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The energy is feeling really heavy right now.

As an empath, I’ve been sensing this intensity building. It’s been impacting my clients for weeks and it’s changing my approach to dating in 2021.

This is the exact reason why, instead of doing a live 30 Day Dating Playbook like I usually do in January, I launched The Dating Secret Circle.

I believe that visualization and intention coupled with decisive action is the best way to make your dreams a reality.

This is why 90% of the people in my VIP coaching program end up in a relationship within 3 months. It’s not magic. The focus and momentum all come from my clients. It has to come from YOU.

Sure, I been coaching people for 15 years, collaborated with nearly every dating app in history, and developed a repeatable system to beat the dating odds but that is just one part of the process.

You have to believe it’s possible.

You have to be able to see your future partner coming into your life.

And you have to align your actions with that intention to make it happen.

Here’s is my biggest question for you:

How are you taking care of your heart at this chaotic time?

And a follow up…

How is the energy around us impacting your ability to connect to someone and find love?

Most people do not have a plan in place to keep themselves emotionally and spiritually balanced at a time like this. And you’d better believe what’s happening in the larger world will impact your dating life.

Most people do not have a supportive network of others who can relate to them and provide them the comfort and accountability of a like-minded group in their exact situation.

That’s because our schools haven’t taught us some of the most important skills because they can’t be measured by a test. But when you learn and practice them, your entire world shifts.

THE DATING SECRET CIRCLE is where I will share the secret sauce of mindset, Law of Attraction, empathetic dating, and energetic transformation to take you from just slogging through the apps to actually making a connection.

Do you feel like you’re doing all the steps? You’re swiping like mad, but still haven’t been able to make a real match?

Do you get exhausted, overwhelmed and discouraged by wasting time on the wrong people?

Are you holding onto memories and replaying conversations in your mind with partners of the past?

Is the uncertainty in the world right now dominating your thoughts and preventing you from even thinking about dating?

Let me help.

Let me take the worry off your plate and give you exercises to move you through this challenging time.

Let the Dating Secret Circle support you and help keep you focused on what you truly want – meaningful connections and a real relationship.

Let me guide you to think in a totally new way about dating.

You deserve a clean slate.

You deserve to be a part of The Dating Secret Circle so CLICK HERE to join NOW.

The Bumble Blueprint & Linguistic Love Cues


The pandemic has been a wild rollercoaster ride of love for so many people. At the beginning Damona advised everyone should embrace virtual dates, then we moved onto social distance dates then back to virtual dates again. 

You wonder, “But Damona, how can you actually make a connection that way?”

Kyle and Olivia from Atlanta, met on Bumble, and we can’t wait to share with you how it all went down so you can learn how you too could find love right now.

But first, our dating dish.


The Year in Swipe

Tinder spills all the tea in 2020’s Year in Swipe Report.


Sparks Fly on Virtual Dates, But Not So Much in Real Life

If you’re feeling the connection on virtual dates, you might not have in-person chemistry. Damona weighs in. 


How to Win Someone Over

The Harvard Business Review teaches us how to win someone over. 



Kyle and Olivia found love in 2020 on Bumble. They share exactly how it happened and what timeline you can expect with your Bumble Boo – or POF Person, Tinder Tie-Up, Facebook Dating Friend with Benefits… etc. 




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

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

Unknown Speaker 0:18
swipe was invited to share my life.

Unknown Speaker 0:21
What does this text mean?

Unknown Speaker 0:22
Maybe he’s just not that into me is this relationship going anywhere,

Damona 0:26
you can keep waiting for the fairytale. Or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates in mates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers, welcome to dates and mates, happy holidays, happy almost time for a vaccine day. Whoo, this pandemic, it’s been a wild roller coaster ride a love for so many people. You know, at the beginning, I advised you, you should embrace virtual dates. And then we moved into social distance dates. But then with the spike in numbers, I was like, Nah, you need to go back to the virtual dates. And you said but damona? Maybe you didn’t say it like that. But you were like, how can you actually make a connection that way. And I told the same thing to my clients. And I said that the process is the same, you know, I have a dating process. It’s the same even though it might be happening virtually. But it takes at least three months of really committing to a dating plan, usually, for my clients to finally see a shift. And I have to admit, in November, spirits were low, many of my clients wanted to throw in the towel. And some of them even doubted that system would still work in a pandemic. And they thought maybe this just wasn’t their season for love. After we did our single hit episode. So many people said to me, like yeah, I’m tapping out. Thanks for thanks for giving me the out Dimona, I’m out of here. But you know what I have, I got three different emails this week from clients who have moved literally from basically hopelessness into almost exclusivity in just a couple weeks. And I got to meet incredible couple who connected virtually at the height of the pandemic, and their relationship couldn’t be stronger. So I am a big believer in virtual love. And I also believe that even in the midst of a pandemic, you could still have your season to meet someone if you want it. I’ll be talking to Kyle and Olivia from Atlanta, they met on Bumble. And I cannot wait to share with you how it all went down. So you can learn how you too could find love right now. But first, you know, I like to do these headlines. And there’s a lot happening. Tinder spills all the tea in there 2020 year and swipe report. And watch out if you’re feeling the connection on virtual dates you might not have in person chemistry. Plus, the Harvard Business Review teaches us how to win someone over. Oh, that one is a brain bender. And there’s so much more coming up on dates and mates today. Now it’s time for the dish, these dating dish. Y’all know I love a good report. And Tinder. Tinder is the number one dating app. So I trust their data. And I love digging into it to know what’s really going on what’s happening on the front lines of dating apps today. So that I can tell you, and there is a lot in here that was super juicy. We covered this report last year, I think was the first year that they did it. And obviously, when you think back to December 2019, to where we are today, what a difference a year makes, obviously, more messaging and more swiping they were up nearly double digits by the end of the year compared with even just February of this year, which is usually high season for the dating apps between January and February. That’s when they see the big spike in new users. We spiked double digits beyond that. And of course the pickup game change the pickup lines started shifting even as early as March they started hearing a lot of quarantine and chill, you know, you know, they’re they can track what people are saying in their messages. They base people got real corny with this, they were like let’s be like COVID and catch each other or wash your hands so you can hold mine. I don’t recommend any pickup lines like that, but I’m sure it made a couple of people giggle and maybe led to some connections. And there were also evolutions in the emoji usage I covered last year how the facepalm was the big emoji of 2019 we have evolved it’s no longer the facepalm it’s not even in the top 10 maybe that’s just because We don’t want to have our hands in our face, because we know that we could transmit COVID that way.

Now the most common apps are the, you know, the shrug emoji that like, What? What’s up? everybody’s like, I don’t know what’s happening. It’s COVID. Of course, the the mask emoji that one that’s obviously genius, and toilet paper, and grocery carts, which I didn’t even know, were emojis. I literally didn’t know that those existed in the emoji keyboard. But now they’re really hot on Tinder. Should you use them to make a connection? I think you could do better, I think you could talk about something a little bit more with more depth to it. They also saw that politics were a hotter topic than before. People lay down those political deal breakers, right in their bios, I said that in episodes leading up to the election, and also mentions of Black Lives Matter on the platform were up 55 times amid, you know, you know what happened, you know, you know, so you know, Black Lives Matter has been a thing for a long time. But of course, this year, people are talking about it in a new way and talk of voting doubled in the months leading up to the 2020 election. So that’s what’s on everybody’s mind. But I really feel like there’s been a shift in the dating landscape. Even just since the election ended, I feel like people in the last month have become a lot more open to dating. But of course, as numbers are spiking, you have to be safe. So the New York Times tells us how you can make a connection on a virtual date. Of course, as I mentioned, at the top of the show, at the beginning of the pandemic, everybody turned to video dating to make connections like we were all just grabbing at straws, like I’m stuck here this house I need human connection. And then we really fatigued over the the whole virtual dates and just being on zoom for the whole day. Like now I have to have a zoom date. That’s not cute. So this article really examines how to make a connection over video and they told some stories of people who thought that they had a connection over video. But once they met face to face, they didn’t always feel that spark anymore. They interviewed this behavioral expert, she’s based in Amsterdam, so she has a name that I’m probably going to butcher and Marja ood is how I’m told it is said, people are going to correct me I’m sure on it. But I think things must be really different in Amsterdam, because she recommended that you want to really give a person a sense of what you look like on camera. So she said show yourself fully by standing up and turning around for a clear view of how you look even if it feels awkward. And no, no, not in my book. Okay, so you can play by Anne’s book, or you can play by the damona Hoffman dates and maids rule book, that is weird, do not do it, you also have to leave something to the imagination. And I really don’t think that it’s going to help you at all to to show your body moving on. Unless you have like a reason like you’re gonna make it cool. Like we’re gonna do a dance off. If the person is into dancer if even though they’ve had like six gmts or something. But otherwise, no, just stay seated and just be regular. Okay, just be normal, be your normal self.

And also focus on listening, of course and asking good questions, but also creating more interaction. You’ve heard me say this before gamify the date play 20 questions like really make it more than just like feeling like a work meeting. And then of course, they say, as soon as it’s safe, try to get offline and meet face to face as soon as possible. That is the same thing that I say. And I just did a refinery 29 interview last week and and the writer was asking me about how quickly it should progress if you’re in the virtual date phase. And now we can’t really go on social distance dates too easily. And I really feel like it’s the same timeline. It’s just that now we can’t, we can’t move offline as quickly. So you need to make those virtual dates feel a little bit juicy or but still after, I would say probably two or three max virtual dates, like put on your snow pants and figure out a way to actually connect face to face because I do think that face to face connection is really important. And you’re going to hear a little bit more about that experience as I talk to our Bumble couple in just a moment. And if you’re wondering how to make that great connection when you do meet face to face. This is this. This is a little bit of a twist for dates and mates. We actually took a page out of the Harvard Business review for you this week on how to win someone over. So this is not a dating article or study like we normally report on this was actually a study about lawyers and how they win over judges but producer Leone, I thought it was so fascinating because a lot of the advice that they give is the same thing that I tell my clients about mirroring, linguistic mirroring, and even body language mirroring. So in this article, which of course will link to in the show notes at dates and mates calm. It said, when you mirror your counterparts preferred communication style, they’re more likely to find you convincing or feel familiar or authentic. And that is really a big part of the connection. Like what what are people looking for, they’re not looking to be impressed by you, they’re not looking to have you list off all of the wonderful things about you and your your house and your boat, and your dog and your your job. And like all these things that that make us feel like we have value in today’s society know, somebody wants to feel like they connect with you that they feel like you’re real, and they feel seen by you and like you get them. And linguistic mirroring is something that happens naturally, when you feel a connection to someone but hot tip you can actually create more connection by intentionally mirroring their linguistic flow, like the way that they speak their inflection, their tone, their volume. And that’s just one little piece of the pie. Obviously, I have tons more than I could tell you. I share a lot of it with our Patreon friends with benefits in our little secret private Facebook group. So if you want to get more tips on flirting or more tips on virtual dates, make sure you check us slash dates and mates you can join there for just five bucks. When I come back, I will have the cutest couple that I have ever seen. who met on Bumble in the middle of a pandemic. And I feel hopeful I’m in a relationship and they made me feel hopeful. So I’m really hoping that they make you feel hopeful as well. So stick around. Welcome back to dates and mates. I know you’ve probably thought once or twice about giving up on finding love in a pandemic. But it’s time to think about it just one more time and maybe change your mind. I am here with Kyle and Olivia, they live in Atlanta. And they found love on Bumble in 2020. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic. So if you’ve been down on the dating apps, give me a chance to prove you wrong today. Please help me give big smooches to my guests, Kyle and Olivia.

Unknown Speaker 12:50
Hi, guys.

Damona 12:52
I’m so glad you could be here with me. Let me tell you people are out here and these online dating streets struggling they are struggling. So first of all, congratulations to you for finding one another at a time like this. But I want to hear I want to hear everything I want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly, the ups and the downs. And how you came to find each other on Bumble finally. So you’re not new to dating apps. Right? Olivia, you’ve done this before you had done this before about the dance.

Unknown Speaker 13:30
The dance is a tango. And sometimes you win sometimes you lose. But I will say I’ve been on Tinder I’ve been on hinge I’ve been on Bumble Bumble has always been my favorite. To be honest. I think that people on Bumble are more serious about relationships or finding a relationship rather than the hookup culture that has now been created. And I can honestly say I was struggling to before I met Kyle of but I found it I decided to just try Bumble again at the top of the pandemic, there really wasn’t much going on. I was going to work on home structure and it seemed indefinite. And so I was balancing working from home I had a roommate at the time who did the bumblebee line and encouraged me to actually do it as well. And I did it first. In March. I think it was more of like the middle of March and match with some guys, but that fizzled out. And so I kind of was disheartened. So I was kind of in the mindset of I’m not doing it anymore. I don’t want to be on Bumble. This is terrible. The pandemics not gonna last that long. But then I really said no. Try it again. See what happens. So I said okay, fine. I’ll take the bat Beeline. I’ll do it one more time. And then I saw Kyle and my Beeline and I matched with him and we just kind of took it from there.

Damona 14:49
Whoo. I can’t wait to hear all the juiciness of what happened once you met but I got to hear from you, Kyle. Did you have a similar experience with dating apps before?

Unknown Speaker 14:59
Sure. Bumble was the only dating app that I had ever tried. I liked it so much because it puts women in the driver’s seat. And sometimes that’s half the battle. And, you know, you have to reach out to them like another apps that I’ve heard on, he had to reach out to them. He had to hope they’re interested, but it makes makes women kind of like, you know, the aggressor in a way, like, okay, like, I want you and you guys match. So I like that. I really like that because they have to come outside their comfort zone. So um, that’s why

Damona 15:42
I am seeing a look from Olivia right now. Like when you said it makes women the aggressor. What was that?

Unknown Speaker 15:47

Unknown Speaker 15:48
I guess my leg was kind of I feel like maybe I cheated at that. Because Because with the Beeline, what’s so great about is that you see guys that already like to you. So I kind of knew he was already interested. I wasn’t swiping to see if you know, if we match. It was kind of like, oh, he already likes me. So I can swipe. And we’re just an automatic match. I think I kind of cheated.

Damona 16:13
Was that your your strategy? Like? Did you have a dating app strategy?

Unknown Speaker 16:18
No, I honestly, this was my second time using the Beeline but I’ve never used the Beeline prior to the pandemic, I think that I was at a point where I wanted to leave through even more the people that I wasn’t interested in and kind of get a leg up because I do like Bumble because the woman takes the first has the first move. But at the same time, you could match or swipe with so many people and reach out to them. And then they don’t reply back or they take too long to reply back. So I think that the Beeline really helped me kind of propel or push faster into getting to know someone because I knew they already liked me. And it was a quicker start to the conversation. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 16:58

Damona 16:59
Kyle, did you what How did you meet women before?

Unknown Speaker 17:04
Oh, before Bumble.

Damona 17:07
Yeah. Or had you been doing Bumble for a long time. And that was like your that was your main dating app squeeze.

Unknown Speaker 17:12
I was doing Bumble for all of 2019 um, and it was exhausting. be socially exhausting, because I was I was going on so many first dates. And you know, they would just like live said just fizzle out. And but I kept you know, going back to and then I would stop, you know, I, I kind of I am gonna chill for a minute, then I go back and then I was stopped. So before that on it. Honestly, I was pretty. I was pretty like oblivious. I was really like in my work. And that’s all I was doing. And I was in a long, like a long term relationship before that. So I really didn’t know anything about like the new dating world and dating apps or, you know, tenders or anything like that. So, um,

Damona 18:03
that’s the way to do it. Olivia, you got to get them while they’re fresh, fresh meat. You know, not all that baggage. All those you know, ideas about it, you just go in there, get the Beeline and snatch them. No. No, I do want to know how it actually worked. Once you matched How long did you communicate on the app before you move to the next step? And what was that next step when you did?

Unknown Speaker 18:31
Oh, wow. So I think it was maybe the same day, right? The same day we matched

Unknown Speaker 18:37

Unknown Speaker 18:37
We talked the same

Unknown Speaker 18:38
day we matched we talked for I think though the whole day on the app. And you know, just try to get a feel for each other. And, and I know, at that point, being on the app, I was asking questions, like we’re not getting off this app to you know, you answered this, this this I was

Damona 18:57
gonna interview Olivia sometimes,

Unknown Speaker 19:00
because I was asking my list of questions too. And I was gonna say like one thing about us, our profiles kind of have a similar message where his profile said, you know, I’m looking for somebody to take me off of this app. And my profile says something along the lines of like, I’m looking for the last gentleman out there to you know, match with and see where it goes. So when we got into a conversation on that it kind of just flowed into, okay, what do you like, how has the pandemic been for you? What have you been watching? What are you looking for? Are you looking for something serious? And we talked for the remaining remainder of the day into the evening? And then Kyle quickly told me he had work the next morning, so he couldn’t talk to me anymore. Um,

Damona 19:44
so sounds like your feelings were a little bit hurt in that moment.

Unknown Speaker 19:48
He still brings that up. But it was really nice because it to me is showing me my priorities. And I’m like, if he takes his priorities that seriously, I want to be one of those priorities. So I gave him my phone number. And then we quickly took it off the app the next day.

Damona 20:06
Okay, so talk me through that that step Did you gave you gave your phone number to him. Kyle, were you nervous to give her a call? What are you feeling?

Unknown Speaker 20:18
So story? Yes. So the story is, I, I like I have a very dry sensing where I have a very unique sense of humor. So what I did the next day, because I didn’t wait, I don’t believe in the whole all you got to wait a week, and I don’t have time for the game. So what I did was I text her and I told her, Hey, this is Brandon. And she’s like Brandon, Fran, and who? And I was like, you know, remember we met at the club? Or, you know, I made up some elaborate story. And she, she, she kept like, you know, who is this? Or like, when Where did I go to the club? Where what bars like, wow, you don’t remember our conversation, and all that. So finally, she asked for a picture. I’m like, Ah, man, I don’t want the joke to be over just yet. So I sent her a baby picture. And

Unknown Speaker 21:12
I love being blocked.

Unknown Speaker 21:13
Yeah. And I felt it. My spirit. So finally. Finally, I was just like, No, no, just kidding. This is Kyle. And yeah, before I got blocked, because I guess apparently I was

Damona 21:28
so close. Okay, so you’re still just like you were in the app messaging. And now you’re still just messaging but on your phone?

Unknown Speaker 21:35

Damona 21:36
So when did you make it make real like real contact?

Unknown Speaker 21:40
So we messaged on the phone once I realized he wasn’t Brandon. And the job was over. And it was kind of it was at first it was funny, because I’m like, No, this is Kyle. I’m saying it in the text. I was like, No, I don’t know. Kyle is Brandon. Okay, this is embarrassing. So you’re going to get blocked very quickly. Um, but the joke subsided and we started conversations, we started talking and I feel like that same day, he FaceTime me for the first time. And so this was April 8. Okay, sorry, talking April 7. Um, and so he based on me, we FaceTime every day after that. We went on our first virtual date which

Damona 22:18
Wait, hold on, before you get into the virtual day, I have to pause because the FaceTime This is a point of contention for me and a lot of my clients here. Did you just just out of the blue FaceTime? Or did you make a plan to cut to FaceTime her?

Unknown Speaker 22:35
I don’t know if I honestly, I don’t know, if I actually made a plan did we

Unknown Speaker 22:40
know you FaceTime me out of nowhere, which I know is quite taboo.

Unknown Speaker 22:43
I don’t know, you’re allowed to just FaceTime out of nowhere, you just meet someone, um,

Damona 22:48
did she pick up.

Unknown Speaker 22:50
So I picked up and I quickly had to get my life together. I didn’t miss the FaceTime call. Um, but because I was already home, I’m kind of doing the meat of Zoo meetings and things like that I was already okay. So when I picked up for him, I was able to talk to them. Um, and the conversation was very normal. And it was like I knew him. Like we were already friends. We talked, we crack jokes about things we were interested in, we talked about our day. Um, so it actually played out really well for us. And then we facetimed all the time after that really didn’t use the phone. And we texted a lot when we couldn’t talk. If he had meetings, I had meetings doing stuff. And I think we had that mutual respect of we don’t want to call her talk constantly, or didn’t want to be needy or desperate. But we had enough where I felt like at least for him as a guy. He was still showing interest in me. So I was feeding that back.

Damona 23:45
And at this point, in the pandemic, things were still very locked down. It’s not like you could just be like, hey, let’s go grab a drink, maybe would that have been what you would do in normal times? And the pace timing was sort of a substitute for a real date?

Unknown Speaker 23:59
Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah, we definitely would have like to go out or anything like that, but we kind of had to, like do the virtual dates and things. So yeah, it was definitely a new experience. adjustment.

Damona 24:15
So how long are you going back and forth on FaceTime before you decide to actually mate?

Unknown Speaker 24:21
Wow. Oh, that

Unknown Speaker 24:23
was at least a month.

Unknown Speaker 24:26
Yeah, I think it was like a month.

Unknown Speaker 24:27
So I was a little bit more paranoid at the time. I had a roommate and she was a nurse at chellah. So Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. So I was living with somebody who was saying the front lines is this is serious, this is going to get worse. And so he was very interested in doing virtual dates, but sending me food be Uber Eats or doordash. And so it was a sweet idea because we were supposed to eat dinner together and watch like a movie virtually or tune into what was it the Teddy Riley Baby, baby. So we watch different things together, but I I was like, I don’t First off, I’m not eating outside of my house. I don’t want to eat anything from anyone else. And then at the time, I also didn’t want to give him my address. I really didn’t know him.

Unknown Speaker 25:09
She shut me down.

Unknown Speaker 25:11
I shut him down a couple of times, um, for the food, but I gave it we gave it about a month. Mm hmm. Because everybody was saying at the time, you know, two weeks 14 days quarantining, so I kind of said, All right, it’s been a month, he hasn’t shown any symptoms. I talked to him sunup to sundown, and I haven’t heard him call once. So maybe we can meet. Um, and I was very particular about our meeting, it had to be outside. I wanted it to be during the day, and I wanted it to be at least close enough to me, or to you where we weren’t driving out of the way because you have to be safe, like as a woman and you have to be safe. And you know, during the panel, you know, side a lot of rule. Lots of rules somebody put up with

Damona 25:56
Kyle, did you have any? any qualms about meeting her? She’s living with a nurse who was on the front lines? Would did that make you nervous at all?

Unknown Speaker 26:07
Um, honestly, no. Because she was so like, in a bubble. Even though like, you know, that she mentioned her roommate was a nurse, but still, she was so much in her bubble. Like she said, I wouldn’t. I wasn’t even able to send food to her. She wasn’t even getting like takeout or anything. So I was like, Okay, well, if anybody would, you know, probably be mean, but. So we were fine with that. Yeah, we were I was fine with it.

Damona 26:32
Okay, so where did you go when you finally couldn’t meet up?

Unknown Speaker 26:37
When you walk?

Damona 26:41
You know, say that one more time.

Unknown Speaker 26:42
We took a walk. Where?

Unknown Speaker 26:45
Yeah. So he was still going into his office. I was working from home. And yeah, exactly. But it was social distance. There wasn’t a lot of people in his office. They were still being safe. But he was in his office during the day. So I took a lunch break from work. And I said, Okay, well, I’ll come see you on my lunch break. And then we can take a walk. He said he actually he actually came up with it. He said we could take a walk near his job because there was a kind of Plaza restaurant area near his job. So he said, I want to it all the time from my lunch break. So we could just take lunch together. And I said, Okay, well, I’m not eating anywhere, but we can take the walk. He said, Okay, so I dropped his job. And I got out the car. And we met for the first time we gave each other hug. We went on this walk

Damona 27:35
mask and you’re fully masked, right? Or no, this is before masks were mandated.

Unknown Speaker 27:40
Yeah. For mask or mandated. So we know masks. I’m walking talking with people weren’t around as if we saw people, we went a different way. Yeah. Um, you wanted to get out here.

Damona 27:56
I want to know what your first impressions were. Because that that transition is sometimes unexpected for people when they move from the from the app or from FaceTime to actually seeing each other. Kyle, what did you think the minute you first saw her in real life?

Unknown Speaker 28:12
So first off, she was as cute as she is now. Um, so what she was, she had just like a glow about her. And I really appreciated that. We just saw each other. And it was like, Oh, there you are. Oh, there you are. But it was it was like a comfortable feeling. Like there wasn’t there wasn’t any nervousness or anything like that. So that’s something that I definitely took notice of because we were on that walk. And it wasn’t like it wasn’t uncomfortable. I don’t think it was just very

Unknown Speaker 28:46
agreeable. I was definitely nervous

Unknown Speaker 28:49
a lot. I wasn’t.

Unknown Speaker 28:51
I was nervous, because I had talked to this person every day for a month. And I like you know, the fear. I guess for me, online dating is you grow this relationship with someone and then it could be a catfish, or that person could be crazy. Or they could have that intention. So it was a little nerve wracking to finally meet this guy that I was so interested in and like gel so well that I was like, Oh my gosh, I hope normal. I hope he likes me. I hope I was cute. I hope it doesn’t rain, I hope and just so many things. Because Yeah, so I think the thing I was definitely a little bit nervous. But as we walk the conversation flowed the same way it did on our own calls, so I felt more and more comfortable.

Damona 29:30
Could you tell she was nervous, Kyle?

