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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.

Are You Choosing to be Thankful?

By: Linx staff member, Michael Norman Quiz-Thanksgiving-Style-Header1

With the holidays just around the corner, this can be a great time to meet someone new, but it can also be an incredibly lonely time for those of us who aren’t surrounded by close friends and family.  As an unattached only child whose parents don’t live nearby, I was acutely aware of this kind of isolation just a few Christmases ago; I had very recently had a rather nasty surgery and both of my parents were sick, so it wasn’t wise for us to spend the holiday together.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a boyfriend of significant other during the holiday season, so that part I could handle – but being away from my parents was tough.

I thought I was going to spend the day alone (almost literally) licking my wounds and feeling sorry for myself until a good friend invited me to join her, her roommate, and one of her co-workers for an impromptu Christmas dinner.  While it certainly wasn’t the same as spending the day with my parents (which I’ve done three dozen times or so) it definitely proved to be one of the most memorable holiday dinners of my life.  (When an investment banking lesbian, a three-hundred-pound gay man on painkillers, a newly out gay lawyer who secretly wants to be a caterer, and a straight black project manager who was a collegiate swimmer consume 7 bottles of wine in 6 hours while talking about their families and their sex lives, it’s bound to be memorable.)  I learned a lot of things I never expected to learn that evening, and one of the most important is that being alone is often a choice.  Just because I wasn’t able to follow a family tradition, I assumed I had to spend a holiday alone.  I wasn’t allowing myself to consider other options, to embrace other types of family, to invest in other types of relationships, or even to invest in myself.

This year I expect to spend the holiday with my parents – just as I’ve done for years – but should that plan be somehow interrupted, I know that I’ll consider alternatives.  And I would enjoy those alternatives.  So even if you’re separated from your family – whether by distance or something harder to overcome – or if you’re new to your current hometown and don’t have an established social network, there’s no reason to spend the holidays alone.  In fact, if you take the initiative to invite new people into your world on a day when they would otherwise feel alone and possibly dejected, you might be incredibly surprised by the warmth and intensity of the connection that could result.

Here are some ideas for getting through the holiday season in good cheer, and maybe even building some relationships (romantic or otherwise) along the way.animated-thanksgiving-desktop-backgrounds-wide-photos-hd-wallpapers-free-thanksgiving-desktop-wallpapers-backgrounds

Host a “Misfit” Thanksgiving…

If you don’t already have plans for the holiday, ask around in your circle of friends or even post to Facebook; you’ll probably find that you’re not alone.  If you’re not a great cook, you have plenty of options that could still make you a great host or hostess.  Plenty of restaurants and grocers (like Draeger’s and Whole Foods) offer complete or a la carte solutions for Thanksgiving dinner.  You may find that one or more of your guests is a great home chef, so give them the opportunity to bring dishes (or just encourage them to bring wine or desserts) and fill your home with new friends and holiday cheer.  Speaking from personal experience, this can be a truly wonderful way to spend a holiday, and can be much more intimate and fulfilling than you might expect.

Take Yourself Out to Dinner…

If spending the day alone is inevitable, and you know you know that staying inside all day isn’t good for you, make a reservation for yourself at one of the many, many SF restaurants that will be serving dinner this Thanksgiving.  Some of the restaurants promising to give you reasons to be thankful this year include Michael Mina, Epic Roasthouse, Campton Place, and One Market, so odds are that you’ll be experiencing plain pilgrim fare taken to an entirely new level.  You might also want to stop into a great bar or lounge for an after dinner drink and some great conversation; you won’t be the only person spending the day without family, and you definitely won’t be the only person open to connecting with someone new.

