Silicon Valley Dating

Save It For The Judge…..

 

iStock-472711356 copy.jpgI recently had someone challenge me, in an email exchange, about the expectations that we have of the men we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

It is a great and fair question – but the answer is not so straightforward.  An equally great and fair question should be about the expectations we have of the women we work with at Linx and how we hold them accountable.

 

In this blog entry, I hope I can begin to answer these questions and illustrate that it really does go both ways and that the reality of passing judgment on people (whether men on women or women on men) may not always be pleasant, but is a fundamental truth in the human nature of long term romantic relationships.

 

During the Linx client intake process, there are a variety of questions I ask of the prospect and the type of match (s)he seeks. My primary goal at this early stage is to hone in on the more “scientific” part of the search, as I gather objective data regarding the type of match someone desires. These metrics are powerful, in that they allow me, the expert matchmaker, to create a solid and plausible foundation for a long-term match.

 

Naturally, some of the questions I ask can be a little hair-raising for some clients – for example, when I am asking a female prospect about her dress size and weight or if she has taken fertility measures to preserve her eggs (see more about this toward the end of the blog), some do not appreciate these blunt intrusions into sensitive subjects, while others go through the process with absolutely no objections.

 

A great prospective client I encountered shared, “I would hate to think in the end women are being judged one dimensionally in this process. While I appreciate everyone has preferences I would not be a match with a man that over indexes on a female’s looks and a particular dress size.”

 

I responded and told her that men are wired completely differently than us women. It is a universal and biological fact that men are extremely visual and generally fall in love with their eyes, whereas women appear to fall in love with their ears. The metrics and science of what someone desires is a relatively big part of this equation to find the right match. Every man I encounter has his own stated preferences and desires. From a physical stand point, some guys want Chinese, others East Asian, some Caucasian, no one over 5’5”, no one under 5’5”, long hair, short hair, light eyes, tan skin, no freckles, sexy in her style, or conservative style, light on the make-up, or dolls herself up all the time.

 

The data I gather is a completely eye-opening, scattergram of chaos. To add another layer of complexity, we then dive into a match’s personality, religion, lifestyle, career choice, marital background, hobbies, etc. It goes on and on and on. And this same principle of everyone having his/her own objective desires in a match applies equally to women. Women are just as harsh critics as the men are in what they need in a mate (from height, to hair, to personality, to income, to background, to lifestyle). The overarching conclusion is that even the most angelic people judge others. It’s life. We all secretly like what we like and don’t like what we don’t like. We don’t want to admit that human beings discriminate on a wide range of metrics but it is a fact that everyone I have ever encountered in my 16 years of running Linx has their own stated preferences and deal breakers in a potential match and if they state that they do not, they are, at least to some extent, lying to themselves and to me.

 

Another hot button topic for some women is when I ask whether she’s taken any fertility measures in her personal life to preserve her eggs. Egg freezing has become so popular as the tech giants like Facebook and Google often offer to pay for these incredibly pricey insurance policies. Take it or leave it but the fertility question in the intake is a big one. Not only am I asking women if they have thought about this, or if perhaps have already done multiple rounds of egg freezing, but the men on many occasions lecture me when they come in for their initial in-person meet and greets about a female’s biology and youth optimum IF the male prospect is wishing to have children in his personal life. Of course, there are a ton of men who either have kids, do not want kids, or have kids and do not wish for more. Again, everyone has their own stated ideals.

 

It is fair that fertility should even be a factor in the selection of a mate? Shouldn’t a female be chosen for her brain, heart and soul? Yes, actually I do believe that. But when I look to match, I align core value sets from a foundational standpoint and fertility is a large part of this equation if both parties want the option of having a child or children one day. Women, rest assured, that men are just not looking for a hot female who has ripe juicy eggs. Thank goodness. They actually are not as pigheaded as folklore goes. It is universally true that the types of men Linx Dating work with do “want it all”, just as the females that come into Linx want a man who “has it all” as well. It’s holistic, not just one-dimensional. Men need to be attracted first and foremost and then everything else hopefully aligns – brains, personality, and balance. Women seek financial stability, someone who has a healthy dose of EQ/IQ, and attraction is part of the picture too.

 

Making sure each party has a solid foundation and the match is a long-term match, not some short-term play, is critical. The couples I match enter serious relationships. I am an a bonafide expert and work with my clients to remove the chaos that can envelop mate selection when they are working on their own and “dating in the wild.”

 

No matter how you look at it, people select mates for a variety of reasons and no matter the approach, whether it be meeting someone serendipitously, via online/app dating, through Linx, or at work, we all are built to thin-slice (a la Malcolm Gladwell’s classic book “Blink”) and we do it consciously and unconsciously on a daily basis. Human beings are judgmental and if we if didn’t judge and thin-slice, we wouldn’t be able to create order and make sense of all the information around us.

