San Jose Dating

The current state of the matchmaking industry from an insiders perspective

It’s 2018 and I can officially say I am obsessed with being a matchmaker. It’s incredibly hard to believe that I have been running my niche business since December 2003. I will never forget the day that I walked into my former boss’s office at Merrill Lynch and told him I was quitting to become a professional matchmaker. I think his head fell off and rolled across the floor in shock. But it was the right move. I wasn’t happy in financial services. It was neither my calling nor what I was meant to do. I knew deep down in my core that I would start my own company one day and succeed at it – I believed in myself. In the same vein, and at the beginning of another year, I encourage you to believe in yourself. To achieve your dreams, whether professional, personal (e.g. meeting an exceptional life partner), or a combination, you need to believe in your ideas and have a solid confidence.

 

I am writing this particular blog entry to address the state of the matchmaking industry, as I see it. I’d like to think I have a good sense of, and some deep insights into, this space.  My livelihood is my business – I have been at this for 14 years, it runs deep in my blood, and it has been an integral piece of my life’s journey. At the beginning of a new year, I want to share my thoughts with all of you.

 

Not to sugarcoat anything, I have been very disappointed reading the press coverage of many matchmakers over the last several years – last year’s news, in particular, struck a chord with me. Something is just plain wrong with so many of the “high-end” matchmakers and “not so high-end” matchmakers out there – the vast majority of them are volume-driven businesses who’s business ethics are very questionable.

 

As a business owner, I have learned some of my greatest lessons over the last 14 years. A big one is not to take someone on board as a client if I can’t deliver. Seems pretty basic right? Contrary to this principle, matchmakers for the masses (and those handful who claim they are “elite” but have zero filtering or curation), are extremely focused on total revenue. I get it. It’s so tempting when running a business, whether big or small.   BUT I can proudly say that I have worked extremely hard via science (my database) and art (my heart and intuition) to truly “cherry pick” the best of the best clients whom I know I can match and with whom I know I can work. Emphasis on whom I know I can match!

 

Thus, one of the most critical distinctions between Linx Dating and pretty much any of the dating services available domestically and internationally is that we actually turn away a lot of incoming demand. To reiterate, why would I turn away these prospective male and female clients who can help me increase my business revenue? For starters, Linx prides itself in representing a very select group of clientele. There are other matchmakers that make these claims, but I can assure you that the majority of these firms have a revenue model that basically requires them to take all of the business that comes through their door. It is precisely THIS model that gets these other business into serious trouble when they cannot deliver results. In addition to this, a large complaint is that when the matchmakers work with so many clients, it is extremely hard for the client to feel any connection to the team or that anyone really knows or remembers them.

 

The news that I have been reading, and the stories that I keep hearing, involve nasty lawsuits where disgruntled high profile clients file claims against matchmakers time and time again. What are the root causes of most of these cases?

 

  • Matchmakers taking on clients that they probably should not have.

For example, some clients will never be satisfied under any circumstances. Maybe they have unrealistic goals, or haven’t really thought about the most important qualities they want in a match, and this makes it impossible for the matchmaker to ever deliver, as they in search of glorified unicorns that do not exist.

 

  • Due to (1), Matchmakers are under pressure to make introductions that are often so patently “bad” that the client freaks out at the quality of match.

 

“Bad” could be a long list of reasons, with characteristics ranging from undesirable to unacceptable: e.g. the introduction is unemployed, a drug user, a sex offender, convicted criminals….the list goes on and on. Firms do these set-ups like this with random people to meet the quota of introductions for the client. It is a very bad, often times unethical, business that makes this industry at large look bad!

 

I have never been consumed by trying to grow my business to some massively large scale operation and becoming a victim of image, keeping up with the Joneses, or trying to be something I am not.  There’s plenty of matchmakers doing PR campaigns posing in front of fancy cars, private planes, using waifish models to bait men, and bragging about the last names of some of their clientele to the media (which is also a breach in confidentiality mind you.) Instead of resorting to these tactics, I have worked very hard to maintain my core values and business standards throughout the years. While no one is perfect and, sure, I have made my fair number of mistakes along this journey, I know I have done and continue to do a superb job of try to make my corner of this industry shine with integrity while staying true to who I am.

