Silicon Valley Matchmaker

Is She Ready to Commit? 7 Questions to Ask Yourself

 

iStock-629605642 copy.jpgShe might be interested, but is she willing to commit? To know for sure is a time-consuming process. Standing by until she’s ready or doing every little thing to change her mind will challenge your patience and sanity. Those loving feelings you have now can snowball into frustration and resentment if your partner’s intentions stay ambiguous. To avoid pursuing a woman who isn’t ready to commit, ask yourself the following questions:

 

  1. Is she emotionally available?

 

Intimacy begins with trust, and wounds of the past can make trusting someone new very difficult. If your partner struggles to communicate her feelings, she might be protecting herself from another heartbreak or letdown. If your partner constantly rehashes stories about her ex, she’s not ready to commit emotionally. As long as she fixates on the demons of her past, she’s still living among them. Over time, she’s more likely to let go of the anger or sadness, but as long as she’s processing, give her time. Your efforts to be her knight in shining armor are impressive, but they won’t be fully appreciated until she’s moved on from the past.  Keep in mind that this one is all about degree – though you don’t want write someone off too quickly, you should also move on if the wounds seem too fresh.

 

  1. Does she want you to be the best version of yourself?

 

Everyone has blind spots; does your partner take time to help you discover and improve the ones that are problematic? If so, she’s showing a willingness to invest in your well-being.

 

Maybe you’ve slipped back into workaholic tendencies. Maybe you’re struggling with aging parents. Whatever it is, it’s a problem you can solve together. You’ll notice her feedback doesn’t feel like criticism. Instead, she spends time figuring out the root cause of the problem in a calm, non-judgmental way. If she’s looking for the best long-term fit, she will want her partner at his best—even if it involves tough conversations.

 

  1. Does she make an effort with your family?

 

Everyone has a couple challenging relatives but, no matter how much we may wish otherwise, they’re still family. A woman who’s interested in a long-term relationship will take them as they are. She’ll let your overly political father vent, she will let your perpetually unemployed brother crash at your apartment, and she won’t hold it against you.

 

If the relationship is casual, she’ll avoid intertwining herself in your life. She might meet your friends, but family requires a different type of effort.

 

A woman who is ready to commit will do her best to make a solid impression. She will help your mom figure out FaceTime. She will spend 45 minutes talking to your dad about his fishing trip. She might have 100 more interesting ways to spend her time, but she wants to cultivate relationships with the people who’ve known you the longest. Because your family is an extension of you, she will make them a part of her life.

 

  1. Does she allude to a future?

 

If commitment is on her mind, she’ll start gauging your interest in future plans. Testing the waters about kids or marriage can be too forward, so listen for softer cues. She might want your thoughts on pet ownership or ask about your lease. If vacation days are numbered, she might ask about holiday plans well in advance.

 

If she’s trying to make long-term plans, she sees you in her future.

 

  1. Does she introduce you to friends?

 

Meeting the friend group is another way she will integrate you in her life. If you’re playing a bigger role in her life, she’ll want her leading ladies to know you. Watch for invites to group outings or impromptu meet ups where she’s already with a close friend. If she’s inviting you to high exposure events like company outings, family gatherings, weddings, she’s also publicly acknowledging that your relationship has legs.

 

  1. Does she want to impress your friends?

 

Just like family, your friends are an extension of you. Because these people are important to you, they are important to her. If she believes that you are the best long-term partner, she’ll want your friends to see her as your best match. Their opinion of her is not something she’ll take lightly. To make a good impression, she might make an extra effort to befriend a colleague’s wife or take initiative to plan a couples’ trip.

 

  1. Does she demonstrate willingness to compromise?

 

When the relationship shifts from an “I” to a “we”, your partner will make decisions differently. Because she’s focused on what’s best for the relationship, her needs are best met when both of you can come to an agreement, even if the outcome is not exactly what she had in mind. If she’s only looking for casual fun, there’s no reason for her compromise. Without a future, there’s no need to make sacrifices.

What Linx members are saying….

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” Let’s all admit it, online dating is broken, at least if you’re looking for love!  The paradox of choice (swiping until your thumb gives out), ephemeral attention spans, and asynchronous communication have led to a disconnect between the need for companionship and the ability to find it.

 
The solution? Linx Dating! Think of Amy as your great aunt who introduces you to people, except Amy is young and has a better understanding of what you may want. Of course, Linx has been featured in national and international media. This doesn’t mean Amy is inaccessible. Quite the contrary. She’s accessible, warm, thoughtful, and compassionate.

