Dear Damona: Quarantine Love Questions


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

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

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

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

Damona  0:12  

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

Unknown Speaker  1:06  

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

Damona  4:15  

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

Unknown Speaker  4:48  

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

Damona  5:44  

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

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

Unknown Speaker  12:02  

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

Damona  12:22  

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

Unknown Speaker  16:33  

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

Damona  18:23  

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

Unknown Speaker  21:40  

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

Damona  21:53  

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

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

Self Care & Sensuality


The foundation for every great relationship is understanding. Understanding how to love and how to be loved.

On today’s episode of the Dates & Mates podcast, my guest Allana Pratt – intimacy coach and host of the “Intimate Conversations” Podcast – shows us the upside to the isolation we are all experiencing right now.

Now is the time for self-discovery. And by self-discovery, we mean truly understanding how you would like your partner to show you love.

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines! 


Are 50 Cent and Jamira Haines #RelationshipGoals?

Here’s a curveball: 50 Cent is making vision boards with his girlfriend. Apparently, for 30 Days they sent each other pictures of things that they wanted and then discussed. Damona explains exactly why you should be doing this with your boo.


A scary social campaign sweeping North Africa

Sofia Taloni, a trans influencer from Morocco, is encouraging her followers to catfish and out gay men. Not only is this extremely unethical, it’s dangerous. Damona explains and breaks down what it means for us.

Damona’s NPR Relationship Tips

In case you missed it, Damona was on “It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders” on NPR. She gives you all the behind the scenes info that was cut from the final episode.


We’re not just talking love languages here. Today, we show you how to get into the nitty-gritty details of your love language.



For Allana, physical touch and cuddling are a big way to demonstrate affection. BUT it wasn’t until her boyfriend one day held her face in a very specific way did she truly understand that she felt loved.

Not only does Allana give us a game plan for achieving some much-needed self-understanding, we also discuss

  • Self Care tips for isolated singles
  • Relationship maintenance for those in close quarters with their partners
  • And how to keep it sexy when you can’t quarantine with your boo

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Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, welcome to Dates & Mates!


Damona  0:21  

one of the biggest issues in dating and relationships is intimacy. Whether you’re trying to find love virtually right now and you’re not getting enough of it, or you’re quarantine with your loved one, and maybe you’re getting too much of it. We are all struggling right now, as always, but especially in this crazy COVID world. intimacy and sex are a part of healthy relationships. But we’re not always clear on how to build and maintain intimacy in a healthy way.


Unknown Speaker  0:51  

So today,


Damona  0:52  

we are once and for all going to get clear on the intimacy timeline with one of the top experts in this field. Dr. Emily Morse of the sex with Emily podcast. I’ve listened to her show for years and now I’m delighted to welcome her finally to dates and mates. But before you get all hot and bothered, we have headlines including will dating be forever changed by COVID-19? And could jayda and Will’s relationship be in trouble plus the safest places to get your free guide on during the pandemic shutdown? And then in technically dating Emily and I will answer your questions like what to do if you and your partner have different sexual needs and how to deal with insecurities in the bedroom. All that and more on today’s very hot dates and maids This one is definitely not one to listen to in the room with the kiddos. Explicit warning, I’m saying it now it’s going to be hot but you’re going to want to hear everything that Emily and I talked about. You ready For the dates in mates,


Unknown Speaker  2:02  

let’s dish these dating dish.


Damona  2:07  

According to time dating will be permanently changed by COVID-19. A lot of people have been asking my opinion on this from NPR, you may have heard me do a couple of segments in the last few weeks. You may have read in my new column in the LA Times about this. There are a lot of people speculating about what this will mean for intimacy. So let me just take a snapshot of where I think we are right now. And I can make a guess about where I think it will go. And I’ll also tell you what some of the other experts that time interviewed said, and you can make your own determination about what you think will happen when quarantine opens up and people are able to return to some sense of normalcy. So now we’re in this place where just speaking of dating specifically, people are unable to meet face to face. So I’m hearing a couple of different things I’m hearing there are a lot of people that are really excited by the ability to make new connections without all that pressure. So many of my listeners have been timid about online dating. Well, you know, I’ve always been very bullish about it. But part of the reason is that, that awkwardness of moving offline and into the real world so it’s allowed a lot of new people to step into the space and play in the dating space and the chat space in the flirtation space and see if this could be a good avenue for them to date. So I think dating apps will continue to be on the rise. They’ve already all said that they are having a huge increase in new users and new chats, but we don’t we don’t know what that will look like when there are other avenues available for dating but I do believe it will consistently be up. Now people are having to do virtual dates, and be really clever with quarantine dates and what I love about This is that it’s causing people to be a little more mindful to slow down and also to be more creative and really get to know one another people have been obsessed we talked about love is blind on the show a few weeks ago, people have been obsessed with this idea of finding love without the confusion, I guess of what someone looks like and, and the visual seeing them face to face. But we all know like not every couple made it on love is blind. I’m not saying any spoilers or anything, but not every couple makes it. And so there’s this almost fantasy playing out where people are thinking that this is going to be the answer to unlock all of these problems in dating, that dating timelines are going to slow which you’ve heard me say on the show before and that people are going to become more mindful of who they’re having sex with the thought we talked about the other Netflix show too hot to handle recently. As well, what I think is really going to happen is that it’s, it’s we’re going to return to how it was before but we are going to have new filters in place. Like being able to do that video chat and having it not be weird. I that’s the biggest thing that I think will come away from COVID-19. With as far as dating is concerned, a lot of things that we once thought were weird, are no longer going to be weird video chat dating is not going to be weird. calling someone on the phone who you’ve never met is no longer going to be weird. It’s going to be normal again, like it once was. So I think this is a really great time, but we’re going to go through a little bit of an ebb and flow. They interviewed one of my favorite experts for this time magazine article, Helen Fisher, and she is a she’s a social scientist. She works at the Kinsey Institute. She’s studied the brain on love, and she says that thirst and hunger are not going to do And therefore, neither are the feelings of love and attachment that allow you to pass your DNA on to the next generation. So that’s what we have to remember. Like, I can get all intellectual about dating and dating plans and processes. But when it comes down to it, that drive for procreation and that drive for connection is the strongest thing in the world. That is, that is what drives everything, because we are wired to keep the human race going. And that is not going away just because of COVID-19. So there’s a lot of talk of people abstaining from sex, there was this government. I think it was a New York City slogan about you are your own safest sex partner right now, which is true and which has always been true, but people aren’t just going to forget about having sex or having connection because we had COVID-19. I think what we’re going to see if I can predict for a moment is that once the restrictions are lifted, There are going to be a couple of weird moments, like a first dance at prom, where people are like, I don’t want to be the first one to get out there and hit the dance floor like I don’t want to look weird or be the first one to make a fool of myself. So people are a little shy to enter the dance floor. And then a couple of brave people jump in, and everybody’s like, oh, there, you look cool, that looks fine. I want to do that too. And then everybody is on the dance floor, and then all of a sudden, the dance floor is gonna get really crowded. And people are going to realize that there is a risk right now in dating and making connections with people in holding hands kissing, touching other things that we’ll talk about later in the show. And I think there’s going to be a little bit of a balancing and a retraction where people are going to slow down again, and that’s where I hope we will land in this sweet spot of love and relationships. So check out this article. I’ll put it in the show notes. There was also a mention of really interesting experiment that they’re doing at you Pan. That’s sort of a love Love is blind inspired experiment where they’re trying to help people fall in love over email. During quarantine. I can’t wait to see what the results of that study are. I’m sure we will cover it on dates and mates but it is making me believe in love again. You know one couple that is love goals for life. Everybody has known of the romance between Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. And we all look to them. We see red Table Talk and we see them out together and we’re like, they’re the perfect couple. They’ve got it all. They’ve got it all. But on read Table Talk recently jayda revealed that being in quarantine has made her realize that she and will don’t really know each other anymore. They’ve grown apart to some extent and they’ve been together over 20 years. And there is this lull in the relationship where you start to almost take your partner for granted and then you look at them and you think oh How could you take your partner for granted? This is Will Smith or how could you take jayda Pinkett Smith they’re both so amazing in their own right. But I love in the show how real jayda makes the issues that she’s going through and how grounded they are to make you realize that even though we idealize their relationship, and she is saying she was even idealizing, who her partner was, we can learn so much by hearing her honest take on what’s going on. And she’s saying that in this time, it’s also an opportunity. If you’re in a relationship right now, it’s an opportunity to get to know your partner again, on a deeper level. I’ve been doing like 20 questions and playing all these fun games with my husband, and really getting to see a different side of him. I don’t feel like it’s quite at the level of what Jayla said like I don’t know him at all. But I do feel like I have learned things that maybe if we hadn’t had that time to really slow down and really bond together that I may not have taken the time to stop and ask some of these questions that I’ve had answered. So this is a great reminder for us to not be complacent in marriage or in relationships and to always try to find that spark and that ability to be curious. You know, I’m always talking about that with dating, right. Be curious about your partner. And I think that is the silver lining on all of this, not just for jayda and will but for us as well.


Turns out, a lot of people may not be satisfied in their relationships right now because according to adult friend finder, they are seeing a big surge in new users. And this is a casual dating and camping site. So actually all of the so called cheating sites are seeing a big surge and That’s a lot of people trying to escape the reality like it’s intense in there. It’s intense when you are 24 seven with somebody that you, you maybe you really have strong feelings for them or maybe you have been growing apart for a while. And this intensity is just the thing to drive the wedge between you and where you’re seeking, seeking fulfillment from other sources. But here’s the thing on Adult friend finder, they also are helping people move into like virtual sec situations. And they had to launch a new platform called Virgie. I didn’t make it that name, y’all. It’s a platform that provides a safe environment for people looking to explore orgies during COVID-19. So some of these people may be in relationships. Some may be single, but a lot of these common video chat sites that We use like zoom, did you know this, like you cannot have relations on zoom, and not that they’re peeking in on everybody’s video chats, but there is an element of them monitoring what’s happening. And so these virtual sex parties could no longer happen on zoom, and they had to find another avenue for allowing the people that come to their site to be able to do the things that they want to do. So this is just to remind you that there’s something out there for everyone and whatever your need is right now, whether it’s an emotional or an intimate need or simply a sexual need. There’s no shame in the game y’all. You can find what you’re looking for. Online. The Google machine has made anything that you want possible and animation to you at the click of a button. So I encourage you to go out there and find what you’re looking for speaking of finding what you’re looking for getting your needs met, and let’s face it speaking of sex, we have a very hot guest for you today. As I mentioned at the top of the show, one of my inspirations Dr. Emily Morse will be joining me in just a moment, she’s going to tell us everything we need to know about building intimacy from first time sex and consent, all the way to reigniting the passion in a long term relationship. So if you’ve ever asked after what date Should I sleep with him? Does this sex mean the same thing to her as it means to me? am I even doing this right? Then this is the episode for you don’t go anywhere. Dr. Emily Morris is coming up in just


Unknown Speaker  13:49  

a moment.


Unknown Speaker  13:57  

We are back and I am here


Damona  13:59  

with the One and only Dr. Emily Morris. She has a PhD of human sexuality and she is the powerhouse behind one of my favorite podcasts sex with Emily. Please, please, please put your lips together give big smooches to Dr. Emily Morris. Hello.


Unknown Speaker  14:19  

Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.


Damona  14:22  

I am so glad to have you here. People have questions and like, I can only take them so far. But you can take them all the way. Emily, wave ready to go. And I will just talk first about your mission with sex with Emily. You talk about make wanting to make sex. Easy to talk about and yeah, so it’s so listable and like topics that a lot of people are sort of


Unknown Speaker  14:45  

sensitive about


Damona  14:47  

you make it just you just bring down the walls and make it so simple.


Unknown Speaker  14:51  

Exactly. I mean, that’s my main mission is because most of us are not comfortable talking about sex because we don’t have any great models for it. Our parents weren’t Talking about it most likely our friends weren’t talking about it. We have a lot of shame around it. We think love is good girls don’t talk about sex and and you know, then what is it? What What message Am I sending if I talk about sex, so there’s just, there’s just a way that I want people to feel more, you know,


Damona  15:18  

take away the shame and the and the stigma around it and just make it comfortable. Because really, when we’re sexually healthy, we’re healthy overall, it contributes to a healthy lifestyle overall. So I just try to get people to understand that that’s, it’s something that we need to do to have an overall healthy life get comfortable talking about sex, and then that actually improves our sex life. Absolutely. And so many of our listeners realize that it’s an important part of a relationship and many of them are single right now and wishing for that right relationship. So I want to talk a little bit about building intimacy through the different phases. Let’s begin at the beginning with the people that are just starting like let’s say COVID aside, quarantine aside, they are just beginning new relationships and beginning to be intimate one.


Unknown Speaker  16:04  

So this there are actually like for some say it’s five, there’s about four stages of intimacy that we talked about in relationships. And the first one is the infatuation phase. This is the honeymoon phase, the phase that we all crave. And we want to we always, are always trying to get back to this phase. And this is when we first meet someone and we just think, Wow, this person is so perfect for me. everything lines up. It’s like, like, we’re so alike. It’s sort of the infatuation stage and the kind of the diffusion stage. And it’s sort of like and there’s also a powerful like, neurochemical thing going on in our brains where we feel like a kind of altered state of consciousness going on. And it’s sort of like they look at the brainwave patterns of, of people like falling in love, and they’re like, God, it looks like either they’re in love or they do some kind of drugs because it’s very similar, right? It’s a very similar pairing, and there’s a good feeling of euphoria and connection. So that’s like the first stage that we just were like, wow, we are so fused. Everything is just this person is my everything.


Unknown Speaker  17:07  



Damona  17:08  

So then we move past that because I’ve had like, they’re my listeners are tired of me saying this so much, but there’s no such thing as love at first sight. Like there’s lust at first sight.


Unknown Speaker  17:18  

I say that too. I’m like you not love it is lost and that is totally fine. Lust happens, but you are not in love.


Unknown Speaker  17:27  

Okay, so how, how can we move on to love what’s the next stage they might Okay,


Unknown Speaker  17:32  

the next stage is the conflict and the power struggle.


Unknown Speaker  17:36  

This is when you have your first fight.


Unknown Speaker  17:39  

This is when you think, oh, like how do I differentiate myself from my partner? Like, maybe we’re not so much alike. You know, we struggle to exert like our individuality in a relationship. And there’s like conflict and you’re like, how can there be conflict in paradise? I didn’t realize, but that is the second stage. And that’s kind of where You know, people kind of last through this stage because some do. But the third stage, if you want me to skip to that that’s adjustment we call the adjustment and consolidation. And that’s where couples end up. This is where couples end the relationship. This is where divorce happens. This is where drugs addictions happen, people start drinking more. And a lot of people don’t get through these stages, it becomes a lot uglier. In this stage. We think Oh, wow. Like I remember the first stage. We’re like, Oh, my God, we are so perfect together. Everything’s amazing. And this is the stage where we’re like, there’s nothing we are nothing alike. And what am I going to do with each other?


Damona  18:34  

I’m sure a lot of people are feeling that right now.


Unknown Speaker  18:36  

Exactly, exactly. If this is the stage, we crave to get back to stage one. But I think a lot of people are in this stage right now. They might never have seen themselves going into this stage but because maybe we’re quarantined with somebody, and there’s so much strife and there’s we don’t have the conflict resolution skills to get us past the stages is is really where people are, are stuck right? And so I urge people to, you know, to kind of take a beat and realize that we’ve never been in this place before. And there’s like a, there’s an anxiety level that’s like in the ether in the universe right now we’re sort of all experiencing it from every angle, at work and at home and just the consciousness of everyone is sort of a heightened state of unknown anxiety, confusion. And then you put on top of that the person that has to be your most comfort in your joy. Now they’re giving you some strife, it feels like so I just, I mean, I recommend people reaching out and using their resources. I’m a huge fan of therapy. And I think that right now, there’s a lot of therapists I’d say the majority of them are offering online therapy and online coaching right now. And just know that it’s okay. You don’t have to solve it on your own because it’s this kind of language and dialogue that you have with your partner that’s gotten you here. So you’re going to need someone else you’re going to need some more tools from the outside to help you and it’s totally okay. Just like we hire a coach for work, a business coach, a trainer to get in shape a nutritionist, you might need one for your relationship right now. Absolutely. I totally believe in that if you’re single, like, same thing, we agree on the right therapy right now. Right?


Damona  20:14  

Right. So what’s on the other side of that Emily? solve the conflicts. Right.


Unknown Speaker  20:18  

Okay. So, um, the conflict, right? And, and when you get to this is the stage where this is the maturation stage where you mature, you have learned to differentiate, and this is true intimacy, like you’ve worked through your deepest wounds, you have really figured out, you know, who you are, you’ve gone to the dark places of intimacy as you shared it with your partner. And this is the stage where you say, Wow, we are nothing alike. And that’s beautiful. We are nothing alike. And that’s why we work because we support each other. We come together with these beautiful skills. And we’ve, we’ve, we’ve matured together, we’ve grown it and again, this doesn’t mean that you’ve been together 25 years. This could happen quickly. I mean, this can happen over a year this year. You know, it typically won’t happen in less than a year. But it depends how much work you’ve done individually coming together as well. The comments have you grown? How much have you looked at your past? wounds your childhood, your past relationships? have you dealt with abuse and trauma and anger? And, you know, there’s always work to do, but how much and how much are you both willing to work? Like, sometimes there’s one person who, who’s so into growth mindset and growing together and there’s someone’s like, no, we’re fine. I everything I’ve done is fine. I need to work and grow. I’m really good here. And that’s, that’s tough. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  21:34  

one person wants to grow and another person does not.


Damona  21:37  

Yeah, absolutely. You both have to be on the same page. And it’s also I would, I would add into the mix, you have to also be able to trust one another. And that’s, and I know that’s an element of all the work that you do, like if you are going to be intimate with someone whether it’s emotionally intimate or sexually intimate. There’s a level of trust you have to build when you say


Unknown Speaker  21:57  

absolutely, I mean, that’s the other thing is that you’ve built trust. See, I just kind of ran through those like quickly, but it’s like you. Yes, I mean trust is. Trust is something that you when you have it you have in your relationship and you don’t really think about it because it’s there. But once trust is broken in a relationship, it can be really difficult to heal, especially on your own. And the couples who like I hear from couples all the time, who say or it’s one person who says, well, but partner cheated on me and it’s been rough ever since. But I should be over it already. Or then the or the person who did the cheating says to me, why isn’t my partner over? And it’s like, well, what work have you done? Just saying I’m sorry, doesn’t gonna do it, or just because years or has passed, those wounds are still there. So you have to sort of rebuild, but you have to do that together. And again, I believe that can best be done in therapy. And it’s very hard to rebuild trust on your own. But yeah, trust is huge. That’s a big part of intimacy is couples like, like having trust, having integrity in the relationship. You know, broke broke through. It’s messy. They broken things down. They’ve rebuilt them. And they’ve they’ve stayed together and, and only like they say like only 5% of couples get to that that last stage of intimacy that really get there and really do it. Yeah. I mean,


Unknown Speaker  23:11  

I’m hoping I’m their girl.


Damona  23:14  

Living the dream, living the dream, but like, I want to go back for the listeners that are still single. When you’re building trust with someone new, that’s really, really hard. And a lot of times I get the question about when to be intimate with someone when to have sex. And then how do you even talk like, should you talk about it before you have sex? What’s the a DA, being? Sexy?


Unknown Speaker  23:40  

It’s a great question. I mean, I do believe that. That in order for us to be in a sexually healthy relationship with to be if we’re going to be having sex with someone, we have to be comfortable talking about it. The problem is where we’re at today in 2020s, that most people no matter what their age are, their their their backgrounds, their everything. They will not come through with it. We don’t have models. We don’t have people have done it. But I do believe and I do know this, the couples who are the healthiest and have the best sex lives are able to talk about it. And so I think before you talk about your before you have sex somewhat with someone how great to just say like, how important is sex to you in the relationship? You know, what kind of things are you into? I actually you could say I, it’s something that I’ve been on a journey to figuring out or getting comfortable talking about sex. I don’t have a lot of experience with talking about sex, but I know that it’s important. So would you be willing to be a partner that could talk about it with me, we could talk about what we like and what we’re into and what we don’t like or if we’ve never done this a we can figure it out together. But I know that sex is a really important part of a relationship. And I think, yeah, I mean, I think the sooner we talk about it, the better especially after you start having sex with someone. I don’t believe in this. Let’s wait a few months while it’s still really great. Cuz that’s when you should talk about it. Maybe just talk about how great it is or the things that you really liked about it. But it’s fun. Because we’re in relationships, and we’ll talk about like, we go to a movie, and we’ll talk about how much we liked the movie will have gone to dinner and we’ll say like, wasn’t a delicious meal. Well, yeah. didn’t love the appetizers. But I really enjoyed the, the main course. Well, we I don’t know if I’d go back there again. But sex we just like, we have the sex, and then it’s over. And then we don’t ever talk about it. And then no one knows


Unknown Speaker  25:20  

how it went.


Unknown Speaker  25:23  



Unknown Speaker  25:25  

Like, were we in a different, like, read a different thing here. We read different movies where we had a different,


Damona  25:30  

but a lot of times people are in different movies when they’re there.


Unknown Speaker  25:33  



Unknown Speaker  25:35  

thought that’s great. And the other is like, this is terrible. I don’t want to do this again. We’re sex in


Unknown Speaker  25:39  

my life. Exactly. So how great to be able to talk about it and a lot of my show. It’s funny. People hear the name sex with me. They think Oh, God, I don’t know if I’m ready for that. And I have to tell you that most of what I talk about is getting people comfortable communicating about it. I always say communication is a lubrication. And the more that we talk about taxi, we get comfortable with sex the much better stuff We’re going to have but it’s just getting to that place of, of breaking down the walls together and saying, like, I know this is awkward, but I really think it’s I know that it’s going to help us. So yeah, kind of talking about what your greatest memories are together, like, give her if it’s new thing, like, let’s talk about what did you like about last night and you don’t have to get into what you didn’t like yet because I have a whole process for that. But maybe to start off by complimenting your parents, and God, I really enjoyed the way you kissed my neck. When you kissed my neck, I felt these things run through my body that I haven’t felt in forever. And just affirming. So they know because maybe there was other things that you didn’t like, the let’s lead with the positive. I think we all like to hear the things that you do well, so that’s kind of like for early stage of relationships. I’ve other practices for the stuff we don’t like but I think just really enforcing reinforcing things that went well is harmful.


Damona  26:52  

I want to get into how you talk about this stuff if you don’t like and you have some questions actually in the next segment about that.


Unknown Speaker  26:57  

But consent comes up A lot


Damona  27:00  

for my listeners that are dating and just beginning to have sex. You know, Emily, I’m just going to ask you, I had a conversation off air with another with a male dating coach. I know. And we were talking about consent, and he was talking about like sexy ways that guys can ask for consent. And then he said, I don’t believe in asking for consent for a kiss. And I was like, Well, now we’re like, separating the process of intimacy. I want to get your take on that.


Unknown Speaker  27:30  

Well, I believe that there’s a really I think that in this day and age, there’s that Yeah, ask for consent for case i think i think there’s ways that you could do it. That’s really consensual. That’s really like, consensually, it’s positive. Again, consensual comes off as consensual, not offensive and kind of sexy. So you could just say I


Unknown Speaker  27:52  

What about just like, I’d really like to kiss you right now. Yeah, I can’t stop thinking about kissing you. Would you Be open i mean i’m really thinking about I can’t stop thinking about kissing you Would that be okay? How would you feel about that? And like looking at someone in their eyes and saying like,


Unknown Speaker  28:10  

like that’s the way it’s not like


Unknown Speaker  28:11  

I would you mind if I kissed you right now like it’s all it’s all energy yeah I think saying like you know I would really like to kiss you right now how how does that feel to you it’s just a really honest Looking in their eyes you feel seen and maybe you don’t want to but I’ve had guys say that to me. And even though it was really sweet I’m like, oh God, thank you for letting me know that. I’m not feeling that right now but I so I let’s keep talking I’ll let you know if I if that if my position on that changes. You know,


Unknown Speaker  28:42  

I’m glad that you can be so honest about that moment. I think a lot of women feel bad saying no to a case or even saying no to sex.


Unknown Speaker  28:54  

You’re such a good point here. Yeah,


Damona  28:56  

I hate that. We we don’t even you know, we we’re kind of Meaning that we are supposed to be polite, like, how can we get that kind of


Unknown Speaker  29:04  

confidence? Right to Mona like, this is the thing is that people is that. So I’ve talked about this a lot on my show. My show as well is that so many women we just have like we just say yes, because it’s so much easier than saying no, like I always I did a speech once. I was like, how many of you have just had sex? Because it was easier than saying now like, how many of you like given that blow job because you’re like,


Unknown Speaker  29:27  

raising my hand.


