Modern Day Magic & Big Red Flags


Happy Halloween Lovers! This is one of my favorite times of year because of all the magic in the air.


FACT: Everyone has magic and intuition. You just need to learn how to use it to attract your highest love.

Today I’m talking to Astrologer Rachel Lang, author of the new book Modern Day Magic about all this magic in the air and how you can use it in your love life. 

This is going to be a really powerful episode and you will leave today with some simple and effective rituals and techniques to help you find your intuition, visualize your match, and make some modern day love magic for yourself.


(2:07) Couples Halloween costumes for you and your cutie

As Halloween parties are coming back this year, this is a PEAK moment to impress with your couple’s Halloween costume. It doesn’t even have to be with a romantic partner – you can do this with your BFF! Now you can go classic with a Disney prince and princess, but what I’m looking forward to are all the opportunities for *topical* costumes this year – I’m talking Cassandra and Ryan from Promising Young Woman (upcycle your “sexy nurse” costume with all the right accessories), Wanda and Vision in one of the many TV universes they visit, or if you’re going solo, Kim K at this year’s Met Gala.


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A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian)

IMO it’s a perfect COVID safe look.

I’ll be sticking with the topical theme this year and going as a song from Bo Burnham’s comedy special Inside – with tiny pumpkins, comfy socks, and a bobblehead of Ruth Bader Ginsberg (check out my IG on Halloween if you can guess).  If you know, you know.

(5:57) Red flags so you avoid your own dating horror story:

Usually around this time of year, we will cover your Halloween dating horror stories. But considering we’ve all been living in a horror story for this last year and a half, let’s cover some red flags so you are prepped to avoid your OWN dating horror story. I covered these on The Drew Barrymore Show this past week with Drew and Alicia Silverstone, but you can never be too prepared…

So let’s play “Flag or No Flag?”

Their profile has a long list of things they want in a partner…

NOT a red flag – having a long list means they’ve put thought into what they want in a partner. And when you know which qualities you’re looking for, you’re more likely to find someone who fits that criteria. However, if they have a long list of things they DON’T want in a partner, that can often be a red flag that they’ve got some baggage. 

Their profile is only pics, no text…

RED FLAG – I think we’ve all seen a blank, pic-only profile at some point, and it doesn’t bode well. A profile with no text usually comes from either a catfish, or someone who isn’t using dating apps with intent. People who are really looking for a relationship will put some effort into writing their profile. And even if they do want a relationship, with nothing written in the profile, it’s hard to know if they’re a good match (plus you’ll waste a lot of time having to draw the info out of them). 

They message you with a generic opening line like “hey”…

NOT a red flag – but, they could be doing more. To get someone’s attention, they should put forward more effort. My formula for a great opening line is always “comment + question” – comment on something in their profile, and follow up with a question that’d require more than a yes/no response. But if you want to test if they are genuine beyond the first “hey,” respond with something cheeky like “hey hay, do you love horses too?” or “I love a hey, but I have a burning question for you: [insert burning question here].” If they reply with something more original, explore the convo! But if they still aren’t giving you much, let ‘em go.

Watch the full “red flag” segment with Drew and Alicia here.


Modern Day (Love) Magic (9:40)

I’m with Rachel Lang, professionally certified astrologer, Reiki Master, intuitive, and medium. She’s been featured in LVBX Magazine, Bustle, Huffpost, Well+Good, Romper, Elite Daily, PopSugar and more. Now she’s the author of the amazing book Modern Day Magic: 8 Simple Rules to Realize Your Power and Shape Your Life.

She is my personal astrologer and friend and I absolutely love having her back on Dates & Mates!

(12:02) What is magic and do you have it? Rachel says part of the purpose of her book Modern Day Magic is to redefine what “magic” means in today’s context – because I know that some people may hear the word and instantly have an aversion to the topic. Many of us think of magic as something more from storybooks and something we can’t access ourselves. But Rachel says the exact opposite – she says that magic is really just the creative and connective energy that we all already have within us, it’s what makes us feel connected to each other and the earth. 

(18:22) Using magic to set intentions and find your highest love: With every magical process, it is equal parts intention and attention – meaning, it’s not enough just to say what you want, you have to actively be shifting your energy and attention towards that result. So for Rachel, she first started working with magic because she wanted to be in love. She had to set her intentions of meeting her soulmate from a place of feeling really integrated, and able to clearly listen to her heart. As for the attention aspect, we want to spiral our intentions out into the world and have them go beyond our body/aura, send them into the earth and “into the heart of the Divine.”

In Rachel’s case, she practiced manifesting her partner through writing love letters to her future wife, and imagining her heartstrings connecting to her. But – Rachel says that we want to avoid obsessing over the end result of our intentions, because this hyper focuses us on not having that thing yet and will make it hard for us to see when the opportunity from our intentions makes itself known to us (i.e. the soulmate you’ve been conjuring could be standing right in front of you).

(23:43) Fear blocks our magic: Rachel says fear can keep us from accessing the depth of our intuition and keeps us from the clarity of knowing what we want (we may even be afraid of the thing that we want). But the solution is not finding a way to get rid of the fear, but to step into it and go as far into it as you can. Fear is energy. If you tap into that energy and use it as fuel, you can move forward full-speed and make things happen for yourself (tapping into that creative power, as mentioned before). Damona also adds that fear helps you because it tells you when you care about something or someone – if you didn’t feel fear, there would be nothing at stake, but that’s not where the best growth comes from.

(30:56) Knowing your inner Yes and No: If you take away anything from Rachel’s book, she says that honing into your intuition, and knowing your inner Yes and No, can answer any question in life. A lot of this comes from body awareness and taking the time to get to know the cues for what feels right and wrong for you. Because magic is “a body-centered spiritual practice,” having deeper body awareness lets our body be our “divination tool.” And Rachel does an exercise with Damona to practice this:

  1. Put your hand on your chest, around your heart area (below the collarbone and above the rib cage).
  2. Ask yourself a yes or no question.
  3. Feel the way your body reacts to this question, and feel if it is a Yes or No to you.
    • Rachel says that when her body is saying Yes, she will sway or lean forward, like leaning into the question. When her body says No, she will lean backwards and away from the question.
    • Damona says in her body, it feels more like leaning right or left.

Check out Rachel’s book, Modern Day Magic, here!


