How to Decode Mixed Messages

We’ve all been there – on the other end of texts, DMs, or in-person interactions that seem to carry hidden meanings, leaving us teetering on the edge of confusion. The ability to decode mixed messages is a skill that transcends personal and professional realms alike. It’s about peeling back the layers of ambiguity and gaining insight into the genuine meaning beneath.

From examining the reasons behind mixed messages to strategies for clearer communication, this guide will empower you to become a more astute interpreter of human interaction.

Here are some tips on how to decode mixed messages:

  • Escape The Texting Trap: The allure of texting lies in its convenience, but it’s also a breeding ground for misunderstanding. A concise response could indicate your match’s communication style or potentially signal disinterest. But if you’re uncertain, remember that opting for a call or an in-person conversation might provide the clarity you seek.

  • Nix Early Exclusivity: In an age where opportunities abound, people like to keep their options open. You are not exclusive until proven otherwise so try to embrace the discovery in the first few weeks or months and don’t be in too much of a rush to demand a commitment. 
  • Don’t Play It Cool: One common pitfall is pretending to be casual when you’re yearning for something more. Being authentic about your feelings prevents the heartache that often arises from misaligned intentions. Prioritize your emotional well-being and be truthful about your desires.

  • Teasing and Tension: Teasing, often misunderstood, can be an intriguing mixed signal. Embracing a lighthearted banter reveals layers of interest beneath the surface. In today’s dating landscape, showcasing a sense of humor and demonstrating your ability to engage playfully can be incredibly attractive. However, if a line is crossed, address your discomfort promptly before frustration festers.
  • Translating What’s Unspoken: Confused about something they said? Here are some translations for common miscommunications…
    • Maybe we should hang out sometime. = I’m interested in more than friendship but I’m trying to play it cool.
    • What’s up with your friend? = I’m not interested in you; I’m interested in your friend.
    • What are you looking for? = Are you seeking a serious relationship or not, be honest.
    • I’m going to that party. = I want to spend more time with you; please come to the party – and maybe even suggest we go together.
    • I’ll see you around. = I see you as a friend, not a romantic interest.
    • I’m single. = Could mean that they are still dating others but not in a committed relationship.
    • I’m not looking for anything serious. = I’m not looking for anything serious (don’t waste your time if you are.)

Communication is a dynamic landscape influenced by culture, technology, and individuality. So when getting to know your match, keep in mind that navigating communication is a fusion of understanding timeless human behavior and adapting to the ever-changing ways we connect.


First Date Conversation Tips

Finding love and companionship has taken on a new dimension, with online dating becoming the norm rather than the exception. While dating apps offer exciting opportunities to connect with potential partners, one of the key aspects of a successful date, whether online or offline, is the ability to hold a captivating conversation. But don’t worry; this isn’t about being the funniest person in the room or having the perfect pick-up lines. It’s about being genuine, passionate, and creating a comfortable atmosphere for both you and your date.

Below are some first date conversation tips to keep your date from turning into another boring interview:

  1. Pre-select topics with passion: Your authenticity will shine through in your conversation when you come to the date prepared to discuss things you genuinely care about. While starting with media and pop culture can be a good icebreaker, remember to transition into other meaningful topics as the conversation progresses.
  2. Share stories that define you: Our personal experiences make us unique, and sharing these experiences is a great way to let your date see the real you. Think about defining moments in your life or childhood anecdotes that give insight into your character and values. Offering personal stories creates a deeper connection – and while you shouldn’t dominate the conversation, having a couple of compelling stories in your back pocket will help when the time is right.
  3. Ask the right questions: Being a great conversationalist is actually more about being a good listener than being a good talker. Pay attention to what your date says and respond with specific questions about their interests or experiences. Most people love talking about themselves, and showing genuine interest in their lives will make them feel valued and appreciated. Also remember to strike a balance between sharing your own stories and asking about theirs to keep the conversation flowing naturally.
  4. Read the room and adjust: Read your date’s cues during the conversation, be flexible and adapt to the flow of the discussion. If they seem enthusiastic about a topic, explore it further. If a subject doesn’t resonate with them, gracefully transition to something else. Remember, a successful date is not about impressing someone but making a meaningful connection.
  5. Study their profile: Before your date, take the time to study the person’s dating app profile if you met online. Make a curiosity list of things you’d like to know more about before you leave for the date. This allows you to pick up on common interests and talking points, making it easier to steer the conversation in the right direction. Demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to read and remember their profile shows genuine care and consideration, and increases the chances of a successful date.

