What Women Want

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.

 

8 Scientifically Proven Ways to Appear More Attractive to Women

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What do women want? Although it may seem like every woman has a long list of ‘must haves’ and an even longer list of ‘have nots’, there are some things you can do to up your appeal. To help improve your chances of finding a girlfriend, we’ve tapped into some qualities that are scientifically proven to help you be more attractive to the the female population.

 

  1. Build some muscle, but not too much.

If you’re looking for a long term, serious relationship, forget the washboard abs and rippling biceps. To understand what women found attractive, researchers at UCLA showed 250+ women pictures of shirtless men and asked them which ones would make the best long and short term partners.

 

For shorter term relationships, i.e. flings, the women preferred the muscular builds however, for long-term relationships, the women preferred a medium build. When asked for an explanation, the women associated the muscular builds with sexual prowess and physical dominance, but also assumed that these same men would be less likely to commit. Unsurprisingly, the women weren’t wrong; the muscular men reported more lifetime sexual partners and more affairs than their less muscular counterparts.

 

  1. Wear deodorant.

It’s no surprise that women prefer men who smell great; however, it’s not for the reason you might expect. While studying two groups of men, researchers gave the first group of men a scented spray and the second group of men an unscented version. When women watched both groups of men from a separate room, they rated those given the scented fragrance more attractive than those without the fragrance. Apparently, the men who smelled better acted more confidently earning higher ratings.

 

  1. Throw some food in the mix.

According to a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, sharing food is the best way to create interpersonal closeness. Going out to dinner is a strong start, but crossing into each other’s personal space via eating off each other’s plates will help your date feel closer and more comfortable.

 

Food and intimacy have a strong link. Nursing usually our first, most intimate food experience has a comforting effect for both giver and receiver. As we grow, sharing meals continues to establish positive feelings, but it is the actual transfer of food item from plate to plate that encourages deeper connectivity. Research on nonverbal behavior—including this type of action—reveals that, `In general, the greater the intimacy of the relationship between the partners, the higher the level of mutual involvement will be’ (Patterson, 1991, p. 470). In other words, sharing food reveals a higher level of shared intimacy.

 

  1. Grow some facial hair, but stay groomed.

Try ditching your razor for a couple weeks or at least until you have a healthy amount of stubble. According to research published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, Australian researchers Dixson and Brooks had women rate male attractiveness and masculinity of male subjects with varying amounts of facial hair growth. In each test, women rated heavy stubble as most attractive followed by light stubble, heavy beard, and clean shaven.

Love your beard? You’re in luck.

As for perceived masculinity, both men and women rated the men with full beards as most masculine, best equipped to parent, and healthiest.

 

  1. Make her laugh.

According to researchers at the University of Louisville and Lakehead University, a sense of humor can help take your relationship to the next level, but only if you’ve already established mutual attraction. How much can your wit help you? A lot. In one experiment, the confederate who told jokes was 3 times more likely to walk away with a phone number than the confederate who didn’t.

 

According to researcher Jeffrey Hall, humor is also part of the social script we’re all following: “Men act like jokers, and women play along. ‘The script is powerful and it is enduring, and it dictates everything from asking someone out to picking up the tab’.”

 

  1. Avoid millennial talk

Yes, we’re all busy, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to spell out words in your texts and emails. According to OkCupid, the average man has a 37% response rate. This percentage can plummet to 10% if someone opts for ‘ur’ instead of ‘you’re’ and ‘wat’ instead of ‘what’.

 

  1. Try some community service

Women in the market for a long-term relationship “significantly preferred” altruistic men. According to a study published in the Journal of Research and Personality, women considered men who donated time or helped others in a pinch as altruistic. Seeing men operate in this capacity also leads to a positive halo effect. In other words, if a woman sees you do something dutifully for others, she will use this visual as a proxy to assign a judgment for your entire character.

 

  1. Wear something red.

In a 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women rated the men wearing red in front of a red background more sexually desirable than the men donning other colors. The perceived characteristics stopped at desirability, though; the women did not rate the men wearing red as more extroverted, likeable, or agreeable.

Putting the CON in Confidence… Part I

I love my coffee

When Amy and I are asked to name the one quality that women find most attractive in a man, the answer is easy: CONFIDENCE. We hear it every day, and while it’s true that some guys can seem a little bit too confident, confidence is a lot like money; it’s hard to tell when you have too much of it, but it’s very, very obvious when you don’t have enough.

Confidence is absolutely essential for converting a first date into something more, and eventually ending up in a relationship; after all, if you don’t believe that a particular woman should be interested in dating you, then why should she be? And how are you ever going to convince her that you’re the right guy if you can’t even convince yourself? Given that we aren’t all 6’5” with a cleft chin, a full head of hair, and huge biceps, it can be easy to doubt yourself or be anxious on a first date. Thankfully, a little bit of confidence is something a guy can fake pretty easily (Do you hear that, ladies? You aren’t the only ones who can fake things.). And for a guy who’s low on self-esteem, even faking just a little bit of confidence can go a long way.