 
Amy has a number of memberships and non-membership options for her exclusive matchmaking service. Nobody likes to admit they are single, but here I am, single. A friend recommended I reach out to Amy to have me in her database for eligible bachelors. Amy asked me thoughtful questions and vetted me.  This is important with her clientele who are educated (either formally or informally), successful, and looking for a serious relationship.

Don’t expect a list of 50 people in the next day. Remember the jam study! (Briefly, people went to the grocery store and saw 30 different kinds of jam or 5 different kinds of jam. Guess who was more likely to buy jam and LIKE the jam they brought. The ones who saw only 5 kinds of jam!).
I’ve been introduced to three of Amy’s clients. While i haven’t found the love of my life yet, I think I’m most likely to get there through the personalized and well thought out introductions by Linx Dating.”

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“I have had the opportunity to work with Amy for over a year.  She has been amazing. I initially came to her after months of frustrating experiences on dating apps and meeting men through friends of friends.  I had no trouble finding dates, but time and time again, I found that the men I met were simply not serious about being in a long term relationship.  This would not have bothered me as much in my 20s, but now into my 30s this was becoming painful.

From the very first time I met Amy, she was supportive and genuinely wanted to get to know me in order to find someone I could truly connect with. It was clear from the very beginning that she was interested in much more than just helping me create a “profile” of my accomplishments in the way that dating apps encourage. She spent time reflecting with me about the patterns of my previous relationships in order to help clarify what worked and what didn’t.

Shortly after we met, Amy began setting me up with men she had carefully matched. At every step of the process, she would check in with me about how things were going.

When I eventually met someone, Amy was full of encouragement and we eventually parted ways since I was initially very happy with the person I was dating.

Unfortunately, the relationship I got into began to unravel 6 months later.  When it ended, I took some time for myself to recover.  The break up was painful, but when I eventually recovered Amy was my first call.  She responded right away and we reconnected shortly thereafter. She helped me process my experience and think carefully about how this changed my feelings about finding another partner. Once we reassessed, Amy again began to pair me with men she thought would be good matches.

I am still just getting back on my feet again with meeting new people, but thanks to Amy’s help things are off to a promising start. I am so deeply grateful for her guidance. I recommend her to the highest!” 

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“I’ve been a Linx client for the past year and a half — and I have nothing but positive things to say about Amy & the team.  This review is based on my actual experience as a (paying) client.

There are a few key things that you should know:  

*  BOTH men and women pay to be a part of Amy’s network, so there’s a level of commitment on both sides that just doesn’t exist with other services.  When Amy connects you with someone, you take them seriously.  

*  Amy’s screening process is extremely thorough.  She really dives into what you’re looking for, really gets to know you, and really puts thought into the folks she connects you with.  She asks questions that cover both the superficial and deeper down (say what you will, but both matter in dating!).  For example – one of the getting-to-know-you tasks is to assemble both a scrapbook of photos of people (anyone) you find attractive AS WELL AS photos of people you’ve dated.  Amy wants to see the spread between what you imagine you want and what you’ve actually shown attraction to — that’s key and clever.

* Everyone uses her!  Critical mass / network effect is so important with a matchmaker — you can be confident that you really are getting into a pool of like-minded people.  I signed up after independently asking 3 different friends (guys and girls) how they met their significant others, and all said “Oh, this awesome matchmaker named Amy Andersen.”  So the network is great.

*  The Linx process saves a ton of time.  The social proof begins right at the start — Amy tells you that you’re going to like this person.  Amy tells the other person that they’re going to like you.  Neither of you are going to flake (or face the wrath of Amy).  You know the other person is vetted.  They know you’re vetted.  This literally saves weeks in the traditional dating process of un-returned texts/calls, cancellations, changed-minds, etc.  You can be assured that at least the first date is going to be a good one.  And if there’s no chemistry, well, so be it, but that’s up to you 🙂

Anyway – that’s it.  It’s worth the $$, it’s worth the time.  

(PS – I ended up dating the FIRST person Amy set me up with for a year.  So there ya go.)”

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“I have known Amy — the heart and soul of Linx — for almost 20 years now. I have worked with her on and off throughout the years, and while I have never used her dating services (I am happily married), I feel that I know her well and I highly recommend working with her.

