Dear Damona: Opposites Attract & Pandemic Dating Options


You asked and we got answers for you. Your dating questions have been pouring in and so our holiday gift to you is an extra detailed, extra special Dear Damona. 

But first, here are our headlines:


Opposites Really Do Attract

Do opposites really attract? Or are you following false attractions? Damona weighs in.



Apocalypsing: The New Dating Trend

Is it the apocalypse or are you falling in love? Damona explains more.


Which Sports Get the Most Swipes on Tinder

Sport retailer SportShoes ran a study to find which active hobbies were most likely to receive a swipe right.




Damona gives advice on listener questions such as:

  • Can your long-distance relationship go the distance?
  • How do I find love if I don’t feel like I fit the norm around me?
  • Should you include a picture of yourself in a mask on your dating profile?
  • Pandemic Dating Problems: Should you be physically exclusive before being romantically exclusive?
  • How do I date now if I feel like my dating options are limited due to the pandemic?



Damona  0:00  

Hello lovers, welcome to dates and mates. I am kicking things off with a hot tip. So get your notebooks ready. The best chance of finding love in 2021 is right around the corner. Dating Sunday is coming up. That’s right. Every year there is one day, one day where all of the dating apps see the most activity, and that is the first Sunday of the year. Then of course, that means that the weeks leading up to February are crucial because if you’re looking for a date for Valentine’s Day, you’re gonna be on these dating apps, you’re gonna be swiping and trying to meet people. So Mark your calendars. I am serious literally mark your calendars for dating Sunday. It’s January 3 this year. And secondary Hot Tip. The peak engagement time will be 9:30pm in your local timezone. I swear I’m not making this up. This is a real thing that happens every single year. And I don’t want you to let your time to find a partner go to waste. And if you want a partner in crime and this dating process, you can join my first ever co Ed dating Secret Circle. Yeah, I’ll be doing live group coaching during the countdown to Valentine’s Day. I must admit that was always the most stressful time of the year for me when I was single. So I really want to offer you emotional support and a roadmap so that you can implement your own dating plan to take advantage of the online dating surge, and have someone special to call your Valentine next year. Early Bird Registration is open now and you can find out the details. Plus read some of my success stories at the dating I’ll put the link in the show notes. Now let’s get into the show.


Unknown Speaker  1:47  

Are we supposed to get married gonna just


Unknown Speaker  1:49  

swipe I don’t want somebody to share my life.


Damona  1:56  

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. All right, lovers, you’ve asked and I will be answering today your questions I’ve been pouring in. And so my holiday gift for you is an extra detailed extra special deer demona episode. But first, you know we love these headlines, we have two opposites really attract? Or are you falling for false attractions? And is the? Is it the apocalypse? Or are you falling in love? Then I’ll answer your questions. And Dear demona, here’s what’s been on your mind. How do you find love when you don’t feel that you fit into the beauty standards around you? And how do you take your long distance online romance to the next level. All that and more on today’s dates and maids it’s time to dish these dating dish. survey says, You know I love a good dating survey. And my friends at elite singles. And one poll came through came through before the end of the year with a survey of 2000 Americans who are dating or in a relationship and ask them, they asked them about the behaviors and factors that form the basis of the compatibility of their partners. What did they find? Well, it says that people with dissimilar taste don’t necessarily have failed relationships. So you know, this idea of opposites may really attract. It said actually these differences might enhance the relationship. Here’s the interesting thing. And of course, we’ll link to the study in the show notes. I was curious about the kind of factors that they were looking at because they examined interests. They also examined habits things like cleaning habits, exercise habits, and even morning and evening routines were singled out as important factors which I would agree with maybe not the exercise habits. Also eating habits they mentioned but definitely cleaning habits. I find that that is definitely a source of frustration in my home sometimes. And even morning evening routines. Honestly, I really think the morning person, even night owl thing is a bigger I honestly think that the morning person night owl debate could be a bigger factor in your relationship than even some values based


qualities quality’s because that is lifestyle. your lifestyle really matters to whether or not you’ll be able to live with this person but Course mutual respect and understanding they said was the top factors cited by respondents as crucial to compatibility. They also said interests and goals for the future, I’m going to take issue with one of those things, you’ve probably heard my four factors of long term compatibility worth repeating, we have some new listeners. So I’ll just remind you, these are the four things you’re looking for in a relationship, you’re looking for common goals for the future, you are looking for shared values, you’re looking for mutual respect, and trust, and you are looking for conflict resolution styles being compatible. That’s it. Those are the four factors of long term compatibility. So you will know that even though 52% of respondents in this survey said that interests were that important to them, they’re actually not that important. And we get so caught up on whether or not they like the same movies that we do or whether or not they play the same games or do the same sports. But ultimately, those are interests that can change over time. And what’s going to happen to your relationship if you are bonded based on a sport for example, there was also a study by a shoe company sports shoes, to find out which active hobbies were most likely to receive a swipe right? They did something that I do not recommend. They created fake Tinder profiles and then tested how people would swipe on them based on the pictures of the activities they’re in. So I would say sorry, sports shoes, that is an epic fail, and just look out for the sports shoe profiles on Tinder. But they said that, for men yoga, weightlifting, cycling, and running were the most matched sports, and for women cycling, running and climbing. But guess what, ultimately, that is not a predictor of long term compatibility. Unless you’re like a professional cyclist. And you are like doing the Tour de France and riding around the country together. It’s not actually that important. And I’ll just reiterate, you’ve probably heard me say this on the show before, but finding someone who shares every hobby with you who can do everything with you, who’s your right hand and everything is not actually the goal. your partner’s your partner, your cycling buddies are your cycling buddies. Find me on one peloton, underscore diva Mona underscore, your running buddies, your climbing buddies that isn’t is not necessarily the role for your partner. If you can do it together, great. But don’t put too much emphasis on it because your interests may change, you may have an injury. And then if you haven’t done the work to figure out the other elements of compatibility, like the values like the goals for the future, you’re going to be standing on thin ice. And that was not a skating reference.


apocalypse thing is a new dating trend that you need to be on the lookout for according to plenty of fish. apocalypse thing is basically treating every relationship like it’s your last chance at love because we’re kind of in the apocalypse. But it’s not really the dating apocalypse. And there is sort of a, there’s a way out on the horizon, there’s a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. But according to plenty of fish, they’re seeing this trend where people are just like, you go on a couple dates. And the next thing you know, you you jump right into it like it, they’ve known each other for your whole life. And because we are so starved now for outside, outside connection, that we just are jumping right in, like everything has the potential for long term happiness. But remember what I just said about all of those factors that need to be aligned for long term compatibility? Yeah, yeah, yeah, you might be skipping those, and moving right into a relationship out of maybe convenience out of wanting to bubble with somebody, and you don’t necessarily know and you’ll hear this also echoed in some of the questions from today’s dear demona. You don’t necessarily know that this is your forever person, but we’re treating them like they’re your forever person. So a couple of great tips from this article, which I’m sure you’ll check out when you go to the show notes at dates and mates calm is that you need to set your standards especially regarding how you want to be treated and what core values you’d like to share with your future significant other. This is like before you even meet the person, but if you’ve already met them, go ahead and do it now. And then to also write down your deal breakers. Is any of this sounding familiar to anyone has anyone heard this from any dating coach before about planning out what you’re looking for and also having a deal I give you one deal breaker but You know, you can write down all the deal breakers you want, but really drill it down to that core of what is most important to you and let that guide your decisions on who you’re going to be gifting your time to this holiday season and this COVID season. All right, we are going to take a very, very short break. When we come back, I have your answers to your questions. Is there a difference between physical exclusivity and romantic exclusivity? And can introverts and extroverts actually be a good match? And so much more, so don’t go anywhere? Welcome back to dates in May. It’s I have so many questions. I, y’all I am. So I’m so honored that you trust me with your dating advice. We have more questions than we have time to answer. So I promise you, I will continue to keep your answers in queue if your question if your question does not get answered on today’s show, but we have some hot ones. So let’s get this party started. d


Unknown Speaker  11:04  

damona, help me.


Damona  11:05  

This first question comes to us from my friend Amani. He’s also a podcaster. And he live streams on twitch at a money experience.


Unknown Speaker  11:15  

If you meet someone on like a social media platform, like a twitch or Instagram, and you hit it off, and you’re talking, and they live in a different part of the country, so like say I’m in LA and they might live in like Miami, Florida, how would you be able to date them and actually see them if you’ve gotten to the point where you want to see each other to see if it’s really real.


Damona  11:41  

You know, a lot of people say to me that they don’t like online dating, which means they don’t like dating apps, but then they might get a DM or they might connect with someone like, it sounds like maybe a Mani did on Twitch or on his Instagram. And then suddenly they find themselves in a digital romance. So it can happen to anybody at any time, even if you’ve sworn off dating apps, which in case I haven’t made my point you shouldn’t be doing right now. But anyways, back to a Manny’s question. Long Distance Love is a challenge. So the first thing you always have to do is make sure that once things are heating up, you know, maybe maybe three or four weeks into it, you have a sense of where this could go. It’s not like you’re asking for a marriage proposal after a month. But you can have questions at this point like, do you need to stay in your city for your job or for your family? Or would you ever be open to moving? Or what would it be like I wonder if we were together and I was living in say, Miami, Florida and just dip your toe in those waters first just to see how they react to those things. Because eventually, all long distance relationships, you have to end up in the same place. At some time. I have known a few people who’ve made long term long distance relationships work. But literally those people went back and forth, like twice a month at least. And I don’t know if you’re up for that. So that’s the first thing to figure out. The second thing then is to figure out also compatibility. And you will have to, at some point move offline to figure that out. Okay, I know, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. So you might not be able to get on a plane right now. But there should be the conversation of how you could come together. So in normal times, I would tell my clients who were dating long distance, and I’ve had many success stories of people who’ve met and married someone outside of their country even. But in all those situations, within about two months, they actually met in person, because you can waste a lot of time, whether it’s somebody that’s across town or somebody that’s across the country, you can waste a ton of time talking to someone doing facetimes all the time, you know, sending pictures back and forth. I’m not saying what kind of pictures I’m just saying pictures. But if you do not have that compatibility in person, you’re wasting your time. Are you hearing me, You’re wasting your time. So you need to move things forward. So when you do do those virtual dates, if you’re in a position like Oh, say everyone is right now in the era of COVID, and you can’t meet face to face yet, make sure you make those FaceTime special. Don’t just like, Oh, well, I’ll call you after work or what have you. You have to make a plan, make a date plan, make it have an activity, you know, give it some depth to it up, give the date some depth and make it something a little bit more meaningful so that you’re deepening the relationship and not just spending time and certainly not wasting time.


My next question comes to us in an email from a woman we’ll call n she says I’m a black woman living in China. I’ve had trouble meeting people because I’m seen as ugly here. I also date women, which is still very taboo. I can’t leave due to work and school. So that’s not an option. I go out and meet people. But again, no one seems attracted to me. What can I do? Here’s the thing, and I want to make sure that you understand that this is a pool problem. So I look at like, Is this an internal problem? When I hear a question like this? Is this something that’s coming on up? Is this a mindset challenge? Is this a process challenge? Or is this a pool challenge? And to me, this is a pool challenge. you’re battling hundreds, if not 1000s, of years of racial bias, and it’s something that you alone cannot take on yourself? Does that mean that you cannot find love in China? Absolutely not. But what it means is that, you have to be very careful not to internalize that, and not to take that on to mean something about yourself. Because I’m sure you are absolutely beautiful, you are not ugly, even if the messages you feel that you’re getting in China are saying that to you. And this is an important message for people. Maybe you’re not in China, but maybe you are in I got this question yesterday on another podcast I was a guest on. She said, What if I live in a small town, and I have a different political stance, and the other people around me are what if I am a different race, and I don’t feel like I fit in here. And I have been through that. I have lived in towns where I didn’t feel like I fit into the standard of beauty in America. And it’s really important that you keep perspective on that. And also remember that it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. So could you find that one person that appreciates who you are, and sees you for the beautiful person that you are inside and out? Could you find a woman who isn’t as concerned about the taboos of dating that you could form a relationship with? I do think the dating apps are probably going to be your best bet. Because if you are going out and constantly being based with rejection, it’s going to feel more intense. And this was a big shift for me too. When I moved to Los Angeles and found that there were tons of men who were interested in me, they just weren’t necessarily in my circle at that time. So keep the faith and keep positive if you can. And just know that the way that you’re going to make a match may mean going against the grain. But there is somebody out there who will appreciate you for all you are and all you do.


Unknown Speaker  17:53  

Hi Dimona. This is Judith, I’m talking to you from Paris. I have one question for you. I was wondering, do you think we should all add a profile picture with a mask wearing a mask on because I see them more and more. And I wonder, why would people do that? And I wonder if I should take a selfie with a mask? What do you think?


Damona  18:19  

Judith? I love this question. I’m really curious also what the mass culture is like in Paris, because here, it’s like a statement whether or not you’re wearing a mask. But I would say I’ve seen this too on my clients dating apps while I’m searching. And I’m not a big fan of the mask in the dating app. I know it does. It’s kind of a double edged sword, it does indicate that you are taking COVID seriously, and you’re going to follow certain precautions while you’re on a date. But at the same time, I want to see your face, I want to see it’s one of the rare opportunities, I’ll have to actually see what you look like. So I think the app is really valuable real estate, every picture you choose tells a story. And I just would hate to use that real estate to show you in a mask when I could see your gorgeous face. But that answers your question of why people would do it. But I don’t know that I would recommend you doing it unless you find in Paris like that is really the culture. I really key off in dating apps, what I see also in the style of that particular app, so it could be the app that you’re on. And if that is the thing to do on that app, then certainly you want to show you’re not an anti masker you’re if you’re a pro masker but it’s not something that I would say is an absolute profile requirement. This question comes to us from Apple on Instagram. She says I’m dating someone I met on Bumble. Yay. Did y’all hear that episode last week, the Bumble success story. Okay, moving on. She says we’ve also been virtually dating other people, but not as seriously. He wants to become physically exclusive, but not romantically yet. I agree we shouldn’t rush into premature couple status. But do you think I should have sex with him until there’s a full commitment? This is a curious question Apple, because I want to know the difference between what is physically exclusive, but not romantically yet. I guess, physically exclusive in the era of COVID. Maybe this is a new category that we can crown because that means that you’re having sex with each other, but you’re not necessarily in a committed relationship. So this is sort of a committed f web since you’re in the same bubble. But I would just ask you, apple, do you want that? Is that what you want? Or do you want something more serious? Do you want a full commitment, because if you want a commitment, you should communicate that to them. And if you want more romance, I think you need to hold him to that standard. Nothing wrong. Of course, if you decide that you do need your physical needs met, and this relationship might not blossom into something more. But it’s tough when you are physical with someone and you haven’t had the conversation about what that means to you. And then you have an expectation that because you’ve done that it’s going to grow into something else. Does that make sense? So it’s all about clarity. It’s all about expressing what you truly want, and making sure that your actions are in alignment with that, because actions as you know, are going to speak louder than words. This email comes to us from a woman named a she says, I’m a 35 year old divorced mom. After my divorce, I was in a car accident that left me with permanent brain damage. How do I put myself out there knowing that I would be relying on my long term partner to bear most of the financial responsibility? First of all, a Wow, thank you for sharing your story with us. And I’m so sorry to hear that happen to you. I’m sure it’s a challenge every day for you to do the things that used to come really easily to you. And it’s something that obviously Yes, does need to be sort of incorporated into your dating strategy. But at the same time, I don’t know that it’s something that you need to limit yourself by or make the assumption that the other person would not be okay with it. And I’ve heard some questions before people with different disabilities


making that assumption as well. So everybody, I think, needs to hear this. One, I don’t know the extent of your brain damage, but it’s possible he might not need to bear the financial responsibility there could there are a lot of ways that you can get creative with making money today. So keep open the possibility that you could find a way to be more financially independent. But secondarily, there are plenty of guys that are okay with bearing the financial responsibility. And it’s not necessarily looked at as a burden, I would look at the other things that you can offer to the relationship besides finances, and really lean into that, can you offer him comfort? can you offer him the feeling of being appreciated? Can you be a maybe be a great parent to his children, there’s so much more than I’m sure you have to offer. So don’t put that pressure on yourself to bring in the financial responsibility piece. And I don’t even really feel like it needs to enter into the conversation very early in the dating process for anyone. I think we put way too much emphasis on somebody’s financial means if you’re a grown up, and you’re taking care of your own finances, and you know, look, whether that is through disability, or other, you know, a settlement or other means, doesn’t matter. As long as your bills are paid. You don’t need anybody else to do that for you. And you don’t need to worry about someone being a drain on your resources or being a drain on somebody else’s. So go out there and just make connections a and I’m sure you will find somebody that appreciates what you’re able to bring to the table. This one comes to us from one of our friends with benefits.


Unknown Speaker  24:35  

Good afternoon demona. So I’ve heard your podcast on various episodes, and I’ll actually followed your Facebook group as well. And I believe you give wonderful advice. So my question is, is that the person I’m dating here and I are opposites in that I’m very much an extrovert and he is an introvert And we follow those personalities kind of to the quiet. Well, we had a conversation and turns out that we both ping each other out of each other’s comfort zone, which is I’m sure a good thing. But my question is, is that is it good that we realize that we bring stuff out of each other? A good thing being that we have various personalities? Or do you think being a one person being an introvert and one person being an extrovert is problematic? When you want to become more, more serious in a relationship, especially now in the climate that we’re in? What would be your advice?


Damona  25:46  

Okay, we talked to the top of the show about opposites attracting. Now I’m curious, introvert extrovert? Where does the where do those qualities fit into the grand scheme of values or lifestyle traits? Well, I can tell you that my husband and I are that exact match I am. case you can’t tell very high on the extrovert scale. And he is very high on the introvert scale, if you couldn’t tell from the episode that we did together a few weeks ago. And I think we do bring out the best in one another, we do get each other out of our comfort zones in a good way. And I think that is something that is helpful in a relationship. If you have somebody that really complements your skills, and your sensitivities. As long as they don’t see that as a problem or see that as an issue. I think it’s a great thing. And there have been times where I dated extroverts. And it didn’t work all that well, because somebody has to do the listening, and one of us is always talking, namely me. So I think if you’re in a relationship with somebody that makes you your best self, that can only be a good thing. By the way, that listener is actually in our Patreon Friends with Benefits group as well. So if you you heard the Facebook group that she referenced, is my patreon Fw B’s page. And I love to invite you inside that group too. You can join for just five slash dates and mates will also put the link to that in the show notes. This question comes to us from a listener named Susan, she says I started online dating three years ago and I thought I met my person. We talked about marriage after two years of dating, but then he had to recover from a financial setback. After that, he said that he is comfortable in his current situation, and didn’t intend to remarry anytime soon. I’m considering returning to online dating but I’m so apprehensive because I don’t enjoy this method of meeting people. But because of COVID options are limited. Help exclamation point. Oh, Susan, Susan, other there’s so much here that I want to unpack for you, first of all, men. And hello to the guys listening. I’m going to talk about you for a minute. Because of our culture, men are really conditioned to need to feel that they can provide before they’re ready to move into a marriage situation, and especially if he is divorced. Sounds like you said remarry. So he was divorced. Plus, he had a financial setback. He’s feeling very insecure with his financial situation right now. And I have to let you know, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with you. It has to do with his own feelings of worth, because society has told him that he is not good enough if he doesn’t have the financial means to take care of himself and potentially also a partner. So that might be hurt. So after three years, that might be hard to hear. Because the situation isn’t going to change probably until his financial situation changes. And he may have internalized this for so long, that it may not be possible to turn it around even after he’s able to get on his feet financially. So that leaves you


that so that leaves you with the decision, Susan, you can stay in the relationship as it is without it necessarily moving towards marriage. And then you’d have to do some soul searching about what the importance of marriage is to you and whether you could stay in a relationship with somebody with a commitment that doesn’t look like the traditional marriage commitment. Or Yes, you could move on. Now honey, we got to talk about this. I don’t like the method of online dating to meet People, because one, it is the most popular way of meeting someone. And you are living proof, Susan, you met a three year relationship from dating apps. So I would say it’s working for you, you just have to remember that the app is just the connector. It’s just the way that you connect. And then once you get offline, which theoretically is within a couple of weeks, then it’s going to just unfold like another relationship you met in any other situation. And yes, because of COVID options are limited. So I’m glad you got that message. But I really want to help you embrace the apps as something that is positive, because it’s bringing so many options to you, there are so many more options for women and men, but particularly for women today, because of dating apps, there are so many women that were 40 5060 that just were out of the dating game, if they got divorced, or they they got they got broken up with after three years, they would just be like, well, I guess this is my life. Now I guess I’m going to just commit myself to my cats, and my kids and my grandkids. And that is not the case today. So let’s just see if we can flip our thinking and say, this is a situation, this is the number one way to meet people now. How can I make this tool work for me? For those of you who are also feeling maybe a little down on dating apps, or just a lot a little down on dating in general, today, in the era of COVID, I really want to support you, I strongly encourage you to check out my new dating Secret Circle, I want to invite you inside the circle, I want to give you more of my inside advice. I want to support you through this so that you can find a way I just had a client say after doing one of my last programs that she feels so much more positive about dating, more positive about men. And so this is an opportunity, I’m extending my hand to you and saying Please come inside the circle. Let me take care of you. Let me show you the way to do this. And we can all move into stronger relationships next year. And we can navigate this pandemic, it doesn’t have to be the end of love. So check that out at the dating That’s for Susan and anyone listening who wants into the circle. It’s a co Ed circle this time, first time ever, and it begins in mid January. So get yourself into the group and get that early bird pricing which is happening. Right now we’ll put the link in the show notes. I hope you enjoyed Episode 341 of dates and mates. As always, if you want to learn more about those dating dish, as always, we’ll put the link to those dating dish stories we discussed in the show, recap at dates and And you also have the option to join me in the Facebook friends with benefits Patreon group. And that’s just five bucks at dates and mates. And that’s just five slash dates and mates. Hit me up on all the socials. I’m at damona Hoffman and we are already collecting questions for next month’s dear demona episode, you see how fun it was when people recorded a voice memo and you could actually hear their voices. I want to hear your voice too. So you can DM me? Or you can send me a voice memo at demona at damona And please do let me know.


Unknown Speaker  33:33  

I want to say let me know how you can.


Damona  33:36  

And please do tell a friend about the show. We are trying to heal more hearts and get people on track for love in 2021. So do me a favor, share this episode with someone who needs to hear one of these messages.  And we have to put in a call like this is the end of the season. Basically our end of the this is the last official episode of 2020. Who y’all we made it We made it to the end, I have a special bonus that’s going to be dropping. Next week. Get excited. It will be a short little snack that’ll tie you over until we are back in January. And in case you missed the memo, Tuesdays, that’s the new dates and mates day. So look out for a new episode Tuesday, January 5. And in the meantime, get yourself online for dating Sunday. So Tuesday January 5 will be the next official episode of dates in mates. I have an awesome guest, Mark groves, who’s going to be talking about healing from breakups. Moving on, and starting off the new year on the right foot. I can’t wait to share that episode with you. Hey, make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss it. So you know when dates and made starts on Tuesdays you’re not looking for that episode on Monday. Go on what happened? It’s gonna land right in your in your podcast feed Tuesday morning. If you’re subscribed I wish you all the best for this holiday season. Hang in there more coming your way and 2021 until then, I wish you happy dating



Bestie’s Brother & Never Been Kissed


You’re in for a treat because today’s episode is all about YOU. Yes, you. In our special Dear Damona episode, we tackle the questions about love,dating, sex, and romance that you’ve submitted. And we guarantee you that even if you haven’t sent in a question this month, one of the challenges that is addressed in today’s episode is likely to sound very familiar to you.

But first, let’s dish!


Workplace Romance

Workplace Romance: yeah or nay according to millennials and Gen Z workers. Damona weighs in.


Different Dating App Features

Everything you wanted to know about how each dating app works but didn’t have the energy to log in, set up a profile, and swipe to find out. Damona explains more.


Famous Women Dating Shorter Men

Does height really matter in dating? Not as much as you might think according to these celebrity couples. Damona weighs in.




In this Dear Damona episode dedicated to answering your dating questions:

•Will love actually happen when you “least expect it” as they say?
•What do you do when a guy wants to go slow?
•Am I limiting myself too much if I only swipe on guys with college degrees?
•How to navigate mental health challenges in a relationship?
•24 and never been kissed. Do I tell the guys I’m dating?
•Should you be completely honest about your age?
•I’m in love with my best friend’s little brother and I think he feels it too?
•Proper phone etiquette on a date?
•How do you date someone in the adult film industry?


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Are we supposed to get married?


Unknown Speaker  0:01  

I’m gonna just swipe. I


Unknown Speaker  0:02  

don’t want somebody to share my life.


Damona  0:09  

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, you are in for a holiday treat because today’s episode is all about you. Yes, you. In our special dear Dimona episodes, I tackle the questions about love, dating, sex and romance that you’ve submitted. And I guarantee you that even if you haven’t sent a question in this month, one of the challenges that is addressed in today’s episode is likely to sound very familiar to you. But before we get into q&a, you know, I have these headlines I will cover does height really matter in dating? Not as much as you might think, according to these celebrity couples, and workplace romance, yay, or nay according to millennials and Gen Z workers. Plus, everything you wanted to know about how each dating app works, but didn’t have the energy to login, set up a profile and swipe to find out? Then I’ll answer your questions, including how important is sex and intimacy in a relationship? And should you use your real age on dating apps, plus 24 and never been kissed what you need to know about dating today. And we end with a kicker question that is even too hot for this tease. So stay tuned to the end for that juicy one. That’s what’s on deck for today’s dates and mates. Now it’s time for the dish.


Unknown Speaker  1:49  

These dating dish.


Damona  1:52  

The Wall Street Journal gave us a thought provoking new article on workplace romance. You’ve heard me talk on this podcast about it before. But according to a new Stanford University study, they found that the percentage of straight couples who met through work actually dropped from 19% to 11%. between 1995 and 2017. The article says that part of the shift can be attributed to the rising popularity of online dating. But there’s also been the rising popularity of a little movement called hashtag me to that probably also played a role in the decline of office relationships. I think the last time we might have talked about workplace romance on this show could have been even before Me too. But there were studies around that time. That said, people were starting to think that it was a good idea to meet someone at work. And I think it’s because we were spending so much time at work that where else were we going to meet someone. But now that dating apps have become a little bit more popular, less stigmatized. And now that of course, me too has helped us realize the power dynamics and the the uncomfortable situations that you could be putting yourself in and the way it could impact your career trajectory, whether you are male, female, whether you are the person to initiate or not. And because let’s face it, COVID, and this study ended in 2017. But I can only imagine now, who’s in your workplace was in your workplace that you could possibly date. So I am I’m with this new data. And I really believe that the workplace is not the best place to find your match. Of course, I know you’re all going to write to me and say, but damona I know about this person who met their husband, and they’ve been together for 25 years or but Dimona, I had this really great flirtation. And then because I was out with this person, I got this promotion, whatever, of course, you’re going to hear all of the the different, different perspectives on this. But the bottom line is, I want you to be successful at work. And I want you to be successful at love. And the data shows that your best chance at doing both of those things is to separate those two worlds. According to the, there are a bunch of new dating app features that you need to know about. I loved this article, because it really just broke down all of the different features and the changes in COVID. We talked about dating apps on this show. I know quite a lot. But I really just think that it’s the best way to expand your dating pool right now, regardless of your age, regardless of geography and even pre COVID of course I said that but now in COVID if you’re looking for love, this is the place to be but you need to know what features and what benefit benefits each app has. So this article which we’ll link to in the show notes, breaks it all down. But basically, I’ll give you the Cliff’s notes. Okay, Cupid, they confirmed, and I did not tell them this, y’all that women on the site are sending 40% more messages, more intro messages than they did before, March before COVID. And you’ve heard me say on the show before, take control of your dating destiny. So I’m very pro women sending outgoing messages, I think Bumble has had a little bit of a of an impact on that, because now it’s normalized women sending messages. But still not enough. Ladies are doing it. So let’s, let’s take away the gender norms. Let’s put chivalry aside for a second, you’re just dealing with an app. And OkCupid is telling us that this is where the action is. Also, they made it so that you could take away your location boundaries. So instead of just being like location based, which a lot of the apps are and choosing people in your immediate radius, that you can expand your radius, maybe beyond what you normally would search or even across the country. And okay Cupid said those who have no location boundaries have 5% more conversations than those who restricted it. Are those conversations leading to dates, we don’t know. But unless you try it, you don’t know where your dating destiny might lead match. They’ve added a bunch of features with games and icebreakers. I’ve talked about this on the show as well when you’re doing video chat dates. And when you’re getting to know someone in the virtual space now that many of us are on second wave lockdown, and can’t go out to social distance dates. definitely take advantage of those games and icebreakers to to make the dates more fun. It shouldn’t feel like a job interview, it shouldn’t feel like a chore, make it fun, set yourself up for success. Tinder, they actually said they saw a 15% spike in new revenue for first time subscribers to Tinder. So that means, and that’s just from April to the end of July. So that means a lot of new people are on Tinder. If you haven’t tried it in a minute, you might want to think about it again. Because that is sort of the gateway drug is the gateway dating app drug. So there’s a lot more people there, they’ve added face to face video. So this is video chat within the app. But it’s a little different than then you know how on zoom, you see yourself and like a little, little box. And then you see the other person big, or it switches based on who’s talking. This is like a side by side video chat. So you can actually feel more like you’re in a direct conversation. And then plenty of fish. I think they take the cake doing live stream. And I want to know what you all think about it, or if anyone’s tried the plenty of fish live stream feature. But you know the same way that you live stream on Instagram, like if you see someone on video, you get a sense of their personality, how they walk and talk, how they move, and all that is a part of attraction. So take advantage of these new features. There’s even more in this article, they talk about Bumble and they talk about Coffee Meets Bagel, we’ll put the link in the show notes if you want to switch it up with the dating app and see who else might be out there. And while you’re looking, you might want to think about the height restrictions that you’re placing on your dates. We got a lot of mail in about our episode on shorter guys dating back in the spring. I know y’all are having some feelings. And look, I’ll be honest, I’m five feet tall. I never had height restriction because everyone pretty much is taller than me. So okay, you can take that into consideration. But I’ve seen time and time again with my clients. I’ve been doing this for 15 years, that when they don’t put a strict height restriction or any kind of restriction really on physical traits that they have more success in they’re able to find a match who loves adores, respects them, treats them well makes them excited more quickly than if they are super restricted in their searches and are only looking for people who are say, I don’t know, three inches taller than them and heels. I know y’all be doing that, that height math. But this article in the things calm pointed out a few celebrity couples that are successfully together and have a height differential. So Nicole Kidman for example, who’s five foot 11 I mean, if you’re five foot 11 and you’re like the guy needs to be taller than me, I couldn’t even tell you how small that dating pool of eligible bachelors is. But Nicole Kidman never been an issue for her. We all know that Tom Cruise is super super petite. But Keith Urban is actually one inch shorter than he then she is also a Nikko Parrish and Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart is notoriously tiny five foot four. She’s five Didn’t have any problem didn’t have any problem. You know, she likes living in that that big beautiful house. I don’t know if y’all saw his Netflix special or his Netflix series, but they’re doing okay. They are doing just fine. Tina Fey is also with a shorter man. Her husband, Jeff Richmond is five foot one same height as my dad. Although he’s gonna tell you he’s five foot two if he’s listening to this podcast. But anyways, not an issue for Jeff Richman. He’s a composer. And he got the funniest lady in the game at three, four inches shorter. So just see what happens. Y’all just open up your mind. Don’t get so fixated on the package that love comes in. But really get into how do you want to feel? How do you want to feel when you’re with that person? How do they light you up? How do they make your life? How do they enhance your life and bring more joy to you, especially at a time like this? Those are the headlines for today. Your questions are coming right up in dear demona. We will be talking about things like is it cool to date, your friend’s younger brother and cell phone etiquette on dates, so many questions, so many answers. Don’t go anywhere.


Welcome back. I am so overwhelmed with all of your questions. So I want to dive right into it. My friends. This is dear Dimona D.


Unknown Speaker  11:33  

Help me


Damona  11:34  

Our first question comes to us from a listener named Samantha.


Samantha and lovers, I think you know what I’m going to say to this, what have you gotten that was worthwhile in your life by just letting it unfold by chance? Hmm, not that much. I have seen time and time again that when you make love a priority, when you put that focus on your dating life and say, This, to me is more important right now then hanging out with my friends, or my job, for example, often it’s my job, or my extreme commitment to working out and make it have that level of importance in your life carve out the time, the same way that you do when you commit to those other things, when you make that kind of a commitment to love. That is when I have seen for my clients things unfold very quickly. And I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but I had a 90% success rate in my VIP coaching program last year. And that was people who committed three months of their life, to making dating a priority to showing up for sessions with me to doing the homework that was asked of them to making finding love either the most important or something that was important enough that they were willing to carve out space and put other things on hold to focus on it. Those people ended up in relationships within three months. So to me that says that dedicated focus and, and decisive action gets results. And I’ve seen that in my life in other areas. So why would finding love be any different? I really I really resent the that phrase of it’ll happen when you least expect it. Because to me, that’s telling you that you need to just give up everything. And then that’s when things unfold. And I think that that’s just the most backwards advice. Of course, there is the advice against holding something so tightly that you can’t let it grow. But that’s not what I talk about when I talk about clarity and decisive action and carving out the time. So Samantha, that is my answer what I think about people who say it’ll happen when you least expect it. This next question comes to us from Lauren. She says What does it mean? If a guy opens up that his past relationships were usually lost or physically driven and shouldn’t have lasted? However, with me, she’s talking about just not a guy she’s talking about a specific guy with me. He hasn’t been intimate. Parents medical here sex because he wants to be sure we can have both What would you advise that this means? Well, Lauren, I don’t know how long this this relationship has been going on for. But what I’ll tell you is that sex and intimacy are generally always a part of a relationship. And especially if you know, it’s not that he’s asexual, which some people are, he’s not asexual, because he has had sexually driven relationships in the past. So even if he’s not lust driven, there should be some physical intimacy between the two of you. I’m not saying that, that it’s doomed. But this is definitely something that you need to address. If this is something that you are interested in, of course, people make different decisions about dating, whether for their faith or for the way they want the relationship to play out. But if you are not getting your needs met, and this is on an emotional level, or a sexual level, this is something that you do need to bring up to him. And you can phrase it not like,


please don’t phrase it like this, Lauren, like, What is wrong with me that you don’t want to have sex with me, because that’s definitely not going to get you the response that you’re looking for. But if you could just even write this out, in advance, write down what you would say, and kind of work through the emotionality of it, so that you can approach him with clarity and, and, and without judgment. And just say, to me, sex is important in a relationship, or intimacy is an important part of the relationship. I love, the emotional connection that we share. And I wonder how we might be able to deepen this physical part of our relationship together. And then y’all have heard me say this on the show before, stop, pause, listen, see what he says back to that, because you’ll know very quickly, if he’s like stammering, and looking for excuses of why that makes him uncomfortable, or you can’t do that, that to me would be a sign that something is wrong. But if he leans into you, and he says, Wow, I hadn’t looked at it like that I am really invested in this relationship too. And I want to figure this out, then you know that you have a guy that’s going to go the distance, and show up for you in the way that you deserve. This next question comes to me from Instagram.


Unknown Speaker  17:28  

Hi, Dimona. So my question for you is, whenever I’m on the dating apps, and I’m swiping or liking profile, I tend to only, like the profiles, in which the guy has a college degree. I myself have two degrees. So that’s really important. But I’m wondering if that is me just being too picky, or if that’s me, just having a certain standard.


Damona  17:59  

Ladies, ladies, ladies, we do this, don’t we? We like to put different, different hurdles for guys to jump over. And look, I’m a sapiosexual. I’ll I’ll admit that education was important to me too. But you have to understand, and I’m sure you do, if you looked around your classes in college to realize that women are actually getting advanced degrees at higher rates than men are. So let’s just do some dating pool math, when you are dating in a pool of people that either have a master’s degree or higher, and then you start to layer on all of these other things that are on our list that really are important. Your dating pool is going to get smaller, and smaller and smaller, because just statistically speaking, there are fewer guys that are going to have master’s degree, master’s degrees or higher at this point. So are you limiting your options too much? Um, maybe I would say, I would say do a little work around figuring out what that means to you. What is a master’s degree mean? And what is not having a master’s degree mean? Like, do you feel when you’re with someone who does not have a master’s degree? Do you feel judged for being highly educated? Or do you feel like you’re not intellectually stimulated when you are with someone who does not have a master’s degree? And then if you could extrapolate that down into what does it really mean? You could figure out what is the actual filter? Because if the actual filter is he must have a master’s degree or doctorate or something like that, then yeah, your dating pool is going to be limited. But if you could say, oh, that means to me, I need to be with a man who respects my level of education and doesn’t feel intimidated by that, then that is not a limiting factor any longer. Our next question comes to us from a listener on Instagram, who we will call Kay Kay says lately I’ve been questioning whether my relationship is worth saving. or not, I’ve been dating my partner for four years now we have a dog we adopted as a couple. He’s 34. And I’m 27. Two years ago, I broke up with him because I felt emotionally neglected and didn’t feel it could change and moved out of town. That’s a long way to go to leave a relationship. Months later, we started talking again and visiting each other. So we could see our dog, which he kept. I’m going to give you the Cliff’s notes, now they started dating again. And then they have been living together, again with each other for a year. But those changes have triggered a deep depression that he is is dealing with. And she’s also she’s also handling her own mental health issues. And she’s wondering if in the era of COVID, because of course, for everyone, and for Kay as well, it has added an extra level of confusion. She wants to know if this pattern can change, or if they are just not emotionally compatible. a difficult question in normal circumstances, but in COVID, even more complicated, and of course, with the way things are, she says neither of us have the option of breaking our lease and moving somewhere else, as money is very tight. Thank you, Kay. I know this is a this is a challenging situation for a lot of people. And there are a lot of folks right now who are staying together because the situation would isn’t isn’t possible for them to move out. First, I just want to address the relationship. And then I want to address what you what actions you can take next.


This is a huge challenge, not the mental health part of it. And I do want to address that, because I feel like a lot of Look, it’s no secret betterhelp is one of our biggest sponsors, for for a reason. Because I believe that mental health works in tandem and is a is a is an extremely important part of understanding yourself and the way that you operate in a relationship. So I’m not going to say you should abandon someone with mental health challenges or that that you should step away from a situation if you see that is causing just because you see it as causing you mental stress. That is something certainly to work through with your with your therapist. And I think a lot of relationships actually are opportunities for us to work through our communication style and to work through our challenges. So of course, if there’s anything like excessive drinking, that makes an environment unsafe for you, you have to get out regardless of money, someone a friend, somebody would take you in, if it’s not that, that level of intensity, if it’s just that you feel that he’s pulling away, and you feel like he’s not engaging with you. That would not be a reason to me to leave. But it would be a reason to say, to say I want to support you and helping you move through this, because I want to strengthen our relationship. And when you are when you are so deep in your depression, I I feel helpless, like I can’t reach you. And you can maybe work with a separate couples counselor to to work through this together. But if you know you’ve been in this relationship, I think you said for for two years. And it’s if this is always the dynamic, if it’s on again off again, high intensity pulling away, diving back in, it may be more it may be causing you more mental stress than it is causing you. Happiness. And if that is the answer, if you look back over time, and you’re like, what is this relationship given me? And the answer is more stress than more joy, then I think you have to start to plan for yourself. What is the way to rebuild my life outside of this relationship? How is that going to be possible? And as I said earlier, even though finances I know are really tight for a lot of people right now. There, I guarantee you there’s someone who might not be comfortable. But there’s someone who would help you to move on if you decide that this is the right choice for you, and the right time for you to do it. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t be afraid to start that conversation with your therapist of just saying what would my life look like if I wasn’t in this relationship and you’ve had a little taste of this before. Having moved away, but you only got one chance to have this life, Kay. And who you choose to spend your time with and the way you choose to live your life, it matters. So if you are not getting your needs met in this relationship, it’s also not up to you to save him and to be responsible for his mental health. All right, we have a question now from Caroline. She sent this to me on Instagram, she says, I’m 24. And I’ve never kissed anyone. And I’m starting to go on dates via different apps. And I’m really nervous about broaching this topic. And the sex topic. Do you have any advice on how to bring this up? Or do I even bring it up? Just any advice on the whole situation would be great.


Caroline, thank you so much for being brave enough to share this question. I’m sure there are a lot of listeners right now, who either can relate to feeling the way that you are feeling right now, or who are exactly going through this right now. I was a bit of a late bloomer, myself, and I can understand the feeling of like, you feel like everyone else is doing it. And you’re you gotten left behind. And the idea of, of even expressing that to a partner, or showing how inexperienced you are romantically, that that brings up anxiety for you, right? So what I would say is, first of all, there’s like tons of content out there, if you’re really nervous about sex and understanding just how to be a good kisser how to how to be a good sexual partner. It’s not my expertise, so I’m not going to cover it today. But like, Emily Morris, who’s been on the show before, she’s a great resource for that Dr. Chris Donahue, who’s also been on the show, if you want to listen to those episodes, or go check out their content. They have great information on how you can get comfortable in your own body. But I would say, you don’t actually need to bring up the topic. Because it’s actually not their business. The only important thing before you, you move into a sexual situation with someone I believe that you need to do need to disclose is, if you are if you have STI STI or not, and if they if they’ve been checked or not. And of course, if you have COVID, or in a hunch, and whether whether they have been tested for the same, and beyond that, I think you let the information unfold as you feel comfortable. So you never have to share if somebody like how many dudes Have you had sex with? I know we feel pressured to answer questions directly. But there’s always a way to flip it and equate cuz they’re not really asking that question. I guarantee you No man really wants to know how many men you’ve had sex with? If you just flip it, like why would I talk about what men I’ve had sex with? When I’m here with you? And when I’m with a sexy guy like you trust me, you say that he’s not going to be thinking about the other dudes that you hypothetically have had sex with her not. Our next question comes to us from Trisha.


Unknown Speaker  28:23  

Hi, demona. This is Trisha from the great white north of Canada. I am a newbie at dating apps and getting ready to prepare my profile. My question for you is, should you be completely honest about your real age? The old classic response of a lady never reveals her age. Does that still apply to today? I’m in my mid 50s. Yet no one guesses that usually 10 to 15 younger. And all thanks to my god given useful genetics. I would absolutely love to hear your opinion on this. Thanks to Pomona and stay healthy and safe. xo xo?


Damona  29:09  

Trisha, this is a complicated question, because I think you should always be honest, but I have dealt with a lot of clients. And I’ve seen a lot of profiles of people who fudge their age. And there’s a strategic reasoning for this. Certainly, when you’re dealing with the dating apps, you’re dealing with a tool, you’re dealing with an algorithm and real talk, there are real breaks that people use when they’re searching in their their search criteria. So it’s common that they’ll either say I’m searching five years or five years older and five years younger, although or they’ll say I’m searching between 45 and 50. And every five years there tend to be those breaks. Okay, so we know that those are there. What that means is that you’re not Coming up in as many of the searches of those people. But if you are on an app where you can do searching like a match, for example, you can set your parameters wider, and you can be the one to initiate messages. And studies have shown that if someone is attracted to you, even if you fall outside of their age range, they will still message you back if they find you attractive. So it’s really just about seeing that, building that attraction and letting that unfold. I would also say that if you’re on a swipe app, if you are similar, similarly age to the people in their age range, you guys have probably noticed this guys and gals have noticed this on your dating apps that you’ll have your parameters set for a certain age range, and then you’re like, here comes this guy, and he’s like seven years older than the oldest, I would say I would date. And that’s a lot of times one, because the match algorithm, algorithm is a little bit fuzzy on the swipe apps, and two, because that person might have seen you in their searches. And they are then going to present that person in your, in your feed of matches, that that will enable you to see them and potentially swipe on them, even if you have been more restrictive in your in your search criteria. Okay, so to answer your question and drive this home, it’s up to you, I wouldn’t want to start a relationship based on a lie and have the first thing in my profile, or the first thing that you say on a date be Oh, by the way, I’m actually this age, up to you. But it does require a little bit more effort, a little bit more of the outgoing message sending as I was talking about in the first segment. And eventually, if you are doing the work and you’re showing up, you are going to match with somebody who doesn’t think of your age as an issue whether they are in the same age range as you or not. Okay, this one was emailed to me Dimona at damona Hoffman calm or you can go through the website at data and This person says I think I found the one in my closest girlfriends younger brother. He’s 28. I’m 32. I had a feeling about him years ago. And then I met him again recently. And there was a spark that I hadn’t felt before with anyone. He texted me a few times, but I didn’t expect much as he had just moved back from Virginia to Arizona to start a medical practice. I haven’t had any new texts from him since October and no calls, but I’m not worried about it. I think that he felt the spark too. But there hasn’t been a dialogue about it. Am I on the right track? Or am I destined to be alone forever? Oh, my goodness, m This is from listener m. m, there’s a big range between Am I on the right track? And am I destined to be alone forever? Okay, so let’s break down some of these alternatives scenarios. First of all, let’s just take out you’re not destined to be alone forever. So even if this situation doesn’t work out, it’s not fair to even have that in the back of your mind. So we’ve scratched that off the list. Are you on the right track? I don’t know. It’s very hard. Like it sounds to me like this is a little bit of a leap from like, I had a crush to like he texted me to. Now we haven’t texted in weeks. And he’s my soulmate. Like that, to me feels like a little bit of a leap. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t possibly happen. So even if you haven’t had any new texts from him, I would just ask you and what are you doing? What actions are you taking to express interest to him? And before you do that, you just have to ask yourself, how will this impact my relationship with my closest girlfriend if I’m dating his brother? Because that might be weird. That might not be okay for her.


