Holiday Boundaries & an OkCupid GIVEAWAY!!!

The holiday season is upon us.

And you know what that means? Tons of questions from your family, asking, “Why are you still single??” But you don’t have to take it.

First of all, your dating journey is your own and doesn’t need to be explained to ANYONE. We really need to protect our mental health during this time, because in these cold winter months a lot of people do suffer from seasonal affective disorder. It’s a real thing – our serotonin levels drop and we start to feel depressed. And when you couple that with cuffing season + parents asking about grandkids + New Year’s resolutions + Valentine’s Day is coming… it’s all a little bit too much.

So hold your boundaries right now. And if you do get asked about your love life, just turn it around. “I am choosing to live my life with these priorities and when I find the right relationship for me, I’ll let you know.”

But if you ARE on a mission to get boo’ed up this Winter:

Damona is partnering up with OKCupid to give away 30 three-month Premium Memberships to OkCupid! That’s 3 months FREE of Premium access to OkCupid. Or maybe just get cuffed for the season, whatever it is that you want.

And it’s super easy for you to enter now through December 15. All you’ve got to do is:

  1. Share your favorite episode of Dates & Mates on social media. Post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, post it on your story or as a screenshot. And if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple right now, just hit that share button.
  2. Tag Damona (@damonahoffman) and OkCupid (@okcupid) when you share your favorite episode of Dates & Mates.
  3. That’s it!! 30 of you will get 3 months of FREE premium access to OKCupid just for sharing.

The giveaway ends DECEMBER 15, so start listening HERE to find your favorite episode of Dates & Mates. And don’t forget to tag @DamonaHoffman and @OkCupid on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so you can be one of the lucky cuffing season giveaway recipients.

We’re confident that you have what it takes to find your forever person this year.


Dating App Identity & Partner Power Struggles

Dating happens in stages, but did you know that relationships do too? We’re not just talking about the traditional path of dating, committing and getting married. There’s more to it than that, a whole lot more.

And that is why we’ve got family therapist Jordan Green on Dates & Mates today.  She’ll be breaking down the 5 stages of every relationship to help you navigate the ups and downs that come with time. After all, no relationship is perfect.

And the timing is perfect too! It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and some of you might be accelerating your relationship to the next level by blending families this holiday… or you might need to “Define the Relationship” after spending a week dodging questions from nosy family members. Either way, we give thanks to you for listening to this episode.


The No. 1 thing that makes relationships successful:

Have y’all ever heard of the Gottman Institute? I bet you have. The Gottman Institute was co-founded by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman and helps provide practical, research-based tools to strengthen relationships. (Just for perspective, the Gottmans have studied over 40,000 couples.)

In a recent article for CNBC, John and Julie Gottman shared the number one factor they’ve nailed down for relationship success – turning toward your partner instead of turning away. Basically, turning toward your partner is acknowledging them and engaging with their attempt to connect. These attempts could show up as making eye contact with you, giving you a smile, asking you for help, or even just saying good morning. On the other hand, turning away is actively ignoring or not noticing your partner’s attempt to make a connection. And even more detrimental is turning against, which is irritably or angrily shutting down their attempt to connect.

It seems simple enough, and Damona says it all boils down to just having good communication (which is one of D’s four pillars of long-term compatibility – shared goals, shared values, trust, & communication/conflict resolution). Remember that we are not born knowing how to communicate, but we can always practice it. 

Read the article for tips on how to practice turning toward…


Jordan Green is a family therapist and the founder and CEO of Remble, a relationship improvement and mental health app.

Before that, Jordan founded and managed a membership community called The Love Group, which offered monthly courses and collaborated with therapists from around the world.

(12:00) A little more about Remble…

Being a therapist herself, Jordan says she has received tons of DM’s from women who were struggling in their relationships and seeking advice, but were not inspired to sign up for any of the preexisting therapy websites. 

This led her to launch Remble, an app which collaborates with therapists from around the world to offer courses, daily short-form videos, journaling prompts, and even on-hand conversation questions that you can ask during your date.

(16:07) Unfolding the 5 relationship stages.

Jordan offers up some insight from psychologist and author Dr. Susan Campbell, who pinpointed the five stages we all experience in a relationship after doing a study with hundreds of couples. 

Those five stages are: 1) Romance, 2) Power Struggle, 3) Stability, 4) Commitment, and 5) Co-creation.

Damona asks Jordan to clarify what happens in the power struggle stage & why it’s important. (Spoiler alert: this is the stage where couples either break up, or push through and become stronger.)

(21:21) Codependent vs. interdependent vs. independent

Jordan states that in all relationships – “there’s me, there’s you, and then there’s us. But in a healthy relationship, ideally, you have a good balance between all those parts.” And, that balance is where you will find interdependence. Jordan goes through the challenges that one might face when being too codependent or independent, and what you can do to rebalance yourself in your relationships with others.