Unknown Speaker 29:33
I couldn’t, honestly until until just now I didn’t know that she was nervous. But as we took our walk, we you could just tell that I think that you became more and more comfortable. And by the end of the walk, it was like Okay, so this is it. Yeah.

Damona 29:51
So considering there’s a pandemic, and you’re probably not on the app talking to other people, I’m guessing. I don’t want to step in any Thing awkward. No, we

Unknown Speaker 30:02
talked about that too. Um, I wasn’t talking to anybody. When I was in when I initially matched with Kyle, I matched with other guys. But our conversation went so well. And I really was losing hope. So I was kind of like, you know what this conversation so I’ll focus only on this person. And so I didn’t have anybody else. I was juggling at the time it was solely talking

Unknown Speaker 30:23
to him. Yeah. When when we matched, and we started talking, um, I think after we FaceTime, I completely like just, even though even though we didn’t have that initial conversation of exclusivity, I like, put my thing on Do Not Disturb. Because I don’t like no distractions or anything like cool. I want to focus on this. And I think even I’m sorry, to whoever or she’s listening. But somebody gave me their number. Wow, like we were in, I just didn’t even use it. Right. So they’re kind of just out there in the lurch.

Damona 31:02
Oh, but that happens so much, right? That happens a lot. These sort of unmet expectations. I also wanted to address what you said Olivia, about, that the nervousness coming from all that expectation, you’d spent a month getting to know each other. And usually in regular times, I would tell my clients move offline as quickly as possible, you need to see if this is the real deal in the real world. And so there’s less expectation, but you can’t do that in the middle of a pandemic. And even though we had a summer that was a little bit more lacks, in a lot of places where I’m in Los Angeles, things are locked down, and no outdoor dining whatsoever. And a lot of my a lot of my clients and listeners in different places, as the weather is turning, they can’t do dates. They can’t do dates outdoors anymore. And they’re really struggling with that moving the relationship forward. But that fear of what if what if he’s not what I expected him to be, can sometimes keep you in that state of limbo?

Unknown Speaker 32:08
No, definitely. I think that it was a, a not a big fear, especially not on the first date. Because I had, I had gone through the rinse and repeat of online dating where you go on a date with somebody, and maybe it works and it’s great and you want another date and then somehow it fizzles out or it just you know, on that first date, this is never happening again. So I kind of walked into it like okay, this is something that never happens again. I guess I just chalked up another month of my life, doing the rinse and repeat of online dating. But I did go into it very hopeful because we had such a great year. Yeah, it’s like I can’t I know it sounds really cliche, but it’s like I knew him already. It’s like, we were already friends. It was like he just meshed so well with me. And I mesh so well with him that it just really worked. And like he said, I kind of got more comfortable throughout the date itself, because we ended up sitting down on some steps that outside of a church. And then I kind of just leaned and put my head on his shoulder and he put his head on mine. And then I think in that moment I knew okay. Yeah, see where this goes. And I think that we walked back to my car, he walking back to my car, and we were both on conference calls. So we’re still trying to work from home and I under I appreciated his hustle, hustle. I appreciated him being understanding that I slept at work he slashed to where it was a lot of things that we were still making sure that our priorities got taken care of. But we were still making sure we had time for one another.

Damona 33:39
Do you think that you did something different in the staging process? And I’m also curious, do you think COVID and the pandemic and lockdown had an effect on YouTube being able to meet Do you think it would have played out? Maybe differently? If you had met it another time?

Unknown Speaker 34:00
I always say yes. I always say I don’t think that we would have met at a pandemic because

Damona 34:06
I or outside of a pandemic.

Unknown Speaker 34:08
Yeah, outside the pandemic. It was just that that point. I feel like I was more like I’m kind of tired of dating and like when the pandemic hit, I was just like, Alright, let’s see, just one more time. That was my one more time. So it was Kismet, obviously. But yeah, that was my one more time but I always say if it was regular. Now, because I was doing that already the year before I would like have long hiatuses of just not going back on Bumble.

Damona 34:43
What would you say was different? I mean, aside from the global pandemic, do you feel like it had something to do with the way that you paced the relationship getting to know each other over FaceTime or something else that was happening internally.

Unknown Speaker 35:00
Oh, um, we definitely FaceTime more that helped, um, probably more than like when I would, when I was dating previously, that really helped because that believe it or not gave some type of interaction more interaction than just regular talking on the phone. You know, I got to we got to see each other laugh, which is really important. We got to like, as as funny as it may sound like each other in the eye when we’re talking. So it definitely added to the closest right before we met. Mm hmm.

Unknown Speaker 35:41
Was it the same,

Unknown Speaker 35:41
I always say, we would have probably met outside of the pandemic, I think it would have just taken us a little bit longer. I don’t only because he has friends that were in the same area, like people, he has this other business partners, friends, things like that. He, they were in the same place as me and different events the year prior, like during Halloween and things like that, when we were actually able to be out. And so I said, You know, I probably would have ended up at an event you were at, and then we may have met and started talking. But then he says I would have been focused on doing whatever I was doing, I was able to pay attention to you. I would have made you like hello, hi, I would have still pursued you with my personality. But I

Unknown Speaker 36:26
don’t know, I don’t I don’t think so personally, but she says that thing, you know, maybe

Damona 36:31
funny. My husband who was actually on a couple episodes ago, when we met we actually had some mutual friends in common. But we met online. And we know of at least two parties that we were both at and may or may not have met but he says he wouldn’t. He was like, he’s very introverted. He probably wouldn’t have have said anything to me. So like through the app, he was able to gain the confidence and find the right words. And yeah, you know, make the make the right moves. I’m curious how long before you had an actual real date? Or have you? Have you even had a real date? Like, as much as we can in a pandemic? Okay,

Unknown Speaker 37:13
we actually did have our real day and it was perfect because it

Unknown Speaker 37:19
was cookie friendly.

Unknown Speaker 37:19
Yeah, it was inadvertently quote COVID friendly. So we went to the driving. And we went to yet we went to go see a movie at the drive in. But you see bad boys for life? Yeah. So yeah, we went to we went to see bad boys for life. And that tacos first we got tacos from my favorite taco spot. And yeah, and it was just us in the car watching the movie. And I think that it was, that was a great intimate moment for us. Because just us very, right. There’s nobody, like, you know, popcorn spilling on you because somebody else and further, you know, the back or whatever. So it was good. That was our I believe that was our first one. Yeah, we

Unknown Speaker 38:07
hung out. Like I came over and watch movies at his house once I realized that he wasn’t weird and that this was Um, but yeah, we hung out at his house. And then he said, You know, I’m, I want us to do a date. I have a plan. And so that’s one thing that I really appreciate about him is that he is very take charge. And he is very romantic, even though he thinks he’s not I’m very like, into romcoms. He’s, but he’s very romancing and he made a plan. And he said, We’re going somewhere somewhere. Okay, whatever. It was kind of a surprise for me. You didn’t tell me where we were going. He said, we’re gonna get tacos with you both love tacos. So this was perfect. And then he was like, and then we pulled up and I’m like, I’ve been here before. sighs Oh, gosh,

Unknown Speaker 38:48
we’re gonna drive

Unknown Speaker 38:49
and he’s like, yeah, we want to drive in. I want to take you on a day to something COVID friendly, cuz I know you didn’t want to be outside of the house. So I really appreciated it and taking the time to make sure that I was comfortable. And then like you said it was more of an intimate date. Because it was us it was our food. There was nobody really around, you’re playing on the radio. So it was really, really nice and really sweet. And so that was our first in person real date.

Damona 39:15
It’s like the 1950s is kind of romantic. You have your own little bubble there. So speaking of speaking of your bubble, what does it look like? Now? How have you How has the relationship progressed? And like? Olivia, do you have different rules now? Are you eating at other people’s houses? Are you eating at the same house? What’s going on?

Unknown Speaker 39:38
Um, I think I’m, I’m a little bit less with him at least, but like less cautious. I think that we spend a lot of time together whether I’m at his house or he’s at my house. But I don’t think that outside of our relationship. We i’m not i’m still very mask oriented. We have hand sanitizer in our cars. I actually bought him mask, I put masks in his car. And it kind of turned because where I was. So trying to be on guard and trying to set the tone of we need to be careful, we need to be cautious. You need to wear your mask. I think there was a point in what, June or July where I would just get out of the car to go to the supermarket and his keys fully man, I

Unknown Speaker 40:18
don’t have my mask on. And she

Unknown Speaker 40:20
said, What are you doing? And I’m like, What do you mean? So it kind of shifted. And so now it keeps me on top of things, because I’m like, trying to remember Oh, yeah, mask everything. So I think it kind of works out, I feel like our relationship works really well because of a balance. And we’re very balanced in the sense of being precautious for one another, and we do eat out. But where we eat, we make sure the restaurant social distance that they’re wearing masks, we wear masks, when we’re around other people, we tend to be outside, so we’re eating out less now that it’s colder in Atlanta. But um, I think I think that we try to be as cautious as we can. Yeah, um, especially the longer we’re dating, you know, now we’re looking at, you know, blending the families, having my parents meet his parents, having him meet my parents, he’s met my dad, my needs met my sister. So just trying to be cautious in those ways too. Because as we get, you know, as we continue to grow our bond, we don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to continue our life together and stay in just that bubble, our bubble has to somewhat expand just a little bit, just a little bit. But we want to make sure at least I don’t want to be free. But I want to make sure that we can still move forward and progress forward in a positive manner, we

Unknown Speaker 41:37
still have to have those temples of different moments where as long as there’s social distance, and it’s safe for us to continue our relationship as normal as we can.

Damona 41:50
That’s all we’re striving for. As we can be, what advice, tips, inspiration do you have for anyone listening? Who is at this point where so many of my listeners have written in about this phase of COVID and being locked down again. And just the fatigue, they’re fatigued of dating apps, they’re fatigued of texts that go nowhere? They’re just, you know, overwhelmed by the fear of COVID? And how do you even date when you can’t even leave your house? What would you say to them,

Unknown Speaker 42:25
um, it’s possible, it’s very, very possible, you have to be a little more creative. And honestly, you’re going to, this is a great way to weed some some people out, because all you have is conversation, it depends on your level of like, you know, safety as far as COVID goes, but you all you have this conversation with us, I think is great that we met during the pandemic, if you know, the pandemic itself is very unfortunate. But we had our relationship in reverse. We were, we couldn’t go anywhere. So everything was just, you know, finding things to do around the house. Like we we did games where we would know each like find out about each other and ask questions. We had game nights, we had all kinds of stuff. So it makes you more creative. And we didn’t, we didn’t go out like barely, we barely went out. So now we’re just it’s like everyday life. And we did that first. So you have to be ready to, you know, if you do talk to somebody during a pandemic, you have to be ready to do, do things kind of reverse and really get to know them. And it’s honestly, it’s pretty rewarding to them.

Unknown Speaker 43:47
No, definitely, I think my advice would be to always be your genuine self, especially right now. I think that some of the conversations or some of the interactions that other people will have, be open to a friendship. I think that’s also something I think that when I met him and I smashed with him, I was like, Okay, if I get a great guy that I can talk to, and another friend that I can make in this pandemic, then that would be great to because at this point, I had a roommate, so I had social interaction. And I was doing some parties with my sister in New York and her friends. So I had some type of social interaction, but it would have been It was like, Okay, I’m gonna get something great out of this one way or the other. And then sometimes I think that when you go into online dating, it can be disheartening. But I’m, once again, I know it sounds cliche, but he or she is out there. And I think you just have to have the patience to and to not take all the losses or all the bad apples and take them personally. It’s just whatever that person is carrying or moving within life, then that’s how they’re showing up but just kind of see it through. Sometimes you might need to take a little break from it, take a breather, refocus, do something else and then come back to it with her. fresher mind, but always be your genuine self look for laughs look for a good time because it’s it can be really bleak with the pandemic right now. And everybody’s dealing with it in different ways. People are morning people, there’s a lot of grief, a lot of concerns with mental health. So, you know, just try to make connections and see where those connections grow. Like give it the time because right now we have nothing but time. Yep.

Damona 45:24
Well, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your amazing love story. You two are adorable together. I know our listeners can’t see you. But you’ll just have to take my word for it. And I just wish her the two of you together. The two of you together are amazing. And I just wish you continued love and happiness and health. together.

Unknown Speaker 45:48
You Sandy.

Damona 45:50
Thank you. This has been Episode 340 of dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. Please DM me your questions. Let me know what you’d like to know. If you’re struggling to find love on dating apps. Let me know where you’re getting stuck. And I could answer your question on a future episode. You can also feel free to send me a message about what you learned from today’s episode. Go ahead and DM me and send me a voice memo. I’d love to hear your voice. You sat here and listen to my voice all this time. I want to hear yours. And you can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at damona Hoffman. We have just one more episode left for 2020. But the search for Love does not rest. So neither will I I will be doing my weekly q&a as for anyone who needs support over the holidays in my patreon Friends with Benefits group that you can join for just five slash dates and mates. And there’s a whole group of supportive people who are going through the same thing you are and would love to invite you into the circle again, that’s slash dates and mates. Next week, we have another dear demona on tap. So do send me your questions. DM me if you can or leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 Again, that’s 424-246-6255 we’ll be back again next. I already said that. Let me just say also, and don’t forget to mark Don’t forget to subscribe and don’t forget to subscribe to the show and rate and review. If you are subscribed, you will get our episodes in January. We are moving to a new day on Tuesday. So if you’re not subscribed, you might miss out join the club. Until next week. I wish you happy dating


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

Bestie’s Brother & Never Been Kissed


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

But first, let’s dish!


Workplace Romance

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


Different Dating App Features

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


Famous Women Dating Shorter Men

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




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

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


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

Are we supposed to get married?


Unknown Speaker  0:01  

I’m gonna just swipe. I


Unknown Speaker  0:02  

don’t want somebody to share my life.


Damona  0:09  

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


Unknown Speaker  1:49  

These dating dish.


Damona  1:52  

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


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


Unknown Speaker  11:33  

Help me


Damona  11:34  

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


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


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


Unknown Speaker  17:28  

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


Damona  17:59  

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


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


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


Unknown Speaker  28:23  

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


Damona  29:09  

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


Unknown Speaker  34:10  



Damona  34:11  

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


Unknown Speaker  38:10  

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


Damona  39:00  

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


me too super long.


Transcribed by



Relationship Dynamics & Mr. Hoffman


So a few weeks ago, Damona got a tweet from someone who was – let’s say NOT a fan. This person really just had to let her know they were really against online dating.

REALLY Really anti online dating.

We want to talk about the stigma that online dating may or may not still hold with a very special guest – Damona’s husband Seth, who had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love.

But first, let’s dish!



No Shave November finds that No Shave November doesn’t hurt men’s chances at love. Damona explains why.

Questions to Ask Before You Date Right Now

Disease experts give a guide for questions you should ask while dating during the pandemic. Damona weighs in on this Business Insider article.

Being Ghosted

Well and Good tells us why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. Damona explains.


Damona’s husband, Seth Hoffman, joins to share his perspective on the challenges of online dating, relationship dynamics, and the realities of falling in love.


Damona 0:00
Hello lovers, what a special yet interesting week it is Thanksgiving here in the United States this week. Unlike most years, many of you may be having a different kind of Thanksgiving, maybe a friend’s giving maybe a long distance giving. But we are all being called right now to clip our perspective on a few things. And same is happening in my neck of the woods a few weeks ago, I got a tweet from someone who was, let’s say, not a fan. And usually I try not to overthink the criticism I received, but this person was really, they just really had to let me know that they were really against online dating, like really, really anti online dating. So I, you know, I tried to look at it from different perspectives. And I thought, I need to address this stigma that online dating may or may not still hold. Because I’ve been in this space for 17 years, I met my husband online 17 years ago. And there was definitely a stigma back then. But I’m interested in how it has shifted, changed or maybe remain the same in recent years, and there was only one person I could think of, to talk to me about this journey of online dating. And that is my husband, Seth. I convinced my very favorite person to come into the studio. And let me tell you, he is a major introvert. So this is a huge deal for him. But I really thought that he had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love in my book, and in his and hopefully in yours. Plus, it’s my birthday week. So he had to say yes. But first, of course, I have to get you up to speed on the headlines, even though it’s a holiday. The news just keeps on coming. You know, it’s No Shave November. But do you know, is it improving or hurting the chance of love for guys that wear their beards out? Also, what you should be asking to know if your date is COVID safe before you go out. And why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder than before. Those are the headlines this week. It’s a thought provoking week here on dates and mates. And now let’s dish did a survey for No Shave November. And it turns out, despite what popular dating experts might say, it’s not hurting men’s chances at love that I kind of poke fun at the fact that some of you know who’ve been listening to the show for a long time. I am not a fan of beards. And I’m sure there are some bearded men listening to this right now that are like come on Dimona. Why can’t bearded men have the love? Well, now you can and especially with No Shave November upon us. You really have no choice. Whatever charity you’re supporting, you know, for for those who don’t know, No Shave November you grow out your beard for a charity all month and then you shave but maybe you shouldn’t shave because according to survey 86% of singles enjoy facial hair on men and feel that it makes them look more masculine and mature. And this was a crazy number. You know, I thought oh, like a couple people do No Shave November. We’re all kind of aware of it. But is it really a thing? Well, according to the survey, almost 60% of men surveyed shared that they were participating. According to this survey, almost 60% of men shared that they were participating in No Shave November but then it made me think are we participating in No Shave November are we doing No Shave like the entire year? I know Look, I bought I bought some more of my Old Navy stretch pants some of you saw on Instagram I declared it is officially mumu season.

Unknown Speaker 4:20

Damona 4:24
you do what you want to do. But I feel like I I feel better. When I put myself together a little bit. Of course we have to be comfortable. We might have to wear stretch pants. We might have to wear moose. But if you’re going on a date, at least just try just try your best and there’s definitely a difference between your I’ve given up kind of beard and your I’m I’m deliberately intentionally wearing a beard and this is a statement or this is an experiment for me to see if I will be perceived as more masculine and mature Business Insider India shared some tips from a disease expert. I’m sorry to use the D word in this episode. But I want you all to have the facts. This disease experts said, there’s a guide for which questions you should be asking before you go on a date. Right now it’s funny because I keep getting these questions from my clients. So clearly, there is not a consensus on what you need to know before you decide to meet someone in a social distance setting, or not in a social distance setting. So this, this expert said, You should say, Are you a careful person or a carefree person? When it comes to the pandemic? I find that there’s a big spectrum though, there, there’s a lot in between, because I would say I’m probably more careful than carefree. But I’m not like, I’m not too, too crazy in either direction. But this is a great one. Do you wear a mask while you’re out in many places, as we are approaching the second wave, I’m in California, we just got a mask mandate and a curfew just to double down on that. So in other places, I know the attitudes are different. It’s a little crazy to me to think about, like what do you what do you mean asking? Do you wear a mask? It’s not a choice here. But in places where it is a choice, you definitely should be asking that. I thought this one was cute. How aware Are you of social distancing? Uh, if you are living in 2020, and you are not aware of social distancing, that is an absolute swipe left pass, don’t do not pass go Don’t even bother. So clearly, they have to be wary of social distancing. It’s more like, do you respect social distancing? But these are the tougher questions. Have you been tested for COVID-19? for any reason? I’ve been tested many times for no reason. And for also for work for a TV show that I’ve been working on. But I think it’s a good idea to know your status whenever you’re going to be near others. Have you been near anyone who’s tested positive for covid? 19? That’s an important one. Do you take public transit? Or do you go into an office for work? If you want to go on an in person date, make sure you ask them about their habits and their whereabouts and where they’ve been and whether you’re on the same wavelength, this is so vitally important, and I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and try and become a COVID safety expert. But I think it’s so important, especially where we are right now. And y’all have seen the graphs, and they do not look cute. If you do not want to be on that graph. And part of that statistic, you need to take this seriously. And you need to be asking your date’s, these tough questions, to protect yourself and your own safety. Okay, we’re going to turn a corner. I think dating, when we get the vaccines, things will shift. But up until that point, there’s so much that you can do to take responsibility for your own safety, and to also think about it from the other person’s perspective to maybe give them peace of mind that they’re going to be safe when they’re dating you. Our friends at well. And gave us the answer to the question why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. According to a poll of over 1000 people that the University of Phoenix and Harris Poll conducted 41% of Americans are feeling lonelier than ever since the pandemic setting. And I know, I know that that is it’s not easy, and it’s not getting any easier, anytime soon. So what’s happening is, it’s affecting people in different ways. And I’m seeing I’ve been doing this a long time, as, as you know, I’ve been coaching singles for a long time on online dating. And you have to consider first of all, you’re meeting strangers when you’re dating online. So we don’t have any context really, to what else is going on in their life or the way they process information. And it started this article started out with a story of this person who had been dating someone you know, for for a few weeks, like to the point where they were bubbled, they he was coming to her apartment, and then all of a sudden, he just stopped texting. He just totally ghosted, and she started to send those texts, you know, those texts like Hey, are you okay? which I’d never recommend sending. But look in the middle of a pandemic, it’s totally irrelevant.

Unknown Speaker 9:23
Are you okay?

Damona 9:24
This guy could have been in the hospital, he could have been worse. She didn’t know where he was or what had happened. Until she goes on Instagram and sees this fool doing backflips into the pool. And she knew Oh, he was alive and well. So that was certainly a blow to her and I’m sure you can relate to what she she was feeling and it’s happened to you as well, whether you’ve been ghosted further down the line like she was or even earlier, in feeling like you’ve made a connection or you’re texting someone and suddenly they go away. There’s this little this Just a bit of panic that I’m seeing set in, and anxiousness that’s making people do weird things. So it’s making like I was just swiping for a client the other day. And, you know, I’ll do the swiping, but then I have my clients are always the ones to do the communication. And this dude, in 24 hours, she hadn’t responded because she hadn’t logged in. And he started freaking out and sent like six messages. And it’s not completely unusual that I would see that in non pandemic times. But I felt a little bit more over the top. And the funny thing was, he wasn’t the only one that did it. And it was just like the act of swiping that gave them the sense of interest that made them like go full on into this expectation or anticipation of what dating her might be like. So it’s making people have this sort of anxious attachment, both in trying to move forward to getting someone in the bubble. But then a lot of people are panicking. On the other side, when things are moving along too quickly, I just heard from another client who seemed to be in a really successful relationship. And it’s blossom throughout the pandemic, but but I’m also hearing from people who are in relationships, or are in situation ships. And they’re feeling like their partners, like like this woman in the article are pulling away unexpectedly. And I just want to offer you compassion, and I want to offer you a tool to be able to, to forgive and release that person from the responsibility. And it can begin even just with writing a letter, just write a letter of forgiveness to that person rather than chasing them down. Are you okay? stalking them on social media, assuming they are still alive and well see what would happen if you could just just release them from from the need to take care of your emotional needs, so that you can release yourself of that expectation. And possibly open yourself up to the possibility that this person might not be right for you. But holding on to the idea or the pain of, of their unpredictability may keep you from being open to finding love with someone else. Again, those are the themes of the week. I know it is a tough one for so many of you. So I just I’m sending out lots of love. Lots of gratitude. I thank you for listening to the show. And I thank you for sticking with me through this break. Because when I come back, I will be here with my person, Mr. Seth Hoffman. Welcome back. with no further ado, and no need for smooches because obviously, they’re implied. Here I am with my husband, Seth Hoffman.

Unknown Speaker 13:07
Hi, ty.

Damona 13:08
Thank you for thank you for being on the dates and moods podcast again, your repeat.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
I’m a friend of the show.

Damona 13:18
That’s, that’s what he says about me. Um, okay, so for our newer listeners, they might not know you, I talk about you all the time on the show, but I wanted them to know that you are a real person. And I think it’s been, what, seven years since you’re on the show. It’s been

Unknown Speaker 13:37
it’s been a while.

Damona 13:38
I had your parents on like three years ago to celebrate their 50th anniversary. But it’s been a while since you’ve been here. So tell everybody who you are. And tell them what you do as well. That’s kind of interesting. Um,

Unknown Speaker 13:55
I name is Seth Hoffman. I am demonios husband. for work. I am a television writer specializing in one hour dramas.

Damona 14:07
I thought you’re gonna say like specializing in zombies and breaking out of prison zombies

Unknown Speaker 14:13
and irascible doctors and breaking out of prison. Yeah.

Damona 14:20
So yeah, that was a pop quiz. If you can figure out what shows he means. He’s worked on the walking dead and house and Prison Break and a bunch of other stuff that maybe he doesn’t want me to mention that.

Unknown Speaker 14:32
Those are the highlights of my IMDB page.

Unknown Speaker 14:35
Yeah, everybody good. Go check it out.

Damona 14:37
I didn’t try to make you claim me on IMDB by the way.

Unknown Speaker 14:41
You did.

Damona 14:42
I did. I claimed you. So you are claimed on my IMDB page. But when I go to your IMDB page, not for nothing. I’m not there. I

Unknown Speaker 14:52
I don’t have much of a social media imprint of any sort. So I don’t really maintain My IMDB page are there. Are there people maintaining my IMDB page for me?

Damona 15:05
No, that’s I think for you to do. I don’t know, talk to your talk to your people about it. I do my own.

Unknown Speaker 15:13
But you don’t have any social media presence. I am. I was on Friendster. For a while Friendster was the thing in like 2005.