 

If it wasn’t already looking so grim, other matchmakers I’ve read about have chosen to launder money when it was meant for donations to charity, or taken all the membership money, and essentially disappear on some island, all while not returning worried clients’ phone calls, and often literally not even delivering on promised introductions.

 

And then there are other matchmakers who loathe the success and positive media attention of their competitors so much that they resort to guerilla tactics that I have had to deal with over and over again in my business – e.g. false reviews posted on Yelp from “people” who were never even clients. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” -Colin Powell

 

To thrive in business and life, one must be prepared for critics and for those who wish to see you fail. While it can feel very out-of-control in the moment when it is happening, the silver living becomes your greatest blessing. The silver lining is the motive of the competitor. Envy. They recognize something great, likely question “how” such a small, niche business has managed to get to where it’s at, and want to copy its success. There really is no greater compliment than a person wanting to model your success.

 

As you are possibly researching matchmakers to hire, I encourage you to meet with many and do your due diligence. Do meet and greets, ask them questions, see which ones feel right, ask if they offer references (often we cannot, due to the strict privacy policy, but sometimes a client is willing to speak), and most importantly follow your gut. Just like I tell my clients when they are on dates, study your date’s body language, look into their eyes. What feeling are you getting? Is it a good one where your intuition is telling you to keep exploring the chemistry over the course of future dates or does something feel off?

 

The greatest lesson I have learned is never to ignore your intuition. There is a reason we human beings have it. My biggest regrets, and luckily they are few and far between, have been going against my intuition in business hires or in admitting a client or two whom I definitely should not have. So I encourage you to do the same, listen to what your heart and mind tell you.

 

While I continue to try to make a positive impact on the matchmaking industry, I wish you a strong start to your New Year filled with health, peace, prosperity, and clarity into your love lives in 2018!

5 ways people unintentionally sabotage relationships

 

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It’s impossible to break patterns without awareness. Whereas ending a relationship is seemingly straightforward, ending relationships without fully understanding why is a dangerous pattern—a pattern that can’t be broken unless we employ serious self-reflection. Focusing on the outward makes us feel powerless to make changes; it’s easy to surrender to a victim mentality. Below are the most common ways men unintentionally sabotage relationships:

 

  1. Holding on to a relationship fantasy.

Believing that the grass is always greener—that there is better elsewhere and anything less than perfect won’t do—is a mechanism that shields people from deeper levels of intimacy. If you believe better is just around the corner, there is no reason to invest fully, emotionally or otherwise, in the current relationship.

 

The belief that better exists is usually rooted in fear—fear of commitment, fear of losing one’s individuality, and the fear of pain. Believing that something better exists outside of the relationship mitigates the fear. Looking deeper within will reveal that the greener grass mentality is a projection of the discomfort we have within ourselves; idealizing something or someone who isn’t real soothes those uncomfortable feelings.

 

What to do: Take an objective look at your relationship patterns.

  • Are you constantly seeking change?
  • Why did your last relationships fail? What was your role in that?
  • Are you content?

Figuring out what you idealize in a partner might be a good starting point to figure out what you’re missing within.

 

  1. Inability to address pain openly.

Emotional intimacy can only be achieved through vulnerability. Being unable to share openly and truthfully will inhibit emotional depth and closeness. In The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life’s Terms with Your Own, Ken Druck, PhD., writes that men learn that anger is a “good” male emotion as it demonstrates toughness and makes some men feel like they are in control. After years of programming, it’s no wonder that many men act aggressively in the face of stress, fear, sadness, or loss.

What to do: Learn to identify your emotional needs and learn how to get these needs met in and out of your primary relationship. This is a process; a therapist can help make it easier.

 

  1. Taking feedback personally instead of objectively.

Criticism can be highly triggering; hearing something that challenges a strong ego can cause an emotional reaction. Not only does this reaction reveal insecurity, these emotional reactions make will make it harder for your partner to communicate openly.

 

What to do: Stop Defending.

According to Robert Taibbi, LCSW, the best way to handle your partner’s concerns is to affirm your good intentions and seek a better understanding of your partners needs. Trying to build a case that refutes your partner’s point of view might stroke your ego, but it will ultimately prolong resolution.