(26:30) Is the bar too high?

We are Team Dating App all the way, but Damona brings up the observation that sometimes people focus too acutely on having certain things in common. Instead of focusing so much on whether they like tennis or not, think more about the questions that matter. Like – what is this person’s character? What values are important to them? What are some of the characteristics and qualities that I see in them that I’m actually looking for in a partner? Nails down these answers, and then let go of your attachment to exactly what that has to look like.

(32:17) Wants, needs, and boundaries.

Communicating can be really hard. And if healthy communication wasn’t modeled for us growing up, trying to express hard feelings can accidentally come out as criticism. So Damona asks Jordan for any wise words regarding expressing boundaries and what you need. 

She shares a simple formula for communicating your feelings – I feel [blank] about [blank], and I need [blank]. “This helps the other person to understand how you feel, and it gives them a recipe for how they can best support you…”


Be sure to follow Jordan on Instagram and check out the Remble app!




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 Nikki – Hi there. I’m 51 and would love to be in a meaningful relationship in the next year. I’ve been single for 11 years. My son is 13 now and I’m ready. Do you have any specific tips for Bumble? That seems like a healthy place for professionals to meet other professionals. Thanks for the work you do!


Financial Love Languages & Dating Against Type

Real talk: when was the last time you discussed money on a date? Probably never. It’s always a taboo topic – until the check comes. It’s time we destigmatize talking about money on a date. 

And that’s why we have best-selling author and host of the Money Rehab podcast, Nicole Lapin, joining us on Dates & Mates today. She will be outlining how to navigate the conversation and develop a financial love language for a happier, healthier and more secure relationship.



Do you have a type? Maybe what you think you want and what you actually prefer don’t match up.

A recent study from the University of Toronto has us questioning if having a “type” is really all that legit. According to the study, the qualities that we think we like in a partner depend on the social context in which we encounter these qualities. For example, you attend a great party and the people there happen to be really funny. Then you come away thinking, “gosh, I prefer funny people.” But it was really just a great party.

Andre Wang, one of the co-authors of the study, said “it could be that people are so constrained by their own ideas about liking, that they are limiting their dating pool.” But good news – understanding the distinction between what we think we like vs what actually drives us to like someone can actually be a useful tool!

Damona describes how this reaction is actually related to something called “the familiarity principle” and how gravitating toward what’s familiar may be part of our biological attraction towards safety.


Nicole Lapin is a financial journalist, television news anchor and businesswoman known for her work on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and MSNBC. 

Nicole is also a New York Times bestselling author of four books, including her most recent one “Miss Independent: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Start Investing and Grow Your Own Wealth.” She is also the host of the podcast Money Rehab where she rehabs your wallet so you can get your financial life together.

(14:20) Financial first-date etiquette.

Damona and Nicole dive into the classic first-date debate – who picks up the check? And is there a certain etiquette we should be aware of when talking about money on a first date? 

Nicole shares that you can actually get a glimpse of someone’s financial situation and habits by asking them about their goals. “Goals have price tags… It’s timing, it’s tone, it’s turf. It’s having a glass of wine, talking about your hopes and dreams, and then getting into sort of how you’re going to pay for those hopes and dreams. Versus, you know, approaching it in an aggressive way.”

(20:15) A question of property.

Damona gets Nicole’s thoughts on what it means for a woman to own property (which is often rumored to be a turn-off). Nicole points out that “I think it’s just not the right person if it’s a turn off. There will be a person for whom it’s a turn on.”

Women have also expressed to Damona that if they own property or make investments, they’re afraid their partner may see this as a free ride. To that Nicole says: “I think that is about being really clear whether or not you want somebody who makes the same amount of money as you or more or whatever. “ 

Plus, Nicole breaks down the difference between good debt (there’s such a thing?) & bad debt.

(25:13) We all have financial trauma.

Our individual relationships to money are as unique as our upbringings. Which is why Nicole says we all have our own version of financial trauma. There is bigger trauma like having your house foreclosed on or family members being in debt, but Nicole also says that financial trauma can be vicarious. “It can be in your friend group. Like do a lot of your friends have a bunch of debt? Do they hide purchases from their significant others?” This all affects your FQ (financial intelligence).

Nicole also explains how to deal with a financial imbalance in your relationship (hint: there will be an imbalance in EVERY relationship).

(28:40) What to ask before move-in day…

The relationship expectations for moving in together have definitely shifted over the years – now everyone feels the freedom to go by their own timeline. But does this affect the kinds of financial conversations we should be having before merging homes? Nicole says the foremost thing to be aware of is knowing whose name the bills are under. “I’ve seen women in particular get screwed in one of two ways. Either the bills are under somebody else’s name, and so they’re not accumulating credit. Or the bills are under their name and they’re not getting paid, so their credit is getting screwed.”

