Story time: Damona had a little conversation with her client the other day who just got the COVID vaccine (yayy!!). They were talking about next steps in the dating process now that things maybe opening back up soon.

This client was so excited to finally get the vaccine but she was panicking because she’d gained a little weight during the pandemic and wasn’t sure how that would affect her dating life.

There seems to be a lot of anxiety in the air righ now since many up us are kind of freaking out at the prospect of seeing people and looking our best and actually having to fit into pants again.

So today, Damona talks to body image expert, Veronica Grant with some really great tips on how to find love when you don’t feel so good about the way you look. We’ve all been there so it’s a really important topic.

But first, there’s some controversy we need to address:


(2:30) We stand with Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

Meghan’s Oprah tell-all is causing quite a stir around the world. Damona explains what this means for you and your dating life. Also, you can check out Damona’s video on the subject if you want to join in on the conversation!


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A post shared by Damona Hoffman (@damonahoffman)

(6:50) The latest controversial feature on Coffee Meets Bagel

Are you selecting your dates based on their vaccine status? Do you trust that people are being honest in dating right now? Damona gives us the skinny on why the app chose to include a vaccine option in their “About Me” section and how to decide whether to respond or not.




Veronica Grant is a body image expert and host of the Love Life Connection Podcast. As we’ve pretty much established, this is a HUGE topic and brings up a lot of feelings for every body (See what we did there???). Damona and Veronica cover:

Here’s the biggest truth that might make you examine the way you are approaching dating right now (13:00): 

You relate to men the way you relate to your body.

(15:00) People looking to date you aren’t seeing your body insecurities and often can’t even tell when your weight fluctuates. 

(16:00) If your potential partner hyper fixates on THIS, it’s definitely not someone you want to date

(17:30) Why compliments from other people can hurt your self-esteem

(19:00) If you’re only attracting people who want to be friends with benefits listen here

(22:00) If you believe something about yourself, you’re going to attract the kinds of people who reflect those beliefs back

(25:00) The Deep Work Framework: finding real love begins with healing your inner child

(26:00) How to get better at dating: will you benefit more from healing your self esteem and dealing with the past or developing a dating strategy?

(31:00) The surprising things that are creating overwhelm and anxiety in your dating life

(36:00) What timeline should you expect when you’re looking for love?

A Few Ways to find Veronica

5 Steps To Ending Overwhelm and Anxiety in Your Love Life:

Love Life Connection Podcast:


YOU’RE LIVIN’ NOW! (38:30)

Damona brings in another perspective from past guest, Erica Faye Watson. Here’s the video if you’re interested:

We are sad to say that Erica passed away two weeks ago due to complications from COVID 19. Erica truly was such an amazing person with an amazing perspective and she will be missed. Today’s episode is dedicated to her memory.



Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • Dillon (Email): I am a 26 year old Tech Guy living in a small ,East Coast city. Being my age, I am relatively open to anything. However, I definitely prefer something a little more serious. However, a problem has arose. I have struggled to find dates and have had a couple of people tell me that I would be someone women will want to settle down with and not necessarily date right now. How do I find where I’m going wrong? I workout, have my own place and am not some resentful guy. I want a relationship but feel myself getting upset with my myself because I am losing to men who just want casual sex.
  • Jodi (Voicemail): Hi, my name is Jodi, I’m 42 years old, I’m divorced. And I’m having a little bit of trouble navigating the dating world. And so I have so many questions for you. But I’ll start with this. So I am on to online dating platforms and one like swipe app. So opportunity, where I can see who has made my profile, I become increasingly frustrated with men who visit my profile on a regular basis, but refuse to send the message. And so I’m trying to understand what their motivation is for returning to my profile time and time again, without reaching out. And I’ve just gotten exhausted from being the first one to reach out just because that’s what Bumble makes me do. And I just, it’s not really working out for me, I’m taking a little bit of a break of being the one to reach out. But if that make sense, I’m just really curious about how I can maybe send a message back that kind of calls them out in a flirty way. Or maybe do I just send the message and leave it at that? I don’t know. I’m just curious as to how to approach that because it would really hurt my self esteem to send a message to somebody who has visited my profile numerous times and then for them to just ignore my message that might mess me up. I’m not sure. Anyway, I look forward to hearing your I’m sure one of your shows. Thank you for the work that you do. Bye bye.



The app solves many major challenges that Damona’s clients face in dating today:

  • You can keep your main number private
  • You can separate your personal and dating contacts
  • Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.

We are proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. If you want more information, check out Damona’s video on when to give out your number to people you meet on dating apps. Click here!




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Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Are we supposed to get married gonna just swipe? If you feel like I need to be five pounds lighter in order to be worthy of love, then that’s how you’re gonna approach a relationship. You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers, welcome to dates and mates with damona Hoffman presented by text now the app that gives you a free second phone number that you can use just for dating, so you don’t have to give your primary number out to dates that you meet. So I had a little conversation with a client the other day who just got the COVID vaccine. Yay, me too. And I was talking to her about what’s next, she was so excited to get the vaccine. But she was kind of panicking because she gained a little weight during the pandemic. Also, I can relate to that. And she wasn’t sure how that would affect her dating life now. And I think we are all kind of freaking out in some way over the prospect of seeing people again, and looking our best. I know your closet has a lot of athletes that are in it now too.

