Stanford Dating

How I Found My Husband in San Francisco…

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After several years of fun, but unsuccessful husband hunting in San Francisco, I discovered that the love of my life lived only 2 blocks away. Dating pretty much every single college-educated guy over 6 feet tall in New York and San Francisco during my 20s was a thrill! Meeting men through friends, in bars, and on Match, Tinder and eHarmony, I certainly met my fair share of men who never asked questions, expected to split the check on a first date, older men who claimed to be around my age, and extremely short men who claimed to be over 6 feet. Despite a few uncomfortable conversations and awkward hugs, I feel so fortunate to have met so many interesting men, several of whom have become good friends and business contacts. Most importantly, my active dating life enabled me to determine exactly the type of man who would be my ideal match. All I needed to do was find him…

I remember feeling frustrated when people told me that I would only find someone when I stopped looking. How can you find someone when you’re not looking? As I approached my late 20s, I decided to take this advice, but with a twist. I deleted my dating accounts and stopped going out as much socially. I also worked with Amy Andersen to complete my ideal match profile, which helped me become very clear on the traits I valued most in a life partner. Instead of Tindering to find the tallest, hottest guy, I set forth my intention to the universe to find a loyal, intelligent, charismatic man, and I stopped looking for him.

To fill my free time, I pursued my two passions – rowing and yoga. I signed up for a 200-hour yoga teacher training and started a group of Bay Area women who rowed in college. Between work, yoga and the rowing group, I had virtually no time to date, and guess what? I met my husband right away. In the first 5 minutes of a co-ed rowing event I helped organize at an upscale bar near my office, my future husband and I locked eyes. Our chemistry was off the charts, and we quickly discovered that we had several common interests a ton of mutual friends in San Francisco.

After 6 months, I moved 2 blocks away into his apartment, after 9 months, we were engaged, and 2 years later, we are married. As cliché as it sounds to find your match when you aren’t looking, it’s exactly what happened to me. I feel so fortunate to be married to the man of my dreams, and I’d love to share some tips I learned along the way.

5 Tips to Meet your Ideal Match

  1. Enjoy dating! Interacting with new people helps to broaden your horizons, learn more about yourself and the traits you value most in a partner, and to appreciate meeting the right person for you.   Especially in San Francisco, dating is an opportunity for you to grow both professionally and socially. In such a small city, you will run into former dates frequently, so focus on building a strong brand in the dating world. Your future husband may be your awkward Tinder date’s best friend! And meeting people through location-based apps like Tinder enable you to meet new friends and tour guides while traveling.
  1. Identify the traits you value most in your ideal partner. Spend time thinking about similar traits in people you have dated, in your parents, and what you value most in a life partner. Be specific on the key traits, flexible on others, and understand your non-negotiables. Write everything down and discuss with friends, family, a therapist, or a matchmaker. Don’t write off someone whose company you enjoy just because they don’t check every box. It wasn’t until I became clear about what I wanted in a relationship and shared this vision with people that my ideal partner walked into my life.
  1. Focus less on finding Mr. Right and more on becoming Ms. Right. Be the best version of yourself. We hear this advice all the time because it’s so true. If you aren’t into watching sports and you love running, join a running club instead of trying to meet men at a sports bar. I am not interested in watching sports and have been guilty of this many times! If you don’t like your job, get a new one. Don’t pretend to have your life together and rely on Mr. Right to fix your problems. We continue to work on ourselves throughout life, so get to a good place where you and your future partner can work on yourselves together.
  1. Choose happiness! – Life is full of challenges. Make a conscious decision to be happy and stay positive though the worst of times. Radiant, happy women attract similar qualities in others. Be the happy, upbeat person people want to be around. Greet others with smiles and compliments. I have always found volunteering, celebrating others, and travel to lift my spirits and open my heart to endless gratitude. And it’s so easy to meet new people while volunteering and traveling!
  1. Refine your body and mind. Exercise, drink more water, and get enough sleep. Your body will thank you, and fit, healthy people are valued in athletic cities like San Francisco. Attend classes and groups you enjoy, to meet like-minded people. Your husband may be waiting for you in your next boot camp, rock climbing or meditation class! Go outside, breathe deeply, feel the endorphins, and appreciate the natural beauty around us. Get into the best shape of your life, take care of yourself, and SHINE!

Christine is a 30-year-old, Ivy League educated, East Coast transplant in San Francisco.  She believes that the meaning of life is to love and be loved, and she is passionate about volunteering, technology and yoga

Linx Featured on The Tim Ferriss Experiment

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You all know Tim Ferriss– the best selling author (amongst a sea of other ventures of his) of The Four-Hour Workweek…well just this week he finally got the digital rights to his TV show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment.