(32:45) Setting yourself up for success.

So is there something more we should be doing to set ourselves up for financial (and in turn romantic) success? Nicole states that compound interest is our best friend, although we are familiar with it when it works against us through credit cards. Nicole also shares her favorite spending plan called The Three E’s – essentials, endgame, and extras.

Learn more about Nicole at & be sure to follow her on Instagram @NicoleLapin for more investment tips.



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 B – I met a nice guy on a dating app. We’ve had wonderful conversations. The problem is when we did our first video chat, I noticed he has rotten teeth. I do NOT see myself kissing him. What do I do?


Building Trust & New Partner Nerves

Relationships are trial and error, a learning curve, a journey. Each date brings new experiences and a little (or maybe a lot) more self-awareness. You start to develop a sense of your needs and wants, establish your boundaries, and navigate towards a partner that shares your goals and values.

But the story doesn’t end once you find your partner. In fact, it’s always being written. 

That’s the joy in love AND the reason Dr. Pia Holec, one of the experts from Married At First Sight, will be joining us today. She will be sharing tips on how to expand trust and build intimacy with a partner for a healthier, more satisfying relationship.


Toxic forgiveness – is it really possible to forgive and forget?:

Have y’all ever heard of Red Table Talk, the talk show led by Jada Pinkett Smith & her daughter Willow? During a recent episode, Jada and Willow had Will’s ex-wife, Cherie, on the show to clear the air about some things that rubbed each other the wrong way from way back (and to potentially forgive & forget). They did this all with the help of relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab, but you might know her from Instagram

In her new book, Nedra coined the term “toxic forgiveness.” So our friends at PopSugar asked, what exactly is toxic forgiveness? According to Nedra, it is the unhealthy way we pretend to be “over it” in an effort to move on quicker. 

Damona goes over why we feel in such a hurry to forgive when we’re not ready, and poses a thoughtful question – who is our forgiveness really for?


DR. PIA HOLEC (8:20)

Dr. Pia Holec is a psychologist, sex therapist, relationship guru and speaker. And to top it all off, she was an expert this year on the 15th Season of Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight.”

(9:22) The relationships of Married At First Sight.

Being in a relationship is one thing, but starting a relationship through a reality show is a completely different ball game. Besides the relationships on MAFS undergoing an extremely accelerated process, Dr. Pia also has to ask her clients on the show – what are you willing to do in order to make this work?

Plus, Dr. Pia gives us the 4 biggest factors that are affecting relationships and the way we communicate today.

(13:04) Being prepared for a relationship.

Damona believes that you have to prepare for the relationship that you want to have, and Dr. Pia says that being single (or living in your “single season”) is the perfect time to prepare. “Your single season is the time to work on yourself, so that you can be a fully formed adult when entering into a relationship… Conflict arises and issues come up when you’re expecting your partner to complete you, or help you figure out what you want and what you need.”

Dr. Pia also shares the kinds of questions you should ask yourself to be relationship-ready.

(15:38) Defining trust.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle we have to jump when dating is learning to trust someone. Damona defines trust as “when you see that someone’s words match their actions consistently over time.” Dr. Pia continues that trust is usually what we equate with safety.

She adds that when it comes to trust, “your feelings are real… they’re not always based in facts, though.” Dr. Pia helps her clients and couples on MAFS cultivate trust by grounding themselves in the present moment. This way, they are able to take a pause on their emotions and focus solely on the facts of a situation.

Dr. Pia describes the power in naming our own trauma (and how to do it).

(21:00) Is your therapist third-wheeling?

We LOVE that everyone is so open about going to therapy these days (according to the stats at Hinge & OkCupid, people are actually more likely to swipe right if you go therapy). But for those who are not as comfortable sharing our mental health journey on our dating profile, Damona asks Dr. Pia for some advice on bringing up this topic with new matches.

Dr Pia says: Just put it out there in the open. Acknowledging that you go to therapy won’t feel awkward if we don’t let it feel awkward, right? It’s a beautiful thing to be in touch with your emotions… And if that person judges you for bringing up mental health early on in dating, then chances are they’re not your person!

(26:55) Is it love bombing, or are they just being honest?

If you haven’t heard, love bombing happens when someone showers you with attention or affection to gain your trust, in order to manipulate or control you. It sounds scary, but it’s very easy to stop love bombing in its tracks if you know what to look out for.

Our gut and intuition will almost always tell us what’s up. But if you’d like more proof that your spidey senses are correct, try asking yourself these questions:

❓Are they only saying nice things?

❓Are they trying to isolate you from your family?

❓Do they use phrasing like you were meant for each other or belong together?

❓Do you feel a sense of safety with this person?

❓How do I feel with this person? Then ask – how do I feel when I’m NOT with this person?


