Great Date Ideas (that don’t break the bank)


Looking to impress someone without spending a lot of money but don’t want to look like a cheapskate?  Here are a few suggestions on how to have a cheap date without looking like one:


There are many websites where you can get discounts if you plan ahead. On you can purchase gift certificates for less than their printed value.  How to settle the bill without looking like a bargain-hunter? Tell your date you have to use the restroom, grab the check, and take care of it while you’re up.   Then you’ll seem like someone who knows how to handle business efficiently and they will still feel taken care of, even if it cost you 15% less.


Many museums have “free days” where you can enter at no cost.  Usually, it’s a little busier than other days but that just means your date will have to snuggle up close to you to get to see the exhibit.  You don’t have to tell them that you knew about the free day just say “Hey, want to go to the modern art museum on Wednesday.” Play it off as a surprise, whatever you need to do but as long as it doesn’t seem pre-meditated.  Sometimes these museums take donations instead of charging a specific amount. Even if you give a “generous” $10 donation you’ll still pay less than admission for two but you’ll look like a philanthropist…very sexy.


A lot of bars have adjusted happy hours to go later or run on the weekends.  Research which places in your area have happy hour during a date-appropriate time and get yourself a reservation.  If the place is busy, it’ll just seem popular and you’ll have to get closer together to hear one another.


Emphasize how into fitness and/or the outdoors you are and invite them to go on a hike with you.  After the hike you can surprise your date with a pre-packed picnic basket and blanket and turn the day into a romantic outdoor retreat.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a good impression.  Effort should win over dollars spent any day.

Spouse Hunting & Singles in America



On this week’s episode of the Dates & Mates podcast, we’re joined by Brian Belefant, real estate agent and author, who explains how dating is exactly like house hunting according to his 99 rules of real estate.

Believe me when I tell you I LOVED this interview and can’t wait to see what y’all think 💗⁠

Here’s a rundown of today’s episode:

Dating Dish (2:25)

Reba McEntire is all about that social distance date

Reba’s officially on the market and has endorsed the social distance date after healing from a divorce with Narvel Blackstock. Wait… did you catch that name? You’re not going to believe the connection to Kelly Clarkson here.


What is Emophilia? Is it contagious???

Do you fall in love fast and hard? You need to hear this.


Match FINALLY releases they’re annual ‘Singles in America’ study

Damona reports on the latest:

  • A surprisingly high number of singles are having sex with a non-romantic roommate
  • Singles have new priorities what it comes to attraction
  • The decline of homogamy



Don’t forget to order your copy of Spouse Hunting: Using the Rules of Real Estate To Find the Love of Your Life



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

  • It seems like a lot of men are more lax about their standards right now and I struggle to find people who seem in line with me. Suggestions on how to figure out where I stand with people?
  • I need some social distance date inspiration! What are virtual or in-person activities that go beyond a picnic, hike, or staring at each other through screens? 




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, I am so excited for today’s episode. It’s a really different kind of conversation today. And the idea actually began way back when I was online dating. You see, I used to tell my friends when I was trying to get them to see the benefits of online dating, I would say girls, it’s just like man shopping. It’s like having a catalogue of eligible bachelors. And I could just pick and choose the ones that I wanted. But the difference is, you don’t have to know if a shirt likes you back when you buy it. So my guest for today has flipped my perspective on this whole conversation and made me realize it’s much more like how shopping, then clothing shopping, because you do need that mutual match to make it work. And just think about the top qualities you look for in a mate. And then the things you look for in real estate, location, style, size. Hey, I’m talking about the house Get your mind out of the gutter. But first before we talk about the similarities between how shopping and mate shopping. I’m going to talk about today’s headlines including Reba McEntire is all about the social distance dating. And what is emo philia. And is it contagious? Plus, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Well, at least the moment that I’ve been waiting for. Match finally releases its 2020s singles in America study and there are some goodies in here. Then at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including have daters today forgotten all their home training, and some social distance date inspiration. Those are the headlines today and the questions I’ll be answering and now it’s time for the dish. These dating dish.

Reba McEntire is on the dating market and she is doing the dang thing too. She just revealed that she has been dating actor Rex Lin, you might know him from young Sheldon. And they have been doing it social distance dating style. They actually had a face to face dinner date back when the world was a regular place in January or February. And since that time, she revealed that they’ve connected over text and video chat and phone and things are moving along. And I just thought this was a just super cute because isn’t Reba super cute. And B I also thought it was interesting that she talked about the difference in courtship and the way that taking her time and getting to know him slowly, even across distance allowed her to see the real benefits in him. And to get to know him on a deeper level. Even though they’re not together all of the time. They are still able to form that bond, and boy does Reba need it because she got divorced from narvel Blackstock. Is this a name that you know, because it sounded familiar to me when I read it because I realized I also read a story this week that narvel is suing Kelly Clarkson. Why not because he is her former father in law. Did you hear that Blackstock name we talked about Kelly a few weeks ago, but because he’s her former manager, I am seeing a pattern here. He helped Reebok to launch into stardom from country music to mainstream television shows. And the same for Kelly Clarkson. And now he’s common for her and saying she owes him millions of dollars, which made me wonder how did she get millions of dollars for hosting TV shows. As soon as I figure that out, and as soon as I’m able to give Kelly Clarkson some dating advice. I will report back but in the meantime, I think you can take a page out of rebbes book and use social distance dating as a way to really form a deeper bond and find somebody that’s maybe not so money hungry. emo philia you did you catch it? emo philia is the tendency to fall in love fast and often. So I don’t think it’s contagious. I didn’t mean to worry you. You can’t protect your With mask from getting it, but you can become aware if you have the tendency to what experts are calling emotional promiscuity. You, if you find yourself you succumb to others charms very quickly, or you’re likely to ignore relationship red flags, oh my goodness, this happens so much with my private clients, we’ll go through all of the red flags and the must haves. And then you meet someone and boom, you’re just emotionally attached to them. This is a little bit different from anxious attachment. Because if for those who read the book attached, which is a fantastic book, Dr. Amir Levine. He talks about the different styles of attachment anxious and avoidant, but the anxious attachment styles jump into relationships really quickly. But it’s not because of a reward motivation. It’s it’s motivated by inhibition or avoidance of a negative emotional state, especially specifically, specifically fear and anxiety. We’re all moving away from that. So please be on the lookout if you feel that you are an emo Fili AK. And you fall in love too fast and too often. Maybe you need to read up on what Reba McEntire is doing and slow it down. Dr. Helen Fisher always says practice slow love. And I say the same thing. Hey, speaking of Dr. Helen Fisher, she has once again partnered up with a match to do their singles in America study. And she’s a biological anthropologist.

And what they do every year is they take a huge sample of singles, thousands of people, and they pull them on all of these attitudes about being single in America. And then they let people like me talk about this data for for all time. So here are the headlines, I want you to know, there are a couple things in this year’s report that really surprised me. Did you know that a quarter of singles had sex with a non romantic roommate over the last six months in the pan Demi. I cannot believe that that many people would cross that barrier with somebody that they are not romantically involved with. But sexologist call this situational sexual behavior I had never heard of this I’m learning to as we go along. And the meaning of that is that social or environmental factors can cause people to express sexual behaviors different from their previous preferences, and behaviors under most normal circumstances. And this made me worried y’all not just for those who are having sex with their roommates, and men are now going to still be stuck with them for months and months and have to figure out how to normalize all of this. But it made me wonder what other sort of unexpected sexual behaviors people are engaging in because, you know, we we are approaching this period of, of skin hunger and the drought of touch. And I’ll be talking in next week’s episode, a little bit more about that and how that affects us. But just really be mindful of your choices, because they do have repercussions. Most people two thirds a single said they’re ready to go on an in person date. And of course, there was a huge, huge increase in video dating over the last three years, they found they said only 25% increase. I think it’s been way more than that in the middle of the pandemic. But maybe that’s the number that we’ve settled on. So a lot of you have been asking me, is it okay to now move from a video chat to an actual social distance date? Yes, you have my permission, you may move offline. I would prefer you still wear a mask or social distance at least six feet and be outdoors. But you do you boo. The one thing that is really key we talked about this a couple weeks ago, you have to find somebody that is sharing your political beliefs. According to this study. 76% of singles believe it’s important for a partner to share their same political beliefs. But here’s something that was super crazy about that. nearly a quarter of singles change their political affiliation during the pandemic. This is a juicy juicy study this year. I’ve also been asking them to give me some data about interracial dating. And finally for this year, for the first time, they have included that there has been an increase to singles being open to dating people of a different ethnicity 58% increase so lucky all the numbers don’t lie. Let’s all get with the program date for the future. cuffing season is upon us and In a moment, I will be back with my guest Brian bellefonte, who is a real estate agent with a new book and a new approach to dating. According to the way he helps people find houses, don’t go anywhere, y’all. I’m here with Brian Belafonte. He is a real estate agent with some pretty big ideas on house hunting, and spouse hunting. Following an unexpected divorce. He wondered if he could use his set of 99 rules of real estate that he developed to re enter the dating world with the goal of finding a new spouse. He’s written it all down in his brand new book spouse hunting using the rules of real estate to find the love of your life. And now he’s going to give us a sneak peek. Please help me give big smooches to Brian Belafonte.

Unknown Speaker 10:48
Oh, tomato, thank you so much for having me.

Damona 10:50
Okay, this is a different kind of conversation. And I knew the minute I heard about your book, I was like Dayton mates, listeners need to know this. So your book is spouse hunting, using the rules of real estate to find the love of your life. I think this is so smart and such a such a great approach. But I want to break it down so that people are able to follow these steps and then get your book and, and and do it to a tee. One of the important things that in real estate there, you know, buying and selling are two separate transactions. And I think it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re dating too. It’s like you don’t want to buy

Unknown Speaker 11:29
a spouse. And I know that’s, you know, that’s gonna raise some hackles. But you don’t want to find a partner who doesn’t want to find you. So you’re simultaneously Buying and selling. And so when it comes to buying, what you’re doing is you’re evaluating the market to see what the landscape is, then you’re looking at the properties that are actually on the market at that moment. And then among those, you’re choosing the ones that fit you the best.

Damona 11:51
Well, first, we just have to get everyone in the mindset of being the buyer, because I’m totally on board with this. And like I’m always telling people, you want to be the one that’s doing the picking, right, you’re selecting, but you bring up a really good point, Brian, you have to select among the pool that’s out there like yeah, I guess there are those people that go up and knock on doors. I did this actually, I was looking for my house. It did not work. No towball. Listen, this did not work. But I, I had my realtor go and knock on somebody’s door because I was like, I love that house. And that’s like sort of the equivalent of like approaching somebody with a wedding ring and being like, Yeah, I love your ring. Take it off. I love your house. And they were like, Are you kidding me? Get out of here. We’re not selling

Unknown Speaker 12:39
can happen. And I actually have done that. You know, when I was first getting into business school around the neighborhood, just talk to people find out you know where they are with their house, how happy they are? If they’re interested in something, yeah, most of the time now. So let’s translate

Damona 12:52
that to dating. let’s translate that to dating. Should you be having conversations kicking the tires with people not knowing where they stand? If they’re single or not?

Unknown Speaker 13:03
Yes, and no, the way I see it is, it’s a lot easier to go out to the market that is available and looking because you do want to partner up with somebody who’s looking to partner up. And there are a lot of reasons One of them being the wedding ring that people aren’t interested for a while after my divorce. I was, you know, occasionally dating, but I certainly wasn’t looking for a relationship. And so there were a couple of times when people come up and kick my tires, and yeah, we’ll go get coffee, we’ll have dinner, whatever, but it wasn’t gonna go anywhere. And I tried to be clear about it as clear as I could have been. The reality is, though, if you’re looking for a partnership, you got to find somebody who’s looking for a partnership to otherwise you’re just gonna end up being disappointed most of the time.

Damona 13:49
I fully agree, which is why I highly recommend dating apps. And I know people are some people listening might say, well, you’re just saying that because you met your spouse that way. And, and I’ve worked with a lot of the different dating apps, but I really say it for the exact reason that that you say work with the existing market, because you already know most of those people are at least interested in casual data. And yes, I know everybody’s gonna be like, but there are people who will go on the dating apps and they’re married or they’re looking to be polyamorous or they’re not looking for anything serious. Yes, but the majority of the people there are looking for casual dating, or more versus people were like just teach me how to like everyone’s fascinated with my, my social media dating techniques and how to make a match that way. I gotta tell you, it’s a lot harder. It’s far more work than going to a pool of already up already qualified sellers, I guess if you’re the buyer

Unknown Speaker 14:59
Yeah. You’re absolutely right. And I I’m a big fan of the dating apps too, because I met my current girlfriend on Redfin. Exactly. Redfin and Zillow did the same thing, as you know, Keller Williams and the little boutique agencies. And yes, they all have sort of access to the same properties. Because Yeah, you I do believe like what you say and you’re, you’ve said in a couple of your episodes, don’t just limit yourself to one map. Kind of a couple of them got

Damona 15:26
Yes. Yeah. And and like, like you’re saying, Redfin is sort of an aggregator of a lot of different ones. So it is good to be on multiple, multiple apps at the same time. So let’s flip the thinking. Now, Brian, we’ve talked about the buyer perspective. Let’s talk about the seller perspective. What have you learned from as a real estate agent? What Tell me about how the mindset of the seller and the experience of the seller aligns from the dating perspective?

Unknown Speaker 16:00
Well, I think that from a seller’s perspective, a lot of it has to do with marketing, it’s getting yourself out there so that people who are looking know that you’re available. And one of the things that we see in the real estate market is there are buyers markets, and there are sellers markets. And so if you’re in a seller’s market, that means that there you know, there are more buyers out there, then there are properties that to buy. And so all you kind of have to do is plant the flag and people will come. But if you’re in a buyer’s market, then you’re going to have to fight for people’s attention. And I believe that what you can do, especially when it comes to these apps, but all these other channels as well, is do the marketing, you know, position yourself within the market create the messaging that explains clearly who you are, and what you are offering. And when I say offering, it’s like, I do believe that when it comes to dating and real estate, you’re not so much buying the thing, you’re buying the lifestyle, you’re buying the promise that the thing gives you, what is my life going to be like with this person or in this house?

Damona 17:07
And I think you said that, yeah, go on, go on.

