Silicon Valley Culture

Here’s How to Escape the Friend Zone

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The friend zone—it is the place you’ll end up if your romantic interest thinks you’re nice, but isn’t attracted to you romantically. Despite your best attempts to show your “friend” how great being in a relationship could be, your “friend” just isn’t reciprocating. Maybe one or more of the following has happened to you:

  • A romantic prospect introduces you to other people, saying “This is my FRIEND…”
  • A romantic prospect refers to you as a “brother” or “sister”- perhaps after there was some sort of physical contact (i.e., a brief make-out that leads to them pushing you away…saying “I feel like you’re my sister/brother.” 😦
  • You’ve made obvious advances that were ignored

Shifting interest from “just friends” to something more is difficult, but not impossible. If you are perpetually finding yourself in the friend zone, consider these three principles and a few tips on how best to implement them.

  1. The Principle of Least Interest: The member of a relationship who cares least about it is often more desirable and powerful. In other words, letting go of your intense desire to be in the relationship is more likely to boost your chances of ending up in one. It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the same principle that explains why so many of us have played ‘hard to get’. Feigning a lack of interest can make oneself more desirable.

So what can you do? Entertain other options.

Showing interest in others demonstrates that you aren’t willing to forego other options for someone who isn’t feeling the same way about you. In other words, you’re not going to sit and wait for someone to start being interested in you. Though not seeming too eager can be hard when you really do like someone, actively meeting other people and keeping your options open will help you regain some of the power that you lost while pursuing a relatively disinterested person.

  1. The Principle of Scarcity: A close cousin of Principle #1… Because we value things that are scarce more than we value the things that are abundant, it’s in your best interest to remain somewhat unavailable. When you are always available, you’re depriving your partner of an opportunity to win you over and understand just how valuable your time is.

So what can you do? Fill up your social calendar.

Getting busy will give your love interest an opportunity to miss you. Committing yourself to other activities—and refusing to cancel them—is a great way to signal that your time and energy are valuable.

  1. The Ben Franklin Effect: This psychological phenomenon explains why people have better feelings towards the people for whom they do favors. In practice, this means that you are the favor asker instead of the favor doer.

So what can you do? Ask for small favors that can lead to spending time together.

Figure out a way for her to help you out and also to spend time with you. If your apartment feels a little stale, ask her to help you redecorate. If you need a weekend away, ask her to watch the dog; find a way for her to help you out. Instead of you driving to their home every day after work, ask them to drive to you.

How to Date with Asperger’s…

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Dating is challenging for everyone, but for those with Asperger’s, the dating dance seems more like a series of spastic, rhythm-less movements. Matthew Rozsa, a successful journalist with Asperger’s described his personal experience eloquently: “If life in a society is a game (and make no mistake about it, it is), having Asperger’s forces you to play while learning two-thirds of the rules as you go along, even as everyone else knows them instinctively … and assumes you do too.”

Unlike their neurotypical (NT) counterparts, people with Asperger’s struggle to understand nuance or things that aren’t to be taken literally. Dating, especially, with all the flirting and mixed messages makes courtship exceptionally difficult. Though intensive, personalized coaching is the best way to improve dating success. Until you are ready to take that step, try these five dating tips for better dating experiences.

  1. Focus on the Signals

The best way to determine if someone is interested is to watch for signals. Before speaking, most people communicate through body language. Proximity, hand gestures, and eye contact are all ways of communicating without saying a word. Not all signals carry the same strength, so it’s crucial to differentiate weak signals, which could indicate friendship, from strong signals, which could indicate romantic interest.

Weak signals include: saying hello, making infrequent eye contact

Strong signals: touching, asking for your phone number, getting very close, asking you many personal questions

Think of weak signals as springboards for you to mine for more information. For example, if you notice a woman across the room, but she decides to order a cocktail next to you, she is offering a weak, yet positive signal. If you initiate conversation with this woman and notice that she is asking questions about you, the signal is getting stronger.