Check out Married At First Sight on Lifetime and follow Dr. Pia on Instagram @SexDrPia for more of her amazing advice.



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 Emily – ​​I had breast cancer and a lumpectomy in 2020. I wasn’t dating actively before my diagnosis, but this year I decided to start actively looking. I have been on the dating apps and talking to people. When do I tell the person I am getting to know about my cancer? I have scars on my body I can’t hide if I choose to be intimate. I also have side effects from my radiation. Nobody talks about life and dating after cancer treatment. How does a 48 yr old never married, no kids kinda woman navigate the dating world?


Halloween Dating Horror & Crimes of the Heart

This week’s episode of Dates & Mates is gonna get a little spookier than usual… because it’s almost Halloween!

This is one of our favorite times of the year here at Dates & Mates, because we all get to dress up, get creative and find a sense of play. 

Give yourself permission to get a little weird this year. It’s okay. In fact, it’s often something people are attracted to, both platonically and romantically.

If you prefer to stay in, try making some spooky cookies and listening to a Halloween themed playlist. But if you want to get out and get dressed up with a friend, then we’ve got some of the TOP costumes for couples coming up!

Then actress, singer-songwriter, and host of the podcast, Crimes of the Heart, Rory Uphold will be joining us to share her dating horror stories and the lessons she’s learned from them.


Costumes ideas that are cute, but not the nauseating kind of cute:

Damona gives us her fav suggestions on this year’s top Halloween costumes.

Hot tip: Damona notes that costume pics work GREAT in dating profiles. They show your sensibility, your sense of humor, what cultural references you lean towards, and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. 

**If this Halloween tip piqued your interest, you’ll be amazed at what else Damona has to share about your dating profile in the FREE Profile Starter Kit. Click here to check it out.




Rory Uphold is the host of Crimes of the Heart, a podcast where singles and couples share their most tragic and embarrassing love, dating and sex stories. She is also an actress and a singer-songwriter.

(12:05) The parallels between love & horror

Rory shared how she happened upon hosting a crime/horror podcast about love (and how the two feelings are more alike than you may think). 

Plus, Roy and Damona discuss what defines a “dating horror story.” Because sometimes the scariest thing of all is waking up next to someone you DEFINITELY regret gettin’ it on with.

(15:55) YOUR Dating Horror Stories

Damona and Rory dive into some frightful dating stories submitted by five Dates & Mates listeners, then give their thoughts on what went wrong. These tales include:

🎃A weirdly ambiguous accent… (16:47)

🎃A chin-to-forehead tongue kiss… (27:00)

🎃A man on all fours… (34:05)

🎃Kissing a waiter on the lips… (36:00)

🎃Fire-throwing in a park… (40:10)


Be sure to follow Rory on Instagram @ICouldBeBlonder and check out her podcast, Crimes of the Heart, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.


There is no Dear Damona segment this week. But you can submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to hear Damona’s answers live on a future show. 👏

Non-Negotiables & LDR Lessons

On past Dates & Mates episodes, Damona has talked about the ways our childhood experiences shape our relationship habits in adulthood, for the good and… the not so good. But we have to remember that our past doesn’t dictate our future, and we can reclaim our power by acting upon that.

Like Damona said in her chat with Nora McInerny last week, we are always writing our stories. And as Nora said, “In 10 years, you are going to look at the version of you presently and be like, ‘you had no idea. You had no idea how young you were. You had no idea what was possible for you, what was ahead of you.’”

Life is a journey and we are always learning and growing.  So remember to keep doing those journals, chatting with your therapist and taking the time to be introspective. That is how I define self-care. As you come to understand yourself better, you will understand your relationships better, your needs and wants better, and how establishing and keeping to your boundaries will help you design the life you are destined for.

And that’s why I have friend and fellow love coach, Orna Walters, on the show today. For those who don’t know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and she is going to share her personal story, some signs to look out for, and how to prepare yourself for a happy, healthy partnership.


Do long-distance relationships have the most potential?

A recent article from the John Hopkins newsletter dives into how “the challenges of a long-distance relationship are what cause it to have the most success.” Damona gives her two cents, and some definitive strategies on how to make the most out of your distance. 

The article also mentions how technology has helped close both the distance and communication gap when dating someone in another location. From dating apps, to Zoom, to apps that allow you to play games or watch TV shows together. 

But – in order for technology to work in your favor, you also have to be maximizing your chances with the algorithms. Damona’s FREE Profile Starter Kit is a great place to begin.


Orna Walters is a domestic violence survivor turned love coach and is a featured guest expert on Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” She uses her experiences to educate people on healthy relationships, openness and authenticity. 

She’s a dear friend of the show and a fabulous dating coach, along with her amazing husband Matthew. This time Orna is back on Dates & Mates solo to share her personal story and wisdom.

(15:40) Taking on someone else’s behavior.