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

  • Email from Nicholas – Hi Damona, I’ll start by saying I’m a heterosexual 31 year old African American male. Everything is going well for me currently, I got accepted into grad school and I don’t have much problem finding work. Anyway, one thing that’s not happening for me is dating. That’s pretty much nonexistent. Now I do prefer African American women, but I’m open to all ethnicities of women if there’s a spark and sincere interest. But one thing I noticed while being in the dating game even online is that mostly non-black women (read: white) contact me, and these women tend to only have only a high school diploma. Why aren’t I attracting African American women? Offline my experience dating is pretty much the same. I get much more interest from foreign women. Again, missing from this equation is African American women. Why am I having such a hard time dating? Is it that New York doesn’t have a good dating scene, or is it something more baneful? How can I put my best foot forward in terms of showcasing my best person to attract the best mate I can? Thanks.
  • Instagram Message from “Not Pleased in New England” – Dear Damona, love your podcast! Here’s a question. I am fully vaccinated and only hang out with a few fully vaccinated friends. In an attempt to meet people organically offline, I was trying to get out more on weekends with these friends. One of them was recently sick with covid symptoms (didn’t tell me), and it turned out she had pneumonia AND covid, and then gave ME symptomatic covid even though we were entirely outdoors (but not 6 feet apart). I live in a multigenerational household and I cannot put everyone through this again. So my question is – how can I even date like this? Use a 6 foot separation stick outdoors until they swear exclusivity??? Hazmat suits?? This is insane. Signed, Not Pleased in New England

Breakup Rebrand & The Ultimate Cuffing Szn


I get a lot of questions about the rules of dating amidst a big breakup. Especially during a divorce, can you date someone who is separated but still legally married? And how can you get back out there after divorce and avoid making the same relationship mistake again?


Today, divorce lawyer Jacqueline Newman is here with tips on how to date during a divorce, and the steps you need to take when dating after a breakup as detailed in her book, The New Rules of Divorce: Twelve Secrets to Protecting Your Wealth, Health and Happiness.



(1:55) Getting cuffed for the holidays: Cuffing season is upon us – which means a new study from Mashable about cuffing with a breakdown on this year’s season of love.

Now if you don’t know, “cuffing season” ranges from around the beginning of October to Valentine’s Day, and refers to wanting to settle down more in dating (read: cuff-up with someone for the colder months.) There are a number of factors that make us consider long-term relationships around this time: 

  • Family gatherings and prying questions from grandma about your dating life
  • Less sun exposure so we’re biologically less motivated seek connection
  • Seasonal affective disorder and an uptick of feelings of loneliness

The Mashable study surveyed 2,000 American adults, and 71% said they’re more interested in long-term relationships now compared to pre-pandemic (which we saw in another study D&M covered by OK Cupid). 

Logan Ury (Relationship Scientist from Hinge previously featured on D&M) says in the article, this means “you can skip the small talk and have a really interesting conversation,” and go in on a deeper level. HOWEVER, this can lead to burnout very quickly, especially if you’re putting emotional energy into every person you may have an ounce of chemistry with. 

My advice: stay in the game, and don’t run at the first sign of conflict. We have to push through the moments where we feel like giving up because we’ve put 100% of ourselves into dating apps with zero payoff. Try to swipe a little more liberally to increase the amount of conversations you’re starting, but be more vigilant with your screening process of who you’d actually like to meet in person. Remember – it’s just a conversation, not a marriage commitment 



(8:14) How to dating with Social Anxiety

Dating can feel impossible at times if you experience social anxiety – but trust me you are not alone. Especially after a whole year sans cultural appropriation, no one feels 100% comfortable in person anymore.

This article from Psychology Today covers a study published in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology which examined the impact of social anxiety and depression on adult relationships.

I was inspired by this article to find some tips to calm your mind when going on dates:

  • Read up on some interesting facts or current events this way, you’ll have topics on the back burner in case the conversation gets quiet. I also encourage you to have stories that you want to share about yourself on the date, in case your mind goes blank.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself instead of feeling bad when there are lulls in the conversation, use it as an opportunity to ask a question on a topic that you know the other person is interested in, or one where you’re curious for their opinion.
  • Get comfortable with silence instead of feeling pressure to fill the silence or assume that this means you’re not doing your part, wait and see if the other person steps in to fill it. Conversations, much like relationships, are a two-way street. Remember that not all the responsibility is on you. 
  • Excuse yourself for a moment if your anxiety gets triggered, excuse yourself and find a quiet place to regroup. If you’re at a restaurant, for example, leave to use the restroom and spend the next couple of minutes doing some deep breathing exercises. The more you can get in touch with your body and the present moment, the more relieved you will feel. This also works with getting in touch with your senses. Fill in these blanks in your head: I see, I hear, I feel, I smell. 




I’m joined by Jaqueline Newman, the Managing Partner at a top law firm in Manhattan. She specializes in complex high net worth matrimonial cases and also in negotiating prenuptial agreements. She’s the go-to for divorce advice and has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times, and so much more.

She tells us where she sees relationships go wrong and how to rebrand yourself after a breakup.

(14:58) What really causes divorce?: Jacqueline gives two main reasons: failed expectations, and communication and not being able to “fight well.”

Everyone loves the honeymoon phase of a relationship, but it’s inevitable that couples will get into disagreements. According to Jacqueline, what really matters is how you get through those disagreements. A big part of this is tabling your emotions during a disagreement – people can forgive, but they don’t forget. 

From a divorce perspective, if you say some really harsh things to your partner in the heat of the moment, this has serious consequences for your relationship and will likely come up in divorce proceedings. So don’t hit below the belt, avoid name-calling, and don’t push the buttons that you know would really hurt the other person. Remember: if you do find yourself getting emotionally charged, separate yourself from the conversation until you can think more clearly.

(20:10) Someone’s gotta wash the dishes: Can you relate? Jacqueline hates doing the dishes. She would always ask her husband to do them, they would never get done, and this would lead to an argument. 

They eventually found a compromise: from the time Jacqueline asked her husband to do the dishes, he would have a 24 hour window to get them done. In that time period, she couldn’t ask or nag him about the dishes at all. In this case, Jacqueline compromised by asking her husband how much time HE needed to get the dishes done. 

(23:12) Social media sets up our expectations: Failed expectations are a big reason for divorce. Jacqueline says that social media is mainly responsible for this. Even though we all have a sense that what other people post is not the whole picture, it can be really easy to compare our lives to Facebook posts. The bar we set for our relationship is so unrealistically high that when things get hard in our own relationships it brings up a lot of self-doubt, anger, and resentment. 

(26:08) When is the right time to start dating amidst divorce?: Before getting divorced AT ALL, Jacqueline will ask her clients “are you sure you want to get divorced?” 

If she hears even a nanosecond of hesitation, she will tell her clients to go to marriage counseling first. Getting divorced takes a huge financial and emotional toll, and it’s hard to turn back. So you need to be absolutely sure before going through with it.

HOT TAKE: As far as dating, Jacqueline says that she thinks dating during the divorce process is okay but who you are dating should not meet your kids. The point is to move forward with your life as much as possible. 

Plus, she encourages you to celebrate if your ex is dating someone new, because a happier person makes for an easier divorce. Seriously, it’s a lot harder to divorce a bitter person.

