Love Language Gift Guide & Modern Marriage


Random fact: One of the most entertaining things about Damona’s job are the emails she gets from Jewish mothers.

You know her work in the LA Times and The Washington Post but did you know that Damona’s very first writing gig was as a dating expert for JDate?

For a while the emails from concerned mothers looking to help their sons in dating had subsided, but now because of the pandemic or politics or COVID, they have kicked up again.

Damona talks to Tod Jacobs & Peter Lynn from Jerusalem to give relationship tips from their new book Not A Partnership: Why We Keep Getting Marriage Wrong & How We Can Get It Right.

But first, let’s dish!


Holiday Gifts for Any Love Language

How to find the perfect gift for every person in your life– it’s actually less complicated than you think. Damona explains more. 



Dating Studies 2020 Roundup

A complete roundup of every noteworthy study on love for all you science nerds out there. Damona weighs in.



Elliot Page Comes Out As Transgender

A huge congratulations to Elliot Page and why you should be inspired by his story.




Tod Jacobs & Peter Lynn compiled a ton of research on marriage in their new book, Not A Partnership: Why We Keep Getting Marriage Wrong & How We Can Get It Right.



Damona 0:00
Happy Holidays lovers. It’s December. It’s Hanukkah week. So I’m feeling kind of festive. And I’m thinking a lot about all of the wonderful Jewish mothers who send me emails trying to find a match for their little boy his. I don’t know if you knew this, maybe you’ve read my work in LA Times and in the Washington Post, but did you know that my very first writing gig was actually at j date? Yeah, I was a dating expert for j date. And it was so fun. And it generated quite a lot of emails back then. So for a while, the emails from concerned Jewish mothers looking for help for their sons and dating had subsided. But I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or politics or something else, but they have kicked up again. So to all the Mamas and part time yentas This show is inspired by you. And it’s for anyone who is on the hunt for a happy marriage. In honor of my Jewish grandfather and all of his corny jokes. I will begin my intro today, with a joke set up a rabbi and a Jewish scholar walk into a dating podcast. Okay, there’s no punch line.

Unknown Speaker 1:18
There’s only a setup.

Damona 1:20
But I do have an awesome interview lined up for you. I’ll be talking to Todd Jacobs, and peterlin, who joined me from Jerusalem to give relationship tips from their new book, not a partnership, why we keep getting marriage wrong, and how we can get it right. This interview has caused quite a stir here at dates and mates headquarters, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. But first, I need to get you up to speed on the headlines for this week, how to find a special gift for your special person. And it’s actually less complicated than you think. And for you science nerds out there a complete roundup of every noteworthy study on love for 2020 Plus, a huge congratulations to Elliott page, and why you should be inspired by Elliott’s story. All that and more on today’s dates and mates, you’re ready to dish.

Love Languages seem to be in the air I found out this week about a new feature on Bumble, where you can actually add your love language to your profile. So you can figure out if you can speak the same language when you match with someone. But beyond that plenty of fish also added a love language feature they did a post on their blog about the best holiday gifts for everyone based on their love language. So for those of you who are not familiar with the five love languages, it was based on the research of Dr. Gary Chapman. And it breaks us all down into five different types based on how we perceive and receive love. You ever been in a situation where you’re telling somebody you love them and you’re gushing? And you think this person must know how I feel? Because I’m saying it with my words? Well, if they haven’t really acted like they heard it, or they’ve come to you and said, I didn’t really feel loved. It’s because you might have different love languages. Maybe yours is words of affirmation. Theirs is maybe the second one physical touch, or the third gift, or the fourth quality time. Or maybe you’re like me and you’re number five acts of service. So I’m all about those acts of service like you do something for me. Oh, you cook me dinner. Oh, it’s gonna happen. It is on I am so happy. You tell me you love me doesn’t quite land the same way. So if the person is more into, say, words of affirmation, the blocks just something as simple as a handwritten letter could really make the difference for them or meaningful jewelry that has a word that’s really significant to them. This is y’all I’m giving you I’m giving you this is golden. If you are shopping for someone, and you know their love language, check out the dates and blog because we will link to this and you will know exactly what to get your loved one for this holiday season. All right, my science nerds dating has come through for us they did a roundup of all of the studies from 2020 on love. First of all, I pride myself on being on top of all of this for you. And I try to read all the studies that I can because I love this data. I love seeing how human behavior works in real time. Not in theory, but actually what are we doing and how is the world that we’re interacting with changing the way that we move through relationships, but they even found they found some gems that I didn’t even know. They found that University of Chicago said couples who meet online are less likely to to divorce. That was a seven year study. You’ve heard me say here, but you can check out this dating roundup and see why couples who meet online are less likely to divorce. According to the University of Chicago study. They also said that, OK, Cupid reported one third of women say they get too many messages. But Pew says over half of men say they get too few messages online. Are you seeing a pattern? Is there a solution for this? I think it’s pretty clear when you look at the data. And one that I thought was super interesting plenty of fish again, they did a study on the words in your dating profile. And they found that singles who use the word love are more successful. And actually, when you when you go check out this, this study, or this Roundup, you’ll see that it’s not just the word love, but when you use love, passion words, in your profile, you actually are more likely to get a match. So even using the word relationship, which some people run away from, because they’re afraid if I say relationship, and that’s too serious, then he’s going to run away. Yes, honey, he’s going to run away, because that’s not what he wants, and you don’t want him wasting your time. So those who said relationship in their profiles, actually were more likely to end up in a relationship. There’s so much info, and I don’t want to overwhelm you. But I find it all very fascinating. And if you keep listening to dates and mates, of course, I will keep synthesizing all the most interesting studies down for you every week. You may have also heard in the news about Elliott page announcing that he is trans. Great news on this is he’s getting so much support not just from Hollywood, and from fans and from friends. But also his wife is supporting him and standing by him through this transition. And he also announced his pronouns are he and a. So I look I’m still learning about how to do this correctly, too. So maybe somebody can, y’all are not shy on the DM. So maybe somebody can DM me if I should be using he or if I should be using they there. But I just wanted to acknowledge something that I read about Paige, when he says he was pressured in many cases to always wear dresses, and heels for events and photoshoots. You may remember he starred in the movie Juno. And he’s done a lot of roles. Oh, inception, that was one of my, that’s one of my favorite movies, I’ve probably seen that movie like 10 times. And when he goes to when he went to the red carpets, he was forced to dress a certain way that didn’t align with the way that he felt inside. And it made me think of you all actually it made, it reminded me of what you go through to twist and turn and contort yourself and present yourself to be seen on a date. And I was just having this conversation with a client the other day, who was worried about what to wear to a date that was going to be outside and whether the jacket was was was flattering enough or the right color. And I realized that all this info that I give you about how to present yourself. And these little tricks like I tell you were read in your profile, and how you want to show up in a in a dating profile photo. But I just also want to remind you that the very most important thing is for you to be yourself is for you to be authentic, and for you to actually shed away those layers, so that you can be comfortable in your own skin. So if anyone has gotten a message from me that they have to wear a dress to a date, or they have to show up in a certain way in order to be attractive. Go ahead and scratch that out right now. And replace it with I need to feel sexy, I need to feel feel attractive. I need to feel good and comfortable myself to be my best self on the date. So thank you, Elliot page, thank you for leading the way I know it is it is so hard. It is so hard to go through such a public process of transitioning. And maybe you are not transgender and going through a similar experience. But you can certainly relate to what I just said, of having to pretend that you’re somebody you’re not in order to be liked or loved. And I’d say as we go into this new year, let’s put that aside. Let’s be ourselves, let’s be authentic, let’s be comfortable in our own bodies. And let’s let all the haters fall to the wayside because 2020 is coming off and also our break is coming Write up. I want to share this interview with the authors of not a partnership. It is fascinating and I think you’ll really enjoy it. But you got to stick around for just a moment to hear it.

Welcome back. I’m here with Todd Jacobs and Peter Lynn. They’re both professors at the David Robinson Institute for Jewish heritage in Jerusalem. They’re joining me from all the way across the pond. They help their students figure out a pathway to successful living that uses Jewish tradition, ancient texts, mysticism, Do I have your attention? So look, even if you are not Jewish, you will be able to relate to this interview because it’s all about their research on how to make your marriage strong. And they’ve put it all together in their new book, not a partnership, why we keep getting marriage wrong, and how we can get it right. So no matter what your faith, if you’re relationship minded, maybe even marriage minded, you need to join me for the inside scoop. Please now help me give big smooches to my guests, Todd, and Peter. Hello, gentlemen, welcome to the show.

Unknown Speaker 11:09
Thank you so much.

Damona 11:11
Well, we need to we need to talk because a lot of my audience out here, they are relationship minded. Some of them are looking for marriage, some of them are just looking for commitment, but most of them are looking for something a little bit more than they’re in right now. First, I want to talk about in your book, not a partnership, you talk about the institution of marriage, right and looking at marriage, like a job.

Unknown Speaker 11:45
I like

Unknown Speaker 11:46
a good job,

Damona 11:48
a good job, a job that you want. But, you know, in a way people, people are always telling me marriage is so hard. It’s so much work. But I feel like it’s it’s it’s it’s work like this is work for me. Like I love doing it. And I love helping people. But what do you mean, when you say, marriage is like a job?

Unknown Speaker 12:06
You know, we first of all, when we talk about marriage, one of the things we try to do is to give a bit more of a depth and what marriage means than just kind of let’s call it the legal description. And the legal description is one which is you know, up for grabs. And it means different things to different people in different contexts in different countries. But what we what we’re talking about really, is a relationship that is driven by a commitment that I have towards making my spouse, the center of my concern, the center of my attention. And then I view my job, so to speak as a very elevated job. It’s not It’s not the job as a martyr, it’s an incredible job of helping give that person the life that they want and deserve. And when a person is committed to that for their spouse, and the spouse is committed back now, whether they are legally married, legally not married, living together, what I mean, it’s the dynamic is going to be same dynamic, if two people are committed to building and completing each other and giving the other the life that they want and deserve and need. That can create a an incredibly beautiful dynamic in their relationship. And that’s what we are trying to focus people on because we think that’s missing in lots of relationships. Hmm,

Damona 13:24
that’s certainly missing. And I find that a lot of people aren’t having the conversations early on about what they really want, and really, how they even define what the partnership looks like. Right? What do you think about that? Peter? When do you feel like the conversation should begin around partnership or the the goals for the relationship?

Unknown Speaker 13:51
So I would say like this, is that if you’re looking for someone that you want to have a significant relationship with, what you find is, it doesn’t have to be day one. But the sooner you see if you line up in more of a long term way, that does two things. It frees you up to allow yourself to actually get closer to this person. And you’ll see that down the line, you’re not going to run into major roadblocks when the relationship actually does get closer. What happens a lot of times, as we all know, is that people find this relationship and it goes great. But once serious issues start coming up about what is the long term look like? What do we want for you know, the future of our lives, all of a sudden, you have people that they realize, you know, we’re just not on the same page at all. And then it takes a lot of energy to now start over and you know, try and find that with someone else again, the world of dating can be very depleting and we feel there are lots of things out there that can be done to To make it much smoother for people in their journey to find either a great relationship, or ultimately, the one they want to spend the rest of their life with. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Damona 15:10
And that, that idea of, Oh, no, I have to go back to the pool, again, is something I hear from a lot, a lot, a lot of my listeners. And, you know, I feel like, if you aren’t in the right partnership, it’s worth the effort that you put in before, and it shouldn’t be that much effort. In The Now, like, I like going back to what I was saying, originally, to you, Todd. When people say relationships are a lot of work, I’m like, kind of, I feel like the wrong relationships can be a lot of work. Do you see that? Don’t tell me if I, maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe I’m looking at that with one with just one lens. I feel free to disagree with me.

Unknown Speaker 16:05
You know, relationships, they can make you without work. But I don’t think that there’s anyone that stands, you know, at their wedding. And they say to themselves, you know, well, I’m looking forward to an okay, marriage. You know, no one, no one says I’m, you know, no one says, as a claim the cake, you know, with the spouse in the band is good. No one says, you know, oh, a mediocre is good for me. You know, I was okay with a BMI in high school, but I didn’t think that my wedding day. And, and we all know that in order to really have something in our life that things want to achieve a goal you want to go after, it’s going to take a lot of effort to get there in order to really make that excellent, that end product amazing. And so, you’re right, a person can be relationship, and Okay, you know, you just ride it out. But what you’ll see very fast is we live in a world today where things get old, very fast, and things lose their freshness very fast. And we all know, you know, we’re all guilty of this, that we drop our guard really fast as well, sometimes a bit too fast. You know, I can be a certain way in my public life. But unfortunately, I come in my private life a lot of times, you know, my behavior is not as good as it may be when I’m at work, or when I’m in front of my friends. And what I think it means when we say work is demonio 100%. Right? I don’t think it’s hard work. Because when you feel like always you when you’re with the right person, why wouldn’t you want to do that work. So it makes it beautiful. But I do realize that in order to make my marriage, let’s say my relationship get to where I want to get to, I know, if I work harder communication, I put effort in to making us have you know, romantic dates, I go out of my way to show different forms of respect to my spouse, I do things that maybe naturally when you feel like doing but I go out of my way to implement all these things that we see that you know, can bring greatness to certain relationships in your life. And I put them in my in my relationship, my marriage. So those proactive efforts are what we’re talking about as far as what we look at as work. And what we find is that relationships that are always trying to be better, trying to work harder, trying to actively get closer, when you’re going to see is that relationships end up bringing way more happiness to the people that are involved in it. And people that are in relationships, that is let them kind of let’s just let them go. And let’s see where they get to. Unfortunately, sometimes you’ll see that without a lot of effort to make it amazing. things naturally deteriorate, which is what we see in all places in life.

Damona 18:58
But what do you do in the instance where you’re committed to making your relationship work, and maybe your partner is not in the same place. And I hear this a lot as well, from people that are in partnerships, and they’re like, I’m trying, like, I’m working on my communication, I’m trying to show up for them, I’m trying to improve it, and they’re just, they’re just exhausted, they’re not paying attention. They don’t want to go to therapy. They don’t they don’t want to do the do the work, right. What then,

Unknown Speaker 19:32
look, you know, the reality is the sad reality is there are relationships which are dysfunctional. There are there are a certain percentage of relationships which are just simply dysfunctional, and one side might be the source of the dysfunctionality. And it could be that no matter what you do, you’re not going to be met with the response, the gratitude, the reception, the love the you know, the the trust that you need. It’s possible. But what we’ve seen are maybe I would answer it from two angles. One question is, you know, what makes a person love another person. And this is really this is sticking on your issue of the work. Okay? We ask our students all the time, and I and I, you know, I’ve had this conversation, many people, we talked about it in the book, you know, what is it that causes love? Do I love someone who gives to me? And because they give to me, and they’re good to me in a nice way to take care of me, therefore, I love them. Or do I love where I give? So again, if you pull it out of a romantic relationship, let’s take a child with a parent. Okay, so who loves who more a child? Or does a child of the parent more generally is parent the child more generally, most most people agree that the parents love the children way more than the children of parents. Why is that? I thought one second, but but the parent is doing all the giving, at least for certainly for many years, parents do it’s like a one way giving relationship.

Damona 20:58
I know, I have two of them.