Unknown Speaker  1:19  

And if you’re stressed like me about having to fit into real pants again,

Unknown Speaker  1:25  

then you’re going to love today’s episode, I’m going to help you process some of this body image anxiety that we’re dealing with. With body image expert Veronica grant, she’s going to give us some really great tips on how to find love, even if you don’t feel so great about the way you look right now. And just a reminder, love can find you at any size if you feel good about yourself. So stay tuned. But there’s also some big news we have to cover. Of course, there’s some big news. We haven’t talked yet about Megan Markel, the Duchess of Sussex, she dropped some pretty big truth bombs with her Oprah tell all that happened last week. But I’m going to tell you what is relevant about it in your search for love, and the latest controversial feature on dating apps plus, we will answer your questions. And dear Dimona, like do nice guys finish last, and I’m tired of messaging first. What do I do? Oh, that’s edmore on today’s date, tomates. And now it’s time to dish these dating dish.

Unknown Speaker  2:32  

The Duchess of Sussex who still has that title, even though she does not clearly have the responsibilities of being a royal, whatever those are. I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to report on this interview she did with Oprah. And I want to draw your attention to the thing that really, really stoked the fire in me. Most of you know I am the product of an interracial relationship like Megan Markel. And I also have children with a guy who identifies as white.

Unknown Speaker  3:05  

And so our kids are pretty much the same mix, I guess, as Archie, not Prince Archie, by the way, because that’s really what socked me in the gut. Megan shared that before Archie was born, they had decided that they were going to not give him the title of Prince. And it just made me sit here and wonder why Prince Charles, why on earth would your grandson not be Prince when your other grandsons are called Prince and your sons are called Prince and you yourself are called Prince. And all of you are from the same royal line. There’s obviously a glaring difference between these two sides of the family. And Megan made that abundantly clear when she said that people in the royal family, she didn’t want to name names. Harry definitely wasn’t going to name any names. But they said that somebody had inquired about the skin color of Archie and wondered how dark it was going to be.

Unknown Speaker  4:05  

This is obviously a problem. I know, you all know, this is a problem. But the thing that really struck me and the message I wanted to send to you all today, is the reminder that love sometimes doesn’t come in the package that you’re expecting it to arrive in. And as Harry said in the interview, he believes that the royal family should be embracing Megan because of her ability to connect with other people in the Commonwealth, who might not have seen themselves reflected in the royal family before. And I really do see this as a missed opportunity. I also saw it as a missed opportunity. When a reporter asked Prince William, if their family was racist, and he was very click quick to dismiss in this context. I think that’s all he could do. But he was just like, No, of course, we’re not a racist family. And I think a lot of folks do this, and I’m actually speaking to people of all racial backgrounds.

Unknown Speaker  5:00  

It’s common practice in many cultures to comment about the color of people’s skin. And whether it’s it’s a jab or whether it’s a compliment. Sometimes we’ll say these offhanded things about race and about culture that we don’t even realize are so detrimental to our ability to love one another. And if you’re in a situation where you or your family is being called to examine their beliefs on race, the correct answer is not to deflect and to just say, No, of course not. We are all brought up in a culture of racial bias. So this is an opportunity for us to listen and to learn. And to not just deflect and say, of course, we aren’t to actually lean in and say, let me listen and understand this better. So just to bring this all home, I see my family and my multicultural background. In the same way I, I learned from my sister in law’s Indian family, I learned from my step, mother’s Mexican American family. And I think my life is so much richer for it. So if you’re one of those people who’s still sitting on the sidelines, thinking, I’m not sure if my family will be into me dating outside of my race, or I’m not sure I could date someone outside of my race, I point to the bond that Megan and Harry share. And, of course, it is not without sacrifice. But I believe that true love and a deeper understanding of another human being, or all human beings in general, is really the reason that we’re here. And the reason that you’re listening to this show, all about love. In other news, Coffee Meets Bagel is adding a new feature to their dating app, they are adding a vaccine status to BIOS that allows you to say like, Hey, I got my shots, I’m going to be COVID free we can date

Unknown Speaker  7:06  

actually got an interesting reaction to a tweet that I posted on Instagram of someone who got dumped. So to me as such 2021 fashion by someone who said they found a match who was vaccinated, and they thought it would be a better match for

Unknown Speaker  7:25  

right now. I swear, if you get dumped because you didn’t get vaccinated, that wasn’t the right relationship for you in the first place. But Coffee Meets Bagel took a little bit of heat for this, a lot of people didn’t? Well, first of all, you don’t have to like show your vaccine card to declare it. So are people going to be opportunistic and just lie and say they’re vaccinated even when they’re not? And then it raises a larger question like, does that make you a higher status person? Because you’re vaccinated? kind of back to that question of you no travel? Can you travel? Only if you’ve been vaccinated? And what’s that going to look like in trying to

Unknown Speaker  8:09  

police that and make sure that people are being honest about their vaccine status? And then what does that do for everyone who has been left behind? And in a state where the vaccine rollout has been like molasses? And I’m sure there are people listening here who don’t have access to vaccines, too. I think this is a really tricky, tricky thing. I know. It’s something that people would want to know about you before they meet, but I’m not sure it’s something that belongs in the decision making process that early. Like when you’re deciding whether you want to match with somebody and whether you want to message somebody that is not really part of the ultimate conversation. I know that people want to know bio is mentioning the vaccine have increased 220% since October, but let’s just be a little patient here. Let’s just focus on connecting with humans, being authentic, being truthful about your vaccine status before you meet. And let’s take things one day at a time. Speaking of dating app profiles, how’s yours doing? If you’re not sure you’re saying the right thing and you’re not attracting the right matches to you? Let me help you out. I have a free profile starter kit that’s right there at dates and main stock comm and that will help you to rewrite your profile to pick the right pictures, and we’ll get your dating app life back on track. Those are the headlines for today. When we come back we’re talking body image and self confidence with Veronica grant.