 

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

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

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

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

 

2 Chainz Most Expensivest sneak peak….

My episode on 2 Chainz Most Expensivest airs July 24th- so set your DVRs. The episode is called  “High End Love” 2 Chainz, with a little help from Wale, investigates whether chivalry is dead, or if it just moved to the web. Here’s a sneak speak

 

Spring is here! April updates and Linx testimonials

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Last week, I hosted my first Link & Drink cocktail party in nearly 4 years and what a night it was! For those of you who have attended Link & Drinks in past years, you might recall they really exploded with popularity. Picture 500+ guests mingling, meeting, networking, and sparks flying for quite a few guests.

Despite the national and international attention my events received- especially after Vanity Fair featured Link & Drink, I realized they needed to evolve into something exclusive and intimate. As such, instead of blasting my database and letting guests invite a gaggle of their friends, I decided to limit my next mixer to 50 and have it be 100% private- including keeping the location on the DL, off social media, and no last names of guests given to any attendees for privacy.

I curated an elite list of Silicon Valley who’s who- from female entrepreneurs, financiers, techies, CEOs, etc. Some of my guests flew in from Southern California, Texas, and Washington DC and arrived with an open-mind, open-heart, and approachable disposition. Everyone wore cocktail attire- the women looked beyond spectacular in satin dresses and heels and the men looked dashing in sport coats and slacks.

Guests sipped exquisite cocktails, fine wines (Neyers chardonnay and Faust cabernet), French champagnes, and enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres after work and felt relaxed.  This was no “Millionaire Matchmaker” episode in the works with forced connections and a plethora of awkward, dramatic moments.  After the event ended, around 20 of us went to a restaurant next door for more bites, cocktails, and conversation. Laughter filled the room and new and old friends continued to have fun till nearly 11pm. Some guests

A handful of my guests shared the most lovely feedback and follow-ups on my mixer…

“I attended one of Linx Dating’s “Link and Drink” events and had a fantastic time. The venue, food and drinks were all great, and I had fascinating conversations with several really interesting people (men and women alike). The event was in a pretty small space, so it was very intimate, and the crowd seemed to be everything that Linx promises — beautiful, successful and jet setting (I met two people who had flown in just for the party). Amy is an amazing host who flittered around the party making introductions and making everyone feel comfortable and welcome….my only complaint is that they don’t happen more frequently!”

“Linx Dating is the crème-de-la-crème of matchmaking.  Amy goes above and beyond to make sure that every client and event is nothing short of exceptional. She thinks through every detail and is truly passionate about helping people find love. I’ve seen this first hand.  I appreciate Amy’s sincerity, but more importantly — honesty.  In an arena that is not so easy to navigate– especially in the digital age, Amy has this intuition that I can’t quite explain. A decade ago, I use to work for Amy; since then, I have been a fan of hers ever since.  It is heartening to see her bring together countless couples to find their happily ever after.” 

“I attended Amy’s recent Link and Drink event and had an amazing time. It was at a beautiful venue in San Francisco and was so tastefully put together. I drank sparkling rosé while mingling with other guests. Amy is particular about the clients she represents and is very well connected in the Silicon Valley. She is extremely professional and great at what she does. She’s told me about various success stories of her clients and you can tell that she’s so passionate about what she does, which is an important trait to have as a match maker. While I’m sure the business of matchmaking can be done in all different ways, Linx is extremely classy and tactful. I’d absolutely recommend Linx to anyone looking to get into the dating scene. You won’t be disappointed!”

 

“THANKS SO MUCH AMY!!!! So awesome seeing you. Super super appreciate the invite!!! Such awesome people. Was telling my sister about the event haha she says she’s down to be set up! And me too :))) Happy to help you source, have a ton of awesome single friends!! Thanks again! Met some cool people – grabbing drinks with (name removed for privacy) tomorrow.”

 

“The recent Link & Drink mixer Amy organized was a blast! I had such a great time! Amy did an amazing job. Venue was very cool. Participants were so different, but Amy helped to break the ice. Awesome networking, great connections! It was such a pleasure to be a part of it!”

 

“Great fun last night Amy, you put on a really lovely event.  Interesting group of people and fantastic venue. I did get (name removed for privacy) number and will keep you posted on progress with her.”

 

“Great seeing you on Thursday, and thanks again for inviting me to your event!  I had a good time meeting a bunch of folks there.  You surround yourself with a great network of people.”

 

“I’m the one who owes you another round of hearty thanks. Kudos for organizing a lovely event! I really enjoyed myself and so appreciated the opportunity to take part in the fun.”

 

“I met some really nice people who were surprisingly open about their love lives. In a good way — not a bad way. I am a believer in the idea of allowing love and chemistry to build, but I know not everyone feels that way.”

 

“Thank you so much for a fabulous evening on Thursday, I think it was a great event with lots of interaction going on:).  I personally enjoyed meeting different men and chatted with few that appeared quite interested.  I have cards from 5 men!”

