Today we have a double topic. Guys always think that money is a big deal to women; being rich will solve all of your girl problems; it will get you the quality girl you are looking for. But not being rich is basically an excuse of many guys, and it could potentially be yours. What we're looking at today is the world of high net-worth individuals. What is a high net-worth individual? So, we can pretty much say that's rich. We're also going to be looking at matchmaking, which is another tool for meeting women.
Anna sounded intriguing so I flew out to meet her the following weekend. It was reported this week that Berkeley International, another elite dating service, which has clients - "a mix of CEOs, barristers, doctors and hedge-fund types" - has seen a 50 per cent rise in Londoners seeking to be introduced to New Yorkers. The most famous example of a cross-Atlantic love affair is London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her Hollywood actor husband George Clooney.
Meanwhile, media mogul Rupert Murdoch demonstrated that a couple of thousand miles needn't stand in the way of romance when he tied the knot with Jerry Hall at the weekend. It is a trend that has also been noticed by Vida Consultancy, a Mayfair-based company that seeks to find "life partners for the world's most exceptional people" and has a network of thousands of registered users. Having launched an international arm three years ago, Rachel MacLynn, its founder, reports that those seeking an international match now account for 30 per cent of the company's revenue.
She anticipates three-quarters of her clients will be looking for a trans-Atlantic relationship by There are practical considerations at play, too. MacLynn and Thomas's clients may have the cash to spend on wooing prospective partners but little time to do so. Courtship in these elite circles is often a matter of logistics.
Clients have the best experience if we work around their existing schedule. It all sounds very glamorous, but when it comes down to it, arranging dates around packed itineraries can be very challenging. A healthy international client base was part of Vida's appeal for Michael, a year-old property developer and entrepreneur from London. He says: "My work takes me overseas on a fairly regular basis, so the fact that Vida could offer a service in both the UK and the US really appealed.
Almost straight away, I was paired with Jennifer, who worked in finance in Manhattan and also did a bit of back and forth across the pond.
I suggested dinner in an amazing Italian restaurant.
It was a great first date that spawned a seven-month relationship. So what's the secret to helping the time-starved super-rich making it work? The key is rigorous profiling, says Mairead Molloy, global director of Berkeley International.
A qualified psychologist, Molloy and her team conduct a minute "lifeline" for each client, quizzing them on their interests, past relationships and what they do and don't want from a partner. Molloy is not the only one bringing impressive credentials to the table - MacLynn moved into matchmaking in following a career in business psychology, while Seventy-Thirty founder, Susie Ambrose, ran a successful psychotherapy practice prior to setting up the company.
There's clearly something in a scientific approach to romance - Lemarc Thomas makes the impressive claim that eight out of 10 of his clients will find a relationship. They're like, "Okay, this is fun homework, Amy. When you go through this exercise, do most of the guys know what they want or how much work does it take to build this picture of what they're actually looking for? Certainly, some do because, they know themselves well and they know the type that they're attracted to.
On the other hand, quite a few people are just so open that they're not really sure and they're really looking for this kind of this guide to take them through the different criteria and make suggestion for them based on my expertise. So, I'd say it's pretty binary that way. Would you say that's where that's coming from? But, it's really important because I really want to make sure that what I'm saying and suggesting as we're going through some of the metrics are criteria that they will ultimately be interested in.
So yeah, I think compared to your point, somebody's who's had significant relationships and is a more experienced dater typically knowing exactly what is going to work and not work. And a big thing too, people come to me because they often will have dated the same type all the time. So, it's really important for them to say, "Amy, just break me of this cycle because, I tend to always gravitate towards this type of girl and it just doesn't work.
I'm with the hopes that there's something that really sticks. I mean, my market is really the San Francisco Bay Area in California but, there are a lot of women that submit their information to the database for consideration for different matches from all over the world. Now, the challenge can be that a lot of the men that I'm working with are based in the Bay Area.
That being said, there's certainly men that I represent that are internationally based but, going back to the women, these women typically know that they'll have to do the heavy lifting usually and if she is based overseas or in a different in the US, typically fly out to meet him for the first date.
That's usually the consideration and sometimes the barrier for her especially if money is a factor for her.
