Happy New Year!

We have entered peak dating season – the time of year where singles are the most motivated to finally find the relationship of their dreams. 

It’s not an easy topic and as you may know, January is also known as “divorce month” and we typically see an uptick in divorces and annulments.

We’re addressing breakups head on with Mark Groves – founder of Create The Love. His entire body of work is dedicated to empowering individuals to break out of the relationships that aren’t working for them.

But first, here’s the dish you may have missed over the holidays:


Ariana Grande Got Engaged

Ariana said YES- but is it for sure this time?


Dating Apps Want to Keep You Single

Do dating apps want you to stay single? Damona weighs in.




Mark Groves of Create The Love and The Mark Groves Podcast joins Damona to talk about new beginnings and how to ditch dating rock bottom. Damona covers headlines: Is Ariana really tying the knot this time and do dating apps really want you to find love? ‘Dear Damona’ segment is back by popular demand: What to do with all these breadcrumb-y dudes and surely there are better pickup lines than “hey”?

Find The Mark Groves Podcast on all your favorite podcast platforms and make sure to follow him on IG @createthelove Create the Love.

Ok Cupid expects 25 million new matches to be made this January – a big increase from last year⁠. Are you missing out? Download OkCupid today!

Get Better Help: Affordable, private online counseling. Anytime, anywhere. Start today and enjoy 10% off your first month –

Get The Dating Secret – Damona’s live group coaching January Program. Early bird pricing closes in a few days:



Damona answers your dating questions:

What do I do about these breadcrumbing dudes?

Is there a better pickup line than hey or hello beautiful?



Unknown Speaker  0:01  

Hello lovers


Damona  0:02  

Happy New Year. I sure love this time of year, don’t you? It’s a new year you have new motivation, new perspective, new possibilities. And that is why we have entered peak dating season. This is the time of year, when singles are the most motivated to find the relationship of their dreams. You’re coming out of the holidays, maybe nosy relatives have asked you why you haven’t settled down yet. You’re thinking about Valentine’s Day coming up in six weeks, you’re at a New Year’s crossroads, and you want to do something different. And this is why all of the apps see a big boost in new users over the next six weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. OK, Cupid is actually predicting 25 million new matches in January alone. And I want you to be one of the success stories. So if you want that to, you have to be prepared to approach love in a totally different way. If what you’ve been doing before hasn’t worked out the way you’d hoped. We have to carve a new path. And for many of my clients, the path to the future begins with the past, the relationships that you’ve had, inform what you need in your next partnership. And I know some of you are still in that relationship of the past right now. Maybe you know it’s over. You know, you need to move on. But you don’t know


Unknown Speaker  1:23  



Damona  1:25  

That is why I have signed on to host an episode of NPR is hit podcast life kit. That’s all about breakups. It’s not an easy topic. As many of you know, January is actually known as divorce month. And we typically see an uptick in divorces and annulments, and in the midst of the pandemic. It’s even everything is amplified, of course. So today is part one of that discussion on breakups. We’re here talking about breaking up and moving on head on with Mark groves. He is the founder of create the love. His entire body of work is dedicated to empowering individuals to break out of the relationships that are working for them. But first, I have to get you up to speed on everything that you missed. while on holiday. Ariana said yes, but is it for sure this time? And do dating apps actually want you to stay single? Plus, I have missed answering your questions weekly, we try doing Full Episodes dedicated to deer demona. But I’ve just been getting so many questions, and I really want to address them every single week on the regular. So we’re bringing back deer demona as a weekly segment, we’ll be talking today about what do I do about these bread crumbing dudes? And is there a better pickup line on a dating app than just there must be I’ll tell you what it is. And will tell you so much more on today’s episode of dates and mates. It’s time to dish. Ariana Grande a got


Unknown Speaker  3:04  



Damona  3:06  

again, yes. But this time to her boyfriend Dalton Gomez on Instagram. Dalton who you might say No, he’s not a celebrity. He’s a 25 year old real estate agent. And you may