Amy is tireless. Of all the people I know, both professionally and personally, Amy is the most enthusiastic about her career. She loves what she does and it shows in the quality of her work and the volume of her successes, including an impressive number of marriages for her clients and their matches.

Amy has integrity. When she gives her word, she keeps it. If she makes an error — a rarity, I have found — she owns up to it and makes it right.

And Amy is connected. Amy’s been helping Bay Area and even international professionals find love for 15 years so her list of contacts is a mile long. So while I’m not “in the biz”, if you have very specific criteria for whom you’re looking for, Amy probably knows the perfect person for you.”

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“I attended a mixer hosted by Amy with Linx Dating and she was the perfect host. The atmosphere was pleasant and everyone who attended was very friendly. If you are on the dating scene and looking to meet the perfect match, Amy is definitely the person you need to “Linx” up with.”

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“I submitted my information and while I am not a premium member paying fees, Amy Andersen reached out about man and wanted to see if I would be amenable to meeting her client. We met and had a great time. What I appreciated was being considered for a match and having had the chance to meet a high quality man who shares many of my foundation values from faith to family life.”
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“I never actually became a client at Linx because the incredibly thoughtful CEO of the company encouraged me to pursue a local company in my hometown. Remarkably, even though she had no incentive (financial anyhow) to help me, she helped me pursue the other local service. She provided guidance, direction, and support along the way; and I eventually did sign with a similarly-minded local company. We exchanged a number of emails over a number of months. I found Amy to be incredibly professional, warm, and kind–and surprisingly accessible given her position in the company. I am entirely happy with the referral she gave me for a local matchmaking service she’s collaborated with before.

Amy was like a matchmaking fairy godmother to me as I contemplated taking the financial and emotional plunge of signing on with a service. She had no other incentive to do it other than wanting me to be happy and to get what I want. I never would have taken the plunge without her thoughtful, individualized guidance. For that reason, I would highly recommend Linx to anyone truly looking for a meaningful partnership. The woman in charge emanates warmth, caring, know how, and savvy. I’m sure it characterizes the rest of the company, too.”

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“I know there’s someone wonderful out there for me. I thought I would try Linx by seeking a professional to help me find the love of my life. Needless to say I’m not disappointed and I cannot say enough good things about Linx Dating. As far as the quality of Linx and the caliber of their clients as well as my interactions with the matchmaker herself Amy. 🙂

I found the website user friendly, easy to navigate, and extremely easy to submit information and pictures of myself. I was quickly matched to a wonderful man that I enjoyed spending time with. I cannot say enough wonderful things about him and what a great guy he is.

The caliber of the clientele compared to online dating has far exceeded my expectations. Amy has already done all the tedious, pre screening, love matching work. You will not be disappointed.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Amy. She has an amazing talent in matching souls and putting love together. Amy is quick to respond. She thoroughly interviews, face times, all while making you feel comfortable, as if you were two friends having a conversation. She knows how to handle busy professionals allowing flexibility and alternative forms of live face to face conversations, text, and email. Amy asks little to nothing in return and only wants to assist us in finding love and happiness.

I highly recommend Amy and Linx dating. You won’t be disappointed and you will never return to regular online dating websites.”

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“Finding the love of your life can seem like an endless search, with ups and downs. The Linx process was professional, detailed, considerate, and very enjoyable. It was the third match that worked like a charm- where chemistry was firing in all directions.
I ended up proposing in 2011 to my beautiful soul mate and we got married in Fall 2017 Fall of 2017!  Amy even helped with my proposal planning making it seamless and thoughtful at Cavallo Point in Marin.
We are so blessed to have been matched and wouldn’t have ever met if it was not for this unique dating network. For anyone who wants to be introduced to quality, genuine men and women all of whom have been carefully vetted by Amy, this is an  excellent alternative to online dating and dating apps!”
❤️

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Sex Should We Be Having Anyway?

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Whether you’re enjoying the newness of a fresh relationship or comfortable after years together, you can count on your sex life changing. What is hot and heavy at first may calm to sporadic bedroom sessions. Or, maybe that initially awkward and mediocre sex (that perhaps you don’t want very often) can evolve to gratifying, explosive orgasms (that you’d enjoy twice daily). With such a wide spectrum, is there a baseline amount of sex we should be having?

 

According to the Kinsey Institute for research in Sex, Reproduction and Gender, the best predictor of sexual frequency is age—not marital status. Researchers found that, on average, people between 18-29 have 112 sex sessions a year; people between 30-39 have 86 sex sessions a year; and people between 40-49 have 69 sex sessions a year.