1. Before you pick up the phone, have a plan.

Under no circumstances should you ever call a woman for a first date and say “What would you like to do?” As a man who has spent most of his life dealing with “complicated” women, I can tell you that this is a huge mistake. To get the upper hand (and earn some respect at the very beginning of your relationship) only present her with a series of Yes or No questions. And do them in order of Day, Time, Place, and Transportation. For example:

“Are you Free on Saturday?” No? “How about Sunday?” No? “Can you be free for dinner on Friday?” Once you get a yes, IMMEDIATELY move on to times. “Does 6:30 work for you?” No? “How is 7:30?” No? “Great, I’ll make a reservation for 8pm.” Then move on to “Do you like Indian?” or “I was thinking of this Burmese place” or “I thought we could go to a bistro I like in Saratoga.” Be sure to have three or four different options picked out in advance, and once you get a Yes, MOVE ON. “May I pick you up?” No? “I’ll see you there. I’m looking forward to it. Feel free to text me if anything changes.” And then HANG UP THE PHONE.

Do not ask “What times works for you?” DO NOT do that. If you do, she will likely spend several minutes telling you why all of the other times do not work. You will feel beaten by this. You will be tired. We do not want that. And do not ask “What kind of food do you like?” Do not do that. Because most women will tell you what they don’t like instead of what they do. Even if she started with something like “I love Thai” you will end up hearing a story about food poisoning or a bad date or a cockroach that she encountered at a Vietnamese place with bad lighting on the outskirts of Boston that she mistakenly frequented during her first year of grad school. Ten years ago. And you will forget where you are in the entire date planning process. See? You probably forgot where we were in this lesson, and I only distracted you from the path for just one sentence.

It is really key that you do not open any windows into her past in this initial phone call. Remember that this woman is interested in dating a gentleman – and you might be that gentleman – so take a firm hold of the conversation, and make sure that you only open the door that leads to her future.

If you’re new to the area (or new to dating) or really want to make a great impression, Amy and I will happily give you recommendations if you ask. And we can certainly make you aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies you should consider. Make a checklist if you need to, but go into the call with clear goals and objectives, namely a day and time that work for you, a place you want to eat, and clarity on how she’ll get there. You’ll be off to a good start. And believe it or not, she’ll be glad you took the lead.

Next time, more tips on how to fake it… for when you’re actually on the date.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Just In! Another Match Me To!

From an anonymous female reader….

I’m loving your blog; Ben Rattray would definitely be be at the top of my list too. An attractive and intelligent man positively impacting the world? Yes, please!JGbPexwcbPbWFYl-556x313-noPad

Looks like a trend in Silicon Valley is that females are desiring the holistic embodiment of a guy. He is cute (wide ranging definition of course), intelligent, influential, dynamic, well rounded, and creating positive impact for the world around him. Are there more guys like Ben out there who might not be as well-known?

Linx Dating Confidential | Female, 28, in education

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Last Week in Perspective

This past week, we completed two intense and inspiring days of individual interviews at our Spring casting in Palo Alto. Meeting after meeting, we met exceptional women and men of all ages coming out to see if they have what it takes to meet some of our current VIP clients. 49_191_popup-1I always learn so much from these candidates. One funny woman shared enthusiastically the Shanghainese tradition of gifting 18 hams to the matchmaker who has successfully matched you. Being Shanghainese, she said “Marry me off and you’ll have 18 hams coming your way! I hope you like ham.”

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So, what are these high caliber, successful single professionals saying? A lot! Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from our meetings we’d like to share with you:

I’ve been on a ton of dates, the men only seem to be interested in their own time table and agenda.

The well for getting set up from friends is shrinking by the minute!

I feel like I need to stop doing online dating. I don’t want to become jaded. I need to take a break, breathe, and get a fresh perspective.

I love flirting! I try to make eye contact in my everyday life and never look at my cell phone as a crutch when walking down the street.  Make eye contact, you just never know.

I am a modern woman who appreciates traditional values. But that means monogamy and a partnership. A relationship where it is one man and one woman. Not multiple partners.

The girl I was really into just did nothing all day and her life revolved around mine. It is so important to have a match who has her own thing going on. She would wait for me to come home, like a puppy dog, and just glum on. It was stifling. She had no life outside of mine.

People need to stop being hot and cold in relationships. Finding someone who is emotionally predictable is important. I hate always feeling like I am walking on eggshells.

It is a gift to put a woman at ease when dating. I love a man who is a gentleman and kindhearted.

My mother recently said just find any husband. As long as he has a pulse, the whole family will be delighted!  😉