All in all, successful online dating is not just about making as many matches and going on as many dates as possible.; It’s about mastering the art of engaging conversation. By being authentic, passionate, and attentive, you can create a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for both you and your date.



How To Choose The Right Dating App For You

If your social circle is set and your leisure time is limited, as it is for most modern adults, dating apps are the best bang for your buck in love. Online dating presents an amazing opportunity to date in the little free time you have left and to connect with like-minded singles.

But with the introduction of swipe technology and an array of dating apps to choose from, where do you even start with online dating? 

Here’s an outline of the 4 types of apps, the people that like them, and the most common traps of each one:

1. Traditional Apps – Match, Plenty of Fish, or OkCupid. Dating apps like Match, Plenty of Fish, or OkCupid provide a lot of opportunity and give you a chance to try out a bunch of different matches. However, they do require a clear process and strategy to filter out the desired matches out of thousands of possibilities.

    • Type of Dater: You like options. You need a dating app that has tons of possibilities and different ways to search through your options. 
    • The 3 Traps:
      • Spending too many frustrating hours filtering to find the best people – hello maximizers, I see you.
      • The overwhelming feeling that comes with an inbox dominated by DMs from the wrong people.
      • Exhaustion after wasting so much time matching, chatting, and going on dead end dates.

2. Swipe Apps – Bumble and Tinder. These are excellent for busy singles who are newer to dating and want to get started fast with a wide range of options. The downside is it’s hard to find the right committed match since these profiles don’t give you a lot of information about the person on the other side. You can get stuck in the texting trap or in the messaging phase, and you need a clear strategy for navigating from the app into the real world before they ghost.

    • Type of Dater: You are looking for a wide range of options and easy connection.
    • The 3 Traps: 
      • Feeling like you don’t know enough about your matches up front and then you waste time going on too many of the wrong dates.
      • Overwhelm in the match and message process – you may even think “I wish someone could do this part for me.”
      • The disappointment that comes with thinking you know someone, meeting in person and finding you’re not quite compatible.

3. Niche Apps – JDate and Christian Mingle. If you know that there is a particular quality, interest, or cultural element that is of the utmost importance to you, this kind of app provides you with the matches that meet your criteria. Unfortunately, apps like these have smaller dating pools. It can often feel like nothing is happening if you don’t know how to search your options and pick the right matches.

    • Type of Dater: You are focused on finding a partner who shares your values and interests. Apps with too many unqualified options feel like a waste of time to you. If it’s a specific quality you’re looking for in a partner, there’s a high chance you can find an app for it.
    • The 3 Traps:
      • Limiting your dating options a little too much.
      • Constantly wondering if you’re just “too picky” to find love.
      • The feeling that nothing is happening in your love life and the clock is ticking.

4. Curated – eHarmony and Coffee Meets Bagel. These apps are excellent for people who are discerning or choosy, but don’t have time to do the filtering themselves. While tedious filtering is taken off your plate, it can sometimes feel like you don’t have enough options or much control. These apps are slow paced and you need some clear direction if you’re going to get your match off the app and on to the next phase of dating.

    • Type of Dater: You don’t want to waste your time searching and swiping, you like a curated dating app that will deliver the right matches directly to your inbox.
    • The 3 Traps:
      • The feeling that you never meet any great dates – you keep thinking isn’t anyone else out there?
      • Getting stuck in their DMs but never moving into a real relationship.
      • Downloading and deleting app after app, but never finding what you want.

If you’re still a bit unsure about which app is the right app, the most important questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Do I like using this app? Are the features easy to use and understand?
  2. Am I attracted to the people here? Are there matches I could see myself going out with?