Unknown Speaker 21:01
And so and why is it the parents love their children, and the more that gives them, the more they love them? And the answer is because the more you invest in yourself in the other, and you see yourself in the other, you see your effort in the other and you put yourself in the other, you expand yourself into into a way that creates love for the other. And, and in a relationship. You know, I once had a religion and we’d have tell us a story in the in the book about we were at 30,000 feet on a private plane, a few analysts and you know, you know, doing taking research around the country. And and one of the young analysts was complaining that his wife, you know, he just doesn’t love her anymore, because she just doesn’t do much for him anymore. They’ve been married a couple years. And I said to him, you’re missing the whole point of what causes love. I said, there’s an old rabbi who basically taught something which you don’t have to be religious to listen to. But you got to be interested in what what love is, I said, you know, if you would start giving to your wife, instead of waiting for her to give to you, if you start giving to her, doing things for her, putting her at the center of your concern, putting her into your calendar as something that, you know, making sure you’re calling her but when you said it’s not just a wife, it’s a it’s a lover, a wife, a friend, anybody, but particularly in a loving relationship, you know, if you would start giving to her, you will find that your love for her expands dramatically. And by the way, that will usually trigger something in the other. And and that and he, by the way, came back to me Two months later and said, our relationship has changed. He said, I decided I have nothing to lose by trying. And and I have found that I’ve like fallen back in love with my wife again. And we’re falling in love again. And it dovetails with one other piece of advice that we go into extensively in the book, which we think is maybe the most important chapter, which is that the chapter is called, it all depends on me. Most people think I’ll start getting started in fixing a relationship when my spouse shows me that they’re willing to do the work, or my kids, were saying spouse, but again, it matters in any relationship doesn’t have to be a married relationship. When the other person, my lover starts doing the work, then I’ll start doing the work. And what we found is quite the contrary. Most people if they examine themselves, realize and find out that they have one or two traits that need fixing, that always have a negative impact on the relationship. It’ll have a negative impact all over their life. By the way, if you have an anger problem, selfishness problem, it comes out everywhere. But nowhere will it come out as badly as in your relationship, especially after a little bit of time when you let your guard down. And if I realize I’ve got an anger problem, and it’s poisoning my relationship with my with my with my with my other, one of the most main things I can do is to start working on anger problem not forget about forget about the other person for a moment, just work on my own issue. And when and when that when that my partner comes in my partner, my wife, my husband, whoever it is, comes in and sees on my bedside table all these books about anger management, they see that I’m listening to a podcast and they see that I’m going to therapy, and I’m trying to fix the issue. It’s amazing what that can do to jumpstart a relationship where things have gone haywire up until now and the other side again, unless the other person is very dysfunctional, they may begin to and probably will begin to examine what I bring to the table here. What am I doing that maybe is not so good for relationships, and you can start a virtuous cycle, to really kickstart things again,

Damona 24:21
I often talk about the mindset piece as you’re looking for a partner, and how to how to get clarity on what you’re looking for, but also get clarity on what you’re bringing to the table. And that’s all part of the magical mindsets do of preparing yourself for the right relationship for you. So what you just said, I want to make sure everyone really hears it. And, and, and I see this also for singles in the Peep There are people that want to, they want to complain, they want to be frustrated. They want to be down on love, but then when ask them, What have you actually done to change the situation? It’s usually just complaining and commiserating. And swiping button, not having really the intention. And so that intention of wanting to change and wanting to do your best is really, really important. Now, I would love to, to turn the conversation of it around the, the whole institution of marriage, we’re seeing that people are marrying at lower rates, they’re waiting longer to get married. And I have always been pro marriage, I know I have a lot of a lot of LGBTQ listeners that didn’t always have the ability to get married, now are worried that they might not have the ability in the future. But let’s say that aside, I feel that my life is enhanced by by being married. And, and the funny thing is, I can’t even really identify where that idea of needing to be married or wanting to be married, came from versus like, I’ll just stay in this partnership. And as long as life is okay, we’ll continue on. And I hear also from a lot of people who are divorced, and especially people who are divorced multiple times, that they’re no longer interested in marriage again. So if you would, for me, maybe defend the Institute, institution of marriage, or, or celebrate the virtues of marriage, or tell me why that’s actually not as important in a partnership as maybe it was, back when I was 25.

Unknown Speaker 26:54
Look, you know, they’re the historical reasons that, you know, that, that in many societies, you know, sort of enhanced the need for marriage, you know, when when men were the only ones who could work and when women needed physical protection, and they couldn’t make a living, and there was no equality and things like that. A lot of those a lot of those reasons don’t mean anything to anybody anymore. What I think does retain the spark. And by the way, in the research and the most recent research that we’ve ever seen, the actual number of people who speak about marriage as something that is at the top of their priority list. Now, it may not be number one priority for everyone anymore. And it may be in a way that it might have been 3040 years ago, but but it seems to be in the top two or three priorities of what I want out of life. And marriage is frequently right at the top of that list. So the question is why now why not just kind of get together with somebody that I like, and and we’ll move in together, and we’ll have a good relationship, and we’ll take care of each other. It seems to be that, that what marriage does beyond any kind of legal definition is, is it it creates a sense of commitment, and exclusivity, where we’re where it’s you and me together, and we’re shutting everybody else out. And we’re totally committed to each other. And by the way, there’s a through thick and thin component that people think of in marriage, but not so much in let’s get together as long as it’s fun. You know, things, a lot of things happen, which you don’t think about when you meet that person across the room, and they’re really attractive and really healthy and really young, just like you are, you know, you think it’s going to stay like that. Well, guess what a lot of things happen in life. There’s financial setbacks, and there’s health setbacks, and there’s all kinds of things that happen. Well, what why don’t I stick around with you, if I haven’t really committed myself to you and a more meaningful way than just as long as you make me happy, satisfied, and are fun to be with, you know, beyond that, what, you know, if when a person goes that one step further than they say, I want to actually create a bond, which however, I think about it, when I think about as legally or religiously or spiritually, but I’m creating a bond that is through thick and thin. When I can come to trust the other person with my life, you know, we have acquaintances, we have friends, we have close friends, and then we’ve got this this realm of exclusivity, where we share where we are one, we literally become one person that’s bigger than the two of us as separate beings. That gives a level of intimacy, happiness, security, well being that that we just have not seen repeated in other areas. And it’s and it’s something to do with the commitment level. And it’s something to do with the intimacy and the privacy of that relationship, which is, you know, you can use the word sacred. You can use the word spiritual, you can use the word you know, you know, just beyond it’s just increasing. It’s a oneness, it’s a different level. And that seems to be something that rings and people at a very deep level.

Unknown Speaker 30:08
And then

Damona 30:10
when we’re talking about, sorry, just gonna pop up when we’re talking about marriage in the current function of society, and now that people can, you can have a child, you don’t have to be married, you can buy property. I mean, not even that long ago, a woman couldn’t even take out a loan in her own name. Now, we don’t we don’t need you fellas for that we can get our own loans. And I’m I am still seeing though people that are that will move into a partnership and even buy property with someone, but then not necessarily have have the plan for marriage or may specifically want to push marriage away. They don’t even like the idea of marriage from just from a, I guess a security standpoint, do you feel like there’s still value in the institution of marriage? Or did that go away when you know, women started cashing our own checks?

Unknown Speaker 31:20
I mean, you see, so many fastening we just said, Is it even now that you know that, that thank God, women have all these rights, which are just normal and healthy, that the fact that you still see a desire for that relationship? And something called marriage shows you how much of a part of us it actually really is. And you know, I think that what happens a lot of times is that you see that couples will go really far they’ll you know, they will buy that property together, they’ll move in together, they’ll do all these things. The question is what happens as far as making that final commitment, what holds them back, if they’re basically functioning as a married couple, what now holds them back from actually doing this thing called marriage. And what happens and what we’ve seen a lot, and I’ve seen this, just across the board through different things I’ve read with people we’ve worked with is that commitments are really difficult. And you know, one of the one of the things if you look at the word, you know, when you look at the word decide, it’s the same word as homicide, when you make a decision, you kill other options, or pesticide. And what’s scary a lot of times in life is that when you make certain decisions, you go for it, you’re now saying this is it, and nothing else. And we live in a world today where there are so many options. And you can be in so many different places. And you can be in so many different kinds of relationships. And through the world of social media, you’re seeing so many other life choices. Making that final commitment is a scary thing for people. And I think that’s where people kind of get stuck a little bit. Because as long as I don’t say that word marriage, as long as we don’t go to the courthouse, as long as we don’t have that religious event, I’m still there’s still an option of if this doesn’t go a certain way I can run. But if you already see a couple going that far, where they’re doing everything but marriage. So you know, the question to ask them is that? What would really change? Other than now they’d have a certificate on their wall? Or do they change if they actually did go to that courthouse, technically speaking, not much, but emotionally speaking a lot. And where I think that a lot actually is, is to go the distance and really shut yourself off from the rest of the world and say, I’m putting my entire life into this person is a difficult thing for people to do.

Damona 34:04
Mm hmm. Yeah. And it’s also it’s not even just difficult. It’s also a, it can be scary because there are there are potential consequences. Like I talked to a lot of successful women, who they have a good credit score, they are making good money and they’re like, if I marry this person, then suddenly now I am legally bonded, I am now responsible for his finances. And his credit score becomes my credit score. For those who don’t know, those are those are facts, and you take on his debt, and that is really, that is really a tough pill for a lot of women to swallow.

Unknown Speaker 34:50
Right? And the truth is, it becomes a question of prioritization in some sense, because if I know that she won’t go the distance with me and commit to me, because she’s afraid I’m going to bring her credit score down. How much will I can I just shoot? Well, I really give her my full trust. Because in the back of my mind, I always think, you know, there’s part of this, that’s just really, she’s just worried about me being a financial drain, she’s worried about this. And there’s the, again, whether you call it marriage, or whether you don’t call it marriage, or whether it’s legal or not legal, what creates the the level of intimacy and security, which on a long term basis, we’ve seen can lead to incredible happiness and well being. And by the way, and romance and, you know, good physical relationship and everything else, that a lot of that has to do with the fact that I say I am, I am yours, and you are mine. And we’re building something bigger than ourselves, and we’re in it through thick, and again, it’s that thick and thin component of it, which if it’s not there, and each side has always gotten the back of their head, I can get out of this, and if my credit score is going to suffer, or if or if they’re not, you know, or if a little illness is going to come in, or a little financial setback is going to come in or if you know, I just don’t, you know, they just they’re not as interesting anymore, or whatever it is there, you just can’t get the same level of conductivity. As long as that, you know, that sort of exit door is still always swinging in the background. That’s so it’s a question of what you want, it’s a question of what you really want.

Damona 36:30
But this idea of the Paradox of Choice, and that if you have the exit strategy, you might want to take it, and that doesn’t necessarily give you the most, the greatest opportunity for growth in the relationship is really profound. Before we go, I also want to get into your four pillars of giving. Because, you know, this is an element of the book of not a partnership, which of course, we’ll link to in the show notes. But I think this is really, this is good life advice, as well as good partnership advice, can you leave us with with those four pillars to take the next next phase,

Unknown Speaker 37:10
maybe period, I’ll take the first to keep it fresh and gratitude. And I’ll take that, and I’ll take the last year.

Unknown Speaker 37:15
So just just so you know that the four pillars are really, you know, if we had to define what the PDF manual is, and how to build a relationship, okay, it’s very simple. And that is the world of giving. And what we have seen is that the ultimate formula of how your relationship is going to go from good to great is by people giving. So what we designed, is we took in the back of our book, and really the whole second half of it, is we have four pillars of giving and we broke up different ways of how to see giving. Okay, so the first two pillars are pillar number one, is the idea of people working hard to keep their marriage fresh. Okay, for example, when I first started dating my wife, okay, I made a real effort to look good to, you know, smell a certain way to her with my words, to buy gifts to, you know, really make sure that I you know, I carried myself a certain way privately when we were alone together. And after birth time, you know, you’ve been together for a period of time and feeling a bit tired, and that energy is no longer there. One of the ways I can give to my spouse or anyone gives me the relationships, you know what, I’m going to make that same effort that I once made. And what you’ll find is that when you make that effort, so that brings a certain freshness to the relationship, no matter how long you’ve been in the relationship. During number two, is the world of gratitude. And unfortunately, what happens is, we are, we are doomed by something called expectations. And if you look in the world, especially in my background for the positive psychology, that if you’re looking to make something really rich in life, as far as any relationship, fill it with gratitude, and you will see an exponential change. And what happens a lot of times in life is places where we have high expectations. So our gratitude is actually quite low. Okay, in my relationship, so what happens is, I expect all these things for my spouse. So once she goes way beyond it, okay, I’m gonna express my gratitude. And once she drops one little ounce below it, I’m a frustrated guy. But you go to Starbucks and you walk out of Starbucks and you just, you know, purchased a $15 frappuccino, and you leave your credit card, and some you know, and someone runs up to you and says, excuse me, No, ma’am, sir. You left your credit card. You’re like, Oh my gosh, you know, greatest person in the world. You take a selfie, send a Christmas card. You tell everyone over the weekend, what happened like this person is is God’s gift to the world, he saved your life. And there are no expectations, all of a sudden, something happens, my gratitude levels are awesome. And where your gratitude levels should be the highest of those people that are doing the most for you to give you the life that you want, is there any place in your life that someone is doing as much for you than in your relationship, if there’s any place where gratitude should be absolutely flowing, is that is in your relationship, and people who go out of their way to proactively do that their relationships are drastically different. So that’s the, that’s a little bit of a summary of the first two pillars.

Damona 40:45
And before Thank you so much, Peter, before we move on to the last two pillars, I just want to add on about gratitude. Because I also do this with singles and I have people practice gratitude in their daily life now. Because if you are going into a relationship from a place of needing or not having rather than feeling the fullness of your life as is and the things that you have, that you are grateful for, if if you are going in from that place of not having you cannot attract as much abundance in my experience, so thank you for reminding us that we need to continue to practice gratitude. All right, take us home, Todd.

Unknown Speaker 41:28
The third pillar we call respect in all its forms, and one of the one of the deep mystical teachings is that as much as people feel that love comes first and drives the relationship, what what is what can be really more fundamental, and which ultimately drives love, is the way I show respect to my other. and respect comes in many forms. You know, there are people who will, let’s say, Be extravagant in the way they spend on their on their loved one. But on the other hand, they don’t speak to the person nicely, they’re a little bit insulting, they’re a little bit degrading, they’re a little bit coarse. And so on the one hand, you’re one second, I’ve given you everything you need, haven’t I given you, you know, all that you want all you’ve asked for? Well, yeah, but you haven’t treated me like someone who you actually care about respect. And there are people by the way, flip it around, there are people who sort of I recognize that, wow, this is a, this is a real soul I’m dealing with. And so I want to always speak respectfully and kindly and be nice. On the other hand, I forget about the person’s physical needs. And so I stopped spending. So so so so a healthy, full board respect is, I care about the way speak to you, I care about the way I speak about you, I show you respect when you’re speaking to me that I actually pay attention to listen to you, and I’m not on my phone. And I’m not looking, I’m not answering I’m not answering text at the same time, you’re trying to tell me about your day. And I’m also willing to, to give of myself financially, physically time energy, so that that total, that total experience that you can receive or give, which is all about how you treat the other, that sort of thing both increases the way that you’ll love the other again, for reasons we said before the love where you give, and it certainly will make the other feel tremendously respected by you. And that will drive the others love for you as well. So that’s the that’s the idea of respect. And we go through the litmus test you can take to see if you’re actually scoring well on that, and, and a lot of tips on how to get back there.

Damona 43:43
I hope cardi B takes that test. That’s all I’m saying. All right. And number four,

Unknown Speaker 43:49
number four, number four is, is is that we call it It all depends on me. And and it’s again, the idea that if something is failing in my relationship, don’t do what people always do and look at the other and say you’re messing things up, start with what can I do to kickstart this relationship? What can I fix in myself? What can I improve on myself without respect to the other, but it will have a benefit and spillover and probably the most direct benefit to the other. By the way, again, if I correct my anger problem, or my selfishness problem, or that I talked too much or or that I’m too closed, or whatever the problem is, if the greatest recipient of the gift of my working through my issue is going to be the one that I love, it’s going to be that person I’m in an intimate relationship with. And again, that we have seen we have seen in relationships that were on the rocks, and and both sides were pointing fingers and blaming each other. And we sat down usually if we had the opportunity to sit down with each side separately, sometimes we only knew one side. And we would say look, just stop focusing on what your partner isn’t doing. Focus on what you’re doing and how you Do it better, and see if things improve. And we have seen 90% of the time things not only improve, but they, they just rocket ahead. And they cause all kinds of improvements on the other side as well. And then you get this virtuous cycle of each trying to be better in the relationship with with the with, with all the benefits that accrue to the other side and then back to themselves. It’s a beautiful, it’s a beautiful cycle that you can kickstart about. Thank

Damona 45:25
you. This has been a beautiful conversation. I feel really inspired. As someone who is married has been married a long time, and does a lot of things that you’re talking about, I still learned a few more things that I’m going to be implementing in my home and my relationship and taking care of my side is straight, because it all depends on me. Thank you so much for being here. Gentlemen, I hope everyone will check out your book, not a partnership. We’ll put the link in the show notes. In the meantime, I wanted to wish you happy Hanukkah, and happy new year. And hopefully this will get people to be in the right place as we move into end of the year beginning to examine the year that we’ve had and where we want to be in the future. So thank you so much. Thank you

Unknown Speaker 46:14
so much, so much. Great to be here.