(29:46) Finances in non-marriage: Mixing finances with your partner when you’re not married can become a bit more complicated. Jacqueline says to check your state’s laws on finances because some states such as New York will not acknowledge common-law marriages (i.e. without having formally registered the relationship as a civil or religious marriage). Although things like child support remain practically the same, things you would otherwise be entitled to, such as asset growth or spouse support, would not be required of the other person by law. 

(35:50) Living your post-divorce life: A lot of opportunities exists post-divorce since you’ve undoubtedly grown and learned a lot in the process. Jacqueline asks that if you’ve just been divorced, prioritize self-care.

The divorces process is a tiring one, especially if a custody battle or a lot of negotiating was involved. Make sure that you’ve fully healed and taken the time to know yourself again so that you can go into dating or a relationship and be able to give as much love as you have for yourself. Also, consider making a 5-year plan for yourself so you are really clear on where you want your life to go from here and on the kind of person you want to be.

Be sure to get a copy of Jacqueline’s book here.


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

  • Email from Anonymous – Hey Damona! So, I recently started dating someone. We texted for about a week, quite a bit. We had a first date, which was great and I felt we connected. We subsequently have had 6 dates (in two weeks), 3 of which were at his home just hanging out. Completely G-rated. How can I find out if he still wants to pursue a relationship with me, since I feel like his texts have cooled down the past few days. I thought things were going really well. Also, I was upfront at the beginning that my ex is in the process of moving out after this whole pandemic thing… Thanks!
  • Voice Message from Jon – Hi, this is Jon and I have a question for Damona Hoffman. So I’ve been seeing this guy for about 2 months now and we met on tinder, and I feel that we definitely have a connection. We’re able to make each other smile, make each other laugh, particularly when we converse in text, FaceTime and phone calls. I even hear him say that he misses me, particularly when he goes out of town on trips. And when he was on a trip to Cabo, he sent me a text saying that he was accepting husband applications, and so you can kind of see how I would take that, that we’re taking it possibly to the next level. So I said that he was my boyfriend. Well, I got a text from him, and it quotes: “Listen, we have to talk. I don’t want to talk anytime before that because I have to get ready for my meeting tomorrow. Walked into lies and they were all congratulating me on my new boyfriend, and while I’m flattered, this is far from what I wanted and at the speed I needed. We are exclusive and I’m not seeing anyone else. I feel it’s far too soon for that title, we’ve collectively spent two weekends together. I really think we need to pump the brakes a lot. I’m not appreciating the liberties you’re taking with these things. Honestly, I’m flattered and I know these aren’t malicious, but these are things I’m looking for in my relationship. It’s about talking about these things and making sure we are both clear. I think I need to take a break and I’ve cancelled my trip for the 14th.” – meaning that he was planning a trip to visit me in North Carolina – “That doesn’t change the fact that I like you, but I need to pause.” So the next day, he called me and we had a conversation. He told me that he wanted a break and that this was not a break-up, however after 7 days I still have not heard from him. I’m getting a little bit of anxiety and allowing my fear to manifest, and think that this is more of a break-up as opposed to a break. So my question is, is this a break? And if so, how long should I allow a certain amount of time before I start to think, if anything, that it’s a break-up. I would love your insight, thank you!

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Mini Masterclass: Worthy In Love

Worthy In Love

Today’s episode is part of the Worthy in Love Podcast Tour. A little bit about this podcast tour before we get started:

Every day for two weeks, the tour will feature a different episode from a different podcast that gives listeners actionable advice on feeling worthy and attracting a healthy partnership.

You’ll get to different perspectives on how to actually feel worthy in love. Veronica has specially curated this list of podcasts to ensure that you get the most actional, BS-free support to help you feel more worthy in love. 

Yesterday’s episode was over on the Language of Adventurous Singles podcast, hosted by Kira SabinTomorrow’s episode is over on the Relax Into Love Podcast with Teal Elisabeth. (Check out the whole event at

And today it’s me! I’m kicking off the show today with a mini-masterclass on how to feel worthy on dating apps. As our past guest, Veronica Grant, who organized this Love Pod Tour says: There’s so much advice out there about “loving yourself first” in order to attract love. While that kind of advice is rooted in truth, it’s vague and ultimately unhelpful.” And we want to drill down to specific advice that you can put into action to shift how you feel about yourself and your prospects on love.

As an online dating coach of over 15 years, I feel like it’s important to speak to dating up frustration, dating app burnout, and the patterns we have on dating apps that ultimately make us feel worse than if we had never swiped at all

I’ve seen the effect of ghosting and rejection on the apps affect my client’s feelings of worthiness so today I want to talk to you about how to make the apps work for you and go into online dating with the mindset that will attract what you’re looking for rather than leaving you defeated

In today’s mini-masterclass, I explain:

  • why ghosting happens
  • how to stop it
  • how dating apps impact your perceived prospects in love
  • how app addiction plays with your brain chemistry
  • and how to reduce feelings of rejection

I can’t wait for you to hear this masterclass because you are worthy of love and I can’t wait to help you on your journey!

Top Single Cities & Mind-Body Connection


You’ve heard me say that initial attraction and chemistry are not indicators of long-term compatibility and that true chemistry will build over time. Today we’re talking about how to build that authentic connection in this fast-paced world with Tziporah Kingsbury. 

She’s a Somatic Intimacy and Human Connection Specialist, author, and breathwork trainer. Trust me, this interview changed the way that I think about mind-body connection and I hope you learn something, too. But first, as always, we have headlines:


(1:26) Singles on the East Coast have it pretty good.

A new study from examined Bumble data from 100 US cities to determine the Best Cities for Singles in 2021. They weighed four key factors — dating satisfaction, social satisfaction, dating affordability, and percentage of singles. 

Coming in at number one was Washington DC – with nearly half the city being single – and ranked second was Boston. College towns were also ranked higher for dating, due to the higher than average numbers of marriage-minded singles who stick around town after graduation. 

Hot tip from me to you: Regardless of where your city has ranked on this list, it’s all about using the information you have about your city and harnessing the right tools in your dating plan. You can find love anywhere.


(4:18) Can’t stop oversharing on first dates and then worrying that you overshared?

Don’t worry. According to the New York Times, you are not alone. We tend to overshare when our brain is working overtime to handle emotional strain. If you are managing stress, exhaustion, or nerves, you might find yourself sharing more with an acquaintance than you normally would. 

When you spend all your mental resources managing one thing, you are left with less willpower to manage what you say. The perfect storm for one complicated first date, amiright?


Fear not! We can avoid these situations by practicing self-control. Here are some tips from NYT and me:

  • Check in with how much you’re talking — ask the other person more questions.
  • Know which topics you want to talk about, and the topics to avoid. 
  • Even if you overshared, you can simply apologize or veer the conversation to a lighter topic.
  • Or if THEY have overshared, you can brighten up the mood by extending kindness and compassion by acknowledging what they said — this is an opportunity to practice Empathetic Dating. 
  • And above all, remember that information needs to be earned!