Unknown Speaker  3:18  

remember she had a


Damona  3:20  

pretty public engagement before after knowing him for only I think five weeks, she got engaged to Pete Davidson. I predicted it probably wasn’t going to work out on CNN Headline News back then. And here we are. Now she’s facing another engagement and I’m really hoping for her that this one works out. They’ve been together for about a year. We actually on this show talked about how everyone was tweeting that she was seen locking lips with a random dude like last February. The random dude is Dalton Gomez. So we are making good on our predictions and are dating reported from last year. But I keep thinking Gosh, Ariana is 27 dolphins only 25 they’ve only been together a year, which is a fair amount of time to know someone before you get engaged. But it made me wonder why does she need this so badly? Why is she rushing through the courtship phase and moving to getting engaged when like, What is she she doesn’t need a husband for her her livelihood. She doesn’t need it. She doesn’t need to be getting married. But it’s something that clearly she puts a lot of value on and she’s really pushing forward to that next phase of her life. And as I examine her family history, it made me realize how much that family of origin and our relationship with our parents really does show up in our relationships. We can try to push it away and push it down and and deny it. But it absolutely colors, the relationships that you have the romantic connections that you make and what you desire for yourself. She hadn’t a stranger relationship with her dad, since her parents divorced, the first Thanksgiving they spent together in 18 years was last year, and she’s working on repairing that relationship. Maybe that’s why she feels ready to move into this partnership right now. But it made me feel like there’s something that she didn’t get. There’s a nice she didn’t get in her family relationship, or maybe even from her dad, that she feels the security in being married or being chosen or being engaged. And it’s a good lesson, I think for all of us to look at what relationship role models did we have as children? What did we learn about relationships from the relationship of our parents or other relationships that our parents had? If our parents were split up? And how is it showing up for ourselves? How are we either rallying against it trying to do something different? Or how are we leaning into it and reliving the same fate, and the same, the same hand of cards that we got dealt, and the important thing for you to remember is that your past doesn’t have to be your future, but you have to deal with it. You can’t just say it didn’t affect me, or brush it under the rug, you know, as Ariana is doing, you have to repair those relationships, or make peace with them yourself, and learn from them so that you can move into a successful and healthy relationship and carve a different path for yourself if the relationship models that you had aren’t the ones that you want to live within anymore. Well, the best way to do that, of course, in today’s world is through connecting on a dating app, there was a really thought provoking article in Cosmo this week, questioning whether dating apps actually want to keep you single, because it’s good for business. Now, of course, I had to get into the fray about this, because I really believe in the power of dating apps to connect us. And I don’t want to believe that dating apps are just trying to make money and want you to keep paying and keep paying, keep paying. I mean, most of the dating apps right now are free. And most of the users on apps are paying for annual subscription, maybe you’re boosting or paying for a couple premium features here and there.


But really, it’s about being active on the apps. And as I mentioned, at the top of the show, it is peak dating season, all of the apps are up in the pandemic 15 to 20%. And, of course, that does mean more money for the apps, but it means more opportunity for you. So I thought it was important to help you understand how the dating apps work so that you can really, you can kind of beat the odds and realize that it’s not about the amount of money they can make by keeping you on the site. It’s about you being successful that so that you’ll tell five friends about using your app. The way that they do matching is something called collaborative filtering, which will of course, we’ll link to the the piece in the show notes. But they talked about how this was first developed by Amazon. And it assumes that if you buy the same product as someone else, you’ll be interested in other products that they also purchased. So you are rewarded on all of the dating apps for being popular. Oh my gosh, it’s the same. It’s a big old popularity contest. But this is because they want the people who are being active two who are making the connections who are actually telling other people about the app who are moving offline who are giving people positive dating experiences to come up to the top of the match queue. So remember how I’ve always said, to be proactive about sending messages to respond to people, even if you’re not interested. Not only is it good for karma, it’s actually good for the algorithm. And they’re looking at your behaviors, the who you like who you respond to, who you’re matching with, to tell you who they are going to to show you appropriate and similar matches in the future. And I don’t have the insider info on this. But according to this article, they’re using face mapping, pinpointing physical features that you have a preference for and then sifting through those features. To show you those people at the top of your queue. They also use language matching. So when you’re chatting about travel or food or fitness, you’ll be shown matches who will have similar things in their profiles. And some more popular people will be put in the top of the stack people that you have more in common with will be put in the top of the stock and I want you to be at the top of the stock so you’ll have a much higher chance actually okay Cupid says people have 200% more matches. If they complete their profile. I know a lot of you are out here being like, well, Dimona told me do dating Sunday, I signed on I created my profile, I put up a couple pictures and nothing happened. Did you fully complete your profile? Because every single one of those words that you use is a possible thread is a possible boost to connect you to someone else. Are you active on the app, I’ve said this before on the show, but it’s been a while. So I’ll say it again, if you only sign on when you get notifications, and you don’t like who you see, so then you stop messaging people, or you stop swiping, because you’re like, this app sucks. And I’m not getting any matches there. And then you sign in less, you’re getting pushed down further and further into the algorithm because they want people who are going to be active. So if you’re not active you are, you’re actually selecting yourself out of the pool, you are being shown to fewer people. So sign on every day, be active, even when you feel like you want to throw in the towel, and you’re not making, you’re not making a ton of connections. I had to remind a lot of people who posted questions on my Instagram this week that it’s quality over quantity, we get so addicted to the matches, and we’re like I only had one match. And I’m mad because I put all this time in and I only had one match. What does it matter if you’re only looking for one match, you’re not looking for 15 matches, you’re looking for the one that’s actually going to connect with you. So keep going keep at it. This is the beginning of peak dating season. But also to remember, the psychology of any app is to be addictive. And what’s happening when you get when you are so addicted to getting all of those likes and all of those messages back. You’ve actually kind of trained yourself like Pavlov Pavlov’s dog to need to get that reward for the swipe. It’s not your fault. It’s a psychological thing that apps do what happens when we post on Instagram, we check back and be like, how do