Unknown Speaker  9:50  

We are back and we are here with Veronica grant. She is the host of the popular love life connection podcast and she’s a dating expert.

Unknown Speaker  10:00  

You’ve seen her work in O, mag and Cosmo and she has tons of resources online to get you in the right headspace for dating, please help me give big smooches to Veronica grant. I’m very excited to be here. Thanks for having me. No one is more excited than me, because we got to talk about some things. Okay, you, I know you talk about all aspects of, of love and relationships. And in, we’ll get more into your process, which I think is your deep work framework is a really innovative approach. But first, I just have to talk about something that a lot of people come to me struggling with, and not his body image and how that impacts their love life. Like, if I had a dime for every time somebody said to me, I Well, I’d be able to find somebody if I was a little bit thinner. Or if I just lose 10 pounds, then I can go back online. What do you say when those kind of when people come to you with those kind of questions. So here’s what I say, I say that you relate them just gonna go head or no matter for a second, you relate to them in the way you relate to your body. So if you feel like oh, I need to be five pounds, 10 pounds, or whatever pounds lighter in order to, you know, be worthy of love or be in a relationship or have someone attracted to me, then that’s how you’re going to approach a relationship. So it may not be with your body. But it might be Oh, well, I need to,

Unknown Speaker  11:29  

you know, given given gifts, so that this person will then love me back or want to be with me. And so it’s really even though it’s manifesting in two different ways, whether it’s through body or through like people pleasing or through who knows what else, it’s really all goes back down to the same thing, which is that there’s not that inherent worthiness. But instead there’s this issue of outsourcing your worthiness to other people, other things outside of yourself. I can fully understand what you’re talking about. And like full disclosure, I also have been up and down the scale. Like I’ve lost the same 20 pounds, like 15 times. And I you know, I’m like four months post baby. So I totally understand. Okay, well, you get auto you look fabulous. I will tell you, I was filming a TV show when I was a little more than four months post baby. And then suddenly, I realized after like Episode One, I was like, Oh my gosh, I couldn’t be on a season of television, I need to start losing weight. So I’m like, I shrink throughout the course of, of this of the show. And I actually had people that were congratulating me on my baby thinking I was pregnant in the first episode, because that’s how big you sometimes are, even after you get the baby out. So that’s just part of life.

Unknown Speaker  12:57  

But what I’ve realized in being all of those different sizes is that first of all, my husband doesn’t even notice he can’t even tell.

Unknown Speaker  13:05  

And we we obsess about, you know, sometimes it’s like those five or 10 pounds even. In my case, it was a few more than that, but we obsess about them. And really they don’t. People don’t who are looking to date, you aren’t even necessarily seeing you through that lens. Am I right? Oh, I think you’re absolutely right. And I think the other thing that’s really important to keep in mind is if someone only wants to date you, because you’re a certain size, then like is that really someone that you want to date. Because like if you are truly looking for a life partner, and you know, I know not everyone is like, you know, still looking to have a baby or whatever. But like, no matter what stage in life, you’re in, your weights gonna fluctuate, it’s gonna fluctuate throughout the month, depending on where you are in your cycle, it’s gonna fluctuate throughout the year, it’s going to fluctuate, we’re in a pandemic, and we’re sitting at home, like it’s gonna fluctuate through throughout life. And you can’t always be expected by yourself or by your partner to be at a size, you know, whatever. And so, you know, if someone

Unknown Speaker  14:05  

isn’t, you know, doesn’t want to be with you, because your size 10 or 12 or 16, whatever’s you know, whatever’s big team, it’s all relative, it’s just not someone you want to waste your time with. Anyways, you’re so so right. And

Unknown Speaker  14:19  

I had to it took me a while to really wrap my head around that framework. And I think a lot of that

Unknown Speaker  14:24  

a lot of that thought process is laid it the groundwork for that is laid, you know, in childhood, even and looking at the images that we see in media and you know, the models and magazines, of course, now, there’s a lot more variety, as long as I can remember, you know, there was always a fixation on, on what you what you look like what that number is, and I think you can relate to what I’m talking about, Veronica? Yeah, so I went on my first flight ever The first time I felt sad The first time I felt that was

Unknown Speaker  15:00  

Gosh, whoa, are you in sixth grade 1110 or 11. And that’s when I started counting my calories. And I knew to start counting calories, or I knew that that would be a way in order to lose weight. Because I saw my mom constantly, you know, count calories and be on and off that diet train. And what happened is, you know, the women in my family, you know, going back to grandmother, and I’m sure, even before then have been fixated on other women’s bodies in our, in our families. And so, my mom, my Nana would always comment, oh, you’re looking really thin, or Oh, you gained a little bit of weight. So even if it was a compliment, it was still always this fixation on what I was looking like, right. And so I learned that it was bad to, you know, to gain weight to be a little larger. And then I learned that it was good, to be thinner. And not only did I think that it was, quote unquote, good. But I also got validation from that. And when you’re really little validation can feel like love. It can feel like, Oh, I’m good enough. It’s not like, the action that I did is good. It’s like I am good, right, which is totally different thing. And so what ends up happening, or what had happened to me, and I think this is pretty common, you know, among a lot of women, is, once I learned, okay, when I look a certain way I can receive love, then that same thought process translate translated to when I was, you know, in my teens, and then 20s, and 30s, and so forth, to when I was dating, and I’m like, okay, I could get someone’s attention, I could get someone’s love

Unknown Speaker  16:37  

by looking a certain way. So it’s not really that surprising that even though I truly are, I deeply wanted a relationship, I wanted something that felt long term real deep, all that kind of stuff.

