Silicon Valley dating expert

Ferragamo Would Be So Proud: What to Know About Women’s Shoes

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We’d like to draw your attention to an article entitled ‘What Can You Tell About A Woman From Her Shoes’ that appeared in a 2014 Issue of Men’s Health. In it, the authors cite a 2012 study from the University of Kansas, which asserts that “people are able to accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality, including their emotional stability, simply by looking at their most-worn pair of shoes.”  Well, we haven’t seen the study, nor are we interested in disputing its findings. But we are very interested in your acumen (or, more likely, the  lack thereof) for women’s footwear because we think that this is more practical in the context of coaching you as you embark on your dating adventures.   Why?

Two reasons:

(1) Even if you wanted to, you can’t apply the results of the above study if you don’t first have a solid working knowledge of women’s footwear.  Moreover, though, there is definitely value in ascertaining the emotional stability of someone by assessing their most worn pair of shoes, we feel fairly confident that most people don’t wear their most worn pair of shoes out on a date. So, in the context of dating we feel it is much more important, pragmatic and constructive to teach men about what actually lies behind the doors of a closet dedicated to shoe apparel before they go much farther.

(2) To even get beyond an initial introduction to a lady of interest, you will need to sustain her attention and you should be able to converse about more than just what you are comfortable with – i.e. you need to be comfortable out of your comfort zone. Women’s shoes are a great example of a “high yield” topic with which you should be familiar.  If you are seeking a long-term relationship, which most of my clients are, the chances are good that you will spend quite a bit of time shopping with your significant other or at least enough time that you will want to know a thing or two about women’s shoes.  Our clients tend to be interested in fashionable women, and fashionable women tend to appreciate men who have some appreciation for women’s shoes. After all, some of the women you will meet will have quite an obsession with shoes, possibly own hundreds of pairs, including some that have only been worn on a single occasion.

Let’s pose a question to demonstrate what you probably don’t know… and don’t feel bad… you are in the great majority of men on planet Earth if you don’t know the answer to the following question. Here it is: What’s the difference between a slingback espadrille wedge and a peep-toe ankle strap platform wedge?

Most of you are computer savvy. So if you look up “espadrille” you’ll find a Wikipedia entry that reads as follows “Espadrilles or alpargatas are normally casual, flat, but sometimes high-heeled shoes originating in the Pyrenees.”

Wedges, which were made popular by Salvatore Ferragamo, also have their own entry, which reads “Wedge boots, wedgies or lifties are shoes and boots with a sole in the form of a wedge so that one piece of material, normally rubber, serves as both the sole and the heel.”

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We are assuming that you don’t have the time or inclination to do a ton of “field research” on things like this.  As such, we are here to help.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, we decided to introduce a comprehensive infographic covering just about every contemporary shoe style you might find in a woman’s shoe closet……

Pop-Chart Lab published the Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear (and we think it is pretty phenomenal and helpful.)

So with that introduction, we direct you to the following infographic. For the guys out there, the next time you’re at the mall running some quick errands consider our advice and head to women’s shoes in a high-end department store. Strike up a conversation and ask a cute girl trying on a pair of d’orsay pumps her opinion on which shoes she would recommend getting for your sister/mother/aunt/cousin/etc. It’s a “target rich” environment with high yield potential for single guys or dare I say someone with a serious foot fetish.;-)

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Picture This…

google_stalk_c-425x282Amy and I recently talked to a client about conducting a VIP search on his behalf, and after our meeting, he sent us a short follow up email that simply said “I think it bears repeating that I am not interested in meeting anyone who has an embarrassing web presence.” Given that so many of our clients come to us as referrals, we don’t always do extensive web research on the people we meet, but in this case we knew it would be necessary. And this particular client had encountered an “embarrassing web presence” in a date in the past, so we wanted to be exceedingly careful while conducting his search.

While we weren’t shocked or surprised by anything we discovered, the truth is that most of us have a stray picture or article or comment floating around that we’d rather forget or can’t control, and none of us wants to be Googled or judged by a potential date before meeting. The concept of net neutrality in no way keeps the web itself from being a rather ruthless place – and humans are all too inquisitive by nature – so when you do have control of your web presence, you need to do everything you can to keep it clean and respectable. You should keep in mind that even if we introduce you to the best man or woman in the world, it’s all but guaranteed that someone in his or her life will Google you at some point… and you don’t want to be blindsided by the results.

So how much is too much? How do we know when captured moments of our past might be damaging our future? Where’s the line between private and public, and how do we stay on the right side of it?