people like my photo? We check it again. May we take it down, repost it. It’s all part of the addiction of technology. And apps, it is a real thing that you get a psychological boost, you get an adrenaline boost, when you get the matches and you get the likes. So now that you’re aware of it, use it to empower yourself to not be a victim in the swipe culture of I did all of this swiping and I only got one response. Use it to say oh, I’m addicted to the feeling of being liked. And the messages that I get back and the matches that I’m getting. But I’m not chasing that feeling I’m I’m looking for a true connection. And the app is the tool to get me there.


Unknown Speaker  12:55  

Those are the headlines


Damona  12:56  

for the week. When we come back. I have the amazing Mark groves don’t go anywhere. Mark rose coming right up. Welcome back. As promised, I am so excited to tell you I am here with the mark groves of create the love. You may have heard me this fall on his Uber popular self titled podcast. I was talking about attracting love from a place of authenticity and interracial dating and so much more. Together we are going to talk about being your authentic self in a relationship, how to break up if the relationship you’re in is not bringing out the most authentic you and of course how to move on if you are still thinking about next, how you can be your best self even if you’re not together. Please help me give big smooches to my guest Mark groves. Thank you so much for being here, Mark. Oh, man, I have adored this conversation y’all. You got to check out the mark groves podcast. If you’re ready to go deep. Also follow him at create the love on Instagram and see how you can get inspired by hearing Mark’s words. There’s more show coming right up with dear demona this first question comes to us from across the pond from a listener named Tammy


Tami First of all, this is not a UK thing. This is also a US things a Canada thing. This is probably resonating for listeners all over the globe. And I know this I also got some questions on Instagram from other listeners like Lauren on Instagram asked almost the same thing bread crumbing is an epidemic apathy and dating is an epidemic. Are we going to get caught up in it? And are we going to get upset by it? Are we going to let it dictate our experience? Absolutely not. So you are going to have the people that are not interested in the same thing that you’re interested in, you are going to have the time wasters. The Ghostbusters, you’ve heard me talk about this before, who will string you along because they are getting their needs met Tammy, they want to have input with you, maybe they want to be physical with you, if you’re getting five or six dates down the road, maybe they want to just have companionship, so their needs are met. But that doesn’t mean that you are also getting your needs met, or that you’ve communicated clearly to them what you actually want. And one thing that is a little hard for people to wrap their head around is that you need to be upfront with what you want from jump, like maybe in your profile, but certainly with by the first day you need to express that you’re here for business that you are looking for a relationship if that is what you want. Now, I know a lot of people listening right now are like, but I can’t do that to Mona, because what if I say that and I turn them off, if you turn them off, that is amazing. Because you just saved yourself a ton of time you just saved yourself five or six dates of going down the road with somebody who was not aligned with