I sit down with Tziporah Kingsbury, somatic intimacy specialist and author of Revolutionizing Intimacy: Navigating Connection in a Disconnected World. You’ve seen her work on The Bachelor where she teaches her clients how to dig deep in their mind-body connection and to use their body intelligence for love. 

Today she’s going to explain how your body seeks connection and how breathwork can help you on your journey to find your soulmate.

(10:58) What is a Somatic Intimacy Specialist?: If therapy is about the mind reacting to our environment, somatic therapy is working with how the body reacts to our environment. According to Tziporah, we hold our history in our body. So how do we become more aware of what we’re storing? That’s where somatic therapy comes in. Tziporah’s big piece of advice is to slow down – when we can slow down enough to be in touch with our physiological responses in the body, we can more clearly identify what’s being stored and where.

(13:19) How to clear the tension we’re holding in our bodies: When we feel tension in our bodies that may be holding us back, we can always realign ourselves by going back to the breath, found in what Tziporah calls our “energy chi.” We can 

(17:54) Creating intimacy without oversharing: The pace of dating has become much quicker these days, which makes authenticity a lot harder to cultivate. So how do we check ourselves to make sure that we are coming from a place of vulnerability and not emotionally dumping? Well vulnerability isn’t about opening the floodgates as quickly as possible – vulnerability is about being authentic, and authenticity is how we become closer to the people that we’re with. So if you’re on a date and you’re extremely nervous, express that to the other person! Tziporah also advises us to do the work to be grounded in who you are, so you don’t need to put your needs on somebody else. That way, instead of asking “do I trust the other person enough to be open with them,” we are asking if we trust ourselves enough to open up.

(23:34) Finding the “yes”: We have so much attachment to the word “no” as rejection, but Tziporah encourages us to use “no” as an opportunity to discover more possibilities of intimacy. A “no” creates a “yes” to something else, and it’s up to us to find what that is. For instance, if you tell your partner “I don’t want to have sex today,” you can both then ask, “what can we do to feel good today?” Hiking, cuddling, drawing together – so many possibilities reveal themselves when you look. And remember, someone’s “no” has nothing to do with you.

(29:29) How do we breathe, anyway?: Tziporah describes that each one of us has a conditioned breath pattern, cultivated in our body based on our life stories. So for us to get back in touch with ourselves, we have to bring the breath back to how it was when we were born – extremely open, effortless, and uncontrolled. We can do this by sitting on a chair with our back supported, placing our palms firmly on the lowest part of the belly, and taking deep, flowing breaths through the mouth. When we let go of controlling the breath, not only does our nervous system feel safer since we are more grounded in our body, but we are able to breathe through whatever pain we are holding. Because “the only reason we control our breath is not to feel.” 

Check out Tziporah’s free gift for Dates & Mates listeners, a chart for emotional literacy and you can join her FB Group here.



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

  • Email from Mel – How do you know when it’s time to move on? I’ve been seeing this guy for five months. I really like him but we don’t see each other as much as I like, and I would like more! And he’s still seeing other people. I know you said slow love, but is it time to move on and stop wasting my time?
  • Voice Message from Anonymous – Hi Damona, I’m a single mom and I began dating an amazing guy about a month ago. I feel so connected emotionally in a way that I haven’t before. We joke and say that we’re basically the same person but my concern is that he is a superBachelor. He is about my age, so late thirties, and he’s told me that he’s not sure if he’s ready for a family. His family life was not the best growing up and he said that’s just not anything he really envisioned for himself based on the experiences that he had growing up. So I don’t want to get into a relationship with the expectation that my partner is going to change but I know this is sort of A New Concept for him. I’m okay with giving him a little time to think it through, and he has expressed that he’s open to the idea. But he’s just not sure – my question is how much time is appropriate to give him before I need an answer? There’s a lot of wonderful things about this relationship, but I need someone who will not only accept but love and care for my son, and I just don’t know if I’m setting myself up for heartbreak.

Marriage Ain’t For Punks & Relationship Minimalism



Today’s episode is for anyone who has ever felt burned out by swipe culture…

Anyone who thinks that the one may have gotten away…

Anyone who strives to be the best partner they can be in a relationship…

You’re in for a treat because our guest today is the one and only Pastor Calvin Roberson.

You probably know him as Pastor Cal, the marriage expert on LifeTime’s hit TV show Married At First Sight. He’s also now the author of the new book Marriage Ain’t For Punks. He’s going to talk to us about how to get out of the swipe momentum and find a relationship you actually want to stick with and work on.



The Definitive Guide to Digitally Ditching Your Ex

Now that technology is irrevocably intertwined with your day to day, you can’t ignore the fact that your ex could have access to you digitally. No fear! Metro UK has published some tips on the matter:

  • Change your passwords – Do you really want them mooching off your Netflix account for all eternity?
  • Realize it’s normal to snoop, even if the relationship ended amicably – check your social media privacy settings
  • Remove all of your accounts from their devices
  • Reset your home smart devices
  • In extreme cases, check for stalkerware



Relationship Minimalism: Is it for you?

Relationship Minimalism: cutting down on relationships that don’t serve you in order to avoid unnecessary emotional engagement with the world around you. Do you have any relationships – romantic or otherwise – that cause emotional clutter? Damona breaks down this movement and how to determine if Relationship Minimalism is for you according to an article published in The Guardian.




Damona interviews Pastor Calvin Roberson from Lifetime’s hit show Married At First Sight. 

He’s been a marriage counselor for over 20 years and now he’s the author of his first book, Marriage Ain’t For Punks. And we ain’t punks – so obviously, we need all his secrets to find a forever relationship:

How to find marriage material

When to know if a relationship is worth your time

Do people even take commitment seriously anymore?

And so much more!

Here’s a sneak peek published on Damona’s Instagram:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Damona Hoffman (@damonahoffman)

You can find more of Pastor Cal on Instagram @iamcalvinroberson and make sure to pick up your copy of Marriage Ain’t For Punks!


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

  • Voicemail: I appreciate your podcast so much and just your optimism and and I’ve just got a situation here. So I’ve been seeing this guy for about six months now and last week. He told me that he felt like something was missing and we talked through it off. We need a but I really don’t know how to proceed from here. Like is there anything I can do to like help them figure out what that thing is if I have it? I I mean, I feel like this is a common thing with guys sometimes and I’m just at a loss here and yeah little little torn up about it. I appreciate any advice you can give thanks.
  • Email: How to say that you are looking for someone smart and educated without sounding like you’re too serious or elitist? I want chemistry but I also want someone who can hold a conversation

So Relatable & Your Best Dating App


At this point in the pandemic, Let’s admit that some of us have kind of forgotten our social skills and need a little practice. It’s not just you, it’s everyone, I feel it, too.