That’s it! It’s useless to be on the app that all your friends say is best if you hate using it or roll your eyes at every person in you match queue. It doesn’t matter if you have great matches if you hate using the app and never check your messages. Find an app that works for YOU and your lifestyle.

Signing up for any dating app can be an overwhelming experience at first. But at the end of the day, dating apps are just another resource to meet your people…or person, more specifically. And if you don’t like the matches you get from one dating app, just start fresh on another!

5 Key Questions to Ask Before Moving In With A Partner

Moving in with your partner is a significant milestone in any relationship. It’s a step that requires careful consideration and open communication to ensure both individuals are ready for this level of commitment. While the idea of cohabitation may be exciting, it’s crucial to evaluate various aspects of your relationship and future together before taking the leap. 

But not to worry! Here are 5 key questions to ask before moving in with a partner:

  1. Why Are We Doing This? Understanding the motivations behind moving in together is essential. It’s vital to have a clear understanding of whether this step is a progression towards marriage or simply a matter of convenience. Openly discuss your intentions and listen to your partner’s perspective to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
  2. Who Pays? Money is one of the top 3 things couples fight about, and therefore co-mingling finances before marriage requires careful consideration. Discuss financial responsibilities, such as bill payments and money management, to establish a solid foundation for your shared financial future. By addressing this topic upfront, you can avoid potential disputes and plan for your financial goals together.
  3. Your Place or Mine? It’s always best to start off in a new, neutral space where you can establish your areas and routines from scratch. This allows both individuals to create a sense of balance and fairness. However, if starting in a new space is not possible, it becomes crucial to discuss how to create individual space within an existing living arrangement.
  4. What Does Our Potential Future Look Like? Moving in together signifies a deeper commitment and often prompts discussions about long-term goals. Take the time to explore your visions for the relationship, such as having children, saving for a house, or pursuing joint business ventures. Aligning your aspirations will help ensure that you are both working towards a shared future.
  5. When Should We Check In Again? Regular check-ins are essential for the success of any relationship. Discuss and set expectations for future relationship milestones, such as engagement or marriage, to avoid resentment or miscommunication. By maintaining open communication, you can navigate potential challenges and foster a healthy, thriving partnership.

While moving in with your partner can be an exciting and transformative experience, it’s crucial to be aware of the red flags and potential pitfalls. Here are some signs it may not be time to move in together:

🚩 Urgency: If the other person is pushing you to do it before you feel ready

🚩 Unresolved conflict: This can make a break a relationship. Look for what the Gottman Institute calls the magic ratio of 5 to 1 – 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative.

By reflecting on these factors and being mindful of potential challenges, you can approach moving in with your partner with confidence and clarity.

5 Tips For Sending the First Message on a Dating App

So you’ve decided to join a dating app – amazing!!! Signing up for a dating app is the first and arguably most challenging step towards taking control of your dating destiny. With a simple swipe or a cleverly crafted message, we have a sea of potential matches at our fingertips. But in the crowded landscape of selfies and dog pics, how can we stand out from the crowd AND attract the kind of quality matches we crave?

While there’s no foolproof formula for love, understanding the art of crafting a compelling opener can significantly enhance your chances of making a genuine connection. From humorous one-liners to thoughtful questions, the perfect opener should intrigue, engage, and leave your match eager to learn more about you.

 So whether you’re a seasoned dater or just dipping your toes into the digital dating pool, we’ve got you covered. Here are the most successful dating app messaging tips according to the latest stats:

  • DITCH TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLESEven before Bumble, it was advised that women seeking men should send the first message on dating apps. Straight men outnumber straight women on all of the most popular dating apps. OkCupid reports that women have been increasingly more likely to send likes and first messages and conversations actually last LONGER when women initiate.
  • K.I.S.S. (AKA Keep It Simple, Silly) – People write in to Dates & Mates asking for the perfect opener. But according to OkCupid users, the best ice breaker is a simple introduction or asking a question. We recommend the simple comment + question format. You comment on something in their profile that you had a genuine connection to and then follow up with a simple question that inspires response.