Linx is thrilled to be part of it and had a ton of fun filming with him. Think of the show as Mythbusters meets Jason Bourne- pretty cool. It was filmed and edited by the Emmy award-winning team behind Anthony Bourdain (Zero Point Zero).

In each episode of The Tim Ferriss Experiment (#TFX), he partners with the world’s best teachers (Laird Hamilton, Stewart Copeland, Neil Strauss, Tim O’Neil, yours truly.), who train him and give him the skills to master a certain topic. Linx is featured in Episode 14 called “The Dating Game.”

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In this episode, he deconstructs the process of dating by making the qualitative, quantitative. Over the next five days, he takes the arduous goal of finding a date and makes it measurable by test driving three VERY different approaching to finding his match: a) hacking through the world of online dating with Samy Kamkar b) working the art of pick-up with Neil Strauss and c) high caliber, high stakes offline matchmaking with Linx Dating.

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I spent an afternoon with Tim (a day after I got back from Hong Kong no less…no jet lag at all lol) and grilled him about his type of girl. One of my favorite parts was when he told me how important a females rib cage is…no joke…you gotta watch for yourself to see why! Of course I did a LOT of prep work ahead of filming to get an idea of “his type” and then work on a real actual match. I figured out THE perfect girl for Tim- brains meets beauty meets super down-to-earth…and most importantly (in my opinion) a total firecracker! A match to keep a guy like Tim (who runs at 600 horsepower) on his toes- and then some!

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After filming at my office, Tim hosted a cocktail party at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco where he used his three dating methods to invite at least three women. My pick for him, Emily, was a great sport and even danced with Tim at the cocktail party. In the end, which of the three methods worked best? Online which tends to be very high volume and potentially low yield, or the art of pick-up which is medium volume and medium yield, or matchmaking which is low volume, high yield. Tim said, it’s not a question of which method is better, instead…it’s a question of which method is better for you. It all depends on where you’re at in your life, how much time you have, how much money you have, you chose the right tool for the job. And that’s a wrap.

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With Neil Strauss author of the New York Times bestseller The Game

Announcing a new search for a handsome 28-year old gentleman….

Easy-going and confidentOur client is an adventurous and exceptionally well-rounded 28-year old Caucasian man who is a total catch in every way. He is brand new on the dating scene and is not one to put himself online or tinker with apps – he just doesn’t have the inclination or the time and furthermore seeks the utmost quality match to complement his life.

Physically, he stands 6’4”, with an athletic build, short brown hair, pale blue eyes, and has a preppy sense of style. His smile is effortless and eyes twinkle when he speaks. Fitness and health are very important to him – he enjoys crossfit, hiking, soccer, skiing, and playing lacrosse when he has the time. He’s a former cowboy who worked on a ranch in Montana when he was younger and still finds enjoyment in riding horses to relax.

Our client’s professional and academic career have taken him down some very diverse paths including recently having returned from serving as an officer in the Marine Corps, completing deployments to Afghanistan and the Western Pacific. He’s currently working in finance and will begin an MBA in the fall.  He’s driven, goal oriented, and successful, yet very humble.

His eclectic past has taught him to adapt quickly and to be comfortable in a variety of environments. He enjoys everything from seeing plays, to strolling through museums, river rafting, camping, all sports, and even dabbling in woodworking. He’s a family guy who was raised in a loving home and looks to his parents as role models of marital success.  He’d love to have a partner to travel with, and is eager to keep filing up his passport. While he can be lost in the kitchen, he shares he makes a great sous chef and is adept at firing up the grill.

You will find him to be a natural born leader, organized, and confident. He’s social but not the life-of-the-party and has an easy-going calm way about him. What is most impressive is that this is “his time” to find the woman of his dreams. While he’s been awarded medals and ribbons with valor for heroic actions during his combat operations, at the end of the day, family is most important to him and that means the missing piece in his life is finding the girl of his dreams with whom to settle down.

Our bachelor is looking for a young woman who is between the ages of 24 and 32, where 28 is the ideal age. Since he’s blessed with height, she is ideally taller with an ideal height of 5’8” (but he’s open to a wider range). He responds positively to femininity, naturally pretty women, who have longer hair of any color, and are slender to athletic, with some nice curves. His dream girl is stylish, enjoys the outdoors, and keeps healthy like he does. She can work in any industry and have any title but the key is to be passionate and love what she does! She must be social, very family oriented, spunky, caring, happy, fun, and confident enough to call him out at times! Wallflowers need not apply!