That’s why we brought in a friend of the show, Rachel DeAlto, to teach us how to relate and be relatable again. Not only is she Match’s Chief Dating Expert, she’s also the author of a brand new book called “Relatable: How to Connect with Anyone Anywhere Even If It Scares You.” So she knows her stuff.

But first, Damona gives a Mini Master Class *Snack* on how to pick the best dating app for you, based on the category of each app and the types of people that use them.


This episode is brought to you by Damona’s Dating Accelerator Program. The new and improved 10-week version of her most popular group coaching program is launching at the end of the month! If you are ready to level up your love life, you could be the perfect fit for the Dating Accelerator Group Program.

Check it out at



“Damona, what’s the best dating app?” 


Damona’s here with all the answers. Instead of headlines, this week Damona swoops in with a bird’s eye view of the various dating app types so that you can figure out which ones will work best for you.


Damona says that right now, the strategy that works best for her clients is a process she calls Cycling. With cycling, you start out on one app and one app only for 4 to 6 weeks. You swipe, chat, and date on that app until you start to feel a lull in momentum and then you cycle to another app for 4 to 6 weeks. Then it’s back to app A where you can see fresh matches again.

But which app should you start with? Well that depends. Here’s an outline of the 4 types of apps, the people that like them, and the common traps of each one.

(3:02) Traditional – like Match, Plenty of Fish, or OkCupid

These are traditional dating sites and apps that provide a lot of opportunities and give you a chance to try out a bunch of different matches. Everything is on the menu! However, they do require a clear process and strategy to filter out the desired matches out of thousands of possibilities.

Type of Dater: You like options. You need a dating app that has tons of possibilities and different ways to search through your options. 

  • The 3 Traps:
    • Spending too many frustrating hours filtering to find the best people – hello maximizers, I see you.
    • The Overwhelming feeling that comes with an inbox dominated by DMs from the wrong people
    • Exhaustion after wasting so much time matching, chatting, and going on dead-end dates

(3:28) Swipe App – such as Bumble and Tinder.

These are excellent for busy singles, who are newer to dating, and want to get started fast with a wide range of options. Not sure what’s on the menu? Everything! The downside is it’s hard to find the right committed match because the profiles don’t give you a lot of information about the person on the other side. You can get stuck in the texting trap or in the messaging phase, and you need a clear strategy for navigating from the app into the real world before they ghost.

Type of Dater: You are looking for a wide range of options and easy connections.

  • The 3 Traps: 
    • Feeling like you don’t know enough about your matches up front and then you waste time going on too many of the wrong dates
    • Overwhelm in the match and message process – maybe you even think “I wish someone could do this part for me”
    • The disappointment that comes with thinking you know someone and meeting in person and finding you’re not quite compatible


(4:04) Niche – JDate, Christian Mingle, and Farmers Only.

If you know that there is a particular quality, interest, or cultural element that is of the utmost importance to you, this kind of app provides you with matches that meet your criteria. Unfortunately, apps like these have smaller dating pools. It can often feel like nothing is happening if you don’t know how to search your options and pick the right matches.

Type of Dater: You are focused on finding a partner who shares your values and interests. Apps with too many unqualified options feel like a waste of time to you. If it’s a specific quality you’re looking for in a partner, there’s a high chance you can find an app for it.

  • The 3 Traps: 
    • Limiting your dating options a little too much
    • Constantly wondering if you’re just “too picky” to find love
    • The feeling that nothing is happening in your love life and the clock is ticking

(4:38) Curated – eHarmony and Coffee Meets Bagel.

These apps are excellent for people who are discerning or choosy, but don’t have time to do the filtering themselves. While tedious filtering is taken off your plate, it can sometimes feel like you don’t have enough options or much control. These apps are slow paced and you need some clear direction if you’re going to get your match off the app and on to the next phase of dating.

Type of Dater: You don’t want to waste your time searching and swiping, you like a curated dating app that will deliver the right matches directly to your inbox.

  • The 3 Traps:
    • The feeling that you never meet any great dates – you keep thinking isn’t anyone else out there?
    • Getting stuck in their DMs but never moving into a real relationship
    • Downloading and deleting app after app, but never finding what you what



Rachel DeAlto and Damona get into the nitty-gritty of interacting with human beings face to face once again. 

(11:40) The formula for being relatable: It’s all based on 3 categories, what she calls CCI (apparently pronounced “kuh-kai”) – Connection, Communication, and Inspiration.

(13:48) Connect: The first step in tapping into your own relatability is to practice authentic connection. So getting to the meat of authentic connection means daring to take off all the masks we wear in our day-to-day, releasing the idea of perfection and the thought that we have to show up a certain way to be liked or loved. Think about it this way – if you show up to a date and all you’re focused on is making sure the other person likes you, you’re probably not showing up as your truest self. How can anyone truly like or love you if you don’t let them know you? When we engage in authentic connection, we allow people to understand us. And from there we are able to form more honest and long-lasting connections.

(20:14) Communicate: Rachel focuses on the energetic elements of communication – presence and curiosity. The most effective way to have conversations with others is to maintain curiosity about the other person. This is very different from active listening, because it’s one thing to just sit and listen. When we’re curious, we end up engaging in more active conversations. The more you can get someone talking in a conversation, the more they will be enamored with you because you’re not only listening, but you’re interested.

(23:10) Inspiration: To be relatable, you have to be inspirational. In other words, there has to be an inspiration behind who you are and what you do. Rachel encourages finding your “then what” – you want a relationship, but then what? You want all these followers, and then what? What is the purpose behind what you want? When we have that specific guiding light that is coming from within, it attracts others to us and makes what we do more intentional.

(30:29) How and why do mantras work?: We all have the power to change our thinking. Why? Neuroplasticity – basically our brain is play-doh, and with the right tools we have the ability to move that play-doh around in whatever way works for us. Rachel says that as you direct your brain to think certain thoughts, you can start to move towards those thoughts – which means you can be the one to help yourself show up.

Get your copy of Rachel’s new book “Relatable: How to Connect with Anyone Anywhere Even If It Scares You.” here! 


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

  • Instagram Message from Anonymous – I met a guy on hinge (like you suggested). He is recently out of a 10 year marriage and then 2 year relationship and has 2 kids (8+10 yrs). He made a vow to himself to not get into a serious relationship too fast again but we went 0 to 60 on our first date and it was amazing with incredible chemistry. I heard from him consistently (calls and texts) until I called him out on our second (amazing date). He says he wants to keep dating each other and other people so our feelings don’t grow too quickly and I said I like him and am willing to give him that time and space but at some point know that I will want more or will move on. Now I’m afraid I’ve left the ball in his court and I’m giving him too much power – but I want to support him at the same time. Do I cut it off? Or proceed with caution? Is he taking advantage of a nice girl like me? Final note – I really like him (I never like anyone) and could see us working out if timing was better. He seems worth the wait.
  • Instagram Message from Ella – Hi Damona, I hope you don’t mind me asking. I’m 43f, never been married and currently wading the online dating waters. How long do you think is the “normal” time to keep on trying on the app and when should you admit that it’s time to pack up?

