4 Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Catfish

Before you start this article, know that I don’t think dating apps are full of catfish. I have never come across a catfish that wasn’t easy to spot. And I know you know how much time I spend looking at online dating profiles for my clients. If you keep an eye out for the signs of a fake boyfriend, you won’t fall prey to romance scams.

Recently a former client came to me for advice about his daughter who was in an LDR (long-distance relationship) with a man she met online. He had some valid concerns: First, the girl is 19 and her online boyfriend is 25. That’s quite an age gap which puts them in two very different places in life. She’s just graduating high school and he’s already beginning his career. I can see why a father would have concerns about a potential catfish.

Here’s the real kicker: they have never met but she’s totally smitten and willing to put her love life on hold. She’ll even miss her senior prom because she believes she is in love and he will find her and sweep her off her feet.


Here’s Why It Matters

I’ve written in the past about catfish scams which often target older women. However, in 2020, romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. That’s up about 50% from 2019.

Increasingly, younger women are falling into the emotional catfish, which can have even more devastating consequences when they end (and they most often do end). 

The catfish victim might have feelings of shame, may doubt their choices, feel unworthy of love and can have trouble connecting to a new suitor IRL (in real life.)

The point of online dating is to actually date.

It troubles me that so many virtual connections never make the transition into in-person dates,  wasting tons of time and emotional energy in the process.

If you think you or someone you know has developed an emotional attachment to a man they met online and it may be going nowhere, here are 4 Sure Signs Your Online Boyfriend is a Catfish:

He Will Never Meet You In Person

Even if you’ve talked on the phone and heard his voice and he “sounds” nice, if he doesn’t do everything in his power to see you face to face, he’s a catfish. Men want physical connection and ultimately are driven to have sex with women they are attracted to. Simply put, if a man wants to date you, he will find a way to get to you.

His Online Identity is a Mismatch

If you Google, Facebook, or Instagram stalk him and his name or photo doesn’t match up with the guy you think he is, you have a problem. No matter how well he tries to explain this away, it’s shady. Proceed at your own risk.

He Only Calls You At One Time Of Day

If your man is only available late at night or on the weekends and he always denies your call if you ring him during off-peak hours, you are probably his side chick. He doesn’t have a second job or a really busy schedule. He might not be a catfish, but he is playing you.

He Has Lots of Pretty Lady Friends Online

There are many ways that a Facebook profile can be a dead giveaway for an online predator. Most commonly if he has a very small and seemingly unconnected group of friends and/or he’s friends with an over-abundance of women it could mean that he’s using this account to connect with his virtual harem which is not something you want to be part of.

It’s so hard to watch a woman waste her time with a catfish and these sort of phantom relationships give online dating a bad name. Meet your e-crush early and often and do your due diligence to make sure your online boyfriend is the real deal.

The Phases of Dating During COVID


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

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

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

These are the phases of online dating today:

Phase 1: Online Matching and Introduction

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

Phase 2: Texting/Messaging

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

Phase 3: The Phone Call

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

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

Phase 4: Social Distance Date

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Rethink Love & Bachelor on Blast


We’re about halfway through 2020 and we already cannot wait for the fresh start that 2021 will bring. This year has been by far one of the most intense but it’s forcing us to look at what is really important.

What life do you want to create for yourself when we eventually come out on the other side of this extremely challenging period of time?

Today, we want to help you create something beautiful out of the challenges around us.

We explore your options and perhaps guide you to finding your ideal life with Monica Berg, author of Rethink Love and Fear is Not an Option.

She’s all teaching you to create a life worth living. That sounds really heavy – but basically we want to help you create the life you want immediately.


But first, Damona covers headlines:


Are your dick pics on Amazon RIGHT NOW?

Security researchers came across a very surprising data breach this month – sloppily stored super personal and sometimes sexually explicit private interactions from various dating apps can be accessed through something called a “bucket.” Is your data all over Amazon? Damona breaks it down.


Bachelor on Blast

This week, Matt James was announced as the super hot new Bachelor! But did you know that the Bachelor previously argued in a lawsuit that it was their constitutional right not to cast contestants of color? Here’s an NPR article from 2012 all about it. What does this casting decision mean for the past, present and future of reality TV? You might remember that Damona has a history in TV casting and producing. She has a lot of thoughts on the topic.

Date night ideas for those of us who are still social distancing (read: all of us)

Damona gives us 10 date night ideas for keeping it cute in quarantine – if you’re tired of Netflix and Chill.

LOVE & WISDOM (12:00)

Damona’s been Kabbala curious for a very long time so when we were approached to have Monica Berg – Communications Director for the Kabbala Center – we got super excited.

She’s the author of Rethink Love and Fear is Not an Option and self-professed change junkie.

Monica’s lived a very full life and it has taught her how the practical wisdom of Kabbalah can bring Light and strength into even the most challenging experiences by changing the one thing we can control ourselves. We all need some Light and Strength right now.

She and Damona discuss:

  • Ancient wisdom
  • Ups and Downs in a relationship is healthy
  • Romanticized expectations of falling in love and why they’re unhealthy
  • How distorted self-perception is killing your potential to find love

Find Monica on all the socials @monicaberg74 and at rethinklife.today. PLUS you can join Monica’s Rethink Love Interactive Webinar if you want more from her


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

  • I’m 37, and I’m so embarrassed to say that I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve talked to some therapists and they don’t really know what to say that, and it’s still makes me sad to this day. I’ve been single my whole life and it hurts me knowing my situation, that I’ve missed out simple things, like celebrating an anniversary with a guy, walking along a beach, watching the sunset, celebrating anything basically. What would you say to help me get over this embarrassment? Is it something that I just have to live with and stop dwelling on? I’ve been living with it my whole life, I don’t really know how to heal my heart from this.
  • What advice do you have on interracial dating and how to have convos about what’s happening during these crazy times?


Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates inmates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, we are about halfway through 2020. And I think it’s safe to say we’re all experiencing some sort of change. Whether we like it or not, the world around us is rapidly evolving. It’s time to decide how you fit into the new normal. What life do you want to create for yourself when we eventually come out on the other side of this extremely challenging but necessary period. I want to help you explore your options and maybe guide you towards finding your ideal life. Along with Monica Berg. She’s the author of rethink love, and fear is not an option. She will be teaching you all how to create a life Fourth living. I know it’s kind of heavy. But the bottom line is that you can have the power to change your life right now. And we want to help you do that if you’re not where you want to be. So I want you to think about your immediate life goals. And then we’ll come back to that in a moment. But first, I’m going to get you up to speed on this week’s headlines. We’ll talk about how to keep your dick pics from getting leaked on Amazon, and 40 seasons and a single black lead what ABC needs to do next, with their first black bachelor plus date night at home ideas for those of us who are still social distancing, which should be all of you. Then, as always, at the end of the show, I will answer your questions including how to approach dating if you’ve never been in a relationship, and what advice do you have on interracial dating? You know, that’s a topic I have a lot to say about. So let’s get ready and do the dish

Monica Berg  1:59  

these days. dish

Damona  2:03  

dating app data exposed according to Wired Magazine, now every few months, you hear a story like this from me about a dating app breach. But this one’s a little bit different because it actually wasn’t a breach of a particular app. But it was actually a publicly accessible bucket on Amazon web services that included sexually explicit photos and audio recordings. Nobody exactly knows where they came from or how they got captured. But what the experts agree on is that it was basically just sloppily stored data, not a breach of passwords or access to your app. So as I seem to do quarterly, I’m just going to remind you that I’m not a fan of sending sensitive material over the internet. I’m not a fan of posting it. I’m not a fan of even Snapchatting it because we have I’ve had a breach on Snapchat. And you have to be in control of the information that goes out and you and you have to be prepared that if that information gets leaked into the public eye, that it’s not something that will cause you to potentially lose your job or be embarrassed or end your relationship. This breach was pretty sensitive because some of the apps whose data was was included here were apps like threesome, gay Daddy bear and herpes dating. And they’re actually a total of nine services. But among them, many of them were were apps that had sensitive data about people’s sexual orientation, which may or may not be public and their health information like in herpes dating, so I just have to remind y’all to be very careful with what you share. I know we’re living in a time where we are virtually dating, but just remember screenshots can happen, data storage can happen. revenge porn definitely happens. And however they got there, I just have to remind you that once they’re on the internet, they may not ever disappear. So choose your sex wisely. Speaking of choosing wisely, ABC is trying to make good on The Bachelor Finally, after 40 seasons and only one lead a one black lead, who was Rachel Lindsay a bachelorette they now have a black bachelor. But just to put this in context, you may or may not realize there’s also been a lawsuit, there’s been a change.org petition, there’s been a lot of conversation about the lack of diversity on ABC actually raised children’s who herself has been very critical and said that she’d like to see more people of color on the entire staff which is something that as a former casting director, and as a former Diversity executive and television executive and TV producer, I have often rallied for. And I’ve said that this the land of TV and I’ve worked in it for nearly 20 years, the land of TV does not look like the world that I grew up in are the world that many of you are living in, which is actually quite diverse. And yet, because of the reach of TV, we have a responsibility to accurately portray the world and even to be leaders to lead the charge on change happening in the world. So this

Monica Berg  5:35  


Damona  5:36  

choice to pick a black bachelor right now I do not believe is an accident, I believe it is is is a representation of what is happening in the world and his reaction to that, rather than being forward thinking and leading the charge. ABC is behind the eight ball and choosing a black bachelor to avoid criticism. And you may not realize they’ve actually been sued for this They, there was a lawsuit, which I’ll just give you the highlights of it. But there were a couple of contestants who auditioned for the Bachelor. And they sued because they said the show is discriminates against people of color, both in choosing the primary Bachelorette and choosing people who he or she will date. And you know what ABC said, y’all. ABC. ABC argued that casting is a first amendment right, and that they have a right to discriminate if they’re talking about casting and not have to deal with potential backlash of forming an interracial relationship that that is up to them and the judge agreed the judge agreed that it is not illegal for them to discriminate. Now it is illegal Of course in any other hiring situation. But on television, they agreed that it is not as illegal and they dismiss the case. And this is not okay. This is not okay with me. This is a complete lack of awareness of the responsibility of television. And I know many of the people that work at ABC, I know many of the diversity executives, and I’m sure they are just Gerges biting through their upper lip at this decision, and at an even at the afterthought now of putting a black bachelor in this position, because it shouldn’t have to be mandated by the court. It It shouldn’t just be something that you do as a reaction to a racial revolution. It is something that is a business imperative. It is something that is a world shaping imperative, and something that I don’t believe that the ABC executives and producers are taking as seriously as they should. So I I’m really happy that we finally do have a black bachelor. I posted a video Do not too long ago about racial preference and and bias in dating and how it really relates to our own deeper unconscious bias around race. I do encourage you to check that out on my Instagram or Facebook if you haven’t watched it yet. And this Sunday, I will have a full article in The Washington Post on this topic as well, but we’re just it’s just the tip of the iceberg we have so much further to go and this is just the beginning of the discussion. On a lighter note, you all still need to keep dating but I know many of you are hesitant to go out even as dates are opening up and and lifting restrictions for Coronavirus. So I have a cute little article that can help you if you are either in a relationship or you are newly dating someone have 10 ideas 10 things that you can still do at home, to have a fun and sexy date. We will of course Put the link to it in the show notes. I wrote this for our sisters at AARP, which is a blog through the AARP for black women. But it’s for everyone and I talk about the importance of an histology date. If you don’t know what it is style check date is you can check that out and we’ll put the link in the show notes that dates and mates calm but nostalgia can can actually bond to people if you can create feelings of familiar prior experiences it can actually make you feel connected. Almost as if you were there together. You can certainly make a gourmet meal together my husband and I are big fans of the box to meal kits like sun basket. You can do a sip and paint night you can play Never have I ever there are a ton of ideas. So I don’t want you to feel limited Even though Coronavirus fatigue is certainly setting in I’m feeling it myself. We can still take time to connect and we can still do it in a way that is safe this season. Those are the headlines of the week but in a moment we’ll be talking to Monica Berg about all things love and light and lifelong change. But first, I just need to ask you, are we friends with benefits. If you are looking to go deeper in love and you want some extra bonus material on all things dating and relationships, I would love for you to become a part of the dates and means Patreon program, I’m giving you access to all the hidden episodes of dates and mates. Right now we only have the last 100 episodes, but there’s actually over 300 episodes of dates and dates. And I’m going to give you access to all of those if you’re inside of my friends with benefits program. There’s video tutorials on how to read your dates face in the profile to tell if they’re a match for you or not. And a lot of other dating resource cheat sheets and extras those are all available for you@patreon.com slash dates and mates. And of course, you’ll be invited inside my private Facebook group where we can have a direct conversation But that’s only for people who are my friends with benefits and I’d love for you to become one of them. It starts at just $5 a month. And again, that’s patreon.com slash dates and mates. We’ll have more coming right up with Monica virg. So don’t go anywhere.

Welcome back. I am here with Monica Berg. She’s the author of rethink love and fear is not an option. And she’s the chief communications officer of the Kabbalah center. She’s lived a very full life and it’s taught it’s taught her how the practical wisdom of Kabbalah can bring light and strength into even the most challenging experiences by changing the one thing we can control ourselves. We all need some light and strength right now. Please help me give some big smooches to Monica Berg.

Monica Berg  11:47  

It’s great to be here with you. Thank you.

Damona  11:48  

I’m so glad to have you. So Monica, let’s start at the top. You are the the chief communications officer of the Kabbalah center. Tell me What just give us like a rundown of what Kabbalah is and how it impacts your life?

Monica Berg  12:07  

Well, Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that explains the complexities of the material and non material world. And for thousands of years kabbalists have understood that the purpose of our life is transformation, and that every human being is born with the potential of greatness, for greatness. And our responsibility is to try to unlock that potential. And I have found the wisdom to really be life altering. Sometimes I wonder where I would have gone I started studying when I was 17. And it explained to me, really, you know, the purpose of life, how to create beautiful gifts from the most difficult challenges and how to really allow life to an all of the things that you experience to go through you rather than happening to you. There’s a purpose for everything. It’s all divine, and there isn’t A great gift really just to be found if you’re looking for,

Damona  13:03  

huh, yeah, then especially connects when we’re talking about dating and relationships. Because there’s a lot of ups and downs, right? And as you as you move through these experiences, I like to look at every, every relationship, whether it’s your sole partner, your life partner or not. It’s an opportunity to learn, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Monica Berg  13:30  

Well, absolutely, I agree with you. And in fact, I don’t think I think the plans we make are kind of funny. I think we’re seeing that especially now, when we’re the pandemic and people realize that things are not really in our control. And I think that’s why a lot of people have a lot of fear, and a lot of uncertainty because we usually go through life with the illusion that we are in control of what happens, we have a goal, we have an idea, we have a purpose. We’re going to make it happen and if it doesn’t happen, then we get really upset and why didn’t workout I had a plan and I was so sure it was supposed to turn out like that. I think especially when it comes to relationships, there are certain things we can be sure of. If we’re looking and setting up the relationship from the beginning and the right way in terms of making sure you’re aligned in big picture ways and the most important ways, having common goals and understanding of what you want out of life, right, those are big things. And as you evolve in that consciousness, your partner then will evolve with you. But I think far too often people go into relationship with it being more of a commodity of you know, a buyer seller kind of exchange

Monica Berg  14:38  

often and relationships people kind of

Monica Berg  14:42  

it check out too soon. I think that in everything in life, there’s a process that we are meant to go through. And I think that if we’re paying attention if we’re really conscious beings, we’re we’re deriving meaning from everybody, everything every exchange, even if it doesn’t seem consequential, but something like a relationship of course, is I think in those moments that even if relationships seem to be stuck or stifled, there is a something you can learn about yourself. But also I think people often exit far too soon.

Damona  15:10  

Hmm. Talk to me a little bit more about that exiting too soon.

Monica Berg  15:17  

Well, I think that it’s really easy to have a belief system where Yeah, I hear this a lot. You know, I I’m tired of this relationship. It’s not what I expected. It’s not what I signed up for. And, you know, I know I’m going to meet do one on an airplane or you know, so and so mme and a taxi, they’re waiting for it. And we have this very romanticized idea of what falling in love and love looks like. And and that’s just a farce, you know, I mean, of course, that can happen. But far too often, I think people right off the relationship with I think in our minds, we think that a successful relationship is one that has no problems that it’s easy. That is fluid. And the truth is if you look historically, at relationships, even the strongest ones there, there was adversity, there was opposition. And I think that is actually a healthy part relationships are meant to be served as a mirror for you. I think if we look in biblical stories, we look at Shakespeare, there was often something that they needed to go through that was very difficult. And through that they were able to appreciate one another and actually grow from having that experience. So I just think we’re often very wrong about what we think love should look like and then how it’s going to play out.

Damona  16:34  

It’s like the sand needs that pressure to become the diamond. I heard like a little bit of almost sound like a laugh in your voice when you said the one and I know your book, The subtitle to rethink love is three steps to being the one attracting the one and becoming

Monica Berg  16:53  

one. Did I hear

Damona  16:55  

a little laugh on this idea of the one or do you believe There is a one destined person for everyone.