 

Wondering about the 50+ crowd? After surveying over 8000 participants over the age of 50, the The Normal Bar found that 31 percent enjoy sex multiple times a week; 28 percent enjoy sex a few times a month; and 8 percent have sex once a month. Nearly a third of respondents rarely have sex at all.

 

Worried about your sex life losing steam? There is an upside: Although the quantity of sex may decrease with age, the quality gets better. In one study, researchers attributed the higher levels of sexual satisfaction in menopausal and post menopausal women to their confidence, managed expectations, and ability to prioritize their sexual needs.

 

We’re below average! Is there a problem?

 

Not necessarily. In one study led by Amy Muise of The University of Toronto-Mississauga, researchers found that couples who have sex every night are just as happy as the couples who have sex once a week. In another study, researchers asked half of the 64 married couples participating to double the amount of sex they typically have. When comparing happiness levels from the cohort having more sex to the cohort sticking to their usual sex amounts, researchers found no increase in happiness. Instead, the couples with the doubled sex requirement reported lower energy levels and sexual dissatisfaction.

 

The findings show that real satisfaction doesn’t stem from the amount of sex, but rather from the quality of sexual experience. Sex is a vehicle for connectivity; some couples need to have sex to be connected and others can achieve connectivity other ways. In other words, as long as you and your partner feel connected, the amount of sex is secondary. “It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible,” said Muise.

 

Is there a such thing as too little sex?

 

Technically, couples who have sex less than ten times a year are considered “sexless”. For older couples, the declining amount of sex is perfectly acceptable. But, for other couples, a mismatched libido can pose problems. If you haven’t been in the mood, take a closer look at your medications—especially antidepressants and antihistamines—and get your hormone levels checked. If you’ve ruled out physical causes, consider a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach; having sexual experiences can actually produce hormones that trigger higher levels of desire. If sex isn’t on the table, engaging in foreplay can also help fuel the flames of desire. Touching, holding, kissing, and other forms of physical contact stimulates oxytocin—a chemical that gives you feelings of closeness and connectedness with your partner.

 

What if we’re having too much sex?

 

Lucky you–literally! According to sex therapists and medical professionals, there is no such as too much sex; however, if your desire for sex is interfering with your job or relationships, you should consider chatting with a therapist.

 

 

 

Seeking an accomplished single female of integrity, grace, and beauty for our exceptional 30-something bachelor

Linx is looking for single females between the ages of 25-33 years old for our mid-30’s bachelor residing in Southern California. We are happy to send details about our bachelor to qualifying candidates. To say he is exceptional, worldly, cute, highly educated, and super successful would be an understatement!

Are you 25-33 years old and….

– smart and educated / highly accomplished
– funny (as in sense of humor)
– caring and tender
– elegant, stylish, very feminine
– passionate, ambitious, sense of adventure and wonderment

Please email any leads to amy@linxdating.com  There is a small window open in our clients life and the next woman he meets and ends up in a relationship with will absolutely result in marriage. Timing is everything!

 

 

Man’s Best Friend or Competition? How to Date Someone with a Dog

 

iStock-615075394 copy.jpgForget the mother-in-law. Sometimes the most difficult family member is the four-legged hairball who drinks out of the toilet. Managing an obnoxious animal can be difficult, but the real difficulty lies in dating someone whose priorities are out of order.

 

If you’re feeling like a powerless third wheel, there are ways to get your relationship in a better place. Below, we’ve outlined the most common problems that arise when dating a pet owner and how to approach them.

 

Problem: The dog sleeps in a bed—with both of you.

Solution: Tell your SO (significant other) that you’d like to keep the bed on hold for sleeping and other “special activities”. Between the pet hair and the lack of space, this request shouldn’t come as a surprise. Snag a dog bed and keep it in the corner of the bedroom to accommodate the new arrangement. If you’d prefer to keep the dog outside of the bedroom entirely, vets suggest putting the dog bed in a warm enclosed area away from heavy traffic areas (i.e., hallway, family room, home office, etc).

 

Problem: The dog is poorly trained, and your significant other isn’t doing anything about it.

Solution: Explain how the pet’s behavior makes you feel. For example, you could say, “Rover went crazy and tried to bite the mailman. It was really stressful, and I was worried about liability issues.” Then, pivot to the solution: “I think we need to enroll in some obedience classes. Here’s one that has rave reviews.” If your partner pushes back on the formal classes, suggest some in-house training that includes crating the dog after bad behavior.