On New Year’s Eve of 1994, Orna’s relationship with her partner at the time took a violent turn that would change everything. The lessons she learned from this relationship now contribute to her expertise in teaching individuals how to take their power back. As Orna says, “no person should take on the shame of another person’s actions.”

(19:44) Signs of a potentially violent partner.

Orna says that with her former partner, she couldn’t spot any specific signs that he might be violent. But there is one thing she is absolutely clear of – when wanting to get out of a toxic relationship, Orna implores that you cut off ALL contact. And if communication is necessary, ask someone to be a mediator between the two of you.

Orna also shares what it is that keeps us stuck in a toxic or abusive relationship. Hint: “We get addicted to the apology…”

(26:48) Orna & Matthew, sitting in a tree…

Having been in a relationship with her husband Matthew for 11 years, Orna now spreads the message that it IS POSSIBLE to unlearn your relationship patterns. “The truth is we’re attracted to what is familiar to us… and when I realized I had repeated the same situation [I experienced as a little girl], I knew I had to leave.” 

She continues that on a basic level, we are all fighting for love on our own terms. And because of this, it’s crucial that we take the time to know what those terms actually are.

(32:35) What does a healthy relationship look like?

After Damona asks Orna for her thoughts on healthy relationships, Orna brings our focus over to the body. She says that our emotions are technically bodily sensations. And because it’s really important for us to be able to communicate our feelings to our partner, we have to be in touch with our bodies as well. 

Try this: Set 6 or 7 alarms throughout the day. Whenever an alarm goes off, check in with your body and name the emotion you are currently experiencing. And if you can, try and define the thought that is causing the feeling in your body.


Be sure to follow Orna and her husband Matthew Walters (a fellow love coach) on Instagram at @OrnaAndMatthew.


And check out their website for more info.


**If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please do not hesitate. Call the domestic abuse hotline at (800)799-7233.



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 T –  I love your podcast, thank you for all that you do! My question is… when in your opinion is it appropriate to discuss taking your profile down and being sexually exclusive with a partner that you’ve met online and it’s going really, really well? Thank you for the advice!

Retro Dating & Bad Vibes Only

I don’t have to tell you that sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.  So, while planning ahead is helpful, it’s important to leave a little room for things to go sideways. Even still, the question remains – how do you deal with days, weeks, months when life feels like it’s headed off course?

Today, Damona will unpack those questions and more with Nora McInerny, host of the “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” podcast. They’ll discuss how Nora carried on after losing the love of her life, how she opened herself back up to love, and how every experience in between led her to exactly where she is today.


Dating is broken – but could going retro fix it?

A recent New York Times article has been causing a STIR in the dating community (Damona was sent this article by 3 different people!). If you haven’t read this op-ed piece already, the author writes that “going retro” – i.e. returning to matchmaking – could be our salvation from dating burnout, ghosting, and swipe fatigue. 

The article notes 4 positive effects that matchmaking could have on dating culture:

  1. A mediated match more easily connects individuals who are looking for the same kind of relationship or have similar education, religious background or values. 
  2. Matchmaking eases the difficulties of the IRL approach.
  3. Going out with a mediated match offers behavioral accountability.
  4. Matchmaking helps to avoid feeling “completely disposable” because you have a mutual connection it might get back to.

In light of the obstacles of our current dating culture, it seems like a reasonable solution to return to the dating practices used before the prevalence of online dating and hookup culture. But let’s not outcast dating apps altogether – because a huge part of what the apps give us is agency in our own dating lives. They are but another avenue for us to clarify what we want in a partner and to learn more about ourselves in the process. Damona also gives her tips on what we can do to elevate our own “behavioral accountability” and avoid dating burnout…

**P.S. Interested in exploring matchmaking? Damona currently has a partnership with the company Three Day Rule, which has headquarters in multiple cities. Go to to get started, or listen to Damona’s interview with Three Day Rule matchmaker Devyn Simone to learn more.


Nora McInerny is the host of the award winning podcast “Terrible, Thanks For Asking.” She has contributed to publications like The New York Times, Time, Slate, and Vox. Nora is also the author of two bestselling memoirs – and her new book “Bad Vibes Only: And Other Things I Bring To The Table” is out today!

**Want to learn more about Nora before listening? Check out Damona’s 2021 interview with Nora about her previous book – “The Hot Young Widows Club.”

(11:15) The beginning of something healing.

Nora’s love story begins with her first marriage to her husband Aaron, who passed away after being diagnosed with brain cancer – “We’d been dating for a year, and we got married a month after his brain surgery. We had a baby 13 months later. And then our third wedding anniversary was his funeral. So that’s my first marriage right there.” 