We have the science behind this. So, being all the metrics that a client would look for but, a big part of this for me is really matching science meets art so, my intuition.
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The fact that I'm meeting every prospect and client is something so unique compared to an online dating where you don't have that humanistic personalized approach that algorithm can't figure out how somebody's going to feel or into it or what they're like in person but I can. So, that's what I'm doing. As I start to develop different match ideas, I'm involving both my clients and really presenting ideas to them for a candidate that I have in mind.
It's really up to both the male and the female client if they're interested in meeting each other. This process is just a very diligenced thoughtful process.
It's not rushed. It's really about the quality of match versus the quantity. So, I do one at a time because, these matches are what I would call "a match on steroids". They are like super charged.
So, when both people go out usually, they hit it off. Because of that, we want to do that one at a time so they can really get to know each other and see if there's some long-term merit there which often there is.
Is there anything like I saw one of the news articles on you that sometimes you do work on the client's skills if that's necessary. You've spoken a little bit about protocol in terms of going for the dinner date. Do you find you ever have to work on things before they get to the actual dinner date step or you advise them on some changes they're going to have to make before they start seeing the women for the dates?
I think even the most seasoned daters among us can use that refresher course to the end and outs of dating. It's really important to remember that these date, these Linx dates are not like other dates these guys have in their lives. So, I really want them to kind of prepare for this and to remember that the women are serious about the relationships and getting into that relationship like these guys are too.
So, I do do a lot of preparation and sometimes it can just be giving them some tips over email. Some of these different tips could be, when he makes that initial call, call with a plan.
So, instead of kind of calling her and just chatting without any real goal of the call, women like that confident guy, even if he prepares a little checklist on a piece of paper before that call That way, he doesn't get caught up in kind of early planning mishaps and misfires and she will like and appreciate that he's calling with a goal and conviction.
The other thing is I find sometimes in restaurants guys can be maybe be a little clueless about the right wine to ask for or maybe they're not sure about a certain entree and it's fine to admit ignorance. Even if they don't know where something is or what an ingredient is in a dish, it's okay to ask. Actually, the two of them, they can actually maybe learn something together and fake their way through eating and enjoy the date that way versus just kind of maybe all of a sudden being paralyzed because he's not sure about the right wine or whatever it might be.
I think also, it's really important sometimes at that date, I tell these guys, the positioning, like where physically he's sitting.
So, I really like the idea if people are at a table of four to move closer to each.
Be sure to share a corner rather than to sit across from one another because, that way, what's interesting is not only kind of physically speaking, you're in much closer contact to each other which can lead to a flirtier kind of environment. It's certainly more conducive to see if that spark happens but, also it gives you a shared view of the room.
So, you can kind of look out at the other patron's dining and have something to talk about too, just kind of a shared experience which is really important. A big thing that people can get really caught up on, and this is something we talk a lot about, is their past relationships.
I think in the early stages of dating, it's really important, especially if you're newly single or you're divorce, to always kind of face forward. So, to talk to your date about thing that you want to do in your future, giving your date a sense of how she might fit into your life moving forward versus dwelling on the past or your ugly divorce or your breakup or whatever kind of negative frame of mind you might be in.
You've got to project face-forward. That's really critical because then, it gives her a sense of "Okay, hmmm.
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I can see myself fitting into his life this way" or maybe, "I can't see myself fitting into his life this way" and so it's a mismatch. At least, both people can move on. That's definitely a big one. Similar thing I tell guys to do is really stay out of quick sand. I think we all have topics we want to avoid in the first-date conversation, literally, all of us. Instead of completely sometimes deflecting them and sounding evasive or I don't know, maybe sharing too much information and allowing the date conversation to take that really difficult turn, to develop a quick sound bite to address a topic and then, move on.
For example, perhaps somebody's dealing with maybe a difficult custody situation with his ex-wife and he might simply say, "You know, I actually spend as much time as I can with my kids currently. We're still negotiating what makes the most sense for everybody but, I'm optimistic that this will have a happy ending.
Who wants to hear that, honestly? You don't want to talk negatively about anything in the past but, I'm wondering now because, they get quite a bit of information before the date in terms of these bios that are shared.