Damona 15:24
Where we Friendster friends, we must have.

Unknown Speaker 15:26
Yeah. But what happened was, I realized very quickly that it was I was addicted to it and sort of needed that needed to constantly refresh Friendster and sort of see what everybody was up to. And it was, it was kind of poison for me. And so when Facebook came out, I just knew it would be bad for me. bad for my mental health. If, if I if I became a Facebook subscriber member.

Damona 16:03
Yeah, I feel like it does add this other layer of pressure. In fact, I just got a question from a listener who was was asking me about her boyfriend’s social media dealings. So in this particular situation, she, she wasn’t sure what coworkers, likes or emojis meant. And I feel like you can get really caught up trying to interpret different social media messaging and people’s behavior online and extrapolate what that means. I’m curious as somebody that is not on the socials, it what what you would say to that person, if you think that’s cause for alarm?

Unknown Speaker 16:52
So you’re saying, I want to make sure I understand the question. Somebody’s got like, a text.

Damona 17:01
No, no, dear. Okay, so she has, is in a relationship with someone and saw that he recently became Facebook friends with a co worker, and she liked one of his posts with a heart emoji, and she wants to know if that’s a red flag.

Unknown Speaker 17:27
I mean, so not knowing anything about social? I think, I think different emojis mean different things to different people. And so what’s important is context and communication. So if that coworker is giving heart emojis away, like candy, and everybody gets a heart, then it doesn’t mean anything. Um, if if not, then it might mean something, but as opposed to sort of playing detective about it. Um, I think it would be like, I think this is a place where it comes back to communication, and trust. Where if you don’t trust this person, because they got a heart emoji from a co worker, maybe that’s not the only reason why you don’t trust them. Um, and you should sort of examine that, you know, like, if someone, again, if I were on Facebook and saw that someone gave you a heart emoji, that wouldn’t bother me in any way. Because even if someone was romantically interested in you, I would trust that you wouldn’t act on it.

Damona 19:01
Someone did slide in my dm the other day, yesterday. Yeah, yeah, I was trying to hook him up with a client. And then he was like, Well, if it doesn’t work out, maybe I could take you I give I give points for effort. I could maybe we could have a drink. And I was like, Oh, I don’t think my husband would like that. But But appreciate the over but I mean, we do have also transparency like, like, I have access to your calendar, you have access to mine. You can check like even though you’re not on social media, you can check my social media like and it’s not because like, like I think people get sort of caught up in this idea of like, should you give your passwords your partner, it’s just like you said, like just being being having that level of trust, where also you can have communication around it. Where if it makes you uncomfortable, you address that because you could go way down the rabbit hole trying to try So social media sleuth and see if this girl is liking other people’s pages and posts in the same kind of emojis, it’s like you could literally make yourself crazy. Or you could just have a direct conversation with your partner and start it from a place of like, you know, it made me kind of feel uncomfortable when I saw that, is this something that I should be worried about? And not from an accusatory space? But just like, this is my reaction? You know, I, I do feel like social media puts this pressure on, on relationships that maybe shouldn’t be there, especially at the beginning, right?

Unknown Speaker 20:41
Yeah, I mean, so you’re saying, like, if for for for people in the dating pool, now, you start dating someone, and then you look at their social media history and sort of try to gauge what kind of person they are that too. I

Damona 20:58
did also have a client that next somebody because she went too deep down the Instagram, Instagram, rabbit hole, and was like, I know too much. So that’s a problem. But then also, just all of the nuances of like, when do we make it Facebook official? Or, like, if you break up with somebody, then you have to erase their existence from your social media platform? And you don’t have to worry about any of that, because you’re not on social.

Unknown Speaker 21:25
Yeah, no, I dating was sort of complicated enough for me. Just Just trying to meet so I mean, so so it’s, I’d say, I think my day, my personal dating, and then our dating story is, is interesting in that respect, in that we met online, sort of as online dating was was really beginning to move from the fringes into sort of something more More, more mainstream.

Damona 22:03
You think that really?

Unknown Speaker 22:04

Damona 22:05
I mean, there were mainstream says, We didn’t even tell people, that’s how we met when

Unknown Speaker 22:09
we first met. It was it wasn’t like, kind of, in the dark corners of the internet, like, there was There was there were like, legit sites that would advertise on TV, that it was a thing like my aunt, who, you know, was single until she was about 50, you know, would would talk about what internet dating was like, in the 90s. And that was felt like it was much more kind of the Wild West. You know, in Los Angeles, as a 24 year old, there were, you know, you, you could go online, and meet lots of different people. Mm hmm. Whereas, and they were people who were using online dating as a supplement, as opposed to kind of feeling like this was the only way that they could meet people. Mm hmm.

Damona 23:16
What made you go online?

Unknown Speaker 23:17
What made me go online? I was. I was really nervous about it. So it wasn’t it certainly did still have a stigma, at least for me. And what made me go online was that one of my best friends who, throughout high school was always sort of the alpha, the group and the ladies man. He said, You know, he told me over Christmas break, when we were sort of back in the same town. He told me that he was starting to date online. And I was like, Oh, wow. If there was no stigma for him, then maybe I should give it a try.

Damona 24:00
Yeah, I sort of had a similar experience, like my boss at the time. She, who, you know, I really looked up to and I was like, she’s got it all. And she went through this divorce. And she was like, I’m going on two days a week. It’s amazing. devono you have to get online. So I think by the time I met you, I had already been doing it for like two years. So I wasn’t that,

Unknown Speaker 24:21

Damona 24:22
I wasn’t that. I don’t know that I was nervous about it. I had a bit of a of a routine. A bit of a routine. Actually, we should tell them how we chose our first date spot. So I lived in West Hollywood, which is about 45 minutes to an hour and traffic from where Seth lived, which is Santa Monica. And we were looking for we decided to meet and we were looking for a place

Unknown Speaker 24:57
and so I’m not the most Most social guy. So, you know, it’s actually one of the reasons why internet dating, I think really worked for me that I could sort of see as opposed to meet someone at a bar and immediately kind of come up with the snappy thing to say, or the thing that’s gonna draw someone’s interest to me. You know, as a writer, I could sort of look at somebody’s profile and really think about how, what I could write to, to make them potentially interested. But because I didn’t have I wasn’t super social. You know, damona, you said that you lived in West Hollywood, and I knew one bar in West Hollywood. And so I, I floated that one.

Damona 25:52
Yeah, the problem was, that was the bar that I always took my online dates to, which you had no way of knowing. But I had this whole system, it was like, it was like a mile from my house. So it was easy for me to get there Get home safely. I knew the waiters, I knew that I knew the menu. I had this whole system down. And but I had decided like, well, maybe I need to change up my system, because it’s not working. It hasn’t worked. And then you use so I was like, I’m gonna go somewhere else. Oh, and you know, what else I used to do? I would always suggest the place. You know, I’m, I’m sort of that kind of take charge. Woman. We’re here laughing

Unknown Speaker 26:35
because it’s true. I mean, I think it’s, I think I don’t think our relationship would work particularly well. If you weren’t.

Unknown Speaker 26:47
Somebody has to. Yeah, I

Damona 26:49
guess to make the hotel reservations.

Unknown Speaker 26:50
I interesting.

Unknown Speaker 26:51
Yeah. I’m, I’m much more content to kind of, yeah. I think there’s a lot of inertia with me, like, kind of whatever direction I’m in. I’m generally content to stay in that direction. So it’s good to have someone pushing me around. In sort of, you know, in the

Unknown Speaker 27:16
meeting, can you say it me? No, but I meaning you’re

Unknown Speaker 27:20
sort of like in the in the Newtonian physics kind of way.

Damona 27:23
Like there’s so hot Newtonian physics. What?

Unknown Speaker 27:30
So, yes, short version? I think, I think your, your take, charge your, your short version, I think, your willingness and your, your desire to sort of short version, I think your desire, your short version, I think your willingness not to stay in a comfort zone, either sort of you staying in your own comfort zone, or me or our family. I think that that has been to all of our benefit.

Damona 28:13
Oh, yeah. I in a way, I look at it as my biggest gift and my biggest faults at the same time. But it’s often

Unknown Speaker 28:21
kind of the case, right?

Damona 28:24
I’m sure that there’s a quote in there that I just can’t think of right now. But, but yeah, I it’s kind of a good lesson, I think for people and in not leaning away from the things that make you you. Because I hear I had this grand plan, like I was going to shift my dating plan and I was being too assertive and always suggesting the place. So I was just gonna let let the guy choose the next guy choose and whatever happens. And then you go and say Lola’s, which is the same place that I would have picked if I was still driving the train. So it’s interesting to see how sometimes fate pushes you in the direction that you’re already going. I’ve talked on the show, but I’ve talked on the show before about how how do we really have a 5050 partnership. And in fact, I was talking with my girlfriends last night, Seth was nice enough to watch the kids while I went and had outdoor drinks with my friends. And I was saying how it really was by design, like the kind of guy that you are. And the lifestyle that we built for me was by design. I don’t know how much thought you had put into the kind of woman that you wanted to marry, and the lifestyle that you wanted to build, but I was like, they know that I’m not big into chivalry. And I’m not big into traditional gender roles. And I think for us, that worked. I actually remember visualizing, I was like, What if I could marry a writer and he could like work from home and be an equal partner in raising the kids. And it’s kind of weird that here we are. And this is, in a way, the lifestyle that we built, but how much of that was by design from your side?

Unknown Speaker 30:13
I mean, so I, you know. So from a very early age, you know, my parents made sure I knew that men and women were equal. Um, there’s this picture of me from my fourth birthday party wearing a T shirt that says men of quality, respect women’s equality. Um,

Damona 30:42
yeah, it’s so cute. You got your little glasses on this shirt is like down to the ground. But, yeah, um, your foundation?

Unknown Speaker 30:51
Yeah. So, you know, I’d say, you know, like, I some of the big arguments I’d get into with single friends before I met Dimona, or about, like, should guys be expected to pay on the first date? What is the morality involved in engagement rings? Like sort of those

Damona 31:18
have these conversations with your friends?

Unknown Speaker 31:20
You guys talk about those things? It was a mix of guys and girls. Well, really? Yeah. I mean, I think because I would, sort of, you know, I remember reading a book about diamonds and sort of the diamond trade and kind of the, the, the, both the ways in which diamonds are problematic now and the and the ways in which De Beers And particularly, and the ways in which two beers in particular, sort of built an engagement ring business out of nothing. And so, you know, I was talking about that, and how it, you know, like, engagement rings are silly. And here’s all the reasons why it’s, it’s sort of, and it was, you know, it’s a subject that people have strong feelings about, that people have. Some people really cling to some people have really dreamed of the day that someone will get down on their knee and propose to them for a long time. And I’m, and having people question, why that is important. is, uh, you know, I think can spark spark argument.

Damona 32:56
Yeah, for sure. And I remember, even I gave you a maximum amount to spend on my ring. I was like, I will feel uncomfortable. cuz sometimes if it’s too big, it’s like, What are you trying to prove? And I just didn’t feel comfortable? Like, even I didn’t feel comfortable with you even spending that much of your salary on it. What do they say? It’s like, like two months salaries?

Unknown Speaker 33:16
Well, so so it’s in America? Yes. That’s what they say sort of debeers has done market research for different countries. And so in different countries, it’s different percentages. I forget exactly. What where it’s a larger percentage, and where it’s a smaller percentage, but in the United States to beer says you should spend two months salary on on your engagement, right?

Damona 33:42
Yeah, what actually, that might be about what is fun. But

Unknown Speaker 33:47
I mean, that it was really one of the there was a moral dilemma for me. Whether, you know, I felt like I was going to conform to society, and by you an engagement frame, which for me, had a lot of complicated symbolism, intertwined with that. You know, and ultimately, it was a case where I knew it was something that was important to you.

Damona 34:21
Yeah, well, not even so much because of the diamonds are they investment? It’s, it’s because what it represents to people outside your relationship as well, right.

Unknown Speaker 34:33
So that’s never something that I felt sort of pressure that that’s never something that I felt I never felt, Oh, okay. With this ring on her finger, then people will take this relationship seriously. But I completely honor the fact that you know, that women often oftentimes get very different social signals than men do. And

Damona 35:05
you’re kind of speaking in a code.

Unknown Speaker 35:08
What I’m just saying, the fact that for you this ring was important, and and sort of meant something to you means, and the fact that it didn’t mean something to me, I don’t want to in any way, say, you know, oh, you know, I want to honor the fact that that’s those that that’s those were the pressures and, and feelings that you were feeling.

Damona 35:33
Yes. And I’ve been asked before, because we did a show on a woman who engaged who got who, we did a show before a woman who proposed to her, her fiance, and there were a lot of big feelings from listeners on that episode. And a lot of people were really against that idea and, and also really fight back on, on a lot of the concepts I say about women taking control of their dating destiny. And so people have asked me, well, would you? Why didn’t you propose? Because, you know, it took a while we knew each other three years before we got engaged, which in today’s time is it’s a long time, I know, we were gone? Well, you

Unknown Speaker 36:21
know, I think, you know, I think, depending on three years, when you’re in your mid 20s, feels like an appropriate length of time. For me, I think three years, if you’re sort of really trying to figure out if you want to have a child with this person, and your, your, there’s a real clock on on that, then three years is a much longer time, you know, but also, I had friends who dated all four years of college, and then broke up afterwards. And, you know, for years, you know, it would have been a mistake if they had gotten married after four years. So

Damona 37:05
you really wanted to be ready. Hmm.

Unknown Speaker 37:08
I mean, you were the first woman who I really dated. Um, and so there was, I think, a sense of is, is this real love? Or is this sort of it would? Would I be feeling these feelings with a different woman? And, and it took me a while to sort of really feel confident that the answer is going to be no.

Damona 37:40
How do you sort through that as a guy, or as a human, I guess? I mean,

Unknown Speaker 37:45
I think part of it is understanding what love feels like to me. And I mean, I, so I’m a writer, and, and, you know, write for TV, and think a lot about the messages that popular culture sends to people, both positive messages and more problematic messages. And I think I consumed a lot of I mean, I, as a child, I consumed a lot of television. And the idea of love that was presented to me in those was a sort of idea where love is sort of this all consuming emotion, where you are always, like, giddy when you’re with someone, and, um, and despondent when you’re away from them. And that, that wasn’t how I felt with you. But what I realized was, that wasn’t because you weren’t the love of my life. It was because I had been fed a, an incorrect idea of what love is.

Damona 39:10
So what would you say love is now

Unknown Speaker 39:12
I think love is it has a lot to do with trust for me, and lack of judgment to some extent, like I trust you completely. Um, and I know that you will sort of approach me at all times with no judgment. And I think that, for me, is is is what love is. And it doesn’t have to do with Kind of, yeah, just just being miserable. When that person isn’t next to you.

Damona 40:05
Yeah, I think that’s an important to, to remember, you know, and I often say on the show, you have to have your own life, right you have to be, you have to be whole independently, but then better together. And then I also talk about this curiosity that is really what fuels long term love. Even though I didn’t pay you to say trust, that is one of one of the pillars of long term compatibility, trust and respect and, and communication, conflict resolution, shared values and common goals for the future. So I feel like we have those four things, certainly in spades, but this curiosity is something that I really try to, to encourage the listeners to develop when they’re dating, because that was the thing like, I wasn’t sure where it was headed, you know, by date three, but I knew that I was really curious about you. And I wanted to understand you more and know how your brain works. And I feel like that’s something that really fuels fuels me to still get butterflies. Like, when I know that we’re, we have a date planned, you know, I’ll plan now quarantine, I’ll plan dates, you know, two weeks out. Because I’m, I’m, I want to continue to keep that curiosity and that anticipation alive. I don’t know how much anticipation you felt in the last eight or nine months. But that’s been my experience.

Unknown Speaker 41:44

Unknown Speaker 41:46
That’s, it’s been the last. So yeah, eight, eight months. It’s been, it’s been tricky. Um, it has been. It’s, it’s it, I think, part of it a large part of it, for me, is the way in which I’m family life has completely dominated my life in a way that I don’t think it ever has before. That just, we are around each other, every day. And so we, as a family are figuring out ways to, to kind of live with each other. You know. And I think partly because the relationship you and I have is very solid. That that’s the one where, you know, it’s so comforting to know. Okay, that is fine. And

Damona 43:08
it’s really effortless. And then dealing with our kids, is where we have to put so much more mental energy and tap down so much more.

Unknown Speaker 43:19
Yeah, because I mean, they’re with each other 24 seven, and sort of it, which is a much different relationship than, you know, being a brother or a sister to somebody before school after school and on weekends. Yeah, it’s, um, there’s a lot more to it when you’re with another kid. All the time. And there’s so much more conflict. And, you know, we’re learning a lot about our kids and learning a lot about our parenting styles. Um, but yeah, it’s it’s been a lot. It’s been it’s been hard.

Damona 44:07
Yeah. And I’m sure for like, if anyone listening is in a relationship and it’s not that smooth like, a I can only imagine what that experience is like with your partner if you have that kind of struggle with them day in and day out. Because it’s, I mean, it’s literally a daily struggle with our kids. And you experience it that way. But, but I but I do, I love being with them. And I love I love that I can watch them learn and I feel like there were a lot of moments like when I was working as a TV exec. I felt like I missed so many moments with our daughter. And that was really hard as a mom to not be there when I don’t think I was there for like her first words or first steps. I think I missed all of that and she was in daycare or with the nanny and I made a deliberate choice to pursue this as a career path. And you’ve been unbelievably supportive of me, of me growing this, this business and this podcast and, and my brand, which I really like, don’t, I don’t think I could have done it without the support. But anyways, I know, I want to get all emotional point is that I made a very deliberate choice to, to make sure I was a hands on parent. And, but I couldn’t have seen this coming. The whole other paradigm. How do you suggest, like, based on what you, you know, now and what we’ve been through? How do you suggest that people keep the magic alive? In a time like this? Because we may be in this for quite a few more months?

Unknown Speaker 45:58
Yeah, I’m like, so I think part of me wants to know a little bit more about magic. Like, I guess, I, this is gonna be this sort of like, technocratic version of me that, that I think sometimes you, you roll your eyes up a little bit. But like, to me, nothing is about it is magic. Like, it’s, it’s dedicated attention, like, it’s choices. And so, I mean, I think, what, like, if the question is, what is what can you do during a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy? Um, I mean, I, I don’t know that it’s much different than what you need to do outside of a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy. I think, you know, the first thing is, and you spoke about is, is communication, and, and telling your partner what you need, and being open to hearing from your partner what they need. And I think, you know, for us, you and I need very, very different things.

Damona 47:33
Oh, I want to hear what you think. How you see that? Definitely,

Unknown Speaker 47:38
I think, for your sanity, you need to work out, one thing that you need is, is either to do yoga, or to hop on the peloton, or to do you know, a zoom session with your trainer, like, the minus that. You

Damona 48:02
I’m a raving lunatic.

Unknown Speaker 48:04
You’re just you need it your your mind and your body needs that to function at its best. And I think for me, I need I need some amount of quiet time and space to to just settle myself with and quiet time and space is difficult in a house with a very active six year old and a 10 year old and zoom school and you know, and so, so yeah, I’d say that is the thing. For me like for you. I think moving your body is the thing that calms you, I think for me, like almost like sensory deprivation is is something that calms me.

Damona 49:09
Yeah, that’s interesting. I actually was going to say, Yes, you’re right, moving my body. That’s like number one. But I was going to say, actually the same thing that I I really need space. And I need a certain level of freedom as well. And I just sometimes, because I think there’s like this feeling that if you’re in you know, we’re recording this year in my studio, which is like separated from the house, and it’s sort of my sanctuary in my quiet place. But if I’m in here, I’m on the grind. I am working. Like there’s no downtime in here. So that that’s the space that I feel like has has disintegrated in the past. dynamic of the just quiet, alone, you know, contemplative planning time. But it’s interesting. I mean, I knew that about you, obviously, that you need, you need the space and that we really, we really problem solve in different ways. But being able to, like, understand what your partner needs. And for me, I always, I’m always like, careful in how I phrased this because I do take care of my own needs. But I almost think of you first, I almost think of your needs before mine. And making sure that you’re, that you’re happy you’re taking care of your your needs are met. If I haven’t done that, like, it just feels selfish to me to just take Does that make sense?

Unknown Speaker 50:51
Yeah, I mean, so I think there’s a similar Tell me if you think this is a similar dynamic. But I think, like, if you asked me, who sort of does more for the house? I think I’d say you? And I think sort of, and I think you might say me, definitely,

Unknown Speaker 51:19
well, especially right now.

Unknown Speaker 51:21
So I mean, and I think that’s part of it, I think, you know, that is one of for me, it’s not something I would have necessarily latched on to before I was in a sort of committed equal relationship. But the if both sides are feeling like, they need to do more than that, you’re probably in a pretty good place. Because they’re in a relationship.

Damona 51:50
Mm hmm. And even the same thing, I tell people on dates, like when I would do mock dates, and I would evaluate, and I have mock data that would go on a date with my client, and then they’d have a list of, of qualities or behaviors that they were sort of evaluating them on. And then we would download after and one of the qualities is how much do you feel like you were talking? That was that’s what I would ask, ask my clients. And I would have the the mock data, evaluate how much the person was actually talking in their opinion. And they’d always feel like, Oh, I was doing, I was doing more listening. And I’m always trying to push people more towards listening. And inevitably, the ratio was would always be fifth flipped, my client would say, Oh, I was I was listening 30 I was listening 70% of the time, and I was talking 30% of the time in the mock data would say, No, they were talking 70% of the time. So you know, it’s always trying to find that balance. But if you’re giving more than if you feel like you’re giving more than you’re taking, you’re probably in a good place. But you know, there are people also that are constant givers that sometimes give too much away. So, you know, obviously, take this advice with a grain of salt, because you have to find the right balance for you and your partner. And I think that’s really, what, what I think the big I don’t know, theme of our relationship is his balance. Like, we’re always, we’re like, so there are times when you’re really busy with work, or you’re on set, and I have to be more present with the kids. And then there are times like last eight months that I’ve been insanely busy, and that you’ve been able to step up more. And you know, there are times when when we really need to like even just dealing with our families like there are times when you’re better at dealing with my mom than I am. And I need your support in that way. But we’re always checking in things like pretty much on a daily basis we check in and are like, how are you doing? Yeah. And I think it’s like flossing, which I finally have mastered. Finally got the, the thumbs up from my hygenist like I finally done it. But like flossing, it’s like a daily practice that you have to be doing with your partner to make sure that you’re still on the same page and, and not headed in different different directions. So thank you. Any final words of wisdom or things, tidbits of embarrassing pieces of information you’d like to share about me? Or?

Unknown Speaker 54:33
Um, I? I don’t think I have any embarrassing information. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t want to share it. You’re so sweet. Um, no, it’s it’s lovely being on the show. I mean, in some ways, it’s, it’s great just to be able to have a conversation with you and know that we’re not going to get interrupted by the Kids. Like it’s just been lovely talking to you. Well,

Unknown Speaker 55:06
thank you.

Damona 55:07
Thank you for sharing my birthday with me. And also, I look forward to our birthday getaway. Even in the middle of a pandemic, you can still find time to be solo as a couple. So thank you. This has been Episode Number 337 of dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials and we are collecting new questions for the next dear demona episode, I humbly and somewhat forcefully ask you to please if you send me a question, I want to hear your voice, you can hear my voice all the time, I want to hear yours, why not send it to me in a voice memo on Instagram, you can just follow me at damona Hoffman, and then literally hit the little voice memo button. And then I will be able to hear your voice and we will be able to put it on the show. Or you can give me a call at 424-246-6255. Of course, if you’re shy, you can always email me. But I really encourage you to share your voice with the rest of this community and to share your question because I’m sure whatever you’re feeling whatever you’re going through right now, there is someone else listening to this podcast at this very moment who is thinking and feeling the same thing. So be unafraid to share your story and to get help and love and you might help someone else. For those of you who are newer to the show who might not know there’s a way for you to get in the inside circle. We have a Patreon Friends with Benefits group. And there’s so many benefits for joining this for just $5. You can of course support the show and help us continue to make this show free for so many people who need this love advice. But you’ll also get access. But you’ll also get access to my exclusive Facebook group and my weekly Facebook Lives where I do a behind the mic, talk back on everything that I learned from each episode that week. And what else I heard that maybe didn’t get into the show. And I can also answer your questions. Plus, we have tons of bonus content and library content from dates and mates. I’ve been doing the show for eight seasons, y’all eight years of dates and mates. So what you can see on Apple podcast or on Spotify or on Stitcher is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more inside if you sign slash dates and mates. And speaking of all the pop. And speaking of all the podcast platforms that you’re listening on, don’t forget to leave us a review. And I’m just going to leave that part out because it’s just getting too long. But maybe we can put that in somewhere else. Until next week. As I mentioned we will be back with a another dear Dimona q&a episode. I’d love to hear your questions. Until then. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

The Sadie Hawkins Effect & Still Single


We have officially crossed into what Americans call “turkey season” and singles across the country start preparing themselves for the awkward conversations with family and friends.

Whether it’s your mom, your friend’s grandma, or a really bad first date, they all want to know: ‘Why are you still single?”

Our guest this week has plenty of experience with this tricky conversation and some advice on how to move past it.

