We wanted to share some of our top books to add to your 2022 summer reading list. The four books we have listed above can provide you with the tools to expand your relational skills in intimacy, personal accountability, vulnerability, and much more.
Step into the summer months by bringing transformative personal growth! Prioritize taking care of yourself and advancing your personal experiences to try new things with new people.
We are excited to announce a new search for a dynamic and talented young 28-year old client. She is of Chinese descent and stands at an elegant 5’9’’ with a slender athletic physique, long silky black hair and warm brown eyes. She has a classy feminine style, and her smile lights up any room she walks into. Smart, strong, sexy, she embodies intellectual depth, cultural sophistication, cosmopolitan charisma, and quiet confidence.
This candidate is a vibrant, multilingual citizen of the world- born in China, educated in the US, and lived in Singapore, Israel, Spain among other places. Especially, living in Israel during an active war made her appreciate diverse perspectives even more. How people came together during that difficult time inspired her to be bold, live a full life, and lift others up along the journey.
At the young age of 28, she has been fortunate enough to have traveled to more than 50 countries and all six inhabited continents (Antarctica soon). She has so many amazing travel stories to share, and some of her favorite adventures include dancing tango in Buenos Aires, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, sailing into the Mediterranean sunsets, exploring historic sites in Europe, and road-tripping along the Garden Route in South Africa. She is always fascinated to learn more about this small world and looks forward to future international trips, perhaps with you 🙂
She graduated from a top Ivy League and has since been pursuing an exciting career in growth-stage tech investing at a prestigious fund in Silicon Valley. She is grateful to be always learning at the forefront of tech innovation and feels inspired to partner with some of the most influential entrepreneurs in the world. Her insatiable sense of curiosity extends beyond her fulfilling career – she is an avid reader and likes to discuss world affairs.
Weekends are spent being active and outdoors. She loves the ocean and mountains, and enjoys skiing, hiking, surfing, scuba diving, swimming, etc. She also likes tennis, cycling, yoga, and learning new sports in general. She has been to more than 35 US national parks and adventures never stop. Her favorite US national park is Glacier with majestic mountains, stunning glacier-carved valleys, vast pristine meadows, crystal clear waters, and gorgeous wildlife all in one place. Much less traveled, Glacier is a hidden gem with some of the most epic hikes she has done.
It was also such a blessing that she got to work remotely from Hawaii and explore all the islands for 12 months during COVID. She came back with the true aloha spirit. When not traveling, she likes to discover new restaurants, watch art performances, catch up with friends, and enjoy cozy nights by a fireplace.
She comes from a loving family and her parents are still happily married after 32 years. She is family-oriented, deeply caring and kind, compassionate, tremendously loyal, and emotionally intelligent. She is also passionate about giving back.
Her best suited match is someone between the ages of 28-40. He’s 5’10”+, enjoys an active and athletic lifestyle, and is cute!
In a partner, our client values a growth mindset, thoughtfulness, good humor, and an equal partnership. Her best suited match wants to be with a smart and independent woman and inspire one another to think big and create an incredible life together.
1 + 1 = 3
Her match is on a strong professional trajectory, knows what he wants and goes for it! Ideally this candidate is based in the Bay Area or is willing to uproot himself for a significant relationship.
If you or anyone you know might make a tremendously unique match for this wonderful client of ours, please email Amy at: email@example.com
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.
My good friend, Michelle Pender, over at Compass, who is a top real estate broker in San Francisco, sent me this email which I think is terrific- especially during the pandemic. Michelle shares….
Stress is a constant factor for many people. However, with the right tools, those who feel stressed can create a better mentality in just a few minutes. While five minutes may seem like an insignificant amount of time to reduce stress, these activities can positively impact mental health.
Crank the tunes. Take a brain break and blast your favorite feel-good song as you walk or go for a drive.
Go outside. A few minutes of fresh air can help clear your head and give you a new perspective.
Try something new. Shake up your routine; this can be as simple as walking down a different street, anything to get your mind off autopilot, and be present.