Unknown Speaker 17:10
Well, so that’s what i think that you know, that’s what you can do this with the opportunity it gives you with these apps, but also I mean, and I know it apps are easy to talk about, because they give you the opportunity pretty easily. But it’s like, Alright, if you are looking for me, here’s what your life is going to be like when you’re with me. So if you you know, if there’s a picture of me making a face in a bathroom in a selfie, that tells a whole different story from me hanging out with friends, you know, on a dock watching the sunset, I mean, what life Am I offering you that you can see yourself as being part of

Damona 17:46
I love that you picked up both on the storytelling telling element that I mentioned on the show, like tell your story through your dating profile photos. But beyond that, I also do visualizations with my clients. And some of my listeners have heard my ideal mate visualization, where you’re putting yourself in the future of what does it feel like to be with that person? And that’s exactly why I do it. Right. It’s amazing how much overlap there is between house hunting and spouse hunting.

Unknown Speaker 18:18
Yeah, it was just a fantastic epiphany when I realized that it is the same process. I mean, you’re going for a feeling.

Damona 18:24
Right? Yeah. Right. And in a way, you know, my background is as a casting director, in a way, it’s the same thing there. It’s like, how does that person feel in that

Unknown Speaker 18:33

Damona 18:34
But in the book, you talk about time how to stop wasting time with people who aren’t qualified or interested? Yeah. This is one of the number one things I hear from listeners, like everybody’s like, I do not have time to waste on these people who are not a fit. How do we stop wasting the time using the rules of real estate? Brian?

Unknown Speaker 18:57
Well, I think first thing you have to do is have clarity. And the first bit of clarity is what it is that you want. And, you know, if you want a relationship that’s different from getting laid. And I’m not saying there’s you know, one’s better than the other, it’s what you want, you need to know. And if it is that you want a relationship, then it’s easy to evaluate the people you’re looking at and going. Does this look like a person who wants a relationship? If the answer’s no, move on? It’s that easy.

Damona 19:25
Yes, it can be that easy. We make it more complicated. I imagine you see that as well like with, with buyers that sometimes we make it too complicated.

Unknown Speaker 19:35
Sometimes we do and the other thing that it’s hard to account for is that feeling you get inside, you know, you walk into a place and it’s like, oh my god, it’s perfect. And you do that with people and unfortunately, sometimes it It isn’t the right person. It just you know, you get sort of taken down this path that isn’t the best thing for you and doesn’t meet the criteria that you think you’ve established for yourself, but you can’t help yourself.

Damona 20:01
We can’t help ourselves, what are some of the other negatives that you run into with buyers? Like what are the things as a real estate agent that are frustrating about the the buying and selling experience that might be able to be applied to dating, and hopefully help people learn where some of their shortcomings as a data might be?

Unknown Speaker 20:26
I think the biggest one that comes up is when people make a decision based on a feeling without having the information. And I see this, like with house sellers, it’s really easy. People got my house is worth $650,000. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But the value that you think the house has is the one thing that has nothing to do with what somebody will pay for it. You know, and doesn’t matter what you put into it, what matters is what somebody else thinks it’s worth. And this works both ways people think of themselves, you know, not objectively, they don’t mean, I’m not worthy of somebody who’s whatever. Or they think that, you know, I’m too good for that. And I think the important thing there is just have a realistic perspective, like, this is who I am. And I’m not saying that, you know, don’t have high hopes, you should always have high hopes, you should find the perfect person for who you are. But you should also be the perfect person for who they are. Mm hmm.

Damona 21:28
And you’re not making this up. You you’ve, you’ve tested these strategies, you’ve tested them on yourself with a book,

Unknown Speaker 21:37
I’m always I’m one of those people that likes to figure out how things work. When I first got into real estate, I was not ready for any kind of relationship. So I just dove in to work. And I would write down these rules of real estate to help me figure out how to approach approach to the process with my clients. And then when I think you know, things settle down, and emotionally, I was ready to find a relationship. That’s when I had the epiphany. It’s like, Okay, this process can work for finding a partner. And wouldn’t you know, it did, I mean, I’ve got this amazing girlfriend is perfect me, she thinks she’s perfect, I’m perfect for her. And it was using those rules that got me here. So that’s why it turned into a book.

Damona 22:24
See, I love the Curiosity there too. Like, a lot of times we get caught up in in the feeling like you were saying, and also in the feeling of being single, like the commiserating with our girlfriends, the the feeling that the the talking about dating apps, and how frustrating and awful they are. And that becomes an echo chamber of our thoughts. But you actually found a way out by taking this, you know, the love lab of your life, and really systematizing it, which is essentially what I’m always talking about on the show.

Unknown Speaker 22:59
And the important thing too, is that this is a process, it’s not a solution. It’s not like read this book, and you’re going to find the person. Now, read this book or follow your advice. And you’re going to find an approach that will help you find a person. But it’s the approach that’s going to make things more efficient, it’s going to help you identify the people that aren’t appropriate, it’s going to help you hone your messaging so that you’re saying the thing that will appeal to the person that will appeal to you, those kinds of things.

Damona 23:30
So all of all of these things are important as you’re in real estate, you have to have sort of the headline, the hook. And then you have to have the description, you have to have the photos. And then but then there’s all these other elements to the package of like, you know, location, location, location, right? And all of these other things, the schools educate, I’m just thinking of all the parallels right now. And my nerdy brain is just going wild. What I’m curious about Brian, is does this same system work equally from them? And

Unknown Speaker 24:05
I’m convinced it does. Um,

Unknown Speaker 24:09
when I first came up with a draft of the book, I pass it around to, you know, people who I could trust for advice. And as it turns out, my circle at that time was a lot of women. Strangely, a lot of people that I’ve met on dating sites, and we just became friends. And the responses were pretty uniformly Yeah, this is good. This helps the seller I’m not ready for this, but thank you. I can’t see why this wouldn’t work. I tried really hard to make it sort of agnostic in terms of gender or sexual identity. And the people that I’ve talked to have been pretty supportive and saying, Yeah, you did a pretty good job with that.

Damona 24:50
And they’re 99 years old, a little bit about, you’ve told us like, I don’t know. But why 99 is that an auspicious

Unknown Speaker 24:59
number? I

Unknown Speaker 25:00
mean it, when I sort of wrote them all down, it came out to 98. And I thought 99 felt better. So I duplicated one. And the duplication is sort of meant to emphasize the rule itself, you know, in a

Unknown Speaker 25:16
meta way.

Unknown Speaker 25:20
Yeah, that was you can’t step into the same river twice. And what that means is, when you’re looking for a house, right now, you can look from among the houses that are available in the market, but six months from now, most of those will be sold, and new ones will be listed. And that’s the same thing with dating, when you go onto a dating site. Yeah, you’re gonna see the same person every once in a while, but the pool changes people get into relationships, people die, people, you know, get divorced, whatever. But what you’re looking at now is different from what it’s going to be then. And inversely, or conversely, or whatever, presumably, you’re going to be slightly different as well, you’ve matured, you’ve learned you’ve, you know, whatever. And you found things that are more important now than they were six months ago.

Damona 26:10
Well, keeping that timeline in mind, since our lives are dramatically different than they were six months ago. And when I look to the future, I hope, I hope I hope our lives are dramatically different than they are right now. I’m curious if these rules because you wrote this at a time when COVID wasn’t a thing, how did these rules still apply? In a time? So I

Unknown Speaker 26:33
think one thing they help in many ways, I think one of the things that COVID has done is it’s forced us to be a little less quick to jump into intimate relationships with people. Which I think is you know, when it comes if you’re looking for a relationship, you don’t get distracted by as easily or as quickly by you know, that interpersonal stuff, the feel of somebody’s skin, oh, my God, you know, that that could mess with your brain? Yeah, I can.

Damona 27:11
And it does, it does. And when we we forget, like, we want to be so evolved, but we are still biologically wired. And in a way the world that we live in is almost working against biology in some ways, and we’re having to adapt and and relearn, just like you know, you’ve had to adapt throughout your life you’ve had, you’ve had some big life changes, you’ve had a divorce, and then a big move and a new career. And you’re constantly making it work. So I I love the philosophy that you have. I love the book. And I really,

Unknown Speaker 27:53
really appreciate you having me on.

Damona 27:58
lovers, we have more ground to cover in just a moment, I will be back answering your questions on everything from what kind of standards should you uphold in dating today and social distance, date inspiration, you got to get out there and be dating but we can’t have another boring, boring interview style date. You want to know what you can do that will be a little bit more fun. Stick around.

Welcome back. We are here with your favorite segment where I answer your questions do

Unknown Speaker 28:37
damona helped me?

Damona 28:39
This question was emailed to me Dimona at damona Hoffman calm. It seems like a lot of men are more lacs about their standards right now. And I struggle to find people who seem in line with me suggestions on how to figure out where I stand with people. This is very interesting, because the idea of other people being lacs about their standards, I don’t know if this person is referring to standards around COVID dating, which I am finding lean a little bit more towards women being being more

a little bit more more conservative on how far they’re willing to go or how intimate they’re willing to get with someone without knowing their COVID status. But if we’re just talking about standards in general, I think that you get back what you put out. So if you’re allowing people to have lacks standards to treat you in a way that is disrespectful or you’re continuing to say swipe right on people that seem to have put very little effort forward in their profile, then you will get stuck in an echo chamber of receiving those same things. You can go back to the algorithms episode or gaycupid episode when I talked about how You’re, you’re getting more of what you don’t want, sometimes when you are swiping the wrong way on the wrong people. But in terms of how to figure out where you stand with people, I say just go for it. I I’m a big fan of doing either a video chat, or a phone call before the first day and people are always asking me like, last week, I was on the Drew Barrymore show and this woman said, How do I move to the phone call without making it awkward? It’s only awkward if you make it awkward. You tell people what your standards are, you teach people how to treat you. And those who are willing to step up will step up. And those who either feel that you’re too much, or feel that they cannot reach that barrier, they will gracefully step themselves out. But the only way that you’ll know is by boldly making the line and figuring out like, when I do the the video chat, I don’t just say, oh, let’s video chat sometime, or here’s my number call me. I have my clients say call me between six and eight. And then you know, is this person in integrity? Are they good with time? Are they going to respect your boundaries? And in a way it’s a test. It’s not like a test test, but it’s it’s an indication of what their standards are. And that can tell you a lot about their compatibility for you in the future. My next question also was an emailed question. Did I mentioned demona to Mohammed calm, or you can Instagram me? Or you can DM me on Instagram at damona Hoffman? Moving on. This person says I need some social distance data inspiration, what are virtual or in person activities that go beyond a picnic hike or staring at each other through screens? Well, I think that we can get more creative with the staring at each other through screens. I like to gamify that first date, maybe doing 20 questions playing, playing taboo, doing a sip and paint night, somehow bringing in an activity that takes the pressure off the staring at each other through screens. I’m a big fan of the hike. I think hikes are great. The weather is going to turn a lot of places. So enjoy. Enjoy it while you still can. I’m from the Midwest, you guys know. So I have been through all the seasons. Now I live in California, and I don’t I don’t deal with that anymore. But I can relate. So y’all need to step up your your cuffing season game right now. Go for the hike. But okay, you don’t want to do hike, look, do yoga in the park. You can stargaze in your own backyard like I have a an app that tells me what the constellations are on my phone, you could do that. You could do do a virtual escape room or do like a virtual I did this virtual game through let’s called let’s roam. It’s an app. It’s really fun. And it’s like a scavenger hunt. And so that can make your virtual date really fun. Or it can make your in person date really fun. If you do it together. Do a book club, get creative, get creative, and it’s not going to just happen naturally. You have to you have to make the dates more fun, you have to come up with ideas that get you out of the box. Because believe me, it’s easy. I understand. I am tired in this quarantine. And I’m tired of this quarantine. I fully understand how it’s much easier to just Netflix and chill. And it’s much easier to just be like, oh, let’s go for a walk or let’s go to the park. But if you put in just as much more more effort, you can get a lot more bang for your buck and find you’ll have more to talk about you’ll have a better time and you will feel less like you’re wasting. You’re wasting time you’re wasting connections if you are just going to the dates by rote so I hope those social distance date ideas give you some inspiration. And be sure to check out the dates and rates blog for more tips and more social distance date ideas and dating advice. This is Episode 331 updates and mates. Check out Brian’s book to y’all. This is so revolutionary. I so loved my conversation with Brian. We will put the link to the book on Amazon but you can also look up spouse hunting using the rules of real estate to find the love of your life. I want to hear your questions. We’re doing something special in a few weeks with the deer demona I’ll tell you about in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I want to hear your questions. So DM me at damona Hoffman on all the socials. And by the way, do not forget we need those ratings and reviews so we can heal all those hearts. You’re a part of a movement So, do your part. Just take us I swear 90 seconds it’ll take you 90 seconds. You can do a rating and a review and thank you to all of those who have done that already. I loved reading from marquees who said even while you’re locked away, listening to Dimona can help you find love. She’s the absolute best. You’re the absolute best marquees you leave me a review like that, I’ll be sure to shout you out on the show. I’ll be back again next week with Dr. Laura Berman. We’re going to talk about skin hunger, and so much more. You may remember her from her own radio show. She’s also been on the Steve Harvey show. This is a hot one. Make sure you’re subscribed so you get that the minute it posts. Until next week. I wish you early voting and happy dating

Transcribed by


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

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

Dates & Mates Success Stories: Finding Love in Quarantine


This year, both Shannon and Mel completed some of my programs and were able to find their dream relationships. In Shannon’s own words: 

“Normally I’m pretty picky about like distance. So I normally kind of do the whole five left like nope, nope, nope, too far no piece too short. Nope. I mean, I listened to your podcast and I was laughing like, that’s kind of me. I kind of go through that and don’t even really dig deeper because the superficial stuff. So this time around, I was like, Okay, I need to listen to the voice I’ve been hearing from damona. And so this guy pops up. So I messaged him and so we started chatting and just kind of hit it off and he’s lived an hour away. But I thought you know what he needed to be open minded to go for this. And instantly he was had great questions. He was interested in me he was like, if he remembered things he’d ask me a question and then you know, the next day he might remember what he asked me the day before and check in on me and just really was just all around proving to me quickly that he was pretty amazing. We went out on a Tuesday and We did the whole phone call first because I know that’s a big thing too. I was like, okay, gotta do the phone call before we leave here. So all this was like, right smack before, you know all the quarantine stuff. And so we had planned to see each other again on March 15. Our plan was I was going to go to where he lives and I was going to come and see him for the day. Well, that Friday was when they shut everything down. From then on. We’ve just had these like quarantine pipes at home, get to know you fast forward. No clutter, no people around kind of experience. And I know there’s probably a little bit of pros and cons with that. I think I’m typically kind of a fast relationship person, I need people and it kind of goes too fast and we get to know each other and the kids are involved in the families involved in a big ordeal. But this time, it went fast in a way that was just he and I like totally getting to know each other totally, you know Trying to figure out okay, well we’re gonna hang out for the next three days. What should we do? Like we can’t go anywhere. We can’t go to restaurants we can’t go to the movies like we can’t go to bars like we would typically do on a date. And so you know, we went on hike, and we took the dog for a walk and we ordered food in and we played cars, we played dominoes, we put a puzzle together and we cook together I bought a smashing little aprons and we cook together. And we were just kind of doing what we could do is what we had. And in the meantime, when we weren’t seeing each other, it was kind of funny because I have it on my phone. So we have this whole list in our in our notes on our phone that we’ve shared, of all the things we want to do when everything opens up because we’ve now said I love you. We’ve now like fully committed to each other and all of a sudden is debt. But yet I’ve never been to the movie with him. I’ve never been really in a bar with him. We haven’t done any Have those traditional things that you would do? Yeah, it’s been pretty interesting. And we’ve spent the time away from each other really digging deep and getting to know each other and like there’s definitely been a lot of God signs where we are things that just prove that okay, maybe maybe this is the one I’ve finally been waiting for.”