 

Problem: You are allergic to your partner’s dog or cat.

Solution: This is tricky. Aside from suggesting some antihistamines, there isn’t much you can do. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the best way to keep allergies at bay is to:

  1. Keep animals away from the bedroom
  2. Vacuum often with a HEPA filter
  3. Wash your hands after handling your pet
  4. Try to bathe your pet once a week or you can hire a doggy concierge to arrive to your home and clean the furry loved one in a mobile van in the driveway.

If cohabitation is in jeopardy because of your partner’s pet allergies, you have to figure out which relationship you value more: the one with your partner or the one with your pet.

 

Problem: You can’t go on vacation, because the pet “has anxiety” without his owner.

Solution: Before traveling, set up some time to interview pet sitters. Give your partner (and pet) some time to get comfortable with the idea of a new caretaker. Once you’ve picked the right pet sitter, you can leave for vacation worry free. If your SO is still hedging with the pet sitter, frame the situation from a cost perspective. One-way flights with a pet in tow can cost $100-150 or, as much as $1000 for a long stint in cargo. Hotel fees can also add up to $100 per night.

 

 

Problem: Your partner co-parents the pet with a crazy ex.

Solution: Establish some boundaries. Encourage your partner to come up with a set schedule for pet care and get it confirmed well in advance. Last minute changes or pet sitting requests can add unnecessary emotional reactivity.

 

The best way to approach any issue is to have a solution in mind. A new plan might not be the perfect answer, but it’s a start. For many people, the pet is family, and family is forever. If your partner isn’t prioritizing your needs over the pet, you will need to decide if you can handle being #2 in your partner’s life.

 

How and When to Talk Kids with Your Date

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When it comes to deal breakers, we start filtering with the usual suspects: smoking, level of education, religious background, etc. However, life goals—like the decision to have children or not—shouldn’t be treated any differently.

 

According to the US Census Bureau’s survey in 2014, 28.9 percent of women between the ages 30-34 are . This percentage is at an all-time high and, according to other surveys, this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. Women are postponing pregnancy or not having children at all. For many women thinking about their waning fertility, the topic of kids—to have them or not—is a topic better had sooner than after months of dating.

 

Although men don’t have a biological clock to contend with, they might have family expectations of their own or want to be sure their partner wants to remain before committing. In one poll conducted by the Associated Press in 2013, more than 8 in 10 men said they were interested in becoming fathers. With men’s continued desire to procreate and more women opting to postpone pregnancy, figuring out where kids—or if—kids fit into the plans is a crucial milestone.

 

Talking about future family plans is important, but it’s a tricky conversation to initiate. Women worried about family planning will want to initiate the conversation sooner, but often they do so at the risk of scaring potential partners off or making their partners feel like sperm donors. Men, on the other hand, might feel like they’re adding pressure to their partners to bear the burden of pregnancy.

Step 1. Consider timing.

 

The first three dates should not reference a future. Talking about your future life together before spending enough time together sends a desperate message: Your partner’s personality and behavior isn’t that important. If you’re bringing up kids before establishing any real connection, your partner will feel more like a means to an end instead of being an actual end.

 

The best time to weave hopes of a future family is when the relationship is transitioning from dating to something more serious. When it’s safe to assume you’ll see each other rather than wondering if you’ll see each other, you can start weaving in references to a future family without any kind of pressure-inducing discussion.

 

Step 2. Consider your word choice.

 

When you talk about a future family, nix the deadlines. The point of the conversation is to understand where your partner falls on the family-planning spectrum—not when you’d like to get pregnant/impregnate.

 

If you’re sure you want children, try:

  • I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually looking forward to driving a minivan full of little leaguers.
  • Not now, but in the next few years, I’d be interested in starting a family.

 

If you’re sure you do NOT want children, try:

  • Although I enjoy kids, I’ve never felt the call to have my own. I want to make sure you know that upfront, so you don’t miss out on any life experiences you might be looking forward to.

 

If you aren’t sure about having children, try:

  • I haven’t spent too much time thinking about my future family. I think so much of that answer depends on my partner.

 

Step 3. Get honest about your needs.

 

If you’re sure you don’t want children and you know your partner does, do the right thing and set your partner free. To continue dating despite misaligned future paths is a waste of time for both of you. If, on the other hand, you’re sure you do want kids, and your partner doesn’t feel the same, do not waste your precious time trying to convince him or her otherwise.