Unknown Speaker  16:49  

I just kept attracting people who basically wanted

Unknown Speaker  16:52  

you know, a Friends with Benefits situation. And that’s because the only way I knew how to connect was literally through my body. And, and so I had to unlearn all that unpack that heal that, to be able to just be in the relationship that I wanted to be in because I just didn’t have the capacity to connect with someone on a deeper level. Because again, I was getting that

Unknown Speaker  17:17  

external validation and confused with my worthiness and getting that confused with love.

Unknown Speaker  17:22  

That’s so profound. And

Unknown Speaker  17:25  

it’s very hard to unravel that, especially in a world. You know, my listeners know, I’m, I’m a big fan of dating apps. But at the same time, I am aware as dating apps have shifted, I’ve been doing this for 15 years. So I’ve seen the evolution from like, when I started started online dating, which was one of them years ago.

Unknown Speaker  17:46  

I didn’t even have a photo at first, it was all about my profile. And then if I connected with somebody, then I would say, Okay, Let’s exchange photos,

Unknown Speaker  17:55  

which was a really different approach to now. It’s the initial interaction is all based on the picture. Mm hmm. And I think it’s a it’s intellectually, I understand what you’re saying, like, okay, we have to unpack that, and revise that line of thinking, but I’m sure it’s hard to do in motion. If you feel like you’re, you’re not getting matches, or people are swiping left. Because, you know, and then we associate it like, it’s, it’s not because my profile, I didn’t put enough time into my profile, or I didn’t take the time to get the right pictures, or because of something I said is not a miss not a match for their values. We go right to Well, it’s because I’m too fat, or because I am don’t look, you know, I’m not as pretty as the other women, or men. I mean, we you know, we have guys, we have all all genders and all orientations that listen to this podcast. And I think it’s something that is particularly relevant for women. But you know, I see it a lot in with men too. Now. Yeah. Have you read? Aziz Ansari, his book about dating? I can’t read the name of the book, The Modern Romance, yes, Modern Romance. He talks about how swiping, you know, we’ve always been swiping in our head and Tinder just put it into an app. But like, even long before even or whatever, you walk into a place where people meet you to use to meet their partner, whether it was work or church or a bar or a party or whatever. And like you scan the room and like you’re swiping left and right. And so I think it’s really important to not put too much weight on like, Oh, you know, online dating is really screwing me over because you know, I’m the size or whatever. Because

Unknown Speaker  19:54  

that’s just not going to be helpful, no matter what is actually true or not true. Like you

Unknown Speaker  20:00  

By the numbers like this, it’s just not going to be helpful. I really believe that. And this might get a little weird and how will your your folks are but a week oh there girl,

Unknown Speaker  20:10  

I really believe that the energy you put out is the energy you get back. And so if there’s a part of you that believes that someone is going to have to quote unquote, compromise, or just get over the fact that you’re certain amount of weight, or that your body looks a certain way, then that’s just the kind of energy you’re going to attract back. And people are going to think that like, Oh, it’s a burden, or Oh, it’s a problem. Or it’ll be like a weak point in which, you know, we can get really good in the psychology of it. But if that’s like a weak point, then like, someone could potentially come in, and like, fill in that little gap and that void, and like, actually, kind of use that against you. And it can be, you know, at worst case, and unhealthy or toxic or manipulate kind of relationship. I really believe that.

Unknown Speaker  20:51  

You know, I mean, look, I know, it sounds cliche to say, but I think that obviously, confidence can happen at any size. And when, when you really get into like this thinking like, Oh, I have to be certain weights to, to date or to be in a relationship with someone to love me, I think it’s really important to make sure that the people that you’re not just the people, but the things that you’re surrounding yourself with,

Unknown Speaker  21:15  

are inclusive. So, you know, is it really true that you have to be a certain weight to be in a relationship? Or to have someone love you? Well, I don’t know, look online, so even to like celebrities, or people that you admire, like, you know, is it true that they have to be a certain weight in order to be loved, like, there’s plenty of people who are in larger bodies, or just not even larger bodies, just different size bodies, different shaped bodies, and,

Unknown Speaker  21:39  

you know, are in awesome relationships, both just like in your life, but then also famous people. And I think just having more and more examples of those in front of you.

Unknown Speaker  21:48  

Are, is just, it’s just one of the most important things that you can do. Yeah, I and you, you started out by saying it’s a little woowoo. It’s a little bit woowoo. But it is you also mentioned psychology, like because of our confirmation bias. If we, if we are coming into dating with that mindset, then we are going to look for examples that confirm that belief. Yeah, and that’s, I really want to drive that point home, that really changing, changing your mind about some of these things, absolutely will change your experience, because you’re fixating on different things, you’re interpreting things

Unknown Speaker  22:33  

in a new light, and that will change your path. So I want to transition that into your coaching philosophy, the deep work framework.