Unknown Speaker  34:10  



Damona  34:11  

You might have to ask yourself how that might impact your relationship with your closest girlfriend if you’re dating her younger brother. Because you don’t know what impact that might have. And this is your You said your closest girlfriend You didn’t even just say like some girl I used to hang out with this is your closest girlfriend. Is it worth that risk and I have seen family relationships blossom into introducing people to their lifelong partners. So this could absolutely work. But I feel like you need to play this out a little bit with your friend before you start going down that road. But it might require because you are older. You are his sister’s best friend. To me, that sounds like a huge risk for him to even bridge that conversation. So you might need to push things along a little bit more if you want something to happen, but I would tread lightly am and make sure that it’s really what you want. And that it’s the, it’s the, it’s the next best step. And I would definitely be careful with any kind of grand statements about the one or alone forever because there’s a whole range of possibilities out there for you in between those two things. Okay, this one comes to us from Instagram. This listener found me on the Drew Barrymore show, she says, girl, do I have stories for you? What I want to touch on? Is cell phone etiquette on dates. Do you leave them in your car? Do they? Do you bring them with you? Now men have them attached to their wrists, and they go off at the most inappropriate time. I say leave them in the car. I’m old school. When you’re on a date, you need nothing to distract you with that time of that person. This one is from Gigi. So Gigi, I would say, yeah, I’m with you cell phones can really impact the way that you feel on a date. And there’s actually studies on this as well, about even the presence on a cell of a cell phone on a date. Like if you put your phone down on the table, it can make the person across from you feel less, like you’re less trustworthy. It’s so weird. I know that like people like me study these kind of things. But I think that what it indicates is that you’re looking for sort of a way out and that there’s a just there’s maybe another possibility in your phone or that you’re not giving someone your undivided attention. It’s funny, as I was just saying that to you, my phone went off full disclosure. So I’m going to ignore it and put my phone away because you have my undivided attention right now. And I feel like there’s a good way to initiate this conversation. Because if you’re just like, Dude, why are you got your phone on the table? That isn’t going to feel so good for him and not, it’s not going to work out so well for you. But if you say, you know, I really just want to focus on you, I’m actually going to leave my phone in the car, then he might say, Oh, yeah, I would do the same thing. Because it’s so it is so ingrained in our culture, that to leave your phone in the car or like put it away or turn it off. It almost feels like you’re naked, right? It feels like oh, there’s a part of me. And, of course, like I’m a parent, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. Because I’m like, what if somebody calls about my kids. So I don’t know if if you have kids or if he has kids or, or a business or something that needs your attention all the time. But I think it is fair to say for an hour, I’m focusing just on you, and turning the phones off so that we can really connect. I think that’s hot. Okay, our last one, y’all is spicy. This comes to us from Alexander, how do


Unknown Speaker  38:10  

you date somebody that is actively involved in the adult film world. And I have to tell you, it’s it’s a huge issue right now in the LGBT community, because a lot of people have had to turn from gogo dancing or Instagram, quote, you know, Instagram modeling, to start their only fans or just for fans platform just to earn some money. A lot of people that swore that they’d never do it are now doing it. And I’m not talking like full blown, you know, poor and I’m talking about, you know, be naked and solo stuff. But a lot of people are now having that conversation in their relationships, because they need to earn money. It’s a great way to make money if you have the body. And you know, and the know how. And so it’s a big issue with a lot of relationships when somebody’s partner is filming content for adult platforms.


Damona  39:00  

All right, I know many of you may not be able to relate to dating someone in the adult film industry. But these only fans accounts are only getting more and more popular. We had a question from Christopher a couple weeks ago, about girls on on Tinder using that dating app as their personal promo for their only fans. So this is this is really about security in a relationship and boundaries. It’s really about boundaries. Because when you have a third party that’s involved in your relationship, in this case, all of their fans that see intimate parts of themselves that can create that can create a feeling of lack of trust, or a feeling of betrayal if you don’t have an agreement or understanding around it. So I think you need to talk to your partner about what their boundaries are for their for their fans and what they are saving for just you what is sacred, what is intimate just between the two of you, that your friends that their fans don’t have access to. And that’s really, I think, at the core of figuring out how to move forward when people, other people have access to your partner. And this may show up in different ways for different people. Like, I’m sure there are people listening, whose partners or people they’re dating, are huge on Instagram, and are always doing stories and are always, always wanting to, to, you know, broadcast their life. And that can impact your sense of trust and intimacy, because you don’t know what what is going to be shared publicly. So as our lives are all becoming more, more public, more live streamed more posted about, we do have to have these conversations about boundaries, and what all of that means and how you can build that intimacy and trust between the two of you. Oh, I had so much fun with this episode. I love giving advice. My dear demona episodes are just my favorite. This is episode number 338 of dates and mates. As always, we will put the link to all of the stories we discuss in the show notes. Those are at dates and And if you like what we’re doing here, you like this q&a kind of situation. I want to do this with you live I do a weekly live stream QA in my patreon Friends with Benefits group, you can join them for only five slash dates and mates and then you also get insider deals on all my programs. I have something really special coming up for January. I can’t tell you about it yet, but it’s coming soon. You also get access to bonus features library content. And you become a part of making this show available to so many people who need help and love right now. So you can find out slash dates and mates The link will be in the show notes. And also don’t forget to support our sponsor better help. I won’t say sponsor. Also don’t forget about better help. They are a big partner of the dates and mates podcast and you can get I don’t know what the bonuses but I’ll just say let them know I sent you. There a big partner of the dates and mates podcast and as I said earlier, mental health and dating relationships go hand in hand. So if you need someone to talk to check them slash dates and mates. I am already collecting questions for next month’s dear demona episode. You see how much fun it is when you hear people’s voices like nobody wants to hear me talk and wall to wall this whole podcast. So send me your questions in a voice memo at damona Hoffman on Instagram or you can leave me a voicemail 424-246-6255 I would love to answer your question on the next year Dimona until next week. I wish you happy dating


me too super long.


Transcribed by



WHOREible Decisions & Cat Guys


Our guest for today felt like the world would have to end to meet her match. But she’s gone from dating married men and loving her single life to a happy committed relationship… and all it took was a global pandemic to get her there.

Today we’re talking with Mandii B – WHOREible Decisions co-host and multimedia star – about her unexpected journey in love. 

Sit tight ladies and gents, this episode is going to be a FUN one – but a little on the raunchy side. So if your kids are in the car make them do earmuffs or better yet, listen to us later.

There will be some Fbombs, there will be adult talk, but there will also be some intriguing advice and hardcore humor.

First Damona eases you into this show with the dish:


Can you ever truly get over your first love?

According to experts quoted by Elite Daily, there are many psychological reasons that it’s hard to let go of your first love. Damona explains just exactly why and tells you what you have to do to get them off your mind once and for all.


What’s really going on between the White House sheets?

According to body language experts, Melania is more than unhappy in her marriage to President Donald Trump. Damona breaks it down.


Should you date a dude with a cat?

News for cat dudes: A new study shows that women have a tendency to rate men who post dating profile pictures with their cat as less desirable. There are limitations to the study, but still, it gives us pause.



WHOREible Decisions (11:00)

Today Damona sits down with Mandii B aka FullCourtPumps on IG – corporate business boss babe turned into podcast star and entrepreneur! She is one of my favorite women in podcasting. You might have heard me on an episode of her podcast – Whoreible decisions – which she hosts with her friend Weezy.

Mandii is THE ultimate career woman. She’s leveraged her corporate background into one of the most successful podcast careers in the game.

Now she’s here to give us an update on her love life in the time of Corona.

We discuss:

  • Professional women who boss up in their relationships
  • What does it mean to be dominant in your relationship?
  • Dominant women dating dominant men
  • Dating married men
  • It took the end of the world for her to find her perfect relationship

Did you LOVE Mandii as much as we do? Make sure to follow her on all the socials @fullcourtpumps and check out all her podcast projects!


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

  • G – He wants me to be more dominant in the bedroom. I don’t even know where to start?
  • Isaac IG – How should older virgins (25+) go about navigating dating in this pandemic?



Damona 0:00
Hello lovers, I have a special announcement for those of you looking for love. I will be doing a free webinar on Wednesday September 2, all about how to find love in the new normal. Yes, it is possible to meet your match in the middle of a pandemic. And yes, cuffing season is coming and yes, I have the secret to dating and I will share it with you. Why not join me so you know what to do to get out of the dating rat race. You can register for free at the dating again, that’s th e dating and you can join me live virtual style for my presentation on how to find love in the new normal and so that you can get your questions answered directly by me. It goes live on September 2 I hope you’ll join me

Unknown Speaker 0:55
is a tale as old as time he’s handsome debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.

Damona 1:05
Okay, hold on. Honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like Greece posts to get

Unknown Speaker 1:15
somebody to share my life. What is this text me? Maybe he’s just not that into me

Unknown Speaker 1:19
or even I have told all my hoes I got a man I know y’all cheat on your wives, but I’m not gonna cheat on my boyfriend. So I’ll let you know what I’m saying. Okay, you can

Damona 1:26
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, what would it take for you to find love? My guest for today felt like the world would have to end to meet her match. But she’s gone from dating married men and loving her single life to a happy, committed relationship. All it took was a global pandemic to get there. Today we’re talking with Mandy be co host of the hit podcast, horrible decisions and multimedia star about her Unexpected Journey in love. But first, we’ll hit this week’s hot headlines including Can you ever get over your first love? And what’s really going on between the White House sheets according to body language experts, plus, should you date a dude with a cat? Then? At the end of the show, I’ll answer your questions along with Mandy including what to do when your man decides he wants something more in the bedroom and advice for older virgins on navigating the pandemic. Sit tight ladies and gents This episode is going to be a fun one, but a little on the raunchy side. So if your kids are in the car, make them do earmuffs or better yet Listen to us later, there will be some f bombs there will definitely be adult talk. But there will also be some intriguing advice and hardcore humor. First, I’ll ease you into the show with a dish these dating dish.

Elite daily asks, Can you ever get over your first love? Oh, we’ve all had that that first romance those first butterflies. And thanks to the wonders of social media, you can relive them again and again, if you don’t get yourself blocked. Why is it so hard to move on from a first love? Well, for many, it’s the first time that you’ve ever really gotten to be yourself that you’ve stepped out outside of your your home nest and came into your own in the context of a relationship. But according to experts, there are some ways that you can move on from these adolescent or from relationships. You know, it’s funny because one thing they talk about that keeps us tied to the past is thinking about it again and again and again. And I actually have talked on the show about nostalgia, and how effective it is if you’re on a first date to spark feelings of nostalgia and your date to actually create a bonding experience. So asking things like, what did you do for summers growing up? Instead of just being like, hey, how’s your job? Or something like that? Just imagine, like, even me just saying, what did you do for summers growing up, probably made you transported you back to another place. And even if I didn’t have the exact same experience, I can almost connect with you just by thinking about what I did for my summers growing up. But nostalgia. If you’re thinking about a past relationship, it actually can be really dangerous, because there’s this phenomenon that experts refer to as Pollyanna syndrome, and you’re only focusing on positive relationship memory so you don’t forget Get all the fights. You don’t forget the time they lied to you or cheated on you. Well, maybe you remember the cheated, cheating, but you’re not thinking about all of the negative things, all of the friction points in the relationship, you’re you’re taking the Pollyanna approach, and you’re looking at only the optimistic side of the relationship. So how do we fix it? How do we get over that love of the first person we fell for? Well, in this article, this elite daily article, they quoted a couple of doctors doctor, which suggests that getting to the bottom of why you’re having trouble moving forward is really the, at the crux of being able to do that. So you have to ask yourself questions like, how lovable do I feel? And if I don’t feel lovable, what’s getting in the way? And Dr. Wish says until you can really get over that. You won’t be able to move on and when you can get to why didn’t I feel whole or enough from in myself without that relationship? You might have a big life change ahead of you. And it could be something that would make you even more happy than a relationship but certainly more happy than romanticizing the past. Also, Dr. manly quote in this article said, by grieving the first love fully accepting that life has taken a different path and moving forward, the psyche is then open to new possibilities. Obviously, this is a long journey if you’re still thinking about your first love, but you have to take the first step. One person who’s clearly not thinking at all about his first love is Donald Trump. He’s now on wife number three milania, our First Lady of the United States of America, and Nicole Moore, a body language expert has analyzed their relationship. And she tells us according to interview clips and photographs and everything that she’s seen that milania did love Donald at one point, but may not be in love so much anymore. She looked at an interview That milania did in Barbara Walters, I think back in 2015. And she said that the energy of milania changed when she talked about how they first met, going back to the first love and then nostalgia factor, right. She lit up when she was talking about when she first met Donald. But she didn’t seem to be so thrilled about Donald’s presidency. And now, now that she’s in it, she she really doesn’t seem to be so thrilled. And she said she encouraged him to run for president. But according to body language experts and the clues that she’s giving, she may have been lying when she said that. There were also interviews where they asked what

There was also an interview where she was asked point blank if she loved her husband, and you know what she said? She said, Yes, we are fine. That just made me I don’t I’m not a body language expert, but I’m not I don’t think you need one to know that saying yes, we are fine and this is in relation to all of the the affair reports that have come out against Donald to just say yes we are fine is not really answering the question like are you in love with your husband still, so that gives me a little bit of concern. But nothing more so than watching their inauguration first dance. Y’all. I just watched this for the first time. And it is the most cringe worthy moment that I have ever seen. I mean, worse than a middle school dad’s terrible and it’s not even the fact that neither of them could dance and I kept thinking maybe her dress is just too tight. You know when you wear like the, the kind of pencil skirt and and I was like No, there’s plenty of room in that dress for her. Her to dance but she keeps turning her head away. And they’re looking at the crowd and they clearly were the most awkward that they have ever been in the relationship. But now looking at the way that they’re photographed together, he’s definitely taking the lead. He always walks in front of her. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that he always walks in front of her, and he often will initiate conversation. And he, of course will often speak on her behalf. So I can’t predict the future. But I would say based on body language, they have gone through an entire entire lifespan of the relationship. While going through the lifespan of this presidency. I’ll let you check it out. on the list, we’ll put the link to this analysis in the show notes. If you are a fellow looking for love, you might want to think twice about posting a photo with your cat in your dating profile. There was an interesting study that looked at pictures of men themselves and then men holding cats and it turns out she Docker you guys. Turns out that men who are holding cats in photograph seem less masculine, more neurotic and ultimately less dateable. I don’t know why it is that cats gets such a bad rap. But there is something sort of weird about looking at a photo of a super masculine man holding up little fluffy cat. And I really don’t mean to be gender normative or hetero normative or, or feline normative or any of that, but it is sort of funny and people have asked me before do you put your pets in your profile? Do you put cats do you put dogs? Actually, according to the study women who said that they were dog people were the ones that ranked these men, so unfavorably the most unfavorably. So I would say it’s a bit of a gamble. I mean, maybe if your cat is super important in your life, and it’s like Love me love my cat or ever Then I would put it but otherwise you might want to save the cat for the second date. Those are the headlines of this week when we come back. I am going to be with Mandy B aka, full core pumps on IE, she is going to be here talking about her Unexpected Journey and love. She’s also going to dish out a little bit of love and sex advice. And I’m telling you, it’s going to get hot and heavy. So if you’re bothered by some colorful language, this might not be the episode for you. But if you’re up for some fun, definitely keep listening. Welcome back. I’m here with Mandy be also known as full court pumps on Instagram. She’s a corporate business boss babe turned into a podcast star and entrepreneur. She is one of my favorite women in podcasting. You might have heard me on an episode of her podcast horrible decisions, which she hosts with her friend weezy now she’s here to give us an update on her love life in the time of Corona please help me give a big smooches to Mandy

Unknown Speaker 12:09
Hey guys

Damona 12:12
I’m trying to get you on this

Unknown Speaker 12:15
time right it does

Damona 12:16
yes and then when I was on horrible decisions I don’t know if you remember but we talked about doing your dating profile we

Unknown Speaker 12:23
did we did and girl it is unnecessary at this moment

Unknown Speaker 12:30
so what you got to boot up I

Unknown Speaker 12:32
wound up in quarantine of apparently it took the world to end for me to actually find someone I liked. Um so we actually met in the most pandemic fashion possible we met on zoom like

Damona 12:48
what we actually were Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 12:50
we met on zoom through a mutual friend. And literally two days after that, like we exchanged numbers in the in the chat on zoom because he doesn’t Now wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Damona 13:01
It was like Was it a group like a group zoom party?

Unknown Speaker 13:04
It wasn’t even a group party. No, like a friend of mine was trying to start a podcast. And so he was like, Oh, yeah, well, I think I won’t have my boy on it. So get on and like we got on. I was like, Oh, he kind of fine. And so even started flirting. And then I gave him my contact in the chat because he doesn’t have social media. And we literally went hiking Two days later, and I’ve been inseparable since so. Oh, I know. Right.

Damona 13:34
I love hearing this story. And I’m sure my listeners are sitting there going. Okay, well, that worked for Mandy, but how’s that gonna work for me? Do you have any tips on how you like what was going through your head and how you made it work? Was he

Unknown Speaker 13:51
he was just so fine. And so I was like flirting with him calling him Teddy Riley because he couldn’t get his sound right. So I was just like, I was Pretty much what I mean. And then, um, he like he’s very tall. I like tall men. So as girls do when we flirt, we joke and kind of like to me, I like to really crack jokes. So I was like, hey, so is your head just really big? Or are you a tall person over there? Because, you know, I’m looking at him through a box. And he looks like a huge, a huge guy. But he could have also just had a huge as head on a little body. I don’t know. So when he told me his height, I was like, Well, hello there. How are you? kept flirting? And I’m, like I said, I mean, it happened the same way. I guess you would flirt on a dating app. Like I said, I know we talked about that last time and how to go about like, starting the conversation and letting it know up front what you want. And I think when we exchanged contacts, I didn’t really know what I wanted. It’s funny because as soon as I met him, I was like, Yeah, I just need you know, Dick once a week. I don’t really want to see you that much. I don’t really like People a long time and I just wouldn’t do all these things on on how emotionally unattached I normally am with men and so that I just wanted this. And literally everything I said in the first day is out the window with how I’ve been with him. So

Damona 15:16
do you think he wanted a challenge? Do you think saying those things made him be like, I’m gonna just I don’t even know

Unknown Speaker 15:23
how much of a challenge it was girl I thought as soon as we got back from hiking, so, I mean, there wasn’t much of a challenge. I would say, first day, first day, I mean, I was shit at that point, like three and a half months with no action because of quarantine. And so I was just like, you know, to hell with it. And literally, we ended up seeing each other every day for two months after that. And, and what are his feelings on pegging? Oh, yeah, go for it. It’s so crazy. Yeah, it’s so crazy because he is so dominant. And so for your listeners who may not know I am you bringing up pegging? I guess I’ll open up a little bit here audience. So I am very dominant in the bedroom. I’m very dominant. Like, I’m the type of woman that when I go out to eat even on a date, I’m ordering for the man. So once I know what he wants, when the waiter comes, the man normally doesn’t talk at all. He’ll take this, he’ll take this and I’ll take this. And I’m literally normally that dominant. And so with him, No, ma’am. It I’m in the most submissive state that I think I’ve ever been with a partner. And it’s crazy, because I’ve actually gotten him to like, open up and we go to like the nude beach here in it. Well, it’s in Jersey. And what Wait, what there’s a new jersey shore? Yeah. Well, Cindy gunnison. And it’s funny because I was talking to my friend GLAMAZON tile me shout out to her, and I was like, oh my god. I’m so submissive. He doesn’t let me be dominant. And what’s crazy is he opened up he was like, actually When we go to the beach, and when you bring me to places, that’s you in a dominant state, he was like, I’m literally allowing you to take me into the spaces that you feel comfortable in. And he was like, so I’m vulnerable in that state, like all of these new places and new things that you’re showing me. That’s a form of me allowing your dominance as well. And I was like, Oh, you just go worse. I’m talking about the bedroom. But no, it was. So like, I think that he actually does feel a sense of vulnerability and submissiveness when he allows me to kind of take the lead. So you know, there’s a balance.

Damona 17:36
Yeah, it’s nice. That’s actually that’s a, you said in a very raw way. That’s really beautiful. That’s really beautiful that you can allow him to be vulnerable in his way and that you can be you can find your vulnerability as well. I imagine it must be a little different, too, because he came in knowing that you had this podcast horrible decision.

Unknown Speaker 17:57
Not really and no,

Unknown Speaker 17:58
no, no.

Unknown Speaker 18:00
He didn’t know until the end of the cabinet gonna hold him, literally. So what’s crazy is he knew of the podcasts. And the only reason he knew of the podcast was because he was like, yeah, so I was in Jamaica, and I went on Google and found the podcast. And I was like, sir, you’re not slick. You. If you were looking while you were in Jamaica, you came across our hedonism episode. hedonism is the swingers resort in Jamaica. So I was like, Oh, you bought that life, huh? And so I kind of open it. But yes, he actually saw that episode and thought I was approved. He was like, Oh, so y’all didn’t even have sex there. Like he was like, I watched the whole episode and I thought both of y’all just weren’t as freaky as y’all. Y’all made it out to be. So yeah, he Wow.

Damona 18:47
That was I think you found the right guy. I think you found that guy and girl. But on the show, you really talk in a in a very, in a very open way about sex about Gender roles about sexuality, gender identity, all that stuff. And I think it must have been, what was that moment? Because you also came from a corporate? Yes. You and weezy, right? Yes. And here you are doing this very. If I may say kind of x rated podcast, right. While you’re also still working your corporate job for a while. Yeah, I mean, now this is your thing is

Unknown Speaker 19:25
my main job now. I mean, of course, I did feel like I was living two different lives. I mean, I’m sure they thought I was sick as hell because I would have to leave work to go to the studio and I was like, Oh, my God, I have a doctor’s appointment. So I don’t know how many times I use doctor’s appointment while I was at work, but I was like,

Damona 19:41
you were knocked out. That’s why I do I’m gonna

Unknown Speaker 19:44
count. I was an accountant for a big four firm. So like during tax season, I’m in the office till two o’clock in the morning. But like if I had to go to the studio, I was like, oh, tonight can’t be one of those nights I stay late. And they definitely you know, pin that against me especially in review time because They thought I wasn’t saying as late as I should have been. Um, but what’s crazy, I think that that’s where our audience grew as well, just because I worked corporate just because I have two degrees just because, you know, I’m in that kind of conservative setting as well. You know, I could even show my tattoos. I think that a lot of our audience resonated because when they go home, they suck dick to you know what I mean? On the weekends, they’re going out, and they’re hoping for a one night stand after they go to the club and meet a guy that, you know, puts them into a pretzel. So it’s, it’s, it’s funny because you call it x rated. But really, we just talk about, literally sex in a way that I think a lot of people are ashamed of saying, but we all do these things. You know what I mean? I mean, is everyone pegging? No. But I was

Unknown Speaker 20:53
like, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know.

Unknown Speaker 20:57
But you know, like, even though

Damona 20:58
it’s aspirational in a way

Unknown Speaker 21:00
Yeah, there we go. Like a lot of people say they literally live their lives through hearing our stories. And I love that. And I mean, even when we were on tour, people were saying we change their relationships, because now they found ways to communicate with their partners. And even if both of them just listened to the episode, we talked about topics that maybe you wouldn’t even think to bring up to your partner. But because you’re listening you could just literally blame us if you want to peg your man. Just be like, Hey, I heard this crazy shit on this podcast. What are your thoughts? And then now you have the conversation open to that you know?

Damona 21:33
Yeah, and you you make it so fun the dynamic between the two of you is just so honest your friends before he started the podcast, right?

Unknown Speaker 21:41
No, yeah, like so we’ve known each other since we went Didn’t she

Damona 21:45
go to it like a guy no appointment with

Unknown Speaker 21:47
me. So that was actually upon us like getting back into good graces we actually became, we started off actually as enemies because I dated her ex This is mind you 15 years old, so doesn’t really count. It’s a boyfriend. That never counted. And so we ended up being becoming friends around 1516. And we have a wild crazy traveling party liquor infused just rock star type of friendship up and through about 20 years old. And then we stopped being friends for about five years, somehow prior to the legal. We were definitely under age drinking, absolutely with fake IDs and all. But say like, we ended up parting ways for about five years. And just the way the universe has things set up. She ended up in New York A few years after I moved here. And so a lot of our mutual friends were just like, Oh, we these moving to New York, you guys should meet up, you know, at this point. Now, we’re 2526 years old. A lot of things have changed. We’re both now you know, I’m in college, literally working at Goldman Sachs at the time, she’s you know, upping the ranks in her tech job and so We were like, Okay, let’s try this again, literally a month. Within rekindling, we ended up in the studio and started horrible decisions. And here we are three and a half years later

Unknown Speaker 23:11
doing this full time story. Yeah.

Damona 23:14
And you’ve been through a lot of changes even personally through the course of doing the show. And you’ve always been very body positive. Yes. You know, you share bikini shots on Instagram.

Unknown Speaker 23:28
I think at this point, I own a goddamn bikini line.

Unknown Speaker 23:32
I mean, you wouldn’t think I live in New York.

Unknown Speaker 23:35
You see me in a bikini. Right? I know. Right?

Damona 23:39
Right. Right. But also your body has changed during that time. So you and you actually had surgery. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 23:46
I had you had the so I had the gastric sleeve. VSG it’s the vertical sleeve. So basically, they took out 80% of my stomach. And this isn’t to be confused with life. Whoa, this is literally my organ my stomach went from literally the size of a flattened football to a to a golf ball. And so it’s pretty much a forced portion control as far as food is concerned, and literally the first three months of it was like a liquid only than soft food only then blended food only because my stomach was stapled shut. And so yeah, literally within a year and a half, I went to my peak of about 230 pounds, all the way down to about 155. So about 80 pounds. And I mean, also to put into perspective as well. I’m five foot one. So 230 pounds on someone who’s five one, you know, is is kind of a lot and so there was a lot as far as how I felt in the bedroom. I felt like my partner’s had a lot to say. There were a lot of uncomfortable conversations as well. Where you’re saying before you had

Damona 25:01
this? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 25:03
Well, even with people knowing about my surgery like I mean, at one point, when I started losing weight, my my lovers at the time because I had multiple, they were like, Oh, we gotta we gotta get you some food. They actually liked my way I had other men that was like, Oh, well let me let me have sex with you before the weight loss. And what’s crazy is there’s there’s such shame and stigma surrounding bigger women in dating, not only for men, but women as well. And what’s crazy is a lot of these men did not want me to lose these pounds. But also, you know, there’s stigma and if we get into the talks about how they view lizzo and how they view a lot of just bigger girls in the industry, we almost come across as we’re not the type of people that men would fuck, essentially. And what’s crazy is I feel like I was getting way more men when I look bigger. Not gonna lie. To me now you just got that one. I do. Just have And I’d never thought that I’d be the one to be like, like I’ve always said that I need a boyfriend who’s gonna let me keep all my hopes. And I literally have told on my hose now like, Hey, I got a man. I know y’all cheat on your wives, but I’m not gonna cheat on my boyfriend. So I’ll let you know what I’m saying again.

Damona 26:19
Oh, wait a minute, you just you just here we go. You just dropped something there that I have to pick up. So So you’ve been the other woman? A lot? A lot. What at? What does that feel like for you?

Unknown Speaker 26:35
I’ve started thinking about it psychologically, as to why I prefer these relationships. And I mean, for anyone listening who’s married, they’re just probably going to be like, Oh, fuck, whatever you have to say about this. Like, you’re an awful woman to do so. But I’ll be honest, I feel like if it’s not me, it’ll be someone else. First off. Secondly, I don’t go into it. with malice, I don’t go into it wanting to steal away this man from their wives. I honestly normally don’t know the wives name, the birthday, their relationship, we don’t talk about it. But I’ve gotten into more thinking as to why I like these relationships. And here’s, here’s the fact of the matter. When dating a married man, I can be 100% myself, when dating while being single. I think as a woman, you lose yourself because you’re trying to be wiped or cuffed or become the girlfriend. And a lot of times you go about doing things, thinking, This is what I need to do in order to become a wife with this man. So I’m going to change who I am to do so in the relationships that I have with these married men. It’s been just the most honest and organic relationship because I know exactly what they want out of me and, and vice versa. And so we’re able to be honest, the lies that you would normally Tell somebody that you’re trying to pursue don’t have to be there. Because clearly there’s another woman. And so it’s honestly just become some of my most honest and fulfilling relationships over the last decade.

Damona 28:12
And you’re really living in the moment and those really you

Unknown Speaker 28:14
are and you can just say, Mr. Chair, so whatever stress they’re having, as far as you know, the financials of a marriage or being parents in a marriage, when I’m with them, and they’re with me, it’s, it’s not really a thing. And I will be honest, too, like, I’ve benefited financially through those relationships. I’m not getting them, you know, just to say, Hey, I have a married boyfriend, husband, whatever. No, like normally it’s, it’s financially beneficial to me. And it is, I guess, emotionally. You know, an advantage for them. And it’s just, it’s just fun. I mean, I’ve enjoyed it and they’ve looked out for me more than anyone has I just, like knowing what I’m getting into and I think with dating and being single you It’s all up in the fucking air

Damona 29:02
is but you must have had some experiences. so crazy experiences with the wife finding out or stalking you or whatever. No, never. Um,

Unknown Speaker 29:13
I’ve had one that’s like so they’ve all told me that they’ve been questioned about me. But I’m a friend. And they’re that. So like, it’ll go to where maybe we just make sure we don’t look like we’re in the same cities at certain times on social media wise, but other than that, like no, it’s never been like a difficult thing. I’ve never called the house. I’ve never made it awkward.

Damona 29:41

Unknown Speaker 29:42
Okay, well as a wife, I don’t know that. I know. I know.

Damona 29:45
I don’t know I can cosign on that. But maybe you should do like a class for the women that do.

Unknown Speaker 29:51
You also have a new podcast. You may not know busy busy, and this is only two I have a third one dropping in two weeks. So I

Damona 30:00
So the new one I was talking about is period. Yes. And tell us about what that is. So

Unknown Speaker 30:07
I think with the three and a half years that we’ve been doing a horrible, a part of horrible that I love although Yes, we talk about all of the nasty, kinky things involving sex. I really enjoy learning about just the body, psychologically how things happen. We’ve had a lot of experts come on, and I just love hearing stories about how other people maneuver their lives and and you know, so with period says, I wanted a platform to focus on women. I am I have so many home girls, and I actually blame them as to why I’ve been single so long. Because when I have free time, I just want to hang around my home girls, I love my friends. And I mean, of course, we always talk about so many different things. And it’s just crazy that so many women experienced so many different things. And people just assume that we all go through the same course in life and, and and I’m just like not at all. And so I started period CES to go into just all of the things that women go through. So some of the topics include pcls, infertility, trying to conceive after birth control, breastfeeding, single parenting, co parenting, I’m doing one on body positivity, of course and loving your curves I talked about. I talked with my friend Latasha about loving her dark skin and her coarse hair, and how society has deemed those features to be not beautiful. And so literally just opening the dialogue with so many women on on how they live through life and it’s, it’s so rewarding. I just, it’s been so fulfilling and recording and getting that content out there.

Damona 31:50
I’m so glad that you’re doing it. Yeah. I and I love that you have found love since the last time that we had a hand in that Mandy But I think it’s really exciting to just see all the changes that have happened in all of these changes happening through quarantine. I was gonna say

Unknown Speaker 32:09
for the, for me to find happiness Jesus, right, but

Damona 32:13
you know what it did it. It caused us to flip our perspective

Unknown Speaker 32:17
and currency and I got a fucking cat because I was so lonely. Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 32:21
you got a cat, you got a boyfriend, you got two

Unknown Speaker 32:24
podcasts and I actually see boxes behind here I actually, quarantine allowed me to sit my ass down and I was like, there’s no reason why I still don’t have a product. And so I am actually also periods. This is a part of the official box owner brand and it’s a subscription box that focuses on bringing women own and black owned feminine hygiene and sexual wellness products to your front door. And so I’m partnering with a lot of brands who may not have the the capacity to get on shelves, or be in Target or Walmart. Finding a way to help bring those brands into your home.

Damona 33:04
That is so exciting. I am definitely gonna get my boss

Unknown Speaker 33:07

Damona 33:08
and when you come out with that bikini line, right, you let

Unknown Speaker 33:11
me know.

Damona 33:13
Alright, we’re gonna take a short break, but I want you to stick around because we have a lot of questions that are more in the horrible, horrible decisions kind of category. Data meets category and you are the woman to answer those. d damona. Help me. We are back with Mandy from horrible decisions. And Mandy Yes, let’s do it. Love your advice. So let’s help some ladies and some Jen. I love that. Get their loving in quarantine. This one comes to us from Gina on Twitter. She says he wants me to be more dominant in the bedroom. I don’t even know where to start. Mandy How can Gina become a boss?

Unknown Speaker 33:56
Oh Boss Lady. I mean dominance is different for A lot of people, to me, it’s what it’s putting them in a vulnerable state, which is probably why I like the pegging in the booty play so much, because those are normally no go places to go. I mean, I think something up, the way to dominate, I think would be as easy as starting with a massage. Maybe blindfolding them, adding some different toys and layers into the bedroom. But you literally being like, hey, tonight, we’re going to try something new. That’s the way to be dominant, because now you’re taking lead. And it’s literally that simple. You say? Yes. Yes, that simple. So you taking the lead in the bedroom, and being like, hey, I want to introduce you to something new. And we talked about that earlier. Literally just being the person to lead allows you to have that dominance. And so it can be something as simple as that and now you’ve opened the, you know, conversation to maybe he wants to try something else and you take that lead and introduce them to those things.

Damona 35:00
Yeah, I love that. And I also read a study about how people are more open to trying new things during the pandemic. Now, it’s like, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 35:13
They’re like, wait, I realized there’s a few things I want to try before I leave this earth. That’s why

Damona 35:19
I also bored. Like, if you’re at home all the time, and you’re there with your partner all the time, you’re just like, well, we might as well do something out and

Unknown Speaker 35:26
try some new things in quarantine. And I didn’t even think there was anything new for me to try. So yes, I think it is wrong. I think the world Yes, but yes, please like,

Damona 35:37
She’s also already in a relationship. And I think a relationship should be based around trust and you should be able to try new things and know like, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen? Right? I mean, maybe a trip to the hospital, I don’t know. Right? But if you’re with your partner, he there shouldn’t be any shame or embarrassment or grief. There’s somebody that you really trust and can open up to. Okay, I have another one for you from Isaac on instant He says, How should older versions 25 plus go about navigating dating in this pandemic?

Unknown Speaker 36:08
Well, the way I lost my virginity at 16 I don’t even I don’t know how to really help with that, um, to me.

Unknown Speaker 36:18
To me, I mean, I guess you could maybe talk about maybe talk more to the dating profile in it. Um, you being a virgin, I think has more to do with maybe you wanting that emotional or whatever type of attraction outside of sexual. And so, I don’t know, I would say to just bring up that conversation. I still think maybe he’s looking for something more serious before he loses it. And to me and quarantine actually, now is the best time because people are sitting the fuck down. So you probably actually have more time to get to know somebody before diving into sex.

Damona 36:52
Yeah, you have to get over that covid hurdle of is this person right? safe to even be around to even be around right and then once you’re in You’re in no pun

Unknown Speaker 37:03
intended I want intended

Damona 37:05
no intended intended. Um, I will say I feel like when I was ready I was just like, let’s just let’s just get it done. And we put so much emphasis on the first time especially as you get older you start thinking like it has to be a certain thing it has to be really special and it has to be candlelight and magic and sometimes you just need to you know, I’m now I’m speaking to women but you know, Papa cherry and get it done and then move on tonight

Unknown Speaker 37:36
just talks about this. I don’t think I realized how much bad sex I was getting until I actually realized Okay, more about myself and experiencing good sex. And what’s crazy is I talked about even because I lost my eight my virginity, as you know, in my teens, I realize how quick my body count added up to because I was Looking for that hi that loving basketball first time moment that made me feel special and actually felt good. And the first couple times you have sex, you’re gonna be like, this is it? This is the Big Bang Really? And so yeah, it’s I mean, to me I think if you’re a virgin it’s also to me at this age smart for you to figure out what you enjoy. Do you like your balls played with? Do you want some math play and really start exploring yourself so that you are able to communicate with your partner the things that you’re gonna like?

Damona 38:32
sales of toys are up in nature and there’s maybe your third business there’s a third Oh my god. This quarantine keeps going on just like

Unknown Speaker 38:43
the at home toys buyer. We go.

Damona 38:44
Oh, ideas, ideas, that one’s for you. Okay, one last question before you have to go Mandy this one. I think this one came to us in an email Leo Tell me later and I’ll do a pickup. This person says what if you find someone that you would like to see Dark a committed physical relationship with how do you navigate and set safety agreements. You just went through this Oh, and slept with them on the

Unknown Speaker 39:08
first year. You know what I mean? Um, but it’s hard. You know, he was COVID free. Well, how did you know his status? He wasn’t coughing. I don’t know. I mean,

Unknown Speaker 39:18
honestly, I mean, I would hope I mean, this is I mean, giving the human species way too much credit. But I would hope that it’s something to where if you don’t feel well, you know, just not to bring your ass around people. And again, that’s probably giving people way too much credit. Because we have seen a lot of people just pretty much out in the open like, Yeah, I got COVID but I wanted to go to the beach. There are those selfish individuals. But I think it’s funny. You’ll know if that person is the right person for you. There was a person that I had been having sex with, I think we talked about him. I had been bugging him for seven years. The guy 24 seven, who’s no longer in the picture. It was there in Quincy. And we ended up reaching out to each other. And he actually was offended that I asked him if he had any symptoms or was COVID free or had tested positive. And he made it seem like I was asking him if he had HIV. Now this was early on, this was like, in March or April, like right in the midst locked down, but it’s like, he got offended that I asked him if he was healthy. And so I think that you opening that, that dialogue with whoever you’re wanting to seek that physical interaction with? You need to make it to where you guys can not only talk about COVID in this space, but hey, are you fucking anyone else Ross Should I know like, you know, when was the last time you got tested? I think that this actually opens up the dialogue to the important questions. If you’re going to go forward with having sex with someone and literally open up about all things you get tested for everything. You know what I mean? I just

Damona 40:50
think it’s a it’s an open that up. Yeah. What about though going forward into the relationship now you’re a little ways into it. Is it an ongoing agreement that If you are bringing someone into your bubble, that they’re not going out and going to parties or having a different risk level than you Oh,

Unknown Speaker 41:07
I mean, I’m not gonna hold you my man didn’t pretty much asked me if I was chasing Corona. Because I’ve been on I mean, I’ve been to Atlanta twice. I’ve been to Florida, I’ve been to LA. And so you just figure out where Corona is poppin

Unknown Speaker 41:21
and then, you know, that’s,

Unknown Speaker 41:24
like, so you just want to go to all the epicenters. Hmm. And, um, to me, it’s and that’s why like, even when I go to those places, I’m not going to a Hookah Bar, I’m not going to clubs, I am being around my friends. Even when I was just in LA, my home girl was like, I don’t feel too well. And I said, Well, I love you, but Honey, I’m not gonna see you. Like, if you’re not feeling well. This is not the time to be around your friends with a cold or anything you know. And honestly, just getting tested, like I’m scheduled to get tested next week. Just so that he knows my results and just so that we can like be on top of it and Yeah, again, it’s the conversation you have to at the end of the day, we’re all not living in our own little bubbles anymore. People are back to work. People are back eating out, they’re at the gyms. I mean gyms opened up here in New York this week. So, wow.

Unknown Speaker 42:14
Yeah, I mean, it’s

Unknown Speaker 42:16
a lot of kids are back to school, you have to realize this bubble that we were living in maybe in April and May. It’s kind of bursted and so you just have to be do your due diligence, wear your masks, do your hand sanitizer, and if you don’t feel well stay away from people until you get tested.

Damona 42:34
There you have it take responsibility for your life and those around you take control of your sexuality and what you need in the bedroom to and definitely definitely check out horrible decisions. And oh, periods. Yes, definitely check out periences and you’ll let us know when these new prod these this new buy.

Unknown Speaker 42:55
Box is dropping in September. So in the next couple of weeks The website will launch anyone can can join up for the subscription or the mailing list. It’ll have a newsletter component to it as well. And again every Monday, if you’re not, you know if you actually like this little raspy voice that you just listened to for the last hours, though, it’s we I released both shows on Mondays so you can listen to horrible decisions and get your kink in comedy. And then head over to period sis and get some edutainment tales of womanhood.

Damona 43:30
I love it. I love it. Make sure you follow make sure you follow me on Instagram, every little court pump and Mandy even though I didn’t get a chance to do your dating profile, I got a man now girl. I’m so happy that you found love and continue to track your journey and hopefully you can come back on dates and mates and tell us more. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 43:51
thank you so much for having me.

Damona 43:53
This has been Episode 325 of dates and maids. You can follow Mandy on all of the social At full court pumps, we’ll put the link in the show notes, of course, but make sure you stay tuned on all of her latest updates. There is definitely some tea coming down the pike. So you’re going to want to know what’s happening with Mandy because she has big news to share, and just a few weeks, and as always, we will give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles and the best gifts in the game. On the show, recap at dates and Don’t forget that registration is now open for my free webinar that’s happening this Wednesday on September 2, so don’t miss out. Sign up at the dating again, th e dating and I will share the secret with you. In the meantime, hit me up on your favorite social platform at damona Hoffman. DM me, let me know what you liked from this week’s episode. And let me know what questions you have that I could answer on a future show. We We’ll be back again next week with a deep dive on dating app algorithms to kick off your labor day. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Dating CEO & Romance Scams


If you’re reading this right now, we know you are a Boss – the CEO of your life, if you will. But sometimes those CEO qualities just don’t match up with your dating life.

Today we’re learning from dating coach and image consultant, Neely Steinberg who will show us how to boss up in our love lives the way we do in business. BE THE CEO OF YOUR LOVE LIFE!! Remember that Love Lessons episode on first impressions? Well, she also has some fab style tips on how to present yourself the way you want to be seen. 

Bye Little Black Dress. Buh- bye.

But first, Damona covers headlines:


Demi Lovato’s relationship is running on quarantine standard time

Did you see who Demi Lovato is dating? Excuse us… Engaged to (according to our sources) ?


Dating Scams are on the rise! gives us all the stats.

The Kinsey Institute tells men to just… please… keep it in your pants.

New study on dick pics from the Kinsey Institute! Damona breaks it down.


Damona is joined by Neely Steinberg, a dating coach and personal image consultant who helps smart, savvy women take back their power and become the CEO of their dating and love lives. Neely has a Masters degree in Counseling and has been running her business for a decade.

We leave it all on the table

  • Is Match the best dating app out there?
  • How to “massage” the dating app algorithm
  • How to boss up and CEO your dating life
  • How to dress for your body shape

Make sure to check Damona out on Going to Bed with Garcelle later this season!


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

  • I met a guy on match and we’ve done an audio call in a video call and where having a masked walk and talk tomorro w. I’m trying to be open minded but he is 10 years older 64!
  • I wrote my crush a love letter a week ago and haven’t received a real response. (Y’all she sent me the love letter and it was beautifully written) He hasn’t responded to the letter, but he let me know that he’s read it and has been keeping distance so he can process. What should I do?



Best of all, it’s super affordable – Dates & Mates listeners like you get 10% off your first month with discount code DATESANDMATES 

So why not get started today? We all need someone to talk to right now. Go to so you can fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you’ll love.



What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

There are three different tiers. One for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others and keep this show going strong for another 7 seasons.

Sign up at for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year


Date of the Union & The Entanglement


This week we’re answering the question: Can you date today? Or can all we hope for is just a summer “entanglement?”

Damona gives a “Date of the Union Address” devoted to helping you understand the current dating and entanglement landscape plus get you up to speed on the top headlines that we missed during the Love Lessons special series.

First up, we do the dish with Damona’s co-host for the day, Steve Barnes:


Will and Jada and The Big “Entanglement”

We know you’ve heard about Will and Jada… plus August. But we still have questions: Was this “entanglement” staged? Do Will and Jada have an open relationship? Damona and Steve have some experience with Will and Jada that might change your mind of some of these questions…


Royally Screwed

So Princess Beatrice’s wedding didn’t go as planned. Not only did COVID completely cut the guest list down to 100 and push it back… her dad’s entanglement in the Epstein case also cast a shadow on a day. Damona and Steve discuss.


Once and For All: What makes a great relationship

Samantha Joel et al of Western University in London, Ontario have completed the most comprehensive and successful study to answer the question, “what makes a great relationship?” According to Joel, the partnership you build is more important than the partner you pick. Read CNN’s full article here!



We are joined by fan-favorite dating coach Francesca Hogi! You’ve heard her wonderful advice on the podcast before, but if you’re new here, Franny is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single.

Fun Fact: She is the co-host of the podcast Romantical and the host of the podcast Dear Franny: Uncommon Conversations About Love.

She’s here to help Damona to this “Date of The Union Address” right!

We cover:

  • Were dating coaches wrong? Maybe this isn’t the best time to find love?
  • The New Courtship Timeline: dating is slower, but relationships are moving at lightning speed
  • Summer Time Love is Fake
  • The exact steps to take to find love right now
  • Why you should be on two dating platforms – and we tell you which ones those are
  • Why you should be stalking the people you’re interested in

Read Franny’s full list here!


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

  • Danette –Is 2 weeks to soon to start saying “I love you”? I’ve met someone who is working abroad and we have established quite a nice text relationship. He is head over heels for me and keeps telling me he loves me. We haven’t met yet. I have strong feelings for him but this is making me uncomfortable. How do I elegantly ask him to slow down.
  •  Mary – I wanted to know if in your segment on Dating While Social Distancing, do you have recommendations on physical intimacy? What if you find someone that you would like to start a committed physical relationship with? How do you navigate and set safety agreements?

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

There are three different tiers. One for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others and keep this show going strong for another 7 seasons.

Sign up at for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Unknown Speaker 0:00
It’s a tale as old as time. He’s handsome, debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.