Monica Berg  17:06  

You didn’t hear the last because i think that i think that there are I do believe in soulmates but I think we’re wrong about, again what we think about that because we think it’s going to be amazing and effortless. And also, I think far too often we right off the person we’re with because we have an expectation that they should be something else. I think you can have a lot of different soulmates in your life actually. It depends where you’re at when you meet the person. If when you’re attracting a mate, you’re coming from a place where you’re feeling like you need validation or you feel very needy, or you feel that you want to your cherished delusion about what marriage will bring you. Well, you’re going to attract a certain kind of person, right? And maybe that person is a spark of your soul and you’re meant to do things together but then you might feel you outgrew them Why? Because maybe now and even invested more into becoming a friend yourself and getting to know yourself. And your ideas about who you want to be and how you want to live might have changed. And so therefore, you might want to different kinds of me. So I think it’s really important when you go into finding the one, you first look at makes sure that you are the one you know. Are you happy with who you are? Would you want to be married to you? Are you a friend to yourself? Do you do like living in your skin? How does that feel for you? And I would really say the relationship that first needs the most attention and the priority really is the one that you have with yourself. And far too often people actually just skip the entire chapter of their lives, and they move on from feeling, you know, maybe needy or not really knowing who they are, or maybe even a little bit undeserving. Or maybe not really good enough. And straight into I need love to help me feel all whole and all of those areas and I think that’s a mistake a lot of us make.

Damona  18:53  

Yeah, I I can certainly relate to that. And that’s been a part of my own story. From this place of being sort of other, being someone that is multi cultural, dual religion, you know, finding my place was was really hard. But as listeners of the show know, when I really came to understand and appreciate myself, that’s when I was able to attract my highest love. And I know you’ve had you’ve had different evolutions of Monica Berg and different challenges that you’ve faced.

Monica Berg  19:30  

If I may, I,

Damona  19:32  

I also heard that one of those struggles that you had was overcoming an eating disorder and body image challenges, which is something that I’ve struggled with as well. Can you talk about a little bit about your journey is this is something that comes up for a lot of my clients and my listeners as well?

Monica Berg  19:50  

Yes, absolutely. And interestingly enough, the first part of my book is all about the relationship you have with yourself. It’s eight chapters. It’s a big part of the book. I wrote it like that, because I actually have tried every single thing that I offer in those chapters. for somebody to struggle with anorexia, it’s really, by simple just the definition, you starve yourself from being able to give yourself love or receiving love, and also such a lack of self care that you don’t even nurture yourself, not with food or any other aspect. So I hit a point where I recognized how how little self love I had, which was surprising because I also had very strong beliefs of not suffering. I believed in fairness and equality and love for all but my ability, my inability to give it to myself was very big. And so I had a choice to either slowly keep starving myself to death ultimately, or I had to really learn to love myself. So I think it first starts with hearing and identifying false beliefs that we all carry. Usually it’s the voice of our parents. And my parents are great. They love me. But you know, they had their own struggles, right? So I started to identify those. And I started to identify areas where I felt shame, and feelings of unworthiness. And I decided that I was gonna turn the volume lower on that negative voice, that inner critic and I was going to try to find what was almost now an audible, the voice of my soul, which was telling me you know, you are destined for greatness simply by your existence, you are deserving of love. And I knew full well that I needed to learn to give that to myself. So although I was so lonely at the time, it’s a very isolating place to be in. And what I wanted more than anything was for someone to love me unconditionally. I knew so fully and completely in that moment, even at age 18, that I needed to learn to do that for myself. And if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t be happy. I wouldn’t even know if I would survive


Damona  21:58  

that steep That’s deep. And I think a lot of people can relate to that. But but maybe haven’t had that turning point that epiphany. Was there something was there a catalyst that really got you to say, I have to make a change.

Monica Berg  22:20  

Well, it’s interesting because I think a lot of people and that’s why I feel like having anorexia was a blessing. Because a lot of people can deal with this place of being in a prison. It’s like a self made prison, right? It’s very comfortable. It’s small, you’re caged in, but it’s a comfortable, it’s a comfortable prison, right? Because you’ve created it. For me. It was so extreme at that point that I was forced to have to do something about this. And the day that I realized that is also a gift, I call it the gift of knowing, because like most people who suffer with this, you don’t see it right. There’s body dysmorphia. You You see Large person when you look in the mirror, and, and I By the way, I was never I was always the size for like I’ve never It was never because I felt like I gained weight and it was just this deep shame that I had carried around for my whole life. And I remember one day I went to the bathroom and it was something I did every morning. It was called the pinch test and I would lift up my night shirt and I would pinch parts of skin which I felt were fat, but literally like skin off my stomach between my fourth my finger, my pointer finger and my thumb. And I remember on this given morning, I looked in the mirror and for the first time I saw like I actually saw what I looked like. And you have to know that before that I just saw a very different version. I saw this barely obese monitor looking at me. That’s what I had seen for years. And on that day, I saw a skeletal version of myself and I was horrified. I was horrified but it was at my own hands. I had created this and I started screaming and crying Trying to my mother who at that point, yes, she was expecting my heart to give out at any moment, from the lack of nutrients. And she came in and we just held each other. And from that point on, the struggle is still there, I needed to get help, I started this spiritual work. And I really did this work, but I knew no matter what I saw later that it wasn’t true that it was my eyes lying to me. And that was another gift and another insight that you can’t trust your five senses not in anything, not even in relationship.

Damona  24:28  

like can you trust the other senses? I believe I’m a big believer in many senses, and not even just six. But

Monica Berg  24:38  

well, this is the thing according to Kabbalah, we have what is known as the 1% reality versus the 99% realm. So the 1% is everything that’s ruled by our five senses. It’s, you know, sight, smell, hearing, taste, and very often, you know, and it’s immediate gratification. So when we go about relationships, we look for what you know, you Are pheromones, right? Do they smell good test? How do they feel to us? What’s the attraction level? And of course, all of those things are important. However, we know that looks fade. We know people get older. I mean, lots of things change, bank accounts change. So if it’s just based on external, you know, you’re gonna get into trouble with that a little bit later. But what’s connected to the 99% realm? is empathy, kindness, compassion, connection. Pleasure, laughter, right? All of those things. That’s what you really want to start out looking for when you’re looking for relationship, because that will stand the test of time. If you find a kind of person they’re going to be they’re going to continue to be high maybe and fast. They’ll want to continue to be kinder and find ways to grow that, huh?

Damona  25:43  

Yes, that’s I. I appreciate the way that you phrase that because that’s something that we talk about a lot on the show, but it’s hard to put into words what exactly those qualities you should be looking for are. I want to fast forward a little bit In your story to when you met your spouse, and just continuing on the conversation of self love and, and body image, because sometimes when when you get into the relationship or when you’re dating, then your face those issues are looking at you again because people feel that they’re being judged because of the way they look. Did that come up for you when you were dating? Or has it come up for you in your relationship in the past?

Monica Berg  26:37  

Well, it’s really interesting because

Monica Berg  26:40  

even though I really want a relationship I never trusted. I never trusted it because I didn’t feel I was ready for it in some way. I mean, even when, like, I mean, I went to Beverly Hills High School, there are plenty of opportunities, but I kept just feeling like I need to protect myself from something I didn’t know that I need to protect myself from me actually. Just what followed right when I was about to graduate, but when and my husband and I knew each other. So again, I started studying Kabbalah when I was 17. And he was very involved. He was kind of born into it, actually, his parents co founded the cloud center. So we came from very different backgrounds. And he you know, I love this too, because he always had his nose in a book. You know, he was walking read, and I written that, you know, I was drinking and dancing and do very different things that we were coordinating. But we put ourselves connected, right, but I could not see him like, even if God had come and said, this is your future husband. It was absolutely not because at face value, it didn’t look like things lined up. And I remember I was doing all of this work that we’re speaking about, I was still anorexic. And one day I walked into his office because there was a project that I volunteered to work on, and it was his projects and they walked in and our hands touch and it was like if we saw each other for the first time and we were married nine months. Later. And we were young to write. So when we joke like, oh, we’re really lucky it worked out. But the truth is, we both had these things in common in terms of the 99% realm. So, and I was interested when we fell in love, which is interesting, right? And I think, and I remember it was the first time I ever felt really happy, and it wasn’t so much that he was making me happy. It was just I never laughed so much. It was like there was levity. And there was a simplicity that I had never known or seen before. It was just being able to arrive on your own terms. And be seen, I think it was the first time I was really seen for who I really was like, he could see my soul and I don’t think anybody had ever seen me in that way ever until that point, and I’m not really sure until recent times. If people have you know, he always saw me and I think that that that belonging not only helps me heal But never made me. Never made me question who I was, or if I was enough.

Damona  29:08  

I wish that for all of our listeners, I hope that they can all get to that point. But I know there’s a lot of fear but you got to do the work and a lot of fear on the way to like fear of acceptance, fear of rejection. And I know we’re talking about rethink love, but you’ve also written a book called fear is not an option. Can you give just a couple of tips on overcoming fear or, or, you know, rejecting fear when it comes to moving into a relationship?

Monica Berg  29:44  

Well, I can talk about fear forever, although, yeah, I think that people do of course, fear of rejection. It feels very real. And I actually think it comes from ancestral times when when we would stand up and Be an individual and speak our mind. We could be ostracized right? And what did that mean? Then we were gatherers and hunters. That means if we were rejected from a group, basically, that was death because we could not survive on our own right. So I think we’re running really old software. And we think it’s real. And that’s why we’re terrified of being rejected. But the way I look at rejection is different rejection isn’t that what you’re offering is not worthwhile, or that it’s bad. It’s just the person you’re trying to give it to, is not the recipient of it. And if you look at it that way, it’s really not personal. It’s just not for them. But what a blessing to see that early on. So you can not waste time and you can move on to the next. So in order to do that, though, of course, you have to know your self worth, which takes us back again to that first very fundamental step, which is really learning to be your own best friend, and it’s possible for everyone I say this completely wholeheartedly. I fundamentally know this to be true. Everybody can get there, but you have to have a true desire. desire to do it. Again. For me, the desire was everything because it was life or death. But what if everybody looked at life like that? Right? If I don’t change this about myself? It’s the death. It’s a slow death. What is a slow death? It means that you wake up every day. And are you living your best life versus just mediocre? You wake up and you’re not really excited to get out of bed. You wake up and you can’t wait till this happy hour. I mean, that’s so death to me.

Damona  31:22  

Oh, yeah. And I think now in this time of, of COVID and radical, racial change, I think it does slow death is getting faster. And we’re all seeing our own mortality presented to us and we have a choice. And I love that you say, you say that. Change, get it. You want people to get addicted to change. And that change is something that can really be powerful to create the life that we want. So I think we’re in a really important time be having this conversation, Monica To really inspire people to make a change and to continue to make changes. What, what is one thing that you encourage someone to do today? If they’re feeling all those pressures, and they’re feeling the slow death? How can we make a move to get unstuck, and not not accept the the death sentence that we’ve been taking on? not to get too serious, we

Monica Berg  32:25  

need to

Monica Berg  32:27  

know. I know, like the death sentence.

Damona  32:30  

But you know, I mean, it feels real to me. It feels real to me right away.

Monica Berg  32:36  

I think that as much as I say there’s an option, there is a place for healthy fear. And in fact, in my book, identify three different different types of fear because when you break things down like that, it’s very easy then to overcome them. And we don’t have to go into that if you don’t want to, or we can whatever you want, but with healthy fear, for instance, healthy fear is rooted in real fear. It’s rooted in things that happen right? Like death, disease, sickness growing old and what people do with that kind of fear. They take it all the ways every time like let’s say somebody fears their parents dying, then they think about that. And they ruminate about that thought over and over again or when they’re with their parents. That’s sad, because they’re thinking, Oh, is this the last time I’ll be with them or our days are numbered. Instead, you can use it as a great motivator for change, right? You can say, Okay, I’m going to tell them, I love them. Whenever I see them, I’m going to make sure I’m kind even if I’m annoyed. I’m going to make sure that I enjoy our time together. So I have those memories. Where if a person’s afraid of disease, well, then great, use your time wisely. Eat healthy, don’t have stress, don’t smoke, right? exercise, there’s these things are set for us, actually, to help us be aware of things we do need to pay attention to. So I’m all for that kind of fear. And in terms of change, I think very often, people crave change, but they reject change because we like to be comfortable. we as human beings. We really like our comfort and changes the opposite of that it’s very uncomfortable. The thing is this, if you accept this reality, that change is a constant companion for all of us through life. Think about this. I mean, if I look back to Monica 15 years ago, or 30 years ago, I don’t even recognize her. And I hope that tomorrow, I don’t recognize the version of me that I am today, right? That’s how I approach life now. And it’s very freeing, and it’s very liberating, because the alternative is that you go through life collecting things and accumulating things and then you get terrified. Don’t take this away from me. I worked really hard for this. Oh my god, I can’t lose my job. I worked really hard to get to this position, or this race or this promotion, oh, my God, my house. I’ve got to protect it. I worked really hard for it. And so we go through life collecting things and then we’re afraid we’re going to lose them. But what about this? What if we don’t have that fear? And we say, Okay, I’m so curious about life and where it has to take me and what I have yet to discover that I want to be flexible. That means that day to day again, you wake up you have a plan, you have an idea of what your life should be like Like what your day should unfold like, and then it doesn’t go that way, you have a choice in that moment, I can be upset and write the day off and wait for tomorrow. Or I can look around and say, Okay, so that’s not an option. What else is and if you approach life like that, you’re going to see endless opportunities. And then you’re actually going to be happy. It’s like the formula for happiness.

Damona  35:21  

I love how you said it. We took we took all of the despair, and you turn it into a positive Monica and I too, I’m a change addict. And you know, people have heard me say on the show before, like, I’m not a done person, I’m not finished. I’m evolving and I am excited for all of our listeners to to get to get more, get some of your wisdom and get that inspiration for them to keep pushing to change and evolve as well. Thank you so much for being here. I hope everyone will pick up their copy of rethink love three steps to being the one attracting the one and becoming the one Monica. I think this is just the The beginning of a long friendship and a journey for us to take together. So thank you for inspiring me as well.

Monica Berg  36:05  

Oh, I look forward to that. Thank you so much.

Damona  36:09  

What a delight what an enlightening experience to speak with Monica Berg. I have learned so much from her. I’ve been Kabbalah curious for a while myself, so I’ll keep you posted. As we move along this journey. We’re going to take a quick break, but I have questions from you all and some juicy ones this week. So don’t go anywhere. We’re back. And I am here and ready to answer your dating and relationship questions. This is your favorite segment. Technically dating.

