Michael Ralston is a successful software designer, but that hasn’t always translated to confidence in his dating life. Challenged by “real-world” interaction, he tried online dating, but didn’t have much luck. So one day he approached Amy Andersen, of Linx Dating, a boutique matchmaking service in Palo Alto, California, to work her magic. A self-described “love concierge,” Anderson took him shopping, got him a haircut, and ran him through mock pre-date phone conversations. Her aim was to get him to go off-script and have a spontaneous conversation with his dates.
When he was done with her advice and services, his bill was $10,000.
“I’ve always been socially awkward and I think I’m less so now,” he told Marketplace. “It is expensive. But from one point of view, the answer to that question is -- is it going to work?”
The brainchild of Stanford grad Amy Andersen, who created launched the elite matchmaking service twelve years ago, Linx Dating caters to men and women in Silicon Valley with deep pockets, but perhaps the inability to leave work at the office. The website describes what Andersen does as a cross between art and science, and her clients often feel she “gets” them, because she has “nearly a dozen years of experience focusing on the personality types, drive, and ambition that are common to Silicon Valley,” the website states. “She recognizes the underlying factors that can lead to an imbalance between personal and professional happiness.”
The kinds of services that mark Linx as elite are helping clients stock good wine for their refrigerators and picking hand towels. In addition, they even take “clients ballroom dancing to work on rhythm and letting go," according to Marketplace.
According to a Vanity Fair profile of Andersen and Linx, Andersen charges $500 for the initial screening, which is usually done by her partner Nina Ericson, who is also more likely to see the site's older female clients.
Linx, like the soon-to-be-launched Facebook for rich folks, Netropolitan, is not for the 99 percent. After all, Andersen can charge up to $100,000 for her matchmaking services.
“It’s a little bit underground,” she said of Linx in a Vanity Fair article. “It’s not available to the masses.”