romance

The incurable new Bay Area bachelor

I wanted to post this story that was written many years ago on Linx Dating because it’s such a fascinating journey into human psychology and the extents that we go at Linx for our clients. The reporter traveled with the Linx team to New York to document what you will read below and spent many weeks studying us and understanding the art that is Linx matchmaking….enjoy!

By Natasha Sarkisian | July 21, 2009 | San Francisco Magazine

THIS IS THE STORY OF PETER KUPERMAN, a handsome, slightly crazy, oddly endearing 37-year-old who wants nothing more than to marry a girl who went to Penn. The romantic obsession of his life began in a crowded Chinese restaurant when he was visiting the University of Pennsylvania campus during his senior year of high school. The line of hungry students was long, so Kuperman asked the hostess if he could claim the one empty spot in an eight-person booth filled with seven cute girls. They were members of an all-female a cappella group called the Quaker Notes, and for the next half hour, they bubbled with excitement for music, for their school, even for him. For dessert, they serenaded him with four-part-harmony versions of “A Hazy Shade of Winter” and Cheap Trick’s “The Flame.” 

Nearly 20 years later, Kuperman still hears their siren song. After a show that night featuring Penn’s famous all-male drag revue, Mask and Wig, young Peter made two vows. He would catch the troupe’s spring extravaganza every year, no matter what. And one day, he would fall in love with a Penn girl, and she would watch those Mask and Wig shows with him. 

As it turned out, Kuperman’s infatuation with Penn was not immediately reciprocated, but he refused to consider another college, and after two rejections, he got in. He majored in computer science and economics, graduating in 1996 and becoming one of those earnest alumni who get all worked up about eccentric causes, like fixing high-rise elevators in the undergrad dorms. After Penn, instead of heading back to his native Toronto, he spent six years in the Bay Area training as a long-distance runner with other Olympic hopefuls on the Nike Farm Team. When that didn’t pan out, he moved to New York, returning to San Francisco in 2006 as the sole manager of his own hedge fund, QED Benchmark. It was such a money machine, Kuperman bragged, “I could travel three weeks a month…and still maintain my income level” ($1 million–plus a year, he said). For fun, he hosted cooking party–salons at his SoMa loft, where local luminaries chopped herbs and talked green technology or stem-cell research. But he was still searching for his Penn girl—and something much more. His perfect partner, he once emailed me, would embody “this whimsical vision of ‘movie love’ where I get so entranced, I would go around the world just to be with her.”

The first time I meet Kuperman, he has just made the 30-minute drive to Palo Alto to consult with his professional matchmaker, Amy Andersen. He is trim, with brown hair flecked with gray, and he has the hypersuccessful Bay Area bachelor look just right: lavender button-down shirt; distressed Diesel jeans; shiny black loafers; intense, unwavering gaze. He seems like the picture of confidence. As he tells me his story, though, his voice quavers and his blue eyes well up with tears. Unsure whether I’m more touched by him or embarrassed for him, I feel my eyes misting over, too. It’s rare that anyone around here ever admits to having a dream, for fear it might not come true; rarer still for a man to pour his heart out about something so goofy and private to a complete stranger—a reporter, no less. It’s clear that, as much as he cherishes his Penn fantasy, it isn’t what he really wants; disappointment seems inevitable, and I’m torn between wanting to hug him and wanting to shake him.

Across the room, Andersen taps away on her laptop, unfazed. She’s worked with hundreds of Bay Area bachelors, each in his way as quirky and mixed-up as Kuperman is, trying to help transform them from dorks or jerks into somebody’s soulmate. It’s a process that gives her unusual insight into the counterproductive longings of the single, spoiled Bay Area male who has become too picky for his own good, yet demonstrates time and time again that he is powerless to change, mostly because he doesn’t think he needs to. Andersen’s job is to help these Lost Boys—Peter Pans, if not Peter Penns—do something they may never have had to do until now, which is open themselves up to compromise, and then to love. The process is painful, sometimes excruciating. No matter how wealthy or self-assured or self-deluded they are, at some point, Andersen says, “most of the guys who come in here cry.”

Blond and svelte in little silk numbers
 and Gucci boots, Andersen looks like one of the Real Housewives of Orange County and thinks like a Silicon Valley CEO. She’s never without her BlackBerry and her Louis Vuitton scheduling tome, every page filled from 9 a.m. to midnight with meetings with clients—650 over the past five years. The founder of Linx Dating—as her website describes it, “an exclusive, by-invite-only Bay Area–based dating service created for the ‘marriage-minded’”—is 32, sweet, shrewd, and relentless in her pursuit of her clients’ happiness. Combining the ana­lytics of eHarmony, the social networking of Facebook, and the strange, self-absorbed glamour of The Bachelor, her concept is so tailor-made for the Bay Area and the times that in certain Marina and Peninsula circles, she’s practically a household name.

Andersen’s fee starts at $6,000 for eight carefully matched dates with other great-looking, high-earning Linx members; for $30,000, you get 15 introductions, a nationwide out-of-network search, and a cocktail party straight out of The Millionaire Matchmaker, where a dozen fawning “eligibles” show up to be checked out and vice versa. For those who need it, there’s also date coaching, mock dating, a dermatologist referral, and a fashion and home-decor makeover (in the case of her male clients, Andersen has been known to personally throw out grungy toothbrushes and moldy bath mats). Though she is the matchmaker to the Web 2.0 gene­ration, she advocates a retro version of romance, in which men open doors and women do not talk about their careers.

The familiar stereotype about the Bay Area dating scene is that it’s the women who are dying to get mar­ried. A former member of their ranks, Andersen admires single women here for their intellect and independence but believes they often sabotage their chances by approach­ing a prospective romantic partner the way they would a business partner—reciting their résumés instead of being flirty, asserting their ballbuster side instead of their vulnerability. Andersen counsels her female clients—they make up half her roster, and unlike most matchmakers, she charges them the same as men—to wear pastels rather than black, play down their accomplishments on the first few dates, and admit that horror movies scare them. “It’s kind of pathetic, but it’s true,” says Mary Ann Mullen, Andersen’s sidekick, a sensible, motherly type who’s been married for 18 years and speaks frankly about how men respond to powerful women. “Their pee-pee feels castrated”—here, she lets her pinky droop—“and we want it to feel happy.” 