Lend a Helping Hand…

For some people, volunteering on Thanksgiving is a tradition unto itself, and the Bay area is full of opportunities for helping out.  At Linx, we always think that volunteering is a great way to meet someone (who doesn’t like dating a man or woman with a heart of gold?) and the single person you’d meet volunteering on Thanksgiving will be just as impressed with you as you are with her or him.  Even if scoring a date isn’t the first thing on your mind that day, it’s not a bad consolation prize for being a good citizen. 😉  Good sources for finding volunteer opportunities include Glide Memorial, Hands On Bay Area, and Little Brothers.  You could also contact your local church or food bank or even a retirement center for more ideas; lots of people would love company this holiday season, and not all of them have the option of leaving their homes.People-volunteering-at-so-012

Relax and Reflect…

There’s nothing wrong with just taking the day to yourself and doing nothing at all.  You don’t have to leave the house.  You don’t have to eat turkey.  You certainly don’t have to eat pumpkin pie.  You could stay in, do laundry, sort piles of receipts, and downshift from everything going on in your life.  You could take the day to really think about your life, and examine all of the reasons you have to be thankful.  It would be very easy to focus on being alone, and to fixate on what you consider the missing pieces in your life, but it’s so much more valuable to take an inventory of what’s right in your world.  Most of us are drawn to positive, optimistic people, and the best way to be positive is to really be aware of the gifts in your life; you probably have many.  And you probably know what most of them are.  Don’t be afraid to make a list, and check it twice.  Christmas, after all, is just around the corner. 😉

Post thoughts Link & Drink

We’re still sort of recovering from our very successful Link & Drink on the 17th. We had more than 400 guests and the event, and people seemed to linger for hours, making new personal and professional connections right and left! I’ll admit that in comparison to past Link & Drinks that there were a LOT of women present, but we worked so very hard to keep the numbers balanced and expressed time and time again that this was not a singles event; it was about professional networking. That said, a few guests (all women) probably did not read the marketing messages about Drinks on the Linx, and still expected a singles event. A couple of these ladies even chastised me for the gender imbalance in front of other guests, which made an otherwise great night somewhat uncomfortable for me. I recommend that anyone with that attitude or bitterness not attend future Linx events; they make it hard for me to want to host any events at all in the future, and take the fun out of it for everyone.

That said, Coupa Cafe did a wonderful job helping execute such a phenomenally run mixer, and the venue was absolutely gorgeous. You know we’re not in the habit of objectifying men around here, but so many of the guys (of all ages) were handsome, successful, and charming. And the women were absolutely beautiful! It’s no surprise at all that we’ve already heard from plenty of guests who made great connections, and some of them have even been on fantastic dates! Furthermore, we’ve heard from quite a few of you who have preliminary job interviews lined up which is exciting to hear.

What friends of Link & Drink are saying about our mixer….

“I had such a fantastic time at “Link & Drink,” Linx’s Dating networking event at Stanford’s Golf Course. Amy Andersen, Linx’s founder, chose a wonderful venue and invited really interesting and fun guests to participate in one of the best match-making events that I have been. I truly enjoyed speaking with guests with a great variety of backgrounds, and felt at ease mingling with them. All different ages were represented and at some point I forgot that I was indeed in a match making event… it simply felt like a great cocktail party!”
– female 38 years old in security software

“Hi Amy, it was good to see you again & also truly enjoy a good mixer. Thank you for inviting, it got me out & dressed up 🙂 “– female 33 years old in tech

“Amy, your events never cease to amaze me. This is my third Link & Drink and I always have a good time. I met a handful of contacts who are great business connections and ended up bumping into an old colleague as well which was fun to see him after all these years. Thank you again.” – female 35 in finance

“Thank you for a gorgeous venue at the golf course. I’ve never been there and appreciate you always finding ‘hidden gems’ to host your parties at. I found the people friendly and the evening very valuable as I am currently searching for a new job. I exchanged biz cards with some good contacts and one has already netted in an in-person interview…so thank you!”– female 41 in marketing

“Amy….Just wanted to take a moment and drop you a quick note to commend you on such a phenomenal event last night. Being my first Linx event, I was quite impressed and completely immersed myself in the energetic experience. I really enjoyed connecting with the other guests on both a professional and personal level. To say that I had great time would be a severe understatement. Although we only chatted briefly at the end of the evening, it was a pleasure meeting you. I hope to stay in touch and connect with you in the near future. Thanks for making Drinks on the Linx so worthwhile.” male early 30’s, executive in technology

“Amy, I just wanted to thank and express my appreciation for an event which was well worth the money and time.”– male 40’s in tech