Damona 0:10
Okay, hold on, honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like we supposed to get my swipe. I just want

Unknown Speaker 0:19
somebody to share my life. What

Unknown Speaker 0:20
does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even I met him on the street. I know which hospital he worked at. I knew his name is I slid into his DMS

Damona 0:30
on Twitter. You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on forward 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 in mates with damona Hoffman,

Unknown Speaker 0:47
members of Congress,

Unknown Speaker 0:49
the President of the United States.

Damona 0:53
Thank you, Madam Speaker. Members of Congress, Madam Vice President lovers, This day marks eight years essentially two terms as you’re leading dating and relationship official. We kicked off the season strong with an interview and coaching demo with the real housewives garcelle Beauvais last week. It was beautiful. It was the very best American dating podcast episode about the best. And now it’s time to address your concerns in a date of the Union Address. All right, in all seriousness, we’re in a challenging time for dating and relationships and everyone needs love now more than ever. So today’s episode is devoted to helping you understand the current dating landscape and getting you up to speed on the top headlines that we missed during the love lessons special series. To do all of this. I have two exciting guests joining me today for updates on the date of the Union. Do you get it data you didn’t get it? Well, I have a fan favorite love coach joining me Francesca hoagie who will give us the exact steps that motivated singles need to take right now if they’re looking to find love. But first, we have the headlines. Of course we missed some huge headlines including will and jaida and the big entanglement and the royal wedding. No the other royal wedding, didn’t you here, plus the latest and most accurate study on what makes a great relationship. Then at the end of the show, Francesca and I will handle your questions including Is it true love or is it a catfish? And when is it safe to get physical with your quarantine crush? Joining me to tackle the headlines of the day is my dear friend Barnes. He’s an actor and producer plus. You may also know him from over 20 years of experience as a radio personality specifically as the host of Atlanta’s number one morning radio show. The morning acts for many years. Now, he’s the host of a hot new podcast called the Pop Culture Show. Along with cmts, Leslie Fram and Kobe Bryant from nycs 106. point seven. Please help me give big smooches to my co host for today, Barnes thank you

Unknown Speaker 3:19
very much good to see you. damona.

Damona 3:21
My friend, I was thinking about who can help me figure out what we missed in the time that we were doing our love lessons and who is always on top of the headlines. And of course, it’s you. Of course we do this every week already on the Pop Culture Show. So why not do it here on dates and mates?

Unknown Speaker 3:40
I’ve listened to your podcast for years you’ve been doing it for so long gratulations on all the success.

Damona 3:45
Thank you. And obviously you are a legend in radio and podcasting. So I’m just honored. You’re here to break down these headlines with us. Are you ready to dish with me Barnes

Unknown Speaker 3:56
I am always ready. Let’s do it.

Damona 4:00
stating dish. Bowsher and everyone in the internet has been talking about will and jayda. This all went down when we were doing our love lessons, but it’s just too important not to talk about, in case you haven’t heard and you’ve been living under a rock jayda had what she calls in entanglement with August alsina. And it turns out it happened during a break when she and we’ll were on a break. So she brought herself and will to the red table to talk this all through. Barnes. I got to know from you. I mean, you’ve been covering pop culture for a long time and there’s been a lot of rumors about willing Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 4:40
for a while. We talked about this in the pop culture show while you’re on vacation. And it what’s weird to me is if you follow all of the clues and all the bread crumbs that have been dropped, first of all on the red table show on Facebook, he called it I believe in a fair or a situation And she quickly corrected him and said entanglement and I think that’s key because August seen us song entanglement was already created made and on the platter ready to come out. It’s very suspicious to me I think something weird is going on with that whole thing even though they have a piece of it and this is just a big Hollywood play. I don’t know what’s happening but all the things said in the song are even Rick Ross is wrapped talking about Will Smith kind of under the lines. It’s strange. Just

Damona 5:32
looking at the read Table Talk episode. I just really felt that will was coming from a very honest place. I feel like the bond between them is so strong that, you know we like to banter about what’s going on. I feel like it is and they’ve been I mean, they’ve been together for what like two

Unknown Speaker 5:53
decades. Come on. You know Hollywood. Something is weird about this whole situation. That August is Seen a coming out with an entanglement song and the way she was so purpose driven in mentioning it during that whole thing with Will I agree with you will seem like he was coming from a very honest place. She, however, was the complete antithesis of that. I felt like she was very fake, and very contrived. And very, she was very flippant with him.

Damona 6:24
I’m just surprised that she was able to keep this a secret while doing red Table Talk for so long. But

Unknown Speaker 6:30
all that aside motion,

Damona 6:32
all promotion, let’s say you’re here, so Hollywood with the pop culture analysis. But let’s say for our listeners who are watching this thinking, Oh, that could be me. I just want to know what your thoughts are on the open relationship situation. Like let’s say it wasn’t even really against the rules of relation, the relationship and they are just in an open relationship. Do you think that we’re going to be seeing more more people coming out and saying The rules of your relationship do not apply to me.

Unknown Speaker 7:03
What legendary for years, they’ve had an open relationship and they’ve had multiple people in and out of it. That’s what people say. They came into our studios one time, she came in one time and was very like, she’s the princess snapping those fingers through the hallways like with her whole, you know, posse following her. And he’s the same way we interviewed Well, a long time ago, and he had like multiple people around him. They’re just very contrived. I feel like they’ve gone on a path to their stardom. And even this open relationship thing could just be something to get people talking. But the August I’ll who is August alsina. I mean, Where did he come from? See all of a sudden he’s being talked about.

Damona 7:44
So what is it? Clearly they understand it, they’re pulling all the strings and yes, we are just talking about it. And yes, we’re going to probably buy that.

Unknown Speaker 7:53
But that read the table. Once again, 15 million or something or more views

Damona 7:59
barn’s Let me tell you though. That show is so good. I mean, we could talk about that all day. But you mentioned that she came in like the princess. There was news about an actual princess that happened while we were in the love lesson sessions as well. Princess Beatrice finally got married on July 17.

Unknown Speaker 8:17
This is great

Damona 8:18
delicious snack, Edoardo mapelli mazzi. And she had to keep changing her plans like it seemed like everybody else was just conspiring against her wedding. You may remember back in the fall there when all the Epstein drama was happening. Prince Andrew just fully put his foot in his mouth and they were like, okay, can’t get married now because obviously people are going to be talking about that. And then COVID happens. And so you know, here all of her cousins get these lavish weddings and carriage processions and they’re like, we’re just going to do a tiny little family only thing and and keep it really small but I can’t believe that that Really what she wanted I think she kind of just got the short end of the stick

Unknown Speaker 9:04
well with Prince Andrew and everything going on with Jeffrey Epstein. That’s number one and they use COVID kind of as an excuse. I mean, the Queen didn’t even stay the whole time. The Queen was like, in and out out he but by the Epstein thing, there are still things coming out with that.

Damona 9:20
Oh, it’s so sketchy sketch and like for everyone listening I’m sure a lot of us had plans that got disrupted from COVID. And a lot of us had weddings or in I just heard from a client who was engaged who had to break off her engagement cuz her her her fiance is stuck in another country. It’s it’s been wild, but maybe like you said, Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for them. And then they can just focus on the relationship being about the two of them and not deal with all their drama. And look at this. This is the royal family. And they have all that same drama. Like don’t invite him to the wedding. Who knows wasn’t Sheila

Unknown Speaker 9:59
she was With an American for what, almost 10 years

Unknown Speaker 10:05
research now

Unknown Speaker 10:07
it’s the pop culture show up on Pop Culture Show, I’m just doing dates and maids.

Unknown Speaker 10:12
She was with this guy. Beatrice was with this American for, I want to say 10 years. And when they broke it off, whoever broke it off, he was engaged in a hot minute. So that’s very interesting. And American, I believe living in London, and they get broken up. However, they got broken up, and then all of a sudden, magically, he’s engaged

Damona 10:34
in it. You know, when it works, it works when it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. But that reminds me of a new cnn study that was just published on what makes a successful relationship. And they looked at successful couples. Everyone’s always asking me like, what are the qualities that I need to present to be ready for a relationship or what should I be looking for? What are the red flags? Turns out Barnes it’s ain’t even about you. It’s more about the relationship. And it turns out that the satisfaction the relationship matters a lot more than the individual characteristics. So thinking of things like, like perceived partner commitment, like if you feel like your partner is committed to you, that’s, that can really indicate that you’re going to be in it for the long haul, or appreciation, of course, sexual satisfaction, perceived partner satisfaction, and conflict. I found this study fascinating Barnes and

Unknown Speaker 11:32
I know every, like every hot button. Well, I mean, isn’t that the bottom lines, but I do? Well, hitting the hot button. I guess that’s the key to a successful relationship right now is the third point. But beyond that, it’s Can you ever get it perfect? Because if you had those four things, or whatever that are this, you know, that are the base of a relationship, and three of them are working here. All right.

Damona 11:57
Yeah. Like everyone’s looking for the Holy Grail. I don’t know about I’ve been watching that show Indian matchmaking on Netflix. And you know, so they have the, well, we’re not gonna get into the controversy, but they look at the bio data, right of all the people that they’re matching. And they go so far as to send them to astrologers and to do face readings to try to get the compatibility, right. But really, it’s just about their, their commitment. When you look at it that way. It reminds me actually, you know, my husband, and I remember in the beginning, I was like, What do you like about me? And he was like, I like how you make me feel. And I was like, that’s a cop out. Give me some compliments. But now that I’m seeing this study, it makes a lot of sense that it was more about the relationship and how he felt in the relationship than necessarily that that I was doing anything special.

Unknown Speaker 12:52
Well, look at all the look at all the reality shows. I watch all of them all the dating shows, it’s weird. Nothing is good enough for Anybody,

Damona 13:00
well, you can’t reality TV, you can help who you love. But I’ll put up the the link to the study, of course in the show notes, dates and mates calm. But there were something some individual characteristics that could predict whether you will be satisfied in a relationship or not. These are really interesting barns, life satisfaction, negative effect, depression, attachment avoidance and attachment, anxiety. If you haven’t read the book attached, you can learn about your attachment style, but I was like, This is the key. We did all of these exercises in love languages to get clear on our partner but also to get really comfortable with ourselves. And that seems to be a big factor much more than looking for those qualities in your partner.

Unknown Speaker 13:50
Have you seen the show? I’m sorry, on Netflix.

Damona 13:52
Yeah, no, I heard it’s really funny.

Unknown Speaker 13:54
All about dating. They’re trying to will feroza an executive producer and they’re trying To be the almost Sex in the City, but kind of quirky of this age. I’ll be curious to see what you think about but they talk about these things.

Damona 14:08
I know like three years. I’ll have some on demand. Oh, I know. I have a lot to watch and very little time. I’m busy watching love love on the spectrum. That’s a good one. Barnes. Where’s that? I haven’t heard that. So Netflix, but it’s people who are on the autism spectrum looking

Unknown Speaker 14:23
Oh, I have not seen that. I did see that. I saw it but I didn’t see it. so

Damona 14:27
fabulous. cringe worthy at moments. But actually, you could. everyone listening could learn a lot about relationships by watching what these people go through, because they have to teach them just basic social skills and interaction like things that I assume for a lot of the people listening should just come naturally. But it’s reinforces what I say that dating is really a learned skill. And so sometimes we need to just break down all of the steps and make sure that you’re building the relationship in the right way from the beginning.

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Netflix is full of shows like that. I’ll give you two more for homework. Okay, on twisted relationships. One is called Dr. Foster. Okay, which is a UK show a must see on Netflix, I’m

Damona 15:10
sure they have a bad name, Beatrice,

Unknown Speaker 15:13
Beatrice, and then the other ones, another UK show called liar. And those are both about twisted relationships. But a lot of the things you talk about are exhibited in these people. And to your point, is it you the couple, or is it you the individual that’s making the relationship go sideways? If you focus on yourself and make yourself better, is that going to make collectively a better relationship? Now you’ve got to worry about the other side.

Damona 15:39
So much to do. You’re giving me homework barns. That’s

Unknown Speaker 15:43
what we do.

Damona 15:44
This is why I listened to the pop culture show, which all of you can hear at the pop culture or wherever you get your podcast, because Barnes keeps us up to speed on what we need to know whether we’re talking dating and relationships or what’s happening on the hutzler or anything else? You’re my source Barnes and I appreciate you being here.

Unknown Speaker 16:05
We have to have you on our show soon. It’s Mondays at 10am we dropped a new episode.

Damona 16:08
I love it. I can’t wait to be on that show and I can’t wait to have you back to do the headlines with me again here on dates inmates. Thank you. That’s for dish. We’ll be back with updates and actionable advice in my date of the union address with Francesca hoagie. But first, I have to ask, can we be friends? Can we be friends with benefits? It’s not what you think. In case you haven’t heard already, I have a Patreon group for my true friends who want a little more support and love. If you’re looking for a community of daters and behind the scenes insights from me, then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits on Patreon. You can check it slash dates and mates. And when you become a member of our community, you get a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. You’ll also get access to the behind the mic live stream talk back each week all about that week’s episode, plus secret behind the scenes content from over 300 episodes of dates and mates and 10% off of any of my online programs too. There’s even more, you can read all about slash dates and dates, and you can join for just $5. And that will allow me to hopefully keep the show going for another eight more seasons as well. Okay, don’t go anywhere. The date of the union is coming right up.

Welcome back. I am here with one of the Dayton mates fan favorites dating coach Francesca hoagie. You’ve heard her wonderful advice and stories on this podcast before but if you’re new here frannie is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen To be single, fun fact she was also a contestant on two seasons of the CBS reality show survivor. Francesca is the co host of the podcast romantical and the host of the awesome podcast, dear frannie uncommon conversations about love. And she’s here to have some uncommon conversations with me and do this date of the Union address, right? So please give big smooches to my friend Francesca hoagie. Hey, hi. Thank you hear me, Danny, welcome back. Thank you. Thanks. I’ve been going down

Unknown Speaker 18:38
since the last time you’re on the show. You know, the world just it’s it’s, it’s changed like 20 times in the last six months. It’s pretty extraordinary.

Damona 18:49
That is exactly why I wanted to do this show because we talked about dating like, I’ll be honest, I started out super optimistic me two months ago. Yeah. And I was like, this is great, you guys. Yeah, sure. All my listeners

Unknown Speaker 19:00
are laughing or laughing right now we were all so excited. We’re like, this is actually gonna be the best thing ever everyone.

Damona 19:06
And I think there are positives to it. Like I was saying it slowing down the dating process, which was on hyperspeed and really needed something to recalibrate it. I wasn’t really counting on this, but here we are.

Unknown Speaker 19:21
Here we are. But yeah, yeah.

Damona 19:23
Now like we’re, what, five months into quarantine? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 19:27
10 years, one or the

Damona 19:29
other. It feels like 10 years. And I feel like from my clients and the listeners who’ve written into the show, I feel like the the tone has changed a little bit. And the fatigue is setting in and the frustration is coming up again. So what are you seeing in your practice?

Unknown Speaker 19:47
Yeah, I’m seeing the same thing. I was really really optimistic at the beginning of quarantine and I saw my clients I think, when it first when everything first started walking down there Really was this wave of people who were like, Okay, well, this is it is what it is, it’s not going to be for that long. So like, let’s just, you know, have some video dates and get to know people. And that was happening, like very much happening for my clients like pretty easily at the beginning and I was like, Oh my god, this is amazing. Everybody’s gonna meet their husband and quarantine are gonna be all these like, you know, Corona love stories. And there will be there will be but I’ve just seen it kind of like that initial wave just kind of crash a bit. And it seems like, like you said that fatigue is set in. Which by the way, I mean, even if it wasn’t a pandemic, like this is not, you know, summertime is not the best time to be looking for a serious relationship in general. Because people are always more distracted in the summer and just have, you know, shorter attention spans. And so I thought that kind of the fact that we are still all quarantining for the most part, hopefully would extend This kind of honeymoon period, but it’ll come back around because you know, fall was coming. cuffing season is coming.

Damona 21:06
cuffing season is right around the corner. I’m a big fan of the zoom dates, but I have always said, and for my patreon friends with benefits, there’s a there’s a special video I did that’s just on how to ace a video chat date, because it’s a separate process. And I think a lot of people were kind of slipping into just like, oh, you’re here, let me just click into, you know, the Bumble video or asked or meet me on zoom. And it was like you said it was not very mindful and very fatiguing. And we have to still have something to build up to we have. We’ve lost that anticipation, right? Because there used to be that I’m going to meet this person for the first time. What am I going to wear? How is my hair going to be done?

Unknown Speaker 21:51
Why are they did all that like yeah, excitement. Yeah, it’s so

Damona 21:54
intimate, bringing someone into your home like you’ve never met them and now they’re visiting But still, yeah, that’s a whole different level. It’s a whole different level. Totally. We even get there. You wrote this fantastic blog. You guys when I mean not gender, y’all, this blog is so, so on the money about all the things that you should be doing right now, if you’re looking for love. So she says she’s in a relationship now. But she says, I’m a love coach, if I was single, here’s how I would find love during COVID. So can we just run through it? I want people to check out this blog too. But I can let’s give some of the highlights. You in the blog, you differentiate between dating, traditional dating sites and dating apps. I’ve talked about this on the past in the past on the show, but for the noobs. Let’s get everybody up to speed on the difference between those two things.

Unknown Speaker 22:51
Yes, absolutely. And thank you for the kind words by the way, from the heart girl. So a traditional dating site, you know, Think the will the classic one Right like so you think of you go on a site, you can put in your search parameters, you run searches, the site suggests people to you, you can message anybody you want, whether they live, you know, down the street from you or across the world. So it’s really you have more controls over your kind of what you’re doing on the site, just because of the way that it’s set up. And also, the profiles on a traditional dating site are they’re just more detailed. So, you know, if you’re looking at a dating app, you might have 400 500 characters say everything you need to say about yourself, which is not a lot of not a lot of room, you know, basically like two tweets. So the subtle lot of room but if you go on to a traditional site, then you can say as much as you want. I mean, you don’t want to say too much, right? You don’t want to bore people with your life story, but you know you you have more of a chance to express yourself a little bit more Your personality, who you’re looking for the kind of relationship you want to have. And you know, all apps have a free version, most of them also have a paid version where you can, you know, upgrade to get some extra bells and whistles. But for the most part, the app experience is a free one. And the traditional sites also usually have a free version, but you do want to pay because the paid versions are where you can really get the full benefit of a traditional site. So the cost, the just the functionality, you know, like I said, on a traditional site, you can sort of run searches and be a little bit more targeted about who you’re looking at. Whereas on a dating app, the algorithm is just basically showing you everyone in your area, who generally is the gender and age that you’re looking for. I mean, you can kind of pay to get a little bit more specific on certain apps, but you’re definitely casting a wider net on apps.

Damona 24:55
Yes, that’s so true. And you also talk about the algorithm and Yes, thank you. I say this to my clients to like, you can be on Coffee Meets Bagel, which is a great app, y’all. But you get one match a day there. And there’s not really much I can do in the algorithm for you. But on like an OkCupid, or a match, I have different ways that I can search I can do I have different ways that I can signal to the app, what you’re looking for. Yes, right. Yeah. So do you feel like it’s a it’s a either or situation or you feel like everybody should be on both a traditional and an app? And is there a max number of apps that you’ve seen people be able to juggle?

Unknown Speaker 25:40
Yeah. So I think ideally, you’d be on to, okay. And I when I say ideally, I mean, this is this is current, okay, so this is August 2020, you know, COVID-19 times, three months ago, four months ago, five months ago, I wasn’t recommending that, that people be on both our traditional site and an app. The reason And I’m doing that now is because because on a traditional site, the bar to entry is a little bit higher, you know, you’ve got to pay, you’ve got to put more work into your profile. My suspicion is that this is the time that you want to, you want to go there, that’s where you want to be like, if you’re looking for something serious, that’s where you want to be. If you’re willing to put in the time and the effort to really get to know someone without the instant gratification of like getting to hang out with them. I think that you are more likely to find more people who are willing to invest that same amount of time on a traditional site, which is why I’m recommending that right now. Particularly for the person who has been on a dating app and you’re feeling really like frustrated, burnt out, you know, you feel like you’re out of matches, like you’ve seen everybody you know, in your city or town, then that’s a good opportunity. Also, I spoken to people who are now because of everything that’s going on and maybe their jobs situation, they’re more geographically flexible, because they’re like, well, I live live in New York, but I, my job now is going to be I can work wherever. So maybe I live somewhere where I can have a better quality of life. So they’re even more open to moving. And if you’re more open to moving, you can go on and OkCupid or match. And you can say, all right, these are the five cities I’m interested in, and you can start running searches for people in those cities, and start connecting with them. So yeah,

Damona 27:22
that I have to admit I’m, I’m definitely adapting my traditional strategy a little bit. And, and it’s also specific to each client. Like I have a client who’s looking for something very specific. And she’s kind of gotten to the end of the Bumble role. And yeah, so I was like, normally, I would not say you need to be on four apps at a time. But if you’re looking for something really specific and you’re eager to get things rolling, like if you don’t have time to play the long game for whatever reason, you know, you’re goals or biological clock or whatever, then maybe this is a good time because you’re working from home and you have more free time. Maybe this is a good time to juggle more apps, as long as you can be active on it. Right? Like, you don’t want to be missing messages and, and being flaky.

Unknown Speaker 28:17
Yeah, exactly. And it basically comes down to Yeah, what is your bandwidth? You know, I mean, I have some clients for, you know, to be on one platform is enough, like, that takes enough of their time, their energy they get, they get enough matches, you know, so they have plenty, they already like, you know, I have plenty of people to, to communicate with who they feel are more or less fitting their criteria. So if you’re in that position, then great, like, do what you’re doing. But if you’re not in that position, and you do have the bandwidth to expand and, and again, I was writing this blog post from my perspective, like this is literally me Francesca hoagie. If my boyfriend and I broke up tomorrow. What would I Well, if we broke up tomorrow, I wouldn’t actually go right now I have to rethink my whole life. But

Damona 29:08
we’re talking how you and your boyfriend, Matt, because you also talk about this. Yeah. And the blog and I think this is really important for a lot of folks listening but especially women, women, folks, yes. Yes, you met IRL. But then you hadn’t you hunted him down girl. I did I do that and YG.

Unknown Speaker 29:32
I met him very briefly on the street on the corner of sunset and tahini and Beverly Hills. And

Damona 29:41
that’s a good corner. It was by the way, it was.

Unknown Speaker 29:45
It was like a brief exchange. He was with his brother and we had all just been at the screening and his brother recognized me. So his brother like was like, Oh, hey, how’d you like the movie? So I started talking to them briefly. And I just thought he was really interesting. I just thought he was like, I know that. We’re just Something about him and our brief interaction. And we had this moment where we kind of made eye contact and like, there was just kind of like, oh, there’s just something there, you know. And I just really listened to my intuition. And my intuition just was really like screaming. You’re like, you’re supposed to keep talking to him. And I didn’t know why. But then we went our separate ways, because he was getting in an Uber to go home

Damona 30:24
and be weird to chase the nuber. Right? Yeah. But we have social media,

Unknown Speaker 30:34
social media, and I knew it too. I was like, I have enough information about him to find him because I knew that he was a scientist. I knew that he worked. I knew which hospital he worked at in LA. I knew he was Australian. I knew his name. So I was like, this is this. I can do that. I got this.

Damona 30:53
And then dm him.

Unknown Speaker 30:55
Yeah. So I slid into his DMS on Twitter and I just said they were was really nice meeting you. And that was my like, that was like my digital link. You know, it was like if he’s interested, because I didn’t know if he could have been married, he could have been, you know, from what I could see from his Twitter. I couldn’t tell, but it was all science. So I was like, there’s nothing personal there. And so, you know, he could have been gay, like, a million things. So I had no idea but I was like, if he’s available and interested, this is enough for him to like latch on to. And it was. So that’s how we met.

Damona 31:29
Oh, my gosh, I am so impressed with because I think a lot of women would, I’m always saying on the show, to take initiative and just just open the door. It’s not changing the rules of chivalry, just to be to show that you’re open, right. But I think a lot of people are afraid that if they start the relationship off that way, that then the whole gender dynamics of the relationship. We’ll be off forever. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 32:02
yeah. Well, part of it is like there’s, there’s this definitely takes a little finesse like this is dating. I love dating. And I think that dating is so important because you learn so much you learn so much about yourself. You learn so much about other people you learn so much like, just about what’s really important in connection if you if you do it the right way, if you do it intentionally and you actually pay attention to what you’re doing. And there’s a difference between being proactive and doing something like I did, which was like, number one cyber stalking him. And number two sliding into his DMS right like me doing that. Some people be like, Oh my god, I don’t want to chase the guy. I don’t want to chase the guy either. And I didn’t chase him. I did take a very proactive, bold step and I call this like one bold step. You can take one bold step and see if the guy is like, oh, wow, I didn’t even know this was an option for me. So I’m gonna pick up the ball and run with it because What happened? Like, I sent him that message I said it was, you know, it was really nice meeting you and he like responded right away, he commented on something that I said in my bio, he like asked me out to dinner like, you know, it wasn’t like, I didn’t have to pull teeth to get that. keep that going. I was just like, pushing it into motion, because there are guys who are good guys who, like they need a little bit of encouragement. Like he, there was no way that he thought in the three minutes that we interacted, that he’d be like, Oh, let me ask her out. Like, he’s just not that kind of guy. Like, he doesn’t have that kind of game, you know? So, and I could tell that he wasn’t that kind of guy. It wasn’t that he wasn’t confident. I could just tell like, if I’m interested in him, I just need to make sure it’s clear and then see what he does. Now if you meet a guy and the guy is super, like suave, Mr. Cool player type that guy, you don’t need to make a bold move with that guy. Right? Right. And you guy will you be chasing?

Damona 33:57
Yeah, right. And you also have to listen to what’s happening, like so many times I hear from people that like, Oh, I wrote him, but then he didn’t write me back. And I don’t know if I should send another message. And I’m like, why are they responded to?

Unknown Speaker 34:12
He responded with his his silence was a response. It was a response. It was a communication, just looking for.

Damona 34:19
Yeah, well, that’s the problem, right? We have expectations. And then when our expectations aren’t met, then sometimes we try to change the narrative or the information that reinterpret the information that we’re getting. But absolutely, I want to keep this going on a positive note, because I am still optimistic. I am still optimistic about finding love in a pandemic.

Unknown Speaker 34:40
Yeah, and

Damona 34:41
I’ll let everyone check out the blog for the rest of the tips because there’s

Unknown Speaker 34:46
10 of them. They all bear 10 different things as fire right now.

Damona 34:50
This is like all the stuff that I would tell you as well. Like, she literally just gives you the roadmap right there. So we’ll put the link in the show notes. But before we do that, I also want Want to talk about social distance dates? Now I’m seeing a lot of people are like, Okay, what is the timeline here? Now that we’ve we’ve connected? Maybe we’ve done a virtual date or two or phone call and a verge zoomed? I don’t know, connected. But where do we go from here? Mm hmm. Are you finding that people are starting to feel comfortable with moving offline into social distance dates? Yes,

Unknown Speaker 35:26
definitely. Definitely. Yes. At first, it was all virtual. Nobody wanted to go anywhere. People weren’t even discussing it. Really. The possibility of meeting in person. But now Yeah, people are definitely doing socially distance dates and there are ways to do it that are safe. I mean, Okay,

Damona 35:43
tell us about that. Like, what’s the etiquette?

Unknown Speaker 35:46
So like, if I were dating right now, like something that I would do is I would say like, okay, we can meet here and, you know, get a cup of coffee, get an ice cream, get a juice and like, take a walk together, you know, and six feet apart. And yeah, as long as you’re like you’re outside, you know, so there’s airflow. That’s really important. You have a mask on. Right? So that’s also really important.

Damona 36:09
A cute mask. Okay? Don’t just get, you know, the surgical blue and white situation. Yes. Why do you stop a cute mask?

Unknown Speaker 36:18
Yeah, we’re gonna be wearing masks for a long time people. So invest in a couple of masks that really capture your style, your personality, like don’t just do the straight, you know, surgical mask.

Unknown Speaker 36:31
Day. Yeah, that’s a missed opportunity. That’s a missed opportunity.

Damona 36:34
Yes, I love how you said that. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 36:38
So that you know, so you could do that with lots of different things. So basically, if you’re outside and you could do something like you know mini golf, you don’t have to be you know, you have some space together. Have some space apart. We went to a drive in movie last week. I know you did too. You guys also want to drive in movie,

Damona 36:56
you know, I went to see RuPaul drive and drag Coming to a city near you, everybody. It was okay. But it was nice to be outside. It was a

Unknown Speaker 37:07
movie and it was nice. It was fun.

Damona 37:09
But then you have to be in a car with the person so like we had a whole thing

Unknown Speaker 37:14
you don’t have to be in the car with the person because you guys can park next to each other.

Damona 37:19
Okay, okay I’m with you. I’m with you. Yeah I like I tell I had I went with a friend so I tested before I went and she had like a fairly recent test I was like I can accept this

Unknown Speaker 37:32
but we’re getting a car right now like that’s just don’t just don’t do that aren’t

Damona 37:37
next to each other yet.

Unknown Speaker 37:39
Other timing, you could you could go on a picnic, you could go to you know, you can have a picnic on the beach or in the park. You could go for a hike, like anything that you’re outside. You know if you guys if you happen to like I don’t know like playing tennis and you know, you want to play tennis together. Like there are ways to do it and still be and still be safe now. Does it require a little bit more creativity? Yes. Does it require a little bit more effort? Yes, but it’s worth doing. And, you know, that’s, I mean, listen, love is, and this is my point of the blog too, because I’m not expecting other people to look at this blog and be like, Oh, I’m gonna do all these 10 things if this crazy person would do, but I would do all those 10 things if I was really motivated to be in a relationship, because it’s that important to me, you know. And so if it’s important to you, this pandemic is not going to be over anytime soon. And I wouldn’t be willing to put my dating life My hopes were finding a relationship on hold indefinitely. It’s life is just too short for that. So does it take a little bit more effort? Does it take a little bit more determination? That’s, that’s okay. That’s good. And I mean, I think Dimona, like, wouldn’t you agree that the fact that one of the reasons that modern dating has gotten so challenging Pre pandemic is because there were so many people who weren’t put willing to put in effort. And they weren’t actually determined to meet someone like they wanted to meet someone. But if they got frustrated after a few days, like they were out of there, you know, it’s just there was

Damona 39:15
too much happening where nobody could focus on what was in front of them, I think, yeah, we just we had too many options. And now, I think what I’m seeing is that people are also realizing as we’ve been separated for so long the value of having someone that you can trust to go through this experience with and so now I’m actually seeing a lot of relationships that have been on hyperspeed and people that I mean, we did an episode on this a few months ago of people that really bonded, met right before the pandemic and bonded very quickly, like practically moved in together. And so I think there’s going to be a little bit of recalibration on that front, but the timeline once you connect with people I think is actually going to be faster than it had been. I think we had it backwards before. It was like fast, fast, fast, get to the date like sword, sword, sword, sword sword. But then it was a long time to get to commitment and figuring out what was what for a lot of my clients and really, you know, getting to DTR and figure out if this person was real or not. I think now, we’re we’re flip flopping that so we’re, we’re moving into it a lot more slowly. But then once you are like, Okay, this is my person. Now we have to test we have to bubble together and now now we’re bonded very fast.

Unknown Speaker 40:41
Yeah. And I think that makes sense. And that and that’s why we have been so optimistic, you know, starting starting from the start of this that we’re like, oh my god, this is amazing. This is going to slow everything down and give people an opportunity like force people to actually get to know each other communicate what they’re looking for. See if they have to Shared values, see, and if all of those things are connecting, then it’s like, Alright, well, let’s just do this. Like, we just now we just need to see if we actually, like get along and have chemistry and like being together, and that is something that you can determine rather quickly. It’s those other bigger questions that really take time. So I think that, you know, I think that the relationships, I think that a lot of the relationships that are going to come out of this time are going to really illustrate the power of doing just that. They’re going to be a lot of really great relationships that last with people who they may just have that clarity of knowing, like, yeah, we want the same things in life. Like we have the same level of commitment. And we know how to support each other through challenging times because we were there for each other. Like, this person has a reason that I’m still standing after, you know, however long of this pandemic, so

Damona 41:55
yes, it’s definitely changing things. I just made me think I have to shout out one of My former clients who she actually had a destination wedding plan, and I kid you not Franny a year, a little over a year ago, year and a half ago, she came to me and she was like, I don’t know how I’m going to find love again. I’ve been divorced X number of years. And she found somebody, they were going to have a, a wedding abroad, and COVID happened. So now they’re just like, fine. Let’s just do let’s just do a little ceremony, just with family, tie the knot and get it done. So she’s actually getting married this week. Her name is denat. So I’ll be sharing her story on the blog and I’m sure on the show again, but yeah, you know, that will give everyone some hope that even though Yes, COVID is changing our plans. In some ways. It’s changing for the better now she’s going to be married even sooner than she thought she would be.

Unknown Speaker 42:51
That is fantastic. And I also have a client who got married last week. And yeah, and I’m so glad that they did it because first they were going to Wait. And because they were originally supposed to get married this summer, and then they were going to push it, but they just changed it. Like they just did like a very small ceremony on a Wednesday afternoon, like, with just their immediate family in their front yard like but it was, but it was awesome. And she was someone who had never been in a relationship before we started working together and now she’s married to a wonderful man.

Damona 43:24
I love that. Okay, hopefully that is inspiring for all the people listening. They’re like, I gotta do 10 things.

Unknown Speaker 43:32
Just do things you have to be open, you know, and it’s a mindset because it’s like, it’s not like it’s it’s home. It’s not homework. It’s just like, all right, love this. This is the mind strategy. We would encourage anyone who’s looking for love to just embrace and this is the mindset that I truly did very intentionally and consciously embrace for myself, which is I know that love is 100% possible for me. So my only job is to open my myself up to receive it however it shows up. I know he’s out there. I don’t know where he is. He could be around the corner. It could be I don’t know where he is. So why would I shut down any Avenue a potentially a spining each other?

Damona 44:15
You you are a woman after my own heart.

Unknown Speaker 44:19
Like, why would you do that? Like what? Like why would you just like Intel or willfully just decide like, No, I’m not going to do these and you know a lot of people they consider themselves like, I’m out there I’m trying and then like, Okay, what are you doing? And like they maybe they’re on an app that they swipe a few times a week, and then they get frustrated? And then they made it they deleted it. And then they download it A month later and they

Damona 44:41
complain to their girlfriends about being single.

Unknown Speaker 44:43
Yeah. And I’m like, Well, what else? Like that’s not that’s not being out there? like no, that’s not a job to pay your bills. Is that how you would look for a job? Like no like if you want to if you’re determined like you’re put in the effort.

Damona 44:57
All right, everyone, you heard it here. If you want,

Unknown Speaker 45:01
yep, if you want to find love, you got a date like it’s your job, granny. It’s really it’s your hobby. It’s your passion. It’s exciting. It can be fun. It should be fun, make it fun. Maybe that’s my job. You know? It’s like Yeah, well make it make it a job that you love. How can you make it exciting? How can you be more confident? How can you be more yourself so you take away all of that anxiety of like trying to be something that you think someone else wants? Like, you know, there’s just so many ways to make dating such a more joyful experience. Completely

Damona 45:34
frannie This is too good. Your advice is too good. I need you to stick around for the next segment. Because we have questions from our audience and I need you to help me answer them. Okay. Hello, friend. Welcome back. You have questions. We have answers and this is dear Dimona,

Unknown Speaker 45:58
damona help me

Damona 46:00
This one comes to us in an email from D we’ll call her D. She says is two weeks too soon to start saying I love you. I met someone who is working abroad and we have established quite a nice text relationship. He is head over heels for me and keeps telling me he loves me. We haven’t met yet. I have strong feelings for him, but this is making me uncomfortable. How do I elegantly ask him to slow down?

Unknown Speaker 46:27
This is a tough one. And it’s tough because All right, I’m just gonna be unfiltered here. Okay, is that okay? All we do

Damona 46:36
on this show that

Unknown Speaker 46:38
so it is not a good sign that there’s somebody that you’ve met online, who lives abroad who after two weeks is telling you that he loves you. There are scammers out there who actually you know, prey on people and this is what they do. They do this love bombing thing and they just, they just tell you the greatest thing since sliced bread They know what they’re doing. They know exactly what to say. I’ll just put it this way. If he, he starts saying anything about any kind of financial transaction. Just know that this is not a real person. I mean is a human but not this person is not who you think they are. Did she say that she’s only spoken to him on the phone? text, text? Text chip? Oh, yeah. I mean, at the very least, please insist that you do a video call and see who this person is. Mm hmm. And if this person is actually who they say they are, I would be very surprised, wouldn’t you Dimona?

Damona 47:37
Yeah, and I think there are also some red flags around the if you ask them for a video call. And they only want to do it at weird hours or like, they give all these excuses for why they can’t have their camera on or like anything that makes you feel like this isn’t transparant also sometimes, like an accent that you don’t expect, I’ve heard that happen before. Yeah, I’ve heard

Unknown Speaker 48:07
that happen a lot, right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 48:08
you’re like,

Unknown Speaker 48:11
you know, Max, but the accent is clearly not. Yes,

Damona 48:16
yeah, there are a lot of signs here that this could be a catfish. I like to keep it optimistic too. So let’s just say in, in some universe that maybe this person actually is is legit. And like, I find that also in quarantine. People are kind of moving a little bit more quickly when they like I was saying in the first segment in the earlier segment, when you’re, when once you’ve connected with someone, they’re moving things forward too quickly. So if that happens to be the case for D, I would say just be really blunt about how you’re feeling like this is moving way too fast. I need to get to know you better. You don’t have to be elegant about it. You can you can be direct. Anyways, we have another question and we’re running out of time. Franny. She said do you have recommend on physical intimacy, what if you find someone that you would like to start a committed physical relationship with? How do you navigate and set safety agreements? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 49:12
yeah. Well, I think the question should you have the answer in the in the question, right? Like, it is something to navigate, you do need to have agreements. So you need to talk about it. What’s your comfort level? What are the parameters? You know, when are you guys getting tested with some regularity? How often are you coming into contact with people who aren’t that you know, each other? I those are just all conversations that you have to have. And I would be really clear about it. I wouldn’t, you know, I wouldn’t tiptoe around it. I’d be like, you know, really honest, like, I really want to, you know, I really want to go there. I’ll be like, I’m ready. I think you’re amazing, but how can we do this and really be safe and make sure that we’re taking every precaution to protect each other and, you know, other people think?

Damona 49:59
I think it’s ongoing conversation to like totally. I’ve been hearing from people in relationships that are like, my, my spouse is ready to like move out into the world and I’m still cocooning and nervous. Yeah. And they have different tolerance, risk tolerance. So I think this is a conversation obviously if you can get tested or self quarantine before you actually take the masks off and become intimate with someone and like really think this through what it because once it only takes one it’s kind of like the STI conversation right? It only takes one right One false move exactly one

Unknown Speaker 50:45
time ever and everything is fine. Right? Yeah.

Damona 50:50
Right. So I mean, we live in Los Angeles where we’re testing is free and available. I haven’t even say I tested you know, before I did the ripples drag race I got to same day test producer Leo will attest to this. I got to same day test. I got the next the results by the next morning. It was unbelievable. I know not everybody is in that situation. Yeah. So yeah, it was amazing. You guys. I’m like, I’m like a testing junkie now. I just want to know, I want to know, am I okay? Am I okay? Do it, do it. It’s so great. I mean, if you if you feel like i, this is I do at any time my situation changes, like, if we go out of town, or if like when our babysitter came back, like if your situation changes, it’s a good idea to test if you can get one but if you’re dating someone, and maybe you’re in a state where that’s not available, you have to kind of think ahead of how are you going to prepare right to get to that point. And then you also have to talk about what are they doing after that? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I tested and I’m fine. And now I’m gonna go to like Abba zoo. And, you know, go chill on a boat with opa.

Unknown Speaker 51:59
While my closest friends

Damona 52:04
I wouldn’t be having that. I’m not gonna judge your life. If that’s how you want you and your boo want to do it, that’s fine. But make sure that you’re on the same page and that you understand their risk tolerance in comparison to yours. Right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 52:16
absolutely. Yeah. And that’s another and it’s also it’s it can it has for some people, like you said, become a bone of contention. You know, if you can’t agree on the rules, if they’re, I mean, I had a client who was dating somebody who he was, you know, she has she’s immunocompromised. She was just concerned about her own health, for obvious reasons. Yeah. And they had, they were, they were seeing each other and they physically were seeing each other. They were seeing each other like a couple of nights a week. But then she found out that he was like, having friends over to his apartment and all these things and she’s like, that’s not what we agreed to, you know, and it and it became like, they actually like stop seeing each other.

Unknown Speaker 52:57
I call this COVID cheating, like infidelity right there is total

Unknown Speaker 53:01
code infidelity. And she was like, I’m not taking like, you know, she felt very disrespected. And yeah, they weren’t able to reconcile it. So that is a real possibility. But I think that you know, just talking about it, just being really honest with each other is the way to go.

Damona 53:17
That is the way to go for most relationship challenges I really

Unknown Speaker 53:21
can’t always answer

Damona 53:25
all of your answers. I love your uncommon conversations about love on dear frannie and

Unknown Speaker 53:30
I love it when you join us here on dates and mate. So I hope you will come back again soon. Anytime. I love being here. Thank you for having me. demona

Damona 53:38
I hope you like the new intro for deer demona the beautiful soulful voice you heard was my dear friend Jenny Wren, and also thank you Alexander, for your wonderful question. Dear Dimona cries. We heard you we’ve listened and also shout out to our composers James Morris for the brand new dates and mates intro and for the deer demona Intro This is Episode 322 of dates and mates. My guest co host today both have fabulous podcasts that you just have to hear. You can find frannie on deer frannie uncommon conversations about love and barns and his crew are the Pop Culture Show. Look for the links in the show notes and find it wherever you are listening to this podcast right now. As always, we’ll give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles, and the best gifts that are fit to print on the show recap at dates and mates calm. And don’t forget to check out that Patreon group and support the show for just $5 at slash dates and mates. You don’t want to miss that new behind the mic series and meet other folks in the Friends with Benefits community. So come on slash dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. We are banking all these questions you have for future episodes. So don’t be shy DM me and let me know what’s on your mind and how you felt about today’s episode. I’ll see you next week with more modern love advice. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Real Housewives & Date Coaching Demo


Hello Lovers!

Welcome to Season 8 of the Dates & Mates podcast!


Modern Love has changed dramatically since the start of the show — actually, since the start of this season.

When this show first launched, the founder of Bumble was still working at Tinder, Love Island was still lost at sea, and Brad & Angelina hadn’t even gotten married yet – let alone divorced.

Times have changed but we’ve been here with you through all of it keeping up to date on the latest news, trends, apps, cultural shifts, and advice on love in the modern world.

This season will feature the top voices on dating and relationships plus even more celebrity guests sharing their own personal love stories.

Speaking of which, today we’re giving you an exclusive peak inside Damona’s coaching program and one of her celebrity clients has agreed to show you what the start of her coaching journey looks like.

She’s a cast member of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she’s an actress, reality star, and fashion model. She’s the one and only Garcelle Beauvais.


But before we get all up in Garcelle’s business, we have to talk about this week’s headlines: 


Get your dating app messages poppin’

Are you having trouble getting good banter on dating apps? Bustle has given us a bunch of fun suggestions for your next dating app convo. Damona tells you what’s hot and what’s not.


The new rules of LDR

According to the latest advice in Cosmopolitan on long distance relationships, you shouldn’t knock it until you try it. In fact, there are lots of people in accidental, COVID-induced long distance relationships. Here’s how to keep the romance alive.


In Sickness and In Health

Whatever your opinion on Kanye’s politics, we can all agree that Kanye is going through it right now. Kim has asked that we all respect their privacy and be understanding of mental health struggles right now – not just for Kanye but for all people. This is actually really relevant to you and Damona explains why.



We are back by popular demand with the very first interview segment of the season! To kick off this season, Damona gives you a very special peak into my coaching program with a very special celebrity client.

You know Garcelle from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She also just launched a podcast called Going to Bed with Garcelle.

If you haven’t seen the show, let’s get you up to speed: Garcelle is ready to get back out there after healing from divorce. She is a talented, high powered career gal with a lovely family. So we’re going to help her set the tone for her new dating journey.


Things get personal:

  • Dating takes bravery
  • Give yourself some credit: just because marriages don’t always last, it doesn’t mean you haven’t had successful relationships.
  • Five steps to fixing your love life: mindset, sourcing, screening, presentation and flirting
  • Finding the common denominator in your past relationships
  • Moving past infidelity
  • What you want in a guy
  • Old Fashioned guys versus Chivalrous guys
  • Celebrity dating is… a little different
  • What to do when you’re don’t want to use dating apps

Make sure to check Damona out on Going to Bed with Garcelle later this season!


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

  • From Lauren IG – I had a convo with a guy and it turns out he hates to go out and spend money. He came from a poor household and I have had no issue with funds. How can I suggest he be okay to go out without him feeling he needs the finances to do so?
  • IG: I’m about to be 50, what dating advice to you have for the older crew.



Best of all, it’s super affordable – Dates & Mates listeners like you get 10% off your first month with discount code DATESANDMATES 


So why not get started today? We all need someone to talk to right now. Go to so you can fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you’ll love.




What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

There are three different tiers. One for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others and keep this show going strong for another 7 seasons.

Sign up at for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Unknown Speaker  0:00  

It’s a tale as old as time. He’s handsome, debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.


Damona  0:10  

Okay, hold on, honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like,


Unknown Speaker  0:17  

we supposed to get my swipe. I just want somebody to share my life. What does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even because I don’t like to date I pick one and I make a mind kind of like caveman, I hit him over the head and I drag him home. You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or


Damona  0:33  

you can get on forward 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 in mates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers, it’s your certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman and I am welcoming you to season eight of the dates and mates podcast. Whoo. Wow. Modern love has has changed quite a bit since the start of this podcast actually, since the start of this year. But when this podcast first launched, let’s see the founder of Bumble was still working at Tinder, love island was still lost at sea. And Brad and Angelina hadn’t even gotten married yet, let alone divorced. So, times have changed.