Emotional Intimacy & Teleport Dating



Ignore all of those flashbacks to your middle school sex ed – we know you are all grown adults so this episode is not going to be like that at all (even though you should definitley do your research and make sure you’re keeping yourself safe, healthy and satisfied.. no glove, no love and all that jazz.)



Today we are going to talk about another important issue regarding your sexual health: how to feel more emotionally satisfied, figure out what you’re looking for in a partner, and ask for what you need. Like literally, we will cover the words you need to say to ask for consent or tell someone when something is good or not so good for you.

Damona welcomes Shelby Sells, certified love, sex, and life coach, whose mission is to unpack your emotions and learn the tools for healthy relationships. She’s collaborating with THE Ashley Madison on a cool new campaign called Sexual Health is Wealth (and she has a wealth of sexual health knowledge to share). 



This episode is brought to you by Damona’s Dating Accelerator Program. The new and improved 10-week version of her most popular group coaching program is launching in September! If you are ready to level up your love life, you could be the perfect fit for the Dating Accelerator Group Program.

Check it out at



(2:46) Are video dates the end of “swipe culture”?

A new dating app called Teleport is creating a new way to date besides swiping – the app offers users five minute invite-only “microdates” with people who share common interests, passions, or beliefs. 

Damona maintains that there are pros and cons to dating apps like this. While video dates are a great way to screen your matches and test your chemistry before meeting in person, it may be harder to put your best foot forward in only 5 minutes. Plus, we all look different in real life versus over video chat! But bright side – apps like this can help us become more conscious about dating online.

(7:34) Channing Tatum is feeling SOMETHING for Zoey Kravitz.

So Channing and Zoey were recently seen in Williamson, Brooklyn together getting coffee and riding bikes. But more importantly, fans pointed out that Channing started following several Zoey Kravitz fan accounts on instagram (tea). Even though I think we all love this pairing, this is a great reminder for us all to be aware of what’s visible to other people (or potential dates) on the internet. I’m talking facebook likes, instagram followers, retweets and likes on twitter – go back through all of these when you get a chance, and make sure they still represent the person you are today.



Shelby Sells is a certified love, sex, and life coach based in New York City. Her work is centered around unpacking emotions and relearning tools for successful relationships. Shelby’s mission is to empower authentic intimate connection by holding space for people to explore their sexuality with open hearts and minds.


(17:12) Sextimacy: What is it and what does it look like? Shelby says sextimacy is “the effort to find emotional intimacy through sex.” Of course, we don’t always need our hookups to be backed by emotional intimacy. But if you aren’t sure, some of the signs of a lack of emotional intimacy include little or no direct communication with your partner (expressing your needs and desires). Another is to look for what makes up most of your relationship – are you mostly talking about sex, or do your conversations have more emotional weight to them? This will be a tell.

(22:03) How do we share our boundaries, wants and needs with a new partner?: Let’s get one thing clear – consent is SEXY! When someone respects the boundaries you’ve communicated to them, this makes space for you to feel more playful and safe with your partner (and vice versa). Don’t be afraid to be blunt with your partner about what you want. Also don’t be afraid to check in with your partner in the middle of being physical – this lets your partner know that you’re present in the moment. And lastly, if you’re confused about your partner’s boundaries, ask for clarity.

(27:38) Sexual Health is Wealth: Ashley Madison has taken big strides in providing stats that help us close the pleasure gap on women’s sexuality. One study says 59% of women rarely or never receive oral sex from their partner, and another says 64% of women feel neglected in their marriage. So what can we do to keep a physical relationship alive and exciting? Frequently check in with your partner about what’s been feeling good when you’re intimate, maybe explore sharing new fantasies or positions you want to try together. Try to focus on what you’re partner is doing right and communicate this to them, or talk about how you both could make it better. And if this feels scary, Shelby shares that the more you communicate, the easier it becomes. 

(36:07) Being open about STI’s: STI’s can be an awkward thing to talk about with a potential partner. Shelby shares that picking partners that you feel safe enough to communicate with will only lead to better sexual health, since awkwardness won’t be part of the equation. Try to come from a place of open-mindedness, empathy and compassion. But it’s up to you when you want to disclose that information – regardless, it should still be a conversation


Check out Shelby’s campaign with Ashley Madison at



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

  • Instagram Message from Vernée – I love that you speak about values and after the last 4 years certain values are definitely in the forefront for me and will make a difference in choosing a partner. I’m a LGBTQ+ ally, BLM, science is real kind of person. How do I communicate that on a profile without sounding like a demanding jerk?
  • Instagram Message from Logan – I’ve listened to a few of your shows recently. They’ve helped me on my journey to understand myself and get back onto dating apps. I took a 5 month break because dating became too stressful for me. Now I’m back on, the same stress returned. My biggest stress comes from that I seem to not match often and when I do, I find after a second look that I’m not that attracted to her. Am I jumping the gun or should I stick to my instincts?

Offline Dating & Adults Date Better


Today we’re addressing one of the most common questions from people who are frustrated with dating apps – how can you meet someone offline today? 

Yes, it’s still possible. 

Camille Virginia, author of The OFFline Dating Method: 3 Steps to Attract Your Perfect Partner in the Real World, joins Damona to an overview of her method.

But first, have you heard about Damona’s new Coaching Program?


Today, Damona launches the new and improved 10-week version of my most popular group coaching program. If you are ready to level up your love life, you could be the perfect fit for the Dating Accelerator Program. You can find out more about The Dating Accelerator at

If you are a single person who:

  • needs a mind, body, and spiritual reset on dating
  • Who wants to get serious about finding a life partner
  • Who thrives in a group environment with supportive like-minded people
  • If you are feeling isolated coming out of the pandemic and are looking to connect

OR  feel that in the next 3-6 months finding a relationship is or will be the #1 or #2 priority for you 

Then you are invited to accelerate your love life to get to that point.

Early bird enrollment at a deeply discounted special rate is available until August 31st only at



One quality that makes you SUPER SEXY

A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences points out that those who are more willing to try new foods increases one’s sexual desirability. 

Survey responses show that people who have an adventurous palate are perceived as:

  • more sexual
  • more likely to have had a great number of past romantic partners
  • more willing to partake in uncommitted sexual partnership
  • less likely to feel “disgusted” by sex (and therefore, more unrestricted in the bedroom). 