Damona 46:16
This has been Episode 339 of dates and maids. I would love to connect with you. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I love your DMS, those of you who have DM me, you know, I usually respond with actually a voice memo. I love to hear your voice. You can voice memo me on Instagram and I will voice memo you back, give you some insight and then maybe even use your question on a future episode of the show. So don’t be shy. I love to hear from you. I’m at damona Hoffman on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Speaking of loving to hear from you. I also love connecting with you and I have a group Do you know about the inner circle my patreon Friends with Benefits group, you can join for just five bucks and that supports this show. And it gives you access to my exclusive Facebook Lives where I talk about the behind the scenes insights from this show and also give you insights on whatever it is that you’re dealing with. We do a live q&a. Every week. We have tons of other resources. We have webinars and video clips and library content from dates and mates. And I want you to join me and get in the club you can join slash dates and mates and honey it’s only five bucks. So set aside a little for yourself this year. And come and join the club is I will now step away to light the candles of Hanukkah. I hope I have lit the candles of love and marriage and long term partnership within you. So I hope you continue along your journey wherever you are. We’ll be here for another two weeks in December. But I wanted to let you know we are moving to Tuesdays in January. So if you’re not subscribed to the show, make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss an episode. I’ll remind you again next week. Speaking of next week, I have an awesome interview with the cutest couple. Honestly, they’re so cute. They live in Atlanta and they found love in the middle of a pandemic on Bumble and they’re going to share their story with us on dates and mates. I hope you find it as inspirational as I do. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Get Your Ex Back & Daddy Culture


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

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


But first, Damona covers headlines:


The latest stats on COVID dating behaviors

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


What is ‘Daddy Culture’

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


Divorce is the only option

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


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

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

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

They discuss:

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


Find more from Lee on Youtube or at


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

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


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Damona  0:12  

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


Damona  1:29  

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


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


Lee Wilson  12:06  

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


Damona  13:03  

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


Lee Wilson  13:15  

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


Damona  14:37  

Yeah, rejection happened.


Lee Wilson  14:38  

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


Damona  15:13  

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


Lee Wilson  15:34  

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


Damona  16:05  

I’ve been there. Yeah.


Lee Wilson  16:09  

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


Damona  17:42  

I can’t make you love me if you don’t


Lee Wilson  17:46  

write a song about that.


Lee Wilson  17:47  

I think that’d be a hit.


Lee Wilson  17:51  

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


Damona  18:05  

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


Lee Wilson  18:34  

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


Damona  19:12  

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


Lee Wilson  19:18  

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


Damona  19:46  

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


Lee Wilson  20:19  

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


Damona  21:36  

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


Lee Wilson  22:13  

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


Damona  23:34  

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


Lee Wilson  23:40  

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


Damona  24:54  

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


Lee Wilson  25:23  

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


Damona  26:21  

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


Lee Wilson  26:34  

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


Damona  26:59  

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


Lee Wilson  27:04  

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


Damona  28:52  

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


Lee Wilson  29:09  

I appreciate it very much enjoyed it.


Damona  29:11  

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


Damona  29:39  

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


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

Proposing to Him & Couple Covid Finances


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

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


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

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines! 


Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green call in quits

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


How to weather the oncoming financial crisis

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


COVID Season’s Hottest Dating Profile Musthave

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Damona  0:12

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


Unknown Speaker  3:15  

let’s dish these dating dish.


Damona  3:19  

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


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


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


Unknown Speaker  11:33  

Yeah, 50% of the legwork.


Damona  11:38  

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


Unknown Speaker  11:55  

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


Damona  12:10  

You messaged her first though.


Unknown Speaker  12:12  

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


Unknown Speaker  12:27  

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


Unknown Speaker  12:31  

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


Damona  12:36  

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


Unknown Speaker  12:45  

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


Damona  12:50  

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


Unknown Speaker  13:07  

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


Unknown Speaker  13:38  

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


Damona  13:44  

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


Unknown Speaker  14:04  

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


Damona  14:16  

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


Unknown Speaker  15:09  

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


Damona  15:34  

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


Unknown Speaker  15:42  



Unknown Speaker  15:43  

yeah. So both of our parents were divorced.


Unknown Speaker  15:46  

Both of our dads went on to remarry,


Unknown Speaker  15:51  

mind multiple times.


Unknown Speaker  15:54  

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


Unknown Speaker  16:02  

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


Damona  16:10  

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


Unknown Speaker  17:14  

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


Unknown Speaker  17:40  

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


Unknown Speaker  17:48  

Yeah. I love that.


Damona  17:50  

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


Unknown Speaker  19:21  

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


Damona  20:12  

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


Unknown Speaker  20:18  

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


Damona  20:46  

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


Unknown Speaker  20:48  

Toyota, everybody by Toyota.


Unknown Speaker  20:53  

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


Unknown Speaker  20:57  

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


Damona  21:30  

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


Unknown Speaker  21:34  

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


Damona  24:12  

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


Unknown Speaker  24:14  

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


Damona  24:20  

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


Unknown Speaker  24:22  

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


Unknown Speaker  24:29  

He didn’t know until the moment of


Unknown Speaker  24:32  

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


Damona  24:44  

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


Unknown Speaker  24:47  

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


Unknown Speaker  26:32  

doing. dropping a much bigger hint.


Unknown Speaker  26:35  

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


Unknown Speaker  27:28  

he was shocked.


Unknown Speaker  27:30  

Yeah, I was pretty much completely taken aback. He


Unknown Speaker  27:34  

stopped talking.


Damona  27:37  

How and how long was this pause before he replied.


Unknown Speaker  27:40  

No, like eternity.


Unknown Speaker  27:42  

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


Unknown Speaker  27:45  

probably. Yeah, ultimately, I’m


Unknown Speaker  27:47  

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


Unknown Speaker  27:53  



Unknown Speaker  27:56  

Oh, I didn’t say yes. He said.


Unknown Speaker  27:57  



Unknown Speaker  27:59  

Yeah. case that


Unknown Speaker  28:00  

gratulate me down.


Damona  28:04  

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


Unknown Speaker  28:47  



Damona  28:48  

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


Unknown Speaker  29:00  

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


Unknown Speaker  29:31  

Hey, by the way, got engaged.


Unknown Speaker  29:32  

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


Unknown Speaker  30:32  

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


Damona  30:41  

You can totally hear him


Unknown Speaker  30:43  

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


Unknown Speaker  30:53  

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


Damona  30:56  

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


Unknown Speaker  31:05  

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


Damona  31:09  

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


Unknown Speaker  31:16  

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


Damona  31:24  

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


Unknown Speaker  31:37  

Thank you.


Damona  31:39  

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


Unknown Speaker  33:52  

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


Damona  33:58  

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


Good Men & Finding Love Again


You’ve heard us say before that this is the best time in history for women to be single – and everyone else on the planet, too.

I know you’re skeptical. If you’re frustrated in dating and feeling like you don’t have good dating options then this show is for you.

Today, I have a very special co-host joining Damona. You may remember him as her co-host from the groundbreaking TV series #BlackLove where they teamed up to teach black women how to date in New York City. Hard to believe but this year will mark 5 years since that groundbreaking show was made. 

Jack Daniels – aka the King of Breakthroughs – is a psychotherapist and founder of the Good Men Introduction Agency, a new twist on dating. 

He is a 5-time bestselling author of books like “Stay Out of Your Own Way” and “I Need a Wife – Where are the Real Women?”

You’ve seen Jack in Fox News, Bravo, A&E, Nightline, Lifetime, CBS, NBC, NPR, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and so much more!

And now he’s here to answer the question: where are all the good men?

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Are there actually plenty of fish in the sea?

According to this article from the Atlantic, dating economists argue that dating is not a 1:1 market. What does this mean for you? Damona and Jack break it down.

Finally a reality show for single seniors!

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that ABC has announced a “Bachelor for seniors.” Damona thinks this is a great concept for a forgotten market. Does Jack agree? 


Should you date in the workplace?

Recently, WeWork announced that a member of their executive staff has stepped down after promoting someone he was in a relationship with. Damona is very adamant that you should not date in the workplace (Bonus Reading: Damona’s NPR LifeKit episode on dating in the workplace.) Jack disagrees!




Jack tells us about his new approach to dating! If you are feeling stuck in your city, trying to find all the good matches, his dating introduction service might just be the solution for you.



Find Jack at and join the list at!




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

  • EMAIL from D – I’m a soon to be 40/male and I’ve never had a girlfriend or hooked up with anyone. It’s not that I think I am unattractive physically, I just feel like I’d be viewed as something sub-human if I revealed my lack of dating skills – I basically never get past a first date and  I wonder if there’s any hope. 
  • DM from Lisa – Curious after how many dates you should have the “are we exclusive talk”



Damona  0:12  

Hello Lovers, Happy Women’s History Month. So you’ve heard me say before, that I believe this is the best time in history for women to be single. And actually for everyone else on the planet to be single and dating too. I know you’re skeptical, right? If you’re frustrated in dating and you feel like you don’t have good dating options available, then this show today is for you. Today I have a very special guest joining me You may remember him as my co host from the TV series hashtag black love. We teamed up then to teach black women how to date in New York City for that show and it’s hard to believe that this year will mark five years since that groundbreaking show is made. jack daniels is the king of breakthroughs. He’s a psycho therapist and founder of the good men introduction agency, which is a new twist on dating and matchmaking. He’s the five time best selling author of books like stay out of your own way. And I need a wife. Where are the real women? You’ve seen jack on Fox News, Bravo, Annie nightline lifetime and so much more and now reunited and it feels so good. Please help me give big smooches to jack daniels.

Jack A Daniels  1:39  

What’s happenin! I’m excited to be here. I’m excited for you. Almost like 300 episodes in oh my goodness, you are killing it right now.

Damona  1:55  

Well, it’s amazing to have you here and it’s amazing to hear your take on the topics will be dishing about today, including our they’re actually plenty efficiency, dating economists say no. And finally, a new reality show for single seniors. Plus, should you date someone at work will tell you the pros and cons and then we’ll answer your questions including, is there no hope if you just can’t get past the first date? And how many dates should you go on until you have the DTR? Talk? All that and more on today’s dates and mates? jack? Are you ready to hit these headlines?

Jack A Daniels  2:33  

Oh, no, those are those are some deep topics we don’t have. Well, we’re in it. Now. I got some stuff to say. These dating dish.

Damona  2:43  

According to the Atlantic, there was a according to the Atlantic, we have to look at dating in a whole different way. There was a very in depth article about the economics of dating and they acknowledge that most people Think of dating as a numbers game, but they were saying that that approach actually can make you suppress your honest expression of how you’re really feeling about dating. It can drive you into loneliness. And it can force you to keep this this desire to find a relationship but but feel like you’re not getting your needs met online and yet you keep doing it because you can’t stop because you’re addicted to it. JACK. I know we’ve been we’ve been doing this for a long time together. But I want to know what you think about dating today. Do you see it as a numbers game?

Jack A Daniels  3:40  

I see it as a mess.

Jack A Daniels  3:45  

Can you be more specific, sir?

Jack A Daniels  3:48  

When you say like a numbers game, I see. So I’ve done this. I’ve done this for a while. And the hardest thing for people to do is to pick right and the more option You have the harder is going to be to actually pick. So they did this interesting study and I can’t remember what university it was at, but it was they did a they did a study in a grocery store, and they were trying to see in survey who bought jelly. So they put out like 16 bottles of jelly in different flavors, different packaging, and then it had people taste them. And they were trying to discern who was actually going to buy the jelly. So they put out 16 and then they put out for statistically 30 was it 30% more people bought when it was only four bottles of jelly versus 16. Meaning that when there’s more options that are available, you can’t make a decision. And it’s just like that when you’re talking about dating, it’s just like that in this dating. There are too many options available. I mean, if I don’t like this one, I can go to this one. If I want Like I can swipe left, swipe right, all these different swipe, swipe, swipe? Is there too many options? I used to be like, you know, I dated the girl from neighborhood or from from high school, right? But today, it’s like, if there’s an infinite number of possibilities that are available, and I think people were taking advantage of it.

Damona  5:21  

Okay, we have to break that down. Because obviously, I’m a big believer in online dating. And we have seen a big shift, like you were saying, since even just the 1950s, where your dating pool was basically just the five people who were your age in your town, and as people moved into cities and started to form their own social circles, and we could get into a whole conversation about the way that birth control affected people’s ability to have relationships out, necessarily having to marry that person. There’s so many layers to this conversation. But I think what there is a problem right now in, in dating apps, because we’re shopping, we’re buying the jelly but we don’t we never read the label. We don’t know what’s in it, right? We don’t we don’t know how many calories it has. We don’t know if it’s using GMOs. And we’re just like, oh, that jelly looks good. And we just pick it off the shelf. And then all of a sudden, we’re like, I just read one. Right. And before, like, when I met my husband online, the the application process, the profile creation was very, very thorough. So I felt like I was dating better than because I actually knew more about that person than if I met them by chance. But now we’ve almost done a 180. And now we’re meeting people by chance, except for we’re meeting them on a dating app. And they’re just don’t really know anything and like you said, it is a swipe, swipe. So we’re not making a connection to the people and it’s it’s like this article Saying people are looking at dating someone. It’s like a commodity, but it’s a commodity with feelings. It’s not grape jelly.

Jack A Daniels  7:09  

What’s crazy Shelly, right? What’s interesting to me is the whole connection piece. And I think that it’s become so static, that we don’t even look at people as people anymore. Because it I mean, and I’m not saying this to put down like online dating, but I’m saying if I’m looking at a static picture, I’m looking at a picture versus a person. And I don’t have a chance to get to know that person because my insecurities or the things that I value or I don’t value or that I’m heard about the last in the last relationship or from the last relationship, they show up in a way that doesn’t allow me to actually like or get to know this person. And I don’t I don’t get smeller hair hugger. I don’t want to know if she has like, like stinky perfume or, you know, like all of those things that attract us are repelling us a little bit because everything static right now and I don’t have a chance to actually connect, you

Damona  8:13  

brought up a really important point that leads us to our next headline about when you are older. Sometimes it feels like you don’t have as many dating options. And as a response to this The Bachelor for the first time they put out a casting call looking for singles over 65 they’re saying, Are you are you entering your golden years and looking for romance? If so, you could be on the bachelor and I hear this all the time. As someone that also does a lot of TV. A lot of times, I’ll ask my people on my mailing list like would you want to be on a show and many times the TV networks are saying they just want it for what quote their audience. So they want someone 25 to 35 and I will I’ve just I’m just putting out the call I’ll get a lot of angry emails towards me of like, Well, what about me? I’m over 65 I’m still looking for love. Why isn’t there a show for me? Now they have answered your prayers. JACK, what do you think this, this show will be like? And do you think people are actually going to want to watch someone over 65 fine, left?

Jack A Daniels  9:19  


Jack A Daniels  9:22  

There’s not an eat. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t get an email from someone over the age of 55 and saying, I want love to. I think it’s a fantastic idea and a forgotten market that hasn’t been tapped into it because you got a lot. You got a lot of spunky, you know, 60 plus year olds that are really like, I mean, I had a guy just I just had a speaking engagement like a couple days ago. guy was like, Hey, I’m out here. He’s like, he’s like 60 bucks. But here’s the thing that I found and I don’t know if you if you found this damona But what I found about People and somebody needs to do something. But what I found and discovered in my experiences is that and the reason I don’t offer the service for elder people, I haven’t been able to find quality connections for women that are of that age, because the men are not checking for the women

Jack A Daniels  10:24  

at a parallel age,

Damona  10:25  

but I feel like I feel like that is a what they what you put on a an application or what you say you want, and who you’re attracted to are two different things. And so what I try to do with women over 65 is make sure that they don’t go into it with the mindset of everyone. My age only wants to date someone younger because then then you’re then you might as well just stay at home and what


Jack A Daniels  10:51  

I’m just I’m like every guy I’ve met,


Damona  10:56  

because they’re reporting it, but that doesn’t mean that if they’re attracted to a woman A man who is 65, who’s their own age, they won’t go out with her. And that’s what studies studies show. Men will if you want, because if they find you attractive, they will still go out with you.

Jack A Daniels  11:09  

It’s true.

Jack A Daniels  11:12  

I don’t know, jack, we gotta give the latest

Jack A Daniels  11:15  

interesting to watch, because I think a lot of what we’re talking about is actually going to come up on the show. I know it’s gonna come a horror show. I think it’s just going to be one of those things that I would love to see how to do it just so I could tell my mom how to do it a little bit better in the streets, send your mom

Damona  11:35  

on the line and we’re gonna hook her up and you’ll see what I’m talking about. This is why I love I love talking with you jack because we have different perspectives, but we we both want the same thing we want people to find love, but I gotta tell you one place that I do not recommend looking for love is at work. I just did an NPR podcast called Life kit where I shot down all the reasons Why you should not you should not i, where i talked about all the reasons why you should not date someone at work. And here we have another another major scandal we work executive stuffed down this week due to a relationship. His name is Grant McGrail. He was VP of account sales, and he’s now under investigation for a romantic relationship with a team member whom he promoted. And what I said on the life kit episode is that it’s not just about you, when you’re dating in the workplace, you have to consider what are the consequences for other people and here, you know, somebody didn’t get that promotion they were looking for and they’re like, Well, except for Grant has been banging this other chick and not telling the company about it. So I have a hard line on dating at work, jack, but, you know, I that’s just my perspective. What do you think?