Spend money. According to Harvard professor Mike Norton, the trick is you have to spend it on someone else to get the ‘feel good’ perks. (My Favorite)
Text a friend. Reaching out to someone and telling them how awesome they are will make you feel fabulous.
Make plans. Having something to look forward to, like dinner with a friend, can make a person giddy. Remember, anticipation is a secret weapon of happiness.
Help someone. A quick way to pick yourself up is to do something kind for someone else. It’s a bonus when it’s random and not expected of you.
Do something. Whether it’s sending an email or clearing out the clutter, getting one thing off your to-do list gives you a huge mental sigh of relief.
Say, “thank you.” A small act of gratitude goes a long way and will boost your positivity.
Think positive thoughts. No matter how bad things may seem, always be grateful. Warm water on a cold day? Amazing! Coldwater on a sunny day? Incredible! You are fortunate when you get right down to it.
These ten quick methods can help bring positivity to a person in a relatively short time. Try one or more to recharge and lift your spirits the next time you feel overwhelmed or sad.
For anyone who is looking for a new, happy home in San Francisco, Michelle Pender is your resource! Not only is she incredibly personable and friendly but she is a Bay Area native. She knows the city beyond well and especially caters to the quaint neighborhood of Noe Valley. Her Instagram is wonderful and she does these unique videos sent to her followers on Fridays with tailored tips for first time home buyers and insider ideas about the real estate market in general. Her Instagram can be found here.
HIGH-END MATCHMAKERS ARE DOING A BRISK BUSINESS PAIRING LOVELORN L.A. LADIES WITH SILICON VALLEY CEOS. Beauty and the Geeks Story for Los Angeles Magazine written by Sean Elder.
Did you hear the one about the actress who caught her boyfriend in bed with another woman? “Tom!” she cried. “What are you doing?” “Well, I got a speaking part in the new Spider-Man,” he replied, “and an American Express ad. …” Mona (not her real name) is a 45-year-old former movie actress who’d had it with fickle Hollywood types. “In my 20s I would only date guys in entertainment: actors, musicians, producers, directors. I needed the excitement. And then you have some experiences, and you get a little wiser.”
She dated businessmen and other professionals and fared no better until she started seeing a shrink who made her realize that she was dating the same kind of men and expecting different results. “The men that I was attracted to had narcissistic tendencies,” she says. “These guys were all successful and also very self-focused and pleased with themselves, perhaps a little too much.” That’s when she sought out a matchmaker.
For years any time one of her girlfriends became single, the others would say, “Head up to the San Francisco Bay Area.” “When I was younger, I probably would have never thought about dating a Silicon Valley guy,” says Mona. But according to Amy Andersen, the San Francisco-based matchmaker who worked with Mona to find the right man, the trend is bigger than her and her girlfriends. “About two and a half years ago, I started getting a ton of pings and inquiries from women living down in Los Angeles trying to find a good, like-minded man,” Andersen says.
As fate, or some algorithm, would have it, the tech world is rife with men with similar complaints. Some are modern masters of the universe. They work for companies and, in some cases, have created or developed products that changed the world and made them and many other people millions. But that does not mean that they can find the right woman Saturday night.
Take Jay, a pseudonym for a San Francisco investment mogul in his early 50s who, like most people in this story, didn’t want to be identified. Jay was married for 17 years before divorcing amicably. He missed the rise of online dating, though he made up for lost time a year after his divorce. “I was mainly immersing myself for the first time in dating sites and found it to be a very significant waste of time,” he says. “I developed empathy for my children in understanding the way these sites are set up to make you addicted to them and keep spinning faces to look for somebody.”