Best ice breaker? Here are OkCupid’s results:

Simple introduction (30%)

Asking a question (30%)

Telling a joke (22%)

Mentioning something on my profile (18%)

  • THIS OR THAT – Another opener that usually generates a response is a simple “this or that” question. Chocolate Chip or Oreo? Beer or Wine? Dogs or Cats? East Coast or West Coast Rap? Pick something that you have a strong opinion about and whether or not you agree, you’ll almost always start an interesting conversation.
  • KEEP IT CONCISE – While it’s important to show genuine interest, avoid sending long and overwhelming messages in your first interaction. Aim for a more focused message that showcases your curiosity, without overwhelming your match.
  • PLEASE PROOFREAD – Before hitting send, take a moment to proofread your message. Check for any spelling or grammatical errors. A well-written message demonstrates attention to detail and shows that you’ve put effort into your communication. And as they say, you can’t make a first impression twice.

Note: While these openers have been effective for many, it’s important to remember that every interaction is unique. Authenticity and respect remain key to building a genuine connection. Use these openers as inspiration, but adapt them to suit your personality and the context of the conversation. 💬

Happy swiping!


The 4 Biggest Mistakes To Avoid In Your Dating Profile

Dating apps are the most powerful tool in your dating toolbox. According to the latest research, about 40% of new couples say they met online. Online dating has become a norm, offering countless opportunities to connect with potential partners. With just a few swipes and clicks, you can explore a world of romantic possibilities. However, despite the convenience and accessibility, many singles find themselves frustrated with lackluster results or missed connections. The culprit? A poorly crafted dating profile.

Your dating profile is your digital resume, the first impression you make on potential matches. It’s the key to attracting attention, sparking interest, and ultimately, finding that special someone. Yet, all too often, people fall into the same traps and make avoidable mistakes that hinder their chances of success.

From clichéd bios to misleading photos, there are so many small details that can sabotage your dating profile if you’re not careful. So, if you’re tired of receiving lackluster responses or encountering the same roadblocks in your online dating journey, buckle up and get ready to level up your profile game.

Here are the 4 biggest mistakes to avoid in your dating profile:

  1. YOUR DATING APP IS NOT YOUR IG Daters often put up too many pictures that they believe showcase their actual self. But in more cases they’re really showcasing their ideal self, and not using pictures that share anything specific about who they are. Plus, too many photos can overwhelm potential matches. A great dating profile always includes photos that satisfy The 3 C’s: Color, Context, and Character. Color helps you stand out from a sea of little black dresses. Context tells your story visually (think hobbies, daily life, etc). Character to show your personality and what makes you stand out from the other matches.
  2. NOT MAKING YOUR PROFILE ABOUT YOU Group shots, pictures with your grandma, and solo pics of your pup keep you from being the star of your profile. Make sure it’s clear who you are and direct your match’s eye to focus on you – not your cute friend, your dog, or your granny’s smile.
  3. GENERIC RESPONSES THAT LEAVE NO THREADS Your profile is an invitation to message and hopefully meet up. If you’re tired of all the “Hey, what’s up” messages, give them something to go on by leaving lots of little specifics in your profile that gives them a jumping off point to message you about.
  4. DON’T BE A NEGATIVE NANCY Instead of using your valuable profile real estate to talk about what you don’t want, talk about what you love. According to OkCupid, profiles with phrases like “don’t message me if…” get fewer matches. Keep it positive and inviting. You can sort the messages in the DMs or swipe left if you aren’t into what they have to offer.


Now that you know what NOT to do in your profile, let us break down what you SHOULD do.

First off, make sure you’re switching up your profile regularly. Making frequent changes to your dating profile on a regular basis means you’re more likely to end up at the top of the queue for other dating app users. Secondly, make sure to test your primary photo for the most engagement. You can do this by keeping a log of how many matches or messages you get with each photo (using the 3 C’s, of course).

And lastly, download Damona’s Profile Starter Kit to stock up on more algorithm hacks and receive plug-n-play profile templates to create a profile that will catch the eye of potential matches in no time. This download is FREE for a limited time, so be sure to get yours here!!!