Monique Kelley, author and love expert behind “Confessions of a Serial Dater in LA” joins Damona to celebrate singlehood.

But first, let’s dish:


Showing Gratitude

The best way to show gratitude, according to Darwin. Damona weighs in.

Divorce at a 50 -Year Low

Some good news: Divorce hit a record low. Damona explains why.

Role Reversal

What is The Sadie Hawkins Effect and what does it have to do with your love life?


Monique Kelly and Damona discuss embracing singlehood. 

Check out Monique’s new book, Reality in Chaos


Unknown Speaker 0:00
Hello lovers,

Damona 0:01
we have officially crossed over into what Americans call turkey season and singles across the country start preparing themselves for the awkward conversations with family and friends. Whether it’s your mom, your grandma, your friends, Grandma, or a really bad day, they all want to know, why are you still single? Doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re past the age of 18, and you have a pulse, someone has probably asked you this question. My guest today has plenty of experience with this tricky conversation, and some advice on how to move past it. Monique Kelley is an author and the love expert behind Confessions of a serial dater in LA. And she’ll be joining me in just a minute to celebrate singlehood. But first, as always, we have headlines. The best way to show your partner gratitude, according to Darwin, and the new stats on divorce are in and it’s not what you expect. Plus, what is the Sadie Hawkins effect? And what does it have to do with your love life? Oh, that and more on today’s dates and maids? Are you ready to do this dish? We all know that gratitude is a very important part of your friendships and your relationships. But did you know that there is a proper way to show gratitude if you really want your partner to feel like you appreciate them. There was a new psychological study that investigated the best way to say thank you. And they’ve offered some tips on how to strengthen romantic relationships. Of course, when we even look at, I’m often comparing dating to what’s happening in the animal kingdom. And when we look at primates, we see that a chimpanzee, for example, is more likely to share its food with another animal who groomed them, or help them out in the past. So we may be far evolved from that point. But we have to, we have to look back at our, our evolutionary ancestors to see where some of these, these traits that we’ve developed really begin. So there’s a way that you can express that you’re really grateful, like maybe you’re not picking bugs out of your partner’s hair,

like a chimp might be, but maybe your partner like drops you off at the office, and you say something like, I wouldn’t have made it to the meeting on time, if you didn’t drop me off at the office today. And so that a statement like that produced the most positive response from a partner when they studied this in the lab. But it didn’t matter what the tone was, you know, I’m often saying like, the context, the body language, this was so much more the content of what they were saying. It was all about making that other person feeling valued, and get this included in their partner’s goals. So the more the the person receiving the praise, felt the gratitude towards their relationship, the more likely they were to say that they felt appreciated and bonded with their partner. You don’t want to go the route of saying something about your partner sacrifice, reminding them of what they’ve sacrificed. So if you flip that and said, Well, I know it was a hassle for you to drop me off at my office during rush hour. That’s not as effective as a form of praise, but gratitude. It’s it’s been a virtue for so many generations. And even in the past couple of decades, there’s they’ve been accumulating more evidence that shows that this emotion really plays an important role in our society. That’s actually what what researchers call the find remind bind theory. And it essentially says that expressing gratitude is evolutionarily advantageous because it reinforces bonds between humans. I know we’re all looking for bonds, right? And how, and we have to rely on each other to get through this really challenging time. Which brings me to our next story. We got some good news, divorce is at a 50 year low. I couldn’t believe this research because I had seen some early stats out of the original lockdown in COVID, out of China that showed that they saw a huge number of new divorces being filed, like in March and April. But now when we’re looking at the US divorce rate, we’re seeing that more people are actually staying together. Now this this study looked at census data, and they posit this theory that because now people are meeting online, you’ve heard me say this before we’re meeting more appropriate matches. So instead of matching someone out of convenience, out of the fact that they live in your neighborhood, or they go to your church or your mom knows them, you’re finding someone that’s matching you on many, many different levels and that creates more satisfaction in the relationship. Of course, your partner can be your everything. You can’t look for them to complete you on every level. But you can have more in common and you can find a more appropriate match. And you’re a match maybe somewhere else across the city or even across the country. I’m curious to see what happens when we get vaccines when we’re able to return to regular life. I wonder if we’re actually going to see a bit of a rebound in this divorce. This divorce number, no pun intended, because I feel like also a lot of people are staying together out of convenience. I mean, there’s so much uncertainty in the world right now. And not knowing if you’re going to be able to make ends meet, even if you cannot stand your partner, I don’t know that you would step out and take that risk right now. It just seems to me like it would be too great with all the other factors to consider for so many people. But hey, I’m I want love to win. So it is my hope that the divorce rate is really going to stay down. And when we look at even more recent marriages for every 1000 marriages in the last year, only 14.9% ended in divorce. So that’s why I’m going to cut that partly because that sounds like what you expect people to break up in a year. Okay. But I’m encouraged by.

But I’m encouraged by these numbers. And divorce in America has been falling fast in recent years. This is I think, the third decade in a row that we’ve seen a drop in divorce numbers. So I certainly hope as a believer in love that it’s because we’re matching with better partners in the first place. As we’re talking about matching, I have to give you the Psychology Today study on reversal of dating roles. So I said at the top of the show, say it’s the Sadie Hawkins effect. Do you guys remember the Sadie Hawkins day, which actually just fell last week? Traditionally, it’s observed on November 13. But at my school, we had a Sadie Hawkins dance. And that was the one time that women were encouraged and required to invite their dates to the dance. And it really flipped the it flipped the norm. And it put women also a little bit more in control of what was happening in their love life. So I you know, I’ve been I’ve been on this female lead tip for a while. But it turns out, it turns out that the way we feel about gender roles is not as biological as we think. It’s actually so much related it sorry. It’s actually related strongly to our society, and the prevailing stereotypes that we have on what roles men should play what roles women should play. Check this out. This article in Psychology Today, which we’ll link to in the show notes, written by a fellow named Gary Lee Wen Tao ski, who I’m hoping we can get on the show in 2021. They looked at speed dating, right? And you know, and speed dating, there is one gender traditionally, in heterosexual speed dating, there’s one gender that sits and the other gender, the options rotate through, and then you have like three to five minutes to get to know one another. And then you move on to the next person. Well, what happened was when women were sitting and the men were coming to them, even just in a, in a sort of controlled environment, like a speed date, the women were much more picky about who they said yes to who they would want to meet and go out with again. So some speed dating companies flipped this. And when women were the ones to get up and circulate, they were far more open. And they said yes, to far more people. And I actually did do a speed dating event, before I met my husband. And that was the case. We, we were the one circulating and I was like, I don’t want to do this in my high heels.

Unknown Speaker 9:33
This is too much work. Why

Damona 9:34
can’t you just let the lady sit? But when I understand it now, from this perspective, I love that. Hopefully it was designed to challenge these gender norms, and also to get people to just open up their criteria a little bit more. Because I do see on dating apps, men swipe right far more often than women. I’m always having to talk clients. hints into being a little bit less discerning upfront because we’re we’re trying to guess what people are about, just based on a couple of pictures. So the lesson here is to see if, if you can just be a little bit more open, what might happen and if you might, in some way, be able to challenge the gender norms in your relationship or your dating life. Because so much of it is programmed by, by media, by cultural norms by our parents. And you really don’t have to live your life that way anymore. If that’s not how you want to live it. Well, we’re going to give you some more advice on how to live your life your way because we’re going to be talking about embracing singlehood with Monique Kelly, the author and creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA so don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

I am here with Monique Kelly. She is the high powered Hollywood player and blogger behind the popular site Confessions of a serial dater in LA, as well as cocktails and confessions. She initially chronicled the trials and travails of her post divorced dating life anonymously, until she stepped out from behind the keyboard and revealed her identity to a huge following that she had built over the years. And she created a phenomenon among Single Ladies in LA. We have been circling around each other. And we have very similar life path. And I’m so glad that we were able to bring ourselves here together today. So please help me give big smooches to my new friend Monique Kelly. I’m so happy to have you here.

Unknown Speaker 12:03
I’m so excited. I’m so excited.

Damona 12:06
We need to give the single folks some hope, hope in the era of COVID. Especially,

Unknown Speaker 12:12

Damona 12:13
I’m just I’m just gonna level with everybody. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people, I’m all about dating apps and getting out there and doing the dang thing. And a lot of people have been telling me Dimona, I’m really, I’m really feeling the pressure and maybe this is a little bit too much. And to those people I’ve said, this maybe isn’t your season for dating right now at this very moment. And what I love about what you do at cocktails and confessions, in addition to giving dating advice, you also talk about embracing your single dumb.

Unknown Speaker 12:47
Yes. Can you talk

Damona 12:48
to us first about your journey of how you came to that place of embracing your single dumb yourself?

Unknown Speaker 12:55
Oh Dimona, it was it was not an easy journey. You know, a lot of times people think it happens overnight. So for me, like most women, you get to your late 20s Dimona, all your friends around, you are getting married and you start putting this unnecessary pressure on yourself. For me, it wasn’t for my family. My family was like do you boo, you know, whatever works for you works for you. So at that point, I got into this thing where I was like, I need to be married by the time I’m a certain age, and met my now ex husband, we got married and the marriage just it just was not right for either one of us. And it’s one of those things where I never like to say it was all him or was all he was both of us. We just weren’t right for each other. So I found myself back in the dating scene. And it was really, really difficult getting back into the dating scene. It was scary. And then there were so many dates. So as you know, I started off with my blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA before I started doing the cocktails and confessions of it. But what I found was during this time, I had to learn how to be okay with exactly where I was in the journey, not putting unnecessary pressure on myself learning how to embrace me exactly where I was at that time. And also, when that dreaded question comes up. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re successful, how is it that you’re still single learning that that’s not a personal attack? And just learning how to work through that process?

Damona 14:27
What do you do when you get that question? I know a lot of our listeners have heard that. And it’s I think it’s the still that stings. It’s like why are you still single as if you’ve been working? cannot figure it out.

Unknown Speaker 14:41
What would you say to that? You know, we

Damona 14:43
have the holidays coming up, and maybe people are gonna be hearing this from their families.

Unknown Speaker 14:49
It’s it’s definitely you know, when people ask that question, I don’t think they understand this thing of like you said the still because it insinuates that you’re it’s something you’re not doing or something you’re doing wrong and with a lot of women and men who are single, they’re putting themselves out there. But people aren’t being consistent. They’re not meeting the right people. They’re getting ghosted. They’re getting love bombed, there’s a lot going on during that time. So when I get that question, I’m just like, you know what, I’m dating everybody when I was single, you know, have a boyfriend now. But I, you know, I’m dating everybody, I’m enjoying this time, like, I’m having fun, and not the fake living my best life, but just like, I’m actually Okay, you know, being where I am right now. And just figuring things out and enjoying life. And when you say like that people typically. Okay, I understand. And then I’ll say, but if you have something for me, feel free to let me know. I’m open to taking applications. So you know, you’re still open to the possibility.

Damona 15:46
I love that you phrased in that way, because I was just talking to a client yesterday, who was saying, she doesn’t want to let her friends know that she’s single, like, she feels awkward even even acknowledging that you’re open and you’re looking continues to compound those feelings of I call it single shame.

Unknown Speaker 16:08
Yeah. See? Yes, that is so true. And that’s why, you know, I always talk about a lot of times, it’s important that you have a circle of confidentiality. Okay. What does that mean? The circle confidentiality, that’s where I say it’s two friends, two of them, that you can really talk to about what you’re really feeling to people you can trust, who you know, have your best interests at heart. And you can let it out to them and you can get it out. I think for a lot of times, when you’re single, people catch you during your dating, depression moments where you’re wrong, and you’re talking about how hard it is to be single, and they want the best for you. And then they start giving you all these suggestions, all these ideas of what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Like you don’t know how to date. And a lot of times, if you’re not in a place to hear that it can just be painful. So I always like to tell singles to have that small circle of girlfriends. That too, I always say to keep it to keep it a trifecta the three of you, that you can talk to, so that when you’re around other people, you can kind of just not have to go to that dark place that sometimes sticks with you later on when you’re past it.

Damona 17:21
Yeah, that’s so smart. And also, like, I remember when I was single, I was very choosy about how, who I would go out with I know we’re not going out as much in COVID times, but still happening a little bit and I wouldn’t want to go out with my girlfriends I was going to be fighting with over a man. I just never wanted that. Yeah, sure those two breads are a completely different type.

Unknown Speaker 17:46
Exactly. That’s so funny. It’s so funny because I’ve never had that issue with my girlfriends. We all have such different types of men, or some of them are married or in relationships. So we’ve always been good but that’s so that’s a good point to mono because we both like the same type. You’re both single, all back the problem. Yeah, I’ve

Damona 18:06
had I’ve had some serious, serious falling outs fallings out, also over what I consider girl code. Now, feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I’m sure some listeners will say that.

Unknown Speaker 18:19
I’m wrong about this.

Damona 18:21
But I kind of feel like if you’ve dated someone, I just feel like girl code like your your girlfriend shouldn’t then go and pick up your sloppy seconds. I don’t care if it’s been five years or 10 years. How many guys are there out there that you need to be dating my ex man?

Unknown Speaker 18:41
I have a caveat to that. Because if you were not close if it’s a if it’s one of your girls, it’s one day but if it happens to be a girl that you just know in passing, and you guys you know you know of each other, but you guys aren’t girlfriends. I think that’s the caveat. If you’ve been home girls with someone that’s your girl, you guys have each other’s cell phone numbers in your phone. You guys talk you guys have texted that is like absolutely not because why would you want to be with a guy who your friend knows you guys go to parties together. They’re looking at you and they know everything about your man, everything everything.

Damona 19:19
I think it’s weird, but I don’t know. My husband told me that I was too petty. Like I still won’t mind some of those figs. God, I’ve been married. I’ve been with my husband for 17 years and I’m like, I still won’t talk to that lady.

Unknown Speaker 19:33
You’re married.

Damona 19:35
She broke my trust.

Unknown Speaker 19:37
It’s over. It’s a wrap.

Unknown Speaker 19:39
All right, I’ll get over it is one

Damona 19:43
thing to worry about. And you have so many additional tips on how people can really move forward in confidence in their singlehood right now you have a philosophy where you say date yourself as if what does that mean? Monique?

Unknown Speaker 19:58
This is so important because A lot of times women and men, they feel like they need to wait to do certain things until they’re in a relationship. You do not have to wait you’re already are in a relationship with yourself. So dating yourself as if Okay, if you want to have a romantic picnic on the beach with your potential boom in the future, why do you have to wait? take yourself out to the beach, pack yourself a beautiful picnic, get the layout right have a fabulous if you want to do a great meal at home, cook that meal, perfect that recipe learn how to do that go to your favorite restaurant, socially distance, obviously, take yourself out to dinner. Because what happens is when you start dating yourself as if you start putting out a different energy, because it’s not there’s there’s a spirit of desperation sometimes, and you’re putting everything on meeting someone else. So when you are living your life, again, not the living my best life fake living. But really living and being in the moment, dating yourself as if we’ll put a different energy out there so that when you attract your mate, you already have it perfected, you will already have that recipe perfected you will already know what blanket you want to use for the beach picnic, you would have already done it and it will be special and you will appreciate it more when you have to me because you did it by yourself too.

Damona 21:18
I love that. And actually, I’ll I’ll reveal another little tidbit about myself.

Unknown Speaker 21:27
Petey one,

Damona 21:28
I was working with a coach before I met my husband when I was single. I’m not a dating coach, because I don’t even think that existed then. But I was working with a life coach. And she was like, I think you’re afraid of being alone. Like I used. I used to see people eating at restaurants by themselves. And I’d be like, Oh, that’s so sad. I can’t believe that person has no one to eat with. And I my schedule was booked like sunup to sundown with some kind of meetings or Hangouts, I was always with somebody else. And she said, You need to get comfortable being by yourself. And she did exactly what you’re recommending Mike, she said, I want you to do at the time we call that artists states. But figure out like what, what makes you tick, figure out what you enjoy on your own without having to go along with a friend or do something for a man just do it for you. Yeah. And she said, also do something that scares you and make sure you book it in your calendar. As if you have an appointment with another person. And because that’s always the time, the self care time the dating as if dating yourself as if time. That’s always the first thing that’s going to fall off when a man calls or you know, your girlfriend calls or whatever. Yeah, so I had to book the time in my calendar, as if I was going out with another person and force myself to like, go to the museum, take myself to the movies, be one of those awkward people sitting in the restaurant. But it just gave me so much confidence in myself and understanding. I didn’t even realize how much other people’s interests and goals were affecting what I would do with my day. And when I had that day to figure out what do I want to do? It totally changed me. It is so true. dimana. I

Unknown Speaker 23:18
mean, I was the same way. I you know, shortly after my divorce, my coping mechanism was traveling, I was going everywhere. And I was meeting up with friends for happy hours just staying out of the house as much as possible and not spending time with my by myself. What happens is people get scared of those thoughts that come in, and one, you know, wonder how they’re going to deal with them. If you don’t deal with those thoughts. At a certain point, they will come up at the most inopportune time when you don’t want them to come up when you’re not ready for them to come up. So it forces you to do that. And also, like you said, it forces you to be comfortable being by yourself. Mm hmm.

Damona 23:57
I’ve also heard you say that it’s okay to admit when you’re having a down single moment. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 24:03
yes. That mean, what

Unknown Speaker 24:05
does that look like?

Unknown Speaker 24:06
That’s important, okay, because someone I don’t know where it has been said, I’m sure you’ll agree with us that when you admit that you’re having a moment where you you’re over being single, you’re over being by yourself that that means you are less of a powerful, strong woman, that your strength is diminished. I don’t know where that myth came from. But it’s time for it to end. admitting to yourself that sometimes this game of dating, the struggle of dating, this being by yourself being disappointed waiting for the right person. Sometimes it just sucks and sometimes you just are over it. And that is okay to admit to yourself. It’s okay to have that moment. It’s okay to take a moment to cry, scream and just be like, when is it gonna happen? It’s okay. You have those moments. That’s when you journal. Write up everything you’re thinking about. I think love to tell people to make sure that you are journaling and writing because there’s something about taking it from here writing it out and reading it that makes it tangible. That’s when you go to your confidentiality circle of girlfriends that circle of to, to talk to, that’s when you sit uncomfortable by yourself, and allow yourself to have that moment of, okay, where where did I come from? Where am I now where I want to go and just sit with it. It’s so important. And it’s okay to admit sometimes that you’re over it, it will pass that moment is going to pass, but you have to allow yourself to have it for it to pass.

Damona 25:37
Yeah, and I certainly have heard this before, from listeners and from clients. Like I’m even thinking of a male client who had this experience, we were doing the profile. This is, this is one of my first clients many, many years ago. And, and he was going out and he was like getting all excited for dates. And sometimes it worked out and then sometimes it wouldn’t get three dates in and then she dumps him and he was just like, I’m exhausted. What do I do to Mona and I was like, just stop. And he was like, what, this is so counterintuitive. This is against everything you’ve said, you said do the process, do the steps, keeps showing up. And I was like, but if you’re in this place where you’re feeling burnout, nothing good is going to come of you pushing through burnout and continuing to show up on dates and be you know, halfway in and halfway out. Just stop. But what I have people do I wonder what you think about this? I have people set a date, that they’re going to go back into it or at least reevaluate. So yeah. Okay, I’m going to take a one month break, I’m going to take these apps off my phone, get out of the rat race, date myself as if, and then starting, whatever December 1, we’re going to we’re going to look at how we can do this again.

Unknown Speaker 26:52
That is the key because I’ve heard a lot of people say, you know, they go through a disappointment, whether not even just a breakup, but a disappointment or dating depression, and they’re just like, you know what, I’m gonna stop dating for six months. I’m like, stop making these proclamations. It doesn’t make sense. You don’t need to wait six months, but to your point, you stop. And then you do need to put a date. I love that Dimona where you get back in there because there’s nothing cute and there’s nothing grand in reflective about sitting in something for months at a time. Yeah. What does that accomplishing? Just sitting?

Damona 27:27
I’m laughing because I’m a listener back in January, I was going to do my 30 day dating playbook program. And she texted me she was like, Okay, I’m really excited. I’m totally on board. I’m, I’m diving back in. And then she like, hit one of those walls that you’re talking about? And she said, No, actually, no, I’m done with dating. I decided I’m swearing off men for you want to know, it’s super funny. Monique, he met her messaged me like a month later and was like, actually, I’m in the most serious relationship of my life. We like make these proclamations. And it’s, and it doesn’t, it doesn’t serve us, I think to just project into the future, like you have to be in the moment. How do you feel right now? I don’t feel like dating. Okay, then don’t then don’t do it. Yeah, you can’t stay in that state indefinitely. And that’s why I say have the date that at least you’re going to come back and like I’m talking a month I’m not talking about

Unknown Speaker 28:29
good luck with that.

Unknown Speaker 28:31
Right? Crazy.

Damona 28:36
breakups. And I want to talk about that a little bit. Because I know some people are in this space, sometimes not by choice, sometimes because they were in a toxic relationship that they had to get out of. And then those have threads, those have residual effects that can impact our comfort level being single, or even the next relationship that we enter into what do you think about those, those situations that some of our listeners might be finding themselves in?

Unknown Speaker 29:05
Oh, yeah. That’s, that’s real toxic relationships are real. So the first thing is, you have to let go of the relationship. What a lot of my followers I find a lot of them more than you would even care to admit because and this is a fact. They stay in those toxic relationships after the relationship is over. Meaning, especially right now, during COVID. They will, you know, the person might reach out, test out the water see if you’re gonna respond to the text message. And then if you’re having a moment where you’re feeling you know, a little what’s the word I’m trying to be PG or horny daytime TV. So you know you have that moment of being horny being lonely, you’re having that data depression moment and then you have This toxic relationship where someone has shown you who they are, and you continue to let them back in continuously thinking, I’m just gonna keep dealing with them. And when I meet someone, I’ll stop dealing with them, you’re blocking that energy. So the first thing is you have to end that toxic relationship really ended. I’m talking about unfriend, delete block, unless you have kids with person, but be finished with it. Once you get to that place, I talked about reflecting. so important to reflect, you have to think about the relationship that you were in, you have to think about those moments that you didn’t like how you were in that moment, those moments how you didn’t like how that person treated you how they made you feel what triggered you? What were some of the things that they said to you? Or did you that triggered you to be someone that you didn’t like to be someone that you step outside of yourself and have that moment where you kind of have that out of body experience, you come back in your life? What was I thinking? What made you get attracted to that person. And again, I talk about writing all this down, you write it down, you read it, you say it out loud. And then I have the ceremony you do where you write it all down, you rip it up. Either you go to a beach and you put you know in a little fire and let it burn. Or you rip it up and make sure it you know paper, eco friendly paper that dissolves throw it in the water have that moment that tangible moment where you see those bad memories, you rip it up and you let it go. Also, therapy depending on how toxic the relationship was, you might need to go into therapy. And the beautiful thing about therapy is you end up going for one thing and you realize, wow, I had all this other stuff, which made me in this relationship. So once you get through that past part I talked about manifesting. You do vision boards in the beginning of the year, I talked about doing romance boards where you write you know rip out pictures and sayings and phrases of what you want your love life to look like, what you want that man to look like how you want him to treat you what are some of those key components that you need in a relationship that’s important to you write it out, have your vision board. And then you’ll realize you’re getting rid of that toxic energy. You’re not letting that person kind of creep back in and weak moments and being you are manifesting what you want for the future. And that’s how I always tell people to deal with the toxic relationship getting that toxicity out of your system.

Damona 32:22
I give everyone all of these tools of how to prepare themselves. And I’ve seen time and time again, it works in moving you into a relationship whether using the dating apps or another way. But sometimes you just don’t know you don’t know if that person you’re going to swipe on is going to be the right person you don’t know if that guy that you met at LACMA is going to find your number and look for you again after he’s divorced.

Unknown Speaker 32:45
You don’t know what’s going

Damona 32:46
to happen. So I love that you’re giving us so many concrete tips but also so much inspiration that love if we keep doing these these things. We keep preparing ourselves and we keep living in our authentic self and living our best life not the Instagram kind but the

Unknown Speaker 33:05
real best life and also having integrity you have to have you cannot manifest something positive if you don’t have your own integrity about yourself and how you carry yourself to.

Damona 33:15
Exactly Yeah, Monique. This has been such an exciting conversation for me so inspiring. I want to know where where can people find you and what else do you have coming up that people can look out for? Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 33:28
my Instagram is at cocktails and confessions. So is my tik tok. My website is Confessions of a serial dater in But the main thing that I’m super excited about, as you know, I’ve written my blog for seven years, seven years writing the blog. And during that time, you know, I left my studio executive job to write my book. So my first novel debut novel reality and chaos. It’s available for pre order right now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It comes out January 14, but this book damona I’m just these characters, these are strong female characters, great friend talks about friendship, love, there’s a character going through divorce. There’s a character dealing with a family member with mental illness. There’s a character that’s dealing with unrequited dreams that haven’t been fulfilled, you get an opportunity to get the dream fulfilled, but was it worth it? And how their friendship keeps them together. But reality and chaos is my debut novel. And it’s I hate to brag, but it’s really good. Honestly, kudos

Damona 34:35
to you. Thank you writing a book is a bit of a beast. So I am really impressed. You and it’s a novel.