Unknown Speaker  16:27  



Damona  16:28  

Yes, there are men out there, whether they’re in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, whatever, I know, we were charting in 33 countries, there are men that want a relationship, you need to make sure that you are being clear. So that the ones who are not looking for a relationship will see you as not the lady to mess with, not the lady to waste her time because she is here for business. And we have to get out of acquainting that immediate we have to get out of feeling that we have to get out of feeling like a misalignment of goals is a rejection. If you tell him on day one, that you are interested in a long term relationship. And he’s like, a, I don’t know, I just want to hang out, I’m not really sure I’m here for all that or he stops calling you. You have to reframe that as a positive in your mind. Because that’s one less person that’s going to waste your time. Now you also have to hear what they say. If they say, in their profile, like just here for friends, that’s code for I’m not really trying to move into a relationship or just got out of a relationship just had a breakup trying to see what’s out there. That is code for this dude ain’t really ready. So don’t be afraid to express what you’re looking for. There’s no shame in wanting a relationship. And the sooner that you express that, the less effort you’re going to waste on the people that cannot meet your needs. So don’t worry about scaring them off. If they’re scared off by your goals, then they weren’t the right one for you in the first place. All right. This one comes to us from Tracy on Instagram. She’s a longtime listener, friend of the show, friend of the program. And she asks, what are some good openers to initiate a conversation with? I know guys who say they don’t like hey, or Hello, how are you? But it can be difficult when some of them don’t have anything in their bio to connect on? Oh, well, we talked at the beginning of the show about incomplete BIOS, I can’t reach everybody, maybe if you share this episode with somebody, I’ll reach the person who has an incomplete bio who needs to do a little work on their profile. But in the meantime, I want to help you, Tracy to have more engaging conversations even with those first of all, the data shows that women can pretty much say anything because guys get so far fewer messages than women do that he will be excited just to get any message from you. But I don’t want you to have a boring back and forth volley over the dating app chat with some guy that you know nothing about, I want you to dive right into the meat of it. So here’s how you’re going to do that I have a game. I like my clients to play called this or that you pick two different things that everyone has an opinion on, you can go the lighter route like this or that Twizzlers or Red Vines Coke or Pepsi beach or mountains or you can go a little bit deeper and you can question them like about their lifestyle like morning person or night owl whatever it is, try and pick something that you know either you have a strong opinion on or they might be Want to weigh in on it? You know, in sync? Backstreet Boys, I don’t know, make it up rocky road. And in chocolate chip, we could go on and on with this or that scenarios. But what this does is it gets you engaged right off the bat into a conversation. And that is the hardest thing to do. Like even when we’re IRL dating and you meet someone out and about, like, thinking of what is that first thing I’m going to say? So this totally cuts the anxiety makes it fun from the beginning. Try not to put too much stock into it. Like if he says, Oh, I’m a night owl, and you’re a morning person, you’re like, well, it’s never gonna work by really just try to engage them say, Oh, well, I’m a morning person, like, maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle at lunchtime. And then you’re jumped into the conversation where you’re leaving threads, details about your past details about your hopes and goals. And you’re also finding out those kind of things about him. But if he does not engage in the conversation, are we going to get all worried about when he’s going to respond? Are we going to get angry and say I sent all these messages and only one person respond to me?


No, no, Tracy, of course not. And I know you know these things. So I know you’re not going to do it, you’re going to say that was a coin in the fountain. I tossed it in and made a wish it didn’t come true. But it was only a penny, I’m not going to worry about it. And then eventually you toss enough pennies in and one day, your prince will come one day your fairy godmother will grant you the wish or just one day you will be practiced enough in this, where you really have a system that you feel in control, you feel successful. And you can know that you’re making a connection on a deeper level, and not just out of convenience. That is it for Episode 342 of dates and maids, y’all, you got to check out mark the mark rose podcast and create the love on social media. I get so much inspiration from him. And I know you will too. And don’t forget Also, I want to inspire you. We have early bird pricing still on this week. If you want to join me for the dating secrets circle. Do you feel burned out on dating? And I mean, the year just started. You feel like you’ve been doing all the things that I recommend on this podcast, but you still are not seeing the results? Do you want more support from me to help you clarify your dating plan and help you stick to it? And most importantly, are you craving a community of like minded people who are in the same boat that you are and who will make you feel that you’re not alone, especially right now in the time of a pandemic when we are so isolated? If so, then you are the perfect person to join the circle. This is the last week of early bird enrollment. So you can sign up right now at the dating Th e dating The link will of course be in the show notes. And the program will start on January 20. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. And remember I am making this show for you. I want to make sure your dating life gets on track this year. But I can only do that if I know what your dating challenge is. So don’t be shy. DM me your question. And you could end up on a future show. Next week. I have Dr. James Simmons of Ask The NP back on dates and mates to talk with me about dating safety in the time of COVID. It’s a very important episode. And James is an awesome repeat guest I cannot wait for you to hear from him. Also look out for me on the NP on the NPR. Also look out for me on NPR hosting my debut episode of life kit the life kit podcast next week where I’ll be talking more about breakups and interviewing other experts on how to heal a broken heart. Until then, I wish you Happy New Year and happy dating


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