Shannon also shared with us the perfect quarantine date she had with her man. You should ABSOLUTELY steal this idea:

Dates & Mates Success Story from Damona on Vimeo.

Here are a few more picture that she sent us of her special night!

Mel received a profile polish (You can too! By joining the Patreon Friends with Benefits program at the $100 level!). Soon after, she saw amazing results and found love. Here’s Mel’s story in her own words:

I started listening to Dates & Mates about a year ago and started intentionally dating and then damona sent me information on how to polish my profile. Then a month later, I met this great guy. We been together now for over three months and it’s going really well. quarantine definitely slowed down our relationship but definitely in a good way, because it really got us thinking, just creative ways to keep the relationship going. Because we both knew we were still interested in each other. We played games with each other like audio, and video dates. We also like, talked about different date ideas like ordering each other, like takeout food. And watching in a movie together, we’ve made lists about movies that he’s seen that I haven’t and movies that I’ve seen that he hasn’t. So we were we got really creative with dates. For us, it’s worked out really great, because we feel so much closer and so much more comfortable with each other then, either one of us expected to at this point in our relationship And to be honest, if we hadn’t had all that time, like apart, and like forced into like, so many situations where like we have to talk and really make effort for a relationship, we probably wouldn’t be meeting each other’s parents. We keep talking about actually how it feels like we’ve been dating longer than we actually have, but in a good way.

If you’re interested in the resources that helped Shannon and Mel find love, maybe it’s time we changed our relationship status.  

You are invited to become a Friend with Benefits. This exclusive program includes bonus content from the show, secret training sessions, voting power to influence future episodes, a private online community, and more. JOIN NOW!

Sexy Scrabble & Chemical Romance


Today, we’re talking about brain chemistry and romance. Do you remember those ‘Your Brain on drugs’ commercials from the 90s? They were all like, “your brain will turn to mush, and you won’t be able to make good decisions, and your emotions will be all over the place….” Yeah, basically that’s also your brain on love.


But not to fret! Later we’ll be talking with Noelle Cordeaux – co-host of the “Everything Life Coaching Podcast.” She’s here to help us prevent our brains from turning into mush and give us a guide to the brain for romance.

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines!



Where the affairs are happening right now

This week, Damona received a press release from Seeking Arrangement explaining that their usership is actually up.


Ariana isn’t spending quarantine alone

Okay so here’s what we know about Ari’s new boo: he’s a real estate big shot, he has a lot of the same friends, and he miiiiiggght basically be Pete Davidson.


New ideas for quarantine dates

Listen, we’re all tired of Netflix and Chill. Men’s Health has some new ideas to keep things interesting while quarantine dating. Sexy Scrabble anybody?



Our guest for today is Noelle Cordeaux,  the CEO of JRNI and the co-host of the “Everything Life Coaching Podcast.” You may remember her co-host from a previous episode, John Kim – The Angry Therapist.

She’s here to give us a basic “Romantic’s Guide to the Brain” and some perspective on how your brain and your biology affect romance.


Noelle and Damona talk:

  • My Chemical Romance: The 3 human brain chemicals in each stage of romance  
  • Serotonin and the “meet cute.” 
  • Why your brain has you thinking, “This is the one!”.
  • Why you can’t see the” truth” about your partner until 24 months after you first meet 
  • Why your brain can’t tell the difference between a new “pair bond” & an opioid addiction  
  • How female birth control changes the way you evaluate a partner 
  • Why we seek partners who represent something we missed in childhood
  • When you’re most likely to fall in love
  • Slow love?
  • Love isn’t an emotion

Check out the Everything Life Coaching Podcast podcast on all your favorite podcast platforms!



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

  • My date forgot about a date that we scheduled 24 hours ago. Last night, we set a time, place, and everything and planned to get drinks after he got off work. Basically, I waited at the place for 30 minutes, sent him a text, to which he replied “?”. I got stood up and he’s so apologetic about it but is this a red flag? His text to me “sorry I’m a total dick and I deserve never to be talked to again.” but no explanation or attempt to salvage
  • I’m seeing a woman who told me she doesn’t want to go deeper because she doesn’t want to risk losing our friendship. Should I keep trying or is this a soft way to let me down?



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe. But I’m hearing far too many stories about people still dating in person right now. Please do us all a favor and just stay home. There are still so many ways to connect. And I believe that in the end, this period will actually improve our connections and be better for dating overall. But in the meantime, we all have to do our part. If you’re still feeling that drive for connection, that desire to have matches pop up in your inbox. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I just released an exclusive training just for my patients. Patreon friends with benefits all about social distance dating. It covers where the singles are right now, how to have a successful virtual date, how to know if a match is really right for you, and so much more. And that’s all waiting for you right now. If you join our Patreon, slash dates and mates, the link will be included in the show notes and it’s only $5 to join. I’d love to have you be a part of the community. I’d love for you to keep dating and learning new dating skills working on your mindset working on your dating strategy. And I’m here to support you all the way through this pandemic. And I know your dating life may be stalled at the moment. But as they say, The show must go on we are not stopping. I’ve already told y’all I intend on making more episodes for another seven seasons. So you can still count on me every Monday for your dates & mates. Fix Today, we are talking all about brain chemistry and romance. You remember those? This is your brain on drugs commercials from the 90s. They’re all like your brain will turn to mush and you won’t be able to make good decisions and your emotions will be all over the place. Yeah, that’s basically your brain on love too, because love is a drug. But don’t fret. We are going to be talking with Noel Cordova. She’s the co host of the everything life coaching podcast, and she’s here to help us prevent our brains from turning to emotional mush. But first, I will be discussing this week’s headlines. Producer Leo is working remotely today but she is still churning out the dates and maids and we are sending her much love. We are going to be talking about where the affairs are happening during the quarantine and we have a big reveal of Ariana Grande is new boo. Plus new ideas for your quarantine dates if you’re tired of watching Tiger King and just go into bed. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. Then Noel and I will cover your questions including, what do you do when you get stood up? And how to tell if someone is just letting you down easy.

Damona  3:24  

on the docket for today’s dates and mates. I am going to hit these headlines

Damona  3:33  

If you’re looking for an affair, I know just where to go seeking arrangement seeking comm reported that they had a 74% increase over this time last year and new members who here’s what this tells me. This quarantine can make or break it for your relationship if you are already seeing someone right now. But here’s the thing. It’s like It’s like These fantasy affairs that actually aren’t going to be consummated for a long time that are sparking up because people are in this pressure cooker. You’re with your partner all day, every day, all of the challenges that you have that you used to be able to escape are now staring you in the face every morning and noon and night. And so people are turning to apps and sites like seeking and Ashley Madison because they’re trying to escape. They’re trying to avoid looking at what these relationship challenges really are. And they’re just looking for an outlet to be able to chat and make a connection with someone else. Have someone else tell them that they’re beautiful that they are proud of them for what they’re doing that they are. They are happy that they’re hanging in there through this challenging time. We’re all just looking for a little more love and support. But what I would say Rather than turning to an outside person, could we use this moment to look inward at our relationship and see what could be fixed during this time, what you could talk through, and remember not to react to what’s being said, but to really take time to listen and respond thoughtfully and look for solutions. We are going to be in this unfortunately for a long time. And hopefully, if you made a commitment to your relationship, you’re going to be in that for a long time too. And we can’t keep brushing the problems under the rug, drag him out right now. And let’s talk about it in a compassionate way. And really look for solutions to these problems so that you can move forward stronger together in the future. One person that is a lot stronger than she was in her previous relationship is ariana grande de you may remember that she connected with this random Joe in a bar she was she was photographed smooching some guy up and nobody knew who he was. Well, it’s been revealed. It’s a fella named Dalton Gomez. He’s a high end real estate agent actually looks a little bit like Pete Davidson, who I was alluding to earlier, her big breakup from before. And she’s been showing him on social the last few days. But here’s the interesting thing about it. For a lot of you who may have started dating someone right before the quarantine, they’ve decided to quarantine together. And this really adds a big challenge for a new relationship. And she does have a history as you all know of jumping into relationships very quickly. I think she NP or engaged within three or four weeks of dating one another. So she’s done it again. She’s jumped right into the arms of the next guy waiting for her Look, she’s a cat. She’s a great girl, she loves to take care of somebody. And she’s ended up being the caretaker and a lot of these relationships she’s had in the past. But I just want to warn any of you who may be in a similar situation and facing a dating pattern. If you see yourself on the track, for a relationship, repeat doing the same thing that didn’t work in your last relationship, or let’s put on the brakes, back it up a little bit. This is a time to really slow down and evaluate. And if you are quarantining with somebody that you barely know right now, you have to really ask yourself, Is this what I want for my future? if let’s say one of us gets it, do I want to be sitting here sick with this person? Is this person going to be there for me? If If I need the support down the road, you may not know I don’t know. Maybe Dalton Gomez will be that for Ariana Grande day, but let’s just take a beat and Look at our relationship history, and decide if we want our relationship past to also be our relationship future.

If you’re looking for a quarantine date Men’s Health to the rescue, I will put the link to this in the show notes. I got to tell you, there were some pretty racy suggestions here. But there were also some very cute ideas like building a pillow for if you don’t have private outdoor access. I don’t know about you. But I remember as a kid, building a pillow for was one of the most exciting things I did. And you could do it inside the house. You don’t have to go out and it adds just this level of playfulness and feeling of nostalgia which is something you’ve probably heard me say on the show before that really can bond you to someone so I thought that was a super cute idea from mental. If you want to get a little risque. This isn’t even like close to one of the more risky ideas but they suggested playing strip scratching My husband and I, during our what was it our 30th wedding anniversary, I’m embarrassed. I don’t remember which University. He was our 12. Last year, we went to a hotel that had this cool little lounge with games in it. And we played the most fun game of Scrabble ever, over drinks. never occurred to me to play strip Scrabble. So maybe you could get a little creative. You could have a karaoke night. There’s a lot of apps that can connect you and there’s a link to one in the men’s health article. You could play a game of Never have I ever I also, if you followed the last TV series that I did a question of love that was based on the 36 questions that lead to love that was in the New York Times, and how asking these intimate questions can really bond you to your partner. If it bonded strangers, just imagine what it could do for someone that you’re already in a relationship with. But hey, maybe that is something you could try. If you’re doing virtual quarantine dates as well, there’s so many ideas out there. There’s so many ways that we can be creative and innovate. During this time. I just asked that you please stay home let’s, let’s flatten the curve. But let’s pique our interest in our current relationship or possibly in a new relationship. And in just a moment, we will have Noel corto, who’s the co host of the everything life coaching podcast, and the co founder of journey coaching, talking about your brain on drugs, the drug of love, I cannot wait.


We’re here with Noel Cordell. She is the CEO of journey and that’s about Jr. and I they are a coaching platform that trains coaches, and she’s also the co host of the everything life coaching podcast. You may remember her co hosts from that show from a previous episode. JOHN Kim the angry therapist great episode, check that out. But first, today we have to talk because Noel is going to be giving us the basic romantics guide to the brain and some perspective on how your brain and your biology actually affects romance. I am so pumped for today’s episode you guys know I’m, I’m all about this brain chemistry and nerding out on love. So luckily today, I don’t have to do it alone, please get big smooches to Noel Cordeaux.

Noelle Cordeaux 11:30  

Thank you so much for having me. And honestly, I don’t like doing it alone either. So this

Damona  11:36  

this is a wonderful day, I am really pumped because so many of my listeners feel like they’re kind of on this, this, this journey not to use it to use your own term, this journey of love and feeling like they don’t have any control over it. They don’t really understand what’s happening in their body. They don’t understand dating apps. They don’t understand how they’re reacting to people on dates, and they’re Just kind of going through the motions like there has to be a better way. And I find that the better way to start that way to solve most problems I’m sure as a coach you you would agree with this is to first figure out what the heck is going on

Noelle Cordeaux 12:14  

100% 100% I, you know, I say to my students at journey coaching and to my clients, it’s not you, it’s your brain. Okay, so let’s talk

Damona  12:24  

about that. My Chemical Romance there are three human brain chemicals that come into play at each stage of romance. Can you talk us through that?

Noelle Cordeaux 12:36  

Yeah, I sure can. And you know that some of these chemicals teamed up with each other. So there’s a lot of complex processes, but I think the most important piece of information that I can drop is the bomb, that when you experience romantic love, it’s actually not an emotion. It is a it is a hardwired motivator. system that’s evolutionary, and it’s been built up over the history of humankind, to enable humans to find and maintain intimate relationships with a preferred partner.

Damona  13:15  

Oh, wait, that’s deep. We have to back that up for a second. Because there’s a lot in there. You said love is not an emotion. We are basically biologically wired for it. So explain how that plays out then in today’s

Noelle Cordeaux 13:32  

in today’s world of dating,

Noelle Cordeaux 13:34  

yeah. So you know, the feeling the chemical feelings of romance are not the only motivational system that we have hardwired in our body. So another really common one is our negativity bias that’s associated with a fight or flight response. So the way that that works is because our ancestors used to have to physically outrun danger. We are naturally attuned to that which is negative. It really doesn’t help us out in modern life. Same deal with romantic love. Obviously, everyone loves love. We see it reflected in movies and poetry and music and all of the things that humans produce. So it’s clearly a huge and vital part of our existence and the purpose of it is procreation of the species. So whenever we’re feeling these feelings, we kind of have to step back and say, okay, there’s something deeper going on here. There are unconscious drives, there are chemicals, neurotransmitters that are coursing through our body that are kind of hijacking. our capacity to choose for ourselves how we respond and react in situations where romantic love is on the table.