But I have been here with you throughout all of it and keeping you up to date on the latest news, trends, apps, cultural shifts, and advice on love in the modern world. This season will feature top voices on dating and relationships as always, but we will also have even more celebrity guests sharing their own personal love stories. Speaking of which, today I’m giving you an exclusive peek inside my coaching program. And one of my celebrity clients has agreed to show you what the start of her coaching journey looks like. She’s a cast member of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She’s an actress, reality star and fashion model. She’s the one and only garcelle Beauvais. But before we get all up in our sales business, we have to talk about this week’s headlines, we’ll discuss the best opening lines to get your dating app messages poppin. And how Kim loves Kanye, in sickness and in health, plus the new rules of long distance relationships. Then, as always, at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including Can you date a cheapskate? And how can you find love when you’re 50 and fabulous? back by popular demand, it’s time to dish these dating dish. Our friends at bustle hooked you up with some opening line suggestions. So many times people write to me and say I don’t know what to say on these apps. How do I message in a flirtatious way? How can I get him interested? We swiped right we matched and then Things just died out. Well, my friends, bustle is telling you all the best lines to get your banter going. There were some that I loved and some that I thought maybe you should think twice about using my favorite ones were what’s your theme song? Hmm, that’s a that’s a that’s a thinker right? But it tells you a lot about the person. There’s another one I like always food you can’t go wrong and food. We’ve covered that before on the show and how many people actually mentioned food and their dating profiles. So if you say something like cheese pepperoni or Hawaiian, you will definitely get a reaction. I mean, I think there’s a definitive line in the sand between Hawaiian and no Hawaiian people. Right? And what are you binge watching right now this is a great one for generating conversation and especially in the situation many of us are in in the pandemic, we are on lockdown, and we are binge watching quite a lot of things. Now there are a couple of them that I thought might be a little bit much for an opening. line like, What’s your idea of a perfect first date? I think this is a great, great conversation piece for further along in the conversation but not right up front as an opening line. So be careful with that one. And the angel, why do you swipe right? How many of you have gotten this line? And you thought, Well, I don’t know. I had a couple glasses of wine and you look cute. So why’d you swipe right? It doesn’t give you a lot of information necessarily other than like, they’re already attracted to you. We know that they might not know why they swiped right, don’t put them on the spot. There was one that I wanted to share with you that I gave to a client this week, who she says is working like gangbusters. It was mint chip or rocky road, like I said cannot go wrong with the food references. So give it a try. Let me know how some of those lines work. We’ll put the link to the bustle article in the show notes. Now while we’re talking about making connections, long distance, I gotta hook you up with this new car. Mo article seven things you need to know about a long distance relationship because we’re finding a lot of us are in long distance relationship, you could be in a long distance relationship with someone who lives in your own city. A couple of these tips, one of them is mine. I’ll let you guess which one and then you can head over to the article and check it out. First one, don’t knock it until you try it. If you’ve heard me say on the show before, it’s really tricky. Don’t Don’t think that I am saying don’t do it. I’m just saying go in eyes wide open. think through what it will mean to live together again or one day. So a lot of times we don’t play it forward. And I’m always cautioning you don’t get too far ahead. But if you’re in a long distance relationship, you have to know that there’s at least the possibility that one day you’ll be together. Your routine you got to set the next time that you’re going to see each other and you go for quality, not quantity. Don’t obsess over having Constant Contact. I just saw someone Post today. Do you get mad when you see your partner is on social media if they haven’t texted you good morning? I mean, are we really checking it like that? Are we really social media stalking them all the time. There’s so many great tips. If you are engaging in a long distance relationship, you should check out this Cosmo article because we need to get your relationships growing and deepening even throughout this pandemic. One couple whose relationship seems to be strong in spite of some big challenges is Kim and Kanye. It’s been a minute since we’ve talked about Kim and Kanye on the show, but after his campaign rally for the birthday party, you may remember a couple weeks ago that Kanye is running for president. She had to just come out and say, Look, y’all, he is mentally ill. He’s done many interviews talking about the fact that he is bipolar. And I’m not going to give you a whole lesson on mental illness or what it means to be bipolar. But let’s just say that all All of this plays into the narrative that’s going on in the Kim and Kanye household right now. And that’s going on in Kanye his mind. And one thing I think we don’t talk about enough is the fact that mental illness is a big factor in relationships. And many of us coming through this pandemic are dealing with depression, anxiety, insomnia, you know, maybe it’s not as intense as what Kanye is going through. But everybody is coming to the table with their own stressors and with their own challenges, right, in the mental health space. So I actually think this is really good that Kim spoke on this. And she wanted everyone to give them their space to be able to process this and you may find that you’re in a relationship with someone who has already been dealing with mental illness or sometimes a trauma or a triggering event or I don’t know, maybe a pandemic might happen, and new mental health challenges arise. And if your relationship is strong, then the two of you can work through anything together. And if your partner wants to run for the birthday party, then you know you got to back them up and help them get the resources they need to move through it. Those are the headlines for today. Speaking of mental health, I have something very important to share with you. Before we get to garcelle.


We are back with the very first interview segment of the season. At the top of the show, I mentioned that I’m giving you a special sneak peek into my coaching program with a very special celebrity client. You know, garcelle Beauvais from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And she also just launched a podcast called going to bed with garcelle. So if you haven’t been following what’s happening on real housewives or her podcast, let me get you up to speed garcelle is Ready to get back out there after a breakup and a high profile divorce. She is a talented, high powered career gal with a lovely family. And we’re going to help her set the tone for her new dating journey today. So without further ado, please give big smooches to my girl garcelle Beauvais. I’m so glad that you’re here joining me for this experience. You’re a brave lady. Oh,


Unknown Speaker  9:29  



Unknown Speaker  9:31  

Holding on,


Damona  9:33  

you’ve always been brave. You’ve always been bold and you know, we got to talk during your podcast, going to bed with garcelle. And I’m curious, what made you start that podcast and then what made you interested in dating coaching and asking some of these kind of questions right now. You know,


Unknown Speaker  9:49  

for me, I’ll start off with going to bed with garcelle. That’s been a thing that once a month when I don’t have my kids on a Sunday, I would have friends over and we drink. We gossip If we talk and eventually conversations always came up about sex. So it was always a good time. And at the end of all these things, basically what I’m saying goodbye to everybody. People would say, why aren’t you doing this? This is a show. Why aren’t you doing this? So my producing partner and I were like, Okay, let’s do it. And it’s been so much fun. We’ve had amazing guests, you included, and it’s been really great to get women together to talk about sex and talk about their lives and talk about you know, what we’re doing moving forward in terms of COVID No, COVID quarantine, quarantine.


Damona  10:31  

So here we are, and you go there on the show. Do not hold anything back. And I know it takes a lot of bravery. But it also takes a lot of bravery. garcelle to be a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And have those cameras in going through all the experiences that you went through and I know you’ve had some ups and downs like


Unknown Speaker  10:55  

everybody else relationship. Yeah, like, you know, I think I’m a romantic At heart, I love love. And for some reason, the love that I have chosen in the past haven’t been lasting love, you know, I’d like to find my soulmate and you know, go off into the sunset with him.


Damona  11:13  

Wait, hold on, hold on, hold on, we have to give you some credit. We have to give you some credit because even though you haven’t found someone that you’re with for your entire life, you’ve had successful relationships. You’ve been in relationships that have lasted.


Unknown Speaker  11:28  

That’s true. Okay. Thank you. Thank you for making me take a moment and take that in. You’re absolutely right. I mean, obviously, my children, all three of my boys came from loving relationships. So that’s an amazing thing. But in terms of, you know, I want to find my soulmate. I’m the type of girl that if I go shopping, if I go, do I want that dress, I don’t know. It’s not for me. I know when I see something and I want it and that’s for me, and that’s what I want to find. Because I feel like in my relationships in the past, it’s been like, he’s a nice guy, he’s good on paper, and he’ll be fine but it hasn’t been like, that’s my man. And that’s what I want to find


Damona  12:08  

right now. I it’s a weird time, you know, coming out of the Coronavirus haze. So, right now, would you say your status is single and ready to mingle single singing


Unknown Speaker  12:20  

about mango? Mango.


Damona  12:24  

Alright, so let’s pretend like if we were beginning a coaching process just I know we talked about this on your show, but I’ll just run everybody through there’s five steps in my dating funnel. And if you’re not where you want to be in love one of those things, one of those elements of the funnel is broken. We just patch it up. When then we just flow some love through it and keep on moving. So the five, five funnel steps are mindset sourcing, screening, presentation and flirting and then follow through. Okay, so we’re going to start with mindset nurses. Pick up right You said you’re very clear you you know when you want something, you know


Unknown Speaker  13:05  

what it’s for me, I know what I want. I don’t waver.


Damona  13:08  

Yeah. Okay, so let’s, let’s take a look at what relationship patterns you’ve had in the past. And then, and then I’d like to take you on a little journey to get crystal clear on who that person is that you would like to meet. Oh my god,


Unknown Speaker  13:23  

girl, how much are we going to spend on this? Oh God, like


Damona  13:30  

an iceberg. And this is a mindset piece that we’ll get into today. Like maybe we’ll have you come back


Unknown Speaker  13:35  

the other element,


Damona  13:36  

but looking at your past relationships, is there any common denominator that you can realize between your marriages or I know you had another significant relationship that ended fairly recently? Is there any commonality that you see between them?


Unknown Speaker  13:54  

Two things, I think,


Unknown Speaker  13:58  

not that I forced things but I I tend to go Okay, let me just go along with this. So I’m sort of going in half in half out. And I think the second thing is that maybe because I love love, I may jump too quickly.


Damona  14:14  

Hmm. Would you say then that you moved into those relationships? Like it went from courtship into commitment very clearly.


Unknown Speaker  14:24  

Because I’m not a big data, or I haven’t been in the past. I’m like, you know, to me, I feel like it’s always like, oh, then I got to start all over again with what I like and what I don’t like and this is me and sort of like always getting to renew Reno someone. So I think the guys that have been in my life, I feel like because I don’t like to date, I pick one and I make a mind kind of like caveman I hit him over the head and I drag him home


Damona  14:48  

or you got to do it modern.


Unknown Speaker  14:51  

Exactly. Like I pick guys that I’m like, Oh, he’s nice and nice. It’s not enough or he safe. And then I realized maybe That wasn’t the safe guy for me.


Damona  15:02  

Well, and I know you’ve you’ve shared on real housewives that you dealt with infidelity in the past to in a marriage. And I know that’s a really tough thing to return to a relationship where you can trust after that. What has been your the your divorce happened?


Unknown Speaker  15:22  

My boys are 12 they were three so


Damona  15:27  

so how are you feeling now in terms of your ability to trust again? And


Unknown Speaker  15:33  

I feel like I’m a trusting person. And one of the reasons why didn’t want to sort of fix my marriage, if you will, was I felt like it would change the dynamic of who I am. I would become the person who checks your phone, where have you been where you were? Or are you and I didn’t want to become that person because that’s not who I am. And then obviously, it was a bigger, bigger thing in my marriage, but I feel like I can trust That’s not the issue. I feel like I can trust. I think I give everybody the benefit of the doubt


Damona  16:05  

Not a lot of people can do that. Sure. What do you think? Do you think that’s something in just the way you were raised or just your worldview or some process that you went through, to be able to trust?


Unknown Speaker  16:16  

I think it’s just my worldview. Honestly, I just feel like everybody, I always tell my kids like at the beginning of a school year, they’ll say, Oh, Mom, this teacher we’re getting I heard is really mean are really strict. And I always say, that’s somebody else’s experience. Like I want you to go when that’s not your experience. You go in and you figure out what your experiences with this teacher, and I think that’s what I tend to do. I tend to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Do I have a little jealousy bone? Yes, but not trusting.


Damona  16:47  

I think everybody to some extent, except for I don’t know, we didn’t episode last season with a dating coach who’s polyamorous so maybe that’s a whole different conversation. But that’s out there. Really? tip that you want. So talk to me then about the relationship that you envision for yourself, keeping in mind all of your past experiences and then what you see when you like, close your eyes. garcelle and you’ve visualize what your life will look like when you are with that soulmate that you said, is coming into your life who is he?


Unknown Speaker  17:24  

He excites me. He walks into a room and I smile from the inside out, because I know that’s my man and that doesn’t mean that he’s perfect, but he’s just my man. He is fun, full of life. Kind. He is tall, slender, I’m giving it all to you. He supports me and lets me be who I am and loves my children. My they don’t need a dad they you know, they just their dads in their lives. So it’s not about that I want somebody I can lean on emotionally, financially, sometimes. I mean, you know, I want someone who’s doing better than me in that way. Who loves to dance who loves to travel who wants to give back to the world, a guy who I can talk to all hours of the night and we can laugh, we can


Unknown Speaker  18:19  

have the same life goals and grow together.


Unknown Speaker  18:24  

That’s what I want.


Damona  18:25  

Well, I saw you, for those that are just listening to the podcast that couldn’t see the video, you just weren’t in it and you were really getting into the feeling, which is something that I’m always telling my clients and my listeners to do, like, what does it feel like to be with that person? Not just like, what qualities do they have no taller than slender.


Unknown Speaker  18:47  

Okay, I was giving you the picture girl.


Damona  18:50  

Well, you’re pretty tall yourself, right? Yes. And you’ve been a model and you need you need a guy of a certain caliber, but at the same time, you need him To make you feel good and still support you and your dreams and your goals and your vision, and I think a lot of times people miss out on I


Unknown Speaker  19:08  

want to be the girl. And when I say I want to be the girl, because I have such a strong personality, and this is something that I’m trying to switch up with my next relationship when that comes, is that not lead with what I do not lead with what I have accomplished, you know? And I feel like sometimes I tend to have a male dude tendencies in that way. And I want a guy who’s gonna make me feel like a girl.


Damona  19:33  

Now garcelle is this because you truly want that? And you truly feel that for yourself, that’s the life that you want, or is it out of like, feeling like you’ve taken on a masculine masculine role in past relationships. And you don’t want to feel that again? Or is it something where outside influences are telling you this is that you should try this


Unknown Speaker  19:59  

stuff. This is what I would love. And I feel like because you know, since the age of 17, I’ve been on my own, building my career. So I know how to take care of myself, I know how to take care of my household and my children. Being a single mom, I want someone that I can be a partner with. And I can feel like I don’t have to be more dominant because you’re my man. And I like I’m traditional in that sense. I would never take someone else’s last name. Again. I say that because it was so hard to get my last name back after I got adores, but I like the traditional, the traditional relationships in a way, to a certain extent.


Damona  20:43  

Yeah. What elements of that because this was something that came up on the TV show I did hashtag black love where they, one of the cast members said, Oh, I want a traditional man. But then he wanted her to be in the kitchen, cooking barefoot pregnant and then she was like, No, no, no, wait. What I actually wanted was a chivalrous Man,


Unknown Speaker  21:02  

clarify this man is what I’m looking for a chivalrous man who will open the door who will, you know, buy me gifts, but it doesn’t have to be expensive gifts. It’s the thought, but just making me feel like the girl that I’m not the dude.


Damona  21:15  

It’s an important distinction. But I’m, I’m really glad that you brought this up. Because I think for a lot of successful women, and a lot of the ladies that listen to this podcast, maybe they can’t relate to being being a celebrity, but they can relate to feeling like they’ve worked really hard for what they have, and they don’t want somebody to come in and take what they have hustled to get. But there’s also this feeling of not, you’re leading in so many areas of your life and especially as a single mom, right, you have so much on Yeah, that it’d be nice. I mean, even just to admit that it’d be nice to just have a partner who can take some of those risks. Exactly,


Unknown Speaker  21:53  

exactly. And that’s what I mean like somebody you can lean on or lean to.


Damona  21:59  

Alright, so So now we know who this guy is. So the next step in the process, we go into sourcing we go into, where would we find this person?


Unknown Speaker  22:09  

Girl? I have no idea.


Damona  22:14  

Okay, well, this is what I’m here for. So most of my clients, and the listeners know that online dating is the best bang for your buck for most of my clients. But I know you’re, you’re kind of you’re in a different situation, right? Because you’re looking to find somebody who is as established in their career as you are right? That isn’t looking to you because they’re like, well, I want to be with the garcelle. There. They’re actually wanting to be in partnership. Yeah, and even on RIAA, there’s a there’s a lot of like CNBC and we’ve talked about that before. So that leaves us with a couple of different options. There are still options for you girls at work. You got four areas where most of my clients meet someone, either Either through matchmaking and just to clarify, for those that don’t know and for you, I am a dating coach. I want to be your own you, I want you to be your own best matchmaker and to give you the tools to do this for yourself. I do collaborate with a number of matchmakers. And I think it’s a great tool, but we can talk about the pros and cons of it in a minute. The other way to me is at social gatherings and as we are moving out of Corona time, it’s a little bit of a trickier place. There’s chance meetings, same thing for Corona time, and then there’s meeting through friends. So of those four matchmaking, social gatherings, chance meetings, meeting through fans, which one would you want to tackle first?


Unknown Speaker  23:40  

chance meetings and meeting through friends because those seem to me like that’s more my lane.


Damona  23:46  

Okay. So when you go out into the world garcelle and let’s say you know, you’re just, you’re just doing you you’re just living our life.


Unknown Speaker  23:55  



Damona  23:57  

How do you feel like you present Do you? Do you? Are you keeping your eyes open? are you engaging with people with strangers that you don’t know? Or it’s funny,


Unknown Speaker  24:08  

I’ve had my friends in the past go, you move too fast, you don’t give people time you move too fast.


Damona  24:13  

Tell me what that means.


Unknown Speaker  24:15  

That means that, you know, we could be somewhere, let’s say we were at a party prior to, you know, all of this. And I would just walk through the party really fast. And a friend of mine, a gay friend of mine, who I was with and he goes, you move too fast, you don’t let you know. It’s sort of like you’re not taking the time to look and you’re not giving them the time to see. And I thought that was really interesting for him to say and I was like, wow, okay, so I don’t know how I moved through the world. I just me I don’t know.


Damona  24:44  

Wait, I’m gonna, we’re not gonna breeze through this. So fast through this. What is going through your mind like when you are when you’re showing up at a party or like, like you’re saying moving through the world and Moving through fast is it? Are you sort of thin slicing and looking at? Well, there’s nothing for me here or this isn’t the kind of environment or are you just completely unaware that that’s how people perceived?


Unknown Speaker  25:13  

perceived? I think I’m not aware. So I’m gonna say that one. I think I’m aware. I think I’m not taking the time to assess. You know, the room or Who’s there? I mean, I might see somebody who’s good looking, but obviously, if they’re have a ring on or they’re with someone, then I won’t. Obviously, I’ll keep it moving.


Damona  25:32  

Yes, yeah. So you look for that. Yeah, I’ll see you are and you are kind of assessing the room a little bit.


Unknown Speaker  25:39  

Oh, okay.


Damona  25:40  

Yeah, because if you are, if you’re looking around for things like rings, then you are looking with eyes that are looking for attraction. Okay. Right. So I don’t know if I agree with your friend. I mean, we’ll have to go out and hang and I’ll see I do this with clients. We’re all observed. Because we a lot of times we don’t know, like, you know, we we show up with not you because you’re always smiling. But you know, sometimes people will show up with resting bitchface you know and not have any idea that that when you when you even when you feel uncomfortable yourself sometimes you’ll put a mask on of trying to suss it out. Yeah. And that can be read from others as unapproachable and approachable or, like you’re not having a good time. So what I have my clients do is just resting smile face because it feels it feels dumb to walk into a room and you’re just like smiling, happy to be there. Yeah, it always looks like you are the life of the party. And it looks like you’re someone that’s approachable and that they would want to talk to, if you’re always smiling, but that’s why smiling, right?


Unknown Speaker  26:53  

It’s a hard adjustment for a lot of people. So yeah, so not for you.


Unknown Speaker  26:57  

intimidation, I was talking to a friend of mine and she was like What do you think guys are intimidated, but I have to believe that my guy won’t be intimidated.


Unknown Speaker  27:06  

You do have to buy my success, right?


Damona  27:08  

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And this is something that comes up a lot. It’s hard for many people to hear that. rejections, your protection. So if somebody is not enough for you garcelle if someone rejects you or is intimidated by you, because you’re too much, then that person was not enough for you or gay man the confidence in themselves, the right person. And interestingly, it might come in a slightly different package than you expect. But short right person will show up for you and will not be intimidated by all that you have will only want to add to it. I mean, of course you’re a gorgeous woman and you’re very successful. So for any man to approach you there’s there’s some level of courage confidence that he will have to have, yeah, but the right ones will be able to, to push through that and, and would would still approach you or engage with you. I mean, also for successful women, a lot of times, I have to remind them that they are in the driver’s seat in terms of queuing, an approach, like a guy needs to know that he’s not going to be blown off not going to make have a right make a fool of himself if he goes up and talks to you, right and the way that you can signal that without necessarily even having to approach him is just by like making extra eye contact, smiling or, or potentially finding a reason to engage in a casual conversation with him without any any goals of where it’s going to go. But just casual conversations and I talked about creating openings just create an opening for our magic to happen. For you,


Unknown Speaker  29:00  

that sounds beautiful.


Damona  29:02  

Okay, so once we are able to move out into the world, that’s that’s where we’ll start with that. And then when we talk about meeting through friends, how many blind dates have you been set up on before?


Unknown Speaker  29:14  

Oh, Mmm Hmm, maybe two in my life. How good


Damona  29:20  

were they? I’m single. Right? Right. A lot of times we’ll get setups from our friends and they are projecting they are putting on what they think you need. So they set you up with someone who is someone they would be attracted to. They’re single or someone that they they haven’t had this conversation that you and I had about right? What’s your vision? What are your goals, so if you could distill everything that we did a moment ago down into three must have qualities and one deal breaker I only give you one deal breaker, but three must haves and one deal breaker that then you could communicate to someone. And it doesn’t seem like you’re too shy about acknowledging that you’re single and ready to mingle. Am I right? Oh,


Unknown Speaker  30:09  

no, you’re absolutely right. Because how else am I going to fix it? Right?


Damona  30:14  

Right that I’m so glad you said that. garcelle that’s something that a lot of people have a hard time embracing. There’s a shame around singlehood that if I say, I’m single, if I acknowledge aloud to another person that I’m single, and I’d like to meet someone that I am, I am weak or that I’ve failed. And that’s not the case at all. It’s just it hasn’t been an anime.


Unknown Speaker  30:34  

I think society has done that to us, especially women. I’m you know, I have nieces who are grown women, and will have family reunions and people be like, Oh, my God, how are you still single? or Why are you single? Or, and I feel like that’s what society says that if you’re single, it’s almost like you’re no longer good. Or, you know, growing up you were an old maid if you weren’t married by 20 you know? Things like that, I think is what people set us up for. And then we take that on as if it’s true.


Damona  31:08  

Yeah, it’s a lot of old fashioned ideals. And yeah, that’s what’s exciting to me about this time is that we’re getting to rewrite a lot of the rules. And we’re getting to examine a lot of our preconceived ideas about even you know, gender identity and gender dynamics in a relationship, and even race and culture and religion and all these things that we were told were the most important things, right. And in today’s world, culture is is in constant flux. You have to be I think, to give yourself the best chance at love. We have to be open to the fluidity of that and open to evolving so I’m glad to hear that that you are but you know, society might not be ready, but society, Angel Matchmaker, so yeah, willing to share that with ya. The people close to you. And also One thing that I do with my clients is I have them make a connector circle, which goes beyond that first layer. Because a lot of times we’ll ask those people that are closest to us because that’s the least vulnerable thing to do to say to our girlfriends, some of those people that came over on Sunday maybe will say, hey, do you know anybody who’s single, but we don’t give them any specifics on who that person should be. And we don’t we we don’t go beyond just that. That immediate circle. And if your girlfriend knew the person that you probably would have met already, good point. So we want to go one degree beyond look at friends of friends. So it’s like create a little bit create like a phone tree, like those old fashioned phone and figure out who might know the kind of person that would have all of those interesting. Yeah, so it’s a little homework assignment for you. And then once you have those three qualities, you can find a way to communicate with That person directly and say, by the way, I’m single. And if you happen to know anybody who’s this, this and this, I would love to know, okay, now, you’re, you’re sort of training their brain to be a matchmaker for him, that is all the time when they say, Do you know anybody who’s single? And they’re like going through their mental database, right? Well, I don’t know. Like, now you’ve given me a job. Right? Right. Right. So okay, connector circle and your ideal mate three qualities. And then also, when we’re talking about meeting out in the world, I want to make sure that you’re in the space with like minded people. So based on the qualities that you told me, what’s what give me one or two places where you think that man might go like, let’s assume Coronavirus is kind of over where would you meet a man like that?


Unknown Speaker  33:56  

The first thing that came to my mind if I’m going to do it that way it would be I would Golf.


Unknown Speaker  34:02  

Oh, I love that. I love it.


Unknown Speaker  34:05  

Yes. And again, in my mind, do I know how to play? No. But yeah, I think that


Damona  34:10  

I love that and I, you know, I don’t know that I’ve fly it, say golf but you’re absolutely right and I’ll tell you like hot tip when I used to golf, which is a while ago, you know,


Unknown Speaker  34:27  

oh my god, that’s what we can do together.


Damona  34:29  

You want to go go? I terrible. I’m terrible now, but we could we could improve together but what I’ll tell you is that sometimes being terrible is not a bad thing. Because you can go to the driving range and there are a lot of guys there who would be willing to help you with your swing whether you ask them or sometimes not. Right, but just being there and looking like you’re open to having someone help you guide you that could


Unknown Speaker  34:54  

be a really great place. Awesome place


Unknown Speaker  35:01  

I don’t want to see a party because I go to a lot of parties and I feel like that’s not really it. Um, I don’t know the market. Huh?


Damona  35:10  

Look like just the grocery store like regular army like


Unknown Speaker  35:13  

where else Where else? It’s funny.


Damona  35:16  

Um, I got a hold of some stats from match calm about meeting at the grocery store. I know that’s a lot of people’s


Unknown Speaker  35:23  

fantasy the most.


Damona  35:25  

Yeah, it is. Especially now but it turns out not a lot of couples actually meet their online dating and meeting through friends are the top ways that people meet. But I do not want to discount chance meetings but yeah, maybe maybe a car dealership. Car is good too. And I know that’s a big topic of conversation on real housewives. But, but no, I want to stay with the market for a second. Okay, because the question is what kind of market because if you go to, let’s say You are really into a healthy lifestyle. And you go to the farmers market, there’s a lot of communication points and I talk about creating openings around something that you’re curious about. So if you’re at the farmers market, there’s like a new vegetable that you haven’t seen. You can just ask a cute guy standing next to you. Have you ever cooked with this? Like, what the heck is this thing right? And then you’re in it. I know like, once you get in the conversation garcelle it’s it’s gonna flow it’s just a matter of making that chance encounter. Jericho, you’re gonna meet a different kind of person at Yeah, air one, which is for those that that don’t know is sort of a high end health food market. Then you are at Ralph’s, which is like right now every day chop.


Unknown Speaker  36:52  

Your Man is for lunch. I knew that about you. I knew that.


Unknown Speaker  36:57  

No shade of food for less but


Damona  36:58  

no, yes. Jake right and we’ve been out. Now we know the guy we figure out where we can go find him. Girl, I could talk to you about this forever.


Unknown Speaker  37:07  

For a lot of


Damona  37:09  

a lot of homework so you’re gonna come back and report back.


Unknown Speaker  37:15  

I love it. This is so much fun.


Damona  37:17  

This was so much fun and remember garcelle also to give them a chance, like your friend said, sometimes you can breathe through breeze through. I have a three date rule. So try to make a connection. Give it try to give it three dates, if you can. Okay, let him come out of his shell and really show his true colors. But if after the third date ain’t happening, then it happened. It occurred. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  37:40  

I love it. Thank you so much for being here.


Unknown Speaker  37:42  

Thank you. I enjoyed it so much.


Damona  37:44  

to y’all you have to check out her podcast going to bed with garcelle and get yourself caught up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo. Before we move on and get to answering your dating and relationship questions I wanted to let you know how I can help you too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about dating and relationships and looking for more support, then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits on Patreon. What is Patreon you may ask? Well, Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits in the process. You can check out our slash dates and mates, you’re probably wondering what do you get if you sign up? Well, first, you’ll get access to my private Facebook group for all the friends with benefits where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show in a safe and supportive space. Plus, you’ll get access to my weekly behind the mic. This is a new feature, where I will give you the insider take on the latest episode and even some additional content and tips that will help support you on whatever topic we’re talking about that week. And you’ll also Get behind the scenes content and some of our library episodes from some of the past 300 plus episodes of dates and mates. Just go to slash dates and mates and you can join for only $5. And then hopefully we can keep this show going for maybe another eight seasons more. All right, when we come back, I will be answering your questions, so don’t go anywhere. Welcome back. I am here and ready to answer all of your relationship questions. A little something different since I just launched the LA Times column dear demona. We are doing a bit of a rebrand you have known this segment for seven seasons as technically dating, but now let me introduce to you our new q&a segment.


Unknown Speaker  39:54  

damona help me


Damona  39:55  

this one comes to us from one of our Fw B’s. Lauren. Hey girl, she says I had a Convo with a guy. And it turns out he hates to go out and spend money. He came from a poor household and I have no issues with funds. How can I suggest that we’d be okay to go out without him feeling like he needs the finances to do so? Oh, this is this is a real issue in a lot of relationships, you know, couples tend to fight about money more than anything else. And the bottom line is that he needs to feel like he’s contributing to the relationship in some way. So even if you have the finances by you saying, well, I’ll just pay for it. I’ll just take you out. It might make him feel a little bit like he’s not at your level, it might make him feel less than and it might send the relationship in the wrong direction. You have to be a little bit more creative if you want to be with him, but it’s not an issue for you that he doesn’t have the money. Then try to be more creative and figure out some day That you can do that don’t cost anything. There are so many things, especially in the pandemic world. You can go for a hike, you can maybe do a sip and paint night at home and get, get supplies that you do together play a game that you already have. There are so many ways that you can connect with someone without having to spend money. And actually, this is a good tip for everyone. I really encourage you to get creative with your dates right now, we can’t do the same old dinner in a movie. So why not use this as an opportunity to connect on a deeper level? Last question for today comes from Instagram. This person says I’m about to be 50 what dating advice do you have for the older crew? So this comes to us from a lady and as you know in society, there are a lot of people that try to make you feel like if you’re 50 or 60 or whatever you should just hang up the towel because Dating is done. And that is just ridiculous. I have helped clients all the way up to their 80s find love again and find love online, many of them. So that’s the great takeaway is that because of dating apps, people who may not have had an opportunity to find love again, maybe if you’ve been divorced or widowed, or you’ve just been focusing on your career or other things and haven’t had the time to date, you still have the ability to make a connection, even if you don’t have the same single circles that you used to. So what I would say first of all, is just to feel 50 and fabulous and know that it’s just a number and you will read some statistics that say men would would not write back to you, if you’re older or if you see that they’re looking for someone in their, I don’t know 40s and you’re 4950 that it’s not worth it to eat Reach out or swipe right. Don’t believe everything that you read, I say, take a swing for it. And I’ve said this on the show before. If someone sees that you have an active lifestyle that you seem flexible, and you can roll with things and that you’re attractive that they’re attracted to your pictures and your profile, they’re going to write you back, regardless of what that number says. So I say, live your 50 fabulous life. Don’t worry about what the number is. But be proactive, as I always say to women, be proactive, send outgoing messages, generate conversations, maybe pick up some of those, those opening lines that we gave you from the dating dish, and put yourself out there, see what you can get in return. That’s it for today’s episode number 321. updates and mates. Make sure you catch me later this season on guard sells new podcast go into bed with garcelle where she talks all about six intimacy. It’s a hot one, y’all. I think you’ll like it though. And as always, we will put the links from today’s show in the show notes at dates and While you’re there, I also have free gifts. I have a free profile starter kit, which will get you online, refresh your profile, get you out there, dating, whatever age, whatever, whatever photos you have, I’ll hook you up and that’s all free at dates and mates calm or if you’re already in a relationship starting something new. You want to keep things fresh, you can get the seven day relationship boot camp, all those tools are free for you at dates and mates calm. And then if you want to go a step deeper with me, please I invite you to check out the Patreon Friends with Benefits Program and support this show for just $5 a slash dates and mates. I would love to hear from you. You can connect with me on all the socials at damona Hoffman and don’t forget to DM me about how you felt about today’s episode. Whatever questions are on your mind, so I can answer them in a future show. I’ll be back again next week with more modern love advice. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Love Lessons: Love is Blind – Carlton


Many of you have reached out recently expressing quarantine fatigue which is compounded by being single. You have a deep desire for someone to navigate this period of fear and frustration. You can only do so many zoom calls with friends to make up for the fact that you’re solo all day every day. And dating apps have lost their allure with the possibility that you may not be able to meet in person for weeks or even months.

So this month, we are going to have a completely different format from the usual Dates & Mates. This series is designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want. This unexpected break from the rat race of love and life we had been caught in is giving us an opportunity to get clarity and explore parts of ourselves that had been buried away.

Today Damona invites you to begin a four-part journey called  Love Lessons.


We will launch the series today with an interview that will make you feel all the feels. The other 3 episodes will be full of visualization, meditation, and self-inquiry.

Today, you will learn along with Carlton from Love is Blind as he reflects upon what he learned from the groundbreaking social experiment and TV series that he participated in.

Do you remember Love is Blind? For those who haven’t seen it – you might want to binge-watch the entire Netflix series and then come back and relisten to this podcast once you’re in the know because Carlton is going to spill all the tea and give all the spoilers and even reveal something he has NEVER said in an interview before.

But above all, this is a love lesson.

It’s a lesson in self-awareness, bravery and forgiveness:


Carlton teaches us:

  • The power of vulnerability
  • To move into your dream relationship you need to be willing to forgive the past.
  • Why you should face your fear.
  • We are constantly growing and evolving and that means you don’t need to wait for healing to occur or enlightenment to strike to be ready to date again.
  • How to keep faith.

Find more from Carlton on Instagram @CarltonMorton or donate to Camp Carlton – his charity for the children of his hometown – if you feel called!


Damona  0:12  

Modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, so many of you have reached out to me recently expressing quarantine fatigue, which is compounded by being single, you have a deep desire for someone to navigate this period of fear and frustration. You can only do so many zoom calls with friends to make up for the fact that your solo all day every day. And dating apps have lost their allure with the possibility that you may not be able to meet in person for weeks or even months. So this month, we are going to have a completely different format from the usual dates and mates. This series of four episodes is designed to take you deeper on them mental, spiritual and even physical level to design the love life you want. This unexpected break from the rat race of love and life that we’ve been caught in is giving us an opportunity to get clarity and explore parts of ourselves which have been buried away. Today, I invite you to begin a four part journey with me called love lessons. We will launch the series today with an interview that will make you feel all the fields. The other three episodes will be full of visualization, meditation, and self inquiry. Today you will learn along with Carlton from love is blind as he reflects upon what he learned from the groundbreaking social experiment and TV series that he participated in. You remember Love is blind. For those who have not seen it. You might want to go back and binge watch the entire Netflix series and then come back and re listen to this podcast. Once you’re in the know Because Carlton is going to spill all the tea y’all, and he’s going to give you all the spoilers and even reveal something that he has never said in an interview before. But above all, this is a love lesson. It’s a lesson in self awareness, and bravery, and forgiveness. The TLDR version of His love story is that he was one of the seven guys on the show who proposed to someone sight unseen. But when he revealed to his fiance diamond that he was bisexual, the relationship fell apart in a spectacular reality TV blow up. Then in the reunion, he got down on one knee and asked her if they could be friends again, but today, they are both single. All right, let’s get big smooches to Carlton from love is blind. Oh man, we gotta talk. Thank you for being here.

Carlton Morton  3:02  

Thanks for having me. How are you?

Damona  3:04  

I am so great and I am such a fan of love as blind as a dating coach. I think it was an awesome experiment and experience for people to go to but I, I have questions and a lot of my listeners have questions because especially like going through Coronavirus, and then watching Love is blind at the same time. There are a lot of parallels coming up. So let’s just initially start with the experience of Wait, wait, wait, I gotta back it up to what the heck would make you want to even do the show in the first place?

Carlton Morton  3:39  

Well, I was looking for love, like I’m still in love, but that’s a whole nother story. I was looking for love and I’m wanting to be married and I thought that it would be an amazing experiment to be a part of.

Damona  3:52  

So you knew going into it that if you wanted to meet your person you would have to propose and that was the deal. From from the beginning.

Carlton Morton  4:01  

Yeah, I knew that if I felt that, you know that that was one of the options, but I also knew that there was a possibility that I may not match with anyone. They kept saying, you know, it’s just a social experiment. There’s like no strings attached. You don’t have to do this. And it was just real connections formed every single time. Okay, so everyone’s asking what was it like in the pods? The pods like I could still smell the pods. I remember what they smell like they smell like so fresh. It’s smells like a bath and beyond and like, you know, walking past like the oils and the Roma oils, like the pods were so posh and comfortable and cozy like sometimes we even fall asleep in the pods like sometimes we had long dates, like late night dates that we’d be sitting down, you know, just chillin just kicking back and just falling Blake you fall asleep on Sunday. Dates because it’s like it’s not that a person is necessarily boring. It’s just It’s been a long day of dates. And you just kind of want to kick back and you’re having a relaxing conversation. It’s like falling asleep on the phone.

Damona  5:11  

Like all times. Could you choose who you went into the pod with? Or was it sort of like Chatroulette?

Carlton Morton  5:19  

Knowing we couldn’t choose there was a formula to it. So it kind of went off of who ranked to the highest. And that’s basically who you match with. There was like a algorithm I wish we could have. Because I tried to like on numerous occasions, I tried to sacrifice like or, or donate my time to someone else to go on a date with someone that maybe I knew I wouldn’t have a connection with, to get more time with my ex.

Damona  5:44  

Okay, so spoiler alert. For those that haven’t watched the show. Pause the podcast right now. Come back, go. Go watch. It’s like what like 11 episodes, something like that with the reunion 1112 episode. So go watch it, then come back and do hit play again. Spoiler alert, so Carlton is one of the participants who decided to propose. But he didn’t quite get to the the happy ending. You did hear that he said he was single right now. Take me through the next phase of the pod. How did you know? You and diamond got engaged? And that’s a big deal. You had never met this woman and you got down on one knee and proposed, what was it about diamond? Or was it something that she said How did you know what was that moment when when you decided to like take the plunge and and propose?

Carlton Morton  6:37  

Um, I just knew like, the moment that we really opened up was when I thought when we talked about our father’s book, our dad’s passed away. So we really connected on that, even to the point where we both had stories like with our dad’s past, where she would collect ladybugs or her dad and I would collect fireflies, my dad It was just kind of like little moments like that. And then even when it came time to see her for the first time, I was in my dressing room, five minutes before I was thinking in my head, wow, it would be so great if you call her dad and a traditional type setting and you know, get his permission, but even if that was granted by producers who is not here anymore, so do you know right before I went to meet her, I look at my dressing room mirror and a lady is calling.

Damona  7:30  

You know, I believe in all of that I will cosign

Carlton Morton  7:36  

Okay, you know, so it was just little moments like that along the process just reassured me that she was the one for me like the connection was there she like sometimes she had like a little attitude, like, Oh, you don’t know my voice by now. And like that kind of got my attention. It was just little stuff like that.

Damona  7:57  

It was beautiful to watch all of that unfold. I Do want to ask as a person of color? And as I mean it didn’t look like there were that many people of color in the mix. Was that something that you had ever thought about finding something like were you intentionally looking for a black woman or was it just it was or similarity of familiarity or was it just chance that she happened to be black you think?

Carlton Morton  8:25  

Well, from me I’ve always dated like different races so it didn’t matter to me going into the process. Why I ended up with I like literally went into it thinking Love is blind and I still believe love true love is blind. Um, but I just thought like, if I end up with someone else would that be an issue like all those thoughts do go through my head. I hope I answered your question, but it didn’t matter to me if it would have been someone that was no.

Damona  8:55  

Yeah, I do feel like sometimes you have that additional pressure though to when you’re The only black couple I mean, obviously Lauren, Lauren’s black but when you’re the only black couple to you know every there’s a lot of pressure like I I hosted this show that was by the same production company called hashtag black love that was sort of born out of married at first sight and Monet. It was inspired by Monet’s story and she and her husband on married at first sight when they were the only black couple. And so everybody was like, please make it please make it please make it and then when they didn’t, it’s like, I’m carrying the whole weight of every you know, everyone who’s black on my shoulders in this one relationship? Yeah,

Carlton Morton  9:36  

I definitely feel felt that after, like, after the show came out, and still to this day, I feel like a certain way even when it came to speaking up about racial injustice and police brutality. I felt like the moment that I speak up, someone is going to say hi, we just witness you are With a black woman, and degrade a black woman in an argument on national TV, that’s what they would have said. So like, it took some like prayer and some soul searching to really just navigate, especially this time, and then the whole like social thing is just like it’s crazy. You know? So there is a lot of pressure.

Damona  10:20  

Yeah, it’s complicated right now.

Carlton Morton  10:22  

Yeah. And there were a lot of amazing black women on the show that you didn’t necessarily get to see because they didn’t necessarily find matches. But there were some some amazing black woman on it.

Damona  10:33  

Would you do it again?

Carlton Morton  10:35  

Oh, absolutely. Do it again, because I’m still looking for love. And I feel like love is blind get better matching me and I’ve ever met myself.

Damona  10:42  

Alright, so let’s talk about can we go a little bit and do your dating history? I mean, to to even go through the experience of proposing to someone you have to feel like that person is different. But I know you revealed on the show, Carlton, that you had dated men. In the past as well, and that was not always something that that women you dated, were open to talk to me about that and and even just the decision because you knew if you were going on love is blind, you knew that they were matching it with a woman. Yes,

Carlton Morton  11:16  

yes. Correct.

Damona  11:17  

So tell me about that process of understanding your own identity and sexual orientation. And then also in doing that on national television, that’s very brave.

Carlton Morton  11:32  

Thank you. Um, it took a while. It’s obviously been a long journey. Initially, I actually told someone in casting that when they reached out I was like, I don’t think this shows for me

Damona  11:43  

that just makes them want you more.

Carlton Morton  11:46  

I still, isn’t it like confident and like really just talking to strangers about sexuality at that point, and I don’t want to get on the show. And then it’s like, I’m some liar or I’m pretending to be a heterosexual male. I have to Be able to tell my truth to who to the person that I fall in love with. That was my thing. I wanted to make sure that if I went on the show, that was given a fair chance, there’s so many men who are bisexual or fluid and they can’t live their truth or whatever reason. So I wanted to show people that process and show people that bisexual people do have our minds when we love you, we love you, we’re with you. That was like major to me.

Damona  12:27  

But that that is a lot of responsibility as well to to kind of represent for the bisexual community because we haven’t seen a lot of that on TV you know, maybe like two or whatever. But we haven’t seen we haven’t seen that many people saying just what what you’re saying that like, and I’ve I’ve dealt with this with bisexual clients in the past with their their partner not feeling like they can be fully committed because by saying yes to you, I’m saying no to an entire gender of people but at the same time, that’s What it is even in, in a hetero relationship, if you say yes to a person and you want to be in a monogamous relationship, you’re saying no to everyone else. Yeah. Okay, but then I have to ask you Carlton, it took you a minute to express that to diamond What? What prevented you from telling her about your sexuality from the beginning?

Carlton Morton  13:25  

Well for one it was it like nine day process before I actually got to like see her in person. So it was actually very quickly. For me it was in this quick process. Why would I be so foolish as to just share that side not knowing for sure that this is the person that I’m gonna pose to because had I told any of the girls, all the girls on day one, it would have gone back to that side we would sharing notes like guys, we would say things like, Oh, you had a date with so and so. Oh, what does she say? Oh, for me, it was all about this moment. scary for me, it was about like opening up to the right person, instead of me telling them right now I’m going to get to know the person, make sure that this is someone that actually can love for the rest of my life. And then I’m going to share that information because otherwise they’ll go and tell my story for me. And what’s gonna happen, everybody’s gonna rank Crocs, and at the bottom of experiment.

Damona  14:23  

I hadn’t thought of it that way. And it’s interesting, the way that you talk about needing to tell your own story and you know, kind of control the narrative there. Do you feel like since all of the pod experience you’re not seeing the other person, you’re you’re just speaking to them behind the wall and that you have to propose if you want to actually see them in person. Do you feel like there was an element of you that thought if you and diamond could just be together face to face and you told her that she would have reacted in a more favorable way

Carlton Morton  15:00  

Absolutely Well, the thing is, I knew that it was inappropriate to like, tell her the first moment we seen each other when the doors slide open, and then it’s like awkward. So like, of course, that was in the back of my mind. After seeing her for the first time, I’m thinking, oh my god. So now we have to have this zation. And I hope that she’s still my fiance. After this conversation, we had the conversation. And again, that’s the face to face conversation, even if we were in the pods. And it was like there was a rule, you can’t go back and say what somebody told you or anything she did, she deserved at least a face to face conversation. And you know, it could have been done the day of the wedding. It could have been done the night of the bachelor party, but I was like, No, I do. It’s important to me, that we have that conversation before we spend our first night.

Damona  15:49  

Yeah, and I think I think we’re looking at the timeline. As you know, we spent all that time in the pods and then like, why did he wait until they’re on this trip together? But From your perspective, there was only nine days in the pods. That was pretty early. And you’re really you’re not just

Carlton Morton  16:05  

dating that person and there’s like time restraints. So there’s a lot of factors that went into when’s the right time? If you have 15 minutes for a date today, why would I start that conversation? And then like she’s stressing about it until we date against tomorrow, if we even have it at

Damona  16:22  

sea. You weren’t trying to just get a trip to my No,

Carlton Morton  16:24  

I wasn’t. I’m been around the world like, I look. I haven’t been around the world. Like I’ve been very blessed. I have amazing parents amazing exes, sometimes, and I’ve been around the world so it wasn’t about that. Or TBS people claim to see I’ve been on to number one shows prior to being blind. We’re Housewives of Atlanta and Basketball Wives.

