Damona’s Algorithm Hacks!

Here are a few key tips on how to making the algorithm work for you:


  1. Sign on regularly – daily if you can. If you have notifications turned off you will miss communications plus logging in less frequently tells the app you’re not that engaged and bumps you lower in the search when others are looking for someone like you. 
  2. Initiate messages and swipe liberally – if you don’t swipe or message anyone, the app can’t tell who you want to engage with and will keep matching you more broadly with people you might not actually connect with or find attractive. 
  3. Switch it up – making changes to your profile on regular intervals every month or so means you’re going to the top of the queue regularly 

Click here to get your FREE ALGORITHM HACKS from Damona!

Zoom Date Tips & Tik Tok for Lovers


Hello Lovers! Are you having a hard time connecting over your zoom date? You’re not alone.

As we embrace the new normal I want to make sure you have all the tools and tips you need to make a connection in the most disconnected time in history. Zoom Dates might just be our only option right now.

Last year I talked to Susan Ibitz – The Human Behavior Hacker – who told us how to read faces on dating apps to choose your match just based on what their facial features reveal about them. Now we brought her back to help us level up our dating skills for the new system of online dating, zoom dates, and social distance dates with masks.

What can you infer about someone from your first Zoom date?

How can you tell someone’s facial expression with the ability to only see their eyes?

What kind of facial qualities would indicate the right match for you?

Susan is going to give us the scoop on the scientific shortcuts to human behavior that are written all over your face.

But first we have to talk about this week’s headlines:


The latest dating trap:

“Woke fishing:” What is it? Are you in danger?

Tik Tok for Lovers

Tik Tok brought together two lovers, Natalie and Josaiah. While historically we’ve been cautious about mixing social media and dating, it’s shaping up to be a big part of coronadating.

Mama Yenta? Is that you?

New dating app JustKibbutz has the best take of the week on dating apps: “Do you really think an algorithm knows you better than your own mutha?!?”

Zoom Date Tips (11:00)

Today Damona spoke with Susan Ibitz, a longtime professional in face reading and behavior hacking. You might remember her from an episode last fall where she taught us how to analyze your dating app matches using the same tactics she’s used to negotiate hostage situations for the police. 

Today, Susan and Damona teamed up to use those same human behavior hacking skills to teach you how to show up for your COVID style dates.

We discuss:

  • the importance of good mics
  • Hands!
  • Camera positioning
  • The importance of backgrounds
  • Zoom date and self esteem
  • Anna Ferris was right: The eyes really are the nipples of the face.

Did you know that Susan did some more personal human behavior hacking and set up one of our daters for real success? You can find the video on Patreon!


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

  • Em on IG- She’s having some trouble reading herself these days. She’s 26 and online dating and she’s feeling like she’s ready to meet someone to start her life with this is what I’m says the past few people I’ve been talking with and dating are really sweet and easy to talk to. But I’m not feeling attracted to them once I meet them. Even after a few or several dates. I’m trying to figure out if it’s just that I’m not ready to be dating right now. Or if the person or these people are not the right match for me or do I just need to keep putting myself out there for new matches?
  • Jocelyn on IG – She says she’s a single 41 year old nurse working in a hospital with potential exposure to Corona virus on a daily basis. She says I have to work hard to keep myself safe and healthy. But obviously some risk still exists. It’s a it’s difficult for many healthcare providers to get tested. She says she’s never been tested and doing so on a regular and ongoing basis is unrealistic for her totally get that. She’s seen very few people and would be okay accepting a man into her bubble. But she says she’s only interested in so as careful as she is, is it hypocritical of me as a nurse to ask for this level of caution

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 Patreon.com/datesandmates

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 patreon.com/datesandmates for: 

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


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

Damona 0:10
Okay, hold on. Honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like

Unknown Speaker 0:17
we supposed to get my swipe. I don’t want

Unknown Speaker 0:19
somebody to share my life. What does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me or even

Damona 0:31
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 in mates with damona Hoffman

Hello lovers, welcome. Well COVID just keeps on trucking. And so do we over here at dates and mates as we embrace the new Normal, I want to make sure that you have all the tools and tips you need to make a connection in the most disconnected time in human history, or maybe the most connected depending on how you view technology. Last year, I talked to Susan ebbetts, the human behavior hacker, who told us how to read faces on dating apps to choose your match just based on what their facial features reveal about them. Now, I brought her back to help us level up our dating skills for this new system of online dating, virtual dates and social distance dates with masks Of course, what can you infer about someone from your first virtual date? How can you tell someone’s facial expression with the ability to only see their eyes? What kinds of facial qualities would indicate the right match for you? Susan is going to give us the scoop on the scientific shortcuts to human behavior that are written all over your face. But first to hop over to the headlines, including woke fishing, what is this latest dating term? And how do you look out for it? And Mama yenta could your mother be a better matchmaker for you? Plus, is tik tok the way to your heart? I’ll tell you how to make a meaningful connection on social media. Then, at the end of the show, I’ll answer your questions including how do you date during COVID as a medical professional, and 26 and online dating without any real attraction? Is it you? Or is it this new method of meeting people? All right, get your pen and paper ready because this is going to be one of those study session types of episodes that you will want to take notes for. And we will begin at all with the dish

Unknown Speaker 2:46
these dating dish.

Damona 2:48
You know I love a good dating term and the online mag the tab has brought us up to speed on woke fishing. This is when a guy says he’s feminist and anti rape But turns out not to be the jury’s still a little bit split on whether this is something intentional, if this is actually a phishing situation, or this is just something where he thinks that he has more liberal beliefs than he actually does. Because, you know, it’s I guess it’s hip to be progressive right now. And they realize that a lot more women are trending this way. And so to get in with them, they might present themselves as Oh, so woke, but not really being supportive things like Black Lives Matter. Or they might just slip up on a racial slur. I heard a story from a listener not that long ago that dated a guy for a year and a half. She’s biracial and discovered that the guy she’s dating actually isn’t so into black people.

It’s a complicated web we weave out there, but you want to be on the lookout for people trying to be overly sympathetic. To your views or to overreach on things that they don’t appear to know anything about. We’re all in a place right now where this is new learning for so many of us. And if we can just stay in that place of discovery, you don’t have to be so woke to be so dateable. But just be yourself and be open to listening and learning. If you’re looking for love, and maybe you’re afraid to get and woke fished on a dating app. BuzzFeed told us about a cute story of a couple that met on tik tok. And it went viral. And let me tell you, I learned a lot. And I think there’s a lot that you could take away from this couple and how you might be able to make a connection via social media, right? We can’t go to bars anymore. We can’t just be wiling out in the streets. But you can actually be really strategic about who you meet using social media. All right, this couple I’ll tell you, Natalie and Josiah. They met by a typical A post that Josiah made. I have to tell you, I totally didn’t get it. It was like about him dropping a fry in the car and like how you never see it again. Anyways, I’ll let you see him. I’ll put the link to the BuzzFeed article in the show notes, but she it made her laugh. It doesn’t have to make me laugh. It kind of goes back to that point. I always say with a sense of humor. Everybody wants someone with a good sense of humor but what one person finds funny and what another person is cannot believe that you wasted countless hours creating are two very different things but Natalie was charmed by it. And let me tell you what she did. Instead of just engaging with him on tik tok. She went a level deeper. she searched for him on Instagram, and then she followed him on Instagram and liked a few of his other photos. Pro tip that I learned from producer Leo, it’s considered polite if you follow someone to go through and like some of their photos. If you’re following me on Instagram at damona, Hoffman, maybe go through and like a couple of my posts, so I know what you’re responding to. But it also can signal interest. And clearly that’s what happened with Natalie and Josiah. Because then he started following her back. And then they started chatting. And then they went on this cross country road trip, and it was Oh, so cute. You can read the story there. But I want to give you some tips on how to have your own social media meet cute. So the first thing is search for hashtags that are relevant to you. If there’s a particular show that you’re interested in or something like I was saying that indicates your sense of humor sensibility interest that you have, check out that hashtag see who’s talking on on that thread. You can also search for interesting comments on other profiles that you follow and see who might be cute and might be interesting. to chat with just through that particular thread or on that particular page, and see where it can go from there. Then of course, if you like, and he likes, and then you like additional photos, and then you’re following each other, you have a direct line to the DM. Another much underutilized resource is the Facebook group. And there are several groups like I’m in a bunch of podcasting, Facebook groups love coaching professional Facebook groups, you know, political interest, Facebook groups, whatever it is that you’re into, the weirder the better, I would say, but if you can search for a group that fits that particular interest or value system, and then become active in the group, don’t just be a looky loo, actually actively comment and engage with other people in the group that are cute. And start making yourself visible. I talk about this a lot in my dating program. That you, you have to be out there you have to be visible in order to be found. So if you are initiating posts, and you are also commenting on other people’s posts one, you’re going to be boosted in the algorithm. We’ll talk about algorithms next episode. So don’t get ahead of ourselves, but it will make you more visible to others and it will make your posts be shown higher up the next time you post. And you can get seen by those kinds of people that you want to meet. One thing just make sure your account makes it very clear that you’re single, none of this single shame. You’ve heard me talk about that last season. I’m continuing on season eight, no single shame. You’re single, you’re ready to mingle. You don’t have any pictures of exes. In your profile. You don’t have anything that’s that’s vague about what your relationship status is. You’re on Facebook, you can say straight up. I’m single and I’m looking to meet men, women, whatever it is, so be bold. Be clear about it and take a chance you never know you might make a match. If you still feel like you haven’t found a match in today’s world, maybe you should just ask your mom, the Atlanta Jewish times told us about a new app that will launch this fall called just kibitz. That allows Jewish moms to be yentas for their kids. Fun fact, I almost called my my sight Sister yenta when I first launched this, for those of you who don’t know, I’m both black and Jewish, so it’s fitting for me, but it’s probably fitting for some of these moms. And when I originally started as a writer for JD, I used to get a lot of moms that were like, Can I just do this for my kid? Can I just set them up on dates? Can you help me help them? So this allows moms to be mom masters and set their children up on dates. Here’s a really funny part. They asked this sample selection of people would they go out on a date set up by their mom and only 50% of them said that they would. And then they said, Well, what if the date was prepaid? What if mama pays for it? 92% of them were like, sure, then I could go out with somebody. So I’m interested to see how just kibitz works. And they have an interesting slogan. They have an interesting CEO named Jeffrey Kaplan, who said, other dating sites are investing in algorithms and artificial intelligence. You really think a robot knows you better than yo and mother. That’s much sugar. Our site is powered by maternal intelligence. I love it and I whether you have a Jewish mom or not, I think this is a really interesting turn on the online dating landscape. Those are the headlines for this week. Before the break, I have a special announcement for those of you who are looking for love and want to hear more of the kind of tips that I just gave in the dating dish. I’m going to be doing a free webinar. On September 2, all about how to find love in the new normal. Yes, it is possible to meet your match in the middle of a pandemic. Yes, cuffing season is coming. And yes, I have the secret to dating and I will share it with you. So why not join me so you know what to do to get out of the dating rat race and get on to that relationship of your dreams. You can register for free at validating secret calm again, that’s th e dating secret.com. We’ll be live on September 2. And I’d love to meet you virtual style. Of course, you can check for the link in the show notes. I hope to see you there. Welcome back. As I mentioned at the top of the show today I spoke with Susan Ive it’s a longtime professional in face reading and behavior hacking. You might remember her from an episode last fall where she taught us how to analyze your dating app matches using the same tactics. She’s used to negotiate hostage situations. For the police. While today Susan and I team up to use the same human behavior hacking skills to teach you how to show up for your COVID style dates. Here she is giving me a list of her biggest zoom date tips on sound, hand gestures and camera position.

Unknown Speaker 12:20
From all the things that you need to invest, invest in a good microphone, the boys is really important. Why we’re really boys with calm. One tip the most people forget show your hands. If you put in the camera to highs like you looking down on me and that is not a good first impression. So make sure the cameras in 90 degrees, you have at least one or two fingers on the top not too much. In is from the umbilical cord up. Show your hands we use our hands as a nurturer as a touching. So if I can see your hands, it’s more human than if I I only see your shoulders up.

Damona 13:02
Camera positioning is everything on the zoom or FaceTime date for a lot of my clients. There’s an impulse to think of camera angles as we would for Instagram or headshots, but that shouldn’t be the case at all. Treat your COVID style day the same way you would treat a real date to normalize this experience as much as possible. dress in a way that makes you feel confident. Try to be yourself. Remember on an in person dinner date your date would be able to see you from at least the waist up so just keep that in mind but let’s try not to get carried away about the normalization Susan says to remember that people can still see the background behind you make sure you check with a friend that there’s nothing too distracting or nothing that gives away all your secrets. Why you see

Unknown Speaker 13:48
and what the other person see are different. So record yourself and send an if you’re a man send it to a female if you’re a female, send it to a male says is anything on the bathroom. That is giving the wrong message. Because you can present yourself perfectly done. Nails may come care, but I see a mess on the back. And like

Damona 14:11
years ago, I had someone on the show who was a refrigerator analyst. Yeah, so he would have people send in pictures of their dates fridge, and that would tell him everything that he needed to know about the person that they were dating. Like, if they have a lot of fruits and vegetables, then they’re healthy or like he did it from my fridge. He was like, you have like two gold gallons of milk. You must have kids. I’m like, How do you know?

Unknown Speaker 14:39
I have a confession. And let’s see who silently don’t confess the same first date. You’re going to the apartment of the person you’re dating and you go to the bathroom. What is the first thing you do? Open the cabinet? Ah,

Damona 14:54
yes. Or honey look in the toilet. Like if that toilet hasn’t been Oh my God. My husband’s my husband’s bachelor apartment was just I was just talking to him about it actually yesterday as well. Like that was a terrible, terrible apartment. I’m so glad I got him out of there. We all have bachelor apartment horror stories, so maybe it’s good that we can delay the personal hygiene conversation. If your apartment is messy, just tidy up a bit. And don’t use zoom backgrounds. It looks like you’re trying to hide something. But let’s not get too bogged down with your date zoom background, Susan says you need to look at how your date pays attention.

Unknown Speaker 15:36
The first thing that I will look in a person is how we smile to you and how pay attention if you’re shy or an introvert with says put the camera on the system that you only see the person talking to you. Because 75% of the people is afraid to public speaking. This is worse because you seen yourself and you get more nervous from yourself in reflection then from what the other person is doing.

Damona 16:04
I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people that it’s bringing up self esteem issues just having to constantly look at that image of yourself back in the in the window.

Unknown Speaker 16:15
You know what, I have a trick. I something called oxytocin. oxytocin happen when we are taught when we are exchanging with people we like how you replace that in a virtual error. Watching funny videos before you’re going to get to a date to be relax, and to be present and be in a happy place. Three minutes of happy videos or bloopers or pet or whatever, get you to a happy place. Do it and you’re going to see how your body postures is more relaxed. They didn’t imprison. It’s uncomfortable in these computer virtual body language is worse.

Damona 16:58
That’s a really great tip, I reckon. recommend using gifts and funny videos in texting, like that’s a tool when people are like, how do I get the vibe back? I say like send them a joke, send them a gift, send something that you can connect on and laugh about, and that can shortcut getting back into the conversation. What about, like drinking before the date I just, I’m now I was so I write for this column in the Washington Post called date lab where we matchmake for people introduce them and then send them on a date. So for the last few months, the dates of course, have all been on zoom and virtual, which I really hate. Because it’s always the same. It’s always the same date and then people are like, I didn’t really feel a connection. Well, yeah, you just met a stranger that you knew nothing about at least if you’re coming from Bumble or something and then you’re going into the chat you’ve connected you you know that there’s some things in common but this is they’re trusting me and and the date lab team to just set them up and they don’t know who they’re gonna To me, so, anyways, I was just talking to one of the date labs that I’m writing about and they were saying that they, they, they both pre drank to kind of loosen up for the date. I wouldn’t do that but I’m I’m a super lightweight What do you think about about that and like how drinking alcohol can impact the way that you present yourself?

Unknown Speaker 18:20
The pendant how alcohol affecting you, people get aggressive people get too too warm filter it and sometimes the first time is not good.

Damona 18:29
Right? I also I’ve talked about this on the show before but just as a reminder to everyone that’s new to the show or that maybe forgot. Also gamifying the day having an activity exactly what Susan’s saying. Making a theme but also maybe making a game out of it. 20 questions sipping paint night. I just found this app. I swear you guys i’m not i’m not being paid to say this. I just legit really have fun with it. It’s an app called let’s roam and they have in home scavenger On so you can do things where you’re like, you’re like playing this virtual scavenger hunt. And you have to go and grab like your sylius tat or, you know, do it try to do a handstand or something goofy that makes it sort of fun. So those are a few tips for virtual dates. But a lot of people are over the virtual date Susan, they’re ready to move out into the real world. And many people are now even skipping the virtual agent just going right to social distance dates. Well, here’s the problem with social distance day hits. Maybe you’ve seen pictures of someone online but you’re meeting them with a mask on your face reader. You know a lot about human behavior. What can you tell about someone just from looking at the eyes, you know, mid know mid nose and eyes above, they’re wearing a mask.

Unknown Speaker 19:48
First of all, don’t try to show more of your face that you should,

Damona 19:52
you know, like give a little notes.

Unknown Speaker 19:56
Ya know, be the other person is willing to take the mass is willing to take a risk. Then I don’t know if I want to be taken with that person is irresponsible. So actually, everybody seeing that emotions happen on this smile on the lips. Actually the seven microexpression happened on the eyes, the expression of happiness and anger happening on the eyes and the eyebrows on the forehead.