But although being adventurous around food gets you dating props, participants did not have the same reaction to those who were willing to try other new things like books and music. Food for thought.


Here’s Damona’s takeaway: Does “willingness to try new foods” seem like a must-have quality to you? Because it may just be one of many micro-choices actually blocking you from finding love.

How clear are you on your goals, values, and choices? And how clear are you on which qualities matter in your ideal partner?

Damona always starts her Dating Accelerator clients on Mindset. 

If you have ultimate clarity from the start of your dating process about what your core needs are in a partner, the dating process is much simpler. 


Will Match put an end to ghosting once and for all?

A new update in the Match dating app will now give nudges to users whenever a chat stalls to either continue the conversation or unmatch from the person. When someone selects unmatch, the app will send a polite message to the other user. Beyond this, Match will also release “Matched By Us,” a once-a-week match where both users can see each other and don’t need to await mutual “likes.”




Camille Virginia is an award-winning writer, founder of Master Offline Dating, and author of the best-selling book The Offline Dating Method – her 3-step process to help singles ditch the dating apps and attract a great partner in the real world. After overcoming her own social anxiety, Camille is now dedicated to helping others create a less lonely, more meaningful life. She has subscribers from over 100 countries and has been featured in major media outlets including The Atlantic, the BBC, and USA Today. She’s here to share her secrets on Dates and Mates today!

(14:01) Camille’s backstory, being an introvert and loving connection: Camille talks about how she fell into her dating career, and how she overcame her introverted nature through her love of connecting with people.

(19:21) What is magnetic approachability?: Camille talks about the first step in her Offline Dating Method – cultivating approachability. As she defines it, approachability is being comfortable in your own skin; because when we are comfortable with ourselves, we make other people feel comfortable to approach us. 

(23:57) Creating effortless engagement: How do we make connecting with others more effortless and less stressful for ourselves? When we let go of expecting any specific outcome, we are able to ask more genuine questions that we actually want to know the answers to. Keep conversations casual and contextual. And think about how you can trade stories with someone, not just answers.

(35:00) How do we navigate feeling confident and connecting with others IRL?: We all have an innate need for human connection, so define what feels comfortable for you and explore the balance between online and in-person interaction. And once you figure out what your comfort zone is, push it a little bit and prove your fear wrong.

Preorder Camille’s book here!



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

  • Instagram Message from S – I’m a single mom and have a 3 year old son. I think my son’s pediatrician has been flirting with me – not in a creepy way – he’s just attractive, kind, and sincere. Recently, I found out that he will be leaving the practice. I did some snooping on the internet and found out we have a lot of things in common. I really want to get to know him. What do you think?
  • Email from J – I decided to get back out there this summer after the long year of isolation. After getting on the apps, my second match and I hit it off, in a major way. Then… just like it began, it was over in an instant. For all us lovelorn folks who are hurting after putting ourselves back out there, what’s your advice for picking up the pieces and moving on?


Must Love Dogs & Overcoming Insecurity


Today we at dates and mates are asking the question: are your deal breakers really all that important?

Damona always says you get 3 must have qualities in your list of things you want in a partner, but some of y’all need a little reminder as to what that really means.

What really counts as a deal breaker? They’re too short? Too tall? He doesn’t like dogs? She’s allergic to cats?

Lisa Bonos is here to help! She is the current dating and relationships reporter at the Washington Post and has her finger on the pulse of the American dating scene — or the heartbeat, as she says it.


But first, we have headlines. Lovers, are you ready? Let’s dish!


(2:05) Maskne got you down?

Mask Acne – it’s a real thing. If you feel like your skin has seen better days, you’re not alone.

Many people feel their self-confidence has taken a hit since the start of the pandemic, whether it be from maskne or the nerves of having to talk to people in person during skin breakouts.

Lovers, this article is clearly advertorial and FULL DISCLOSURE: Damona IS NOT promoting this brand. However, the survey taken by OnePoll did uncover some interesting info about American attitudes towards the correlation between skincare and confidence.

More than ¼ of respondents have cancelled a date because of a breakout. Of the 2,000 people who took the survey, 45% have begun wearing heavier makeup than usual, and 48% say they’ve turned off their camera during a video call. Damona gives her thoughts on self care and confidence.

In the meantime, check out the study here.



(5:50) How long does it really take to fall in love?

Damona hears this question all the time. Like… at least once a day. While Damona has a general idea based on years of dating coaching, she can’t always give a straightforward answer. 

Finally, this article from New Scientist has compiled all of the studies done on love timelines. Disclaimer: it turns out that most of these studies were done on heterosexual couples.

A study from YouGove says the average time for men to fall in love is 88 days, and for women it’s 134 days. An Elite Singles poll from 2017 says 61% of women believe in love at first sight, while 72% of men do.

That said, Damona is a fan of SLOW LOVE. We all want to know what the timeline should be, but the fact is that everyone is on their own specific timelines. 



LISA BONOS (10:39)

Lisa has been a reporter at the Washington Post since 2005, and she’s written for a long time about matters of the heart. And now she’s here on Dates & Mates to give us an inside peek into what’s really happening on the dating scene today.

(11:30) How To Date After A Pandemic: Damona and Lisa dish on the challenges in moving from the apps to meeting your prospective date in person, and Lisa’s take on how people’s standards have changed.

(23:42) The Workplace Romance: Damona and Lisa have both had a change of heart about workplace romances, since the seemingly unavoidable awkwardness of a breakup in the office is now nonexistent thanks to working online.

(30:04) What Will Change After the Pandemic — or What Will Stay the Same: The zoom date is here to stay, folks. Lisa says many of the singles she’s talked to love the new addition of pre-screening your dates. The pandemic has also encouraged us to be more straightforward about what we’re comfortable with and what we want with the people we’re dating, which Lisa hopes people will continue to do post-corona. 

(32:47) What Is Oversharing vs. What Is Vulnerability: Pacing matters. You don’t have to share everything with someone you just met — think of going “emotionally slow.” Remember that someone has to earn your story.

Check out Lisa’s articles here:



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

  • Instagram Message from Lauren – Hello Damona. So I finally decided to walk away from a manipulative person. Turns out my intuition was right and he has been messing around. Should I ghost him or give him the respect of saying I’m done? He didn’t give me that respect before he had this other girl in his car. I do not want to become callous with men, but how do I gain the ability to be the strong one without feeling hurt?
  • Instagram Message from Vernée – Hi Damona! Two questions. I’ve always been plus size and self conscious about my weight – especially after quarantine. I’m feeling kind of ready to get back out there after a break up last June, but I’m struggling with being bigger than I was before. I know there are a few apps that are specifically for curvier/larger women, but I’m afraid of fetishization. I already deal with that as a WOC. Are you familiar with these apps? Could you make a recommendation for the best one?