Damona  14:50  

That sounds complicated. Noel

Damona  14:54  

In all seriousness, you know, I’ve said before on the show that I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight. But I think I believe in slow love and that love. True love develops over time. What’s your reaction to that?

Noelle Cordeaux 15:14  

You’re pretty spot on with the way the chemicals work,

Damona  15:18  

guys, I didn’t pay her to say that or anything. But you know, I’m saying I’m saying it from a from an experiential point of view of watching how my clients have developed relationships over the last 15 years that I’ve been doing this Tell me from like the more brain chemistry perspective, what’s really going on in that?

Noelle Cordeaux 15:38  

Yeah, so so when you fall in romantic love with someone, for men, it tends to be visually based for women, it tends to be emotionally based and, and that’s not as terrible as it sounds. You know, from an evolutionary perspective, symmetry is what typically tipped off on ourselves. species that somebody was healthy. So symmetry is attractive for people and men are more susceptible to focusing on symmetry than women. Women are looking for stability from partner. That’s where the emotional piece comes in. And again, this isn’t based in you know, kind of hearsay this is these are long held evolutionary traits. So, the deep cut is that we, we evolved from bonobos in this particular regard. We have a 90% DNA match with bonobos, which are chimpanzees. And these guys used to live in tree tops, and when they lived in tree tops, they were a non monogamous species. When they fell out of the trees and began living on the ground, though women were female, but no bows needed men to take care of them or males to take care of them and then they began serial monogamy and then humans evolved from that

Damona  16:58  

gives a whole different tone to the term swinging.

Noelle Cordeaux 17:02  

Oh, yeah.

Damona  17:06  

Okay, sorry for the corny joke, but I know a lot of people listening are thinking that was evolution, right. But we’re modern. We don’t have to be. We don’t have to be married to this old model of how relationships were formed.

Noelle Cordeaux 17:27  

Absolutely. What do you say to that? We do not have to be. We can choose we absolutely have determination. But what we don’t have control over is our brain chemistry. So when there there are two types of romantic love reciprocated and unrequited. And they’re very different beasts. And so you know, everybody listening, think about what it feels like to fall in love. That means that you have focused attention on that person that there’s magnification you have pink lenses, there intrusive thinking you can’t get that person out of your head you feel exhilaration, torrents of emotion, yearning for them looking for clues. How many times have you guys seen people like listening to songs looking for clues about the person they’re interested in? And all of those behavioral markers are actually driven by neurotransmitters that start showing up when our brain gets tipped off that, hey, I might have a meeting partner.

Damona  18:29  

Okay, so you’re telling me basically we are working against our own biology, like when when we say, Well, I don’t necessarily I don’t want a partnership or I’m not into monogamy? Is that what you’re saying? Or am I hearing this wrong?

Noelle Cordeaux 18:44  

Yeah. So so so when we’re talking about kind of working against ourselves, we have to understand where these drives are coming from. And there’s there’s two different kinds of mating drives. And so we’re using like really technical language here to describe what happens in us not As in certainly humans, but as an animal species, right, so we all have hardwired in us last, which is the craving for sexual gratification. And that evolved in humans, where we’re looking to seek sexual union with a semi appropriate partner so that when I say semi appropriate partner, that’s a genetic match. And that’s actually driven by a sense of smell in humans, interestingly enough, and then the second piece is attachment. And so that evolved in humans to enable our ancestors to live with me long enough to rear a child. And those feelings paired with a long term partner are a really specific part of your brain that grows with courtship rituals, and intellectual conversation and emotional bonding.

Damona  19:54  

So let’s talk about that because I mentioned slow love, but I think some of our listeners that are newer to this concept, don’t really get what I mean.

Noelle Cordeaux 20:07  

So how

Damona  20:08  

does that happen? And like how, what is actually happening in our brains as you’re getting to know someone slowly over time. And I’ll just add one thing. I also recommend that my clients spaced out their interactions. Because when it all happens when you’re in that initial phase, and you’re seeing each other, like every day for the first week, you think that you’re very bonded, and you’re having this flood of brain chemicals, I imagine. And then you get further down the road and the, the feeling changes what’s going on in that in that evolution.

Noelle Cordeaux 20:45  

Yeah, so so you’re I’m gonna validate you again, your advice is actually spot on. I’m two for two I two for two with your brain chemicals. So spacing out communication Gives you a fighting chance to disrupt the mayhem that takes place in your brain. So when you first fall in love or when you have that surge of chemicals with romantic love, that period of time with those bonkers chemicals will last 12 to 18 months. So we have to understand that first of all the first 12 to 18 months are not going to be an authentic representation of what you can expect from this person as a partner. So really early on, what happens is dopamine spikes and the other chemical we really want to pay attention to here is serotonin, which lowers so how those two components relate to each other is dobutamine is so very, very addictive. So a text message from that person, contact communication. They liked your Instagram post. That all gives you this motivation set that you keep wanting more You keep reaching for this romantic drug that you’re being fed. On the other hand, serotonin, which is a regulator lowers when you’re in that crazy beginning phase. So that serotonin regulator increases your sense of risk taking behaviors. That’s how people can get very swept away in the early stages of romantic love. serotonin produces a sense of call and mood stabilization. So when that gets hijacked everything kind of goes out the window in terms of actual sense.

Damona  22:32  

So we turn crazy is what you’re saying. Yeah, we sure do. We turn crazy. Our inhibition lowers. We’re like high basically high on dopa mean. We’re pretty messed up in that first phase,

Noelle Cordeaux 22:44  

very much so very much so

Noelle Cordeaux 22:47  

and that

Damona  22:48  

that’s for a relatively long time you said 12 to 18 months

Noelle Cordeaux 22:52  

12 to 18 months.

Damona  22:55  

So this is why we here Well, I thought I knew him and then married him. And this is not the man that I married, you’re saying it’s really not the man that you married, or you’re not the same?

Noelle Cordeaux 23:07  

Exactly both all of the above. And if you happen to be on SSRIs, which are a form of antidepressants, or birth control, the birth control messes up your sense of smell. And a lot of times when you go off of those kinds of medications, you’re no longer attracted to your partner because your turn on template was compromised when you first got together.

Damona  23:31  

Okay, so so what do we do Noel? Like, do we just take the IUD or do we take his shirt home and smell it and sleep with it? Like how can we retrain our brain so that we can be wired correctly for romance?

Noelle Cordeaux 23:45  

Yeah, well, you know, I think that

Noelle Cordeaux 23:49  

awareness is the key to everything. So having a pretty clear understanding of the way your brain works, what the brain chemicals are, how they exist, what your experiences In the moment is really valuable information. So let’s talk about testosterone. When you are single, your testosterone is higher. So you know how people say, Oh my god, I got no relationship and I put on weight. That’s because your testosterone lowered and you didn’t feel like working out and you were putting on less muscle and you weren’t as interested in attracting a partner. And then we break up your testosterone goes right back up again, that gets us into fighting form to find our partner.

Damona  24:30  

Wait, that’s for men and women.

Noelle Cordeaux 24:32  

Oh, yeah.

Damona  24:33  

Okay, so that’s, that’s different than what a lot of people hear we hear testosterone just being associated with men really, but for women, it’s also important driver in relationships

Noelle Cordeaux 24:44  

very much so very much though. So testosterone has a lot to do with your sex drive, and both single males and females have higher levels of testosterone and if you separate or divorce or breakup, your testosterone rises

Damona  24:59  

this Just this is just blowing my mind.

Noelle Cordeaux 25:03  

Okay, this is blowing

Damona  25:04  

my mind and I know it’s going to blow the minds of a lot of our listeners. What about for those who really want to fall in love? Like we have all the information we know that our brain is basically working against us or working in concert with biological factors that we cannot control you. Can you still fall in love in today’s world? Is

Noelle Cordeaux 25:24  

it possible? Yes, it is certainly possible. And you know, there we can work with our motivation system to induce scenarios when we actually fall in love. So I’ll give you the one two punch, I’ll let’s talk about the scenarios in which we’re most likely to fall in love. And then once we are in a relationship that we are kind of looking around and saying, well, this is a really good thing. Let’s talk about the parts of the brain and what we need to do to keep everything going. So you’re most likely to fall in love When you meet someone during a life crisis. So don’t you know try to bring on a life crisis but if you happen to be in crisis start looking around. It’s a really good move.

Damona  26:08  

This is this is pretty different. This is a different approach because a lot of times you hear that people like you shouldn’t meet someone in the middle of a crisis because everything in your life is a blur. Like what let’s define crisis for people

Noelle Cordeaux 26:26  

like Yeah, boy.

Damona  26:28  

Or girl.

Noelle Cordeaux 26:30  

Yeah, actually. Yes. So times of stress, make you more likely to fall in love novelty. If you meet someone when you’re moving. When everything is brand new. If you’re having a hard time at work if you’re suddenly meeting a whole bunch of strangers. Anything that is different or stressful makes you more likely to fall in love. When you’re faced with mystery novelty Kwazii dangerous situations.

Damona  27:00  

This is why I say no well that you want to do something on a date that has action and activity to it. Rather than just oh my gosh, if I hear of another boring dinner date, but if you do something or there’s like competition or your, you know, go kart racing and there’s adrenaline, that’s it, that’s a better

Noelle Cordeaux 27:24  

first date, right? It is, and it’s all to do with those dopamine levels. You’re kicking them into high gear.

Damona  27:33  

And probably also, I’m just just musing here for a second. We hear people meeting at the gym,

Noelle Cordeaux 27:41  

does that yes, does the testosterone

Damona  27:42  

level there have something to do with that? Likely

Noelle Cordeaux 27:48  

and we can smell people I mean, we can you can smell people. And and and that, you know, you cannot underestimate the role of smell. Women are attracted To men whose sweat smells good to them, and that signals that you’re good genetic match.

Damona  28:08  

I’m gonna say something really creepy.

Noelle Cordeaux 28:11  

Do it Do it.

Damona  28:12  

I actually smell my husband like, like, Oh, my God. How like a bloodhound. Yeah, like, go up to him. And I’ll be like, I just want to smell like this is so weird. That is not weird. I can tell him now this is not weird. Doesn’t change though. Like the way that we smell them as like we’ve been together 16 years do people’s smells change in the way that you are attracted to certain smells change over time?

Noelle Cordeaux 28:42  

No, the chemical foundation will remain the same. What changes is the the way that you experience pair bonding. So in the beginning, lust is the main driver and then as you go deeper into the relationship, that’s when attachment and emotion takes over. Mm hmm.

Damona  29:03  

Tell me more.

Noelle Cordeaux 29:05  

Yeah. So emotional attachment is one of the things that keeps couples together, and it goes through four year chapters. So as we’re thinking about this, there is a really specific part of your brain that we want to be concerned with. And it’s the cottage in stealer part of your brain. And this part of your brain lights up, the deeper the verbal, mental, emotional connection. So when you press on that part of your brain, it expands your capacity for pair bonding. So it expands the capacity of the couples stay together if they are mutually engaging with each other and pressing on that intellectual, emotional, void that needs to be filled and unknown. thing to understand about this part of your brain is there’s another time when it lights up. And it also lights up with cocaine and opioid withdrawal. Oh my gosh,

Damona  30:09  

I thought you were gonna say like in childbirth. Then you’re like, when you’re strung out on drugs.

Noelle Cordeaux 30:17  

Yeah. So you’re similar a breakup and you feel like you’re dying. That’s why you’re basically

Damona  30:26  

having like an opioid withdrawal.

Noelle Cordeaux 30:29  

Correct from the psychological emotional part of your brain that you need.

Damona 30:36  

So wait, how can we get over this though?

Noelle Cordeaux 30:40  

Like, like there’s no

Damona  30:42  

What is that? I don’t remember the name of that drug. You take like when your

Noelle Cordeaux 30:48  

lockers no yeah, you can’t.

Damona  30:51  

You can’t go to the hospital and be like, help me I’m having a relationship with Joe. Give me a shot. Yeah. So I do this. With with The tools that we have that are legally and responsibly available.

Noelle Cordeaux 31:04  

Yeah, so I mean, first let’s talk about maintaining your relationships. So you know, similar to when you first start dating the role of dopamine is really important. So doing novel and exciting things together, increase adrenaline equals increased opening. Prolonged eye gazing is something that really works to get those brain chemicals rolling in to keep everything pair bonded, increased. Dopamine, he also gives you more feelings of attraction towards each other. So the more does mean that you can direct towards each other, the more you’re going to feel attracted to each other touch also amplifies and exponentially impacts pair bonding. So the more actual touching that a couple engages in, the more likely they are to stay together. And that really specifically triggers the endorphin of oxytocin, which gives That feeling of attachment. And also working out increased testosterone equals increased romance. So staying mentally and physically stimulated is really what we’re talking about. So, and the intellectual piece can’t be discounted here because that’s your prefrontal cortex, the logic center of your brain, your reasoning, and so we need to keep that piece really super alive.

Damona  32:24  

That’s a lot to do. But I think we could start somewhere we can start small. And just understanding like I said at the beginning of this conversation, just first understanding what factors are at work is the beginning of that process. But I know through journey, you You not only coach people and help people understand all of these factors and create a plan to move forward but you also are training other coaches to be able to to spread this message. Tell me a little bit about journey and why you have this mission. To to start this company.

Noelle Cordeaux 33:02  

Oh, sure. So, you know, journey coaching is a coaching collective. We have coaches from all over the world who have come through our training program to learn things similar to what we’re talking about today. It all starts with a brain. It all starts with, you know, how did we get here? What’s our evolutionary cycles? Let’s understand what makes us up. It’s not you, it’s your brain. We look at the difference between feelings and facts. And we train coaches based on graduate level evidence based work. The reason that we started our company is because when john and i, my business partner both started out 10 years ago, it was really hard to gain traction as a coach. And so we created the company in the community that we wish we had.

Damona  33:46  

That is wonderful. And yeah, I encourage anyone who is listening that thinks they might want to help other people in this way to check out journey and see how how they can begin this process because we need more We need more warriors of love and of truth and of authenticity and all the wonderful things that I know you teach in in this program. Before we go, Noel, we have questions that have been submitted to us from our listeners. So I would love for you to stick around and answer a few of those.

Noelle Cordeaux 34:20  


Damona  34:25  

Welcome back to dates and mates. We are here doing your favorite segment and mine technically dating.

Noelle Cordeaux 34:33  


Damona  34:35  

All right, no, no well Korto you are in the hot seat because we have questions that have been submitted from our listeners. This one comes to us from someone that says my date forgot about a date that we scheduled 24 hours ago. Last night we set a time place and everything and plan to get drinks after he got off work. Basically I waited at the place for 30 minutes. Send him a text to which he repeated Question mark. I got stood up and he’s so apologetic about it. But is this a red flag? He texted me Sorry I’m a total dick and I deserve to never be talked to again. But no explanation Noel or attempt to salvage? Is this a red flag People always ask me is this a red flag?