Damona 20:20
So, Tyra Banks was right all along. You smile If you don’t smile.

Unknown Speaker 20:28
Well, some people don’t do it.

Unknown Speaker 20:30
Pay attention to the emotions. Because everybody’s so fixated on the mouth. We’re not paying attention with the eyes is telling us the word and we have all the body to say. I know it’s difficult not to kiss or handshake. Now you can pay attention to other things. And again, go in front of the mirror, put yourself a mask in practice emotions, and I don’t know watch videos, record yourself as your friends to watch a movie together. So You can be analyzed and how emotions happen on the face.

Damona 21:03
This is an important skill to learn because we may be wearing masks for this may be the new normal culturally, this is it’s different in, in the US I know people in other countries like in Asia that this has not, it wasn’t such a leap, right to go into mass culture. But it’s something for a lot of Americans that we have to learn from scratch how to inspect

Unknown Speaker 21:30
the world was born for the first time in Asia, and most Asian people know how to read faces. So whatever you want to learn from this experience is going to make you more human in a better communicator.

Damona 21:46
This is an unprecedented period of time, and we’re forced to reconnect in a completely different way. But hopefully, this episode convinced you that this doesn’t mean that the quality of our connections has to be any different If you learned anything new from Susan, you should check out our previous episode together. Or you can see the amazing private session she did with one of our listeners Mel. Susan actually was able to read some really personal qualities about her just by looking at her face and use that information to set her up for success in dating. They are exclusively available on Patreon and I’m not bragging or nothing but they really did work. You will see us dissect Mel’s profile and really set her up for success. Just a month after our session she met her ideal match and they’re still dating today I just checked in with her so go learn what you need to do to your profile just by watching Susan punch up Mel’s profile with me. from each of our individual expertise. The cost is just five bucks to join and you can get those profile hacking videos plus bonus dates and mates content including a live q&a at Behind the mike session every single week on Facebook, if you love this show, if you’ve gotten helpful advice from me, why not support us to keep making this content and join the club for just $5 patreon.com slash dates and mates? In a moment, I’ll be answering your dating questions and dear Dimona, so don’t go anywhere. We’re back. This is dear to Mona.

Mona help me. I so love that new intro. I hope you do too. Thanks to my dear friend Jenny Wren genuine music for recording that. All right, we have so many questions I’m going to answer to today but just know if your question doesn’t get answered. It is in queue to be answered on a future episode. This one came to us from M she says she’s been listening to the podcast for about a year. Thank you. Um, she says she’s having some trouble reading herself. These days, she’s 26 and online dating, and she’s feeling like she’s ready to meet someone to start her life with. This is what um, says the past few people I’ve been talking with, and dating are really sweet and easy to talk to. But I’m not feeling attracted to them once I meet them, even after a few or several dates, I’m trying to figure out if it’s just that I’m not ready to be dating right now. Or if the person or these people are not the right match for me, or do I just need to keep putting myself out there for new matches? Well, I think this is a problem that a lot of the people at home are nodding their heads to like, yeah, girl been there. And you cannot force a connection. But what you can do is evaluate your dating patterns. And if this is a longtime pattern of you, like you go out with someone a few times, and it fizzles or you don’t start to feel butterflies, and this has happened over and over and over again, not just the last few months, but like the last few years, then that might be something thing that you want to evaluate because it might be that who you think you’re attracted to, and who you’re responding to, on paper is different than who you would respond to say, in person or who you feel natural chemistry towards. Of course, everything’s different in COVID. And we’re only really able to meet people virtually at first right now. So I really would love for you to spend some time getting in touch with your own attractions like as you’re watching a movie like Who who are you feeling attracted to you when you’re watching a movie as you are? I don’t know on a group video chat with friends. like God forbid you’re not going to Las Vegas Pool Party. Please tell me you’re not doing that. But if you do, you know who what, what is it that you are attracted to an individual people What are you curious about? And some of it is the pool I’m sure if you are not putting yourself out On enough dates, I think sometimes we put too much pressure on each individual date, if you’re only going on, say, one date, a month. But if you feel like you have a lot of people in the pipeline, and when I say going out on one date a month I, it could be a video chat date, it could be a social distance date. But if you aren’t getting enough options in the pipeline, it can feel like you’re putting so much pressure on somebody to work even if it’s not really a match. So I would take a step back, go to that mindset piece that I’m always talking about, and then go to that, that place of attraction and see what is the pattern? What am I responding to, and what am I getting? Where am I feeling this lack of attraction and see if you can, you can analyze yourself a little bit and then create a dating plan that’s going to be more successful for you off of that. Another question comes to us from Jocelyn she says she loves the podcast and she You heard our advice on dating during the pandemic. You may remember that episode a couple weeks ago with dear frannie. And I got a couple of notes about my comments on testing. Of course I am in California, I’m in Los Angeles, where we can, we can test as often as we like, and it’s totally covered and free. I realized that is not the case for everyone everywhere. Some of you picked up on the fact that I clarified that, but you have to, first of all get up to speed on what is available in your area and some places you may not have been able to test before but there may be testing available now. So you have to constantly stay on top of I call it the coronas the corona news, but this person says that my advice didn’t quite fit her situation. Here’s the deal with Jocelyn. She says she’s a single 41 year old nurse working in a hospital with potential exposure to coronavirus on a daily basis. He says I have to work hard to keep myself safe and healthy. But obviously some risk still exists.

It’s a it’s difficult for many healthcare providers to get tested. She says she’s never been tested, and doing so on a regular and ongoing basis is unrealistic for her. I totally get that. She’s seeing very few people and would be okay accepting a man into her bubble. But she says she’s only interested in someone as careful as she is. Is it hypocritical of me as a nurse to ask for this level of caution? Jocelyn, it’s not hypocritical for you as a nurse. It’s, it’s not hypocritical for anyone listening right now to try to understand somebody’s risk tolerance, and ask for a basic level of respect. It’s sort of like asking for exclusivity, right. Like you have that conversation. And as long as they’re on the same page, and they give you their word that they’re going to be faithful to you then. It is a covenant. It is immigrant. remount of the relationship, and especially in a situation that you’re in, thank you, first of all, for serving the people of your state and your city. And being there to help people who are dealing with COVID. I can only imagine the the mental toll that takes on you and how that impacts when you’re dating, the way that you filter through your dates. So you are Yes, in a situation that is different, where you need to be very careful of who you invite into your bubble. But for anyone listening, I think we should use as much caution as possible. I just heard a story of a person that got COVID because he went on a double date with with somebody that he didn’t know and then turns out that person had COVID and all four of them on the double date COVID this is just back in June. Like let’s let’s be cautious. Let’s use common sense the one of the most intimate things you can do is to go on a date with somebody or just to, to, like, I went somewhere with a friend. And we’d both recently been tested and I had to ride in the car with her and I was like, okay, we’re taking our masks off. I swear it felt like having sex without a condom for the first time. It’s a little bit scary to break down that barrier and release that wall. And especially in a situation like your job has to come first right now we really need you, Jocelyn. We need you to stay healthy. So anyone that you date has to be held to that same standard and anybody who really would be an appropriate long term partner for you would understand that. Hope that helps you and hope that helps everyone that’s listening on navigating the new normal and dating and relationships. This was Episode 324 of dates inmates if you’re looking out for some more personalized human behavior hacking. Check out Susan at human behavior. labs.com she can do one of these analyses, like, like she did for Mel for you too. And if you want to see what we did for Mel, check out the Patreon to support the show and get all of that behind the scenes and bonus content. It’s just $5 at patreon.com, slash dates, and mates. Also, we will give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles. And, of course, our gift game is strong thanks to producer Leo. Check all that out at dates and mates calm and there’s other free goodies there waiting for you and other show recaps. Remember the Registration is open now for my free webinar on September 2, you can sign up for free at the dating secret.com and I’ll share the secret with you hit me up on all the socials I’m at damona Hoffman you can DM me, let me know what you learned from today’s episode. Or send me a question that I can answer for an upcoming episode of dates and mates. I’ll be back again next. Next week with a deep dive on dating app algorithms. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Dating CEO & Romance Scams


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

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

Bye Little Black Dress. Buh- bye.

But first, Damona covers headlines:


Demi Lovato’s relationship is running on quarantine standard time

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


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

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

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


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

We leave it all on the table

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

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


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

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



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

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



What is Patreon?

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

Our page is Patreon.com/datesandmates

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 patreon.com/datesandmates for: 

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


Date of the Union & The Entanglement


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

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

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


Will and Jada and The Big “Entanglement”

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


Royally Screwed

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


Once and For All: What makes a great relationship

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



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

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

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

We cover:

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

Read Franny’s full list here!


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

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

What is Patreon?

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

Our page is Patreon.com/datesandmates

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 patreon.com/datesandmates 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 show.com 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 out@patreon.com 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 it@patreon.com 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 match.com. 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 patreon.com 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 aboard@patreon.com 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 https://otter.ai

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 rethinklife.today. 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 change.org 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 you@patreon.com 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 patreon.com 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 dating.com. 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 group@patreon.com 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

Pride & Prejudice


Here at Dates & Mates, we are exhausted.

Exhausted from the events of the week, but also exhausted as women of color in America. (Shout out to Damona for being an OG champion of diversity!)

As Damona puts it in today’s episode, “For decades I’ve been shouting about racial injustice from the top of my lungs and I was starting to run out of breath so I’m relieved to see others now working to create conversation and enact change.”

We thought long and hard about whether or not to drop an episode of Dates & Mates this week but came to the conclusion that in times like these, it is my responsibility to keep using our voice.

The way that Damona uses her voice? To heal people and build bridges is through LOVE.

So today, we’ll be talking to Donny Meacham, a dating coach who is also a correspondent on Celebrity page TV, as well as a Sirius XM co-host and writer for Naught Gossip, Elite Daily and more. We’ll be talking about all things Pride and Love.

But first, we should address what is going on around us: 


In light of the week’s events, we had to ditch the dating dish and instead, Damona gives her perspective on the week’s events and to give you some historical context to what’s happening right now. She says:

“As I record this, it has recently been announced that a lot of pride parades will march in solidarity with the current Black Lives Matter protests, and before you say, not my March, those are two separate things.

I need you to look at the history of Pride Month, as this actually makes a lot of sense and I want to put this in context for you with a tiny history lesson.  On June 28 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was a meeting place for LGBTQ New Yorkers, and as a result a spontaneous protests broke out to oppose police violence against queer people in this country. And that’s why we now celebrate Pride Month in June.

Okay, you probably know that already. We’ve discussed it on Dates & Mates before. But one thing that I didn’t know and that you might not be aware of either, is that a trans woman of color was a part of initiating much of the gay rights movement, and in particular, the Stonewall riots.

And one woman who’s absolutely worth remembering is Marsha P. Johnson. The P and Marsha P. Johnson stood for a “pay it no mind”. And when people got too nosy about her, that’s what she would tell him she’d say “pay it no mind”.

Johnson saved lives and she spoke up and she put herself in the spotlight at a time that was dangerous for a transgender woman, even among the gay community, which sometimes silenced her or saw her identity as a trans woman as being contrary to their agenda. Marsha P. Johnson was a minority within a minority within a minority. And prior protests have often pitted one group against another. But what’s different about this movement that we’re going through right now is that we know that true change can only come when we link arms and speak up together. 

This is not a black issue. This is an American issue. This is an ‘us issue’. And that’s been the most beautiful part of watching this all unfold for me, seeing black people, white people, straight people and gay people all marching together, all demanding change, just as Marsha P. Johnson did so many years ago. So today, we will pay Marsha P. Johnson some mind because we know that the world just wasn’t ready for her yet. And I want to dedicate today’s show to her. She reminds me as I said last week, that love is what will get us all through. 

Let us not seek to divide ourselves again right now. Let us listen. Let’s invite others in and let love lead the way.

PRIDE (4:00)

Donny Meacham is the Millennial love guru who tells it like it is.  He is passionate about love and being sure you are mentally prepared for it when it comes. 

You’ve seen him on Celebrity Page TV and CoHosting the iHeart Radio Top 20 Entertainment podcast ‘Naughty But Nice’.

We discuss:

  • Dating app secrets for 
  • Dating and Date Ideas for this time
  • Is it really ghosting if you didn’t give them a second chance?
  • Taking chances in love


Find Donny on Instagram @DatingDonny and make sure to check out his podcast, Naughty But Nice on all the 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:

  • I miss my ex and I’ve been tempted to reach out and check on him. Is this a good idea?
  • Alexander Host of On the Rocks Podcast: Tips for meeting someone for the first time after a couple of months of constant FaceTime dates.
  • Ned on Twitter: Dating a guy in NYC. He’s been very sweet and communicative via text and FaceTime. How do i know if any of it is real?!


Donny Meacham  0:00  

What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that into me. I’ve always been battle. For attention. I’m ready for

Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, it’s Pride Month. And this is the time when we specifically celebrate love in all forms. You know that I’m always doing that on the dates and made show. But June is a time to remind us that love is love. And it doesn’t always come in the way that you’ve expected in or that society tells you is acceptable. I stand by my lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and queer listeners and everyone listening now regardless of how you identify. I know my regular listeners might be expecting a dating dish. But in light of the week’s events, I had to ditch the dating dish and instead, I’m choosing to give My perspective on the week’s events as a woman of color, and to give you some historical context to what’s happening right now. In a moment, we’ll be talking to Donnie Meacham, an LGBT dating coach who’s also a correspondent on Celebrity page TV on rails Channel, as well as a Sirius XM co host and writer for naughty gossip elite daily and more with him will discuss the dating app secrets for queer and straight singles. And he and I will also answer some of your questions like, how do you know if your long distance relationship is real, and tips for moving offline after several virtual dates? As I record this, it has recently been announced that a lot of pride parades will march in solidarity with the current Black Lives Matter protests, and before you say, not my March, those are two separate things. I need you to look at the history of Pride Month, as this actually makes a lot of sense and I want to put this in context for you with a tiny history lesson.  On June 28 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was a meeting place for LGBTQ New Yorkers, and as a result a spontaneous protests broke out to oppose police violence against queer people in this country. And that’s why we now celebrate Pride Month in June. Okay, you probably know that already. We’ve discussed it on Dates & Mates before. But one thing that I didn’t know and that you might not be aware of either, is that a trans woman of color was a part of initiating much of the gay rights movement, and in particular, the Stonewall riots. And one woman who’s absolutely worth remembering is Marsha P. Johnson. The P and Marsha P. Johnson stood for a “pay it no mind”. And when people got too nosy about her, that’s what she would tell him she’d say “pay it no mind”. Johnson saved lives and she spoke up and she put herself in the spotlight at a time that was dangerous for a transgender woman, even among the gay community, which sometimes silenced her or saw her identity as a trans woman as being contrary to their agenda. Marsha P. Johnson was a minority within a minority within a minority. And prior protests have often pitted one group against another. But what’s different about this movement that we’re going through right now is that we know that true change can only come when we link arms and speak up together. This is not a black issue. This is an American issue. This is an ‘us issue’. And that’s been the most beautiful part of watching this all unfold for me, seeing black people, white people, straight people and gay people all marching together, all demanding change, just as Marsha P. Johnson did so many years ago. So today, we will pay Marsha P. Johnson some mind because we know that the world just wasn’t ready for her yet. And I want to dedicate today’s show to her. She reminds me as I said last week, that love is what will get us all through. Let us not seek to divide ourselves again right now. Let us listen. Let’s invite others in and let love lead the way. Now, please, let’s give some love to my guest for today. Donnie Meacham is the millennial Love Guru who tells it like it is he is passionate about love and being sure that you are mentally prepared for it when it comes. You’ve seen him on Celebrity page TV, and co hosting the I Heart Radio top 20 Entertainment podcast naughty but nice. Please help me give some big smooches to Donnie Meachem.

Donny Meacham  4:55  

How are you?

Donny Meacham  4:57  

I am so excited to have you on the show.

Donny Meacham  5:00  

I’m excited to be here. I I’m actually a big fan of your site, listen to the podcast and I even though I talk about dating and relationships, I get a lot of my advice from you that

Damona  5:12  

we can get advice from each other. It’s like, yes, it’s like a circle of life here that’s happening.

Donny Meacham  5:17  

So I’m the worst Dad, I don’t actually take my own advice when it comes to

Donny Meacham  5:22  

my mother.

Damona  5:25  

She’s like, Oh, damona I can you can be my dating coach. And then and then I tell her what to do. And then she’s like, Oh, I’m not gonna do that. I’m like, what’s the point? Mom? What’s the point of that? Yeah, so it’s Pride Month, Donnie, and I’m really excited that you’re here and that you can share some advice for our LGBT q ay ay audience on above all of the above. And really what that means just want to break it down. For all of you listeners, it means that this show is for everybody. So don’t think that you’re if you’re if you don’t identify As one of the many letters that I just said that you’re like, Oh, this showing it for me, because the advice that Donnie is going to give you is going to resonate on in whatever situation that you’re in. So I know you’re a you’re a big fan of dating apps, and you’re up to speed on all the things that are happening. I’m really curious. What you have experienced as an LGBT dating coach, I’ll drop a few letters, but you guys know I inclusive. I’m including all of us.

Donny Meacham  6:33  

Yeah. Well, now we literally just say the word queer just kind of encompasses everybody.