Monica Berg  36:42  


Damona  36:44  

This question came to me in an email from Abby. She says I’m 37 and I am so embarrassed to say that I’ve never been in a relationship before. I’ve talked to some therapists and they don’t really know what to say. And it still makes me sad to this day. I’ve been single my whole life and it hurts me knowing this situation that I missed out on simple things like celebrating an anniversary with a guy walking along the beach, watching the sunset celebrating anything, basically, what would you say to help me get over this embarrassment? Is it something that I just have to live with? And stop dwelling on? I’ve been living with it my whole life. And I really don’t know how to heal my heart from this. Happy. Thank you so much for your question. Well, it’s funny, all of the memories that you mentioned, walking on the beach and watching the sunset, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve done that with my husband. And what it Telegraph’s out to me is that we’ve fallen for it, Abby, we’ve fallen for the myth of romance that we’ve seen in rom com. So those are all moments from movies. They’re not real life. And while you’re yearning for a relationship, I want to be be mindful of What kind of relationship you’re yearning for? If you’re looking for that kind of picture, perfect experience. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been in pursuit of that the last I was gonna say 37 years, but hopefully not when you’re a baby. But maybe for the last 25 years you’ve been in search of that happy ending and that picture perfect moment. And that’s really not what real love is about real love. It is those moments you get to celebrate together. But it is also it is a journey and self discovery as I was talking about with Monica. And in terms of the embarrassment, I feel you girl I because I really did not have many serious relationships before I met my husband. And I can certainly relate to that feeling of not being in a committed relationship and feeling like you’re missing out on something That FOMO is real. But I just want you to know you’re not alone, even at 37 there are many other people listening and I get emails from them all the time, who are looking for the same thing that you are. But the important thing is that if you want your life to change as Monica and I are saying earlier, this is the moment to do something about it. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait until you’re this perfect version of yourself. Don’t wait until you’ve completed your therapy and you are a done person because change is inevitable and you will grow and evolve with the right partner. So what I want you to do it to release that embarrassment is to focus on the vision of the relationship that you want to create. Because I promise you once you are in that relationship, that time that felt like an eternity when you were when you were single, will be a will be a little blip on the meter of your life. And I want you to visualize I want you to picture what it would be like to be with this person? What are the qualities of this person? How do you feel with this person. And I want you to basically create an ideal mate vision. And once you’ve done that, then you work backwards in you write your dating profile, and you talk to your friends about introductions, and you release the single shame because if you stay in the shame and embarrassment of not having a relationship, you will not be able to shine in the sun as a single person and for people to be able to see you. And then we will cue your dating plan off of your vision of your ideal mate and how you want to feel when you’re in that relationship. I could take you a lot further, but I’ll leave it there for today’s show and I will be doing a women’s group program. So if you are interested in getting in the women’s group program, Abby or anyone else listening that wants to go on this journey with me and do some of these exercises I would love to help you can email me to get on the Advanced list Dimona at damona Hoffman comm there’s also always the 30 day dating playbook, which does some of this work in a very truncated version 30 days of or less, and that’s it. 30 day dating.com. Our next question comes to us from one of our Patreon friends with benefits. This person asks, What advice do you have on interracial dating? And how do you have conversations on what’s happening during these crazy times? Yes, it is a crazy time. But I’m really glad you asked this question because I’ve talked a lot about how to date race open and opening up your parameters or search parameters. But I haven’t talked a lot about the challenges that you might face in engaging in an interracial relationship if you haven’t in the past. And it’s funny because even we talked about bachelor at the top of the show, Rachel Lindsay was saying that she wished for people to not have their first interracial relationship on national television. On the Bachelor. So we’re all aware that there’s going to be friction. But I believe that loving one another and being open to, to crossing racial barriers and blending our cultures in America. And I know I have listeners all over the world. But here, especially because of our history, it’s really important to moving forward in this time. So I’ll give you a couple of steps that I think you need to take and things that you need to think about if you’re embarking on an interracial relationship for the first time. The first thing I hear a lot from people that are in interrelate interracial relationships is that they don’t want to have to educate their partner. But here’s the bottom line. We don’t know what we don’t know. And it’s inevitable that your partner may say something that they don’t understand may be offensive to you. There may be cultural norms, or certain patterns that you have that are under familiar to them. And we have to create a culture of being open to the discussion. And you have to create an environment where your partner can, can voice their questions and concerns that they may have never been able to say to another person, but they feel safe enough to ask it of you. So yeah, there’s gonna be a little bit of an education process. And yeah, it might be a little bit exhausting. I have to tell you, I’ve gotten so many messages from friends that are basically asking me to explain blackness to them. And I don’t have the rulebook. Certainly myself. Just living in the skin gives me one experience, but there’s so much more out there to experience and learn but if you can’t learn from your partner, who can you learn from? The next thing I’ll tell you is that we have to remember where we are in history. Our historical memory is very short. The the interracial marriage ban just ended in 1968. We just celebrated loving day, just a little over a week ago, my parents got married in 1978. And people would look at them my father’s white, my mother’s black, they would look at them with the stain when they would go out. And that’s really not that long ago. So the you have to consider the history that came before this moment that you’re in and realize that not everybody is ready to accept this and some of you listening right now, might not be ready to accept this conversation. And that’s okay. But we’re just beginning we’re just beginning the talk now, many many years later. So, when you are bringing your significant other around your family around your friend circle, you need to be aware of what the environment is and set your partner up for success. So if there are certain things about your culture, that they need to understand certain cultural norms, if there are certain Things that you want to make off limits to your friends and family. Or if you know that you have family that just is not going to be open and accepting of this person, then you have to set your partner up for success. And you have to create your new traditions together. And this is actually true of any any new relationship, whether you are the same race, and the same religion or not. Everyone has different traditions and cultural norms. And you’re always blending traditions when you’re blending two families, two people together. So when you’re creating your own traditions, I want you to remember that you are one another’s champion, you’re always on the other person’s team. And this may be a very challenging thing when you’re going up against decades and decades and, and even centuries of preconceived notions about who someone is based on the color of their skin. You are Trailblazer if you’re choosing this path, you’re choosing to be in an interracial relationship, even here in 2020.

Monica Berg  46:07  


Damona  46:08  

it’s up to you to lock arms with your partner and remind them that you are united front, and that we are pushing forward. Together, no matter what. I hope those tips are helpful. This is obviously a deep conversation that we could spend a lot of time talking about. And this is just the beginning. But I appreciate you being open to asking the question and to taking this journey with your partner. That’s all for Episode 315 of dates and mates. You can find Monica on all of the socials at Monica Berg 74 or at rethink life dotnet and we’ll put those links in the show notes as well. We are rapidly approaching the end of season seven of dates and mates man this season has flown by and I am still processing Everything that we’ve talked about and I am already planning what’s going to be in store for season eight. We have one more super awesome episode coming this month and then in July I’ll be putting on a month long dating masterclass called manifesting your mate. It’ll be a parts meditation parts inspiration, totally different format something new for you to explore in July. I’ll give you more info on that next week. But in the meantime, don’t forget to join the Patreon group@patreon.com slash dates and mates. And if you are looking for a deeper conversation on how to get that highest love that you want, and you deserve, please join me. We will put all of the links from today’s show and the show recap at data Nate’s comm I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. keep those questions coming now I states are opening up and people are ready to date. I know you have a lot of questions and I want to give you the answers. Next week we’ll be talking about how to get your x back with Lee Wilson a relationship and marriage coach. Until then, I wish you love light and strength and of course, happy dating

Dating During Coronavirus & Healing Powers


The Coronavirus panic is spreading and the world needs some healing right now. Today we’re using our intuition to heal our love lives as well as learning some ways to continue dating during this time.

This is an uncertain time but love conquers all. 

Even though we are in the midst of social distancing, the tools that we have available now could still help you lay the foundation for a future relationship. 

Today’s co-host is Clarissa Silva, love coach, behavioral scientist, and former infectious disease specialist. She’s the most qualified person I know to tell us why love is not lost during this time.

Our co-host for today is Clarissa Silva, Behavioral Scientist and Clinician. She is the creator of “Your Happiness Hypothesis Method” which helps people understand their relationship patterns and gives them a roadmap to romance.

This revolutionary approach is based on an algorithm she created and used to meet her husband.

She was trained as a scientist and researcher at the University of Michigan where she received the prestigious National Institutes of Health Ford/Fogarty fellowship. 

You’ve seen her on Fox, NBC, HuffPost, ABC, CBS, and so much more!


Love in Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a HUGE issue right now. As the world ventures into various states of quarantine, we at Dates & Mates are wondering: what about love?

Clarissa walks us through the latest trends in dating during quarantine.


What You Can Learn From Love Is Blind

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you know that Netflix’s latest love reality show is sweeping the nation. Have they ACTUALLY solved all modern dating dilemmas?



We are still finding Love in Times of Coronavirus, people!

Now, since you may have a little more time on your hands here’s an exercise I want you to try: visualize how your ideal mate will make you feel when you’re around them.

Imagine waking up on a lazy Sunday with the love of your life. What is your gut feeling when you’re with them?

It’s hard to put into words, right? But it’s something a lot of people overlook when they’re dating with intention. Even if your ideal match is perfect on paper, they can’t be the right fit if it just doesn’t feel like home.

Cheesy? Maybe. True? Without a doubt.

Enter my guest for today: Laura Powers, celebrity psychic and host of the Healing Powers Podcast. She teaches how to tap into your intuition and find that “feeling” you’re looking for. 

Laura covers:

  • Understanding what you bring to a relationship
  • How to read the feeling and energy you get from your date
  • How to use intuition to break your bad dating patterns
  • and so much more!

Make sure to check out Laura Powers’ “Healing Powers 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:

  • IG – I’ve been dating this attractive, successful guy for about 3 months. He’s dealing with some family drama and has been asked to help out with his grandma as well as financially support his parents which has been emotionally weighing on him. He has opened up about all of this to me and he’s said that he doesn’t think he can take being in a relationship right now. Right now we talk daily and hang out 1-2 times a week. I’m happy with how things are but worried that 6 or 9 months down the line, nothing will change and he won’t commit to me. He knows I want to be married and have kids which may be why he’s bringing this up now versus later. Any thoughts?
  • Patreon: Is it good or bad if you hold out from going all the way?




Damona  0:12  

Modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Today we have two very special experts joining me. My guest for today is Laura powers. She’s the host of the healing powers podcast, and she’ll be talking with us about how using intuition can impact your love life. But first, let me introduce my guest co host for today. Clarissa Silva. She’s a behavioral scientist and clinician and the creator of the your happiness hypothesis method which helps people understand their relationship patterns and gives them a roadmap to romance. This revolutionary approach is based on an algorithm that she created and then used to meet her husband She was trained as a scientist and researcher at the University of Michigan. And you’ve seen her on Fox and on NBC, huffpost, ABC, CBS, and so much more. Let’s give big smooches to Clarissa Silva.

Clarissa Silva  1:14  

Oh, thank you, Tamara. I’m so honored to be here in such a pleasure to be on your show again. Welcome back

Damona  1:20  

with Clarissa, we’re going to discuss this week’s news like how is coronavirus affecting dating? Sorry, not sorry. We got to talk about it, y’all. And what can we learn about romance from the hit TV show? Love is blind. Then after our interview with amazing Laura powers, Clarissa and I will be answering your questions in technically dating, like, how long should you hold on if a guy isn’t ready to commit yet? And is it good or bad to withhold sex from a guy you’re dating?

Clarissa Silva  1:52  

Clarissa Are you ready to do these headlines? Yes, I’m excited. These dating dish

Damona  2:00  

Well, I was excited to read on thrive global, which you have written for for a while, but you give this different perspective on dating and relationships with your background as a behavioral scientist and you’re Clarissa wrote this article on coronavirus and dating that you have to read. So this is going to be our jumping off point for the conversation today because the article which was written last week, looked at the the the behaviors of people right now, dating in the time love in the time of coronavirus, and according to the experts that she spoke to including Michael Kay who’s Okay, Cupid’s global communications manager he is saying that everything is like all systems go and 88% of people that they surveyed were like, No, I’m not stopping dating just because of Corona virus. Clarissa I am curious to hear first of all, do you think That anything has changed in the last week, I’m feeling an increase in anxiety. But are you seeing people still looking to date and connect face to face right now?

Clarissa Silva  3:11  

Hi, everyone. Thank you. I’m a former infectious disease specialist. So everything that I am looking at this from the lens of epidemic, this is just like anything else. I mean, we lived through HIV and it was the same thing you were told you couldn’t touch, hug, do all the stuff. And we lived through that right but as we go through heftier quarantine periods, it’d be interesting to see like, how much how much in real life connection Are you going to be doing? Right? I still say that video communication will be the primary vehicle of how people will continue to date.

Damona  3:46  

Yeah, it’s interesting how that that drive for love is really so strong. I actually talked about video chat dating last week on our masterclass or 300th episode. I said, for those of you who haven’t heard it, I said Mark my words, we’re going to see an increase in video chat dating, and that’s going to become now the primary pre date filter that you’ll be going through. Now this was all before the quarantines and before like, we record this before that even happened, I believe that this is going to accelerate the use of that being a commonplace replacement for the phone call. And people have heard me say on the show before, I have not been a big fan of video chat dating before, but I believe that’s the direction that we’re heading in because we are craving authenticity. And I think we have missed that crucial step of the pre connection before you go out on the date. That’s why we have so much ghosting. But now we when we layer it with also, meeting face to face could mean risking your life. I think that video chat date becomes even more crucial. Do you see people using it as a Still a primary filter? Or do you see people maintaining long term relationships over video chat before they ever even meet in person.

Clarissa Silva  5:10  

So that was one that was one of my main drivers of talking to the vet DJ. NET local for love. So local for love is, is built on the premise that hey, this could cut cut the BS and dating have a video chat as your first date. Right so when I asked Vivek Jane Have you seen an increase and he was like yeah over 60% increase as occurred think of the worst case scenario. So the people that are going to go crazy, like the extroverts, right that needs like now you know, not be contained to their space or have some kind of entertainment video format does relieve some of that anxiety. So I think greater use of video and hopefully maybe they transition to to life. You actually mentioned in the article, a quote about people who are staying home and binge Netflix are still matching people online. So that brings me to our second topic for today’s dating dish. The Netflix hit reality show love is blind. I’ve been asked for for,

Damona  6:11  

for quotes from so many different outlets about love is blind. It feels like it’s all that’s in my social media timeline other than coronavirus. So everyone is talking about love is blind. What I’m interested in as a dating and relationship coach is what we can learn from love is blind. And I know you you’ve seen the show as well. Right, Clarissa Yeah. Okay, I find this fascinating and spoiler alert for anyone who has not seen the show yet because all the episodes are now released. So it’s fair game for me to talk about the results. But overall, there are 15 women 15 men, six proposals, right six or was it Seven, six or six? proposals, six proposals, ultimately, two marriages that are still together today. And it makes you wonder what it what was the secret special sauce in those pods where they couldn’t see one another and they could only date through hearing one another’s voice. What do you think that was as a behavioral scientist that bonded those people in a way that they were able to build a relationship apart from even the physical connection? I mean, some of them saw each other in person and then weren’t able to really build the physical connection over time. But to the two out of two couples out of 15 potential couples is a pretty good batting average once you say.

Clarissa Silva  7:47  

Well, I the only criticism that I have is that I think the show took took the concept a little too literally, right? Yes. Like there are aspects of love that are completely irrational, and that defy logic. Right? That’s, that’s what makes this this emotion so interesting as a sciences, right? If you notice all like majority of, of the couples, the ones that finally hit that final round, but all of them were connecting on like a very emotional level,

Damona  8:22  

right? For the two couples that well there’s three couples still together but two couples that were married, what can we learn from their experience in the pods? And, you know, as a reality producer, I thought there should have been more of the conversation in the pods. I felt like I don’t really know the people. But that aside, that aside, something was happening in those pods that really made them feel bonded enough to one another that they would propose sight unseen to spend the rest of their lives with another person. So what can we take from that? And what can we apply to our own dating experience to ask the kind of questions have the kind of experience that they had in the pods and recreate that in our dating life?

Clarissa Silva  9:06  

Well see, I think part of this experiment is that we have to remember that these these were people that were of a mindset, right. So with my clients, probably 80% of them are already marriage minded or long term commitment minded. So to get on the show, you had to agree to go through a real marriage ceremony whether you know what I mean, like, so you already had to want and desire marriage long term, right?

Damona  9:36  

So it’s intent. You’re saying intent was the secret sauce of the of this particular of this particular experiment that that was the primary filter. Right? Right. I should have learned something from talking to you. And I know you, you have a lot more insight to share with us. So those are the headlines of the week, but we’re going to be taking a different direction. Talking to Laura powers after the break about how you can use intuition to guide your love life. Stick around. We’re here with Laura powers. She is an entertainer, author and celebrity psychic. She also hosts the healing powers podcasts, get it powers powers, she’s going to share some of her powers with us. You may have seen her before in BuzzFeed or on NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox she also was recently interviewed by Will Ferrell on his podcast, the Ron Burgundy podcast, so please help me give big smooches to Laura powers. Thanks so much for having me today. I am excited to get into these powers to like unite powers with you. And I know in on your show, it does tap into your work as a celebrity psychic, but you also talk a lot about health and wellness and the way that different aspects of your life impact other systems. Do people are listening to the show because they want love and you’ve kind of been through this journey yourself to have of needing to address health before love could come your way? Yeah, so

Laura Powers  11:14  

our spiritual health and what we can have in our life, our intuition, they’re all really connected. So I feel like we can’t really silo things. So sometimes when people come to me and they’re looking for help with love, it’ll come up Wow, we need to work on your work life balance or your health or something else. Anything that is bringing your energy down will also impact what you can allow and receive in other areas.

Damona  11:37  

Okay, so let’s break that down for people because I know there are some folks that are listening that are like, I’m good. I have a great job. I work out all the time. And the only thing that is not flowing for me is my love life. And they may call a celebrity psychic powers and say, what’s going on for me in love? What would you first have them do to kind of tune in into different areas of their of their wellness and Life Center.

Laura Powers   12:04  

Well, first thing I do is look at them in particular to see what’s going on, because everyone has a different kind of karmic path and different things that are going on. But a lot of times there’s something in our life that maybe we’re not aware of, maybe we have some boundaries that are not being honored. And when that happens, it’s like sending a mixed message to the universe. So if we’re saying we want one thing, but then another life area, we’re accepting something different, it can basically send a message to universe like, what I want doesn’t really matter.

Damona  12:32  

Okay, so you’re saying, if you are you said accepting something, like, let’s give an example. You are at work? Yeah. And you are always the person that they go to? Because you’re always available and you’re always taking on town. Exactly. You’re feeling overwhelmed. Yeah. Is that what

Laura Powers   12:54  

you mean? Exactly. That could be one or maybe you have like a really needy friend. You’re always rescuing or

Laura Powers   13:00  

You know, girls, you know, and

Laura Powers  13:02  

yeah, or maybe you are not taking time for self care, maybe you go to the gym but you’re not giving yourself kind of loving, nurturing energy. If you don’t give that energy to yourself, you’re basically kind of rejecting it and not sending the message to the universe that you want that loving, positive nurturing energy, and then it’ll be hard for you to receive it from someone else as well.

Damona  13:23  

And I know you do this when you’re working with clients, you can assess and, and do a scan of what’s happening in different areas of their life different, probably different chakras different messages that you get. I know everyone at home is going, how could I start to do this myself? Is there a way that you can train your clients to get so far on their own before they come to you?

Clarissa Silva  13:49  

Absolutely. So I actually do a lot of training. I teach classes, group classes, and then I do one on one training. Certainly learning to tap intuition and understand whatever your gifts are is really important because you know, if you’re a clairvoyant if you’re an empath, and clairvoyant means seeing an empath is someone who feels energies and emotions from outside their body. So for empaths, it is super, super important to really get an understanding what’s theirs and what’s not theirs. Oh, yeah,

Damona  14:13  

not I have been through that. Yeah, I’m an empath as well.