 

  1. Failing to recognize your partner’s love language.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman describes the most common ways people feel loved: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you haven’t discovered your partner’s language, reading this short book will help you learn how to express feelings more effectively.

 

Often times we express love in the way that makes us feel most loved, but that is not necessarily the way your partner will feel most loved. Additionally, learning your partner’s love language will help you avoid situations that could be especially devastating. For example, if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, non- constructive criticism or failing to express appreciation will be very painful for a partner who is more sensitive to verbal communication.

 

  1. De-prioritizing the relationship.

Complicating factors—work, children, aging parents—can certainly detract focus from the relationship. Situational distractions are inevitable, but letting distractions, and the distance that follows, get out of hand is a dangerous pattern that gets in the way of valuing your partner.

 

What to do: Schedule couple time.

Date night, Skype dates, weekend getaways—whatever you choose is irrelevant. The most important part is that you choose something. Be intentional. The 9-5 autopilot lifestyle can easily suppress passion and spontaneity. The busier you are, the more important it will be for you make room for quality time.

 

Egg Freezing Part 2: When should I tell my partner?

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There’s a shift in every woman’s life when they go from doing everything in their power to prevent pregnancy to desperately trying to preserve and fertilize their eggs before time runs out. As discussed in last month’s blog post, egg freezing is becoming a popular choice for women who want to take their fertility into their own hands on their own timeline. Many women who have frozen their eggs report feeling more confident and at ease when dating, but when is the best time to let your date know that your eggs are on ice?

Don’t blurt it out on every first date

Egg freezing is a new concept, so many men, especially those who don’t live in urban centers, are completely clueless about it. Some women in their late 30s and 40s reported feeling the need to tell every man they meet that they are still able to have children since they have frozen their eggs, but the men we surveyed said that sharing this in the first few dates is not necessary and can ruin the mood. You don’t want every first date to turn into a medical lecture.

Share it with someone you care about

Freezing your eggs is a big decision you have made, or are thinking about making, for yourself. The procedure takes a lot of time, energy and money, and speaks volumes about how much you value having the option to have your own children. This is a beautiful gift you can give to a loving, committed partner when the time is right. Most of the men we surveyed said that egg freezing is a smart choice that they respect and admire. It can give couples the time they need to figure out if they are meant to be or not before rushing into having children.

Wait until the topic of children comes up

Learning about your partners’ views on having children can be an immediate deal breaker or can bring you closer together. If you have frozen, or are considering freezing your eggs, having children is likely very important to you. If you want kids and your partner doesn’t, you should have the breakup conversation instead of the egg freezing conversation. People very rarely change their minds about wanting to have kids. If he also wants kids, this is the perfect time to tell him that you’ve frozen your eggs. He will probably be thrilled to share in your commitment to having a family.

Tread lightly

Have a plan before the topic comes up and understand what you want out of the conversation. Carefully explain to your partner why you are considering or have already frozen your eggs. Chances are your partner knows little to nothing about egg freezing and will have a lot of questions. Several men have reported feeling threatened by knowing that their partner can have children whenever and with whomever they choose. Communicate gently and be aware of his feelings.

The timing and delivery of this personal information will vary by relationship, but we felt compelled to share some general guidelines since this question has come up a lot recently. Whether you are thinking about freezing or have frozen your eggs, it is a big decision that you should share with your partner when the time is right.

Romance and Dining in Silicon Valley

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Anyone can book a table for two at the hottest restaurant in town, so what is the #1 key to impressing your dinner date and setting the stage for an unforgettable romantic evening?  Location, location, location!

Far too many Bay Area diners excitedly book prime time dinner reservations at expensive restaurants only to be seated at less than desirable tables for romantic meals.  Your $200+ dinner is well worth it when you’ve scored a private table with a view and feels like a horrible mistake when you’re seated next to the bathroom or an inch away from the couple seated next to you.

Think about it – would you ever spend the same amount for a middle seat in Economy Class on a plane as you would for a window seat in First Class?  Of course not!  In the restaurant business, why should you pay premium prices if you’re sitting at a lousy table? You shouldn’t.