“Amy, thank you for the party , it was awesome I met two nice ladies and maybe something will come out of that ! The ratio was by far slighted for the men OMG !!!! It is usually not that way so I thank you. Usually it is other way around so that was great . It just goes to show you so many people Are seeking love and companionship and cannot find it !!!” – male 60 years old in commercial real estate

“What a nice event last night Amy, thanks! A lot of attractive women there, I talked to a couple but I’m pretty shy in that kind of environment – I didn’t know anyone else there. Next time, I’m definitely going to find another guy to go with, great opportunity to meet. Thanks again for a great event.” – male early 50’s attorney

Summer’s Newest Linx VIP!

Our boyishly handsome Caucasian bachelor is a very successful, active, and intelligent man in his early 50s whose easy charm and laid-back demeanor offer a counterpoint to his professional role as a partner in a prominent local law firm where he focuses on high-profile, high-stakes litigation. At 6’0″ tall with short salt-and-pepper hair, warm brown eyes, and an easy smile, this thoughtful man possesses all of the quiet strength and chivalric charm that you’d hope to find in someone with his deep Southern roots.
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Away from the office and the courtroom, you can often find him with a camera in hand as he travels around the country, and beyond. He loves to travel, and makes a point to do it regularly, often making the most of his weekends by visiting Carmel, Tahoe, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and plenty of other quaint and cozy spots that allow him to hike and bike through beautiful scenery, and then spend the evening at a great restaurant or resort. He’s worked very hard to get to this point in his life, and being able to share it with the right woman would feel like a much-deserved reward.

At home, he likes to cook and loves to entertain. He’s definitely a dog guy (he has two at home) and enjoys summer trips and holiday visits with his college-aged son. With the right woman he’s open to the possibility of more children (and would, of course, welcome any kids who are already part of her life) but would also be very excited by a future just for two that centered entirely around grown-up fun!

Are you a match?

Our bachelor would like to meet an athletic and beautiful Caucasian woman between the ages of 35 and 48 who is on the taller side (5’4”+) with medium to long hair (of any color) who has a satisfying career and a well established life, but is still interested in building a fantastic future with the right man. He responds best to warmth, sensuality, femininity, intelligence, stability, and enthusiasm. A sense of adventure, an active mind, and a desire for fun are absolutely necessary for connecting with this gentleman. (You must be willing to work up a sweat during the day, climbing hills or biking through Napa, but then still have the energy and grace to sit down to a great conversation and a white tablecloth meal that night.) Kids and pets of your own are certainly welcome, and you also need to be willing to enthusiastically embrace his. An appreciation for wit, sarcasm, and old movies would be a definite bonus.

Please contact Amy directly at amy@linxdating if you’re interested in meeting this exceptional gentleman. We will be screening candidates privately on his behalf at a five-star hotel on August 20th and 21st. There are absolutely no fees for this opportunity, so contact Amy today to see if you qualify.

Summer Solstice Party | June 21st

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Want to meet and mingle in the heart of Silicon Valley? Quattro at the Four Seasons Palo Alto is having a Summer Solstice Party not to be missed on June 21st from 8:33pm (sunset) to 10:30pm.

The Four Seasons has created a special promo for readers of the Linx blog. Mention “Linx” when making your reservation and receive $10 off your entrance fee. For details check out this link.

To RSVP call (650) 566-1200

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Sexiest Silicon Valley Bachelors | Who Tops Your List?

Female readership of the Linx Line….I am taking a poll on your thoughts and suggestions for THE
most eligible Bay Area & Silicon Valley bachelors. article-0-19AB1214000005DC-189_634x764

If you could have a date tonight with one of these hunks…who is on your list? What well-known technology mogul, entrepreneur, or investor-type makes you swoon?

Email me: amy@linxdating.com who is high on your list of steamy, dreamy, desirable men. I’m not publishing anything…so don’t worry about your name being associated with this anywhere.