After spinning through a lot of faces, and going on a lot of dates, Jay decided to seek professional help. “I began interviewing a few matchmaking firms—actually I had my assistant do that—and then I got it down to a few, and I met them,” he says. After hear- ing what he was looking for in a woman, “they all told me you’re not likely to find that person in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Andersen founded her company, Linx Dating, in part to find women for the men of Silicon Valley, who can be peculiar, to say the least. She grew up in nearby Marin County but got into a serious relationship with a “quintessential Silicon Valley geek,” to whom she is now married. “I witnessed that there was a huge surplus of eligible men and a dearth of women,” she says. The statistics back her up. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there are 40 percent more men than women just in Palo Alto (home to SAP, Tesla, and Hewlett-Packard). Bear in 2018 women held only 20 jobs in tech.
The line you’ll hear from women about dating in Silicon Valley is: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd.” Chances are that a genius coder or engineer spent his college years in his dorm room hunched over his laptop, while his less talented roommate was practicing pickup lines at parties. Those “odds” who went on to make their fortunes
didn’t do it by settling…..
Jay is wealthy enough to pay for a VIP, customized matchmaking experience. The woman he sought would be beautiful, yes, but older, preferably with kids—and into having more. “I’m looking for truly external and internal beauty,” he says. “And the external beauty factor in the Bay Area doesn’t seem to get divorced. I’ve now talked to five of these firms in depth for the last 20 months, and they all say the same thing, and no one has an explanation. There are just not many. There’s one: my ex. There are coyotes all over her.”
Jay says he has met some beautiful, intelligent, divorced women in the Bay Area. But he has complaints. “They have not taken care of themselves like these women that are in more vanity oriented cities,” he says. “Mainly skin care my friend. The sun does bad things. Yes, there are women in great shape in the Bay Area who do all this outdoor activity, but their skin shows their age.”
He says New York and L.A. have the best “supply side of women,” but the pool of eligible bachelorettes in their late 30s to 40s is greater in Los Angeles. “There are enormous numbers of women that either never got married, and now they’re 38 or had long-term relationships that didn’t work out, or they’re divorced,” he says. “And they’ve taken good care of themselves. There’s so many of them that want to get married to a monogamous partner, and the guys in L.A. are not capable of it.”
“The upside of Los Angeles is that arguably the most beautiful people in the country, if not the world, live there,” says Mona. “And then the downside of that is that it’s like a candy store for men.”
Through Andersen, Jay met a woman in Orange County who fit his bill. She owned a fitness business and had two kids in grade school—a plus for him. And if a fit, fun, smart woman of a certain age (presumably with great skin) was a novelty for Jay, you can imagine how he looked to his new girlfriend. “I feel like I’m a unicorn down there,” he says. “Like, you want to get married again? You actually are open to having children?” But after introducing her to his family and touring Europe with her on his yacht, Jay decided that his dream date still had issues she needed to sort out with her ex, and at press time they were on hiatus.
Unlike online dating, matchmakers are expensive. Andersen recruits eligible women to be part of her database and then tries to pair them with the right bachelor. Some women compensate the matchmaker if the pairing is successful, paying a bonus if they get married or engaged. But generally it’s the men who pay.
“People on the VIP level want us to exercise all options and not limit our search to an existing database,” says Andersen. “They want strategic searching, very akin to a professional headhunter looking for the perfect CEO for a tech company.”
Take Jack, a Silicon Valley pioneer in his 40s who worked for one of the biggest names in tech before moving on to help develop another brand-name technology. He also found dating apps a waste of time, though he partly blames himself for that. “I try to think of myself as a very kind person; I like to think of everyone as an amazing person that I could learn stuff from,” he says. “So I wouldn’t meet someone and go, ‘You’re not the right person for me’ and then cut it short. I’d end up spending three hours with them.”
And what wasn’t he finding in Silicon Valley? “A lot of the women were not as feminine as what I was used to in my upbringing,” he says, adding that his parents are “European.” “Even the women that are working in marketing jobs in tech companies, they’re just not as feminine as what I had acquired as a standard.” In a place where even the saleswomen don’t necessarily wear makeup, what’s a boy to do?