Jack A Daniels  12:55  

As a tough one for me because I actually date the person I work with so no,

Damona  12:58  

but you weren’t dating before. You nowadays? Well, now you’re married to someone that you work with, but you built that together.

Jack A Daniels  13:06  

Yeah, you know, I used to be a manager in corporate America. And it’s, that’s a tough question because we spend 70 80% of our lives at work, and the other 20% of going home, and I’m by myself. So if I’m surrounded by people that are of the same age, we have the same compatibilities, the same likeness, and we’re both single. I’m kinda like, this shouldn’t be anything wrong with it, if we’re both equals Now, if the story that you just told he was her superior and she was his subordinate, it gets a little, just a little fun tracking. At the same time, I’m almost like, I’ve dealt so much with human resource issues if they are two consenting adults dolt, and no one is heavily benefiting from the relationship. And they’re just consensual adults having a relationship I don’t really see that much wrong with and I know there’s some complications that can occur. I know that there’s some some. It’s just it’s a touchy subject. So I don’t want to like put my foot in my mouth as a guy. Because I don’t I don’t want to be that guy. But I would. I’ll say this, I would never do it. Only because I know that it’s a tough situation. But I have been around people that have found love and work. And it’s not like, Yeah, he was her boss, or she was his boss. And they couldn’t reveal their relationship at work because of whatever the Code of Conduct was, but they were in love. So I’m like, you know, you got two people that love each other, like, let them do what they do.

Damona  15:01  

Well, I respect that opinion. And no, no, no, I respect that opinion. And I know sometimes you don’t you can’t control who you fall for. I would just say think through it. Think of the possible consequences. You can listen to my life get episode, I’ll put a link in the show notes, and see all that like, go through the checklist and really think about it. Because this is another thing, and we’ll talk about this a little bit more after the break. Do you have to go into love mindfully today, and I feel like one reason that so many people are frustrated is that we’re kind of dating by chance out here and we’re swiping right and left like you were saying, and we’re like, oh, I spend 80% of my time at work. So I’m just going to date someone here. And there isn’t enough consciousness around who you’re choosing to, to be with and I know this is something that you’ve you’ve dedicated several books and a lot of your your own personal, personal life, to finding someone That’s not just a match, but someone who’s the right match. So after the break, I want to hear more about your own love story. And what the kind of transformations that you’ve created for people in the all the many years that you’ve been doing this, so stick around with me jack Well, yeah,

Jack A Daniels  16:16  

I’m not going anyways,

Jack A Daniels  16:19  

we’ll be right. We’ll be right back.

Damona  16:28  

We are back here with jack daniels, my co host from the TV show hashtag black love. And jack you know your You are so great at giving advice and helping people see what they really need in love and creating a path to get there. Thank you. But I know you’ve been there before on the path that many of our listeners are on and it hasn’t always been smooth. Can you tell us a little bit about your own love story and then where you’re from Relationship statuses today

Jack A Daniels  17:01  

was actually married before to my college sweetheart. We were in love. Everyone looked up to us. And we were like that it couple and we were young. But we were going through life together and everything was great. Everything was fine. Until one day she came home and she said, I don’t want to be married anymore. I was in shambles. And I was totally out of my element. And I’m sitting there in this house with half the furniture gone because she taken it. I’m sitting in I hear this voice that tells me like, stay out of your own way. The phrase, I’d never heard it before. I’ve never seen it and I’ve read it before this was years ago. And that phrase literally changed the trajectory of my life. It it changed who I was inside. I mean I shaved. I cut my hair. I got myself back together, I picked myself off of that Florida I was curled up in a fetal position and I went, and I started activating and walking more in purpose. I quit the job that I hated. And I did all of that. But that’s not even the best part of what it was that I stepped into after I got up off of that floor after I wrote that phrase and sealed it in and embraced staying out of my own way. The best part is I married my best friend five years ago is such a blessing because it has allowed me to just just have and find the love of my life, but also be the love of my life because now I love myself better and because I love myself better. I’m able to love a lot more people not just my wife and my three future girls, I’m about to be a girl dad joined so yes, yes, it just I’m full of love and I love for other people to have it in Well, so,

Damona  19:01  

so I want to talk about before you, I, I’m so happy for you, jack and I, when we first met five years ago, you guys were newlyweds. And I was like, oh, and you were just building the life. So it’s really beautiful to see it come full circle for you. But before, there’s a part of the story that I know our listeners are like, But wait, in addition to filling yourself up and feel it being on purpose, and getting out of your own way. There were other actions that you did take to bring the right woman into your circle. And I know you wrote a book and you did also a tour on the topic. It was called the book is called I need a wife. We’re are the real women. And I know for a lot of our listeners, they’re like, I totally relate to that. Where are the real women? were the real men. Can you tell us a little bit about what that tour was? And do you feel like it did bring the real woman into your life that you should be.

Jack A Daniels  20:02  

Yeah, yeah. It’s funny you remember that? That’s good. Um,

Jack A Daniels  20:07  

the key word is intention. intention is so big for me. I’m intentional about everything that I do. And I don’t do it just to be doing, you know, going through the motions. And I think that most people just walk through life blindfolded. Just jaywalking. Like, like I, but I’m extremely intentional. So I need a wife, where the real women that was my fifth book, huge. And what we did was we did this tour, we toured 14 different cities, over 22,000 people showed up and we had all of these guys on these panels that are saying, Hey, I’m single, successful and ready to be married, but I can’t seem to find a quality woman. I’m like, I okay, I’ll put you out there player. So, we went to all these different cities and we had all these different guests. That are saying, Hey, I love it. And they were talking about relationships, and sex and commitment and all these different things. And for me, I used to walk around with a shirt that said, I need a wife right there was I wasn’t looking

Jack A Daniels  21:16  

vulnerable though to even say

Jack A Daniels  21:20  

I don’t think I was in my head. I wasn’t doing it for me, but subconsciously, I wanted that I still want even though I was hurt, even though by most men standards, I’d be damaged goods, because I can go and I can go because if that happened if movement most men get hurt like that, they go and they try to hold a way out of healing.

Jack A Daniels  21:43  

Right? They go their way out of here.

Jack A Daniels  21:46  

Oh, yeah, they just like they go smash everything in like, Okay, well, I don’t trust women. I don’t want it happens. Council like, it happens.

Jack A Daniels  21:56  

It happens with women too, by the way,

Jack A Daniels  21:58  

I know and i’ll get I was one saying I calcium, so many people. So I hear the real truth about what’s going to let you sleep away.

Damona  22:08  

But I said, Yeah, but it’s empty. It’s not you’re chasing a connection.

Jack A Daniels  22:12  

It’s just it’s you, you’re looking for something. So for me, the connection that I was searching for was, hopefully I can give that to someone else. Like if I can help someone else receive this. Maybe I’d be blessed enough to see with myself. That was a lie. I wasn’t given just to get but I was thinking like, well, maybe this is my purpose, my calling. So what I want people to understand is that it’s not just about activating your calling and your purpose, but it’s being intentional about what your love story is going to be creating a love story that makes sense to you and playing a pivotal role in that love story. instead of allowing somebody else to direct it. Like you, you are the director. So if you want something You need to go after another thing that I want to say. And I think this is really important because I didn’t do this on my own. Yes, I was able to get clarity about what it was that I wanted, but I was also able to get help. And sometimes people think that they can do it all by themselves, it’s okay to raise your hand and say, I need a little bit of help. So I went got counseling, too, because I had some stuff had some stuff that I needed to clear out. And to your point, damona I could have utilized that stuff as a starting point to be able to just become the most outrageous hole in the world. But I wanted to I wanted to deal with what it was that I was feeling and that’s

Damona  23:49  

so I don’t we all have stuff like I’m sure there are a lot of people listening that are like, Oh, I’m operating from my stuff instead of

Jack A Daniels  23:59  

have to acknowledge You deal with it is you can’t fix what you can’t face. And I needed to face what it was and who it was that I was about to become. Because I didn’t want to be that person. So we were at a country and we had all of these guys that were saying, Hey, man, I love I love women. And we hooked up so many men 73% of all of the guys that were on that tour, and I’m talking about the people that I picked to be on stages with me. 73% of all of them are now either engaged or married. Wow. And like all

Jack A Daniels  24:37  

good stats. Yeah.

Jack A Daniels  24:39  

We mixed and mingled and we brought all these people together and women were saying, what, where are the good men? Here they are right here. They right here.

Damona  24:47  

So now you’re you’re extending this, you’re you’re still creating connections and opportunities for people who are relationship minded to get out there. So tell us a little bit more about this next phase. Is of evolution for you.

Jack A Daniels  25:01  

So I was still traveling around and I was still, like, intermittently, I wasn’t doing a lot. But everywhere I went, I was doing speaking and storytelling seminars and teach people how to tell their stories and clarify their messages, etc, etc. And people were still asking like, well, where all the good men, like? You keep saying this whole bunch of good man. What again? What am I supposed to do that started this campaign that would tell women like, you know, he can’t find you on the couch.

Jack A Daniels  25:35  

That’s right. That’s right. Like

Jack A Daniels  25:36  

for the last three and a half years, I’ve been saying the same and he can’t find you on your couch. You got to get off the couch, to be able to do something and I know it’s like the online thing and, you know, online dating, etc, etc. So,

Damona  25:51  

I do not but I just have to say as far as online dating, I have to remind everyone that if you’re not actually going on dates, you are not dating There you have a profile that did. Yes. So I’m with you, you got to do something.

Jack A Daniels  26:07  

Yeah. So are visible.

Jack A Daniels  26:09  

So I was I was encouraged or encouraging people to get off the couch and to get offline. And I was encouraging people to do it. But I didn’t have a solution or a strategy or a mechanism for them to actually do it. Because the next question that they were asking me, well, well, where should I go jack? And I’m like, Hmm, that’s a good question. I can answer it. I could tell you or I can show you. So what we did was we said, okay, got all these women. In First of all, there are several great guys out here. I just think that I’m going to say this. I’m just gonna mess up some people I’m just gonna like mess with I’m gonna mess with your listeners just a little bit. I don’t think that there’s a dating problem. Don’t think that there’s like a huge male shortage. I just think women are stingy. What? Wait a minute, let us sink in. Let us say stingy, what do you mean by that? I think women are stingy. And here’s what I mean by that before y’all start throwing tomatoes at your phone. Women have the capacity to be able to fix the shortage tomorrow. Here’s how every woman I talked to has a cell phone, take out your cell phone right now you look at it, scroll through the contacts list. Let’s go to that do not answer list. Let’s go to that list of all the guys that you’ve either dated, don’t want for yourself or don’t like, all of those guys are potential matches for someone else. Just give me five of those guys that you dated, don’t or didn’t want for yourself. They don’t have to be right for you. They’re great for someone else. Let me go through your cell phone. Pick out those guys. I’m gonna take those guys. swap them. With your gut, like put them, put them with somebody else that’s actually compatible with that type of guy, and then take whatever 50 that I come back with because I talked to 10 different women, and I got a pool of like 50 guys, and I’m just going to match you and give you an opportunity to be able to say, Okay, well, I didn’t really have any options at first because all these people I like, but now I have like 45 options available in front of me. Women can fix the problem if they weren’t so mg.

Jack A Daniels  28:35  

So they’re keeping me it’s funny like my husband and I had a conversation about this.

Damona  28:40  

After watching Little Women of all things, I was like, I don’t like Amy cuz girl code because Joe was with I forget the guy’s name at producer Leah. Leo knows who he was. Lori Thank you. Okay, so Joe. Joe was Like with Laura, like, they were like, they were hanging out like nothing was really happening. But he was in love with her. She was really in love with him, but she didn’t really want to acknowledge she wasn’t really in that place. And then her sister went and snatch this guy, and was like, Okay, well, I want to marry you. And then Joe was like, What happened? And I said, I said, Amy is not following girl code, and my husband could not understand. He was like, they did work. She didn’t want him Joe did.

Jack A Daniels  29:28  

What’s the big deal? So you’re

Jack A Daniels  29:30  

saying, My philosophy is dingy.

Jack A Daniels  29:35  

That’s the problem. That’s why women are singing, but his his thing and all see any

Jack A Daniels  29:39  

more Amy’s unless Joe says we’re so good, all seriousness,

Jack A Daniels  29:43  

I took that exact same philosophy that I’m talking about in terms of women being stingy. And I turned it into a business introduction service full of guys that are because I’ve been collecting men over the past few years and I’ve got this huge database of good quality men. got these great quality men and saying, Hey, I’m single successful, ready to be married, but can’t find a quality woman. And they’re looking. So I took that philosophy of saying, hey, women are stingy, but I got lots of guys and I created a club. It’s a club that basically the only way a woman can come into the club is that she has to invite two good men that she’s either dated dumped or didn’t want for so no excuses. I don’t want to hear I don’t know any. I don’t want to hear that. I don’t there aren’t any out there. Yes, there are tons of you got Facebook friends you got you go to church, you go to work. You go

Jack A Daniels  30:38  

castaways on dating

Jack A Daniels  30:41  

everybody you you have met we the way it just keeps funneling in multiple men. And then we take you and we pair you with your preferences, your likes, your your warts, and all the things that you’re looking for with guys that are compatible to you and we send you out own group dinner dates across the city in groups of six, or in groups of eight. So you got three guys, or in three girls or four guys, four girls, and it’s been working phenomenally.

Damona  31:13  

Okay, how can pick me I’m sold jack, I’m sold. How do people get in this database? How do they How do they bring their cast away guys and not be stingy because I know there’s a lot of ladies now that are like, I’m not stingy. I will show you jack daniels.

Jack A Daniels  31:28  

The first thing you gotta do is you can’t be stingy.

Jack A Daniels  31:31  

How can people get get invited to some of these events,

Jack A Daniels  31:35  

you can go to good at 10 million And be put you basically be put on the waiting list because it got it was so good. We launched in six different cities across the country, and the numbers just went through the roof. I mean, we only were at I don’t wanna say echo back, we were overcapacity because people were looking for something different to You know, people are working, they’ve got kids, they don’t know where to go, they don’t have a strategy. They just want something set up for them in a way that they can basically just say, okay, as long as I know that I’m going here, the worst thing that can happen is that you come out with seven new friends. Like maybe maybe you don’t meet anybody that you’re compatible with, you know, but you got four chances to meet someone because you got four guys sitting across the table from you.

Jack A Daniels  32:26  

Like, like, you got some practice, you gotta practice a day

Jack A Daniels  32:30  

is actually your comfort zone. It takes you out of like, who you who you are, and and most importantly, it gets you off the couch. How about that? There we go.

Damona  32:40  

Yeah, to start somewhere. That is awesome. We will put the link in the show notes. But that’s not all jack. We have questions from our listeners In our next segment. So I hope you can stick around to answer those questions.

Jack A Daniels  32:52  

You have scared me away yet.