Noelle Cordeaux 35:19  

Yes. Red Flag. Yeah. Yes. You know, and really, you know, when we’re when we’re dating, one of the things that I always say to my coaches and my clients is, you know, it’s not about whether a certain behavior is good or bad. It’s what’s acceptable for your life. If it is fundamentally unacceptable for you to have someone not remember plans and to not give you an explanation, well, then this person’s behavior isn’t going to be a good fit.

Damona  35:52  

Yeah, I and I’m all for like giving people the benefit of the doubt. Like if they’re, look, I have I have goofed up. I’m pretty good with appointments but I have definitely goofed a couple of times and profusely apologized and said, Please like, Can I make it? How can I make it up to you?

Noelle Cordeaux 36:11  

But it sounds like

Damona  36:12  

from her response to his response to her, sorry, I’m a total dick and I deserve to never be talked to again. He’s not really making efforts to repair the relationship.

Noelle Cordeaux 36:24  

No, and it’s kind of a pass off. He’s abdicating responsibility. And instead of you know, owning it, he’s he’s linguistically forcing the choice for the other person to make the call. Yes, you deserve to or not be talked to again.

Damona  36:44  

Right. And I would bet, just based on this language, this is not the first time this has happened to him. No. Hmm. But then the question is, yeah, the question is, What can she do to avoid this happening again? Because I found like, my clients really don’t get stood up or ghosted, very often or at all. I can think of one in the last year. But do you have a system that you would tell your clients to make sure that people are showing up for them, and that they’re like honoring their time so that other people will honor it too.

Noelle Cordeaux 37:23  

I mean, very being very straightforward with what your ask is, you know, or what your expectations are at the beginning, that if communication is important, if promptness is important, if showing up is important, then let somebody know right up front, hey, this is important to me. And I’d like to see you and so if you’d like to see me you need to show up and communicate.

Damona  37:48  

Absolutely. And I was so I was when I was single. This was such a deal breaker for me. Like if someone canceled a date. That was just it and I, I want to make sure that like even though I said, I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt that it’s clear that I’m saying people, you teach people how to treat you. And I can think of so many instances where I was like really excited to go out with someone, but if they showed me who they were, I believe them right away, and I just was like, nope, we’re not gonna do this. And if she gives him the benefit of the doubt, she’s probably gonna end up with him not showing up for her down the road,

Noelle Cordeaux 38:26  

based on showing up in different ways.

Damona  38:30  

Yeah, you got me? Yep, exactly that Noel. Okay, one more question before you leave us for the day. This one comes to us from a fella who says, I’m seeing a woman who told me she doesn’t want to go deeper because she doesn’t want to risk losing our friendship. Should I keep trying? Or is this a way a soft way to let me down?

Noelle Cordeaux 38:54  

I have so many questions

Damona  38:57  

based on the information that we have you He’s been friend zoned. That’s for sure. But is it salvageable? Should he move on? What do you think?

Noelle Cordeaux 39:07  

So when he when he says, I have been seeing a woman, what does that mean? You know, are we talking about

Damona  39:14  

Like, like seeing her face? He’s seeing her face. Okay.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:19  

Yeah, I think

Damona  39:20  

it’s this casual like this epidemic of just hanging out dates or just like this Not knowing, you know, it’s people just not being in a specific dating situation, but we’re just hanging out.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:37  

Yeah. Okay, so So this sounds like a boundary has been set that this woman has said, you know, what we have going on right now is where I want to stay.

Damona  39:47  

Yeah, it could be a Friends with Benefits situation, too.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:49  


Noelle Cordeaux 39:52  

It could be and you know, I mean, honesty is always the best policy like if and it’s always worth a shot, you know, to say to somebody Hey, You’ve told me where your boundary is a See you, I hear you and I respect it. And here’s what I would like. So I’m going to put it on the table. And here’s the threshold that I have for continuing to see you and not having my needs met. So there’s gonna come a time when this casual thing ends, because I want more. And if you want more, let’s discuss it.

Damona  40:22  

Okay, now tell me from a, a chemical brain chemistry perspective. When, first of all, if a woman puts you in the friendzone, can you get out of it? And is it different from the man? And then also, if they are in a Friends with Benefits situation, and they’re like, let’s say they are having sex, can you? Can you still like form a relationship with someone else if you’re having sex with a different person?

Noelle Cordeaux 40:57  

Okay, we’re going to take these questions separately, the break Because the brain cams are all different. Yes. So

Noelle Cordeaux 41:05  

if if you are seeing someone and you have been friendzone. So this is not my opinion, this is like purely from a chemical perspective. So, dudes typically won’t give up the hunt because they’re attracted physically to the symmetry. Women’s minds can be changed because of the deepening emotional intimacy and capacity for support and connection.

Noelle Cordeaux 41:34  


Damona  41:36  

Go on.

Noelle Cordeaux 41:39  


Damona  41:40  

so if she’s so she’s friendzone him, it’s,

Noelle Cordeaux 41:46  

it’s possible that she could change her mind. It is possible that she could change her mind. What would you have to do? Yeah, what would I do? A he would have to I mean, so we’re talking about that part. of your brain that lights up with pair bonding. So from an emotional intimacy and intellectual intimacy perspective, press on that part of the brain because that’s actually the more important part that the emotional connection supersedes the physical connection for women.

Damona  42:16  

Okay, so we’re not saying do that, but we’re saying, if you are friendzone, and you’d like to change it, and you want to devote the next three to six months of your life to try to do that, rather than to pursuing someone else, there you go. There, you know. Now we have to talk about friends with benefits from a chemical perspective, having sex with someone that’s easy and available, even if they are not somebody that you want to pair bond with. Does that reduce your ability to make another relationship happen?

Noelle Cordeaux 42:49  


Damona  42:51  

Tell me more.

Noelle Cordeaux 42:53  

So, once you get into that zone, where you’re you’re being in To meet with somebody you’re so remember romantic love is a motivation system. That motivation system wants to keep kicking and complete itself. It goes through phases. It wants to go through the first 12 to 18 months and then it wants to go into the next four year chapter and then the four year chapter after that, basically looking at procreation as the goal. So I know that everybody listening to me is like, I don’t want to have a baby and like your brain and body don’t know that, right? Like, your brain and body are trying to override all of your actual desires. So what you’re doing is setting yourself up for a world of hurt on both sides for you and your partner. And that’s not an opinion that’s just the chemical facts. So when when stuff starts to not work or when love is unrequited or when that emotional piece doesn’t deepen, then we get into a whole series of other chemical reactions that scramble your brain.

Damona  44:08  

That sounds painful.

Noelle Cordeaux 44:10  

It is. Yeah, it’s stage one is protest. And that’s where we have frustration, restlessness, obsession, panic stress. And then stage two is despair and resignation. And that’s when we have depression.

Noelle Cordeaux 44:30  

Women withdraw socially and need to retell their story over and over again. men get angry and engage in risk taking behavior. Not my opinion, science.

Damona  44:43  

We can’t fight the science No. All right. Well, thank you for continuing to spread the good good word. If anyone listening is interested and exploring this world of coaching, you should check them out at journey coaching and that’s spelled j r n i Coaching comm or on the socials at journey coaching. Thank you so much for being here, Noel. It’s been awesome. Thank you. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed Episode 303 of dates and mates. And I hope I didn’t get too preachy on you about washing your hands and staying at home. But hey, somebody’s gotta say it. You can connect with me on all the socials. I’m still answering DMS and I’m taking questions for future dates and mates episodes. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. Please connect with me. I love hearing from you guys. And we all could use a little extra community right now speaking of community, I’d love to have you as an official part of the dates and mates community on Patreon, my friends with benefits, get all my best goodies, especially that video training that I just released on how you can still be social distance dating. It’s so helpful, so juicy, I’m loving the feedback I’m getting from my current Patreon Patrons And friends with benefits. I’d love to have you in the club. Just go to slash dates and mates. Until next week, I wish you good health and happy dating


Last Minute Valentine’s Day Guide


Do you have plans for tonight?

Everything you need for a successful Valentine’s Day: last-minute dates ideas, money-saving tips, and ways to celebrate if you’re single. 

UNUSUAL VALENTINE’S DATE IDEAS – instead of the same old dinner and a movie, Damona offers clever tips for a memorable Valentine’s Day with your boo.

  • Be a Tourist in Your Town 
  • Get outdoors 
  • Heat things up 
  • Get artistic
  • Live performance
  • Game Night
  • Give back


  • A penny saved is a date earned
  • Avoiding present panic
  • Baby it’s cold outside
  • Keep you New Year’s Resolution Diet
  • Take a self-love day
  • Focus on friends



Join our Patreon! This is a way for us to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from me on your love life.

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

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



Damona  0:00  

Happy Valentine’s Day lovers, I had to drop a special bonus episode for this special day. I know for many of you, Valentine’s Day, isn’t really a happy time. And when I was single, the approach of February 14, always made me anxious and resentful about love. And it was the last thing I wanted to think about during this week. The last thing I wanted to think about was dating. So for anyone that finds themselves single on this day, just know, I understand, I know where you are. And I want to give you some support today on how to survive Valentine’s Day single, and how you can do something different today that will really fill you up with love, which is really what Valentine’s Day is all about. And now that I’m in a relationship, there’s a whole new set of challenges. There’s the overwhelm about what to do on Valentine’s Day. There’s a questions about how to celebrate without breaking the bank. And this is all kicking in weeks, weeks before Even today, for those of you in relationships if you haven’t made a Valentine plan yet, you’re late, but it’s okay. I’m going to give you several ideas for clever Valentine’s activities so that you can still save the day, or at least save your


Unknown Speaker  1:16  

money, save the bank and maybe celebrate later this weekend.


Damona  1:20  

And many of these ideas are also great tips for singles who are looking for clever date ideas. So regardless of your relationship status, you want to stay tuned to this special bonus episode. But first, do you know about our new Patreon program, this is a new way for us to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from me on your love life.


Unknown Speaker  1:41  

So what’s Patreon?


Damona  1:44  

Well, Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and it will allow you to get amazing listener benefits just by participating. Our page is slash dates and mates. I’m sure you’re wondering, Well, what do I get damona. If I sign up? Well, there’s three different tiers. And one is for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others that listen to the show and keep the show going strong for another seven seasons. And then we have a top tier for those of you who really want a more personalized experience from the dates and mates, podcast and for me. And this includes a dating profile analysis for me with insights from my 15 years of writing dating profiles to address your specific photos and responses and the challenges that you have faced on dating apps. And then there’s our most popular middle tier, and that will give you a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show, a monthly private live group coaching sessions. And by the way, those are not available anywhere else on my site right now. But if you join into the program, you’ll be a part of the conversation and you’ll be invited to those monthly live coaching sessions with me. And then you also get behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates. And then I didn’t mention this on Monday show, but you also will get access to my new content club in this tier. And that includes my recommendations of books and podcasts, and other content that can help steer you towards the relationship you want. So that Patreon is, slash dates and mates. I’ll tell you at the end about the special bonus that we’re giving for anyone who signs up this month during the month of love. But I know you came here for advice. And so I’m going to kick things off with my unusual Valentine’s Day date ideas. Also caveat these can be used any time of year to have a different kind of date. Because Aren’t we all just so sick of the old dinner in a movie, I’ve talked about this before on dates and dates, but when you are at a dinner date with someone, whether it’s someone you’re just meeting for the first time, or someone you’ve been in a relationship with, it’s kind of it’s like interview. It’s not very romantic, and it’s long, it doesn’t bring the energy into the date that you really need to have. And man, if you’re going to a movie, that’s just saying, like, I want to have this experience with you, but I don’t really want to talk to you for two and a half hours. So that’s not the most romantic choice for Valentine’s Day, either. So these ideas can get you out of your rut and can infuse some some more excitement into your dating experience. Whether you’re in a relationship or just dating someone new. The first idea is be a tourist in your own town. I love to take walking tours and bus tours and just explore whether it’s my city or someone else’s. But here in your own city, you can see your hometown from the point of view of a visitor, and as corny as tourists can be, I know you’re thinking damona that’s just that’s just that’s just cheesy. But it can be really fun for you and your significant other to see the city through new eyes and it might even cause you to look at your relationship through new eyes as well. So get some new perspective, try one of these tours and just just have fun with it. You can also take the day to


get outdoors I find that outdoor dates can create a completely different energy especially from those dinner dates. So I know I’m recording this from California. The weather is 70 degrees and sunny as it always is, but I know I’m from Michigan, a lot of a lot of people are having a very snowy and cold Valentine’s Day but that’s okay. Why not grab a sled or a pair of skis and get out into the world and experience experience your your own environment with your significant other because when you do something active, it releases endorphins. It makes you feel those those butterflies And those chemical feelings that you felt when you first met, and it’s great for a first date, to to get outdoors and really do something that gets your heart pumping. You can also try to heat things up amateur cooking classes have been springing up all over the place. I actually bought a class at this place called hip cooks in LA for me and my husband last year for Valentine’s Day, and creating a meal together cooking and creating together something that can really bond the two of you. So maybe you don’t have one of these these studios or places in your city. That’s okay. You can make your own special day and you can make something together. Whether you pull a recipe from a cookbook or even some of these meal kits. Now you can even go to Whole Foods and buy a meal kit that has all of the ingredients worked out for you and see how you work together. See how you collaborate and communicate And then, and then you can enjoy a beautiful meal in the privacy of your own home even. And that might be more romantic than sitting with all of these other people out and about who’ve spent three times as much on the prefixed menus. I also encourage people to get artistic. Now I mentioned the cooking studios, but there’s also a lot of art studios that have popped up where you can paint a ceramic piece of your choosing so you can make this a gift for your partner something that you do together. My husband I did this many, many years ago, and we still have the items that we created for one another and it’s a memory of that that special time before kids that we we were able to get out of the house and celebrate Valentine’s Day together and that way, but if you can’t get out of the house, maybe you do have kids, maybe a babysitter is too expensive for you. That’s okay. You can go to the art store. You could even go to the local grocery store. And get some poster board and markers and do something that really taps into the artistic side of you. Even though you might not feel like you’re artistic. It’s more about that creative expression. And that feeling of nostalgia, remembering how you used to color things when you were a kid and getting into that feeling of being carefree, not having judgment, on what you’re making, and just having fun with it. Another idea is to try out a live performance. This is also something we’ve done for Valentine’s Day, we went to a comedy show comedy is a great way to bond yourself to someone else and have a shared experience. But we’re so used to watching the movies where the characters can’t talk back, the characters can’t interact with you. You’re not really meant to talk to other people around you, but many live performances. That’s the point. You can actually you can actually connect with others out in the world. And you can have a shared experience that’s more interactive than the usual movie night. Speaking of getting out, you might want to try a game night. There are a lot of bars that offer game nights, either on Valentine’s Day or over the weekend. But you don’t have to go out you can do a game night at home, and some of my fondest memories are playing video games with my husband. Or you can play other kinds of games. You can even play games that