 

“It was a fantastic evening….Please do let me know if you find yourself in Washington DC.”

 

“You always throw such a tasteful event. Sorry I couldn’t stay longer.  The drawbacks of being the boss….”

 

“I thought your event was super, the people classy, and it seemed that everyone enjoyed themselves, so that is success in itself. You are the master at introductions…you must have a memory of a steel trap:)”

 

If you would like to be considered as a guest at our summer cocktail soiree in the San Francisco Bay Area please send an inquiry to Amy Andersen at: amy@linxdating.com and tell her a bit about yourself. Happy Spring to all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

350 dates in one year….what not to do on your next date!

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An interesting piece of feedback I hear from a lot of men and women who juggle working with a professional matchmaker, and dating apps, is how often their respective dates almost brag about how many people they date. This is a major “no no” when it comes to dating 101.

A friend I had a conversation with the other day mentioned that one man she is interested in, told her last year alone, he had over 350 dates with women. She chalked it up to being a Silicon Valley “data driven” type but the truth is, it’s not only daunting to imagine but a turn-off. 350 women! Who on earth has time for that unless unemployed and loving the hamster wheel lifestyle, yet with no real purpose or intention to settle down with one person?

My advice is not to talk about how much you have been dating recently. I think part of the psychology behind what fuels someone to mention all the dates they go on and people they meet is to showcase how desirable one is to the opposite sex. As in, the more I mention to him all the men that are emailing me for dates, the more he will think I am attractive.

The reality is, most of the time, if you share these conquests of sorts, you will appear as though you are not serious about finding a relationship. Instead, you’re in what I call “play mode” and not “serious mode.” There’s no denying play mode is awesome but be supremely careful with the information that comes out of your mouth and the image you project on dates. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to play the game right.

My advice is to focus on the man or woman who is sitting across from you on your date and show genuine interest in them. Be present, intentional, and motivated to find the right match with the “perfect” chemistry that works for you. If your date pokes around to see if you are actively dating and appears curious to hear stories, simply “don’t go there.” No need to lie or fabricate the truth but you can delicately switch topics with grace and dignity, while focusing on your date and not entering the slippery slope that is “TMI.”

Are we too old for games? Research sheds some light on playing hard to get

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No one likes to admit that he or she plays games; why would anyone cop to something so juvenile or immature? But, what if there were some real data that supported game play? One of the most frequently played games—playing hard to get—describes the act of feigning disinterest in a potential mate to increase the mate’s interest. Honing this type of game was the basis of New York Times’ controversial bestseller for women, The Rules. It’s also described in The Game, a how-to guide for any budding pick up artist. Despite the manipulative undertone, could these old school tactics and strategies help us find love? Researchers Peter Jonason and Norman Li spearheaded the study on college campuses to find the answer.

 

To determine effects of availability on desire, 270 heterosexual students were shown three dating profiles all similar save for the profiled person’s availability. When asked which profile would be the best choice for casual sex, both women and men preferred a partner with high availability. Without having to determine emotional or mental compatibility, singles need only to notice physical attraction—a determination that can be made without more than a glance. Without having to account for a future, singles can skip the process of determining sustainability.

 

On the other hand, singles seeking dating or a serious relationship, preferred moderate to scarce availability. Those with minimal availability are displaying greater independence and are less inclined to commit to a single partner without due diligence—all positive attributes of a future partner.

 

Availability didn’t just affect the type of relationship, it also influenced how likely the students were to invest actual resources in the profile. When participants were asked which restaurant they would take the low, medium, and highly available profiles to—fast food, casual, or luxe—the low availability candidates were most likely to get the luxe meal.

 

Those who play hard to get have two motives: firstly, to drive desirability of their potential mate but also to test just how committed the potential mate is to a longer term relationship. For anyone seeking a relationship, this sounds like the perfect recipe. But, is it?

 

In another study by Jayson Jia, Xianchi Dai, and Ping Dong, results revealed that playing hard to get only works if there is already some semblance of romantic interest. If someone is not interested in you to begin with, it is highly unlikely that they invest more effort in “acquiring” the person. If, however, someone shows interest in something more than a fling, playing hard to get is a way to demonstrate that you have other options, a characteristic of singles in high demand. If you start playing hard to get right off the bat, your plans to drive interest could backfire. Instead, approach potential mates with a friendly, social demeanor. As these researchers concluded, “Playing easy to get always yields more positive affective evaluations of liking, regardless of the degree of prior psychological commitment.”

 

So, how can you play hard to get in a way that isn’t manipulative? Here’s the answer: You don’t need to. If you cultivate a life with people you enjoy and activities that hold your interest, you will need to schedule time for a date instead of being available at a moment’s notice. If you find yourself coming on too strong, switch the mentality. Instead of playing hard to get, be more discerning. Give your potential partner a chance to show you who he or she is before revealing your interest.