Unknown Speaker  29:29  

Same thing, and it’s like, why is it so hard? And I think it’s because we don’t we’re pleasers. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We don’t want to come off as prude. We don’t want to come off as we don’t want to deal with conflict. And so it’s like, and I love that we’re having this conversation because I think it’s like first off for some women. They’re like, Oh, I can say no, like literally they don’t know they can say no. Well, the person already came to my room. I’ve already invited him to my home or we’re already on a date and they bought me a nice dinner and donate. Oh, oh them. You don’t know what else You don’t owe anybody anything but your real truth and your real honesty said in the most, in the kindest way possible in the most like, me doesn’t have to be kind of someone’s being aggressive. But I would, I would, I’ve learned that there’s nuances that to it, and I think of how to say no. And so. So usually what’s happened perhaps, historically, is that and this is sort of a somatic practice. As a medic therapy practice, I’m a trained somatic sex therapist as well. And what I mean by somatic is, is it being in your body, so embodied and really paying attention to when someone comes towards you, or someone’s touching you? How does it make you feel? And so what happens is so So an example would be, let’s say, someone and we probably had this experience where perhaps they just escalated a little bit too quickly. Like maybe the kiss happened. Like, I’ll give you the example of the kiss I just use so maybe someone tried to kiss me. I just I’ve had guys say, like, should we just kiss right now and get over it? And I’m like, no. No, not right now. But just because I say no doesn’t mean that maybe we truly could revisit this later. Or maybe Okay, so no better example that’s maybe more relatable to people is say you start making out with someone, and it’s getting hot and heavy, and then they start to put their hand on your pants. And it’s not like you wouldn’t want that. Eventually, maybe in an hour, maybe next time I see you, maybe in a month from now. But sometimes the whole it shuts out. We just wanted to what we really wanted that moment was just keep making out. We loved making out with this person. And so so so my experience be getting in touch and feeling like, Oh, I felt me get tense right now I’m not ready for that. And then being able to have the word say, put your hand on their, you know, on their hand and say, I’m not feeling that right now. But I’m really enjoying making out with you. So let’s keep doing that. Or I need to take a beat for a moment. Can we just pause on that for a second? I’m so loved loving getting to know you right now. So that signals to them I’m not saying gay. Go home, get in your car leave my house. I’m saying this is escalating beyond where I want it to go right now. And I’m sort of enjoying the arousal process of getting to know you the kissing. And I think we will often either just think we got to shut it down or we got to keep going. And we don’t realize that there’s a nuance to the process of arousal because most men if we’re talking about heterosexual relationships, for example, men escalate quicker than women. Men get aroused and turned on they have more of a responsive desire they respond to things happening in the moment or women or women are more responsive like we need things to build where men are spontaneous, they get aroused a lot quicker. Women are slow cookers and men are frying pan. So literally in that same moment of making out there ready to go to third base to us little tournament. We’re like no, I love getting to know your lips. So sad. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  32:53  

yeah. And I love how you keep


Damona  32:54  

reiterating what it is that you like and even when you are giving a credit direction or a reset of the energy. It’s still with a reminder that you like where you are what


Unknown Speaker  33:08  

if you just


Unknown Speaker  33:10  

don’t you’re not feeling it at all and you need to send a very Okay,


Unknown Speaker  33:13  

great distinction so I think if you’re not feeling it you just stop and you say and this happened to me very recently.


Unknown Speaker  33:20  

Tell us about it.


Unknown Speaker  33:21  

Oh god you guys I’m telling you this is this work is not it’s not like I’m a pro at it I just in the moment sometimes it’s still always a little bit uncomfortable because you feel bad and all those things come up. I’m just telling you ways to do it that are you know, that are a little more that feel good to everybody involved. So I had to say I we were going to make no for round and I thought I’m not feeling this guy anymore. It’s just it. I had already had some hesitations. And I just stopped and I looked him I said, you know, what, can we slow down for a second? And I said, I I gotta tell you, I so love spending time with you. But but but in this moment, right now, I’m feeling like we got to just kind of take a pause. And can we just get up and just kind of go back to my living room. Just kind of chat and then we move down he was it okay. Okay, I said Listen, I’ve just so I have a lot of things happening in my life right now. And this is all true. And I just said I I’m not feeling like I’m in a place to be really physical with you right now but I’ve so enjoyed our time and let’s just do need a glass of water and let’s talk and I was just, I was working through in the moment as well because I’ve learned that if I am not fully on board and my whole body’s out of hell, yes, I can it’s a violation to who I am as a woman as myself. I can’t keep going so I had to say it but I’m saying can be clunky and I feel bad but then I’m he got it though it is it okay. Like I understand you. Let’s talk. I wasn’t saying get the hell out. I wasn’t I was like, let me explain my process. So


Unknown Speaker  34:41  

yeah, the other thing that you did


Damona  34:42  

that’s really great is you really stayed in the moment like I’m always telling my listeners not to get ahead of themselves, like you weren’t, like, This guy has to get out right now because I don’t know where this is going. You just are like right now this doesn’t feel right to me. And so I’m just going to react to this moment. Exactly, yeah. And that’s a lot of pressure off yourself, right? Because when you’re when you start thinking about, like, what happened before what happened after I mean, that’s another thing like people that have had sex before that realize they don’t want to have sex with someone again, it’s kind of like you were saying earlier, there’s this feeling like, well, if we’ve already had sex, we might as well just have sex again. Now, right, you always have a chance to choose right?


Unknown Speaker  35:21  

Every you have a chance to choose in every moment and with every relationship and with every encounter, to be to, to to change your mind. And when we’re present. So what we’re talking about is when we go into an experience like that, where we’re like, I gotta get out, we go into fight or flight. And we go into the future in the past. We don’t make great decisions for ourselves. So to say, we’ll say like, go back to right now in this moment, I am not feeling it. We have totally we have agency over that and you don’t owe anybody anything. You don’t owe anybody another kiss, another sex another date, like really don’t and I think that is women. This is just like we’re breaking, you know, so many years of this stigma and this feeling that women just have to and we owe it to men, and we just don’t We don’t, and we could take care of ourselves and it’s our bodies, our choices, and all those things are really real. And I think the more that we do that in every situation, we’re going to be just so much, so much better set up for our relationship that we can teach our daughters or nieces or the women in our life. How to do that as well.


Unknown Speaker  36:17  

Yeah, paradigm. It is. Thank you for reiterating that. Okay, I want to go back, you said that you had some tips in case you you need to give someone some


Unknown Speaker  36:32  

constructive criticism. Yes. How do we do that?


Unknown Speaker  36:36  

Okay, I love the compliment sandwich. So, do you want to give me an example of something you might want to correct? It can be from your life damona or anywhere else? Like what would be something that you might want to give feedback or that you’ve heard from your listeners? Oh, I don’t like the way.


Damona  36:50  

Is there anything? Actually I did get a DM when I was asking for questions about a woman who said she has trouble climaxing during oral sex


Unknown Speaker  37:01  

with boyfriend. All right. So that is such a common a common thing. So I, so well that’s, that’s interesting because so what she might be saying is,


Unknown Speaker  37:12  

Okay, here we go. So she’d say babe, sweetie, okay, here’s my first step


Unknown Speaker  37:17  

outside the bedroom. Number one, you do not have the conversations about what you’d like to change, or giving feedback to your partner in the bedroom after a sex act. Because we’re in a heightened state of arousal. Maybe we’ve just we’re connected where I like the bedrooms. I like that for sleeping and for sex. But when we’re gonna have a conversation about our sex life, do it when you are in an environment where you’re kind of chilling, you keep it light, maybe you’ve just had a drink, you’re at dinner, you’re going for a walk. I love walking and having conversations on a road trip because these conversations can be so awkward and uncomfortable at first. You don’t have to make eye contact if you’re driving your car like okay, babe, I think we should talk about our sex like that. That concept


Unknown Speaker  38:01  

is the environment for any conflict IV.


Unknown Speaker  38:04  

any conflict, get in the car time to walk the dog with you again. So then so then you say okay, so I realized that I want to talk to you about I’ve been thinking about our sex life. This is the compliment sandwich. And, and you start with something you love. I think that it’s been lately the way you’ve been. The way it’s been a lot slower lately. And I love the way you’ve been like making out and that thing you did with your tongue and my on my neck or my ear felt so good. Like, I feel like we’ve really been, you know, connecting lately in that way. And I realized that when you go down on me it is so it’s like my favorite thing. It’s so hot. I get really aroused. And lately I haven’t been able to orgasm. I was thinking that perhaps if we took a little bit more time with it, and I could have a few more. You know, sometimes I feel guilty because I feel like I’m taking too much time. And I feel like if we He just kind of settle in, I knew that you were kind of into it as well that I would definitely have the most explosive orgasms, and then the last piece of the bread would be, and I know that when I’m really turned on and having orgasms, it just makes me want to have sex every day. He


Unknown Speaker  39:15  

want and that’s what he wants. He never wants


Unknown Speaker  39:18  

  1. So I mean, that was a lot. You know, that was. That was I was also answering the A common question that women have about why can I orgasm during oral sex? And typically, it’s because women are, well, we can sum up the compliment sandwich first and I’ll get into oral like, but typically you want to be very positive. You want to stay curious. You don’t want to be accusatory or blame I’ve told you so many times to go down. I mean more, why doesn’t this happen? Because the second you do that they’re just out the door. So really, it’s just here’s what I love. Here’s why this would be great in a suggestion and then ending with like, the reason why it’s great for both of you is my best tip.


Damona  39:53  

I love that. I love the compliment sandwich. I have so many questions Emily. I would love to just keep on talking You feel like questions, but so many people have submitted their questions. So I’m gonna roll on into our next segment. Do you have questions and Emily and I have answers. So now it’s time for your favorite segment. And I just want to remind everybody, these are going to be a little bit more R rated than usual. But Emily, I’m sure these are no biggie for you. You got it? Yeah, no questions like this all the time. Our first one comes to us from Katie from Canada. She says, My husband needs a few days between sex sessions, or he can’t get hard. Is this normal? And just to give you a little bit more background, because I followed up with her She said she’s 31 He’s 37. She’s never noticed the refractory time before, but since the quarantine she’s noticed that if she tries to initiate again that day or days following it doesn’t lead anywhere or he’s not able to and that feels like a long time.


Unknown Speaker  41:00  

Okay, got it? That’s that’s a great question. And I love that she gave me his age because when people email me their questions, it’s really important to people’s age and to know where they’re at So, so, if you’re 37 if he’s 37 so here’s what I think the refractory time for men meaning the time it takes for them to be able to have sex again after they ejaculate. You know, when you’re younger men can kind of keep going. And when they get a little bit older, it can be challenging, but 37 is still young, typically, men start to see challenges around erections. And around in their 40s is when there’s a drop in testosterone. And so what I would think what my first hit from this is that what the first thing is, it could be medical, it could be testosterone drop, it could be if he’s taking any medications, the first thing to look at is as you change anything at all, is he drinking more? Is he on a medication, there’s a lot of medications that actually impact our ability to get to have an erection to have an orgasm. So that’s what we got to look at a lot anything medical, and then we take away all of that. Listen We are in a time of tremendous stress and anxiety, which already before quarantine is the number one killer of our sex drive. When we are stressed, and we are anxious, especially men, I find this in men more than women, when men are concerned about money, their job, something happening, their ability to be in the masculine and take care of the family like that really has an impact on their desire. And so I don’t know that you should be concerned. But I think that maybe I would tell Katie to go a little bit deeper. And just like how I said, to have the conversation about sex in a neutral environment, the same thing goes for this kind of thing. Just say, I’ve been thinking about you. And I know you said it’s gonna take a few days is it you know, tell me about how you feel? Is there anything we could do? You’re doing in a way to help that like, I can’t believe it, you’re not getting turned on because a lot of times what women we do is we think oh, he’s not attracted to me anymore. Something’s wrong with me. Or, you know, and just being like, supportive and saying like, well, let’s take a look at it. Let’s take a look at like your medication, or do you think it could be something stressful Something I could do to help you more like relax right now because a couple days is a long time, like in the sense of like, I’m sure he could still get turned on but I feel like there he might just have other things on his mind right now is what is what I’m thinking. Yeah,


Damona  43:14  

I’ve been hearing that couples in quarantine together are actually having more sex right now. So I wonder also if she’s been like, does this


Unknown Speaker  43:23  

I don’t know that you’re hearing everything Okay, so I’m hearing that there’s some couples who are like, Oh my god, it’s so great. We’re both home now. I’m not traveling as much for work and we’re just having this time that we’ve always craved. other couples are like, I’m going to there’s nothing sexy about living in this one bedroom apartment and I’ll be doing and staring each other and that is not hot. Because something about you becoming one of candles eroticism when you don’t have the surprise and the mystery in the spotlight at all that is just washed away with this quarantine. So I actually, I don’t want to put any more pressure on everyone. Like I think it’s different across the board. But but maybe Yeah, maybe Katie’s feeling like she wants it more because maybe he’s been away a lot now. Homework. And maybe he’s trying to figure out how to work at home. And how do I make sense of this all. And he’s just really stressed and is more distracted right now. And so maybe creating a space for them and their relationship where they can separate from work and creating a time where they’re scheduling sex, which is one of my best tips for couples always and right now to say, I know that we’re having sex these three days this week, so you’re not one of you isn’t feeling like you’re always rejecting their partner, or someone wants it more than the other. But when you can plan it, and you know, like sex is happening eight o’clock on Saturday, you can kind of start to look forward to it. You can get ready, you can shower, you can shave what you can like, talk about the things you want to do. And then that becomes your activity that you’re both going to share and it works better for for both usually.


Damona  44:43  

Yeah, and what else do we have to do right now? Exactly right. I’m all about the date night so I had to make a date night appointment with my husband like after the kids go to bed. Saturday night, your mind. Now he knows this. He knows what’s coming. Okay. We talked about women and oral sex but from the other side This question comes to us from Ashley on Instagram. She says, My boyfriend can’t climax from a blow job trying to deal with my ego thinking it’s just me any tips?


Unknown Speaker  45:17  

Great question, Ashley. I hear this all the time. First off, it is not you I wish I could just talk to the collective conscious of women and be like most of the things that are happening with your boyfriend’s your partner’s penis has nothing to do with you. It’s very common that men cannot orgasm from blowjob and and so it could be a lot of reasons it could be the way he masturbates. It could be the way he’s holding his penis. It could be because he’s watching a lot of porn. And it is harder for him to masturbate with with a mouse there is. Now also I want to say yeah, maybe there’s something else that he wants sexually. And you’re allowed to say to him God, I really love performing oral on you. I’d love to know your best tips of how I can make it the best blow job ever. But I wouldn’t ask him in the moment, I would say I’m going to or I would say I want to start asking your next time when you show me what you love because I want to be your best ever. You could do that as well, Ashley but there are I’m hearing this more and more lately that there’s just a lot of men who just aren’t orgasming from blowjobs and I just I’ve always heard it but something lately and I have a hunch it has to do with porn. Because I believe that men are watching so much that’s a whole nother show. We could do more and watching But yeah, I do believe that I’m not like anti porn by any means I get that it serves its purpose. But when we have one way of holding ourselves and one way of generating pleasing ourselves, it can be challenging to bring anyone else into the mix even if she’s like a you know, expert porn star, whatever like doesn’t for a living, it can still be challenging. So best take your ego out of it and just get some healthy communication with your partner.


Unknown Speaker  46:53  

That’s great advice, Emily.


Damona  46:55  

Okay, this one is another Instagram question from Shannon. She says, what does it mean when your new boyfriend goes limp when you get on top of them? He says he’s had this problem in his last relationships, too. He can function in other positions, but he climaxes quickly.


Unknown Speaker  47:15  

Okay, Shannon, this is a great question too. It’s like, I wish we knew her age, but I’m telling you, it sounds like she might be a little bit. I don’t know, younger. I don’t know why I have this sense. But I feel that men have penis challenges, trust him that he has that trust that it’s happened in his past relationship.


Unknown Speaker  47:33  



Unknown Speaker  47:36  

when you get on top of him,


Unknown Speaker  47:40  

I mean, okay, so most of the challenges that men face with their penis have to do with anxiety and has to do with things that have happened in a situation that’s happened in the past. And all men want to do is perform. They want to be great lovers. They want to stay at heart and they want to keep going. But sometimes if things have happened in the past, it even only takes one time. We’re like, Oh, no, I’m going to get soft and this isn’t, you know, this, this, this keeps happening over and over again. And then they are they’re reinforcing it and their behavior. It’s a what it means is I think again, you have to kind of understand what kind of like what positions, he functions in other positions, but he climaxes quickly does he climax. So what I’m hearing then is that in every position, he climax quickly, but then when you get on top, he gets soft. So it’s just it’s almost like you’re having, these are challenges that you’re having. And


Unknown Speaker  48:33  

yeah, and that’s her favorite position. She was saying that’s the that’s the position that she can come in most easily. But he can’t perform in that can perform that


Unknown Speaker  48:44  

way. Well, here’s the other thing I want to say is what I believe that if he gets limp, he can probably he can get harder again. So what we have to do when our partners get limp is not freaked out and not ended just because they’re like, Oh my god, I can’t believe it. You could be like it’s okay baby and then you could go down And again, you can start to touch him, you can use some lube, you can like, get him hard again, because just because he got soft, doesn’t mean that it can’t come back and again in a moment, but it’s the both of you that collective, he’s going, I didn’t say that often you’re like, he’s not hard, and then it becomes a thing, but just be like, it’s okay, babe. And then you could kind of work around, make out again, do some other things. And I guarantee you, he’s going to get hard again. I mean, I’ll come back. And that’s a training thing, and then you get back on top of them. And then if it happens, again, you go back down again. And I think once you both realize that he can get hard again, it’s gonna be able to come back. This is what I’ve experienced with with people, it’s just a matter of retraining, what what means sex is over what means you know what I mean? So I think baby does have experience with that position. And he really think the reason why he’s getting soft is because I think he probably really wants to be there and deliver and he just can’t. So it’s kind of retraining. It’s almost like creating new neural pathways in the brain. That’s what it’s about.


Damona  49:56  

Knowing Yes, well, and it sounds like this relationship is knew, but I often hear from people in long term relationships that they want to try new things or they get to this Roadblock, and they don’t really know how to take things in a different direction. What do you say to that?


Unknown Speaker  50:15  

Oh, it’s it’s a great question because that is so common that couples are like, what what do we do? What where do we go? We’ve got


Damona  50:19  

our friend Emily.


Unknown Speaker  50:21  

Exactly. I was gonna say, Come on, girl. It’s okay. But the first thing is, is communicating about it and saying what? I think we can both agree that we want to be the greatest lovers to each other ever. And I love all these things about relationship but there’s I feel like there’s so much more that we don’t even know we’ve been together so long would you can we can we make this our thing right now? Can we figure out what would be super hot for both of us? And a great place to start is you each talk about maybe you will share the most memorable time you’ve had sex like what is the top three moments for you? Like it could be like something that happened or position or glance or a look? And then just by you explaining that And then your partner coming back to you and saying his times, there’s so much detail. There’s so much information just in those moments like, like, the most memorable time could be, you know, when you guys were on vacation, and oftentimes on vacation because there’s no distractions, and maybe you were in a hotel room, and then all of a sudden, like someone else walked in and saw you. And then you’re like, Okay, well, there was no distractions, the window was open, and then someone else walked in. So there was like, the element of surprise, or maybe voyeurism. Or maybe it was it was going really slow. And he was slowly it was the way that he slowly addressed you. Or maybe you had a blindfold on. I mean, there’s intelligence in these in these moments. So I think once we find out these are the things that that worked, and why you like them, and then your partner would share the same things and you can say, Okay, well, let’s do more of that. So that’s a great place to start. Another thing is just to get smart together and a lot of couples Listen, I’ve found over the years I’ve been doing this for 15 years. The podcasts a lot of couples listen together to my show. And they’re like, Oh, well Emily says this and, you know, use me like, I don’t care if people blame me and they’re like, well, like you can stop and be like, what do you think about us trying watching porn together or buying some sex toys together? That is mostly what we’re missing. It’s not that we don’t love our partner, but we’re missing novelty. We’re missing something new and different. So it’s like toys, getting ideas, research, reading a book together, listening to my show, just finding new ways to connect. You know, it could just be even outside the bedroom, like our same bedroom over day over day can get boring. Everything does after a while,


Damona  52:36  

especially sex. Thank you for those tips. I’ll be sure to pass them on to my friend. This was awesome. Thank you so much for joining me Emily. I’m so glad to have you on dates and maybe


Unknown Speaker  52:47  

you for having me. I’m so honored. And


Damona  52:52  

y’all you got to get listening to the sex with Emily podcast or check her out on Sirius XM stars channel 109. She’s on every day. You can find her on your favorite podcast platform. And hey, like she said, you can use the podcast as a jumping off point for your next sex talk. Thanks so much for being here.


Unknown Speaker  53:11  

Thank you for having me.


Damona  53:13  

We have made it through Episode 308 of dates and mates. I actually did an interview on Emily’s podcast too, and I’ll put a link in the show notes or you can join Patreon, where I’m adding the cliffsnotes versions of all of my media interviews and podcasts that I’ve appeared on. I’ll bullet out everything you need to know so you can follow along and soak up the most important info. But that’s not everything you would get from being in my patreon Friends with Benefits Program. I also have a step by step video training on how to start online dating today. Plus in a few days on Wednesday, the sixth of May, I’ll be dropping a new video training on how to tell if someone is good match for you on Tinder. Just using Facial analysis techniques work. Yes, watch the mind of some of our listeners being blown as they experience the brilliance of a live facial analysis by Susan. I bet, y’all Honestly, this is like a game changer info. It’s all going down in the Patreon. You can get all of these resources for you starting at just five bucks a, slash dates and mates. I’d love to have you join the community. In the meantime, please, let’s let’s connect. I’m on all the socials at damona Hoffman. And I love hearing from you all all of these questions that we’ve been getting are so rich and layered. And I know that there are a lot of you nodding your head to these questions going, Oh, that’s a problem for me too. And if you’re thinking that then I want to hear what your question is, because I guarantee you it’s going to help somebody else who is listening to the show. Don’t forget to share, share what you’ve learned, share this episode and Please join me again next week all my subscribers get the episodes the minute that they post until next week.


Unknown Speaker  55:06  

I wish you comfortable face masks and happy dating

4 Binge Worthy Dates & Mates Episodes

New To The Dates & Mates Podcast and Damona Hoffman? Here’s Where You Start

Episode 300: A Master Class on the Future of Dating

In this Master Class, Damona covers:

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

Read the full blog recap here!


Episode 307: Tall Guy Vibe & Keeping It Cute

In the most recent episode of Dates & Mates, Damona tackles the “height question”: should height really matter in dating today? Hot Take: Height is irrelevant in today’s world because physical traits no longer signal to women the biological need to feel provided for. Controversial, we know! Damona also gets a guy’s opinion on what pet peeves men really have in dating.

Read the full blog recap here!


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

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

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

Read the full blog here!

Episode 275: A Comprehensive Guide to Dating Apps

TOP 5 Dating App Problems

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

PLUS, did you know that the latest studies on the marriage market show that there is a shortage of men with marriageable qualities?

Damona covers this study published in the Journal of Marriage & Family  and gives you the rundown and goes in-depth on:

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

Dates & Mates is a wealth of information! Are there any topics you want us to discuss on the podcast? Let Damona Know! You can DM her on all the socials @DamonaHoffman OR join our exclusive Patreon!

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

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  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
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  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year

Tall Guy Vibe & Keeping It Cute


On today’s episode of the Dates & Mates podcast, Damona sits down with Vince Gauglione, long-time friend of the show and author of “Why Are You Still Single? An Average Joe’s Take on What’s Really Going On in the Dating Pool and What You Can Do to Stay Afloat.”

Vinca and Damona discuss if height really matters in today’s world, the biggest pet peeves men have in dating, and his new book on why you’re still single

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines!


Something you need to know…

This week is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Damona covers everything you need to know. If you or someone you know needs help, call Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.



A Netflix show you will hate to love or love to hate

Is Too Hot To Handle hot or not? It’s stirring up a lot of controversy for its potentially detrimental messages on sex and love. Damona has thoughts.


Relationship Stress Strategies

John and Julie Gottman – some of Damona’s most trusted researchers on love and relationships – give their tips to reduce relationship stress during this time.



You’ve heard love advice from the experts, now the average joes:

According to Vince, men have a few dating pet peeves we should all know about:

  • Unrealistic Dating Profiles
  • Too much shorthand in DMs
  • Too much phone time on dates
  • When their date makes it obvious that they’re just checking off boxes “ideal-mate must-haves” list


He goes into detail on this, PLUS he gives us his opinion as a 5’7 man trying to find love:

Find Vince at and make sure to pick up a copy of his book and follow him on Facebook, @theaveragejoesdatingconfessional


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

  • Email from Jacqueline – During this time of Covid19 pandemic I’m looking to get back into online dating. In this time of pandemic no salons are open so no makeover for me do I go with “the best I can” look due to circumstances and not let it be a deterrent for my profile?
  • IG message – A guy and i matched on Bumble prior to all of this happening, but never got the chance to meet up. We have FaceTimed twice (first time was 2 hrs!) and text/Instagram every day. Finding it hard now that it’s almost 2 months in to keep up conversation beyond daily Groundhog Day happenings. Also hard to not get too emotionally invested when you talk daily and you don’t know where the other person stands (if they are talking or other people) and you haven’t even met yet so what position are you in to ask?! Any tips for keeping an even mind and things to chat about until we have a chance to meet?




Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers. Those of you who follow dates and mates for a while now know that I am all about getting clear on the true criteria that you need in your future or current life partner. And it’s not a secret that I have been campaigning for daters to take height completely off their list. Back in February, during the five q fab series, Bella Gandhi and I had a little conversation that was rather controversial. For some of our listeners. We are of the opinion that height shouldn’t matter in today’s world, but not all of our listeners are in agreement with that. So today, we’re getting a man’s perspective on dating As a short guy from Vince Gagliano, he’s a longtime listener of dates and mates. And he’s a successful author with a new book that’s all about his dating experiences. More on that later. But first, we have headlines this week, including something important that you need to be aware of this month, and a new Netflix series that you will love to hate, or hate to love. Plus a few tips to make marriage and quarantining a little less stressful. Then, after my chat with Vince, I will be answering your questions, including how to keep it cute for dating during quarantine, and how to have better conversations with the Bumble Bay you’ve never met. Then in the last segment of the show, I will make a very big announcement that you won’t want to miss. And now it’s time for the dish, these dating dish. So it’s April and that means yes, it’s tax month and financial literacy. The month, which I could do a whole episode on, but even more importantly, right now, it’s also Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. And I have to admit, I went back and forth on whether or not to include something in the show about that because, you know, I like to keep it light on dates and mates and keep it positive and give you all advice and opportunities to find love. But I can’t overlook the fact that this is a serious problem in many relationships. When you look at the numbers, eight out of 10 rapes are committed by someone that you know, and sometimes even by your own partner. And looking at the numbers for forensic nurse examiners in DC, they’re reporting a 43% decrease in patient seeking treatment year over year. So that means fewer people are reporting sexual assault and coming in to get treated and evaluated for it. So that tells me one of two things either, people are quarantining, so often They’re just not in situations where they’re coming in contact with one another. And there are fewer sexual abuse incidents happening. Or worse yet, and more likely the case, people are experiencing it more and feeling unsafe about getting help and saying what’s going on. So just a little note for today’s to start out today’s show, that there are programs that are still open for victims of sexual assault, and the government has actually passed funding to keep them running. So if you are someone that you know, is dealing with a sexual assault situation, please call the number we’ll put in the show notes. One 800 656. Hope that’s 1-800-656-4673


on a completely different notes on a consensual sexual note, there’s a neutral show on Netflix that’s blowing my mind and the minds of many other people. Have you seen this? It’s called too hot to handle. It’s all about a celibacy challenge. It’s basically temptation Island, but nobody can have sex with one another. That is the rule of the series. They put all these super hot singles in bikinis and high heels all the time. I love the bikini and high heel. Look, don’t get me wrong, but none of them are supposed to have sex with one another. They’re not even supposed to make out they’re not supposed to have Heavy Petting. They can’t even touch themselves, or they lose money. They’re trying to get $100,000 if they can abstain from sex for a month. Now, sexologist apparently are concerned that this will reverse the thinking on sex. They’ve done so much work to keep to make sex not taboo. And it seems like Netflix is on this. They’re on this mission, as they say at the top of life. as blind as at the top of this show, they’re trying to find ways to help people make deeper connections. And you can see in the first episode, I’m not telling you any spoilers because this is really the concept of the show, but the first episode when the people find out that they can’t have sex, and then they’re told you’re all here because you have way too much sex and you’re you’re not having deep enough emotional connections. The look on their faces is enough for the price of admission alone. But I gotta tell you, I love dating and relationship shows as you know, I can’t I cannot even with the show. It is literally the most salacious version of a dating and relationship show that you could possibly find. And I know what’s coming up is all these people sneaking around trying to have sex and not get caught. And it just seems like it’s gonna become a big ol mess. If you like that kind of train wreck programming. I think it’s going to be right down the middle perfect for you. But I for 1am going to be tapping out For those of you who are already in a relationship, and maybe feeling a little bit of the stress from quarantine, my friends at NPR interviewed, the amazing john and Julie got Minh and they offered up their tips on Morning Edition on how to reduce stress if you’re in a relationship and quarantine together, especially if your relationship is already on the rocks, because right now we’re dealing with a lot of anxieties. I know I’m feeling it, there’s the anxiety of the fear of possibly catching COVID or the stress of even dealing with friends or family members who have the virus, maybe you even have the virus or you’ve come out of quarantine. And you have that on top of not ever being able to get away from your partner and all of their idiosyncrasies and all of the fights, the old fights that you’ve had coming back up because you’re in this pressure cooker. And there was some advice in this in this interview and this article that we’ll link to in the show notes that really is so key in communicating and relationships. The first thing I want to share with you is that they advise for one person to be the speaker when you’re trying to de stress and solve a problem. They said instead of trying to both trying to talk and everybody trying to be a fixer, right, we’ve talked on the show before about when you get in conflicts, a lot of times the partner wants to fix the issue instead of just listening. So what john and Julie got, Minh said was, you need to elect one person to be the speaker, and the other is the listener. And then the listener simply has to ask questions to deepen their understanding of the issue, and then just offer sympathy. And that is so hard. I believe me, I understand because I’m in this myself too. We we want the problem to go away. So we want to fix it, but sometimes what the other person needs is for you to just pause and hear them. And let them know that their frustration has been heard and felt by their partner. Because research shows that what partners really need in a marriage or a relationship is for the other person to be empathetic to them to be supportive. And that really can help when you have an ally that can help you manage your stress and feel really hurt. The second piece of advice that I think is really, really important, is they say when things get sort of snippy, when you get to that point of you’re like, Well, you did this and then you remember that time and 10 years ago, when it gets heated to that point, take a break, take a break from the conversation, and they recommend doing something self soothing, that calms you down, not ruminating on the conversation that just happened but doing something completely different that will give get you out of the fight or flight we talked a few weeks ago about fight flight or freeze, right? So you got to get yourself out of that mental space to be able to come back into it and have a conversation on a neutral level. And then you return to your partner at a designated time that you’ve already agreed to like, okay, we’re gonna take a break. Let’s talk about this after the kids go to bed. Let’s talk about this when we go on our nightly walk, and then you continue to the discussion from a more neutral place. Look, y’all I know it’s tough out there. We are going to get through it and communication. clear communication is the best. The best way for us to sort through these challenges, whether they’re new dating challenges and problems or coming up for miscommunication, or you’ve been in a relationship for a while. Speaking of NPR turns out that this week, I’m actually going to be on NPR. I’ll be recording an episode of NPR show. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders, and I’ll be answering Bring your questions about love in the time of Coronavirus. So if you have a question dating or relationship related, it’s not too late to submit it to me for the answer on that show. You can just email me your question at Dimona at damona. Hoffman you can leave me a little voice memo and send that over or just leave me a voicemail if you don’t want to deal with all the all the buttons on the phone. Just call my voicemail four to 42466255 tell me what your challenges and you could end up hearing it on NPR. Those are headlines for today. right after this. We will hear Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, not my words, his words, but do stick around.


I’m back and I am joined by someone who has been right where you are right now listening to this podcast for love and relationship advice. Ben Scaglione is an author. Who writes about what he’s seen and experienced as a single guy in the dating world. His last dating book, Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, looked at the dating challenges of men through the lens of his own experience. And now, he’s written a new book titled Why are you still single and average Joe’s take on what’s really going on in the dating pool and what you can do to stay afloat? Joining us now from Raleigh, North Carolina, please give big smooches to a friend of the show. Vince Gagliano, the owner. All right, Vince, before we talk to you about your perspective, first I just want to thank you for being a longtime dates and mates listener and supporter. You and I have had a lot of conversations about dating challenges over dm. But now I’m really excited to speak with you in person about your new book. And any new perspective you’ve gained since the last time we communicated. I want to just start out Vince with this dedication you have in the book because I found it very inspiring. It said, it’s for those who have the courage to remain steadfast in their belief that through the disappointment, anguish and heartache, the world, the dating world serves up, it will all be worth it in the end. Keep the faith. Vince, how do you keep the faith in the face of the current dating scene as you see it?


Vince Gauglione 12:26  

Well, that’s that’s certainly tough, right? So I mean, we have a lot of people that are out there floating around that are single, and they have their own unique set of challenges. Of course, it’s a very personal experience for each and every one of us. And over time, you know, you’ve got so many disappointments, heartache. It kind of warps your perspective a little bit. So what you I think, what what every one of us has to do, who you know who’s single who’s dealing with these issues, we have to remember that You know, at some point, as long as we are doing everything we can to titles


Damona  13:05  

Why am I still single? I’m just gonna cut to the chase, why am I still single chapter one you say so why am I still single? And then you turn it around on yourself? What if, what if, what have you learned and what wisdom Can you share? in answering this question for other people or helping people answer it for themselves.


Vince Gauglione 13:24  

The key is really, you know, we’re not everybody’s cup of tea. That’s just the way dating works. You know, we’ve all been through those experiences, life and situations where it’s like, we think somebody’s perfect for us, or we’re really interested in someone and we find out you know, we’ve learned that that’s just not the case. Maybe they don’t you know, reciprocate. So, for us, we have to take a closer look, and when we take a moment to reflect back and ask ourselves, if we can be better if, you know, there’s, there’s anything that we need to look at a little bit closer, maybe things we haven’t explored in the past. is a good time to do that. And you might gain a new perspective. And I think that, you know, that’s that’s really the question here. Why if you ask yourself the question why you’re still single, you might find a few things that you maybe were unaware of that, you know, were kind of blockers in preventing you from finding what you were looking for.


Damona  14:19  

Okay, so let’s talk about what some of those things might be. And just based on your first book, Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, there’s there’s a lot of challenges just in that title. Right. Let’s just focus on the first one because I do hear this a lot, both from women and men. How big of a dating challenge Do you think being and you say short, Vince, you’re five, seven. That’s short. My dad is fine, too. And he’s had three wives and he’s doing just fine. So are like talking to him. He would even make some talk. He would make tell jokes about you. But people tell you you have a tall guy. What does that even mean?


Vince Gauglione 15:01  

Well, actually, that was kind of interesting because that came about through a, an IM chat, we’ve got talking about how he said to me, I would have never guessed your five, seven, you have a tall guy by and I thought, Okay, well, you know, in, in understanding this and kind of going looking looking back the past few years, a few years when I had gone and you know, research this based on my own experiences and tried to understand it a little bit more in depth is that, you know, the the height issue is it’s always out there, it’s always going to be an issue for short guys. But if we’re able to project dominance, power protection, we’re able to just admit that we’re just kind of evoke that through our personality, then all of a sudden, we as short guys wind up with that tall guy vibe. And that’s kind of what you know, attracts women. And that is the one thing that I hadn’t really Understood throughout all my years of dating, I realized that you know, I mean I looked at it as I wasn’t having any success, I get turned down a lot. And as it turned out, I wound up with like this chip on my shoulder, so it affected my overall mood and disposition. So in a way, I became kind of a martyr. And that certainly affected my dating life through you know, my, my first, you know, 30 years here on this earth, I didn’t finally start understanding what was going on until I got probably closer to 40. It affected me for a very long time in my life, and thus, you know, I wound up making poor choices myself.


Damona  16:36  

Well, that’s how we learn Right, exactly the last time I talked about high on the show, I got a little bit of hate mail Vince, I’m not gonna lie. Some tall ladies were pretty mad at me. And in encouraging them to look beyond height. So what I’m going to step back and just let you talk to the tall ladies and share what you I would say to them, because I mean, I totally get it like, there are definitely shorter guys that would be in that insecure place that maybe you were in before. That would be intimidated by a woman who is say over 510 or taller. Right? Sure. But then if you’re just limiting your dating pool, because you’ve had those experiences in the past, there could be great, shorter guys, that you’re overlooking, no pun intended.


Vince Gauglione 17:32  

Yeah, absolutely. Again, it’s like when we talk about this part of this is, you know, it’s like evolutionary, you know, it’s kind of wired into our DNA, the connotation for height is that person can protect that person. You know, I could be on that that person’s arm and I feel secure. And I think that, you know, for taller women, some of them certainly understand that Yeah, most of the men that they’re going to be You know, evaluating the dating pool probably are going to be shorter than them, especially if they’re like 511 or six foot. But what they’re really looking for is that sense of security in a way and a guy can he can he can present that just threw his personality alone. Mm hmm.


Damona  18:23  

Yes, I completely agree with you. And I, I find that it’s not even so much like the biological attraction to height. I think it’s a lot about the societal connotations with height as well, because, really, biologically, we should be attracted to that provider type, right, which can come in a lot of different forms. And it’s kind of going back to that the confidence element that you were talking about,


Vince Gauglione 18:56  

right. So yes, to Yeah, because you have if you if you are out in public and you see a couple, and the woman is like five or six inches taller than the guy, then you get a lot of weird looks, you know? Yeah.


Damona  19:10  

I mean, how many crews and Katie Holmes have or Tom Cruise and like anyone Tom Cruise has ever dated. Right? Right. Right. We’re like, fixated and fascinated, but Okay, I’m gonna, I’ll just give my one take and then we’ll move on that there are a lot of combinations that society will look at you and B, society will be uncomfortable with it. So like, if my parents were allowed what society told them about their relationship to impact their actions, then I wouldn’t be here because my dad’s white, my mom is black. And all the time they would go to a restaurant and get stares and sneers and even, you know, this was, this is 70s 80s like, they would get direct comments that they shouldn’t be together and I can’t. I can’t imagine it’s that as bad as that. But I’ve never been. I’ve never been a tall woman, people will look, you know, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate, but we, we don’t have to pay attention to that if we’re going for what our heart really wants. So in your book, you talk about knowing what you want and knowing what you need, what is the roadblock to people being able to grasp that from your perspective?


Vince Gauglione 20:29  

Well, I think that we have a lot of noise. That’s the problem. There’s there’s certainly a lot of noise in society, right? So we’re constantly distracted in a number of different ways. And you know, if we’re always dealing with distractions, then we really don’t take the time out to just sit with ourselves and understand our emotion. I could read a one story for you where I was actually at an event all singles and it was just a little get together at a restaurant. At one point. A number of is hurt. Like the familiar audio audible game of a phone, right? And then it was, it was odd that about eight people all look down at their phones at the same time. And they stopped talking and they started texting. And it was only after a few minutes did the rest of us realize all eight of those people were in the same group chat. So they had stopped doing what they were doing to participate in the group chat, when the purpose of them being there was to be exposed to other singles. See what I mean? That’s what we’re dealing with today.


Damona  21:35  

We are consumed by the virtual world. And like I said this, I said this a few weeks ago on the show, that we are also so desperate to escape the reality that we’re in. We’re almost waiting for that ding. We’re waiting like we’re on a date. And we’re like, this is so uncomfortable. Because it is I mean, you’ve listened to the show for long enough to know like, I don’t sugarcoat it. Like datings awkward, it’s odd. We created it. It is a it’s a skill set that is learned it is something that is not part of, you know, natural courtship. Really. It’s, it’s created. And so that feeling of wanting to escape the day, when you have your phone nearby, it’s so easy to just jump into that other word world and that other other. You know that conversation. So how do how do you recommend people move into dating? in a way that’s more mindful, like we talked about mindfulness, getting clear before you date, but when you’re on the date, how do you stay in the moment there?


Vince Gauglione 22:45  

The thing to remember is you want to be present, right? You want to be an active participant in terms of listening and actually, you know, comprehending what the other person is saying. And of course, you know, if we’re talking about technology, The phone has to be on silent. I mean, you have to have that phone on silent. You can’t have a dinging all the time. While you’re having this conversation while you’re on the state. It’s just, I think it’s just, you know, just really inappropriate. When I would go on dates, it would just be phone goes on silent and it’s turned, you know, flat face down on the table.


Damona  23:22  

I would I would even add like, yeah, if you can put it away away. Because I mentioned Yeah, I mentioned on the show a while back, there was a study with cell phones and how having the cell phone in view on a in a meeting and not even on a date, but just in view, when two strangers were meeting, it made them feel mistrustful of the other person, even if the phone is off, and and if it was on, it was just on the table. You also talked about connecting meaningfully and one part of that being vulnerability. I get it from men sometimes, especially for men and for women too. But especially for men, that’s really hard. How’d you get to that place? It is,


Vince Gauglione 24:08  

it’s kind of funny because you have a friend and opposite sex female. And we were we would always talk about dating and dates. And she said to me one time, she said, you know, you’ve got the problem that a lot of women have, they get the emotionally unavailable guys, how is it that this is happening to you? So I, you know, getting you know, a lot of emotionally unavailable women.


Damona  24:32  

What does that look like the emotionally unavailable woman? How is that showing up for you?


Vince Gauglione 24:37  

Well, for me, it was showing up in terms of what if we’re talking and we are talking about vulnerability is like the inability to get close to keep you at arm’s length. If I would ask questions. You know, we’re talking about something that maybe hit a little bit close to home or was, you know, required some vulnerability I would get, you know, very glossed over type of answers or would not be able to even get that person to open up to speak a little bit about what they might be feeling, or what they might be thinking. We’ve become so emotionally disconnected from ourselves and from others, you know, you can, you can kind of zip into that virtual world anytime you want and feel perfectly happy and content. But what that’s done in, in effect, it’s kind of taken us away from understanding, you know, just our own nature, and how we connect in real life with people.


Damona  25:33  

Yeah, it sounds like you’ve been on you’ve been on a long journey of self discovery,


Vince Gauglione 25:39  

and many ups and downs along the way.


Damona  25:42  

Yeah. And I know like you came into this. If you if you don’t mind me sharing at the beginning of the book you talk about Yeah, and in 2012, you were in a serious relationship and you actually lost your partner, to suicide and for many people, That would be so devastating that I’m sure it would be hard to believe in love again, but it’s clear from talking to you, you do still believe that this is possible. What gives you that kind of faith? And how did you? How did you heal from such a devastating loss?


Vince Gauglione 26:16  

Yeah, that was a long journey. I’m not gonna lie, you know, and I’ve written about it in previous works. It is something that, you know, at the time for me, I was 42. So I didn’t expect that right. None of us really do it at the age of 42 that we’re going to lose, you know, someone close to us. And it took about two and a half years, almost two and a half years to fully reconcile it. So, but, you know, I, what I had done was I’ve taken in the good things away from it. So it’s like, I understood that it was a very loving, mutually, you know, caring relationship that we had and, you know, sure. It’s, it’s tough to find Those types of relationships as we go through life, you know, we might experience it once or twice a few times, but they don’t come around all that often. So, you know, when it does, I’ve learned to, you know, to cherish it more and to and to, to foster it more than I had in the past. Because for a while I had beaten myself up at times thinking I didn’t give enough or maybe I didn’t, you know, do enough. Or maybe I took it for granted. And, you know, having that experience now, and at this point in my life, I understand, you know, what, how special and how precious that actually is?


Damona  27:37  

How do you know when you’re sitting across from someone, my listeners are always asking like, well, I’m going on a lot of dates, but is this person the one I don’t know? Is this meant to be something serious? How can you tell?


Vince Gauglione 27:52  

Well, that happens over time. I mean, really, the only thing that we can point to here is time you have to give it time. Right. So if it’s someone who shares you know, your, your core values, right, if it’s someone who you have a, a, an ability to connect with and be vulnerable with, then it’s certainly worth exploring and continuing to explore. It’s not like it’s an on off switch where you can say, I know this one’s the right one, or this one’s not the right one. We kind of know more, you know, just as, as human beings, we know more about the things that we really don’t like or don’t want. So when we see those, they’re easy to identify. But the ones that are worthwhile, you know, that takes a little bit longer to figure out. So I would say if you’re, you know, if you’re, you’re, you’re cross sitting across from one that has the same core values, you want the same things or similar things and like, you have a vision of your life and the others, you know, that vision lines up and maps You’re on the right track.


Damona  29:02  

Okay, I’m going to ask you a few rapid fire questions for the ladies, a lot of our listeners are women that are dating. And would love to date an awesome guy like you? What are they doing wrong? What is your number one pet peeve that women do on? Let’s start with dating apps? Okay, what’s your biggest dating app? pet peeve?


Vince Gauglione 29:29  

Well, when it comes to dating apps, I think, of course, we can talk about like, their search criteria, and they they look for, you know, everything has to be in line, anything and that’s, I think that’s true of actually both sexes. So if you see something in a profile, that’s, you know, a turnoff, right? And you have all these other positives, but then you see this one thing you’re likely to say, Okay, well, I don’t like that. So I’m going to just, you know, swipe left. I think that’s the biggest problem. We have with with online dating right now is that, you know, we’re not able to put that into perspective, of course, we don’t gain a clear picture of who that person is. And it’s very hard to, you know, to write a profile that, you know, presents your, you know, who you are as a person, you know, realistically, along with, you know, giving someone a sense an idea of your values as well. So, yeah, we’re just too quick to move on from profile to profile. Are there syndrome as well?


Damona  30:33  

Yeah. Are there messaging behaviors that really frustrate you like, I’ll give you one example just for the guys. Like, I was working with a client who was on hinge and on hinge you have to engage with a particular picture or something that’s, that’s posted in the profile. You can’t just like swipe, swipe, swipe dm, so you have to send a message His strategy was like, I’ll just send like, these, this string, same string of emojis like a heart emoji and like, strong arm emoji, and like, right emojis worth his way of getting into the conversation. And because he was a very attractive guy, he kind of was relying on the fact that then they’re going to look at his profile and be like, Oh, he’s cute, and just get into the chat from there. But I was like, not great dating strategy. Because you’re not, you’re not actually like you were saying, finding someone who connects with you. On a values level on a deeper level. You can’t determine anything from having an emoji conversation. So that’s my guys. What’s your girl’s pet peeve?


Vince Gauglione 31:45  

Well, it’s similar similar things. You know, when it comes to actual messaging, well, if everything is in shorthand, you know, I mean, I write in complete sentences. I know that takes a while, but I write in earthly sentences. So he Yeah, exactly. And you know, so and i don’t i can’t really decipher some of the shorthand as well. So or if it’s like a text Blitz, where you get 500 messages in one shot, and there’s like, hey, do I have to respond to all these? How can I condense this down? Right? So I think it’s back and forth, you know, send a message, you get a message back, ask a question, wait for a reply. You know, don’t fall into the trap of, you know, having to send send, send, send, send, and then immediately, send, send, send again, let’s, let’s have a little back and forth here. Let’s have a real conversation as best as we’re going to have over text or I am,


Damona  32:40  

huh, what about first date? first date? pet peeves are first date tips for the ladies.


Vince Gauglione 32:47  

Well, being engaged, and I mean, that’s something that I look for, you know, someone who you can tell when someone is not engaged, if they’re distracted, or they just seem like you know, they they’re not having a good time or They are they don’t seem present. They’re not really engaged in the conversation. So if I have to carry the conversation, then I kind of know I kind of get a sense Well, I don’t think this person is really is really into me. So that’s important. Stay engaged, ask questions, let the conversation flow. Don’t have an agenda. You know, I think it’s another big one. You’re kind of when people are looking for things they want to check off list. What do you do? bla bla bla bla, that line of questioning. We’ve all heard that line of questioning before. As the conversation continues, you know, you will find things if you’re connecting with that person, you will find things to discuss something will resonate with you and the other person we there’ll be pulled in like, oh, tell me more about that. Or here’s my take on this. You have to let the conversation just devolve and flow on its own. You can’t try to force it.


Damona  33:59  

Yeah. Absolutely. And like I said earlier, dating is a learned skill. So the more you do it and the more you figure out what works for you and and build on your conversation techniques, the easier that experience is going to be for you. Before you go, I just I want to ask about, we’re recording this while most of us are in the middle of a quarantine lockdown, safer at home, whatever you want to call it. And so the world of dating has changed. How has that impacted dating for you? And what do you think will be the next phase of dating when we come out of the world of quarantine?


Vince Gauglione 34:45  

Hmm. Okay, well, I have a little disclaimer here in that around the time I had finished the draft of this book, I did meet someone that I am currently dating so I haven’t actually dating in the game, so to speak.


Damona  35:00  

quarantined together?


Vince Gauglione 35:03  

For the most part,


Damona  35:04  

yes. Oh, that’s a whole other. That’s a whole other show. Maybe we’ll have you back for that. Right? What but what are you hearing from from readers? And


Vince Gauglione 35:13  

yeah, people, it’s really, it’s not easy, because you don’t have a chance to get to those face to faces, right? So when you’re talking about having these conversations, right, you want to be able to at least this, you know, right now this present situation we’re in, you want to still be able to have that natural progression where you go from, you know, an initial interest, you know, contact contacting each other to, you know, some texting, phone calls are great. And then of course, now we have the whole you know, video chatting, facetiming zoom calls, etc. But it’s still it’s still a progression, you can start to build something during this time. However, as we know, it’s like where the rubber really, you know, meets the road is when you have that face to face. So you know that it may we might be in a situation where you might be, you know, speaking to a couple different people, and you might, you know, begin to form a connection, almost like a you know, like the love is blind series, right? Yeah, it’s similar. It’s not exactly the same, because you can see that person. But, you know, at least you can focus on understanding more about another person, then you would, you know, you would have done say previously before all of this because a lot of this, you know, before COVID-19 was, you’re on an app, you said, you match, you send a message, and then you’re already meeting thus, you know, you know nothing about the person and thus the reason for bad dates, you don’t have anything in common with that person. So it forces us to take more time to get to know others or a little bit of a deeper level.


Damona  37:00  

Yes, I think ultimately it will be good. But yes, some of those, some of those quarantine connections won’t last but we’re going to learn a lot in the process. And I’ve learned a lot from talking to you today, Vince, I hope everyone will pick up their copy of Why are you still single and average Joe’s take on what’s really going on in the dating pool and what you can do to stay afloat. Thank you so much for joining me, Vince Gagliano. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show. And again, thank you for your years of listening. Maybe it’s paying off in a new relationship. I wish you luck


Vince Gauglione 37:34  

with that, too. Thank you so much. I appreciate it was great being on the show.


Damona  37:38  

Thank you, Vince.


We’re back and your questions have been flooding in lately. Y’all must be really going through it. But I’m here for you. My DMS are always open and they’re especially open Right now for both dates and mates questions, NPR questions and drumroll please. Here’s the big announcement as of this weekend, also for a new advice column that I’m writing in the LA Times. So check out this Saturday’s issue of the LA Times to read my Coronavirus, dating and relationship advice. But remember, it all started here with you and me and your love questions on dates and mates. And here I will remain. Alright, here’s the lineup for today. I got an audio question from our listener Jacqueline. Here’s what she had to say.


Vince Gauglione 38:40  

What do you recommend for someone who’s looking to create a profile during this COVID pandemic period and salons and businesses are closed so one can have a makeover done? Is it okay to do the best you can with what you have with items at home such as box hair color, one’s own makeup and an iPhone. I’m would be curious as to your thoughts on this.