Laura Powers   14:16  

Yeah. And

Damona  14:18  

sometimes, you know, I’ll go into a situation where I’ll go into a new space. And I’ll just feel really overwhelmed. And I’m like, what’s going on? Like, I don’t know why all of a sudden, my heart’s beating fast. And I. And, you know, I’ve done some of this psychic development work too, and getting in touch with, where’s that message coming from and sometimes, like you might sit across from a date, and you feel this energy from them and you don’t know why, like on paper, they seem really great, but you don’t know why. And I really have my clients get into the feeling of being with someone new and what does it feel like when you’re with them? Because that will that will unlock a lot of information for you. Oh

Laura Powers   14:58  

my gosh, I’m so glad you brought that Because I think this is true for everyone, but it’s especially true if you’re an empath, if you have that kind of sensitivity. So one of the things that happened with me is I attracted a lot of like very, I would say, successful in terms of societal kind of norms. narcissism in talking about, like, really wealthy men very successful, and then I’d be around them. And I was like, wow, I feel so insecure like, and I used to think when it first happened, I was like, Oh, I just feel insecure because they have so much and I don’t know, but what I realized after a period of time was that I was actually as an empath. They were really insecure as a person and I was picking up on that. So that’s, that’s something to pay attention to. When you’re around someone, how do you feel when you’re around them? If you’re an empath, it’s very likely that you’re feeling what they’re feeling and if you don’t feel good for whatever reason, then it’s probably not a great situation. Do you believe that

Damona  15:57  

everyone has an element of psychic ability or empathy. I mean, yeah, everyone has empathy, but empathy on that sort of level,

Laura Powers   16:05  

not everyone does have empathy, actually, I mean, I think it’s kind of a shock to a lot of people, but I think it’s definitely a range and that, you know, kind of from zero to 100, or whatever. And I would say everyone has a little something. But what that is, varies greatly. And also, we don’t have any kind of psychic training in our society automatically. Like you don’t when you’re a kid, you don’t learn your psychic. ABCs. Yeah, that’s, you know, and

Damona  16:33  

they’ll say, like, trust your gut.

Laura Powers   16:35  


Damona  16:35  

but no, but nobody really knows what that means.

Laura Powers   16:38  

Exactly. No one knows no one has learning. You know, there’s no learning system where people can access that. And I found, for example, when I teach classes and do trainings, it’s amazing to me how many people will come in and they’ll be like, well, I’m just kind of curious. I just wanna explore and then we start doing some psychic exercises. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you are super psychic, but they’ve literally just never practiced it. So I think a lot of people have that. And even just having a few psychic tools can really help. And I was telling you before we started the interview that one of the reasons I got psychic training was because I had a horrible divorce. And I basically was like, I don’t want to ever go through that again. So I got training, I started to look at the guys that I was considering dating,

Laura Powers   17:19  

to try to get a better sense of what was really going on.

Laura Powers   17:21  

Right? Well, that’s,

Damona  17:23  

that’s a high level skill set that you that you’ve developed, but even at the beginning, just assessing what what you have attracted before. I mean, that’s, that’s so much of this process is like and that’s why I begin every program that I do with mindset. Yeah, and with with assessing like who you are, what you want, what have you attracted in the past? What are your patterns? What are your predominant thoughts because also, like there’s a lot that a lot of work that I’ve had to do in reducing the chatter we all have that that inner critic that chatter in our brains and that really blocks Any psychic ability for me any tuning in?

Laura Powers   18:02  

And I think a lot of times it’s actually connected with your psychic ability. That chatter is actually different beings talking with you.

Damona  18:08  

Sometimes Yes. But like that inner voice that is like talking you out of things. Yeah, judging things. Like a lot of my clients will will come to me, I’ll say, What is your What? What’s your love mantra right now? And a lot of times they’ll say to me before I even ask like, well, there’s no single guys in my city. Well, all the women that I date or after my money, and then the more that you repeat that thought, the more that thought becomes your reality. And then the more you’re attracting, it’s kind of like what you were saying before. Then you start attracting, you attract what you don’t want, because the message is just amplified.

Laura Powers   18:49  

Yeah, completely. I agree that we definitely have our own thoughts, but I believe most people are actually basically picking up on thought forms ideas from others. other beings could be other humans could be non human entities. So just like they’re beings of the light, you know, I believe in angels, they’re helpful they will send you positive messages, but there are non helpful beings that will also share negative thoughts. I think of them as like energy parasites, and they will, you know, feed on fear, anxiety, stress, pain, anger, etc. And they will go wherever there’s food, so if we have a lot of negative mind talk, that they are kind of feeding us and they just keep kind of keep that going. Yeah, eat on it. Yeah, that’s

Damona  19:34  

true. We don’t want that know, from happening. One thing we haven’t talked about before on the show, and that is something I know you’ve addressed, is past lives. And this is like this is such a, you know, we’re playing on today’s show and looking at what is possible and and so many there’s so many theories of like the love that you attract is somewhere That you have had a history with in the past? I don’t know, I’ll just be like, totally upfront, even as someone that believes in a lot of these things I literally do not know on past lives. But I’ve had a lot of funny coinkidink What is your feeling on past lives?

Laura Powers   20:15  

Yeah, I think most of us here have had quite a few lives. And a lot of times when we have some kind of close relationship with someone, it’s it’s very likely that we’ve had past lives with that person. So whether it’s a parent or a spouse or a child, and we are helping each other learn various lessons, and we learn a lesson two degrees. So let’s say this is something came up with a client where she came in and she was having a hard time in her marriage and didn’t feel comfortable. And when I looked at their past lives, she had been the slave of her. Oh, my husband in a past life. Yeah, yeah. So you know it. I looked at her psychically and so she was basically she was wearing a color and like, you Kind of at his beck and call. And it was like when I like the passive was like No wonder, like her lesson was to have stronger boundaries and do what she wanted and not just, you know, do someone else as well have her own sense of power. And just helping her understand that she cried during the session. And she felt this relief but also helps confirm for her why she felt this way because she did feel like controlled and disempowered in the relationship. And then just even knowing that sometimes will help you just have comfort and then be better able to move forward instead of a lot of people will have these feelings but they’ll just dismiss it because it’s not

Laura Powers   21:36  


Damona  21:37  

Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people come to you from the logical

Laura Powers   21:41  

point of view.

Damona  21:43  

How do you get them past that point to see see other perspectives of things that you know, there’s no empirical evidence one way or another about any of this stuff that that you’re talking about? And that and yet, I know you’ve experienced I know I’ve experienced it. I know many of my, my clients, I’ve experienced it too. How do you get people over that hump from like skeptic to believer?

Laura Powers   22:09  

I would say most people that come and work with me are already there. But there are people that are just curious. And I think the best thing is just to be open and then see what resonates. And just see what unfolds. You know, I have one client that came in, and he was just kind of curious, started listening to podcasts. And I could talk about this because he’s talked about it publicly. He was on my podcast, and then he booked a session and in the reading, I said, you’re gonna write a book. And eventually that book is going to be your work and you’re going to tour around the world and, you know, talk about it. And at the time, he was like, I don’t know, then he, you know, a year later wrote the book year later was the bestseller. So just being open and just, just sometimes it’s just this information that comes in and also there is more and more evidence about some of these things. So his book is called an To upside down thinking so if you’re very scientifically minded, that book by Mark Ober is all about the scientific aspect of consciousness, and there’s quite a bit in there that’s specifically talking about psychic abilities and intuition.

Damona  23:12  

Oh, wow, you’ve inspired him. Yeah, you come here. I’m sure. You’ve inspired a lot of people through your work. Thank you. Yeah, that’s my goal. Well, you and you’re doing the healing powers podcast, talk to me a little bit more about that, and about some of the themes that you’ve addressed and that you aim to address going forward that that would be relevant for dates and mates listeners.

Laura Powers   23:36  

Sure. So I think you know, if you’re wanting to improve your love life, whether that’s to find a partner or to improve your relationship, intuition is going to be extremely helpful because it’s basically like the learning the easy way to go. Like what you’re being guided to do is going to help you have less pain and suffering, which I think is ultimately what we all want and and have more love in our lives. And on that podcast, we talk a lot about intuition. Access then then we also talk about the physical aspect because the mechanisms that we are using quite a bit for our intuition and psychic abilities are in the gut, and the heart and the brain. And especially in our society, we have a lot of like gut health issues.

Laura Powers   24:16  

Yeah. Talk to us about Oh, just

Laura Powers   24:18  

eating poor food. Our microbiome is messed up from antibiotics and our immunity and everything is there. Well, what’s bad for the gut is bad for the brain. Like we have the second highest number of neurons in our gut as we do in the brain. So basically, if your digestion is messed up, your brain is messed up. And your brain is where you know, our third eye is and that area is believed to be in the pineal gland. So if you are physically not doing so well in those areas, you are not going to be able to tap into your intuition, which again, is to help you just navigate better in your life and you experience that yourself as well. You are on a

Damona  24:55  

less healthy path. Yeah. Talk to us about your story.

Laura Powers   24:58  

Yeah. And so In my case, I was about 55 pounds heavier than I am now I was on sleeping pills. I was diagnosed as depressed. I had PCs, which is polycystic ovary syndrome. I just I was a real mess and was trying to heal it sort of the sort of standard way I was eating the standard American diet. And like, you know, everything was not bad enough to where I was getting a lot of headway and sort of the traditional way. So I started going some alternative health practitioners and addressing my diet. And once I did that, you know, things started to really shift for me. So I, before you move on, you would also mention you had a marriage that ended was this happening simultaneously. Yeah, so that was all intertwined. It was all intertwined. And, you know, I left my marriage, I mean, some big health changes. I started taking psychic development classes. So that’s why on my podcast, we talked about all of these things together, because I don’t think you can just isolate You know, one area of your life, it’s all connected. So if you have, you know, A major health issue immune disorder, maybe your relationships actually are being that come into, you know, view because I think a lot of people, for example, when they have a chronic health condition, there’s usually some kind of a relational issue that’s at its core.

Damona  26:15  

Oh, wow. That’s deep. That’s deep and and I think also sometimes when you are so consumed with what’s happening in your health issue, or in another area that is not being addressed, then, like, how can you even begin to think about finding love if you are if you don’t feel well, or you are, you’re stressed from you know, work, family, friends, anything, if you’re not addressing those things, then it’s just overwhelming to even think about opening yourself up to love.

Laura Powers   26:51  

Absolutely. And the other thing I’d like to bring in as it relates to love is the importance of following your soul plan or purpose which might seem disconnected from life. But there’s a lot of people when they incarnate they’ve basically decided on a soul level. I am not going to have relationship until I kind of do XYZ.

Laura Powers   27:07  


Damona  27:08  

Wait, I hear this all the time from the guys that listen to the show. Yeah, they’re not ready for a relationship until they get their finances together until they get such so far along in their career, is that what you’re talking about? Or something even

Laura Powers   27:22  

I’m talking about that but maybe not necessarily dark, tied with finances, but your soul’s desire. So let’s say you’re like, Hey, I really want a relationship, but your soul is like, well, until I write that book or I do whatever. I’m not that doors closed. Because maybe on a on a personality level, you know, as a soul that once you get a relationship, all your focus goes on that relationship. True. So I think this is all different from person to person, but these are some of the patterns and things that I see people so just checking in like, what is it that you came here due to so what does that lights you on fire? Are you doing that? Maybe you have a stable Good job. But it’s not your purpose. You’re not excited. It’s not driving passion in you, and then you’ve kind of shut that door down for yourself.

Damona  28:06  

Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s so true. And you know, the same thing in relationships. Like there may be some people listening right now who are in a relationship that doesn’t really excite them, you know, and it’s sometimes there’s a feeling that it’s easier to stay the course than to go through all of the I don’t want to say the drama or the chaos, but you know, to go through that experience of reorganizing your life. But you’ve done it. You’ve been there. Yeah. Through the tough stuff.

Laura Powers   28:37  


Damona  28:38  

And you were able to rebuild your life in a more, more passion filled way, right.

Laura Powers   28:44  

Yeah. And I do see one pattern that comes up over and over again, is just boundaries and whatever you allow, is what you get more of. So the analogy I give to people is that it’s very much like a Netflix cue, which may sound funny, but like Whatever you watch on Netflix, it kind of suggests other show like here’s, yeah, you know, here’s some other shows like that. And the world is like that. So whenever you’re accepting something, if it’s not what you what you want, say no. Yeah, say no. Because otherwise you’re just gonna keep getting that. And sometimes you, you know, it’s like there’s a memory in the queue. And let’s maybe you haven’t watched a horror movie for a year. But you watched that one A while ago, and it just kind of keeps showing up for a while. Yeah, so you have to say no, for a while sometimes because for fully like, the new thing starts to show up that you want.

Damona  29:31  

Yeah, I feel like my Netflix queue doesn’t even know me. Like, sometimes it suggests things and I’m just like, really, you think that but in a way, like if we use that analogy, sometimes you’ll you’ll get things that you’re just like, how did this even come into my head, especially you know, I talk a lot about dating apps, online dating. And when you’re in that space of swipe, where you really don’t know that much about the person if you’re not Keep queued into your intuition, and you’re just swiping based on looks or something superficial or something. Like, you know, people will tell me Oh, well, he asked to be over six feet like that is my main criteria. Like, what? There’s so many other things that are much more important than that. But if you continue to swipe it, same thing, algorithms, just like Netflix, it will bring you more of the people that you shouldn’t be swiping right on, or that you don’t really have that, that deeper connection with. If you were to advise a client on tapping into intuition for swiping, how would you do it?

Laura Powers   30:38  

Gosh, Well, the first thing I’d say take a look and see what you feel. And then just take a moment pause and like, see what you feel in your body when you think of that person? Mm hmm. Because our bodies tell us so much and most people are just completely ignoring it. Because they don’t understand it. They just don’t even think to do it. But yeah, do you feel excited? Do you feel upset In your stomach, do you feel a sense of dread? Like these are all things that most people are just not even pausing to listen to what their body is telling them. And it’s so important for safety, obviously, with something like, you know, dating where it’s a complete stranger, but also just is this person able to connect with you in the way that you want to?

Damona  31:18  

Yes, in a lot of times, we do get the message, you guys get the message, and then we shut it down. And we say, oh, but I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. Or, well, I don’t really know what if I’ll just go out with him and see when we’ve already heard the message.

Laura Powers   31:37  

Oh, absolutely. I love that. Maya Angelou quote, you know, when someone shows you who they are, believe them, you know, this is the biggest problem. And I think on a deeper level, a lot of this comes from this but there’s a lot especially a lot of women it can happen with men but as I see a lot with women, where they are in the sort of martyr pattern of trying to heal, save or rescue And what I say to anyone is in that pattern is you don’t have to sacrifice yourself to help someone. And if you do, that’s not actually helping. Because I believe the universe is benevolent. And it can be a win win. You can help someone and be good. Yeah, you don’t have to suffer or die. You know, at this point, it’s usually not someone dying, but maybe they’re, they’re sacrificing their emotions, or they’re being treated poorly. And that is a kind of sacrifice.

Damona  32:28  

self sacrifice. Yeah. And you also don’t have to, you don’t have to save everyone. Like I had a bit of a pattern for that before I met my husband, like, I would always attract guys that I thought I could help. And then I was like, I don’t want to date all these guys that, you know, is working as a casting director, like I don’t want to date these actors that need me to help them but at the same time, I would then date these actors and I’d be like, Can I help you? Right? So it’s like you were saying before, like attracting the same thing that you say that you Don’t want. And that’s really not the relationship that you want where you’re, you’re in it to save the other person or to help the other person. Right? It really should be a reciprocal support system for one another. Right?

Laura Powers   33:14  

Absolutely. And if that feels like a driving motivation behind the relationship that I’m saying that that’s not a healthy relationship, and that it’s sometimes the hardest thing is to keep saying no, even when the thing you don’t want isn’t showing up.

Damona  33:28  

Say that again. For me, Laura, because I think that’s really important.

Laura Powers   33:31  

Yeah, it’s sometimes the hardest thing is to keep saying no, even when what you want isn’t showing up. So basically, don’t accept something that isn’t what you want, just because it’s the only thing there because if you keep doing that, the thing you want will never show up because it’s like that,

Damona  33:45  

please. Vain cold. Yes. Yeah, that’s exactly it.

Laura Powers   33:49  

That that is. That’s

Damona  33:51  

the perfect place to end this conversation. Because sometimes there’s this feeling of, well, I don’t want to be alone. So and people say to me, Well, are you telling me I should just settle? No, I’m not telling you to settle. I’m telling you the opposite of settling. I’m telling you to keep that space open until you feel it. Right.

Laura Powers   34:12  

Yeah. And spend that time doing things that bring you passion and joy in other ways. Focus on yourself, you know, improving your life, and then you’ll be in a better place and you’ll automatically attract more of what you’re looking for anyway.

Damona  34:25  

Yes. Well, those are wise words to end this interview on. I am so excited that you were finally able to join me on the show here in LA. And I’m really excited for what’s next with the healing powers podcast. So thank you so much for being here.

Laura Powers   34:39  

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been my pleasure.

Damona  34:42  

We have more dates in May. It’s coming right up, so stick around.