Enter Marie, who is in her late 30s and runs a successful entertainment company in L.A. “I never had any problems meeting men or [them] even wanting to pursue more serious relationships with me,” she says. Andersen introduced the couple over the phone more than a year ago; within a few months of meeting, Jack had bought a house in West L.A. not far from Marie. He proposed, and she accepted—but that relationship, too, has gone the way of all flesh. Jack decided he wanted to keep his options open, according to Andersen. “He can’t face the reality that relationships take work,” she says.
Mona was the itinerant partner in her relationship. She met her boyfriend through Andersen a few months ago, and they dated quite chastely. They went on eight dates before they kissed and waited three months before they slept together. He’s 60, a divorced dad, and a recognizable name in the tech world. “His experience was similar in that, when he went to Andersen, he said, ‘I’m looking for the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with,’” she says.
The early signs were good. Despite her career as an actress in the world’s vainest city, Mona had resisted the pressure to get Botox. Miraculously her new Silicon Valley boyfriend told her he found the age lines around her eyes “beautiful.” Now they are moving in together, and he even bought them a second home on the beach in Malibu so she can stay close to her L.A. network. They’re talking about a wedding, and while they may not have settled on where to have the ceremony, they want the matchmaker to marry them.
Have you ever believed that you were preordained to meet your soulmate?
In Jewish culture, the word Bashert (or beshert; Yiddish: באַשערט) means “destiny”. I had never heard of this word until a lovely woman that I matched to her beau explained it in full color to me.
She explained that when two predestined souls find one another in their lifetime, they have met the “Beshert.”
Upon hearing this, she understood intuitively and knew deep down in her heart that this is what she would wait for…
Over the course of her twenties and thirties there would be several marriage proposals, however, she never experienced ‘the feeling’ that she was in the presence of her “Beshert” and so she waited… Before falling asleep at night she would visualize that when in the presence of her soul partner she would recognize him instantly… additionally, whenever she saw a happy couple she would be reminded of this deep connection and send “him” love from her heart chakra. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that when the time was right he would appear in her life.
In the interim, she started seeing a skilled therapist who helped her clear the pathway for meeting her Beshert. The therapist recommended that she take off six months of dating to examine her patterns, blocks, etc so that she would be the best version of herself and be ready for “him.” That Christmas, (and five and half months into her dating sabbatical) she experienced a deep loneliness like something was missing. She texted her therapist that she KNEW this would be the last Christmas that she spent without her life partner.
She was committed to expanding her world and began Googling ways to connect with eligible men and found Linx Dating in Silicon Valley. She submitted her information like many women do in the hopes of meeting their match and was paired to a wonderful man shortly thereafter. She shares that she has never felt this way about anyone, the way she feels about him.
From their first conversation, there was an understood mutual connection and then when they met in person, it was this total feeling of familiarity, ease, fun, and attraction. This particular couple started their Linx match based on establishing a strong foundation of friendship. Multiple dates, many weekends, shared meals, walks, talks, and only escalating to holding hands for the first many months.
After a solid friendship had developed rooted in trust, integrity, and a lot of laughter, they were ready to deepen their relationship and become monogamous and romantic. They continue to fall deeper in love every day and consider this one of their greatest journeys… and they both agree that the connection that they share was worth the wait.
Life works in all sorts of unexpected ways and every day is a gift for which to be grateful. According to her therapist, I became part of the Bershert process when she contacted Linx Dating. It’s been an honor and my pleasure to help two incredible people find each other and be each other’s Bershert.
For those interested,Dr. Judith F. Chusid,has worked with over 48 couples on finding their “bashert”. She is a relationship specialist and performance coach on the East Coast. Look for her book coming out next month on Amazon titled: Success Is An Inside Job: Stop Playing Small ~ Overcome Fear of Success ~ Live in Your Potential (Tune into Your Passion-Do What You Love – Follow Your Bliss) and in 2020 look for Success Is An Inside Job: Stop Choosing the Wrong Person ~ Overcome Unhealthy Choices ~ Connect with Your Bershert. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 463-0080 to learn more.