If you or anyone you know make a great potential match for our dreamy bachelor, please contact Amy at amy@linxdating.com

Exciting New VIP Search | Recruiting Women !!

Last minute adjustments before starting his runWe are pleased to announce a new VIP search. We are in the process of seeking single women ages 28-42 years old.

Our self-made Latin bachelor is a youthful 47-year old who has gorgeous dark-hair, an athletic physique, and stands 5’10”. He has a calming and relaxed disposition where very little stresses him out in life. Unlike many successful Silicon Valley executives in tech where ego is front and center, our client has an understated confidence about him which lends to his sex appeal. He’s very family oriented, generous, spirited, social, masculine, and ready to move into the next step of his life. A natural nurturer, he takes tremendous pride in helping those he loves and believes that family is the most important thing in the world.

He is typically drawn to women 28-42 years old, Latin, Caucasian, or Mixed race, petite to athletic, and with a preference for natural feminine beauty. He’s most attracted to women who are down-to-earth, loyal, super genuine, fit and likable. Our bachelor loves a woman who is not afraid to speak up, enjoys a healthy debate, and won’t be timid to challenge her man. She’s a good conversationalist and seeks fulfillment from constantly learning.

Although our bachelor loves the good life (cars, wining, dining, travel, and giving back to the community), an integral part of who he is that he has had to work very hard to get to where he is at. There’s zero entitlement or pretension with him and his dream girl will not only appreciate his work ethic, but share the same core values as he does. In other words, she might like the nice things in life but absolutely is not defined by them. Arab casual couple flirting ready to kiss with love

If you feel like you make a great potential match for our dream VIP, please email Amy ASAP at amy@linxdating.com and tell us why you might have what it takes. There are NO FEES for those candidates who qualify.

Advice for Men & Women this Valentine’s

RedRoseWith Valentine’s on Saturday and pressure surrounding this “Hallmark holiday” remember to be good to yourself. My advice for you to alleviate feeling blue if you don’t have that someone special is to find time to relax and pamper yourself a bit. Why worry and fuss over not having someone perfect when you can step back from it all and focus on being good to yourself?!

For the ladies, if you have the time and extra resources, go book a massage, facial, pedicure, or get your hair cut or colored. Uplift your spirits by stopping in Sephora to get your make-up done for free and splurge on a few sparkly lip glosses and luxe lotion. Meet a friend afterwards and share a great bottle of wine and dinner together or go people watch at a trendy bar while donning your best heels and handbag. You’ll feel good about yourself, get out of the house, and not find yourself trolling your online dating sites or swiping through the vast array of dating apps.

For the guys, focus on something you really enjoy and maybe don’t get to do that often. This could mean playing a round of golf, calling up a buddy and grabbing beers while indulging in some sports, running, or getting a massage as well- hell maybe a spa pedicure too!

Valentine’s doesn’t have to mean a day for just two people to embrace one another and say “I Love You.” It can mean loving yourself and remembering that with all of the craziness life throws us, at the end of the day, you need to love yourself first. So hit sleep on your computer, call a friend, makes plans, or book those reservations for some “you” time. Oh and don’t forget that loving yourself this Valentine’s can certainly mean seeing the much anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey… 😉 Uh oh!

XOXO,

Silicon Valley’s Cupid

5 Star Linx Testimonial

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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 the 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.)”

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.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

bigstock_Girl_Eating_Burger_4655356Advice of the day for the female readers is enjoy the ritual of breaking bread on your dates! What do I mean by that? Ladies arrive to your dates hungry and don’t be fussy when ordering.

Men are often hypersensitive to women not eating on dates. It signals to them that you might have body issues or insecurities that he probably faced in a previous relationship and likely does not find attractive. At some point in our lives, most of us have been “that girl” who orders a small side salad, skips out on the bread, and has an ice tea on her dinner date. It’s so cliche….Cher_Horowitz_Closet-022_2-376x323

Remember that classic line from one of my all time favorite movies Clueless where Cher feels out out control with her eating for the day? “I feel like such a heifer. I had two bowls of Special K, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a handful of popcorn, 5 peanut butter M&M’s and, like, 3 pieces of licorice” Don’t come across as a high maintenance girl and announce what you ate, what you wish you ate, or how much weight you have to lose. This happens! I’ve heard it and I’ve seen it! Men think it’s sexy when a woman has an actual appetite. She’s not afraid to eat in front of him and not concerned with ordering what she actually wants to enjoy. 2014-03-18-PICKYEATING3

Linx guys expects to buy their dates dinner, so plan to actually eat dinner. Men often tell us they’re turned off by women who don’t eat. Also, you may think he’s never heard this, but saying “But I’m actually really full… this is the second dinner I’ve had today,” is not an original line. Every guy has heard that before. And no one likes hearing it.