Damona  34:49  

Welcome back to dates and mates.

Damona  34:50  

I am here with my co host, Clarissa Silva. And it’s time to break down your modern dating dilemmas. Clarissa you You know so much about dating from not just the dating coach perspective that I offer, but from a behavioral science perspective and you you have this happiness hypothesis, that tell us a little bit about the half happiness hypothesis and how you’ve how you’ve used that to not only meet your husband, but to help other people.


Clarissa Silva  35:20  

So when I was when I was single, and going through dating, I was frustrated and I was using online dating and in real life dating, and I felt like I was completely failing myself. I kept you know, following the same pattern. So then I kind of re engineered a lot of the stuff that I thought was ideal, right? So you you tell yourself, okay, these certain things are, are what you need, then you test it, right? So I was always treating dating like it was a social experiment. So once I put myself through the rigor of Hey, if you if you seriously think that these are the reasons that that your family Right, start start looking at this on a broader scale. So then we started testing out the model. And for two years in a row, we have 97% efficacy, and we reduce anxiety and depression risk and we increase brain health. It’s a decision making model to help you explore based on like five factors of decision making that impede your ability to find love.


Damona  36:25  

Well, I know you have a line out the door, people wanting to work with you, but I have a line of people wanting to ask questions. So I’m going to read a couple of them to you and hopefully people can get a little touch of the Clarissa Silva magic. Here’s our first question. This one comes to us from Instagram. She says I’ve been dating this attractive, successful guy for about three months. He’s dealing with some family drama and has asked has been asked to help out his grandma as well as financially support his parents, which has been emotionally weighing on him. He’s opened up about all of this to me. And he said that he doesn’t think he can be in a relationship right now. Right now we talk daily and hang out one to two times a week. And I’m happy with how things are but worried that six or nine months down the line, nothing will change. And he won’t commit to me. He knows I want to be married and have kids, which is, which may be why he’s bringing this up now versus later. Clarissa, is there any hope for this lady on Instagram? Is this a relationship she should be patient with? Or should she cut and run since he said that?


Clarissa Silva  37:33  

So there’s only two ways to go about this. He’s already exiting. Right? So I would take that as you’re exiting the relationship, and I don’t think that there is going to be any point where six months, nine months, three days down the line where they’ll evaluate because if they felt like you were part of that whole evaluation, then they wouldn’t let you go because they are going to be confronting different issues that go Grandmother, you know what I mean? And those are not times where people want to be alone.


Damona  38:06  

That’s true. I just wonder it’s only been three months. I just wonder if it’s too early. Like if maybe the conversation came out of him feeling pressured? And it’s like, well, if you want me to give you an answer right now, the answer is no. But if, if she continued to be a support system for him, and became someone that was trusted, so that he didn’t want to be alone and didn’t feel judged for having to, you know, contribute to his parents financial well being and help out his grandmother, then maybe he would see you in a different way. But I wonder if it’s just too soon to make a call or to put any kind of ultimatum on a person that essentially you just met?


Clarissa Silva  38:45  

Wow. Three months is not a short time. I mean, it is a short time, you know, but it’s enough. It’s enough data for you to know what you know. I mean, like, it’s, that’s enough time for you to figure out which way you feel about a person or which For you.


Damona  39:00  

Absolutely. I think the bottom line though is don’t force an outcome.


Clarissa Silva  39:03  

Right? To say that absolutely not. And that’s that’s probably what she’s trying to do. But she’s already been exited. So he exited A while ago. But she’s, she’s enamored and wants, wants it.


Damona  39:14  

But what do you say to those people? I know there are other listeners that are like, they feel like they’ve been exit exited. But he’s still calling her daily. He they’re still meeting up once or twice a week. So how can she deal with him having exited or opted out of being more serious, but still being in her life?


Clarissa Silva  39:36  

Yeah, they’re exited, you’re still you’re helping some optional queue. And that that seems normative to people where you know, it, we would see a difference if people just started saying, well, it’s a mutual exit at this point.


Damona  39:53  

I’m not gonna allow this to keep going on top not what I want.


Clarissa Silva  39:56  

I draw the line out right people, please. My


Damona  40:01  

All right, how about this question? Going kind of a different direction. This one came to us from our new Patreon group, which all of you all can join by going to patreon.com, slash dates and mates if you want to support the show and have more access to get your questions on the show. This person says, Is it good or bad if you hold out from going all the way? And this is from a lady. So withholding sex from someone that you are at the beginning stage of dating? What do you think? Clarissa?


Clarissa Silva  40:39  

Good, bad, ugly? Well see, these are the two arguments that are made to me all the time. So we have sex a screener happening amongst certain populations, right? When you when you talk to people that use sex as a screener, they say, Well, I’m not going to be in the game if I don’t have sex with them immediately. Right? And if I hold out the outcome is still the same, right? I’m holding out for whatever timeframe you hold out on. And you still get ghosted, right, like so. So the data point is am I compatible? Is this person going to ghost me? Should I hold off on doing like anything more committal on my ends, and hopefully prevents ghosting, hopefully find a decent person and the end result is ghosting. Anyway. Yeah.


Damona  41:28  

So it so the answer is doesn’t really matter. Like you’ve seen it work out if people have sex right away or not, it’s more about the substance of their connection beyond that,


Clarissa Silva  41:40  

right? So as long as it doesn’t have any impact on your self esteem, and you’re able to draw clear lines about what people are and what people aren’t in your, in your mind, or you’re getting some actual compatibility data, from the sex of screener then continue to do what you’re doing.


Damona  41:58  

Yeah, just to add myself two cents I think, obviously, everything you said is right. But I think also, sometimes now people look at sex as a screener, like you said, like if we’re not sexually compatible, and my perspective is that your connection with someone can grow. And once you and once you have like clear communication with them, if they’re willing to grow with you, in, you know, sexually and experiment and meet your needs in that way, then you can make any situation work. That’s my perspective. Obviously, there are other medical situation, but we won’t get into this. I’m just talking more generally right now. But the problem right now is if you’re using it as a tool, like Well, I’m gonna withhold sex, because then I’ll get the result that I want. That is not the way that you want to think about it. But if you’re like, I’m going to Hold on, because I just love that magic moment when you’re starting to get to know someone and you haven’t crossed that line and there’s all that anticipation before you’ve had sex and you won’t get that feeling back not in that way. And so my feeling is why rush it if you are living in the magic, and it’s not so long where they’re like, this is never gonna happen. It’s not like a Kenny Kelly was blind situation, then why are we in such a hurry? I don’t believe in sex as a as a primary screener because it tells you nothing about the emotional content of that person and their willingness to really commit to you and grow with you. Oh my gosh, we could talk about this forever. But I know you have lots of people to help. lots, lots of behavioral analysis to run. I so appreciate you being able to join us and I appreciated your article, which we’ll link to, and of course, if anyone wants to try the happiness hype This method or work with you personally, then Clarissa silva.com is the best place to go to get hooked up. Thank you for being here. Clarissa Thanks so much to Clarissa for joining us. You can find Clarissa at Clarissa silva.com and you can find Laura at Laura powers 44 healing powers dotnet and of course on the healing powers podcast, this has been Episode 301 of dates and maids. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. We need your questions. I know this is a crazy time. And there’s probably a lot going through your mind about whether it’s cuffing season, whether it’s social distancing season, how you can FaceTime a date and keep the connection going strong whatever it is, that’s on your mind. I’m here to help you with it. So you can DM me on all the socials at damona Hoffman or visit us at dates and mates calm and you can submit your question there. And we would love to have you join our community of love and support on this show on Patreon, you can see which goodies you’ll get from being a trusted friend with benefits of dates and mates if you check out our page patreon.com slash dates and mates. Next week we’ll be talking to Noel corto on how your brain chemistry might be leading you astray in love. That is a not to miss episode. Until next week, I wish you good health and happy dating

Being Intimidating & Taboo Topics: Love Month Part 1


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.


We’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for Technically Dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devised the top 5 question about the state of romance today.

So each week in February you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective to the same big love dilemmas – I’m calling this series 5 Question February.


This week, we’re joined by the FABULOUS Francesca Hogi!

Franny is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She is a Match and Today Show love expert, and has been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Mens Health. 

Fun Fact: she was also a contestant on two seasons of the CBS reality show Survivor. Francesca is the co-host of the podcast Romantical and the host of the podcast Dear Franny. 

She’s here to give you the no nonsense answers that you need to hear.

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Is A$AP Rihanna’s rebound?

Rihanna may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound.


The MOST TABOO Topic on dates

Seriously people, don’t talk about your breakups. It ain’t cute.


Your guide to swipe safety this month

Are swipe apps really that dangerous?


#5QFeb (14:60)

Damona asks Franny 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:

  • IG – I’m a 46 year old divorcee. Should I pay for a dating app to get better results? I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks.
  • I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins. When and how can I date?



Damona  0:17  

Welcome to dates invades your dating and relationships source for swipe season, Valentine’s Day divorcement and everything else that you need help navigating right now. It’s February and you know what that means Valentine’s Day is upon us and to celebrate the month of love. I’ll be doing something special. We have four of the top prior guests love experts from dates and mates who will be joining me for the next four weeks of episodes. I’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for technically dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devise the top four questions about the state of romance today. So each week in February, you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective on the same Big Love dilemmas. I’m calling this series for question February. But first I’m going to introduce my guest co host for today. Francesca hoagie is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She’s a match and today’s show love expert and she’s been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar Marie Claire, and men’s health funfact. She was also on two seasons of the CBS reality show survivor, and now she’s the co host of the podcast romantical and she has a new podcast called dear frannie. Let’s give big smooches to Francesca hoagie. Hey, welcome back to the show. Thank you for having me.


Franny  1:41  

damona I love being here. I love having


Damona  1:43  

you and I’m so excited for this month of love with you. And to cover these headlines including riana may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound. And the most absolutely most taboo topic on dates. will tell you what that is plus will give you the latest news on Swype safety for this year’s season of love. And then we’ll answer your questions including do paid dating apps yield better results. And how can you date if you’re a single mom with newborn twins?


Franny  2:17  

With great difficulty?


Damona  2:20  

Ready to do this? I’m so ready. Let’s do this. These dating dish, according to Page Six, riana and ASAP Rocky are reportedly dating. Now if you are late to the news, she was dating billionaire. That’s with a B, that’s gonna be a beautiful billionaire. Double be a son Jamil. I mean, let me tell you this man. This man had it together but it didn’t seem to work out for them. According to sources, they said that they just were living different lives and it just didn’t work. So


Franny  2:53  

people, they don’t buy you happiness. Well, I mean, they can buy you some a lot of things that can make you happy.


Franny  2:59  

True. That’s true. That’s true. But you need some other things too. But maybe ASAP Rocky has those things.


Franny  3:05  

Hopefully, actually, I think that first celebrities and you know, even though that guy is a billionaire, and he has a high public profile celebrities, and he’s beautiful, and he’s beautiful, it’s easier for celebrities to date other celebrities. And in general, sure,


Franny  3:19  

because there is Liberty


Franny  3:20  

because their lives are just so bizarre. And right, they just have a whole set of concerns that they have to deal with that. I don’t I think it’s hard for a non famous person to understand what it’s like to have to navigate both a relationship which can be obviously very challenging in even if you’re the most anonymous people in the world, you know, and then add on top of the fact that every move you make is being documented and speculated on and Oh yeah,


Damona  3:47  

people saw this they saw they were sharing a hotel suite in New York together. And just to your point about celebrities dating celebrities, ASAP Rocky has had quite a history of famous exes. He was with candled For a couple years, he was with Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea. He’s been linked to riana before there was this whole thing about him grabbing her button public a few years ago. scandalous, scandalous. But here’s the thing. She heard her sources people close to her saying like, Look, she just got out of this serious relationship. It’s just a rebound. She’s saying she’s trying to be single. She’s not looking for a serious relationship right now. Like Yeah, oh, girl can’t even


Franny  4:28  

lurking and being like, What are you guys doing in the suite together? I am. So


Franny  4:32  

I, you know, there’s there’s obviously benefits to being famous. But there’s so many drawbacks. And this is one of them. Like, you can’t just like hang out with your ex and like, get a little nookie. without, you know, strangers sitting around talking about it and speculating on it.


Damona  4:47  

That’s true. Just like we’re doing right now. Exactly. But I hope I hope she really finds love because I think she deserves it. And she’s had a rough go of it.


Franny  4:54  

Yeah, it’s hard. She’s such a boss, and she’s so busy. She’s juggling so many things. And I mean, think of like the confidence level A man has to have to be able to be with a woman who is like such a superstar. And then you add on top of just the time factor, like how do they make time for a relationship? You know? So there’s a lot of challenges there for


Damona  5:16  

a lot of our superstar ladies that are listening to this, this podcast that may be thinking, it’s really hard for me to find a match, like one element is sometimes it is intimidating when you have everything together. The guys that don’t approach you are the ones that don’t feel like they can handle all that. Yeah, so maybe that kind of rejection is not such a bad thing. And you should save yourself for Yeah, great term match.


Franny  5:40  

Oh, yeah. Anyone who’s intimidated by you is not for you. So he doesn’t have the competence, you know, but I do think that as women who might be perceived as being intimidating, it is worth thinking about. Okay, am I leading too much with my accomplishments, am I leading too much with it? And I don’t mean to say like, I want to be really clear about this, I don’t mean to dumb yourself down or pretend like, Oh, I just have a little company. And you


Franny  6:09  

know, I’m not saying that, but


Franny  6:10  

I think even just in your interactions with people, like most people go on dates, and they talk about their jobs, right? Which is like, generally like not, it’s not right for romance, right? Like, it’s not right for like connection. And I’ve seen this with women who they feel that men are intimidated by them by their sex because of their success. But then they also when they meet men, it’s kind of like they’re using their success as a little bit of a crutch, and they’re leaning into it as a kind of a thing to puff them up. And I don’t know, I think it’s kind of a subconscious thing that we can do sometimes. So


Damona  6:42  

well, it’s what’s giving you love back. So the thing that you’re successful at is the thing that’s giving you that that feedback and making you feel successful. So you then you lean into that when you’re on the dates and then you talk more about those things. But that’s not how that’s not how women really are meant to attract men. That’s not attractive to men that’s attractive to women who are looking for providers. And we’re talking about traditional gender roles. But I’m curious, as we were going through these headlines, what you should definitely not talk about on first dates. And there was an article in elite daily that talked about those who discussed breakups. Yeah, on first dates. I hear this all the time, too.


Franny  7:25  

Yeah. My feeling.


Damona  7:26  

My feeling is if you’re talking about a breakup on a first date, your first date is not going well.


Franny  7:33  

I agree. I don’t think it’s a good sign. We’re talking about breakups. Also just talking about not even like necessarily breakups, like you were in a relationship, just talking about how dating is going on the app and like, Oh, my God, yeah. So last week, I went on this date with this guy. I’m like, what, you know, why are you talking about that on your day, right? Yeah, no way I’m all about I really, really encourage people to set an intention when you go on a date, and put your Like setting an intention to, you know, see if you can spark a connection with that other person to just set an intention to just be present in that moment, share something of yourself, learn something new, just something that’s going to keep you really focused on the other person and the connection that you might be able to build because a lot of people go on dates and they feel like, oh, there was no spark. But then if you break down, what would you talk about? You talked about work you bring you talked about your ex, he talks about where you grew up, okay. Like where you went to school? Like, I mean, that’s not, that’s not that’s not I think you can do better.


Damona  8:34  

Yeah. And I feel that, of course, there are people that are going to be boring on dates that are going to be uncomfortable on dates that aren’t going to really inspire you, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to to take the conversation where you want it to go. Agreed. And if you are saying, Well, that was a boring day. Well, you were boring, some responsible Yeah, yeah. Making it boring yourself.


Franny  8:56  

Yeah. And if it means you have to think about questions ahead of time to Ask if it means like when you when you start talking about work, or you know, your date starts talking about work, you know, instead of asking them 20 questions about their boring accounting job that you don’t have any interest in, and they probably hate anyway, right? You know, say like, well, if you’re going to talk about work, you know, what do you love about what you do? Or if you could do anything, what would it be? Or what do you want to be when you were a kid, like just something to, you know, have it be something that’s more about what they care about and their values and what they dream of, you know, just there’s ways to hibbett conversation so that you’re going to a more a place that’s more likely to yield some real connection.


Damona  9:36  

I really love those tips and remembering that you, you can pivot, you don’t have to stay on track track that is leading you to a boring conversation, and you can do it gently.


Franny  9:48  

You don’t have to be like, let’s not talk about this anymore. This is boring. Don’t say that. Right? Like you can do it really gently. It’s a skill, but it’s a skill that you can develop and it’s it’s worth it’s worth it’s worth developing.


Damona  9:58  

Yeah, and you you really could change any conversation topic at any point just by leaning in and be like, you know what I’m really curious about. And then the other person will lean in and be like, Oh, yeah, body language and be like, well, I want to know what you’re curious about. Yes. And I love that so great. What did you dream of when you were a kid?