Unknown Speaker 34:43
It’s a novel, I wanted to do something where you know, with a blog for me, there’s certain things I’m not gonna write about. Okay, so I want my grandmother and my mother to be able to read my blog now ready to be like

Damona 34:54
Poppy. So my dad listens to this podcast from dives and he’ll like send me text. I’m like Oh, you heard that episode, huh?

Unknown Speaker 35:04
So with this with the novel, I was able to create these memorable characters and just go there because they are fictional. And it just, it just presented such a great opportunity.

Damona 35:13
That is so awesome. We will be sure to put the link in the show notes and I hope everybody will follow everything you’re doing on the blog, Confessions of a serial dater in LA and follow you on Instagram and tick tock, I haven’t really stepped into the tick tock game yet, but

Unknown Speaker 35:27

Unknown Speaker 35:29
it’s a rabbit hole. Once you get there, you’re stuck, you can’t come out.

Damona 35:33
That’s what I’m afraid of. But But talking to you certainly has been inspiring, so maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks so much, Monique. Thank

Unknown Speaker 35:41
you demona.

Damona 35:43
Make sure you check out her website to find out when the next cocktails and confessions gathering is happening. We’ll put the link to her new book, reality and chaos in the show notes for you to get it on Amazon. And I would like to give an invitation to you to become one of our Patreon friends with benefits. This is for the people that listen to this podcast and love it and have gotten so much value and advice and want to give back to the show but also want to become a part of our community in a real way. You can join our Patreon friends with benefits for just $5. And you’ll get access to my exclusive Facebook group where I do my weekly behind the mic live streams and I talk about what I’ve learned from the show what’s happened behind the scenes. There’s lots of other great content, special special promo content, special goodies, library content, it’s so juicy in there, and I want to invite you to join so please check it slash dates and mates. This has been Episode 336 of dates and mates. I love hearing from you. And we have another deer demona episode coming up soon. So hit me up on all the socials at damona Hoffman you can send me a voice memo. I love to hear your voices. You can dm them to me and let me know what you want to know on that next episode, you can let me know what you loved about today’s episode. Or you can always leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255. Don’t be shy. I’ll be back again next week. But Ooh, this is going to be a really unique episode. You’ve heard my side of my love story a few times. But I’ve convinced my extreme introvert very shy, not in the public eye husband Seth to have a very honest conversation with me about what it’s like to date a woman who is used to taking charge in her relationship. Yeah, like me, and how we navigated those gender roles that we talked about earlier. While online dating. I can’t wait for you to hear it. Until then. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

Relationship Anarchy & Matrimony Inc


It’s been a very tumultuous week, month, year…you get the picture.

But the Dates & Mates train has to keep on trucking because people still need help in love.

So today, we thought it’d be a welcome departure to hear some love stories from a more romantic era with Francesca Beauman, historian and author.

Francesca has gone through hundreds of years of personals ads from people looking for marriage and she’s compiled them all into the delightful new book, Matrimony, Inc.

But first, let’s dish:


Rules for Dating in Second Lock Down

A second lockdown is coming, so it’s time to define the relationship now. Damona explains why.

Relationship Anarchy

Relationship Anarchy – the latest movement shaping the future of love. Damona weighs in.

Photos Men Should Not Put On a Dating Profile

Photos mentioned: bad selfies, gym mirror selfies, and photos at the Women’s March. Damon explains why.


Damona and Francesca explore how the search for love throughout history has built the foundation for dating today.

Check of Francesca’s new book Matrimony, Inc: From Personal Ads to Swiping Right, a Story of American Looking for Love


Damona  0:10  

Hello, lovers, we are recording this on what I think is day four of the election saga. And it’s been a tumultuous day already. Well, a tumultuous week, actually month. Well, let’s be real year, you get the picture. But the dates made strain it has to keep on trucking because people still need help and love. And I’m reading the room y’all. The other day when I finished my coaching call for my my women’s group program, I realized there’s a lot of anxious energy not just in dating, but overall. So today, I thought it’d be a welcome departure. To hear some love stories from a more Romantic era with Francesca Bowman, historian and author. Get this Francesca has found personal ads from various newspapers over the last couple hundred years that were written by people looking for marriage, and she’s compiled them all into the delightful new book, matrimony Inc. So today we’re going to explore how the search for love throughout history has built the foundation for dating today. And I’m so excited for y’all to hear this interview. And to have a little fun with us and a little levity. and bask in the fantasy with me and Francesca. But first as always, we have headlines. Lock your relationships down now because a second lockdown is on the horizon. Hmm. And relationship anarchy, the latest movement shaping the future of love, plus, the photos you should put on your dating profile today. Now that sir, just watched the Borah, subsequent movie feel so funny. I had to call that one back. All right, why don’t we get on with it. And let’s dish


Unknown Speaker  2:20  

these dating dish.


Damona  2:22  

bustle reported the new rules for dating in a second lockdown. So I know we have people from all over the US, from Canada from the UK. And I just found out that our friends in the UK as of today, the day that we’re recording this, they are facing a second lockdown and the writing is on the wall, folks, it ain’t going so hot in many other places. So there’s a really good chance that lockdown can be coming your way again. So number one, get your routes taken care of. That’s what I’ll be doing. Get my getting my little haircut done, getting my roots done. Get yourself put together because we could be in this for a while. That aside, okay, do what you want. If you if you if you don’t, if you don’t feel like doing all that and getting yourself gussied up, that’s fine. But you should know how it’s going to affect dating in the future. Because remember, this anxiety that I was talking about at the beginning of the show? Well, that is increasing as we are approaching cuffing season. And the options for virtual for for social distance dates are are going to be dwindling. So I suggest let’s get comfortable. Again, with the virtual zoom, zoom video chat dates. Maybe you could have an activity, watch a movie together. But over video chat, figure out some ways that you can still connect and feel together even if you have to do it apart. And maybe you should be thinking at this point about a support bubble. I think none of us could really have anticipated what was coming back in the spring. And it’s a wise idea for you to broaden out your social circle this may be with a partner. This may be also with a a f buddy. Maybe he didn’t you didn’t cough yet. But look, we still have needs. So maybe you have an agreement with somebody that’s in your circles so you can still get your needs met. During the winter months. The UK Government says sleep overs aren’t allowed. And so this is something that we’re going to have to learn how to work around so it’s decision time for some of you. And for others. It may be at time for expansion in figuring out how to date in a new way.


There was a super interesting article in self this week about relationship anarchy. I had never heard of this phrase before but Basically what it means is putting less emphasis on titles of different people in your life like partner, sibling, parent friend, and also putting less emphasis on your relationship significance. And I would say, relationship anarchy, it sounds kind of dramatic. And believe me, there was a lot of there’s high drama in this article. But I really love at the core, the message that it’s giving us, like they cited that you’re expected to prioritize ties your mother, just because she’s your mother, or your romantic partner, you are supposed to live with them, because they’re your romantic partner. But what if, what if it looked different? You know, we’re just talking about bubbles? What if you live with your platonic partner, but your romantic partner is someone that you see now more like, the way in the frequency that you see a friend. And I’ve been actually talking about something similar to this for a while, in not making your partner the center of your world, I think that’s really dangerous. When you’re expecting your partner to deliver everything to you, they’re supposed to be your confidant, your activity partner, your romantic partner, your co housekeeper. And that puts a lot of pressure on one person to fulfill all your needs. So I’ve always said make sure you keep investing in the other relationships. And I remember, situations with friends that would always get sucked into that black hole of relationships, I think you know what I’m talking about. And then they, they forget all of the other friendships, they give everything to that partner. And then when a breakup comes here, they come crawling back, like you’re my best friend, again. And I think there there is something to be said for relationship anarchy and the points that this person makes in this article that it’s a reminder, you can choose how much time you give to people, you can choose the focus that you give to people, obviously, you want to be on the same page with your romantic partner. So they feel they’re getting their needs met, as well. But let’s not, especially in a time like this, let’s not minimize your relationships with your friends and your family. And in the article, they’re talking about maybe getting rid of labels altogether. I don’t know if you want to go that far with it. But I think it’s ripe. I think it’s the right time for you to maybe re examine how much focus you put on finding that romantic partner, and the rule that you’re looking for them to fill in your life and take stock of what you already have and the people you already have that are bringing you love right now. Inside hook told us how to find love with the right dating profile. If you’re a guy, and what you should be putting in your dating profile. I thought this was a


Unknown Speaker  8:07  

What did I think?


Unknown Speaker  8:10  

I’m gonna take that back.


Damona  8:14  

Inside hook shared the photos that men should never put in a dating profile. A lot of these were standard and a lot of these I’ve said for a long time I have them in my book like hello no excessive group pics, I would say actually no group pics, I always say you have to be the star of your profile. We don’t want anyone else distracting the focus from you. Because I know like when I’m swiping for clients, I’m looking at you and your friends and I can’t tell which one you are and what if your friend is more attractive than you are, then you don’t want to set yourself up for that. You don’t want to have somebodies Phantom arm strangely cropped out of your photo. I see this a lot the Phantom hair, I can still tell and I’m still making determinations. Like if I see random blonde hair hanging over your shoulder, and my client is brunette. I’m thinking well, maybe this is not a fit and you just don’t want to place that. That moment of questioning in someone’s mind when they’re going through making split second decisions. Most women it takes seven seconds for them to make a decision about a profile for men it’s only five or less. So you really have to lead with that your best foot forward on your dating profile if you’re wanting to make a connection. Some other things to avoid according to inside hook. They said selfies I really want to know what you all think of this. I have come around to selfies being a normal and acceptable part of a dating profile. But they were saying bad selfies are almost less bad. Then good selfies because good selfies can be deceitfully flattering. But I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, who’s running around with like a photo shoot a photographer following them around taking their dating profile photos. That surprised me. I’m still in favor of the selfies, just make sure that they’re taken with good lighting at the appropriate angle. And not in the bed. According to this article. No bed selfies. That’s not something I see a lot. Maybe Maybe you’re on different apps than my clients. But I’m not seeing too many bed selfies, but definitely no gym, mirror selfies. This is rampant, rampant issue in dating profiles, the gym mirror selfies while we’re at it, just no mirror selfies and also this is really interesting. They said no shirtless pics. did a little study on this and said that straight men who included shirtless photos of themselves and their dating profiles tended to perform far worse on online dating platforms and got 25% fewer matches than their fully clothed counterparts. We like the ABS just let us work for them a little bit more and leave something to the imagination. All right, that’s the headlines for this week. In a moment we will be back with author Francesca Bowman and a deep dive into the history of dating profiles and what you can learn from them today. We are back and I am here with someone who has one of the most interesting buy lines I have ever read. Francesca Bowman is a former TV host historian and part time bookseller. She is also the author of six books including a history of the pineapple and a history of British personal ads. Francesca Bowman’s latest deep dive into history is matrimony Inc. From personal ads to swiping right, a story of America looking for love. I’m so excited to introduce her here on dates and mates to you please help me give big smooches to Francesca Bowman,


Unknown Speaker  12:12  

thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I am so


Damona  12:16  

excited about this book. matrimony Inc. Because Well, I mean, I’ll just say the subtitle from personal ads to swiping right a story of America looking for love. It’s so resonated for me as someone who found love online and now on the show coaches, so many people to be able to use the tools of dating apps to find love. The parallels were obviously glaringly obvious.


Unknown Speaker  12:43  

parallels. Yeah,


Damona  12:44  

I just want to begin, first of all, where I know you’re a book person, where did you get the idea? From?


Unknown Speaker  12:53  

I have always been interested in personal ads, right? I’ve always kind of read them, you know, years ago, when they’d be in the back of the newspaper or magazines. I’d always trawl through them. Because there is something so amazing about these kind of tiny little detective stories, right? Just a few hundred words. And there’s somebody whose whole life in some ways, you know, they’re in the newspaper, I can remember some of my favorites like, woman who likes pastor seats, man who likes source, you know, these very, like, concise, cute little personal ads. And then one day on a whim, I started looking into them, and I found they dated back much, much further than anybody ever knew. And after just like a few weeks trawling through old American newspapers, I found America’s earliest personal ads, which no one knew existed, no one knew how far back it goes. But I found America’s first ever personal ad, which was from the Boston Evening Post in 1759. So really, a long time ago. And once I found that I realized that there was an amazing story to be told here, right? Because all these personal ads, then, you know, became computer dating, and then obviously, dating websites, and now dating apps. They give you so much evidence over 250 years about the history of our emotions, our desires, and most importantly, the history of mate choice, right? What men look for in a woman women and women look for in a man and how that’s changed. Well, or I’m afraid often not change over the past 250 years.


Unknown Speaker  14:20  



Damona  14:21  

I you have said so much. And I’ve just like, I don’t even know where to begin with. So many so many questions. First of all, 1759. What does an ad from that era look like?


Unknown Speaker  14:35  

Right, great question. So I spent weeks and months trawling through old newspapers, in libraries basements of libraries all over America. And the Boston Evening Post was one of America’s earliest newspapers. And then one day, there it is, like on the front page of the newspaper, and it was Yeah, February the 23rd 1759. And what’s amazing is it gives you such an insight into what I do. guy in Boston looked for in a woman then right. So this is what he was looking for any young lady between the age of 18 and 23, have a middling stature, brown hair, regular features, and with a lively, brisk guy have good morals. So that’s like, the starting point, he then goes on to say, must be possessed of three or 400 pounds entirely at her disposal. So there’s all kinds of interesting things in that, like, wait, he’s looking for women between 18 and 23. So, you know, really young by all standards today, but at the time, the average age for a woman to marry was 22 and a half. So between 18 and 23, but he’s trying to catch him young, Captain young and fertile at the time, young and fertile, I’m afraid. I love the way he says of middling stature and brown hair, like what does he have against blondes back there in 1759, he’s very specific that he wants a woman with brown hair, regular features, good morals, of course, very important to be respectful at the time, and then three or 400 pounds. And so if you take that all together, basically what this Boston gentleman is looking for is a woman who is young, respectable and rich.


Unknown Speaker  16:11  

That’s what anyone would want of climbing.


Unknown Speaker  16:13  

Certainly there is some consistency in terms of what people look for.


Damona  16:19  

So based on what I hear now, from people who are tentative about dating apps and online dating, why would a guy in that era turned to a newspaper to find his match.


Unknown Speaker  16:36  

So for almost exactly the same reasons, as people do today, and we can see that in the evidence, when you start getting hundreds of thousands of personal ads, again, that no one really knew exists until I researched them. They really took off in Philadelphia in 1840s. And in those ads, lots of the men are very specific about why they’re placing these ads, right. And it basically comes down to, they’re new in town, they work long hours, they don’t have time to meet people. Sometimes it’s because they’re kind of shy, you know, sound familiar? Like it’s all the same reasons as people do today, really. And why it happens is with urbanization and industrialization, right. So once these cities grew, once the population of Boston hit 20,000, New York, 30,000, Philadelphia 50,000, you can’t any longer rely on like your mum to match you are or you know, your church to match you up or your friend or your neighbor next door to match you up, which is how it would have been done in the olden days. If you’re moving to the big city, you’re getting a new job as people were in the 18th century, you’ve got to kind of turn to some new forms of matchmaking. And so, you know, because people were kind of tentative about this, they will explain in their ads that like, they’ll say, Oh, I’m a stranger in the city, or one guy says, He talks about himself in the third person, he says, have a rather bashful retiring disposition, which has hitherto prevented him from mixing much in female company. So we shy fair enough. Another guy says,


Damona  18:10  

I’m wordsmith too. So I mean, they all match that one up.


Unknown Speaker  18:15  

Exactly. They all are such wordsmith. And that’s, you know, what’s so wonderful about many of these ads. And now the guy says, I’m being closely confined by his business, he cannot devote the time necessary to a protracted courtship, He therefore avail himself of the medium of a publication to express his wishes. So that guy’s just in a hurry, like, works really long hours, and he’s in a hurry. So we you know what, one of my favorite things about researching this was, was how relatable or these people are, you know, though they’re advertising for a lot of the same reasons that people are today, right? work really long hours, who has time to meet people, maybe they’ve moved to like a different part of the country. So they’re far away from like, that college friends or whatever, or you know, their mom or so it’s really the same reasons as today.


Damona  19:01  

Well, and our listeners have heard me say before that online dating now is the predominant way that people are meeting more than all the other methods you mentioned through friends through family through church. Yeah, and, and even though some people aren’t ready to embrace it, I feel like the the the interpretation of dating apps, the the reputation of dating apps has shifted a little bit. But even just going back I’ve also talked about on the show before how even a few generations ago most people met and married someone who lived in their own hometown, they lived within five miles of their house according to two records even back in the 1940s and the 1920s. So you’re going even further back, there must have been some sort of some sort of a feeling in the 1840s. If you had to go to a newspaper To find love, did that have a stigma around


Unknown Speaker  20:03  

it? You know, not as much as you might think when it first started, I mean, some other advertisers Do you know, you say things like, oh, secrecy assured or no trifle as need apply, you know, to show that they were serious and genuine about this, but like you say, um, there was a real a need for it. And it in some ways became a public service, you know, like a postal system, right? Because if you couldn’t just marry the girl next door, or, you know, the boy you went to school with, and people couldn’t, not just because of urbanization, but increasingly in the 19th century. And with the settling of the West, right, in some parts of the American West, there was such a gender disparity there. There was you know, like an Iowa there was three men for every one woman in California during the Gold Rush, there were 250 men for every one woman right. And so then, right, then it’s just a question of need. And and therefore, it’s a result that isn’t necessarily the stigma surrounding it that you that you might think when the stigma emerged really was after the peak of personal ads of advertising for love in the 1860s 1870s, when there were so many hundreds and thousands of these personal ads in every state in the nation, every local newspaper from Kansas to Wisconsin, why Wyoming North Dakota, every local newspaper had personal ads saying wife wanted or husband wanted, do the 1870s 1880s when the stigma came was actually around the turn of that century, around 1900 1910 when there was a huge crime wave that was reported around the person ads, it’s not necessarily that it was the first Crime Wave, but the first crime wave that was reported with the rise of newspapers and newspapers who like to scandal, right, so they didn’t report they didn’t report stories of people who met through a personal ad and lived happily ever after. Because that’s not interesting to anybody. Right? They were they sadly reported stories of you know, when there was like a crime like fraud or bigamy or even murder and there were a lot of those, you know, particularly in the New York Times around 1900 9010 and that’s what really gave advertising for love. It’s kind of bad rap for a long time. It meant people thought it was like scary or worrying or you know, that it would it would cause problems and it was dangerous and that was a kind of early 20th century thing really so it came in actually the stigma surrounding it emerged much later than you might think. Huh


Damona  22:27  

See that’s so resonates i i’m i’m always saying that we hear these stories because they’re rare or because like you said they make a good salacious story they sell newspapers they sat gets you to watch the television show


Unknown Speaker  22:42  

exactly not


Damona  22:43  

you don’t hear the the mundane stories because


Unknown Speaker  22:46  

they’re not as they’re not they’re


Unknown Speaker  22:48  

not as entertaining. It’s not as entertaining to people if they’re like, Oh, yeah, we met we met we fell in love When we lived happily ever after. And everyone’s like, oh, boring, you know, they want to hear their like salacious, scandalous stories, you don’t hear the kind of stable, happy, delightful loving stories, right? Because that, you know, human nature doesn’t sadly respond to those in the same way.


Damona  23:09  

That you you have some positive stories in in your books,


Unknown Speaker  23:13  

and many


Damona  23:14  

of them on your Instagram. So tell us tell me some of the good stories because we do we love a good rom com as well. There must have been some positive.


Unknown Speaker  23:23  

There was so many positive stories, hundreds and hundreds of them and and you know, many of your listeners will probably have grandparents or great grandparents who met through a personal ad. They maybe just don’t know about it. But people you know, would write to me and say oh, my great grandmother met her husband through a Perseids. So for example, one of my favorite stories is about a woman named Augusto Lawson, who was a Swedish immigrant. And in 1892, she answered a personal ad that had been placed in a Chicago based newspaper where she lives. It was from a guy called all roods, who was from Norway originally and had settled in Washington state where he farmed the land they were he was really a pioneer that there were hardly any women and to speak to your point of why do people advertise, like, what else was he supposed to do? Right, there are hardly any women around. So it was really smart and sensible to put an ad in a newspaper. You know, in one of the big cities. agasa Lawson saw this this personal ad, they wrote to each other for a few months. And then she amazingly decided that her best bet was to travel 2000 miles to go meet him. So she got the, you know, she got the train and then she got the coach and then she turned up in this tiny town in Washington State, but they met and they married and they had kids and they farmed the land, you know, places like Washington state would not exist without these kind of pioneers, right. You need them to, you know, build families and to build a nation and in that way personal ads all forms of advertising for level release. central to the, to the founding of America in that way, because without them, these couples, you know, wouldn’t have met. So that’s one of my favorite stories because it really speaks to, you know, the history of modern America in so many ways.


Damona  25:13  

I love that I’m always telling my children, I’m like 100 years ago, y’all would be here to just tell the field. Like, right, take your dish to the sink, so you don’t go out and shuck some corn or whatever.


Unknown Speaker  25:26  

Right? Exactly. So much is different. But then so much stays the same. And I mean, that also speaks to the number of women who advertised in newspapers, like in the 18th and 19th century, so, so many more women than you might think, put personal ads in newspapers, and you’ll see them in national newspapers, local newspapers, they have this headline that says husband wanted and kind of bold black type. And they really are amazing. Some are very different to what you might read, like on a Tinder profile today and someone kind of the same. So can I give you one of them?


Damona  26:01  

Oh, yes, yes. And then I want to talk about communication because you also got me thinking with the love letters, but I want to hear one more and then we can


Unknown Speaker  26:09  

Okay, so tell me if this is the kind of thing you might meet on a Tinder profile today. This was an ad placed by a woman is in Wisconsin in 1855. She talks about herself a little and then she describes what she she’s looking for in a guy. She says, I want to know brainless dandy or foppish full, but a practical man who can drive a coach or rock the cradle to the garden or attend the ballroom on the whole he must dress neat. Look well and keep his head up in society.


Damona  26:39  

That’s all I hear. Francesca they want a man’s man. Right? Don’t yet don’t don’t hate on don’t hate on what did she say? She says


Unknown Speaker  26:51  

no foppish? No. No brainless dandy or foppish fool.


Damona  26:59  

That’s funny. I it’s, it’s amazing to me how similars these some of these patterns are. But when you brought up the love story, and you mentioned how they wrote to each other, right for a while. That’s the part that I feel nostalgic for. And I feel like that’s the thing that’s changed, like people want to blame dating apps for the, for the dissolution of courtship. But I really think it’s more communication. And the way that we that we talk to one another, and the way that we build relationships, that has changed so much, even just in the last 10 years, so they would connect, and then they’d send letters back and forth, where they could really get to know one another. Right doesn’t just like, like, hey, Netflix and chill.


Unknown Speaker  27:47  

Right, exactly. And what it does is it builds a friendship, right from the very beginning, it builds a friendship through, there’s less writing, I would say, I mean, I’d be interested to know what you think about this, it does seem to me that that is one positive spin of the pandemic, right, is that because people are not able to meet up on a first date in the way that they used to, maybe they’re having to communicate in other ways, you know, on on zoom, or whatever it is, it creates more space to build a friendship in the same way you might have done if you were a seamstress in Iowa in 1870. And you were writing letters to a goldmine and California, back and forth and back and forth for weeks and months. If you build a relationship, you build a friendship before you actually meeting and I do wonder if if that’s to be optimistic about right now when dating and a pandemic obviously has so many challenges that what the one upside is it does give you space to build a friendship before anything else happens. And surely, that could be a wonderful thing.


Damona  28:51  

I really want people to hear and and process what you just said, because that is the opportunity that we have right now. And I think that’s where we were maybe three months ago. Unfortunately, what I’m seeing right now, and I’m not gonna call any of you out at this very moment, but I’m seeing actually there’s a little bit of panic setting in over cuffing season, like everybody’s trying to partner up before things get cold. And, and the fatigue, just the pandemic fatigue. being around people for so long, is causing people to do real really crazy things. And just like Well, you know what, it’s fine, we’ll just make out it’s fine. I’m sure it will be fine. And I have always said slow Love is the way to go. Just like you were saying. Taking the time to build that connection doesn’t mean that you have to be like writing letters across the miles. But just taking some time first to get to know each other before you build the intimacy and before you like rush into rivaling,


Unknown Speaker  29:52  

like to build a friendship to become friends because that’s what’s going to see you through the tough times as we all know it’s it’s it’s the friendship That means that relationships can then last 20 or 30 or 50 years. It’s the future that’s at the core of it. Well, and


Damona  30:07  

you’re happily married lady.


Unknown Speaker  30:08  

So I


Damona  30:09  

would take advice from you.


Unknown Speaker  30:12  

I mean, don’t take any advice from me.


Unknown Speaker  30:14  

How did you?


Damona  30:15  

How did you and your husband meet?