Unknown Speaker  22:43  

Talk us through the the pyramid, if you will, of these elements that that you help people work through to find love. Yeah, so the place that I start, you know, with everybody is I mean, it’s inner child work. And I didn’t make that up. That’s not like my thing, per se. But I see inner child work is very much both spiritual and emotional. So for for those listening. Think of like the Maslow hierarchy of needs like that pyramid shape, and there’s like the different layers. And so I really believe if you think about the bottom two layers, that’s where the spiritual and emotional runs live. And then above that is mental, physical. So I think that you have to focus on the mental or excuse me, the spiritual and the emotional pieces first. And then that will, over time, transform what you how you feel about yourself, how you feel about relationships, men, women, love the world, all of those things. And over time, that will organically begin to shift your beliefs about yourself and your beliefs around dating and men and online dating and relationships, and women and love and all of those things. And then that is going to shift your behaviors. A lot of times people are like, Okay, next time, I’m going to, you know, not ignore the red flags, or next time, I’m going to say what I want or ask for what I need or whatever. And that’s really great. And if you can do it, that’s awesome. But you’re really relying on willpower, if you’re like trying to will yourself into doing something different, because the truth is, is that you’re not going to be able to just do something different like that, because you simply want to or because you just simply don’t want to be in the kind of relationship that you were in before. Because there’s that part of you that still doesn’t really feel good enough and worthy for the relationship that you really want. And so you have to start there to heal that and then that’s going to then you know, work itself you know, from the inside out to then you know, trance, transform the beliefs and then that will then transform the you know, the behaviors or the behaviors that you don’t do. So it’s really like just going back to this, the pyramid. So the foundation is sort of the spiritual work that you’re talking about spiritual leading to emotional, leading to mental like those thought patterns, thoughts, beliefs. Yep. And then you call the physical the

Unknown Speaker  25:00  

top piece really the smallest part that’s the swiping texting actual dating? Yeah and that’s the part where a lot of people focus on you know like these five Tech’s to get them to yes or whatever and and look like I do think there’s room to, for a lot of people to improve communication skills, dating skills, I think it’s important you obviously have to do something you can’t just like sit at home and like be a hermit and like do all these meditations and journaling and then expect like your Mr. Perfect or whatever Mrs. Perfect to knock on your door. I mean, I don’t know, maybe you get lucky but but you do have to do focus on the physical and like in like, do the communication, do the things do the dating things.

Unknown Speaker  25:40  


Unknown Speaker  25:42  

whatever needs to shift there will begin to feel so much easier to shift. And if not even like an organic shift, if you first start with shifting or shifting the things that create the actions or the lack of actions in in the first place. And so the spiritual and the emotional, that’s really the inner child work. It’s the connecting with herself, it’s connecting with that 10 year old girl who just wanted to be seen by mom or dad or that 10 year old girl who felt like she had to walk on eggshells and didn’t want to rock the boat or you know, whatever the pattern, the situation. You know, whatever the situation was, isn’t the possibilities. The examples are endless. But we have to start there. And, you know, I consider both emotional and spiritual one emotional because we’re healing whatever core wounds were created at that time. But I think it’s also really spiritual because you know, to connect with that part of us, it’s feels a little outside the box, it feels a little like, like, what really like something gonna happen to me 1020 3040, even 50 years ago, it’s gonna affect you know, how I show up in relationships? And the answer is, yes, it’s definitely going to affect Yes, but it’s possible to shift it. You know, we talked about this a few weeks ago, too, with the attachment styles episode. You’re not like destined for a, a difficult love life just because of that just means you have to do the inner work. But we all have our inner work. Totally. Yeah, this is. Yeah. And I just want to clarify like, this isn’t? Yeah, you’re like, no one is destined for anything. First of all, no matter what, what childhood was like. And also, I think that this work is important for all of us to do, because we’re all humans. We all have egos male heavy, not egos as in like, we have a big ego. But ego isn’t like the 40. And kind of ego. Like we all have egos that get bruised. And, and so because just that kind of stuff happens. To every day, we we build up these little micro walls. And so we have to keep doing the work to heal and take down those micro walls so that we can,

Unknown Speaker  27:42  

you know, continue to be open and be vulnerable, not with everybody, but with the right people that you know, are able to love us in the way you want to be loved.

Unknown Speaker  27:53  

I’m sure as we’re talking, there are some folks that are listening like Veronica Dimona, that sounds like a lot.

Unknown Speaker  28:02  

They’re like, I’ve been doing all the things and now you want me to do all this inner work, and I’m feeling kind of anxious, and a little bit overwhelmed. And I know you’ve done a workshop on the five steps to ending overwhelm and anxiety in your love life. You don’t have to give us all your secrets here because I I hope people will will take the workshop. But like, what would you say are the top one or two things that are creating that anxiety and overwhelm for people?

Unknown Speaker  28:31  

I think

Unknown Speaker  28:33  

that’s a really good one. That wasn’t the question I thought you’re gonna ask is a really good question.