Damona  32:54  

Okay. Let’s keep going. All right. We will continue the conversation in just a moment when jack and I will be answering your questions in our final segment. But first, let me tell you about a new favorite podcast of mine. The only one in the room. How many of you felt like the only one in the room, the only one who’s still single the only one who wants a real relationship. This podcast talks about what it’s like to feel alone or others. It’s hosted by my friend Laura Cathcart Robbins, and the only one in the room tells raw and vulnerable accounts from people who are, like most of us, just eager to connect. The idea for the podcast originated in 2018 when Laura attended a writer’s retreat with some very big name people. And soon after her arrival, she realized that out of 600 attendees, she was the only black person in the room. When she got back home. She wrote about the experience that she had in the Huffington Post, and the article went viral. But then something even more surprising. happened. The morning after her piece went live, Laura woke up to find 568 direct messages in her inbox. She thought that the messages would all be from black people having a similar story, but they were from people of all walks of life, all ages, races, religions, and they all wrote her because they connected with her essay and identified with that feeling of being others. And it wasn’t long before Laura knew what she had to do. She wanted to create a platform for all of those stories to be shared and heard. And so her podcast was born. She said intimate interviews with Mario van Peebles, Jon Cryer, Rebecca Gayheart, Cynthia Bailey and so many others who bravely share their experience of being the only one in the room and how they thrived in spite of it. If you can relate to this feeling than the only one in the room podcast is for you. You can find it wherever you’re listening to the show right now or look for the link in the show notes. Okay, now it’s time for your favorite segment where we answer the questions that you’ve submitted to us through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email. And now it’s time for technically dating. All right, jack, this person, this guy emailed me because he was inspired by a previous question on the show. That was from a 30 year old woman who was still a virgin was asking about dating. And I just mentioned this to say that if anyone is listening and has a question, and they’re like, Oh, this is just me, I’m the only one going through this, nobody else would care. I just want to you know, people care. Other people are helped by the advice that you request on this show. So this person has been inspired. I will call him D because he wanted to remain anonymous, but he emailed me and he said, I’m a soon to be 40 year old male, and I’ve never had a girlfriend or hooked up with anyone. It’s not that I think I’m attractive physically. I just feel like I’d be viewed as something subhuman if I revealed my lack of dating skills. I basically never get past the first date. And I wonder if there’s any hope. JACK, I need a male perspective on this. So and, and he clarified for me like by I’ve never hooked up with anyone’s like he hasn’t he, he hasn’t had sex with anyone.

Jack A Daniels  36:23  

And so he’s felt like will like 40 year old virgin,

Damona  36:27  

the real life 40 year old virgin. And when he has told women in the past that he’s dated that he is a virgin. He feels like they run away. They go on one day and an hour, but he said a lot of times they asked him about his sexual experience early on, and so he’s kind of caught in this space where he doesn’t know how to answer the question. But he also doesn’t know how to get past it and move into, you know, he wants he wants something. He’s a good man. He wants a good woman. What do you say jack?

Jack A Daniels  37:00  

This isn’t this isn’t this isn’t hard. Like, I think that oftentimes we paint ourselves into a corner. And the way that we think we should appear and some of the things that we think that we should be doing, we typically do it in a way that doesn’t allow us to actually attract the person that we should be attracting. So in let me let me make sense out of that a little bit more like a an example. If you have someone who says that, oh, okay, so I’m single, I’m a virgin. And I really want a woman. Like, okay, you just announced yourself as being single beta version. One a woman, instead of telling a better story that says, You know, I want a woman who respects my values, who is into me because of who I am and not what I can give her. And oftentimes, I run across Women who are more interested in what it is that they’re accustomed to, and that they’re used to, and the package that they are accustomed to having, which is why typically they probably single anyway. Instead of being open to the possibility of something different, I am someone that is different. I am someone who is probably not going to be the guy that you’re used to the guy that you have dated in your past, but I can be the last guy that you kiss. If you give me a chance.

Jack A Daniels  38:36  

You’re so smooth,

Jack A Daniels  38:37  

is it? No, but I’m saying

Jack A Daniels  38:40  

there’s a different story that he has to tell himself. D if you tell yourself this confidence is everything. I could say, I’ve never had sex before. Or I could say, you know, I just I’ve been waiting all my life, to meet the right woman to be able to give myself to I don’t know if that’s you But I’m hoping that we get a chance to know each other a little bit better that I can share that with someone like you.

Damona  39:08  

Right? He needs to approach it as it’s an asset. Because then then she’s gonna be like, Oh, I like now I could be right. Instead of a deficit instead of something that’s like your Scarlet Letter of whatever the Scarlet v. Looking at is a super it’s a superpower, you event so selective. You have been so mindful about your choices, that that you you are waiting for the right person. I, I don’t I do wonder though, there. I think there are a lot of questions in dating, that we ask that we don’t actually want to know the answer to. And I’m, I’m curious about all of the women that have asked him about a sexual history, because I feel like that’s one of those questions where it you know, it’s like those small talk questions like what, how does Your job how’s your day? Like, you know, I don’t know, do I really do a really care? How’s your job? Or am I just asking it? Because I don’t know what else to ask? Yeah, yeah. So how can you answer that question if he’s asked again?

Jack A Daniels  40:18  

Okay, so there’s a couple of a couple different things. One, he said he’s not making it past the first date. Why are you talking about this on the first date number one, like you shouldn’t be talking about anything physical on the first date, period, you should literally be trying to get to know this person intellectually. So I would tell you, if you want to get past the first day, like don’t talk about anything physical, like literally like like, that’s just not, that’s not you can you can say, you know, I don’t really want to talk about that. I want to get to know who you are. And not just what we can do for each other physically. That’s just not who I am as a man this, it does. How

Damona  41:01  

you could say oh, you know, a gentleman never kisses and tells. Because she also, she also wants to know like, if she is intimate with you She doesn’t know you’re a virgin she wants to know you’re not going to go and spread her business in the street but

Jack A Daniels  41:14  

isn’t that attractive to a woman like she can you can be my first you could you can show me everything I need to know about sex about love. Is it not attractive to a woman? I don’t get it. Like for me, and that’s what that’s you know, we, you know,

Jack A Daniels  41:34  

I think women I think women

Jack A Daniels  41:38  

look for experience sometimes because it’s, it’s a little harder to meet our needs in the bedroom sometimes, but you can instruct me you literally can tell me everything because I don’t know. This is my first time. You can tell me everything I need to know.

Jack A Daniels  41:54  

Like that. I will say yes, that is hot.

Jack A Daniels  41:58  

Like why we’re women’s What? That’s what you say D, you say, Look, I’m looking for a teacher. I’m looking for an instructor to show me everything that I need to know about sex.

Jack A Daniels  42:09  

I think a lot of women would be turned on by that. Actually, she come back.

Damona  42:15  

All right, we have time for one more question. JACK. This one comes to us from Lisa. She says I’m curious after how many dates? Should you have the are we exclusive talk? We get this question a lot. But I don’t get the answers from you very often. So I want to know what you think.

Jack A Daniels  42:32  

This exclusivity thing um,

Jack A Daniels  42:36  

I just like I believe clarity reduces the clutter in your life. I do totally believe that. I don’t think there’s a number that you can put on it. What I think is there has to be a plan that’s put in place, meaning that we have to be clear and upfront and intentional about what it is that we’re doing. So if you’re going into this and you’re thinking like in between the two Three to five range or the, you know, five to 10 range. You know, I get, once we get on 10 dates or whatever, we’re exclusive. No, be up front and say what it is that you actually want. From the beginning to say, you know, I’m not sleeping around. I’m not dating around. I’m really looking to be involved with something that’s meaningful. It doesn’t mean you have to say that on first date, because you probably won’t get a second.

Damona  43:28  

But let’s say on a first date, I’m I am dating for a relationship. Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t say, dating. Yeah,

Jack A Daniels  43:36  

I’m at on purpose. And I don’t think that Yeah, people are frivolous with it. They just kind of like, walk through and like, I’ll see what happens.

Damona  43:45  

Well, we’re afraid of the rejection. If we say what we really feel and what we really want and they don’t want that or they’re not sure then we’ll get pushed away.

Jack A Daniels  43:54  

Which may happen but men love to be respected. We love respect in every city. And for you to tell me what you want upfront. I respect you. Like, I may not want it the same way that you wanted, but I respect you. And if you’re really going to gain a man’s heart, you have to gain his respect. That is

Damona  44:19  

so true. I respect you so much jack daniels, I am so glad you’re able to join us to to to talk about what’s going on in dating relationships in the last five years since we filmed the TV show hashtag black love. You are getting Oh, oh, you’re you’re and you’re about to have three, three girls. So watch how old you get if you had any hair. It’d be all gray.

Jack A Daniels  44:48  

I miss you jack. I’m so glad to have you on the show. I hope you will come back again and share your wisdom with us anytime. Just make call.

Damona  44:57  

Thank you and jag is here for you. Well, you can find out more about his projects at jack and then get in with the good Tell, tell them the website to get in the database again.

Jack A Daniels  45:12  

So you go to good join the list, get in a database is going to be epic. The doors will probably open back up in April. So you really want to be on the list.

Damona  45:25  

Get on the list y’all. I hope you enjoyed Episode 299 of dates and mates. I am at damona Hoffman on all the socials. And as I said in the last segment, if you have a question, I want to hear it you can DM me or email me through the website dates and mates calm. And if you love this segment and you get a lot of value out of it. Why not submit a question so we can help you but also helps so many others who are going through the same thing that you’re experiencing? Next week we’ll be doing a masterclass on the future of dating and relationship. And this will be dead it our 300th episode I’m so excited to have you join me for that I cannot wait to do a little future predictions on where we are heading in the world of love. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Healing Heartbreak & Baby Mama Drama


According to some data from Facebook, it turns out that this is the season for both heartbreaks and hookups. Apparently, the period from Christmas day to New Years has one of the highest rates for breakups. This is probably due mostly to stress and pressure from the holidays.

Even some divorce attorneys like to call January divorce month because of the spike they see in divorce filings continually this month!  So if you’re just coming out of a breakup or have ever dealt with heartbreak, this episode is for you.

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Everything you need to know about dating if you’re participating in dry January

Can you even go on a first date if you’re not going for drinks? We think actually, this might be a good thing for first dates and maybe we should all do it more often!

The New York Times wants to know, “is divorce month even real?”

Divorce is definitely seasonal according to the New York Times, but March and August are some other months you need to look out for when it comes to relationship turmoil.

We need to have a conversation about former senior Royals Harry and Meghan

I’m sure you heard that Harry and Meghan have stepped back as senior royals. Is Harry making a mistake?


Joining me as my today is Claire Byrne, a Heartbreak Coach who helps women stop wanting Mr. or Ms. Wrong back, as well as help them find the right kind of love. She’s a regular contributor on Kourtney Kardashian’s, and the creator/host of the podcast, How to Stop Wanting Him Back.

Find Claire The Heartbreak Coach on Instagram @clairetheheartbreakcoach and be sure to check out her podcast, “How To Stop Wanting Him Back!”


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 a 32 women with a 6 year old and the guy I was seeing is 29 with an 18month old and baby mama drama. We were together for only 3.5 months, but were exclusive. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I am pregnant. He took two weeks to process the news and then he broke up with me because he doesn’t want the baby. I don’t believe in abortions but he told me to go as in he was done and didn’t want to be with me. I know he’s scared, but I’m so scared, and mad, and heartbroken at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated! Should I try to reach back out to him?
  • From Pamela – I was raised to pray, do ministry, and go to school and I just thought the right man would appear in my life. Not true. I’ve no real dating experience & I’ve never been in love. I’m an extremely late bloomer! I’ve two Master’s degrees and take my eduation seriously. I’m now a very liberal Christian. How do I find the right man on dating apps? The men I talk to are either judgey because I’m too religious or not religious enough.


Damona  0:12

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. I’m certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman here to simplify all things on modern love. You may have heard before on the show according to some data from Facebook, it turns out that the period from Christmas day to New Year’s has the highest rate of breakups happening. Maybe this is due to the stress and pressure pressure from the holidays people don’t want to get presents people thinking about the new year and wanting to start fresh. I don’t know the answers but today I have the person who does know the answers to these questions. Her name is Claire burn she is a heartbreak coach who helps women stop wanting Mr. or Mrs. Wrong back as well as help them to find the right Kind of love. She’s a regular contributor to cart Courtney Kardashians poosh calm and she’s the creator and host of the podcast how to stop wanting him back please. Let’s give big smooches to Claire bird. Thank you for having Oh, thank you so much for being here. This is the time of year where we really need to work through heartbreak and and start the year fresh, right everybody is is coming into this new year wanting to to create new patterns and behaviors for themselves. So this is a perfect time to clear the state slate and to let people know how to how to get into a relationship differently this time and how to stop going back over back over that old history.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  1:42

Right? Absolutely. This is definitely anything just now more and more especially we live in LA so it’s just a mecca for self personal growth but there’s nothing like cleaning the slate and really evaluating and looking back on your year and Just asking yourself, is this partnership serving me? And am I showing up as my best self? And if not, then no better time to cleanse and kick off the new year. Absolutely. Also just healing what didn’t work and then really getting clear on the relationship with yourself before you create space for the right person to come back in. I can’t wait to talk to you about that.

Damona  2:25

And speaking of cleanses, we also have headlines today including what you need to know about dating if you’re doing dry January. Plus, the New York Times wants to know is divorce month even real is January really divorce month. New York Times has something to say about it. Plus, we have to talk about the former senior Royals, Harry and Megan and then we’ll be answering your questions like where are all the men who match your religious values and how to deal with heartbreak as a single mom, Claire, are you ready to do these headlines? I’m ready

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:03

to do the headlines. All right, let’s dish these dating dish

Damona  3:09

askmen was nice enough to give us a guide to dry January dating. If you guys have not been hearing about this dry January trend, apparently one out of five people said January I’m not drinking and that may mean that you’re doing a physical cleanse but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not dating as well. And this can cause some challenges if you’re going out on dates which usually revolve around drinking alcohol or involve alcohol in some way. I’ve got to know Claire how to set ourselves up for success. A little birdie told me you’re doing dry January

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:47

and I am 100% Irish so I like my drinks.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:53

The holidays I always build up and I just know January. We just got to detox

Damona  3:57

so you just like you go hard all year. And then you just have to stop. Rewind refresh.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  4:03

Yeah, I like to do cleanses. 30 days I’ll probably do one or two more this year. I like to do them every few months, but definitely after the holidays and I’m currently dating someone right now. So we’re doing that together, but I have been single and dry at certain points, not necessarily in January. And I’m not gonna lie It absolutely is more challenging, but I would challenge anyone out there who is taking the best care of him or herself and wants to reset and cleanse their body. Why does alcohol have to be the thing to make you feel comfortable on the date? Right? Like why would you stop yourself from putting yourself out there just because you’re cleansing your body because I’m hoping that you’ll also want to be sober with your future partner so I think it’s a pretty cool thing like if someone said that to me, Hey, you know i’m i’m doing a cleanse right now. I’d still love to meet up and my whole thing too is Look, I’m going I’m on a cleanse But please, by all means drink. Whatever you want to drink, I’d still love to meet. I’m just letting you know.

Damona  5:03

I want to know though, do you tell them before you get to the day that I do be drinking? I do.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  5:08

And you know, I have a health coach friend and she said, Why do you even have to tell them that? Why do we have to make drinking such a thing? And I see her point, but for me, I do want to let the potential future partner know right? I do enjoy drinking alcohol. I’m a social drinker. I like my wine like my skinny Margarita is. I’m just not drinking them right now. But it is a part of my life. And I think that is something that I love doing that with my boyfriend going out for a cocktail at 5pm and enjoying the sunset, right? Like that’s something that we enjoy doing. So I think if it is something that you like to do in your life, let that person know

Damona  5:47

what if you’re sober longer than then January I do have a number of clients actually who have been non drinkers nondrinkers. Yeah, and they’ve run into some challenges of people that Absolutely I will not date a non drinker or how do you even bridge that conversation? Do you think a drinker and a non drinker can have a successful relationship? Absolutely,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  6:09

yes, I’ve definitely fallen for sober people. And I definitely think that that can work. I don’t think if you’re someone who likes to get wasted and have five, six drinks, you know, I’m someone who enjoys like two to three and because of my Irish blood, I’m not like slurring my

Damona  6:27

words. I’m like, I like to have one and I’m totally wasted. Yes, I think you need to know like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  6:33

literally your tolerance

Damona  6:34

level. And I always tell my clients to set your maximum like for me, I knew I was not making good decisions on dates. This is not just in dry January. Yeah, I was not making good decisions after one drink. Yeah. So I set a maximum of one drink because I want to be present on the day absolutely want to be able to make good decisions and be able to really assess is this somebody that I want to spend more time with and Am I going to be proud of the choices that I make into this date? If I’m with this person, months down the road?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  7:07

Exactly. And I think too, if you are permanently sober, that should be something that’s shared on your profile, so that the people who are going to write you off for being sober all the time, aren’t your people. So just make it math, not drama. Like, okay, good to know, I have that information out there because I’m not changing that this is a part of who I am. This is a part of my lifestyle. And, and and also, I think you could say, you know, I’m sober. I’m open to dating people who do drink, right? Because some sober people don’t want to date drinkers. Right? So just make that clear, so that you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

Damona  7:41

That’s what it’s all about. Well, so we call it divorce month, because really, there was some data that supported divorces happening in January, Facebook said they have all of these status changes happening between like November and January. But according to the new york times they’re saying maybe January actually isn’t divorce month they were actually seeing a lot of divorces filed in the state of New York between March and August. I guess August is end of the summer and you start thinking about going back kids going back to school or the fall and the new cycle starting. What are you seeing as a heartbreak coach? Do you think divorce month is real? Is there a cycle to I mean, relationships ending if

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  8:30

statistics are showing what they’re showing, I think that that’s interesting. It would make more sense to me that you that a divorce would be happening post the holidays because I think it’s like I can’t do one more holiday with this person anymore. The summer is surprising to me, but I’m a heartbreak Coach 12 months out of the year and people come to me regularly all the time. And I don’t know if it’s time that is you know the time of year. That is the cause of the decision making, but also I think there can be events or people or, you know, if your spouse has a dying parent, are you going to leave them then?

