is that this illuminates a clearer path to connection.
If you find yourself searching for love but not knowing where to begin, don’t hesitate to get in touch—I’m here to help.
As you can imagine, the engagement ring will arguably be the biggest part of any proposal- besides her saying “YES!” To help all my favorite bachelor clients blossom into confident grooms, I’ve put together a little cheat sheet.
Finding the perfect stone, band and setting can be tricky, especially when you’ll probably end up shopping alone—WeddingWire’s 2019 Wedding Report shows that only 20% of couples pick out a ring together. So, how can you find the right ring to symbolize your forever commitment?
If you’re planning a surprise engagement, purchasing the right ring size will require a little finesse. To save yourself the headache and extra expense of resizing, simply steal a ring that you’ve seen your partner wearing on a ring finger and bring that to the jeweler to measure. Remember, some settings won’t accommodate a change in band size, so do whatever you have to do to make sure you get the size right.
Most diamond rings are one of ten unique shapes. Although most women prefer the traditional round shaped diamond, others may enjoy something more unusual. According to The Knot, different shapes can represent different personalities.
For example, an emerald cut tends to be more glamorous, the asscher cut suited to a vintage lover, and the marquise more romantic.
In addition to shape, consider the size of your partner’s hand. Pear, marquis, or oval shaped diamonds tend to suit long, slender fingers, whereas round or princess shaped diamonds are better for smaller hands.
Although shape is important, the cut will impact the quality of the diamond the most. Whereas shape is about the geometry of the stone, the cut is about the angles of the facets.
Cut describes how well a diamond’s facets interact with the light. A well cut diamond will sparkle through the top of the stone. Of all the 4Cs, cut is the most complex to analyze since it’s based on 7 factors: brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, polish, symmetry, and durability. Cut is also the most important “C”; even if the remaining 3 C’s are perfect, it won’t matter if the cut isn’t right.
Clarity describes the cloudiness of the stone. Naturally occurring internal “inclusions” and external “blemishes” can lower the value of the diamond. While no diamond is perfectly pure, the closer it comes, the higher its value.
As a general rule, try to avoid stones with inclusions on the top and in the middle. These areas have the biggest effect on the way the light passes through
Color is graded based on how little of it exists. The grading system ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow); white color diamonds are the most popular (and tend to carry more value) but yellow diamonds and even black diamonds have grown in popularity.
Carat describes how much a diamond weighs. Diamond price increases with carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desirable. But, two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on the other 4C factors.
Settings and Metal
The setting, which describes how the diamond is placed on the ring, plays a big role in the look and feel of the ring. According to WeddingWire, the setting is the most important feature for women, whereas the quality of the stone is most important to men.
Just like the shape, there are a variety of different settings:
As you can imagine, different settings offer different benefits: The Halo is ideal for those who love a bit more sparkle, the Bezel setting offers a clean and modern look, and the Prong setting can really highlight the beauty of a main stone.
When it comes to the metal for the band, gold and platinum are generally the most popular choices. Platinum is the most expensive given its purity. It’s also a great hypoallergenic choice for those with sensitive skin. Gold offers more flexibility with colors, including white, yellow, rose and even green.