Unknown Speaker  28:38  

I like to catch people off guard. Yeah, you know, I think I think what creates the most overwhelmed is wanting to, to control all of the things,

Unknown Speaker  28:48  

you know, wanting to control like, you know, is this person going to text me back? How does this person feel about me? You know, when I was dating before I met my husband,

Unknown Speaker  28:58  

I would go on like one, maybe two dates with somebody. And then I desperately really wanted to know. Not that like if they wanted to marry me, but if they could possibly potentially see potentially one day wanting to maybe marry me so that I knew if I could go on another date with

Unknown Speaker  29:18  

Yeah, not that I wanted them to propose. But I just wanted to know if they could see that potential. I didn’t want to waste my time and I wanted to control all the thing and like, God forbid, should I waste another month or whatever, because, you know, chop, chop, I had a timeline. And that creates a lot of anxiety. You know, anxiety is not really the issue or the problem, right? anxiety is simply the messenger and so, you know, if you have a lot of anxiety around dating and relationships, it’s, it’s there’s some sort of like message that, you know, would be wise to listen to you like, hey, maybe you got to let go a little bit. Maybe you got to enjoy the process. Maybe you just got to let yourself you know, if you get heartbroken, you get heartbroken, but you’re going to learn so

Unknown Speaker  30:00  

You’re gonna grow so much along along the way.

Unknown Speaker  30:03  

And so I think that if

Unknown Speaker  30:07  

you know, you’re able to do that, I think that’s gonna naturally bring back a lot of or ease back some of the anxiety and overwhelm. And so one thing you said earlier in terms like, oh, wow, this sounds like a lot, you know, in terms of enter work, it definitely does sound like a lot when you’re, when I’m talking about it.

Unknown Speaker  30:25  

But the awesome thing is, is that I actually think it creates really, really quick transformations. I think when people think of inner child work, or deep work, they think of like, you know, talking through, you know, talking with their therapist for like, years and years, and like talking about their childhood ad nauseum. And just like, you know, just going into analysis paralysis. And I mean, I know a lot of people do that. I know, there’s healing in that. But at least in the framework that I, that I teach, it’s not really about going back, and like unpacking every single thing that happened in childhood, it’s about thinking, Okay, how do I feel in this relationship right now? Or how do I feel in dating? Like what’s, you know, when I feel anxious, when I feel triggered? What’s that feeling? Where do I feel in my body? And then what does that remind me of, because that’s probably going to remind you of a relationship dynamic that you had with your mom or your dad, or, or whoever your caretaker was. And then you really just have to go back to that moment and connect with that little girl to begin healing whatever that

Unknown Speaker  31:26  

you know, that issue was, or that core wound was and then once you can, you know, focus and make that connection, and you can bring it into present time, and then choose to take different actions based on you know, whatever that situation was. And so, basically, what you’re doing is, it’s kind of the bridge between, you know, I know, a lot of people spend a lot of time in therapy, and they build a lot of awareness of like, I have relationship issues, because of my dad, or because of this because of that. But then, like, they still go out into the world and still date, you know, crappy people and be in crappy relationships. And that’s because like, there’s this lack of application of like, okay, what’s this? I have this awareness. Now, how do I apply it to my current day life so that, you know, I’m not attracting crap. And that’s really where the inner, the inner the inner child work comes in. Because Because then you can build this relationship with your inner child so that you’re not letting you know that inner child call the shots, but your adult self who is you know, doing the healing, doing the work, having the awareness makes, you know, calls the shots, you’re not acting like this triggered state. Yeah, I love everything that you just said. And I was nodding along because I did a similar exercise with my dating Secret Circle group. So all of the folks in that group who are listening are like, haha, but we got into, like, where do you feel like we we, we brought up different people in our life and said, Where do we feel that vibration? Like when you hear that person’s name, or you think about them? Where do you feel it in your body? And then how is that repeated as you’re meeting people? And I think and it can even be applied to people that like, when you’re swiping, like, when you look at somebody’s profile, I think we can even, we can apply it in more ways than we realize. But then the, the nail on the head, the thing that I really want to drive home, before we end our conversation is, you used a magical word, I don’t know if you’re even relevant. But you said the application, it’s the application of this information, because I think sometimes we are either in action, or we are in discovery. But the real magic is in the integration of those two things, which is what you would call application, taking what you’ve learned, and then putting it into action. And so there’s, there’s folks out there, and I’m sure a lot of my listeners are meeting them and seeing them online. And these are the ones that are getting them frustrated, because they’re just all in action. And then some people are like, I’m on a dating hiatus. I’m working on myself. And then they’re only in the discovery. But I think we learn, we learn and action, but you have to do everything that you just mentioned, Veronica, you have to lay that foundation to really be successful. And yeah, see those ships? Yeah. And that takes time. And I think where people get tripped up in that is, you know, they do so they do as you call it, the discovery, and then they go out and date and then you know, they have they, you know, track someone that is an old pattern or whatever. And then they get really mad and goes oh, I messed it up like her and then they get really angry at themselves and then the spiral and then you know, they’re kind of back where they started. And so you just have to allow yourself a lot of grace and allow allow yourself to mess up because it’s just information like Okay, great. I’m still attracting maybe not great, but like, Okay, I’m still attracting this kind of persona, or I was in this kind of situation. What else is there to uncover what else what else am I not?

Unknown Speaker  35:00  

Seeing Do I need to call in more support so that someone can, you know, see my blind spots for me or whatever it is. So just an opportunity to go deeper and get curious. Now an opportunity to beat yourself up because this is the integration part that pays for it like that is the part I think that can take.