Yet as I hang out in Linx’s knickknack-filled offices—conveniently located between those requisites of modern-day marriage, engagement-ring central (Diamonds of Palo Alto) and a couples therapist—I’m surprised to discover how many Bay Area men are desperate, too. Mar­ina guys in Tom Ford sunglasses who’ve spent a decade or more jumping from windsurfing to heli-skiing to kiteboarding, and to younger and younger girls, suddenly start feeling creepy and pathetic. The wealthy tech­nology wizards look up from their turretlike workstations and realize that their world is devoid of, and even unwelcoming toward, women and that their social and emotional development ended with their first programming job. Online dating doesn’t work for this high–net worth crowd. “To avoid gold diggers, people downplay themselves in their profiles,” Andersen says. “The end result, when you’re finally face-to-face with someone you met online, is that you’re a liar.” Meanwhile, the social media they rely on to stay connected—texting, instant messaging, tweeting—reduces actual human contact and further stunts their ability to interact with the opposite sex. That’s where Linx comes in. “It’s what we say over and over—dating is a skill,” Andersen tells me. “We’re like grad school for finding your future husband or wife.”

Andersen dreamed up Linx at the height of the Internet boom, after many a night spent downing beers at Nola, in Palo Alto, with her then boyfriend and his single pals as they bemoaned the dearth of available women in Silicon Valley. She knew where the girls were: “They were all up in San Francisco in the Junior League, desiring the same thing I wanted: marriage!” When she and that boyfriend (aka that “noncommittal, cheating boy trapped in a 35-year-old’s body”) broke up, she fled back to the city. One failed long-term relationship later, Andersen was in no hurry to couple up again. “At one point, I had, like, five amazing guys courting me with massive bouquets, gifts, and trips, walking across fire for me, and I thought, ‘This is pretty cool.’” 

It was also great research. A born entrepreneur—as a kid in Mill Valley, Andersen cut flowers from neighbors’ yards, wrapped them in tissue and ribbon, then resold them to the people she had stolen them from—she fleshed out her dating concept while working in private client services at Merrill Lynch. (Even for someone with so much natural chutzpah, cold-calling rich people—up to 225 a day—provided “an incredible skill set,” she says.) Andersen quit that job to launch Linx in 2003, operating out of a Starbucks on Russian Hill and meeting with as many as seven “high-caliber” clients—attorneys, doctors, venture capitalists—a day for free. She earned her first paying client, a VP of marketing for a web company, in February 2004: eight setups for $1,200. “When people stopped blinking at $2,600, I went to $3,000, $3,200. Then I realized this demographic was not concerned about price at all.” Indeed, matchmaking turns out to be recession-proof. Last fall, even as the economy was crashing, one of Andersen’s clients upped his “marriage bonus”—many of her contracts include a fee for matches that make it to the altar—from $25,000 to $100,000 because he couldn’t face the thought of turning 40 alone.

Before a friend referred him to Andersen a year ago, Kuperman had already sought professional help in finding his Penn mate. He’d had plenty of girlfriends, but his enthusiasm (or theirs) usually waned after a few weeks. Online dating was no help: “It’s like walking through an airport or a mall and talking to strangers,” he says. So, in 2004, he consulted semifamous New York matchmaker Samantha Daniels (the 2003–2004 NBC series Miss Match, starring Alicia Silverstone, was inspired by her career), a gorgeous Penn grad with a great network of alums to draw from. 

In his Linx application, Kuperman admits to having blown the first match Daniels arranged, with a Penn grad who was getting her MBA from Columbia. The second introduction, to S., went much better, but within six months, they were kaput, too. One of his biggest gripes: S. was not sufficiently enthusiastic about his favorite movie, Love Actually. (“She said at the end, ‘Cute movie,’ implying, ‘That’s now over; let’s move on,’ and not, ‘Wasn’t that story about the 10-year-old kid so unbelievably romantic?’”) 

Much of what I know about Kuperman comes from his 14-page application, which he shares freely with me a few days after we meet. I have to admire his guts for letting me see it; god forbid anyone should ever see my wish list for a husband. One section asks clients to check as many adjectives as apply to them from a list of 78 possibilities, including “Darwinian,” “loquacious,” “narcissistic,” “life-of-the-party,” “autophobic,” and “wise.” Andersen wants to know: What is the worst decision you’ve made at your current job? How is your relationship with your family? Do you hold any patents? Besides helping her understand her clients, the answers weed out the losers, like the 42-year-old Google exec who’s still living with his mother. She’s equally on guard against commitment-phobes—guys who pull the breakup card just when you’re starting to look at rings—and people who are just looking to hook up. Half of her applicants don’t make the cut.

For his part, Kuperman shares the average guy’s interest in sexy underwear and Rachel McAdams, though not in Jennifer Garner or Scarlett Johansson. He answers yes to children, no to a nanny, picks private over public schools, and reports an IQ of 162. His favorite food is “freshly picked sweet corn on the cob bought at a roadside stall…on the way to cottage country,” and his favorite pastime is swing dancing: “I can see us dancing every day for the next 100 years.”

The most surprising question for me is “Describe your ideal wedding.” I’d assumed this is something only women fantasize about, but Andersen insists, “Men usually have it completely mapped out.” Kuperman proves her point: “Formal black-tie ceremony, nonreligious setting (e.g., estate, vineyard, etc.), bach­elor/ette party, but not too wild (i.e., no overt sexual contact with me or her, but strippers are okay), we share the responsibility of planning, I pick the band.” The first dance will be “a showpiece of excellent dancing ability…the language of the conversation that happens when two great dancers get together and let their bodies speak to the musicality of the song.” As the music fades, the crowd will leap to a standing ovation. “That’s really important, too. :-)”

Reading the application makes me squirm, as if I were sneaking a look at someone’s diary or eavesdropping on a session with his shrink. I always suspected Bay Area single guys were impossible to please; now I have proof. Kuperman’s fantasies, like those of so many men I’ve met here, are right out of a silly romantic comedy. He comes across as lovable in some ways, immature and irritating in others. I can feel his genuine longing for a deep connection, but I also see the internal hurdles he erects—so many that I wonder whether he really does want to fall in love and settle down. 