Beware of Pictures with Girls

This applies to both men and women, actually. If you’re a guy, do NOT have public pictures of yourself surrounded by seemingly single women. You might think that it makes you seem like a stallion to your friends, but it makes you seem like a player to strangers. And that’s really not an impression that you want to make. If you’re a woman of a certain age (basically any age north of 27 or so) avoid posting the sort of pictures you might have taken at a high school formal with the rest of your dance team. Yes, it’s nice to know that you have great legs, but posing sideways in a line of friends with a dropped shoulder while you lift the hem of your dress to show your thigh is not really going to attract the right guys into your life. In fact, if you’re over 40 it’s a really good way to keep them far, far away.

Stop Double Fisting

I don’t care if it’s a bachelor party, a football tailgate, or an opening night at the opera – having two drinks in your hands is having one two many. It might be a great picture of you and your friends, or maybe your abs have never looked so good, or maybe you’ll never again be able to wear that dress, but two drinks exceeds the allowable Linx limit. If you need to provide a backstory to keep a picture from being embarrassing, then you simply need to hide the picture. Your friends might think it’s funny, but your date’s friends will probably not. This also applies to any pictures where you are drunk, vomiting, doing a keg stand, engaging in a chicken fight in a pool with someone of the opposite sex, or are passed out.

Close Your Legs. Seriously.

Again, this applies to both sexes. For some reason, guys seem to love to point at their packages, to grab themselves, to turn a pool noodle into a giant phallus, and to generally call attention to their favorite part of their bodies. It might have been part of a dumb prank or a great vacation, but it’s not smart to make pictures like that available to the general public. It’s always possible that you’re managing a Jon Hamm or Justin Theroux-style situation, in which case that part of your body needs no help drawing attention to itself, but don’t purposely make it the star of any picture. Ladies should remember to be just that – ladies. Unless you’re squatting at the top of KT-22 and this is the only evidence of that accomplishment, or you were an Olympic gymnast, we don’t need to see how flexible you are.

Exes are a big “Oh No!”

So let’s assume you’re quite prim and proper… public drunkenness? Never! Revealing pictures? Absolutely not. Poses that aren’t age appropriate? Not on your life. Believe it or not, you might still be guilty of photographic crimes. At first blush it doesn’t seem like it would be much of an issue, but if you still have lots of public pictures with your ex, it can signal that you’re not over your last relationship (and for someone who doesn’t know you’re single, it can make you look like a cheater). A lot of us don’t even really think about what’s visible on Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr, but if you’re serious about looking for a new relationship, you need to digitally box up your last one – to the best of your ability – and put it out of sight.6a00d8341d74dc53ef0120a535a2ca970c-800wi

You can’t control what conclusions someone else might draw from pictures of you, but you can try to control which pictures they can see. So if you’re trying to move forward with your life, make sure you aren’t being handicapped by your past… or your friends, for that matter. Take the extra step of doing a “photos of…” search on yourself on Facebook, and request that your friends hide anything that might be unflattering. Getting into a great relationship really is a team effort; we know that better than most. So make sure that your friends and family are doing their part to help you score the guy or girl of your dreams.

In the meantime, be respectful of your potential Linx matches and KEEP GOOGLE OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP- no offense Larry and Sergey ;). When it comes to digging up dirt on a harmless stranger, it’s important to follow the Golden Rule; do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

The Great Love Debate

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Hello Linx Line Lovers!

Team Linx has been invited to participate as panelists and local experts on the San Jose stop of The Great Love Debate, a national tour discussing societal shifts in courtship, the dynamics of sexual politics, and the future of romance in a lively and spirited discussion titled “Why is Everyone Still Single?”

100 Silicon Valley bachelors and 100 local single ladies will come at us (and each other) with questions about dating, mating, and more in this Town Hall-style event on Friday, June 27th at 8:00pm at the Tabard Theatre in downtown San Jose.

The tour has been described as “groundbreaking,” “brilliant,” and “hilarious,” and we would love for you to be part of it!

The producers in parnership with Match.com have provided Linx with a special code of “LINX10” which is good for a $10 discount on admission. The event is expected to sell out quickly, and each ticket includes admission to the post-show “Meet, Greet, Mix, Mingle, & Match” party, where you’ll have the chance to get to know all of the other attendees as well as the panelists. With 200 eligible singles and 6 relationship experts all in the same room, we can almost guarantee that lightning will strike. You definitely do not want to miss out on this incredibly entertaining (and promise-filled) evening!