Damona  6:38  

I was explaining this actually to my nine year old daughter, because she was like, I think his last Pride Month and she was asking me like, what’s the difference? And then and then I was like, queer is like the umbrella and then there’s like, all of these other and she got it. That’s what’s so cool. Donnie, she’s nine and she was like, Oh, cool. I got it. And it’s just like, so It’s so wonderful to be able to raise a child in a world where that is that that’s how she looks at the world. And that is just so like, when I was coming up, and I think you’re a little bit younger than me, but probably when you were when you were coming up to like, there were so many there was so much. There was so much weight around identification, right and like or how and having to choose a lane. So the fact that you can, you can either not have a lane necessarily or have many lanes or change lanes. It’s kind of cool,

Donny Meacham  7:40  

but you think, Oh, it’s so cool. And he’s mean your daughter, I wish that I because I’m from Alabama. So growing up there was imagine that being a gay kid in Alabama. It was hard. And your daughter though, is like she’s, she’s lucky in a way now that it’s cool. And it’s just like you have a word and it’s like, you know what the word just means ever. Hear everybody’s the same. We’re all cool. And what you were saying earlier about how the podcast is for everyone, because we think about it. Everyone dates. Dating doesn’t have like, there’s not only straight people date, it’s gay people date straight people, people who are bisexual people who, you know, don’t date at all. There’s like room for everybody, but we all need some sort of help, or we all want to talk about it. So that’s what the beauty about dating is, is that it’s universal.

Damona  8:26  

Hmm, yeah, that’s so true. And everybody, everybody wants love and everyone deserves us. And, and I’ll even include the asexual people. Cuz Everyone needs like that kind of companionship, and I feel like a lot of people now we’re coming out of this COVID Halo that we’ve been underneath. And a lot of people have kind of just sworn off dating. Like I was just talking with a client the other day and he was just like, I’m just kind of like he doesn’t like to just casually chat with people. So and he was finding that a lot of the guys he was talking to, were just looking for sort of quarantine pen pals. And he’s like, I’m not really into this, like, I want to actually meet in person and until they’re ready to do that, it’s not really worth my time to. What do you say to that?

Donny Meacham  9:20  

Well, that’s my thing is I, a lot of people are saying, Oh, datings got to be easier now. Because we’re all at home. And we literally don’t aren’t doing anything else. We should literally be focusing on dating and talking to people. But I find that that is actually a problem. It’s a hindrance, because we’re just sitting here, we’re bored. So it’s like, what do I need? I need a pen pal. Or going back to the old days of like, I just need somebody to text and to jump online, you find a random person because you’re tired of your roommate, or you’re tired of your friend or you’re tired of always talking to your family to you like, Oh, I talked to somebody new, but you’re not actually looking for a connection you’re looking for. Hey, what’s up? It’s like, Oh, well, I just hung at home today. It’s what you hung at home, and then the conversation ends.

Damona  10:03  

I don’t know about you, but I’ve done plenty of quarantine activities. I did drag queen bingo virtually I got the whole family doing it. We had a great time I did scavenger hunts. I like all these people that are like I’m bored and quarantine. I don’t understand. There’s so many things to do.

Donny Meacham  10:23  

Well, me I’ve just what’s funny is actually I played Bingo. The other day I went 200 bucks.

Donny Meacham  10:27  

What? I gotta get on your Bingo.

Donny Meacham  10:30  

Yeah, I was like what I was like, This is amazing. It that is the one beauty about this is people are being so creative. Yes. It’s what you got to be what you got to be creative in dating too. But I have found because I’ve I use Tinder personally. Tinder is like that’s my go to. Yeah, because some of the other apps aren’t fully inclusive of gay people, because they companies have come around within the years. I remember when Bumble was strictly just for You know, straight couples. Yeah. But then Bumble, like other companies realize that when you allow gay people on it, you increase your usage and you therefore increase revenue, which helps. But I use Tinder because it’s always been inclusive. But I found the same thing. I’m like, I’m matching with guys. But it’s been really weird because now the stay at home order. The algorithm has changed a lot to where I matched with this guy who like is serving overseas in Afghanistan. I was like, how did I have a 10 mile radius?

Damona  11:33  

Oh, yeah, they changed that Tinder changed it? Mm hmm. Yeah. Or whatever. Safer at home. Yeah. Safer

Donny Meacham  11:39  

at home. So I’m like, Alright, that’s cool. But and he’s a really cool guy. And he’s doing great things for children who are suffering over there. And like, That’s amazing. That’s beautiful. You’re great. But this is not going to go anywhere. Yeah, because you’re there. I’m here. And it just it can only go to pen pal. So it’s almost discouraged. Which I think they think it’s helping people because you’re opening yourself up to more matches, but it’s actually discouraging people because you know, right off the bat, this isn’t going anywhere I need to match with people who were physically within reach or physically within my limitations of eventually we will be able to meet up. And if we’re going to be able to meet up, I need to be able to drive to you or ride the train to you, or take an Uber to you

Donny Meacham  12:27  

actually touch you.

Donny Meacham  12:29  

At some point, we will have to touch each other again.

Damona  12:31  

Yeah, I am curious as now we are getting into the dating app discussion. algorithm algorithms, I’m big into algorithms and and really using the app as a tool, just a tool for connection and plugging in the right inputs. So you get the right, the right responses. And and when I say inputs, I mean, your profile, but also the way that you’re searching, but I do really wonder For for LGBT for queer daters. Thank you for allowing me to just say queer for queer daters. I really worry about the algorithms. If I’m being honest with you, I worry, especially for those people who are not either non binary or are bisexual and may not even have a set preference, how it works for them. What do you recommend to daters that are wanting to have a more open? I mean, other than necessarily using Tinder, are there ways that that you recommend using the apps as a tool or do you think it’s just not the most successful tool as of right now for queer daters?

Donny Meacham  13:47  

I will for people who are such as myself, so I’m a gay man who likes other men, that is an option on tender Yeah, if you’re, you know if say you’re trans and sad Some people in the queer community, that’s not their preference. And so therefore, they’re automatically shut out of dating, because that’s not an app on that you can’t go in there and be like, I’m a trans person who’s into other or you could be like, I am a gay individual who’s into trans people. And I know it sounds terrible to say that, but that’s a reality. And it’s a harsh reality when it comes to dating apps. Because if you swiping and if people will automatically, you know, discriminate against them based on what, and there’s no option for them, there’s no option to opt out of it. There’s no option to opt in. And sadly, I think that that comes time for where apps need to develop within themselves of give people the option of I want to opt into this. This is my niche market. This is what I’m into. And sadly, only things like Grindr, which is not necessarily known as a dating app, but a lot of people have to turn to that because you’re allowed to Specifically put on there. This is what I meant to this is what I’m looking for. And as a gay person, we really need to narrow it down for us. Yeah. Okay, wait, we’re not open to everyone.

Damona  15:11  

That’s true. That’s so true. Yeah. And I think, you know, a lot of these products are designed by people that don’t live the life. Like, like, as a person of color. I experienced that too. Like people think, Oh, well, you’re Brown. So like brown things would appeal to you. And it’s like, oh, there’s like a whole range within that. Yes. But I am curious, since you brought up, said Grindr. I had a client that said to me, like, obviously, Grindr. To clarify for those listening has the reputation of being a hookup app. Right. It’s a sex app. It’s a sex, sex, sex app, a hookup app. But I had a client that said to me, really, they all they used it like, in the gay community for them. sex. They’re almost like putting sex as a early filter when I don’t think it’s the same, quite the same in the straight community. And so he was like, I like using Grindr as a dating app. But I don’t really know alternatives. Because if we’re, you know, that’s where we’re starting out. It’s sort of the best option. But But you I mean, you found you have love off of Grindr.

Donny Meacham  16:29  

I have and what’s weird is I’ve I’ve I’ve found many friends off of Grindr, and I have found dates off of there, because it goes back into you use it for what you’re using it for. So if you go on there, and you’re strictly looking for sex, I’m gonna know that right away when you messaged me and you’re like, Hey, what’s up, like, send me nudes. And it’s like, Yeah, no, not doing that. You’re not looking for what I’m looking for at this moment. The crazy thing is is gay men are very forward like that and they will Let you know right off the bat what they’re looking for. But that goes into Grindr, though is is a gay man’s app. So you’re already limiting the scope for queer people to where it’s just men looking for other men to hook up.

Damona  17:14  

That makes sense. That makes sense. Why they brought up, like, send nudes. And you’re so right, like you can. They’re the best, but they’re the worst.

Donny Meacham  17:26  

The best and the worst. They’re terrible.

Damona  17:30  

But I like how you mentioned that it. It’s the it’s how you use the tool. Sure. Right. So what if you get a request for nudes, and I’m speaking to everyone in our in our in our audience right now you get a request for nudes. And like maybe even talking to some maybe it’s not the first message they send but maybe it’s a little further down. And you’re like, Oh, I kind of thought this was going somewhere. Do you automatically cut it off? Do you send the nudes? What do you say? In that situation,

Donny Meacham  18:02  

literally people have to be you got to be firm in what you want. If you’re a lot of people are okay with just sending pictures right away and trust me, I have no shame in that if that’s what you want to do be proud of your body if you want to share it, share it, like that’s, I’m open to that and be totally cool with that. But for me, especially, it’s like well, I’m not going to send that because that’s not necessarily who I am and not what I’m looking for. Eventually down the road, I have no problems. But right now that’s not it. One benefit though is on there it now they’ve added an option to where you can do a timed so the picture will only last three seconds and then it automatically deletes from it just like disappears. So if you can like send it so that way nobody can screenshot it because that’s what you worry about, is when you’re sending a nude photo, and everyone has to think about this just because they see it. Nothing is stopping them from screenshotting it sending it around to their friends show Everybody that they know. And before you realize that, you know, there’s instead of one person seeing all of your junk, there’s about 30 people who have seen everything.

Damona  19:09  

Yeah. And then revenge porn, it could really come back. Well, I was gonna bite you in the ass, but it’s kind of fun.

Donny Meacham  19:20  

But no revenge porn is really actually rampant in the gay community. And it’s really, it’s actually quite sad, but because men especially, and I hate that leaving out lesbians in this but lesbians really do. They get the short end of the stick because there’s not many apps that are out there dedicated solely to them. And partially is because of the old you know, u haul lesbian thing where they think that they kind of settle down right away.

Damona  19:48  

But they move offline too fast.

Donny Meacham  19:50  

They move offline too fast. So it’s not economical for a company to create something for them. And even if you look around, I know here currently I’m in New York City. There’s probably 25 gay bars. There are two lesbian bars. Wow. So you’re like it just goes to show you that more emphasis is placed on the men solely because men are more sexualized. So we do take that into the dating apps, hence why Grindr is so successful. Hmm.

Damona  20:23  

Wow, you are educating me, Donnie? I am learning things that I did not. I did not know. What about ghosting that’s we talk about that a lot on the show, obviously, and I’m curious during quarantine. If you have seen any change like even with like the virtual dates, or I know people are starting to kind of move offline. How What do you see happening for ghosting during the time of quarantine and is it different in the in the queer community, or is it just as bad or worse as straight daters ghosting is has been off the hook since before quote COVID started.

Donny Meacham  21:06  

Oh no ghosting is like savage in the gig like, came in especially they have at no problem ghosting you. It is it is just ruthless, but I find it’s actually tire in the quarantine because people think we’re sitting at home a lot of people are unemployed right now. So you’re thinking, alright, you’re not doing anything you have time, but you’re bored. And a lot of people which is taken to a little side is they’re depressed or they’re dealing with things and they’re just trying to get out of it personally. So they may not have time to talk to somebody, just because you know, depression weighs you down and your mental health kind of works at you. So you’re like, oh, that person messaged me. I don’t want to get back to them. And before you realize it’s three days later, and you’re like, Oh, well, three days that’s too late and then you just stop all communication. So technically you did ghost them, but you didn’t even mean to go them.

Damona  22:01  

Yeah. And if you really flip it from that perspective, Donnie, and you look at it, as you know, it’s not always intentional. I think sometimes we do take it so, personally, and I’ve recommended to listeners before that if there’s somebody that you really wanted to talk to just pick up the thread again, and especially like, a lot of our straight female listeners are like, well, I can’t do that. That’s like, now I’m chasing him. But it’s just, it’s situational. It’s sheer volume. The reality is, you’re dating many people, right?

Donny Meacham  22:36  

Yeah. Well, I I have a little controversy on the fact that I think when it comes to dating, you really have to put aside your pride A lot of times, because people are like, Oh, I just like chasing them. It’s like and what’s wrong with chasing somebody that you’re into? There’s a difference of you if them saying I’m not interested, you continue to message if the messages is kind of trailed off, and You know, pick it back up, that’s not chasing them. That’s you showing initiative. And a lot of people need initiative. Because a lot of people are lazy. You think, which is true people are lazy. And they need you to say, Hey, what are you doing? Hey, do you want to jump on a zoom call? Do you want to jump on House Party, which is like an app for your phone where you can do? You can play games and stuff with somebody in video. And people need initiative. They need a push and that’s totally okay to do.

Damona  23:31  

I like that. You You mentioned house party. Yeah, because a lot of tim’es people are like, I don’t know what to do. Like on a zoom day. It’s like you and me and the wall behind me know I love

Donny Meacham  23:43  

people. I’m telling you, if you do house party is an app, it is free, which is the best value and get on there because there’s games you can play. You can play like charades with somebody you can play heads up, which is the game where you get love. And that’s just an icebreaker. Yeah, you think about it when you meet somebody at a bar the icebreaker is the waiter, the bartender, the other people at the bar. Those are icebreakers. When you eliminate those. You need one at the house and I don’t want to date I don’t want to go on a virtual date somebody is playing video games. I need them paying attention to me. So what you do is you bring the icebreaker to them by creating it through the app.

Damona  24:23  

I love that such good advice, Donnie. I’m learning so much and I’m gonna Can I Can we be friends on house party? Can I like

Donny Meacham  24:32  

please? Can we I am. I am really good.

Donny Meacham  24:37  

Okay, love trivia.

Damona  24:39  

I am terrible at trivia, but my husband is excellent. So I figured out it used to cause a lot of drama actually, in a relationship. No joke, like we had Trivial Pursuit and I would always just get mad and turn into like a whining child because he would just beat me so mercilessly. This has been a theme throughout our entire relationship like he always wins at games. And then I realize Like, Oh, just get on his team, and then you always win. And it’s been a lot better in the last couple of years.

Donny Meacham  25:08  

This is funny because you bring up a point, actually anybody, because when you’re dating somebody, it takes a minute to kind of see what their personality traits are. But if you’re doing something via house party, if you’re playing a game with somebody, and they are getting super competitive, and they’re angry, and you’re not into that, you’re gonna see that right away, so technically, that works in your favor.

Damona  25:30  

Fortunately, he saw it right away. We played pool on our second day, and again, he just beat me just mercilessly. And I was like, I thought you liked me like why would you beat me so badly and again, like, mercilessly, no, no mercy? And he was like, well, this is the kind of guy I am Wouldn’t you rather that you know that I’m a guy with integrity that’s going to be prioritize being honest in the game, over letting you And so he’s still is that guy but I still haven’t learned how to beat him at school.

Donny Meacham  26:05  

I love that I that’s a tip for that I always give is just be I know sounds crazy, but be yourself but being yourself is don’t let them win. If you’re good at it, be good at it.

Damona  26:18  

Well, it worked out for us in the end, but I’m still thinking about it was so

Donny Meacham  26:23  

many years later so I get a little angry but

Damona  26:26  

we’re definitely we’re definitely gonna play on house party. All right, we’re gonna take a quick break when we come back. We have questions from our listeners that have been submitted for our next segment. So stick around. We’re back and Donnie and I are going to answer the questions that you’ve submitted over the last few weeks specifically, we have a lot of questions geared towards pride month but they can apply to everyone who is dating in the time of Coronavirus oh yeah Coronavirus still happening. Before we go to the questions, I first need to shout some of you out those of you who’ve taken the time to write a podcast review. I thank you. Specifically, I just want to thank Clarice for saying that this is an awesome podcast, and that we highlight all the aspects of relationships and more and that this is a can’t miss podcast for her. We can’t miss you either. And so I hope you are listening on the regular still and I encourage you, and everyone listening to share this show with a friend. Let’s bring more love in the world. We really need it right now. Now moving on to your questions. I am here with Donnie and it’s time for technically dating. Alright, Donnie, we have questions from our listeners. And I know you have answers so I can’t wait.

Donny Meacham  27:45  

Oh, we got lots of answers.

Damona  27:46  

Let’s do it. Okay, this one comes to us from Instagram. And this person says I miss my ex and I’ve been tempted to reach out and check on him. Is this a good idea?

Donny Meacham  28:01  

Wow, ah, you know, when it comes to exes, I really am the worst at it because I have a different approach and other people do. I stay in contact with my ex, I stay in contact with all my exes and I stay in contact immediately after when we break up. But granted, I’ve had decent breakups, we didn’t end things terribly. They weren’t, you know, emotionally physically abusive or anything like that. They were just common decency. So that is my rule of thumb is if the breakup was good, if there was no strings attached, you just broke up. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to them. Because they are a person too. And if they’re, you know, they’re going through a hard time. I say there’s nothing wrong with it. But you have to ask yourself, What are you trying to get out of it? Right? If you What are you okay with saying, hey, how is everything and if their response is just, Hey, I’m doing good. And you can leave it at that then okay. If you want more You have to ask yourself, am I okay with the response I’m gonna get?

Damona  29:04  

Yeah. And that’s always the thing, right? What do you what do you want? Because rarely I actually just got a message from a client who said her ex has been reaching out to her and then sent her a birthday cake. And yeah, for her birthday, and I’m like, uh, I don’t think that that’s just like a friendly like, Hey, how you doing?

Donny Meacham  29:25  

Right? No, that’s, that’s another thing. It’s like he obviously wants more. What are you willing to give back? Mm hmm.