WHAT a whirlwind summer! My faithful readers, I am so sorry I have been totally derelict in writing anything on this blog these last few months. Truth be told, it has been non-stop for the Linx ladies with our on-going VIP searches and screening countless candidates for our clients. We’ve traveled near and far, we’ve matched many couples, and while many have stayed together, we’ve dealt with a few breakups. That’s life though and part of the dating process.
So fast forward, we are here at the office busier than ever, cranking away, burning the midnight oil looking for some match candidates for our new clients. As always, thank you for your help in self-nominating yourself if you feel you’re a match or nominating your friend.
NO FEES shall be incurred for any qualifying individuals – our existing clients have paid their way and we are seeking additional good matches for them!
ADVENTUROUS NAPA MD SEEKS SENSIBLE AND FUN PARTNER
Our client is a smart, sophisticated, and attractive 36-year-old woman of mixed Southeast Asian islandic heritage who was born and raised in San Francisco. Standing 5’3”, with a petite, feminine frame, her wavy dark hair is long and silky while her eyes are brown. To stay in shape, she’s an avid swimmer and enjoys being outside as much as possible.
Medical School and Surgical Residency/Fellowship took her around the country where she developed an appreciation for Southern cooking and hospitality as well as a palette for chocolate martinis while she was training in Hershey! Although her travels and educational activities also took her around the globe (where one of her favorite cities became Geneva, Switzerland), she recently returned home to Northern California to develop her first Surgical Practice right after graduation.
She lives in beautiful Napa Valley surrounded by vineyards but also travels to San Francisco to reconnect with childhood friends and family on a regular basis. Our client understands that dating takes compromise, and she is willing and excited to venture outside of Napa to develop a relationship. Furthermore, she is not wed to staying in sunny Napa forever. While her focus is work, she is a realist and a romantic at heart who will relocate for love especially since her job provides her flexibility to do so.
She is fortunate to have several months off a year while working as a Trauma Surgeon. During her free time, she pursues her interest in developing surgical devices and innovations with friends. However, she is not a “plain Jane” where she’s all work and no play! She is adventurous and might be seen going racecar driving with her former surgical residents or enjoying local music and cuisine at festivals in San Francisco and events at wineries. Most of all, what catches your attention is her energy and caring personality, which radiates warmth that indelibly draws others to her. Some may wonder why she is still single? To which she responds that her mantra thus far has been “Books before Boys,” which has changed since completing her academic training.
Our client is best suited for a gentleman between the ages of 33-39 years old, must be 5’10”+, slender to average physique, Caucasian in heritage. He is affable, considerate, kind, compassionate, handy and resourceful, unique in some way and self-sufficient. Career wise, her dream match commands his career and is powerful in his own industry.
Deal breakers: under 5’10”, has kids, or doesn’t want children.
If you think you might make a great candidate or you know anyone who could make a great candidate for her, please email Amy at: email@example.com
After 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.
The popularity of non-monogamy—the practice of engaging in many intimate relationships—is on the rise, but is it the right path for your relationship? If you’ve found yourself in this situation, the most important piece of the puzzle is getting clear about what you want.
It’s important to understand what a polyamorous relationship entails. Firstly, it is a relationship built on consent. So, if you or your partner engages in another relationship without the consent of the primary partner, that’s not polyamory, that’s cheating. Also, polyamory is not exclusively about having multiple partners – if that were the case, you’d be describing an open relationship.
Sound a little complicated? Well, I’d agree with you. I’ve seen the invitation for multiple partners complicate functional relationships for years. To be fair, the relationships were on shaky ground before the discussion of additional partners was on the table, but each time the conversation about additional partners came up, someone was left feeling disappointed.
I believe the best decisions come from a place of honesty. Before you decide if polyamory is for you, consider the following:
What led you to this decision?
If your partner surprised you with the proposition, it’s already looking like an unnatural evolution of your relationship. However, if you did some deep soul searching and believe that multiple partners will help you become the best version of yourself, I think you should listen to that voice.
Are you doing this to please someone?