So, it's kind of like a different situation because, you're sitting down in front of someone and you actually already know a lot about them. How do you think that changes the dynamic? I've done the marketing about her to him and vice versa.
So, now that they have a sense of who that person is with respect to career and hobbies and background and where they grew up. They can just be and they can be present on the date and really genuinely focused on that person versus having to kind of worry about selling themselves where that anxiety is kind of fueling them.
Like, "This is what I was doing before my current job," and kind of spewing out that resume which is just such a turn off because, I've already done that.
I've done the dirty work for them.
Kelleher International has set the Gold Standard in upscale, selective, and personalized matchmaking. Armed with the largest private database of accomplished singles in the country, our "boutique" style of matchmaking assigns a matchmaker, client liaison and scout to our clients in order to provide a truly unique and personalized service that has built Kelleher International's reputation as. Today we have Amy Andersen as a guest. She's the head of Linx Dating. It's a company she founded 12 years ago, which matchmakes eligible and high net-worth individuals in Silicon Valley. Obviously, there's a lot of money in Silicon Valley and that's why she's focused on this area. "The international element is huge and didn't exist when I began," she adds, reflecting on how the dating scene has changed in the 20 years since she started her agency.
They don't have to worry about that. So, with this notion in mind, I tell people to just be really present. Like, "I've done the work. You don't have to sell yourself.
You can just be really focused on each other, get to know each other. Again, going back to those preparation tips and ideas on be prepared with some areas to talk about that you are wildly passionate about outside of the scope of career because, I definitely don't want you talking about work.
We do that all day long. Nobody wants to go on a date and just talk about work, work, work.
To kind of prepare yourself with these different topics, what I call "expert topics" so, you can be an expert in a particular field that she's going to find really intriguing and be like, "Wow he's so knowledgeable about," whatever it is. What would be an expert? If he plays Frisbee on the weekend, great. Well, tell her about it and maybe a history of like where the Frisbee was invented.
Women will find this intriguing and it's showing that he has hobbies and he's well-rounded and he's exciting and he does a lot of different things and maybe he's a little quirky and maybe she's going to find that sexy about him. Or it could be wine appreciation.
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It could be animals, travels a big thing, a huge thing to talk about where maybe he's an expert about a particular country because, he's been to maybe whatever country X number of times and he's done some volunteer work there. Well, talk to her about it. I mean, that's fascinating. Sometimes people think that whoever they're out with is not going to be interested in them for these different interests that they have because, they believe that maybe they're the only ones that find that fascinating and nobody else will.
That's totally untrue. So, to be confident in yourself and just rock. It could literally be the most esoteric random expert topic ever, woodworking, making boat, bottling water, making beer. Whatever it is literally just to come up with something, a few things you like to do.
If you don't like to do something then, find a hobby. I want to talk a bit like the more challenging cases you've come across and why they struggle because, this is show like trying to help men overcome the biggest challenges.
I guess, you've seen some of the biggest challenges that guys have struggled, even in your structure to make it work for them.
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First of all, I want to make clear, the photos, they're given before the date right? It's not part of the bio so, they're meeting for the first time visually. So, a VIP client is kind of the top dog in Linx. He's the alpha-client and that type of guy, Linx has the option of getting photos. So, with her permission, I would show photos just for his viewing to see if she's somebody that he'd be interested in potentially meeting.
So, that's the fun thing, kind of the icing on the cake for being a VIP client is you do get photos. So, whether I'm in line at a coffee shop, if I'm at a networking event, if I'm at a dinner party, if I'm having a conversation over a casual lunch with a friend, I'm constantly thinking about that guy and putting it out there in the ether that I'm representing this type.
If anybody that I know or that I encounter could be that perfect match. It's really about exercising a lot of options and casting a super wide net and in some cases, an international net. I have international VIP clients who live in multiple cities and don't want to just limit their search to women in the Bay Area. So, it's being really strategic and smart about things.
So, it's like a high price point? They're also getting prep techniques. We're doing sometimes the date coaching that can be a really big one to prepare them for their different dateswardrobe consultation, I serve as their romantic concierge, I'm doing all their reservations, bookings, sometimes travel accommodations, making their experience completely effortless so, they don't have to think about anything.