  1. Keep the First Date Shorter

To de-pressurize the first date, try selecting a single event or activity as the date. With a time limit on social interaction, you can relax and focus on learning about your date. As you’ll be maintaining constant one-on-one contact in a public place, you run the risk of sensory overload. This level of distraction can take you out of a comfortable mind frame and spoil budding romantic feelings. A time limit on the first few dates will help guide you through the more uncertain parts of the dating process. As your relationship grows, you’ll be better equipped to negotiate how much time to spend with each other.

  1. Consider Being Open About Your Condition

A lot of people wonder if they should be open about their autism when they are first dating someone. According to sexologist Amy Marsh, an authentic, straightforward approach is best. “The best thing a former partner said to me was, ‘I have a limited capacity for emotional engagement.’” If you feel that your partner is giving you strong signals—and you feel similarly—opening up about your condition might not only help her know what to expect, but also prevent her from taking some of the emotional challenges personally.

  1. Listen More than You Speak

If you have a tendency to talk a lot, you need to remember the purpose of the date: You are trying to learn about a new person. If you find yourself talking incessantly on one subject for a prolonged period of time, you aren’t creating an opportunity to learn about your date. Prepare a few questions that cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and try your best to listen twice as much as you talk.

  1. Follow Up

If you aren’t sure about the signals you received during the date, and you’re interested in seeing your date again, you should certainly ask. If your date is unresponsive, she is probably not interested in seeing you again romantically. However; you can use this opportunity to learn more about her dating experience to improve. The best way to get answers is to create a safe space for her to be honest with you. You can leave her a voicemail or text and politely ask for feedback. After you make the request, you should not continue to contact her or ask her out on more dates.

Example: “Hi. I’m really happy you took the time to go out with me last week. I understand we might not be matched for dating, but I would really appreciate your feedback so I can improve. I think it’s really hard to read emotional cues and communicate about my feelings and any help you could give me would be immensely appreciated. Absolutely up to you and no pressure.”

How to Keep Him Interested

 

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After your second dinner date with a promising new guy, he invites you back to his place for a night cap. At his apartment, he’s very affectionate and asks you to stay over. You’re attracted to him and want to see him again, but you aren’t ready to get between the sheets quite yet. How do you reject his advances, keep him interested at the same time, and not upset him by being ‘a tease?’

In this age of modern romance, when single people can find their next booty call with a touch of their smartphone, it’s important to know how to show a guy you are interested without jumping into bed with them right away. Consider the strategies below to keep your new guy interested without going too far too fast:

  • Let him know that you need to head home since you have an early morning meeting but would love to see him again soon.
  • Innocently brush up against his shoulder or waist to let him know that you are interested in him physically.
  • Kissing can be deliciously delightful and the perfect solution to letting him know you’re digging him but ending it at that for the time being.
  • Tell him you have a strict policy of not sleeping with anyone unless you in are monogamous relationship. This is one of the biggest areas I see so many people goof on when dating one another. Too many times couples start sleeping together and because they are very attracted to one another and see one another all the time, the female assumes they are exclusive.
  • You are NOT exclusive unless you HAVE THE TALK. So have the talk and be a smart dater. For all you know, your partner is sleeping with a handful of other people- and frankly that’s not safe!
  • Plan ahead – create a compelling event that will require you to leave the date at a certain time.
  • Text him after you leave to let him know that you had a great time and look forward to seeing him again.

Differentiate yourself as the girl who doesn’t jump in the sack right away. You have standards and values and if he can’t appreciate you being a quality girl…his loss and your gain honey!

If you reject his advances and never hear from him again, he probably wasn’t interested in dating you in the first place. If he is seriously interested in dating you, he will be more than happy to wait for the relationship to turn physical.

Just remember to give him some encouragement, including flirty texts, verbal affirmations, and as much touch as you are comfortable doing at whatever stage you’re at with him.

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.