Franny  10:16  

which wouldn’t be what did you want to be when you were a little kid? Yeah. I’m


Damona  10:21  

queen or princess. Initially, and then I wanted to be an architect. I’m really into historic homes and, and design. And then I took drafting one on one and almost flunked out of high school. I’m really more interested in cheerleading. So I had to find something else to do with my life. Yeah. What about you? I wasn’t


Franny  10:44  

really a kid who had any strong sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I do remember after I saw the movie, Wall Street, I wanted to be a corporate raider. No, really an actor I saw Top Gun I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Very briefly. I don’t know what this reveals about my person.


Damona  11:00  

You are inspired by the things you see.


Franny  11:02  

I guess what I think I think I was inspired by I don’t know, power.


Franny  11:07  

alarming, but um, yeah, I never really knew I never really knew


Damona  11:10  

while we’re, while we’re talking about power, the transfer of power. A lot of times with dating apps people tell me that they’re afraid of something happening to them. They’re afraid of dating safety, like people that are hungry for power that might take advantage of them. And there were some new features that Tinder rolled out to address this concern. They announced that they’re, they’re now using a panic button, you have to download a an additional app to get this. And here’s the catch that app actually sends data it shares your data with its your location. So they it’s the same technology that you that Uber uses, okay, it’s sharing your location with Facebook and a bunch of other apps and other data that you don’t necessarily have control over. Yeah, but I digress. It can alert the authorities if you are uncomfortable on a date.


Franny  12:08  

And then they all said also just use you have in the future if anyone has an iPhone and probably Android has the same feature you have there’s an emergency. You know, if you hit that side button


Damona  12:20  

I sit down. Yeah,


Franny  12:20  

I think Megan emerge. I think everyone has probably accidentally done this and you’re like, Oh, God.


Franny  12:27  

But dial but dial but yeah, you know, I think it’s good. It’s me.


Franny  12:30  

Well, you think that people?


Franny  12:33  

I don’t know if it’s necessary. Okay. I’ll tell you. I do think that, you know, Tinder in particular has has that reputation like, Oh, you can’t go on Tinder. Like, you know, it’s just for hookups. And there’s, you know, people looking to abduct you or you know, but I think that


Franny  12:49  

so we hear those stories. I mean, we hear those stories, but we hear like


Franny  12:54  

I don’t know, six of those stories a year


Damona  12:57  

and look at how many people are date and


Franny  12:58  

look at how many times 10s of millions of people are on Tinder. So it is a very, very, very, very uncommon occurrence. So obviously, you want to be smart, and their ways to be smart. And I find that generally when you’re actually paying attention, and you’re not, you know, maybe kind of ignoring things or hoping against hope because like, well, this person, their pictures are really great. So I just want to meet them, and you’re not, you know, you’re, you’re maybe ignoring some signs that there’s something a little off, or, you know, maybe they’re pressuring you, or they’re like, they want to meet really quickly, you know, or just things ideal, either something’s off, you know, or like, they’re insisting that they pick you up or you mean, like, just things like, just don’t, you know, it’s, it’s just important to be smart. And make sure when you’re, I don’t care which app you’re on, you know, you don’t know this person. And even if you meet somebody, you know, and you can meet somebody in church who turns out to be, you know, not a good person, right? So you just have to just exercise that common sense. We meet in a in a public place and place you feel comfortable. Be you know have your own transportation. Right. So you’re not relying on a stranger to pick you up or take you home. You know,


Damona  14:12  

so and that’s like meeting someone. And in any, in any setting Yeah, yeah, you don’t know them. They’re not checked out by, in fact, actually there was I went out with somebody that I met at a party through a friend and I was still like, something’s off about this guy. Even even then you don’t even know. Yeah, you don’t say don’t know, just be seeing this feature. They also added a photo Vera verification feature. That’s cool.


Franny  14:37  

That’s great. Yeah, so it’s already.


Damona  14:40  

Yeah, it’s using AI and then like, trusted people internally, to make sure that you are who you say you are. Yeah. Do we need that or is catfishing that much of a problem?


Franny  14:51  

I mean, I don’t think similar to the safety issue. catfishing is a problem but it’s usually whenever somebody has been captured When you look back, and you kind of look back at the messages, you look back at the profile, it’s not that hard to spot. Yeah, it’s really like, I mean, if you’re looking at somebody, and their profile is just like, oh my god, this is the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen. And these model photos and like, you know, and things are looking, he was in the Navy, and like, you know, like, it’s just like, you know, it, you could do like a river. If you if you’re suspicious, you could do a reverse reverse image search, you know, in Google, you can take a picture from the app, and you can put it into Google and you can see where else it comes up. So usually the cat pictures they’re using stock photos or they’re using photos from you know, that are appearing lots of other places that you’re like, Oh, wait, this isn’t the same person


Damona  15:40  

and we want to believe the fantasy don’t mean frannie like want to believe Haha, yeah, this idea of the person, like so many times people right into the show, and they’re like, I am in love. I fell in love with this person. In fact, I just posted on my Instagram today that I don’t believe in it. In love at first sight. It’s a myth and somebody said, Well, maybe you just haven’t experienced it, huh? No. You don’t know that person. Right? I mean, you don’t know that person. You tell them


Franny  16:09  

you don’t know them. You don’t you? You? Well, that’s kind of a philosophical question. What


Franny  16:15  

is love?


Franny  16:16  

Love Is it can choose a lot. But I mean, yes, obviously when most people when they’re thinking it’s love at first sight, it’s just it’s lost its luster first. It’s chemistry. It’s Oh my god, this is finally the kind of person that I’m looking for. But you know, one big solution to catfishing is just meet them, meet them in person, right? Just meet them in person, because the person who has a million excuses why they can’t meet and oh, and I’m out of town and this and that, and it’s adding up. It’s like the you know, it’s pretty obvious if your gut is telling you it’s


Damona  16:47  

probably Lissa. What it Yes, yeah. And I think there’s a bigger issue of people not necessarily stealing other people’s photos. I know that is happening, but it’s more just people having false advertising. editing photos, which we announced a couple weeks ago Bumble is cutting down down on and and taking those photos off. But it’s more people just using old photos. Yeah, it’s always advertising or just not looking like themselves when you meet or just not being attractive to you like you can look at someone’s picture. I don’t know how many online dates I went on where I was like, oh, that person looks really hot. And you’re like, Oh, I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel


Franny  17:26  

it Are you are you were like, Oh, you can see it’s not a catfish. It’s like, Oh, this is you. But this is the best picture you have ever taken in your life.


Franny  17:36  

We’ve all done it. We’ve all


Franny  17:38  

done it. So I think if there’s anything that’s feeling off about someone’s profile, just ask yourself, if these photos weren’t as good if this person didn’t look as hot, or they didn’t have this job, or there’s something that I’m like really, really looking for would I still be excusing or ignoring an intuition that I have? And you know, just check in with yourself because it’s usually it’s because the people who are out there to deceive people, they know what to do they know the profile to put together, they know how to make themselves look so irresistible. They’re experts at it. They’re experts at it. So it’s like if somebody seems like really too good to be true, and then there’s something off about the communication and they’re not you know, trying to meet you in person are there you know, there’s something shady going on there just you gotta you gotta listen to your instincts and use your common sense and just say it’s, it’s a leap of faith to say, the person who was right for me is out there and I don’t have to waste my time hoping against hope with somebody who’s showing me already that there’s something not right here.


Damona  18:38  

Yes, you have to keep the faith. Love is out there for you. We will give you more hope later in this episode, and we’re doing this fun. Five question February. So when we come back, Franny is going to answer my five questions about the state of love relationships and romance. Today, so stick around.


Franny  19:03  

We are back with frannie. She hosts the dear frannie podcast and she has been a go to expert in media for years. So I know that she can tackle these big issues for five question February. And I’m really excited to hear these questions because I Can I just tell everyone, yeah, that you offered to show me the questions ahead of time. I said, No, don’t show me at a time. I just want to freestyle it. So let’s go.


Damona  19:28  

She’s not good. She can answer these questions on the fly. We’ll see. Okay, Francesca hoagie. What is the biggest challenge for traders today? Ooh,


Franny  19:39  

gosh, that’s a big question.


Franny  19:40  

I told you. Yeah.


Damona  19:42  

I know you can handle I can handle it. And you can break it down into chunks. Yeah, yeah. One question that you always Yeah. here from Pete.


Franny  19:50  

Um, I would say, Okay, well, there’s probably two things that initially comes to mind. One of the biggest challenges is that we have so much cultural messaging conditioning around romance that’s so terrible. And I’m talking about like the fairy tale industrial complex. And you know, there’s one perfect person and you’re going to know as soon as you see them. And as soon as you meet that perfect person, everything’s going to fall into place. And you’re either lucky in love Are you aren’t. So I think that kind of mindset that people have about romance in general is a huge, huge, huge obstacle to love and real connection. So there’s that. But then there’s also because of dating apps, and because of the proliferation of online dating, people have this sense that they have infinite choice. And it becomes this illusion that oh, well, I there’s something one little thing I don’t like about someone, I’ll just keep going because I’ll find that perfect person. So they’re related, right? It’s this idea that you’re going to know right away, and the person is going to be perfect, and then everything is going to fall into place. And just know that even though there are millions and millions of people on dating apps, all of those people are not Actually options for you, right? And not all of those people. You most people overestimate their ability to determine who is and who isn’t compatible for them, like in a very short amount of time. So people are very quick to dismiss someone because they’re like, Oh, no, like, Oh, I only want somebody who’s, you know, six too early, six feet tall, or like, you know, or just like, oh, like, he seems too nerdy. And I need somebody who’s that, you know, just all of these little things that I should. I’m going to quote another expert here. Michelle Jacoby, who I interviewed recently for my podcast, and she said something I was like, Oh, my God, this is so good. And she, she was talking about how she was in DC. And she was on a corner and she saw this father and daughter and they were just having this really lovely father daughter moment. And she was like, Oh, my God, that’s so sweet. Like, Oh, look at that bother. He really loves his daughter. It’s so sweet. And then she thought I was I was single, what would I think looking at that guy? And she said, Oh, I think well, he doesn’t really dress that well. He’s kind of dorky and, and it was like all this stuff. And then She realized that, you know, it’s like the opposite of beer goggles, like we put on these dating goggles. And when you have your dating goggles on, and you’re always looking for what’s wrong, and you’re always picking people apart, and I just think that’s so wise and so true. So I don’t I think maybe I’m going on a tangent, maybe I should have gotten these questions ahead of time.


Franny  22:20  

But I think, you know, people,


Franny  22:23  

people, and especially people who could should really kind of know better because they can look at their own dating history and their own dating success to kind of know, like, Oh, I’m maybe not as good at this as I think I am. Like, maybe I’m not as good at picking partners as I think I am. Maybe I’m not as good as making a snap decision about who is and who isn’t right for me. But oftentimes, people just want what they want. And they don’t stop to think like, Oh, well, why do I want that? And is that important? And what am I bringing to the table and, you know, what is the relationship I want to have and the people that I’m focusing on, are they even capable of being the kind of partner that I’m looking for? So


Damona  22:57  

I want to break this down a little bit because I I hear a lot. You I’m sure you get this to clients will come to me and they’ll say, well, I’ve been looking but I’m just really picky. Yes. When you hear I’m really picky. Yeah. What do you say to that?


Franny  23:13  

I, I think that Okay, first of all, I should be, I should just want to say that, obviously, you should be selective about who you,


Damona  23:20  

you know, have a relationship with. I mean, I, when I was dating, I was just not picking. Like you’re


Franny  23:28  

I just and I only say that because I think that sometimes when people hear, you know, dating experts, or coaches like us to say, like, you know, talk kind of criticize people for being overly picky, they’re like, Well, you know, you just want me to date some loser, just, you know, and it’s like, No, I don’t, I don’t want you to date somebody who isn’t a great fit for you. I don’t want you to date somebody who or be in a relationship with somebody, get into a relationship with someone unless you’re excited to be in a relationship and you have attraction and all those you know, so let’s I want to say that for anybody who’s like, shutting down here, stay with us. Stay with us. But when I hear I’m just really picky, that tells me that there is a vulnerability challenge and that they’re hiding behind a lot of pickiness in order to avoid having to, like be truly intimate with someone.


Franny  24:16  

Turn it off you guys.


Franny  24:18  

That’s my first indication. Yeah. And then sometimes people just really, I think, in dating, we’re so focused on this list of like, Okay, this person has these, all these trades, and you can have 1000 things on that list. But a, you need to go through all of those things and make sure that they actually have to do with your relationship with that person, which most of them don’t, right. And you have to make sure and then you have to be able to prioritize what those things are, right? Because you can have 1000 things but if you’re looking for them all in one person, that’s not a person that’s a unicorn, that’s a fantasy. So it’s about really understanding what are the most foundational things for you and really starting to sort from that place which makes A lot easier.


Damona  25:08  

And then let’s go into this Paradox of Choice because I hear this a lot in the media actually, that there are so many options today. Nobody wants to make any choices. And so then people are just choosing.


Franny  25:21  

Yeah, I’m not choosing anyone, right? Or most people in dating apps don’t even go on a date. So I’m sure you are familiar with that statistic. That’s


Damona  25:27  

a that is real. In my experience as a dating coach, my clients end up making selections. So I’m wondering what is different is it you think it’s just when you get to the point of you’re like, I need support with this, I’m going to hire a dating coach. And then we talk through the questions like, why am I not seeing with my clients this Paradox of Choice happening? Yeah, instead with my clients. They’ll work with me for three or four weeks and then they’re like, Oh my gosh, I already met somebody that I really like this be it Should I date other people? I mean, this has literally happened to the last clients that I had there. Like, should I stop now? I mean, should there should there maybe there’s somebody better out there but I don’t know this person seems pretty great. Yeah,


Franny  26:12  

well that well that’s because your clients and my clients are coming to us because they’re actually ready. And they’re and they’re open to listening. And I mean, I think for me, my clients same thing, they get to that place really quickly and it’s because once I say you can’t look at a dating app profile can’t look at a little two inch photo and you know 100 character bio and think you are able to determine whether or not you can be in a relationship with this person.


Damona  26:39  

So love at first sight is a myth and


Franny  26:43  



Franny  26:46  

but so I think once you understand that, the purpose of swiping right on someone the purpose of going on a first date with someone is not that you’ve already decided that yes, this is a person I can see myself with forever. That’s too high of a bar is too unrealistic of a bar, and you will, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment with that bar. So I think for me, when I explain to my clients like, you know, when you’re looking at a profile, you’re just trying to decide like, Can I talk to this person for 10 minutes, because most of those people that that you match with, it’s never it’s not going to go beyond that 10 minutes, a lot of people it’s going to, you know, you’ll make your decision here. I mean, a lot of people, first of all response rates are not 100%. For anyone show, you’re never even not even all going to turn into conversations. A lot of those people are going to take themselves out of the running, because they’re going to you’re being open and then they’re going to say something or like, and now I’m closed. You know, they’re going to take themselves out of the running or they’re not serious about meeting or you know, all these things. So when we point that out to our clients, and we teach them like this is a tool This is not like a crystal ball, right? This is a tool and you have to use it like a tool. In this year. Success on this platform is going to be based on your strategy and your approach. And the decisions that you make, and you know, people are paying us money because they’re ready to meet someone. So they’re ready to hear that. Yeah, but the average date or, you know, the average data online never goes on a date. And that’s so true. And it’s not because they’re not millions of options, right?


Damona  28:14  

Just to add one more thing about love at first sight. When I first saw my profile, I actually did say, Oh, my God, where have you been? And I did, I was in love at first sight. But I was in love at first sight, probably 20 other times. Oh, yeah. just so happened that time really does love. Yeah, that’s why even though


Franny  28:37  

my mother says she, my father at first sight, they met IRL back in the day. Sure. But and she said she she walked she saw him walking across the room and she said she fell in love with him the first night for that even spoken to each other.


Damona  28:49  

But that’s happened to me too. And then it didn’t work out, you know? Yeah, no. question. Question one. Oh, my God. The second question. What do you think the Best way to find love is today.


Franny  29:02  

Hmm, I think the best, most important way to find love is to make sure that you have a love mindset that is conducive to it. And then honestly, it’s irrelevant like which app you’re on and all because it’ll be. It’s making its taking chance out of it and making it in evitt. In inevitability. I can’t say that word in every city.


Damona  29:21  

Okay, you said it yesterday. Do you think that people can meet offline now?


Franny  29:27  

Absolutely. Of course they can. Every time you leave your house, you have the potential to meet someone special. I met my boyfriend on the street,


Franny  29:33  

just on the streets walking home. Come on.


Franny  29:36  

I’ve met I’ve dated so many guys that I’ve met just out in the world, but it’s because I have an attitude. And I had had that attitude for a long time, which is that every time I leave my house, I have the potential to meet someone special and I believe that that’s your mantra. That’s my mantra. So like, why not


Damona  29:52  

wait but when you met him, are you looking down at your phone and I


Franny  29:56  

wasn’t looking along. I was not looking down at my phone. I was rushing because I was trying to make the lights across the street.


Franny  30:04  

I don’t have time, but sometimes we do that though. Yeah. Wait, what happened?


Franny  30:08  

So what happened was, um, he was with his brother. And we had all been in a screening a few blocks away and his brother recognized me from the screening. So as I was rushing by his brother said, Oh, hey, how’d you like the movie? And I was like, oh, oh, you guys were in there, too. Yeah. So then I so then I laid my panic button. So then I missed the light because I stopped to talk to them. But then I didn’t fall in love at first sight. But I did have this intuition. Once I started talking to my boyfriend. I did have this intuition. Just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to this guy. I just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to him. I did that came to my they came to me like very clearly.