They literally show up to the date and hopefully, have a fantastic time and I've done all the logistics in between for them. What kind of price-points are we talking about here for the normal service versus the VIP? For the VIP type of membership again, completely customized, we might narrow down the number of matches but, usually, we'd be doing about ten introductions over the two years, prep techniques, I'm their romance concierge often.
I'm orchestrating a cocktail party on their behalf and bringing in a room of beautiful women for them to meet and mingle with. Do you do a lot of those cocktail parties or is that kind of like once three times a year? Usually, I would do that one time for the client as a way for him to just meet and mingle with people.
I work with a lot of people who are new to the Bay Area.
Let's say, for somebody who's relocated and knows nobody. This can be all of a sudden your ticket to meeting people and filling up your social calendar, romantically but, also meeting some people professionally too through my larger events that I do that are called "Linx and Drinks" and these are great networking events. So, a lot of deal flow happens professionally from these events. It can be very good for people too who have relocated here just to meet people.
Could you give us any ideas of what kind of stick rates I don't know what you call it but, the people who have been set up together, how often is it that they have to go to eight dates because, I can image that They don't want to waste time.
It's like super, super results-orientated. Usually, on the very first or second, maybe the third introduction, then they're finding those results and they end up in a mini or more significant relationship. I think timing is everything. That's another big thing in the prospect stage as I'm doing the meet-and-greet, if I sense that somebody's one foot into the process, one foot out because, it's just not the right timing then, it's just not the right timing and we're not going to work together until it is the right timing.
So yes, I do find that timing is kind of everything. So, when they come in here, they're really ready. They're just done with dating and they just want to meet somebody great. So usually, they do enter into that relationship in the earlier stages. That being said, this can be a process for some people where they are still learning considerably about themselves.
Learning what works. How do I feel chemistry?
Am I feeling chemistry right now with her? I don't really know. They get frustrated and I get frustrated for them because, I want them to find that lasting connection but, it can take time. Sometimes, they're not necessarily in the right frame of mind or just maybe they're distracted or they're wanting it sometimes, many years in like that so bad that it becomes a forced situation and when a woman senses that it's kind of forced You can't force romance.
I'm guessing for guys Do you find that men have something similar in terms of a time window?
Some of the guys I'm working with who are in their 50s, they really get frustrated. I have one client who emailed me this morning and he gave his feedback and he had a lovely first date but, not a romantic spark there. I've probably set him up 40 times, It's really hard for him to get to date two but, I also think it can be a lot of his behavior on the date where he acts like this old fogies.
These women are like, "What the heck? This guy is my grandpa. Seriously Amy, nice guy and everything but, he's just acting kind of old.
He has an older energy about him. So, I guess sometimes the 50s where somebody who has come out of a divorce and they are the type who wants to be back in a relationship, the dating world can be incredibly overwhelming and daunting especially, if they had a long marriage.
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Maybe they've come out of a 15, 20, 30 year marriage, it's a different game. So, that type of person definitely can really just have that kind of anxiety fueling them. Like, "Let's make this happen already," and that just doesn't necessarily work because, whoever he's out with is going to be able to pick up on that anxiety driving and just sense that it's not happening as it should be naturally. He's trying to force romance in that relationship.
Okay so, have we've covered all of the biggest challenges you come across with men or are there some kind of others that stand out as well that come up, these kind of the patterns, the commonalities where some men are struggling more than other and going on more of these dates versus, one, two or three?
They end up marrying her. I'm going to a wedding in October where, it's his very first and her first introduction. So, that worked great and others are definitely a process. It's a process where then, they're coming into my office and we're chatting and I'm trying to get calibrated and really understand and get into their head and just figure out what is going on and maybe taking a pause.
Sometimes, this can be really overwhelming especially, if he was in a relationship through my introduction and it did not end up netting in anything long term. Maybe, she was the one who wanted to break up. Let's take a pause on this.
Let's freeze your membership. Take a step back and then get back into the game when he feels reenergized and vibrant again, ready to meet somebody new.
What is that?
The grass is always greener and I had no idea what the BBD until I was on a date with a guy that I really had a huge crush on and I was totally smitten and staring at him.