The Best Places To Meet Singles This Summer

With the summer in full swing, the season presents an excellent opportunity to get out, mingle, and potentially meet that special someone. And the beauty of summer is that from vibrant city events to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone. So grab your sunscreen, put on your most confident smile, and let’s dive into the best places to meet singles this summer:

  • Beaches and Waterfronts: There’s no denying the allure of beaches and waterfronts during the summer months. Whether you prefer lounging on the sand, joining a beach volleyball game, or trying out water sports, beaches offer a casual and laid-back environment to meet new people. And if the sand isn’t your thing, try visiting your neighborhood rec center or a poolside bar.

  • Music Festivals and Concerts: Summer is almost synonymous with music festivals and outdoor concerts, and they provide a fantastic setting to connect with like-minded individuals who have similar tastes as you. Concerts also create a relaxed and fun atmosphere conducive to striking up conversations with fellow festival-goers. See what your favorite bands are up to this summer, or Google your favorite genres and see if there are any music events in your area.
  • Community Events and Festivals: Your local community might be your best matchmaker yet! Keep an eye out for street fairs, food festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural celebrations in your area. These events often bring together a diverse crowd of individuals who are open to connecting with new people.

  • Networking Events: While primarily aimed at professional networking, business or industry-related events can be a surprisingly effective way to meet singles. Attend conferences, seminars, or workshops in your field of interest and strike up conversations with other attendees during breaks or networking sessions. Common professional interests can serve as an excellent icebreaker, and may even lead to connections that extend beyond the business realm.
  • Outdoor Adventure Groups: Hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities not only allow you to explore nature’s beauty, but also allow you to chat with new people in a more grounded setting. Check local listings for organized group outings or join social media communities centered around specific outdoor activities. You might just find a potential romantic interest while conquering that mountain peak or paddling down a river.

  • Volunteer Opportunities: Engaging in volunteer work not only allows you to make a positive impact on the world or your community but also provides an avenue to meet compassionate and socially conscious individuals. But hot tip – look for volunteer organizations focusing on causes you’re passionate about. Whether it’s environmental conservation, animal welfare, or community outreach, working together towards a common goal can foster deep connections and potentially lead to romantic relationships.


Embrace the energy of the season, step out of your comfort zone, and approach these opportunities with an open mind and a willingness to connect. Remember, the key is to enjoy yourself and have fun. And who knows, you might just find that special someone while creating cherished memories along the way.

15 Creative Date Ideas To Spice Up Your Dating Life

In the ever-evolving world of dating, finding unique and exciting ways to spend quality time with a date can strengthen your bond and create lasting memories. Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been together for years, trying out fresh and creative date ideas can inject a sense of adventure and excitement into your lives.

So we’ve put a list together of 15 creative date ideas that are sure to inspire romance, engage your curiosity, and create some truly unforgettable moments:

  1. Go On A Picnic: Start your day or wind it down with a picturesque picnic at a serene location. The more intimate setting will allow you to connect more deeply with nature and each other. Want to take it a step further? Go grocery shopping together beforehand and pick out all the goodies you want to share on your outing.
  2. Cooking Class: A cooking class is a perfect, low pressure way to let loose. Exploring new flavors and tasting your final creations is another way to engage with your sensuality and get a little flirty. 👀
  3. Outdoor Movie Night: Set up a cozy outdoor movie screening in your backyard or a local park. This could be as simple as grabbing your laptop, a blanket, and some snacks. And don’t forget about all the opportunities for cuddles. 🥰
  4. Scavenger Hunt: Plan a scavenger hunt, complete with clues leading them to special places or memories you’ve shared. This activity is not only entertaining but also provides an opportunity to reminisce about your journey as a couple. And although this is a fun idea overall, it may work better after you’ve gotten to know someone or have some inside jokes here and there.
  5. Artistic Adventure: Visit a local art gallery or museum and explore your creative tastes. Discuss the artwork, share interpretations, or even create your own masterpieces in a joint painting or pottery session! It’s an excellent way to stimulate your imagination and discover new passions. 🎨
  6. Volunteer Together: Spend a day giving back to your community by volunteering together. Whether it’s at a local shelter, food bank, or environmental organization, working side by side for a good cause can strengthen your bond and bring you closer together.
  7. Outdoor Adventure: Get your adrenaline pumping by engaging in thrilling outdoor activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, or zip-lining. These adventures create a sense of shared accomplishment and can foster a deeper connection between you and your partner. Plus, the endorphins will have you both feeling AMAZING by the end of the date. 🏃‍♀️
  8. Comedy Club Night: Sense of humor is one of the biggest ways we bond with someone, and attending a comedy show guarantees an evening filled with humor and joy.
  9. DIY Project: Choose a DIY project that interests both of you and spend a day working on it together. It could be splattering paint on a canvas, creating a terrarium, or even renovating a room. The process of collaboration will enhance your bond and leave you with a tangible reminder of your teamwork.
  10. Bookstore Date: Explore the vast aisles of a bookstore hand in hand. Select a book for each other based on your partner’s interests, and then find a cozy corner to read together. Sharing literary discoveries and engaging in intellectual conversations can be incredibly romantic, and a chance to keep your curiosity for each other flowing. 📚
  11. Outdoor Concert: Attend an outdoor concert or music festival to experience the magic of live performances. The energy of the crowd, the melodies filling the air, and the freedom to dance together will create an unforgettable experience.
  12. Trampoline Park: Release your inner child and bounce around at a trampoline park. Jump, flip, and dive into foam pits together, relishing the carefree moments and creating a fun-filled memory.
  13. Rooftop Stargazing: Escape the city lights and head to a rooftop or open field for a night of stargazing. You can even try downloading an astronomy app on your phone and search for your favorite constellations. ✨
  14. Visit An Arcade: This is another one to let out your inner child. Engage in a little playful competition, or each of you pick your favorite game and cheer the other on. And if you want a stronger nightlife vibe, there are also plenty of arcade bars out there. 👾
  15. Beachside Bike Ride: Much like going on a hike, a bike ride along the beach will also give you that endorphin boost while enjoying some beautiful sights. Rollerblading or rollerskating alongside each other will also give you more opportunities to chat (or hold hands perhaps). 🤝

How Long Should A First Date Be?

If you’re asking, “how long should a first date last,” you have to keep in mind that the dating landscape has evolved and the speed of dating has increased dramatically over the last decade. Now, the concept of the “Dating Power Hour” is more relevant than ever. In today’s fast-paced world, where attention spans are shorter and people are busier than ever, a one-hour first date can be the perfect way to leave your date wanting more.

As Maya Angelou said (and Oprah has adopted as her own), when people show you who they are, believe them. This holds true on a first date. In fact, research suggests that people form impressions about each other within the first few seconds of meeting. 

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Many singles assume a date is better the longer they stay together. But going to a second location or letting the date drag on can deplete your energy for dating and wear out your first date welcome.

Here are the top 5 reasons why your best first date should only last 1 hour:

  1.  It’s only a test run: A first date is not about sharing a meal or getting drunk, nor is it about hopping into bed (if you’re seeking a long-term relationship). The first date is a chance to gauge your interest and connection with one another. All you need to know at the end of a first date is that you’re curious enough to spend a second date with them.
  2.  Conserve your time and energy: The sole purpose of a first date with JUST DRINKS (coffee, tea, TWO cocktails tops, etc) is to get in and out as quickly as possible so you can move to a second date, where the anxiety and interview-ish type feelings of meeting someone new are over and done with. From there you can comfortably decide whether you’ve made an interesting connection.
  3.  Ending on a high note: We tend to remember a first date based on the energy we leave with. So if you let a date drag on for 3 or 4 hours (sometimes even 5 or 6), you may be ending on a lull. Having a 1-hour first date will increase the chances of ending on an energetic high.
  4.  Preserve your curiosity: We’ve all made the mistake of oversharing on a first date (or had an experience where your date does the same ). If we divulge too much information on a first date, we might leave our match with the impression that they already know us. Let’s return to the tried but true concept of “leave them wanting more.”
  5.  Treat it like a learning experience: Since you’ll have tons more first dates than you will have fifth and sixth ones, remember to look at each one as a lesson. What did you learn, what do you want to learn, and what can you do with the information? Even a bad first date can teach you something about yourself. Try to focus on the positives and stay as engaged with the conversation as possible.