There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances for a successful dinner date.  Obviously, showing up on time and dressed in a manner that shows that you care about your appearance and that you respect your date’s time and attention are top priorities.

However, if you’re in charge of choosing the restaurant, you’d be well advised to also follow my maxim, “You don’t want a romantic restaurant.  You want a romantic table.”  Our new website, mostromantictable.com, helps diners find and book the most romantic dinner tables at restaurants around the world.  We’ve launched in New York, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, Wine Country, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

Here in Silicon Valley, Chez TJ, is well known as one of the most romantic restaurants in the area.  For over 30 years, the restaurant has been the preferred location for innumerable proposals, engagements, and birthday celebrations.  All tables at Chez TJ are great, but dining at either Table 42 or Table 43 will transform your dining experience.  Both tables are located in the quiet, comfortable, tastefully decorated front parlor room of the Victorian mansion that houses the restaurant.  Both are next to windows that will provide you and your date with plenty of conversational fodder as you watch the world go by.  The food at Chez TJ is exceptional, as evidenced by the Michelin stars it consistently earns for its outstanding contemporary French cuisine.

Perhaps the most romantic dinner experience in the valley is in The Champagne Room at Saratoga’s The Plumed Horse Restaurant.  The Champagne Room holds a table for two in a curtained alcove off of the restaurant’s lounge.  Piano music greets you as you sit down at your table while candles and light from a stained glass window illuminate the room.  The Champagne Room offers privacy and an ambiance conducive to an intimate meal.  The Plumed Horse is celebrated for both its food and wine – it’s food has been recognized by Michelin with at least one star every year since 2008, and the Wine Spectator has given The Plumed Horse 1 out of only 81 worldwide Grand Awards for its wine program.

According to OpenTable, almost 70% of their diners wish they could have table specific information when making their dinner reservations.  In general, it’s good advice to call a restaurant either before or after making a reservation to ensure that you’ll be seated at a table appropriate for the occasion.  You can significantly improve your chances for a successful date by choosing your restaurant and your table from the incredible selection available at www.mostromantictable.com.

Guest Blogger Jay Ward, founder of MostRomanticTable.com. After taking his girlfriend to more than 160 restaurants in the first two-and-a-half years of their relationship, Jay conceived of the idea for MostRomanticTable.com.

Announcing New Search | Entrepreneurial & Ivy League Educated 40-something Man

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We are excited to announce a new search for an extraordinary gentleman who is based in San Francisco. Our bachelor is an intellectual and entrepreneurial mid 40’s Caucasian man who stands 5’9”, has an athletic build, medium length light brown hair, piercing green eyes, and a kind, warm smile. He has boyish, rugged good looks and dresses casually.

Leadership has come to be defining aspects of his life. He founded an internet company, grew the company to be a significant enterprise with 100+ employees and ultimately sold that company. He is Ivy League educated for both his undergraduate degree and his post graduate degrees and has enjoyed a diverse, exciting set of work experiences while getting to live all around the globe.

Our bachelor is an adventurous guy who grew up in Canada and seeks pleasure and excitement from a wide range of activities including the water, sports, cooking, wine, reading fiction, and everything about entertaining! While not political, he leans more socially liberal and economically centralist. Our bachelor is energetic, funny, good-spirited, quirky, and extremely down-to-earth. He has not been married and doesn’t have kids. He is genuinely ready for these changes in his life and is “done” with dating. There are so many more amazing dimensions to this particular client that we could share but we feel it best for you to actually meet him in person.

He best responds to women who are in their 30’s, of any ethnic background, fit, feminine, and with a naturally beautiful way about her. She’s laid back, friendly, an idealist, quick witted, book smart, social, and those that meet her would call her charismatic. She wants to engage in deep conversation with her man- from politics, economics, science and other ideas and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Some might also describe her as a cool sexy nerd!

If you think you might qualify to meet this dreamy bachelor of Linx, please write Amy at: amy@linxdating.com and tell her a bit about yourself. There are no fees for qualifying candidates. If you don’t think you qualify for whatever reason but have a great girlfriend, sibling, colleague, etc who might, don’t be shy about writing Amy and nominating your friend. Thank you so much!