Damona  16:46  

I would have taken that trip, but that’s just me.

Carlton Morton  16:49  

No, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing resort. Like you totally should look into it. It’s like the most peaceful place ever. That’s why I’m like, Oh my God, we couldn’t even stay And try to work it out.

Damona  17:01  

I know. So, talk to me about that moment when you finally got the courage to tell her. She didn’t quite react the way you were expecting, did she?

Carlton Morton  17:12  

He didn’t. Well, here’s the thing. I feel like she reacted the best. She knew how. And the way that she felt it was something that caught her off guard. Um, so I can’t like, you know, be mad at her for the way that she was fighting.

Damona  17:32  

But you did get kind of mad at her, though you did in that moment. And I know you’ve said you said in the reunion at and since then, that that wasn’t your proudest moment of how you reacted?

Carlton Morton  17:45  

No, it was it was very defensive and it was scary. That’s like the biggest thing it was a lot of fear in those scenes and just like no experience like you know, I’ve been on other shows, but I wasn’t on most shows today. My true to someone that I was about to walk down the aisle. So you know is it was one of those moments that I’m like, still cringe

Damona  18:09  

if you could rewrite it, Carlton, what would you have said and what would she have said how would it have gone differently?

Carlton Morton  18:16  

I would have told her that though it may be something that who, for please don’t count me out. It’s already happening, you know, and it’s like one of those things that I still I’m still like dealing with it. Like, I’m kind of over the whole like point that this show has happened and then whatever, but as far as like losing my

Damona  18:39  

I’m sorry, I

Carlton Morton  18:41  

know, I know. I’m sorry. Cuz like, and like,

Carlton Morton  18:44  

I will be like, Oh, you know, cooler like, everything’s all good and someone will be like, will talk to me about her. And then like, I’ll start talking about her. All right.

Damona  19:02  

Take your time. Take your time, brother.

Carlton Morton  19:04  

I gotta like miss my friend. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, we’re so much alike.

Carlton Morton  19:12  

Next question.

Damona  19:14  

Well, I know you said you’re still looking for love. You’re still single.

Carlton Morton  19:19  

Maybe I shouldn’t be though, right? Not just yet.

Damona  19:23  

Well, you ask him my opinion. Yeah. I think a lot of times we wait to be ready. But this is this is the moment like you are. You are, you’re in your life. And I think we learn most when we are in motion and an action. So my feeling is that you don’t wait to find love, but you should always be processing and that this, this is the process of uncovering who you are and what you really want. So what I was going to ask you is with the knowledge that you have the experience that you went through, and what You’re going through right now? What would you do differently? Like if you could do the show again or even just in in life and looking for love again? How? How would you come into it differently? How would you present Carlton in a new way or think differently of your partner?

Carlton Morton  20:19  

only show who Carlton truly is. And that’s not like a defensive person. I think part of not fully feeling like I was able to live my truth made me I will always have like a gate up or some type of like, defense mechanism that would be like on guard. But since coming out as fluid, things like I feel so free, so I feel like now I wouldn’t be so scared in the pods. I would have the conversation probably the moment that I feel like I have a connection with someone. Even if it was more than one person. I would still have like a compensation but it would have to be some blue. I have to get trust conversation that came with that. And hey, this is something I’m about to share with you and I don’t want for you to share it with anyone else here, that type of thing because that was like my main thing like, Oh my god, what if she goes to her, and she’s gonna tell her and like, it was a lot going on,

Damona  21:19  

even though you’re not in the pod, so I feel like this is still a conversation that you’re going to need to have right? You’re still absolutely going to need to figure out that point of when to really fully bring yourself to the relationship and I know a lot of our listeners are are grappling with that too, especially during Coronavirus time where like we’re we’re talking like in like you were in the pods only it’s through your phone and they don’t really know people but you almost develop this false sense of intimacy this feeling that you you think you know the person but you don’t really know the person. I mean, did you feel about Once you revealed your fluidity to diamond that like she was a different person than you thought she was, or do you think it was something else that that caused the rift

Carlton Morton  22:14  

to a certain extent, I felt that maybe she was a little different at swag kept saying, Please don’t be stereotypical right now because there were a few things that she was saying in that moment, that I was like, whoa, wait, like, so it made me like it turned to the fire just kept getting hotter and I was like, just loading, loading, loading, and then it just exploded. You know, there was like, a lot of back and forth that I was like, wait, that’s how you feel. That’s how you really feel like you know, but then looking back, I can’t like even fault her for those things. Because again, I said ain’t said I didn’t really know. Um, I don’t

Damona  23:00  

It’s so it’s so big of you to acknowledge that and even you know, I watched the reunion too, and how you really, really try to make amends with her. And that’s something that I think a lot of people aren’t able or willing to do.

Carlton Morton  23:16  

I tell you in an exclusive like, that I haven’t really told us that was such an impromptu, like, big sub speech, because my initial plan was that I was going to get my fiance back. Okay, I was gonna say, listen, we don’t have to start planning a wedding right now. But like, I want my fiance back and I want to save this, what can we do? But when I stood up, everybody kind of gas. And she kind of looked at me like, I know he is not about to propose. And so I was like, do you like go back to being publicly humiliated in front of millions of people? Or do you just like say face right now? So it’s like me See?

Carlton Morton  24:02  

I had it on my mind to get mushy. Yes.

Damona  24:05  

Wow. Thank you for sharing that with me.

Carlton Morton  24:09  

I’m like holding that in. And when you said it, I’m like, Oh, I haven’t lived that out.

Damona  24:14  

Yeah, I’m glad that you did. And I and you know them. We just live in so many boxes, Carlton. And it’s like there’s the box of being black. There’s a box of being bisexual. There’s a box of just being

Carlton Morton  24:27  

in a box. Yeah. And

Damona  24:28  

it’s hard to navigate that, and I think a lot of people watch the show. You know, we’re eating our popcorn. Like, he shouldn’t have said that. I can’t believe he did that. Oh, girl. Did you see that?

Carlton Morton  24:37  


Damona  24:38  

But like, it’s so nice to be able to really talk to you as you’re processing. And you’re still processing it. And we’d like to think that if we were in the same situation, oh, we wouldn’t have done that. Right. You don’t know. You don’t know if those cameras aren’t in your face. And you don’t have the pressure of that moment. Like anything could happen.

Carlton Morton  24:59  

And I think it’s more Importantly about we have to start thinking as humans, where do we put the most emphasis on? As it relates to what matters? I don’t get why there is a constant attack on the LGBT II when it comes time for us to live in our truth. Because there are a lot of factors that we could hold against other people. Hey, what’s your political party? Hey, I was definitely asking people’s political.

Damona  25:24  

Well, that’s become one of the biggest filters on dating apps and in dating today that that is now it went from being, you know, number five or six on the list to now number one or two for most people. But you’re right, you’re right. You know what it is Carlton, it’s fear. It’s that it’s fear of the unknown. And I mean, even I’m feeling right now. I wrote this Washington Post piece about racial bias in dating, and people are not handling it. Well. I have to just say, people are not handling my my suggestion that we question Our own beliefs and we ask, Well, why? Why am I so afraid of that? Or why have I drawn that line in the sand? And I’m somebody also, like, one of my boyfriend’s was bisexual, openly, like, I knew that he was bisexual. He’s now gay. But you know, it’s a it’s a spectrum, right? Yeah. So so I can absolutely relate to everything that you’re saying. But something about the way I was raised I was conditioned to question and to be open and to not draw some of those lines in the sand that a lot of other people just haven’t had the opportunity yet yet. Growth Mindset to explore. And that’s what you’re up against. It’s it’s like that the box like I was saying,

Carlton Morton  26:46  

No, and I think representation matters. Like there needs to be like people need to continue seeing people like myself on TV who are bisexual black men, you know, because otherwise, like, what do we have to look up to them? No, there was no one on TV. Like me before me. Like I looked everywhere reality TV kind of sir. Like, there was no one like me on TV before me. So I’m very proud that I could like at least start the conversation.

Damona  27:16  

Yeah. Thank you for blazing that trail.

Carlton Morton  27:19  

Yeah, you honor. honor that I chose me. I think it’s time that people see like, you know, more bisexual people in on dating show, period. I’d love to be the first. The first bisexual back there. Hi.

Damona  27:34  

All right, you said it here first.

Carlton Morton  27:37  

I see.

Damona  27:38  

All right, just to wrap up for a lot of our listeners who are single and ready to mingle. What did you learn about dating in the pods that you think can be relevant in dating today if you were to give them one or two pieces of advice for how they should move forward?

Carlton Morton  27:51  

Um, I would say honesty will take you everywhere and trust just make sure it’s someone that you can trust. Be honest vulnerable sometimes we shut down because of our experiences in the past and that keeps us away from getting to the future. Oh, trust your heart, your heart all lie to you. And you’re gonna know when it’s the right time to have certain discussions and never be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t work out sometimes it’s just timing. So don’t give up.

Damona  28:23  

Well, Carlton, I hope timing lines up for you again because you are a gym and I’ve really enjoyed this conversation with you.

Carlton Morton  28:30  

Thank you Sorry I put on the waterworks. I didn’t realize that it would come out today.

Damona  28:35  

When you’re being real and authentic. You’re

Carlton Morton  28:37  

such an emotional person. Like I’m so sensitive. I’m so like, and people don’t always get to see this. I

Damona  28:44  

thank you so much for your honesty. Thank you for being here. There’s so much to learn from what Carlton said. First, remember the power of vulnerability. Men are told to stay strong not cry not show weakness. Do you see what just happened? When Carlton showed his true self and his true feelings, he drew us in. He wishes he could have done that in his relationship with diamond. But he’s learning to do it now. Which brings me to my second point, forgiveness. To move into your dream relationship. You need to be willing to forgive the past. Even if diamond is still processing what happened. And believe me, a lot happened which might take a long time for her to process. But Carlton has forgiven himself for hurting someone he loved. None of us are perfect. Many of us say hurtful things that come from our own place of pain. forgiving yourself for your past mistakes is the first step to moving forward. My third takeaway is to face your fear. Your Carlton say that if he could do it again, he would not have been so afraid of what people would say in the pods and he would have left more have his true self shine through. as scary as it is to acknowledge something so personal about yourself as a sexual orientation that has often caused you to be excluded in the past. If you are going to bond your life with another person, you have to be willing to face your past fear and be brave enough to open up to that person fully. Fourth, we are constantly growing and evolving. And that means you don’t need to wait for healing to occur or enlightenment to strike to be ready to date again. We learn in motion, so you don’t need to wait to find love. If you are committed to the process of understanding yourself and growing as a human, you can love in your imperfect form and find someone willing to learn and grow with you. Finally, keep the faith in spite of all that Carlton went through he said he would do an experience like love is blind again. And he’s still looking for true love. No matter what you’ve been through before, I hope that Carlton has inspired you to keep the faith the true love is out there for you too. This has been Episode 317 of dates and mates and the first of four dates and mates love lessons. For more of Carlton’s journey. You can follow him on Instagram at Carleton Morton and you can also check out his charity for kids called Camp Carlton and support if you feel called

Get Your Ex Back & Daddy Culture


Since Damona’s first advice column in the LA times ran with a question about whether or not you should reach out to your ex during the pandemic – we’ve been getting a ton of questions on this topic.

So today we bring in Lee Wilson whose primary platform is all about how to get your ex back. We’ll tell you if you should make a move and how to do it if that’s what you want.


But first, Damona covers headlines:


The latest stats on COVID dating behaviors

Damona received a new study from the dating app Iris on dating habits in New York at this time. Damona covers a few key findings: men are lowering their standards right now, don’t expect any in-person dates right now, and authenticity is IN.


What is ‘Daddy Culture’

Following the really concerning Chris D’Elia allegations, the world is finally having a long overdue conversation on ‘Daddy Culture’ and the age of consent. Damona breaks it down and tells you why you should be concerned.


Divorce is the only option

Kelly Clarkson announced her divorce to Brandon Blackstock. Damona has thoughts on their relationship and why it perhaps wasn’t meant to be.


Ex 101: The No Contact Rule (11:00)

Damona welcomes Lee Wilson to the show. He’s a relationship expert and dating coach. After being a marriage consultant with two nonprofit organizations for several years, Lee went out on his own and started coaching both men and women on how to get their ex back after a breakup or separation and also on how to improve their relationships to prevent breakups, separation, or divorce.

He always says that your first instincts are almost always the exact wrong thing to do and can push your ex away – so he’s going to help us get clear on whether it’s worth trying to get back with your ex.

They discuss:

  • Should your ex back
  • What NEVER to do if you want them back
  • The no contact rule


Find more from Lee on Youtube or at


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

  • From Jem on IG – how do you deal with flaky people? If people get ghosted should they call the person out to stand up for themselves rather than letting the person think it’s okay to treat people like that.
  • Listener on FB says: I really like this guy but he wont wear a mask anywhere. Should I let him know this really bothers me?


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  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers. Welcome to dates and mates. Since my first advice column in the LA Times ran last month with a question about whether or not you should try to reach out to your ex during the pandemic, I have been getting a ton of questions on this topic. So today, I’m bringing in Lee Wilson, whose primary platform is all about how to get your ex back. And we’ll tell you if you should make a move and how to do it if that’s what you want. In the meantime, I’m also going to get you up to speed on this week’s headlines. We’ll talk about the latest statistics on dating culture during COVID. And what it means for your love life. And what is daddy culture and why you should be concerned. Plus, Kelly Clarkson reveals why divorce was her only option. Then as always, at the end of the show, I’ll answer your questions including, should you stand up to ghosts? And what do you do if the guy you’re dating won’t wear a mask? It’s a metal by pandemic, y’all. Oh, we’re gonna have a lot to talk about on today’s dates and mates. It’s time for the dish,


Damona  1:29  

A recent survey from the dating app, Iris came across my desk. You know, I love a good survey. But this is something that is impacting your life right now. They looked at the dating habits of single New Yorkers in the era of COVID. And as you know, New York was hit pretty darn hard by it. So they’re sort of our canary in the coal mine. And they asked them about their comfort level with dating again, in person dates versus versus online virtual dates, Netflix and chill and so much more. Here’s what they found out. males were nearly 25% more likely than females to lower their standards. During quarantine. I’m very curious about what lowering the standards means. Because I find that a lot of people have standards that are not realistic. It’s not even about high standards. It’s just like standards that don’t really exist in the real world. And so maybe this is actually a good thing that people are starting to examine what’s on there must have list and realize that the the internal qualities and the values of that person have a lot more to do with compatibility than how they look in a bikini. And so I’m kind of comforted by that information. But it looks like people aren’t going to be moving offline anytime soon. This survey said in person dates are still a thing of the future. 26% scent of singles aren’t going to risk it and would rather wait until 2021 for their next in person dates. About 14% of people, though, said that they would go out as soon as the quarantine is lifted. And you’ve heard me say on the show before that I think as soon as states open up and things are more free, you’re going to see the dating floodgates open. And I think this survey is capturing attitudes of the last few weeks and months. But it’s amazing how how quickly we forget, and how quickly our attitudes can change. So we’ll see how that pans out. But people are saying that video dating is just not making up for in person connections. And over half of the respondents are no more willing to try video dating now than they were pre COVID. But I read that y’all and you know what I hear. I hear that almost half of the respondents are willing to try video, which I feel is something that was not even in the Zeitgeist, even though I do Talk about it in my future of dating masterclass in March right before the pandemic it, I do think people will be more open to it going forward. We’ll put the link to the entire survey results in the show notes. But what it tells me is that people are more open to making real connections. The question is, will it really last one thing that I’m hoping doesn’t continue is daddy culture. This is basically the the romanticization if that’s even a word of younger women with older men from either side, and looking at the crystal Leah case, if you all haven’t heard crystal Leah who’s an actor and comedian, he is going down y’all for approaching young women and when I say young women, I’m saying young women. I think Chris is like 40 years old, and he has been tweeting and chatting with women that are like 16 1718 not even now he’s been accused by these women of requesting nude photographs from them and sending lewd texts and pulling out his erect penis in front of others. I don’t know why comedians think we all want to see their erect penis out of their pants, but just stick to your jokes, and zip it up, y’all. But what this brings to light is that there actually is this whole culture. And if you go into Twitter, you’ll see there are all these women that are almost wearing it as a badge of honor that they’re able to date men that are old enough to be their fathers, or even older than that. And there’s this sexualization of the barely legal women. And I fully understand that sometimes we idolize someone older and a lot of relationships can fall into sort of a mentor mentee dynamic. But it starts to get really dangerous when you’re talking about people who are not even of legal consent age or are still, like your frontal lobe is still developing, when you’re 16 1718, you will engage in riskier behavior and do things that you don’t necessarily think through because literally, your brain is not fully formed. So if you are someone who thinks it’s appropriate to date, someone of that age, and shockingly, I looked up the age of consent in many states, I thought it was 18 everywhere. It’s not in many places. It’s actually 16. But not only can it be criminal, but actually, the question is, is it really ethical? Or are you being a predator in pursuing someone that is that much younger than you or in that specific time of life, so I didn’t have any luck. For crystal Leah anyway, but now that this has come to light, I’m really going to be focusing on daddy culture and these age gap relationships and helping people to ask what is really appropriate for them. Kelly Clarkson and her husband Brandon Blackstock, have called it quits. And this has been an interesting romance to follow. They actually originally met, like in 2004. But they officially started dating in 2011. And things moved really quickly. They announced their engagement in 2012. And then they got married less than a year later, and then a few months later than they had a child together. And then they had another child two years later. So they’ve really been on this on this fast track to love. And that’s what I really want to caution you about. A lot of times people tell me Oh, things are going great because it’s moving so quickly, and I don’t want to deal with wasting time with the wrong person. And I’m just so sure that I’m with by with my person now. So I’m just going to go full speed ahead. And a lot of times when you burn out when you burn that fast you burn out. And that seems to be what happened. They had irreconcilable differences, essentially. And she’s not really commenting on what exactly went wrong. And honestly, that’s her business. I’m not going to get in it. But what I want you to know is that it’s important to take your time and to make sure that especially if you’re in a situation like Kelly, where she’s got a lot of finances, she’s got a big career that she’s managing. And you want to make sure if you’re engaging in a relationship with someone that it’s it’s going to be additive to your life and not be something that drains your energy or that takes away from who you are and what you want to achieve. So I wish Kelly lots of luck. In this next chapter of her life, and I hope that she and her kids and Brandon are all going to be okay. That is the dish before you move on. I just want to ask your opinion on my latest Washington Post article. It’s asking our dating preferences. Actually an example of racial bias if you exclude people of a certain race from your dating pool. It was published online last Thursday was in the print issue of the magazine on Sunday. And I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous leading up to the release because I knew it would make some people uncomfortable. I have always dated race open, not colorblind, but race open. But I know for a lot of people we’ve hidden behind this idea that race can be a dating preference. So we talked about it a couple weeks ago, but I’d love for you to read the article. I’ll link to it in the show notes. I’d love to know what you really think. And I appreciate all of you who are willing to engage with me on this question. And I encourage you to continue the conversation. So if you have thoughts, share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at damona Hoffman. Or you can always join the Patreon Friends with Benefits Program, and we can really get down into it. That’s my private Facebook group for all of the super fans of dates and mates who need a little extra love and want to support the show that’s at slash dates and mates. Anyways, there’s so much more coming. I’m going to tell you how to get your ex back along with Lee Wilson. And then I’ll answer your questions on ghosting and dating during COVID right after this.


Welcome back. I am here with Lee Wilson. He’s a relationship expert and dating coach. He’s been a marriage consultant with to nonprofit organizations for many years, and then he went out on his own and start coaching for both men and women on how to get their ex back after a breakup or separation, and also on how to improve their relationships to prevent breakups, separation or divorce. Please help me welcome Lee Wilson and let’s give them some big smooches. Thank you. pushes back. I love it when that happens. Thank you so much. I’m excited to have you here. Because I’ve been getting a lot of questions about exes. And I feel like because we’re in quarantine right now. I mean, some of you states aren’t still in quarantine, but I live in California and it’s still pretty locked down here. And we are feeling like the isolation. I think it makes us nostalgic for the past. It’s so funny. Actually, my daughter was asking me about my exes. And I’m like, I hadn’t thought about them in years. And then I was like, Huh, I wonder what he’s been up to you. Like this Google search, and I’m like, What am I doing? Is this corn? Is that what’s going on?


Lee Wilson  12:06  

Well, most of the people that I talked to, it’s fresher than that. You know, it’s a it’s an x from two months ago, or even very fresh breakup week or two. Most the time, when it’s fresh when it’s the same day or the same week. your instincts tell you that you have to do something right away, like this person’s falling off a cliff, and you’ve got to act quickly, or you’ll lose them forever. That’s the kind of response and reaction most people have, what do I need to do because I need to do it right away time is moving by quickly and I need to do something or I’m going to lose him or lose her. And so usually, my job is to convince them to take a breath. You don’t have to get them back today. You don’t have to get them back this week or this month to get them back. So Matter of fact, time is really on your side. If you don’t apply all that pressure you feel like you should apply Because that’s actually what will push them further away.


Damona  13:03  

Yeah, absence does make the heart grow fonder. I wonder though, is there a conversation around? Should you even be getting your ex back?


Lee Wilson  13:15  

I have that quite a bit, I usually will ask questions about the relationship. And there have been quite a few times where I’ve said, you really should stay away from this person. There was a woman who was about my mother’s age, and she was telling me about this man she had been dating, and some of the awful things he did like, and at one point, I just said, I’m just being honest, I don’t want to help you get this guy back. I want to help you escape, find somebody who treats you right, you know, just awful. And I said, Why do you want this guy back knowing the answer, but it was the human part of me asking why? Because the reason she wanted him back is because when he broke up with her, she felt loss. And so sometimes I remember one client, I think helped him get a girlfriend because I do help people attract love. And he had gotten a girlfriend, things are going pretty well. And then he had a coach. He called me and he said, you know, though? I don’t I don’t. I’m kind of thinking I might date around a little bit. He was actually asking me how to kind of slow it down with her. He calls me he booked a call about a week later, she broken up with him. He was crying. He was desperate. She’s his soulmate now. Like what changed from a week ago? A week ago, you were you were wanting to slow things down and maybe break up with her. But what changed is, he lost control.


Damona  14:37  

Yeah, rejection happened.


Lee Wilson  14:38  

Yeah, she’s wanting to move. She’s moving away from him. He has that sense of loss. And he wants to get back what he thought he has far as control and also it lowers your feeling attractiveness. You feel like you’re not attractive enough to keep this person and so you want some self confidence back. You want some of that self image back. So there’s a lot more Going on besides just I love this person, they broke up with me that you’re feeling. Most people do love the other person, but a lot of it is loss. It’s that sense of loss that makes you so desperate. You want to be validated. You want this other person to say you’re worthy.


Damona  15:13  

So how do you heal from that, like, you’ve been through that loss? You’ve been through that rejection, you’ve been through that loss of control, you hit the nail on the head with that, Lee? And then and then what like, do you recommend that they have a period of distance from their former partner?


Lee Wilson  15:34  

If they want the person back? Then what I tell people is you have to give them the breakup. And what that will mean is is that you don’t make an effort to get them back, at least not right away. And a lot of that is being it’s doing a couple of things. First of all, it’s being respectful because if they said they want to break up and you’re just not giving them the breakup, it appears kind of like you’re pitching a fit Like a child in a toy store, and the parents have said no, and the child just keeps pestering,


Damona  16:05  

I’ve been there. Yeah.


Lee Wilson  16:09  

It’s desperation. And it causes people to beg. And it’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing because it’s not attractive. And the reason we’re begging it goes back to that sense of loss of control. Because what happens if you’re face to face with a dictator, and this person says, your car’s now mine, your house is now mine, and you’re going to live in a dungeon for the rest of your days, and you have no power, all you can do is what? beg for mercy, right? And that’s what happens when your ex breaks up with you. They have all the power and so you feel like all you can do is beg and plead and try to make a miracle happen to get them back. Whereas if you have the control yourself, you would not be pushing and begging and pleading with them. And it only makes matters worse, because it shows that them that you’re not strong enough to stay away. And they also will think, if this person, is this hurt by this breakup, then I can get them back whenever I want if I wanted to, because usually they’re not 100% sure, usually it’s 90% 80%. And you can work on that. But if you convince them that you were just so miserable without them, that all they would have to do is snap their fingers and get you back, then it frees them up to not have to worry about that if they do start missing you. Like a lot of times, people who are quiet after a breakup and just you know, I respect your decision. I think we’re great together. But you know, I can’t my gonna try to change you.


Damona  17:42  

I can’t make you love me if you don’t


Lee Wilson  17:46  

write a song about that.


Lee Wilson  17:47  

I think that’d be a hit.


Lee Wilson  17:51  

But if if you just back off and give them the breakup, and what that means is your absence that’s what they’re saying. They don’t want you in their life anymore. They may, they may sanitize it by saying, Let’s still be friends or you know stuff like,


Damona  18:05  

Oh, I hate that. I mean, can we talk about that for a secondly, that let’s still be friends. Like, I will say, I am friends with most of my exes. But it didn’t happen right away. And I always like had a period of healing where I was like, Don’t let’s not talk right now. But I hate that like, we could still be friends. No, you can’t like my heart is broken, is it? So there’s like a no contact rule that you have your clients do for a period of time.


Lee Wilson  18:34  

Right? And, by the way, when your now ex pitches, the friendship thing. First of all, the important thing is you don’t act like a friend. Now, some coaches will have a real cold approach to this. And so this other coach said, if they pitch friendship, say no. I do not accept your offer. Only contact me if you want a relationship. What If they’re 99% sure they want to get back with you, but they’re not 100% sure, then they’re gonna remember you saying, don’t you contact me unless you want the relationship back. So now they kind of feel trapped. If I call her if I call him


Damona  19:12  

just to explore Yeah, then it’s, I have to have a marriage proposal ready to go.


Lee Wilson  19:18  

Right. Right. And you basically you give away your opportunity to retract them because you want to have it set up where when you’re not there anymore, you’re not texting, you’re not seeing them, and they miss you. And they think boy sure would be nice to interact to text to hear his voice or hear her voice. And they reach out. Your number one, they feel like they can that you’re approachable because you weren’t jerk about it. And they don’t feel like they have to have all their ducks in a row yet.


Damona  19:46  

I’m very interested in what you’re saying. You pique my interest with the retraction element. Walk us through that. What What do you need to do as someone that is on on the receiving end of the breakup, and let’s say you’ve given it time, you’ve had the No Contact rule, and then you’re like, I’m ready to retract this person. And I definitely think they’ve made a bad decision in letting me go. And this is the person for me. They’ve made a mistake, but we’re meant to be we’re destined, how can I retract them? Li,


Lee Wilson  20:19  

part of the retraction is that you’re quiet. Because that’s the ultimate mystery. When you answer the question. You’ve relieved the mystery. When the question lingers, and they don’t have any answers. That’s when there’s mystery and they want the answer. So the most powerful thing is actually the question, not the answer. And you want to be a question mark, because they’re thinking, is he not going to come after me? Or she’s not going to try to get me back. And so whereas when they broke up with you, even if they’re a good person, and they do care about you, they still see themselves as more attractive because it’s a little bit of an ego boost when you break up with somebody. Yeah, you’re the decider directing them. Yeah. You have the power, this person starts to feel like okay, maybe I’m not up here, maybe it’s more like this. Maybe we’re more even. And that’s kind of the start of the dominoes falling. Then it’s curiosity like, What? What’s this person doing? Is there somebody else? You know, here it is night time I’m looking at my phone, they’re not texting me, what are they doing? And this person can kind of become preoccupied with you. And so the first part of retracting them is doing nothing. It’s just literally literally staying away from them, which takes a lot of strength to do. It’s writs. It’s much more difficult than it sounds because most people I speak with fail.


Damona  21:36  

Can I just add though, having been through this experience myself and also coached clients through it, it is so much more fulfilling. If you cannot be focusing on that person and not be chasing that person. It drains your energy so quickly, right? And it’s like, it’s almost like Like you said, it’s a way to reconnect claim your power, you have the power of not contacting them and even like, not stalking them on social media, that seems to me like it’s just a recipe for disaster. What’s your feeling on that?


Lee Wilson  22:13  

Yeah, it’s counterproductive. If you have anxiety at all, it’s really bad usually. And it’s, most of the time it’s going to make you at least tempt you to do the things you should not do. If you want to retract this person, and I hear a lot of excuses, because I will tell people stay away and they’re wanting magic words, you know, that they’re wanting me to be this guru in the forest. And they get to me and they’re like, what do I need to do? And so they expect me to tell them something, it’s gonna be really difficult like these, this incredible thing to say, are this crazy pattern of events? And so when I say yeah, there’s no contact. They’re wanting it to be, I think more majestic and glittery. realize is that that is hard. It’s like if I told you to walk a mile across glass, you know, and you get your ex back. They’d be like, Alright, where’s the glass? Well, this is the hard thing that I’m telling you. It’s not walking over glass, but it’s probably equally equally as hard and it’s to stay away. And I remember this one particular gentleman who was trying to get his ex back and told him stay away. And four days later, I got an email from him. And he said, just want you to know, I reached out to her. Of course, I’m just like, you know, I’m not just saying this. Sounds good.


Damona  23:34  

You know, I’ve seen program works great when you do the exact opposite of what I recommend. Yeah.


Lee Wilson  23:40  

I’ve seen thousands of cases. You know, I haven’t this wasn’t just like, yeah, I had this girlfriend. One time, she broke up with me and I didn’t contact her and got her back. I’m basing this on thousands of cases. You know, this is not just advice from your aunt. And so he told me that he said that, I just thought it’d be a good idea to keep the lines of community Be open. And so he had a call booked about two weeks after that. And we spoke. And of course, he told me the disaster that unfolded after he did that. And you know, I just kind of said to him, you know, I told you not to communicate, but he hadn’t he had reasoned with himself and wanted to contact are so bad that He justified and found a way. And most people will do that they will look for Excuses, excuses to contact this person. Because if here’s what here’s why it feels like if you could just talk to them, you could talk to the old version of them. And YouTube would get back together. Because what people have difficulty realizing is they’ve changed and you’re not talking to the same person. So the same rules don’t apply. So,


Damona  24:54  

so when you’re in that situation, and let’s say let’s say you have a client That is fully committed and they’ve they’ve kept the no contact. Is there a certain point where you’re like, Okay, you’ve, you’ve come to a different place and you should make contact? Or is it always just about waiting enough time where that person gets to ever? Like, do you plant a seed and like your friends here? How do you do it?


Lee Wilson  25:23  

No, no, I would not suggest planting a seed in a frenzy. Oh, man, I have horror stories about that. Here’s why your friends will overestimate their ability to help. They think they think the same thing you do. If they could just have a little talk with them. Well, they’ll win them back for you. And they’re so so wrong. Because what they’ll do is they’ll go to this person. And they’ll they’ll say, this is true story. This actually happened in high school. So he goes this guy and he’s like, man, she loves you so much. All she does is cry. I mean, just made the sob story thinking, thinking that this I would feel so sorry for her they take her back. But the lesson which I didn’t know at the time because I was 16 stupid, was pitting someone is not attraction. They’re very different. And so he ended up making the situation much worse. I learned the lesson right away when my friends asked how I’m doing, I’m doing great. Don’t even tell them if you’re, you know, miserable.


Damona  26:21  

Exactly. Should you be dating? Should you like we hear about the rebound relationship? Should you just go in and put yourself back out there?


Lee Wilson  26:34  

It’s a double edged sword. And there here’s, here’s what I tell people. I know you’re hurting right now. Let’s talk in two and a half months, you’re not going to do anything. As far as this relationship goes two and a half months. That’s the plan. If they contact you, that changes because that’s when you have the opportunity to retract them. But at two and a half months. Let’s decide then if you want to reach out this person


Damona  26:59  

is there a certain amount of time that you recommend before you start dating someone else.


Lee Wilson  27:04  

There’s there’s some good solid research on this from psychology organization to research relationships and research, the way that our brain chemicals work. And usually the minimal is three months that I that I recommend. For a lot of people, it’s longer than that it’s like six. And I do understand that there’s some validity to the idea that if you date around that your ex might hear about that and become insanely jealous and wants you back. However, 20 years and thousands of cases I’ve seen that blow up in people’s faces a lot. Here’s why. Usually the person who does the dumping, and then finds out you’re already dating after two weeks, thinks, well, I must not have meant that much to them anyway, that’s one thing or they think you’re trying to get their attention with it. And then it makes you look like you’re trying to get them back and you’re not really doing as well as they thought you were. So there’s a lot of ways that it can blow up in your face. But then as far as you personally If you are in a serious relationship, you’re really not ready as quickly as you think you are most of the time because you want, you don’t want to just hop from one relationship to another. You know, you don’t, you don’t want to just be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship, it’s very easy to get into a rebound, that will move too fast and sabotage itself. So I usually tell people to take some time and just be alone for a little bit and reflect evaluate on the relationship you just lost. How do you feel about that? What was good about the relationship? And a lot of times, if people are just given the breakup, you would be amazed. I get emails still to this day, every day of people who will say, I really didn’t think they would. But I did what you said and now they’re contacting me, and they want to get back together.


Damona  28:52  

Yeah, it’s amazing how simple it can be to get what you want. If you know the steps and you get out of your own way. So thank you for giving everyone the roadmap here and the secret sauce. I know you have a lot more on your YouTube channel. Thank you so much for being here, Lee.


Lee Wilson  29:09  

I appreciate it very much enjoyed it.


Damona  29:11  

Thank you. Now you know how to get your ex back. But in a moment, I’m going to tell you so much more and answer your questions on dating during COVID and ghosting stick around. We’re back and I’m here and ready to answer all your dating and relationship questions. This is technically dating.


Damona  29:39  

jambe on Instagram asked me, How do you deal with flaky people? If people get ghosted? Should they call the person out to stand up for themselves rather than letting the person think that it’s okay to treat people like that? Jim, I love your chutzpah. I love that you are willing to stand up for yourself the question Is what are you gonna get out of it? If you are going to call somebody out and read them the riot act about their crappy behavior, which is ultimately the right thing to do. And if I was their Mama, I would tell them why they need to behave in a better way. But are you doing it because you’re trying to get back at them because you’re trying to teach them a lesson, because you’re looking for some sort of feedback or an apology. Because if it’s if it’s that reason that you’re doing it, you are chasing a feeling that may not come and ultimately potentially doing more harm to yourself and good people. Hate is gonna hate people gonna flake. So if you can just deliver it in a way that’s not emotionally charged, and let them know we had a plan to meet this date. Sorry, sorry, didn’t happen or if they’re ghosting you in conversation. Like you made a connection, and then all of a sudden they’re not responding back, please don’t do the three texts like, hey, Did I say something wrong? Are you there because that just puts you in a weak position like I was talking about with, with Lee a moment ago. And I want you to be strong. So this is what I do. I do think and release, you thank that person for showing you who they were up front. And then you release them to whatever is their karma next. And that’s it, then you wipe your hands of it. And you can move on with a clean conscience and find somebody who’s going to treat you appropriately treat you like a person and make a meaningful connection.


Our next question today is from a listener on Facebook, who says I really like this guy, but he won’t wear a mask anywhere. Should I let him know that this really bothers me. Okay, now this is kind of a different situation because you’re in a relationship or you’re in a situation, ship your data This guy, this isn’t a ghosting situation where the person just dismissed you. This is somebody that you care about and you want to build a relationship with. And if it is something that really bothers you, then absolutely, you need to speak up. Now this can’t be a, you should wear a mask. Haven’t you seen the stats? Look at all of the people that have COVID, do you want to be one of these people? It can’t be that kind of a situation because people are just going to push back against that kind of a judgment, right? But what you can do is you can say I really care about you, and I want you to be healthy, and I want to be able to be healthy and feel comfortable with you. But it makes me feel uncomfortable when you don’t wear a mask. And that way it’s not it’s not judgement of them. I mean, even though it is but you’re not expressing judgment of them, you’re expressing how their actions are impacting you. And if that person is actually person, if that person really wants to invest in a relationship with you, then they will say, Okay, I don’t really want to do it. But for you, I will Or how about I just start wearing it to the grocery store, maybe they’ll start bargaining and then you’ll move into the next phase of this conversation, but you’ve at least expressed your dissatisfaction. And is it a deal breaker? I’ve been hearing this a lot people have been been messaging messaging me like is it a deal breaker if this person won’t wear a mask, maybe if you’re in a situation where maybe you’re caring for children or the elderly or you are compromised and your immune system and this person will not respect your your boundaries and your needs in a relationship, then guess what we got another thank and release. And there you have it, but I really hope that you can use this time to Express your needs in a way that’s really constructive and to move into a deeper phase of the relationship. That’s it for today’s show. This is number 316 of baits and mates. This is our last full episode of season seven, but I have some really exciting minisodes coming up in the next month all through July I’ll be doing a series of master classes centered around meditation and visualization. And trust me These exercises are really good for my one on one clients, and I know there’ll be good for you too. So don’t forget to check out Lee Wilson. He’s at my ex back coach calm and if you want to continue the journey with me, you can join our slash dates and mates. As always, we will put all the links from today’s show in the recap. You can find that recap at dates and maids calm along with producer Leo’s super cute gifts. You don’t want to miss it. Honestly, there’s so much more updates inmates, if you’re just listening on on Apple or Stitcher or Spotify, there’s a whole other world waiting for you at dates and mates. And by the way, if you are listening on any of those platforms, I would love to have you review the show. let other people know why you love dates and mates, and you can help me heal more hearts in season eight of dates and mates, so stay subscribed to the show. We’ll have more content for you all summer. And let’s stay in touch. Let’s stay in touch for the summer. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials and don’t forget to DM me your questions because we’re gonna be back with season eight and just a moment’s notice. And I’m gonna need your questions so that I can help you in love. Until next week, I wish you good health and happy dating

Rethink Love & Bachelor on Blast


We’re about halfway through 2020 and we already cannot wait for the fresh start that 2021 will bring. This year has been by far one of the most intense but it’s forcing us to look at what is really important.

What life do you want to create for yourself when we eventually come out on the other side of this extremely challenging period of time?

Today, we want to help you create something beautiful out of the challenges around us.

We explore your options and perhaps guide you to finding your ideal life with Monica Berg, author of Rethink Love and Fear is Not an Option.

She’s all teaching you to create a life worth living. That sounds really heavy – but basically we want to help you create the life you want immediately.


But first, Damona covers headlines:


Are your dick pics on Amazon RIGHT NOW?

Security researchers came across a very surprising data breach this month – sloppily stored super personal and sometimes sexually explicit private interactions from various dating apps can be accessed through something called a “bucket.” Is your data all over Amazon? Damona breaks it down.


Bachelor on Blast

This week, Matt James was announced as the super hot new Bachelor! But did you know that the Bachelor previously argued in a lawsuit that it was their constitutional right not to cast contestants of color? Here’s an NPR article from 2012 all about it. What does this casting decision mean for the past, present and future of reality TV? You might remember that Damona has a history in TV casting and producing. She has a lot of thoughts on the topic.

Date night ideas for those of us who are still social distancing (read: all of us)

Damona gives us 10 date night ideas for keeping it cute in quarantine – if you’re tired of Netflix and Chill.

LOVE & WISDOM (12:00)

Damona’s been Kabbala curious for a very long time so when we were approached to have Monica Berg – Communications Director for the Kabbala Center – we got super excited.

She’s the author of Rethink Love and Fear is Not an Option and self-professed change junkie.

Monica’s lived a very full life and it has taught her how the practical wisdom of Kabbalah can bring Light and strength into even the most challenging experiences by changing the one thing we can control ourselves. We all need some Light and Strength right now.

She and Damona discuss:

  • Ancient wisdom
  • Ups and Downs in a relationship is healthy
  • Romanticized expectations of falling in love and why they’re unhealthy
  • How distorted self-perception is killing your potential to find love

Find Monica on all the socials @monicaberg74 and at PLUS you can join Monica’s Rethink Love Interactive Webinar if you want more from her


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

  • I’m 37, and I’m so embarrassed to say that I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve talked to some therapists and they don’t really know what to say that, and it’s still makes me sad to this day. I’ve been single my whole life and it hurts me knowing my situation, that I’ve missed out simple things, like celebrating an anniversary with a guy, walking along a beach, watching the sunset, celebrating anything basically. What would you say to help me get over this embarrassment? Is it something that I just have to live with and stop dwelling on? I’ve been living with it my whole life, I don’t really know how to heal my heart from this.
  • What advice do you have on interracial dating and how to have convos about what’s happening during these crazy times?


Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates inmates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, we are about halfway through 2020. And I think it’s safe to say we’re all experiencing some sort of change. Whether we like it or not, the world around us is rapidly evolving. It’s time to decide how you fit into the new normal. What life do you want to create for yourself when we eventually come out on the other side of this extremely challenging but necessary period. I want to help you explore your options and maybe guide you towards finding your ideal life. Along with Monica Berg. She’s the author of rethink love, and fear is not an option. She will be teaching you all how to create a life Fourth living. I know it’s kind of heavy. But the bottom line is that you can have the power to change your life right now. And we want to help you do that if you’re not where you want to be. So I want you to think about your immediate life goals. And then we’ll come back to that in a moment. But first, I’m going to get you up to speed on this week’s headlines. We’ll talk about how to keep your dick pics from getting leaked on Amazon, and 40 seasons and a single black lead what ABC needs to do next, with their first black bachelor plus date night at home ideas for those of us who are still social distancing, which should be all of you. Then, as always, at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including how to approach dating if you’ve never been in a relationship, and what advice do you have on interracial dating? You know, that’s a topic I have a lot to say about. So let’s get ready and do the dish

Monica Berg  1:59  

these days. dish

Damona  2:03  

dating app data exposed according to Wired Magazine, now every few months, you hear a story like this from me about a dating app breach. But this one’s a little bit different because it actually wasn’t a breach of a particular app. But it was actually a publicly accessible bucket on Amazon web services that included sexually explicit photos and audio recordings. Nobody exactly knows where they came from or how they got captured. But what the experts agree on is that it was basically just sloppily stored data, not a breach of passwords or access to your app. So as I seem to do quarterly, I’m just going to remind you that I’m not a fan of sending sensitive material over the internet. I’m not a fan of posting it. I’m not a fan of even Snapchatting it because we have I’ve had a breach on Snapchat. And you have to be in control of the information that goes out and you and you have to be prepared that if that information gets leaked into the public eye, that it’s not something that will cause you to potentially lose your job or be embarrassed or end your relationship. This breach was pretty sensitive because some of the apps whose data was was included here were apps like threesome, gay Daddy bear and herpes dating. And they’re actually a total of nine services. But among them, many of them were were apps that had sensitive data about people’s sexual orientation, which may or may not be public and their health information like in herpes dating, so I just have to remind y’all to be very careful with what you share. I know we’re living in a time where we are virtually dating, but just remember screenshots can happen, data storage can happen. revenge porn definitely happens. And however they got there, I just have to remind you that once they’re on the internet, they may not ever disappear. So choose your sex wisely. Speaking of choosing wisely, ABC is trying to make good on The Bachelor Finally, after 40 seasons and only one lead a one black lead, who was Rachel Lindsay a bachelorette they now have a black bachelor. But just to put this in context, you may or may not realize there’s also been a lawsuit, there’s been a petition, there’s been a lot of conversation about the lack of diversity on ABC actually raised children’s who herself has been very critical and said that she’d like to see more people of color on the entire staff which is something that as a former casting director, and as a former Diversity executive and television executive and TV producer, I have often rallied for. And I’ve said that this the land of TV and I’ve worked in it for nearly 20 years, the land of TV does not look like the world that I grew up in are the world that many of you are living in, which is actually quite diverse. And yet, because of the reach of TV, we have a responsibility to accurately portray the world and even to be leaders to lead the charge on change happening in the world. So this

Monica Berg  5:35  


Damona  5:36  

choice to pick a black bachelor right now I do not believe is an accident, I believe it is is is a representation of what is happening in the world and his reaction to that, rather than being forward thinking and leading the charge. ABC is behind the eight ball and choosing a black bachelor to avoid criticism. And you may not realize they’ve actually been sued for this They, there was a lawsuit, which I’ll just give you the highlights of it. But there were a couple of contestants who auditioned for the Bachelor. And they sued because they said the show is discriminates against people of color, both in choosing the primary Bachelorette and choosing people who he or she will date. And you know what ABC said, y’all. ABC. ABC argued that casting is a first amendment right, and that they have a right to discriminate if they’re talking about casting and not have to deal with potential backlash of forming an interracial relationship that that is up to them and the judge agreed the judge agreed that it is not illegal for them to discriminate. Now it is illegal Of course in any other hiring situation. But on television, they agreed that it is not as illegal and they dismiss the case. And this is not okay. This is not okay with me. This is a complete lack of awareness of the responsibility of television. And I know many of the people that work at ABC, I know many of the diversity executives, and I’m sure they are just Gerges biting through their upper lip at this decision, and at an even at the afterthought now of putting a black bachelor in this position, because it shouldn’t have to be mandated by the court. It It shouldn’t just be something that you do as a reaction to a racial revolution. It is something that is a business imperative. It is something that is a world shaping imperative, and something that I don’t believe that the ABC executives and producers are taking as seriously as they should. So I I’m really happy that we finally do have a black bachelor. I posted a video Do not too long ago about racial preference and and bias in dating and how it really relates to our own deeper unconscious bias around race. I do encourage you to check that out on my Instagram or Facebook if you haven’t watched it yet. And this Sunday, I will have a full article in The Washington Post on this topic as well, but we’re just it’s just the tip of the iceberg we have so much further to go and this is just the beginning of the discussion. On a lighter note, you all still need to keep dating but I know many of you are hesitant to go out even as dates are opening up and and lifting restrictions for Coronavirus. So I have a cute little article that can help you if you are either in a relationship or you are newly dating someone have 10 ideas 10 things that you can still do at home, to have a fun and sexy date. We will of course Put the link to it in the show notes. I wrote this for our sisters at AARP, which is a blog through the AARP for black women. But it’s for everyone and I talk about the importance of an histology date. If you don’t know what it is style check date is you can check that out and we’ll put the link in the show notes that dates and mates calm but nostalgia can can actually bond to people if you can create feelings of familiar prior experiences it can actually make you feel connected. Almost as if you were there together. You can certainly make a gourmet meal together my husband and I are big fans of the box to meal kits like sun basket. You can do a sip and paint night you can play Never have I ever there are a ton of ideas. So I don’t want you to feel limited Even though Coronavirus fatigue is certainly setting in I’m feeling it myself. We can still take time to connect and we can still do it in a way that is safe this season. Those are the headlines of the week but in a moment we’ll be talking to Monica Berg about all things love and light and lifelong change. But first, I just need to ask you, are we friends with benefits. If you are looking to go deeper in love and you want some extra bonus material on all things dating and relationships, I would love for you to become a part of the dates and means Patreon program, I’m giving you access to all the hidden episodes of dates and mates. Right now we only have the last 100 episodes, but there’s actually over 300 episodes of dates and dates. And I’m going to give you access to all of those if you’re inside of my friends with benefits program. There’s video tutorials on how to read your dates face in the profile to tell if they’re a match for you or not. And a lot of other dating resource cheat sheets and extras those are all available for slash dates and mates. And of course, you’ll be invited inside my private Facebook group where we can have a direct conversation But that’s only for people who are my friends with benefits and I’d love for you to become one of them. It starts at just $5 a month. And again, that’s slash dates and mates. We’ll have more coming right up with Monica virg. So don’t go anywhere.