Donny Meacham  29:34  

Everybody always wants something from us.

Donny Meacham  29:37  

Always something because ultimately, and the sad thing is, is right now we’re in a safer at home. You’re staying home. They’re just as bored as you are. So if you think that you’re bored, you’re at home, you’re reaching out to people. Third, probably in the same boat. They’re just as bored as you are. So there might be reaching out to you out of boredom. Yes, yeah, always. Keep that.

Donny Meacham  30:01  

But also in these moments when we have a lot of extra time and space to,

Damona  30:07  

to think sometimes we go back to those past relationships, and we idealize them. And we think, oh, why did I break up with him or her? At because now like, now I’m single, and I’m going through quarantine alone. And maybe it wasn’t that bad. And then we forget all of the other stuff and all the reasons why we actually broke up. And in our romantic view of the relationship, it was perfect. And we missed a good thing.

Donny Meacham  30:33  

Yeah, well, hindsight. I mean, the old thing hindsight is 20. That goes with dating too, because we ultimately forget the negative little arguments that happen and you just think about, oh my gosh, remember that amazing time we had in Central Park. Remember that amazing time we had at Disney World? Because those are the big memories. And you often forget just the little fights where it’s like, he never complimented you or he made you feel Like he made you feel worthless or he made you feel bad about yourself, you kind of tend to forget those moments because it’s like in life do you think about with family? What do you remember with family? You’re there remember the really bad moments or you remember the really good moments you don’t remember each individual time that your mom got you a birthday card. You don’t remember that. But you remember, she took you to get your first car. That’s kind of like how dating is you remember the good, and oftentimes we forget about the little things that happened in between.

Damona  31:30  

Yes, yep. The stories we tell ourselves. Okay, this question comes to us. from a friend of the show, his name is Alexander. He actually hosts a wonderful podcast called on the rocks. He’s asking for tips for meeting someone the first time after a couple of months of constant FaceTime dates.

Donny Meacham  31:49  

All right, so this is I can I give up I’m gonna take it back for a second on the little tip when you’re facetiming somebody and I know this might sound terrible. I roll up Thumb for me is do not dress up for them. Because you’re at home, you’re allowed to be in your comfort zone. And for me, it’s just a little tip. Yeah, like right now I’m just wearing like a nice little casual buttoned up, my hair is done more than I would normally do. But I didn’t go crazy. I didn’t go out of the way. And that’s how it should be when you’re meeting somebody via FaceTime. Because it’s going to add that level of suspense because when they see you in person, and in person, we all doll up for the first date, just something that we do when they see you, it’s going to add a level of attraction to it. Hmm. And so if it’s like, I was like, Oh, wow. And you’re gonna shock them and you’re gonna surprise them. And to me, it’s gonna make the date right off the bat more intense, which is a good thing.

Damona  32:49  

Interesting. See, I always say dress for the, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Yeah, so dress for the day. The way that you would show up, but you’re kind of holding back Little some

Donny Meacham  33:01  

yeah I I’ve always been that way I’ve even gone I know this is like I said some people disagree with me but I’m even on the very first date is not when you Wow them you Wow them on the third day you wild them on the fourth day because I know when I wake up in the morning it’s a pretty it’s a little rough job

Damona  33:22  

by that not for a second

Donny Meacham  33:26  

and eventually they’re gonna see that so I’m very pro on give them for what they’re gonna see. Yeah, maybe you want to wear a little mascara or even I wear a little concealer. It’s Yeah, that’s fine but really wow them wait to wow them because they have to earn that from you.

Damona  33:44  

Hmm, now you’re using now you’re using my terminology like that. earn it earn it earn it.

Donny Meacham  33:50  

Okay for his advice though, I’ve just given a little advice real quick.

Damona  33:53  

Yes, I’ve given some of

Donny Meacham  33:55  

it is going to be hard because you’re going to be nervous because right now We’re seeing each other, we’re looking at each other and you’re doing that during a date, you are connecting with that person. So when you meet up, and when you meet up a first time, you’re actually going to know them better than you would if you just met up. So think of something that they’ve said in the past conversations. If you’ve been communicating for a while, think of what they like, do, you’ve had time to communicate, that’s when you go alright. I remember this one time, he said, he loves bowling sounds silly. But I’m gonna take him bowling, that’s your opportunity to show that you have listened to the multiple conversations. And that’s going to put take a little pressure off the date, because we’re all nervous when you’re meeting it for the first time, but it’s also going to impress them.

Damona  34:48  

That’s great. Yeah. And show everybody just wants to be listened to. So showing that you’ve been listening to them is really key. And then I like that it’s an activity date. So it’s the same as What you’re saying about FaceTime dates, it’s not just like, here we are sitting over dinner, but you can kind of skip ahead. If you’ve been having all those FaceTime dates. It’s almost like, take like my third date and on recommendations and see what happens. Okay, let me ask you one more question. This comes to us from Ned. He says,

Donny Meacham  35:20  

Hello to Mona. My situation is as follows are down. And one of the many things is a little far away from me. So far, it’s going well, as far as I could tell, he can’t really tell anything without that physical chemistry.

Damona  35:38  

He’s been very sweet and communicative via text and FaceTime, but how do I know if any of it is real?

Donny Meacham  35:45  

Alright, so two things here. First is I’m going to say this is a big deal breaker for me is when you’re dealing with somebody on an app for me, you have two weeks to take it off the app. Okay, too. Two weeks you haven’t texted me. We haven’t FaceTime we haven’t zoomed. We haven’t made a plan to meet up when we can. There’s no point you’re wasting your time. Mm hmm. Because within two, yeah, within two weeks, I’m not pen pal. I know I have friends. I can text all day. What I am going to save this being a somebody now who lives in New York City. I remember when I first came out, I was like, oh, there’s somebody who lives a state away. That’s no problem. Now, if I get on Grindr, and they’re more than 500 feet away, I’m like, Oh, I’m not doing that. It really does change as you get older. But I’m going to say four hours. I’m sorry. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s just it’s not gonna work being that it’s so new. I have no problems with long distance dating. If you have met the person there because I for a while dated a guy who lived in Philly. I went to Philly. him he was amazing, Philly’s only two hours. So I was taking the bus and I was going to see him. But I met him physically first. Hmm. I find it very hard for online long term dating.

Damona  37:12  

Yeah, that’s the key, I think long term right. So I have had a lot of clients that have met and married or moved into serious relationships with someone who lives long distance. But the question I always asked at the ask at the beginning, is are you open to moving? Or is that could that person also relocate? Like, how if you play this forward, how is it going to end? So that’s, I think at the core of Ned’s answer like, can they care? Is there a world in which they can actually physically be together? Because for hours back and forth is not really sustainable? I don’t think like you said two hours. It’s probably the max as far as max. Yeah. And Ned

Donny Meacham  37:54  

right now, there’s nothing wrong with you asking and people are gonna say, Oh, it’s too soon. It’s no It’s not to say there’s nothing wrong with you asking him, Hey, if this was to go further, do you see yourself moving? And if he says no, and you know that your life is where you are, it’s it’s not gonna work. I mean, and there’s nothing wrong with asking that when it comes to long term, long distance relationships, because when it’s long distance, some of the rules are immediately scrapped. Mm hmm. And there is no there’s nothing wrong with asking and being blunt. You can say I don’t plan on moving. Do you plan on moving ever? Yeah, nothing wrong with that.

Damona  38:34  

Yeah. But pretty soon, he should figure out what’s really going on, right? Because Yeah, I’ve spent three weeks. They’ve been texting and facetiming. But the only way to know that it’s real is to move off the app, right?

Donny Meacham  38:48  

Yeah, you have to move up the app and you got to be straightforward with what you’re looking for.

Damona  38:53  

Donnie? I adore you. I can’t wait. When you go to LA we all hang out. In the meantime. We’re going to be playing house party. Yes. And I hope all of our listeners will follow you on Instagram at dating, Donnie. So why? Oh, dating down with you. I will put the link in the show notes to check them out, y’all. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. That is it for Episode 313 of dates and mates. You can follow Donnie on Instagram at dating, Donnie, do n NY and make sure to check out the podcast naughty but nice, trust me. It is so fun. And remember also that we need your voice now, more than ever. I don’t usually talk politics on the show. But I really want to encourage you to use your voice and to vote. And just like I want you to become confident in dating and relationships. I want to encourage you to take that same energy and invest it in democracy. Some states have primary elections coming up Hello, Georgia, West Virginia, June 9. That’s tomorrow. After this episode drops, and Atlanta, I know you’re listening because I have a lot of listeners in Atlanta who’ve written to me, so make sure you have your voice heard. Also on the 23rd, Kentucky and New York, shout out to my peeps in New York. And remember, there are so many more things on the ballot that matter than just president. So pay attention to your local government and your Senate and House races as well as ballot initiatives, as those are all things that are going to affect your day to day rites and experiences. If you’re curious which causes I’m supporting right now, I’ve just made donations to the black futures lab and n double A CP Legal Defense Fund to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard in this country. I encourage you to support them or whichever causes will create the change you want to see in the world. Thank you to those of us who’ve supported the show by becoming a Patreon friends with benefits. You can get show exclusives and contribute to this podcast. Continuing To expand and heal more hearts by signing up for just $5 a month@patreon.com, slash dates and mates, in spite of everything happening right now, I know your love lives are not unhold and I still want to hear from you. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials, connect with me. Send me your questions, send me your thoughts, use your voice. And until next week, I wish you happy dating

Dear Damona: Quarantine Love Questions


For the past 2 months, my DMs have been flooded with your questions about love in the time of coronavirus. They have been coming in so fast that I’ve barely been able to keep up and of course the situation has been changing moment to moment.

So today’s special episode of Dates & Mates is 100% dedicated to answering your specific corona love questions.

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!


Damona answers listener questions about love and dating in this unprecedented time. She gives advice on: 

What to do when you’re engaged but have never spent this much time together? (4:45)

Hi Damona, this is Patty. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia. And I just had a question for you. So I have been with my fiance for the past month almost three years, which is great. We’re actually supposed to get married this Summer but we’re going to have to reschedule. So that’s not fun. But the most interesting thing about these last six months weeks of working from home together. We just never spent that much time together before good thing is we still like each other. We still want to get married and we’ve not had too many major issues. But I just want to make sure that we’re taking care of each other and giving each other our space and I guess my real question is how do we make sure we don’t go and say nor into big fights and give each other space during this time because we love each other, but we just spending so much time together. So that’s my question.

How to keep moving towards marriage in a pandemic? (9:15)

Lockdown occurred 5 months into us dating. We FaceTime a lot and it’s going great! I want to define the relationship but the timing of this is a bit extreme since we haven’t seen each other in person in many weeks. How do I stay the course and keep the romantic relationship moving towards marriage coming out of a pandemic?

How do you break up during quarantine? (12:00)

How do you break up during this Quarantine? Or do you just let it ride till we are out of this?

When is it okay to move from sexting to sex in a pandemic? (14:20)

Is it ok to do an in-person date after getting tested negative for corona?

Can healthcare workers even date right now? (19:40)

I’m an RN and I’m volunteering to go to NYC to help the crisis. Being sent in a week. I should probably just assume I’m not gonna be dating anyone for a while considering I’ll still have a 2 week quarantine even after I’m done, right?

What are the best apps to meet right now? (21:35)

Now that all of us in America and Europe are stuck at home, what are the best apps or ways to virtually meet people around the world?

How not to lean too much on your partner for emotional support? (24:20)

What are fair expectations to have? What is the appropriate way to deal with not seeing your partner for like..months or potentially longer? I also feel like its so easy to put more emotional weight on your partner when you are more isolated from other friends/emotional supports and I want to know about ways to mitigate that impulse

How will coronavirus change dating forever? (27:40)

Do you think Coronavirus and confinement will change the way we date deeply? I believe being reminded collectively that we can all be sick and we will all die can push us towards more meaningful connections but is this naive?


Do you want to hear more about Shannon and Mel’s Quarantine Love Success? Read all about it here! Shannon and her man give us the CUTEST quarantine date idea.


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that into me. I’ve always been bad for attention. I’m ready for

Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers. Welcome to dates in mates. You know for the past two months, my DMS have been flooded with questions about love in the time of Coronavirus. They have been coming in so fast and so furious that I’ve barely been able to keep up and of course the situation has been changing moment to moment. So today, we have a special deer damona episode that is 100% dedicated to answering your specific korona love questions before we get to tackling the challenges. I’d like to start off with a quarantine love success story from one of our listeners Shannon. after a breakup. She attended my 30 day dating playbook webinar in January and found love soon after. Here’s her story.

Unknown Speaker  1:06  

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.

Damona  4:15  

Shannon also told us about an adorable quarantine date that they had. You can listen to it and see pictures of Shannon and her man on the blog at dates and mates calm. If you need a sweet date idea or you’re craving a romantic story. This is it my friends, check it out at dates and maids calm. Hopefully you find Shannon’s story as inspiring as I do. I want that same happy ending for you too. But I know you have a lot of questions right now. So it’s time to get to the heart of the matter and see what’s on your mind.

Unknown Speaker  4:48  

Hi, Damona This is Patti. I’m based in Atlanta, Georgia, and I just had a question for you. So I have been with my fiance for the past. almost three years, which is great. We’re actually supposed to get married this summer, but we’re gonna have to reschedule. So that’s not fun. But the most interesting thing about these last six weeks of working from home together, is we just never spent that much time together before. Good thing is we still like each other, we still want to get married. And we’ve not had too many major issues. But I just want to make sure that we’re taking care of each other and giving each other space. And I guess my real question is, how do we make sure we don’t go insane or get into big fights? And give each other space during this time? Because we love each other, but we just spending so much time together.

Damona  5:44  

Patti, first of all, I want to say congratulations on your marriage, your upcoming marriage. And also, I’m really sorry, there are so many big life events that are being canceled right now. And it does require us to take some time. to mourn that loss like so I’m sure that that is an element that is also affecting the interactions with your partner right now. So maybe just even give yourselves this time if you haven’t talked about it, to really let your feelings out over the fact that you can’t have the wedding that you wanted to have right now. Now, that aside, this is a great opportunity for you, you’re actually getting to work through a lot of the challenges that many couples don’t face until much further down the road. And you’re getting to see what that really is like in the worst case scenario. And I promise you, marriage is not as hard as quarantine relationships will be. I love that you said, you want to make sure that you’re taking care of each other. That is such a key fundamental thing to develop in a relationship to feel that you almost want more for the other person than you want for yourself. I’m not saying give everything away. That’s also not healthy, but I always try Try to think of the other person and how I can meet their needs first, and then hopefully, if you are with the right partner and it sounds like you are, that person will be doing the same for you. And if you’re both taking care of each other, then both of your needs are getting met. Now, in terms of conflict resolution, you want to make sure that you are focusing on listening, listening, listening, listening. And again, thinking of it from the other person’s perspective, especially in the time of quarantine, keeping in mind that he may be just feeling that pressure of finances, that’s also a big thing for men, making sure that they can provide and take care of you. Of course, ladies, we got our own stuff, but that’s still something that’s intrinsic in the way that men are brought up. So this is probably a very scary time for him as well. So make sure that you are sensitive to that and keeping that filter on everything. He’s saying to you, and then it’s really important that couples have their own space, their own physical space, or a process to help you recharge, so that you are coming to your partner with the best possible you. It’s also great if you can set up a schedule, like you would have had, when you were out of quarantine, you weren’t together all day, every day you were working, you were doing other things. Make sure you have that schedule still. And that you have times that you come back together. I talked on the show before about the importance of quarantine date nights, have that time where you can look forward to being together again. And then the time in between that that you are separated even if you’re in the same room. I love my apple EarPods Pro, they’re not paying me to say this but they have really amazing noise cancelling function where you can just block everything out focus on what you have to do and then when you are ready to focus on your partner. You can Focus on each other. And I really, really hope that you have the wedding that you dream of, maybe it’s not going to be this summer, but that you are really able to celebrate your love the way that you want to do it when the time is right.

Our next question came to us. In an email this person says locked down occurred five months into us dating, we facetimed a lot and it’s going great. I want to define the relationship at the timing of this is a bit extreme. Since we haven’t seen each other in person in many weeks. How do I stay the course and keep the romantic relationship moving towards marriage coming out of a pandemic? Hold on a second moving towards marriage. You’ve been dating five months and I know there are many relationships that are very successful after only dating a few weeks or months. But let’s not put the cart before the horse you had five months of dating and now you’ve had at least two months separation. So let’s just put the big M word aside for a minute, that may not be the path that we’re on and that is okay. It’s okay not to know. This is something that I really help my clients develop in my one on one coaching program, the comfortability with discomfort, right? Getting to be okay with not having the answers, not knowing where something is headed at every point. And you’ve heard me say this on the show before, as well. Being okay being in the moment and letting things unfold. We’ve kind of lost the sense of mystery. And a lot of times people think because I talk about dating, planning, and having a strategy for dating, that you should know every single thing that’s going to unfold for you know, we’re still dealing with people, we’re still dealing with emotions. We’re also in a pandemic, we’re dealing with an ever changing situation. So just let that sink in for a moment. And let’s just look at where you are right now. How can you be more connected virtually? Can you do some, some scheduled virtual dates? Can you send each other gifts across the miles? Can you create some sort of a ritual that reminds each other what you had when you were together two months ago? And then maybe you can make some plans about what you’d like to do together when all of this is over. But let’s not put too much pressure on the moment right now, because depending on where you are, this could be going on for a lot longer. And you don’t know this person may have changed during the pandemic, you may have changed. So try to release the expectation if you can. This question was sent to us from a listener in La

Unknown Speaker  12:02  

damona helped me with this whole quarantine? Is it okay to break up with somebody during the Korean team? And if so, do we do it on the phone? Can I FaceTime? Can I just send a text? Or do we have to wait until this is all over before we can break up with somebody they keep making plans for when we get out of this, I don’t want to be with them.