Announcing a new search for a handsome 28-year old gentleman….

Easy-going and confidentOur client is an adventurous and exceptionally well-rounded 28-year old Caucasian man who is a total catch in every way. He is brand new on the dating scene and is not one to put himself online or tinker with apps – he just doesn’t have the inclination or the time and furthermore seeks the utmost quality match to complement his life.

Physically, he stands 6’4”, with an athletic build, short brown hair, pale blue eyes, and has a preppy sense of style. His smile is effortless and eyes twinkle when he speaks. Fitness and health are very important to him – he enjoys crossfit, hiking, soccer, skiing, and playing lacrosse when he has the time. He’s a former cowboy who worked on a ranch in Montana when he was younger and still finds enjoyment in riding horses to relax.

Our client’s professional and academic career have taken him down some very diverse paths including recently having returned from serving as an officer in the Marine Corps, completing deployments to Afghanistan and the Western Pacific. He’s currently working in finance and will begin an MBA in the fall.  He’s driven, goal oriented, and successful, yet very humble.

His eclectic past has taught him to adapt quickly and to be comfortable in a variety of environments. He enjoys everything from seeing plays, to strolling through museums, river rafting, camping, all sports, and even dabbling in woodworking. He’s a family guy who was raised in a loving home and looks to his parents as role models of marital success.  He’d love to have a partner to travel with, and is eager to keep filing up his passport. While he can be lost in the kitchen, he shares he makes a great sous chef and is adept at firing up the grill.

You will find him to be a natural born leader, organized, and confident. He’s social but not the life-of-the-party and has an easy-going calm way about him. What is most impressive is that this is “his time” to find the woman of his dreams. While he’s been awarded medals and ribbons with valor for heroic actions during his combat operations, at the end of the day, family is most important to him and that means the missing piece in his life is finding the girl of his dreams with whom to settle down.

Our bachelor is looking for a young woman who is between the ages of 24 and 32, where 28 is the ideal age. Since he’s blessed with height, she is ideally taller with an ideal height of 5’8” (but he’s open to a wider range). He responds positively to femininity, naturally pretty women, who have longer hair of any color, and are slender to athletic, with some nice curves. His dream girl is stylish, enjoys the outdoors, and keeps healthy like he does. She can work in any industry and have any title but the key is to be passionate and love what she does! She must be social, very family oriented, spunky, caring, happy, fun, and confident enough to call him out at times! Wallflowers need not apply!

If you or anyone you know make a great potential match for our dreamy bachelor, please contact Amy at amy@linxdating.com

Advice for Men & Women this Valentine’s

RedRoseWith Valentine’s on Saturday and pressure surrounding this “Hallmark holiday” remember to be good to yourself. My advice for you to alleviate feeling blue if you don’t have that someone special is to find time to relax and pamper yourself a bit. Why worry and fuss over not having someone perfect when you can step back from it all and focus on being good to yourself?!

For the ladies, if you have the time and extra resources, go book a massage, facial, pedicure, or get your hair cut or colored. Uplift your spirits by stopping in Sephora to get your make-up done for free and splurge on a few sparkly lip glosses and luxe lotion. Meet a friend afterwards and share a great bottle of wine and dinner together or go people watch at a trendy bar while donning your best heels and handbag. You’ll feel good about yourself, get out of the house, and not find yourself trolling your online dating sites or swiping through the vast array of dating apps.

For the guys, focus on something you really enjoy and maybe don’t get to do that often. This could mean playing a round of golf, calling up a buddy and grabbing beers while indulging in some sports, running, or getting a massage as well- hell maybe a spa pedicure too!

Valentine’s doesn’t have to mean a day for just two people to embrace one another and say “I Love You.” It can mean loving yourself and remembering that with all of the craziness life throws us, at the end of the day, you need to love yourself first. So hit sleep on your computer, call a friend, makes plans, or book those reservations for some “you” time. Oh and don’t forget that loving yourself this Valentine’s can certainly mean seeing the much anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey… 😉 Uh oh!

XOXO,

Silicon Valley’s Cupid