Unknown Speaker  30:16  

So we met, I used to be a TV host. Like 100 years ago, I used to be a TV host on British TV. And he was a TV director, and he directed a show that I was hosting. But it was the first one I’d ever done in a TV studio. And I was kind of a little bit vague about how microphones work. Like, I’m not an idiot, right? So when I talk about the director, I’d be like, oh, like, I really like him or three, see, if we’ll come up for a drink tonight, I would cover my microphone, I’m not a total idiot. But what I didn’t realize is that even then the microphone picks it up. So being this TV studio, you know, in between takes, like, with the makeup lady doing, you know, my makeup and suddenly doing my hair, and I’d be like chatting to my co hosts. And all of this would be broadcast into the entire like gallery that you know, the vision mixer and including my, you know, husband, to me, but you know, again, at least in you, I liked him from really early on.


Unknown Speaker  31:12  

I love that.


Unknown Speaker  31:13  

I love that. In a sense, you


Damona  31:15  

kind of made the first move or


Unknown Speaker  31:17  

you know, right? Yes, by mistake. I made the first move.


Damona  31:22  

But you let it be known how you feel because today I feel like so many people are like, I don’t want him No, I like him. I’m just gonna play cool. If she knew I was into her, she wouldn’t like me back and I’m just like, enough, enough of the of the pretense let’s just, let’s just be real. So right. By default,


Unknown Speaker  31:40  

your real when a guy really likes you, he really likes you. So you know, my, you know, my husband’s I mean, I think he was just busy. And I hadn’t occurred to him. And then we went out for drinks. And then like, oh, and then we had to keep it a secret for ages. Because like, you don’t want to be like, you know, having a thing with somebody at work. Right? Who does that unless it’s serious. So the first few weeks, we kind of kept it secret. And so I’d be like, in the makeup chair before the show, and he’d have to like come in and be like, how’s everyone this morning? Everyone? Okay, and I’d have to be like waiting. Yeah, exactly. Wait, wait. So we can’t do the secret until we knew it was, you know, pretty serious.


Damona  32:13  

And your husband works in Hollywood. Right. So


Unknown Speaker  32:15  

Kim? Tv director, yeah, yeah. So he started out working on Bora. And with Sacha Baron Cohen, which, of course, that’s very current at the moment. And then he went into movies, and he directed the Muppets movie, and LSU the looking glass with Johnny Depp. And don’t forget


Damona  32:34  

Dora. Actually, as a parent, I love Dora. I thought it was so. so charming. And I didn’t even realize that he he had directed it. And then when I saw you directed, I was like, of course, it


Unknown Speaker  32:46  

was so charming. And sweet and funny. And and he really makes movies in His own image, I think just charming and generous and kind and funny. Yes,


Damona  32:57  

yes. And so that’s interesting. Okay, so your husband will say his name is James bobbin. Right. That’s right. Yeah. He so working in Hollywood, I imagine that’s


Unknown Speaker  33:07  

kind of


Damona  33:09  

that impacts the relationship in some way. And my husband is also he’s a TV writer. I don’t I rarely talk about what he does. So my listeners might not


Unknown Speaker  33:18  

even know.


Unknown Speaker  33:22  

It was James wacky. And I’m like, I don’t really know, we didn’t talk about things like that.


Unknown Speaker  33:26  

Right. Exactly. Exactly. Like


Damona  33:28  

my husband wrote on the walking dead for three seasons, literally, maybe saw a few episodes. Like, why


Unknown Speaker  33:36  

not watching. But you


Damona  33:38  

know, it’s it’s interesting when you’re in a way, in living a relationship in the public eye. And, and I bring this up, because also, some of our listeners, even though they might not be able to relate to being in Hollywood, social media does add this element of playing out your relationship publicly. Do you feel like that’s, that’s ever been an element, you know, especially having been a TV host. And, and now, you know, moving into being an author and having your bookshop? Does does that? Do you think impact your your relationship in any way, the public element?


Unknown Speaker  34:17  

You know, I really don’t, to be honest, I really don’t. I mean, we’ve been together 20 years, we met when we were young. And so again, I think there’s such a friendship built on that that social media is something that we both do for work purposes. But it’s it’s social media, it’s very much a work thing for both of us. So it feels pretty separate to our kind of real life in inverted commas. I mean, obviously there’s exceptions to that. But I suppose particularly because what he does is is now pretty different to what I do and you know it kind of Hollywood dinner parties when I Samurai to people, of course, they all you know, what movies Did you write and when I say I’m a historian, people kind of think maybe I’m joking. And they’re not sure whether to kind of laugh or not. Because you know, it’s a it’s an unusual job in, in Hollywood, right? I get the same thing. When


Damona  35:09  

I say I’m a dating coach people are like, really like, a deep soul conversation, doesn’t it?


Unknown Speaker  35:18  

Yes, you can’t say it without without it becoming your whole thesis, I have to take a deep breath and go. And sometimes you find you lie, because you can’t remember to talk about it. Sometimes I want to be like, I’m an accountant. So that then like people don’t ask me about it. Because I know, you know, once the subject comes up, people will ask me about it.


Damona  35:34  

So what is the topic then when you’re at these Hollywood dinner parties? What’s the topic that all the movie stars want to discuss with you?


Unknown Speaker  35:40  

Okay, I’ll tell you what they all want to know, is, what do men look for in a woman? And what do women look for in a man? Because I, you know, I feel like I do have a unique insight into that, because I can put the historical perspective on it, right? So there’s all the kind of current data or research about mate choice, but I have a uniquely historical perspective of 250 years of what people have looked for and how that’s changed. What goods give us? Well, they’ll say, What do men look for? What do women look for? The trouble is the answer I have to give because it’s the truth is not as kind of depressing. So because much of my choice is predicated on evolution, there’s always going to be an element of it, right, which is men looking for, for women who are fertile. And women looking for men who can support offspring, I have resources, right. And now that is obviously a huge generalization. And as with every year goes by, there’s more and more exceptions to that, of course, and even the definition of that changes. So, you know, women looking for men with resources in the 18th century, that would have meant cash or property. But these days, it can mean a good sense of humor, or like a lot of Instagram followers, or like, you know, really clever, you know, designing websites or whatever it is, it just means, you know, be able to support offspring, if that if that comes to the relationship, and then the same, obviously, as women choose not to have children or to have children later, like obviously, you know, men looking for women who are fertile. That’s very, you know, reductive and a huge generalization. But looking at the evidence, because so much of it is about evolution. And that’s not going to change if one has to generalize. That’s the answer. And I wish it weren’t, I wish I could give you a different answer. I’m all I would emphasize is that, of course, there are so many exceptions to that in terms of ages and situations. And with each year that goes by you get more and more exceptions to thank goodness,


Damona  37:46  

I love hearing the historical perspective, because I think, you know, we are all a product of our history, right? And everything that we’ve learned from previous generations and everything that is biologically entrenched within our society. Exactly, no, ignore it, but we have to, I feel that we have to see it, and embrace it. But I think we are at an interesting time, Francesca because I think we are we are at this place. Where are ours? Our actions have sort of moved beyond our biology, our societies move beyond our biology. And we’re in this really weird dissonant period where everybody’s trying to figure it out. Right. And I guess that’s what keeps me doing this show for


Unknown Speaker  38:28  

eight seasons. But maybe you want to me is like how, you know how quickly we’re going to move beyond that entirely in that, like, why hasn’t marriage already died out? You know, we talked about, you know, people, you know, that marriage will have disappeared and don’t yet it it kind of seems to like cling on in this weird way. And so I’m actually I’m interested in, in a weird way, how slowly things are changing how slowly dating is changing how slowly it’s changing what people look for in relationships, you know, I would have thought that there might have been a more radical shift and in some strange ways, you know, humans do seem to be oddly kind of conservative with a small see sometimes about the way they form their their relationships. I I’m waiting for that to be a more radical shift. And I hope it I hope it happens but, but we’ll see. We will see


Damona  39:20  

Well, I appreciate everything you’ve shared with us. I think this book literally, it’s fascinating. Everybody run and check out matrimony ink, from personal ads, just swiping right a story of America looking for love so many more stories than even what Francesca was able to share. And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram at Franz bookshop, your you’re a gem and I’m so glad that you were able to join us on the show and share your insights.


Unknown Speaker  39:48  

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been really fun.


Damona  39:50  

We will of course put the link to this amazing book in the show notes. You can get it on Amazon matrimony, Inc. From personal ads, too. swiping right a story of America looking for love. By the way, I am super excited to announce something new demonios coI will be curating lists of my favorite love content and books of prior guests. My favorite love. I’ll be curating lists of my favorite resources on love. Everything from podcasts, to books, to videos that you can watch to books that prior guests let me receive free By the way, I am super excited to announce demonios content club. I think I need something else in there. By the way, I am super excited to announce something new de Mona’s content club.ntent club,  I will be curating lists of my favorite resources on love everything from podcasts, to videos to books from prior guests and you My friends, you can have access to all that juiciness. All you have to do is become one of my patreon friends with benefits for just five bucks a month. You can get in the club, you can come to my behind the mic weekly, live streams on Facebook, you can get tons of other resources and items for them from the dates and mates library. And you can get into demonios content club you can find all of that slash dates and mates and again, it’s just five bucks. Five bucks support the show and get some more goodies for yourself slash dates and mates. This episode is number 335 of this show on this episode is number 335 of dates and mates. I would love to hear from you. I am already taking audios and taking questions. I would love for us to connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Because I need to know what’s on your mind. I need to be answering your questions in love. And I am taking questions right now for our next dear demona episode. You can DM me a voice memo of your question you can you can message it to me You can even give me a call. Give me a call girlfriend 424-246-6255 leave it on my voicemail right there. And you could be on a future episode of dates and mates and get your love problems solved. So hit me up at damona Hoffman on all the socials. I will be back again next week with the fabulous Monique Kelly who’s going to talk all about how you can celebrate your singlehood but until next week, I wish you world peace and happy dating

Dear Damona: Tinder Influencers & Bad Breath


Today is an entire episode dedicated to the questions you have submitted this week. 

Starting now, we will be spinning off the Dear Damona segment into it’s own episode once a month. Three weeks a month you’ll hear thought-provoking interviews and once a month you’ll hear listeners ask their questions and a full episode devoted to your troubles in love.

But as usual, we’ll start with keeping you up to date on this week’s headlines:


Tinder Video Chat Feature Wide Release

Tinder is the latest app to roll out this feature, but on the whole, the tech still has a long way to go.

Marriage Equality & LGBTQ+ History Month

Same-sex couples, like comedian Fortune Feimster and her partner Jacquelyn Smith, are getting married quicker over fears that marriage for them will be overturned. Damona weighs in.


How the Trump Era Has Strained Mixed Political Relationships

According to the most recent stats published in the New York Times, it appears that mixed-partisan couples may skip voting to minimize conflict. Damona explains why.



I’m @DamonaHoffman on all the socials. I love to hear from you! We are already collecting questions for next month’s Dear Damona episode— DM me your questions on your favorite social media platform and tell me how you found out about this show. Here’s what our listeners asked this week:

  • I’ve had several experiences where I didn’t want to give out my last name, my phone number exactly where I lived and exactly where I work. I have found that when I have followed the apps, safety tips suggested by match or other sites that men have called me paranoid, overly cautious. I would love some advice about how to navigate these conversations without seeming defensive.
  • So on Tinder, at least seemingly, is now apparently the career hub for women to promote their quote unquote, content, which they’re selling. Their OnlyFans and their premium Snap. And so my question is, are you seeing this in other states? Are you seeing this across the country? Or is this just a crazy Florida thing?
  • How can I find love or find a nice guy during the pandemic without the use of dating apps?
  • I started dating a great guy that fits several of the qualities I’m looking for. However, he has bad breath. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach this sensitive issue with this guy?
  • Why are men so apprehensive about sharing their career, as we are getting to know them, ask them questions about who they are? They just seem to not want to share what their job or career is. 
  • I’ve been enjoying being single for a long time. But I’m just now feeling like venturing into the dating scene. What dating app would you recommend? Not interested in apps like Tinder.



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

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

Unknown Speaker 0:17
Greece posts to get my

Unknown Speaker 0:18
swipe was invited to share my life. What

Unknown Speaker 0:21
does this text mean? Maybe he’s just not that into me is this relationship going anywhere,

Damona 0:26
you can keep waiting for the fairytale. Or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates in mates with damona Hoffman, hello, lovers, while the days are getting shorter, and the dark winter is looming, but we are still out here and these dating streets and today is an entire episode dedicated to the questions that you have submitted this week. There’s a lot of ground to cover. So I want to get right into the show. But first, I need to take a moment to correct a mistake that my team and I made. And this is an important one, two episodes ago, we used incorrect pronouns when we refer to pop singer Sam Smith. So I went back and I re recorded that portion of the episode to honor Sam Smith’s identity. And I promised to be more vigilant in the future. But I really wanted to be transparent with you all and to also thank the listeners who reached out to point out the error. I am a firm believer that when you make a mistake, you should own up to it and make it right. And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do today. And I want to make this a safe space for everyone. And I really appreciate that this is an inclusive and loving community that we built right here. And that you care enough about this show for me to get it right and to engage in conversation with me. This show is definitely a conversation and dates and mates is driven by what’s happening in the news, what you need to know and the ways that I can be of service to you. Which brings us to today’s special deer demona episode. Starting now we will be spinning off the deer demona segment into its own episode once a month. So three weeks a month, you’ll hear thought provoking interviews and once a month, you’ll hear listeners ask their questions and a full episode devoted to your troubles in love. To kick it off. We have to get you up to speed on these headlines though. I’ll be talking about the latest on video dating and should you even bother and why this has suddenly become LGBTQ wedding season plus love in the time of Trump and how cross political partnerships have fared in the last four years, then I’ll answer your questions in dear Dimona, and here’s a few things that are on your mind. Why are all my matches trying to sell me stuff? And how can you stay safe on dating apps? Plus, where can you find love off of dating apps today? Oh That and more on today’s dates and mates. Let’s get into these headlines.

Unknown Speaker 3:09
These dating dish.

Damona 3:12
Mashable shared the news about Tinder releasing their video feature worldwide. Now, this isn’t the first time that you’ve heard about video chat dating on this show, of course. But especially it’s not even the first time you’ve heard about Tinder video chat dating because they’ve been rolling it out since May or June, all throughout the US in different markets. But this is different because now people have really had a chance to become comfortable with video chat dating. And I’ll admit that I said at the beginning that video chat dating is the wave of the future. And I still believe that it is. But I want to remind you that it’s not the only game in town. First of all, you do still have the option of a phone call. And when you do the video chat, you have to remember how much additional pressure it is to get ready for that date. And you need to be clear of whether you’re doing this as a replacement date or if you’re doing it as a screening for a date. That said if you are planning to have a video chat date, and you want to stay within the app, and Tinder is not the first app to do this. Bumble rolled out this feature earlier this year. It’s also it’s also being tested on many other platforms on match.

But the challenge is that a lot of these apps were not designed for video. They were designed for dating apps, they were designed for static images that you swipe through or that you you message about and adding the layer video is a whole different tech stack. So what I’m hearing from the database listeners and from my clients is that they’re running into a little technical trouble with these new features. And of course Tinder Tinder rolled this out slowly today. Trying to work the bugs out. So I can’t speak specifically to tenders, to tenders, video chat feature, but I can tell you that overall, they have been a little bit glitchy and a little bit hard to use. And so then people say, Well, what do I do in that case? And I had another listener who wrote in to me and asked whether they should give, whether it’s safer to use FaceTime or to use zoom? And the question the answer to that comes down to what is your definition of safer if it’s you’re trying to protect your anonymity, then you definitely would be better served with zoom. Because you’re you can have a different name on zoom, you can have your name be private on zoom, and it can’t be traced back to you. But your phone number, whether it’s a cell phone, or like I don’t know, if anyone still has a landline, it can actually be traced to your your name. And if it’s a landline, it can be traced actually to your home address. But sometimes even for a mobile phone. So you just have to really be mindful of what information is out there about you and some of these things through reverse phone lookup, you can actually find out some detailed information about the person. So do be careful about giving out your number of personal information or your Apple ID, those sort of things. And I do I have a partnership now with an app called text. Now, if you’re wanting to text or talk on the phone, and you’re you don’t want to give out your real number, definitely check out text now. But I do like the video feature, if you can find a way to do it comfortably. If you’re not going to get all caught up in like how am I looking in the video and not paying attention to the person on the other side of the screen. If you’re not going to get frustrated with tech, if you are going to prepare yourself the way you would for a regular date, then I’m all for it. I’m all for Tinder rolling out this feature. And I really think it’s going to become a key feature of all the dating apps in the coming years as they fine tune the the technology and the abilities that it has. Well, it’s a big month for tech. It’s a big month for voting. And it’s also a big month for marriage equality. I just found out that it is actually LGBTQ History Month. And that said, there’s been a lot happening that is making the LGBT community wonder if it’s time to just just tie the knot and get married because right now, we have marriage equality. We have the ability for people of all orientations to get married in the United States. And not that long ago. I remember when this was still a very big fight. Obviously, Amy Coney Barrett just got appointed to the Supreme Court. And there has been talk from Justice Clarence Thomas and justice Samuel Alito that the same sex marriage ruling has ruinous consequences for religious liberty, and maybe challenged in the future. So all of that is making a lot of LGBTQ couples run to the altar. I feel like a lot of people are running to the altar and COVID are you all seeing like tons of wedding photos in your timelines too. But specifically for people like fortune five ster, who’s a comedian, you may remember her from the Mindy Project. And she just married her partner, Jacqueline Smith in Malibu last week.

But they’ve been engaged. They’ve been together for two and a half years. And now we’re seeing that a lot of people are taking this opportunity to get married because they don’t know if the opportunity is going to be there in the future. And this is honestly really sad to me that that we It feels like we are moving back in terms of equality. And I fully believe Love is love. Did y’all see that Oreo commercial that went viral last week, it was it was kind of like a movie, actually. But it was about a same sex couple who went home to visit the parents. And the dad was clearly not very accepting of the fact that she had brought home a same sex partner. I’m not going to spoil the ending for you. But a lot of people could relate and I think not just same sex couples, but you could see anyone who has a difference with their partner, and how how challenging that moment is when you meet the parents and see if you’re going to be accepted and how and when you think about how much harder that is even for LGBTQ couples, when they don’t know if they’re going to be accepted as a person. But even like accepted as a person, so this is a, this is really frightening time for a lot of people. But I just want to remind you that you have a voice and that representation matters. And so that’s why I wanted to bring this to the forefront for you on today’s show. And remind you to get out there and make sure that your rights are being protected.

We’re on the political political train here. So we might as well stay New York Times had a really interesting article about how the Trump era has strained mixed political relationships. This article is really a deep dive into the political dynamics in relationships and how some people like don’t even really know how what happens. You know, they say like, what, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, what happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth. So the article said historically, women underestimate the likelihood that their spouses are voting Democrat, while men overestimate that their spouses are voting Republican. What’s crazy to me is I can’t even think about spouses that are really clear on how their spouses voting, maybe that’s just in my house. We talk about it all the time. But increasingly, people are marrying more people like themselves, not just on politics, but overall, similar education, similar belief systems and lifestyles. And what’s happening as we, as we move to the fringes of our political spectrum, is that a lot of relationships are being lost in the middle, that’s now becoming, as we’ve talked about, on the show before, one of the primary filters the primary reasons that people will say yea or nay to a match, it said that in battleground states partners tend to know less about their partner’s political beliefs. And politically mismatched couples are likely to be the people who are not politically polarized, because those are the people in the middle that can can maybe see both sides. But it’s important to note that a lot of these partnerships did not begin in the Trump era. And these more politically moderate couples came together before things were so polarized. And when we look at the voting data, voting turnout is actually lower. For mixed partisan couples, perhaps they’re skipping, skipping voting to minimize conflict. Perhaps it’s that we are still confused about which direction we want the country to go in. But I just want people to move towards love. So let’s try and keep an open mind. And let’s try to lead with love through the season, it’s going to be a rough week. And whenever you’re listening to this, I’m sure it’s going to be a strained and challenging time. So I’m just sending out lots of love to you no matter what you believe, no matter how you vote. And before we go into the break, I also want to thank you for helping dates and mates reach number 11 on the apple podcasts charts yesterday, I’ve been making this show for eight years. And I’m so grateful for all the support from our longtime fans and new listeners. And those who took the time to scroll down to the bottom of Apple podcast app and leave us a five star review. Like true Skye who said this podcast is super entertaining and chock full of helping people in the modern world and now dating in the COVID world. But let’s be real, the COVID world is now the real world. And I want you to know how to navigate through the new normal no matter where you are in the political spectrum. And no matter how you identify, I will be back in just a moment with your questions on everything from bad breath to only fans accounts. So don’t go anywhere. We are back and it’s time for your questions.

Unknown Speaker 14:08
damona help me

Damona 14:10
this first question comes to us from a longtime listener who has some questions about dating safety along with a crazy dating story.

Unknown Speaker 14:19
I’ve had several experiences where I didn’t want to give out my last name, my phone number exactly where I lived and exactly where I work. I have found that when I have followed the apps, safety tips suggested by match or other sites that men have called me paranoid, overly cautious. I had an experience where I went on a great first date with a guy this is before the pandemic and he really wanted to see me again. So I had mentioned where I worked. I had just started a new job and he actually called my place of employment the next day looking for me when I had this massive walk and talk with the guy that said, Why are you so cautious, you know, wouldn’t give me your last name, give me your phone number, you know has something bad happen, I would love some advice about how to navigate these conversations without seeming defensive.

Damona 15:16
Susan, I absolutely understand why safety is your top priority. And it absolutely should be. Any guy who is going to be worth your time is going to respect you, and your boundaries and know that for women, especially safety is the way into your heart making you feel that you are being protected, making you feel that you are comfortable and making you feel that he can be trusted. And this is something like for the guys listening that I think sometimes men don’t understand the way women have to walk through the world constantly vigilant. And, you know, I would say men of color, specifically black men probably understand what I’m talking about here, too. But some other guys might not have had this experience. I know my own husband, who’s a white man did not have this experience before of not feeling safe. He didn’t even lock the doors to our to his apartment. When I first met him. When I would stay over I’d say can we lock the doors? And he’d say, Well, I locked that there’s a door, there’s a gate to get into the apartment complex. And I was like, do you know every person who is coming in the apartment complex? And do you know every person who is a guest of someone else who’s coming in the apartment complex? And do you know every person who had the door open for them because that person didn’t want to feel bad and shut the door in their face because they just came up behind them and they didn’t want to be rude. So they let them in anyway, there’s there was so much risk. To me that was absolutely apparent. And yet, because of his experiences not to knock them he just didn’t have that awareness of safety, because he had never been put in a position where his own personal safety might be threatened. So the idea that this guy Susan, would come looking for you at your job is absolutely ludicrous. And anyone who thinks that they can win someone over with a grand gesture like that has seen far too many ROM coms, because that is the opposite of making you feel safe and comfortable. So what I would say to you is to keep with your convictions, I think it is absolutely understandable that you don’t want to share personal information, especially where you work where you live or anything like that until you’ve properly vetted someone and made sure that they are safe enough for you to feel comfortable sharing that. And yes, as Susan mentioned, a lot of the dating apps have safety guidelines on the app that you can read. And I know we all swipe past it and we skip it because we’re like, I just I’ll know I’ll be fine. But it’s a really good idea to give those those rules a once over because they’re, I guarantee you there’s probably something in them that you’re not doing right now that you could be doing to keep yourself a little bit more safe. This one comes to us from Chris, who’s one of my patreon Fw B’s I

Unknown Speaker 18:23
Dimona. This is Chris from Orlando, Florida, and I’m 31 years old. So on Tinder, at least seeing which is now apparently the career hub for women to promote their quote unquote, content, which they’re selling. They’re only fans and their premium snap. And so my question is, are you seeing this in other states? Are you seeing this across the country? Or is this just a crazy Florida thing? Because I’m originally from Denver, and I just moved here and when I moved here all I’m seeing is this crazy? Here you’re joining my only fans join premier snap. Anyways, that’s my question. I love you dimana. I love the show and help me I need answers. Thank you so much.

Damona 19:09
I have to admit I I don’t know if I can say if this is a weird Florida thing. There’s obviously a lot of weird Florida things we could Google. This one I didn’t know. But it makes sense to me because for a long time and producer Leo and I were chatting about this before the show. For a long time people have used dating apps for other means they’ve used it for business connections. Like she was even telling me that she’s known of trainers, matching with people who are overweight to sell them personal training services, which I think is absolutely disgusting. But the idea that someone would match with you to sell you their only fans subscription or something else. That is their special content. Makes me wonder Chris, if you are matching with the right people. And to me, it says that you might be swiping on the wrong things. And I feel like these types of profiles, these predatory profiles, can be pretty easy to spot. Like if they’re overly polished photos, if they like, people, real people online should have profiles that look a little bit flawed. And I was going over this in my women’s coaching group a couple weeks ago, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is you have to go a layer deeper and say, Is there more information in this person’s bio? If they’ve linked it to Instagram say, do they have a bunch of stuff that’s selling their only fans content? You have to kind of do a little bit more detective work. And I think we get into the routine of just swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, but we’re not doing that first layer of, of filtering before you get into the chat. But as I always say you’re not looking for, for the ones that are no, you’re just you’re just focusing on the yeses. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that, that issue happening or be overly fixated on it. If you have other matches that are moving forward. But if it’s all you’re getting, you’re either on the wrong app, your profiles, not saying the right thing, or you’re swiping on the wrong people. This question comes to me from a gal named Aaliyah.

