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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.”

Would you like to receive a SIX DIGIT bonus this year?

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Would you like to receive a SIX DIGIT bonus this year? Linx Dating has just signed a new international uber VIP who has authorized me to give a generous bonus to anyone who can ultimately connect him to his dream girl!

This guy is serious about finding love. If you are connected to single women who are 24-33 years old, Ivy/Stanford grads only, TALL as in 5’9”+, email me ASAP to learn more about this extremely exciting opportunity.

Read more here about our client: http://www.linxdating.com/featured-vip-2 Also, after reading the description, if you happen to qualify as his type of girl and want to throw your name in the hat as a candidate, by all means! Thank you all! email: amy@linxdating.com

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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Fess Up

young lovers kissWhat would you do if someone you were dating didn’t tell you about a potentially devastating sexually transmitted disease they had in fear that you’d reject them from the start? We live in an era where STDs are rampant – some of these are curable and many are incurable such as HPV, herpes, and HIV/AIDS. Thousands of people find themselves single, searching, and living with incurable STDs everyday. These folks could be your neighbors, colleagues, fellow churchgoers, Soul Cycle patrons, former classmates, and potentially… your future lovers.

Today there are websites that are created for matching one STD carrier to another. It’s a smart way to date and not have to worry about a) having to disclose a dark secret about your personal life to someone who won’t understand and b) worrying about transmitting anything since you both might very well have the same STD (especially if you meet through sites like h-date.com). These sites create a community of like-minded people to feel normal again, sexy, desirable, supported, and safe.

Although there appear to be a lot of choices for meeting other educated professional men and women who share one’s same STD, many people opt-out of these community sites in favor of mainstream sites and apps like Match, Hinge, Tinder, and jDate. In theory there isn’t anything wrong with someone with an STD enjoying the benefits of these various sites/apps, or of working with a matchmaker, assuming they practice full disclosure with whomever they meet.

There is a lot of shame and regret involved with having an STD and a lot of folks never know the “right time” to communicate that they have contracted something awhile back. I know someone very well who met a seemingly amazing guy on one of these apps out there. He was the perfect on paper prototypical guy many girls would swoon over: Ivy League educated, founder/CEO resume, well-rounded, cute, affable, and well…she felt he could be “the one.” They enjoyed dinners out, laughed a lot, cooked together, and she even met some of his family members.

A red flag arose when he wanted to go exclusive early on. It seemed too good to be true to her- especially after so many misses happening with non-committal guys. He came on really strong, flowers on date two, lots of cuddling, consistent communication, wanting to see her, and what really felt like old-world courtship. Since she felt he could be too good to be true, she really didn’t want to mess things up with sex too soon. He didn’t pressure her, in fact, after many dates they didn’t even “go there.” She wanted to wait till she was really ready and sure that everything felt right.

About two months into dating pretty exclusively, he pulled out of nowhere a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on her. You know how someone can have a quick shift in personality and go from chill and fun one second to bizarre and distant the next? That’s precisely what he did to her. She called him out on it asking what was wrong. He grew increasingly weird that weekend afternoon and said that it wasn’t working between them. Wasn’t working, she thought? What on earth? Where’d he pull that crap from? They had just had a fantastic lunch with his family, held hands, kissed, and laughed about some silly inside joke.

She knew there was more to it and he was holding something back. Was it an ex? Was he not the guy he represented himself as online? Sadly it was the latter. After tears shed and arguing back and forth, he admitted that he was afraid to tell her that he has a serious STD and THAT was the reason he wanted to break-up. She couldn’t believe he had never disclosed that upfront. Every thought raced into her mind- could she have contracted the STD, what are the symptoms, why didn’t he tell her sooner, where are all the honest men out there…..

The saving grace was that they had never slept together nor been intimate in any way. She was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief and move on with her life in that regard. What bothered her beyond the momentary STD scare was the fact that yet another “douche bag” of a guy failed to be honest and upfront about something so serious.

A lesson here is that the devil really is in the details when you’re our there dating on your own. Although someone could appear dreamy and like a total Romeo online, tread extremely cautiously until you have fully gotten to know that person. A lot of people withhold life-threatening information in fear of rejection or simply hoping they don’t have to have the talk as it is “so heavy” and there is “never a good time.”