spice things up in the bedroom. What’s the last time that you played a game of truth or dare? Honestly, probably it’s been it’s been many years. But it can be really fun to do that with your partner or play. Never have I ever and you might learn something you never knew. There was a show that I hosted for a&e networks called a question of love. And this was actually inspired by the 36 questions that lead to love. And that was an article what was the study but then it became an article in New York Times. That said when strangers came together and ask these 36 questions, they felt like By the end of this session, they knew their partner, the stranger so intimately. They understood them, they cared for them. They were bonded to them. And so in the show that I hosted, they took couples and they thought, Well, what if if that happened with strangers? What would happen if two couples came if couples came together and ask these kind of deep and intimate questions of one another, and I won’t tell you the end if you can go in and rent it on Amazon, if you want to see the show. But I say this all to say that those 36 questions which you can find online, you can google and find them on the New York Times, try asking your partner some of these questions and you might discover something that you never knew about them. And my last tip, for those that are looking for a Valentine date, is to remember to give back so we always think about what do we need to do for us as the couple but you might get something out of doing doing a good thing. A good deed for another person. And there are so many people that are in need and so many causes that would be thrilled to have your time. And to have you as a couple work together to create more good in the world. And volunteering for something together can make you feel more bonded to your partner and make you feel like you have a shared goal of creating more good in the world. And remember, that’s really what Valentine’s Day is all about. It’s about sharing love. Yes, we’ve made it about the Valentine. We’ve made Valentine’s Day about romantic love. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s about feeling love, feeling loved. And one of the best ways to feel loved is to give love to another person. So why not try out a volunteer activity this Valentine’s Day in this weekend. Now, if you’re in the dating game, and you’ve given it your all, but you just haven’t made a connection yet, and you’re hearing all these data ideas and you’re like, that sounds great damona but I’m sitting here single and then Is this is doing nothing for me, then I just want to remind you not to give up. And if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know, I believe that love is out there for you and your dedication will pay off, just not always on the schedule that the greeting card companies have dictated. And actually when we look at it, there are a lot of positive factors to being single on February 14, they get overlooked quite a bit. So here are some of the benefits of being single on Valentine’s Day. First of all, you got to remember a penny saved is a penny earned. You know, I’ve mentioned earlier that a lot of the restaurants crank up their prices, they do these prefixed menus. You can’t get out of Valentine’s Day we’re less than 150 bucks today. And poor romantic schlubs like me will just plunk down the money, not even thinking about it. But really what you spend your money on your hard earned money is really important and Is it important to go out on Valentine’s Day and to have that date experience when everyone else is doing it? Does that say that you have love more than on other days of the year? I don’t necessarily think so. So you can just rejoice in the fact that you are saving money tonight. And maybe that could be enough for two days down the road, or that could even lead you to be able to invest in maybe a dating app, or maybe one of my dating programs, maybe even a Patreon program, save that money and invest in something that’s going to pay off for you long term. You also get to avoid that present panic, like February 12. I know my husband trips out every year, because he realizes that hasn’t gotten me anything. And that any gift he buys at that point, will just seem like a harried afterthought. So if you get her flowers, they’ll be dead by the end of the week you give her jewelry, then it’s too simple or she’ll be Disappointed or it’s too expensive and she’ll think that maybe it means something or maybe it means that diamond is coming, and it’s just buying Valentine’s gifts can be super, super stressful. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. So you are saving yourself the trouble and the cost of these kind of gifts.


Also, it’s cold outside, I did say we can get outside, but most places it’s quite cold. So for those of you that are having a terrible weather Valentine’s Day, just know you get to cozy up inside. You don’t have to worry about going out and that could be a good thing for some of you. Hey, y’all forget to keep your New Year’s resolution diet. The number one new year’s resolution is to lose weight. However, by this time of year, it’s also one of the most broken resolutions and without the pressure to eat all the Valentine’s Day candies and chocolates from your date. Which by the way, is the number one most purchased gift on the Today, you can stick to your tick stick to your diet plan and stay on track and you can be beach ready in a couple months. But what should you do with this day? Well, first, why not take a self love day? How often do we really do that? Do we take the time to focus on ourselves and do the things that make us feel fulfilled? We’re always bending over backwards to accommodate other people and to figure out what would make someone else want to be with us or what would they want to do or compromise and just take joy in the fact that you get to do whatever you want to do tonight and try and make that a special activity for you. Whatever it is, that brings you joy. Maybe you’re getting caught up on your Netflix queue. Maybe you take a relaxing hot bath, maybe you do some exercise, maybe you organize your your home and get clear on that clutter can really create chaos in your life. So maybe it’s even that and I know that Sounds unromantic for Valentine’s Day. But this is your day. You don’t have to do what the greeting card companies have told us we’re supposed to do, you don’t have to do. What marketing says is Valentine’s day you can do what makes you feel great. And also, don’t forget to focus on friends if you’re single Today we are so caught up in romantic love on February 14. But one love that can be even deeper is the deep love of friendship. And if you and your friends find yourself single on this day, why not come together and redefine the meaning of Valentine’s Day and give that love of friendship to one another today? You know, Valentine’s Day is often regarded as Singles Awareness Day sad if you ever heard this. But if you really take a moment, to relish in all of the benefits of flying solo this year, you can really go into Valentine’s Day feeling full, feeling fulfilled. feeling optimistic about what’s to come. There’s still 320 days left to this year to meet your soulmate. So tonight, just give yourself a break. Thank you for tuning into this special Valentine’s Day dates and mates episode. I hope you’re enjoying our five q FEHB series that we’re doing this month. We have an interview with Kelly Clarkson’s love coach Bella Gandhi coming up on Monday and that’s one that you will not want to miss. And if a tip from this episode sparked something in you, I would love to hear about it. You can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I really encourage you to share this episode with a friend who may need to hear it. I look forward to connecting with you and supporting you in love on slash dates and dates. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up. Now. Before March 1, that’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community. As one of my friends with benefits. Happy Valentine’s Day and until Monday, I wish you happy dating


Dear Damona: DTR Conversation & Dating Dry Spell


Happy holidays, Lovers! 

If you’re anything like us, you both love and loathe this time of year. It’s a time to connect with loved ones but it’s also a time of major stress. Which gifts to get, who to spend the holidays with, how to bring in the new year and when you add being single to the mix that adds a whole layer of anxiety and stress for many of our listeners and maybe for you, too. 

But we want you to remember that we’re here to help you at all times of year and when the going gets tough we’re not taking a break. We’re doubling down!

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!



Can you date someone who doesn’t share your political values?

Hi Damona, I have a dilemma. I’ve been dating a white guy for about 3 months. Last Saturday we had a conversation about politics and he has opposite viewpoints on subjects like immigration and border politics (topics that are dear to me). Since our conversation, I am completely taken aback and haven’t answered his texts because I honestly feel like i can’t date someone who doesn’t share my values or ideas. What do I do? 


How do you start to date after a 6-year dry period?

I’ve been single since I was 19 and I’m now 30. In that time I’ve hooked up with one guy once when I was 20 and then another guy that I like a lot but it didn’t work out for maybe once a year from when I was 22. Altogether, I haven’t had sex for 6 years. I would like to get back out there but I think right now I’m dealing with a mix of fear and because I’ve been self partnered for so long I don’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider someone else. How do I deal with getting over this fear and getting back into dating?


How to be better at texting?

I’m so bad at texting. I wish I knew how to text a woman to make her more interested in going out with me. I seem to always have the opposite effect. 


Do you think men and women, who used to date, can be friends? 


When should I have the DTR conversation and how should I do it? I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over a month that I met through Bumble. 


How should I feel about my new bf having a preplanned 2 week trip to Mexico in January with an ex? They are going to a wedding from someone in her family. He stressed that she’s just a friend and a lot like a sister. He could tell I wasn’t happy but I told him that I don’t have a reason to not trust him since this is new. Did I do the right thing?




Happy Holidays, Loves! If you’re anything like me you both love and load this time of year. It’s a time to connect with loved ones, but also a time of major stress, which gifts to get, who to spend the holidays with, who to bring with you to holiday events, how to bring in the new year. And when you add the anxiety and the stress of being single to the mix, that adds a whole other layer for many of my listeners, and maybe for you too. But I want you to remember that I’m here to help you at all times of year and when the going gets tough. I’m not taking a break. I’m doubling down. And maybe to the dismay of producer Leah over here who’s been busting her buns to make this show for you every week. I’m still going to give you shows all throughout the holidays. How are you hanging in there?


Leah Schell  0:57  

Honestly though, I’m having fun. I love doing Dates me. 


Damona  1:02  

Oh gosh, this show’s loving you. And honestly, you guys, I just have to give credit to Leah. She doesn’t know I’m going to say this but I just have to give all the credit because she is the reason that this show gets to you every week on time when you need it. She’s the one that helps me funnel all the questions that you send. She brings so much so much joy to this show. She brings so much heart and I just really have to say this holiday season how grateful I am. Oh my god. I’m like, I’m like blushing over here. So I don’t make my show before I get all teary eyed but I I really just do appreciate Leah. So maybe give her a little shout out when you comment on this episode The next time please. Thank you. And I also just want to shout out I had the great pleasure of meeting one of our longtime listeners, Catherine Hey girl you out there. Catherine recognize me out in about an La and we had a good long talk about her love situation. And honestly, I left feeling really excited for her. And for the possibilities that lay ahead, not just because she’s listening to the show, obviously I love that but because she’s really walking the walk, she’s hired a matchmaker, she works on herself care. She’s on dating apps, and she’s showing up in a big way for herself and for her relationship future. And that’s what it takes to make a change. First, you get clarity on what you want, and then you show up, and then you keep showing up, no matter how dire your dating or relationship challenge seems for you right now. It will shift if you put in the effort to make it shift. And that is a wonderful thing. I have one of my former clients who was expecting her first baby. I have another client who was in a new relationship. I have someone from my 30 day dating playbook program, who let me know she’s celebrating her her second anniversary this month. And I want all of that for all of you that are listening to this podcast right now. And if you’re ready to make a change for the new year, I will, I will tell you about how you can join my upcoming free webinar on changing bad dating patterns, and how you can get live coaching from me at the end of the show. And for you overachievers that already know you want to be in that you can go right now to the show, show notes and sign up. But first, I want to address your questions so many of your questions have been submitted this fall and every once in a while we like to do a special episode dedicated to you and dedicated to giving you the advice in love that you need. So without further ado, I bring you


Leah Schell 3:43  

Dear damona What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that intonation. I’ve always been battle. I’m ready for miracles.


Damona  3:57  

Modern love Made Simple. This is day two. mates with damona Hoffman. So producer Leah has been cataloging your recent questions. And Leah, I want to hear what is on everyone’s mind.


Leah Schell  4:10  

First we have a question from Instagram. She says, Hi damona I have a dilemma. I’ve been dating a white guy for about three months. Last Saturday, we had a conversation about politics, and he has opposite views on subjects like Immigration and Border politics or topics that are near and dear to me. Since our conversation, I am completely taken aback and haven’t answered his tax because I honestly feel like I can’t date someone who doesn’t share my values or ideas. What do I do?


Damona  4:38  

Ooh, ciao. This is this is complicated. Obviously, you guys know I come from a cross cultural cross religious background. We just talked about that last week. But at the same time, I’ve been coaching people on navigating cross cultural challenges for the last How long have I been doing this? 15 years and I What I’ve seen is a big shift towards politics. Being a bigger source of contention and relationship, frustration than race, religion, anything that used to be such a major divisive issue. And the data really supports this. Now we are divided on political issues. We are divided on things like immigration. And I have to say it’s not something to be taken lightly. You know, I’m super optimistic. I’m going to show I believe that many relationship challenges can be worked through with communication. But I wonder if this challenge speaks to a fundamental difference in value systems, and the way that you look at the world, which you also know if you listen to the show regularly, that’s one of the major tenants of long term compatibility, shared values and I don’t know specifically what the fight ended up being about or this heated conversation. But if you’re feeling like you are really diametrically opposed on different sides where you can even have a conversation about these issues and come to some sort of an understanding, you don’t have to agree on everything. But you just have to have enough space to understand the other person’s point of view, and to be able to accept and allow that their experience is different than yours. Their perspective is different than yours. And that’s okay. You can each hold one on one another’s point of view in consideration, while also still strongly believing in what you believe. here’s the here’s the answer. Is there a way to move forward with this? It’s been about three months. Yes, there is a way to move forward. This is where the going gets tough. I find relationships work in threes. You’ve heard me talk about my three date rule. You need to decide, wait until the third day to decide if someone is worth investing more time. And I also find that at three months, that is when most relationships either take off or fizzle out. Because this is when you’re really being yourself. This is now he’s letting down his guard, he is being authentically the person that he is. And he’s sharing with you his authentic thoughts, which, in a way requires a lot of vulnerability and especially at a time when we know it’s so divisive. The fact that he wants to share that with you does speak well of his his trust in you to be able to share that perspective. However, if you’re at the point where you cannot see his point of view, and you feel that his point of view is somehow challenging your own, then that is a major here A major turning point in the relationship and you have to decide if you play this relationship done in down the road, three months, six more months a year. Could you be a part of this person’s world? Could you be a part of their family if you decided you wanted to move forward with long term partnership or marriage, or maybe having children. And so these are the tough conversations that need to be drawn out. The difference in opinion itself is not enough to spell the end of the relationship. It’s how you deal with that information once it comes out. And how he deals with it and whether you can still communicate through the difference in opinion produce really good you have anything else you’re a Texan. So I imagine you deal with


Leah Schell  8:43  

Yeah, actually it says like this a lot. Yeah, this reminded me of my first like long term relationship. In college. I come from a like a very, very conservative background, being from Texas and I think like when I started college, like my friends litical views were like really like opposite of what they are now. And the guy that I dated, he was very, very liberal. And like, it was like a whole like four year relationship of like him, teaching me and just like exposing me to like different, like political points of view. And dude, thank you, if you’re listening to this for like teaching me all those things and putting in all that effort, it must have been awful. But even though that, like relationship didn’t end up working in the end, like I know that, like, you can definitely, like, have conversations and like teach people about your point of view. And, like, it doesn’t have to be the end of the race relationship. But


Damona  9:42  

did he come at you like, my perspective is right. And let me show you the way.