The best evidence of his ambivalence is a remarkable document he appends to the standard Lynx application: eight single-spaced pages of “musts, shoulds and what do I have to be,” along with a two-page discussion of his two most significant recent relationships. The musts include “all-natural body parts,” “love celebrating New Year’s Eve,” and “be okay with a shower with two heads on opposite walls.” On a sweeter note, he expects his dream girl to be “really close with at least one family member” (his own relationship with his two sisters is “one of my biggest areas of happiness,” he writes) and “be someone who constantly says ‘I believe in you’ to their children.” But she also has to “allow me to indulge in a luxury sports car and be willing to fill the car with premium gasoline to extend the life of the car and increase resale value.” Maybe he’s joking, but I don’t think so. 

Kuperman’s words make me wonder
 about Andersen’s pro­cess. Is it really prudent to encourage people—especially Bay Area singles who are used to having their own way in almost every aspect of their oh-so-perfect lives—to spend so much time and energy focusing on what they want in a mate, as if they were configuring a new computer or ordering coffee at Peet’s? Doesn’t this just close off their options and fuel their self-defeating fantasy that a relationship is all about them

But after reading hundreds of these applications—brain dumps, really—Andersen has learned what to take seriously and what to ignore. She sees Kuperman’s blatherings as therapeutic, rather than alarming; the whole point is for him to get stuff off his chest so that she can help him examine every tiny piece of his fantasy, recognize what he really wants, and come to terms with how to achieve it. Andersen spends her days listening to male and female clients check off their lists of “musts” and “shoulds”: no shorter than 6 feet, no smaller than a C cup, no professors or accountants, no kids, no salary under $500K a year. By comparison, Kuperman’s Penn dream strikes her as substantive, even old-fashioned. People used to grow up in small villages and marry their neighbors; the truth is, you might have more luck finding your soulmate in a pond of 50 than in an ocean of a million web profiles. The Penn requirement, Andersen optimistically concludes, “will be a fantastic catalyst and accelerator for a happy relationship.” 

Andersen has facilitated dozens of such relationships over the years, including four marriages and at least 30 long-term couples. She suspects her success rate is actually higher: Once they’ve met someone they really like, “clients often go radio silent,” she says. (She found out about one recent engagement by stalking the lovebirds on Facebook.) But helping clients find lasting love often means Andersen must be brutally pragmatic—and force them out of their comfort zone. “So many frustrated people say they want to meet ‘the one,’ but they don’t change their patterns,” she says. “They stay in the Marina. They keep trying the same places—Encore, Symphonix, the Matrix—where, no surprise, they run into the same people. You have to do something drastic.”

Andersen speaks from personal experience. Not long after she started Linx, she found herself in her own rut, dating up a storm (including at least one prospective client), but no closer to marriage and kids. On an impulse, she decided to move back to “target-rich” Palo Alto and take a six-week dating hiatus. She got a nutritionist and a stylist, did an ashram diet and cleanse, “and then I was in the right place.” In the end, she needed her own match­maker, a friend who introduced her to Alex Gould, a Stanford economist and media consultant. Ten months later, he stunned her by proposing in front of 125 of her clients at a Link & Drink networking party at the Four Seasons Palo Alto. “I woke up at 5 the next morning and looked at the ring and thought, ‘Ohmigod, I’m engaged!’” (The enormous sapphire gets so many yearning looks from clients that Andersen and Gould, who sometimes helps with the business, ought to consider writing it off.)

Still, after months of watching Andersen in action, it’s hard for me not to conclude that her female clients are expected to make the most drastic changes. (Is there anything more depressing than telling an attractive, accomplished woman to pretend to be less than she is so men won’t feel threatened?) For her male clients, Andersen advises basic good manners: Pay for dinner, never text or email to arrange logistics, spend time listening to your date instead of just talking about yourself, give every setup at least a second chance. Anxious or nerdy types can have a dating coach attend events with them incognito and give them real-time feedback and support. Ander­sen also works on the Too Much, Too Soon syndrome—“prob­ably the most common thing we see,” Mullen says—and the closely related male tendency to go on and on and on about themselves, their jobs, their hobbies, their exes. The solution is a strategy known as KISS: Keep It Simple and Succinct. Andersen coaches her clients to think of first-date conversation as a tennis ball they want to keep lobbing back and forth. “We help them narrow it down to 15 sound bites. Then we have them visualize a tape recorder: Press play. And now press stop.” They also work on what Andersen calls “strategic positioning”: “I hate my job and am on the verge of chucking it—along with my six-figure income” becomes “I enjoy tech but have thought of trying something new.” 

Andersen decides that Too Much, Too Soon is also Kuperman’s biggest problem; he’s “the kind of guy who writes a girl a 14-page letter after one date,” she tells me. For his part, Kuperman seems to trust her judgment completely: “When I met Amy, I had an extremely strong guy reaction that said ‘WOW! I just met an incredibly important person in my life,’” he recently wrote. Over the weeks, they work mainly on taking things slower—“not jumping in because he feels a lust or attraction,” Andersen says. He appreciates all the rules she sets. By “laying down the protocols,” he says, Andersen eliminates much of the second-guessing that can make going on a date—especially with a stranger—so nerve-wracking. When both parties feel comfortable, it’s much easier to connect.

But when I meet Kuperman, two months into his Linx experience, he still hasn’t connected with anyone. Andersen has scoured Northern California for Penn grads and sent him on several dates, but no one has set him on fire. After every fix-up, he sits down with Andersen and Mullen to rehash the encounter and plot their next steps. They’ve just about exhausted the eligible pool of Penn women in the Bay Area, and Kuperman knows it. “It’s like a Venn diagram,” he finally tells them. “There are smart girls and hot girls, but not a lot of intersection.” 