Unknown Speaker  35:17  

You know, it just, it just takes time to because it’s ultimately then you know, you’re practicing new skills, and you’re not going to be perfect at it.

Unknown Speaker  35:25  

And, yeah, that’s fair to say about that. Well, yeah, none of us are perfect. We are all works in progress. But that is the fun part that you get these moments of discovery. And you get these opportunities to learn from the experiences that you have learn from the people you meet. And of course, to learn from wonderful coaches like you, Veronica, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for having me. This has been fun. Check out the resources that Veronica has like the five steps to ending overwhelm and anxiety in your love life. That’s at Veronica slash workshop. And check out the love life connection podcast, Veronica slash podcast, we’ll put those links in the show notes. And I have to say, as I was talking to Veronica, I got the idea to bring in another perspective on this topic from a data mates episode that aired two years ago, but it’s no longer on the feed. Back then I spoke with Erika Faye Watson, an actress, comedian and body positivity advocate about her perspective on this topic as a plus size woman. You’ve seen her in the movie precious, shy rack and on the shy. And here’s a clip of my conversation with Erica Faye Watson. I just know that this is the body I have right now. And you only have one life to live. So why not embrace it and love who you are and try to have a ball. But I have my low moments. I also have, you know, my own body image issues we all do. But I just figured that it starts with me if I don’t love me, and I don’t like showering myself with love, how can I expect somebody else to do it? As a matter of fact, you’re not guaranteed in life that anybody will love you. So if I’m here with me and stuck with me for the rest of my life, I might as well shower me with love. I actually do want to lose weight, but it’s not about losing weight so that I can be beautiful. I’m already fine. I am.

Unknown Speaker  37:31  

Yeah, girl.

Unknown Speaker  37:33  

Oh, it’s fine. I’ve never been to live my life waiting for the like, my life can start Once this happens like once I get that degree or once I get that car once I get that man, or once I lose this weight, then my life can begin. It’s like nah, girl you live in now. So live. Erica was truly a woman who lived her life to the fullest. I’m sad to say that Erica passed away two weeks ago due to complications with COVID-19. She was truly a brilliant and inspiring woman and I’m dedicating this episode to her memory. If you’re struggling with your own body image and self confidence, I hope this segment was as helpful for you as it was for me. We’ll be back with your questions right after this.

Unknown Speaker  38:21  

Welcome back. We are here to answer your questions in love.

Unknown Speaker  38:28  

damona help me our first one comes to us in an email from a fella named Dylan. He says I’m a 26 year old tech guy living in a small East Coast City. Being my age. I’m relatively open to anything. However, I definitely prefer something a little more serious. But a problem has arose. I have struggled to find dates. I’ve had a couple people tell me that I would be someone that women would want to settle down with and not necessarily date right now. How do I find where I’m going wrong? I work out have my own place and I am not some resentful guy. I want a relationship. But feel myself getting upset because I am constantly losing out to men who just want casual sex. Oh, Dylan, look, first of all, I gotta tell you, I married a guy like you who was a nice guy for sure. And he was definitely relationship minded more so than me. I was not necessarily looking to get married when I met him, but he was just so awesome. And I can attest to. I feel like you’re so awesome to Dylan. And these folks that tell you that there are women who want to settle down with you are right, but the timeline may be wrong. And it’s more to me about the way that you are screening through your dates. Because you’re you’re attracting people who are looking for something different than what you’re looking for.

Unknown Speaker  40:00  

You’re not losing to men who just want to have casual sex, you are you are pursuing women who are not interested in the same thing that you’re interested in, and then comparing yourself to these other guys, and thinking, what is it about me that I don’t have, I got all this stuff, right, I’ve got, I’ve worked out, I have my own place, and I have a good attitude. And the thing is, no matter how much stuff you have, it’s never enough stuff for the wrong person. So I would really take a look at your profile, I would indicate pretty early on either in the profile, especially in the profile, like don’t say, looking for casual relationships, I don’t know which apps you’re on. But say, choose the long term relationship option, if you have that option, and be very clear that you are a relationship minded man. And actually, we’re going to be dedicating an episode later this spring to that specifically, I know there’s a lot of ladies here chomping at the bit being like, Wait, where this guy at because I am looking for a relationship too. And that is a signal to the people who are looking for a relationship, that you’re not here, you’re not an F boy, you’re not here to waste their time and mess around, and then as a relief to the women who are looking for that sort of thing. But if you are attracting somebody that is looking for something different. And if you’re continuing to pursue women who are not on the same page that you are, then yeah, you’re gonna be exhausted, yeah, you’re gonna be frustrated. So let’s, let’s refresh that profile. And let’s refresh that, that filtering process so that you’re unafraid to share, you are relationship minded right now, early on, we’re all waiting way too long to state our business. And that’s how you end up in the situation ships that aren’t headed in the direction that you are trying to go. Our next question comes in a voice memo. Hi, my name is Jodi. I’m 40 years old, I’m divorced. And I’m having a little bit of trouble navigating the dating world. And so I have so many questions for you.

Unknown Speaker  42:15  

But I’ll start with this.