Franny  30:45  

Yeah, yeah, that’s different than love it first.


Franny  30:48  

Yeah. I didn’t say that. I had fallen in love at first sight. I’m just saying I’m not gonna rule out the possibility that it can happen. It can happen and it does happen to you and my mother. At least


Damona  31:00  

I see I’m still not buying it.


Franny  31:01  

Okay, we don’t have to talk about.


Damona  31:03  

It took time for me to, to actually know him and love him.


Franny  31:09  

It took time for you to decide that this is a person that you were going to choose to love.


Franny  31:14  

Yes. Okay.


Franny  31:18  

Next time that takes is no kids.


Damona  31:20  

Okay, as we were talking about these mindset and beliefs. The third question is how can people change their patterns in love?


Franny  31:29  

Okay, well, the first thing is even recognize that you have a pattern, because a lot of people don’t see their patterns, or they believe that their patterns are just happening to them. So once you understand that you are the common denominator and your pattern, everyone has one, even if you don’t date at all, that’s still a pattern, right? So even if your if your pattern is you only get like mad crushes on unavailable people. That’s a pattern right? So everyone has a pattern. So when you see that they’re like, and then you You start to understand, oh, even if it’s happening on a subconscious level, like I am pulling the strings here. So when you that, like, I swear, that’s half the battle of just just identifying it. And then if you commit to it, then you can start to say, all right, well, if there’s some, if I’m doing this, how can I start to what can I start to do differently? Like, why am I drawn to people who aren’t into me? You know, why do I have a belief that people are cheaters? And if that because if I really believe that if you really believe that everybody is going to cheat, you’re going to always be attracted to cheaters. Sure. It’s amazing how this works. These beliefs are like, they are like, set it and forget it. So


Damona  32:40  

I’m curious about something you said earlier, when you met your boyfriend and you trusted your intuition and we talked about this. Yeah, we went deep on the dear frannie podcast, and I talked about my own experience with intuition and teaching people how to how to tap into here and here it yep. We have so much chatter down there that sometimes you can’t even hear the intuition. Yes. So is that an element


Franny  33:08  

of it, it is an element of it. There’s, if you if you really, if you start to really understand that we are co creators in all of our relationships, like, and, you know, it’s, it’s empowering really like, you know, this isn’t just happening to you, you’re not a victim. Right? And so, you may have had some experiences and some programming that happened that made you think that this is how relationships have to be. And in your mind, you think that you know, to be with somebody who say, doesn’t value you or doesn’t respect you, if there’s some belief there that that’s quote unquote, safe, because that’s what you’re used to. And that’s the message that you got at a young age or, you know, some traumatic experience. Then when you understand that, then it’s like, Okay, I need to go deeper in myself. Make sure that what I believe is possible for me is what I actually want. Because so many people are out here, they’re looking for love, and they’re looking for connection, and they’re looking for partnership, but they don’t really believe that they can have it. And if you don’t believe you can have it, you’re going to make yourself right about what you believe. And it’s, it’s so it’s really important to understand that so obviously, it’s a longer process. And you know, I know you have a process where you work with your clients through this, I have a process where I work with my clients through this, but honestly, the first step is just recognizing that you have a pattern and that you are pulling the strings and then to become determined to like get curious and figure out okay, why am I doing that and how can I stop?


Franny  34:37  

It doesn’t take long right? We


Franny  34:38  

can do you know, I’m sure you can do this. I’m sure you can help your clients work through this and like a couple of sessions.


Damona  34:43  

Well, yeah, I’m I’m interested in you said when you’re identifying that, that pattern, that it’s like you said you can people can self sabotage like you can still be acting like You deserve love and you want love. Then you self sabotage like, how do you know that that’s happening for you? So you identify Yeah, where that that block is because you’re like, I’m doing all the things like this is what I hear a lot from our listeners. I’m on all of the apps. I’m meeting people out I did my profile makeover. I did my personal makeover. I did my wrote a letter to my family. Yeah, and process that. And yet, I’m still getting this. Yeah.


Franny  35:32  

So it’s important to understand that


Franny  35:36  

the beliefs like the true beliefs that are really like what’s pulling the strings here, this, this resides on a subconscious level. So if I ask anyone, and I asked people this all the time, you know, like, I have myself a formula and you know, I work my clients through that and part of it is self worth. That’s a huge part. And every single person I asked, Do you believe that you are truly worthy of having the love the commitment, the intimacy, the fulfilling relationship that you’re looking for? Everyone’s like yes, instantly. Instant. Yes, hell yes. Everyone says yes. I’m like, Okay, great. I’m going to ask you the question again. And this time, I want you to take a deep breath. And I want you to close your eyes. And know that your brain is going to say yes. And we want to confirm with whatever comes up in your body that is a real Yes. And then just sit for a moment, just sit with that question for a moment and see what happens in your body. And 99% of the time, they’re like, Oh, actually, I got this, like, pit in my stomach, or this tightness in my chest. Or, you know, I had a client recently described it as they felt this heaviness or like, so there’s, like, our emotions, really, in our subconscious speaks to us through our bodies, which is why like getting into your body and having body awareness is actually like, it’s actually important. If you have you know, a lot of subconscious believes that it’s just important to check in. It’s just a check in because hey, if you ask yourself the question and your heart swells, and you feel relaxed and excited and you get that like juicy, warm feeling, then that’s a Amazing, you’re on the right track, right? But if it is anything less than that, you just want to check in with that and just say, Okay, if there is something in me that believes that I’m not worthy of having this, for whatever reason, don’t judge it just like, for whatever reason, then if I did believe I was worthy, what would I do right now? And just keep checking in with yourself just trying to like change your choice, just how would that change your choices and just it’s like, it’s just sort of starting to retrain yourself to understand that your logical brain is not the only thing that’s driving the train here. And so you’ve got to go a little deeper.


Damona  37:37  

Okay, I’m gonna give everyone like a secret advance. Notice that we’re going to be doing a workshop together. Yes, doing some of this mind body spirit connection in love. So it’s a little ways off. Yes, we will announce it when the time is right when the Registration is open, but if you like what what Franny is talking about, you’re going to go home. More when you work with us in person in May. Okay, there’s more questions. What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Oh, beautiful


Franny  38:11  

acceptance of yourself and the other person true vulnerability. So that’s really the risk, the ability to risk pain, right of opening yourself up and really going deep with another person, letting them see who you really are seeing who they really are. That’s the hardest part for me. I mean, I think, I think that vulnerability, like true vulnerability is often the last love block to fall for people. And they got like, so much they’ve worked on the belief they’ve worked on, you know, the acceptance they’ve worked on, you know, putting themselves out there, they work on all these things, but that vulnerability piece isn’t quite there. And so that’s why, you know, they keep on kind of bumping up against a pattern that’s like not serving them. I say that a lot. So acceptance, vulnerability. shared that values, yes, dancing, that’s really important. And I ended beyond values also just like a shared vision of your life, you know, like, what’s the kind of life that you want to lead, because, you know, if you are somebody who knows that you want to get married, and you want to have three kids, and you are continually dating people who are like, I don’t know, actually, I want my freedom, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I want to spend every weekend, I don’t know, campaign or, you know, like, you know, whatever it is, like you have to just understand, like, you know, you can do what many people have done throughout history, which is kind of force a square peg into a round hole. But you know, that’s not going to be a very fulfilling relationship. So


Damona  39:43  

yeah, and I think this is such a great time right now where you have the ability to choose Yeah, yeah, go a different way or to not need to get married to have that mean that you in a person are committed to one another or to date someone One of a different gender for the first time or to not, not date at all. Like, yeah, I have so many options that, especially for women were just not available to us, even if you even one generation. Yeah. Oh, yeah,


Franny  40:15  

absolutely. Yeah. So you know, so understanding that and then, you know, commitment, like being committed, like really committed that like, okay, we’re in this together, when challenges arise, we’re going to work through them together. And I’m not going to hightail it at the first sign of trouble, because trouble will always appear. Right? Like, it’s never going to be smooth sailing, and you just genuinely like each other, enjoying each other’s company. I think people underestimate that. Like, it’s not always going to be like, you know, fancy trips and romantic dinner. It’s like you’re just going to be sitting on the sofa a lot together.


Damona  40:50  

A lot enough.


Franny  40:51  

Yeah, we do.


Franny  40:53  

Like that. I love it. I also like I also like being out in the world,


Franny  40:58  

but also, I would say accident Well, we need the mix. Some people don’t some people want I want to, you know,


Damona  41:03  

I’m more of a out of the house person. But and my husband is definitely more of an introvert and like, cozy up in front of Netflix. But I’ll say also you and your partner don’t have to want the same want to do the same things all the same values like yeah, and ultimate goals for the future. Yeah.


Franny  41:24  

And even have some overlapping interests. Yeah, but not 100%


Damona  41:28  

I don’t want to watch soccer. I just don’t know. Yeah, that’s right. You get up early you watch soccer. My yoga.


Franny  41:39  

I’m not gonna go ride my bike up a mountain like him. People are like, oh, cuz my boyfriend’s very serious cyclists and people are like, Oh, do you ride? Do you ride with him? I’m like, No, why would I do that?


Franny  41:50  

Right. Exactly. Yeah, no interest.


Damona  41:52  

Yeah, but I feel like now because of dating apps and because of technology, being able to, to connect you to someone. That’s not just A couple of boxes but the checks a lot of boxes Now sometimes people expect them to check every box. Yeah.


Franny  42:07  

Oh, I can’t tell you how many people I set up. Even actually, a really good friend of mine said to me, she’s like, wow, I’m so impressed that you ever gave your boyfriend a chance because of this his cycling thing. She’s like, why? And she’s like, well, because you don’t cycle.


Damona  42:21  

Yeah, like, people say that about me. I’m like my husband, vegetarian. And people are like, how do you make it work? He doesn’t eat my food.


Franny  42:33  

It’s not hard. It’s not really that hard. It’s not hard and he wants somebody who has their own passions and their own interests, right. Like I think this is the whole like you complete me this goes back to what I was saying earlier about the fairy tale industrial complex, and you’re supposed to be this like, perfect, perfect match. And you want to spend every moment together and do everything to get no like that’s not the healthiest relationship. So you’re both coming as complete people and you’re complementing each other’s lives and you’re making each other’s lives better. And richer and more fun and exciting and you know, but you’re not. You know,


Damona  43:05  

there’s a difference between You complete me. And you duplicate me though to like, my husband does complete me like I’m complete, but he does fill in gaps of places that I need to work on and helps illuminate those areas where I want to be a better person. But we’re not we’re known as carbon, or carbon carbon copy. Yeah, I am curious, though. You’re for the fifth question. Whose relationship do you admire? And one and it could be a famous person or someone in your personal life? Yeah, tell us their story.


Franny  43:38  

is a good question. Um, well, I guess I’ll just take a famous example because I guess that’s easy shorthand for people. Um, I do admire Brock and Michelle.


Damona  43:48  

I knew you’re gonna say that. Oh, my gosh, her birthday photo and I did so sweet. I did so sweet. Woman, he


Franny  43:57  

really loves her. They’re very devoted to each other and I read her memoir, which and she goes, you know, really into detail about their relationship and their courtship and everything


Damona  44:06  

she was really trying to


Franny  44:09  

show you.


Franny  44:10  

Which, by the way, it’s interesting, though, as much as I admire their relationship, when I read her book, I was like, I never would have dated him, like I never would have. I would have started that I would have been like, yes, not gonna


Damona  44:20  

work. He was like a big dreamer. She, like had her life


Franny  44:22  

together. Yeah, he’s like, when they got married, and he’s like, hey, my mom rented me a house in Hawaii for two months to write my book. I’m gonna go, I know, I would have been like, Oh, no, I buy. But it works for them, you know, um, but I think but I kind of, I think that commitment, that sense of like, we have shared values, we love each other, we trust each other, we respect each other. And we are committed. So we are going to work through whatever challenges that arise because it’s worth it because that that love is so strong and that connection is so strong. So I think the fact that They just have true respect and trust for each other. And that’s not that’s, that’s rare. That’s rare. It’s really beautiful. And you can see it, you can’t fake that. You can’t fake it, but you can find it, you can find it, you can totally find it, but you can’t you can’t fake it. And, you know, especially not the kind of scrutiny that they’ve been under and what they’ve had to deal with as a couple and as a family and they just seem stronger than ever, especially now that they’re like out of the White House. Like they’re living their best


Damona  45:30  

lives. I know, I know. I’m so inspired by this beautiful and I’m inspired by you and answer to our five, four FEHB question. And I know you all have a lot of questions you have sent them into me and now Francesca is going to answer them. By the way, if you have a question. There are so many, many, many ways you can send them to me, you can DM me on any social platform and damona Hoffman leave me a message through dates and mates calm Or a voicemail at 424-246-6255 I don’t know why nobody wants to ever leave me a voicemail. Everybody shy of the voice I want to hear your voice You can call me call so now I had a guy that wrote it. It was like, I don’t you’re a married woman. I don’t want to bother you on foot. You guys. It’s my it’s my database. Yeah.


Franny  46:20  

Anytime a day anytime today.


Damona  46:26  

All right. We’re going to take a short break when we come back. We will be handling your questions in our next segment. Welcome back to day two mates. I’m here with Francesca hoagie. She is the host of the podcast, dear Franny, yes, among other things, and she’s also a wonderful dating coach and I know you’ll be able to knock it out of the park with these questions that we have today. The first one comes to us from Jillian she says I’m a 46 year old divorce I should I pay for a dating app to get better results. I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks. This is a complicated question. Yeah, you and I both collaborate with a lot of dating apps. And we both were part of the dating experts that match com brought in for their summit. So I’m always like, careful just to let people know, I’m not going to endorse one app or another specifically or dog one dating app, or Yes, but save for this 46 year old


Franny  47:26  

dog eHarmony bound to be honest, and commenting. I know that you don’t. That’s just me. I know. That’s me. That’s


Franny  47:37  

Do you think that the free apps are not going to work so well for her? I think that I think that if you are drawing a blank, I think there’s probably something more going on there. So I would be really curious to see your profile I would really be curious to see the story that you’re you’re that you’re telling with your with your photos and your bio, and I would be very good. curious to know your strategy. Because most people are really bad at online dating, and paying for a dating app or dating, you know, website or whatever is not going to solve your poor online dating problems. That’s a good point.


Damona  48:15  

I mean, I usually say you get what you’re paid what you pay for. So if you’re on a free app, you’re getting people that have, there’s no such a low barrier for entry. Like you’re getting any and everything. And you’re going to have to sort through a lot more. But at the same time, it’s a good testing space, right.


Franny  48:36  

But even that is not working there. But even the paid apps have free options. Like Yeah, every paid app has a free option. So just the fact that you’re seeing someone on a paid app doesn’t even mean they’re paying. So there’s that they can’t communicate with you know, so communicate. So that’s so that’s and I know that some people get frustrated because they do pay for an app and then they’re sending you know, they’re like I’m still have to send all the messages are people aren’t read, you know, like so it there’s still a lot I think because there are so many free apps. It’s really democratized online dating. If this was five years ago, there, I think there might have been more of a difference. Certainly if it was 10 years ago, there would have been a difference but in 2020. So like I said, I’m not, I’m not saying don’t pay for an app, I’m saying that make sure that you’re that you’re actually using the right strategy and telling the right story with your profile, because that’s going to yield you better results than you know, paying for any you know, you can pay for every dating app that’s paid and still not get have any luck. So I don’t think that so I guess my point is, I don’t think that just because somebody is paying for an app, it means that they’re more serious or they’re better at online dating.


Damona  49:47  

Good point. And I have to add one more message to Jillian because she mentioned that she’s a 46 year old divorce a beautiful and Jillian I don’t want you for one second to think that you can’t find Match because you’re over 40 or because maybe because you’ve been married before it Megan Markel can do it you can do. Or I don’t know if you have kids or whatever. But whatever beliefs like we were talking about earlier that may be attached to what that means to you to be a 46 year old divorcee. let that go.


Franny  50:17  

Yeah, let it go. It’s not at all a hindrance to you finding an amazing partner. And I actually think that it’s I think all of these things that a lot of people consider to be baggage are actually really great litmus test, because the person who’s like, Oh, God, you’ve got kids, oh, god, you’re divorced. Great. Now I’ve seen you shown me that you’re not for me. So just be really authentic and, and lead with who you are. And don’t feel self conscious about it. Like you’re looking for the people who are specifically into you, like I think, you know, trying to be generic and be like, oh, and just, you know, like, just trying to have these ideas of like, what’s going to make you have mass appeal? Like it’s not about having mass appeal. It’s about having specific appeal to the people that you want to meet. Exactly, yeah.


Damona  50:59  

Quality over quantity 100% we only have time for one more. We have more questions. I promise you all. I will answer more questions next week. But this one came in from your network. This person said I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins, when and how can I date?