In the past year or so, Andersen and Mullen have added another tool to their arsenal: the VIP mixer, where one or two clients (usually male) are surrounded by a dozen or more “eligibles” recruited from Facebook and other sources. The idea strikes me as both demeaning and a significant departure from the original Linx concept of carefully matching couples and striving to make their interactions as stress-free as possible. But many of their clients love feeling like the stars of their own reality show—plus, even if no individual candidate bowls them over, the whole experience does. Kuperman, who’s considering moving back to New York—with the exception of Philly, the Penn grad capital of the world—likes the idea of holding his party there. So does Andersen, who’s dying to introduce Linx to the East Coast. Even if Kuper­man doesn’t meet “the one,” she figures the event might help him overcome his Too Much, Too Soon issue; with so many candidates to choose from, it should be impossible for him to get overly attached to any of them. 

The next few weeks are a blur as the two Linx women make the arrangements, aided by Gould (Penn class of ’93). They set the date (mid- to late October), book the celebrity-magnet Carlyle hotel, and cold-email more than 350 New York–based Penn graduates, 200 of whom reply. Phone interviews narrow down the final list to 19 sensational candidates, including an advertising executive and a pediatrician. For the first two days, Kuperman will have a series of one-on-one meetings with 12 women, followed by dinner dates with each day’s “winner.” Day three will consist of the final one-on-ones, then a cocktail party with a new bevy of candidates. By my conservative estimate, Kuperman’s tab for the whole trip will approach $40,000.

Arrangements are in the final stages when the global economy implodes. Then Kuperman, who went to Can­ada to visit one of his sisters over Labor Day, has a problem with his work visa that delays his reentry to the U.S. by several weeks. The day before the Linx entourage is supposed to check in to the Carlyle, he finally talks the U.S. State Department into giving him a seven-day tourist visa. 

When Andersen arrives in New York, Kuperman has another surprise: His mother is in town, visiting his other sister in Brooklyn, and the two women want to meet his matchmaker. Over breakfast the next morning, Mrs. Kuperman pooh-poohs her son’s outfit, which Andersen picked: Nordstrom shirt, blazer, and pastel pocket-square combo. He changes as soon as he returns to the hotel. Otherwise, his mood is upbeat—almost strangely so. This is the week of October 20, and the stock market is having a psychotic breakdown, swinging up and down by hundreds of points every day. But Kuperman the hedge-fund manager seems largely oblivious. 

Meanwhile, Andersen and Mullen set up a makeshift office at a table in the hotel’s gallery tearoom. A butler stops by regularly to replenish the tiered silver trays with little sandwiches, tartlets, and scones with clotted cream and jam. The first day’s prospects chat with Andersen and Mullen for 45 minutes or so before being ushered around the corner for a coffee, lunch, or afternoon champagne date with Kuperman. “Peter is more Gap than Ralph Lauren, more hybrid car than Ferrari, more Nestlé cocoa than Scharffen Berger,” Andersen explains, nailing her client’s brand. She tells candidates about her own romantic success, how she met Gould, and how her father proposed to her mother seven days after they met. 

A sophisticated 26-year-old brunette named E. emerges as Kuperman’s favorite of the day. Her parents met at Penn, and her family includes 33 alums. Andersen arranges a candlelit dinner for the couple, complete with calligraphy place cards, Veuve Cliquot, lobster bisque, rack of lamb, and chocolate soufflé (ordering dessert is another of her first-date rules), and when she and Mullen return three hours later to spy on them, they’re still at the table, flirting. “I had chills riding the elevator back up!” says Mullen. “I was like, ‘Babies are being made right now!’” (For the record, she uses the phrase “I have chills” at least three times a day.)

Day two’s winner is M., a high-ranking ad exec in an elegant shift dress and three strands of giant pearls. Andersen has a waiter interrupt M.’s one-on-one with Kuperman because his next date has been waiting for half an hour. As Kuperman walks up the steps, he turns around and tells the duo, “She gets my pretty-underwear thing! She wears pretty underwear!” Andersen, half exasperated, half excited, gasps, “Peter!” as he runs off with his next date. 

By day three, Kuperman is worn out, and his seams are starting to show. He snaps at Andersen and seems overwhelmed by the number of, as he calls them, “connections” he’s making. (So much for hoping the weekend blowout will cure him of his tendency to plunge into things too quickly—it seems to be having the opposite effect.) The second of his back-to-back meetings in the afternoon goes so well—or he’s feeling so rebellious—that he and his date sneak out of the hotel. Andersen receives a text from the woman saying Kuperman will be back 15 minutes before the bachelorette event, but as the guests arrive, he’s a no-show. The next day, we find out what happened: He and his date walked through Central Park to Balducci’s to buy vodka, chocolate, and popcorn, then headed back to her apartment on the Upper West Side.

Though clearly irked by Kuperman’s rudeness, Andersen is composed, smiling and making sure the champagne glasses stay full. Once again, I’m blown away by the quality of the women she’s managed to assemble, though one overeager candidate has donned a Penn skirt with icons of the Liberty Bell and the Philadelphia Inquirer. The chef has prepared some of Kuperman’s recipes, including chocolate-vanilla pots de crème served in espresso cups. Peach roses and hydrangeas overflow from vases. Several of the women remark offhandedly, “This is so much like the TV show.” When Kuperman saunters in, 45 minutes late, he acts as if he’s right on time. He regales his guests with a story of bringing a girl back to his Penn dorm room, innocently changing into corduroy PJs, and telling her he was going to bed without her. 

M.—the only one of the previous day’s dates to be invited—marvels, “This is every man’s dream!” She makes a clear attempt to distinguish herself from the other women by standing apart and talking with the pianist or Gould. It takes a while before Kuperman finally greets her, but less than five minutes later, they retreat to his bedroom, posing seductively for a magazine photographer, his hands all over her legs. After the impromptu photo session wraps, Kuperman, Andersen, Mullen, and Gould break into golly-gee renditions of “New York, New York” and “Night and Day.” Eventually, Gould forces everyone out, leaving Kuperman and M. alone in the suite.