Welcome back. I am here with Monica Berg. She’s the author of rethink love and fear is not an option. And she’s the chief communications officer of the Kabbalah center. She’s lived a very full life and it’s taught it’s taught her how the practical wisdom of Kabbalah can bring light and strength into even the most challenging experiences by changing the one thing we can control ourselves. We all need some light and strength right now. Please help me give some big smooches to Monica Berg.

Monica Berg  11:47  

It’s great to be here with you. Thank you.

Damona  11:48  

I’m so glad to have you. So Monica, let’s start at the top. You are the the chief communications officer of the Kabbalah center. Tell me What just give us like a rundown of what Kabbalah is and how it impacts your life?

Monica Berg  12:07  

Well, Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that explains the complexities of the material and non material world. And for thousands of years kabbalists have understood that the purpose of our life is transformation, and that every human being is born with the potential of greatness, for greatness. And our responsibility is to try to unlock that potential. And I have found the wisdom to really be life altering. Sometimes I wonder where I would have gone I started studying when I was 17. And it explained to me, really, you know, the purpose of life, how to create beautiful gifts from the most difficult challenges and how to really allow life to an all of the things that you experience to go through you rather than happening to you. There’s a purpose for everything. It’s all divine, and there isn’t A great gift really just to be found if you’re looking for,

Damona  13:03  

huh, yeah, then especially connects when we’re talking about dating and relationships. Because there’s a lot of ups and downs, right? And as you as you move through these experiences, I like to look at every, every relationship, whether it’s your sole partner, your life partner or not. It’s an opportunity to learn, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Monica Berg  13:30  

Well, absolutely, I agree with you. And in fact, I don’t think I think the plans we make are kind of funny. I think we’re seeing that especially now, when we’re the pandemic and people realize that things are not really in our control. And I think that’s why a lot of people have a lot of fear, and a lot of uncertainty because we usually go through life with the illusion that we are in control of what happens, we have a goal, we have an idea, we have a purpose. We’re going to make it happen and if it doesn’t happen, then we get really upset and why didn’t workout I had a plan and I was so sure it was supposed to turn out like that. I think especially when it comes to relationships, there are certain things we can be sure of. If we’re looking and setting up the relationship from the beginning and the right way in terms of making sure you’re aligned in big picture ways and the most important ways, having common goals and understanding of what you want out of life, right, those are big things. And as you evolve in that consciousness, your partner then will evolve with you. But I think far too often people go into relationship with it being more of a commodity of you know, a buyer seller kind of exchange

Monica Berg  14:38  

often and relationships people kind of

Monica Berg  14:42  

it check out too soon. I think that in everything in life, there’s a process that we are meant to go through. And I think that if we’re paying attention if we’re really conscious beings, we’re we’re deriving meaning from everybody, everything every exchange, even if it doesn’t seem consequential, but something like a relationship of course, is I think in those moments that even if relationships seem to be stuck or stifled, there is a something you can learn about yourself. But also I think people often exit far too soon.

Damona  15:10  

Hmm. Talk to me a little bit more about that exiting too soon.

Monica Berg  15:17  

Well, I think that it’s really easy to have a belief system where Yeah, I hear this a lot. You know, I I’m tired of this relationship. It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I signed up for. And, you know, I know I’m going to meet do one on an airplane or you know, so and so mme and a taxi, they’re waiting for it. And we have this very romanticized idea of what falling in love and love looks like. And and that’s just a farce, you know, I mean, of course, that can happen. But far too often, I think people right off the relationship with I think in our minds, we think that a successful relationship is one that has no problems that it’s easy. That is fluid. And the truth is if you look historically, at relationships, even the strongest ones there, there was adversity, there was opposition. And I think that is actually a healthy part relationships are meant to be served as a mirror for you. I think if we look in biblical stories, we look at Shakespeare, there was often something that they needed to go through that was very difficult. And through that they were able to appreciate one another and actually grow from having that experience. So I just think we’re often very wrong about what we think love should look like and then how it’s going to play out.

Damona  16:34  

It’s like the sand needs that pressure to become the diamond. I heard like a little bit of almost sound like a laugh in your voice when you said the one and I know your book, The subtitle to rethink love is three steps to being the one attracting the one and becoming

Monica Berg  16:53  

one. Did I hear

Damona  16:55  

a little laugh on this idea of the one or do you believe There is a one destined person for everyone.

Monica Berg  17:06  

You didn’t hear the last because i think that i think that there are I do believe in soulmates but I think we’re wrong about, again what we think about that because we think it’s going to be amazing and effortless. And also, I think far too often we right off the person we’re with because we have an expectation that they should be something else. I think you can have a lot of different soulmates in your life actually. It depends where you’re at when you meet the person. If when you’re attracting a mate, you’re coming from a place where you’re feeling like you need validation or you feel very needy, or you feel that you want to your cherished delusion about what marriage will bring you. Well, you’re going to attract a certain kind of person, right? And maybe that person is a spark of your soul and you’re meant to do things together but then you might feel you outgrew them Why? Because maybe now and even invested more into becoming a friend yourself and getting to know yourself. And your ideas about who you want to be and how you want to live might have changed. And so therefore, you might want to different kinds of me. So I think it’s really important when you go into finding the one, you first look at makes sure that you are the one you know. Are you happy with who you are? Would you want to be married to you? Are you a friend to yourself? Do you do like living in your skin? How does that feel for you? And I would really say the relationship that first needs the most attention and the priority really is the one that you have with yourself. And far too often people actually just skip the entire chapter of their lives, and they move on from feeling, you know, maybe needy or not really knowing who they are, or maybe even a little bit undeserving. Or maybe not really good enough. And straight into I need love to help me feel all whole and all of those areas and I think that’s a mistake a lot of us make.

Damona  18:53  

Yeah, I I can certainly relate to that. And that’s been a part of my own story. From this place of being sort of other, being someone that is multi cultural, dual religion, you know, finding my place was was really hard. But as listeners of the show know, when I really came to understand and appreciate myself, that’s when I was able to attract my highest love. And I know you’ve had you’ve had different evolutions of Monica Berg and different challenges that you’ve faced.

Monica Berg  19:30  

If I may, I,

Damona  19:32  

I also heard that one of those struggles that you had was overcoming an eating disorder and body image challenges, which is something that I’ve struggled with as well. Can you talk about a little bit about your journey is this is something that comes up for a lot of my clients and my listeners as well?

Monica Berg  19:50  

Yes, absolutely. And interestingly enough, the first part of my book is all about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s eight chapters. It’s a big part of the book. I wrote it like that, because I actually have tried every single thing that I offer in those chapters. for somebody to struggle with anorexia, it’s really, by simple just the definition, you starve yourself from being able to give yourself love or receiving love, and also such a lack of self care that you don’t even nurture yourself, not with food or any other aspect. So I hit a point where I recognized how how little self love I had, which was surprising because I also had very strong beliefs of not suffering. I believed in fairness and equality and love for all but my ability, my inability to give it to myself was very big. And so I had a choice to either slowly keep starving myself to death ultimately, or I had to really learn to love myself. So I think it first starts with hearing and identifying false beliefs that we all carry. Usually it’s the voice of our parents. And my parents are great. They love me. But you know, they had their own struggles, right? So I started to identify those. And I started to identify areas where I felt shame, and feelings of unworthiness. And I decided that I was gonna turn the volume lower on that negative voice, that inner critic and I was going to try to find what was almost now an audible, the voice of my soul, which was telling me you know, you are destined for greatness simply by your existence, you are deserving of love. And I knew full well that I needed to learn to give that to myself. So although I was so lonely at the time, it’s a very isolating place to be in. And what I wanted more than anything was for someone to love me unconditionally. I knew so fully and completely in that moment, even at age 18, that I needed to learn to do that for myself. And if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t be happy. I wouldn’t even know if I would survive


Damona  21:58  

that steep That’s deep. And I think a lot of people can relate to that. But but maybe haven’t had that turning point that epiphany. Was there something was there a catalyst that really got you to say, I have to make a change.

Monica Berg  22:20  

Well, it’s interesting because I think a lot of people and that’s why I feel like having anorexia was a blessing. Because a lot of people can deal with this place of being in a prison. It’s like a self made prison, right? It’s very comfortable. It’s small, you’re caged in, but it’s a comfortable, it’s a comfortable prison, right? Because you’ve created it. For me. It was so extreme at that point that I was forced to have to do something about this. And the day that I realized that is also a gift, I call it the gift of knowing, because like most people who suffer with this, you don’t see it right. There’s body dysmorphia. You You see Large person when you look in the mirror, and, and I By the way, I was never I was always the size for like I’ve never It was never because I felt like I gained weight and it was just this deep shame that I had carried around for my whole life. And I remember one day I went to the bathroom and it was something I did every morning. It was called the pinch test and I would lift up my night shirt and I would pinch parts of skin which I felt were fat, but literally like skin off my stomach between my fourth my finger, my pointer finger and my thumb. And I remember on this given morning, I looked in the mirror and for the first time I saw like I actually saw what I looked like. And you have to know that before that I just saw a very different version. I saw this barely obese monitor looking at me. That’s what I had seen for years. And on that day, I saw a skeletal version of myself and I was horrified. I was horrified but it was at my own hands. I had created this and I started screaming and crying Trying to my mother who at that point, yes, she was expecting my heart to give out at any moment, from the lack of nutrients. And she came in and we just held each other. And from that point on, the struggle is still there, I needed to get help, I started this spiritual work. And I really did this work, but I knew no matter what I saw later that it wasn’t true that it was my eyes lying to me. And that was another gift and another insight that you can’t trust your five senses not in anything, not even in relationship.

Damona  24:28  

like can you trust the other senses? I believe I’m a big believer in many senses, and not even just six. But

Monica Berg  24:38  

well, this is the thing according to Kabbalah, we have what is known as the 1% reality versus the 99% realm. So the 1% is everything that’s ruled by our five senses. It’s, you know, sight, smell, hearing, taste, and very often, you know, and it’s immediate gratification. So when we go about relationships, we look for what you know, you Are pheromones, right? Do they smell good test? How do they feel to us? What’s the attraction level? And of course, all of those things are important. However, we know that looks fade. We know people get older. I mean, lots of things change, bank accounts change. So if it’s just based on external, you know, you’re gonna get into trouble with that a little bit later. But what’s connected to the 99% realm? is empathy, kindness, compassion, connection. Pleasure, laughter, right? All of those things. That’s what you really want to start out looking for when you’re looking for relationship, because that will stand the test of time. If you find a kind of person they’re going to be they’re going to continue to be high maybe and fast. They’ll want to continue to be kinder and find ways to grow that, huh?

Damona  25:43  

Yes, that’s I. I appreciate the way that you phrase that because that’s something that we talk about a lot on the show, but it’s hard to put into words what exactly those qualities you should be looking for are. I want to fast forward a little bit In your story to when you met your spouse, and just continuing on the conversation of self love and, and body image, because sometimes when when you get into the relationship or when you’re dating, then your face those issues are looking at you again because people feel that they’re being judged because of the way they look. Did that come up for you when you were dating? Or has it come up for you in your relationship in the past?

Monica Berg  26:37  

Well, it’s really interesting because

Monica Berg  26:40  

even though I really want a relationship I never trusted. I never trusted it because I didn’t feel I was ready for it in some way. I mean, even when, like, I mean, I went to Beverly Hills High School, there are plenty of opportunities, but I kept just feeling like I need to protect myself from something I didn’t know that I need to protect myself from me actually. Just what followed right when I was about to graduate, but when and my husband and I knew each other. So again, I started studying Kabbalah when I was 17. And he was very involved. He was kind of born into it, actually, his parents co founded the cloud center. So we came from very different backgrounds. And he you know, I love this too, because he always had his nose in a book. You know, he was walking read, and I written that, you know, I was drinking and dancing and do very different things that we were coordinating. But we put ourselves connected, right, but I could not see him like, even if God had come and said, this is your future husband. It was absolutely not because at face value, it didn’t look like things lined up. And I remember I was doing all of this work that we’re speaking about, I was still anorexic. And one day I walked into his office because there was a project that I volunteered to work on, and it was his projects and they walked in and our hands touch and it was like if we saw each other for the first time and we were married nine months. Later. And we were young to write. So when we joke like, oh, we’re really lucky it worked out. But the truth is, we both had these things in common in terms of the 99% realm. So, and I was interested when we fell in love, which is interesting, right? And I think, and I remember it was the first time I ever felt really happy, and it wasn’t so much that he was making me happy. It was just I never laughed so much. It was like there was levity. And there was a simplicity that I had never known or seen before. It was just being able to arrive on your own terms. And be seen, I think it was the first time I was really seen for who I really was like, he could see my soul and I don’t think anybody had ever seen me in that way ever until that point, and I’m not really sure until recent times. If people have you know, he always saw me and I think that that that belonging not only helps me heal But never made me. Never made me question who I was, or if I was enough.

Damona  29:08  

I wish that for all of our listeners, I hope that they can all get to that point. But I know there’s a lot of fear but you got to do the work and a lot of fear on the way to like fear of acceptance, fear of rejection. And I know we’re talking about rethink love, but you’ve also written a book called fear is not an option. Can you give just a couple of tips on overcoming fear or, or, you know, rejecting fear when it comes to moving into a relationship?

Monica Berg  29:44  

Well, I can talk about fear forever, although, yeah, I think that people do of course, fear of rejection. It feels very real. And I actually think it comes from ancestral times when when we would stand up and Be an individual and speak our mind. We could be ostracized right? And what did that mean? Then we were gatherers and hunters. That means if we were rejected from a group, basically, that was death because we could not survive on our own right. So I think we’re running really old software. And we think it’s real. And that’s why we’re terrified of being rejected. But the way I look at rejection is different rejection isn’t that what you’re offering is not worthwhile, or that it’s bad. It’s just the person you’re trying to give it to, is not the recipient of it. And if you look at it that way, it’s really not personal. It’s just not for them. But what a blessing to see that early on. So you can not waste time and you can move on to the next. So in order to do that, though, of course, you have to know your self worth, which takes us back again to that first very fundamental step, which is really learning to be your own best friend, and it’s possible for everyone I say this completely wholeheartedly. I fundamentally know this to be true. Everybody can get there, but you have to have a true desire. desire to do it. Again. For me, the desire was everything because it was life or death. But what if everybody looked at life like that? Right? If I don’t change this about myself? It’s the death. It’s a slow death. What is a slow death? It means that you wake up every day. And are you living your best life versus just mediocre? You wake up and you’re not really excited to get out of bed. You wake up and you can’t wait till this happy hour. I mean, that’s so death to me.

Damona  31:22  

Oh, yeah. And I think now in this time of, of COVID and radical, racial change, I think it does slow death is getting faster. And we’re all seeing our own mortality presented to us and we have a choice. And I love that you say, you say that. Change, get it. You want people to get addicted to change. And that change is something that can really be powerful to create the life that we want. So I think we’re in a really important time be having this conversation, Monica To really inspire people to make a change and to continue to make changes. What, what is one thing that you encourage someone to do today? If they’re feeling all those pressures, and they’re feeling the slow death? How can we make a move to get unstuck, and not not accept the the death sentence that we’ve been taking on? not to get too serious, we

Monica Berg  32:25  

need to

Monica Berg  32:27  

know. I know, like the death sentence.

Damona  32:30  

But you know, I mean, it feels real to me. It feels real to me right away.

Monica Berg  32:36  

I think that as much as I say there’s an option, there is a place for healthy fear. And in fact, in my book, identify three different different types of fear because when you break things down like that, it’s very easy then to overcome them. And we don’t have to go into that if you don’t want to, or we can whatever you want, but with healthy fear, for instance, healthy fear is rooted in real fear. It’s rooted in things that happen right? Like death, disease, sickness growing old and what people do with that kind of fear. They take it all the ways every time like let’s say somebody fears their parents dying, then they think about that. And they ruminate about that thought over and over again or when they’re with their parents. That’s sad, because they’re thinking, Oh, is this the last time I’ll be with them or our days are numbered. Instead, you can use it as a great motivator for change, right? You can say, Okay, I’m going to tell them, I love them. Whenever I see them, I’m going to make sure I’m kind even if I’m annoyed. I’m going to make sure that I enjoy our time together. So I have those memories. Where if a person’s afraid of disease, well, then great, use your time wisely. Eat healthy, don’t have stress, don’t smoke, right? exercise, there’s these things are set for us, actually, to help us be aware of things we do need to pay attention to. So I’m all for that kind of fear. And in terms of change, I think very often, people crave change, but they reject change because we like to be comfortable. we as human beings. We really like our comfort and changes the opposite of that it’s very uncomfortable. The thing is this, if you accept this reality, that change is a constant companion for all of us through life. Think about this. I mean, if I look back to Monica 15 years ago, or 30 years ago, I don’t even recognize her. And I hope that tomorrow, I don’t recognize the version of me that I am today, right? That’s how I approach life now. And it’s very freeing, and it’s very liberating, because the alternative is that you go through life collecting things and accumulating things and then you get terrified. Don’t take this away from me. I worked really hard for this. Oh my god, I can’t lose my job. I worked really hard to get to this position, or this race or this promotion, oh, my God, my house. I’ve got to protect it. I worked really hard for it. And so we go through life collecting things and then we’re afraid we’re going to lose them. But what about this? What if we don’t have that fear? And we say, Okay, I’m so curious about life and where it has to take me and what I have yet to discover that I want to be flexible. That means that day to day again, you wake up you have a plan, you have an idea of what your life should be like Like what your day should unfold like, and then it doesn’t go that way, you have a choice in that moment, I can be upset and write the day off and wait for tomorrow. Or I can look around and say, Okay, so that’s not an option. What else is and if you approach life like that, you’re going to see endless opportunities. And then you’re actually going to be happy. It’s like the formula for happiness.

Damona  35:21  

I love how you said it. We took we took all of the despair, and you turn it into a positive Monica and I too, I’m a change addict. And you know, people have heard me say on the show before, like, I’m not a done person, I’m not finished. I’m evolving and I am excited for all of our listeners to to get to get more, get some of your wisdom and get that inspiration for them to keep pushing to change and evolve as well. Thank you so much for being here. I hope everyone will pick up their copy of rethink love three steps to being the one attracting the one and becoming the one Monica. I think this is just the The beginning of a long friendship and a journey for us to take together. So thank you for inspiring me as well.

Monica Berg  36:05  

Oh, I look forward to that. Thank you so much.

Damona  36:09  

What a delight what an enlightening experience to speak with Monica Berg. I have learned so much from her. I’ve been Kabbalah curious for a while myself, so I’ll keep you posted. As we move along this journey. We’re going to take a quick break, but I have questions from you all and some juicy ones this week. So don’t go anywhere. We’re back. And I am here and ready to answer your dating and relationship questions. This is your favorite segment. Technically dating.

Monica Berg  36:42  


Damona  36:44  

This question came to me in an email from Abby. She says I’m 37 and I am so embarrassed to say that I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve talked to some therapists and they don’t really know what to say. And it still makes me sad to this day. I’ve been single my whole life and it hurts me knowing this situation that I missed out on simple things like celebrating an anniversary with a guy walking along the beach, watching the sunset celebrating anything, basically, what would you say to help me get over this embarrassment? Is it something that I just have to live with? And stop dwelling on? I’ve been living with it my whole life. And I really don’t know how to heal my heart from this. Happy. Thank you so much for your question. Well, it’s funny, all of the memories that you mentioned, walking on the beach and watching the sunset, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve done that with my husband. And what it Telegraph’s out to me is that we’ve fallen for it, Abby, we’ve fallen for the myth of romance that we’ve seen in rom com. So those are all moments from movies. They’re not real life. And while you’re yearning for a relationship, I want to be be mindful of What kind of relationship you’re yearning for? If you’re looking for that kind of picture, perfect experience. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been in pursuit of that the last I was gonna say 37 years, but hopefully not when you’re a baby. But maybe for the last 25 years you’ve been in search of that happy ending and that picture perfect moment. And that’s really not what real love is about real love. It is those moments you get to celebrate together. But it is also it is a journey and self discovery as I was talking about with Monica. And in terms of the embarrassment, I feel you girl I because I really did not have many serious relationships before I met my husband. And I can certainly relate to that feeling of not being in a committed relationship and feeling like you’re missing out on something That FOMO is real. But I just want you to know you’re not alone, even at 37 there are many other people listening and I get emails from them all the time, who are looking for the same thing that you are. But the important thing is that if you want your life to change as Monica and I are saying earlier, this is the moment to do something about it. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait until you’re this perfect version of yourself. Don’t wait until you’ve completed your therapy and you are a done person because change is inevitable and you will grow and evolve with the right partner. So what I want you to do it to release that embarrassment is to focus on the vision of the relationship that you want to create. Because I promise you once you are in that relationship, that time that felt like an eternity when you were when you were single, will be a will be a little blip on the meter of your life. And I want you to visualize I want you to picture what it would be like to be with this person? What are the qualities of this person? How do you feel with this person. And I want you to basically create an ideal mate vision. And once you’ve done that, then you work backwards in you write your dating profile, and you talk to your friends about introductions, and you release the single shame because if you stay in the shame and embarrassment of not having a relationship, you will not be able to shine in the sun as a single person and for people to be able to see you. And then we will cue your dating plan off of your vision of your ideal mate and how you want to feel when you’re in that relationship. I could take you a lot further, but I’ll leave it there for today’s show and I will be doing a women’s group program. So if you are interested in getting in the women’s group program, Abby or anyone else listening that wants to go on this journey with me and do some of these exercises I would love to help you can email me to get on the Advanced list Dimona at damona Hoffman comm there’s also always the 30 day dating playbook, which does some of this work in a very truncated version 30 days of or less, and that’s it. 30 day Our next question comes to us from one of our Patreon friends with benefits. This person asks, What advice do you have on interracial dating? And how do you have conversations on what’s happening during these crazy times? Yes, it is a crazy time. But I’m really glad you asked this question because I’ve talked a lot about how to date race open and opening up your parameters or search parameters. But I haven’t talked a lot about the challenges that you might face in engaging in an interracial relationship if you haven’t in the past. And it’s funny because even we talked about bachelor at the top of the show, Rachel Lindsay was saying that she wished for people to not have their first interracial relationship on national television. On the Bachelor. So we’re all aware that there’s going to be friction. But I believe that loving one another and being open to, to crossing racial barriers and blending our cultures in America. And I know I have listeners all over the world. But here, especially because of our history, it’s really important to moving forward in this time. So I’ll give you a couple of steps that I think you need to take and things that you need to think about if you’re embarking on an interracial relationship for the first time. The first thing I hear a lot from people that are in interrelate interracial relationships is that they don’t want to have to educate their partner. But here’s the bottom line. We don’t know what we don’t know. And it’s inevitable that your partner may say something that they don’t understand may be offensive to you. There may be cultural norms, or certain patterns that you have that are under familiar to them. And we have to create a culture of being open to the discussion. And you have to create an environment where your partner can, can voice their questions and concerns that they may have never been able to say to another person, but they feel safe enough to ask it of you. So yeah, there’s gonna be a little bit of an education process. And yeah, it might be a little bit exhausting. I have to tell you, I’ve gotten so many messages from friends that are basically asking me to explain blackness to them. And I don’t have the rulebook. Certainly myself. Just living in the skin gives me one experience, but there’s so much more out there to experience and learn but if you can’t learn from your partner, who can you learn from? The next thing I’ll tell you is that we have to remember where we are in history. Our historical memory is very short. The the interracial marriage ban just ended in 1968. We just celebrated loving day, just a little over a week ago, my parents got married in 1978. And people would look at them my father’s white, my mother’s black, they would look at them with the stain when they would go out. And that’s really not that long ago. So the you have to consider the history that came before this moment that you’re in and realize that not everybody is ready to accept this and some of you listening right now, might not be ready to accept this conversation. And that’s okay. But we’re just beginning we’re just beginning the talk now, many many years later. So, when you are bringing your significant other around your family around your friend circle, you need to be aware of what the environment is and set your partner up for success. So if there are certain things about your culture, that they need to understand certain cultural norms, if there are certain Things that you want to make off limits to your friends and family. Or if you know that you have family that just is not going to be open and accepting of this person, then you have to set your partner up for success. And you have to create your new traditions together. And this is actually true of any any new relationship, whether you are the same race, and the same religion or not. Everyone has different traditions and cultural norms. And you’re always blending traditions when you’re blending two families, two people together. So when you’re creating your own traditions, I want you to remember that you are one another’s champion, you’re always on the other person’s team. And this may be a very challenging thing when you’re going up against decades and decades and, and even centuries of preconceived notions about who someone is based on the color of their skin. You are Trailblazer if you’re choosing this path, you’re choosing to be in an interracial relationship, even here in 2020.

Monica Berg  46:07  


Damona  46:08  

it’s up to you to lock arms with your partner and remind them that you are united front, and that we are pushing forward. Together, no matter what. I hope those tips are helpful. This is obviously a deep conversation that we could spend a lot of time talking about. And this is just the beginning. But I appreciate you being open to asking the question and to taking this journey with your partner. That’s all for Episode 315 of dates and mates. You can find Monica on all of the socials at Monica Berg 74 or at rethink life dotnet and we’ll put those links in the show notes as well. We are rapidly approaching the end of season seven of dates and mates man this season has flown by and I am still processing Everything that we’ve talked about and I am already planning what’s going to be in store for season eight. We have one more super awesome episode coming this month and then in July I’ll be putting on a month long dating masterclass called manifesting your mate. It’ll be a parts meditation parts inspiration, totally different format something new for you to explore in July. I’ll give you more info on that next week. But in the meantime, don’t forget to join the Patreon slash dates and mates. And if you are looking for a deeper conversation on how to get that highest love that you want, and you deserve, please join me. We will put all of the links from today’s show and the show recap at data Nate’s comm I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. keep those questions coming now I states are opening up and people are ready to date. I know you have a lot of questions and I want to give you the answers. Next week we’ll be talking about how to get your x back with Lee Wilson a relationship and marriage coach. Until then, I wish you love light and strength and of course, happy dating

Cuddle Buddies & Practical Attraction


It’s another sunny day in COVID-19 racial equality uprising land. And yes, we’re still mad as hell, we’re still exhausted as hell, but we’re still here for you to help you through the challenges that you’re facing in love.


After 3 months of quarantine many of us are eager to get back out and start dating or to find a new normal with our mates and we have an intriguing guest talking to me today on how to write your new rules on love.

Today, we’re talking to Adam Lyons, a dating coach who is all about practical dating and attraction. He’s made headlines in the past for his polyamorous relationships and he’s here to encourage you to live your love life by your own rules.

But first, we have headlines to share: 


Why you should be upfront about your political views in dating at this time

There is a lot of political tension in the world right now and has seen a 43% increase in users talking about politics on the platform. Maybe right now is not the time to find love across party lines? Damona breaks it down.


Do men with 9 to 5s make good life partners?

Comedian B. Simone made headlines this week after an interview on the Nick Cannon show where she said that 9-5 men were not right for her. Damona has thoughts.


Your government wants you to get some… safely of course

This week, Boris Johnson, PM of the UK, announced that his government encourages singles to find one household to mingle with – a support bubble or a cuddle buddy. They also ask that if you have sex, consider wearing a mask…. Damona definitely has something to say about this one.



Damona talks to Adam Lyons – author, public speaker, and an expert in practical dating and attraction.

You might actually know him from a pretty big interview on the Today Show where he shared his polyamorous relationships and it has been covered extensively by tabloids across the world.

So when Damona decided to have him on the show, as someone who usually speaks about monogamous relationships, we expected some pretty big disagreements BUT in fact, Damona was surprised on how much his teachings align with hers.



With him we discuss:

  • Hookup Culture is still here
  • Rampant STIs throughout the world prove that we’re not ready to hookup again
  • Ghosting: Why you should take responsibility for it
  • Dating starts with women: how to let him know you want him to approach you
  • Why you should never tell someone you’ve loved them in secret
  • Polyamory: Monogamy, but more love and communication

Find Adam on Instagram at the @thedatingcoach and get to know his special ACE formula for dating at!



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

  • Jenny from Waukegan, IL – Do you think it’s better to play hard to get or show more interest when first matching up with a guy? I’ve tried both methods and have gotten the same results of talking for a week and then nothing. 
  • Jodi – I am ready to date again after 10 years divorced and am talking to an online match, but I find that in the time of COVID this dating thing is more difficult than I imagined. We have been speaking for six weeks, 5 facetime dates, one socially distanced coffee date and daily texts. I am honestly ready to risk some more face to face interaction with him but he seems to be moving too slowly and I am not sure if it’s the pandemic or a classic case of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” His texting has slowed down a lot this past week and I am not sure if it is comfort or slow ghosting. I don’t want to sound thirsty! HELP! He is 47 and I am 42.


Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, it’s another sunny day and COVID-19 racial equality uprising land. And yes, I’m still mad as hell. And yes, I’m still exhausted as hell. But yes, I’m still here for you. And I’m here to help you through the challenges that you’re still facing in love. After three months of quarantine, many of us are eager to get back out and start dating, or to find a new normal with our mates. And I have an intriguing guest talking to me today about how to write your new rules on love. Today, I’ll be joined by Adam Lyons. He’s a dating coach who’s all about practical Dating and attraction. He’s made headlines in the past for his polyamorous relationships. And he’s here to encourage you to live your love life by your own rules. But first, we have current events to discuss, like why you should be upfront about your political views during this time on dating apps. And do guys with a nine to five job make good life partners, plus the next step in Corona dating right here right now. And then as always, at the end of the show, Adam and I will answer your questions including should you be playing hard to get and what if he’s just not that into you? All that and more on today’s dates and made so you’re ready for this? Then let’s dish these dating dish. urges people to find the right time to bring up politics in dating. Dating calm has actually seen a 43% increase crease in users talking about politics on the platform. And this is nothing new. What are right around, let’s see 2016 I did some episodes about how the polarized political climate was causing people to put that first on their dating profiles. And it was the primary filter that a lot of people were using before even engaging with someone online. And so we had a few years to settle back into our ways. We had a global pandemic, and a racial equality uprising. And here we are, again, nothing like those kind of factors to push you back to the political, your sides of the political spectrum. So a lot of people on dating calm said that they would not consider dating someone with opposing political views and that they’ve even previously ended Relationships due to opposing political views. Two thirds of users responded in that way. But many people said that bringing politics into the discussion can be a really big turnoff to them, and that they will often go someone shortly after the conversation. So where does that leave us? We want to use politics as a filter. But at the same time, nobody wants to talk about it because it’s super unsexy to talk about it in that day. And that has always been one of the top things, no things to never talk about. You never talk about religion. You never talk about politics. And I always say you never talk about sex on the first date. But where that leaves us is we need to stop using a political affiliation to mean a whole set of values about someone I hate to break it to you but we still are going to have to do the hard work and have in depth meaningful conversations that can indicate what someone’s values are. beyond just what box they check at the polls. And yes, I understand that certain political parties do have certain belief systems that people in those parties are very vocal about. But you have to remember that everybody is an individual. And just because they’re either red or blue, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t a match for you. Talking about looking for a match. I don’t know if y’all saw this, this Instagram video from be Simone. She’s a comedian and instagrammer who sells books on manifesting the life and the love life that you want. And she did this whole video about why men with nine to five jobs just aren’t gonna work for her. She’s like, I’m up at 3am answering emails. He won’t understand that. And I want to be very clear that I disagree with be Simone that men with nine to five jobs are not a good Match because I think a lot of people took that away from the video. And that’s not what she’s saying. She’s saying they’re not a good match for her. And I’m totally on board with the idea that manifesting the right person for you is what you should be doing. So I hear this a lot, especially from people that are in unique kinds of jobs. I work with a lot of people in the entertainment industry that have these very demanding jobs that work all hours like be Simone people might be on set, they might be traveling. And if you have a more traditional job, you might not understand that and you might not have the flexibility, like, like some of my friends, for example, in entertainment, their partners have to go on set for three months or six months and they just say, Okay, I’m going to uproot my life and move to where they are, and we’re just going to be on set for the next three to six months. Not everybody can do that. So you really need to do the mindset work and that’s why all of my dating coaching programs, whether it’s a 30 day dating playbook or my VA IP programs that are one on one, they all begin with the mindset piece. And the mindset piece is not just getting clear on what you want and manifesting it as be someone says, but it’s also about looking at your values, the lifestyle you want. And remember those long term goals and shared values are two of the most important factors in compatibility. If you figure those things out, like be Simone has, and you put that out into the world, whether it’s the way that you filter on dating apps, or what you ask people for when they’re setting you up with someone, then you’re going to be a lot more satisfied in the relationship because it’s going to be in alignment.

If you are across the pond in the UK, I know we have a lot of new listeners from from the UK and first welcome and also I have to say, I’m so sorry because your government seems to have Coronavirus matching all wrong. They said in it that in the UK Boris Johnson announced that he’s easing the country’s Coronavirus restrictions by allowing people to pair up in support bubbles. So a support bubble can be two people or two households that can spend time together inside each other’s homes. And they do not need to say they say two meters apart here we say six feet apart. You can do it you could do the correlation there, figure out how far it is from whatever country you’re listening. Right now, it means that you can blend you can create a cohort, which is ultimately good, but we have to back up to what the previous restriction was where they were basically saying it was illegal for you to make contact with the person that did not live in your home. They said you can’t go inside somebody else’s house. You can’t be with other people. Unless you’re outside and And you certainly cannot stay the night. But the funny thing about this, this article and what I’ve been hearing from the British government is that they seem to have no understanding of the way that people actually mate and date and relate. They they suggested that sex with yourself or with others at a distance is possible. So that’s the safest way to avoid getting Coronavirus. But they also said maybe it’s your thing, maybe it’s not, but during COVID-19 we’re a face covering that covers your nose and your mouth. And that’s a good way to add a layer of protection during sex. And the during sex part, like literally just made me

just made me fall out of my chair. Can you imagine having sex with somebody and you’re not doing roleplay and you’re just wearing a mask? And what about all the other bodily fluids that are being shared? We don’t know if they have access A live virus in them and we do know as I said on the show a few weeks ago that Corona virus is present in the sperm of infected people. So what’s the point of men wearing a mask to not breathe on them if you are sharing bodily fluids inside of them makes no sense to me. Sorry to get you know a little more graphic than I usually get on that one. But I think ultimately, it is a good thing to have a cuddle buddy during Coronavirus. You know, we’re three months in now. And I know a lot of you are feeling really isolated and lonely and feeling that skin hunger just wanting to be touched. I have to tell you, I hugged my mom today. I just said The hell with it. And we just have to blend our families because how long can my mom be isolated she lives alone, and I hugged her and I cried y’all because it had been three months since I had touched my mom and I it showed me how much emotion had built up inside, from not having that connection. So I know if I’m feeling it and I’ve been, I’ve been touched like way too much in the last 4434 months with with my kids and my husband at home all day every day. So I know those of you that are single and that are living alone are really feeling that that desire to have someone in your life. So I say you heard it here for the first time. I say it’s okay, as long as you’re being safe and you know, that person doesn’t have any symptoms. And ideally, there’s retesting here in Los Angeles and I know in a lot of other places, ideally, you’re getting tested and knowing what your Coronavirus risk tolerance is. If you need to be touched, if you need to create a support bubble with you, and a friend or you and an F buddy. I think we’re at the point where it’s like, y’all need to do what you need to do. Those are the headlines for this week. I’d love to know what you think if you agree or disagree about men who have nine to five are manifesting your mate or political differences, or even Coronavirus, support bubbles. Maybe you disagree with wearing a mask during sex, I don’t know, but I want to hear about it. You can of course, messaged me anytime on social media. I’m on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at damona Hoffman. You can also join the Patreon friends with slash dates and mates and you can even help shape some of the content that’s going to be on dates and mates going forward. And trust me, you’re going to want to stick around for this next interview. I’m talking to Adam Lyons and we’ll be covering everything from attraction to dating advice to even polyamory. It’s a provocative and thought provoking interview. So don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back. Welcome back. I’m talking to Adam Lyons he’s an author, public speaker and an expert in practical dating and attraction. You might actually know him from a pretty big interview on the Today Show where he shared his polyamorous relationship, and it’s been covered extensively by tablets across the world. So when I decided to have him on the show, as someone who normally speaks about monogamous relationships, I expected some pretty big disagreements. But in fact, I was surprised at how much of his teachings align with mine. So get ready lovers because your world is about to be rocked by Adam Lyons. Let’s give him some big smooches.

Adam Lyons  12:43  

Thank you so much for having me.

Damona  12:45  

It is so great to be here with you because I know you and I have some different opinions. We have some different perspectives on dating relationships, but you’ve been working as a dating coach for many, many years and you’ve helped a lot of people move into the kind of roles That they want. And you’re also up to speed on the trends and what’s happening. So let’s get into it.

Adam Lyons  13:09  

I’m down.

Damona  13:10  

Okay, here we are a few weeks after many states are now reopening their their the Rios guidelines, they’re strict guidelines. And I have said first of all I’ve said for a long time to my clients and to the listeners of the show, you better not You better not be dating during COVID. Do you have people that have been going out on dates and have been like, tiptoeing into the waters even before their states are opened up?

Adam Lyons  13:40  

I do I have people, I have people that have been swamped with requests for dates. It’s crazy. What’s been happening. I’ve been a dating coach for 15 years, and I have never in my entire history of teaching dating, had students messaged me and say, I’m being swamped with people inviting me on dates. And I don’t know what to do. It just came out of nowhere. I mean, we’re successful. But this is crazy. Some of these students having eight times of success, and we know this because we keep track of that data to help the students grow.

Damona  14:12  

What do you think is the biggest change then that’s causing that? Is it because we can’t? It’s not as easy to move offline? Or is there like a desperation happening? What’s going on?

Adam Lyons  14:23  

Yeah, there’s so many little details that happening. So one of the first things things that’s happening is obviously, people are bored. And when they’re bored, they’re looking for human companionship and connection. And one of the fastest and easiest ways to meet a stranger is online dating. You know, there are friend apps where you can like make a friend but the reality is most people are going straight to online dating to have a bit of flirting, if they’re single, that is exactly where they’re going. Now this unique time that we’re in like the COVID-19 thing. There is in the media, a lot of confusion about how really is whichever side of the fence you sit on you Can’t deny that people are coming to conflict over this. And because of that, it creates, you know, an element of people being unsure about whether it is okay or isn’t okay. And so people do that. Not very good test where they look with their eyes and make the decision based purely on what they see. And they’re like, well, I don’t look like I have COVID-19. And this person I’m seeing online doesn’t look like they have COVID-19. So I’m sure we don’t have it. Let’s give it a go. And I know this mentality from sexually transmitted diseases, because we often see this with people saying, I don’t need to get tested. I can tell I don’t have anything and they don’t understand that they could absolutely be a carrier. And if you are being promiscuous, you need to get tested on a regular basis.

Damona  15:46  

So what is your your philosophy for daters? Both on STD, STI test testing, and COVID-19 testing.

Adam Lyons  15:56  

So yeah, a lot. One of the biggest things that I refuse to do As a dating coach is I refuse to dictate how somebody has to live their life. One of the first things we do is an assessment. And in the assessment, I get students to write down what they want and what they hope to achieve. And the very first thing we decided before we even signed somebody up, you can’t just give me money and work with me, we have to have alignment, I have to agree with what it is that you’re trying to achieve. And I have to want to help you do it. If what you write down is the things that you want to get are things that go against my moral code, things that I just don’t want to do. We just say thank you, but no, thank you. We’re not the right company for you. So we know the students that come to us are people that we’re in alignment with. Now, having said that, COVID-19 came in the middle of a lot of students who had already signed up with us. They knew that if they planned on being promiscuous, we were going to recommend that they do STD testing, and that we would, you know, say hey, this is serious, you need to do this COVID-19 kind of fell in that category. In many ways. We treated that as another form of STD just one that you could get by being in proximity with somebody. And so for us the due diligence around that procedure kicked in. So it was like, if you’re going to meet people, you really should look at going to get tested. You want to do things slowly. And surely don’t just jump into a relationship with somebody, make sure you have phone conversations, first text conversations. First, do virtual dating first, just anything you can to really expand upon your interactions with somebody before you make a commitment to go and meet them. If you are going to go and meet somebody, which we don’t really recommend, unless you’ve both been tested, and you know, everything’s okay, then you should really take some serious precautions to make sure that you limit whether you to see anybody else, you know, we recommended taking two weeks of virtual dating for a while, where you know, you can actually talk about where you’re going, where you’re who you’re talking to interacting with, and have almost this period of together quarantine where you’re not actually together until you say okay, we look pretty good. Let’s go for this. Now. That was one of the things that we were recommending, and we were telling everyone you obviously run it by a doctor see what they say,

Damona  17:55  

huh? Yes, I’ve been a big fan of the virtual dating for a long time. And I think now it’s it’s such a great tool. It’s so great that we have these these apps that are available to us to be able to connect. I’m

Adam Lyons  18:11  

curious though, you said you always do an assessment at the beginning, and ask them what they want, what to the majority of people come to you for. Everyone wants something different. But there is a there is a standard, but it does tend to deviate between the sexes. You’ll often find most men that apply are looking to meet the one, but they don’t want to settle down right now. So they say I’m looking for somebody I really want to settle down with, but I don’t really know what I want. So I’d like to go on a bunch of dates meet a bunch of people to identify exactly what I want. Most women will say, I’m tired of meeting people that it looks like everything’s good. And then suddenly, everything just collapses and it goes cold. And now I don’t know what’s going on. So they tend to be the two camps and there are other things but they tend to be the two predominant

Damona  18:59  

that’s interesting to me that you said most of the men say they’re looking for the one. Because a lot of the women that, that write into the show have this feeling that all men are players, all men just want to hook up. But you’re not sorry.

Adam Lyons  19:14  

I it’s so funny. I see the I work with men and women. And I see exactly what you’re saying. And I see the exact opposite. Men saying, women just want to find a better deal. They want to upgrade. They, you know, they want me to be six foot tall, but I’m only five foot 10. And you know, so when I’m with them, I feel they keep looking at taller men or laughing of their friends about how they want somebody to say it’s hysterical because I see both sides. I see you know men’s worrying about you know, women constantly trying to play the field. But I see women saying that, you know, men don’t want to settle down. I think the reality is we might as well just look at humans, and recognize that most humans actually have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to dating.

Adam Lyons  19:54  


Adam Lyons  19:56  


Adam Lyons  19:57  

Unless you’ve sat down, read some books. Put some time Put some studying in. I mean, we have sex education in school, which is like, what maybe a couple of hours of class size schools? Not all anymore. Right? But where’s the relationship? education? Right? Where’s the emotional intelligence lessons? Where’s the lessons in how to handle conflict? Or when you meet somebody that is has clearly had trauma in the past? What’s the best way to handle them? How do you, you know, handle letting somebody down? How do you say no, in a way that doesn’t make you feel ostracized from a social group? These to me are basic one on one lessons that all human beings should know. They’re never taught. And if somebody hasn’t bothered to sit you down and say in a nice way where you can hear it and your ego isn’t hearing that as a critique on yourself, then you’re one of the lucky few.

Damona  20:40  

Yeah, and I also look at flirting as a learned skill to and attraction. And I know you teach this also in your formula, like, especially I think the message to women is that we should just know how to do this. You should just know how to be attractive to a man. And I feel like a lot of men. Maybe I’ll get hate mail for this book. Feel like a lot of men think, oh, any woman can get, she could get a guy just by going on an app, they get, they all get tons of messages, and they could get laid anytime they want. And that is just not the experience of a lot of our listeners and a lot of our clients. And these are attractive women. It’s not like, you know, they are they it’s not like they’re an automatic swipe left. For a lot of guys. It’s just developing that, that skill set of attraction. What do you think about that?

Adam Lyons  21:35  

I mean, you’re not wrong. And you know, in any way everything you’re saying there is exactly what I’ve seen. I think, you know, one of the key elements when it comes to dating and people is we always think that everyone else has it better. All men will look at the most beautiful women and say it would be easy for them. And then they like but it’s very difficult for us men, but then there are men who it’s very easy for Then, and yet not easy for other women. But that would be the same as anything, we don’t have to look at this as dating, we could look at this as running a marathon, there’ll be some men and women that it will just be very easy for them. And for others, it will be very difficult. And that’s all to do with how much time energy and effort you’ve put into studying and learning how to do that. I actually I have a great article that I write where I take a photograph of myself twice within 20 seconds. One picture is the worst dating app picture you could ever have. And it looks terrible. And the other one looks like a professional model photoshoot. Both are taken on my phone. And it’s just shows that I understand how lighting works. I understand how to pose correctly. And I show this to show people that you can learn how to portray yourself in the right way. But when you’re competing with somebody who knows what they’re doing, yeah, it’s gonna be difficult for you, because this other person knows. Mm hmm.