Unknown Speaker  42:18  

So I am on two online dating platforms and one like swipe app. So obviously, I can see who has paid by profile, I become increasingly frustrated with men who visit my profile on a regular basis, but refuse to send the message. And so I’m trying to understand what their motivation is for returning to my profile time and time again, without reaching out. And I’ve just gotten exhausted from being the first century channel, just because that’s what Bumble makes me do. And I just, it’s not really working out for me, I’m taking a little bit of a break of being the one to reach out.

Unknown Speaker  42:56  

But I’m gonna make sense. I’m just really curious about how I could maybe send a message back that kind of calls them out in a flirty way.

Unknown Speaker  43:06  

Or maybe do I just send the message? and leave it at that?

Unknown Speaker  43:12  

I don’t know. I’m just curious as to how to approach that because it would really hurt my self esteem to send a message to somebody who has visited my profile numerous times, and then for them to just ignore my message that might mess me up. I’m not sure. Anyway, I look forward to hearing your answer on your show. Thank you for the work that you do. Here’s what we have to agree on. Jodi, people are on dating apps for a myriad of reasons. Some people are bored, some people are lonely. Some people are relationship focused. But people make their intentions very clear, based on their actions. So when you see somebody checking out your profile again and again and again, and not reaching out one of two things is happening, they are either

Unknown Speaker  43:58  

afraid they’re going to get rejected by you, and searching for the right words, or they’re bored, and they like looking at your pretty picture. And both of those things are okay, but they might not be in alignment for you. What’s important is that you don’t attach additional meaning to who’s sending the first message, we covered that in the Ask a matchmaker episode last week.

Unknown Speaker  44:23  

It is just the beginning of the conversation. And it doesn’t mean that you’re going to forever be driving the relationship forward. It’s just you initiating to move from this halfway connection. That match that’s just blocking up your inbox and not really doing anything but taking up mental space in your brain. It’s moving it from a either a no to a yes and not leaving it in the limbo. And you can take the limbo to mean something but it might mean

Unknown Speaker  45:00  

That you are missing out on the people who see you as a really great catch and are not sure what to say to you to get your attention because they’re assuming Jody, that you have

Unknown Speaker  45:13  

hundreds of messages in your inbox, and they are probably just going to get lost. So those are the two sides of the coin of what you might be dealing with. I’m all for taking a break, I want to make sure I am, I am perfectly clear for everyone listening about my stance on dating apps, it does take a lot of effort to use dating apps correctly. I am fully an acknowledgment of that. And this has come up in some of my my group programs recently, if you get to the point where you feel like you’re not dating from a happy, enthusiastic, optimistic place, and you are burned out on dating apps, you got to take a break. That’s okay, you can take a break, the important thing is to set a time that you’re going to come back to it and to not attach meaning to the dating app. It’s not the dating app that’s frustrating you. It’s people’s behavior. that’s frustrating you. And so the question when you return to the app, is to say how can I do this differently to get a different outcome? So you ask what can you say that calls them out in a flirty way? You could say something clever like is this, like the moment when we lock eyes across the bar, and you look away, and I think I saw you looking at me, but I’m waiting for you to say hello, you could do something like that. Or you could just say, Hi, I see that we’ve matched. And the interesting thing about women initiating messages because they do it so far less than men do, is that most men are just gonna be so flattered that you sent a message at all, and that they, they didn’t have to throw so many darts against the board, they could see Oh, she’s already interested. I don’t have to sit here and ruminate and wonder, what do I have to say to her to get her attention from all the under other hundreds of guys that are hollering at her? It doesn’t actually take that much. So let’s just kind of take this idea of who’s initiating and the idea of chivalry aside for a moment and just say, What if you just authentically said what you felt like, Hey, I thought you were cool. And I liked this thing in your profile. My general rule is a comment on the profile plus a question. And that will jump you right into the conversation or something even lighter or flirty, or that’s just a question like, you could say, Megan and Harry or the queen,

Unknown Speaker  47:49  

Prince Charles, I don’t know, you could just throw anything in current events or anything in in current culture out there. You could say, you could say, Pepsi or coke.

Unknown Speaker  48:04  

Just begin the conversation. And see if you set aside the additional meaning that is being attached to that. If that gets you further along, and if that creates less stress and frustration and anxiety for you, because ultimately, that is the goal. That’s what we want with. With online dating. We want to have fun with it. And ultimately, we want to connect with people. And if the way you’ve been going about it is making you feel less connection, then we got to switch things up. I hope you enjoyed Episode 352 of dates and maids Don’t forget to check out our episode recap at dates and maids calm. We will put all of the links to the dating dish stories and the offers from our show sponsors. And that is where you can see the video I did with Erica Faye Watson when I interviewed her two years ago if you want more of that conversation, I am at damona Hoffman on all of the socials, you can send me a DM on any platform with your questions for the show. I love getting those voice memos that’ll bump you right to the top of the list. If you also give me a call, you can leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255. And don’t forget, I love to have new people in my community. If you’re a fan of the show, you can get in my club get in the club slash dates and mates for just five bucks a month you can interact with me in my weekly behind the mic live stream you can see other resources that might help you out in love. You can get a discount on all my online programs and so much slash dates and mates. I’ll be back next week with jordanna Abraham from the huge podcast you up and you probably know her huge Instagram batches. She runs a big multi platform media company and she still managed to find time to come and talk to us too.

Unknown Speaker  50:00  

Talk about how she made space for love while building her successful company and the career of her dreams. You’re gonna love that interview until next week. I wish you happy dating

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