Kuperman, Andersen, and Mullen meet over coffee and crois­sants the next morning to decide what to do with their girl glut. Every candidate but one has already emailed or texted to say she hopes Kuperman will be interested in seeing her again. I’m shocked; assuming they aren’t all gold diggers, maybe the idea of vying for one man has brought out their competitive streaks. In the suite, dozens of votives from the night before flicker eerily. Mullen is in her sweats, sans makeup, but Andersen’s hair is still in the French twist she wore to the party.

Andersen pushes Kuperman to share his thoughts. “Could you close your eyes and see your wedding with one of them?” she asks. “I don’t close my eyes and see weddings after one or two days,” Kuperman replies. “That’s your job. My job is courting someone and just having fun. But if I ask M. on this trip to London, and we end up going to New York together, and we end up doing a couple other trips, then it’s a different story.” 

“Oh!” Andersen exclaims. “So you’re talking about a London trip with her? That’s great! You drop these things like hydrogen bombs.” 

Kuperman decides to put all the women other than M. “aside,” but he tells Andersen and Mullen to messenger each one a single flower unique to her personality. “This isn’t just some random coffee at Starbucks with some random person from Match.com,” he says. “We’re going to take care of them.” With that proclamation, he dashes out the door to catch a train to his beloved Philly, to meet yet another Linx setup, a med student who wasn’t able to attend the New York soirée—leaving what must have been a $20,000 hotel bill behind him. And after 100 hours of not setting foot outside the confines of the Carlyle, Andersen packs her bags. 

A week later, in Andersen’s office, Mullen prods Kuperman to explain why he’s picked M. “She’s hot, and she has nice energy,” he responds. Mullen then asks Kuperman what M. likes about him. “I have a great sense of style and fashion,” he replies. It’s unclear whether he’s serious. “Thanks to us,” Andersen interjects, and everyone laughs. He meekly concurs: “I’d be showing up in flip-flops at the Carlyle without you.” 

Kuperman then voices concern about having to do all the work in the relationship—the flying back and forth to New York, the dinner buying, and so on. He feels like M. isn’t putting in enough effort. “We all know how valuable you are,” Andersen retorts. “But we also know that she represents the gold standard. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there, even if you get shot down.” Gould encourages him to “embrace the uncertainty,” and Mullen suggests he write in a journal whenever he feels hesitant about taking the next step. 

Gould adds that Kuperman needs to get to know M., which has been the problem all along—he leaps in and out of relationships, never hanging around long enough to become truly intimate with a woman. When I hear Gould’s words, I’m tempted to shout, “Thank you!” Finally, someone is standing up for the women—and it’s not Kuperman’s female matchmakers, it’s a guy who isn’t getting paid to hold Kuperman’s hand and indulge his unattainable quest for female perfection. Like so many Bay Area single men, Kuperman has always fantasized about a relationship on his terms. But M. is “a woman who can pretty much do and have most things,” Gould points out. “I would argue that the reason she doesn’t have a huge ring on her finger is that she hasn’t found a guy who can unlock her. If you can intuit her, that will send you miles.” 

It’s great advice, but Kuperman doesn’t seem to hear it, and Mullen is beyond frustrated. “Um, is there some com­moditization of the girls going on?” she finally asks. “No,” Kuperman insists. “Good, good,” Mullen jabs back. “Love to be wrong.” 

But as we get up to leave, Kuperman says, “We can do this again in Chicago in February, right?” 

It’s nine months later, and Andersen’s business is booming. Economic instability has made the Bay Area’s lovelorn more eager than ever to find solace in a committed relationship; singles in Seattle and Los Angeles have also been seeking her out. I wonder how many of them are truly willing to do what it takes to meet their match, and how many will continue to insist on having it all—even if it means ending up with no one.

Meanwhile—surprise, surprise—Kuperman has yet to find his perfect Penn girl. After a few rendezvous in New York, including one spontaneous “booked on Friday, see you on Saturday” trip, Kuperman and M. decided there was no spark. But the quick demise of that relationship is the least of his problems. This past March, the U.S. immigration authorities concluded that Kuperman had overstayed his tourist visa by more than three months, and banned him from the country. Andersen has continued to set him up with Penn grads, including an “amazing” woman who met him for a fling in Venice, but this can’t go on forever. 

In June, I email to find out how he’s doing. His response is rambling and reflective, even sad. Thinking back to New York, he says, “The real story is that I was completely discombobulated…. I had immigration stress, not-being-at-home stress, and a situation where I was not at all centered and balanced…. I just wanted to get home to San Francisco.” The trip was “fantastic and so much fun,” but, because of his state of mind, ultimately fruitless: “No girls really stood a chance…. And that is a major shame, because I met some incredibly high-quality, amazing, sexy, intelligent, and grounded women.” 

What has he learned from working with Andersen? His answer is unexpected. “It seems that I am a very confused, dysfunctional, and indecisive man. I want this WOW! exper­ience…. I am not going to go forward with a long-term committed relationship until I find myself madly in love.” He con­­fesses, “I’ve presented myself to Amy as this person who is totally ready to get married, and intellectually, that is true; but practically, that switch is definitely not turned on.”

He mentions a woman he’d been seeing for a few weeks right before he sought out Linx. She wasn’t a WOW! either, but her kindness to him during his Canadian exile has made him think. “What if I should just grow up, pick someone, and doggedly and determinedly stick with that choice because she is good for me?” On the other hand, he adds, “What if I spend my entire life constantly doubting and tweaking and tinkering and thinking and am never able to just go for it and take a leap of faith?
“Biggie enough answer for you? :-)”

Linx testimonial from a 30-something male tech exec in Silicon Valley

“Amy is a brilliant matchmaker and truly dedicated to helping her clients and network get into fulfilling long term relationships!


I signed up as a client and was immediately impressed by how thorough she was in understanding me and my goals through a questionnaire and interview. This process also helped me to understand what my compatible matches would look for in me. Soon after signing up I was getting very high quality matches who (like me) were ready to take dating seriously.