Tickets may be purchased here (don’t forget LINX10 for your discount at checkout)

More information about the tour is provided here

And check it out on Facebook to see who else might be going, and to get a head start on the debate. 1395855019000-great-love-debate

We hope you decide to be part of the fun, and would love to see you there in person!

XO,

Amy & Michael

What is the MSRP of Love?

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael NormaniStock_000026905091Small
If you’ve ever considered hiring a matchmaker, you’ve probably asked yourself (or been asked by someone else) how valuable a fulfilling relationship might actually be to you. The very idea of a cost-benefit analysis on emotional intimacy seems clinical and counter-intuitive, but it turns out that you really can quantify the upside of being in a happy relationship. In fact, the team at Happify.com has done just that, along with giving us a quick and easy infographic that tells us A LOT about the communication styles of happy couples. How does your communication style measure up against that of these dynamic duos? Do your expectations about sex, communication, and intimacy align with what seems to be a recipe for romantic success?

Even as a single person, you can improve your outlook on life and your approach to intimacy to set yourself up for the best possible outcome in your next relationship; you can practice compromising, defusing tension with humor, and sharing new experiences with the people in your life right now, be they colleagues, friends, or family members. Everyone knows that even the best relationships take work, but it’s staggering to see just how valuable a happy relationship can be.

So what’s the value of a happy relationship? According to happify.com, it’s a surprising $105,000 per year, which makes your Linx membership seem like both a bargain AND a wise investment (we’re assuming that’s untaxed income, of course.) And for those of you on the fence about whether or not you should be investing more in your professional or personal lives right now, maybe you should ask yourself if your next promotion is likely to come with a six-figure raise.

For more information, check out the infographic here.

If you don’t have time to visit the site, you might still want to know that the happiest couples have sex 2-3 times a week, that they both have college degrees, and that in those couples (take note, ladies) the man is definitely employed.

And what is the science behind why people marry? Happify.com shares 93% of American couples share they married for ‘love’, while 87% said they married for ‘making a lifelong commitment’, 81% said ‘companionship’, 59% said ‘having children’, and 31% said ‘financial stability.’ So what’s your reason for desiring love and marriage?

The Sound….of Silence

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael Norman

Getting to know one anotherOccasionally we get questions from Linx members about dating experiences and anxieties that are all too common, and we decided that it makes sense to answer those as part of a semi-regular column that addresses the real questions and concerns of Linx readers and members like you. This week we’re tackling the issue of “icebreakers” on a first date. Next week, who knows? Don’t be shy about submitting your own questions, dilemmas, and experiences; this blog has thousands of readers, so if you’re having a particular problem, the odds are good that someone else is, too.

This week, anonymous Linx member SayAnything? sent us the following question:

“Dear Amy,

I had been researching first date questions to start conversations and found article after article (and even books) with questions I would never ask anyone on a first date:

-“What is your earliest memory of feeling wonder?”

-“What do you think of the space program?”

-“If you had to write a limerick about this date, how would it go?”

Seriously? I wondered if the people that were writing these articles had ever heard the deafening silence bound to follow after asking such questions. It goes without saying that one would read as much topical news as possible before a date to be able to talk about innocuous things like Oscars, sports, etc. But can you really start a date conversation with, “How do you lose a 777?” without sounding callus? I weeded out work related questions, politics, dating past, and questions that had a negative connotation (i.e. what is your pet peeves?) but my list gets really small. What should I do?

Do you have any conversation starter suggestions? What question is best to ask when there is a lull? I wondered if you had written an article about this from your perspective (or someone on your staff)? Have you ever polled people from your Twitter as to their favorite question to start a date conversation?”

Answer:

Actually, we haven’t polled people on Twitter about their favorite first date questions, but what a great idea! Send us yours now (@linxdating) and we’ll update this later with results. In the meantime, here are some thoughts about the Do’s and Don’ts of good first date conversation.

It is really important to remember that while your first date is an opportunity to learn about another person, it is also an incredible opportunity to let your date learn things about you. That brings us to Rule #1:

Rule #1: Do not ask a question that you would not want to (or cannot) answer!

A good first date question is one that can be flipped. In other words, your date should be able to end his/her answer by saying “and what about you?” or “what are your picks?” or “where would you go?” If there are stories or things about yourself that you’d like to share, or topics with which you know you’re really comfortable, this is a great way to make sure you reveal those sides of yourself. If there are things about your life or past that you don’t really want to discuss, this also helps you stay out of that territory. You don’t need to have a script, but you should be prepared to have an answer to any question you would ask. I once spent twenty minutes describing my favorite books at the request of a date who then stonewalled me with “I don’t really read,” when I asked him his own question. Do not be that person.