So as you venture forth into your dating journey, remember the power of the one-hour first date. It’s an efficient way to determine whether you want to see someone again without investing too much time or emotional energy. Keep it short and simple, stay present, and enjoy the process of meeting new people on your dating journey.

Happy dating!

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Singles Events

It’s no secret we’re a fan of dating apps here at Dates & Mates. But if you’re craving some solid tips on how to date IRL, there are a few do’s and don’ts that will help you make a match the next time you’re at a singles event. Damona was an integral part of launching the Match app’s Stir live singles event series. In the process, Damona did some field research – she observed trends and then asked daters what they were looking for, what their biggest turn-offs were, and what would particularly catch their attention at a mixer.

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  1. Approach them — Most people will be impressed that you have the guts to talk to them first. And everyone is there to meet new people, so what’s the worst that could happen? You don’t need a bold opener at an event designed for singles to meet. A simple, “Hi, my name is ___, what’s yours?” will do.
  2. Give them the “signals” — If you like them, be sure to S.E.T. it up: smile, make eye contact and even use appropriate casual touch like a playful bat on the arm to indicate interest. . Kindness, compliments, and laughter will also take you much further at a singles event than sarcastic, self-deprecating remarks or negging (when pick-up artists put someone down to get their attention)
  3. Be accessible – Many times we feel the need to run for the tables and plant ourselves down so we don’t have to stand around feeling awkward. But if you take a lap every 20-30 minutes, you might catch someone’s eye who you didn’t initially notice.
  4. Clear follow-through— The norm has become, “We should hang out again,” or “I’ll message you” and never doing it. So even the slightest amount of clarity and follow-through will give you an edge on meeting new people. Make a specific plan to text, call, or go out and then make good on that promise.



  1. Crowding around “The Hot Girl/Guy” — By all means, try to get their attention; but that doesn’t mean ignoring all other potential matches in the meantime. Just because everyone is vying for their attention doesn’t mean they’re the best match for YOU.
  2. Getting lost in your group — It’s common for people to attend a singles mixer with friends, but remember you’re there to meet potential matches. If you aren’t ready to fly solo, that’s totally okay. Try to make an agreement with your friends to split up for a good chunk of the party and meet new people
  3. Dressing too casually — Most times, the folks who really “show up” in their appearance leave with the most interest. People at a mixer will take notice when you put even a little effort into how you look. A sexy pair of shoes, a shorter skirt, or a sharp jacket can make a difference in catching someone’s eye and showing that you’ve dressed to impress.
  4. Being rude or dismissive – If someone has worked up the courage to speak with you, don’t roll your eyes or immediately dismiss them. Not only is it bad dating karma but you also might unintentionally turn off someone else who was considering approaching you but doesn’t want to get shot down like the last person. 


Navigating the singles mixer is an art that you can hone with each event you attend. So just like going to the gym, when you stay motivated, consistent, and positive, you get the results you’re seeking and master how to date IRL in no time.

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How to Use Your Dog as Your Wingman for Dating

Dating can be easier with your best friend at your side, as long as your bestie has four paws. Here at Dates & Mates, we know firsthand the impact dogs can have on your life (like Damona and her buddy Ranger AKA “Beast”). Not only are they your best friend, family member, and beloved pet, dogs can often substitute for a significant other in your life (though you should maybe have a 60/40 split when sharing a bed). 

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So if you’re single and looking for a non-four-legged partner in crime, here’s how to use your dog as your wingman:

Let Your Dog Be a Conversation Piece – Having your furry friend when you’re out and about can take the pressure off of needing an impressive one-liner to start a conversation. Instead, let your dog be your wingman! If a cutie starts up a conversation about your pooch, keep it going by asking if they have any pets of their own (and if they’d like to join you and the pup for coffee sometime).