Unknown Speaker 21:35
Hi, Mona, this is Lily. And I have a question for you about being single and everything and how to find love, especially during COVID. And I hope that out there, my dream of love will come true in so hoping that you will help me with that. Thank you.

Damona 21:55
Here’s some more detail that she emailed to me. I just started out college a year ago, and I love it so much. What brought me here is that I have a serious question that you probably get a lot of how can I find love or find a nice guy during the pandemic without the use of dating apps? I know it’s kind of silly. But that is one of the things I want to accomplish before I get older, say 30 or 40 years old, although you can find love at any face any age smiley face. So, uh, Leah, yes, you are asking a question that a lot of people ask me, How do I find love off of the dating apps. And I’m just going to level with everyone I got a little keet on from the Drew Barrymore show audience for telling a lady last week that the dating apps were the best option for her even though she didn’t like them. So I’m going to expand upon that perspective. And also, let you know why I say that, because it’s not just, it’s not laziness, just go on the dating apps, it’s because dating apps are really the best bang for your buck. They’re the biggest game in town right now. And for the foreseeable future, let’s be real, y’all gonna be wearing masks for at least the next six to 12 to 18 months. And dating is a primal and, and

basic need, you are not going to just be able to put off dating and say I will deal with that later, you are going to have to find a way to date safely within this pandemic. And I find that dating apps give you the best way to expand your pool in a safe and efficient way. So what I said to the woman on the Drew Barrymore show is that she should develop a growth mindset around dating apps, saying, I’m not good at dating apps yet. But it’s something that I can get better at. And therefore when you’re better at things, you enjoy them more. That said, No, it’s not the only way. So I’ll give you a couple other ways that you could possibly meet someone, Leah, and all of the other people listening but they’re more labor intensive. So So put on your big boy and big girl and nine non binary pants, because we’re going to go on a journey really quickly through the other ways to meet someone and how, how much effort you’ll have to put into it. You can meet someone on social media, you can slide into the DMS, you can follow hashtags. You can search by hashtags, I was looking for a client The other day I searched by single dad. And then I had to go into each individual profile and look at where that person was, whether they looked cute, like how young their kids were so much more information that would have been up front on a dating app, but I did it because I’m really trying to help this person find love. You can also join a Facebook group that is around a particular interest. I wouldn’t recommend A singles Facebook group, and technically those are disallowed. So it’s hard to find them anyway. But you’d have a better chance of making a connection with somebody that you have something in common with through a more specific group, like a book club or a fan page for a particular artist or a show or something like that. You could also use your connector circle your connector circle is the people that are first, second and third degree connections to you who might know the kind of people that you could potentially meet. So those people you want to go to and ask them for a very specific thing. I’m looking for someone who’s this, this and this. And that could lead you to a match as well. You could do social distance meetups of some sort. If you feel comfortable with that. Aaliyah, you’re in college, there’s got to be something happening on college campuses, just please make sure that you’re being safe, please wear a mask, don’t go to some indoor house party, frat party situation with no ventilation, and you think you you’d end up catching COVID. And then you’re out of the dating season for a few weeks, or maybe longer. Not worth it, it’s not worth it. So all that said, I really feel like dating apps are your best bet. But keep in mind, not all dating apps are equal. And you get back what you put into it. So if you’re not getting what you want on a dating app, you haven’t programmed the algorithm you’re not using the tool correctly. And I would say go back a few more episodes. And I’ll tell you everything that you know, if you just keep listening to this show, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to use a dating app more effectively to find love. And it definitely can happen for you between 30 or 40. Or love at any age. Sara sent me a question over Instagram, Sarah said, Hi Dimona, I started dating a great guy that fits several of the qualities I’m looking for. However, he has bad breath. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach this sensitive issue with this guy, he sometimes chews gum, and even that doesn’t seem to help. There are very few guys that fit my criteria. During the last six months of my online dating, that’s why I’m really trying to make it work with this guy. This is such a tough one. Because I feel for this guy and I feel for you. And this is probably like if he chews gum, and it doesn’t help this is probably a medical issue, or like an ongoing issue that he might have some sensitivity about already.

That said, You can’t ignore it. But also, you really shouldn’t throw a good guy, you should not throw out a good guy just because of this one thing. Like whether it’s a physical characteristic, or you know one thing that doesn’t check all your boxes. So we can get through this, don’t worry. What I would say is you feed him what they call a sh t sandwich sugar, honey iced tea sandwiches, my mama would say that would be the thing that is icky. You put in the middle, and then the bread two compliments. So the first thing is you remind him how much you love him or how much you are enjoying getting to know him or how sexy he is. So you start out with a compliment or something optimistic positive, that that shows your future potential together. And then you say, I’ve noticed that sometimes your breath has a certain odor. And then you follow it up with I’m it’s not really a big deal, right? But, but I really love kissing you and I just wanted to ask, and trust me, girl, it’s going to be awkward. It’s going to be awkward for both of you. But it’s something you just need to move through. And so he might tell you, oh, I have this medical condition. It’s this thing. I don’t know how to stop it or I’m on this medication that’s making me have dry mouth and that’s why it tastes like it’s smells like that. Or he might it might be the first time someone has said it to him. I would be shocked if it was but maybe he just needs that awareness. And you can then together figure out what the solution is. Maybe he has to go brush his teeth and his tongue before the next time you kiss. Maybe it’s he carries mouthwash or pinaka Do they still make that that that mouth spray knock I feel like all the guys in high school it always like spray that like it was gonna help them get kissed. But you can work on this together because that honestly it’s a big issue but it’s a minor issue if it if it’s in the context of finding somebody One who hits who checks so many of your boxes and fulfills you on so many deeper levels. This next question comes to us from Kathy. She’s a single 51 year old divorced mother of one daughter living in Los Angeles.

Unknown Speaker 30:14
Why are men so every hand says about sharing their career, as we are getting to know them, ask them questions about who they are kind of thing. They just seem to not want to share what their job or career is. Thank you.

Damona 30:30
Kathy, I would say if a guy doesn’t want to tell you his career, it’s possible heydo have a career. Okay. But let’s put this on context. You know, I said at the top of the show, like COVID dating is, is dating now. And the reality is, a lot of people are in dire financial straits. Right now, a lot of people are losing their jobs. I don’t know if you delineate between job and career. But it’s tough times out there. And as I also said, at the top of the show, people still need love. And, and COVID is not a reason to not continue to seek out partnership, losing your job is not a reason to seek out partnership. But if this is a pattern you’ve seen for a really, really long time, I would say it’s one of two things either doesn’t have a career and doesn’t have any money, and thinks that that is the reason that you would eliminate him from the dating pool, or the more optimistic way to look at it is that he does have a lot of money, and doesn’t want people to only love him for his money or for his career. That said, I don’t know that this is an epidemic that is happening on the global scale. Kathy, I think this has something to do with the men that you’re choosing. And you’re identifying a pattern. So I would then look at the commonalities between profiles I, let’s see, this is what I love doing like getting really granular on your dating life and figuring out where patterns are coming up. And what is triggering you to swipe right on someone or to say yes to going out with someone and what are the what are the warning signs or commonalities when you compare one profile to the next or, or if you’re meeting people through friends, what is causing them to continue to introduce you to the same kind of people, because I bet you’re going to find a similar thread. And once you fix that, and you fix your attraction to that because sometimes, sometimes you know attraction will lie to you. And chemistry is a killer chemistry will send you in the wrong direction. Many a time. And in I I’m for getting more strategic about your your matches, and figuring out what it is you’re attracted to that is not serving you and see how you can put that in alignment and then the rest of your matches will fall into place. The next question comes to us from Valerie on Instagram.

Unknown Speaker 33:13
Hello, team on ad This is Valerie. I’ve been enjoying being single for a long time. But I’m just now feeling like venturing into the dating scene. What dating app? Would you recommend not interested in apps like Tinder?

Damona 33:27
One of the number one questions I get from people is what dating app is best for me which dating apps should I be on? And I’m actually I have a solution. I’m going to be releasing a quiz very soon to help you figure this out. But in the meantime, I’ll tell you it’s much more about the way you use the tool than the specific tool that you’re on. That said, You need to understand what the dating pool is. So I the way I figure out if an app is right for someone or not, I look at the way that they like to engage. Do they like swiping? Do they like having a deeper dive? Or do they like the matches to be much more curated for them? Then I look at how much time do they have to spend on the app, the more open ended the app, the more time you have to spend filtering. The more curated the experience, the less time you have to put into it because the app is doing that work for you. Then I also look at where you are and what is the demographic you’re looking for. So Valerie, I don’t know Tinder does skew fairly young is compared to the other apps. Tinder is the number one dating app right now in terms of number of people on it. So it’s a good standard app to use. People think it’s just a hookup app, but there’s really a wide variety of reasons for people to be there. But that said, you have to do more filtering if there’s a wide variety of reasons to be there. That makes sense. So do you have the time to do that? But is it also the appropriate pool for you? When you go on Tinder? Do you see people that you’d actually want to go out with? Do you? Do you like swiping right on Tinder? Or is it like, all of these guys? I wouldn’t, I would, it’s a waste of time for me. And that said, does it bring up frustration for you, if you hate your dating app, and you’re frustrated, using it every time and of course, there’s all a lot of times a push pull with the app because we love it because it brings us dates, but like, we hate that we have to do it, or we hate the experience of it. But if you just straight up, dislike Tinder or dislike whatever dating app that you’re on, that’s, that’s definitely not the right dating app, because you aren’t going to want to do it. And to put the effort in that I’m talking about of getting really strategic, if you dislike the experience of the app overall. So I, I can’t tell you exactly what the right dating app for you is Valerie. But I encourage you to sample to try around, try different apps, go through that process. And really ask yourself those questions that I just asked asked you. And then figure out which one feels right and know that you’re not married to the dating app. So I recommend being on two apps at the same time. Ideally, three gets to be a little bit hard to manage all the messages. But I also recommend that you jump around a little bit, you can be on an app for a couple months. And then if you feel like you’ve gotten to the end of that, that thread and the bottom of that, well, then just replenish your well with a new app and do what I’m telling my clients is cycling, I’m calling the cycling. So it used to be like I would say stay on one app for three months and and just drill in there. Get your profile perfect. Wait for the new people to come in. Now I’m doing a new This is my like COVID dating, dating app plan. Cycling, you do one app for a month or maybe two until you get to the point where you feel like I’ve exhausted the options here, you cycle to another app for two months, then you can cycle back to the first one and you’ll see up brand new

selection of of possible dates for you. The possibilities are endless. Honestly, Valerie, and even though we’re in the time of COVID, it’s still possible to make a match. It’s just all about the mindset that you’re bringing into it. So I encourage you, especially as we go through whatever we’re going through, politically over the next few months, I encourage you to really clarify your convictions, your values, what you want, in a partner use this time to go inward and, and really do that deep dive work so that you have a crystal clear perspective on what you’re looking for and love. And then we can hit the ground running January, I’ll be doing my my programs again. And we can really attack it head on and make sure that you have the dating plan that’s going to bring you love. Regardless of whether we’re in a pandemic or not, I think we still will be regardless of who ends up being our president, and you can still find a match and someone may have a meaningful place in your life in the new year. That’s all the news that’s fit to print for Episode 334 of dates and mates. As always, we will put the link to the dating dish stories that we discussed. And the show recap at dates and if you have a question and it didn’t make it in this week’s show, we are going to be doing more dear Dimona episodes starting next month there will be a another full episode all dedicated to your questions. So let me know what’s on your mind. Send me a voicemail. Did you see how fun it was when we can actually hear the other listeners voices. Don’t be shy. I love it when you message me. But I really love it if you send me a voice memo or you leave me a voicemail. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. And you can send me your questions there in the DMS or you can give me a call 424-246-6255 and just stream of consciousness. Let me know what’s on your mind. We’ll pull it all together and put it in our next show. And if you want more dating advice you want direct access to me. Why not join our Patreon Friends with Benefits slash dates and mates. Listen, it’s five bucks. It’s just five bucks and you can get insider deals on my product. programs, access to special sessions and bonus features. And then you’ll also be helping to support the dates of mates podcast and make it free to so many folks who need help in love and may not be able to even spend that five bucks if you have it. Why not pay it forward and make love a reality for everyone around you. So don’t forget to vote vote like your love depends on it. And we’ll be back again next week with more dates and mates. Until then I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by

The Phases of Dating During COVID


Since I began my practice, there have been only two major disruptors to the online dating process that have required me to modify my approach: Tinder and COVID. 

Online dating was always one of my favorite mediums for singles to meet but Tinder and the apps that followed made online dating accessible to all and forever impacted the dating landscape. 

COVID has changed everything about how to date online, use the apps, and filter for matches. Today, the number one question I hear is: “How does dating during COVID work?” Luckily for daters, the stages of dating have stayed the same, but the way we navigate them could be a little different.

These are the phases of online dating today:

Phase 1: Online Matching and Introduction

The speed of swiping is still just as quick as before but I find that daters are slower to move on to in-person dating in the pandemic as they take time to assess someone’s dating risk.

Phase 2: Texting/Messaging

This stage, which used to drag on for weeks or months, is truncated now because a call or video date is less risky than a traditional date. Before, people had to weigh the value proposition of an in-person date based on the investment of time and money. Now that those factors are removed, there is less pressure on this decision and singles are speeding through this part of the process.

Phase 3: The Phone Call

I have been a long-time advocate of the phone call prior to the first date. It is impossible to tell compatibility over text, yet before now, many people were skipping the phone call in favor of speed and efficiency. Now phone calls have once again become an accepted phase in the dating process as a lead up to a video chat or social distance date. 

For my clients who are nervous about giving out their phone number, I recommend downloading the TextNow App which gives you a free alternative number that will ring to your primary phone. That way if you ever change your mind about a match, you can change your number safely and easily and keep it moving.

Phase 4: Social Distance Date

Once you have talked on the phone or video chatted, you will need to meet up in person to see if the connection is real within a month or less. Most catfish situations come up when the daters have never connected off the app so I encourage clients to move offline as soon as it feels safe and comfortable.

For months, singles have waited for things to return to normal. So if you ever wondered how to date online in the middle of a world-wide pandemic AND election year, my answer is: it’s a lot like the old model of online dating with more precaution.

Now, more than ever, those who are uncoupled have felt the weight of their decision to stay single or the frustration of being unable to find a suitable partner. However, we are in the new normal and dating will not return to the old model anytime in the foreseeable future.

The positive side of this shift is that it has slowed down the filtering phase. What had become a rapid-fire round of swiping directly to a date and the inevitable ghosting that followed has been replaced by more mindful conversations and meaningful phone calls and video chats.

Ultimately, you have to create your own safety plan for dating in the time of Coronavirus but if you move offline quickly, I recommend downloading the TextNow App to communicate safely then meet up in a COVID-safe environment, you can still find love in today’s world.


This blog is sponsored by TextNow. The app solves many major challenges that my clients face in dating today:

  • You can keep your main number private
  • You can separate your personal and dating contacts
  • Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.

I’m proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. Click here!

Singles In America


Match released their 2020 Singles in America study and we are so excited to share some key points that we found super relevant to Dates & Mates listeners:


The study found 1 in 4 singles had sex with a non-romantic roommate. That’s about 24% of singles who had sex with their roommate during lockdown. Sexologists call this “situational sexual behavior”, which means social or environmental factors cause people to express sexual behaviors differently than their previous preferences. 

Damona says to be mindful of your choices, because they do have repercussions.



Singles are now practicing slow love: 63% said they are spending more time getting to know their partners. About 69% of app daters said they are more honest with their potential partners on things like the kind of relationship they’re looking for, the qualities they’re looking for, and chatting with people they won’t meet with in person.

Now 53% of singles say prioritizing their search for a relationship more now than they did before the pandemic. Singles are focusing less on physical attraction than before.



This is the first time Match has studied this particular subject and we are so excited to see that more people are open to new dating possibilities!

In the past, singles tended to seek partnerships with people with cultural similarities (same race, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.). This is called homogamy.

Now 64% of singles say they cannot have a relationship with someone who has a very different view about racial equality. Women feel stronger about this than men (72% of women vs. 59% of men).

Since the murder of George Floyd and the re-start of the Black Lives Matter movement, 24% of singles are now open to dating people of a different race or ethnicity. 

How has the changing political climate affected your views on interracial dating? Are choices in dating accurately reflecting these views? If you don’t know, check out Damona’s article in the Washington Post on Racial Bias in Dating.

Spouse Hunting & Singles in America



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

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

Here’s a rundown of today’s episode:

Dating Dish (2:25)

Reba McEntire is all about that social distance date

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


What is Emophilia? Is it contagious???

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


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

Damona reports on the latest:

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



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



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

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




Damona 0:09
you can keep waiting for the fairy tale. Or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello, lovers, I am so excited for today’s episode. It’s a really different kind of conversation today. And the idea actually began way back when I was online dating. You see, I used to tell my friends when I was trying to get them to see the benefits of online dating, I would say girls, it’s just like man shopping. It’s like having a catalogue of eligible bachelors. And I could just pick and choose the ones that I wanted. But the difference is, you don’t have to know if a shirt likes you back when you buy it. So my guest for today has flipped my perspective on this whole conversation and made me realize it’s much more like how shopping, then clothing shopping, because you do need that mutual match to make it work. And just think about the top qualities you look for in a mate. And then the things you look for in real estate, location, style, size. Hey, I’m talking about the house Get your mind out of the gutter. But first before we talk about the similarities between how shopping and mate shopping. I’m going to talk about today’s headlines including Reba McEntire is all about the social distance dating. And what is emo philia. And is it contagious? Plus, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Well, at least the moment that I’ve been waiting for. Match finally releases its 2020s singles in America study and there are some goodies in here. Then at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including have daters today forgotten all their home training, and some social distance date inspiration. Those are the headlines today and the questions I’ll be answering and now it’s time for the dish. These dating dish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unknown Speaker 18:33

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unknown Speaker 24:59
number? I

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

Unknown Speaker 25:16
meta way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unknown Speaker 28:37
damona helped me?

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

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

Transcribed by


Cosmopolitan Mag & Safe Sexting


So remember back in the old days – like last year – when you were in the mood for a booty call and all you had to do was send a simple “u up?” text??


Are you now prefacing your “u up” text with a COVID questionnaire? – have you come into contact with anyone with Covid-19? Have you been out of the country in the last 4 weeks? Do you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms possibly related to Coronavirus?

Just kidding please don’t do that. We’d much rather you start with virtual dating than put you at risk or risk turning a new partner off completely.

But to make these new connections, we’re having to reexamine our strict “no sexting” policy? If you can’t have real casual sex in today’s world, can you have virtual sex?

Today we called in Taylor Andrews – sex & relationship editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine! She’s here to give us the new rules on romance in 2020 and tell us about the trends that have come across her desk and her forthcoming book Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games.

Disclaimer: We don’t get too graphic in this episode but we do talk about sexting and the book Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games soooo, now you can’t say you weren’t warned. 

But first, we dish!


The Universities with the best dating scene

StuDoc has found that Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University, California State University Fullerton, Northeastern University, and University of Virginia have the best dating scenes. It might surprise you to know that BYU was actually the student population that popularized Tinder! This is relevant to you and your dating life. Damona explains why.


Are you sexy?

There is now actual proof that if you feel hot (read: aroused), you are more likely to find the confidence to make a date happen. Damona breaks it down.


Stars, they’re just like us

Drew Barrymore shares that she, too, gets stood up by random dudes on dating apps. WTF?



Everything you need to know about safe sexting from Cosmopolitan Magazines very own, Taylor Andrews!


We discuss:

  • Why right now is definitely the best time to date
  • Sexting, how do you do it?
  • Hookup advice
  • Did we take a peek at Chris Evans’ dick pic??? Maybeeee…
  • Sexy Fantasies

Pre Order your copy of Cosmo’s Fantasy Sex Games Here!

Make sure to check out Taylor’s work in Cosmopolitan Magazine for all the juicy news!


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: I am 39 years old and have been on dating apps for 13 years. I haven’t been physical with someone in over 3 years. Someone asked me to come over sat night for drinks, bonfire, and sex and I’m wondering if I should just go for it? I’m worried I’ll catch feelings.
  • Women’s Group: I met a guy on Hinge a few months ago. We’ve had 2 socially distanced dates in person and everything seemed to be going great. We both got really busy with work, but he said “if we want more we have to see each other more and talk more”. I agreed but since then he’s been distant. I set a date with him for dinner, but when I called him to make a plan he didn’t answer and hasn’t called since. Should I try again to make this happen or is it over/?


Damona  0:00  

Hello lovers, it’s Dimona. I have a new goal of reaching 10,000 more hopeful romantics before the end of 2020. But I need your help. There are three quick and free ways to support the show and spread the message of love. Number one, subscribe. Okay, look at your phone right now. And tap the subscribe button if you’re not subscribed already. And then you’ll get every episode The minute it goes live. Number two, rate and review. If you’re liste ning on Apple podcasts, go ahead and scroll all the way down to the bottom where it says ratings and reviews. Then click as many of those five stars as you want. Maybe five if you’re feeling frisky, and then you can even click write a review to tell everyone why you listen. And number three, share tell your friends about us. Click the three dots by this episode and dm it to a friend who needs to hear this advice. do three and keep dates and mates free for eight more seasons. And we can reach our goal together of healing those 10,000 hearts. Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome to dates and mates. So remember back in the old days, like last year, when you were in the mood for a booty call and all you had to do was send a simple you up text. Now are you processing your uop text with a COVID questionnaire like have you come into contact with anyone with COVID-19? Have you been out of the country in the last four weeks? Do you have a cough fever, shortness of breath or any other symptoms possibly related to Coronavirus? kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. Do not do that. Please. I would much rather you start with virtual dating then put you at risk or risk turning off a new partner completely. But to make these new connections, I’m having to re examine my strict no sexting policy. If you can have real casual sex in today’s world, can you have real virtual sex? Today, I called in Taylor Andrews, sex and relationship editor at Cosmo magazine. She’s here to give us the new rules on romance in 2020. And tell us about the trends that have come across her desk and her forthcoming book, the cosmos fantasy sex games. First though, we got to get you all up to speed on what’s going on in the news. We reveal the universities with the best dating scene. And will you really look sexier? If you feel sexier? Plus stars they’re just like us. Drew Barrymore reveals her big dating app debacle. Then at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including I need intimacy, but I’m worried I’ll catch feelings. And is he busy? Or just not that into me? disclaimer folks. We don’t get to graphic In this episode, but we do talk about sexting. And of course the book Cosmos fantasy sex games. So now you can’t say that you weren’t warned. Let’s dish Our first story actually comes to us from Stu docu which is an online platform with study tools for students. They surveyed over 100,000 students from 15,000 universities to find the schools with the liveliest dating scene and some of the top five might surprise you. Number one was Utah Valley University. Number two was Brigham Young University number three, Cal State Fullerton where I have spoken before number four, Northeastern University, and number five University of Virginia. I don’t even have to look at all the results to know that my own college didn’t make the cut because the dating scene there was dead.


But here’s what’s really interesting, Brigham Young University for those of you who have been listening to the show for a while, you know that this is not the first time that I’ve highlighted Brigham Young University in a dating dish. Because back in 2013, this school, which has a high number of Mormon students, a big Mormon population was actually the school that put Tinder on the map. And here on dates and mates in 2013, you could hear me talk about how this new app was taking the dating world by storm. And it was sort of launched there at Brigham Young. And so it wasn’t actually even a hookup app, as a lot of people were saying in the beginning. They did seed it at a lot of universities, and it really took off at Brigham Young. And they even reported later that year in 2013, that it had led to a number of marriages of people who had matched on Tinder and then moved into serious relationships and become engaged with even just a few months. So I totally buy the stew doc you survey I will put a link to it in the show notes. But I would say if you want to know what’s going on dating and relationships, you should probably figure out what’s going on at Brigham Young University. There’s more news that’s fit to print, psychologists have been examining something that’s called the biased perception of romantic success. What they mean by that is this idea that when you feel sexy, you will be considered sexy by other people. And, you know, we you’ve probably heard me say that on the show before, I’m sure lots of dating experts say like, you know, you feel good, then you’ll look good. It’s, it’s, it’s a mindset. You know, mindset is everything. But according to research, it’s really, really true. And when you present yourself as feeling sexy, you actually are reducing your fear of rejection. And you’ve heard me say this on the show as well, that, that we need to just be more confident and not get attached to the outcome. Okay, here is how this study worked. And I can’t believe there are people that get paid to do this kind of research. But hey, I get paid to do this. So anything goes, they showed sexually stimulating images to people in a clinical setting, before introducing them to a stranger of the opposite sex. And then they had a neutral conversation just about like, hobbies, career goals, blah, blah, blah. But they found that those who had been exposed to sexual stimulus rather than neutral stimulus, something not so sexy, those who were exposed to it were more likely to initiate more intimate contact and be more interested in initiating a romantic relationship at the end of the session. And what this does is it confirms that when you feel sexy, you’re more likely to take a risk. And so often I say that, that success in dating, some of it is just if the other person is feeling the vibe from you and feeling like you’re into them, a lot of times that can amp up their interest in you. Well, one person who I think, should have lots of interest on dating apps is Drew Barrymore. But it turns out, it has not gone the way that she planned it, she revealed on and watch what happens live with Andy Cohen that she had been on Riah and she thought the app would fulfill her lifelong dream of going on a blind date. It’s really hard to go on a blind date when you’re Drew Barrymore because everybody knows everything about you. And you don’t know who these people are, but Riah, you know, is for the celebrities. But she said that her first day was a train wreck, she said she got stood up. And actually, I can also reveal on the show, she told me this story not too long ago, because I am also one of the dating experts of the Drew Barrymore show. I’ll be on my first show live this Wednesday at 9am. Eastern in New York live, but check your local listings to see when I will be on in your area. But here’s the thing if this can happen to Drew, and let me tell you, she is so sweet. And she’s so charming and everything that you see about her and ROM coms. It has been my experience of working with her on her show as well. It happens to everyone and and you have to do the same sort of work whether you’re Drew Barrymore or the girl next door, you have to make sure that you’re pre qualifying people before you get to the date. If this person would stand up Drew Barrymore they certainly will do it to you. And then you know if this person doesn’t show up for you, that this is not meant to be but it doesn’t mean to you should throw the baby out with the bathwater. It doesn’t mean you should give up on dating apps. And I hope drew doesn’t give up on Riah but she certainly hasn’t given up on love. So look out for me on Wednesday, spreading some more romantic cheer on her show. Those are the headlines for this week. But when we come back, we will be with Taylor Andrews from Cosmos Oh, get ready for some juicy talk in just a moment.