Damona  12:22  

Here’s the deal. We have a responsibility to find our best possible partner, the person that is going to make you the most happy. So by staying in a relationship that’s not right for you, you’re you’re actually blocking two people from their relationship destiny, you’re doing yourself a disservice and you’re doing that other person as a disservice. And I know we’re in a time where isolation feels really scary. And it feels really heavy because we’ve been in it for a while. So you may be thinking, should I just stay in this because it’s convenient because I have this person here or because it’s awkward to end things when we are not in the same space. But ultimately, we have to take care of ourselves, we have to take care of our emotional well being. And if being in a relationship with this person is dragging you down, that’s the last thing that you need added onto your plate when we have so much else that we are sorting through. So I would say if you can flip it in your mind and not think of it as like crushing this person, soul, but think about it as liberating that person and liberating yourself that will help you approach this person with compassion. When you do end it. Now, a breakup text, never, never The best way to handle it. But ideally, you want to do it with the most possible connection. So that may be a phone call, that may be a video call, that may even be a distance meeting. Now that’s going to be kind of hard in this particular situation, but if you can just visualize Eyes, the best possible option for yourself and then find a time to connect with that person not when they’re on the go not when they’re in the middle of work, but when you can have some dedicated time to let them know how much they have meant to you and what they’ve given to you. But to then release them to be able to find their best match so that you can do that too. So we have two questions that are similar that have come to us from Instagram asks, Is it okay to do an in person date after getting tested negative for Corona? and Jordan says when is it okay to move from sexting to sex in a pandemic, asking for all my friends, depending on where you are, I highly recommend getting tested. I’m here in Los Angeles where testing is free for all residents. So if you have that, take advantage of it. I do recommend that once you get tested that your partner also gets tested this is like the new STI actually research shows that Corona virus is actually active in the sperm of people who have the virus. So it is an STI technically, we don’t know how that may transmit sexually, okay. So, we have to also consider if you are having sex with someone, it may pass through sperm, it may also pass through saliva, it may you going to be touching faces potentially I, there’s just a lot of risk. So you have to protect yourself and protect the other person. But just like with STI s, I think you can say I’ve gotten tested, have you and I’d love to be intimate with you. But I want to make sure we’re both being safe. That can get you from sexting to sex in a pandemic, but I think this is a time to not take connections lightly because it literally can be life or death is sex with this person worth your life. You have to make that decision. But a lot of people aren’t taking this as seriously as it truly is. I would say try to save it if you can. May is also masturbation month. We haven’t talked about that much on the show but hey, it’s it’s good timing. Let’s move on. Now that we have crossed the barrier into some racier topics, we’re going to take a little break. But before we go, I have one more quarantine love success story. This one comes to us from a listener named Mel.

Unknown Speaker  16:33  

I started listening to a date to me it’s 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.

Damona  18:23  

If you are in the Patreon Friends with Benefits Program, you may have seen my secret training video which was just posted with Susan ibex the face reader in it. I did a profile Polish for Mel. And y’all you have to see it. It left her speechless. We also told her how to look for the right matches online just based on their facial features. Apparently, she took the advice to heart and it worked for her, it could work for you too. If you’re not part of the Patreon Friends with Benefits community. I’d love for you to have access to all of them. bonus content, the Facebook community, plus a discount on all of my online programs, you can join for as little as $5 a month, or for $100. You can get a profile Polish from me just like Mel did. You can see what’s inside the club@patreon.com slash dates and mates. And hopefully we will hear your success story on a future episode. Again, that’s patreon.com slash dates and mates do check the show notes for the link. More questions from you in just a moment. Stick around. We’re back. You asked, I answered. And there’s more dear damona This one is a DM on Twitter from Rio. Rio says I’m an RN and I’m volunteering to go to NYC to help the crisis being sent in a week. I should probably just assume I’m not going to be dating anyone for a while considering I still have a two week quarantine even After I’m done, right? Rio is 100%. Right? In this particular situation, I’m all for like, all dating all the time, right? I think it’s all great practice. But you also have to keep in mind, the mental state that you’re in, and the other things that are priorities in your life. Right now like, what, what if you did madly fall in love with someone, and then you cannot talk to them? I’m sure you’re going to be working 12 plus hour shifts, and you’re going to be tied up for at least a few weeks, and then maybe a few more weeks. So is this the right time to potentially embark on your life changing love? Maybe not. Maybe this is a better time while you have this week to yourself to do some self work to do some mental health preparation because I’m sure it’s going to be rough like you’re going into battle Rio, and thank you by the way Thank you for serving the community in New York and all of the people that are suffering from this virus we need you. So we want you to be the healthiest you can be to be at your best self. And we know you know, from listening to prior episodes, that love is like your brain on drugs. And you need to have your brain 100% in the in the game. So even though I’m all dating all the time, I think this is the time for you to focus on you. And to get your get your mind right to get your heart right, and to get ready to serve. This question comes to us from joy from LA give it a listen.

Unknown Speaker  21:40  

This is joy from LA and I want to know, now that all of us in America and Europe are stuck at home, what are the best apps or ways to virtually meet people around the world?

Damona  21:53  

This is literally one of the most asked questions that I get. So I’m not going to sound like a broken record, but I’m just gonna To remind you that apps are specific to each person finding the right app is as important as finding the right person. You have to sample and each city has a different app that’s really hot there. So you have to figure out what’s the right app for your city. What’s the right app for you. You’ll look at the functionality, the matches, you’ll also look at the response rates that you’re getting, you want to split test. I’m going to get really dating expert nerdy right now, you’re going to be on two different apps. And you’re going to have a substantially similar profile on both apps, same pictures, similar text, obviously, each app has a bio like about me. And then some of them have different ways that they put other information in or lack of information, no comment on which app that is. You talk about America and Europe. I want to just remind you that now we have a really exciting opportunity that you’re dating pool has expanded beyond just your local community. And, you know, the sad little five mile radius that most people have been doing to the entire world, what a great time to actually be able to date internationally. Because there’s no risk, you won’t be able to meet in person for a while and you can practice your dating skills, and maybe find somebody that’s going to be a great emotional support through this pandemic, and possibly a very exciting international love in terms of ways to virtually meet around the world. I have been hearing about virtual speed dating, I think that’s a really fun idea. You can also look for Facebook communities and online communities that are around a particular interest that you have and see who you might be able to chat with there. I’m telling you, like Instagram is poppin in terms of a it’s a dating app, and people are searching hashtags and finding new friends that way. So I encourage you to like Look through the the accounts that you like, or even on Twitter, look through threads that are interesting to you. And you can begin a conversation with someone virtually that way. And just look at this as an interesting experiment, and the time that we have during this pandemic, to date a little bit differently and see how it might affect your dating life. Lucy sent us this question. She says what are fair expectations to have? What is the appropriate way to deal with not seeing your partner for like months or potentially longer. I also feel like it’s so easy to put more emotional weight on your partner when you are more isolated from other friends and emotional supports. And I want to know about ways to mitigate that impulse. Lucy, thank you so much for highlighting this. I talked about this a little bit on NPR. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders and life kit, but it’s very dangerous for you to put all of the weight on your partner to be here. Everything. And yes, that is the impulse right now because we don’t have our friend circle. We don’t have our family. I just want to like give my mama hug. And I can’t even do that, right? But what can you do? Instead of looking at what you can’t do, let’s look at what is available to you. You can still do video chats with your friends or even just phone calls. You can write letters to people, which like when was the last time you wrote letters, you can journal and get your feelings out in that way. You can do meditation, yoga, virtual workouts like I am rolling deep in my one peloton, community and I feel I literally I did my hundredth peloton ride this week, and I literally bawled for like five minutes of it. Because I saw I had so many high fives from these people that I didn’t even know that were so happy for me. I’m almost going to cry again. Right now you guys, there are so happy for me that I made it to 100 rides, and I didn’t even know them. And then I posted about it in the, in the peloton, community. And more people commented and gave me more virtual high fives. So it’s easy to look at it like we are alone and we’re isolated. But it’s amazing if you just step out a little bit and you just reach out how much of a community really is out there to support you. Remember that you have to still make connecting, feel special, make it feel special again. So even if you can’t see each other, you want to continue to send Good morning texts and remind each other that you’re thinking of one another. You want to still find ways to connect virtually maybe it’s on the phone, maybe it’s video chat. Maybe it’s social distance I’ve been to I mean maybe I’m gonna get arrested by the LAPD. I don’t know. I’ve been doing Social distance, wind dates with my girlfriends, we sit six feet apart, outdoors. And we hang and it feels like old times, we’re just a little further apart. And we’re just a little bit in the element. So you bring a blanket and you keep it cute. We don’t have to let this pandemic make us feel limited. We can look for other ways that we can explore different kinds of relationships and different ways to connect. And we don’t know we don’t have the answers. We don’t know how long this is going to go on for. So let this be an opportunity to get to know your partner in a different way.

Our last question came to me from an Instagram dm this comes from Judith all the way from France. Hello Judith. I don’t speak any French. So I was gonna try and be cute and say like something in French but I can’t. But hopefully you can understand me if You wrote into the show in English, you understand what I’m about to say. So Judith asks, do you think Coronavirus and confinement will change the way we date deeply? I believe being reminded collectively that we can all be sick, and we will all die can push us towards more meaningful connections. But is this naive? naive girlfriend, you just said we will all die. You went all the way there. Maybe it’s a French thing? I don’t know. But let’s take that apart out. Like Yes, we are reminded of our own mortality. I think more people are afraid of the sickness right now. But I don’t know that it’s really ultimately going to change dating. So will it remind us that we need to make more meaningful connections? Will it cause more meaningful connections? I believe so. In the short term, I what I’m seeing right now is that people are fatiguing of the multiple multiple dates in a week or in a weekend that we used to have. And I think this is because you don’t know where it’s going. And so it was easy to just do a one off day we’ll just meet for coffee or drinks before the pandemic. But now, getting to know someone may be like a nightly FaceTime commitment. And a lot of people aren’t really up for that if they are not sure that somebody is going to be the one. So I’m seeing that people are spending more time getting to know fewer people, rather than treating everyone as if they’re disposable and looking for the next best thing. And I think that that is a great thing because it’s teaching us a valuable skill. Now, ultimately, I do think the speed of dating is going to increase. But my hope is that yes, we will be able to listen a little bit better. We’ll be able to stay in the moment more we’ll be able to evaluate our matches more thoroughly before we just run out to the bar and grab a drink with someone that We haven’t really gotten to know anything about. But ultimately, it’s up to you all. It’s up to you, Judith, it’s up to everyone that’s listening right now. If you want to see a change in the culture, if you you hated that swipe, swipe, swipe date, date, sex sex sex system that we were in, then why don’t you be the change that you wish to see in the world? That’s it for today’s episode. Thanks for joining me for dear Dimona, it’s Episode 310. If you have a question that didn’t make it on this show, and you want to hear it answered on a future episode, don’t be shy. You can DM me at damona Hoffman on all the socials or send me a voicemail or email and my voicemail numbers 424-246-6255 email Dimona at damona Hoffman comm I’ll put all that good stuff in the show notes. But if you are ready if you’ve been a Inspired by something that I said today, and you’re ready to dive in and have something, some of those more meaningful connections, I have my 30 day dating playbook program that’s here for you when you’re ready to get back to the new normal and get back into action. And it can work for virtual dates, it can work for offline data, wherever you are, it’s there for you at 30 day, dating.com, three, zero, day dating.com. And for those of you who are just exploring the idea, or if you’ve been listening for a while, and you just want to expand your relationship with me, let’s change our relationship status. And you can join that Patreon community@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. It’s just five bucks y’all. So if you love the show, support us, why not we can keep making more dates and mates. You can keep getting your love advice, and it’s just five bucks a month. And you can also get the full profile Polish for me if you want something that’s a little more bespoke, that’s at the hundred dollar level and you can emerge From this quarantine into the beautiful dating butterfly that you were meant to be, like clockwork We will be back again bright and early next Monday with a rather unorthodox proposal story that you simply have to hear. Until next week. I wish you good health and happy dating

4 Binge Worthy Dates & Mates Episodes

New to the Dates & Mates Podcast and Damona Hoffman? Here’s where you start.


Episode 300: A Master Class on the Future of Dating

In this Master Class, Damona covers:

  • How to survive the disappearance of dating apps
  • The ONE THING you must do before you start a relationship
  • The gender roles of tomorrow and how to prepare for this shift
  • How to diversify your dating pool now
  • and so much more!


Episode 307: Tall Guy Vibe & Keeping It Cute

In the most recent episode of Dates & Mates, Damona tackles the “height question”: should height really matter in dating today?

Hot Take: Height is irrelevant in today’s world because physical traits no longer signal to women the biological need to feel provided for. Controversial, we know! Damona also gets a guy’s opinion on what pet peeves men really have in dating.

Read the full blog recap here!


Episode 290: A Master Class on How To Change Bad Dating Habits

Damona shows you how to fix your these bad dating habits:

  • Ghosting – no one wants to be ghosted but almost everyone does it – then we make excuses for why that person didn’t deserve our time or the respect of a real response.
  • Obligaswiping – Do you have a dating app installed on your phone right now that you hate? 
  • First Date Fails
    • No pre-dating 
    • Not showing up your best 
  • The Set it and Forget it profile
  • The Texting Trap – Texting is not a chemistry builder, it’s a chemistry blocker.
  • Being afraid of starting over 
  • Negative self talk – What is that phrase that is playing over and over again in your mind about why you’re still single? 
  • Lack of a plan – Are you buying into the myth that love is meant to find you?

Read the full blog here!


Episode 275: A Comprehensive Guide to Dating Apps

TOP 5 Dating App Problems

  • The Profile Problem
  • The Pickiness Problem
  • The Sit Back & Wait Problem
  • The Dating Pool Problem
  • The Dating Strategy Problem

PLUS, did you know that the latest studies on the marriage market show that there is a shortage of men with marriageable qualities? Damona covers this study published in the Journal of Marriage & Family  and gives you the rundown and goes in-depth on:

  • Are you pricing yourself out of the marriage market?
  • What men and women can learn from this data
  • How to solve your marriage market problems


Dates & Mates is here to give you all the information you need on dating. Are there any topics you want Damona to discuss on the podcast? Let us Know! You can DM her on all the socials @DamonaHoffman OR email asst@damonahoffman.com.

This is a way to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from Damona on your love life. 


Vision Boards & Video Chat Love


Today, we’re talking about how vision boards can help you find true love – especially after tragic breakups and infidelity – with Dr. Casandra Henriquez, an intuitive love coach and matchmaker for successful women.


More on that later, first Damona covers headlines! 


Where all the singles are hiding right now

This week, Damona received a press release from Dating.com explaining the top five countries for dating apps right now: United States, closely trailed by India, then Ireland, the United Kingdom and, Spain. Do these countries surprise you? 

Damona breaks down the full study and explains exactly what it means for you.


Sex IS the best medicine, according to Dr. Oz

This week, MadameNoire asked for Damona’s comment on Dr. Oz recently “prescribing” sex to couples quarantined. She has thoughts.



DRAKE FINALLY REVEALED PICTURES OF HIS SON!! Adonis Graham doesn’t look… exactly how we expected but they make such a cute pair. Unfortunately, due to Drake’s recent exposure to COVID-19, he is spending time self-quarantined. Damona had advice for Drake and everyone quarantined from their loved ones.


Dr. Casandra, known as Coach Cass by her fans, has a love story that might be familiar for some of you. After a really big break up, she realized it was time to find the real love she deserved.

  • Finding love after heartbreak and infidelity
  • Putting yourself in the bride mindset
  • Becoming a student of love
  • Making a vision board to find your ideal match

Find Coach Cass at RealLoveNetwork.com and don’t forget to go to get her FREE guide on How to ace the next date at RelationshipsforBusyWomen .com


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

  • From Mary via voicemail: I’ve been dating someone in another country on a dating app. We’ve been texting, but when we tried to move to phone it sounded very awkward and business-y. I let him know that the call was weird for for me, but now he is hesitant to get back on the phone. I want to do a video chat to see if this person is legit. Is this a good idea?
  • From Instagram: A guy approached me in the supermarket back in the December and we started dating and seeing each other. As time progressed our relationship didn’t, after broaching it he said he didn’t want to settle down yet. I didn’t want to but I distanced myself from him. Then 2 weeks later he messaged to see how I was. We started talking again but I don’t seem to get much from him. I know he likes me but I don’t get if he’s just playing a game?


Hey, are you ok?

Like really are you ok?

We have to admit, we’re not really ok with everything going on. We have had to do a lot of adulting in recent weeks but I’ll be the first to admit, this is tough. And there’s no shame in getting help to sort through the complex feelings you are having right now: whether it’s fear for family members, anxiety about being cooped up at home alone, or issues that are bubbling up in your relationship.

It sounds like you need BetterHelp. With Better Help online counseling you can connect with a professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Since you can’t leave home any way, how convenient is that?

Get help on your own time and at your own pace. Plus you can connect in any of their 4 Communication Modes that works best for you: Text, Chat, Phone & Video  

They have 3000 US Licensed therapists across all 50 states and are Available worldwide.

Plus, anything you share is confidential!