Her process of stepping into love again was more like falling, as she describes it. “I was not interested in meeting someone. You know, I wasn’t interested in falling in love with somebody. I was interested in possibly having sex with a person… They could fall in love with me if they wanted to, but I wouldn’t love them back. And when it started to develop into something else, I felt horrible. I felt horrible for having any kind of happiness at all, it was the most excruciating time and it was also, I think, the beginning of something like healing.”

Loving Aaron, and then falling into love with her current partner Matthew, taught Nora that we are not cursed by whatever past experiences we carry – sometimes those experiences can just be information.

(21:50) We’re always choosing.

We all hold different versions of ourselves in our heads – our rom-com self, our weekend-with-the-parents self, or relationship self. But in her book Nora mentions a caveat to the selves we carry with us – “The future ahead of me is not boundless, and never was. Every choice I made eliminated other versions of myself.”

Nora gives the Dates & Mates audience insight on how we can empower ourselves to make the hard (but healthy) choices in our lives, even if it involves eliminating possible future versions of ourselves.

(28:37) Sometimes the fairytale isn’t your happy ending.

Nora describes her relationship with her current husband Matthew as being unique in its own way. Firstly because they went through the experience of blending families. And secondly because they were never really single together – “you know, in that classic sense where you find someone, you date them, and you can go spend weekends away or take a spontaneous road trip. We met each other, and we came with kids. Like, we came with established lives. And so we had to fit those together in a way that made sense.”

Nora notes that her relationship with her first husband Aaron felt as close to a fairytale as you could get. But sometimes, the fairytale isn’t your happy ending or final destination. “[My relationship with Matthew] is very different. It is not a fairy tale. And thank God, honestly. Because if I thought that my happy ending happened when I was 30… It’s like, where do you go from there?”


Be sure to follow Nora on IG @Noraborealis and pick yourself up a copy of her newest book, “Bad Vibes Only: And Other Things I Bring To The Table.”



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:

  • IG Message from Suzanne – When is it acceptable to ping someone on Linkedin (if ever…)? I know it’s not a dating app, but I’ve had a great exchange with someone on Hinge mid-pandemic. Then I didn’t hear from him for weeks, got dejected and gave up. Recently logged back in after nearly a year to find that he HAD responded to me (2 months later) and now I had responded nearly a year later… I keep kicking myself over the missed connection (the guy was perfect!). His profile is unchanged (he’s either coupled up or on this app about as often as I am) and it doesn’t help that Hinge archives messages after 2 weeks, which is how I missed his last for months even after I was back on it. Found him on LinkedIn (no crazy sleuthing; 1st result given his name and schools) – is it completely inappropriate to reach out saying something to the effect of “sorry for unintentionally ghosting you on that other app”? Really want to meet him now that we can!

Green Flags & Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday

Choosing a partner is the most important decision you’ll ever make. It affects your finances, your family, your mental health and your future. But remember that your dating journey is just as important as your relationship destination. 

It’s a myth to think any relationship is ever a waste of time. These experiences can be the greatest source of information when it comes to better understanding ourselves and the relationships that best fit our lives.

And that’s why we have Nick Viall, author and host of The Viall Files podcast, here to discuss his new book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” and help you navigate the ups and downs of the dating process, so you’ll leave this episode feeling more empowered in dating.


Can work stress make you more critical in your relationships?

Have you ever come home from a stressful day at work, only to find yourself completely annoyed that your partner didn’t throw away that empty chip bag on the couch? That’s why the Society for Personality and Social Psychology published a new study diving into how work stress can affect our relationships. Researchers looked at couples and had them fill out a questionnaire that asked them about the stressful situations in their lives.

The results? Turns out that participants who reported experiencing more stressful life events outside of their relationship, were especially likely to notice their partner’s negative behaviors.

But if you aren’t in a relationship, Damona also believes that work stress could be making singles more critical of their dating lives, and causing them to show up on dates already looking for negative behaviors. Remember that where our attention goes, the energy flows. So on your next date, see what happens if you more consciously refrain from scanning for negative behaviors and look for those green flags instead.


You may know Nick from his starring role on the 21st season of ABC’s The Bachelor. Nick is also the host of the podcast The Viall Files, which explores all things dating and love – from post-breakup healing, to salacious texts in their three weekly episodes. 

And his book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday: And Other Advice on Love, Sex, and Dating” is out TODAY!

(11:00) Bad texting doesn’t always mean bad communication.

Although there’s no arguing that dating apps have totally changed the landscape of dating, Damona believes that texting has actually been the biggest shift in dating culture (given that texting is now a whole separate stage of the courtship process). And the biggest challenge with this is interpreting someone else’s tone. Nick notes that regardless of our intention when sending a text, the other person will always read the tone to match whatever mood or feelings they are in – if they are feeling defensive they will read your text defensively, or if they are feeling guarded they will read the message in a more guarded tone.