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How To Not Die Alone & Delta Dating


Did you take a break from dating during the last two years? A lot of people did.

But here’s the thing: you can’t keep your happiness on hold forever. So being careful to avoid the recent spike in Delta Variant, today we’re going to talk about dating confidently again.

Our guest this week is an absolute gem, Logan Ury — brilliant behavioral scientist turned dating coach. She is the Director of Relationship Science at the dating app Hinge and author of How To Not Die Alone. 

She’s going to tell us the 3 main types of daters and the biggest mistakes each type makes – so you fix your dating sitch and get back in the game.


But first some hot tips for dating during the Delta variant:



(4:12) HOT TIP #1 – You need to do more screening. 

Gone are the days when you could just swipe, swipe, message, jump into a date.

You’ve got to qualify your dates to see if you can trust them, if meeting them is worth your time and if you’re going to enjoy your date, whether or not it’s a match.

This means messaging back and forth a bit (but no more than a week) and then moving on to a phone call or a video date. 

We know, we know! Y’all hate Zoom dates. Damona gives the rules to better digital dates.


(6:20) HOT TIP #2 – Don’t plan another boring dinner date to meet someone for the first time.

You can take advantage of nice weather in most places right now and do something more exciting. A few ideas:

  • get ice cream
  • go hiking
  • have a drink on an outdoor patio
  • rent a paddleboat
  • play mini-golf


Once you are there, remember that you are responsible for your own good time and you are responsible for your own covid dating safety.

Damona explains how this situation is actually advantageous to setting healthy boundaries early in the relationship.


(7:43) HOT TIP #3 – Practice slow love.

What is the rush? If you are in it for the long haul, why are you trying to fast forward to the end? 


The fun part is in the getting to know you phase. Damona explains how to know when you’re ready to be intimate.



Logan Ury is Hinge’s Head of Relationship Science, a dating coach and now The author of the acclaimed book – How To Not Die Alone. 

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME and I’m so excited to share her with the Dates & Mates audience!

(14:30) The Three Dating Tendencies: Logan describes the categories of patterns in which everyone tends to fall. You’ve got the Romanticizer, the Maximizer, and the Hesitater. Which are you, and what can you do about it?

(21:26) Growth vs. Fixed Mindset: How to stay motivated when you’re ready to give up on searching for your person.

(25:56) Logan’s Love Story: Should you take a chance on dating outside your “type?”

(31:10) Fewer Better Dates: How to put more care into the dates you choose to go on, and maximize the potential of your dating app profile by creating a narrative for yourself.

Buy Logan’s book, How Not To Die Alone, here: 



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

  • Question from Lindsay – Hi Damona. I’m noticing a pattern of always becoming the friend, never the love interest. What am I doing or not doing, and how do I break out of the friend zone and into the end zone? I’m a 35 year old woman in New York, boss marketing exec, but I’m the mama bear and good friend to everyone. I’ve “hung out” multiple times one on one with love interests and they just aren’t ever interested in that way. What can I do to be seen as girlfriend material?
  • Message from Tim – Hi Damona, I’ve been listening to your podcast since the beginning of the year and it’s fantastic! I’ve downloaded your helpful profile start kit, I’ve been practicing slow love and thinking about where I can meet new people online and offline. So a massive thank you for changing my mindset around dating! I do have a question though, I’ve had one date with this girl and the date went really well and I just matched with someone else who I would like to get to know. Should I date more than one person at the same time? Would it get confusing? What’s your advice around dating multiple people at the beginning and later down the road? 



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The Viall Files & Cookie Jarring


Welcome to Season 9 of the Dates & Mates podcast!!

We are so excited that the first guest of season 9 is Nick Viall, star of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise.


He has made quite the name for himself as a contemporary and very opinionated dating advice guru and so obviously Damona had to have him on the show.

He’s here to talk to us about what you can actually learn about love from reality TV shows like The Bachelor – if anything – and how to find your happily ever after on Instagram. 

But first there’s the news:



(3:57) Team USA – who’s really hooking up at the olympic village

A claim circulating online about cardboard beds at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being “anti-sex” is not true. Damona investigates.


(6:02) Cookie Jarring is a big toxic dating trend this summer.

The person you are falling for is getting to know someone else behind your back. They have another “cookie in the jar” aka have a backup plan or security. Looking for an example on tv? Think Love Island




Nick Viall starred in the 21st season of ABC’s “The Bachelor” and Bachelor in Paradise. Since “The Bachelor”, he’s become a successful actor, media personality, and now host of “The Viall Files” a People’s Choice Award nominated podcast.

Nick has spent a lot of time in the last 6 years on TV looking for love and now that he’s finally found it, he’s going to tell us how an epic DM slide made it happen.

(10:55) Don’t take love advice from The Bachelor: Surprisingly, Nick is pretty adamant that the Bachelor gives unrealistic ideals of love. It’s important to understand what “love at first sight” really means and how you can filter out potential love interests. 

(16:04) A Bold Move: Nick found his love, Natalie, through a DM. He shares his advice on sliding into someone’s DMs and connecting with someone through online dating & social media. Plus, you don’t have to stick to the traditional ways of gender norms when it comes to making your move. 

(21:33) Men are Like Puppies: Many men feel safer and able to open up when their love interests compliment them. 

Get more Nick Viall: 



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

  • Instagram Message from Amani – Hello. Here is the question. I have been dating someone long distance since November 2020 and we met in person in February 2021. She is preparing to move across the country to live with me. We are discussing how much she should contribute to the rent/mortgage if she moves in. She will be looking for a job when she arrives, and there is no timetable in terms of when she could get a job. She feels she should not have to contribute to the mortgage until she has a ring on her finger. I feel she should contribute a portion per month (1/3 of the mortgage). What are your thoughts on this?
  • Instagram Message from Nicole – Hi, Damona! Love the pod and your content 🙏🏼 I would love to get some advice from you about a situation. I casually dated this guy in 2019 for 6 months. He got back in touch with me last fall, and we were flirting virtually pretty consistently until January- he initiated every convo. Since January, he has been reaching out periodically on different platforms (dms, text)— & and asking me out. Then a couple weeks ago, he liked me on hinge (how we met in 2019), talked about how we’re very compatible, and asked out again. I’ve accepted all his asks, and then he doesn’t follow through with plans. The last time he did this was the hinge situation a few weeks ago. He said his family was in town, but he could see me like a week and a half later. Then again, no follow-up. I addressed this and told him I’d really like him to make a plan, because I would enjoy spending time with him. He “loved” that text, but that’s the last I’ve heard from him. I want to see him. Is there any move I can make at this point that wouldn’t seem pathetic? Should I wait for the next time he comes around? Other? I would love to know your thoughts. Thanks, Damona! Best, Nicole (I’m 31, he’s 33)



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