Damona  22:53  

Yeah, he’s so much that you said really resonates for me. I’d love to link to that. If I can. For our audience, because that that encapsulates a lot of what I tell people about marketing yourself, right, like, and kind of you have to get out of your head, I think you said a little bit of this earlier. If you are so emotionally invested in the app and the results and what’s, what’s happening and each individual interaction, you will make yourself crazy, right, especially at the rates that people are dating right now, I was just talking to one of my friends at OkCupid. And he was saying that they’ve seen like almost a 20% increase in conversations in messaging that’s happening in the app. So you’ll you’ll make yourself crazy if you invest in each and every one but when you step back and look at it, almost like you’re marketing yourself as a product. And you know, like you’re selling a product it’s like some people are gonna want it some people aren’t but you’re not going to spend all this energy like chasing the the person that Didn’t want the product or being angry at the rejection.

Adam Lyons  24:04  

And I love I love. You know, there isn’t really another word for it for rejection, but I absolutely love it when students come to me and say, you know, I don’t want to get rejected or I’m tired of getting rejected, and it cracks me up because I’m like, do they know you? How can you reject someone if you don’t know them? I was like, all that happened is the elements of you that they met, were not exactly what they were looking at at this point. But did you particularly tailor the elements, you showed them to what they wanted to see? Did you communicate effectively all the time that you’ve helped out at the local animal shelter? Do they really know you? Or in reality? Did you just make a couple of mistakes and this one particular person isn’t really interested? And how much do you know about them? Are they an axe murderer? Did you do your due diligence to check into that? Yeah, and people are like, Why don’t know if they’re an axe murderer. I’m like, well, you probably should have checked that first. You know, like, doesn’t matter how nice the hair is. And, and this is the reality most people just don’t think about it. One that cracks me up is I sit down with somebody, when we first when they join our training program, we get them to identify their ideal person. And I have a rule and if their ideal person, if any quality on that list is something that can be fixed with either getting your hair done or something you can buy over the counter, or you know, a little bit of exercise, or changing clothing, if it’s anything that essentially could just be fixed within, you know, a very short period of time, it’s not allowed to be a quality. Also, it can’t be a quality if everybody else in a room of like 20 people would agree. So for example, if you said, I want somebody who’s funny, it’s like everyone wants somebody who’s funny, you don’t get to add that quality. You need to put unique things down, and you suddenly find that no one can write anything. They’ve got nothing to write on this list, because they’ve only ever just either absorbed what the generic public have said someone who’s fun and nice and caring and knows to put me first but also doesn’t put themselves down right like all these generic things, and someone who is you know, dark haired, blonde or works out these other qualities that are just easy to fix. And once you remove all that, they realize they have no idea what they’re looking for. And when we get to the exercise, I say, and that’s why you’re struggling, because you don’t know what you want.

Damona  26:13  

Yeah, having that clarity is really important. I love the way that you phrase that, Adam, that it’s also about, like being unique in what you’re looking for. Because that’s, that’s really what I teach people on this podcast, that you have to let your own unique qualities shine through. And I would think if you actually turn it around, and I don’t know if you do this in your program, but ask people to list what makes them date worthy, or, you know, whatever data bowl or attractive that they probably struggle if you gave them those same parameters.

Adam Lyons  26:50  

Oh, obviously we actually it’s funny. We have some like telling you that the secret sauce, but we have we have this cool. You know, obviously there is this old practice where you rate somebody on a scale of one to 10. And one of our favorite things is to flip that on its script. And so we say to somebody, okay, we would like you to write down on a scale of one to 10, how attractive you are. And we get them to judge themselves on a scale of one to 10. And then we actually have 10 criteria listed, that most people that we’ve discovered, consider these qualities attractive. And these 10 qualities of things like leadership are things like being thoughtful, I think, like having ambition

Damona  27:29  

10 1010 for me,

Adam Lyons  27:31  

exactly. These are, these are key qualities. And so we’ve got, you know, humor, that kind of stuff. So we have a full list of these 10. And we get them to identify on the list how many of these things they can say that they’re competent at, not perfect at not the best, but just competent at and it shocks me, the really confident people, like I’m an eight out of 10 they’re like, oh, four, and then you get people like, I’m like a three, and then they’re like, wow, I’m like a nine. And you’re like, yeah, you know, yeah, maybe maybe you you’re not in shape, because that’s one of the things is like being healthy, so maybe you’re not in shape. shape. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know, that you’re unattractive. And in fact, like healthy and we differentiate this healthy doesn’t mean having a perfect body. In fact, quite often, it does not mean that you see people that go to these bodybuilding contests and stray off towards that throwing up because of what they’re doing to their body, and it’s not healthy. You know, that healthy lifestyle just means understanding the nutrients your body needs, and taking it, it means things like bathing regularly looking after your teeth. These are the things that make somebody attractive. And so when we have our physical attributes, it’s all about you know, going to the dentist regularly and stuff like that. And it was like, but don’t have to look like you know, if you’ve got these huge muscles, like most, most people don’t really care about that. But you know, you probably should be able to walk up the stairs without running out of breath and collapsing on the floor. You know, that’s probably a thing you have to be able to do. Yeah,

Damona  28:50  

are attractive.

Adam Lyons  28:52  

Right. Yeah, exactly. And so these you know, or be able to not, you know, in the middle of a hot and heavy bedroom session like wait, woman, I get my breath back.

Damona  29:01  

Right, good. Yeah, like take a shower

Adam Lyons  29:04  

towel now. Yeah, exactly like wait Round Round two in 10 minutes. Like, I just, I gotta I can’t breathe like I can’t finish it, right. So it’s that kind of stuff. So that that level of healthy. But these 10 qualities, we found absolutely amazing at getting people to identify where they are attractive and to work out what skill sets they should be focusing on. And it really does change that dynamic because men are, in my opinion, are overly obsessed with physical attributes. And women tend to be far less interested in that. But also, women tend to struggle when it comes to reading men, which is funny because they want men to be able to read them. But most women don’t understand that your average guy really just wants to be told what to do, you know, because they don’t want to get it wrong. And so women would do a lot better if they actually just said to men, hey, just so you know, I am interested in you. I just want to make that really clear. And if you invited me to dinner, I’d say yes, and most men That’s like what they want that Oh, thankfully, yes. Oh, yeah, please.

Damona  30:03  

But wait, wait, wait, hold on before you go on Adam. I know, I know what our listeners are going to say. I’m in agreement with you. But

Adam Lyons  30:12  

our listeners are going to say, but isn’t that the man’s job? Shouldn’t they take the initiative now if I take that away from them, and we did an episode a couple weeks ago on a woman who, who asked her man to marry her, and it worked out fine, but I mean, even then, I had on my socials, people were like, Oh, I would never do that. I would never ask a man out. So how do you fine tune that process? Or do you think that’s just antiquated? Like, do we need to just get over those stupid gender roles? I think it was a psychologist by the name of more in the 1980s did a study on American shopping malls, where they studied the courtship rituals of males and females in the shopping mall environment in their teenage years. And they found that the success rate of a male approaching a female was zero unless the woman initiate First, and this was across hundreds of shopping malls and instances.

Adam Lyons  31:05  

And can you define initiated? Because I think there’s a difference?

Adam Lyons  31:08  

Yeah, I don’t this is where women say, Well, I don’t want to take initiative. And it’s like, well, it gets complicated. What actually should happen is a woman will give something that we call an approach invitation, a very clear invitation that you can move forward. Now, I’m going to reword this, as we’re in post, you know, 2019, and we’re going to call this consent. Women need to make it very clear that a man has consent to take charge and do what he wants. That’s the missing piece. And when women ease back and say, Okay, well, I’m not going to do anything if he wants me he’ll pursue. She’s ignoring the fact that society especially now has been really trying to be very clear about men need to be focused on consent, and a lot of them are listening.

Damona  31:49  

Whereas the sexy way today, we can ask for consent, Adam.

Adam Lyons  31:53  

So a sexy way that men can ask for women can

Damona  31:56  

women can ask for consent, or like in that way mall setting. I know, I know, none of you are going to the mall. But in it, you know, we’re moving off offline now into IRL dating. How can a woman show show interest or show that she’s giving consent for a man to approach her?

Adam Lyons  32:17  

So one of my favorite, we have these things called statements of intent. And a statement of intent is where you’re basically making it clear like, Hey, I have intent for something to happen. It doesn’t have to happen. I’m not saying you have to do it. But I just want to put it out there that like I have intent. And so one of the things that I’ll often say, and I get my students to say male or female makes a difference. You say, you don’t think you’re attractive, right? Just that one phrase is killer. Oh, that’s

Damona  32:42  

so that’s so vulnerable, though.

Adam Lyons  32:46  

It absolutely is. And remember, they can’t reject you if they don’t know you. So there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, what you’re actually being is will remove vulnerable and replace it with honest if you find somebody attractive, you should tell them and you know, it’s really cool. It’s absolutely okay to tell someone you find them attractive, whether you date them or don’t date them. And whether it leads to anything. me telling you I find you attractive doesn’t mean that that now we have today is just an invitation. It’s just me putting out there the first step pages. So you know, what I love about this is men or women can do this, it makes no difference at all. It doesn’t matter, any gender, anybody anywhere, have you identify whatever you’re interested in, you can just say to somebody, hey, do you I find you attractive? And it starts the conversation. That’s all it’s designed to do. And the person can say, Oh, thank you so much for that. I appreciate it. And then off they go. Right. And so then it’s like, Okay, cool. So that was that’s not going anywhere. But what it gives them the ability to reject you in the nicest way they can go thank you and move on. On the other hand, if they want something to happen, all they have to say is the same thing back to you. Well, I find you attractive too. Wow.

Damona  33:51  

That is powerful. And it’s probably Yeah, I hope everyone will

Adam Lyons  33:54  

try this out. It’s so fun as well like and the cool thing about it is Do you know how much of a boost is To say it to somebody who is a friend, genuinely a friend. And you know, sometimes if you’ve known somebody for a long time, you know, people get in these like little crushes and stuff. But that particular phrase can work really well, especially if you remove the outcome. So I know this is something that you spoke about earlier. And I agree 100% where you say somebody’s like, Hey, you know, I don’t I’m not worried about the outcome. I just want to let you know. And so you could say to somebody, Look, I know we’ve known each other a long time, and I have no expectations by anything, but I feel like you should know something I’ve been holding in for a long time. And you know, we’re friends. I’ve always wanted to tell you the truth about anything. And yet there’s one thing I’ve kept quiet. I just, do you know that I find you attractive, like really attractive.

Damona  34:38  

How do you like come back from that if it’s not mutual? I actually, I just got an email this week from a listener who had that experience. She expressed to her male best friend that she had feelings for him and he didn’t feel the same way and she’s really struggling. I know we’re not even moving into technically dating to answer questions, yet. But it just, it just really struck a chord that it’s exact situation that you’re talking about.

Adam Lyons  35:05  

I got you. So there’s some real deep little details here. When you say, I’m telling you my feelings, you’re actually taking your emotions and making it somebody else’s problem. That’s where conflict tends to arrive. It’s very hard to respond to how do I handle your feelings? They’re yours. I don’t know what to do with them. And if I don’t want to deal with them, you just gave them to me like, Ah, that’s a problem. So instead, when you say the phrase, like, do you know that I find you attractive? It’s, it’s a meeting, I’m owning it, I find you attractive. I’m just curious if you know that that’s a fact. But it’s mine. It’s not yours to have. So what’s great about this is I’m not actually being like I’m in love with you. I’ve held this for so long, which is where the conflict would come from, because now they’re in a difficult situation. I’m just saying I find them attractive. So in the situation that’s going on with the person that wrote into you, is difficult because they’ve obviously probably taken a lot of courage to share that, and it’s not reciprocated, and now they’ve got to handle it. So in these situations, I asked them Do you want to keep the friendship? Because right now there’s an awkwardness because the friendship isn’t going to turn into a relationship. Now you know that. So we’ve got to see you being true. Did you really care about them as a friend? Or were you hoping to use friendship as a means to seduce them? Because if you were the seductions over, it’s, it’s not going anywhere now. So now you have to decide if you want the friend. If you truly want them as a friend, then it’s kind of on you to maintain that because you put them in the awkward situation. So you kind of need to be the one to fix it. You need to own up to that. And if you don’t care about the friendship, if you have to date them, then it’s time to move on to let them go keep them as a distant friend that can be a Facebook friend, you know, but but move on and go and find something else now because because that didn’t work. And in general, that doesn’t work. Hmm. Well, you know what, thank you, like really

Damona  36:46  

clarified something that I think I think I was missing like you said, I was I was listening to someone talked the other day, they said, just because someone sends you feelings doesn’t mean you need to act. after delivery, whether it’s like anger, just, you know, out and about or something like this. So, you know, that clarifies it. And hopefully that’s helpful for our listener that wrote in. I did just want to talk as because we’re running out of time, and I’m like, really talking to you. And there’s so much more here. But I’m curious as we are moving out of the quarantine, how this is really going to affect data and culture overall. Do you think that people are going to be more tentative about moving offline or once the floodgates open? Like is it all going to be back to hookup culture as as it was?

Adam Lyons  37:44  

It’s, I mean, it’s, it’s already bursting at the seams. We’ve got people forget dating. People are just itching to get out and go and meet people and interact and you’re seeing it spill over in the media. So even if we just ignore dating, you could see people desperate to go and do that. Somebody said to me recently phrase, I do a lot of business consulting, you know, I have my dating company. I’m also a business consultant. And they said, the year 2000 is where the internet went mainstream, but it wasn’t until 2020 then it was fully absorbed into society. And, and I think we’ve really seen that now. Like, there are more people with home offices, Facebook is considering, you know, staying with home offices and working remotely. I know our company is sticking with working remotely, we we have no need to reopen our office. So I think that actually the virtual dating is here to stay. I think that a lot of these cultural shifts are here to stay. And so having said that, the hookup culture never really went away. And that’s the hard part. There are so many people that are still meeting up during quality quarantine doing quarantine dating, I think it was. I don’t remember the exact country. I think it was Sweden actually recommended people have a quarantine date if you’re single and move in together during this period of time. It’s funny enough, my next door neighbor got a quarantine girlfriend. He found somebody online at the start of quarantine. was like, Hey, we should move in together. And they’ve been living together through the entire thing often never going on a single date. They just moved in.

Damona  39:06  

Oh my god, how’s that working out?

Adam Lyons  39:09  

They get them great. They spend every evening cooking together and they don’t

Adam Lyons  39:13  

hear like dreams and like,

Adam Lyons  39:15 

think she’s running on the wall. Yeah, she’s falling in love and professed her love to him. And he’s confused and doesn’t know how he feels. But he really likes her. And so yeah, it’s crazy. It’s like a world where it’s almost like an arranged marriage that nobody else arranged except for COVID-19. It’s Yeah, it’s it’s a Yeah, it’s a really unique experience. So, um, yeah, I think that there’s a lot of societal changes that have happened now. And this is just the new normal. And, you know, I think the hookup culture, it never went away. I mean, you just have to look back at the Roman times and the ancient Greeks to see they had a wonderful you know, polyamorous lifestyle going on. And, you know, that’s always been part of human nature. Whether it’s somebody chose to practice it or not, it’s obviously completely up to them, but it is always there. You know, we can look at you know, Woodstock And you know, the swinging 60s. So yeah, there’s a lot of elements to humans where we do like doing this, this kind of like hookup culture. And I think that now more than ever, we’re going to see it returned, people are going to be craving physical attention. And they’re going to be, you know, trying to meet up with the people that have been dating virtually. And that will naturally lead to human interaction.

Damona  40:22  

And I’m not telling tales out of school, Adam, but I understand you have been in polyamorous relationships for a long time. Right? Uh huh. So tell us if there’s anyone that’s poly cure. Curious. That’s listening right now. Are there like certain rules or guidelines? Or just what is the framework to even begin to explore that?

Adam Lyons  40:51  

Yeah, so the number one rule about in my opinion, the number one rule about any relationship it doesn’t matter if you’re poly curious polyamorous bisexual intersection makes no difference is communication. The more people you inter interact with or you start dating, the more communication is necessary. It’s not a lifestyle for people that don’t like communicating. I was explained to people in a regular monogamous relationship you have person a person B, and the relationship and they are three distinct entities. Person A needs their lot tender loving care in their own time, Person B needs their tender loving care in their own time, and the relationship needs extend love and caring sometime. The minute you add one extra person to that scenario, we have Person A, B, C, plus the relationship between A and B, the relationship between B and C and the relationship between all three of them. It multiplies the amount of communication interaction is needed, the amount of quality time that’s needed, the amount of effort, the amount of birthdays, I mean, goes crazy. So that my number one rule is for any relationship is you got to be down with communication and Don’t even think about polyamory as, as something that you’re not going to be able to communicate or that you don’t have to communicate with.

Damona  42:07  

It sounds like a lot, especially with two women. Let’s be honest, like what two women in the mix? You must have your hands full.

Adam Lyons  42:15  

I love it. It’s it’s, it’s when I’m in my element. It is the absolute best. So yeah, it’s it’s a great experience for those that want to put in the hard work. But it’s hard

Damona  42:23  

work. Sounds like it. I’ll pass but no judgment for you or any of our listeners that want to go down that road. We have already given so much great advice today, Adam, but I want to keep it going with our next segment. our listeners have written in with questions and I know you have answers.

Adam Lyons  42:42  

My pleasure. Let’s do this.

Damona  42:46  

We are back and we’re ready to answer your dating and relationship dilemmas. This is your favorite segment, technically dating VD. All right. This one comes to us from Jenny who’s from walking keagan, Illinois, she says Do you think it’s better to play hard to get or show more interest when first matching up with a guy? I think I know what you’re gonna say about him. I’ve tried both methods, and I’ve gotten the same results of, of talking for a week and then nothing.

Adam Lyons  43:18  

So it’s the pattern.

Adam Lyons  43:19  

So I found that neither of those things are the correct answer. And the correct answer is actually find things in common with the other person that you both care about. And focus on that. When you and somebody that you meet and match with online have something in common that you both really care about what to do. And that’s the focus rather than should we date, everything’s more organic, and everything’s easier. If when you meet up, you both have a certain restaurant you both want to eat at, and the focus is going to eat the food. It’s not about dating, it’s just this is what we’re going to do. Everything’s better or there’s a lot of new virtual reality arenas that are opening up which I’m seeing and if you really want to try that and the person who told To read, he wants to try that. And the focus on look, we’re going to go and do this cool activity together. That’s what makes things start to work, that’s when the bonding really starts to happen. And I find that the relationships that tend to fall apart the ones where like, like, I’ve tried treating the mean, I’ve tried doing all these, these, these games, and that’s where everything collapses. And it always cracks me up when people are like, I don’t like games. I don’t like manipulation. And then they’re like, so I’m gonna treat in me, right? And I’m like, No, don’t do that. How about try and my favorite, we do brutal honesty. I’m like, Hey, I just want to tell get some really cool things out the way nice and early. So let me tell you a few shocking things about myself. And I’ll just go bomb bomb bomb and hit them with three things that are a little bit shocking, but also kind of fun. And see how they react. Because the kind of people that want to date me, they hear those things. They’re like, wow, this is fun. And there was some people are like, not you. And I’m like, great.

Damona  44:51  

Yeah, you can kind of take the temperature of the room very quickly with some of those things. Yeah, and I think it’s very clear. If you’ve gotten anything, if you have been doing it for a while and gotten the same results. And it’s not the result you want. That can’t be working. Right? You have to kind of use your own experience as a guide to tell whether you should go a different way. Why does hate this play hard to get thing.

Adam Lyons  45:16  

And this is where people get difficult though, because they think the only two options are play hard to get or be eager and keen. They’re not the two options. The real option is, don’t focus on the relationship part when you first meet somebody focus on doing fun activities, because you may not get on well, and either way, if you have a fun activity, it was a fun date. Right? If that’s the focus, and ironically, if you focus on having a fun date, you’re much more likely to want to get into a relationship. Everyone is trying to focus on the relationship and that’s why it falls apart like me people that like you know, I’m, I’m really I don’t want to waste my time with somebody I’m not interested in. Like how do you know if you’re interested in them unless you hang out with them, like you would do better rather than being single and waiting in doors for the perfect experience. Go and have lots of imperfect experiences and learn To improve yourself and learn how to really refine and define what you’re after, then you’re going to meet the right person.

Damona  46:06  

I like that. Okay, last question. This one comes to us from Jodi. It’s a little longer so bear with me. She says, I’m ready to date again after 10 years divorced, and I’m talking to an online match. But I find that in the time of COVID, this dating thing is more difficult than I imagined. We have been speaking for six weeks, they’ve had five FaceTime dates, one, socially, distance, coffee date and daily texts. She says, I’m honestly ready to risk some more face to face interaction with him, but he seems to be moving too slowly. And I’m not sure if it’s the pandemic or the classic case of he’s just not that into you. She says that the texting has slowed down a lot in this past week. And she’s not sure if it’s comfort or slow ghosting, but she doesn’t want to sound too thirsty. What do you say to God?

Adam Lyons  46:55  

Yeah, this is this is the thing that I was saying to you that’s going on when you’re in an online base. app, you’re talking to more than one person. There’s competition here. And if the competition, you know, if somebody’s only texting a couple of times a day, they’re probably texting other people as well. And if if there’s no verbal communication about what the expectations are, what’s actually going on, then there’s no rules being broken either. A lot of people like to apply the unwritten rule of but we’re talking so you can’t talk to anyone else. But that’s, that’s not really a rule. So actually, the correct thing to do, I would find is a phone call. And on the phone call, do what I like to call like the define the relationship, the DTR. And, hey, we’ve been told thoroughly. I would, yeah, we’ve been talking for six weeks. It’s six weeks. This isn’t. This is huge. You know, in courtship days, we got back in the 1800s you’ve been dating same person six weeks, you know, your parents gonna be like, Who is this person and you meet them? You’re married? Exactly. So no sixes Yeah, six weeks is long. And so it doesn’t matter that it’s just a couple of texts, interactions. And I think it’s absolutely okay again, Honesty. Hey, I’ve really enjoyed our conversations. And sometimes I feel like I know that you’re just not that into it. So just calling out. Is this something you want to keep doing? Or you know, john move on do something else. It’s just, you know, I really enjoy our conversation. I’d like to have more of them. And if you’re open to that, then I was thinking what could be a fun activity is the activity, but if not, then just let me know. And this brutal honesty technique is like the best when it comes to dating. It’s so refreshing. People are like wow, no one’s ever said that to me before and it’s crazy like I can’t tell you how many times like I’m polyamorous I’ll share something a little bit you know? A little bit risky but being polyamorous I’ll say to people when I first meet them for the very first coffee Hey, just so you know, I’m polyamorous. I’m currently seeing this many people. This is currently who I am. This is what I’m doing. And I feel that at the beginning of this coffee, I should let you know. Just so you know what to expect. And if you just want to have a coffee and say goodbye at the end of it, I fully understand. The minute I say that they go Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s polyamorous or wait? Explain that to me like, does that mean you have three? And they get into it? They’re like, Okay, I’m curious. And they’ll say to me, I’m not saying I want to date you, I’m just saying I want to learn more. I’m like, Okay. And that’s because the people I match with I’ve, you know, kind of felt out and thought like, Okay, I think this is somebody’s open enough to have these kinds of discussions. And that’s how I do it. I don’t browse polyamorous websites or anything like that I meet regular people who don’t identify as polyamorous and I just tell them the truth about what’s going on.

Damona  49:28  

I think you’ve gotten to the heart of the matter, Adam, you got to tell the truth. And especially in today’s dating world, there’s just too much information about people online. There’s too much transparency that that I think rightfully people have, have desired. And the more honest you can be, the more you can get your needs met in a relationship. I so appreciate you being here with us. Thank you for sharing all of your wisdom. And people can check out the ACE formula brute blueprint Ace formula It’s free. free training, right?

Adam Lyons  50:01  

Yep, there’s a whole bunch of free training. And then that’s basically we get them to go through the free training before they apply to work with us. I’d rather somebody got a bunch of free stuff and see if it was right for them before we even consider working with them, then they can fill in the application and then we can talk and find out you know, if it’s right for us if it’s right for you. We’re pretty picky about who we work with. And that’s because, you know, we want to make sure we’re helping the right kind of people.

Damona  50:23  

Great. Well, we’ll put the link in the show notes. And thank you again, so much for being here.

Adam Lyons  50:26  

Thanks for having me. It was awesome. Really chatting.

Damona  50:28  

You too. That’s it for Episode Number 314 of dates and mates. You can find them on Instagram at dating coach. Yes, that’s how long he’s been in the game y’all. He’s at th e dating coach. And if you’re interested in learning more from him, he has a special formula for dating called the ACE formula. And you can find that at Ace formula. Again, that’s Ace formula blueprint comm we’ll put it in the show notes and also in the show notes. You can find that link to our special secret special Patreon that’s just for our friends with benefits. That means you can be my friend and a friend of dates and mates. And you can get benefits just by going to slash dates and mates, we can have a deeper conversation there, you’ll get exclusive access to video content, and audio content that you can’t find anywhere else on my website or on dates and mates. And you can get access to some of our library archive episodes of dates and dates, which are no longer available to the public. So I want you in the club, and I want your support for dates and made so we can keep making the show. For many, many more seasons. We’re coming up on season eight rapidly approaching so go to slash dates and mates. And as always, we will have a show recap at dates and With all of the links from the stories we talked about today. Don’t forget to follow me on the socials at damona Hoffman And I still love getting DMS from you as long as they’re clean. And if they have your questions, I would love to read what’s on your mind. So please DM me at damona Hoffman until next week. I wish you inner peace and happy dating

The Art of Charm & Interracial Love



How are you holding up?

We are not okay. 

We mourn the loss of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery and our hearts are with all the individuals using their voices to enact positive, systematic change.

Damona has been talking about it more on her social media. If you would like to join the conversation, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!


View this post on Instagram


Today I’m mourning the loss of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery and I’m thinking about the collective inherited trauma that we carry with us.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Right now is the time for action and active conversation. If you don’t understand the protests happening around the country I encourage you to educate yourself and find a perspective different than yours. That’s what creates compassion. And that’s what ultimately is going to heal.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Even if you can’t truly understand our experience and our cause, you can stand up for what is right and can teach the people around you what is happening in the world. We can find ways to change how our country views and treats people of color – especially black men.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Love is the tool that’s going to make change.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Spread love and understanding.⁠⠀ Vote for representatives who will enact systematic change.⁠⠀ And represent your community by completing this year’s census at⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Artwork by @Shirien.creates⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #BreonnaTaylor #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #blacklivesmatter #humanrights #protest #equality #socialjustice #BlackLove # #blackandproud #blackamericatoday #takeaction #dailyquotes #dailyinspiration #bethechange

A post shared by Damona Hoffman (@damonahoffman) on


We thought long and hard about whether to drop an episode of Dates & Mates today, but came to the conclusion that even in hard times like these, it is still our responsibility to use our voice.

And to spread as much love as we can

So if you are looking for a small distraction from the world around you, today’s episode is all about adaptability and confidence as modern dating is impacted by the events around us.

Our guest Erin Muroski, who has spent years inside the mind of men as an Art of Charm flirting coach, gives us tips on how to set yourself up for success.


If you’ve listened to this show for a while, you know that we encourage anyone looking for love to embrace adaptability.

Not only is it an important skill for the advancement of the human race and yada yada, but now more than ever it’s time to get comfortable with the flow. Get comfortable with change. Get comfortable with spontaneity and organic interactions with the people around you.

Here is the Washington Post article that Damona referenced at the top of the show


I love my white husband but… 

Damona covers an article written by Laura Cathcart Robbins – who was on the show last month. It talks about how interracial couples can truly understand each other in times of racial tension.

Scott Disick and Sofia Richie Split

After three years of dating, Scott and Sofia have officially split. This comes after a report that Scott has checked himself into rehab to work on some past traumas.

Hey baby, what’s your sign?

What does your astrological sign say about your relationship potential?


As we said, we’re talking about confidence and spontaneity as states reopen and we move into the next phase of coronadating.

Erin Muroski is an experienced improv coach and dating coach and she’s spent years working with men to help them be the most confident version of themselves.

But here’s why we’re so interested in Erin’s perspective because for years she’s been inside the mind of men as an art of charm flirting coach.

If you heard our master class on flirting from last year, you know I’ve used improv for years as flirting coaching technique and we can’t wait for you to hear Erin’s perspective on this topic.

Find Erin on all the socials @erinmuroski! Don’t forget to check out her super fun podcast, Final Rose Material!


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

  • Tweet from OJ – Can monogamy be upheld when partners choose to keep their relationship a secret from everyone else?
  • Tweet from Cherry – I’ve gotten out of the habit of trying to meet a guy so how to begin again?


Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, welcome to dates and maids. If you’re anything like me, you have been glued to the news the last few months and there was an article that came across my desk this week in the Washington Post, about adaptability. I’ll link to it in the recap, which we always do at dates and mates calm, but what you should know is that it talks about why flexibility is important in the post COVID world. And if you’ve listened to the show for a while, you know that I encourage anyone looking for love to embrace adaptability and flexibility. Not only is it an important skill for the advancement of the human race, and yada yada yada, but now more than ever, it’s time to get comfortable with the Follow the flow, get comfortable with change. Get comfortable with spontaneity, and organic interactions with the people around you whether you’re meeting them online or offline. Today I’m talking to Aaron murasky. She is a coach at the Art of Charm which helps people get comfortable with conversation and become a more confident version of themselves. Before we talk to her, I have some thoughts on this week’s headlines that I want to share with you. I’ll be talking about how interracial couples can understand each other better in these tense times and how the COVID crisis may be the downfall to Scott disick and Sophia Ritchie’s relationship. Plus on a lighter note what your astrological sign may say about your romantic potential. That is always at the end of the show. Aaron and I will address your questions including our monogamy and secret relationships. mutually exclusive and how to begin again in love. You ready for this? Then let’s dish


Unknown Speaker  2:09  

these dating dish.


Damona  2:12  

My dear friend, Laura Cathcart Robin so you’ve heard on the show before posted a fantastic article in Huff Post about her and her boyfriend Scott. The title of this article was I love my white boyfriend, but there’s something he’ll never understand. Laura is a black woman. And she is in a long, long term relationship with Scott who’s a white man. And it’s funny because she wrote this article actually, before George Floyd was murdered. I’m just gonna say it on the show. And she was writing it kind of in response to Briana Taylor and art Armory and realizing that there’s something as a black woman that she carries with her and out As a woman of color, I also relate to this, you carry this constant vigilance and this constant sadness. And I’ve actually been doing a lot of study on inherited trauma, and how a lot of this and this is science, y’all can look it up. It’s not something it’s not pop psychology. But in your cells in your DNA, you carry the emotional experiences of your ancestors and the generations before you what I know it’s wild, but it is fact and even going a couple of generations back and when I think about what my grandparents were going through, what even my mother was going through growing up as a young woman in Detroit in the in the 50s and 60s, it’s heavy and the fact that it’s still coming, it’s still being dealt with today or not dealt with but it’s still a present issue. is something that when you’re in a interracial relationship and you are, you are grappling with it on a daily basis, and your partner hasn’t really had that experience, it can cause a greater divide. But what I said to Laura, and what I’d love to offer up to any of you who are either in interracial relationships, or thinking about interracial relationships is that when you love someone who’s different than you, that is what creates understanding. That’s what creates compassion. And that’s what ultimately is going to heal. Love heals all. And that is what I hope the big takeaway will be for those that read her article and those that are listening to the show is that I encourage those kind of connections and maybe it’s not romantic love, maybe it’s friendship, but through build, bridging those kind of connections and having the kind of uncomfortable conversations, and in Laura’s case, being able to sit with Scott and she’s saying like he’s as out rageous She is but can she really understand it? And the answer is probably not. And my husband can’t really understand it either. But he can take action. He can be an activist he can, he can stand up for what he believes and he can teach our kids what is really happening in the world and ways that they can behave in a different way to change our society’s views on especially black men, but people of color in general, and using that love as a weaponizing it, you know, use that love as the tool that’s going to make change. That is really, that’s really what we’re being called to do right now. So I’ll link to Laura’s wonderful article in today’s show notes, but I really just encourage you all right now to lead with love in this difficult time.


I wish I had a snappy transition this next story, but some people that still love each other Ended up, breaking up end up calling it quits. And that has happened to our darling couple, Scott disick and Sophia Richie. Now we covered their relationship early on, like three years ago because there was such a huge age gap between them and a lot of people. Sophia Ritchie’s dad, Lionel Richie included thought it was a phase and it wasn’t going to work. But they did make it three years. But now they’re saying they’re calling it quits. And A source told, told the media told Cosmo that it’s not that there was like a big fight that happened. It’s just Sophia wants to do her own thing. While Scott takes care of his health. He actually checked himself into rehab to work on past traumas, after losing his mom and dad within months of each other. I think he’ll find there’s a lot more in there. And a lot of us when we go into those dark places, and we ask for help, we find there’s a lot more than we realized that we need to pull out and examine and change. So I’m really hopeful for Scott and for his family and his kids that he has with Courtney, that he’s able to really make change. But it really shines a light on the fact that sometimes relationships aren’t meant to be, and whether they end up getting back together or not after he goes through this treatment, it reminds you that it’s okay to walk away from something if you find that it is not. It’s not the thing, the relationship that’s bringing you the most possible joy. So I wish them both the best. Sophia is 21. So she could have many other relationships ahead of her. And Scott really needs to focus on himself and healing right now. But if there’s anyone listening right now that’s feeling like that trauma or that pain, like a lot of us are going through some really heavy things right now. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand and reach out and get help. On a lighter note, if you are looking for the ideal match, maybe you been using the wrong criteria. Maybe you should look to the stars for your connections. Now I’m a big fan of astrology. And you’ve heard, I’ve had my own astrologer Rachel laying on the show before she actually did a fantastic article on women’s health recently. But I don’t judge holy compatibility based on what somebody star side is. There’s a lot more into astrology. But this is just a fun article which we’ll link to where a company called buzz bingo did some research on the longevity of celebrity relationships based on their star signs. And I know you’re curious because my friends at OkCupid said that a lot of people are responding to their questions about astrology on dating apps. So I know I’ve got your attention on this one. According to this study. Capricorns are the most relationship focused and their relationships lasted the longest, but who do you think had relationships that Where the shortest? Ha ha? Yeah, it’s Scorpios not surprised by that one. Scorpios No, no, I’m not gonna throw any shade at you. But you know you Scorpios like things the way you like it. But get this According to the study of a Scorpio paired with a Capricorn. That was a match made in heaven. Hello, Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry. But Capricorns y’all don’t even think about being in a relationship with an Aquarius, aside from them stealing your post birthday glow? It just won’t work. I would love for you all to check this out. Let me know what you think. Do you use astrology in matching? And do you ever go beyond the sun sign? There’s so much else there’s your rising sign. There’s your moon and your moon is about your emotional self and how you are in relationship. So let me know what you think of this astrology. And whether you think the relationships they they highlighted are going to last for the long term. That’s it for this week’s headlines. Up next, we have Aaron murasky, who’s going to talk to us about techniques to be more confident and flexible in dating and relationships and of course, in your everyday life, so stick around.


Welcome back. So, as I said, we’re going to be talking about confidence and spontaneity as states now are reopening. Not my se but some of your states are reopening and moving into the next phase of what we will call Corona dating. And so I like to welcome to the show, Aaron murasky from the Art of Charm. She is an experienced improv coach and dating coach. But here’s why I’m so interested in Aaron’s perspective, because for years she’s been inside the mind of men as an Art of Charm flirting coach, you may have heard the Art of Charm podcast and they’ve been Helping men to be more confident and date more successfully for many, many years. You know if you heard my masterclass on flirting from last year also you know that I’ve used improv for years as a flirting coaching technique, and so I cannot wait to get Aaron’s perspective on this topic. Let’s go ahead and give her some big smooches and welcome Aaron murasky to the show. Hi, Aaron, I’m so excited to have you on the show. Because we need we need to understand what’s happening there in the Art of Charm house. Yeah, to be here. And I’ll just, I’ll just kind of give everybody a catch up. We have had we had Jordan Harbinger, who was one of the founders original founders of our charm on the show, many years ago. So people might have one impression of what Art of Charm is, but I understand there’s been, you know, change in leadership, and a bit of a new direction. Tell us what you’re doing over there at Art of Charm and give us a sense of what you’re Roll is in the company.


Unknown Speaker  12:01  

Yes. So I’m just yeah, AJ and Jordan originally formed, Johnny jumped on board very shortly after that, to do all of the AJ and Johnny been doing the in person coaching for you know, over the past decade together doing the boot camps. And so the boot camps at the house are, you know, it’s a five bedroom house, beautiful house, in the Hollywood Hills with the pool, all kinds of nice, it’s just like a gorgeous layout. And guys come and stay for a week from all over the world. And they learned self improvement, self development skills, communication skills, so that they’re able to further develop their confidence, their their, you know, businesses, their relationships, everything. You know, after that kind of intense experience of a week long, fully immersive sort of experience.


Damona  12:54  

I want to go to this. This is like, I know you have your bachelor podcasts as well as this story. Like the it’s like the bachelor house. It’s kind of like the bachelor house. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  13:04  

But yeah, and and they, you know, instead of all these, you know, women coming to the bachelor house, like they do on the television show, this is the guys like, you know, basically at the house, they are learning new skill sets, then they practice them at the house, with with coaches like myself, and then they go out into the wilds of Hollywood and LA and go, you know, use those skills because like any skill, you have to practice it and you have to like go out and fail at it to figure out how to be better.


Damona  13:37  

Okay, I’m just gonna rip the band aid off and ask you how is this different from pickup artistry?


Unknown Speaker  13:44  

Oh, gosh, I mean, first of all, let me just say I wouldn’t be a part of the company if it was like, if it was like, what I think what I think of when I think of pickup artists I think of like kind of sleazy when manipulating women into Thinking one thing so that, you know, they’ll hop into bed with you. And that’s really your end game. And it’s funny because I actually had I interviewed with Johnny to be the improv coach there. This was before I really knew what the company was. And when he was sitting there telling me about it, my mind was clouded with that idea of pickup artistry and so I was like, you know, thanks. But no thanks don’t really want to be a part of something like that. And he urged me to come to the house. He’s like, you can sit on sit in on any lesson that we do anything that we do, like come by, that’s not what we’re about at all. And I did. And it was amazing just to see what they’re actually teaching and just like helping guys kind of uncover the best versions of themselves and like really just dive into that self development side. So yes, there’s a pickup part of it as in like the guys do go out and try to make connections with people but The difference is is that at the root of it is like being able to be authentically yourself and and uncover your own charisma and charm so that you’re able to connect with people and the end game is to have stronger relationships. So let’s


Damona  15:13  

help people do that today. Let’s help them be a little bit more charming and better conversation skills. This is a question that we get asked a lot on the dates and updates podcast and let’s assume we’re in the future where we’re not stuck in our homes and we actually can talk to strangers out in the wild. What are some of the biggest mistakes that people come into the program with? And what are some tips that you have to be able to inch them into being better with conversation beginning conversations? Mm hmm.


Unknown Speaker  15:49  

Yeah, I mean, the biggest because one of the things that I work with the guys on is their approaches. So initial approaches to someone you do not know. And I think the biggest mistake that people make is that they, they come in, and you’re you’re face to face with someone, and you’re like, Okay, I need to just stay face to face with them full on and not break eye contact. And that can show


Damona  16:16  

super creepy.


Unknown Speaker  16:18  

Yeah, exactly. And that’s going to show that I am like confident and whatever it is like actually all that does is build a whole lot of tension. And it’s when you know, without locking eyes, like it’s scientifically proven that when you don’t break eye contact you after a certain amount of time you’re building so much, so much so much tension. So the two things that kind of go hand in hand with that is yes, of course you’re going to come up and be face to face. At first, you’re going to say hello, you’re going to make that nice eye contact and then like you would do with the friend you’re going to sidle up next to them so that you’re side by side as opposed to just full on icontact. You know, we call that positive body language when you’re when you’re completely face to face. So you want to get into a neutral Body language, get side by side where you know, because typically any, any event or wherever you are, you know, you might be at a bar or whatever you’d be, you’re kind of getting to yourself where you’re like facing the bar, or you’re looking at the concert that’s happening or whatever is going on, that just puts you in a place where the tension is able to dissolve, and then you’re more comfortable, the other person is more comfortable. And I will tell you, when I started working with the guys, and I started using this in my actual, you know, interactions with people, I was amazed at how differently you feel when you get into a more neutral position as opposed to staying face to face even though that’s what we think we’re supposed to do.


Damona  17:43  

Well, I like it also because it allows you to take in input from the rest of the room. Mm hmm. Because it can get really intense if it’s just like we’re just eye contacting it out. Yeah, there’s nothing to interrupt the flow or if if there is a low There’s nothing, there’s no other inputs to be able to divert attention and then get the vibe.


Unknown Speaker  18:06  

Yeah, exactly. And it’s like, then your eye contact will be intentional. So you’ll give your eye contact when you’re speaking. And then you give your ear when you’re listening. And that way your brain is able to slow down a bit and take in the information the other person saying, and, you know, have a thoughtful comeback and really, really listen as opposed to just having those nerves and smiling and nodding and thinking, What will I say next?


Damona  18:31  

Yeah, it’s it’s super intimidating. So, you since you brought it up, what do you say next? That’s another thing that a lot of people struggle with on first meetings or first dates. What’s your philosophy on conversation and trying to figure out what is the next best thing to say and how do you keep that feeling natural and flowing?


Unknown Speaker  18:54  

The big over all like we definitely get in deeper to a conversation. flow. That’s like a little bit more next level winter at boot camp. But our overall philosophy is the conversation formula that we use is just question answer statement, the biggest conversation flaw that I see when I’m meeting people and when guys come out to boot camp is we have a tendency when we’re nervous to get on that question train where we just ask question after question after question. And what happens is, is that the other person who doesn’t know you is going to start to kind of build a wall and feel pressure of all these questions that they have to answer. And the person asking the questions isn’t sharing anything about themselves. So at the end of this conversation, which is not going to last long, by the way if you’re just asking questions, because that feels like an interrogation or an interview, the other person’s going to walk away and have not learned anything about you and look, there’s a reason why we like forget names are we You know, but when someone brings something to a conversation, that’s interesting, we don’t forget that we might forget the person’s name. But we’ll be like, Oh, you brew your own beer at home and or, you know, whatever it is, we remember those interesting parts of the conversation. So, it’s important to ask a question, like a thoughtful question, an open ended question, not just, oh, have you been to this bar before? Right? That’s yes or no, it’s not gonna go probably very far. But like a thoughtful question like, Okay, what do you you know, we’re stuck at home right now, or we’ve been stuck at home, what are you binge watching on Netflix? Something like that. So that that leads to a conversation that’s going to unlock a little bit about the other person’s personality and then the other person answers, and instead of what happens a lot of time where we’re just cueing up another question in our head, you’re just gonna listen and then you’re going to give a statement based off of that, like maybe sharing something about yourself or just having something to say about that. Instead. just jumping to the next question, because that’s what leads to fulfilling conversation is giving those statements


Damona  21:06  

Yeah, otherwise it starts to feel like an interview. Right? Like, like if I was just like, Aaron, what’s next question? Next question next. Yes.


Unknown Speaker  21:12  

Right. But, but I mean, that’s what we’re doing, you know, exactly. That’s what we’re doing here. But you know, like when you’re first meeting someone you want it to be that give and take and not just like, Okay, so here’s this, you know, does it feels like pressure after a while? Oh, yeah,


Damona  21:27  

it feels like pressure, like right away. You kind of brought up another point that I think is really important and the people that have listened to the show for a while, no, I’ve done flirting masterclasses and that my own internal flirting coaches are actually like you trained improvisers and performers. And you also mentioned Netflix and I am totally digging the middle ditching shorts if anyone is like not really sure what great improv looks like that Special is so great and it really shows you just what we’re talking about the ability to really listen and stay in stay in the moment and like take the inputs that you’re getting and then react and respond. How have you been able to apply your background in improv, to flirt and coaching? And also, how do you define the difference? A lot of times people hear improv and they’re like, has to be funny. But as I learned to improv is really more about being honest. What’s your philosophy on that?


Unknown Speaker  22:31  

Absolutely. I mean, there’s all different kinds of improv Of course, we think of you know, because of Whose Line is it any way and, and things like that. We think like, oh, it has to be like this wildly hilarious comedy but improv like, I mean, we use I know in acting classes, I’ve used dramatic improv you know, where you’re just improvising, but it’s a dramatic scene, like you’re just going off the top of your head and following impulses. And I, my philosophy is it’s just, improv is just a way to make You better at taking information and responding, you’re able to do that in a much faster rate than other people when you’ve really studied improv because you are literally doing mental exercises to do that all the time. You You don’t you know any of my groups that I’ve been in or classes I’ve taken, you don’t just walk into class and go, Okay, we’re going to start a 30 minute long herald of different scenes, you always start by going, Okay, we’re going to do a bunch of exercises to get our synapses firing, right like so to focus to free our minds. And the big thing I’ve noticed with clients when it comes to flirting and approaching people is that we’re our own worst enemy with that stuff. We’re already judging and telling ourselves that we’re gonna what we’re gonna say is stupid, or what we’re gonna say is cheesy or, you know, being down on herself. I’m not funny. That’s what I hear from so many clients all the time. Well, I don’t I’m just not funny. And I’m like, you probably just haven’t ever let yourself uncover that sense of humor. You haven’t just Let yourself be silly and go well, whatever comes to mind, I’m just going to say and, you know, we’ll go from there, you can literally always go, oh, man, that was weird. You know, call it out Who cares? But, but yeah, like, I think it’s just my philosophy is just like I tell literally every single person like everyone should take improv, it helps you even if you’re a CEO of whatever, when you’re giving a presentation where you’re giving a meeting, you’re leading a meeting, whatever, you’re just going to be firing on all cylinders when you’ve taken the time to sharpen that tool of your mind.