Damona  39:06  

All right, Jacqueline. First of all, you just got to do it. You just got to get out there and start. One of the things that makes it so hard for us to get back into the dating scene is we play out all these what if scenarios, what if I put up a profile and nobody messages me? What if I meet someone, and I do fall in love, and then I can’t meet them. And because we are afraid of all the different outcomes, we’re afraid of success and failure actually, that fear keeps us from action. And the only way to really get that valuable feedback on your profile. You’ve heard me talk on the show before about how your profile is a living document. And it will change and evolve as you change and evolve. But the only way to really know if your profile is working or not, is to put it out there, put it out into the world and see what happens. So if you haven’t done the profile starter kit, it is Free a dates and that can at least get you started and get you on an app. Any app, people always ask me what’s the best app, the best app is the one that gets you started and just see the feedback that you get. And this is kind of a low pressure time right now. Because we don’t know when we might actually be able to meet up again. In many places I’m in California, I mean, we gonna be locked down until like December it sounds like but wherever you are, you are going to be starting at least the beginning of the relationship virtually so it’s kind of low pressure right low presh just start Jacqueline and girl Don’t even worry about the nail salons and the the hair salons. I mean, I’m going through my own experience. My daughter was nice enough to point out my gray hairs to me, thank you very much today. But besides that one most people Men Jacqueline prefer lighter makeup they prefer a more natural look. Somehow we look at Instagram we think like, oh, Kylie looks great. We need to slather our face with makeup so that we can look like that with all the filters and and be a an unrealistic, unattainable vision of beauty. But it’s crazy because that’s not actually what most people are attracted to most people want the real thing. So I would say just be your authentic self. But just to give you a little peace of mind, remember we are putting our best foot forward on the first date. And if you haven’t heard my video training, on video chat dating, it is in our Patreon community slash Jason mates Of course always in the show notes. But if you haven’t gotten there yet, I’ll just give you a reminder that on a video chat date not everything is on camera. I hope Jacqueline Not everything is on camera. So just worry about the parts that are actually going to be seen. Don’t worry so much about having everything in your house look perfect, and having every hair on your head in place. Just make sure look, you don’t even have to wear pants if you don’t want to.


Because if it’s not going to be seen, maybe it doesn’t matter if it makes you feel sexier. Don’t wear pants, just make sure you’re not moving around a lot and keep your phone propped up on the desk. That aside, you just want to be your authentic self in the end. So think about what’s going to be on camera, make sure that you know what that looks like. And then you might even want to try depending on the platform that you’re on. Taking the camera off yourself. It’s it can take a lot of the stress off of like staring at one at yourself while also trying to focus on the person in front of you. I wish you lots of luck, Jacqueline, and I can’t wait to hear about the virtual dates that you have coming up. One more question for today. This one came to me on Facebook. Young lady says a guy and I matched on Bumble prior to all of this happening, but we never got the chance to meet up. We have facetimed twice. First time was two hours. She says that’s pretty long for first time meetup. And we text and Instagram every day finding it hard now that it’s almost two months in to keep this conversation going beyond the daily Groundhog Day happenings. She means like the Hey, what’s up? How’s your day? How’s your day? We’re having the same conversation over and over again. Incidentally, I don’t know if you know, I just watched that movie. It was just maybe it was like on cable. Maybe that’s what it was on Netflix. I just watched that movie again. So it’s funny that you would reference it. Anyways. She says it’s also hard not to get emotionally invested when you talk daily and you don’t know where the other person stands. Like If they’re talking to other people, and you haven’t even met yet, so what position Are you in to ask any tips for keeping an open mind and things to chat about until we’ve had a chance to meet? So my initial advice is that, y’all, we got to keep it loose right now, we got to keep it loose during during quarantine, because we don’t know how long this is going to last. And your feelings are totally valid. you’re investing in this relationship that might be a fantasy relationship. You may know that, generally on dates and mates, I’ve said, Get offline as quickly as possible, have a few exchanges online. And then you move to a phone call, preferably or a video chat, and then you move to a date. But now we can’t move to a physical date. So you have moved to the facetiming. But all of this text and Instagram every day is giving you these bursts of adrenaline that are building up this person in your mind and what that connection will be when you meet and so that’s why it feels like a little bit of a lag. down because you, you’ve been in it for two months, and you don’t necessarily have anything to show for it. So you got to do one of two things. One, we need to rip the band aid off and find out where this person stands. And this is something that I find it’s so hard for people to do. But it’s so such a relief when you finally do it. If you just are saying like, Hey, I’m really enjoying talking to you in and I’m not really talking to anybody else are you? And then you can find out like really, really get to the bottom of what is that thing that’s eating away at you about this situation? And they might say, Oh, yeah, I’ve been chatting with other people but nothing serious like you or they might say like, Oh, I’m just having fun right now. Or they might say no, I’m absolutely not talking to anybody else. But that gives you information. And information is ultimately your friend. It’s been two months. So in real life, that is a significant amount of time and this is enough time for you to just get a sense of where you stand. What I will say, though, is that you need to FaceTime more than twice before you have that conversation. And this is the same advice I’ve given for long distance dating, you have to almost treat it as if you are dating in real life. And even in real life after two dates, I wouldn’t say necessarily stop dating other people. But you have to figure out what the situation is in the real world. So set up a an actual date, a FaceTime actual date, where you’re doing an activity together. I’m actually writing an article write this right now on this I don’t know if by the time this publishes it will be released or not. But I’m writing an article on 10 home quarantine data ideas, I’ll give you just like a couple of them. You can actually do sip and paint night virtually. You can do a trivia night, do 20 questions gamify the date, make it fun, so it’s not just like sitting there for two hours staring at one another, and then really see what this relationship is. But you have to always keep in the back of your mind that until you meet in person, this is still a fantasy relationship. But you know what? Right now we’re quarantined. Life is tough. Things are serious. Maybe we could all use a little bit more fantasy right now. That’s it for today’s show. It’s number 307 of dates in mates, y’all. I’m on all the socials at damona Hoffman. I love your questions. I really want to hear from you. So please let me know what’s on your mind. You can send me a question for this show. You can send me a question for NPR. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders, or send me a question for the la times maybe for all three. You can do this so easily just by giving me a call. leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 or shoot me an email Dimona at damona Hoffman calm you can just record a voice memo on your phone or email it over to me and you could be on NPR or on a future episode of dates and dates, just like Jacqueline. Thank you so much for listening. And by the way, if you’re ready to go deeper with me and you want access to that video chat dating training that I talked about earlier, or any other resources inside of our private community, I want to invite you inside the community, you can join, slash dates and mates, it’s only five bucks a month. So I think that’s a small price to pay for an intimate relationship with me and the other dates and mates community members that’s slash dates and mates. Do check the show notes for all the links that I discussed on today’s show. And for a cute little recap, with lovely gifts that producer Leo is top top notch at providing for us to help bring the dates and made show to life. Thank you so much for listening. Until next week, I wish you happy virtual dating

Vision Boards & Video Chat Love


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


More on that later, first Damona covers headlines! 


Where all the singles are hiding right now

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

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


Sex IS the best medicine, according to Dr. Oz

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



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


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

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

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


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

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


Hey, are you ok?

Like really are you ok?

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

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

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

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

Plus, anything you share is confidential!

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

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



Damona  0:12  

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

Damona  3:01  

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

Coach Cass  12:21  

What’s up Damona? Hey, ladies.

Damona  12:24  

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

Coach Cass  12:35  

yes. That

Coach Cass  12:38  

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

Damona  12:41  

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

Coach Cass  13:13  

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

Damona  13:38  

that’s never a good sign.

Coach Cass  13:43  

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

Damona  14:12  

god, how did you met this guy? Originally?

Coach Cass  14:15  

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

Damona  14:34  

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

Coach Cass  14:44  

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

Damona  15:18  

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

Coach Cass  15:28  

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

Coach Cass  16:01  

was like, why not me?

Coach Cass  16:02  

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

Coach Cass  16:36  

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

Coach Cass  16:38  

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

Damona  16:46  

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

Coach Cass  16:53  

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

Damona  17:22  

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

Coach Cass  17:32  

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

Damona  18:50  

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

Coach Cass  19:03  

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

Coach Cass  19:42  

no kids, you know, I know receiving a very

Damona  19:47  

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

Coach Cass  19:50  

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

Damona  20:37  

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

Coach Cass  21:56  

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

Damona  22:41  

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

Coach Cass  22:48  

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

Coach Cass  23:06  

I am a first Hey,

Coach Cass  23:10  

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

Coach Cass  23:14  

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

Damona  24:35  

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

Coach Cass  25:36  

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

Damona  26:39  

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

Coach Cass  27:53  

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

Damona  30:04  

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

Coach Cass  30:32  

inspire many Yeah, inspire

Damona  30:36  

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

Coach Cass  31:08  

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

Damona  33:43  

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

Coach Cass  34:42  

Oh snap.

Damona  34:50  

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

Coach Cass  36:04  

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

Damona  37:35  

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

Coach Cass  39:08  

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

Damona  39:45  

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

Coach Cass  40:59  

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

Coach Cass  41:21  

especially now allowing them yeah.

Coach Cass  41:22  

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

Coach Cass  41:25  

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

Coach Cass  41:42  

no, no, no, no.

Coach Cass  41:44  

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

Coach Cass  42:11  

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

Damona  42:17  

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

Coach Cass  43:18  

Thanks for having me. Thank you and

Damona  43:21  

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

Coach Cass  43:53  

sessions. Yeah, affirmations

Damona  43:54  

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

Coach Cass  44:09  

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

Damona  44:14  

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


Physical Type & Dating Addiction: Love Month Part 2


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.

This is episode two of our Love Month five-question February series. We’re using the hashtag #5QFeb if you want to get in on the conversation.

Today we sat down with Julie Spira – an award-winning dating coach, media personality, and bestselling author. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

You’ve seen her on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, E!, FOX, and so much more! She’s been a friend and mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago.

Fun fact: she actually holds the record for most guest appearances on Dates & Mates!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Mental Health & Dating Apps

The latest study on mental health and dating apps comes from The University of Saskatchewan. The concern is that dating apps may be degrading mental health because of the constant exposure to rejection. Damona and Julie have thoughts. 


Sheryl Sandberg turns her tragic love story into a happy ending

Five years after the tragic death of her husband, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg finds love again with Tom Bernthal.


Don’t go broke this Valentine’s Day!

According to Wallethub, men are 3x more likely to go into credit debt for Valentine’s Gifts. Why do you think this is?



#5QFeb (15:00)


Damona asks Julie the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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’m wondering your thoughts on having a “type” physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like out and about meeting men in the wild there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your “type”. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education, values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? Should I break this pattern? On the one hand I’m worried I might miss someone, on the other should I be setting up dates with guys that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Am I doing these apps wrong?
  • From Twitter – How do I quit online dating. I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis for dating with intention. And I’m objectified by creeps with every other message. But I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly. I can’t bring myself to stop.



Damona  0:12  

Happy Valentine’s week lovers. This is Episode Two of our love month five question February series during which I will interview your favorite dates and mates prior guests to ask the most pressing questions about love. Today we are using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation, and today’s guest is one of my personal faves. Julie aspira is an award winning dating coach, a media personality and best selling author. She was an early adopter of the internet and has been coaching singles on finding love for 25 years. Yes, finding love online for 25 years. You’ve seen her on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ie Fox, basically any three letter channel any two letter or one letter channel. She’s been on it, and she’s also been a friend and a mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago. So, before I get big smooches, I have to tell you that she also is now holding the record for the most dates and mates appearances. Please give big speeches to my friend Julie aspira.

Julie Spira  1:21  


Damona  1:23  

Welcome back to the show. I’m so excited to talk with you Valentine’s week. You are the person that I had to have on this week’s show.

Julie Spira  1:31  

Oh, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to be on the show. But yes, right now love is on steroids. So we really need chatting about you know what to do in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Damona  1:42  

Well, we have all these headlines that are all about how love is on steroids. This week we have the newest study on how dating apps could be affecting your mental health. And Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has turned her tragic love story into a happy ending. Some good news is Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s Valentine’s week. But do you need to go broke to express your love? We’ll be covering those headlines and then we’ll be answering your questions including should you swipe according to your type? I really wasn’t trying to rhyme there but was pretty cute. And how can you quit your online dating addiction? Julie, are you ready to do these headlines? Let’s do it. Mental health and dating apps we are both of us have been in the online dating space for a long time. And we’ve read a lot of these headlines people have been talking about the effect of online dating on your safety and the rise and STDs which people sometimes linked to dating apps. But one thing that we don’t hear a lot about is mental health. And there isn’t a lot of research on the way that dating apps are actually impacting our emotions the way we feel. And according to this article, which will link in the show notes, the researchers are saying that the amount of rejection that one can experience on a dating app app is higher than you would normally experience through traditional dating avenues. I’m curious as someone that’s been in the space for a long time, Julie, do you feel like dating apps are making people more depressed today?

Julie Spira  3:18  

I think people can find a variety of ways of getting depressed. And here’s the thing with dating apps, you’re getting more rejection, because you’re getting more matches. It’s just a numbers game. So if you went out on three dates prior to joining a dating app, and maybe you like one out of three people, and you were rejected by two, it’s just you know, too bad dates with you, next week will be better. But when you’re chatting with 20 people at a time, 10 people at a time, you’ve got 50 matches, you’re swiping, you’re chatting, you’re matching, and then you know you find out they’ve met someone else or you find out that you’re not their type, you know, it stings and and it makes sense You really feel bad, but it’s still a numbers game. So if you’re matching with 50 people and you get 10 rejections, maybe it’s eight more than what I refer to before, but it’s still percentage wise, a volume issue, and you just need to be prepared that the rejection actually is a good thing. Because then they weren’t your type. And I’m telling you, you dodged a bullet.

Damona  4:22  

Yes, I always say rejection is your protection. And I had this philosophy that dating app messages are sort of like coins in the fountain, you know, you toss toss them and you make a wish. And if they come true, it’s wonderful. You got the relationship that you wanted, but if you didn’t, it’s like, are you going to be really upset over a penny? And I say, I’ve been saying this Julie for like, over 10 years, but at the same time, I know it’s not. It’s not so easy to just be like, I was rejected, no big deal. How do you how do you recommend that your clients keep a thick skin about it or reframe their Thinking around sending outgoing messages and swiping right and not getting the reaction that they are hoping for every time.

Julie Spira  5:09  

Well, no one’s going to get a home run every time just like no one’s going to buy the winning lottery ticket. Maybe you’ll maybe you’ll get three on the scratch or something and you’ll make $5. And so I think the point is, is managing expectations is so key to what both you and I do. And when someone comes to me and says, Oh, I really don’t want to try online dating. I did it. It didn’t work. And I see that they’ve had the last profile and they barely log on. I have to say, no one, neither myself. No one has the magic wand that’s going to make Mr. Right or news right up here within the first week. And while you might dread thinking of going on three dates and 52 weeks on your dating app. If somebody told you on the 53rd week you were going to have the greatest love ever and you were going to meet your soulmate. You really wouldn’t mind that. It’s 53 weeks away. Because you know, there’s a pot of gold. So it’s managing expectations and realizing that it takes time and new people join every single day. And you’re going to suffer through online dating fatigue, or online dating anxiety disorder, I always call it oh da dee. And And when that happens, take break. Just take a break, and don’t, don’t open the app for a week. And then new people are joining all the time, people breaking up all the time, and everybody’s looking for the chance to truly, really connect with someone. So it’s okay to go on bad days because you learn from them more about who you don’t want to be with. So when the right one comes along, it’s much more parent.

Damona  6:44  

Hmm, well, the right one did come along. For someone who’s been in the news, Sheryl Sandberg, who you all probably know is the CEO of Facebook. She also was the author of lean in and the whole philosophy of women leaning in and work and getting ahead My interpretation when I read that book was that a big part of her ability to lean in was the support of her husband, Dave Goldberg. And unfortunately five years ago he passed away unexpectedly and she was was left having to juggle all these things on our own. But here’s the here’s that pot of gold but you’re saying at the end of the rainbow, she is now engaged to Tom bernthal who is you might recognize the last name he is the richer and more handsome brother of actor john Burton. And I’m sure the two of them both thought they wouldn’t find someone again but here they are loving another time and being engaged Do you think

Julie Spira  7:47  

I you know I’ve

Damona  7:48  

never had to deal with love finding love again after a loss like that. And five years is a pretty good amount of time for someone to take before they are ready to jump into it, but it was pretty fast. Julie, they’ve just they just got together in April. And now they’re already getting engaged. What are your thoughts on on this relationship?

Julie Spira  8:09  

My thoughts are she’s had these five years to mourn. And she’s got a very responsible job and responsible for family. And she met someone who basically can really just move into her life and she can move into his life, and they can build a life together with both of their families. And I think that everybody desires companionship, and people go to bereavement groups or people sometimes whether it’s a death of a partner or even a devastating divorce, when you thought you were going to go the distance, that’s a death that feels like a death as well when you’re going through a divorce or a bad breakup. So when you suddenly can meet someone, and it’s not going to be the same as you’ve had in your previous husband or partner or relationship, but someone where you can have a great companionship, and together you can actually have find love again. I think it’s fabulous. But then again, my grandfather got remarried at 87 years old. And so I believe there’s no expiration date on love. Oh, wow.

Damona  9:09  

Yeah. I’m glad that you mentioned that to Julian. And I know you do coach a lot of daters that are older and that maybe haven’t dealt with dating apps or haven’t even dated in in decades. I think she’s 50

Julie Spira  9:22  


Damona  9:24  

and getting remarried. So it’s actually one one more vote for the over 50 married again, and finding love club.

Julie Spira  9:35  

I’m very happy for her great news. Yeah.

Damona  9:38  

Well, we did mention it is Valentine’s week. If you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been it’s Valentine’s week all week. And there was a new spending survey from wallet hub. I actually had read an article earlier. That said the according to the National Retail Federation, Americans were projected to spend $27 billion on Valentine’s gifts this year. I thought that was insane. While it helped did this similar survey, and they looked at what people are spending their money on. And it said, most people are going to buy candy cards and flowers. I’m so inspired by this Julie

Julie Spira  10:18  

right. And repeat. Right?

Damona  10:20  

Right. What are some better gifts you think that people can be thinking of? You know, if you’re listening to this on Monday, you still have time to get a better gift. Candy To me, it just seems like you ran out of time you didn’t really care then you just like grabbed a box of chocolate.

Julie Spira  10:36  

I’ll never forget the time and a former boyfriend. Valentine’s Day showed up with this box of drugstore candy that I know he picked up along the way. And I’m like, really? And so I feel as though these items Yes, people would like flowers. And you know what women do like flowers. Men actually like flowers too. You can get my guy a bouquet of tulips and in And in color other than red, but you don’t need to break the bank. And I’m not really spending a lot on Valentine’s Day this year, probably because I’m going to be tired. But But what I am doing is I’m recommending that people create experiences. So what that means is maybe Valentine’s day you’ll get a gift card. If somebody really loves books, get a gift card to a bookstore. If someone’s anxious to see a play, and they really love plays, and that it’s something you can go to together or concert tickets, something you can go to together. Or better yet, if you really can’t splurge on StubHub for that fabulous sold out rock concert, then look and see other events that are free. There’s always a pre museum day or a museum night and create an event and give your partner a coupon for a future date, where you’re going to go museum hopping for the day and maybe you know, a little gift from the museum store.

Damona  11:55  

I love that I’m very big into experiences and I’ve always said that to my husband since the beginning like Don’t give me stuff. I’m not into stuff. Although I told him long ago that I really wasn’t into flowers. But there have been some instances where I was like, you’re good, I got me flowers, you have to be you have to be careful what you what you tell them early on, right. But

Julie Spira  12:13  

there’s nothing wrong with flowers. And here’s the thing I recommend, if you can’t afford, you know, the flowers that are delivered that suddenly are $99, go to the grocery store and pick up a dozen red tulips and just show up with something and a card that shows that you you’re thinking out of the box, you recognize that this is a romantic day, but you don’t know to need to go to Tiffany and buy really expensive jewelry and you just need to do something, you know, that’s within your budget. And if you’re in a relationship that’s not new, it’s great to talk about the Valentine’s budget. So where do you Where do you like to go? Um, you know, going to the post six restaurants on Valentine’s Day may not be an option. So the good news is Valentine’s Day is a On a three day weekend was actually for if you think about it, because it’s because of, I think it’s Presidents Day. So you can celebrate on Friday and spend a lot of money at a restaurant or bring in takeout and have in room dining, or you can instead, you know, Happy Valentine’s Day celebrated when it’s less chaotic and we’re, you know, hurt your bankbook as much. And that would be on Saturday, Sunday. And if you’re lucky enough not to have to work on Monday, Monday, see a lot of other options to do things that other people are spending a lot of money on Friday, that won’t as I said, it won’t kill your wallet on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Damona  13:37  

Yeah, I was shocked from this article. They said that men are three times more likely to go into credit card debt for Valentine’s Day gifts. Guys, you don’t need to go into credit card debt. It’s not that serious. But one thing that surprised me Julie is they asked men and women if they thought that the bill should be split on Valentine’s Day. 38% of men said yes and 31 percent of women also thought that they should split the check. I just have to know where you land on that.

Julie Spira  14:07  

I don’t believe in splitting the check on Valentine’s Day or your birthday, or anything that’s really that significant when it comes to love and romance or first date, of course. But it really depends on what you’re doing. I mean, if you’re cooking first class tickets to go something pairs for Petland time today, which most of us aren’t, but then go ahead and use miles or split the check. But outside of that, I think that for a heterosexual relationship, the man wants to be the hero on Valentine’s Day. So let them pick up the bill.

Damona  14:36  

All right, you have had the final word in that segment. Julie, we are going to be back with your five q fab. The five questions we’ve been asking are for repeat, dating experts on dates and mates. Since you’re still listening, you must like what you hear. And if you do, why not take a moment to hit the subscribe button on whichever podcast platform you’re listening to. Right now and that way you will be immediately notified whenever we drop a new episode. Or for example, a bonus episode ahem which will be happening on Valentine’s Day my friends, so don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review while you’re there so we can reach more people and heal more hearts this Valentine’s Day. We will be back with Julie spirent answering our five questions for five q FEHB. In just a moment. We are back with Julie aspira, the cyber dating expert and we are doing our love month five q FEHB. So, Julie, I’ve known you for a long time. And I very much trust and respect your your advice on everything dating and relationships. So I’m really curious what your answers are to the five questions that we have teed up for this month. Are

Julie Spira  15:52  

you ready for this? Go for it.

Damona  15:55  

Julie Spira What is the biggest challenge for daters today

Julie Spira  16:01  

I think the biggest challenge for dangerous today if there are too many choices, and I guess that’s a good news, bad news answer, because without all of these choices, we wouldn’t be able to meet so many people and actually form relationships. But because we have too many choices, it’s hard for people to be able to make a decision to say, you know, I really like you and maybe I should take my profile down, or let’s see where it goes. If it doesn’t work out, well, we can always rejoin people are hesitant to take the profiles down because of all the the abundance of options, you know, they call it the Paradox of Choice. And as a result, they’re giving up good opportunities. And then suddenly they circle back and we’ll see that guys in a committed relationship. So we need to learn to be aware when someone really great comes along, and I’m telling you, he or she won’t be perfect because none of us are perfect, but if they have, you know, three out of the five of your top traits and give them a second chance Go on a second date going a third date, and at a particular time, move it forward or move on.

Damona  17:07  

I want to pause to talk about that DTR conversation because I have been getting a lot of questions from listeners and from clients about when is the right time. And just as you said, there’s that question of, are you taking your profile down? I don’t know. I don’t want to, like, mention it and then have him think that I’m trying to move things too fast. And I actually had a client recently where we literally spent maybe a month of sessions talking about how to bridge the conversation. And my advice to her was like, just wait a little bit longer, a little longer. I feel like women want to have that cup DTR conversation usually, before the men are ready.

Julie Spira  17:48  

Do you do say, I think it used to be that way and what I’m finding now there’s a shift because I’m working with men who are like I met her and I’m done. I mean, they they want to hunt and they want to like grab their prey now. And so what they’re doing is they’re chasing women away because they’re saying, Okay, so here’s my boundary, this is what I can offer you. And this is what I want to take you and this is how I want to live our life and can we be exclusive, and the women are freaking out and going, Hey, I’ve only been dating you in six days, or six dates or whatever it may be. And so don’t so quick to seal the deal because I love the different phases of courtship. But when it comes to being sexually intimate, you’ve got to decide you know, are you okay? in an open relationship? people I work with are not are, are you? If you’re about to have sex? Do you want them to go get tested, I mean, that’s the perfect time to talk about defining the next phase of your relationship. And that doesn’t mean you putting a ring on it. It just means if you want to be sexually exclusive, let’s go together and get tested I know doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s responsible. And while we’re doing it, you know, I really don’t feel comforted. dating somebody who has an active dating profile. So I’m going to take mine down. But I’m not going to ask you to take your stand until you’re ready. And when you say that, you know, usually someone will just catch up in time. I’m glad

Damona  19:14  

that you you phrased it that way like you make it about you. It’s not you need to take down your profile right now because things are getting serious. It’s, I’m going to take down my profile, you can do what you want. I’m just letting you know where I stand and how I feel. And that takes a level of bravery, Julie, because so many times we are afraid to really express how we feel because if we say we like this person, and they don’t feel the same way yet, then we there there comes the rejection. Again, we feel like we’ve been rejected,

Julie Spira  19:46  

but before you you know, put that big in a scarlet letter are on your face. And then here’s another one that won’t commit to make as they’re playing the field and you must be a player. Make sure you say and I hope you catch up and that doesn’t mean they will Or they won’t, but you’re not putting this like pressure on man. And when you say I hope they’ll catch up, you’re just giving them a little nudge. And chances are they’ll catch up a little sooner than they might have been had you not have to have the conversation.

Damona  20:13  

Yes, I’m a big fan for just just voicing just voicing that thing that you’re feeling. And maybe if you’re a guy, and you’re six days, six days into dating someone, and your instinct is to tell them that you love them. Maybe

Julie Spira  20:27  

that’s too soon.