Leah Schell  9:49  

Yeah, I mean, you know, we were in college and very politically active and so like, there were lots of really heated arguments. But I feel like the times that were most impactful to me It was just more through like actions, not words. And that makes sense. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. But it was more just like three experiences and just like showing me exactly what his life is like, well, and we form our opinions based on our experiences.


Damona  10:17  

So sometimes someone might have one perspective, because that’s what your parents told you, or that’s what you’ve experienced. Right? And if you’re in the right partnership, it should open up your horizons, right? Total. I mean, my politics haven’t really shifted. But I’ll say one thing I really appreciate about my husband is he’s he is able to consider someone else’s point of view, even if it is 180 degrees opposite his own. Right. And I, I really appreciate that and I’m working to can you guys see how hard I’m working here. I’m working to be able to understand that and not not automatically shut down the conversation because that’s what we’re doing right now. No and in love, but also just in life. We’re just shutting down the conversation. And that’s pushing us all further apart. So this is a invitation for deeper discussion. Yeah, totally. More questions, more questions. What else is in the hopper?


Leah Schell  11:15  

More questions? Okay. This one also comes from Instagram. She says, I’ve been single since I was 19. And I’m now 30. And that time, I’ve hooked up with one guy once when I was 20. And then another guy that I like a lot, but it didn’t work out with for maybe once a year from when I was 22. altogether. I haven’t had sex in six years.


Unknown Speaker  11:35  

I was a lot of years. So a lot of years.


Leah Schell  11:38  

I would like to get back out there, but I think I know I’m dealing with a mix of fear because I’ve been self partnered for so long, and I don’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider somebody else. How do I deal with getting over this fear and getting back into dating? I like this to use all partnered.


Damona  11:56  

Yeah, thank you for it. Maybe we inspired you When we were talking about Emma Watson being self partner to use that term, or maybe that’s a term that you’ve used for a lot, but a long time, but I first want to just acknowledge her bravery and vulnerability with even asking this question. I know there are a lot of people listening right now that are dealing with some challenges like this and some things that they might have embarrassment over like not having sex for six years, some for some people, that’s a source of source of embarrassment and not being able to share that with anyone you know, you might not even be able to talk to your best friends about that. So first, I just want to say thank you for sharing that with me and with my audience, anonymously, of course, because that’s the first step in changing patterns or in getting help is just acknowledging what your story is, what your situation is, and then learning how to move through it. So thanks for your bravery with that. Yeah, girl, that’s a long time to be celibate. And in some respects, it sounds like not celibate by choice. I really want to focus in on the part where she’s talking about being self partnered for so long, that she doesn’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider someone else. Again, this person is extremely self aware, because she already knows what the challenges for her. And I have a lot of clients, particularly clients that are out of long term relationships or that are older, that have their life set and have their social circle sad have their patterns and beliefs and behavior set. And they want someone to just fit into the groove. It’s like these are the holes in my life. I want you to be available. At this time. I want you to believe these things. I don’t want you to require too much extra time for me and I want you to enjoy the same things that I enjoy doing. And that’s a really tall order. That’s very hard to To find someone that just fits and meshes with your life. So I’m glad that she’s acknowledging that. But I have to say, if you don’t want to deal with having to consider someone else, you are choosing to stay in a static point of your life, you are choosing to stay there. And, yes, you could have sex, you could probably go online right now and have sex with somebody tonight if you wanted to. But that’s not really what you’re looking for. And I also appreciate that she acknowledges that she has this fear of getting back into dating. But you have to just start at some point you have to start and you have to be willing to expand your life. And I wouldn’t think of it as not wanting to deal with considering someone else. It is a joy to consider someone else and I do hear this a lot like I don’t have to tell someone where I’m coming and going. I, I was super independent person, but the fact that somebody cares, where I’m going to be at a certain time that someone is expecting me to be somewhere or to, to, to communicate with them, or to consider them in my actions is actually a real gift. And that’s an opportunity for growth and for expansion of your life. Think of all the things that this potential partner that you haven’t met, could actually bring into your life could teach, you could could expand your world over. So when you look at it that way, maybe you’re actually depriving yourself of an opportunity. And it’s not about this considering someone else. Or Or maybe it’s the history that you’ve had in the past with relationships, that is making you feel like it’s going to be repeating that again, but it doesn’t happen. You’re rewriting the rules of your life and the rules of your love life. This is your opportunity to do it again and do it differently. So do it mindfully and do it with the intention of having your world get bigger. Instead of keeping your world in the same in the status quo. Don’t stay in stasis, stay in a period of change. More questions, more questions, questions before the break.


Leah Schell  16:25  

Okay, cool. One more question from Instagram from a guy. He says I’m so bad at texting. I wish I knew how to text a woman to make her more interested in going out with me. I seem to always have the opposite effect.


Damona  16:38  

Oh my gosh, texting. That’s a whole other thing. I feel like I should run the texting trap again as a webinar.


Leah Schell  16:48  

Yeah, we get a lot of questions about texting. Do


Damona  16:50  

we get a lot of questions about texting? Look, texting is not a natural state of communication. I know for many of my listeners, That that grew up on phones. It It is because that’s all you’ve known. But when you really think about it, it’s a very new mode of communication. And it’s very specific, short form, short form volleys back and forth with emojis, and gifts and stickers and what it means emoji all these. There’s just all of these mood modifiers you’ve had me heard me talk about how adding things like emojis can change the context. But the I’ll just give you the basic rules of texting and then I will do a whole episode on texting. Feel like I had an episode until I have Oh, how to communicate go back to last season and episode on how to communicate. But I’ll give you the cliff notes. Don’t write too much, you’re probably writing too much and these tax if you’re, if you’re meeting women online and then you’re moving into the tax And she seemed interested in all of a sudden she’s not you have said something that made her run away so you’ve probably said too much or you’ve said something the wrong way and she didn’t know how to interpret it. So keep it short and sweet. overtaxed definitely use an emoji. Not a whole. Not like my kids do a home run of emojis. I don’t like that too. It’s the cutie what is that my granddaddy, your granddaddy? Oh my gosh, that’s, that’s both charming and frightening at the same time. But just one emoji can be very effective to to state your intention because when you’re communicating with someone face to face, you have all of these other inputs of information, you have their intonation, you have their facial expressions, you have their body language, you have so much more to tell you what that person means by it. But when we’re talking about text that’s all stripped away. So first, I would just shorten shorten your texts and try to get offline more quickly. Don’t try to build a report over text because that is something that is really a learned skill and try an emoji or two, but don’t go overboard with it.


Leah Schell  19:14  

I have a questions kind of related to this. More recently, I’ve seen kind of a trend towards doing like voice messages like sending like an actual voice instead of text. Like, what do you think about that? Especially like in the early stages of dating?


Damona  19:30  

It’s funny you would say that because many times when people DM me on Instagram, I respond with a voice message. And everybody like freaks. Oh my god, it’s really you you’re actually sending but sometimes for me, just because I’m used to communicating verbally, sometimes it’s easier and sometimes I think my message is clear. If I actually leave the voice message because they can hear how I’m intending To say what I’m saying. Sometimes I don’t love receiving voice messages personally because if I’m with my kids, I can’t always listen to it right? But I think it’s it can be a good way. Then you at least have intonation you have another layer. So I think that’s that’s a good point. Leah. Adding voice to the mix. I wouldn’t do every one a voice message but adding it to the mixed mix maybe with it the animal Geez.


Leah Schell  20:28  

Yeah. Don’t do the animal


Damona  20:30  

Jesus to hear the technology hasn’t caught up.


Leah Schell  20:33  

Especially not the owl. Don’t do that. Don’t do the owl.


Damona  20:36  

But yeah, I think a voice message short voice message can be very effective in building rapport, particularly before you’ve met. Because sometimes it’s like I just need to hear their voice and know their real person and really hear what they sound like to feel that connection. Look at you, Junior dating coach. I love it. Can we do one more before the break? Yeah. Of course,


Leah Schell  21:01  

um, this one. She says Hi, damona I love listening to your podcast. Thank you. I have a question. Do you think men and women who used to date can be friends,


Damona  21:12  

too? I think men and women who used to date can be friends. Yeah. I’m friends with pretty much all of my exes. That’s awesome. I mean, so I’m not in touch with someone like Facebook friends with but um, it’s really important to set up what the boundaries and the rules are of the relationship so that it’s clear you’re not going to whoops a daisy catch feelings and end up in a weird situation ship again. But absolutely, I think men and women can be friends and I have a ton of guy friends that are platonic and always have been. And I think I’m just the fact that used to date someone that doesn’t necessarily say You are still attracted to them. That just means that at some point in your life, you felt a connection and it’s very common. I mean, how many axes do all of us have? It’s very common for you to confuse that feeling of I like this person. I enjoy their company. I find them funny I find them to be intelligent. We like the same things whatever with I should date this person. Yeah, so to answer a broader question with a real specific answer,


Unknown Speaker  22:27  

yeah, I don’t


Leah Schell  22:29  

think it speaks to like the maturity of somebody who can be friends with their exes. I


Damona  22:36  

What, are you calling me old? No, no,


Leah Schell  22:39  

I’m calling myself image here just because I I don’t know the relationship though


Damona  22:45  



Leah Schell  22:46  

now. Okay. I definitely know that I’m 100% at fault in this situation. That’s why I’m willing to admit it or not like at fault, but I know that I was being immature. I was just like, Oh, never talked to me again and moving to California by like, you know,


Damona  22:59  

over time. Again, sort of,


Leah Schell  23:02  

but yeah, like, just like we’re not friends like 100% not friends. So like, but that was something that I just decided, um, and I think it was a really immature decision. So,


Damona  23:16  

but sometimes that’s what you need. Sometimes you need to close the door. Yeah. First completely close it, shut it lock it. Like most of my exes that I’m friends with now there was a period where I was like, please don’t talk to me, right? Yeah, where you have to get distance from it. And then the next time you see them, you’re like, Oh, I don’t feel anything anymore.


Leah Schell  23:35  

Right? Yeah, I totally can see that. But like in that situation. Did you leave the possibility open for them to be friends with you? in the future? in the future?


Damona  23:43  

Yeah, but I would say right now. Not a good time. Right.


Unknown Speaker  23:49  

Right. Yeah.


Damona  23:50  

Yeah. So I feel like in general, though, do you think men and women can can be used today can be friends? And yeah, absolutely.


Leah Schell  23:58  

Totally. Just don’t What I did


Damona  24:02  

if you learn nothing else from the show, no, I, we all look, we all have these experiences that teach us how to be better in relationships. If you have the missteps, then you wouldn’t have the the, the learning that you need rate continue to evolve and relationships. So that’s true. We are continuing to evolve and we are continuing this show after the break. I just want to thank the longtime listeners and supporters of dates and maids. And even though it’s holiday time, like I said, we will continue to make these episodes for you because I know your love life doesn’t stop just because the holidays are here. And if you’re starting to take stock of your year and make plans for 2020 about how you want to date differently, we should talk and that’s why I am doing a webinar on January 9. It is called why online dating doesn’t work for you. And I will be doing a presentation plus a live coaching and q&a. At the end so if you have a dating dilemma that you want to talk to me about live, this is your chance to live, live, live, live live, and you will get free coaching from me on your specific problem should you be brave enough to share it and join me? You don’t have to ask a question you can just come for the presentation and figure out why online dating doesn’t work for you. and sign up at the dating that’s th e dating and I will spill all of my dating secrets with you. The link will also be in the show notes and on our blog at dates and mates. com We have more dates and mates coming up. I want you to stick around for more questions from our listeners including how to have the DTR conversation. All that and so much more right after this. lovers, we’re back you asked I answered and there’s more dear damona Producer Leah, what else you have in the hopper?


Leah Schell  25:58  

Okay, this one is from an email. She says, I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over. I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over a month that I met through Bumble. When should I have the DTR conversation? And how should I do it?


Damona  26:16  

This is a big question, Leah, because it’s different for everybody. There is no set time that you need to like, Oh, it’s five o’clock on on January 1, and we haven’t had the DTR conversation and we have to do it now. That is a recipe for disaster. You have to feel out where you are in the relationship. Does it feel like you’re moving towards exclusivity? Are you seeing each other more than once a week? Are you having conversations about the future? Are you feeling like you don’t want to be swiping online, this happens a lot of times to my clients. They’ll get in the program. And then within I don’t know four Five weeks, they are dating someone that they want to be exclusive with. And then they think, wait, it happened so fast. Maybe I should go back and date more people. But like the idea now that I have a burden hand, and I really like this person, the idea of going back and swiping feels exhausting, and it feels like you can’t focus on the person in front of you. And it just feels if swiping Do you feels on, appealing, uninspiring because of this person that you’re with, and maybe this is the person that you should focus on. So when do you have the conversation, if those feelings are becoming more and more intense for you, and if you’re having more and more conversations about the future, then it’s worth just checking in and seeing how they’re feeling and it doesn’t have to be a whole thing like this is this is not a bank binding contract. This is not a marriage proposal. You don’t have to say like, I I feel that way. We are destined for marriage. And I want to know where we are. And let’s define the relationship. So I could track you on the timeline trajectory of my relationship future. That’s too much. You could just say, I am feeling like, I want to focus on just the two of us and just eating you. How do you feel about that? But here’s, here’s the hard thing. You have to be willing to accept whatever answer you get when you’re ready to do that. So if you’re not ready to accept whatever answer you get, without trying to control the outcome, then it’s too soon to have the conversation. If you feel like you could have that conversation, and if they say, only really like you, I’m not sure where this is going. But I like seeing you. I’m not ready to take my profile down. Then you have information that you have to catalog and say, Do I want to continue dating this person knowing that they’re not sure when I feel very, very short? Or do you say like, oh, man, Maybe I have been moving a little bit fast and I don’t really know this person that well? Or do you need to redefine how you are, how you are moving forward in this relationship. Or maybe you need to go online again and see, maybe if I date one more person, then I can determine if this is someone that I still think is special, but it’s information. It’s crucial information that will allow you to move forward or move out of the relationship. But you can’t have this conversation lightly. You can’t have this conversation when you’re not sure. So wait until you really have clarity for yourself. And then make it as painless as possible. Don’t Please don’t do the We need to talk. How many of you have had that conversation like we need to talk about where this is going dramatic? Right, we get into harsh robbing. Yeah. I hate that. I hate that. Like even my husband will be like, we need to Talk. It’s like something about the kids. Like, I don’t want an appointment, have a conversation. Let’s just talk. We need to talk. Just talk. Yeah. So don’t do that. Not that he does that that often. But just just begin the conversation at a time when you’re both comfortable and casual and you can speak openly. Don’t do it over over new the New Year’s party, like while the ball is dropping, and all of your friends around, do it somewhere when you can both be vulnerable, authentic, clear, and speak with clarity and openness. And it it’s a hard conversations a very hard conversation. You know, and I remember when I had been dating my husband like six weeks, and it’s funny because he had a birthday party, and then he invited me to the birthday party. But then I was like, I don’t know how I’m going to be introduced his birthday party. I was pretty sure that we weren’t dating anyone else. Uh huh. But we hadn’t had the conversation. So I showed up to the party and he was like, This is damona. And all of his friends were like, Oh, damona like it was clear that they had. But I still didn’t have a title. We hadn’t had the conversation. So then I asked him later, where where do you?