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

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



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, welcome to dates and mates. We are recording this episode during what is week three of a stay at home order for me. And I know we are all in different phases of this pandemic, and of processing just what the heck is happening. I am here at home with my two kids and my husband and fortunately, I already had a home studio. So I’m able to keep making this show for you. And I want you to know that I’m going to be here for you through all of this. This show is about spreading love, and consciousness and we need that more than ever right now. I want to thank all of you who have sent me DMS and told me how this show has impacted you. Special shout out to Lauren and M. And Boyd and everyone who has reached out to me recently on Instagram to send a question or a note, to remind me of the reason why I do this show each week for you. It’s for you. It’s to help you stay positive and focused and compassionate, during what I know is a very challenging time regardless of your relationship situation. So please keep your messages and your questions coming. I am motivated by hearing what you’re going through and how I can help you. Most importantly, if there’s a friend who you think could use this show right now, do us both a favor and share this episode so that we can keep Healing Hearts at a time when we all need it. Love is the most powerful transformation tool. So I encourage you To spread that around, well, social distancing, of course, today’s guest I know you are going to love her name is coach Cass. And with her we’re going to talk about how you can believe in love again. But first I’ll be discussing this week’s headlines including where all the singles are hiding right now and why dr. oz thinks sex is the best medicine plus some advice for those who are quarantined without their loved ones like Drake, then coach Cass my guest and I will be answering your questions like How important is a video chat when you’re long distance dating and and what to do when someone tells you they don’t want a relationship but they won’t stop texting. All that and more on today’s dates and maids. I am pumped up and ready to dish she’s dating

Damona  3:01  

My friends at OkCupid shared that 25% of millennials and Gen Z singles have been on a virtual date. Now, if we remember way back to my 300th episode where I talked about the future of dating and I said video, chat dating is going to become the norm. And we’ve talked about it every week since but here we are. Here we are just a few weeks later, and it’s now the only way to date. Now I do think that eventually it will become a step in the dating process. And not the whole shebang, of course. But when we look at the numbers dating comm also sent me where the top five countries for online dating are. And here where I am in the United States, people are connecting online for dating more than ever. India, Ireland, the UK and Spain round out the top five countries For online dating, and most of these apps have stats about how long people are staying on the app before moving offline. I’m really hoping that we’re seeing a shift, and that people are not moving offline and are taking these social distancing orders very seriously. Believe me, I know. I know the yearning for a relationship. I know that feeling, and that you want to get offline, but trust me, it’s not worth it. And I think this is ultimately going to be a really good thing for dating that were able to slow down the process. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know, I’m all about slow love. And I felt for a while, like dating apps were a runaway train that I couldn’t stop that the speed had gotten so fast, and people were dating so many people at the same time. And stopping that filtering step that I have set for a long time is very crucial before you move offline to really see if there’s chemistry and connection Now we are forced to live in the filtering step. So remember the five step dating funnel, mindset sourcing screening, we’re kind of stuck in screening, but that’s okay. That’s okay. Because you can have presentation online, and you can ultimately have follow through, it’s just that the timelines gotten stretched out a little bit. So don’t lose faith, do use the apps, and try to stay positive about the fact that you’ll be able to build a deeper connection like, like love is blind. During that show, they couldn’t see each other at all. And look, we got some really inspiring marriages out of it. So stay strong and keep dating and keep sending in those questions about that. I did get a question this week from Madame Noire. They said that Dr. Oz was prescribing. I’m just imagining dr. oz with his little his little notepad writing prescriptions he prescribed Sex for couples to bring them closer together. And they asked me is that what I recommend? I’m gonna let you read the entire article I’ll put in the show notes. But I’ll give you a little taste of what I recommended. I think that this is actually a great time. Also, if you’re in a partnership to find creative ways that you can build your connection together, we have all fallen into the Netflix and chill, not just people that are in new situation ships, but those of us in relationships, myself included. I mean, it’s like it’s not Netflix and chill. It’s like Tiger King and chill. A glass of wine and watching TV becomes the default. And look at what an amazing opportunity we have right now. So we can’t go to our our standard dates dinner in a movie that’s off the table. But how can you be more creative? Right now if you’re going to do dinner in a movie and maybe you’re separated from the person that you’re dating right now? Maybe You get dinner from the same place. And then you watch the same movie together. Remember when we used to, like hang out on the phone and watch the TV show after school with our friends and talk about the show that we were watching while we were with them? Yeah, it’s like the same thing. So we can find that nostalgia. You’ve heard me talk about nostalgia, being able to bond to people. That’s a way to do it, watching a movie that you both saw from your childhood or from your teen years or college that you can connect on or do something that’s out of the box. I talked in the article about a sip and paint night. When have you let yourself just be free and be creative, and paint something that had no particular goal to it. Just something that was art for art’s sake. And the great thing about this, and I actually talked about this a little bit in my patreon video training on social distance dating, which I’ll put the link in the show notes for that too. If you haven’t taken this training. It’s, it’s really helpful as we’re moving into this next phase of what dating is going to be for the next few months. And it’s only five bucks to sign up and it supports the show. So I would love for you to become one of my patreon friends with benefits and experience, social distance dating tips, but here’s one of them. If you are planning the date as if you were meeting up together, and how you would prepare for that date, and do sip and paint night and, and then you have something else to focus on. It’s so much pressure for you to just sit across from a stranger on video chat that you’ve never met. That’s a lot of pressure. It’s even more pressure actually than a first date in person, I believe. Because in person you have, you have that chemistry and connection. You have physicality, you have the room, you have. You’ve heard me say this on the show before everything else that’s going on around you that you can look to emulate Comment on and when it’s video chat dating, it’s you and your living room and them and their cat. Okay? So we want to give yourself an outlet. Give yourself something that you can respond to connect to maybe it’s a game a trivia game, maybe it’s it’s sip and paint or you’re drawing each other. I don’t know. You can get as fine and kinky as you want to with it or keep it clean. But I just want you to have fun with it and don’t make it so serious. As we we are social distancing and different phases of this pandemic. I came across a story this week about Drake. And for those of you who don’t know, he actually recently just announced that he has a son, his name is Adonis Graham. He had him with adult movie star Sophie Brousseau. Now if you’ve seen this kid, and we’ll put on the dates and mates blog we’ll put a picture of this kid on the surface doesn’t look a whole lot. Like Drake, he has blond hair and blue eyes. Drake actually took two paternity test just to make sure Drake if you remember, like major Drake is both black and Jewish, his mom was blond, blue eyed. So it’s an it’s not a stretch when you understand genetics to believe that this is his kid, but on the surface is had to make sure, but Drake was separated from his son because he actually spent some time with Kevin Durant, the NBA star who tested positive for Cova 19 a few weeks ago. So out of as they say an abundance of caution. Drake self isolated, and that means that he couldn’t even be around his son and I know some of you, some of you may be listening to the show from the bed dealing with Cova 19 or something that you believe maybe Cova 19 and can’t even get a test for it. And that’s, that’s tough to. So we have to keep in mind that people are in all different phases. Have this. And if you are separated from someone that you love, it’s important for you to still just keep them in your thoughts and keep in contact the way that you can. If you can only I have a friend that actually has Cova 19. And she’s having trouble with just talking and breathing. So if all she can do is send an emoji to her daughter to let her know that she’s thinking of her, that can go a long way to continuing to keep the bond alive, so that we can all be together on the other side of this. Speaking of being together, we’re gonna take a break and I hope you will stick around. When we come back. I have coach Cass and I swear she is so inspiring. I am so lucky that I came across her and her wisdom and I can’t wait for her to tell you how you can believe in love again, stay with us. I am here Dr. Cassandra Henriques. She’s also known as coach Cass by her fans and followers. She’s an intuitive love coach and matchmaker for successful women. And she’s the creator of the love deck and the real love network, premier private community for single professional women. Please help me get big smooches to coach Cass.

Coach Cass  12:21  

What’s up Damona? Hey, ladies.

Damona  12:24  

felt bad. I’ve found that love across the miles and I’m just so glad that you’re here spreading the love and the joy because we need it right now. Coach Cass Oh,

Coach Cass  12:35  

yes. That

Coach Cass  12:38  

the Rona has us in its clutches but love will get us through!

Damona  12:41  

. So I want to start out with your own story because I know you’ve been on this journey for a minute coach Cass Yes. And you’ve been you’ve been in the highs of love and the lows of love. But just for a lot of people right now that may be unreal. relationships that they’re trying to figure out like, is this. Is this the one is this the right thing? Can you start with the prior relationship? Okay, we’re in and how it’s led us to where we are today. Right?

Coach Cass  13:13  

Well, once upon a time, Yo, I was dating a guy that I thought was the one. How many of us have thought somebody was the one before? All right. So we were dating I helped him build business girl, I went into debt for him. Why? Because you know, this was the person I was supposed to marry. So we traveled and everything and I remember one Christmas Eve, getting a call from a mutual friend and he’s like, hey, Cass Are you sitting like know what’s up?

Damona  13:38  

that’s never a good sign.

Coach Cass  13:43  

So I am, I sit down and he says, you know, that guy that you think is the one that’s so amazing? I’m like, Yeah, what about him? He’s married. Yeah, so how did he How did we wait, how did he even know? Dude, so, so essentially, he ended up going to like his house and coming across his wife like it was a whole It was like a whole thing. So they ended up having to Oh my

Damona  14:12  

god, how did you met this guy? Originally?

Coach Cass  14:15  

I originally met him through a network marketing company girl, you know, everybody’s so driven and well known. So I had gone on the company trips, we had been together at every briefing meeting, whatever. So you know, the last thing I think if somebody is married, if you’re told me around, everywhere, in front of everybody, yes, notice anything.

Damona  14:34  

Everybody was just like, well, copacetic Yeah. And was this a situation like he was married but separated or he was like, married, married?

Coach Cass  14:44  

So according to this friend, this woman was still around around, right. And so for me, that was tough, you know, so, and there’s a whole nother side to this story that I won’t even get into but it turns out that he replayed that story. Many times to other women, right? Which I found out later, which is a bit scary. So I wasn’t the only one. So it’s not that he was just cheating on his wife, but he was like cheating with many people, not just me. So here it is. I thought I was the only one when I was just one of them.

Damona  15:18  

Wow, that must have been so devastating for you to because in your mind, you built up this whole life. And then it just all comes crashing down. How did you move forward after that?

Coach Cass  15:28  

That was tough. So just think about it. So I left him, but then I still had a debt because of him that was still with me. And then it was the shame and the guilt. Nobody was calling me to say how stupid I was. But I felt like I was getting a phone call every day and that was me calling myself right. How many times do we beat ourselves up about our stupid decisions? So for me, I was in a dark place for a really long time. And one of my defining moments came when I got like my 29th wedding invitation. You ever feel like everybody was getting married, like Like everybody

Coach Cass  16:01  

was like, why not me?

Coach Cass  16:02  

Exactly. Right? What’s wrong with me? Exactly. And it didn’t matter, their age, their stage, their race, their weights, you know, all the excuses that we think we have. I’m like, Look, I’m cute, right? What’s going on here? And that’s when I decided really to become a student of love. I said, Look, you know, just like I invest in my business, my fitness, my travel, right? I need to invest in my love life. And that’s when I decided to become a student of love. So I read I consumed every relationship book I could find. I went to marriage conferences Dimona as a single woman.

Coach Cass  16:36  

Like there’s, you know, those cutouts where you put

Coach Cass  16:38  

your face in, I had my face in the bright spot and the groom spot was empty, and everybody’s like, guess where’s the groom? Like, he’s coming girl. He’s coming,

Damona  16:46  

right? That’s a lot of faith is a lot of he’s still coming even after what you went through.

Coach Cass  16:53  

Yeah. And the thing is that I kept dating and so the relationships really didn’t get better. I didn’t matter. I didn’t date anybody. So married, but you know, you know, it’s bad when you’re like, oh, let me try something new. Don’t do that, right. Data people I was absolutely unattracted to it was just bad. And so I really had to hit a pause button to get my love life. Right, starting with me, you know, and that’s really what started me on the path to doing what I do now. Yeah.

Damona  17:22  

Wow. And so keeping that faith alive, and I, I’ve seen your TED talk. I know you also did a vision board, right?

Coach Cass  17:32  

Yeah, it’s a vision board. Okay. So once upon a time, I was dating a guy, and I remember cooking dinner, which I don’t do often. Right. So that was a special night and I was cooking dinner and he came into the kitchen and I remember looking at my vision board because it was on my wall in the kitchen because I lived by myself so I could put it where I want to right so it was on my vision board on in the kitchen and I remember looking at the vision board looking at him looking at the vision board looking at him, and I started crying. And I remember him embracing me and saying what was wrong cast? What’s going on? I said, You’re him. He said, Who? I said, You’re him. He’s like, What are you talking about? Like, look at my vision board. And literally, I still have this vision board to this day. This man was to the tee, the man on my vision board from the experiences we had to how I felt to the way he looked. It was it was creepy. It was like uncanny. It was just like, wow, and now that man today is my husband and we live a life. That was exactly what was on my vision board. Now. I do believe in the way that you do the vision board in order for that to happen. But yes, it definitely happened for me and yes, I love helping women do the same, huh?

Damona  18:50  

Well without getting into a whole vision board workshop. Yes. Can you give like your top two or three tips Yes. on how to make that vision board with purpose. We have time right now, we might as well do a little mind, dork and

Coach Cass  19:03  

visualization are all right ladies. So for all of you listening, I want you to just close your eyes. And I want you to think about how you want to feel in your ideal relationship, right? What are the emotions that you want to feel in the right relationship? Is it joy, happiness, peace, excitement, passion, security, like how do you want to feel? I think one of the biggest things damona is that we mess up and we put this list of you know, six figure income earner this size shoe this size, body parts, you know, flat stomach,

Coach Cass  19:42  

no kids, you know, I know receiving a very

Damona  19:47  

different body part but yeah, yeah, I know you’re talking about you

Coach Cass  19:50  

know what I’m talking about girl. Alright, so, passport, you know, we we took no guts, you know, we focus on these things that really don’t matter. At the end of the day, right, so if somebody has a good we can exercise together if they don’t have a passport, I can help you apply. You know, we focus on all the wrong things. So I really believe it starts with your emotions and how you feel because when we get in tuned with how we feel, when we’re around someone, when we take time to get to know someone, you know, when we get in tune with that, that intuitiveness our gut instinct, I believe it really leads us in the right direction. Too often do we look at the checklist of well, oh, no, he has two kids and an ex wife. I don’t know, before we even say hello. Does that make sense?

Damona  20:37  

Yes. And I am so on board with everything you said about getting into the feeling my listeners have heard that before. Like what do you want to feel like with this person and put aside the physical Yeah. And get into that, that emotional place with that person and drill down into what is really important and so much of the time, I find that it’s just even stepping back To say, what do I want like right that that people who listen to the show no I do Fung Shui as well not I don’t I’m not a Fung Shui like expert. I practice punctuate with my Fung Shui expert. And I really believe like some of it is where you play stuff. The same with the vision boards. So much of it, though, is the intention behind it is taking the time to organize your thoughts or organize your stuff, or create the vision board. And I just did mine. I just shared it on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. free time. Really just like taking that moment to think about well, well, what is it? And maybe even I mean, how much of this was going back into your past relationships and examining like Were there any red flags before that I missed? Were there any signs? How do I how do I let that stay in the past and move forward in the future in another way?

Coach Cass  21:56  

Right. One of the big issues I see right is that us women know exactly what we don’t want. But when I start to ask women, well, what do you want? You know, when I talk to my clients, but what do you want? They’re like, Well, let me tell you, I don’t want what happened with Billy or Johnny or Rashid. And it’s like, Wait a second, I’m focusing on what you do want and they’re like, Well, you know, coach, guys, I’ve never been in a healthy relationship, or have never seen a healthy relationship. And it’s really tough, right? Where are we learning about healthy relationships in a romantic comedies? Right, I call it rom com itis is suffering from this disease, where we all kind of want to be rescued by this Prince Charming that might slap us around, but he’ll sweep us off our feet in the end, and it’s just like, no, Focus. Focus on what’s real.

Damona  22:41  

Yes. And I imagine that is part of what helps you build this real love network that you

Coach Cass  22:48  

tell us a little bit about that. Real love. Oh, oh, I’m searching for that for you love. Okay. My day job. singing

Coach Cass  23:06  

I am a first Hey,

Coach Cass  23:10  

it goes down in history right here on dates and mates.

Coach Cass  23:14  

So I yeah, I started the real love network because I had a business coach, right. So I believe that every coach deserves a coach. Every therapist needs a therapist, all of that, right. So my coach was saying, well, what’s the best way that you could really serve your clients? And yes, I have private clients and monthly clients and all that, but the way I side is just that, you know, we’re all in different stages of this love journey, and many of my clients would have seen is, it’s like the blind leading the blind, so you might have a good girlfriend, but she’s really not that great, right? She’s not giving you good advice. And yes, you might know married people, but they haven’t been on a date in 27 years. So the real love network is really to support you from self love to real love. So it’s like, if you’re scared to date, if you’re dating, if you’re trying to choose the It’s like being able to have a supportive community that doesn’t judge you. And this process but uplifts you, so we look at the whole woman, which I believe is a wanton woman, right? All my ladies are wanted women achieving new tribes every day, right? So now it’s like to figure out, who do you want and keeping you accountable to that because I know you’ve seen this right? Women will say, Well, you know, I want this great relationship, but then do everything to sabotage it. So it really is that home base to say, Okay, well, am I messing up? Or am I doing this thing right? and holding your hand through the process?