Damona  9:08

Right. So you’re going to wait until August.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  9:12

So I don’t know, I don’t know, if I would. But you know, indulge the trend or the statistics too much like your time is your time. There could be so many different reasons and so many different factors. There can be finances, it finance issues, kid issues, job issues, sex issues, and I think that any of those issues can happen anytime of the year.

Damona  9:35

Yeah. And especially in January as we are reassessing. As I said at the beginning of the show, what we want for the next year, I’m thinking about Can I actually be announced to me in this relationship and other year, right, right. Well, we’re talking about splits though. There’s a split of a different kind that’s happening. You all probably read about it. Megan, Markel, and Harry are stepping back from the royal family. They’re now saying They’re going to split their time between North America and the UK, and they want to become financially independent from the royal family. This is big news. And I know it’s like it feels sort of tableting like, Oh my god, they’re stepping back. But this really is, is a statement in their relationship together. And I’ve always said to my husband, we are on the same team. And once you partner with someone in a way that becomes your team, and they become in first position, not that your family is no longer important, but this person now becomes your family and your number one in a relationship that’s working. I’ve seen relationships not work where they were the mother or Yeah, still number one. So I think this is this is a statement of, of Harry saying, I first Yes, I am committed to this to this family. I don’t know how he’s gonna do for a man that has never worked a day in his life and probably has never had to do anything for himself. I don’t know how he’s really going to be like, so grown and financially independent. So you might see things shifting on that. But what do you think overall of this move? And is it as significant as the media is making it seem?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:13

Uh, is it as significant as the media? I think

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:15

it is pretty significant. I mean, they’re really, you know, breaking a historical pattern. Right. So I think it is pretty major. It will be interesting to see how he financially supports himself. But I also think he’s going to have all kinds of crazy opportunities where people are just going to be like there with a bunch of money for him to thrive. But

Damona  11:37

yeah, I think it

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:38

is a pretty big deal that they’re making this big statement, and it’s a test dementor how devoted they are to each other and to their child. And I gotta say, I’m not surprised. Like when I read it, I do think it’s a big deal. But I was like, that makes sense

Damona  11:54

to me. Yes. Well, it seems to have been a gradual progression, right? Yeah. They’ve been She’s there been a lot of reports of her doing things different than the tradition they didn’t give their son, a traditional royal title. So I think it’s been coming for a while. And you know, the story is and I don’t have any insider information, people that listen to the show, know that I actually I knew Megan from college and I know her mom. And so I don’t have any insider information, you guys. I do not know anything. But I really wonder if it’s actually them fully making this decision. Or if this is a little bit coming from the royal family of like, you’re doing things a little too differently. And why don’t you go ahead and and make your own choices.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:39

Interesting. Oh, no.

Damona  12:41

I heard also that that Charles had been saying he wanted to take some people off with the Royal payroll. So maybe, maybe Harry just like fell off. I think

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:52

Harry’s mother’s looking down being like, amen, kid.

Damona  12:56

You’re right. I really did things

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:57

differently to and really And I think he’s really stepping into her shoes right she’s he’s his mother son.

Damona  13:06

Exactly in this new classy way. Yeah, well we’re stepping into the break girl because we have so much more to talk about about heartbreak and and getting over a relationship ending and moving on and finding the love that’s going to really fulfill you in this new year. So we’re going to take we’re going to take a quick break but when we come back, we’ll have more with Claire burn. lovers, we are back with Claire the heartbreak coach talking about how you can heal your heart this January 1 clear I just want to acknowledge this the beginning of this process. It’s tough, right? Once you’ve made a decision, just to assess this person is not is not the right person for me or this relationship is not moving in the direction that I wanted to go. That takes a lot of courage. Just to be able to to admit that and have that conversation, even if it’s happened to you to have that conversation with yourself, if it’s happening to you, or if you are the one making the choice, it’s not your person. And there there’s a period of mourning that in a way that has to happen from that.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  14:16

Absolutely. I think sometimes clients come to me and they’re like, you’re the heartbreak coach. So you’re just going to make me feel better. And I think a huge part of the process and the biggest first step that you have to take is to grieve, grieve the pain grieve the loss, even if you know it isn’t right. It’s still grieving what you hoped it could have been. And then also really being with the fear of well then is my person really out there like really consciously moving through all of that to then shift your perspective on it so that again, you can create space for falling in love with yourself before and getting really clear about what didn’t work in that relationship to then go eyes wide open into the next one, and not the The next one has any guarantees, right? But to just really consciously look at what didn’t work, move through the pain, move through the loss, move through the fear of what’s next. And, and not numb out and escape those emotions and feelings, which is what we really want to do.

Damona  15:16

Yeah, and what I think our society has been trained to do, like you don’t feel good, take a pill for it. And even just as a dating coach, a lot of what I have people do is feel their feelings on the date. I was just on the phone with a client earlier and she said, it’s been so helpful to her in working with me through that, because she would go on these dates and just like check the check the list of like, does he have that is he that and she was in her head the whole time. And I said, Stop, stop, stop. We’ve got to get into the feeling of what does it even feel like to be with this person? We already know you’re on the date with them. He hits the basic checked the basic boxes, he hits the basic criteria, but how how does it feel to be with them and so it’s how Like what you’re telling people to do is to really feel their feelings of this loss, rather than just sweeping it under the rug and just moving on into the next relationship.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  16:11

Absolutely consciously processing your pain. I am big into committing to a mindfulness practice meditation, yoga, breath, work stillness, just like coming into the body and locating where you’re storing the emotional pain and breathing through it and being with it and honoring it because loss is a part of life. And at some point, you’re going to live sorry to get super morbid, but we’re going to lose people who pass on right? We have to learn how to be with our negative emotion and to your point, I think today more than ever, pop a pill, go shopping, and get get a massage, take a trip, get a new job, change your hair and like all those things, right when you’re inspired to kind of do a big shift or, you know, redesign your poem or something like that, because you’re inspired to do something different and step into a different way of expressing yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. But just be really careful that you’re not using those things to cover over the pain that you’re experiencing. Hmm.

Damona  17:13

And once you’ve done that, what is the next step?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  17:17

I think you have to get clear on what you really want. Is this a time to Are you ready? Like get really savvy? Are you really ready to date someone else again? Are you healed and clear from that past relationship? Or is this a time for you to really start dating yourself? I have a lot of clients who just they want to find their person and don’t want to be alone with our feelings I just recorded for my podcast, the last episode, it’s coming out next week. It’s called befriending loneliness. You know, when when my clients say to me, I’m lonely. I’m like, What’s so bad about that?

Damona  17:51

Well, there’s a difference in my book between alone and lonely and I spend a lot of my my time I’m single before I met my husband, and I had to really get comfortable with being alone. And this is an exercise I have my a lot of my clients like date yourself for a while and I know we’ve here that like date yourself date. What does that mean? That means be okay, going to a restaurant without another owner and not being immersed in your phone or having some way to distract only if a creeper is approaching

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  18:27


Damona  18:30

Yeah, yeah, you have to have strategies and tactics like plan. Expect the best plan for the worst. thought it’s very important, but it’s amazing what you experienced when you just like get up and out and look around and look people in the eye and feel I used to feel bad when I see people sitting alone in a restaurant and be like, Oh, that sounds sad. They don’t have anyone to eat with. Yeah. But then when you choose to be alone in certain moments, and you let yourself Sit in that awkward place of like, Who am I? What do I love about myself? How do I feel in my own body? How do I feel in this space, you start to figure out things that you never could figure out when you’re in that relationship, and you’re always bouncing your own ideas and feelings and thoughts off of another person and in what they want. I mean,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  19:22

I totally agree with that. And I also think that we’re going to have uncomfortable, lonely moments. I’m crazy about the guy that I’m with. He lives two hours away. But I think even if we were living in the same town, I’m going to have pockets of loneliness at certain times. He has a very full life. I have a very full life. There are moments where I’m alone, where I’m just like, wow, it’s just me right now. Whoa. And when I moved into a new place in, in LA, I’ve lived here for six years, but I moved in. There was an unassembled coffee table at the bottom of the steps outside my apartment waiting for me and I thought it was going to come assembled The way it was and I looked at it and I had that moment and And to your point I’ve really gotten so comfortable being alone. And when that coffee table showed up I just had that like my stomach just dropped and I was like if I had a man this is pre being in my relationship like there’s there were moments where I’m like, Whoa, this loneliness factor this desire for someone to just help me right there’s and then and then on the flip side of that, it’s like Claire, you’re a badass you just did this and I flipped the thing. up the steps into the apartment, of course I called TaskRabbit

Damona  20:35

TaskRabbit changed my life. Like that moment of

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:39

Oh, it’s like it would just be so nice to be like, babe this

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:43

unassembled coffee table Can you help

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:44

me do that? Right there little moments that surprised me. But I’m like, okay, and I move through that. It doesn’t have to be this like,

Damona  20:51


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:52

no, I felt lonely. We came into this world alone. We’re going to leave this world alone but majority of us right so Get comfortable with being lonely. I just had a client say this, she finally ended this this gray area of vague relationship. And she said, I’m noticing I love that she really caught herself. Like I’m noticing. I’m going to bed and I’m going to bed later and I’m just outside of myself. I’m on my phone. I’m watching Netflix, I stay up later to escape what I don’t want to feel like even closing my eyes to go to sleep and feel sad. And I’m like, What if you shut off all your screens, and you got into your bed and tears fell down your face because you missed him and you felt lonely and you move through that and she was like, scary. It’s so scary, but I think it’s so necessary. You have just circling back to what’s the first thing to do when you’re moving through the loss of a relationship feel your pain.

Damona  21:49

How much do you recommend reassessing the relationship and going back and figuring out where did things go wrong because usually that ends point was not that was not the endpoint, even though like some of my clients

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  22:03

come to me, they’re like, I had no idea was coming. And then you look back and then you’re like, oh,

Damona  22:09

how much of your process involves that assessment of what what happened?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  22:14

It really depends. It’s a good question. I think it really depends on each individual situation. Some people it’s just so clear, and some people are like, I’m completely blindsided. But I never believe the blinds. I mean, I believe that they’re blindsided when they say they are. But then as we unravel and go over things, like I have one client, where she she was completely blindsided that he ended it but then ultimately, she was saying, I love you. And he hadn’t said it back yet for months. I’m like, so you were way more invested in this relationship than he was and then he ultimately ended it like you and she said, You know, he was traumatized from a previous relationship, divorce and all of that, so she wanted to just love him enough and, and I said, that’s a beautiful thing, but you were missing That it wasn’t a reciprocal relationship

Damona  23:03

we get caught up in stories

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  23:05

is, I’m still guilty of that.

Damona  23:09

We all do we all do. We want the happy ending. And we, we impose our narrative on what’s happening. And there’s a process of just flipping the perspective. And like you said, just really seeing Well, what am I getting back here. And even, I was talking with a client recently about just creating enough space to hear what the other person thinks, and being brave enough to accept whatever outcome you got. So I mean, we’re getting a little bit away from breakups, but this is a place where I know a lot of a lot of our listeners are of just just being willing to put out what you want and what you need, and letting in where you are and letting it be okay if that person can’t meet those needs, and knowing that there will be someone else out there that could do that. But as long as you stay in that relationship that’s not doing that, that every time you say I love you, he’s like, you’re cool. It’s actually it’s actually doing damage to you, and it’s preventing you from being able to experience something greater.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  24:18

I totally agree. And I think that those are the two hardest parts, right? It’s healing from the pain of the person not reciprocate, reciprocating how you feel about that person, and then carving out space to believe that there is someone out there who will give you that I think, I actually think my clients move through the healing of the heartbreak quicker than they move through the belief that that the right person is out there because the healing the heartbreak is shifting the story of what already happened. But then the next level of the work that I do with them is being the woman in their ideal relationship before the partner appears. And that’s what the mindset Work and that’s what the belief work. And that’s how I truly believe I created the relationship I’m in now,

Damona  25:06

can you give us a little taste of that mindset work we talked about? We talked about doing meditation and breath work. And, you know, we ran through

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  25:17

the body where it were, yeah, possible options. Then there’s a tool that I use that was designed by a coach named Brooke Castillo, she created a thought model tool called the model and she breaks down showing you how your thoughts create your results in every area of your life, your relationship with your health, with your money, with family members, with your partner with your ex with yourself. And it’s just a genius tool. And I really just show my clients, their minds with this model. What are you thinking about your ex? How does that make you feel? And then what actions are you taking and then what results are you getting? So if a client is thinking, let’s call him john, right circumstances, john, the thought is, I mean, this is just an example from a first session that I had with a client yesterday. She said, Why wasn’t I enough for him? Right? And so when you’re thinking the thought I wasn’t enough for him that makes you feel unworthy, inadequate, insecure, unlovable. And then what are the actions that she’s taking? She said, she’s not getting sleep. She’s not really living her best life. She’s not really present in all the other areas of her life. She goes over all the things that didn’t work, all the things, all the ways and then thinking of all the time that she quote, unquote, wasted with him and all the time she put in fighting for the relationship, right? So she’s still very much in her brain about him, and then the result is still heartbroken. Right? So then we jump into a new model. The circumstance is always going to be the same and it’s totally neutral. Just this one person, john, right. And then we skip the thought live. For a second and we go to the feelings instead of unworthy, unlovable, inadequate, how do you want to feel about him? And here’s the tricky part because everybody wants to be like neutral over it. I don’t care, right but your brain is currently very charged around the person. So you’re lying to yourself to think that you can all of a sudden plug into a new model that you’re going to be completely neutral. So it’s so I offer and also you’re not going to go from unlovable to totally lovable, right? You have to be really savvy with what can feel a little bit better, a little bit more freeing, and still true for my brain to wrap your head around. So we come up with

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:37

I came

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:38

I came up with this particular one. How does clarity and peace feel?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:44

Just clarity and peace.

Damona  27:47

And that’s specific to so first example was sort of vague just like over it. But clarity knowing this person is not right for you and peace knowing that I’m going to be okay.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  28:01

Yeah, peace with the situation in peace with how she showed up and, and she was great. It was her first session and she came up with a better feeling thought and I had the same one in my brain, but I always like to let them try first. But in the beginning, it’s kind of hard to get out of the tape, the old tape that you’ve been playing, right. And the thought that she came up with was, I was a really amazing partner to him. And when I love I love hard, and now I’m showing up in a different way to really love me just as much and learn how to show up differently in relationships, right? Like that relationship that five and a half years that she was with him, brought her to and I don’t mean this be like brought her to me. She’s Welcome to then sign up for coaching to really do an overhaul of how she was showing up not just in her relationship with him, but her relationship with herself. And she wants to find love and so how does she healed the relationship and then build her own self esteem and know that Really getting all of my clients to a place that whether someone stays or goes has no reflection on her worth,

Damona  29:07

right. And like you said she was a great partner to him. And she has to acknowledge that some element of it is just history.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  29:19

If we had time, like the story, it was totally all it was clear as day for me hearing the story. And she can. She’s in

Damona  29:26

Yeah, she could be a great partner to him. And it can still not be the right fit. But that tells me she could be a great partner to someone else who could be a great partner to her as well. There’s so much in here, Claire, and we could talk about this for ages but we also have specific questions from our listeners that they’ve submitted. So we’re going to take a break, but if you want more if you want to explore this heartbreak coaching, this is really like just the beginning with surface. Yeah, there’s on Instagram at Claire. heartbreak coach and people can also find Claire online at Claire the heartbreak coach. com So more with Claire in just a moment and we’ll be answering your questions.