I am here with Taylor Andrew, she’s cosmopolitans, assistant editor of all their juicy dating relationships, sex and love content. Please help me give big smooches to Taylor Andrews. Hey, Joe, how’s it going? It’s going girl. First of all your articles are fire. And we have referenced them a lot on the show in the past, but you are really on the cutting edge tailor of what is happening in dating and relationships. And people are always asking me, like what is the deal with dating apps? And should we even be trying today? Is it too complicated? Now there’s woke fishing. I have to know their COVID status is dating just to complete hated right now.


Unknown Speaker  10:02  

Honestly, I would almost argue on popular opinion that right now is the best time to find someone in a relationship, if that’s what you’re looking for. And I’m going to tell you why. I think right now, people are not leading with physical like intimacy. Obviously, we’re in a pandemic, you can’t go meet someone in person, if you are, you’re meeting six feet apart, and you’re outside, it’s just different circumstances. But right now, you’re really getting a relationship, like via text message via zoom via FaceTime. And you’re communicating and talking to these people before you even add in the whole physical element. So you’re getting to know them, you’re getting to know like, what they like who they are way more in depth than you would if you were seeing them on a first date. So I would actually argue that right now is the best time to actually successfully find a solid relationship.


Damona  10:52  

You know, what I will cosign on what you just said, I actually was just talking to a former client yesterday, who is in the best relationship of her life, she met this guy two and a half months ago, in the middle of a pandemic, on a dating dating app. And she said, it’s just a totally different trajectory, like it’s unfolding in a completely different way. And she’s, you can really tell, if you are, if you’re on a date with somebody, you don’t have all the distractions of everything else that we use to get our attention or keep our attention on a date. It’s just the two of you talking and connecting, you really can’t have the other distractions. And you know, is this really the real deal or not? So she said, she’s, like, deeper in this relationship than she’s been on any other relationship before,


Unknown Speaker  11:45  

right? I mean, everyone’s on dating apps. Right? Now, if you’re single, you’re on a dating app. And actually, for cosmopolitan readers, 51% of our readers are on dating apps. So that’s like a high percentage, considering that some of our readers are also in relationships. So if you consider how many people are on dating apps, you’re going through a lot of different people, you get to fine tune and select who you want, who matches like your personality, what you’re into, I just think you’re gonna you’re getting so much opportunity right now today that you can absolutely find someone who is like, on the same level as you. And yeah, I mean, like I said, whether you’re on dating apps, because you’re bored and lonely, and you don’t have anyone to talk to you, or whether you’re actively trying to get a relationship, I completely agree with you now would be a great time to, I think, if that is what you’re looking for, to get into a relationship.


Damona  12:37  

And I do feel like, as you said earlier, there, there isn’t as much of that physical interaction with strangers. So I feel like a lot of those people have fallen off the apps. And one reason that a lot of people feel like, it’s not a great time because they don’t feel like as much is happening. Because we were we were at a an unsustainable pace of dating, I feel like before the pandemic, and I feel like something had to happen to stop that crazy cycle of like, swipe, swipe, swipe date, date, date, totally, you know, with wash, rinse, repeat. I wish it wasn’t a pandemic, of course, but it happened. But there’s so many other factors right now. Like, like, it’s 2020. Like everything that can happen, will happen. And there’s so much else that is affecting dating today. Right from race. We’ve talked at nauseam on the show about race and dating to the the election coming up. And we had your friend in mind, Michael Kay from Okay, Cupid, on the show to talk about that. What do you think do you think that people are finding are looking for the wrong? Like? Are they focused on the wrong things right now? Or is it just like that we are at a time where we have to, we have to kind of cut out the clutter and find somebody that’s totally aligned with us on so many different levels?


Unknown Speaker  14:06  

Well, it’s interesting you say that, because I’m actually currently working on an article of it’s a debate and it’s can you actually be in a relationship with someone who has opposing political views? I, I would argue, especially with the year 2020. I would argue that you can but you wouldn’t. You would be surprised by how many people believe that yes, you can be in a relationship with someone who has opposing political views. So while I do think that this year has definitely made it so that women are maybe, I don’t know not being as picky or anything just because they are lonely on dating apps, I do think if you want a successful relationship, now would be the time to like I said, fine tune and find people who agree with you and align with you on topics like race and LGBTQ policies and and everything in that regard and even more, so than Now you can do that because you are talking to them via dating apps and texting. And it’s a less intimidating conversation than asking someone in person. So how do you feel about our current administration? And what are your views about who should be the next president, etc, etc. Yeah,


Damona  15:16  

they used to say don’t talk about those things on first dates. But I almost feel like now, it’s like you must talk about these things, first dates, just just to figure out if they even meet meet the basic criteria.


Unknown Speaker  15:28  

Totally. So the


Damona  15:30  

The other thing that now we are dealing with since we are distanced from whoever we are matching with or talking to, is how to keep that chemistry and communication and flirtation going in the digital space. You have written this very hot and sexy new book, Cosmos fantasy sex games. And we’ll give everybody a little peek inside. But I think one one element that is really pertinent to our listeners is sexting. Like, yeah. What are the rules for sexting now, especially like, if you are talking to so to, essentially a stranger, someone you met on a dating app? Maybe you haven’t actually moved offline with them? Are there different rules for them versus someone that you’re already in a relationship with?


Unknown Speaker  16:20  

I think, okay, the number one thing I can say is, men, can we stop with the dick pics? I mean, right? Can we please please like, Listen to me, listen to everyone who’s been saying this for however long, the dick fix needs to stop. Unless it’s consensual. And unless the woman specifically asks to see your penis, women do not want to be surprised by a dick pic and their phone. So that’s like sexting rule number one, do not send unsolicited nude pictures to the other person. So that’s the biggest thing. As far as everything else, it really just depends on what you’re into. And what you and your partner have consensually agreed upon. So what I always like to encourage is I know people really struggle with sex either, like I just can’t figure out like what to say, I feel so awkward. I just I don’t know, I would just start if this is someone that you’ve slept with before, I would start by, you know, recounting your experience with them. So Oh, remember when you did this with me, or remember when you touched me here or remember when we were in the laundry room or whatever you’re doing, and then just start from there. It’s like retelling the story. So then it gets you started. And then the other person is seeing what you’re doing. And they can add in. And then you can start saying things like, Oh, well, wouldn’t it be so hot? If we try this next time? Or what do you think about this? So I think that’s a really easy way to transition into sexting with someone that you’ve already slept with. And in the case that you haven’t slept with someone, I always like to go for like, encourage the conversation. That’s Oh, I wish she were here. I think that that is always the way to get someone to be like, Oh, well, it piques their interest. And so we do fiber there. Exactly, exactly. It’s not you’re not being you know, super, super direct. You’re not saying let’s sex right now. It’s just Oh, I wish you were here and it gets the conversation started in a non intimidating way. It’s really easy for the other person to like, jump in into the conversation. So that would definitely be like, my starter. I mean, what do you what do you think about sexting? What, like, what are your tips?


Damona  18:29  

Well, I I’m kind of cautious about sexting, like, in terms of sensitive images. Like, look, we just saw this not that long ago with Chris, Chris. And like, you know, the dick bickered route.


Unknown Speaker  18:47  

That was an accident, like,


Damona  18:49  

I actually do, because I’ve had, I’ve had, like, I’ve had pictures that I did not intend to put, I’ve had, like, have you had this happen on Instagram, where you were like, like chatting with someone or in a store in stories, and then all of a sudden, it was like calling them I need to fix this? Because I’m like, sorry, I’m not trying to suddenly call you like, it’s just in the middle of the conversation. You’re right. So I think it could have been an accident, but I think it maybe it was a happy accident. after all. I think it’s probably for him going to enhance his life more. It’s been it’s going to hurt him. But you know, you do work for cosmopolitan, female focused female first, like, what would happen if that was a woman? It would be a completely different conversation. If you know, it’s like a teddy pic.


Unknown Speaker  19:38  

Right? I would and we’ve had celebs things like this get leaked. Um, you know, like it happens. Um, and it Yeah, I don’t know that. That’s an interesting conversation because it is like the difference between you know, he, I don’t I don’t know. It’s um,


Damona  19:58  

it’s complex, isn’t it?


Unknown Speaker  20:00  

It is I wish I had more of an opinion on it, but I just can’t even.


Unknown Speaker  20:04  

It just doesn’t happen.


Unknown Speaker  20:06  

It doesn’t. So, as far as explicit images go, I’m sure everyone was really happy to see that. But that was like, you know, that’s breaking a barrier. Even though it was accidental, you know, that’s even if you would put that into terms of like dating someone in general. Again, like I said, you should not be sending dick pics. So the fact that that happened is not not a good example.


Damona  20:30  

Yeah, cuz then you took the dick pic it What was your intent with the dick pic? That’s that’s the other question.


Unknown Speaker  20:35  

Exactly. Do you


Damona  20:36  

like what you said, Taylor, in terms of using it to build anticipation is how I would how I would phrase that like saying, Oh, I can’t wait to see you again. And really thinking of sexting as an element in for prep for thinking of sexting as an element of foreplay, and really, look giving yourself something to look forward to. And then the other thing I love about what you said, was storytelling. That’s so much of I mean, you know, the book is the fantasy sex games, it’s the fantasy, it’s telling the story of what’s going to happen. And I know, for me, I sometimes feel a little awkward, maybe, maybe it’s because of my husband’s reaction. He’s like, so uncomfortable with it. But it can be awkward, right? to, like, send that first sext and to step into the roleplay space. How you


Unknown Speaker  21:28  

gonna? Absolutely can’t and that’s normal. You know, if, if I could say anything, we actually have this segment in the book called finished the fantasy, where we set the whole fantasy up, we type we have it written out. So you just read it with your significant other, or whomever you want to sex with, or whatever. And then you finish it. So we already did all the hard work for you, we initiated the conversation, so then you just finish it.


Damona  21:53  

That is so perfect. And this is why I also help people with dating apps, like just getting started, like having the prompts or having the outline. And then once you’re in it, it’s it does feel more natural. Right. Yeah. You know what to say? Yeah, but it’s that, that anticipation and and awkwardness of just getting started that sometimes keeps people from


Unknown Speaker  22:18  



Damona  22:20  

The thing, like the thing I loved about the book is, it is so playful, and there’s so many ideas in there. Like you might read through it, and you’re like, Whoa, not that for me, but you might read some and think, oh, I’ve never thought of that. I’ve never tried that. I was like, how did Taylor get all these ideas?


Girl, you know, no, you know, I read the book. But when if you’re with a partner, some of it is just that willingness to explore and try something new, you know, especially in quarantine, we’ve been locked up. And it’s been like, same old, same old For how long? We’re all stressed out overworked. Why not? Why not? Try something new with your partner?


Unknown Speaker  23:11  

Absolutely. And I think it also goes into, you know, I don’t know, we’re speaking to women of you know, all sexual orientations. And they’re in relationships, and they’re single and whomever or, and whatever. But, um, I just think that like, quarantine is the best time to really have fun with all of this, and you’re with your partner all the time, might as well just make it fun and do something different than what your normal circumstances like, there’s no reason why you can’t have fun and go pick out a Halloween costume that’s leftover in your closet from five years ago and have a little roleplay situation with that. And and while I understand that it can be intimidating. I think it starts with you know, kind of breaking down that wall that you have that’s preventing you from you know, wanting to take that step and wanting to maybe dive a little kinkier deeper into your relationship and sex life. I think it starts with removing that barrier and removing whatever that wall is that’s preventing you from wanting to do that and then just like going for and owning your horniness and owning who you are and what you want, and getting that orgasm.


Damona  24:16  

It’s natural girl it’s natural


Unknown Speaker  24:18  

is yes.


Damona  24:20  

Yeah. And sometimes you just need to mix things up a little bit. Let’s say you’re on the other side of the conversation and your partner is the one that’s like, let’s be a little bit more adventurous. How do you get to that place where you can go like Dude, should you just go with the flow with what your partner wants to try?


Unknown Speaker  24:43  

I think that you should definitely establish beforehand hard boundaries. So anything that you’re absolutely not okay with doing. This can easily be done in something like a yes no maybe list which we actually also included in the book, but we’ve written about it countless times where you And you can print this off. Or you can do it from the book what we included, but there are a bunch of topics that we have listed and you go through with your partner and you say yes, no, or maybe. And if you would rather not do it with your partner, you just like print out a copy, and you do it yourself. And then your your partner does it. And then you compare where all of your yeses are, where all of your maybes are and where all of your nodes are, and the yeses you discuss, like, Yeah, I would be into that. So obviously, like, that’s consenting, once you have a conversation about it, you’re consenting to doing that in the bedroom. That maybe is okay, let’s talk about this. And let’s figure out like, why it’s a maybe and what would make it absolute? Yes. And then the no is a hard boundary, you’re not doing that. So I actually think a yes no, maybe list is maybe the easiest way to transition into like a super sexy thing that you haven’t brought up with your partner, or if you’re part if your partner wants to bring something up to you. But as far as you know, if your partner is just bringing something up, and as long as you don’t, like, have a hard boundary with whatever that person suggested, I say go for it and see if it’s something you’re into, the only way you’re going to know is if you try, and I think you should just completely, like get rid of an idea of, you know, like something that’s taboo and just try it, depending on what your partner brought up.


Damona  26:19  

Let’s say you get some of those maybes. And I love that you have this checklist in the book, you get a maybe I’ve also heard from listeners, how awkward it is to have conversations about sex before you’re having sex. Like whether it’s a maybe from that checklist with your existing partner, or like I’m about to have sex with this person, for the first time. How do you bridge those conversations and make them still sexy? Or should you just not even have those conversations when you’re in the bedroom? Should they happen before,


Unknown Speaker  26:49  

I do think they should always happen before the bedroom. Like I say consent is the number one thing. So I would always encourage that. But I do understand how that can be like icky, and it looks like you’re just like having a conversation about sex, which makes it so unsexy. But like I said, I think if you’re going to be having sex with someone, you should be able to feel comfortable talking about sex with them. Now, as far as when you’re in the bedroom, I I think what’s really sexy is, you know, doing something and trying something you’re into whether that’s like, I don’t know, like going down their body and saying, Oh, do you like when I touch you like this? Do you enjoy this? Does this feel good? Those types of questions that check in with your partner, make sure that you’re always doing consensual, safe sex, and that your partner is actually into it as much as you are. So I think if you are going to kind of just test the boundaries a little bit, I would always make sure to like, ask, how would you like it if I did this? And, and, you know, does this feel good. And you and that can be sexy. I mean, you’re making out with the first and you’re touching them, you’re on top, and then they’re on top of you, you know, if you just say on a super sexy voice and just let this like animalistic side of you come out that, you know, that’s asking for consent and still being sexy at the same time.


Damona  28:04  

What about when you’re in those situations, like I can remember many a time when I was single Taylor, where like, even in a situation where someone was getting consent. There’s sometimes this feeling I’m just gonna like just gonna put it out there and say it sometimes there’s this feeling, it’s like, oh, I don’t really want to do this. But it’s, it’s probably just easier to say us and like get this over with than to actually, like, end it rock the boat or just, you know, just stop the forward motion. You know what I’m saying? I don’t know if you’ve been in that situation, or if you’ve written about any situations like that before, but I think we’re in a new paradigm right now of women. Like, you know, I’m a little bit part of the old guard of like, you know, back then we just like rolled over And we took it. But now like in the conversation of consent, I think there is an element of I don’t want to say responsibility. But I think women are being called to speak up in those moments. And I love it any words of encouragement, you’re such as strong, competent woman like words of encouragement for other women that maybe are in the boat that I was in or that just find it hard to find their voice in those moments.


Unknown Speaker  29:20  

I think the biggest thing that I can say to that is that your pleasure is just as much worth it as your partner’s pleasure. So you need to really focus on what feels good to you and not so much what feels good to your partner. I think so often women are told, you know, like you mentioned, we have to lay on our backs and we have to be the one that is making sure the man orgasms or or who whomever their partner is, and and that’s that doesn’t need to be the case our orgasms are just as just as important as our partners. And so if something makes you uncomfy don’t do it You do not have to do it. There’s nothing that says like no you are in charge of a man’s orgasm because you’re not and and i think Like I said, that just goes back to women feeling like they have to please their partner, and they have to focus more on their pleasure. But no, you you deserve an orgasm just as much you need to make sure and like control that, that you are seeking just as much pleasure as you are seeking to give your partner. Okay, and then for


Damona  30:17  

our guy spies in the audience, we have a lot of male listeners actually, as well, that one, that they’re good guys tailor, they want to make things also safe and comfortable for women. Are there any tips that you can give those guys for how to create this kind of space? With a new partner?


Unknown Speaker  30:41  

Yeah, I mean, I, I’m big on communication, like I said, so I really think that a good good sex starts with communication. And I think it’s just being super open about having a conversation before you have sex about what each other is into and what you want to try, and what feels good. So I would just make sure to actively check in with your partner when you’re having sex to make sure that everything is going great. And and, yeah, I mean, I think sometimes as women we like in heterosexual relationships we like to feel taken care of, and like he’s almost in control. But I don’t think that needs to be the case all the time. So I think having those conversations beforehand can really be beneficial. So I would just tell whoever the guy listeners are that you know, be very open about what you’re interested in and wanting to please your woman and talking to her about what gets her off? Because she knows better than you do.


Damona  31:44  

Mm hmm. All right, ladies, no, no best is what they want. We just have to find her voice and speak up about it, and maybe get some new ideas. And I for one got many of them from reading Taylor’s new book, Cosmo, fantasy sex games, y’all. It’s hot, is right for the times. And there’s so much more also at cosmopolitan calm that people can read. And I just have to be you didn’t, you didn’t ask me for this feedback. But I’m just going to give it to you. I’m also a subscriber of for the for the magazine. And I have to say, Taylor, like I know you and I connected because you were looking to highlight some more voices of color. And as I was going through my Cosmo magazine last month, I was really shocked at the number of people who looked like me. And I feel like there’s really been an effort to be as inclusive as possible and to really diversify the images, not just in the content, but also in the advertising. So I just wanted to say how much I really, truly appreciate the work that cosmopolitan is doing on that front,


Unknown Speaker  32:59  

of course, and we appreciate experts like you being able to weigh in. I mean, you’ve helped so much with our content. And I hope that all your subscribers know that they can see you on Cosmo articles and be like, yeah, that’s Dimona. She’s awesome. She knows everything. So I love talking to you about the


Damona  33:15  

articles. I don’t know if I know everything, but at least I can have conversations with smart ladies like you and we can learn from one another and pass it on. So thank you so much for being here. Taylor, it was really a pleasure to have you on the show.


Unknown Speaker  33:28  

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.


Damona  33:31  

Lovers don’t go anywhere. I have your questions. But more importantly, I have your answers. Please stick around. We are back. This is dear demona. This one comes to me from a new listener. In an Instagram dm she says I’m 39 years old and I’ve been on dating apps for 13 years. girlfriend. That’s a long time. She says I haven’t been physical with someone in over three years. But someone asked me to come over Saturday night for drinks, bonfire and sex. And I’m wondering if I should just go for it. I’m worried I’ll catch feelings. Who? That got sexy real fast, didn’t it? First, I would say it’s really good that you know what your tendency is that you know that when you get intimate with someone, you can catch feelings really quickly. First, obviously COVID is happening right now. So you have to have a real way to assess someone’s risk. Like I had a conversation with a client and she was like, Yes, that’s just risk risk. And it was fine to go out on a date and I’m like, I’m not sure how you did that. Like Did you take like, like at the top of the show? Did you do a questionnaire Did you did you like get a saliva sample? Did you stick a swab up his nose? I don’t know. But you figure it out the way that works for your stay and your comfort level how you assess the risk. I think, Hey, we are all feeling the skin hunger right now. Well, not me because I, I’m touched out, I’m around people all day long. But for those of you who are single, it is no wonder that we are missing that human connection, and even just the power of touch. So men or women, there is no shame in getting your physical needs met. But if you know that the tendency for you is to put more into it, and to think more about it than what it really means, you might need to add an extra level of protection for yourself emotionally because it’s clear if this person just matched with you on a dating app. And they were just like, bam, drinks, bonfire, sex, let’s get it on. I don’t know that that is suddenly going to blossom into a more meaningful relationship. So you have to know what you’re signing up for. Now, I’ll tell you a little story. This is kind of embarrassing. I have had one and only one, one nightstand in my life. And I it’s kind of one of those things where I thought, well, everyone’s done it, and everyone should do it. So I’ll just do it and get it over with. And I have to tell you, it was honestly the worst experience of my life, there was nothing sexy about it. I felt terrible when it was over. And he, he wanted to he was really a jerk. And then he wanted to walk me to my car, and I was like, Don’t walk me to my car, I’m fine. I’m a grown woman. And then he felt really bad for being a jerk. So then he just followed me to my car to make sure that I didn’t like I don’t know, get raped or something, because then he’d feel extra bad. And I have to admit, I don’t regret a lot of my experiences. I think every experience that you have, it teaches you something and adds up to something more. So I don’t regret that it happened. But I definitely learned that for me. One Night Stand life was not it. So you might already know that about yourself. But if you feel like you can separate the intimacy and the physical connection, and the sex from the emotional part of it, and you can do it safely. I am not one to judge.


Our second question for today came from my women’s group, the dating accelerator program, this person said I met a guy on hinge a few months ago, we’ve had to socially distance dates in person and everything seemed to be going great. We both got really busy at work. But he said if we want to if we want more, we have to see each other more and talk more. I agreed. But since then he’s been distant. I set a date with him for dinner. But when I called him to make a plan he didn’t answer. And he hasn’t called since Should I try again to make this happen? Or is it over. So a lot of times we operate out of a place of assumption. And I definitely think he was trying to send you a message here that he either was angry with something that happened or didn’t feel like he was getting his needs met. And so he he might have even been saying in that conversation, he had already made the decision to move on. If we want more, we’d have to see each other more and talk more. And the other part of that sentence in his mind was, and it doesn’t seem like you can do that. So Peace out, I’m gone. And then at that point, you’re agreeing, but you’re entering from a position of needing to make things up to him and cater to his needs. Right? So I’ll just first say it might already have been too late. But in most of these situations, we also if we don’t have clarity, we need to get clarity. So yes, you should try again. And for some people, like they’re too proud to actually just speak what they are feeling and what they want. And that’s how we end up in all of these ghosting, Limbo, half assed situations, none of that for you, you’re going to say, Listen, I feel like I’ve been really distracted. And I really want to give this a chance. I’d love to see you house this weekend. Just go directly for it. Put your heart out there, put what you want out there, you’re going to get one of two responses. It will either be Oh, I didn’t know that you were really into this? Yes, I’d love to see you. And then he his competence is renewed, and he wants to invest in it further or you get crickets. And what I need you to hear is that crickets are a response. So that’s why I say you might have already gotten the response. But we if you were operating out of a place with any ambiguity, ambiguity, we can’t necessarily judge that. So now you’re going to go right for it. You’re going to say exactly what he wants to hear. You’re going to be very clear about where you See things going in the future. And then you’re going to see what he has to say about it. And then you’re going to report back to me, and the dates and make show. That’s it for today’s episode. This one is 329 of dates and mates. Yeah, you’ve got to check out Taylor’s work and cosmos, she writes all of the hottest content about sex and love and And this book is seriously, it raised my body temperature, about three or four degrees just from reading it. You can pre order Cosmos fantasy sex games, wherever you get your books, but I’ll put a special amazon link in the show notes. Disclaimer, if you order through this link, I do get a small percentage of the sale like a very, very small percentage of the sale, but I’m just trying to make it easy for you to get this book. So that’s the scoop for today’s episode. Hit me up on the socials at damona Hoffman. I’d love to know what you learned from today’s episode, or hear what your questions are for a future episode. We’ll be back again next week with more hot dates and mates content but in the meantime, make sure you watch the Drew Barrymore show I will be on this Wednesday, September 30. So check your local listings for when you can catch the show. Until next week. I wish you happy dating


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