Put Your Pooch in Your Profile – Animal lovers are more likely to be perceived as caring, compassionate, patient, responsible and overall kind human beings. And according to the American Kennel Club, including a dog in your dating profile photo can increase your chances of getting a match by up to 53%! So don’t be afraid to share the spotlight with your furry friend. Just be sure you still have some single shots of yourself on your profile.

Check Out Dog-Friendly Events – From dog shows to charity events, there are more opportunities than ever to meet singles who share your love of dogs. Visit a dog park you’ve never been to, road trip to a dog beach, or even check out for some local (and maybe unusual) dog-friendly events.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage – In 2023, social media is an essential tool for connecting with people. If you’re looking for love and have a furry friend, use social media to your advantage. Post pictures of you and your dog, join Facebook groups for dog lovers, and use Instagram hashtags to connect with like-minded individuals. You never know who you might meet!

Volunteer at a Local Animal Shelter – Volunteering at a local animal shelter not only allows you to give back to your community, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to meet people who share your love for dogs. You might even meet someone who’s looking for a new furry friend to adopt.


Although there are plenty of people out there who love dogs, you may find yourself feeling the spark with someone who isn’t the biggest dog person. Heck, they might even be allergic to your furry friend. Here’s our two cents:

When Your Date Isn’t a Dog Person – You want a partner who will value your values. If they can’t respect or understand your love of animals, you might run into other issues down the road. So if your new date absolutely detests them and doesn’t honor what’s important to you, reconsider if this is really a good match for you in the long run.

When Your Date is Allergic — Although having a dog allergy can be another hoop to jump through, this doesn’t mean you should completely throw in the towel with your match. Find activities you can do outside the house as you get to know one another. If things get more serious, there are medical options that can help your partner become more comfortable around your pooch. Be sure to clean frequently, create a dog-free zone, and try an air filter to help your partner be more comfortable in your space.


But the biggest “do” for doggie daters is to GET OUT THERE! Bring your beloved pet to the park, picnics, lunch, drive around with them, get them (and yourself) some fresh air! If Charlie Brown has taught us anything (aside from how NOT to punt a football) it’s that dogs make the best wingmen for dating around.

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4 Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Catfish

Dating apps and online dating have become even more prevalent in recent years, with more and more people turning to the internet to find love. However, with the rise of virtual connections, there has also been a rise in catfishing and romance scams. In 2022, reports of romance scams reached a record $413 million in losses reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States.

While catfishing can happen to anyone, younger women have become increasingly vulnerable to emotional catfishing, which can have devastating consequences. But if you know the signs to spot a fake boyfriend, you can move forward and date with confidence. And that’s where we come in!

Here are 4 Sure Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Catfish:


He Will Never Meet You In Person

  • One of the biggest red flags is if your online boyfriend refuses to meet you in person. Even if you’ve talked on the phone and heard his voice, if he doesn’t make any effort to see you face-to-face, he may not be who he claims to be.

His Online Identity is a Mismatch

  • If you’ve tried to do some digging on your online boyfriend and his name or photo doesn’t match up with the guy you think he is, you might have a problem. If he tries to explain it away, be cautious.

He Only Calls You At One Time Of Day

  • If your man is only available during specific hours and denies your call if you reach out during off-peak hours, you might be his side chick. Be wary of men who only communicate during strange hours, it could mean he’s hiding something.

He Has Lots of Pretty Lady Friends Online

  • If your online boyfriend has a very small group of friends and is friends with an abundance of women, it could be a sign that he’s not who he claims to be. Be cautious of predators who use social media to connect with multiple women.

It’s important to remember that the point of online dating is to actually date. If you suspect that you might be dealing with a catfish, it’s best to cut off communication and move on. Always do your due diligence before meeting someone in person and never send money to someone you’ve never met in real life.

But with a little bit of caution and common sense, you can protect yourself from online romance scams and find true love. Now get out there and start swiping!