Although my advice is to eat, drink, and be merry on your dates, the truth is many women do struggle with real eating disorders that plague their lives. I’m no expert on this topic and don’t have the knowledge to write about it but should you be someone who is reading this who does struggle with body image issues and any disorders, I strongly encourage you to seek professional help and not be afraid in doing so. The sooner you do this, the quicker you will be ready to date and date successfully….being that alluring and confident woman men love.

On a final note, try not to be too high maintenance when ordering. 😉

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.
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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.

Something Old, Something New…

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The end of the year is just a month away, which means that we’ll soon be celebrating the beginning of 2015!  Like many of you, I’ll be entering the New Year with a number of hopes and expectations.  I’ll also be armed with a handful of resolutions that I’ve decided are critical to making the most of the 2015, and the bulk of those resolutions are related to self-improvement and finding a healthy relationship.  For those of us who are single and don’t want to be, the promise of a new relationship in the New Year is really powerful; we tend to like the idea of starting off with a clean slate, and – ideally – forgetting whatever wasn’t right about the years and relationships that came before.

Instead of hoping for a new relationship, it might actually make more sense to focus on finding a better relationship.  It can be really easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a different relationship will be better by default, but that’s really not the case.  In fact, it’s important to remember that your “new” girlfriend or boyfriend is probably someone else’s old girlfriend or boyfriend, which means that he or she has been trained and programmed by the habits, expectations, and communication style of someone else.  Unless your new beau was just dumped by your identical twin – and the two of you have identical tastes and preferences – the new significant presence in your life is going to require some adjustments (for both of you) in order to make your relationship work just right.  Otherwise, we’re all stuck in a sort of “Goldilocks paradox” where we’re waiting for a complete stranger to behave and communicate in a way that’s tailor made just for us, even if we didn’t do any of the work to make that happen.  If you’re ever had clothing made to measure, you know the satisfaction of having just the right fit; you also know that getting the right fit takes time, effort, and a lot of patience.

It’s really important to keep this in mind, especially in the early stages of dating.  Amy and I often hear complaints like “he kisses me too aggressively,” or “she calls me too often,” or “he picks restaurants that don’t have anything on the menu that I like to eat.”  And people seem to think these complaints are truly valid reasons to end a relationship (or to keep one from getting off the ground).  The truth is that each of these is an opportunity for change and communication; none of these root behaviors is problematic (you want a guy to kiss you, a woman to call you, and a man to pick restaurants) but you have to communicate what does (and doesn’t) work for you.  You have to give people information if you want them to change.  If you want them to change AND stick around, then you also need to give them incentive.

A really common mistake people make when communicating their wants and wishes is to tell their dates that they’re doing something wrong.  The truth is that no adult likes being scolded, and very few behaviors are actually “wrong,” but that doesn’t stop women from saying “you kiss me the wrong way,” or “you grope me like a teenager.”  And men have no qualms about telling women they aren’t appreciative enough, that they send mixed signals, or expect too much communication too early.

When we don’t like someone’s behavior, we try to make it their problem, even if the problem is really ours.  If you want a positive outcome, you need to communicate positively by saying things like “I like it when you…” or “I’d love it if we could….”  People are generally happy to make changes that incite enthusiasm, but they’re unwilling to make those same changes when those requests are worded as criticisms or demands.  Words of encouragement and guidance lead to growth; words of criticism lead to resistance and avoidance.  If you want to establish something full of respect and love and potential, make sure you’re delivering the message you intend in the most positive and considerate way.

In fact, we just casually date coached a 55+ year old client who felt frustrated by the lack of consistent communication coming from the leading man in her life. We told her to express to him encouraging words about how much she adores his company and with that comes a desire to want to hear from him more regularly. Instead of chastising him, she used this very subtle technique that worked wonders. We spoke to her yesterday and she said “It worked! He now checks in with me more regularly and when he’s out of town, he calls me which is great!” We love seeing something like this be so very simple yet so completely effective.

With a bit of luck, the New Year will indeed bring with it a new (and better) relationship.  And as you focus on communicating with someone new, you might also want to try out a bit of that strategy with someone old – yourself.  Try not to focus on what you see as flaws and failures, and put the emphasis instead on where you can grow and improve.  We can never undo the mistakes and missteps of our past, but we can work to avoid them in the future.  And we can be more positive people as a result.  Your relationships can only be as healthy as you are, so if you’re hoping to see big changes in your life (and your love life), don’t be afraid to ask yourself how much of that change should come from within; maybe the “better relationship” you’re looking for is simply a better relationship with yourself!