Rule #2: Try to keep your questions in the present, and facing forward.

It is inevitable that two strangers will go through the standard questions about hometowns, colleges, family, and jobs, but make sure that you don’t dwell in the past. Remember that this is not an interview; it’s okay if there are a few gaps in someone’s CV or personal history. You do not need a complete timeline on the first date; what you do need is a sense of what his or her life looks like in the present, and what they enjoy and value now. Ask questions that give a sense of how well your date’s interests and outlooks might mesh with your own. Here’s a good example: if you love travel, instead of asking “Where did you last travel?” ask something like “If you could go anywhere next weekend where would you go, and why?” With that one question, you might find out that you’re with someone who prefers roadtrips to airlines, values family time more than adventure, or thinks one day in Paris is worth two days on a plane. What someone wants to do is almost always more telling than what they’ve done, which brings us to:

Rule #3: Be more concerned with thoughts and feelings than with facts.

Just as you don’t want to conduct an interview on a date, you also don’t want to play therapist (stay away from too many questions about someone’s childhood). You do, however, want to know what gets them excited and passionate, and keeps them engaged. Asking “what’s your favorite book?” might get you a very brief answer or the useless “it’s hard to pick a favorite,” but asking “What are three of your favorite books, and why?” can reveal an unexpected interest or hobby. It’s also great to ask about favorite experiences like “What happened on your favorite family vacation?” or “Can you remember the first thing that you cooked for yourself that you actually liked eating?” It’s more than okay to have periods of silence in a conversation, especially if they take place while one of you is composing a thoughtful answer. There is a difference between an occasional awkward silence and actual dead air. In fact, this brings us to:He always makes  her smile

Rule #4: It’s ok to be awkward.

No, it’s not ok to be intentionally awkward, and it’s definitely not ok if you feel like your date is purposely trying to make you uncomfortable. But it is really important to keep in mind that you are two strangers who just met; something is bound to be less than ideal. And actually, that’s great; you get the opportunity to see how your date responds in a less than ideal situation where the stakes are low, and no one is too invested. Don’t stress yourself out about asking all of the right questions. Just make sure that you have the right approach and the right attitude; be optimistic, be open, be compassionate, and listen. It turns out that the actual questions are a lot less important than the spirit in which you answer them. So, finally:

Rule #5: Be genuine.

The worst thing you can do on a date is misrepresent yourself. Don’t pretend to be interested in things that truly bore you. Don’t bring up topics you don’t want to discuss. Don’t be silent about your own likes and dislikes because you don’t want to be judged. Remember that, at heart, all Linx members are looking for the same thing – real and lasting human connections. So if you find yourself sitting across from a first date and neither of you knows what to say, start with the question that most single people would like to be asked more often; smile, take a deep breath, and open with “How was your day?”New love knows no boundries

What Do Bay Area Men and Women Really Want? Turn-Ons and Turn-Offs

We compile a lot of very useful data about eligible men and women based on our extensive get-to-know-you process. Sometimes we see interesting trends and nuggets of dating wisdom that clients and friends of Linx share about what they really look for in a match and what turns them off.

Here are some random insights into the world of matchmaking at Linx in Silicon Valley. lovely-couple-picture

Men don’t want to hear about a woman’s dramas, dramatic past breakups, and complaining in general!!

A lot of women who feel a connection on a first date feel that it is completely appropriate to do a “data dump” of tons of information on that first date. This includes talking at great length about the ex, the numbers of guys she is dating, how desirable she is, and just unleashing a lot of emotional baggage on the date- this could include saga stories about work (i.e., hating the job and so on) and just being plain negative. This comes a situation of “too much too soon” syndrome and information that is inappropriate for a first date. No one wants to hear it. That is why women have girlfriends and do mani and pedi days with one another. Husbands don’t even want to hear this stuff half the time, let alone a first date!

First date turn-offs for women…#1 stop playing games!!

After a great first date where there appeared to be sizzling chemistry on both sides it can become a dicey situation of game playing. There are so many guys that obsess about calling on the right day after the first date, playing hard to get, not returning calls, and the list goes on. If you are into someone, communicate that. If they aren’t into you, move on. My advice is to be yourself and take ownership of how you feel. Although men are often even more scared of rejection then women are, you gotta jump all in…or else….you might never know!