As I was getting to know my matches, Amy stepped up in ways I would never have expected – definitely not from other services. Beyond basic dating tips she also scouted out interesting venues my date and I would both enjoy and helped with arrangements, sometimes last minute. After each date she followed up to hear my thoughts and provide genuine feedback. She was also very responsive to messages or calls at other times and I felt she was a trusted friend who wants the best for me and my match!


Since working with Linx, I have found a woman who lights up my life (and I hope hers too). We are compatible on many levels and understand one another. Although no relationship is perfect, I can say I wouldn’t have met my girlfriend randomly searching on my own. Amy even helped me navigate some challenging times when my girlfriend and I had some misunderstandings. She helped me see “the big picture” and understand where my girlfriend may have been coming from a “female’s perspective.” Amy shed light on profound revelations that as a guy, I would have had literally no idea until she shared her point of view.


Amy has earned her reputation as a top-tier matchmaker. While other services would “capitalize” on that reputation to expand beyond their reach, Amy understands that matchmaking is intensely personal and every relationship needs to be carefully nurtured. She stays true to her vision by focusing on quality at every step to help couples find each other for the most important and fulfilling relationship of their lives. I am grateful for Amy’s help along my “dating journey” and hope to be able to pay it forward by sharing my testimonial here with whoever reads it.”

Announcing our newest bachelor….he’s attractive, very successful, fun, and a globe trotter

We are thrilled to announce a new VIP search for a worldly and charismatic gentleman. Our handsome Caucasian 50-something year old bachelor stands 5’10”, with an easy smile, and athletic physique. He has just returned to the Bay Area from spending eight weeks in Europe and is eager to invest time in finding a partner.  His life is a great balance between a successful career, a substantial investment of time in parenting, and an adventuresome spirit that is coming roaring back as his child heads for high school.  Our bachelor has lived all around the world- from Europe to Australia and across the US. 

His very successful career today mostly involves hosting two large CEO conferences each year and sitting on a handful of boards of public and private companies that generally meet quarterly in New York, Boston, Chicago, & San Francisco. He has tremendous flexibility to enjoy life, exemplified by working remotely while taking ten-to-fifteen weeks of vacation annually.  

Our bachelor runs most days for exercise, and enjoys the outdoors, including trail running, mountain biking, and mountain climbing.  He co-leads an outdoor adventure trip with a group of 60+ friends every summer and co-leads a similar size trip to build houses for less fortunate families internationally. 

He has a large worldwide network of friends and he is genuinely curious about the world around him, embracing new cities, cultures, languages, and cuisines. He loves cooking for others, drinking great wine and entertaining on a small and large scale basis.  You will find him energetic, attentive, and thoughtful.  

Our client is best suited for a woman between the ages of 35-45 years old, any race, physically fit, and with a heart of gold.  He thinks he connects best with women who have similarly invested substantial time into their kids, and he appreciates feminine women who are in shape, care about their appearance, and who are globally-oriented, cultured, and easy-going.  

His dream is to find a partner who has some control over her schedule, and assuming she has child(ren), a healthy custody situation because he wants to be able to spend time with a partner and kids for extended periods of time overseas life adventures! 

If you or anyone you know might make a great match for our exceptional bachelor, please email Amy at amy@linxdating.com . There are zero fees for qualifying candidates.

And another VIP off the market and exclusive!

This week has proven to be a very exciting week with couples declaring their love for one another. VIP 9 is officially off the market and totally in love with his match! This Linx client is 35 years old and what I admired most about him when I interviewed him was his motto in life is that he is “earning to give” – earning money to eventually give back to society one day. Very few people think like this – especially in Silicon Valley.

The VIP 9 description will be removed and archived since he is totally off the market- for good. What I am particularly proud about is that this was his very first match through Linx Dating and his now girlfriends first introduction too! As a professional matchmaker, there are many couples I have put together where they are one another’s first match. Talk about hitting the ball out of the ballpark and beyond epic success on so many fronts!

My client and I worked extremely closely together throughout the 4 month journey of representing him. Even before we met in July 2021, my client had done a lot of work on himself and knowing what he wanted to find in a dream match. He turned to Linx knowing that the caliber of members are serious “go getters” and marriage-minded. He also knew going into this experience that he wouldn’t be dealing with flaky women who don’t show up for dates or individuals who seem “one foot in” and “one foot out” of the process. We openly discussed what he desired and I was so excited to get started right away!

Like many VIPs, I wanted to publish his search on the website in the hopes that “Ms Right” might read it and apply to meet him. The very first individual I presented to him as a match candidate ended up being his now girlfriend. She was everything he hoped for “and more!” The woman I found for him was intelligent, entrepreneurial, possessing strong family values, and culturally aligned.

I made sure to catch up with him most weeks through regular phone calls and gave him my dating tips, guidance, and wisdom to make sure he was approaching this budding relationship intelligently and also understanding dating from a “holistic” and females perspective.

When he knew she was “the one” he wanted to potentially spend the rest of his life with, I offered to help set up a sweet, romantic evening where he could formally ask her to be his girlfriend. I arrived to the location, ordered a chilled champagne on ice for the couple, decorated the table with flowers, and had ordered a customized puzzle from Etsy weeks in advance that I wrapped in a box for his leading lady. I left the gift wrapped box with puzzle inside on the table and they arrived for dinner. Thinking it was just a nice dinner out, she was so happy and surprised to find their table covered in rose petals, chocolate heart candy, and a very mysterious box!

The waiters poured them bubbly and I spied from another room capturing video footage (for their eyes only.) My client handed her the box and she started to put the puzzle pieces together…..After about 6 minutes (I know since I was recording it on my iPhone lol), it said “Name, will you be my girlfriend?”

Of course she said YES and gave him a huge hug…at that point, Amy “the spy” matchmaker who was filming them, slinked away and left….maybe a tear being shed. Side note, apparently the waitstaff thought they got engaged. The very next day, my client emailed me to thank me for everything I had done to help him on this journey. Now that they are exclusive and it is so crystal clear that they want to spend their lives together, they are already discussing openly how they want to raise their children. 🙂

These are the opportunities and moments I treasure. Working with two spectacular human beings who would not have met otherwise. Two people who are so clear in the vision of “who” they want to meet. My client being so very receptive to my guidance and advice along the process of working with me and knowing that I might deliver some tough love along the way. My job never stops once the match is made. That’s truly where the work begins…..the guidance, coaching, constant communication….to the point of exclusivity and for many, engagement and marriage.

Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures

Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author of First 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.orgBarnes and NobleAmazon and wherever they like to buy their books. 

For a signed copy, they can purchase the book from Books Inc. or come to one of the upcoming events that are listed at FirstDateStories.com/Book. They can also find more information about the book, podcast and blog on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Jodi’s Bio:

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. 

Dating a man in his 40’s: 4 things he wants you to know

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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. 

Wishing you love and good health,

Amy

Finding Love After IPO

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You’ve poured your life into building your business. Long hours, lack of sleep, endless meetings have been your priority and, now, your time and dedication has paid off—your company is going public.

 

And, just like that, your social presence grows overnight. You’re inundated with speaking requests. You’re also inundated with a lot of romantic interest.

 

I’ve met several executives eager to re-prioritize their personal goals in the wake of an IPO. I’ve seen them struggle to find the right person—or even just a legitimate date—after coming into wealth and extra publicity. Ironically, for these clients, I’ve seen the dating space morph into a minefield of sorts.

 

How do you know if your next date is dating you for the right reasons?

 

How can you be sure that your private dating life stays private?

 

How will you know where to find the most eligible singles?

 

Just as you would hire a personal trainer to get fit or an accountant to organize your finances, I’ve been hired countless times to help extremely discerning clientele find their next partner.

 

To help my clients understand what they want in their next relationship and how to get it, I compare the process for finding the right partner to building a business.

 

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?

Perhaps you’re trying to remedy loneliness or are interested in building partnership. Maybe you’d like to “feel alive” with no strings attached, or you’re finally thinking it’s time to start a family. Most successful products and businesses are created to solve a specific problem—what’s yours?

 

Not sure where to start?

 

Envision your future. In five years, what kind of life do you envision? Where are you living? What are you doing? What would your mother say about you? How would your best friend describe you? Write it down.

 

  1. Set realistic expectations about the process.

What steps will you take in the short term to help meet your goals? Clients tend to be clear on their goals, but they can get a little lost on the game plan.

 

Some questions to ask yourself:

 

How much time do you plan to carve out per week to devote to your dating life?

 

How will you meet new people?

 

How will you date? Casual introductions over wine? Grand romantic gestures?

 

  1. Keep Iterating.

The qualities you look for may change during the dating process. Be open to the process and be prepared to adjust your ideas accordingly. Whereas it’s perfectly natural to have preferences (don’t we all?), you might find that your more urgent needs are satisfied by someone without the specific packaging.

 

Tip: Compromise on the packaging, never the standards.

 

  1. Hire your Weaknesses.

The demands of growing an empire may have distracted you from fine tuning your dating skills. Constant travel and other obligations may have limited your interactions to people in your professional network. Instead of trying to solve every problem at once, heed the words of billionaire Spanx founder Sara Blakely and “hire your weaknesses.”

 

Find the person you can trust; the person who has demonstrated enough experience in the realm of long-term relationships to help you make the best decision of your life. In the wake of money, media attention, and limited time, an extra pair of eyes, ears, and vetting could pay a lifetime of dividends.

 

With over a decades’ worth of experience serving high-profile clientele, I’m privy to the unique demands and sensitivities involved in the search for partnership. If you’re ready to hand off the reins to Silicon Valley’s leading matchmaker, get in touch.

 

Love and best wishes ❤️,

Amy

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Friends with an ex: Worth the time or time to move on?

 

iStock_000042224340_Small.jpgAfter sharing love and a life together, severing all contact with an ex sounds like a harsh outcome to say the least, but is maintaining ties with an ex worthwhile? Traditional advice seems to support “clean breaks” and “moving on”, but is there something to be said for pursing friendship in lieu of separation?

 

Is friendship with an ex even possible?

 

According to The Journal of Social Psychology, friendship after a breakup is more likely if you and your ex were friends prior to the relationship.; the transition is easier if both parties have experience in the platonic realm. Conversely, if sparks flew shortly after meeting, you stand to endure more pain and awkwardness as the romance falls away.

 

The nature of the breakup will also impact the opportunity for friendship. Naturally, break ups that included heated endings—arguments, cheating, or any sort of perceived hostility—jeopardize chances of friendship. However, if the dumper used “de-escalation” tactics—or slowly started pulling away, the ex-partner has time to adjust and consider an alternative dynamic.

 

Why stay friends?

 

If you do decide to remain friends, have an honest conversation with yourself about your motivations. According to a research study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, your desire to remain friends after the relationship probably falls under one of the following reasons:

 

Reliability/sentimentality: your ex “gets you” and you can count on him or her to have your back.

 

Pragmatism: your ex makes your life easier. Your ex has resources you want—connections to business prospects, money, or skills you need.

 

Continued romantic attraction: You’re still in love.

 

Children and shared resources: Joint loans, kids, mortgages, etc. are obligations that make severing contact difficult if not impossible.

 

Diminished romantic attraction: Although the passion has waned, you still share an emotional connection.

 

Social relationship maintenance:You have similar friend groups or family friends.

 

Sexual access: Maintaining enough connectivity to ensure sexual opportunities or, simply, a friends with benefits situation.

 

Although reliability was the prevailing reason for friendship among both women and men, men were more likely to rate pragmatism and sexual access higher than women.

 

If you are pushing for friendship, be sure it’s friendship you’re actually looking for. To get your answer, ask yourself the following:

  • Are you scared to lose support, advice, and comfort?
  • Are you trying to avoid grief?
  • Do you want the benefits of partnership (i.e. sex) without a formalized commitment?

 

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be more interested in filling a void than pursuing a true friendship. If you find yourself pursuing contact for these reasons, the pain and stress of the breakup are probably encouraging some unhealthy rollercoaster emotions.