Damona  20:28  

But like, if you’ve been dating for a little while, and you’re really feeling bonded to someone to say how you feel the end of the story with my client is that last weekend, she she was introducing this guy, she’s been dating to friends. And we came up with her just saying, I’m excited for you to meet my friends. How do you want me to introduce you? And then he said, I’d like to be introduced as your boyfriend. Is that okay? You know, and here there’s like four months this elephant in the room of like, We both feel like we’re exclusive, but nobody really wants to say it. And she was like, I was amazed at how easy it was. And I’ve just seen this happen time and time again, where we make it so much harder, because the different outcomes are so become so much bigger and so much more weighted in our minds.

Julie Spira  21:17  

And I think happy ending and does but you know, relationship labels, I think they’re more important, generally speaking for women than for men. A guy feels good in the relationship. He sees you every Saturday night. He calls you every day texts you in between, you know, as far as he’s concerned, he’s in a relationship. But if you say, you know, I want to be called girlfriend, I want you to call me your girlfriend when you introduce me. You know, he might not be ready to say that just yet. And so it’s really important to understand that doesn’t mean there’s not a level of commitment if you don’t have a label. Labels aren’t important to everybody. That’s a really good point.

Damona  21:56  

Okay, second question of five q fab, Julie. What is the best way to find love.

Julie Spira  22:03  

The best way to find love, okay, I’m feeling I know what you’re gonna say. But

Julie Spira  22:09  

it’s not because you know, I’ve been doing online dating coaching for 25 years. It’s because I love this new research that came out from Stanford, and University of New Mexico that showed that 39% of singles met through online dating number one, as compared to 20%, who met through friends. Now, everyone tells me I want to meet someone that someone knows and I’d like to meet a friend of a friend, but the numbers double Okay, the closest second is through friends at 20% and almost 40% are meeting through dating apps. So if you’re not using a digital dating strategy, along with going out and being your fabulous self and going to your favorite events and going into your hiking clubs, and whatever you may do, just live your life but have an online and an offline strategy because the number First don’t lie and you’re going to be missing out.

Damona  23:03  

Okay, I’m glad you brought up the S word strategy. And you may remember like way back when when we first met and we exchanged business cards, my business card actually said, online dating strategist and people were like, what is that? That sounds super unromantic. I want no part of strategy. But it’s a big part of my philosophy. And I want to know how it is incorporated into your philosophies cyber dating expert.

Julie Spira  23:31  

Well, I you know, it’s romantic to call the business love But love is a multi billion dollar business if you I mean, just look at the number of the amount of people are spending on Valentine’s alone. And we’re looking at dating apps, you know, in the billions of swipes and the multi billions of such an enormous industry that that there is a strategy that is very similar to looking for your dream job. And when you’re looking for your dream job and maybe you’ll go on LinkedIn and you Look for a few things. And maybe you’ll go to networking events and you’ll hand out your card or you’ll swap digits or whatever. The fact is, if you get to the point of finally getting a job interview after doing all of this work, to be prepared to look your best to have the best block and resume out there, and you go on an interview, and you don’t get the job, because there’s a 100 other candidates, you go on the next interview, and if you don’t get the job, because there were 200 candidates, you go on the next interview, because you probably need to pay your rent and put food on the table. And so that same strategy, I transfer that to online dating, and if you’ve had three bad dates, you don’t say I’m not going to go on another bad day because I met people that didn’t look like their profile, because you say okay, I want to find love. I’m going to go on the next day and maybe you’ll have a better experience.

Damona  24:52  

Hmm, that’s that’s a really good point. And like you I like looking at dating in a way as Your own social experiment, where each time you go out with someone, you’re learning about yourself, you’re iterating you’re improving your dating skills, your dating strategy, and then you’re fine tuning to get closer to what you’re looking for. Can we go a level deeper? Julie? Okay. How can this is the actual third question, how can people change their patterns in love? A lot of our listeners don’t like the path that they’re on right now in love. How can they change their patterns?

Julie Spira  25:33  

Well, if you don’t like the path you’re on, you need to hop off that saddle and here’s the problem. We are so used to what is comfortable for us, even if it’s bad for us, therefore, people go after the same type over and over again. And maybe it’s a commitment phobe and then they find another commitment phobe or the down someone that’s just gotten divorced, and then they find someone else who’s newly single and isn’t over their ex yet. And so I think it’s It’s really important to jump out of that comfort circle and date somebody completely different than your last three relationships. Because if you have a type, you know, it’s it’s wired into your brain that this is your type, even if it is bad for you. I mean, if you think about what happens when you bond with someone when you have sex with them, and you know that they’ve, there’s no long term possibilities in that relationship. The next thing you know, they’re on a pedestal, you’re fantasizing about them, you know, the, the hormones are kicking in, and they become better than they really are in real life. So you’ve got to date somebody completely different from your type, and whether they’re shorter or whether they live farther away, or whether, you know, they didn’t have this kind of degree that you thought that you were hoping they would have, whatever it may be, you need to date somebody different and see what it’s like and get uncomfortable for a little bit and give them a couple of chances. Because the Maybe the person who actually would be a great match for you, especially since the other ones didn’t go the distance.

Damona  27:07  

We actually one of our questions today is about type. So I’m going to, I’m going to leave a little bit of this for our technically dating segment. But I just want to say also like identifying your type, because I think we tend to look at just what the physical type is. But identifying what is that pattern, right? Like if you, maybe you date people who are wildly different in physical types, but like the, the relationships have all ended the same way or you feel the same way and the relationships. They’re probably some commonalities that you don’t realize are even there if you go back and connect the dots.

Julie Spira  27:47  

And I think it’s important to just again, make a list now make it a list that’s, you know, got 100 items on it, but make a list of the most important character traits and this is outside of like, What does someone look like? Life is looks changed, we I mean, looks really changed as you get older. But, but make a list of the type of person you want to be with the type of relationship you want, whether it’s casual, they’re committed, whether you want to be married or not. Whether you want a life partner or travel partner, make a list of all the things that you like to do, and then see if you can find someone that gets part of that list and then give them a shot.

Damona  28:27  

Alright, so we’ve been talking about finding that dream match that ideal person that has most of those qualities. What do you think for your, your fourth question for five key fab? What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Julie?

Julie Spira  28:44  

A strong, long lasting relationship. Number one, without a doubt, trust. If you can’t trust the person you’re with, why are you with them? If you’re agonizing about why they didn’t text you last night, maybe they fell asleep or you and you automatically Well, they’re cheating on you because someone else had, and you’re bringing that baggage to the table, if you’re going to have a situation where eventually they won’t, you know, they will betray your trust. If you keep feeling like you don’t trust that person, trust takes a real long time to build and a split second to lose. And that is a really important thing. So again, for online dating, if you’re taking your profile down, and you say you’re going to be exclusive, don’t say it just because you want to get into bed with this person. Say it because you mean it and you’re going to live it and your words mean everything. And so I can’t tell you that relationships once the trust, you know, has been broken, they can be fixed, but it takes a long time and it takes two committed people really working hard at regaining their trust. So don’t lose it in the first place. be that person who you say you are and if they aren’t, move on.

Damona  29:53  

Yes, and that that dovetails into something else that I always wind up coaching my clients on that it’s it’s about getting into the feeling of what it’s like being with that person and sometimes,

Julie Spira  30:09  

like if you have trust issues,

Damona  30:11  

then you your automatic default is not to trust when you’re with someone new. And the only way to tell if someone is trustworthy is by trusting them and seeing that they’re being consistent. But I find it starts with getting into feeling on the date like how do you feel when you’re with them? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like they are doing what they say they’re going to do? What about for those people that already have the built in issue with trust? Maybe they have been they have been taken advantage of in a prior relationship or been cheated on? How can they learn to trust again so that they can have that long lasting relationship that they want?

Julie Spira  30:57  

This is a real issue. This is a real issue because I’ve met people that I’ve worked with, who saw their fathers cheat on their mothers. And therefore, they ended up with boyfriends who cheated on men, and if not what they want it, but for some reason, they repeated this patterns that they grew up with. And so I think, you know, breaking these patterns is clear, clearly the the first step that I see that people need to do, and then how do you do that we have to go back into self love. You have to realize that you know, you are lovable, you are the prize. And whenever someone feels insecure about going on a date, or they feel unhappy in their relationship, and they wish their boyfriend would be more committed, just look in the mirror and go, Hey, he’s lucky to have me, I am the prize. And the more confident you are, the better off you will be in your relationships because a man doesn’t want a needy woman and he doesn’t want an insecure woman and he doesn’t want someone you know, checking up on him and staring at his text messages when he’s taking a nap.

Damona  32:00  

So true. Yep, you have to, you have to find that that faith and that courage to to trust again, and I know it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time to unravel those, those patterns and even if you saw it as a kid and didn’t experience yourself or you’ve been through it before, it’s not gonna happen overnight. There’s one more question doing for five to fab, whose relationship do you admire and why?

Julie Spira  32:27  

Okay, I’m going to name two. Okay. The first one I’m going to say, would be Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And the reason I say that is because it’s someone that most of us know. And I have admired them for a really long time. They’re both just kind people. They have so much respect for each other. They live their lives as individuals and they live their lives as a couple and they’ve been married for over 30 years. So Hollywood romances are so so difficult, and this is one that you know I give you know, a five star review to because because I just think I’ve been around them and if anyone’s watched them on TV or an award ceremonies, you can just see that they do adore each other. And they do have their independent projects, and they respect each other. So that’s my, my, my Hollywood couple. And outside of that, I’m going to actually add in one more couple, and that is my parents. And I say that with so much love and respect because my parents have been married for 60 years, over 60 years, okay. At my mother met my father when she was a senior in high school. I think she’s the only man she was ever with. And they have been together through thick and thin and they still love and adore each other and they are living, you know, their later years in an adult active retired community where they have this enormous social life and They love their children, they love their grandchildren. And they have it’s still such great role models for me, looking at the love of a share, and that they shared over multiple decades. And I only hope that I get to celebrate a 70th anniversary with them.

Damona  34:16  

Well, that’s beautiful Julie, and I’ve seen pictures of them online and they do look so cute. What do you think is the secret to their long lasting relationship?


Julie Spira  34:26  

That changes just like every relationship changes decade per decade, you want something different and different decades. At this point? I think the secret to their relationship is they watch TV in separate rooms and watch two different news channels. But But really, I think they have such a companionship, my father sends her a card every year on the anniversary of their first date. And in the end, their first date was on May 7. So he has this little poem that he writes, you know, he’s 91 years old, you still write this poem. Remember the day the seventh of may and it was the day of the first day It was the day one year later that he proposed to her and they became engaged. And so he has these rituals of making sure that my mom My mother is loved, you know, all year long, but they never forget the anniversary of their first day. And I think that’s fabulous. Oh my gosh, it gave me chills.

Julie Spira  35:19  

I have no idea when my first day was.

Julie Spira  35:23  

Better go look at the calendar.

Damona  35:25  

I better go look at the calendar. But yeah, it’s a reminder that those little rituals that seems silly like with Valentine’s Day coming up, people are thinking, How do I make this memorable? And sometimes it’s, it’s the little things it’s sending that card. It’s writing that poem, and even it’s the same poem every year that she knows that that she can count on that and she can count on him is something that’s really inspiring for us this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing. How you liking this five q fab. I want to know what what’s your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. You can tweet me or You can leave a comment on Instagram or message me on Facebook and use the hashtag five q fab. That’s the number five q f Eb. And then we’ll be following and sharing your responses about your big takeaways and aha moments from this month’s episodes. Now she’s answered my questions, but it’s time for her to answer yours in the next segment. By the way, we are always doing technically dating so if you have a question, you can always submit it to me for the show on any social platform at damona Hoffman You can also message me through dates and or leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 Don’t be shy. We love hearing your voice. We’ll put all those links and, and instructions in the show notes. But this show works best when you tell me what is on your mind so that I can give you the dating and relationship advice that you need. And chances are if you’re having a question, there’s someone else listening right now to this podcast, who’s going through the exact same thing that you are feeling right now. So you be brave and ask the question that you need an answer to and you could be helping yourself and others to have the love and relationship that you want this year. We’ll be back right after this with more Julie Spyro. All right, we are here with Julie spire off for our final segment. You have sent in your questions and we are giving you answers and I am passing on your questions to Julie Spyro. Who’s the cyber dating expert. And I hand picked these ones for Julie. So just want to say to anyone that submitted a question I know I’ve I’m I have a few questions in queue from previous weeks. But Julie is an expert in online dating so I wanted to make sure that I gave these specific questions to her. So this one came to us in an email from a woman will call Jay. Julie, she says I’m wondering your thoughts on having a type physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like When I’m out and about meeting men in the wild, she calls it, there’s a cut, there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your type. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? On one hand, I’m worried I might miss someone on the other eye. Should I be setting updates with guys that I don’t that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Or am I doing these apps wrong? And then she used the like, hands up. What do you do emoji?

Julie Spira  38:34  

Well, I’m doing it wrong. Maybe but maybe not. So I think you should really, my best advice is to look at it as a quantity thing. And how many dates Do you want to go on in a given week? And who in that given week really rises to the top of people you’ve been communicating with, that you think you have enough in common with I’m also a big fan of hopping on the phone. I know what an arcade thing but you Know swapping digits and getting on the phone. Because if you have a phone chemistry with someone, chances are you’re going to have a good experience on the day. But if you’re on the phone with them, and you’re so bored, and you’re like yawning, oh my gosh, I can’t wait for this phone call to end and you take another incoming phone call just to get out of it, then don’t schedule a date because it’s going to be a bomb. And you’re going to it’s going to be a dating disaster. But yes, try and date people that are different than who you dated the week before. And but if you really feel like, Hey, we just have nothing in common. Our backgrounds are so different. I don’t think I can have a good time. What am I going to talk about, then just take a pass because there are so many millions of other people that you could be chatting with. So don’t be too rigid. loosen it up a little bit. But if you really know you’re going to be on a bad date, just don’t go your time is really precious.

Damona  39:56  

Yeah. I am all about one Quality, but also you have to get enough quantity in the mix to make those decisions. And this is this is a big problem with dating apps is that I think people forget that they’re using a tool. The dating app is just the tool. It’s not the it’s not the chemistry, it’s not the butterflies, it’s just the means for you to meet the person. That’s the way I look at it. So I’m like, drive to the date, get offline, get to the date, because all those things that she feels when she’s out in the wild, as she says, and she feels those sparks and the chemistry, you probably aren’t going to get them in the same way when you’re swiping right.

Julie Spira  40:37  

You’re not and the other problem that you have to be concerned about is the false expectation that you’re in a relationship because you’ve been chatting you know, morning noon and night on on via text or WhatsApp or on the dating app. And all of this chatting and this what I call the digital foreplay. It’s sort of advances your relationship where you think you really know someone and like Dimona said, you don’t know them until you actually can get together in person and see what it’s like to laugh at their jokes and see if you really feel enough to want to go on a second date. Because all first date really is, is the opportunity to decide at the end of the day or the evening, do you want to go out again and pull out your calendars and schedule something so it doesn’t get lost in the Abyss?

Damona  41:21  

Yeah, what about this idea of type though, I do want to talk about that. Because I know I I’ve always had a physical type. And I went out with people that were way different from my physical type. But I ended up ultimately with someone who was like, straight down the middle, my exact physical type.

Julie Spira  41:41  

Well, you know, you got lucky, I got lucky.

Julie Spira  41:45  

Because here’s the thing. I had a physical type and it was really interesting. I and then I ended up at one point marrying somebody who was completely opposite my physical type, and it was a bad choice not because of the physical type, but it was a bad choice, but I was at a point My life were, well, I want to get married, I want to settle down, it’s time. And you know, other boxes got checked off. So I thought it was a good decision. So now I’m back to Well, I have a certain type. And sometimes when you meet someone that’s not your type physically in a photo, first of all the photos you don’t know necessarily that they’re going to resemble what you they look like when you meet them in person, you have to hope for truth and advertising. But if you really know that you have a certain type, and you’re comfortable with that type and you’ve had successful relationships with that type, then stick with that type and just, you know, go outside the box a little bit because you do have to go outside the box.

Damona  42:39  

Yeah, and I think sometimes our type is predicated on the experiences that we have, the more that we go out with someone who is 510 and slender, the more we will be attracted the next time to someone who’s 510 and slender, but I think it can be dangerous and especially like I know y’all didn’t Ask about this. But especially when it comes to race, a lot of times people will come to me with a very narrow view of the physical type, the race, the the ethnic background of someone. And I’m like, if you go a level deeper into the values, that person may be completely aligned with you. But you’ve never dated someone who’s African American or Asian, because you just had it in your mind that you date Caucasian men. And we have to sort of shake that up a little bit. If you’re really, if you’re really opening up to finding love.

Julie Spira  43:31  

We have to shake it a lot, because there’s so many great people. And I think that I believe in diversity, and I love you know, inclusion and I love such a variety, I would say the 64 colors of crayons in the Crayola crayon box, you know, and I know dimana you’ve talked about the ice cream flavors, but the fact is, there are so many different types of people and if you haven’t had a chance to be with them, you really shouldn’t say they’re not your type because you don’t know exactly

Damona  44:00  

Thank you for saying that and making me not the only one saying that because I know you believe it too. We have one more question Julie. This okay this is put a strap your seatbelt on. Because this is this is a this is a big one. Kayla on Twitter says how do I quit online dating? I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis pardon the language on a daily basis for dating with intention. I’m objectified by creeps with every other message but I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly that I can’t bring myself to stop

Julie Spira  44:38  

when you’re asking to stop but you don’t want to stop you just want to get rid of the creeps. You know you don’t want somebody sending a dick pic and you don’t want somebody that you know is is calling you a bitch or whatever they want to say because you’re a woman that is strong has strong values and you’re stating your intentions. Keep stating your intentions because you are going to attract someone who’s looking for Exactly what you’re looking for. And as far as these debit guys, you know, swipe left block them, so you don’t have to see them in a search again. And all the tools that these dating apps have right now make it very easy for you to not be bothered by people who are harassing you or make you uncomfortable for any reason.

Damona  45:17  

Yeah, I second that definitely use the block and report feature. They take those those complaints very seriously. But what do you think, Julie? If she’s, I mean, I spent a lot of time on dating apps well, online dating before they were dating apps and I but I help my clients with with dating apps every day. I know you’ve done the same for 25 years. I’ve rarely been called a bitch. And I haven’t seen my clients be called a bitch all that often. Do you think there’s something that she’s doing that maybe allowing these guys it or could it be the app that she’s on? Or could it be something about the way that she’s presenting herself, because like, I don’t want her to be getting this abuse every day,

Julie Spira  45:59  

right? And also I’ve never gotten many views from that, you know, when I’ve been on dating apps, and I’ve seen for the most part, my clients have all had, you know, good experiences, they just didn’t feel that they had enough in common or there wasn’t a connection, but it didn’t mean they were a bad person. And so I don’t know what kind of messages are being sent out. I’ve seen dating profiles with disclaimers, don’t contact me if this don’t contact me if that I mean, don’t say anything that’s negative, you want people to contact you. So I don’t know what your communications have been. I don’t know what types of dates you want to go on. Some women really would prefer not investing a lot of time and going on coffee dates. There are other women that do not want to go on coffee dates, because they don’t want to be in allowed Starbucks and they’d like to have a quieter like lunch conversation with someone even if it’s over a cup of soup. So I think it’s a question of how are you communicating with these guys, because deep down, they want to connect with someone and you want to connect with someone. You’re obviously not a fit with these people, but there has to be another 80% of guys out there that aren’t You a bitch. That’s hope.

Damona  47:01  

Yes Yeah, definitely don’t stand for it. But definitely don’t give up if you really want that relationship keep listening to dates and mates and keep showing up for yourself and setting those boundaries and you’ll find the right one.

Julie Spira  47:14  

Julie this has been such

Damona  47:16  

a blast talking to you again on data needs.

Julie Spira  47:20  

Thank you for having me and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and don’t forget you know, gallon times day is the day before Valentine’s Day. So support you know, loving your friendships with your girlfriends ladies. And if you don’t have a Valentine’s date, have a blast on Valentine’s Day.

Damona  47:36  

Thank you for reminding us of that. And thank you for being here. You can follow Julie at Julie aspira on Twitter and Instagram we will put the link to her socials in the show notes as well as her link to cyber dating expert calm which is where she gives dating advice. She has a wonderful blog there with lots of great resources and you can sign up there for her free weekly flirt newsletter which will also give you the seven secrets to finding love online. Thanks for being here. Julie. Thank you. Are you feeling overwhelmed by love month and looking for a little bit more support? And then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits. We are launching a special Patreon program this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. For our listeners who are ready for more. What is Patreon? Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear. And it allows you to get amazing listener benefits by participating. Our page is slash dates and mates. What will you get if you sign up? Here’s just a few of the benefits. You get access to a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. Maybe you’ll make a love connection there. Maybe you’ll get some more advice that you need that’s directed specifically towards you. You’ll also have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. These will be live these will be video and Phone chats that you’ll be able to participate directly with me so you can get the support that you need in love. And you’ll also get access to behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates.


Julie Spira  49:13  

And for my really, really special


Damona  49:14  

top tier VIP, Fw B’s, you can even get a dating profile analysis, with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws just the right kind of dates into you. The Patreon is live, slash dates and mates. And don’t worry if you’ve never used Patreon before, if you just click the link in the show notes, we will walk you through all of the different tiers and what you get and make it really easy for you to become a part of the community. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up now before March 1. That’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my friends with benefits. I hope you enjoyed Episode 296 of dates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear your love questions. And I want you to join me again next week when I will have Bella Gandhi who will be doing the five q fab thing with us. Until next week, I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day and happy dating


Fleabag & Blended Families


On today’s episode, we’re talking all about blended families, tradition, and the holidays.

We like to keep you up to date and aware of what’s trending here at Dates & Mates. And no surprise but here in the US and worldwide, blended families are becoming more popular – whether that be blended races, blended cultures, blended religions, or two families joined through re-marriage.

So if you’re dating, in a new relationship, or are re-married, you will likely at some point find a point in your life where you are looking to blend your family traditions with your significant other. Blended families are becoming more and more prominent and we want to keep you informed!

More on that later, first we have headlines! 


Should we ban Plantation-style weddings?

You may know that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s 2012 wedding pictures have been “shadow-banned” because they took place at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston. Is it time to ban plantation-style weddings once and for all? Damona and Carmelia weigh in.

Are you a Fleabag?

If you’ve seen the show “Fleabag” on Amazon Prime (WATCH IT!! IT’S GREAT!) you know that “fleabagging” is making lots of really, really bad dating decisions over and over and over again.

What emoji should you use in your Tinder Profile?

Tinder’s EOY breakdown of Tinder profiles is here! Which emoji should you be using on your profile? hint:


Joining us today is celebrity matchmaker, and online dating expert, Carmelia Ray. 

Carmelia is an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for high achieving men and the quality women they’re searching for. You may also know her as a TV personality on shows such as Mom Vs. Matchmaker, The Real Housewives Of Toronto, and most recently A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. Carmelia’s advice has been featured in AskMen, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, OK! Magazine, and so much more. She recently launched a dating app here in LA called Censio.

When we decided to do an episode on blended families and holidays, and blended traditions, our first thought was that we had to get Carmelia’s input on this episode. 

Fun Fact: When she’s not supporting clients in their search for love, she’s traveling and loving life with her extraordinary husband, and family (4 kids and American bulldog).

Today we talk:

  • Sixteen percent of children live in blended families.
  • The number of kids living in blended families has been stable for nearly thirty years.
  • Children of Hispanic, black, and white backgrounds are equally likely to live in this type of family.
  • Children from Asian families are half as likely as Hispanic, black, or white kids to be part of a blended family.
  • Six of ten women’s remarriages create blended families.
  • 60-70% of marriages involving children with a previous marriage
  • 1 in 5 adults raised in interfaith homes
  • Most common interfaith household is protestant/catholic
  • Mixed faith partners shot to 40% (20% in the 60s) DOUBLED SINCE THE 1960s
  • Today, mixed-race marriages are at a high, and the number of multiracial Americans is growing three times as fast as the population as a whole, according to the Pew Research Center. 
  • Although multiracial people account for only an estimated 7 percent of Americans today, their numbers are expected to soar to 20 percent by 2050.
  • As a matchmaker, how much do you pay attention to things like race and religion?
  • What are the most important factors in compatibility for blended couples
  • How can you blend families over the holidays – first holiday with a partner’s kids or introducing a partner to your kids.

Follow Carmelia on all the socials (@carmeliaray) and don’t forget to use the code “singlebells” for your first unlimited month of Censio free!


Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show!

Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • (From Instagram) I’m on all of the dating apps and I’ve been looking trying not to be too picky. But I can’t tell if I’m on the apps because I’m scared of being single and I feel like I should be. Or if I’m doing poorly being because I’m scared or I’m doing poorly because I’m not interested. I’ve always seen myself in the future with kids, but there was never a man attached to that future, and I would like to have sex but I’m not into just going on hook up apps because I feel intimidated from being out the game for so long.
  • (From Instagram) What is the youngest appropriate age I can date? I’m a 34 year old man.



Damona  0:17  

Hello Lovers and welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified Dating Coach Damona Hoffman, and thank you for making this show your source for dating and relationship advice, especially holiday dating and relationship advice. I know this is the time of year that a lot of you are thinking about dating challenges, relationship challenges, and I’m really excited that you took the time to join us during this busy holiday season. 

We love to keep you aware of what’s trending. And it’s no surprise that here in the US, especially blended families are trending and becoming more popular. So whether that be blended races, blended cultures, blended religions or two families joined through remarriage. Whether you’re doing dating or in a new relationship or are remarried, you will likely find at some point in your life you may be looking to blend your family with someone else in someone else’s traditions. 

And that is why we are doing today’s show to give you the resources to navigate that challenge of blending. Joining me today is celebrity matchmaker and online dating expert, Carmelia Ray.


Carmelia Ray  1:24  

Hi Damona!