Top three most oft-cited first date turn-ons for men


#1 A woman who accentuates her femininity and flirts with ease.

#2 A woman who laughs easily and is confident in who she is.

#3 A woman who is complex and intellectually provocative. She possesses knowledge around a wide range of subjects. It means being interested in ideas, regardless of the topic, and being willing to engage with them. This often goes hand in hand with being interested in books, politics, film, the arts, dining, and travel. pictures.4ever.eu-couple-kiss-158478

Top three most oft-cited first date turn-ons for women


#1 He was a total gentleman throughout the evening. He is polite, opens doors, is attentive, thoughtful, and is always making sure his date is content throughout the meal, asking good questions, and is paying attention to his date versus looking around the room with a wandering eye or a “grass is always greener” mentality.

#2 He ends the evening with conviction and declares his intent to see his date again. He looks her in the eye and states his intentions of wanting to see her again and kisses her softly saying he will call her tomorrow and he does so the next day as promised. This is so simple but so many guys seem to miss the ball with this one.

#3 Tall, dark, and handsome ok, ok…. at least clean-cut, nicely dressed, wearing a good pair of Italian shoes. Gets them every time. 😉

Modern Day Sense and Sensibility

I watched Sense and Sensibility last night….what a lovely film!448px-Sense_and_Sensibility_Illustration_Chap_12

 
“The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!” -Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen).  

That makes me smile thinking about the wishes of our members who come into Linx often with long romantic lists defining their dream suitor. I listen and extract the key elements I feel the client needs to make the perfect match. A little science, definitely intuition, and an open-heart and mind make for today’s modern day match that Jane Austen surely would approve of! dancing-image1

We can probably all relate to the utter pain and agony Marianne Dashwood experiences when Willoughby breaks her heart. Although they flirted, shared in artistic pleasures together, were affectionate….his words never expressed a hint at any engagement.

Remember this when dating. The man who your heart flutters with excitement over might be another Willoughby type. Sorry to burst your bubble but these guys are everywhere out there.  He’s incredibly handsome and seems most excellent on paper. He’s charming, will date you, kiss you, and leave you wanting more but won’t necessarily settle down (or is just not a good man in general).tumblr_lz19pyALki1roh5gxo1_500

For all you know, he’s out and about galavanting around (in the novel, Austen created him as a protagonist driven by the need for his own pleasure and not one who values an emotional connection like Marianne experienced) and ends up playing you like a fiddle. He tells you he isn’t ready to get serious, doesn’t desire marriage, or perhaps has gotten more serious with someone else.

I‘ve dated the Willoughby type in the city and oh did my heart break in two. I was quite confident that my Willoughby and I would end up together until one day after many dates he sat me down at a bar and declared that I was one of many girls he was seeing and I didn’t have what he needed. He said something along the lines of he needed someone smarter. Wow did that feel like a dagger through my heart and also like a giant “who do you think you are” saying that to ME moment? What you need a female Einstein…seriously so insulting! It was his way of telling me he needed to continue to date others and be a player. I was so mesmerized at how perfect on paper he was for me that I never really read the signs. There were many signs along the way (not calling when he said he would call, being uncomfortable with emotion, wanting to sleep together with no commitment, and on and on.)

believe he took great pleasure in dating up a storm and having the “ultimate control” over the women in his life who he knew he had in the palm of his hand since he was a modern-day Willoughby. He had many women in his life all on speed dial, kept many secrets along the way (he made each of us feel we were his only one…that was something that made it all so confusing!), and when things started getting more serious (like me hinting at becoming exclusive together) he freaked out and went cold turkey. It was as if I didn’t even recognize him. Who was this monster in my presence that could be so cruel and sink my hopes?  He let go and dumped the girls (myself included) who needed something he couldn’t provide being a commitment.

Let’s not forget that he expected that you’d sleep with him anyways even through no commitment was there. As Cher would say in Clueless, “As if!”  On a side note, Clueless is loosely based off of Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. There are many parallels to the film and novel. Both Cher and Emma are matchmakers to their friends.

Luckily for Marianne Dashwood, she ends up with Colonel Brandon who had loved her from the moment he first saw her. She had always overlooked him as he was more reserved (perhaps a shy modern-day Silicon Valley type?) but had proved his honor over time. Luckily for me, I got to marry my husband, Alex in the end and not that silly modern-day Willoughby.

Enjoy the complete film here.