We are back with Claire the heartbreak coach and we have some really, really interesting questions in this this week’s episode. And first I just want to thank all of the listeners who have been submitting questions lately. We’ve been getting a lot of questions. So far this year, everyone, I guess everyone’s looking for a new relationship clarity on their relationship. And we love helping you so you can always send me your questions on Instagram at damona Hoffman or at damona Hoffman calm there’s an easy way to submit there and it can always be anonymous, if you would like it to be. We do have an anonymous question that was sent to us from Instagram from a longtime listener. She says I’m 32 year old I’m 32 year old woman, and I have a six year old and the guy I was seeing is 29 with an 18 month old and baby mama drama. We were together only three and a half months, but we were exclusive. And I realized a couple weeks ago that I’m pregnant. He took two weeks to process the news and then broke up with me because he doesn’t want the baby. Now she says I don’t believe in abortions, but I told he told me to to go as, as in he was done. And he doesn’t want to be with me. I know he’s scared, but I’m so scared and mad and heartbroken at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated and she’s wondering Should I try to reach back out to him?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  31:39

Oh, that is a huge resounding no.

Damona  31:41

Yes. So you’re the heartbreak coach. So I’m going to have you talk talk from the perspective of loneliness heartbreak too.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  31:49

Absolutely. I mean, but just even as a heartbreak coach, I really do try to keep stay tight lipped, but just because we’re having a conversation here. I don’t tell my friends Clients what to do. But I also do think here a man when he tells you he does not want to be with you, and he does not want to be involved in the child and if he has a change of heart and he comes back and hopefully he’s done some work and some soul searching, right? Never say never, we don’t know. But I think that just going back to what you and I were talking about in the beginning, you fall apart, girlfriend, fall

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  32:25


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  32:26

let yourself grieve, this is a super painful time. This is a super scary time. You’re a single mom already and about to have this other kid and I also think my hat is off to you that you’re going to still have this child. I think that’s super brave and commendable. And you 100% can do this and you can figure this out, but you have to grieve, you have to fall apart, and then you’ve got to figure out your life. I don’t say this to sound harsh, but I use this term of this little phrase earlier and Brooke Castillo offered at her coach Frank Kern offer this phrase and I use it all the time. Make it math, not drama. Like what are the facts what needs to be taken care of. So first fall apart, feel your feelings and then Okay, you’re about to bring a second child into this world so single

Damona  33:19

mom already

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:21

as a single mom already, but those are all neutral facts. You are a single mom, you have a kid and you are now about to have another baby. You can let your brain go oh

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:31


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:32

god, how am I going to do this? This is so scary. This is so painful. I can’t believe he did this. Where did he go? I’m heartbroken and moving through and all the drama or you can say okay, I have made this decision. I am bringing this child into this world. My heart is still going to keep hurting. I’m going to lean into that again. I I highly recommend talking to a coach or a therapist and moving through this for sure get professional help. we all we all need someone I work with coaches. So I’m a big fan of coaching and I’ve worked with a therapist for many years. So whatever, whoever is the right fit for you. So so you know, have someone in place for yourself, move through the the motions. And also what I always want everyone to remember is that moving through heartbreak is not a linear process. So some days are going to be okay, I’m doing this I’m a badass, I’m bringing a second baby into this world. And I’m standing on my own two feet. And I’m doing this like, I’m amazing. And I’m a warrior woman. Yes. And then you can go to bed and be like, Oh my god, how am I going to do this? Right, your brain is going to go all over the place. And so you just have to meet yourself where you’re at and then you’re pregnant. So your hormonal so things are going to feel

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  34:45

much heavier. So

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  34:47

not only having a professional in place to help guide you through this, but also leaning on solid loved ones who can support you through this time as well. And then what what’s it going to take? I don’t know what you’re doing. ob situation is your financial situation is but then like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  35:02

go take care of business to prepare for this second child

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  35:06

to come into the world. And, and you know, I have never heard of someone say, Well, I’m so upset I had that second kid. And it sounds like you’re not that person either, right that this is also a beautiful thing that’s happening. Maybe this man came into this life, it came into your life for this new jury, you know, and I know that that might be hard to hear right now because you’re just devastated and gutted over the loss of him. But you have this new, precious little human coming in and you’re committed to this little human and this family that you’re creating, and, you know, jury’s out on whatever happens with him. But 100% He has made it clear, don’t go chasing after someone who said he’s out and it they were together just three and a half months.

Damona  35:52

So the reality is, as much as you may have felt bonded to this person, you really didn’t know who he was. And this is event is showing you who he really is. And I also I commend her for deciding to keep this baby. But I also want to remind her or anyone listening who has been in the situation are going to be in the situation in the future. There are other options too, even if you don’t believe in in terminating a pregnancy, there are other people who really are desperately desiring a child to raise in this world. And there there are open adoption situations and there are a lot of options available to you that might not be apparent at the moment. So I completely agree, Claire, that if you get Greenpoint into a therapy, arrangement or coaching arrangement, someone that can help you find resources in your area just to help you work through it, and look, he can say I don’t want to be in this relationship. That is his prerogative. He could also be responsible for he is respond Yeah, he is financially responsible for this child.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  36:58

So you can That wasn’t clear in the message if, if he’s willing to, it doesn’t

Damona  37:03

sound like you can go as it done like, guess what Honey, you don’t get to be done. Because you, you are part of this and you made this decision to. So 100% if you keep this child, he needs to, he needs to be held accountable for his choices. And he needs to be financially responsible for this child. So Promise me that you are going to pursue the actions that you need to to make sure that your children are taken care of, if you do decide to raise to raise this boy and then also remember your mom of six year old, I’m a mom, too. And it’s it. I find it’s a lot easier to get through that step you were saying of like, what do I need to do when you have a kid there that doesn’t fully understand what’s going on and still needs to be taken care of. So take care of the baby that’s in your tummy, take care of the baby that you already have. And that keeping the focus on what is really important right now in kids. Yes. raising these kids is probably something that will also help you move through this.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  38:04

Absolutely and I, I say this with caution because I, my heart goes out to you. But really be careful to not indulge your victim story like this is an opportunity for you to be the heroine of your story and yeah, fight for those babies and to your point make sure that you are financially capable of taking care of them and make sure that he is responsible I think that’s an excellent point. And and if you have made those this choice, then own that choice and grieve the loss of him. I also think you make an excellent point. It’s funny because I’m just over three months dating my boyfriend and it’s pretty serious and and real and it’s been different from many other relationships. But we still do honor that we are still getting to know each other and learning how to communicate and me being vulnerable and asking for what I need and vice versa. Like those are hard things so you can feel I feel so in love with my boyfriend. And still be aware that we don’t fully know

Damona  39:03

each other yet.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  39:04

And so really recognizing that like you didn’t know this person and not that that should be an opportunity to shame yourself. But yeah, now you’ve learned who he really is because this could have happened at six and a half months or nine and a half months or two years and he could have bounced, and, you know, that to me is showing that he’s not emotionally available and it’s a testament to his character, right? So is this the person that you think you’re so madly in love with because that the person who I’m madly in love with and I don’t mean my boyfriend specifically, right? When I think about the person who I want to attract in my life, he’s just a stand up human and like, rises to the occasion in times of crisis and not that a pregnancy should be crisis, right but it’s a crisis if your baby Daddy’s going to leave,

Damona  39:51

right yeah, it’s a serious event. Yeah, I’m actually get a little bit yeah, yeah. So we wish we wish you the best and you

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  39:58

keep please I would love to updates on how she’s doing. So I hope she will

Damona  40:03

I will send you updates. If she sends me updates. I will keep doing dates and mate. So as things evolve, please continue to ask us questions. We have one more question that came to us from Pamela. Pamela. I had to like, paraphrase this a little bit, so don’t get mad at me girl. But she is a she’s a black woman. She’s 39 she says I was raised to pray, do ministry and go to school and I just thought that the right man would appear in my life. Not true. She’s She’s also highly educated. She has two master’s degrees. And she she also takes her education, obviously very seriously in her career very seriously. But she says she’s never she has no real dating experience. She’s never been in love. She’s a late bloomer. And now her Christianity has evolved to be a very little liberal Christian, and she’s having trouble finding people that are at her same level of, of, of religious, you know, commitment. Yeah. And she said many of the men that she talks to her either judgy because she’s too religious or not religious enough. What would you recommend that she do at at age 39 to finally find that love that that she desires?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  41:28

Well, what I’m hearing is that she has lots of thoughts about what’s not working in her love life, right? It’s I’m that I’m highly educated, and I’m this way and so therefore, it’s making it hard for me to find the right guy and they’re either too judgy or what was the other?

Damona  41:45

There are two. They’re judging because she’s either too religious or not religious enough. Oh, yeah. Yeah, right. Right.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  41:52

It’s just, it’s like, she’s in indulging her story of what isn’t working. Hmm. And I do think it’s hard because I’m curious where she lives geographically. Because I think, you know, if you’re looking to date only Jewish people like you, right, LA, New York, a lot of Jewish people, right, cool. Yeah. Right. So it’s like I’m hearing her that that religion is important to her with a liberal angle on her Christianity. Right. So then I do want to just be clear, it’s like, on the one hand, I’m hearing her mindset is all off. But I’m also hearing like, for me if I I mean, I was raised Irish Catholic. I’m not I don’t practice now. But like I would, if that mattered to me, I would go find that community because I mean, here in LA, there are definitely liberal Christian groups. Sure. There’s, I mean, there’s a liberal Catholic Church in Santa Monica that I used to go to years ago. And so I mean, go to go find them. And if that means you have to move. If it’s that important to you, like how badly do you want to immerse yourself in a community where you find your people to read the That I’ve definitely heard people say I live in. I’m thinking of one person in particular, I live in rural Michigan, and it’s just impossible to find, like the kind of guy okay, then you might and she’s very cosmopolitan and stylish and high end and all the things and I’m like, you might need to

Damona  43:15

move right,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  43:16

you’re looking for a particular type. So I will give you that that’s the only the action step if you go back to the thought model that I was talking about, right, that a line so again, you have a circumstance, my dating life, the thought is, I can’t find a guy who is you know, the perfect blend of my Christianity, right? And then the feeling is frustration discouragement, and then the action is just keep dating and you’re believing the story that there to judge you that I’m too religious or not religious enough. And the result is you keep finding that your thoughts create your results. So I would just want to make clear, move to a place where you know that there’s there’s a population of people that are practicing what you preach. Right.

Damona  44:01

But even like getting immersed in those, those worlds like I had, I had a client actually, who is Christian, she came to me saying, I’m looking for a Christian man. And I want somebody who will pray with me. And she had a very clear idea of what that looked like. And so I said, Okay, well go to church, go to these kind of organizations, do this philanthropy work with these Christian organizations and be in a place where you’re around other Christians. She’s online for two weeks, Claire, and then she ended up meeting someone who she has fallen madly in love with. They’ve now been together for seven months. He’s not a Christian. He’s not a Christian, but he respects her beliefs. And he is willing, he’s open enough to he’s not judging of what she is important to her. And that’s, I think the thing finding and yeah, I’m not knocking anyone who, who puts religion at the top of their list I used to write for jadeite. I have a lot of clients who are Christian. My mother is a devout Christian. A lot of people in my world that is it. Yeah, that is number one on their criteria list. But it’s exactly what you said clear. Don’t make that don’t make that the story of why you haven’t met that person. Yeah. And I will say as a black female There is also this feeling of we read stats like black women send out the most messages on dating apps and get the fewest responses that’s a stat from okay Cupid. Black women aren’t getting married, highly educated black women aren’t able to find a match and there’s some truth to the statistics that highly educated women overall if they’re only open to dating someone at the same or just got two masters.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  45:47

Why she was sharing that information. What is her education has to do with finding her man that was another thing that popped out at me. Like who cares what you do, really, but

Damona  45:57

it’s because that that’s how a lot of women are made. That another primary criteria, so she’s only dating someone that’s at her education level or higher than her pool will be limited and does feel

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  46:08

absolutely. But so it’s funny because the way I interpreted that was like, I’m this great catch. I don’t understand why I’m not meeting. And that’s how I interpreted that. And I think that and so your interpretation could probably be more accurate, but just know it’s

Damona  46:23

a good point, though to like, so so why

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  46:25

I mean, congratulations on your Yeah, I mean, you sound like an amazing catch. I’m not saying you’re not but just careful with like, I’m these things. And so this is what I’m looking for, and it’s not working, right. You’re you’re thinking your dating life isn’t working. So what’s your result? The thought, my dating, life isn’t working. And the result is it’s not working, you’re still single, right? And you said, I’ve never been in love, like you have this whole painful story that needs to be unraveled. And so I think when I attracted my boyfriend, and My life, I created something called the belief man plan. And I thought about all the way so I got my business to where I wanted to get it and last year like I wanted to hit 20 clients and have my podcast off the ground and was just in this great place. So I put all my energy and focus into my career I got it to where I wanted it to be. And then I was like, Okay, now we’re not messing around the it’s time to welcome love into my life. I thought to myself, well, if I created 20 clients with my mind, I can create one man with my mind. And I thought about how I would feel really how I would feel with this. Oh, sorry, let me back up. I thought about who he is. Yes. And I didn’t get into what he looks like. The only superficial criteria I have is height because I’m very tall.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  47:50

But other than that, I noticed

Damona  47:53

for those of you that don’t know,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  47:55

other than that, I don’t have coloring. I don’t have I like I literally Just Just Who is this man and I, I wanted him to, I want it to be crazy attracted to him. But I didn’t have all these like physical requirements. I wanted him to be emotionally available. I wanted our senses of humor to really click, I wanted him to be ambitious and thriving in his own area of whatever his career is. I did not need him to have money, I do very well for myself. I care more about his ambition and his purpose in his life versus how much money he can make. Because I believe if I want to have financial abundance, I can create that I care way more about emotional availability, connection, commitment, loyalty, monogamy, kindness, trust, honesty, those things matter values so much more to me than money. And again, going back to your point of all the different boxes to check, and I’m turning 39 in a month, so I’m really just like, I’m not messing around and like I’m very clear of what I thought mattered to me back in the day and what It doesn’t so I got so clear on all of those qualities that he has. And then I thought how would I feel being with a man that just like the physical connection, the emotional safety, the fun, the calmness, the relief, the relaxation, just like oh, like even when I just say it my whole body just like melts and relax, I see it and then I and then it’s like, well, what would I be thinking in my relationship with him? What are the thoughts that I would think right thoughts create results right? And so what thoughts what I think to feel emotionally safe and sexy and relaxed and happy and giddy? right and and so I came up with a list of things that I would think if he was here in my life, and just just random different ones like it so basic, and then some are way more specific, but I’m a huge fan of the bachelor and so am I One of the thoughts that I had is I love coming home at the end of a long run well I coach from home but I love at the end of a long day, him coming home and us curling up with a glass of red wine and watching the bachelor and him kind of eye rolling me but tolerating my 12 year old obsession, I identify as a 12 year old trapped in a 30, almost 39 year old woman’s body with my obsession with the Bachelor. And just like him getting a kick out of my ridiculous emotional investment in these characters, right? Just just painting the picture and imagining what it would look like now I don’t have as a requirement to be clear, my man needs to watch The Bachelor with me just little tidbits like that. And then another thought that I had was whether we’re together or separate or out with friends, I love just knowing that he is mine and I’m his. And another thought that I had was every single heartbreak and event in my life had to happen to lead me to him and same for him with me.

Damona  50:57

Like what and then it all happened

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  50:58

and then it all happen and I I would read these every morning with my meditation with my other mindset work. And I would just like read it and feel that in my body and move through my day. And then like one random night, I’m literally like Swiffer in my apartment swiping on Bumble and I match with him. And I was just like, he lives two hours away. He mentioned he lived two hours away. And so then I like dropped off because I’m like, I’m so over these guys have come in and sex with a girl for our night.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:27

And then he was called back and he was just like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:30

so I know, we’re not exactly neighbors and I, you know, head back home tomorrow, but I would really love to meet in person at some point if you would be up to it. And I was like,

Damona  51:37

Oh, that’s really nice. I like it all happening.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:43

Yeah, but I committed to being the woman in her ideal relationship. And I think the feeling and I didn’t have this like criteria on paper, it was values and connection and wanting the same things. I love this. This is actually you don’t know what that you’re doing this but you dovetailing really perfectly into all of the steps in for anyone that attended the webinar I did yesterday on the five steps in the dating funnel. mindset is the first step. And

Damona  52:10

everything that Clara saying you guys do it, everything that you’re saying really do wet because

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  52:17

I do this with my coaches. They’ll be like, well your belief is off, right? Or your you know, I’m a business coach and a personal coach. And she’s like, what are you believing? And I’m like, I’m bleeding this insistence. She’s like, yes, you need to really carve out the time and I’ve done a ton of belief work and I did it to attract my man and I did it to create the business to where I got it. But sometimes I would like hey, I believe work, whatever. mindset work, whatever, right? And it’s, it’s not just right, don’t just do it once, actually, like you said, practice right? When you go to the gym multiple times a week to keep your body strong. Download your thoughts shift your mind. I do it almost every day five out of seven days. And like not just write it out and be like that’s a better thought to put in because that sounds better. It’s like No Do I feel that in my body does that feel real for me? Is that something that my brain can really shift into believing because again, your thoughts create your results. So don’t don’t be asking yourself just to be a good student, like really implemented into your body. I love you commit to it. I love it

Damona  53:17

for anyone that is still working through this step and would like heartbreak coaching, please reach out to Claire, she is at Claire the heartbreak coach calm or you can find her on Instagram at Claire, the heartbreak coach, thank you so much, much for having me. demonte This was so much fun. I enjoyed it too. And I hope that everyone got what they needed for the new year. By the way, no pressure, but Valentine’s Day is in 30 days, no pressure. So if if you are ready to date differently, you want to do some of these exercises and and go a level deeper and go through that entire dating funnel to figure out where you keep looping and where you keep getting stuck in love. I Do have a solution for you. And it’s a 30 day dating playbook. And you can find it at 30 day dating calm and who knows, maybe by Valentine’s Day, you might be in the arms of your new boo like men. But it just takes 30 days to begin a new habit and to to commit to yourself. So I’d love to help you out at 30 day I hope you enjoyed Episode 292 of dates. And again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. I want to hear your questions. I want to hear updates if you submitted a question, and I would love to keep helping you on this journey to find love. Thank you so much for being here. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Argument Addiction & Chemistry Lies

Chemistry is a LIAR

Today’s episode is all about Identifying past relationship patterns is crucial to restructuring your dating strategy to find success. 