Because of this communication gap, Nick suggests avoiding having ongoing conversations with new matches over text. Take advantage of tools like Zoom, where you can clearly read someone’s facial expressions and hear their tone. 

Nick also gives us some crucial tips for sliding into someone’s DM’s, and how to avoid looking like a catfish.

(21:30) The player vs the f**kboy

Two famous archetypes on a similar mission – but what really is the difference between a player and a f**kboy? One might say that they’re the same thing and f**kboy just replaced the term player in the last decade. But the two definitely have their differences. 

According to Nick, a f**kboy is someone who is well intentioned. They want to have a relationship in theory, but don’t want to check their own behavior and do what it really takes or make the sacrifices required to be in a relationship. “Women, men – we all can become f**kboys. Because f**kboys happen when we’re not communicating our expectations and boundaries, and we make assumptions. The other person is having sex with us, but not really prioritizing our feelings. And then all of a sudden, we have a f**kboy situation.” Weirdly enough, your f**kboy could be someone else’s future partner. 

On the other hand, players are the people who actually have alternative motives. They truly don’t want a relationship, they just want to have sex. They tend to manipulate and lead others on, and will go out of their way to make you feel special so they can hopefully hook up with you with no attachments. They’re playing the game (hence the name “player”).

(27:50) Get yourself unstuck.

Nick had one central message when writing his new book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” – that we have more control in our love lives than we want to give ourselves credit for. Nick shares that he has always remembered feeling very stuck in a relationship. He says that he would obsess over small details or moments and the potential for rejection. “I chose to make her choices a representation of my self worth. And I allowed her choices to validate my self worth.”

Nick encourages readers to avoid making any kind of rejection about you. “Rejection sucks. It’s not fun. But if we reframe rejection as clarity to give us the answers, to allow us to have more freedom, to empower us to make our own choices, then it can just change things a little bit more.”


Be sure to grab yourselves a copy of “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” today! 


You can learn more about The Viall Files podcast on their website, and follow Nick Viall and The Viall Files on IG for more hot tips.



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:

  • IG Message from L – I’d like to ask for guidance on how to proceed with someone I recently met. We met last week & had an immediate connection. We saw each other the following day & he stayed with me, although we slept fully clothed. After that his communication was constant, but often made more sexual comments. We met again at my house the day he returned from a business trip. He spent the night & we just fooled around. We didn’t go all the way because I had communicated I wasn’t ready for more. He texted me the following Sunday, saying “Good morning sunshine. I hope you’re having a great weekend.” I responded. Then I sent a message on Monday just saying hi & he again responded with the same pleasantry. Since then he has not initiated contact once. I’ve reached out twice with pleasantries & he’s responded politely. I’m not sure how to proceed from here. I like him a lot & my goal is to develop a LTR with someone. 
  • Voicemail from Anon – Dear Damona, I recently became involved with a young lady that I like very much. So far, we’ve had three in person days of video call, and we’ve been texting paragraphs back and forth for at least three weeks straight. I knew from our first video call that she was someone I was extremely attracted to. At the end of our third date, I decided to ask if we can make our relationship official. But to my surprise, she kind of talked her way around saying no. So we had a heart to heart moment, where she reveals to me that she has some pretty serious past relationship baggage that only happened a few months ago. The following day, we had a text exchange where she said, “The more I thought about it last night and this morning, I truly don’t know if I’ll be ready for a relationship anytime soon. I do want to keep getting to know you and get closer though.” So my conundrum is, I genuinely like this woman and can envision myself having a future with her. But if she’s not ready to be in a relationship, should I move on and start from square one with a new person? Or is it worth the emotional investment that I continue to linger in her orbit, waiting for her to feel ready to be in a relationship? Since I already know that I like her and on some level, I know she likes me. I ask this question from the perspective of knowing that relationships require hard work, and I don’t want to waste my time if she has cold feet.

Indian Matchmaking & The Emoji Report

There are a lot of ways to meet your match, from IRL encounters to dating apps to blind dates set up by friends & family. But there is another way that’s often forgotten – arranged marriages! 

And now, this cultural practice has been brought back into the spotlight by the amazing Netflix reality TV show, Indian Matchmaking. The show highlights the journey of Matchmaker Sima Taparia as she guides clients in the US and India in a matchmaking process that applies centuries old customs to modern Indian and Indian-American daters.

If you’re like me, when you watch these shows you get curious about what really happens behind the scenes and what was going through the mind of your favorite participants on the show as it unfolded. So today, one of the breakout stars of the show, Nadia Jagessar, is here to discuss her experience of Indian Matchmaking, her current relationship status, and what she learned from participating in the show.


A deep dive into your emoji usage:

If you haven’t had a chance to read Adobe’s 2022 Emoji Trend Report, Damona breaks it down. Adobe conducted a national survey to explore “when, why and how Americans are using emoji to advance self-expression and communication.” And the results gave some VERY interesting stats, particularly for the future of dating.