He likes bourbon, bluegrass, and confident women…

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We’re excited to announce a new client search. Our bachelor is a masculine and self-aware Caucasian 28-year-old client standing 6’2”, with an athletic physique, short brown hair, beard, and a roguish smile. He keeps fit (and sane) with a daily morning workout at the local gym, but would much prefer to be outdoors tossing a football or exploring a new hiking trail. Usually found in a casual button-up and jeans—mostly to avoid spooking his startup clients—he still loves suiting up for a night on the town.

Our client attended Caltech and Stanford for his undergrad and graduate degrees, and served as a published researcher in solar energy before switching to patent law. Now, he specializes in crafting patent portfolios for venture-backed startups. At the intersection of cutting edge technology and complex legal strategy, he loves the challenge his career provides.

He is confident, charismatic, and highly intelligent, our client is a natural conversationalist. While he could talk on almost any subject, he is happiest discussing something that you both are excited about—and will often seek out such topics. Our client’s thoughtfulness lends him both intellectual and emotional depth, which he deftly balances with by a playful and witty sense of humor. He knows how to do his part in a great relationship and is ready to settle in with just the right partner.

His best suited match is between the ages of 23-33 years old, physically fit, of any ethnic background, with classic features, expressive eyes, and feminine. She’s a girl-next door type who’s approachable, confident, smart, and is self-aware. Think IQ meets EQ, where her emotional intelligence has been honed over the years from self work and a desire to continually learn and grow as an individual.

While she’s a driven professional, she has no problem letting the proverbial hair down and being silly at times. She welcomes adventures into her life, has a willingness to try new things, and while independent, welcomes the idea of shared activities with her dream guy.

If you or anyone you know might be a match for this dream bachelor, please email our founder, Amy, at amy@linxdating.com and tell her a little bit about yourself including recent photos (no filters, hats, sunglasses, or other people in pictures). Thank you!

 

Egg Freezing : Is it for you?

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We wanted to present our readers with a very relevant topic and offer you a two part series about egg freezing. In this particular blog entry, you will read about egg freezing from a scientific and data driven perspective and in the second follow-up blog, we will discuss how egg freezing can impact dating and relationships for better or for worse. With so many women discussing the most private aspects of their lives with Linx, often the topic of egg preservation comes up.

Since the invention of birth control almost 60 years ago, no medical advancement has empowered women more than egg freezing. Birth control gave women the freedom to delay conception and decide with whom they would like to procreate, and egg freezing can give women freedom from their biological clocks.

Egg freezing began as a procedure for cancer patients who wanted to preserve eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But over the past 10 years, egg freezing has become a hot topic for single women who don’t want to settle for the wrong guy just to have children while they are still fertile and for those who want to achieve certain professional goals before having children.

The recent popularity of egg freezing has spiked as a result of the marketing efforts of companies like Eggbanxx, a network of egg freezing doctors that attract new patients through egg freezing parties in New York City. Similar to Uber or Airbnb, many view egg freezing as a disruptive technology that can give women more control over their bodies.

Women start out with over a million eggs at birth, that number is down to 300,000 by the time they hit puberty, and it continues to dwindle every month until they are no longer fertile. Especially if they live in large cities, women are having children later in life, and egg freezing can give this option to women who have put off having children for one reason or another.

EggBanxx estimates that 76,000 women worldwide will be freezing their eggs by 2018. Successful pregnancy rates fluctuate greatly based on the woman’s age when she froze her eggs, how many there were, how they were frozen, how fertile she was to begin with, and which doctor did the procedure.

As the technology improves, more women have decided to freeze their eggs, and companies like Facebook, Apple, Citigroup and JP Morgan offer egg freezing to female employees as part of their benefits package. These cushy “insurance policies” are wonderful options for women as long as the companies also provide great benefits and support to women who choose to take time off to have children earlier their careers. In a 2013 New York University study of 183 women who had frozen their eggs, 19% said they might have had a child earlier if their workplace had been more flexible.