Compromising your picture of the relationship to paint someone else’s will only backfire. Instead of ensuring closeness, you’re building a strong case for resentment and contempt. In addition, it is common for jealously to flood the brain.
Ask yourself: Will my partner’s feelings towards me change based on my response?
Are you doing this to fix something “broken”?
Compromising your needs in an attempt to “get the relationship back on track” or “try a new experience together” are just falsehoods to help us cope with the knowledge that the relationship is flawed on a fundamental level.
Ask yourself: How, specifically, will my partner’s new relationship with someone else strengthen our relationship?
Are you able to speak openly about jealousy, sexual health, and feeling insecure?
Are your lines of communication open enough to discuss some of the harsher realities of polyamory? Some common drawbacks include feeling jealous, insecure, and secondary. Will you be able to talk about the physical implications of more than one sexual partner? Are you able to talk about feelings of insecurity at the risk of sounding needy? If any of this gives you pause, consider how much stress the polyamorous relationship could put on the level of communication with your partner.
Are you able to set boundaries? Are you prepared to leave if they are crossed?
This point echoes the sentiment above; are you able to communicate openly about your needs in the relationship? If you are entertaining a polyamorous relationship, are there certain people off limits to your partner? If you are not able to voice these concerns for fear of upsetting your partner, you will sabotage your emotional well being.
If your partner is constantly seeking attention, validation, or admiration while keeping your needs secondary, you could be dating a narcissist. The narcissism diagnosis gets tossed around frequently, so it can be difficult to differentiate between a true narcissist and someone who just loves attention. To know if you’re dating a narcissist, look out for the following signs:
Grandiose Personality—Your partner believes that he or she is the reason other people are leading better lives. Because they believe they are more important than everyone else, it’s challenging for them to fathom how other people could survive without their contributions.
What this could look like: When your partner discusses a work project, he takes credit for the final product without any acknowledgement of colleagues. He tries to tell you that despite everyone pushing back or “getting in his way”, he single-handedly found the answer.
Grand displays of affection (initially)—If your partner laid it on thick in the beginning—i.e. flowers, gifts, or saying “I love you” soon after meeting—you experienced what psychologists call “love bombing”. This technique is used to move the relationship forward quickly, but on a false pretense—one that is self-serving as opposed to genuine.
What this could look like: You were swept off your feet, but that narrative quickly changed when you communicated needs of your own. The exchange of gifts comes easily, but the exchange of real communication has barriers.
Your partner is living in a fantasy—Since reality doesn’t back up that grandiose personality, your partner will create a narrative that does. You might hear your partner tell stories that speak to unlimited power, brilliance, or importance. These stories are protective mechanisms to help offset shame or a lack of self worth.
What this could look like: Your partner tells a story about that time she got a scholarship to an ivy league school, but she doesn’t end up going. When you ask why she took out loans to attend a state school instead, she becomes furious and combative. Your innocent question is met with rage and anger, as it potentially challenges her fantasy.
You partner turns the conversation on you—Whenever you discuss a problem with your partner or have some constructive criticism, the conversation seems to be redirected at you. A narcissistic person will try to make you feel guilty, overly sensitive, or just plain wrong about the issues you’re experiencing. Gaslighting is the formal term that describes this kind of emotional devaluation technique.
What this could look like: You tell your partner that you are upset when she shows up late for plans. Instead of apologizing or offering up a reason, she flips the conversation on you. She might say something like, “Why are you so controlling?” or “Would be really great if you could loosen up”. Gaslighters know that if you question your own feelings, you will continue to doubt yourself and the poor treatment you are receiving.
Your partner is a bully—To affirm those feelings of superiority, narcissists will frequently demean others. Your partner harbors a fragile self esteem so tearing people down—especially publically—is a way to preserve his sense of self.
What this could look like: The waiter delivers the wrong meal to your table. Instead of asking for a replacement, your partner escalates the situation from mistake to confrontation. After embarrassing the waiter and asserting dominance, your partner will not feel any shame or remorse for making a scene.