Damona  24:35  

Yeah, yeah. And it also keeps you able to respond in the moment like there might be something weird that happened. And like, here’s an example I had a client that was in a session with my, my flirting coach was also doing a like mock date and he’s an improviser. So he he knows To keep the conversation going, but they were sitting at the coffee date and this woman walks by with like, this like weird stuff in her hair and like, like a bathrobe like, but she didn’t look like she was homeless or out of it. She was just like, doo doo doo. I’m like running my errands. But I have like curlers in my hair in my bathrobe on and whatever. And it was just the weirdest thing. And I saw it. And I thought, somebody has to say something about that. And I was, I was waiting for my client to just acknowledge the weird thing that had just happened, which would give them such a great jumping off point for a conversation because I think we sometimes feel like the pressure is all on us to think what is the next subject topic, whatever, but sometimes, you might see something or you might be able to connect on something that’s outside of the two of you. That could give you fodder so finally my coach was like, That was weird, right? But if you’re just like laser focused in on like, What do I say? Next, what do I say next and you don’t have that fluid improv sense. You might miss a great opportunity like a woman with curlers in her hair in a bathrobe walking down the street like it’s her regular Saturday.


Unknown Speaker  26:12  

Really? Yeah. And you can tell a lot about a person by the way they respond if the person’s like, yeah, I can’t believe you did that. And then it’s like, you probably don’t want to talk to this person. Right?


Damona  26:24  

Right. And if you can tell if you don’t say anything, that maybe you’re like, taking yourself a little bit too seriously. Right. I like that you brought up also this. This concern that a lot of people have about not being funny. Because, on one hand, what I hear from a lot of clients is that their number one quality they’re pursuing is someone with a great sense of humor. Although sense of humor is so subjective, and someone that I think is funny, maybe completely annoying to you, or vice versa. But I do think comedy is like one of our only ways of showing our ability to take a risk, right? Like a guy’s not going to go and slay a bear for you like he used to in olden times. But if you can, if you can attempt tumor, then then that might make you look very brave in today’s world. Do you recommend people maybe try try to like, be funny and they’re charming? Or if you’re if people try for it, is it like, that’s never gonna work?


Unknown Speaker  27:34  

I yeah, I mean, that’s a really good question. I always have found trying to be funny, is the sure way to not be like, and look, I give anyone credit who’s like gonna take a big swing. You know, but my thing is like, when your aim is to be funny, as opposed to like, I’m just gonna have fun and let my personality come out. Like that those are two very different things. And even when you were saying like, Oh, I’m looking for someone with a sense of humor. I don’t think I get why people say that. But I think what we’re really saying is, I’m looking for someone who has a similar type of sense of humor. To me sense of humor is just hands down, completely subjective. And you’re going to connect with people who you have a similar sense of humor with because you bond over that,


Damona  28:25  

yes. And that kind of goes back to something else that I say on the show a lot about love as you are like, don’t try and be something else. Be your authentic self, and you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. But the person that does find you funny, will then be able to make a lot of laughs with you in the future. I do want to talk about other elements of charm of The Art of Charm. And one thing that a lot of people struggle with is body language and image like how to present themselves. What do you do? To help people get more comfortable in their, in their own skin, and is there an element of like, if you You know, I’ve heard like you fix the outside like get yourself some fancy clothes and then you’ll feel great and then you’ll do great.


Unknown Speaker  29:18  

I mean look there is there’s a certain amount of just when we look at someone what we see and like if that appeals to us or not. Now within what you know, within the clay that we’re giving of ourselves, we can, you know, not take care of ourselves or we can take care of ourselves we can explore the styles and things that we like or we cannot do that and I think taking pride in you know, your appearance and all that that is that’s important. But honestly like your how you present yourself as far as your your you know, the week basically talk about like, in a first impression, there’s like five pretty important things. And like the first one is smile. Like a lot of times my clients were like, Oh yeah, I smile all the time. I always walk up to people smiling. I’m always smiling throughout a conversation. And then we do what we call video work, which is we video them doing an approach, and they cannot believe how they have like a resting bitchface the entire time. And I’m like, yeah, and it makes a huge difference. When you I always like, you know, we tell guys to do this all the time. Like literally just walk down the street. And as you pass someone, make eye contact and give them a really nice genuine smile. It is almost impossible for someone to just not automatically want to smile back. It’s it’s an instinct that we’re like, oh, that’s pleasant. I gravitate towards looking at this person and smiling back. And you know, it’s little things like that, that we think oh, I understand that. And that’s just very basic, but those basic things all together make a huge difference. Going up smiling, gay, getting into neutral. Body language, having energy, you know, do you want to go talk to someone who’s just standing there like a lump and waiting for someone to you know, like, make their night good? No, you want to go up to someone who’s already involved in conversations who’s, you know, excited to get to know people who’s open. And so, you know, like standing near people, not just kind of away from the crowd trying to observe. So there’s, there’s so many things that go into that. And we definitely dive into that at our boot camp a lot, because it’s all these little things that we act like, Oh, yeah, I’m doing that which most of the time you’re not. And then you know that there, there’s those small things that make a huge difference and how someone perceives us and it’s very hard to change someone’s impression of us. So those first few minutes of getting to know someone are really important.


Damona  31:52  

I so agree with you. And I know a lot of people now are thinking, well how does this apply if we Are say we’re listening to this and we’re still in quarantine. Right? And most of the days are happening over video chat. I assume, Aaron that a lot of these techniques and principles can apply when you’re talking to someone via video chat. Right?


Unknown Speaker  32:24  

Yeah, I mean, look, there’s a certain amount and all I will say this just I’ve experienced that it’s almost more like a draining is like a, you know, dramatic word to use for this. But zoom calls actually kind of take a lot out of me because I’ve, you know, obviously because I work, you know, in this field, I’m like, okay, I really want to analyze like, why this feels this way. And it’s because I think we’re just staring at each other through an entire zoom call. You’re either staring at the other person or you’re Looking at yourself, and it’s, it’s not right like it’s not what we would do in person first of all, you wouldn’t be able to see what you’re looking like to the other person at all in person unless you have like, they have a mirror behind them, which would be weird, but you know, we’re, it’s that it’s the whole thing of the positive body language and eye contact, you’re so conscious of how you look you’re looking at that you’re looking at them and just staring at them because what else do you have to look at? And so, I tend to now with zoom I make, I try to make the other person the big picture. And I used to do the tiles, you know, see your equal, whatever, but I’m like, all I’m doing is looking at myself and like going, Oh, why do you know like, that’s like, Yeah,


Damona  33:42  

so the whole reason like for years when I’m working with one on one clients, people have been like, do you do video calls? And I really prefer not to. And that’s the exact reason why I mean, it’s partially also because I don’t really want to do my hair and put makeup on unnecessarily. Career like hosting television because I was like I want to put on makeup, podcasting much better fit. But that aside, it’s really more about when people are on video conference. Yes, they’re like more self conscious you’re looking at yourself and the work that I do I need people to be able to drop in and hear what I’m saying and really connect. And so this is maybe a vote. I’m still figuring this out myself. I did do. For our hardcore listeners, there is a video training on video chat dating on the Patreon tell you about it later. But for those that are dating virtually, I have been having conversations with other dating coaches. And some of them are talking about doing more phone calls. Like we have the video chat and so we think oh, because all of our work calls are on video chat. We should go right to video chat dating, but there is an argument for the phone call and kind of like you know in high school and we used to stay on the phone with our boyfriends till hours at night. There’s something sort of charming and And simple about about that, but at the same time, like, if you haven’t met in person, building that rapport virtually can be really challenging.


Unknown Speaker  35:13  

I agree and I it’s, you know, look, I’m not virtually dating right now because I’m married. But I will say I really my heart goes out Yeah, my heart goes out to people who are right now I have my my, one of my best friends who lives in New York right now is doing that. She’s like, I got a couple of first dates on zoom. And it’s like, really weird. And I’m like, Yeah, I think it’s just gonna be hard to do that right now. Because I know for me anyway, when I was on and eHarmony for a while, you know, way back when, and I found that I eventually had to get to a place where I was just like, yeah, I’m just gonna meet up for someone. I’m gonna only have an exchange back and forth a couple of times. Then we gotta meet up for coffee for like 30 minutes because there’s something to be said, For in person, like the chemistry that you have with someone in person, even when it’s over video chat. Before that it’s totally different than in person. It just, it just totally, you know, like, as silly as it might sound, there’s something to be said for pheromones and things like that. The way someone smells not meaning Oh, this person smells bad. This person smells good. There’s, but there’s a pheromone component that you can’t get into invest all that time and having zoom calls, and whatever and then this quarantine is lifted and you meet them in person and you’re like, oh, like something is just not right. And I just invested all this time and energy into someone. And I can just tell it’s not gonna


Damona  36:46  

click So yeah, that’s why we got to keep it loose. Y’all keep it loose. Keep a few conversations flowing, fill your social calendar, and then we’ll see where we are in a month. This is fascinating. Aaron, I could literally talk to you all day. Yes, we do have questions from our listeners. Awesome, and I know you have answers. So it’s time for our next segment. We’re back with your favorite dates and made segment.


Unknown Speaker  37:17  



Damona  37:19  

before we begin, I mentioned a video training in our last segment that you do not want to miss. It’s all about setting yourself up for success in dating during these unprecedented times. There’s also a live profile Polish video training that I did with Susan ibus of the human behavior lab. But you do not want to miss this video training because you can see how you can improve your dating profile like right there. It’s all visual. And then it also shows how you can choose the right kind of dates just based on their facial features. It’s wild and if you’re looking for dating, support in a deeper way, and a community of people who are looking for love Got you. I got you girlfriends and boyfriends, you can get all of that for just five bucks if you join my patreon. But also if you’re new to me and the dates and mates community and you just want to dip your toes in the water, before we officially change our relationship status, you can also check out my free profiles starter kit. It’s a full PDF with detailed instructions and tips on creating a magnetic profile that will attract the right matches to you and it takes 20 minutes or less of your time, y’all I want you to have it and that’s why I made it totally free. And all of these goodies are there for you at dates and Okay, okay, I’ll move on. But I just wanted you to know it’s totally free. And you can find it at profile starter kit calm because I really want to help you get online and get a different kind of dating experience going for you. All right, Aaron. These questions have come in from our listeners. This is a tweet from a fella named oj he says, Can monogamy be upheld when partners choose to keep their relationship a secret? from everyone else? Secret secrets are no fun, secret secrets do they hurt


Unknown Speaker  39:16  

someone? I think like, why, why keep it a secret if it’s just that you’re kind of like, you know, trying to see if you’re a good match and all that, that’s fine, but I you know, it all comes down to you just have to trust the other person and you have to go, I can handle whatever you know, wherever things go from there. I feel like I never really understood that until I was with was until I started dating my husband where it was just like, oh, you make me feel good and secure and I you know, that’s a hard thing to put your finger on but someone who makes you feel secure. You just don’t worry about that with you just stop having that in the back of your mind as like oh I’m you know, worried that they’re going to cheat on me and after a while if you’re with someone that you’re constantly worrying about that happening with I feel like maybe at the root it’s not the right person because when you’re with someone where you’re in a really where you’re really vibing and you’re in a good place, I think you don’t you don’t worry about that. You’re just like yeah, just trust them. Yeah,


Damona  40:27  

and I hate to say this oj. But if you are already in a position and I don’t know the situation, but if this is already a position where the relationship is starting out as a secret I wonder if monogamy is not been upheld from the beginning, like if that person could maybe already be relationship or married or living a double life. And you know, I I’m a big fan of dating apps and or meeting online, what have you, but there are a lot of people out there They’re that have their online identity and have one have another whole secret life. So to me secrets are really a sign of potential problems down the road. All right, let’s move on to our second question. This is a tweet from cherry. She says, I’ve gotten out of the habit of trying to meet a guy. So how to begin again. How I love what she said habit because I really think of dating as a learned skill. And a lot of times people come to me they’re like, I don’t know how to date. And you know, women sometimes feel like they’ve gotten rusty or they’ve lost their Mojo. And I really look at it as it’s something you just have to practice. You’ve just been out of the beef just went out of practice. Jerry, what do you say from the perspective of someone who coaches both men and women?


Unknown Speaker  41:53  

Yeah, I mean, I would definitely say I find the best resource for especially If you’re like, Okay, I’m going to jump back into the game here. Maybe, you know, if apps feel overwhelming, just ask some of your most trusted friends. Hey, is there someone that you think I would be a good match with, even if it’s like, I don’t know where this will go, but you definitely would have fun first date. And you know, I think dipping your toe in that way because your friends you know, are going to know you and they’re going to hopefully not set you up with someone who’s, you know, not trustworthy and all that. And so then at least you have that kind of, as opposed to just meeting a stranger on the internet, you at least have that kind of security and knowing Okay, we have mutual friends, they think we’d have fun, not a lot of pressure. Maybe even we’ll just become friends after this, and that’s fine, too.


Damona  42:48  

Mm hmm. And maybe we can even reframe this for her, like she said, trying to meet a guy. What’s your reaction to that Aaron like, Is it is it something that you need to be changed? trying it? Or is it more just like about being open?


Unknown Speaker  43:05  

Yeah, I definitely think there’s the peace of being open to that and kind of looking at people with that different perspective of like, Oh, is this someone that I’m like, would would fit the kind of criteria that I’d be looking for for a partner? Because I do think when we say just like, Oh, I just wasn’t looking at all and this person came along. I always found that saying to be very strange, I never felt that way. I always felt like, even when I was like, okay, I’d be totally happy to be single right now. But if some cutie walks up here, and it’s really funny and smart, like I’m gonna notice that right? So like, I don’t know about trying, like I think trying sounds like you’re like you think you have to go out there and put on some sort of act or something or you have to be doing something different other than being yourself being open and knowing what you want from someone. I think if you just have those things in mind like you don’t you don’t want to really be trying you just have to be like, yeah.


Damona  44:06  

Oh, bass. Yeah. And I like what you said about maybe going with a setup from a friend. And you know, especially especially at this time you want to make sure that they check out but I, I wouldn’t put too much pressure on the dating apps and Sherry, if you’re not sure what to say, get the free profile starter kit. At data maids calm we’ll hook you up, but you just got to get out there and for lack of a better term, pop that first day cherry cherry. Yes, um, I have faith that she will find someone it’s just me putting one foot in front of the other. Aaron, this has been really fun talking with you. It’s been so great. I enjoyed so many of your insights. Thank you so much for being here. Aaron. Thank you so much. That’s it for Episode 300 12 of dates and mates, you can find Aaron on all the socials at Aaron murasky. Plus, if you’re a bachelor nation fan, you should listen to her super fun podcast called final rose material on Apple podcasts. And while you’re there, also check out the Art of Charm podcast. It’s Aaron’s company. She’s not one of the hosts of that show, but there’s so much advice that Art of Charm offers to men and women on dating and relationships. And don’t forget to join the Patreon we want you in the community you can sign up really quick and slash dates and mates and you’ll get access to those special video trainings, you’ll get special access to me so many other things and you’ll be a part officially of this club because you’re not alone. Even though you may feel alone right now you’re not I got you and so many other people in this community want to be there with you throughout all this. If you’re newer to the show, and you’re not really sure that you’re Ready for commitment yet then just download the free profile starter kit. All of that and all of our show notes are always at dates end and let’s connect on all the socials. I’m at damona Hoffman, I love to hear from you. I love to know which episodes are resonating for you which guests you’d love to hear more from, and what questions you have. So let’s connect. And next week I have a special episode celebrating Pride Month, a fantastic dating coach Dani Meacham, who coaches LGBT daters will be here joining me offering some dating app tips for everybody regardless of how you identify. Until next week, stay safe, be well and I wish you happy dating

Proposing to Him & Couple Covid Finances


I hope you were inspired by the success stories that we featured in last week’s episode Quarantine Love Questions. Hearing stories of new love made us want to share more success stories with you. So today’s episode is about the BIG moment in one couple’s relationship.

You know that moment when a guy gets down on one knee and asks the girl to marry him? Well this story is exactly like that but the roles are reversed and the woman is the one doing the proposing.


Today we’ll explore why women don’t feel comfortable making the first move with Jenn and Sean, an engaged couple who is writing their own rules on love.

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines! 


Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green call in quits

The first Hollywood couple to report that their relationship ended in quarantine. Damona reports.


How to weather the oncoming financial crisis

It is widely known that a lot of conflict in relationships centers around finances. In this current financial crisis, the University of Arizona gives us a study on how couples can ease the burden on their relationship.


COVID Season’s Hottest Dating Profile Musthave

Singles across the country are flaunting their coronavirus antibody results. Is this actually hot or not?



Question for the ladies: Would you ever propose to your man?

Way back when my husband and I were dating, there was a period where I was just waiting for the proposal to happen. 

He knew he was going to propose. He knew I knew he was going to propose. But the days kept coming and there was no ring in sight.

I thought about proposing to him, but I just couldn’t do it. However this week, I talked to one woman who took the reins into her own hands.

A few months ago, Jenn got down on her knee and proposed to her boyfriend, Sean! 

When I heard their story, I had A TON of questions, and I know you do, too.

On today’s episode of Dates & Mates, they share their story and I analyze what modern daters can learn from it.

This is a really cute story but we also get a better understanding of when and why women should make the first move plus take a peek inside the mind of men who are ready for commitment.

Here’s a pic they snapped just before they went on their life-changing hike!


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

  • Voicemail: What’s a good response for when someone asks you “why have you not been married?” I always answer that I haven’t found the right one
  •  Iris in San Diego, sent us these questions: “What will be the impact on marriages? Will the divorce rate go up?” 
  • I went through a breakup last month…and shortly after I lost an extended family member. I feel that I can’t properly grieve either one of these events. Do you have any advice?


Damona  0:12

Hello lovers. Welcome to dates in mates. I hope you were inspired by the love stories that we featured on last week’s episode, quarantined love questions. You know, hearing stories of new love just made me want to share more success stories with you. So today’s episode is about the big moment in one couples relationship. You know, that moment when a guy gets down on one knee and asks the girl to marry him? Well, this story is exactly like that. But the roles are reversed and the woman is the one who did the proposing. My nine year old daughter asked me the other day, why is it that the man always asks the woman My husband who was in the room at the time, he replied, he was kind of burying some male shame when he said this, that it was a relic of another time in history when women couldn’t really choose who they married. So he goes on. Do you know who the man used to propose to? And she looked at him confused. And he says, the father of the bride. And for the sake of future generations, I was glad to see that this response totally threw her for a loop. She had no idea what he meant by that. And it always bothered my husband that there was this expectation that he had to ask for my hand in marriage, since he saw me as my own individual person with freewill not a piece of property belonging to the Resnick family. Yeah, so ultimately, my husband did propose and he did, as he says, alert my parents to his plans, although he will swear that he did not Call it asking for permission. My dad looks at another way. Regardless, we all got the outcome that we wanted. But as a feminist I have always wondered, why didn’t? Why did we even have to go through that ridiculous dance at all? Why didn’t I just ask him? I knew months and months, maybe even a year earlier that I wanted to marry this man. What was it that kept me from just proposing to him? Well, today, I’ll explore that question with Jen and Shawn and engaged couple who are writing their own rules on love. But first, we got to get you up to speed on this week’s headlines. We’ll talk about a new study on how couples can weather the oncoming financial COVID storm and spring’s hottest dating profile must have plus our first major celebrity breakup announcement of Corona season. Then we’ll be answering your questions like How do you respond to the Why haven’t you been married question and will Coronavirus increase your chance of divorce All that and more on today’s dates and mates Now,


Unknown Speaker  3:15  

let’s dish these dating dish.


Damona  3:19  

Brian Austin green and Megan Fox are officially calling it quits on his podcast with Brian Austin green. You got you guys know Brian Austin green. He was on Beverly Hills 90210. And then the reboot of Beverly Hills nine to one. Oh, well, he said that he and Megan Fox who’s like maybe the hottest woman ever born. They have been separated for months after realizing that they’ve grown apart and Megan actually said something in an interview about traveling for work and realizing that she was happier away from her husband than she was together with him and I’m sure for Brian Austin Korean must really sting Like, he’s definitely not going to find a sexier wife, like megan fox is the pinnacle. But it also goes to show you that sometimes you don’t know what’s under the surface of a relationship. And we know the relationship has been Rocky. They started dating in 2004. They got married in 2010. And then apparently they were going to split I think we even covered on the show before, they filed for divorce in 2015. But then they reconciled before the birth of their third child. So now they have three, three kids together. And Megan is saying they’re still going to do family vacations together. And I know a lot of couples want to do this. When there’s a breakup, they’re like, we just want to keep everything like it was. But it’s not like it was you’re not romantically involved together. And believe me, I know of couples that have done this successfully, but I just want to take our foot off the gas and if you’re finding yourself in this situation, we can say what we ideally want to happen in the future. But don’t be too hard on yourself to try to make everything okay for the kids, especially in the middle of a pandemic, something as serious as this, things are going to unfold the way they’re going to unfold. And I for one, I’m sorry that this couple didn’t make it, but I’m sure they will both move on and be happier in the long run. If you are facing some financial trouble. Turns out your relationship may also be in trouble too. There was an interesting article that came out on how couples can weather the COVID financial storm and it gave a lot of great just general relationship advice on how to manage this time including they call it relationship maintenance behaviors, like respecting one another being there for one another and showing love and affection for one another. Which is great and easy to say. And I know a lot of you guys listen to this show, or hear me on other shows talking about like just communicate just just work through it together. But it really is at the core of, of your relationship lasting. So if we just break that down to like what is showing love and affection for one another look like, like at the end of each day. At this point, I’m doing a lot more work than my husband is I produce this podcast, I also produce another podcast called I make a living for the freshbooks brand. I have dating coaching clients, there’s a lot happening. And so my husband is taking on the burden right now of managing the kids and homeschooling. So I make sure at the end of every day, I just say to him, I love you, I appreciate you, thank you for doing this so that I can provide for our family and do other things that are really important. So that might be a good place to start if you’re starting to feel some of those, that friction. And then this article also reminded that receiving financial support from family and friends was associated with higher levels of commitment. For the couples that were studied in, in the study that this article references, so I know a lot of you, you, you want to feel like you can do it on your own, but this is the time to remember that it takes a village. It really does. And you may need to lean on your parents, your brothers and sisters, your extended family a little bit right now so that you can keep yourself from going underwater. It’s the reality that those who are struggling financially are going to have a tougher time making it through Coronavirus and the quarantines and the safer at home and I’m sure a lot of you. I’m speaking to a lot of you right now who are listening to this podcast. But just remember that there are resources out there for you and there are people in your, in your circle in your community, or in your family that want to support you through this because it’s not worth it to lose your relationship over financial challenges if it can be worked through it. You’ve heard me say on the show before, that a lot of times the financial challenges are an indicator of something else. So see if you can get to the root of what’s really going on. And make sure that you’re doing those things like respecting one another, showing love and affection and being there for each other during this time.


If you’re still single though, Coronavirus, might actually help you out in getting a date. There was an article that said singles are flaunting their COVID antibody test results now in dating profiles. I really wonder would you guys do this? Would you put your like, I’m, I’m negative. Like some some people have asked me if they should put STD test results in their dating profile. I think this is all a step a little bit too far. And this to me also shows a bit of a desperation for that connection or for having sex and moving offline really quickly and making people feel a little bit more comfortable that you are not that you do not have COVID. It’s the antibody test that they’re talking about. But I’m sure people are doing it also with the the current COVID test, which I actually just had today, and it was super easy. I live in California where it’s free, and anyone can sign up for it. If you’re not somewhere where you can get a test like See if you can go in your doctor’s office, because it’s just great for peace of mind. I don’t believe that I have it. I guess I’ll let you guys know next week. But just to know where I stand and as as we start to open our circle out more as we start to move back into dating. You want to know your status. And so it is sort of like the new STI, you have to know where you stand and then communicate that to someone else if you’re going to be intimate, but I do think putting it on your dating profile, maybe a step too far. Those are the headlines for this week. But I have an epic love story coming your way in just a moment. So don’t go anywhere.


Welcome back. As most of you know, I classify myself as a feminist dating coach, and I want to push more women to take initiative in their love lives. But a lot of times we have this fear that making the first move will come off as desperate, or will intimidate men. But I know for a fact that this takes a lot of pressure off of men and can actually ease the connection and make you more likely to move into the relationship of your dreams. So I got to interview one couple who shows us what it looks like when a woman takes charge in their relationship. A few months ago, Jen got down on one knee and proposed to her boyfriend, Shawn. Yeah, you heard that right. She asked him to marry her. Obviously, I had tons of questions, and I’m sure you do too. So I’m excited to share their love story with you In a nutshell, Shawn and Jen met in their undergrad dorm hot tub seven years ago and have been together ever since. I also did ask questions about the dorm hot tub. I’m like, how do you get this dorm hot tub? I can’t even get a hot tub in my house and they had it at school. But that I digress. Jen has always taken the lead in their relationship. She actually was the first to add him on Facebook. This was like the beginning of their relationship. And that was a huge relief to Shawn. I was like, Oh, cool.


Unknown Speaker  11:33  

Yeah, 50% of the legwork.


Damona  11:38  

Yes. Wait, talk to me more about that. Because a lot of times people I say that all the time on the show that women should be proactive. And I know we’re gonna be talking about more about women being proactive in your relationship, but I get a lot of pushback. What was keeping you from reaching out to her first


Unknown Speaker  11:55  

at the time, I was very nervous of like, just like communicating with the audience. It sucks because it wasn’t my strong suit. So this thing is really cool because it already has kind of started us off on this whole connection thing. Just like a whole new world.


Damona  12:10  

You messaged her first though.


Unknown Speaker  12:12  

Uh, yeah, I messaged her and said something to the effect of I don’t mean to be that guy asking someone out over Facebook, but, uh, maybe you would you want to go get coffee sometime. And then I said,


Unknown Speaker  12:27  

Well, I don’t really like coffee, but I’ll go get hot chocolate with you.


Unknown Speaker  12:31  

Yeah. And then I was like, Well, I don’t like coffee either. So let’s both get hot chocolate.


Damona  12:36  

Oh my gosh, you this is the perfect love story. I love it. You asked her out for a date that you didn’t even want to go out.


Unknown Speaker  12:45  

I didn’t know what to say. I was like, coffee is what people do right.


Damona  12:50  

And the rest is history. Within a year they moved in together, and their relationship moved quickly. But they agreed to take things one day at a time. You’ve heard me say that. on the show before, Jen had some relationship fears, though, that brought her to this defining moment in their love story.


Unknown Speaker  13:07  

I had some issues, you know, you always have your first heartbreak. And I work in theater. So I would travel and do summer stock theater and things. And the first summer after we had got together, I offered basically, if he wanted to just have an open relationship for the summer because I didn’t want to get cheated on. Because that I found out that that had happened to me before he kind of in that moment, like, pulled me in and said, No, I don’t want to do that.


Unknown Speaker  13:38  

I was like, that’s not really something I’m comfortable with. So I’m gonna go with no but thank you from


Damona  13:44  

Yeah, that’s so interesting. That’s so interesting because you were operating Jen based off of your prior experiences, even though nothing that Shawn was telling you in the in that moment, it sounded like lead you believe that’s what he wanted. And it sounds like it wasn’t really what you wanted. And it


Unknown Speaker  14:04  

yeah, it wasn’t. And it definitely made me emotional and made me really appreciate him. And I knew a lot like more in my heart that he was there for me.


Damona  14:16  

Yeah. And being a relationship minded, female and dating coach. I’m really curious, Shawn, what is going through your head in that moment? And what it takes for a man to commit I do have a lot of female listeners on the show. And many of them would tell me that they feel men are afraid of commitment that if they say anything, like if that conversation had gone differently, and Jen was like, I need you to commit right now. Like, are we is this relationship going anywhere? that that would make a man run away. So what was it the way that she phrased it that helped you realize the role that she really played in your life, or were there certain characteristics that you were looking for in a long term relationship that she lined up with? Or maybe something else?


Unknown Speaker  15:09  

And in that particular moment, like I could tell she’s very vulnerable. She was, you know, kind of opening herself up to me. And I didn’t. I don’t know, it never really sat right with me of, like, dating around. I just, I don’t know, I kind of always have been just like, I’m focusing on one thing at a time, so I’m kind of committed to this. Mm hmm.


Damona  15:34  

Can you guys talk to me about your parents, relationships and the relationships that were modeled for you when you were young?


Unknown Speaker  15:42  



Unknown Speaker  15:43  

yeah. So both of our parents were divorced.


Unknown Speaker  15:46  

Both of our dads went on to remarry,


Unknown Speaker  15:51  

mind multiple times.


Unknown Speaker  15:54  

And both of our moms are single and happy that way. Not Not looking for. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  16:02  

something new. And both of both of our moms are pretty much our central parental figure. Yeah.


Damona  16:10  

So Did either of you have either before the time that you met or during the relationship, have a vision of what a healthy relationship would look like for you or what your relationship goals were at the time, we both wanted one partner that we would commit to neither of us were afraid of commitment. So let’s fast forward a year together now for many years for over 77 years. And you met an undergrad, so you’re still relatively young. But that’s a long time to be with someone. And also, that’s a sort of pivotal time in people’s lives, where they’re figuring out what, who they want to be who they want to be with. And you’re going through that, considering the needs also Have a partner How did that? Did you ever feel like you were missing out on, you know, playing the field and being 20 something and foolish?


Unknown Speaker  17:14  

No. I do like get a lot of almost social pressure of people saying like, like, if you haven’t been with other guys, how do you know that? That’s what you want. For me. It’s just kind of like, I’ve never not been happy with what I have. Why would I? Why would I like ruin this to go find out that this is what I wanted the whole time.


Unknown Speaker  17:40  

And that’s pretty much how it feels for me as well. Like I’ve been happy the past seven years. Like why would I give up something that brings me joy?


Unknown Speaker  17:48  

Yeah. I love that.


Damona  17:50  

So you’re together seven years. Talk me through the proposal. I want to hear it from both sides of this story. This is really You know, I’ve also been asked, I, in my relationship sort of a lead through a lot of the milestones. And at the time when my husband and I were dating, I was making a lot more money than he was. And that was sort of a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to propose until he felt like he had his financial life together, and he could be a caretaker for another person or for a family. And people have asked me Well, why didn’t you just propose them because there was this whole period of just like waiting and waiting and waiting for him to feel secure enough, even though we both knew that the relationship was what we wanted. And I have to admit, like I am super modern on most relationship norms, but this was one area where I was like, I don’t know why I just couldn’t do it. So that takes a lot of chutzpah as my people would JOHN, for you to take the initiative in a world where it’s so it’s just not really considered traditional. It’s not traditional for a woman to be the one proposing. Yeah. Did you ever grapple with like these big questions of what does that mean for our relationship or who I am as a woman? Oh, I had,


Unknown Speaker  19:21  

you know, I went through a lot of the same thoughts as you. And there was a time where I told Sean, I wasn’t going to propose to him. He had to do it. And it was it, you know, when I decided like, when I finally decided in that moment, I had been like, MIT This is stupid. Like, I’m not gonna wait for I’m sure he can explain you know, what he was thinking, but I was like, I’m not gonna wait for whatever, you know, he feels like needs to happen for him to feel like he’s in a good spot to propose because I’m in a good spot to propose. And, you know, we either we know this is happening, or we’ll have to figure things out.


Damona  20:12  

You know that she’s the one, right, what’s stopping you from taking the bull by the horns.


Unknown Speaker  20:18  

So it’s kind of funny. I was in a bit of a similar situation, as you’d mentioned with your husband and always finances. So 2019 was a pretty rough year for me because I had racked up quite a bit of credit card debt from going to grad school and my car was on its last limb because I had about 338,000 miles on it and how to get in a car. So


Damona  20:46  

that’s impressive. You got it that far. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  20:48  

Toyota, everybody by Toyota.


Unknown Speaker  20:53  

had that. I’m not being paid, I swear.


Unknown Speaker  20:57  

But uh, you know, I just couldn’t On this huge financial transaction, I was like diverting a ton of my money to paying off credit card debt. And then I had finished paying off all my credit card debt at the end of the year. I was like, Alright, this is gonna be the big year. We’re gonna do some traveling finally started talking about like, you know, future house plans to start coming up, even though we live in LA and I don’t know how we’re ever gonna afford a house out here.


Damona  21:30  

But Jen knew what she wanted. She decided to propose anyway.


Unknown Speaker  21:34  

People say there’s the Seven Year Itch like people who have gotten married start to realize they’re not right for each other something and we’re at that point, and we’re realizing that were even more right for each other, but about, I don’t know, half a year ago or so we opened up into even deeper conversation about, like fears of the future and maybe doubts that we had with each other and communicated about that. And it was really, honestly a really rough conversation. Like things that people who do not want to be in relationships look at. And they’re like, yeah, that’s exactly what I don’t want. We got through that night, and I made the decision, right. And that I was going to propose to Sean, I was going to ask him at some point. So I guess that might have been the moment that you know, I knew I was going to lock him in. When you flip and it’s not normal for the woman to propose. There’s not like the same expectations. So I had to figure out about like, doing a ring, what I would do, I wanted to get a ring, but I really wanted Shawn to like it. I really didn’t know what Shawn was. Want for that? So I decided to get some cufflinks and then a few engagement presidents for the day. Also knew I knew the first thing I knew is that I wanted to do it somewhere out in nature with just the two of us. Because you know, Sean is not a crowds person. Yeah, he wouldn’t appreciate a big, like crazy fancy proposal, you know, coordinating dancing or singing or anything like that. So I had to get him. I had to like, figure out a way to get him to agree to go to Death Valley National Park we hadn’t been to yet. And so we took my car, which made it easy for me to pack in all of the presence without him seeing and the cufflinks and my side door on the driver side. I had to keep stopping him from like, going in the Trying to get anything when we were setting up I would keep like I would find ways to like either if he was going to the trunk grab the stuff he wanted really quick first and put it out so that he would grab it before getting to the trunk.


Damona  24:12  

Yeah, I mean we have our she acting weird. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  24:14  

I was just like, Oh, cool. She’d be nice. Like, she’s just gonna get


Damona  24:20  

I don’t know, I hadn’t seen you have no idea


Unknown Speaker  24:22  

at this. No, I had not noticed that. She was like, actively stopping me from going to the car.


Unknown Speaker  24:29  

He didn’t know until the moment of


Unknown Speaker  24:32  

Yeah, I did not know until quite literally, like started off with the speech which we’ll get to. Then, um, her getting down on one knee. So


Damona  24:44  

yeah, um, Okay, tell me about the speech. I want to hear both.


Unknown Speaker  24:47  

So I wanted to go to artists palette and Death Valley, which is really like Scott, all these C’s Painted Hills. I knew that we could find a place where we’d be alone. There. My plan was we share a backpack when we hike. So my plan was to put the cufflinks in the backpack and carry the backpack. But we get there and Shawn immediately grabs the backpack. And so I had, I was like, Oh, great. Now what do I do? Sean wouldn’t put down the camera. I was taking so many pictures taking off. Like, being a goofball. Like he is and him taking pictures of me and I was like, how do I get him to be serious for a second? And then I started you know, making more eye contact with him and, and not like being a little quieter. And then I think I I think maybe I actually told him put the camera down for a second. Yeah. So finally, like I had his attention, and he actually snapped a picture right before I proposed of me, which was amazing. And so I started saying, you know, hey, love. We’ve been together for over seven years now. And we’re doing better than we could have imagined. And I start at the end and he cuts me off and he says, Oh, I see. I get it, I get it. You’re dropping hints like this would be a great place for me to propose to you. And I was like, No, that’s not what I’m


Unknown Speaker  26:32  

doing. dropping a much bigger hint.


Unknown Speaker  26:35  

And kind of like, he caught my momentum there. So I was fumbling a little, and that I don’t really know what I said next. And I swear it took eternity for me to get the cufflinks out of the box. And that I in that moment, I didn’t know if I didn’t plan beforehand. If I I was going to get down on one knee because I thought, you know, it might be weird. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. But in that moment, I totally understood. And I got down on one knee because you feel completely vulnerable. And you know, your life is in the other person’s hands. It feels like and I opened up the box and I said, Will you marry me? And


Unknown Speaker  27:28  

he was shocked.


Unknown Speaker  27:30  

Yeah, I was pretty much completely taken aback. He


Unknown Speaker  27:34  

stopped talking.


Damona  27:37  

How and how long was this pause before he replied.


Unknown Speaker  27:40  

No, like eternity.


Unknown Speaker  27:42  

I don’t know. I probably want to say a couple of seconds. Yes,


Unknown Speaker  27:45  

probably. Yeah, ultimately, I’m


Unknown Speaker  27:47  

sure it felt like the absolute worst three seconds of her before


Unknown Speaker  27:53  



Unknown Speaker  27:56  

Oh, I didn’t say yes. He said.


Unknown Speaker  27:57  



Unknown Speaker  27:59  

Yeah. case that


Unknown Speaker  28:00  

gratulate me down.


Damona  28:04  

For a second, I was like, what’s he gonna say? So now you’re engaged. And you’ve got to tell everybody else in your world about this. I imagine. Like, I come from a somewhat traditional gender roles family. I and, and there was this whole thing of like, my dad wanted my husband to call, he’s probably listening right now I’m gonna get hate mail from him. He wanted my husband to call and ask his permission to ask me to marry him. And my husband didn’t. He’s like, you’re your own person. Like you’re, you’re not a piece of property that I need to get permission to take away. Yeah. So


Unknown Speaker  28:47  



Damona  28:48  

so he did say I’m planning to ask him to marry. Did you like get anyone’s quote permission to ask Shawn and how did your parents react when you finally told you


Unknown Speaker  29:00  

I thought about it, you know, I thought about honestly actually going to his mom. But I ended up deciding not to I wanted it to be more of a surprise. At this point. Everyone had been asking us when you get married Anyway, you know, since we were in Death Valley National Park, we didn’t have any service for a lot of the time. So we could get some text out to some people. But obviously, we didn’t want to tell our parents through text.


Unknown Speaker  29:31  

Hey, by the way, got engaged.


Unknown Speaker  29:32  

Yeah. So we waited and we were driving out later that night and we called our parents we told them and they were they were all pretty supportive for the most part. My favorite story is that I we called and we told my grandparents on my mom’s side, and my grandma answered the phone and I say Hey Grandma, just calling let you know that Shawn and I are engaged. And she’s like, Oh my gosh, that’s great. And I said, I propose to him, you know, cuz I was so proud of myself, right? She’s like, Oh, wow. And she turns and you can hear my grandpa in the background and she turns to my grandpa and says, Jenny and Shawna engaged. She proposed to him. My grandpa in the background says yeah, cuz he wasn’t gonna do it.


Unknown Speaker  30:32  

And then my grandma turns back on the phone and says, He says that’s really sweet.


Damona  30:41  

You can totally hear him


Unknown Speaker  30:43  

had a total there’s a question though relationship with her grandparents or grandpa specifically but then he threw all that shade I never seen them.


Unknown Speaker  30:53  

Oh, he’s harmless. I you know what, Larry, Shawn


Damona  30:56  

there’s there’s sometimes truth in kidding. So good. No, what would you have? Would you have proposed? If she had waited?


Unknown Speaker  31:05  

Yes, this was the year this is gonna be the big year.


Damona  31:09  

So honest question do you feel at all like, robbed of that opportunity to be the one who did the proposing?


Unknown Speaker  31:16  

No, because we’re in this together. Like, she got to have that moment. But I mean, I’m sharing it too, because now we’re engaged.


Damona  31:24  

Oh, that’s so beautiful. I love beautiful stories like this. So thank you for giving us faith that sometimes you don’t have to do things the way that we’ve always seen in the movies and the fairy tales, you can carve your own path. Thank you so much for being here.


Unknown Speaker  31:37  

Thank you.


Damona  31:39  

Jen says they’re taking this quarantine one day at a time as well. And they plan to get married in the fall of next year. I love love, don’t you and I love people who write their own love stories. Congratulations to Jen and Shawn. I hope all of you can have a happy ending just like theirs. And if you do, I would love to share it on a future episode. Out of this show to help you get to your happy ever after I have answers to your relationship questions coming right up. Welcome back to dates and mates. Do you have serious dating and relationship worries right now, if you need more support and love or if you just want to get access to special bonus content, our first 200 episodes, live community chats and other special resources inside of the private dates and mates community. I invite you to join slash dates and mates. The entry level is just five bucks and your membership dollars will go towards bigger and better things that we have planned and we will be bringing to you on dates and mates. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while and you’ve learned a new dating or relationship skill or you just enjoy hearing me talk about what’s happening and dating news and hearing other people’s questions getting answered. We would love to have your support Again, you just go to, slash dates and mates. And then you can join the club and become one of my friends with benefits. All right, on to the questions. This one is a voicemail that came in from our listener, Jacqueline, what’s a good response for the question of why have you not been married before, and the example I’m going to use is myself. I am 48. I have been in relationships, and I have dated and been on online sites and I’ve taken breaks and so now I’m looking to get back out there again. And I just wanted to know what you would say to someone who asked that, because I feel like what I say and what my answer is, just doesn’t really work and needs a new spin. Mine is because I haven’t found the right one


Unknown Speaker  33:52  

yet. So I would be very curious as to what you would say to this question. People be so nosy on


Damona  33:58  

dating apps. Don’t Jacqueline, why have you not been married as if it’s their business as if that’s not information that is to be earned further down the road? There are so many reasons I’m sure why someone has not yet been married. You. I mean, I took my time to choose the right person. And people would always ask me like, why are you still single? That’s another question I’m sure that you’ve heard before. Because you are choosing you’re not just falling into a relationship with the wrong person. Or maybe there’s other stuff that you’re working through either in your family history or your personal life, or maybe you’ve just had some other life goals, whatever it is. It’s none of their business and it doesn’t relate to the relationship at hand. Now I have gotten I have gotten statements from listeners before that say, Well, I won’t date anyone. I won’t date a guy who Is unmarried over 40 because it means XYZ or I won’t date a woman who’s never been married, because it means something we’re attaching meaning to prior relationship history, we’re attaching meaning to stories that we’ve heard. And that’s not fair to you. And that’s not fair to them because they may be cutting off the potential for something really great with you. Because they’re asking his dumb question that they think might actually tell them how the relationship is going to play out. Because really, that’s at the root of that question, right? If I invest my time in a relationship with you, and if I fall in love with you, what will happen to me? Will you be willing to marry me? Will you break my heart? Will you Is there some sort of a red flag that I can see now, that can prevent me from that sort of heartache? But you know, if you’ve been listening to the show, we we have to go through the process. You are going to get knocked out A few times before you can stay up. So I would say twist it around in a flirty way. And do not answer that question. directly. You could say, well, why do you want to know? Or you could say, well, because I haven’t met you yet, or you could say anything that lets them know that that question is not going to be on the table until you are further down the line in your relationship. Iris in San Diego sent us this question, what will be the impact on marriages of Coronavirus? Will the divorce rate go up? Now, you heard me say on the show before right at the beginning of when Coronavirus was hitting in the United States. China was coming out of there several week lockdown and according to stats that I saw there, the divorce filings were up about 25% as the lockdown restrictions are easing. So what this tells me is that Corona A virus is an amplifier. There’s the aspect of, you know, the life and death aspect and in making you really take stock of your life and how you want to spend it and who you want to spend it with, then there’s the added stress of just being in close quarters with someone that you’re not used to spending all day every day with. But I’m hopeful that that means it just brought those relationship challenges to a head more quickly and all at the same time. And that in the following years, we will see a decline and more of a stabilization of the relationships that made it through it because honestly, if you can make it through this with your partner, you can make it through anything. This is hard as hell you guys. This is super hard, and if you can stay together through it, then I really have confidence that you can last. This person sent their question to NPR as well. He said I went through a breakup last month and shortly after I lost an extended family member I feel that I can’t properly grieve either one of these events. Do you have any advice? Well, first of all, I just want to say, I’m so sorry that you went through that. And that you are, you are in this grieving place. A lot of us have lost people close to us. And a lot of people have lost relationships too, and losing a relationship. Even though it’s not necessarily as serious as losing a life of someone in your life. It is losing that person in your life, all the same. And so it does need a grieving process. Whether you were together for a month or a year or 10 years, you do have to give yourself time to process what happened and, and how you feel about that and where it’s leaving you right now. So if you can’t say what you wish you could say to that person, maybe try writing them a letter and this is a letter that you will need Never, ever, ever, ever send. And maybe you will burn in a cathartic ritual when you’re done. But maybe write them a letter to say the things that you wish you could have said. And sometimes that’s enough to just get those feelings out. Sometimes that can get you closer to the healing. And then I’ll go back to something that I said earlier in the show, remember that you have people around you, to support you. And don’t be afraid to reach out and be a little bit vulnerable, be a little bit messy. Tell your friends or tell your siblings or your parents, that you’re hurting right now and you need someone to talk to. And even if we can’t see one another face to face right now, sometimes a phone call or a video chat can be what we need to just bridge that divide and remind you that even though we’re separated, we are not alone. That’s it for today’s episode. This is 311 of dates and mates. Don’t be shy send me your dating and relationship questions. I am here to help. You can DM me on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. I’m at damona Hoffman, or leave me a voicemail. That number is 424-246-6255. And just like Jacqueline, you can hear your beautiful voice and I can hear your beautiful voice on the show. And let’s spread the love today. Why don’t you share this episode with a friend, someone who needs to hear some of the advice that I just gave in technically dating or someone who needs to hear the story of Shawn and Jen. I will be back next week with Aaron Murkowski who teaches flirting skills for the Art of Charm. And she’s going to give us advice on how to start moving back into the real world with flirtatiousness and fun. Until next week. I wish you happy dating