Where do you? Yeah, what is this? And he was like, Well, I’m not really sure. And then he like backpedaled. And I went, Okay, I get this, like, this is not my first rodeo. Okay. So I was like, Oh, it’s gotta be his idea. You know? Like, the guys that are listening. Y’all have to think it’s your idea. For the ladies, just just let it be their idea. You can’t You can’t push it, you can’t force it. You will not get the outcome that you want. So I just backed off. I was like, okay, that’s fine. You know, I’m really enjoying hell. Yeah, I’m enjoying this, but whatever. And I’m like a week later, he was like, so do you want to be my girlfriend? Oh, this is the funniest part. He was like, I was going to ask you before my party, but then like he kind of chickened out. Oh. And I’m like, wait, then why did you act when I asked you You acted like you weren’t really sure. Can he just needed it to be enlightened by him? Okay. Oh, yeah, like I needed to not emasculate him.


Unknown Speaker  32:24  

Worked out. Okay. And yeah. Do you have any other questions this week?


Leah Schell  32:27  

Yes. One more actually. Tell me. Okay, another one from Instagram. This person says How should I feel about my boyfriend having a pre planned two week trip to Mexico in January with an ex Oh, oh, wow. They are going to a wedding from someone in her family. He stressed that a she’s just a friend and a lot like a sister. He could tell I wasn’t happy but I told him that I don’t have a reason not to trust him. Since this is new. Did I do the right thing?


Damona  32:58  

Okay, let’s break this down. It’s two weeks. In Mexico, who gets two


Leah Schell  33:01  

weeks off in January anyway, couples vacation not that this is a couple of couples vacation, but like a huge vacation. Wow,


Damona  33:09  

that is a huge vacation. Um, but it’s for a wedding, okay for someone in her family, okay. I mean, there are definitely people that have a certain place in your life that you have dated in the past. We’re talking about this a little bit before the break, that there is not the like, if he’s telling you she’s like a sister, then he probably doesn’t have the desire to be with her again. And this sounds like this is a new relationship. This is our new boyfriend, she said. So she can express that she’s not happy about it. But ultimately, this is a test of her trust of him and of where the relationship can go. And you cannot build a relationship without complete trust. And this could be a test of The relationship. So there’s a saying, If you love someone, let them go. Or if you love something, let it go. And it comes back to you, then it’s meant to be, yeah. Yeah. And again, you can’t just like he’s got to think it’s his idea. You cannot squeeze the situation, too, so tightly that you you cause him to actually want to rebel against that. And if it’s so new as well, that’s your new boyfriend, then let them know you’re going to be chill because this is a long distance run. This is not a sprint. Yeah. And this will not be the last time if you stay in the relationship with this person. This will not be the last time that you question who he’s spending time with or where this if this woman is that good of a friend, where her role is in your relationship, so you have to give him enough space to be able to show that he’s trustworthy,


Leah Schell  35:01  

right? And I like that she was honest about her feeling so those resentments didn’t build up and they could have a conversation about it.


Damona  35:08  

Yeah, yeah, I mean she said she wasn’t happy but you know, you got to make yourself happy then. Why don’t you go on your own trip to Mexico don’t like Shadow them. That would be awkward. Oh, hi. I didn’t know you were going to be at the moon palace resort.


Unknown Speaker  35:25  

I just happened to stay here to


Damona  35:29  

vacation. No, don’t do that. But do something. No for real though. Do something that is going to make your soul flourish during the time when he’s gone. I know I said that kind of flowery. But do something that will fill you up whether it’s maybe it’s a maybe it’s a trip with your girlfriends or maybe it’s a going to the spa and having a massage day or self care day or doing meditation every day or yoga or working I don’t know, whatever you do read a book, whatever it is do it with intention. I’m doing this for the with the intention of keeping my mind occupied and my heart full while he is away. Because if you are calling him every day going, what are you doing? Who are you doing it? Have you seen her? You’re you’re just going to squash this again. So you’ve got to have your own stuff going on. So that he feels like you trust him. You’re giving him the space that he needs. But you’re also taking care of yourself. I mean, not what is sexier than someone who can take care of themselves. I’m hearing that more and more for my male clients and the listeners of this podcast. They want a woman who has her own stuff going on, has her own career, her own life, and isn’t reliant on a man. prior generations. That was that was a societal construct that we were stuck with it. We had to we had to be reliant on a man for our financial and emotional well being Now you don’t have to. So you can have this relationship. You can have your cake and you can eat it too. I am spent. We it’s a holiday season. And I will go back and recharge. Because like I said, we are not taking a break for this holiday season. I can’t believe this is Episode 289 of dates and mates. If you have a question that you want answered, and you’ve been too shy to share it with me, just know that I don’t fight. And if there’s a question that you’re having, just like you were listening to this episode probably heard something that resonated for you if you have a question, just know that you could be helping out thousands of other listeners by sharing your question with us, and we will make it anonymous. We will make it safe and secure for you to share your question. You can dm it to me on any social media platform at damona Hoffman or email me damona at damona Hoffman calm we also have a forum on our website, data mates com basically it’s so easy Easy to get in touch with me I just need you to reach out and take the first step I heard we got a review a new review yes we did Who’s it from?


Leah Schell  38:10  

It’s from sure door them


Damona  38:13  

to join me that’s what their that’s their name


Leah Schell  38:15  

dr them okay the door them what it what is your door them say just adore them said excellent dating guidance or advice is wise current and she is engaging and positive thank


Damona  38:26  

you thank you she door you I try to stay current y’all I’m reading all these headlines trying to stay up on the trends for you and yes, I try to keep it positive. There’s a lot of stress out there in the world and I want data mates to be a fun experience for you. Thanks for the five star review Joe door them if you want to shout out on future episode, leave us your five star review on the platform. You can leave us a four star review if you want but I’d really like a five I’ll still read it was four star but review on whatever platform is bringing This podcast to your ears right now and then make sure you’re subscribed to the show and that you’re sending the episodes that your friends need to hear to them. This is probably one of those episodes so go ahead and share it and you do those three subscribe, review and share dates and mates we will keep it free. like clockwork will be back again bright and early next Monday morning to ring in the new year with a masterclass episode on how to change the bad dating habits that aren’t working for you. And in the meantime, Registration is open now for my webinar coming in January on January 9. It’s called why dating apps aren’t working for you. And I will also be doing a live q&a and coaching as a part of that call. So if you want to be in on that it’s free to sign up at the dating Until next week, I want to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and of course, happy dating


Done with Dating & The Cheerleader Effect


Okay so we talked about breakups last week, what do you do when you are ready to take on dating?


Samantha Burns, AKA the millennial love expert, tells us her exact steps to ditching dating forever in her new book: Done with Dating: 7 Steps to Finding Your Person


Is it weird that Kayley Cuoco isn’t living with her new husband?

You may remember that in her last divorce – asked for a HUGE alimony. Maybe she’s still healing from that and needs to take it slow? We have thoughts. 

Find your soulmate before the end of the world! 

Tinder’s new content-forward programming will find help you love while you play a “choose your own adventure” game on their platform. Damona breaks it down. 

Did you know there are apps to fix your relationships?

There are dating apps and now there are relationship apps backed by the Gottman researchers. Are these worth it? Damona breaks it down. 


Be the host with the most

Samantha’s new book Done with Dating: 7 Steps to Finding Your Person is a great follow up to her first book Breaking Up and Bouncing Back: Moving On to Create the Love Life You Deserve. She gives us her seven steps to get back on the horse and find your person. 

We go in-depth on:

  • Do you want to take charge with your dating life? Or would you rather be pursued?
  • Tips, Tool, and Tricks to switch into a more empowered mindset in dating
  • What “stinkin’ thinkin'” is coming into your mind?
  • Love happens when you intentionally create a thriving fun dating experience.
  • Ways to shift your luck in love
  • If you wait for love to find you, will it?
  • Are you waiting for someone to make you happy?
  • Go out in groups AKA The Cheerleader Effect
  • Be The Hostess With The Mostest
  • Be casually confident but not aggressive
  • Dating & Attachment Styles


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

  • Should you tell your friend if her boyfriend is raising some red flags for you?
  • What should you do if you don’t want to be with someone but don’t want them to date anyone else?



Don’t forget to send us your Halloween Dating Horror Story! You can submit any of these ways:
  • DM Damona a voice memo on Social Media (@DamonaHoffman)
  • Send Damona an email (
  • Leave us a message! (424-246-6255)

Master Class: First Dates


Lovers, it’s the first official week of summer! Welcome to the first official episode of the Dates & Mates Summer Love Series.

The topic this week? First Dates.

First dates are the foundation of every great relationship. The tone and the rules you set at the beginning will follow you into the relationship or squash the potential for one to develop. In this master class, Damona tells you how to plan the perfect first date. Here’s the rundown:

Why are first dates so important? (1:30)

Should I google my date before I go? (2:00)

The Phone Call (4:00)

What should wear on a first date? (8:00)

What’s a good thing to do on a first date? (13:00)

How long should a first date be? (16:00)

7 Date Ideas BETTER THAN A DINNER DATE (21:00)


Get Damona’s First Date Starter Kit. You get advice on:

  • The one thing you should ALWAYS always ALWAYS  do before a first date.
  • How to ensure a second date if you like the person you’re on a first date with
  • And conversation tips to make sure it never falls flat or feels boring – crucial first date advice
  • It also has an audio program that shows you 7 different ways to make a match and how to maximize their effectiveness
  • This is perfect for anyone who feels like they’re burnt out on dating apps and need new ways to meet people
  • Or if you feel like you’re doing everything you can to make a match but it’s simply not working
  • This concise program is packed with actionable advice and in it I will teach you all the steps that I’ve used with my clients over the last 13 years to bring them more dates, and better quality dates
  • And all the crucial steps you need to take before, during, and after to set yourself up for dating success.
  • Do all the people you like on a first date never seem to call again?
  • Do you find yourself getting tongue-tied or overwhelmed on a first date?
  • Are you bored with your first dates and feeling like you’re running out of options?

Get your First Date Starter Kit at FirstDateStarterKit.Com


Bossip TV & The Tinder Trick

We TV’s Bossip TV hosts Danielle ‘Dani’ Canada & Alana Danielle Gatling hit the headlines with Damona including the Tinder social experiment that swept NYC, Bumble Bizz & Bumble BFF, and the engagement of Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas (which Dates & Mates predicted back in episode 220). Questions from listeners include how to Facebook sleuth on your man and how much makeup a woman should wear to a date.



Dozens of men tricked into a dating competition

Last week, a Tinder user named Natasha Aponte coordinated a massive meeting of those she matched with on Tinder in Union Square. Those men that stayed participated in a literal competition where the winner allegedly got to go on a date with her. Apparently done as a commentary on modern dating, do you think this went too far? You can read more via CBS News here.

You can now turn off dating mode on Bumble

Bumble Biz and Bumble BFF have been around for a minute now, but you can now elect to turn off the dating portion of the app entirely, making it clear you’re only there for professional or platonic connection. You can read more via PopSugar here.

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra confirm engagement

We called it! Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra have officially announced their engagement, rumored to have sealed the deal sometime last month. You can read more via here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App, including:

  • What to do if your fiance was messaging another woman
  • If you should wear makeup when meeting a guy for the first time

And many more . . .


We got Monique’s lightning fast love advice in another installment of Dating Dot Dot

  1. _________ is always sexy
  2. _________ is never sexy
  3. The biggest red flag on a dating profile is_________
  4. The most common first date mistake is _________
  5. The most important quality in a wife is_________
  6. The most important quality in a husband is _________

Try and get $10 off your first box with the code DatesandMates

Visit for your free dating or relationship e-course. Pick the one that fits your relationship status!

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Catch Bossip TV Thursdays on We TV at 10 p.m. ET.


Summer Date Ideas & FWB Feelings

We’re so excited to be back! On our return episode, International Matchmaker Jessica Fass joined Damona in studio along with Producer J to share great summer date ideas to heat things up in love while the weather is still warm. Headlines include: harsh criticism for The Bachelor and dating shows in the era of #MeToo, what your date’s texting habits mean, and Facebook’s new dating app. Plus questions from listeners like what do you do if you are catching feelings for a friend with benefits (FWB) and how you can get a $1000 loan back from someone you broke up with.



What can you tell about your date from their texting habits?

On average, millennials reach out to their date within two days after a date ends if they’re interested in pursuing things further. This checks out, as 89% of single women say they want to be contacted within that time frame. That age-old adage of the three-day rule has fallen by the wayside, with only six percent of single ladies still holding by it. You can read more via Elite Daily here.

Is it time to retire dating shows in the #MeToo era?

The Bachelor and Bachelorette have changed, with unceremonious dumping and accusations of contestants being sex offenders; that’s not even to mention the mess that is the recent show The Proposal. In the #MeToo era, are these examples of entertainment outdated? Perhaps the combination of alcohol, producer pressure, and exploitation should no longer be considered viable. You can read more via USA Today here.

Facebook has started internal testing of its dating app

Two months after announcing its launch, Facebook has begun testing its dating app among its employees. US Facebook employees currently have access to the beta, although the company has asked them to make fake profiles that will be deleted upon public launch. You can read more via The Verge here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and those emailed to Damona, including:

  • How to handle a friends with benefits situation
  • How to deal with an ex who owes you a sizable sum of money

And more . . .


In this segment, we brainstorm as to who would best fit a celebrity looking for love. Up this week was Selena Gomez. Tune in to see who we think she should be looking out for!

At get your free gifts and free shipping with the offer code GIFT21

Join Damona’s newsletter at DatesandMates.comand claim your free dating course.

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Thank you for SUBSCRIBING to Dates & Mates. 

Leave us a voicemail with feedback or questions 424-246-6255