Like, "Oh my gosh, could he be the one, hopefully amongst all these guys I've had first dates with? I think it was maybe our sixth date or something. So, it was going pretty well and all of a sudden, he was looking over my shoulder and not even looking at me. I said, "Do you see somebody here? He said, "No, just the BBD. What are you talking about the BBD? I just couldn't believe it. So, I am anti-bigger-better-deal but, the thing is, it happens all the time especially in the Bay Area where there's just so many choices.
Then, they want Tootsie Rolls. Then, they want a Milky Way bar and just want more, more, more because, they just can't make up their mind and there's just so much of a variety and sometimes, too much variety which confuses people.
Many people, a lot of my clients tell me just this terrible date stories that they go on and usually they will have experienced a lot of that visa vi online dating or just meeting people at parties or bars or what not and have that same experience that just really bums them out.
Then, they're like, "I need a change in my life, Amy. Maybe it fits with something that I've seen over time is that, the more experience that men have, the higher quantity and the variety of partners they've had in the past, I find that they want to settle down less over time.
I don't know if that's something that you've seen also? I think that sometimes the guy who's dated a lot and had a lot of partners, at some point, he gets burned out at the game. He's just kind of ready. He's like, "Okay, I've had X number of partners and I've dated a ton. I've been kind of the playboy. Nobody can predict when this happens because, he has to be ready but, it does happen. There's some girl that just completely captures his attention and he's smitten and he's over the mood and he's done.
He's just like, "Okay" he's off the market but, there's that very uncertain opening in his life that window is open and whoever is in front of him who's captured his attention then, that window closes very quickly.
I find that because, I have a lot of these great clients of mine. I mean, major catches who were dating a bunch, and a lot of people questioned, "Is he ever going to settle down? They're like, "Okay, now I'm in my mids, lates. I'm high-net-worth. I have basically everything I want in my life. I have the job. I have the cars. I have the vacation house.
I've shagged every hot girl there is but, I want something more. They're looking for some more substance. Maybe he wants to be a dad and he's like, "Okay, a lot of my buddies are settling down" and all of a sudden the light goes off in his head and these things become really attractive. He's like, "Hmm, I kind of want this for this phase, this new chapter in my life, the sequel to my previous party days. He doesn't want to be alone when he's in his 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, however long he's going to live for.
It's good to hear a counter-point. I'm glad to see some guys settling down.
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It's one of the things I've seen also, even if they settle down, I think sometimes the marriage doesn't work out. He has difficulties with being faithful. Those kinds of situations even when he's decided that he's decided that it's time for the marriage.
Just something I've kind of noticed over time. Have you come across any downsides to matchmaking versus other approaches or potentially situations, people it's not right for? Of course, you've already talked about the specific people you try to screen out but, are there any other downsides that people should be aware of?
They're like, "Oh, this might be interesting for me.
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It might be a good fight for me. I think, I would probably screen somebody out to not work with somebody if that person's a complete workaholic and has no balance in their life because, I think they get very frustrated and working with Linx because, this certainly is a service for people that are looking for that marriage and that next major life step, being a relationship.
Somebody might not want to work with Linx if maybe they don't like working with people. I don't know. The fact that you work with a team of people and it's a very humanistic approach. You're dealing with people on the backend versus a computer. Maybe somebody who is just If I look a lot of dating profiles, they're very shallow.
Your process is something more like psycho-therapy, right? You walk in and you're supposed to say, "Really, this is what's going on with me. So, that person might be just too fearful of the process. I mean, just really having to be open because, at the end of the day, the more vulnerable and open my client is with me, the better I can do for him.
If he's kind of hedging, guarding, if he's just too private and just not allowing me to peel back those layers then, I'm never going to get to know him and I ultimately can't figure out who he's going to click with.
When somebody just kicks back on my couch as I encourage them to do and just have a conversation with me and know that this process is not like an interview.
It's really an enjoyable relaxing conversation.
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I'll pour him a glass of wine. He can just chill out and just talk to me about what he's looking for and we can have a laugh about it and talk about the deal breakers. He doesn't have to be worried about this but, it's not for everybody. He has to make sure he's comfortable opening up and he's willing to divulge things about his personal life so we can best help him.