Damona  24:35  

That’s so important, especially right now when a lot of people are sort of dating in a vacuum, right? We don’t have. We don’t have our friends at work to go and show our Tinder swipes to and ask them their opinion. So having a network of people that are going through the same thing, virtually is really important. Let’s say you have made a connection I assume online right now because unless you’re a like going to the park and meeting people from six feet away, right? I think that the dating apps are kind of the biggest game in town right now. And based on the numbers that we’re seeing, and the increases in new users and conversations, that’s definitely what people are turning to, to to to date. When you are ready to move on to a let’s say virtual date right now. What are some tips that you have for being able to make a connection with a stranger we don’t even have like that physical attraction Really? To to key off of

Coach Cass  25:36  

how do you get going? Now you know, love is blind has been a very popular show on Netflix. All right, so you can connect with someone emotionally via conversation. I just got a recent client she’s she was talking to someone for three months and never met them now in regular life. This is a problem, right? So they were in Turkey. They said they were coming to visit you know all the red flags and regular life and I’m like, Okay, I think this guy is a catfish, but she totally was in love with this guy that she was on the phone with for three months. So it can happen where you can connect with someone emotionally. So it really is to understand first the attraction. So online dating profile picture, then it’s, you know, can I kick it with this person on the phone like a friend? Can we just talk about anything? Can we just have a good time? And then, you know, there’s that that backup of Okay, so what country do you live in? Or what state do you live in? And it might even be a small background check. If you find that you’re getting a little bit serious. Jason? Yeah.

Damona  26:39  

I do think that it’s cool right now that we can expand our dating criteria like I live in Los Angeles and my clients here, like won’t date beyond a 10 mile radius traffic. That could be an hour long distance relationship. But now I’m really encouraging people to expand their search criteria, maybe throughout the state. Or maybe throughout the world because we can and this is a, I think we’ll look back at this time. If we survive it will look back at this time. I know we have to laugh about it because that’s laughing to keep from crying. But if we come out of this on the other side, I think we’ll kind of look back at this as almost like this magical time that we won’t get back of when we could date differently. We could expand our search criteria, we could date someone in another country and let that be okay and see if we can make a connection. But I want to get really tactical too on how to start conversations. I know you’re the creator of the love deck. Tell us what the love deck is and give me a couple of of good conversation starters when you are building from from from virtual scratch.

Coach Cass  27:53  

Alright, so I created the love deck damona really because I realized, just think about it. What are the conversations We have a normal day to day life. What do you want to eat? and good night? You know, like, most conversations around food? Yeah, how was your day what you’re watching? And and, and that’s about it right and and we don’t really learn anything and I find that most of the times, you know we date in a bubble and so we don’t ask real questions. It’s just that chemistry and the physical attraction. And then you go from there and then you’re engaged and married like, oh, wait a second did I choose right and this whole situation? So the love deck is really to help you think of more meaningful conversations like Where did you learn about money? Right, like, hmm, or where did you learn about love? How important is sex to you? You know, there’s simple things that we really don’t ask or proud about. How do you feel about children? You know, that’s always like a touchy subject. But we wait until we’re knee deep to say, Oh, you don’t want kids but I do. Well, how about we talk about these things a little bit early. Earlier, right? Especially since you know, most women are getting older in age and so you know, we don’t have time to waste on people who aren’t in line with our true values. So it’s better to find out early but not in a quizzical type of interview manner. It’s more of a game. More of Hey, you know, I just got this love deck, you know, these are some pretty cool questions. So let’s pick from the deck and see where we fall. Right? And for those who are religious, it’s like, well, what do you normally do on a Sunday morning, right? So it’s like, just finding out what people’s beliefs are. I have a client, right? So she’s a Christian woman, and the guy she was dating, she overheard him talking to a friend saying, Oh, no, I don’t believe in marriage. That’s just a piece of paper. She’s like, Wait a second. I believe it’s a covenant of God. Like, wait a second, you know, and they didn’t really have that conversation. Here it is. She thought she’s on the road to marriage. And then he’s like, Oh, yeah, I guess we could sign it if you want to, like, no, this doesn’t work. So it’s really being able to have more meaningful conversations about what really makes As tick versus just you know what else is on TV or on Netflix?

Damona  30:04  

I love that and it makes it so fun. Like you said, it’s sort of gamified these important questions because people are always asking me like, how do I, how do I bridge that conversation? How do I let him know that I want kids sooner rather than later or that I’ve been married three times before? Whatever you’re scared to share. I like that you’re making it fun so people can get the love deck on your webs website,

Coach Cass  30:32  

inspire many Yeah, inspire many.com.

Damona  30:36  

We’ll put that in the show notes. So you’re you’re a prolific creator, Coach cast. I know you’re all you’re creating. And you’re also you’ve written a book we were talking about, about, like the ROM coms and the story fairy tales, and I talked about that a lot on this show, too. But it’s hard for a lot of women that don’t even Seeing themselves reflected in the fairy tales. So tell us about this new new book that you’re writing and why you’re doing it.

Coach Cass  31:08  

All right. So let me give you a little background on Mona. So I, my daughter was turning three and it was my first time trying to throw a birthday party at school. I’m sure you’re probably an expert by now but this was my was my first time and my daughters have a darker hue. So I thought it would be cool right to have a princess have a darker hue because everybody loves princesses. Now, what was disheartening is that I could find nothing. I searched the internet I went to stores. I went everywhere. everybody’s like, Oh, well, what about Princess Tiana honey? She has no birthday cups and plates, which is crazy. And so I really started to realize like, Oh my goodness, on television, there’s nothing there’s no one anywhere when it comes to being cool as a black princess. So I went to lunch with a friend and I was just doing a mock up of a princess and I showed it to her and then I showed it to my daughter Ava and my Data Eva looks at the picture. She looks at her hand. She looks at the picture. She looks at her hand. She says, Mommy, I don’t want this one. I want the other one. I want the white one. To Mona, my girlfriend is white. And she was just like crying. She was just like, I didn’t know I didn’t I didn’t know it was that deep, right. So just go back to the black doll versus the white doll. It’s not that the kids really thought that white was better. But the fact that you don’t see black on TV represented really represented like I wanted to Macy’s Kohl’s, dillards if you go into the children’s section, you will see Elsa, Ana, vamp arena, Peppa Pig, all these other things, but there is no black princess on the clothing, which is a pig for you’ll see the pig okay? You’ll see all these other things but no black princess when every little girl wants to be a princess. Just think about it. In terms of white princesses. We have every variation in every color hair, right? But a black princess. We have one and she was a restaurant. To write and a frog for the entire movie. So I am on a mission right now to create a black Princess, the new favorite princess for every little girl. So just like black girls can dress up like Elsa and I want white girls to dress up like princesses are. So I am on a movement I want this to be a cartoon shirts, TV, everything right? And the first step is the book. So princess are his birthday tradition is out on April 8. And I just pray that everyone really supports it to become a best seller and to push it to really become the movement of representation that it needs to be and not to stop there. There needs to be more but you know, this is just to get the foot in the door. Yeah,

Damona  33:43  

that is so awesome. And like you said representation matters. And I really feel like it does impact the way that we feel about ourselves the way that like I have a lot of black women that listen to the show that have internalized some of these messages that we’ve been getting since the time we were all little girls and, and there’s love, like for everyone like you were saying at the beginning, you know there’s there is there is a happy ending for everyone and there is a match for everyone and we have to see it so we can believe it and continue to promote it out in the world. Coach Cass This is such great advice. I I’m, I feel so fortunate that that we have connected and that we can share your wisdom with our dates and Nate’s audience. We’ll put the link to all of your goodies in the show notes and inspire many. But before we let you go, we have questions that our listeners have submitted for our final segment of the day.

Coach Cass  34:42  

Oh snap.

Damona  34:50  

Here we go. Coach Cass we have two questions. The first came to us from Mary who by the way, guys, she left me a voicemail. I totally want to hear your voices. And I do, I will text you back, we can get into a little dialogue about what you’re going through. And I’d love to hear your voices and put them on the show. She’s feeling a little shy, so we’re just gonna, we’re gonna read her question, but if anyone wants to call me, you can call me or text me. 424246255 leave me a voicemail there. So Mary says, I’ve been dating someone in another country on a dating app, we’ve been texting, but when we tried to move to phone, it sounded very awkward in business he I let him know that the call felt weird for me. And now he’s hesitant to get back on the phone. I actually want to do a video chat to see if this person is legit because I really feel like we’re connecting. But I’m wondering if this is a good idea. What do you think about this? We’re just talking about like long distance dating. I mean, let’s let’s just first break break down like you’d said earlier the signs of a catfish So what are some of the signs that you tell your clients to look out for?

Coach Cass  36:04  

The Okay, so if they live in another country one all right, can we see actual pictures that don’t look photoshopped to is what’s their name? Can you look them up online? Three? Are they making excuses of why you can’t meet in person? Right for Can you never get together on FaceTime? Right? Like I need to be able to see you, especially if you’re in another country and all we’re doing is chatting on the phone or via text. To me that’s a that’s a big sign that that’s not okay. So I need to be able to see you via FaceTime and when I call you answer right away, so all of those things, you know, it’s a big test when someone lives out of the country just because we’ve kind of been scarred by all these catfishing people that have nothing better to do with their time. It’s It’s It’s bad out there Dimona. It’s real bad. So yes, I would say to this young lady that okay if it seemed a little too busy Like remember that different cultures? People speak differently? Right? So maybe he was a little bit more formal. So I would say let’s do the FaceTime because at the end of the day, what I tell my clients, if you’re looking for a lifetime relationship, let’s not waste the time right? So I understand you like the connection of chatting on the phone or, or texting on the phone. But you know, looking for a pain, a pen pal, you’re looking for a lifetime relationship. And if that’s the true time to get face to face, and if you can’t do it in person, do it via FaceTime or WhatsApp or any of the other apps. Yeah,

Damona  37:35  

yes, I totally agree with you. And I think it’s a good idea to schedule these video chats like big headline of the episode y’all. big headline. When you are moving from the chat to either a phone call or the the video, chat within the date or off the date, make sure that you are setting the time so you’re not catching someone off guard and that you’re also like prepping yourself. Because Well, this is what I think we forget while they’re filtering us be cute. Firstly, always be cute. But while you’re filtering them, they’re also filtering you. They’re they’re making judgments too. So make sure you’re really ready and that you’re speaking at a time when you both can be most present. Based on the full voicemail, it sounds like this guy somehow got a little bit uncomfortable with the after the phone call. And it could be it could be that he’s hiding something. It could also be sometimes the language barrier like even though someone might sound like they’re speaking really well in your language to you. It might be a real challenge for them to find the words and it that he could be reacting to that. So I don’t know coach cast like How hard would you push it because it sounds like from the voicemail she left me that he’s sort of hesitant now to even get on the phone or to do the video chat. But she’s like, do I invest more time in this texting relationship?

Coach Cass  39:08  

Until I know, the thing is that they had a genuine connection, right? So to me, it’s not, it’s not bad to push it, just push it a little bit, try and get on the phone and see if that connection is still there. Because the last thing you want to do is let something go just because of apprehensions on his part, you know, so just help him to feel more at ease, say, Hey, you know, no judgement. I just want to see you I have so much time from texting with you. And you know, for us to move forward. I’d love to see you. And if he doesn’t want to do that, then Okay, we got to let this thing go girl.

Damona  39:45  

Yeah, you laid it out in the perfect way to like I talked about inspiring him to show up for you. So saying like, I really just want to see your face and making it more about I’m invested in this connection to and I’m really interested in you and I think you’re really great as opposed to like, I need to assess the situation which you may not be thinking you sound like but you know, reread some of those texts because context can sometimes get lost as well. Coach cast I have one more question for you. This one came to came to us from Instagram. This lady said, a guy approached me in the supermarket back in December, and we started dating and seeing each other Doesn’t that sound like it sounds like a lifetime ago based on like how we lived our lives in December now. So she says as time progressed, our relationship didn’t after broaching it he said he didn’t want to settle down yet. I didn’t want to but I distanced myself from him. Then two weeks later, he messaged to see how I was. We started talking again, but I don’t seem to get much from him. I know he likes me, but I don’t get if he’s just playing a game

Coach Cass  40:59  

sound Like games to means a Mona right. So, she said what she wanted, he said what he wanted and like Maya Angelou says, right, you know, when someone shows you who they are, believe them. So at the end of the day, yeah, no, that’s not the person for you. He’ll take up your time. Everybody, you know, somebody likes to take up your time,

Coach Cass  41:21  

especially now allowing them yeah.

Coach Cass  41:22  

It’s you allowing them to do that, right. So I’d

Coach Cass  41:25  

say let that one go. Until he figures himself out, like otherwise keep it moving. My whole thing about it is keep dating until you’re married, like, forget it. Like we don’t have time to be exclusive for three years for somebody to figure it out if I’m your wife or not. No,

Coach Cass  41:42  

no, no, no, no.

Coach Cass  41:44  

No, we need to keep dating. That’s it. Just keep dating right dates and mates just keep dating and mating. And at the end of the day, you’re me. Ma, exactly. And then you just sift them through. It’s like finding the diamond through all this rubble. And so if someone is not proving themselves to really be the one for you like keep it just keep it going and too many times we end up being serial monogamist Oh, well, I’m talking to this guy. So you cut off everything else who

Coach Cass  42:11  

said to cut off everything else. Nobody said to do that. Right? Keep dating. That’s it.

Damona  42:17  

But definitely, and you really hit the nail on the head when you said she said what she wanted. And I think that is the hardest thing for a lot of singles to actually express like, I want a relationship. I would like this to be more serious. That is so challenging to open your heart and say that so I just want to acknowledge and commend her for doing that. But now it’s in then thank you for invoking my favorite quote ever, like you got the answer. Now you have to hear it. And it may be painful and it may make you feel like you’re starting over again. And it may be frustrating, but I guarantee you it’s not as frustrating as if you stayed in the Situation ship for what another month, two months, three months and then ended up in the same situation. So, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for my Maya Angelou quote. I love it. I love it. I adore you. I am so glad that you were here to share your wisdom on dates and mates.

Coach Cass  43:18  

Thanks for having me. Thank you and

Damona  43:21  

you can find coach Cass and the real love network at real love network COMM And also don’t don’t miss her free giveaway. How to ace the next date. We will put the link to all of that in the show notes but that’s at relationships for busy women.com coach cast. I’m going to get this love deck too. I got I got to hook up these conversation starters. And you said there’s also there’s also some some uplifting, inspiring messages on the back of these cards right

Coach Cass  43:53  

sessions. Yeah, affirmations

Damona  43:54  

we all need all of this. Y’all do your vision boards, get coach cast this stuff. Get yourself on track because we’re in this social distance dating for a minute. But we have the tools to help you through it. Oh, thanks for being here.

Coach Cass  44:09  

Thanks for having me to Moana. Yeah, it’s amazing.

Damona  44:14  

I hope you enjoyed Episode 304 of dates and mates. Again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. Please do connect with me. Send me your social distance dating questions. Send me your relationship questions. I love hearing from you guys right now. It’s giving me life to give you love advice, so please keep those questions and those thoughts and the feedback on the show coming. If you haven’t reviewed the show yet, it really does help us reach more people heal more hearts. So go ahead and review this on whichever platform you’re listening and share this show with a friend. And please do join me on Patreon. This is my special community just for my super fans, my friends with benefits and you do get benefits from me. including access to my private Facebook group and a lot a lot of extra dates and maids goodies that you may have missed over the years. I’ve been doing this show for seven years. So I have lots of wisdom to share with you there. And you’ll get access to that video training that I told you about and that’s at the $5 month level. So please join us patreon.com slash dates and mates The link will be in the show notes. Until next week, I wish you good health, good vibes and of course, happy dating but happy social distance dating


Master Class: The Future of Dating



It’s my job to stay ahead of the pulse in dating, so you can focus on being present.

This special 300th episode Master Class is a list of tips based on my predictions for the future of dating.

Did you know that there was a 52% increase in revenue for meditation and mindfulness apps in the last year?

I know what you’re thinking: What does that have to do with dating and relationships?

It means that technology may not be ruining our connection to other human beings. 

I always talk to my clients about staying present in the moment. One way to do this is to practice mindfulness outside of dating. Another way is to put your freakin’ phone away. (I’ll tell you how to do this in this week’s episode)

The fact that so many people are investing in mindfulness means that there is hope for the future of dating.

This special 300th episode Master Class covers:

  • How to survive the disappearance of dating apps
  • The ONE THING you must do before you start a relationship
  • The gender roles of tomorrow and how to prepare for this shift
  • How to diversify your dating pool now
  • and so much more!