Franny  51:19  

So kind of what I said about the you know, really leaning in to your truth and not feeling self conscious about it. Look, if you’re a single mom with newborn twins, like is that going to weed out a lot of men? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s good, because you’re a single mom with newborn twins. So you need to be with somebody who’s okay with that. So it’s, it’s definitely going to be a challenge is for you to prioritize the time and all of that, but if you can do it, and you’re motivated to do it, it can 100% be done. Also. I’m a mom, as you guys know, I’ve never had twins. My sister has twins


Damona  51:55  

actually was their birthday last month and it’s Lot having twins and having newborns like I could barely brush my hair. I can’t imagine trying to date in that state. So also, I feel like there’s the messaging we’re talking about, like the fantasies and the messaging that we get. There’s this messaging, like, if you are a woman and you’re single, you failed your broken, life didn’t work out for you. And so even like this woman who has made this choice to have kids, and is in this newborn phase, is hearing that message of like, she’s got to be out there dating.


Franny  52:35  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you’re ready, when you feel ready,


Franny  52:38  

ready when you feel the right time when you feel like


Franny  52:41  

okay, I have the time I have the bandwidth. That’s when the time is and you have you battle to be sure hair. Yeah, I think she does. She does have help. So she’s not like totally on her own. So I


Damona  52:53  

mean, I had I had a nanny and a husband. Yeah, and one Child and I could barely keep my keep my act together. So I think it might not be the right time. It may not


Franny  53:06  

be the right timing, but if you can brush your hair if you can find the time to, but again, I think I think it’s being a single mom and dating. I think it’s good because again, you weeding out the men who aren’t interested in dating a single mom and it’s I think it can be something that’s really clarifying for you. Like, you know, maybe you had a lot of distraction and you were like, Oh, it’s okay that he’s like blah blah blah and flaky. It’s okay that he you know, you might have when you were when before you had kids, now you have kids, you’re like, Oh, hell no, I need somebody who’s going to show up, be consistent, you know, really be a partner. understand the challenges that of being a single mom supporting me through them, and then the cream will really rise to the top in that situation. Hmm,


Damona  53:48  

that’s really good advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you. Thank you for being here. you for having me. I really appreciate you being our first victim. I mean, guess


Franny  54:01  

554 February and to


Franny  54:03  

listen to all these episodes and see who answered the questions better than me.


Damona  54:06  

It’s got your this is like tough mark to be. I’m really curious to see how it changes from different perspectives. But you know, I love having your your insights and your perspective on the show. So thank you for being


Franny  54:18  

you. Thank you so much damona


Damona  54:21  

You can find Franny on the socials at dear frannie and make sure you check out her podcast dear frannie on all your favorite social media platforms and by the way, she has something very special for you six love mindset hacks. We were talking about this mindset and she will help you work through it and rewrite your mindset on love. So you can find that at Francesca hoagie calm, of course, we’ll put the link in the show notes. Or you can just text love hacks to 44 222 that’s 44 222 and for those of you who want more support and love for Valentine’s Day We will be launching you ready for this? A Patreon Friends with Benefits Program. On Valentine’s Day February 14, you’ll get access to exclusive behind the scenes content from the seven years of the show, you can become a part of bonus content club which will include my podcast, video and book recommendations. And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. Oh, and this for my really special top tier Fw B’s you can even get a dating profile analysis with tips tailored just for you on how to make your profile magnetic so that it draws in the right kind of dates. So I’ll tell you all about my new Patreon friends at benefits program on next week’s show. But in the meantime, get pumped. I can’t wait to have more opportunities to connect directly with each one of you. I hope you enjoyed Episode 295 of dates and dates again, I’m @DamonaHoffman on all the socials and I really want to hear Your love questions. Until next week, I wish you happy dating and happy almost Valentine’s Day.


Surviving The Holidays While Single

A Few Dating Dangers For Singles To Avoid This Holiday Season

Navigating the holidays can be hard when your parents keep asking why you’re still single. Top it all off with dating app fatigue, and Millennials & Gen Zers are ditching dating apps more than ever. But mostly, holiday dating app fatigue comes around due in large part to awkward questions from relatives.

How many times have you heard something on the order of, “Why are you still single” or “when are you going to settle down?” Be prepared for all of the awkward questions because you’re going to get them. 

If you don’t want to talk about why you’re single during the holidays, share all the accomplishments that you want to share instead of focusing on the negative. If all else fails and they just keep asking, tell them some of your bad date stories.

Here are a few tips on handling awkward conversations with relatives:

1. Stay optimistic about dating apps.

Dating apps are the most powerful tool in your dating tool box. If you’re feeling down about dating apps just remember this:

Now more than ever daters are finding love online. But regardless of this shift, people do tend to get down on dating apps around the holidays. Often parents and relatives don’t understand that online dating is the norm now. The latest news may not have helped that…

2. Tell your parents the dating apps aren’t dangerous.

You may have seen in the news that the safety of some of the best dating apps has been called into question. A recent investigation proved that registered sex offenders are finding victims through free dating apps and websites such as Tinder, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and more. 

This is terrifying. But, it’s also an opportunity to examine 1) which dating apps you are using and 2) how we are filtering potential dates

On episode #287 Dates & Mates, Damona discussed this with Rene Lynch, editor of LA Affairs in the LA Times. They break down this controversy: 

  • If you’re concerned about your safety, certain dating apps automatically use background checks against the sex offender registry – like Match. These are typically paid subscription dating apps that have the resources to filter for dangerous situations.
  • Do some research on your own! Before you meet your date in person:
    • Schedule a pre-date phone call or video chat & make sure that everything checks out.
    • A quick search on all social media platforms can tell you all you need to know about your match.
    • If something feels off to you, follow your intuition.

3. Think about dedicating some extra time to dating.

Damona always encourages daters to be proactive in finding love. And since we’re all on holiday, let’s take advantage of all the free time! A good rule of thumb is to dedicate five hours a week or more to your dating process.

4. If you’re experiencing dating app fatigue, take a break!

We have all been there. Sometimes you get tired of the seemingly endless and monotonous game of swiping. But once you take a step back, you realize that the dating apps are more than just swiping at faces. 

If you’re in a dating rut, make sure you take some time to regroup. As Damona says, it’s better to take a break than to bring the wrong energy into dating.

5. Revisit making IRL connections.

While you’re taking a break from dating apps, make an effort to meet people in real life and be more conscious about the kind of person you are looking for. You can actively search in relevant spaces where you can find potential matches with common interests. 

6. Where’s your match hiding?

If you’re looking for someone that has a professional career, you might want to go downtown at happy hour and chat up the people that work in those office buildings. Or if you’re looking for someone who has a big heart, try attending a charity event and places with people who make philanthropy a part of their lifestyle.

Do you have a dating resolution for next year? Reach out to us on socials (@DamonaHoffman on all platforms). Happy dating!

Master Class: First Dates


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

The topic this week? First Dates.

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

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

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

The Phone Call (4:00)

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

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

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

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


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

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

Get your First Date Starter Kit at FirstDateStarterKit.Com


Addiction & Love


What are the signs you might be in love with a junkie? How do you get your partner help? Dr. Cali Estes, an addiction therapist and life coach, tells us the truth about addiction and love on this week’s episode. Here’s the rundown:


The perfect day to kick off your dating game in 2019

Mark your calendars! According to Match, the best day to be online is Sunday, Jan 6th. Damona tells you why this is the best time to be online. 

Do you research your dates before you meet them?

According to a study done by JDP, 72% of people research their date before the first date. But is the behavior good for your date? Damona has thoughts.

The latest secret celebrity relationship

Spotted: Demi Lovato kissing her sober companion, Henry Levi, outside of Nobu last week. We had to call in the big guns for this one, people. Dr. Cali weighs in.


Dr. Cali Estes is an Addiction Therapist and Life/Corporate Coach who specializes in harm reduction and utilizes holistic approaches to treat addiction, as well as mental conditions holding her clients back from reaching their full potential. She has over 20 years of experience working with drug, alcohol and food addictions.

Her unique no-nonsense approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology and life coaching combine to provide the perfect support for an addict. Dr. Estes knows from personal experience the emotional and physical tolls that addiction takes on one’s psyche and physical well-being. We’re SO THANKFUL she joined us this week. We talked about A LOT:

  • The Signs that your loved one is a junkie (spoiler alert: They’re easy to miss)
  • What to do if your SO is a junkie
  • The best way to be supportive if your loved one is recovering
  • How to tell if a person is an addict from their dating app profile
  • How to tell if a person is recovering from their dating app profile
  • How to tell if a person is an addict when you’re on that first date
  • Are you an addict to sugar?
  • And so much more!


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

    • How do you avoid a co-dependent relationship?
    • How to get over the paranoia that your girlfriend is cheating on you
    • How to help your girlfriend get over her insecurities from her past relationship


On average people gain 2-5 lbs over the holidays. You can fight to get it off in January or you can stop the holiday heaviness before it starts by beginning a program with Beach Body on demand. Just go to DatesandMates.com and click the Beach Body Banner to get started.


Happy Halloween & Dating Horror Stories


The Pumpkin Spice Lattes are brewing, sweater weather is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for Damona’s favorite show of the year! It’s our annual Halloween Horror Stories episode where we hear the worst dates you’ve experienced. Here’s the rundown:


This former celebrity online dater is knocked up

Amy Schumer has found love and is starting a family! She announced her pregnancy in a super adorable and politically savvy way. Congratulations Amy – and watch out Markle – you’ve got competition. Check out her baby announcement here! 

The real reason people stay in bad relationships

For a long time we thought that people stayed in bad relationships because they had a fear of being single. According to two new studies, there may be a different reason. Damona breaks it down in today’s episode.


What your sex fantasies say about you

Henry Lehmiller, a sociologist and research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, did a study on American fantasies and found that our fantasies have a lot to do with our personality. Damona and Producer Leah discuss what this study says about you.



Today Damona and Producer Leah heard from you about your worst dating experiences. Thank you to Tavishya, Troy, Amber, Brett Allen of the Open Mic Podcast, and the amazing Karrine Steffans for sharing their experiences! These are not your average Halloween Horror Stories. These stories include: 

  • Fireworks and Muggles
  • Men who sing about barbecue
  • The old gas money trick
  • And a blind date who needs a ride…from the airport

Do you have a dating horror story we haven’t heard yet? Tweet us or let us know in the comments below!


We got you! Impress your date with a home cooked meal. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. With Green Chef, home cooking has never been so simple. All the ingredients are delivered right to your door and every order comes with easy to use instructions. Don’t miss out! Green Chef  is giving Dates & Mates fans $50 off your first order at GreenChef.us/datesandmates.

Dating Safety & You’ve Got Mail



In honor of #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth, we’ve got important tips on how to date safely in today’s online dating climate. Evin Rose, dating and love life transformation coach for millennial women, returns to co-host this week’s episode. Here’s the rundown:


Ariana gave back the ring, but kept the pig

Ariana and Pete Davidson have called it quits, TMZ reports. Even though this isn’t surprising, we are sad for them. Ariana has been going through a lot, but Pete’s comedy may have something to do with the split. Do you think that his jokes go too far?

Hillary Clinton defends Bill Clinton’s affair

Hillary Clinton is in hot water this week after defending Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. According to Hillary, Bill’s affair was not an abuse of power because Monica was an adult. We have thoughts.


Has anyone ever told you that you look like your BF? 

You’re not the only one. According to the HuffPost, there is an actual scientific reason why. Damona and Evin look into the Theory of Assortative Mating and explain why Brad Pitt looks like every one of his girlfriends. 

Dating App algorithms are limiting your options

Some apps are filtering out your matches based on race, according to the Chicago Tribune. In this episode, Damona and Evin tell you why this happens and what you can do to broaden your options.


For dating safety tips we welcomed Elise Oberliesen, LA times contributor and author of the Times’ article 7 safety tips to remember for online dating. Damona, Evin, and Elise talked about:

  • Dating Scams and Dangerous Online Dates
  • Dating Safety Tips
  • When to be cautious
  • Red Flags to look out for
  • Listening to your intuition
  • How to tell your if match is a catfish
  • What to do before you meet in person
  • When to give out your contact info?
  • If you met online, should you go home with them on the first date?
  • How online etiquette has changed since #MeToo

This is one segment you don’t want to miss. While catfish situations and dating scams aren’t the norm, it’s important to always be in the know about what you need to look out for. Like Elise says, remember to always listen to your intuition and if a date seems too good to be true, then it’s time to be cautious.


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 ask your college professor out?
  • What does it mean when your boyfriend tells you he’s asexual?
  • What do you do when you want your husband to be more spontaneous?


Did you know that online dating had it’s origins in the 60s? Even before Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made online dating popular in You’ve Got Mail, people started the online dating trend with something called “computer dating”. Damona gives us a dating history lesson.

To get Beachbody on demand free for 14 days, click the banner at DatesandMates.com. There you can also join the Dates & Mates listening community.

Read more of Elise Oberliesen’s work on Twitter @eliseannette or check out her Instagram @eliseoberliesen

You can join Evin’s Empowered Dating Community on Facebook @empowereddatingwithevinrose. She’s @evinrose on Instagram and online at EvinRoseCoaching.com

To Rome for Love & The Aziz Effect

Our guest co-host this week was Diann Valentine. An internationally acclaimed wedding and event planner and interior designer, author of the book Going the Distance for Love, and love expert on the new Bravo series, To Rome for Love, Diann sat with us to dish the scoop on her show and tackle user questions in Technically Dating.



What drink should you order on a first date?

The British dating app Trueview conducted a survey of its users to see what drink is best to order on a first date. Surprisingly, beer and cider got low ratings, but wine of all kinds got top marks. Want to know what you should never, ever order? Well, you’ll just have to catch up with our episode to find out. You can read the original article via Nottingham Post here.

The strange dating rule that says men should date someone half their age plus seven

This old adage is commonly accepted, but where exactly did it come from and why? Well, this week we looked into it and found out that it’s credited to Max O’Rell in a book on dating from 1901. It seems women are generally “allowed” to date men up to 15 years older than them, but men are frowned upon for dating older women. What do you think? Should you set a minimum age you’ll date, or is it all up to how you connect? You can read more via Independent here.

Is Aziz guilty of sexual assault, or just being a bad date?

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard about the recent scandal involving Aziz Ansari. Long story short: Aziz took a woman home after a few drinks and she has stated that his behavior was predatory and made her uncomfortable. However, many women are claiming that this story is simple one of a bad date, and that the account is damaging the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Where do you stand? You can read more via CNN here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • How to tell if you’re being invited to a booty call
  • How to date as a tomboy
  • What to do if your date asks what you want to do in your future and you’re not quite sure

And many more . . .


We got Diann’s lightning-fast love advice in another rapid-fire rendition of Dating Dot Dot Dot, this time with new questions!

The worst pickup line ever is ________
The best place to go on a first date is ________
The sexiest thing about a woman is __________
The sexiest thing about a man is _________
The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is __________

Get 1 week free at http://BlackPeopleMeet.com/datesandmates

Apply for Damona’s dating coaching program at http://DateByNumbers.com

Try the Textpert App “Drama Solved Anonymously” https://www.textpertapp.com


Love at First Sight & Chemistry Conundrum

Our guest co-host this week was Ryeal Simms. A cognitive neuropsychologist, behaviorist, motivational speaker, and the worldwide authority on the neuroscience of relationships, Ryeal and his work have appeared on everything from Stevie Wonder’s Hollywood radio station, to the U.K.’s Real Love Show, to Essence Magazine, to NPR. Currently writing his book series on the neuroscience of relationships, Ryeal gave us some cold, hard science in his discussion of the chemistry of love.


Chinese dating apps shut down in sexbot scam

Over 21 dating apps were shut down across 13 provinces in China after it was revealed that messages from women were being generated by computer programs. Technical personnel working for the apps would create “sexy girl” programs and have them lure new users into spending money on gifts and raunchy images. However, even the authorities were blown away by how real the messages felt, which explains why they were able to scam users out of $154 million! You can read more via BBC here.

Would you take advice from your Amazon Echo?

From January 14th until Valentine’s Day, Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, Alexa, will offer dating advice to those who ask in a partnership with matchmaking company Three Day Rule. However, some users are worried, as Alexa won’t have any practical grasp on tips it gives. For example, if it tells you to talk to a minimum of three women at a bar, how can it advise you on how to read their body language, consent, etc? You can read more to see if you’d take dating advice from a virtual assistant via The Verge here.

The first celebrity split of 2018

Last week we reported on the first celebrity couple to get together, but alas, the five-year journey that GIRLS star Lena Dunham and singer/songwriter Jack Antonoff went on is over. The split is amicable, but we’ll be sad to see the couple leave the news cycle. However, the writing may have been on the wall . . . back in November of 2017, Dunham thought Antonoff was going to propose, only to be sorely mistaken. You can read more via ET here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • Why you haven’t met your boyfriend’s parents
  • How early in a relationship it’s appropriate to bicker
  • If nude pictures of an ex constitutes cheating

And many more . . .


We got Ryeal’s lightning-fast love advice in another rapid-fire rendition of Dating Dot Dot Dot, this time with new questions!

The worst pickup line ever is ________
The best place to go on a first date is ________
The sexiest thing about a woman is __________
The sexiest thing about a man is _________
The most important thing for a relationship to last is __________

Don’t forget to register for Damona’s women’s group program, DATE BY NUMBERS. All you have to do is head to DATE BY NUMBERS . COM.