Damona  1:26  

Hi! I got to tell people about you. She’s an internationally acclaimed matchmaker. You also probably know her from TV. She is the host and matchmaker of a show called “Mom versus Matchmaker”. Yeah, she’s the matchmaker. She’s also been on The Real Housewives of Toronto and most recently a user’s guide to cheating death. You’ve seen her and asked men variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Ok magazine and so much more. She’s also become a partner in a dating app


Carmelia Ray  1:55  

Matchmaking app! Yes. We want to do distinct ourselves from like the swiping apps to a relationship based and relationship oriented app. So this is why we call it a matchmaking app.


Damona  2:09  

Well, I can’t wait to hear more about that. And I can’t wait to talk about the headlines with you. We have some juicy ones this week, including a wedding tradition that is being banned.


And fleabagging. Are you doing it? We’ll tell you what this new dating term means and maybe how you should be avoiding it in the future. 


Plus, we’ll break down Tinder’s end of year report on this year’s hottest dating trends.


And then we’ll answer your questions, including how to master dating apps, if they make you feel scared, confused and intimidated. I know a lot of you are nodding your heads to that. Plus what ages are appropriate for you to date. 


All that and more on today’s Dates & Mates. Carmelia, I didn’t give you some smooches earlier. Maybe I’ll give you some smooches now – 


Carmelia Ray  2:58  

And you’re gonna give me a real smooth or is it Virtual?


Damona  3:00  

a virtual smooch. I don’t want to make it weird. And then we’ll do these headlines. 


All right. Did you know that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are shadow banned, their wedding pictures? You cannot find them on many in many publications because they got married in 2012 at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston. You may recognize it as the location for the notebook, which is probably why they chose it. Right. But y’all, it’s a plantation. It’s a plantation. Yeah. So this this week Pinterest has banned plantation style wedding pictures from their whole site. And there’s a people are taking sides like the not saying we don’t want to. We want to celebrate love wherever people decide to have it. But is there a reason to not promote these plantation style weddings as Something that are grand and beautiful when you really consider the history


Carmelia Ray  4:04  

I mean you know, you you when you consider the history you’re stepping and celebrate you know you’re on a grounds where you know some bad things happen right and so historically It’s a place where attached to a lot of really awful memories so you’re trying to the only thing that that I might think is positive that you might want to replace those memories and and with something more positive and and have the past be in the past but I guess you know I have not i’m not personally related to that. So I want to emphasize with people that that it might offend.


Damona  4:42  

Yeah, well as a as a black person in America I am I am personally connected to it. But at the same time, I think there is something empowering and being able to say like, now I can choose if I want to I can have my my wedding This spot, right and like you’re saying kind of re, like, rewire exactly that the reasoning that some people use the N word which I never use, right, but they’re like, we are redefining it for ourselves. And so in a way, I guess that is a possibility if we can look at it that way, but I’ll tell you I have friend that that’s from Louisiana and was getting married and looking at venues. And one of them called the the, obviously this the homes that the the enslaved people lived in right quaint cottages that your guests could stay on on the grounds and I was like, I don’t know that you get to do that. I don’t know that you get it right. The history. You have to acknowledge what the history is and say like maybe we can educate people by inviting them to this place to see where where this history happens. So


Carmelia Ray  5:48  

I mean, forgive, I really don’t know about plantations or their actual people like, are they abandoned now? Are they


Damona  5:55  

working on the other like their giant mansions that are beautiful locations for writings but have like you said this horrible, dark, very attached to it. So I don’t know if it’s it’s really the place of, of Pinterest. Sure ban it because again, if you ban it, you’re trying to you’re trying to negate it from Well,


Carmelia Ray  6:17  

I mean, and then what happens what happens to the, you know, freedom of speech, right? opportunity like you can’t express this is your wedding day. I mean, I don’t know, I think it’s hard for me, I want to I want to not talk about that. But it’s great that you’re bringing up that point. We talked


Damona  6:35  

about the stuff you do to me, it’s another tough thing to do. People that are in terrible relationships, cycles, these bad relationship choices again and again and again. Cosmo has coined a new term called fleabag. For those of you who are fans of the show like I am, you know that


Carmelia Ray  6:59  

there is a show I’ve been out of the woodwork here so like like I’m a Netflix person in my free time. Yeah, there’s a show called fleabag


Damona  7:07  

there’s a bag okay and in it the main character is just a train wreck date or she dates people who are unavailable. I won’t. I won’t spoil it for anyone okay seen it or for you. Okay, but she makes some really bad relationship choices particularly in season two. Okay,


Carmelia Ray  7:25  

like where the audience is going. Oh, no, you didn’t


Damona  7:27  

know Yeah. Oh my god. I have a friend that is Yang or has fleabag or we’ve all fleabag Darcy Yeah.


Carmelia Ray  7:34  

Oh my god. Yes. Not to be confused with tea bag. That’s right. Just believe earlier on the show.


Damona  7:41  

Let’s just say I want to get some advice since you are such a an expert in dating and relationships and matchmaking. Yes. For people that are in these toxic cycles of makeup, break up. relationships that aren’t serving them what’s like one tip you could give them to break that cycle.


Carmelia Ray  7:58  

get professional help. Number one, I mean, tip number one, we’re both coaches,


Carmelia Ray  8:03  



Carmelia Ray  8:04  

And a lot of times people don’t know or they can’t recognize or even in that cycle, do you know you know, that friend and you keep talking to that person and they don’t do anything differently. So, make a different move, make a different decision, get help get support, put yourself outside of that toxic relationship and give yourself space. I think for people that continue to go back, they’re just either that again, it maybe has to do with their attachment styles. Are they anxious and avoidant? Do they are they addicted to this push pull type of situation? Right and, and so a normal relationship for them is foreign. I will


Damona  8:42  

say that was definitely my experience before I was used to the drama to me drama felt like attraction. And that like, you know that that we’re fighting now we broke up, we’re making up the


Carmelia Ray  8:56  



Damona  8:58  

highs and the lows, that starts with Feel like the norm. And it’s done. I think that’s what people really need to hear. Well, when you


Carmelia Ray  9:05  

thought a flea, I mean, that is so relevant, right? You just want it to go away or squash that but


Damona  9:12  

always jumping around


Carmelia Ray  9:15  

in your face is just like, Oh, yeah, I love that term. So I think want to be if you if you know that you can’t get out of this or you recognize this cycle and it is toxic, get help, get support, ask for you know, go to people that you trust, and maybe even go outside of your family. I really strongly believe in coaching and working with professionals, the experts that can maybe even do an intervention for you. They might have to drag you out of this relationship so that you can have the space you need to really see yourself outside of what you’re going on when you’re in the thick of it. It’s hard to get out of


Damona  9:52  

yet. So let’s say you’ve done the work and you’re ready to date again. Maybe Tinder A place for you to start. Tinder came through with their 2019 year in swipe report. This is their end of year evaluation about the most talked about topics particularly focusing on Gen Z. That’s their biggest


Carmelia Ray  10:14  

story. I wasn’t even aware Tinder did an annual end of year report. It’s like I know does singles and managers singles


Damona  10:20  

in America. So when did this start? Maybe this year? Okay. I don’t know. But this is not really the last year. Okay. Actually, for a number of different countries. They have one for the UK. They have one for Australia, France, Germany, India. So


Carmelia Ray  10:34  

all that data that I mean, they are amazing data. Yeah,


Damona  10:37  

yeah. So if you’re listening from another country, check out your report, but I’ll tell you what the US report said and I’m so curious Yeah. Gen Z. daters were more likely to mention causes or missions than a travel in their Bibles. But millennials old old asked millennials. They were three times more likely to talk travel. I find that When I’m when I’m coaching people of different generations, because I have all the way from like, late 20s, all the way up to late 60s and even 70s and


Carmelia Ray  11:09  

Gen Z, right, and Gen Z


Damona  11:11  

were younger than millennials.


Carmelia Ray  11:12  

Yeah, younger than me not got it.


Damona  11:14  

And so the trends are different for different age groups. And I find that really interesting. As I’m coaching people. Now I have to say like, well, if you’re dating someone over 40, you definitely do the phone call. But if you’re dating someone between 30 and 40, you might not want to do the phone call. If you’re dating someone under 30. If you do the phone call, you’re going to get you’re going to get shadow back.


Carmelia Ray  11:33  

Well, you know, I think I think Gretta The is the poster child for Generation Z, right? So yeah, she is the poster child for Gen Z, which is why I think a lot of high schoolers, and it’s so funny. I work with a lot of teachers and different singles, who work with young people. And when you ask young people were talking even like elementary and primary, they’re all about wanting to help someone My daughter, my three year old is like, Mommy, can I help you? Are you okay? Daddy? Are you okay? Like you stub your toe and she wants to, like, admin immediately fix it. I said I have a headache. She goes and gets her pretend doctor kit. Like, I don’t know what it is about these young young people that are really focused on helping others whereas, you know, Millennials just want to get away and not work.


Damona  12:23  

Like our core audience, but apparently you’re right on with with the reference to gretta Yeah, climate change social justice, the environment and gun control were really popular phrases and oh, my girl files in emojis. emojis are are on the case. Yeah, I have had various feelings about emojis because I definitely use them like anyone that’s done my texting trap or texting 10 commandments training they know that I’m, I’m all about using emojis as mood modifiers but I’ve been seeing them more in place of words in profiles to kind of short Cut the the conversation


Carmelia Ray  13:02  

I I love emojis I have again various children we’re going to talk about blended blended families but my various my various and sundry curious show, I should qualify that I have children in three different age groups, primary elementary and young adult. And they all speak to me an emoji. Like they all speak to me in emotion. It’s like very few words and more signs and yet I can completely understand it you can understand I can show that there are some things that emojis you know are better for


Damona  13:34  

Okay, what about this one the most popular emoji is not was not the eggplant is actually the face palm emoji like the face the hand in front of the face like the kind of my head yeah 41% increase in use this year.


Carmelia Ray  13:50  

That we all have a we have more dumb moments. Like why did I do that like that is a permanent emoji in my phone.


Damona  14:00  

Want to connect with people? definitely use emojis. Yes, you can connect on female superheroes Captain Marvel lizzo Elizabeth Warren, we’re trying to go with the overall theme of superheroes. All of those were very big topics and 2019 also, Jonas Brothers, who knew? I didn’t know that was still a thing. Yeah, job rose. They call it in


Carmelia Ray  14:22  

the urine swipe. I work. I couldn’t be one song.


Carmelia Ray  14:26  

I’m so dating myself. I’m so sorry people.


Damona  14:29  

Well, we’ll put the link if you want to brush up on it will put the link to the articles we talked about in today’s dating dish, on our blog at Dates & Mates. com. We will be back with Carmela in just a moment talking more about blended families. But first I have to ask you, are we friends? Are we friends on social media? Are you getting all the bonus Dates & Mates content through Instagram and Twitter and Facebook? Is my blog bookmarked on your browser? If not, I want you to know that the New Year’s right around the corner and I have some Very special things lined up to help you meet your dating and relationship resolution so don’t miss out follow me @Damona Hoffman on all the socials and while you’re at Dates & Mates calm for this week’s show notes. Take a look at the rest of the blogs. We have new content coming at you every week with dating and relationship tips. We will be talking about blended families in just a moment. So stick around.


Damona 15:24

Lovers we are back with Carmela Ray. She is an internationally known celebrity Matchmaker, online dating expert and so much more. Welcome back to the show.


Carmelia Ray  15:33  

Thank you.


Damona  15:34  

You may be like now the reigning champ. I think this is your


Carmelia Ray  15:38  

I think it’s been you’ve had seven years and I travel every time and I’m not even from here. I fly all the way from Toronto just to be on Dimona show. Literally, I call her and I say I’m here and and we graciously make time for me. So that is probably number four.


Damona  15:54  

I know you’re not coming just for the show, but we’re lucky to have you and you’re coming at the right time because At this time of year, I get so many questions from our listeners about blending families about blending traditions for the holidays. I know you know a few things about that both through working with your clients and even through your own experience. And when you’re not supporting clients and you’re not working with sense CEO and launching the number one matchmaking app, you are living the fabulous life traveling with with your extraordinary husband.


Carmelia Ray  16:28  

Andrew do today. Yes.


Carmelia Ray  16:29  

And my children, you have kids, you got


Damona  16:32  

various and sundry children, various and sundry kids and your two Bulldogs.


Carmelia Ray  16:36  

Oh, one one now. So I have I know. I know what. Anyway, so I have I have and I’ll tell you the ultimate blended example of the ultimate blended family because my older children Michaela and Brandon because 21 Brandon’s 15 is from my first marriage. My youngest daughter who’s turned who turned three this year is from my current Marriage, and then mom and then my husband has a daughter who is my step daughter. And she’s one year younger than Michaela. So there’s four kids in total. Very blended. I don’t even know how to keep track of the kids.


Damona  17:14  

Okay, well, let’s, I have to and I can’t. Myself. Yeah. But looking at the stats, 16% of children live in blended families. But you actually found an interesting stat that you shared with me. Yes, that 60 to 70% of marriages involving children with from a previous marriage don’t make it Yeah, they fail. And actually, I just


Carmelia Ray  17:37  

worked with a recent client, who was super sad story and she had shared with me that the reason her last relationship ended was because the teenage daughter of the man she was with could not get along with her, and to the point where she had said, had had put the dad in an awkward position to choose between Between the partnership or her,


Damona  18:02  

then the daughter,


Carmelia Ray  18:04  

the daughter said, Dad and ultimatum you know, it’s either me, I mean, you know, and she backed out as well, because she’s like, she has a daughter too. So there’s her daughter, there’s this daughter. And then there’s the the, you know, position that she held that it’s going to made it very challenging. And the sad part was the relationship between the couple was solid, but the relationship between the child and the partner, even though it wasn’t solid, clearly, the child was dealing with whatever she was dealing with. And, and that’s part of the issue. Sometimes kids, they just do not want to see another person in the role of their mother or father and regard and it’s unfortunate.


Damona  18:46  

It’s really unfortunate. What do you think people can do? Like some of our listeners now are dating people with kids? Get looking for marriage? Are there tips that you can give in terms of especially during the holidays, how to You set things up so that you can be successful with the other person’s kids so that you don’t get into that ultimatum situation.


Carmelia Ray  19:06  

Wow, there, you know, there are so many moving parts in a blended family. And it also depends the advice is going to be different based on the stage of the relationship, how comfortable the children are, I think if you’re trying to create a bond, and we’re talking about the holidays, and it’s always great for you to try to plan something with the kids, but like this potential step brothers and sisters together, because then you start your test that unity, whereas if the kids are going with their parents, and they never get to see each other, you’re also missing out on an opportunity to, to share a really awesome moment, right? And then at the same time, it’s when when when the other partner wants to have the children, how does it work with the schedule, right, because the dad may want to spend time with the kids and the new partner, and then it just doesn’t align. So you really want to get agreement between the couples? And then, you know, integrate the kids. And also I think it’s really important to ask the kids what they want, right? Because what are they comfortable with? Maybe they don’t want to spend time with the family. So there’s or with their, you know, the people, the other children so to speak. So there’s so much to consider there.


Damona  20:20  

What if you are dating someone that that has kids and you don’t have kids yourself? Okay. So that’s a lot of our listeners that are they’ve never been married, they don’t have kids, but they’re like, I want to be a part of this family. Is there a way to, to integrate, or should you just let the parent pace the forming of that relationship?


Carmelia Ray  20:45  

You know, it’s one thing for I mean, I think it’s a great sign when somebody who doesn’t have children is dating someone with kids and wants to really have that relationship. It’s showing you that they want to be part of that family and sees that diamond As a being in their future, that being said, you can never force this outcome because you’re talking about the children’s well being is I think the most important consideration is, are the kids ready for that? And the rule of thumb, and although there’s no real rule is you wouldn’t introduce your children to a partner, unless you felt that this was going to be a long term partner. Otherwise, your kids might just feel like there’s a revolving door of partners. And that would have a negative impact as well, because they may be already suffering, the loss of the parent leaving, and now they might form this attachment to this new person, and then they’re gone. Right. So the, I think it’s important to for that person to express they would like to have that involvement, and to let them know because sometimes they don’t even say anything, right. And then the person with the child thinks, do they even want to?


Damona  21:52  

Yeah, I need this like, do you do you as the single as the person without the kid, need to drive it and say it really like to me meet your son or daughter? Or do you need to wait for that person to open the door? Because,


Carmelia Ray  22:07  

like, as a parent, I think I’d probably have to pace that right. I think you also have to look at the strength of the partnership. First of all, right? Like, is there a reason the person is not wanting to introduce this person to you? Because if you really like this person, and you’re dating them, and you haven’t yet it’s six months, and you don’t want them to meet the kids, and it’s like, What’s up with that?


Damona  22:32  

Yeah, I have a client that she and her ex husband had, they made a rule that they would not introduce anyone to their child, neither of them until they were at the point of, of either moving in together or marriage. And I will say it’s, it was a little tricky, like there was once where they died. And this, he came to drop off flowers for her birthday and her son was there. And she was like, it’s great that he was romantic, but it Same time, in honor he broke that crossed a bit of a line. So it can it can become really complicated, especially when you have certain rules. As a parent that you haven’t communicated, she


Carmelia Ray  23:10  

didn’t communicate that that’s really her bad, right? But if he stopped cross the line, and she knew that we weren’t gonna introduce and then he did it anyway. I think that’s a red flag. I really do. Because if he’s gonna stay together,


Carmelia Ray  23:25  

see massive Red


Damona  23:28  

Nose Oh, she is like the Nostradamus of dating and relationships, man. Well, when we’re talking about blended families, I’ll share my own story because I come from like, multiple blended family on multiple levels. Like my mom already had a kid when she met my dad. My sister was like, my half sister was like about nine. And then my dad is Jewish. My mom is Christian, and she’s African American. My dad is white. So my family is. So first I want to talk about interface. Okay, relationships and as a matchmaker I’m sure you deal with this. Oh my


Carmelia Ray  24:04  

gosh, comes up a lot


Damona  24:06  

mixed faith partners actually, the number of mixed faith partners doubled since the 1960s. So now we’re looking at 40% of households are mixed faith and that that could be Protestant Catholic that could be Jewish Christian could be Muslim. I deal with this every day Damona every day What do you help first of all when someone comes to you and they’re like, I want to find love. I’m say Jewish I see as my first writing gig was with JD So okay, this has a special place all the Jewish mothers that are like, please help my son. A very, very special place in my heart. Okay, but if they’re like, I must find love. I’m say 38 Yes, and I’m looking for love. I’ve only been dating Jewish. Okay, Jewish man. How’s that been working for him?


Carmelia Ray  24:57  

Is that what you say? No, but I’m saying to them, right.


Carmelia Ray  25:00  

You know it really a man? It’s really a matter of how much importance and, and and how often How does your faith show up in your life? Because if it doesn’t show up that often your life Why should it show up in your dating life and in your partner choice? Yeah, that a value that you really is it you’re trying to make your parents happy? Is it something that if you could meet the right guy, and you really think about your core values, if religion or faith isn’t top of those core values, then it’s it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t weigh more than having someone who you can trust or is loyal or reliable or has a strong sense of right and wrong. Like I think 100% of people would say they’re spiritual. I think that’s the word. Right like religious


Damona  25:48  

spirit. Yeah, exactly. I mean, spiritual but not


Carmelia Ray  25:50  

exactly right.


Carmelia Ray  25:54  

So this happens a lot where and really it’s sometimes authentically is frustrating or or challenging for me, because I’ve got someone that has this strong line in the sand about who they want to meet. And yet their religion isn’t even what drives them. And it’s not even they don’t go to synagogue, they don’t really even practice the things that that they’re supposed to as a devout Jewish or Christian person. And yet they put that in as a consideration or must in a partner. So I my coaching to that person would really be to be open and flexible and dating somebody that is outside of their faith when their faith isn’t. Really. Yeah, if you want a deal breaker and it’s not obvious in their day to day life, yeah, right now, if they have parents and family and they’ve got other family considerations that would make dating someone outside of that race or faith problematic. I could understand why they’d still be seeking a partner. However, it’s proven time and again, that when somebody meets somebody That they love. And you can just see they make them happy. Like, nobody’s going to say no to that kind of a relationship where they just know this person is happier, healthier and just elated when they’re with that person.


Damona  27:11  

Yeah, I just read an article about this couple. The man it was from. He was from Asia and the wife was from Ghana, I believe. And what a mix it was. They were both gorgeous. Yes. And the dad initially was like, Don’t even bring her to my house. I don’t want to meet her. And they he spent the, the now they are now married and the husband spent months of just introducing her over time telling her that they wanted him her to come to the house, even when they were like don’t bring her here. Yes, to kind of create those moments where they could get to know her as a person was there a happy ending? There’s a happy another married and the dad showed up to the wedding. And like sometimes I feel like parents say these things like don’t even come here if your husband is an Indian, like don’t even don’t even come in my house with with


Carmelia Ray  28:05  

it’s really sad, guys. I mean, you would think that in this day and age that millennials and Gen Z would not have to deal with that. And yet, I see this with my daughter’s friends who are different religions and cultures where they’re literally dating someone outside of the faith outside of their race behind their parents back in in relationship that’s been going on for years, terrified to tell their family about this partnership, because of the strong influence, cultural influence inside of that dynamic. Yeah, well, so young people


Damona  28:38  

as the host of mom versus Matchmaker, gosh, so if anyone hasn’t seen the show yet, it’s fabulous, and you should definitely check it out. But the premise is basically a mom does a setup for their child and Carmela does a set up for the child and then the child who’s an adult will choose who they think is the bedroom and


Carmelia Ray  28:59  

I have three jewels. Moms, they all chose Jewish people, right? They literally did. And you could tell the choice like it was so funny. And not even that the Jamaican moms and anybody who was in a cultural like, like where they were culturally specific, they ended up choosing the moms choice, which was clear because the mom had an idea or perception of who their child should date based on religion, ethnicity, culture, family values, tradition. And I chose a match based on what the person wanted. And what the person wanted, had nothing to do often with what the mom wanted, which is why one in those cases, right? And not always though, sometimes, I think that that they the kids favorite, the mother’s choice, knowing that it was mom’s choice, and if they didn’t pick mom’s choice, they’d be in a whole heap of trouble.


Damona  29:52  

So let’s say you have not chosen the moms choice and yet approaching the holidays and it’s time for you to figure out how to introduce this person into your family and your life. What would you recommend to any of these clients on mom versus matchmaker? Like, how do they begin that conversation? A Mom, I didn’t kick your person.


Carmelia Ray  30:10  

Yeah, that’s so interesting. And you know what, I don’t know that I would use a major family holiday to introduce somebody. I think that you avoid all that because you’re not just impacting that person. It’s everybody’s holiday, right? So you don’t want to make it about you must, you can’t force somebody to like your partner, you can take a stand. But if you’re willing to be that person and you have that stand, then you need to know that there it could ruffle some feathers. So if your intention is not to ruffle feathers, it’s better to have that conversation before the actual holiday. Or just express where you draw the line in the sand and say, Listen, I love this person. If you really want me to attend, it’s important that he comes he or she comes with me. Or you’re not going right yeah,


Damona  30:55  

you have to set your partner up for success. And that’s a really good point that this is a is a time when it’s already the stakes are high the the emotional intensity is off the charts.


Carmelia Ray  31:07  

Yeah, I read I don’t know who it was but it was like how did reduce drama over the holidays and you don’t bring somebody new to a family holiday function when first of all, they would completely they’re, they’re the opposite polar opposite of what who your parents want you to date. That is not the time in place to bring someone over the holidays. Oh, I


Damona  31:26  

was just so nervous to me. My husband’s family. Thanksgiving was the big, big holiday in there. Did


Carmelia Ray  31:32  

you get introduced? Were you already dating though?


Damona  31:34  

Before we were dating? Yeah, we were dating and I had met his parents, but he does this big family event where it was like aunts, uncles, cousins. I love those


Carmelia Ray  31:44  

Filipinos. So we have like hundred people in our family.


Damona  31:48  

It wasn’t quite Filipino level. But it was like, it was like, you know, yeah, big family. And I remember this moment we had been dating at that point over a year but like, yeah, I didn’t know where it was going and They were like, we’re gonna take the holiday picture. And everybody you know, they do they do, like


Carmelia Ray  32:07  

do you like sitting off to the I was?


Damona  32:10  

Like, I’m not trying to be in the family in the family. Yeah. And they’re like Damona get in the picture, get the picture. And I just felt so uncomfortable because they thought, what if I’m on the picture? And they’re gonna be going through the pictures like,


Carmelia Ray  32:24  

Who was that broad that you


Carmelia Ray  32:28  

can feel that but look at that they were so gracious. And you didn’t automatically go in there. I mean, you had respect and you’re


Damona  32:36  

set to the side that tells a lot about my family of origin I guess and like the baggage you know, we all bring like different ideas and different


Carmelia Ray  32:44  

but I I was dating somebody where you know, the family was like, get them out of the picture. Not in the pictures not in the white. Why is he even hear


Damona  32:54  

my mommy like he’s not like Tell him to go outside. He’s not in the picture. But she loves My husband from from the beginning, but I will say it was an opportunity for anyone that’s listening that may be in that situation, it was an opportunity for me to feel like, Oh, I’m included. And then I also thought he must be saying very nice things about me to them.


Carmelia Ray  33:14  

Yes, I can see now that’s probably because she relationships had it, and you’re married. And you have now two children. So he saw the future with you, which is great. But in terms of blended families, unfortunately, we don’t get that happy picture. I mean, I experienced the other side of the blended family where the partner I had chosen was somebody my family didn’t like, and it was so close after my separation, that the person who was in there and I had two young children at the time when I was dating somebody new that they were like, Who is this person? and wine is too early. And this and that was, it was actually nightmarish. Wow. Yeah.


Damona  33:51  

But how is it different now? You’re remarried, you have the happy blended family picture?