Be smart, wise, prudent, protective, and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to have the talk and be the first one to ask your partner if they have had an STD screening or an HIV test, and when they had their last test. If you’re getting serious and thinking about having sex, the only right way is to openly communicate with your partner and then go get tested together. I emphasize going together as some people say they will but never do.

There is never a right time to bring up if you have an STD or suspect you might. Bring it up early on (think date two or three time frame). If your date is supportive, awesome! There are lots of ways to have safe sex together without having to worry. If your date closes the loop from getting to know you further, I’m pretty sure they will be thankful you saved everyone time, energy, potential heartbreak or more by being upfront early on.

A Few Insider Tips | First Date Advice

iStock_000019428153SmallHappy New Years! We hope your New Year is off to an exceptional start and that you are starting to think about dating again after the holiday rush. Even the most seasoned daters among us can use a refresher course in the ins and outs of dating. Dating is a skill and preparation is key so you arrive confident, relaxed, and importantly enthusiastic! Here are a few key basic pieces of advice for men and women based on well over a decade of experience in matching thousands of Bay Area professionals.

For the Guys…

1. Call with a plan. When you call to schedule your date, have two or three restaurants in mind, as well as a few days/times that work for you. That way you don’t get caught up in the early planning stages. For those guys who are rusty at dating and get caught up with nerves when calling her, it’s fine to even script this out if you need to. Make a checklist. Whatever works best for you.

2. Seek expert advice. If you don’t know how to order wine or aren’t even sure what seems like the best dish on the menu, ask for advice. Restaurants are full of “experts” so let the server or sommelier direct your choices if you’re not good at making them for yourself. Women like men who are willing to ask for directions. 😉

3. Stay out of quicksand. We all have topics we’d like to avoid in a first date conversation. All of us. Instead of completely deflecting them and sounding evasive or sharing too much and allowing the date conversation to take a difficult turn, develop a quick sound bite to address the topic and move on. For example, if you have a difficult custody situation with your ex-wife, simply say, “I actually spend as much time as I can with my kids currently, and we’re still negotiating what makes the most sense for everyone. I’m optimistic this will have a happy ending.” This is a clean and concise way to convey factual, relevant details that is also positive and encouraging. Don’t air your dirty laundry on a first date; you have nothing to gain by doing so.
Happy couple in the city

For the women…

1. Be responsive. This one is really, really important. If your date calls you, respond to him quickly if you don’t get his initial phone call. And don’t start counting or matching days between calls in some sort of quid pro quo. You both want to go on a date, so make that happen. I repeat, you both want to go on a date, so make that happen. And make it happen sooner rather than later. A lot of great matches stall out because people get stubborn about returning calls instead of getting serious about establishing communication. I am continually amazed at the lack of responsiveness amongst many people I see out there dating in the wild.

2. Change for the better. Even if you’re in the sort of job where your work wear transitions well to dates, make a wardrobe shift to remind yourself that this isn’t work and it isn’t an interview and you don’t do this every day. Frankly, it’s highly unlikely that your day looks are also great date looks, so don’t be afraid to slip into a colorful dress, throw on a great pair of heels, and let your hair down. If not now, when?

3. Be direct. If you’re out of practice with dating, you might have a tendency to make conditional statements about future dates like “I’d like to do this again if you would….” Don’t do that. Just be clear about it and say “I’d love to see you again. This has been a lot of fun.” The confidence will be incredibly attractive, and will make it easy for your date to ask you out again.

We have countless tips to share so if you’re someone who’s interested in hiring a date coach, inquire within amy@linxdating.com. As for matchmaking, we currently have so many successfully paired couples! In December alone, we celebrated engagements and learned about new Linx matches reaching exclusive status. Contact Amy today to learn more about our unique offline matchmaking services and how Linx can bring you multiple steps closer to finding “the one.” Our clients hire us and engage our service due to our gaining access to a pool of candidates they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. On top of this, our scrupulous vetting process allows Linx to reach new standards of excellence in the business.

Linx on NPR Today | Playing matchmaker in Silicon Valley

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Linx graces The Times of London Newspaper & Magazine

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