A Note to The Guys (from the new guy at the office)

Blog written by: Linx staff member, Michael Norman

For those of you who don’t know, there has actually been a guy hanging out at the Linx offices for the past few months (and that guy happens to be me). For most of the members I’ve met, I seem to be a very welcome addition; as a gay man, I know how men think, and I know what women find attractive. And as a Stanford graduate(twice over, with engineering degrees, no less) who has heteronormative values, I know how difficult it is to be a single person with high standards who is hoping to find someone passionate, compassionate, and compatible who is willing to put in the work required to nurture the kind of relationship that leads to lasting love. beautiful girl looking out the balcony of a farmhouse

Unlike a lot of gay men I know, I also grew up with (and still have) very close straight male friends, so I really do understand what straight guys find sexy. And that’s why I have to tell you that Amy and I spent last Wednesday interviewing six incredibly different women (ages 24-50), who all really had their act together, and were all – consistently but uniquely – very hot.

In no particular order, we had:

-A petite 50-year-old brunette with a voice for radio but a face for film. A Bay area native, she now spends her time helping people focus their energies on positive outcomes, improved health, and personal growth, and she’s looking to focus her own energy on building a future with one great guy. If you like beautiful women with tight bodies, sultry voices, very little baggage, and a great sense of style, you might want to ask Amy for an introduction.

-A tall 24-year-old blonde with great legs and a surprising maturity. Some people really do have old souls, but hers was certainly still young at heart. She’s not looking to settle, but she would like to settle down, and if you think sweet, 5’9”, fit and easy-going is out of your league, then you should have seen the way that her face lit up when we asked how she’d feel about dating a thirty-something geek. Match_Feb_2010_Anna

-An extremely polished 39-year-old mother of three with a gorgeous foreign accent and dangerous curves. Professionally, she is at the top of her game, but she still needs someone to help her celebrate life’s victories. For her, being sexy is about being emotionally aware and present; she doesn’t need your money, but she might like a piece of your heart. In case you’re wondering, this standout blonde has no height requirement, and thinks true love is colorblind.

-A smart and sensual 35-year-old chef and author with an Ivy League education who is deeply curious about the motivations of people, the roots of cultures, and the ties that bind us all together. She had long brown hair, a natural femininity that was complemented by a love of the outdoors, and some considerable… assets. She needs a smart and sensual man with a playful sense of humor who will happily eat her food; granola has never looked so delicious.Sasha_Match_Running

-A 27-year-old blonde with Colorado roots but a touch of Southern charm who is as mature as she is feminine. California seems to suit her well, and the ideal suitor for this avid tennis player and occasional marathoner with the face of a one-time supermodel is tall, dark, and handsome, with a good heart, great character, and conservative values that mirror her own. If you don’t already go to church, she’ll gladly take you; she’d be a very good reason to give thanks.

-A stunning 31-year-old scientist with green eyes, a smattering of freckles, and light brown hair whose recent move to the Bay area must have left a void of hotness in at least one part of LA. Tall, shapely, smart, and grounded, this woman was genuinely down to earth, and she’s an exceptional catch for any masculine but emotionally open guy who can appreciate the texture of her blue collar roots and ivory tower education. Secure and confident, she doesn’t need a man to be happy, but we suspect that the one with whom she falls in love will be one very happy (and lucky) guy.

Don’t forget that there are truly thousands of women in the Linx database, so don’t fret if you didn’t find yourself drooling over one of these. In fact, these were just the women that we met in ONE DAY and the office. In just ONE day.

Amy and I conduct interviews all the time, and we are flattered, amazed, and excited by the quality of the people we regularly see at Linx. As the days get longer and the weather continues to heat up, we expect to see more and more exceptional men and women come through the door. For those of you who read the blog but have never actually walked through the door, I have one simple question for you: If we know hundreds of women like these at Linx, what, exactly, have you been waiting for? young man in grass

We encourage you to reach out to Amy today to learn more about how Linx can match you to the girl of your dreams. These women want to meet you! Most all of these women we interviewed (per the description above) are NOT ONLINE as they are private and place their trust in Linx Dating to match them to good, genuine guys. We are your conduit to a new pool of carefully vetted single women in the Bay Area and beyond. Why wait? Email amy@linxdating.com