Does your wedding budget predict your chances at divorce?

According to Novi Money, if you spend $1000 or less, you are more likely to get divorced within 10 years. Damona and Producer Leah discuss.


Do you remember the Duggars? Apparently they’re trying to make #NationalCourtshipDay happen. What is the difference between courtship and dating?

Demi Moore spills the tea on her marriage with Ashton Kutcher

Should he respond? Damona and Producer Leah break it down.

Argument & Chemistry Addiction (15:00)

Silent but Deadly Relationship Killers

We’ve said it many times but will say it again: Identifying past relationship patterns is crucial to restructuring your dating strategy to find success.

In Damona’s own personal dating journey, she had to overcome an addiction

I had an addiction to “chemistry.” She LOVED that serotonin rush she got from a new connection and equated conflict with “passion.” But none of these relationships worked.

As it turns out, this is really common. Dr. Phillip Lee, notable marital therapist and co-head of the Cornell Medical Center, joins us today to break it down.

According to his new book, Argument Addiction, co-authored with his wife, our biological predisposition to chemistry addiction can make stable relationships difficult.

But there is a solution! Drs. Lee and Rudolph have unlocked the secrets to successful relationships through their extensive research. We cover:

  • What is Argument Addiction?
  • Chemistry is a LIAR
  • Chemistry hangovers (don’t blame the tequila!)
  • How to know when to call it quits
  • The difference between Happy Couples and Struggling Couples

Get your copy of Argument Addiction and be sure to follow Drs. Lee and Phillip on Twitter (@ArgumentBook) and Instragram (@ArgumentAddictionBook)


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

  • What does it mean to be too picky in dating?
  • Is your man really your man if he’s still on dating apps?

Single Dads & Those Who Date Them

EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Dating A Single Dad

In honor of Father’s Day, the Dates & Mates community is celebrating dads everywhere! This week’s episode is all about single dads and those dating them.

Joining me is Dr. Duana Welch, author and coach renowned for using social science to solve relationship issues.  addresses the challenges of dating as a single parent. She has 20 years of experience as a professor, and has contributed to NPR, PBS, Psychology Today, and others.

This year she has released her newest book, Love Factually for Single Parents [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][& Those Dating Them], a science-based advice book for people who want to re-partner with kids.

Jonathon Aslay, single dad and America’s leading Midlife Dating Coach, returns to co-host and speak on his own experiences dating with kids after divorce. We discuss blended families, getting over an ex, parenting guilt and also offer tips to someone dating a single dad for the first time.


Is polyamory becoming more accepted?

Studies show that more people are trending toward polyamory. Damona and Jonathon have thoughts.

Can relationships work if the woman outearns the man?

54% of married American women are the primary breadwinners of today’s households. What does this mean for men?

Is brand new relationship costing you?

The honeymoon phase of your new relationship turns out to actually be pretty pricey. Damona and Jonathon discuss.


So what is the first step into finding a new happy relationship for single parents?

“Unhooking from your ex,” says Dr. Duana. “There’s a lot of research that shows that most people think that a divorce is going to set them free from the trauma and the fights of the past, but in fact most people carry that trauma and that fighting forward.”

This seems so obvious, but in fact it’s a great reminder from Dr. Duana. Everyone has a past and different landmines that they bring into their new relationship.

For singles entering a relationship with a single parent, this is the most important advice Dr. Duana gives us:

“Don’t be the kids’ parent. Suss out your relationship to them very gradually, letting the biological parent and the children take the lead on what your role can and should be,” Dr. Duana stresses. “If listeners get nothing but that from this whole conversation, they’ve gotten a tremendous amount.”

Dr. Duana shares the scientifically proven way to navigate a relationship with your partner’s kids on this episode. We also talk about so much more:

  • Navigating the “Single Dad Guilt”
  • Why is the ‘re-married with kids’ divorce rate so high?
  • How knowing social science can save your relationship
  • Navigating a relationship when there are extra people to consider
  • and so much more!


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

  • How to ask someone to marry you?
  • He still hasn’t said “I love you”. What should I do?


When there are extra people to consider in your relationship (i.e. your partner’s kids, your kids, your partner’s ex, your ex, your partner’s ex-mother-in-law, the list goes on), you can incur a lot of extra stress.

Dr. Duana’s solution? Understand that your relationship is going be a little more difficult, but simply “choose to be happy.”

This works for her own relationship with her second husband of 12 years.  “Waiting for life to be perfect is a fool’s errand,” she says, “We’ve decided that messy, and beautiful, and sometimes heartwrenching as it is, we’re staying together and we’re going to be happy anyway.”

“The attitude of being glad to have one another and staying on each other’s team turns out to be a very powerful predictor of who stays together.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Self Love & Vulnerability

Love Yourself First

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You have to love yourself before you can love someone else”?

If you remember a few episodes ago titled “Marriage Boot Camp & Bad Advice,” Dr. V’s opinion was that you can’t love yourself in the same way that your partner would love you. Which is true.

BUT it got us thinking: there is some value in being able to understand yourself and take care of yourself in order to be more prepared for a healthier relationship. We dedicated this episode to understanding self love as it relates to dating with Jonathon Aslay. Here’s the rundown:



Wendy Williams is dating after filing for divorce

The divorce has finally happened! Should Wendy be dating already after her divorce? Damona and Jonathon have thoughts.

A new way to teach millennials how to date

CNN reports that South Korea is teaching university students how to date through a “Gender and Culture” class. Is this the most effective way to teach dating? Damona breaks it down.

Match announces a new service, a one-on-one phone call with an expert dating coach

Match is personalizing the world of online dating! What does this mean for you?


Jonathon is America’s leading Midlife relationships expert and he has just published a fantastic guide to self love as it relates to dating called, “What the Heck is Self Love Anyway?”

Self love is an antidote to potential chaos,” Jonathon explains.

Chaos in your life is going to come in a variety of forms – whether it’s a relationship transition, job stress, family stress, etc.

“You have to learn to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else,” Jonathon explains. A good self love and personal development practice will help you be ready for your next relationship.

In this episode, Jonathon explains:

  • How to allow yourself to feel your feelings
  • How to begin a daily personal development practice
  • How to “Shift away from the mundane and fill your own cup with love.”

Get Jonathon’s book today!


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

  • How to be vulnerable again in a relationship?
  • Why not talk about politics, religion, and money on a first date?
  • How do you get motivated to date again?


Have a hot date this weekend or another event that you want to glam it up for? Let Glamsquad help you out with Damona’s code! If you’re new to Glamsquad you can get $20 off your first service with my special code Damona20.

Tough Conversations & Relationship Transitions


This week on Dates & Mates, we go deeper into communicating what you need in a partner during tough transitions in your life. Many of us have been in a situation where there’s something you want to communicate but it’s a scary conversation. We dedicated this to making these scary conversations a little less daunting with married dating and relationship coaches Laurie Davis Edwards and Thomas Edwards. Here’s the rundown:


Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx’s red carpet relationship debut (Finally!!)

The two have been rumored to be dating since 2013. Why did they wait until now to debut their relationship publically? Laurie, Thomas, and Damona have thoughts.

What do you do if you see a co-worker on a dating app?

Business Insider explains what to do if you find a co-worker on a dating app. Damona breaks it down.

Do you believe in soulmates?

According to a 2013 poll by Marist college, 73% of Americans believe soul mates exist. Are you one of them? Interestingly enough, Laurie and Thomas have conflicting viewpoints on this.


Have you ever had to have a tough conversation with a partner, but didn’t know how? Enter Thomas Edwards and Laurie Davis Edwards, who have recently had this same problem. Last year, they underwent a tough transition in their marriage. You may know them individually as successful dating, relationship, and lifestyle coaches.

Thomas helps professional men find the life they are meant to live in four key areas – Love, Lifestyle, Leadership and Legacy. His wife, Laurie Davis Edwards is the founder of The Worthy One, a coaching company that empowers women to fall in love with themselves and their soulmate.

Right after the birth of their daughter, Thomas and Laurie experienced intense personal transitions. From experience, I can tell you that a newborn baby is a HUGE transition. On top of this, Thomas and Laurie were already going through personal and professional transitions that put strains on their relationship.

“I was going through an identity crisis,” he explains. “I suffered a lot of trauma from the realization that I’m going to be a father. What I experienced was actually grief around the death of my identity.”

At the same time, Laurie was dealing with trauma of her own. “My transition was more about being the one who has to hold it all together,” she says. As she dealt with the pressures of being a new mom, she also tried to keep her relationship from falling apart.

Laurie opens up about reaching a breaking point and gathering up the courage to be honest with Thomas about how their relationship wasn’t working.

They open up about things like:

  • Meeting through Twitter
  • Long Distance Relationships
  • Moving across country together
  • How a baby changes your relationship
  • Where did problems arrive
  • How to have tough conversations with your partner
  • And so much more!

Be prepared because this conversation gets DEEP!


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

  • how to be confident while dating outside your race
  • How relevant do you think astrology is to compatibility?
  • What do modern women want?


Have a hot date this weekend or another event that you want to glam it up for? Let Glamsquad help you out with Damona’s code! If you’re new to Glamsquad you can get $20 off your first service with my special code Damona20.

Dr. Jenn’s Relationship Fix & The Communication Crisis


In all of Damona’s years as a dating coach, she has learned all the different ways people navigate modern love. One issue keeps coming up as challenging for all our listeners: Communication.

We are in a communication crisis right now, people! With an overload of information and an undervaluing of the person on the other end of the phone or computer, it is clear that we are having trouble forming real connections. This week we talk about how to form better relationships through communication and connection. Here’s the rundown:


Is society done with Slut Shaming once and for all?

This week, some VERY personal pictures of Amanda Seyfried were leaked on the internet. We are happy to report that most fans supported Amanda instead of slut shaming. Damona and Dr. Jenn have thoughts.

Create Healthier Texting Habits

At the beginning of a relationship, it can be hard to establish healthy texting habits with your new boo. Damona and Dr. Jenn have your solution.

The Four Major Predictors of Divorce

According to the Gottman study, there are four major predictors of divorce within the first five years of marriage and three more relationship conflicts that will make you fall out of love ASAP. Damona and Dr. Jenn break it down.


Damona brought in the creme de la creme of experts to enlighten us about communication and connection in relationships –  VH1’s Dr. Jenn Mann. You may know her from the hit show Couple’s Therapy with Dr. Jenn or her many best selling books on improving relationships, but she is also a licensed LMFT who has been practicing for almost three decades.

Dr. Jenn and Damona talk about her newest book, The Relationship Fix. This interview isn’t just for couples who want to fix their relationships, Dr. Jenn says her communication advice is for singles who “want to do it right next time.”

We talked about A LOT:

  • Using conflicts to strengthen your relationship
  • Connection is the greatest vaccination against infidelity
  • Dealing with criticism
  • Recognizing and knowing when unresolved issues can ruin a relationship
  • How to make an effective apology
  • Will he actually change this time?
  • Concrete Action is key
  • Getting over infidelity
  • Living in fear hurts your relationship
  • Attachment styles
  • And so much more!


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

  • If a girl brings a friend to a first date, it’s over right?
  • I’m dating someone with an STD. How screwed am I?
  • Some tips on how to make my IG profile a dating profile?
  • I think I’m dating someone in another relationship. How can I investigate/ not be creepy.
  • At the start of a relationship, how much time do you give before you have the talk?


Have a hot date this weekend or another event that you want to glam it up for? Let Glamsquad help you out with Damona’s code! If you’re new to Glamsquad you can get $20 off your first service with my special code Damona20.

The Angry Therapist & Male EQ


Damona sits down with John Kim, The Angry Therapist, to talk about his do’s and don’ts for men plus his tips on how to bulletproof your relationship. Here’s the rundown:


Did Lady Gaga break the girl code?

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper made headlines last week after their steamy Oscars performance. Did Lady Gaga break the girl code by being so close to Bradley right in front of his girlfriend?

How Uber and Lyft have changed dating

It’s no secret that ride share apps make going out easier and safer, but how have they changed dating? Damona breaks it down.

Calling all expecting fathers!

Dove is offering to pay paternity leave grants for fathers who will not get time off after their baby arrives! Damona gives us the deets.


This week John Kim joined us in studio. You may know him as the Angry Therapist, but he is also an entrepreneur, published author, public speaker, life coach, and so much more. John’s approach is personal and honest and draws from his past relationship experiences. He has helped thousands of men find more happiness in their relationships and more purpose in their lives, now shares his insights with men everywhere in this powerful book, “I used to be a Miserable F*ck”. We talked about A LOT:

  • The Foundations of a healthy relationship
  • Bulletproof Relationships
  • Living Separate lives, together
  • Should you pee in the shower?
  • Honesty in relationships
  • John’s Do’s and Don’ts for men
  • And so much more!


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

  • How you should act around your ex when you have to see them at work?
  • Can you find love on Instagram?
  • Should you just flat out ask someone out?
  • Dating advice for someone who has moved to a new city and doesn’t know anyone
  • How to rebuild after infidelity while long distance
  • How can you tell if he’s being honest?
  • And tips for long distance relationships!


Studies show that singles feel the most “single shame” from those closest to them. Damona closes out the show with a Diatribe on single shame.


There are millions of people on dating apps worldwide. If you’re not finding love there, your profile may be the problem. Use Damona’s FREE guide to creating the ultimate MAGNETIC online dating profile. Get the Profile Starter Kit at

Breakups & Quitting By Design


To close out this #DivorceMonth2019 we talked all about breakups and quitting relationships. Breakups are a pretty heavy topic so Damona called in reinforcements. Enter Lynn Marie Morski, self professed “professional quitter” and Jonathon Aslay, Midlife dating and relationships coach. We talked about A LOT today. Here’s the rundown:


Your New Matchmaker revealed: Your DNA

New dating app Pheramor matches you with your DNA. Is this the answer to finding love now? Damona and Jonathon discuss.

The TRUTH behind your romantic type

Meghan Markle seems to be pretty different from Prince Harry’s other girlfriends, right? Wrong. According to foot analysts, all of Prince Harry’s girlfriends have the exact same (very specific) foot feature. Damona and Jonathon tell us what this means for you with the help of science.

Channing on life as a single dad

This Divorce Month, Channing Tatum is being the best dad he can be and trying to find a good balance with ex-wife, Jenna Dewan nee Tatum. Is he doing a good job? Damona has thoughts.

Quitting By Design (14:00)

There are lots of steps to a breakup – even when you haven’t been in a relationship for very long. How do you sort through all the BS and make the best decision for you?

Lynn Marie Morski has quit several times in her life. She is a physician, attorney, speaker, author, and the Founder of Quitting By Design, Lynn Marie is on a mission to help people carve out a successful life through strategic quitting to inform your life’s true purpose and path which led her to write her new book, ‘Quitting by Design.’ We talked about A LOT:

  • Deciding to quit
  • The 5 step quitting process
  • Fears of quitting & quitting fears
  • Logistics of quitting
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy & “I’ve invested so much time!”
  • And so much more!


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

  • Should your boyfriend have to deal with your family drama?
  • What to say when you don’t want a second date


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