Carmelia Ray  33:56  

Yeah. And it’s not always different. You know, it’s I mean, I authentically I’m Filipino. He’s not, you know, he’s got another child how it’s different now as I think, because I’m mature and I’m older, they realize that they can’t tell me what to do. You know, I think it’s very different when it’s also who I am. Right and what I stand for. So they they just gave up on me. That’s what it was. Do whatever that she’s gonna do I just, just they just couldn’t. It was what is that? There was a show before that. They would say something is futile. It’s Do you know that you’re the V? No. Oh, gosh. educate you. I wish I could. What was it? Resistance is futile. Okay. That was sentence. Oh, yeah. That was it. But you know, at the same time, it’s, it was it’s a matter of just being clear of what makes you happy. How you see the future and, and, and really being gentle about it. I think anytime you’re aggressive or you force an issue or force an outcome You’re not considered of the impact for other people. It’s when it’s it doesn’t work, you know, you’re looked at as selfish or self serving, and you have to first of all, consider the children.


Damona  35:11  

Yes, of course, this is such great advice for the holiday time. And just in general, if you’re looking to date someone that comes from a different circle, and we all we all have our different cultures, even if you’re both coming from a Christian background, you might have different traditions that you’re having to blend together.


Carmelia Ray  35:27  

And, you know, a real concern for singles today, especially if they’re single in their 40s, or even in their late 30s, as you said, and, and their choice in the dating pool are single parents. They often do. Sometimes they’re afraid of even dating somebody who has a child. And that’s a deal breaker for some people and me, I know that it can be very successful. I mean, I don’t like what this stat says, but I’ve seen it work where it can be successful, but it requires compromise. It certainly requires that you don’t come into the relationship with already a preconceived notion that it’s going to fail. If you go into that, well guess what’s going to happen it’s already going to fail. But they come to me saying no, I don’t want the drama. I don’t want you know that the ex baby mama or baby daddy or whatever the case is. And it’s not always like that in fact is so far from that in some cases there are people that are separated and I look at them as like oh my god poster child for the separated family that really just worked together for the kids.


Damona  36:30  

Yeah, it’s all about communication to like I did this holiday dating segment or dating relationship segment on access daily. And I every every answer I had, essentially the crux was communication in the Mario Lopez is like, so again, it’s about communication. I’m like, basically like that is the answer to every questions. One of my four pillars of long term compatibility. You have to have good communication and good conflict resolution because the problems will arise and it’s all in how you deal with it when it comes up.


Carmelia Ray  36:59  

Can you Be our Dating Coach Damona


Damona  37:02  

Yeah, of course, what will train will do okay and even trade because everybody like you said everybody needs an outside I, their dating life, their relationship life and somebody to talk to. So I’ve enjoyed talking to you and it’s not over Oh, not over currently because we have questions from our listeners. And you are just the person to answer them in our next segment.


Well Carmela the questions have been pouring in during the holiday season. I know everybody is stressed about their dating relationship situation right now. We have picked two of the most pressing questions to answer today there will be a deer Dimona episode coming up in the coming weeks. So if you haven’t gotten your question answered, please submit it to me on any of the social medias at Damona Hoffman or you can go to Dates & Mates calm and submit your question there. Our first question for the day. It’s a little bit long, but I think you’ll get the gist of it. Okay. This person says I’m on all of the data. apps. And I’ve been looking, trying not to be too picky. But I can’t tell if I’m on the apps because I’m single scared of being single, or I feel like I should be. Or if I’m doing poorly because I’m scared, or if I’m doing poorly, because I’m not interested. I’ve always seen myself in the future with kids. But there was never a man attached to that future. And I would like to have sex. But I’m not into just hooking up on apps because I feel intimidated from being out of the game for so long. I swear I feel like I’ve heard this question in different formats from so many people, but like breaking it down. Is there


Carmelia Ray  38:35  

a bunch of statements? I need a drink.


Damona  38:40  

Question is, should she be on dating apps is passed away. She’s been out of the game for a while.


Carmelia Ray  38:45  

I think she needs clarity. It’s very, very clear. And thank you for just being completely transparent and vulnerable. Because I’m hearing this going you need some clarity because you don’t know what’s going on. Understand you’re in a state of confusion. And if you have no compass, or goal or direction, you have you see a kid but you don’t see a man, you don’t know why you’re on a dating app, you don’t even have a goal. Well, first of all you’re getting, you’re not getting the result because you don’t even know what you want. You cannot get results unless you realize why you’re on the app in the first place. So if you’re on a platform, and you have no idea why you’re on that platform, that’s challenge number one. Secondly, it I’m not judging her for not for thinking maybe she wants to be an independent woman to raise a child and she’s looking for a donate, don’t donate, donate a donor a donor that Yeah, she might be looking for the perfect specimen donor and co like wonderful co parent, you know, relationship. Because I mean, she could be I don’t know because she doesn’t know either. So I think the first thing you have to do is book a session with Damona like number one, if not heard me please for free Hi, because you need to get out of this. I don’t know where I’m going left, right, upside down. It was you’re exhausted. I’m exhausted with the statements. Well, I think you need help, like, in a good way in a really, really good way. Right? So thank you for that. But


Damona  40:14  

you have dating apps amplify whatever challenges you’re already having. People think oh, the dating app, I just go on the dating app and that’ll fix it like I haven’t. I


Carmelia Ray  40:23  

I if you go into dating app with that, it’s just going to further solidify your already view of dating disappointment because that’s what’s manifesting right now. You’re not clear. If you don’t have clarity on what kind of relationship you want, you’re just going to get more of the same so I think the work has to be done with first figuring out what what she brings to the table like what really does she envision for herself in a partner you know, and and then move towards that goal. Don’t get you know, Europe, you’re playing a game with no rules. Yeah and and no way to measure success like what is success to you is success to you going on dates is success to you having sex? Because if a success is having sex, then a great you’re having sex not just going on naps for hookups so


Damona  41:15  

yes yeah and all of my programs all begin with mindset that’s always the thing because if you don’t know the direction you’re headed then how will you know if you even get there?


Carmelia Ray  41:28  

Yeah and have someone review her her profile because


Carmelia Ray  41:32  

I don’t know


Carmelia Ray  41:33  

yeah what are her photos saying is it is it as confusing as like what’s going on in her head like is she posting usually right? Is she posting photos to attract what kind of men what kind of relationship? What are the words you’re using to define yourself? Are you are there even words on there? Are you just like kind of going around thinking okay, well I’ll float in whatever direction and patches takes facepalm emoji That’s better.


Damona  41:59  

Okay, as we’re just Talking about getting clarity on who you’re looking for. Our second question comes to us from a fella who says, What’s the youngest appropriate age? I can date? I’m a 34 year old man.


Carmelia Ray  42:11  

Oh, I have a rule for that. Sony. Somebody told me this rule. You take your age. Try this half your age. half your age plus seven. Okay, you


Damona  42:21  

got the calculator.


Carmelia Ray  42:23  

So 24 is the youngest.


Damona  42:26  

for 10 years. Yeah. There’s a big difference between 24 and 34.


Carmelia Ray  42:32  

Well, because well, yes, but he’s got to realize like he’s asking what’s appropriate. what’s appropriate is someone who has emotional maturity, compatibility, physicality, and sees you at your level. There’s no age attached to that if you’re concerned about age, let’s figure out why. That’s the concern. Why aren’t you asking? What’s the kind of woman I should be dating? What are the what are the partner qualities that lead to the most successful outcome for me, not how old or young I should be. dating. That’s the wrong question.


Damona  43:02  

Girl just I’m just gonna drop the mic right there. Because that


Carmelia Ray  43:06  

you might as well say 17 then like, come on, like, like, I don’t know. I mean, you know, sorry to go.


Damona  43:12  

I mean, I didn’t know when I was in my early 20s. I was dating guys in their 30s. But then you’re also on a different track. I think it’s different when you’re in your third


Carmelia Ray  43:21  

I was to at 23 years old by someone in his 40s and he was Uber successful, currently a multi millionaire. I wish I had seen the future.


Carmelia Ray  43:33  

Because I’m like,


Carmelia Ray  43:36  

I’m kidding. No, I mean, I mean, I was not ready for a serious relationship. so dizzy given name z anonymous, he’s anonymous. Okay, so Mr. Anonymous askers. Don’t ask about age. The rules say it’s 24. But beyond that, it’s all of the other things that are more important than the age of the lady that you’re dating


Damona  43:59  

Carmelia you are wealth of information. Thank you so much for joining us. She is on all of the socials at Carmelia Ray. And also I forget yes yo is doing something. Yeah, well remember it’s the, it’s the magnetic making a matchmaking app. So chief Matchmaker,


Carmelia Ray  44:15  

yes, I am the chief matchmaker at Censio. It’s actually launched here in LA, you can download the app at Censio and be in the spirit of giving for the month of December up until I think it’s January 1, you can use the promo code single bells, exactly how it sounds all one word. So to get one month free of unlimited matches and introductions on our app, so we welcome you to use that and can’t wait to interact with you on the love couch where you can ask questions. And yes, I’m so glad to be here. Thank you so much, Mona.


Damona  44:52  

Thank you. We will put that promo code single bells in the show notes along with your social media links. Thank you for being here. Thank you. And thank you for being here to listen to Episode 288 of dates and dates again, I’m at Damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear from you. I want to know what your questions are for our upcoming dear Damona episode, so make sure you send those to me and make sure you share this episode with a friend. Next week the holidays will be in full swing, but we will still be here with our weekly episode. We’re not letting you down. My holidays are on and I know the pressure is on for you so you can count on Dates & Mates. Until then I wish you happy dating

Dates & Mates Holiday Gift Guide


Every year, I get tons of emails asking me for gift suggestions – so this year I decided to make a holiday gift guide. 

Some people have a hard time shopping for their significant others during the holiday season. The pressure is definitely on during this crucial time in any relationship.


My first rule of thumb: Emotional value always trumps monetary value.  

Get them something that shows you’ve been listening rather than something that shows you waited until the last minute and just plunked down a wad of cash instead of taking the time to choose something that your significant other would specifically want.

I’ve put together this holiday gift guide to help you think through your options if you want to make this holiday special. I’ve made it super easy for you: 

You can either read through my extensive guide to picking the perfect holiday gift OR scroll down to the bottom for my cheat sheet gift guide.


A one-way ticket to relationship discord to the holiday is a bad gift. This can be anything from a flat out thoughtless gift, to misconstrued presents, to showing up empty-handed.

Here are a few things to stay away from:


From iPods to Kindles to a new microwave, if it’s got a warranty it’s an appliance—not a sign of affection. Anything that plugs in, takes batteries or is powered by the sun, no matter how cool you may think it is will be too impersonal for the first gift-giving exchange in a new relationship.


Dating is not the same as marriage, and even the rules of giving back the ring after divorce are muddy so why get caught up in the big expense of something that may or may not last in the long run? Or even worse, cheap jewelry will just look like you don’t care. 

Diamonds are forever, but a new relationship may not be. Wait until a meaningful anniversary to give something shiny.


Unless you’re a successful clothing designer, you’re still learning the style AND SIZE of your new mate. Instead of risking a huge fight about the difference between a petite small and a small small, opt for something a little more tailored to their taste than to their waist.

Novelty Items

Even if Spencer’s Gifts does see a huge influx of customers during the holidays, you don’t have to be one of them. A black-light poster, Snuggie or lava lamp (see No.1) may be cool in your crib, but anything that elicits a laugh may not be quite the reaction you were hoping for.

Sexy Anything

Lingerie, silk boxers, and (heaven forbid) sex toys can and will send the wrong message. Especially when your lady’s friends ask her what she received for the holidays. Save the kinky stuff until you make it to Valentine’s Day.


Showing up empty-handed is even worse than showing up with a dildo. Even if you’re two weeks into a relationship, giving something is always better than nothing. So if you’re stumped on what to get and are only coming up with items from this list, at least make sure it’s something, not nothing.


And I don’t mean playing cards either (which would also make a terrible gift). While the simple act of giving a card is better than the dump-worthy gift of nothing, it’s still not enough. If you have to give a card, make one yourself. Make it meaningful with photos or showcase your artistic side. Rule of thumb: If someone else is quoted is on the card, choose again.

Gift Certificates

Practical, necessary and sometimes thoughtful, gift certificates can be a great gift for co-workers, employees and handymen. For anyone you sleep next to, not so much. If you know where they like to shop get them something from there with a gift receipt, not a blank check to take time out of their day to buy themselves a gift. 

Home Furnishings

Because nothing says “I don’t want to see you anymore” like the gift of a fleece blanket.

Lotion or Soap

Do not be tempted by the Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift basket. Even though the sales lady says women always love it, chances are she already received several from people who don’t really give a crap about her. Try to be the exception.

Also, if someone were to give you the gift of soap, wouldn’t your first thought be, “oh my god, do I smell bad?” Definitely stay away from soap.


You laugh, but it’s been done. Aside from being kind of totally rude, it shows no originality, no emotion and is really, really lame. If you’re so out of your element that you are thinking about resorting to giving the gift of green, it may be time to get some professional help.


Talk and Listen

Many times women think they are dropping hints about what they want for months and weeks before the holiday. Often times men are completely oblivious to these hints.  If you think you may have missed the message, simply try asking what she wants. 

Even if it’s direct, it will show her that you care about her and want to get her something she would like.

What She Wants Most is YOU

Spending quality time with you is one of the most valuable things you can give your lady. Take a moment this holiday season to treat her like the queen she is. Take the reigns in the kitchen and cook for her tonight. Offer a foot massage at the end of a long day. These gestures will mean more than anything that comes in a box.


If your family is anything like mine, you are planning for Christmas and Jewish Holidays 2019. It’s always appreciated if you do something to acknowledge every night of Hanukkah but usually not expected. You have the opportunity to be clever though and build each gift upon the last.  Perhaps you order candy hearts made that spell out a special message across the eight nights. Or give her some chocolate Hanukkah gelt nightly and then give her a guide illustrating how the number of coins corresponds to different gifts of her choice on the eighth evening. You can give her a variety of options and let her decide how she wants to spend her gelt. That will give you points for being cute and creative but also ensure that she gets exactly what she wants.



Regardless of how far along you are in your relationship, from benign dating to almost boyfriend/girlfriend status – get them something for Hanukkah or Christmas. 

You don’t have to overthink this gift and you should probably not spend a lot of money. However, all relationships – even new ones – do warrant some sort of acknowledgment this season.

Here are a few ideas to get you started or spark some inspiration:

Remember that what they want most is to spend time with you. Try giving the gift of an experience!

Groupon has everything from painting classes to concerts to kayaking trips! Click here to get your first Groupon experience!

Are they obsessed with music? Try a stylish crate for their record collection:

Have they ever mentioned wanting to make time to read more? Try gifting an Audible Membership.



Sometimes partners can feel taken for granted after a few months or years so this is your time to remind her how special they are to you. 

Again, try the gift of an experience! Do something new to get you out of your routine.

Most ladies love jewelry so if you’re not ready to pop the question (which I don’t usually recommend doing during the holidays) try a lovely necklace instead. The box MUST NOT be misleading to her. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re getting an engagement ring and ending up with a pair of earrings. Something for every price point:

For a guy, try a nice watch. A good watch is a timeless gift. There’s something for every price point.

Whatever you do this season, it’s a good idea to talk about how you like to spend the holidays in advance to make sure you’re on the same page about how and when you’re observing.

And don’t forget to ask her out for New Year’s Eve if you want to be with her to ring in the new year. My mother always told me the superstition that what you’re doing on NYE is what you’ll be doing the rest of your year so make sure that this New Year’s, the fireworks are not only in the sky.

Dear Damona: First Kiss & Work Crush


Like many big cities, Los Angeles dating seems daunting at first. Where do you find dates? Can you date a work crush? Why aren’t there any available singles?

But as I learned years ago, Los Angeles dating – and dating everywhere – doesn’t have to be complicated. Learn from my mistakes!

You know one of the favorite things about my job is giving advice. This week’s episode is all about answering the questions that you have submitted and throwing a few stories in there from my own dating experience. Plus Producer Leah joins me with insight from the millennial dating perspective.


Do you have any tips on how to pay compliments to guys? 

Our listener writes, “I feel like it’s flirting 101 but I must have missed that life lesson. Whenever a guy gives me a compliment I want to return the favor. But outside of “you’re beard game is strong” which idk if that counts”

I certainly wasn’t looking for an office romance, I’ve found myself attracted to a coworker. 

Our listener Geneva explains, “We hit it off so well and laugh and joke about things every single day at work. Since there’s a lot at stake when having a relationship with a coworker, I’d like to subtly let him know I’m interested and open to exploring a relationship. Do you have any advice for how to do this in an obvious yet subtle way that will still allow him to save face if he’s not into me? I don’t want to create an awkward work situation.”

How do I move on from texting to calling her and then finally asking her out? 

Who reaches out to who after the 1st date? Do you let the person know if you wanna keep talking or not?

How does the first kiss go? Like what is the right way to do it?

What do you do when you started talking to a guy but then a major life event happened and you feel like you need some time before continuing anything? 

Something major happened to a close friend of mine recently and I just started seeing this guy but idk how to tell him I need a little space without telling him what happened because it’s such an intimate thing.

What’s a good way to get back in with someone you were messaging?

Why are people so crappy? 

Our listener asks, “People say you allow other people’s behavior towards you. What I don’t understand is why is it that a person has to act crappy towards another person. They know what they are doing and then when you say something about it, they get upset and it gets blown out of proportion.”

Manifesting Magic & Marriage Pacts


Damona usually says ditch the fairytale, but the concept of fairytale ending always seems to manifest in different ways.

Everyone is looking for a magical fairytale ending. They want to be Cinderella and find a Prince who sweeps them off their feet and then live happily ever after. 

But when we talk about fairytales, we usually skirt over the fact that before any of these princesses found their princes, they had to do some hard work to find the magic. Cinderella didn’t just wish on a star and get a whole kingdom handed to her, she had to sweep some chimneys and clean some dishes before she could manifest love.

Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth, an Intuition + Manifestation Mentor, speaker, and host of Made of Magic: The Podcast joins Damona to talk about the magic in our lives. Stephanie helps us awaken, embody, and amplify our magic so we can invite the next level in life, love, and business.



Do you and your boo need a marriage pact like William and Kate?

According to Katie Nicholle, author of “Kate The Future Queen,” Kate Middleton decided she needed to a marriage pact amidst her on again off again relationship with Prince William. What is a marriage pact and should you consider one?

On a scale of 0 to 100, how “textpatible” are you?

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to change the way your partner communicates over text? We’ve got some suggestions.

What Millennials can learn about flirting from older generations

According to Business Insider, millennials hire Amy Nobile to “ghost banter” – or flirt in their place on dating apps – to learn how to flirt better. What’s up with this? 


Put in work to find your fairytale

Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth has a great love story. In the middle of a two year long engagement, she realized that she didn’t feel the magic. Now she’s teaching women how to find the magic in their lives so they can attract the best 

We go in-depth on:

  • What is magic? 
  • How do you find magic? 
  • What does it mean to manifest what you want? 
  • What you want and how you get it doesn’t always add up
  • How do you clarify manifestation methods that work for you? 
  • A huge part of manifesting has to feel good
  • Magic Mornings!
  • Are you settling? How do you know?

Find Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth on Instagram @StephanieDawnElizabeth and make sure to listen to Made of Magic: The Podcast!


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

  • What do you do if you can’t be intimate with your wife, but you still have needs?
  • How to navigate dating as a young professional who doesn’t want kids?



Damona  3:32  

Hello lovers, welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified dating coach Damona Hoffman here to help you navigate all of the challenges of modern dating and relationships. You know, I usually say, ditch the fairy tale, but the concept of a fairytale ending keeps coming up. Everyone is looking for this magical fairy tale story of love. They want to be Cinderella and find a prince who will sweep them off their feet and then live happily ever after. But when we talk about fairy tales, we usually skirt over all that hard work, all of that, that manifestation, all of that effort that these princesses are putting out to find their princes. You have to do some work to find the magic. And that is why my guest today Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth, an intuition and manifestation mentor, speaker and the host of the Made of Magic Podcast is here to help me help you get on your mission to make the magic in your love life. Today, Stephanie is going to help us awaken embody and amplify our magic so we can invite our love lives to the next level and maybe it will also impact your other areas of your life and also your business. Please help me give big smooches to my guest, Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  4:57  

Hi. Thank you. As you were talking about like, Oh, is she talking about me?  


Damona  5:03  

Yeah, we’re making fairy tale magic here. And your podcast is made of magic. So we want the goods girl. We want to know how we can make this magic happen.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  5:16  

Okay, well I’m here to share.


Damona  5:18  

Great and we’re also going to do the headlines including, do you and your boo need a marriage pact like William and Kate? And how to improve your partner’s texting style. Plus what millennials can learn about flirting from older generations. And then we’ll be answering your questions like how to make an LDR work and what’s up with women on dating apps? All that more today’s Dates & Mates! Stephanie, Are you ready to make this magic?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  5:47  

So ready


Damona  5:49  

All right, I was checking out the book “Kate to the Future Queen” by Katie Nicole and turns out Kate Middleton And Prince William may have made a marriage pact. You may recall that back in the day they were dating, they met at university – I almost in college, but I have to go English for this. They met at the university. And then it was on again off again. They broke up for a few months. And Kate was like, it doesn’t matter if she’s dating the Prince of England. She’s like, “Listen, I need to know what your intentions are. If we’re going to get back together. We need a pact we need to make sure that this relationship is headed towards marriage.” So according to the book, they actually agreed to take the pressure off their relationship. They didn’t have a timeline, but they said we’re going to end up together if we’re going to get back together. I want to know Stephanie, what are your thoughts on doing a marriage pact? Is it too much pressure?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  6:53  

Yeah. So okay, did they have a marriage pact and not a proposal or did he also propose?


Damona  7:00  

No, it was not a proposal. It was sort of like, it was a verbal promise ring.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  7:08  

I feel like this is so hard because I wouldn’t say I’m against it. Like, I actually love anything unconventional. So, like eloping or just deciding we’re going to get married. I don’t know how I I’m like, kind of torn. Where are you at with it?


Damona  7:26  

I think that you don’t know the trajectory of the relationship. And yeah, pressure on it, when you’re just getting back together to me seems like a little bit much like I had not a marriage pact with my husband, but I had, I had an understanding before. Before he moved in, I said, I need to know that this relationship is headed towards marriage. Now if you move in, and it doesn’t work, and we end up hating each other So be it, I’m not going to force you to propose, but I just need to know that’s where your head is at. So we don’t really know the terms of Kate and William’s marriage pact, but if it was something like that, then obviously I’m for it. If it was, we must get married and don’t waste my time, William. I love how it’s just, it feels so ordinary, right? This is what we’re all dealing with. And you think you would think that if you’re going to be the future Queen that you’re above all of this, but no Prince William was acting like a fool and you know, being a dumb single guy way back then he’s he’s the prince, but he’s just, he’s just like one of us.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  8:39  

Yeah, like when you were first telling, like that whole scenario, I took it a totally different way of like, they just kind of decided, Okay, we’re going to get married. We don’t know when but it’s going to happen. But which I think is cool. Like, I think obviously, you should have a conversation that you’re moving the same direction you want the same thing, but then the way you just said it, the second time is like you that pressure of like you must marry me, which is totally different energy.


Damona  9:05  

Yeah, especially if there’s the whole kingdom is at stake!


Well, let’s bring it down from the 30,000 foot level to what people are really dealing with in dating and relationships today. I’m always talking about texting. This is now the way that so many of us are communicating. And there was an article today in elite daily about how to change your partner’s texting style. I found this really interesting that everyone has their specific style of texting which we know right. But for some it’s a deal breaker if texting styles don’t match up. The article actually quoted this term “Textpatible”. And some of the people that they interviewed said it’s not a bad thing if you have to end a relationship over texting in compatibility. But my friend Julie Spira, who was quoted in it said, “Why don’t you just talk in person and ask them if you can shift if they could shift their texting style a little bit.” What are your thoughts on on texting compatibility?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  10:17  

I don’t know. My first initial reaction is it’s kind of funny that that’s a quote unquote problem. But I also understand it from a sense of like, okay, let’s say one person is a person who really like thrives in relationship off of like that communication all the time. You know, like, some people text a lot. Some people don’t text a lot. I can understand that being kind of like a I wouldn’t say deal breaker but a conversation. But in terms of like, they talk a certain way and texts and I don’t like it that I kind of don’t get and I think, like you said, it’s a lot more important to have a conversation in person. I think, conversation in person that’s incompatible would make a whole lot more of a deal breaker than a text. You know what I mean?


Damona  11:00  

Yeah, you definitely can’t ask someone to change their texting style over text. But there was actually a tip in the article that I really liked. a linguist and researcher Michelle McSweeney said first you have to ask yourself why it’s bugging you. Because Yeah, if it’s, if it’s annoying you it’s probably violating your own cultural norms. So just because you have a certain text etiquette, text ticket, you have to understand that that person might not be playing by the same rulebook. And I really worry about asking someone to change their text behavior, and then they’re conscious of what words they’re choosing and how they’re texting you. And it might make it less spontaneous, less authentic, and you may lose the communication because they weren’t communicating exactly on your rulebook.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  11:55  

Oh, I totally agree. 100% with what you just said,


Damona  12:00  

Although it also said that the longer people know each other and the more bonded they get, people tend to start texting the same way. Now I’ve been with my husband for 16 years, we text totally differently. I’m wondering if this is a bad thing: I have finally after 16 years was like, Can you just acknowledge that you’ve received a text for me? Like if, yeah, I I’m not into sexting, so I don’t send them like, I don’t send them nudes or anything like that. So all of a sudden, it was like a grocery list, you know, and I’ll just be like, I send it into the ether. And then I was like, Can you just like click the like button or just like respond Okay, or something, to just acknowledge that you’ve received it, but he, he’s consistent. He hates texting. He doesn’t like being on the phone at all. He hates texting. He it’s not at all the way he communicates face to face. And I wouldn’t really feel right like forcing him into a different different communication style. Tt hasn’t lined up. I Have you ever experienced that texting like somebody that you’re with?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  13:08  

Not really? Uh, no, not really. That’s why I think I’m just like, oh, wow, I didn’t realize that was a thing. I’m like, actually, probably other people get annoyed with me in the same way where I’m either like, all in on the conversation via text or I totally forget to respond. Not necessarily in like a romantic relationship. But when you were talking to I was just thinking that kind of, you know, like the non response that I could see being a thing just by the other person feeling like, “Okay, are you listening? Do you hear me like do are you recognizing that I’m trying to connect” even if it’s about like a grocery list, but I can’t think of like a time when that was a thing for me in a relationship.