 

Using friendship as a crutch while your relationship dies will prolong the agony of heartbreak. The sooner you cut ties and take time for yourself—on your own—the sooner you may have an opportunity to pursue friendship.

 

What does creating space for friendship with an ex look like?

 

Firstly—and this may sound dramatic—defriend your ex on Facebook. According to research that appears in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, monitoring an ex on Facebook “exacerbates feelings of distress…and increases feelings of sexual desire and longing for an ex partner.” Although people who de-friended exes still experienced some setbacks in personal growth during their breakup, ultimately they reported less negative feelings than their stalker counterparts.

 

Instead of focusing on the friendship with an ex, you might find more value in revisiting your platonic relationships. The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships revealed that cross-sex friends who have always been platonic offer more satisfaction than cross-sex friends who have been lovers. Without sexual attraction or a need to get more serious, platonic friends share a pure connection.

 

Regardless of what you decide, give yourself—and your ex—and opportunity to adjust to the being single. If you do decide to pursue friendship, realize that the strong emotional connection you continue to share could complicate—at best—or preclude—at worst—your chances of establishing a new, totally fulfilling relationship.

New Year, New Resolutions: 7 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year for Love

 

iStock_000027212743Small.jpgIf you’re ready to make 2019 a year of unforgettable connection, I want to give you the best chance of success. The road to love does involve some work; it’s more than just taking risks, it’s also about letting go of the habits that hold us back. To get your 2019 started right, follow these 7 tips to simplify and expedite your path to a meaningful, fulfilling love life.

 

  1. Ditch the lukewarm arsenal of safe bets.

If you’ve been dating, chances are you’ve met some great people but, as great as they are, just aren’t a great fit for you. If you’ve accumulated a collection of “friends” and have found yourself “staying in touch” late at night or spending all your precious free time together, it’s time to cut the cord. Every moment you spend with someone who isn’t your match prolongs the wait for the right person. Harsh? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

 

Example: As much as I should love having a glorious, no strings attached relationship, I’m going to try my luck at finding something serious. I want you to know that you didn’t do anything wrong; it’s just that I’m planning to try something new. Wanted to make sure you weren’t left wondering what happened.

 

  1. Let your on again, off again relationship rest in peace.

If you broke up, the relationship is, well, broken. If you have separated or called it off, and are thinking about trying again, ask yourself: “What has actuallychanged?”

Loneliness summons all types of uncomfortable feelings—like regret—while also only allowing you to see the good times and forget the reasons that led to the break-up in the first place.

 

Don’t let these lonely feelings fool you into trying again with someone you were certain wasn’t right for you or someone who was certain you weren’t right for them. The relationship isn’t right, especially at this time, so give yourself the space to grow.

 

  1. Leave the ghosts of your past where they belong: the past.

Heartbreak is a part of life. If you’ve looked for connection, you’ve experienced the pain of losing it. Spending time discussing the ghosts of relationship past will only allow them to keep haunting the future. Each time you choose to relive the happy moments of a past relationship or rant about where an ex went wrong, you resurrect a broken relationship from the dead. Give your new relationship every opportunity to thrive; keep the ghosts at bay.

 

  1. Evaluate how much you want a relationship. Align your behavior accordingly.

Just because you are single doesn’t mean you are seeking a relationship; behavior is the only true indicator of what you truly want. I say this—as obvious at it seems—because so many times people want a relationship but do not do the work to be in one. If you want to be in a relationship, get matched, say yes to new people, make a move. Do something! It might not feel good, but it will prove that you are actively pursuing your personal goals.

 

  1. Refuse to negotiate the red flags.

If you like someone, it’s easy to let the feelings of infatuation cloud better judgment. Instead of making excuses for someone else’s error, re-claim your power by making very intentional mental notes.

 

If your date, for example, is going hard on the drinks and you find yourself unimpressed or concerned, you can try one of two approaches:

 

  1. I have noticed that my date is drinking beyond what makes me comfortable. I am choosing to note this for now. If it happens again, I will choose to be with someone who makes me feel less concerned.
  2. I am uncomfortable with my date’s drinking and have decided that I want to be comfortable. I choose to move on.

 

Every time you make an excuse for someone, you are stripping away your ability to make a choice. Once you break the habit of being forced to accept to being able to choose, you will feel much more aware of your standards and much less open to people who don’t meet them.

 

  1. If the present fulfills you, don’t let the future stress you.

Have you met someone who makes you feel fantastic? Get familiar with those feelings and let yourself experience them totally! Too many times, I have seen clients sabotage happy, functional relationships in their efforts to “know where it’s going”. Sometimes, the most challenging part of a blossoming relationship is allowing it to unfold organically. If you do find yourself pushing for answers early on, consider the source of your fears and giving yourself time to sort them out before they jeopardize your next connection.

 

  1. Discover what makes you most magnetic.

Whereas people have their preferences when it comes to physical looks, no one argues with the allure of a happy person. That happy energy—the joy of genuine contentment—is universally attractive. Discovering those things that make you feel alive—cooking, hosting, fixing, building—whatever it is, will help you broadcast something special. Cultivate your own happiness and let that new energy work for you.

 

If you’re intent on making the magic happen this year, consider outsourcing some of the work to the professionals. I receive dozens of new clients who want to meet people beyond their traditional circles. Get in touch! Maybe I’ve just added your next match to my rolodex.

 

I’m sending you best wishes for happiness and love in 2019!

Warmly,
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Amy Andersen
Founder & CEO
Linx Dating LLC 

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2 Chainz and Wale Meet the ‘Cupid of Silicon Valley’ aka ‘Shorty’ ;-)

My 2 Chainz Most Expensivest episode is finally here! 2 Chainz has his own thoughts about the service, aiming a suggestion at the viewers who might be on the lookout:

“If you ugly and got low self esteem, you better get you some money. There ain’t no ugly billionaires. Billionaires is cute […] Get yourself some money and for the low price of half a million dollars, you too can buy yourself a wife.”    

Love how Chainz called me ‘Shorty’- I think my business card needs a new title! And yes Wale, I think there needs to be an HBO special about this too!