Here are a few Master Classes that might also help you on your journey:



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 Patreon.com/datesandmates

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 patreon.com/datesandmates 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  0:12  

Hello lovers and welcome to the 300th episode of dates and mates. kind of amazing that this little idea that I had seven and a half years ago, has turned into a movement towards happier, healthier modern relationships. We have seen a lot in the last 300 episodes. Here’s a snapshot at some of the things that were different when the show originally launched. The phrase swipe right meant nothing to you. Matt Lauer was still the host of the today show. Megan Markel was married to a guy named Trevor Trump wasn’t president and party affiliation wasn’t a deal breaker for daters. Caitlyn Jenner was still Bruce. And the transgender conversation had barely begun. The IUD was 900% less common to get as a birth control method. And online dating wasn’t the most popular way to meet. Actually, it was far from it. I could go on and on. But I think you get the point. Modern dating has changed at the speed of light, and it’s going to keep changing. My goal on dates and mates is to keep you up to speed with the changes and create an army of people who love love, and spread more of it in the world. So for the 300th episode today, I’m going to play Nostradamus a little. I’m going to be the Nostradamus of love, and I’m going to Muse about where we are headed in dating and relationships. And then I’ll share my tips and my stories along the way. And at the rate we’re going the future is going to become the Present, unbelievably soon, the maybe we’ll look back at this episode one day and say, Wow damona was so right, that was amazing. Or we’ll laugh and we’ll say, Boy damona was so wrong. Either way, we’re going to have fun along the way. This show today is broken up into three topics that I think are crucial to the future of love. First, technology, the ways in which technology is going to start changing our biology. Second feminism, women are at the forefront of change in all major societal shifts of the last century. And they will be at the center of this next wave of dating and relationship changes as well. Third, connection as humans, our drive for community sex and partnership, rules, everything. And as technology changes and feminism evolves, the way we connect and who we connect with is going to evolve right along with it. And now, part one, technology. Let’s take a look at the timeline of technology and love. computers were first used for dating in 1959. When two Stanford students tried their hand in matchmaking while conducting a class project for the happy families planning services, using a punch card questionnaire and an IBM 650 mainframe computer, they matched 49 men and 49 women. Then in 1965, Harvard students further the idea with a social experiment called Operation match. Millions of daters use the service during the 1960s paying about $3 to fill out a questionnaire. Let’s fast forward a little bit to the mid 90s when AOL launched and they had these chat rooms that were then popularized as a possible place for dating. In the film, you’ve got mail and now Brought online love connections into the mainstream. After that, we had Yahoo personals, Craigslist, personals, and match.com, soon followed. In 2003, after several years of using online dating sites, I met my husband online and became a dating coach. And I really started tracking this stuff. So here’s the deal, not much changed for many years. In fact, in February 2013, I released my book, spin your web, how to brand yourself for successful online dating, because I saw that profiles and the free to join pay to communicate model was about to change. I didn’t know what was coming next, but I sensed it was something big. Then later that year, something major happened. I call it


the Tinder effect on April 1 2013. For our very longtime listeners. You may remember I did a story on this very show about a little app that was taking Brigham Young University by storm. And it gave us a whole new way of dating. It was a free app. It had free communication. And it had the right swipe that did for online dating, which Uber did for transportation. It made it accessible to everyone, and extremely easy to use. The other thing it did, which was an important factor for the success of dating apps, is it leaned into authenticity? Instead of a nameless and sometimes faceless profile, you were a real person with a real name and a real age hopefully, and, and it took the fear away from this idea that you don’t know these people who you’re going to meet on the internet. You don’t know who they really are. Tinder was that game changer that I was anticipating. And it paved the way for the proliferation of dating apps. So here we are at today as many As a third of all relationships begin online. But here’s the thing that’s just looking at dating sites and dating apps. But the entire world of online dating is much, much bigger than that. Think of all the connections that you make online every day, from Twitter threads to Facebook groups, our entire lives have moved online, and so has much of our dating pool. Even when we’re out IRL looking for dates, many of us are still living in the virtual world being constantly connected to our phones. So how will this change in the next five years? Well, I believe in two ways. First, we are extremely close to a no stigma world for online dating. It’s not that long ago that clients of mine told me that they would never try online dating. In fact, I actually just did some new client consultations last week, and some of the things that I heard from Data is is that people still just want to meet in real life. But what we’re failing to realize is that online life is real life right now. And meaning IRL isn’t this romantic fantasy that we remember from the good old days, the world has changed. And you can either be nostalgic about it and get left out. Or you can accept it and get dates. So many people are mad at dating apps. And they’re saying that dating apps are the reason that they can’t date in today’s world. But the bigger issue is that the way that we communicate has changed. There’s a reason that I have a training on the texting trap that I did many years ago. And it’s because texting is at the core of our communication challenges. So much of what we say is conveyed through context and through intonation and body language and We are literally being forced to learn a new language right now to connect effectively with text tools. My tip is to check out my masterclass on how to communicate. If you really want to know how to text more effectively, and use emojis and mood modifiers and gifts as connectors and other tricks to improve your texting connection. I did a whole episode about it. It’s called How to communicate. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But in the meantime, we have to accept that this is for the foreseeable future, our primary mode of communication are you hearing me? This is really important. text based communication is now your primary mode of communication. Most people talk to other humans far more hours and speak to far more people today, through text through dm through email and other forms of written communication. So guess what lovers unless you have Cyrano de Bergerac in your corner, or me helping to write your messages, which you can do. By the way, if you’re interested in coaching, you have to learn this skill, specifically as it relates to dating and flirting. The number one question that I’m asked when people find out that I’m a dating coach is which dating app is best? They want to know what is that magic pill?


And I always laugh because there is no one answer to this question of what is the best dating app. Just as each one of you is different. The app that works best for you may not be the one that works best for your sister or your friend or for me or for any of my clients. I can’t prescribe the perfect app for you. You have to see how you like the functionality. You have to see how you like the matches and the results of each app to make a


Unknown Speaker  9:57  



Damona  9:59  

But here’s what I think. is next, the average number of apps that people are on is five. Even if you aren’t actively using five apps, most people have five apps or more on their phone, and five profiles that are circulating in cyberspace, potentially even getting matches that you may never see. So I believe that in the next five years, there will be a return to simplicity, with people choosing one or two apps to use, not five. Yes, I know a lot of you are breathing a sigh of relief right now. Just as we’ve seen a contraction in social media and people picking their one or two platforms to focus on dating apps will be the same way and people will choose their tribe. That being said, we are going to see a contraction in the world of dating apps. We’ve already seen, that match has bought up many of the independent players in this space. I know many of you don’t even know this. So I’ll lay it out. For you, in case you don’t know Matt owns, okay, keep it plenty of fish, hinge, and Tinder, among others. They tried to buy Bumble but Whitney Wolff is holding out. Maybe we’ll see in the next five years that Bumble will become one of their apps too. But my belief is that some of these apps are going to basically March, you’ll see the features that you love from hinge on match. Actually, they’re already doing this as they’ve added the hinge style of prompting questions, and allowing you to react to those prompts into match rather than the classic bio. But this will continue. And as those features begin to migrate to some of the bigger apps, the smaller ones will be absorbed, or made obsolete. Because this is a key factor of success for a dating app. You need critical mass for dating apps to work if there aren’t enough people there that you want to match with, no matter how great the function analogy of the app might be, no matter what great hook, they’re advertising. If the people aren’t there, it’s not going to work. So here’s my tip on what you can do to step into the future, hone in on the one to two apps that you like best, and become a master at those instead of hopping around to whatever app you hear is hot right now, or signing off of an app. Ahem, every three weeks when you start to get bored and new matches start to slow, go just a little further past the place where you usually quit, and see what happens. And I know you all like these free dating apps. Hmm. But don’t get too used to that. It’s one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book to give someone something for free and then you get them hooked on the product until they need that product or service so badly that they’ll pay for it. That free to communicate model is not simple. attainable for these businesses. And they are businesses. Yes, they want you to connect. And yes, they want to spread love. But essentially, they want to make money and they cannot do it on the free communication model. So eventually, we will see them changing over to a pay to join model like the old days of dating sites. Yes, this will result in a drop in users. But what you will get from it is a higher engagement so that you’ll have less ghosting and less of the, you know, those half committed daters that you’ve seen on dating apps up to this point that all of you are writing to me like how do you tell the people that are really there for serious business, from the people that are there to waste your time you slap a price tag on it, and the people that are not serious about it will melt away? In terms of features. Remember when I said that there’s been a move towards authenticity since Tinder made everyone use their real names instead of a made up handle or username. Well, the next evolution of authenticity in dating apps are you ready for this? It’s video. Now that I G stories have popularized peeking into people’s lives and now that the technology is there to support streaming video whether you are on Wi Fi or not, daters are going to start demanding that they see someone in person on video before a date. You know, I’ve been a longtime fan of the phone call. And I’ve been cautious. I’m the first to admit I’ve been cautious about the video call, because you never get a second chance to make that first impression. But I predict


that within one to two years, you will see me giving a training on how to ace the first video call date. And there will be a name for this date and I don’t know what the name will be. Probably bustle. We’ll call it The term in an article somebody will name this phase in the dating process. Maybe you’ll be the one to name it. If you have an idea of what to call the video date, DM me, and I’ll do a poll and I’ll write an article, maybe I’ll write an article for bustle about what this winning name should be. But it’s going to happen, it’s going to become crucial to the dating process. We’ve seen this video component already integrated into many dating apps. So you don’t have to give your number out or your skype name or download another app to video chat. And this is going to be the next big change in the dating process as it relates to tech. So get ready for it and catch your makeup on. Here’s the tip prep for a video call the same way you would for a regular date. And maybe that’ll hold you over until I do that next training one to two years from now. So who will be the leader in the world of dating apps though? Well, to answer that question, We have to move into part two of this masterclass feminism. Part Two feminism in 2016 when Kelly stackelberg was the head of Zoosk, I heard her speak at a conference. She said that online dating only worked when women were made to feel comfortable, and that women were the ones driving the dating process. All that time when you read the fairy tales and thought that the prince was the one taking the action, you misread the situation. The princess was inspiring the prince to take action, even though she wasn’t the one saving him. She was the one pulling the strings to make everything happen. And Kelly was exactly right. Bumble, which she was not a part of is now the second biggest dating app in the world behind Tinder. For those of you who don’t know, Bumble, the difference with this app is that you have to have a mutual match to communicate As you do on most apps, and then women have to initiate with the first message. Women were so tired of having their inboxes filled with guys that they hadn’t invited to their door, that Bumble put them back in the driver’s seat by allowing them to filter and choose who sends messages, but also, too, it asks them to drive the initial communication. This might sound familiar to some of my longtime listeners, who else said that women should initiate sending messages Hmm, who said that in her 2013 book, and for many years before that was even written that that was the process that we should follow. Yes, you got it. I have always known that women are doing the choosing, and that is when the best communication and connections happen. But what’s the real reason that feminism is driving dating today and in the near future? It’s not because of hashtag Me too. Although that is a factor. This may sound a little bit harsh, but stick with me. The real reason that feminism is driving dating today is because women don’t need men. There. I said it, but it’s true. For generations women have needed to partner off for their livelihood. They needed that for a roof over their head to have children to have a comfortable life. women had to have a partner. Even if a woman had the financial means to raise a child on her own. The stigma of having a baby out of wedlock was a strong deterrent. But this is 2020. Women don’t need to get married to have a child in the last year or four and 10 births were two women who were either solo mothers or mothers living with a non marital partner. And that’s according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 50 years ago, one in 10 births were to an unmarried woman and although women are still grossly underpaid in comparison to men. I will not get on my soapbox about that. Women


are now outpacing men in earning master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. And 10 and a half percent of women are now among the top earners in the workforce. And it’s growing. So watch out boys. So that explains a little bit about why feminism is driving manufacturers and dating, but it’s also driving relationships. A study came out a number of years ago that said men and women who shared domestic duties had 50% more sex than couples in which the women did most of the housework. Guys, I have your attention again, suddenly, as I’m talking about sex. Now keep in mind that most of these women who are doing the housework and maybe some of you listening right now, are also still going to work. So while we got ahead in the workplace, we were still living in our homes like it was 1950, which meant that women We’re getting caught in the middle and having to work everywhere that they went. And you know what that leads to tired women who don’t want to have sex. What else? women who are a boss in their position at work, but don’t feel fully appreciated at home. You know, what makes a woman feel like having sex being valued. It’s that simple. We have figured out the solution to this epidemic of married couples having significantly less sex than they did 20 years ago, which was reported on by a medical school in London that did a study of couples in relationships. This study also reported an increase in people wanting to have sex. So we’re not having less sex because we want to have less sex. We’re having less sex, because we just can’t. And leveling the playing field at home for women is the quickest way To get us out of this conundrum. So my tip, if you’re embarking on a new relationship, set the rules of the partnership early on, it’s much easier to do that than to try to change them once you’ve both fallen into the relationship routine, and equality is the name of the game. Now, I have to mention, as we’re talking about feminism, don’t tense up on me. What is feminism really mean? Well, if you Google it, you’ll see that it’s defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. It doesn’t say anything about man hating. There is no mention of traditional roles in the household. I sense nothing militant about it. Feminism simply means equality. And that is what we’re striving for equality partnership. But as we define partnerships in the new paradigm, they don’t necessarily look like they did 25 or 50 years ago. Which brings us to our third and final element of today’s show connection. Welcome to part three, where we’re talking about connection and how that impacts the future of dating and relationships. You may have heard me say on the show before that we are in the middle of a communication crisis. But it’s really deeper than that. It’s a crisis of connection. At a time when technology has allowed us to be always on always connected. We are more disconnected than ever, because we’re not running to our technology with a drive to connect right now. It’s our drive to disconnect from the reality that we’re in the need to escape the present moment that is sending us running to our phones. disconnection is driving connection. How backwards is that? But here’s the real problem. The problem moment is all that we have. One of the biggest things that I coach my clients on is staying in the present moment on a date is that that is where all of the interesting stuff is happening. That’s where you find out all the information that you need to know. That’s where you get all the fields. But we are so fixated on our past. And whatever story we’re telling ourselves about the past, or we’re busy romanticizing about the future and what this person might mean to our lives down the road that we’re missing what’s right in front of us in real time. And we are all desperately wanting that connection in the present moment. We are aware of the connection crisis. Why else would there be a 52% increase in meditation and mindfulness app


revenue in just the last year. We are so dissatisfied from trying to escape At the present moment that we are willing to pay to be brought back into it. And in relationships, it’s vital that we are connecting to each other in the now, not over text, which can be time shifted, not over technology, but through direct in person human connection. Here’s my tip, to create more real time connection. Make sure that you are putting your phone on silent during a date, and tell your date that you’re doing this, thereby focusing your mind on what’s in front of you, and essentially telling them the level of focus that will be expected of them throughout the date. As we look to the future, we will see an openness to finding human connection in different ways than we saw in the past. First, the binary is behind us. While the human race has been propagated on this idea of man and woman, and I No much of the advice that you hear on the show is delivered in more of a gender binary framework is that is still the point of view of the majority of my audience right now. Society is opening up to different possibilities that we weren’t even aware of in previous generations, as we are sought out to find this connection. I remember watching the movie Chasing Amy with Joey Lauren Adams and Ben Affleck. And in it, Joey Lauren Adams character declares herself to be bisexual because by defaulting to straight, she automatically cut out half of her potential dating options. Just seeing this one movie and hearing that thought, made me completely reframe my perception of sexuality. So the next week I declared the same thing about my own sexuality. Soon after I declared it I realized that I’m very, very low number on the Kinsey scale, which means I am super attracted to men. But I needed that moment of opening up to the possibility to really be able to explore my options, expand my mind, and go after connection to figure out really what was right for me. And that’s what’s happening right now. We are waking up to possibilities of different gender identities and definitions of sexuality. We are not even really locked into this idea of bisexuality, you can be pansexual, you can be omnisexual, you can choose not to choose a label at all. And that only amplifies your options and your possibility of finding a match who meets you on a deep emotional level. And Mark my words, someone listening to this podcast right now will be in a relationship in five years, with someone of a gender identity that you didn’t think you were attracted to. might be you. And when that happens, I want you to message me. And to acknowledge that this was the moment that you opened the door just enough to let in a deep connection. As we’re talking about people of different backgrounds, and you expect one of my favorite dating topics, interracial dating is going to go through a massive expansion in the next five years. Massive. Okay, I don’t know, for those of you who’ve been watching, love and love is blind. I’m not sure why it took Lauren and Cameron for us to all get the message, but I’m thankful that it put interracial dating on the map. And it allowed us to see what happens when you judge someone truly by the content of their character, not by the way they look, but by the way that you connect with them. Looking at the most recent data 17% of all US newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, marking on more than five fold increase since 1967, when only 3% of newlyweds were married. We have many more things in common than we have different about us. Plus, the only way to overcome our differences is by creating connection across race and across nationality. Oh, speaking of nationality, interracial dating will also be on the rise over the past 30 years k one fiance visa is issuances. That’s a tough word to say. International dating will also be on the rise. Over the past 30 years k one fiance visas have increased by 75% as dating apps and Skype and WhatsApp and


all of these tools have made connections possible from country to country. And we will continue to see more of that. I have so many of my clients that have met and married internationally over the last 15 airs. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re single, your best possible match may not even be in this country right now. Here’s my tip. See what happens if you drill down to the three must have values and qualities in your match the ones that really matter to long term connection, and then take away anything that is a would like to have quality, anything that would deal with location, ethnicity, age, height, maybe even gender, and then see what magic might happen. This is such an amazing time. Our dating pool has expanded so dramatically in recent years. A study of census data in the 1950s if any of you read that book that Aziz Ansari wrote called Modern Romance he, he cited this data that as many as possible Third of people married someone who lived within five blocks of their home. five blocks. You were marrying your neighbors just 70 years ago. And now your dating pool has expanded to anyone in the entire world. This gives us the ability to choose partners who are more ideally matched, but also who can help us expand our worldview. What a wonderful time to be single, and to have choice. Those are my predictions for the future of dating and relationships. I also predict the dates and mates and I will still be here dishing out your advice in five years. Your love advice I want to say I also predict the dates and mates and I will still be here dishing out your love advice in five years. I love hearing from you. So please share your reactions to this episode with me either through social media or throw a review on your favorite podcast platform. And if there’s something in this episode that you think could help a friend out if there’s some way you can expand their mind and possibilities for finding love, please do us both a favor and share this show with them or post about it on social media. So we can spread the love and we can heal more hearts. We will be back again next week with a regular episode but today, I just want to thank you for 300 episodes of doing what I truly love, sharing the love I feel in my heart. And I love that I know it’s possible for you to feel to Until next week, I wish you happy dating