Leah Schell  13:53  

I actually have been in this situation. 


Damona  13:55  

Oh, Producer Leah in the house.


Leah Schell  13:59  

Okay. It was my high school boyfriend and I just hated the way he spoke to me over text. It was just like, he kept misspelling words. And he kept like, I don’t know, this makes me sound awful. But I just got really annoyed. And I think it was like, a manifestation of just like another issue I had, like, I did not like how he spoke in general. So I was just like annoyed about the text messages.


Damona  14:23  

You just didn’t like who he was as a person.


Leah Schell  14:24  

I was not a great person in high school.


Damona  14:29  

No, none of us were. But I know sometimes I think about things I did in high school, and I’m just like, oh my god…


Well, being a stickler for grammar, though that does indicates I’m just going to go there. Not that I’m analyzing you right now, but I’m kind of analyzing grammar is an indicator of intelligence in written communication, right. So I don’t know. Maybe you felt like he wasn’t keeping up with you intellectually?


Leah Schell  14:57  

Yeah, I did feel that way. I know my parents were like, “why are you with him?” He’s not the brightest person so it just you know… 


Damona  15:05  

The doctor is in. But the question is Producer Leah and Stephanie, how was your flirt game back then? And can you flirt effectively? Can you learn to flirt over text? Because according to Business Insider, Millennials are just failing on the flirting game and they actually can learn to flirt from older generations. They interviewed Amy Nobile, who’s the founder of a dating concierge service in New York. She basically does a very similar thing to what I do, but she’ll like jump in there and flirt and banter for people and teach them. I like to teach to do that. I don’t like to do what she calls ghost bantering because I want you to know that you’re talking to the real person and not not me. How many times does that happen? You show up on a date and you’re like, oh, you’re a really funny and charming over text, but now you’re kind of dull. I want to teach people how to be able to do this text banter. But what Amy Nobile, who’s 50 herself and she met her her boo on Bumble. And now she wants to teach other people how to do it. She’s seeing that the baby boomers and Gen Xers are much better at flirting and have developed that skill. I’m always saying that flirting is a learned skill. And if you haven’t flexed that muscle or if you’re only if you’re only flirting over text, then you get on the date and you don’t know how to let that. Let that you know, flirt. The I’m trying to think of like a catchy word now and it’s not coming but like let that you know that playful flirt out.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  16:47  

Oh, yeah. I don’t know if I’m a good floater. 


Damona  16:53  

What’s your game like? What’s your style? 


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  16:56  

I don’t know. Like, I’m one I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know that’s that’s like such a I have no idea. I think probably like, maybe charming witty like quick kind of just like go lean in and I don’t even know.


Damona  17:17  

I’ll give you a tip then from Amy Nobile who is is all about flirting in the right way because I mean there are definitely ways you can flirt. And there are people that will send you the Hey beautiful text but she says instead Yeah, do it not in a sexual way. But in a warm, charming or validating way. And instead of saying hey, beautiful, which I oh my gosh, I see this up for my clients time. It’s, it’s just like what is the response to that? Hey, beautiful. Hey, she says say Happy Tuesday. Instead, I always say callback something else that picks up on the thread where you left off or picks up a new thread and starts the day like just Happy Tuesday.


Leah Schell  18:02  

It seems like a good morning text. I hate good morning texts.


Damona  18:08  

What’s the point of that? So we need to step it up we need to step up your tax game. But first, we are going to take a break and when we come back we will be talking more to Stephanie Donna Elizabeth host of made a magic the podcast about how you can manifest love in your life. We’ll be back right after this.


Welcome back to Dates & Mates. We are here with Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth, who is going to give us a quick pep talk on our inner magic and how you can manifest the love that you want. Stephanie I’m into this girl! I am into this idea i think, you know, I do a lot of technical dating advice but there is an element of magic in making that connection and having that fairy tale like if I go back and look at the trajectory of any of my clients and how we made it happen I do the foundational stuff, but there’s also a little bit of mindset and a little bit of timing and luck that I think  you can manifest. You can create your own luck. Now tell me you you identify as an intuition and manifestation mentor, what does that mean to you?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  19:46  

Well, just a quick kind of like backstory for me of how I manifested my next level love, like I like to talk about it, and just how I really got to get in touch with my intuition and really had that like spark of figuring out what manifestation was and how I did it and what my magic was? So, about a year ish ago, just over a year ago, I called up my engagement. And yeah, 


Damona  20:12  

oh my gosh, sorry. 


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  20:14  

No, it’s okay. it was my choice. And it was what sparked so much magic. I think, so much of my life and you even said this in the beginning, it’s like, all of your life is connected. So your relationship, if it’s out of alignment, a lot of your other life is going to feel and be out of alignment to and that’s going to like really affect your magic and manifesting and all of that. And for me, like that relationship, I had so much of my own intuition like, first kind of whispering at me then talking to me then like screaming at me that this was not the relationship and nothing was wrong. Nothing happened. He’s a great guy, but I always had that like underlying feeling of settling and this is not it and there’s something so magic. That’s like going to click everything into place. And so finally, I just trusted myself and my intuition and called up the engagement last September. And honestly like, although, yes, it’s it was the hardest thing I’ve ever actually had to physically do to hurt somebody else. It 100% changed my entire life and clicked all of that magic into place. Because I gave myself like time to get back to knowing who I was what I wanted. And I was not trying to manifest love or relationship at that time. But two months later, I decided, Okay, I’m just going to go on Bumble. Like I feel ready and I’m so clear in my own power and what I want and what I desire, in that like, unwavering way, and I met my now boyfriend who is 100% my my person, like, a week later.


Damona  21:52  

Oh my gosh, it sounds like a marriage pact is coming. No! I’m kidding!


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  21:55  

no, no, no,


Damona  21:56  

no, no. I want to back it up. Yeah, or people listening because I, I’m also an intuitive and one of my missions. I’m just going to say it here on the data made show. I haven’t said it aloud yet. But one of my missions is to be able to teach people how to hear their own intuition, because people always ask me like, oh, if you’re psychic, like you have you’ve some, some gift from God, something magic that happened to you and it’s in your family bloodline, and you you, you can do this magical thing. And it’s like, No, no, no, no, everyone, in my opinion, everyone can do this. Everyone has intuition. But we squash it down. We call it we think, Oh, well, I’m already engaged and the invitations are being mailed and everything is moving so quickly. And so I can’t hear that right now. Because I’m already on this panel. And I mean, it happens all the way down to the micro level of should you go out on a date with this person or not? Which a lot of our listeners are dating and going through that decision process. So let’s slow it down for everybody and go back to that moment that you said your intuition was speaking to you first it was whispering then it was nudging you then it was screaming at you. What did that actually feel like look like sound like when you were in the moment?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  23:29  

Yeah. I mean, looking back, I can recognize it. I don’t know if in the moment I was like, Oh, that’s my intuition until it was so loud that I couldn’t not listen to it. But I remember like looking back now times like when we first started dating, I remember actually trying to break up with him. When we first started dating. We dated for five years and got engaged and we’re engaged feel sorry for years then got engaged and we’re engaged for two years. So I remember like, the beginning of our relationship, like when I dates and making it fit. And even like trying to break up with him thinking like, oh, we’re not really that compatible, like, we’re so different he like just that was my intuition saying No, not this isn’t the way and the universe kind of trying to nudge me in a different direction. But then we stay together. And those feelings of like, your intuition for me is like that, knowing that almost I always explain it as there’s no emotion attached to it. It’s that clear? Oh, this person is not right for me, or, oh, I need to call off my engagement. It’s super cold. It has no emotion, but your fear and your ego and all that are so much louder and your human part kind of like takes over really quickly. And so unless you kind of take that time in that space, to give yourself time to hear what it’s actually trying to say and like, listen to it. It’s hard to actually It’s hard to hear it and then actually do the thing. Because the thing you have to do a lot of the time is not necessarily the thing you want to do. So looking back, I can see like all of those feelings in my gut, or when I saw my friends and relationships where they were actually so happy and in love and like, looking at them, like, are they faking? Like, Is this real? I don’t, and looking at my own relationship and realizing that’s not how I feel about him. But this must be everyone must be lying. So I think we always have that knowing, but we cover it up with layers of Yeah, like fear or just stuff that’s true to try and not have to do the thing we know we need to do.


Damona  25:40  

Well, a lot of times the thing we know we need to do is the harder thing, hopefully, and then you also layer in the pressure of family and friends at work and all of these other other plans that life has for you, right?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  25:57  

Yeah, well, for me, it was like that. Well, I Already, I, we had talked about getting engaged. I said I wanted to be engaged, deeper pose. And I said I was going to do it. So it was like my intuition was saying this is the thing, but it’s like, well, I already said yes. And I’ve already committed and I can’t change my mind.


Damona  26:14  

Right? Right. And what will that look like to other people if I’ve changed my brand? Exactly. No, I didn’t. Yeah, I didn’t know and I’ve made a mistake. Let’s Yeah, let’s now look at this term of magic because I’m sure there’s also some people listening that are like, hold on Dimona. This sounds like witchcraft. I’m not like, I’m a Christian. I’m not here for this. I don’t look at it as witchcraft and I think sometimes using the term magic has different connotations. What is man mean to you? And like what is it is what are the associations that it brings up when you say magic?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  26:55  

Yeah, I love that you said that because it is true. I think sometimes we do have resistance to it or There’s so many different ways we use the word. For me magic is just kind of the word that I use for all of the things that there’s no other word to describe them. So calling off my engagement, and then what happened after that there’s no word for how that clicked and what happened, except for magic. You know what I mean?


Damona  27:21  

Right, it doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense on paper, but somehow it all worked out.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  27:27  

Yeah. And that and then the thing that I really work with women on the most is really getting back to their own magic, like we a lot of the time are seeking out the right answer or the right thing that’s going to click it all into place, or even when we’re talking about manifesting like we think we have to follow this 123 or to find the relationship we have to follow this like 123 step. And although obviously there are things that are good for a foundation or like learning and strategy if we’re talking about business, that kind of stuff, but everybody has their own unique magic that is the thing that will click everything into place and that’s why you have to listen to your intuition and find what it is for you instead of figuring out what it is for everybody else.


Damona  28:16  

So let’s say we’ve tapped into intuition we got that part down check got it what is the manifestation piece when you’re talking to people on on your podcast on made of magic about how to manifest what you want? Because it’s like you said something actually very profound. I don’t know if you realize that you said I wanted to be married and I wanted that wedding. But then there’s this other piece of with the right person that may be left out of the out of the the dream or the wish or the fairytale that you were telling yourself Right, right. Oh, yeah. How do you clarify how do people clarify their, their manifestation process and find one That works for them. Because you’ve said on the show different manifestation methods that work for some won’t work for it necessarily work for you.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  29:10  

Yeah, well, part of that is trial and error in a sense of like figuring out what feels good for you, a huge part of manifesting is you have to have to feel good. So what I do and how I manifest is really journaling in the morning. I call it magic mornings, like creating space, at the beginning phases of okay. I mean, there’s something everyone wants to manifest, whether it’s a relationship, whether it’s getting married, whether it’s a business or whatever. But behind all of that is how you want to feel so what we miss a lot of the times and what I missed was okay, I want to be married. I know that that’s the thing I want to do. I want to have kids, but I forgot like that, like you said that whole piece of who it was and what that person is like and what I like in the relationship, even towards the end of the engagement like that really relationship, I got to a point where I was like, I don’t even like who I am. It’s not even about him. It’s like, I don’t like how I’m showing up. And what happens I think a lot of the time is we don’t give ourselves time and space to stop and ask the better questions of not What do you like not just what do you want in terms of marriage and all of that. But how do you want to feel? How do you want to show up in that? what feels good for you? What doesn’t feel good for you? And then figuring out what in your life is in and out of alignment with that?


Damona  30:31  

Yeah, that’s very helpful. And I like this idea of it doesn’t have to be perfect, right? It’s just a to be out there. And for anyone that’s listening, that’s like, I don’t know if I buy it to Mona and Stephanie, I’m not sure. If you don’t have that time to vision, if you don’t have that magic morning, like Stephanie said, it’s at some point in your life. If you haven’t placed the goal in your mind. It’s really hard for you to achieve. And it’s kind of like when you look at just breaking it down to human behavior. When I don’t have the exact stats on this, but I remember reading an article about, there was a particular race pace that everybody was hitting, and nobody can break through the barrier. And then once the first person broke the barrier, then it was like the next person, the next person, the next person because they knew it was possible. And right, what I’d love for people to do is to just place that as a possibility, like you said, you saw amongst your friends that a dream relationship was a possibility. And then when you looked at your own life, at that time, it wasn’t vibrating at that level, but you had to like, you had to set the intention. You had to have that, that dream goal, somewhere out there so that you knew what you could strive for. Right


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  31:58  

100% I love all of what you just said. I think part of it, especially for me, and just especially for so many of us, whether it’s relationships or any area of your life, we do kind of settle in and just settle with that like, thing that feels quote unquote, comfortable. But there could be more out there. So exactly what you said, we think, well, that’s not going to work, or that’s not available to me or, for me, I thought people were just lying, that that’s not actually how people feel. Now, I know that that is completely not true, because I feel that so I think what happens is we don’t have a reference point for that. So I’d never experienced the love that I am experiencing now. So therefore, I didn’t know it was possible. Or, you know, if in our life, we’ve never seen people in really beautiful relationships, they’re out there, you just kind of have to give yourself a reference point for create your own reference point that anything’s possible. And the more evidence you get that that’s true, meaning like Okay, so, whether that’s your journaling and you’re visualizing or You’re just getting back to knowing yourself, and then you start to see the magic or that things, oh, they do click into place, or Oh, I didn’t make that happen, then you start to get that little bit of hope that the things are possible, the more that you see that they do happen.


Damona  33:16  

And I like what you said about seeing, seeing the little pieces of it actually come to fruition. We don’t do that enough. We don’t acknowledge where we’ve where we’ve come from. And a lot of times with my when I begin a one on one coaching program with a client, I always have them start with a snapshot of their current dating life, and then set goals for where they want to be a month from now, two months from now, three months from now. And that way you can go back and track your progress because maybe, I mean, lined up for you the magic happened after two months of after moving on from your previous relationship, but for some people The timeline, the magic timeline might be a little bit longer. But if you haven’t taken the time to look back and say, wait a minute, three months ago, I’d had no dates and I felt terrible about my dating prospects. I was not putting myself out there. I was not showing up on dates I I felt miserable. I dreaded going on dates. And then now I’m like, Oh, I can do this and Mad Men on two dates this week. And maybe I haven’t met my person. But that’s still progress. And I think that’s a really big piece of the manifestation and creating magic that people leave out to that that reminder like yeah, you’re on the right path. Keep going with it.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  34:41  

Yeah, I actually literally just wrote excuse me this on Instagram the other day that we’re so focused on how far we still have to go. So what we don’t have or what we are still have so much work to do on it that we don’t either stop and notice the moment of what we actually do have an audience Things that we asked for that are now here, or we don’t give ourselves the credit for how far we’ve already come. Yes. So and that kind of gratitude is so magnetic when you can just stop and be present in the moment with everything that you have, instead of always, because we we can get stuck in manifesting in that way too, which was I love that you said that. We were constantly trying to get more always looking in the future and not really being present in the moment and actually how you manifest the best or how you just feel the best is to be incredibly present incredibly grateful for what is already with you.


Damona  35:39  

So true, and even. We were talking about flirting earlier. Actually, I’ll tell you all the secret to flirting. It’s not a magical formula. It’s not really saying Happy Tuesday instead of a beautiful, it’s actually yeah, being present and being in the moment and listening and responding like Stephanie and I are doing right now and having this conversation like I’m feeling really connected to you, Stephanie. Yeah, we’re nowhere.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  36:08  

Yeah, yeah, I was actually thinking that after you were talking about flirting, that the reason I was like, I don’t know, is because we think of flirting as that. That sexual or that the, you know, that old school way of thinking about flirting, but when I’m thinking now of what my flirting quote unquote game is, or why I feel so good in my relationship, and vice versa is because that’s the kind of flirting that we have that in the moment, I’m listening to you, you’re listening to me we’re responding and that it feels so good.


Damona  36:42  

And even if we reframe the idea of flirting, like yeah, make it not about not about sexual attraction, but even just make it about exchange of energy because I’ll tell you, my five year old son is like the biggest flirt. I know and I know that’s not it’s not a sexual thing, but it’s just like, it’s this exchange of energy. Like he likes to see the reaction he gets when he looks at them in a certain way. And maybe if we could find a little bit more of that play, and that joy, like you were saying, then we can take the pressure off of ourselves and just be


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  37:20  

well, because then you are just being you’re not thinking, oh, what’s the witty, flirty thing to say for them to like me?


Damona  37:29  

Exactly. I I like you. Like everything you brought into dates and mates today. You also have your own podcast. I do mate of magic. What what exciting things can people explore and experience if they pop over to your podcast and what we’ve explored today?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  37:50  

Oh my gosh, it’s kind of like my open diary. Honestly, I share a ton about it’s probably very interesting for people honestly to start from episode one. It actually used to be called the girl kind of podcasts. And when I started it, it was really from a place of just wanting connection and a place for women to share their stories and be honest and say the things we’re all wanting to say. So that’s kind of if you go from the beginning, you’re going to get that kind of those episodes. And then it’s sort of organically changed to native magic. And so it’s probably wild to listen from the beginning because you’ll hear like when I was engaged to when I called up my engagement to meeting Justin to dating and what that was like to where we’re at now. So you can get a huge journey of all of it. And I share so much about what my own intuition has been saying through the journey or ego or all of this stuff. And then I have really incredible guests on to talk about all things magic manifestation what it’s like to be a woman in the world like all the things I love it. I love it.


Damona  38:56  

I know people will get so much more from following your podcast made a magic. But before you go, we have questions. Yeah, definitely don’t Elizabeth, we have questions from our listeners. People need some help, and it’s time for our next segment. All right, this one comes to us from Facebook. This lady says I’ve been single eight years and I’ve been in a couple of relationships, but just not finding anyone quality until I met will just call him K. She told me the name but secret. He’s everything I’m looking for. He tells me I’m what he’s looking for, but he’s moving out of state. So we both decide to meet and see if there’s a connection and we have an incredible couple days together. But we don’t know where to go from here. Sadly, we also currently live three hours apart so seeing each other until he moves is limited two weekends for us to even find out if there is more to us. It’s taken me six years to find him and I don’t want to let go how Can we make this work?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  40:04  

Oh, okay, well, I’m not a dating expert like you, but


Damona  40:08  

you’re a manifestation expert. She wants to be a relationship girl.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  40:14  

Well, I don’t see anything wrong with long distance relationships. Justin and I like we’re not long distance, long distance, but we live like an hour away. And honestly, I think that was a really good thing in the beginning, I tend to jump into relationships or having a past like real quick, fall real hard and like, go all in and I was all in with him. But that distance kind of allowed us to like slowly get to know each other in a different way, which ended up being so incredible. So I don’t know like, I’m all for it. If you can figure out a way that it’s going to work for both of you and that your needs are both met. And I mean, if this is the person that you been waiting for Don’t think that should break it up. What do you think?


Damona  41:04  

First I’m glad that you said slow love, basically, slow it down. I just did an episode of the kind of dating podcast all on this topic about low love. So I will not be labor the issue you guys can check it. If you want to hear me, wax poetic about that. I hear a lot of anxious words, though, in this statement like, because I know she’s been single for eight years and I know what that feels like. It feels like you’ve been in the desert and you finally got a drink of water. And now you’re going to just guzzle it all down. But still, you have to have slow love and you don’t have to figure it out before he moves. So like I think the tendency when you have been looking for someone for so long, and you know she said a couple of times like it took me eight years to find him is to then take this. Take this peg that may or may not fit, and just like jamming in there, we have to figure this out right now. And you don’t like Yes, a lot of time has passed, and you’ve invested a lot, but you still need to proceed cautiously and carefully, and mindfully, and especially if you’re going to be investing in a long distance relationship. Like I’ll say, Stephanie, it can work to meet someone long distance, but eventually you have to have a plan to be together. Hopefully, very few relationships work long term long distance. Yeah. But you just have to, you have to figure it out and not be I think she shouldn’t be in a rush to figure it out before he goes, you will still have Skype dates, you’ll be able to travel to one another. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing that they can only see each other on weekends. because like you said, having that space in between the dates will make it will give you the opportunity to really assess if this is something different if it has that magic like Stephanie was


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  42:58  

that’s so true. So much of what you just said, one being like that energy is different. If the energy is like, hold on, cling, don’t leave me. We got to figure this out, then no, that’s not going to feel good for anyone. And I love what you said about the weekends to even honestly now, Justin and I don’t, we’re moving in together in like a month, but we don’t really see each other during the week. And that’s okay. And for me, that’s what me release and heal so much of that unhealthy attachment or that I need you, you need to need me and has allowed us to, like individually grow in such a huge way and then we come together in a really healthy way. Exactly. That’s the goal.


Damona  43:42  

Any relationships? Yeah. relationships. Okay, we have one more question. This gal says women always say that men only want them for sex. But I never get any responses on dating apps. What’s up with


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  43:56  

that? It’s a guy




Unknown Speaker  44:01  

I’m gonna pick up that whole thing. Okay,


Damona  44:05  

this question, okay.


Okay, this question comes to us from a fella. He says women always say that men only want them for sex. But I never get any responses on dating apps. What’s up with that? So this guy is trying to have like a more serious connection. He’s sending messages on dating apps or women of substance. And he’s getting shut out in the cold. What’s he doing wrong? You think? Other than not manifesting his magic?


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  44:36  

Well, I mean, I guess it if you get logical with it, it’s like what’s, what is the conversation? And then the other part of it is like, what’s the energy that it’s coming from? It’s kind of similar to the last question, you were just saying, like, Are you going out with that energy of? I need it now? I want something serious. Where are you? I don’t want anything like that that energy that you come to it with is also super important. Yes.


Damona  45:08  

And it’s I feel like we’re coming back full circle to where we began at the show. It’s a combination right of, of the logistics. What What is your profile? pictures? Do you? Do you need the profile starter kit that you can get a dates and mates calm for free. And maybe you need to redo your profile because chances are you if you’re not getting responses back, there’s something amiss in your profile or in your approach. So if you’re not like chasing down women and sending them novels and acting weird, which, if you’re listening to this podcast, then surely or not, you might just need to refresh on your dating profile and have some pictures that really amplify your magic and show people who you are and what what would make you a great match. But I would say don’t be a Afraid, especially for a guy to let people know that you’re, you’re there for something more serious, right? Because if you if people I think are so afraid to say what they mean or say really what their intentions are, they’re afraid someone might run away. So I think it pushes away the wrong people and it magnet magnetized is the right people to you


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  46:22  

100% I say that all the time people Justin and I met on Bumble And people always ask me, my God, how did you find a person on Bumble or vice versa? they asked him to both of us for very honest about what we wanted, and with our energy, but also in what we physically said. And I think especially for women, I mean men to or they were just afraid to say that because we think, oh, then people will leave or they’ll think like, oh, okay, he wants something serious. I’m out. But good. That’s good information that does not the person that’s on the same level of what you want. And so the more Yes, like you said part of it is what does your profile say? What are you coming into the conversation with? And then the other part of it is just be vulnerable and honest about what you actually want from the beginning.


Damona  47:07  

And then let the magic take hold. Right? This has been so much fun so


all of our listeners will check out made a magic the podcast, it’s on all of your favorite podcast platforms. You can also follow Stephanie on Instagram at Stephanie dawn Elizabeth. We will put the links in the show notes along with all the the links to the dating dish stories. Those are always for your reading pleasure, along with fabulous GIFs by the wonderful Producer Leah at dates and This is Episode 282 of dates and mates. Do you have a question? Do you have a question that you want me to answer on future show? Don’t be shy. Tell me what’s on your mind. Chances are somebody if you’re having a question, there’s somebody else listening, that’s having the same issue. So you can help somebody else out and also help out your yourself, you can message me at Dimona Hoffman on all the socials. I also love voice messages. So you can call me or you can leave me a voice message on on Instagram. You can call me at 424-246-6255 you can email me, just find me and get me your questions so I can help you out. And don’t forget to do three keep it free. Number one, subscribe to this show on whichever platform you’re listening right now click that little subscribe button number to give us a review. And number three, share this episode with a friend. Everyone has a friend that needs a little bit of manifestation magic in their life. So why not click share and let somebody know that you found a fabulous podcast and you are going to help them live their best life while you’re living your best to. We’ll be back again next week with more dates and mates. Thank you to my guest Stephanie Don Elizabeth.


Stephanie Dawn Elizabeth  48:52  

Thank you.


Damona  48:53  

Until next week, my lovers I wish you happy dating


Done with Dating & The Cheerleader Effect


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


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


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

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

Find your soulmate before the end of the world! 

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

Did you know there are apps to fix your relationships?

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


Be the host with the most

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

We go in-depth on:

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


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

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



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

Argument Addiction & Chemistry Lies

Chemistry is a LIAR

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


Does your wedding budget predict your chances at divorce?

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


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

Demi Moore spills the tea on her marriage with Ashton Kutcher

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

Argument & Chemistry Addiction (15:00)

Silent but Deadly Relationship Killers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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