The New York Times just released that The Pentagon plans to roll out a pilot program offering military troops medical benefits for freezing eggs and storing sperm. This large scale program takes reproductive health to a national scale and recognizes the importance of giving troops important options.

Similar to cutting edge companies who are paying for egg freezing, celebrities have also brought the procedure into the spotlight. Diana Hayden (42), the winner of the Miss World pageant in 1997, gave birth to a beautiful baby from one of her frozen eggs, and Whitney Cummings (33), actress and comedian, often talks about how freezing her eggs gave her more freedom and less pressure to find the one as soon as possible.

Australian sexologist and author, Dr. Nikki Goldstein (30), also recently froze her eggs and videotaped the experience – from the shots, to the emotions, to the pain. During the process, Dr. Goldstein realized how deeply she wanted children and how important it was for her to have time to find the right partner.

You may want to consider freezing your eggs if:

  • You are in your mid-30s and single or not interested in having kids in the next few years
  • You are single and in your mid-30s to mid-40s and would regret never having a biological child
  • You are willing to research egg freezing and understand that there is not a 100% guarantee that you will be able to conceive a child from your frozen eggs in the future
  • You wouldn’t notice the $10-$15k egg freezing cost missing from your bank account (if your company doesn’t pay for it)
  • You understand the costs of extracting, freezing, storing and replanting your eggs, which can cost upwards of $50k total
  • You are committed to injecting yourself with hormones and are okay with being extremely bloated and in abdominal pain for a month before the doctor extracts the eggs
  • You realize that you may have to go through the egg extraction process 2 or 3 times if not enough good eggs are collected the first time
  • It is 100% your decision. Egg freezing brokers are popping up all the time to capitalize on women’s insecurities of ending up alone and childless. Do not get pressured into freezing your eggs – do it because it makes sense for you.
  • You want to take the pressure off finding the future father of your children on every first date.
  • You have been strategic about every decision in your life – where to go to school, which job to take, where to live, etc. – and you want to decide when and with whom you would like to have children
  • You have found a good doctor that you trust to perform the procedure
  • You have no religious issues with the concept of egg freezing
  • You live in or frequently travel to South America and don’t want to have children until the Zika virus has been wiped out

With only 2,000 births worldwide from egg freezing so far, the success rates are difficult to predict, but one thing is certain – egg freezing provides a groundbreaking opportunity for women to live their ideal lives on their own terms and timeline free from biological constraints.

Announcing a new VIP search for our 6’7″ Bay Area bachelor!

Our 48-year old Bay Area bachelor will fill your life with love, laughter and adventure. Together you’ll enjoy traveling, exploring the great outdoors, and solving the world’s problems over a bottle of nice wine. The first thing you’ll notice about our client is his height. This Caucasian man is 6’7” with an athletic build and a full head of brown hair. He stays fit by biking, running and participating in athletic challenges. He is an honest and kind family man who has found no greater satisfaction in his life than a heartfelt hug from his kids, and he’s looking for a partner who also values family and the loyalty of good friendships above any personal prestige.

Professionally, he has worked as an international attorney in New York and a technology salesperson on the West Coast, and he currently enjoys working in executive positions. He is Ivy League educated with an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy and a graduate degree in law. Between undergrad and law school, our client spent four years living in Europe studying the effects of European wine on the American physique and learning French, German and Italian. Be sure to let him order for you in an Italian restaurant!

His ideal match is between 28-45 years old, taller, with medium to long hair, beautiful eyes and a warm smile. She’s fit, pretty, exudes feminine energy and can engage with him in both intellectual discussions and witty banter. He’s typically drawn to Asian, Caucasian and mixed race women with a curiosity for life who can bring a joie de vivre and a strong sense of humor to the relationship.

If you want to try kayaking or cross-country skiing, know that caesar was not just a salad and think that puns are the highest form of wit, this is the man for you! If you or anyone you know might make a wonderful match for our bachelor, please email Amy at: amy@linxdating.com. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving week!