Did you know that 50% of U.S. emoji users are more likely to respond to a message if it contains an emoji? And that a majority (88%) of emoji users are more likely to feel empathetic toward someone if they use an emoji? Given that Damona is both a fan of using emojis as “mood modifiers” and a fan of empathetic dating, I’d say we’re sold on Team Emoji.

Damona also breaks down Adobe’s “make-it or break-it” emojis when it comes to dating.


You probably know Nadia from the hit show Indian Matchmaking Seasons 1 and 2 where she was matched with Vinay, Shekar and Vishal. Nadia is also the Founder & Senior Event Consultant for Euphoria Events. And she is giving her second TEDx Talk at this year’s “Dare To Be Different” event.

(11:15) Saying yes to Indian Matchmaking…

Given that her parents had undergone an arranged marriage, it makes sense that Nadia took the plunge into exploring arranged marriage as well. But add reality television into the mix, and you’ve got a WHOLE other experience.

Nadia explains why she chose to work with Indian Matchmaking, what was stopping her from meeting someone before, and how her Indo-Caribbean background has played into her dating journey.

(16:40) Does matchmaking always pan out?

Have you ever had that small fear of running into your ex or someone you used to date? Like you’ll be out at a local take-out joint and bump into them as you’re leaving, or go to a party of a mutual friend and see them chatting with the host? 

Well in Nadia’s case, some of the matches that Sima Aunty (the matchmaker on the show) found were closer to her inner circle than she expected (mutual friends and such). Nadia also shares how working with a matchmaker defied her expectations.

(19:10) What happened with Vinay??

Nadia gives us the deets on what ACTUALLY happened with Vinay, one of the matches she hit it off with in Season 1. Long story short, Vinay was supposed to meet Nadia at her best friend’s wedding after party and he never showed up! They eventually had a conversation in which Vinay said he just wanted to be friends, to which Nadia responded with some sage words of wisdom…

Nadia also dives deeper into her other close connection with Shekar.

(30:27) What’s in store post-Indian Matchmaking?

Nadia states that what she’s looking for in a partner hasn’t changed much since filming the show – someone who is ambitious, has their own passions or hobbies, who wants a family, who will push her or help her slow down. (Do you relate to any of these wants?)

Damona also mentions how easy it can be to get caught up in planning a life with a partner (especially if you are a planning personality or a LITERAL party planner). But we have to try our best to always bring ourselves back to the present in moments where we may ruminate on the past or project to the future.


Be sure to follow Nadia on IG @nadiajagessar, and her event planning page @euphoriaeventsnj for some major party-planning inspo.



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:

  • IG Message from Sherry – Hi Damona! I’ve been listening to you for a few years now! Thank you for always putting out great content and keeping things real. How can I encourage someone I’m interested in to ask me out? I like the traditional way of dating… man asks woman out on a first date. I’m finding men to not take that leap anymore though. We chat in the apps, and I’ll hint at things like, ‘Oh, we’ll have to save that for when we meet’ and then nothing. The reply is often, ‘Sounds good,’ and then silence. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and asked someone, ‘Would you like to grab a drink with me sometime?’ And the reply? You guessed it… ‘Sounds good!’ Is this a sign that I should move on? Or, should I plan this date and tell them they’re up for the next one? Thanks in advance for your help! I’m feeling stuck lately.

Excuse My Grandma & The Soft Launch

We all know dating has changed. We’ve got apps and reality shows and social media (oh my!). But talk to someone ahead of you generationally and the differences are pretty extreme – wayyy fewer options, way less pre-marital sex and way less dating burnout to name a few.

But while so much has changed, some things stay the same in dating and relationships.  And that’s why we have Kim Murstein and Grandma Gail of the Excuse My Grandma podcast joining Damona to break down the differences in dating for different generations. 


Here’s how (and why) you should soft launch your relationship on IG:

We’re learning some new vocab today – have you ever heard of “soft launching” your relationship? According to our friends at Cosmopolitan Magazine, soft launching is casually introducing a relationship online without actually introducing it. Usually this introduction is made by posting ambiguous photos on your Instagram that imply the presence of a romantic connection. Some examples include two tickets for a show, dual cocktails on a bartop, or your hand casually holding someone else’s.

There are many reasons to soft launch your coupledom online, but Damona recommends considering these questions beforehand – Why is it that important for me to declare to the outside world that I am in a relationship? Is it that you want to send a message to someone that you’re off the market? Or is it that you want to celebrate love between you and somebody else?


Kim Murstein is a content creator and host of the Excuse My Grandma podcast with her grandmother Gail. Together they cover dating, relationships, and sex advice from two very different generational perspectives.

(12:40) Is dating better today than 50 years ago?

With two sage daters like Kim and Grandma Gail, we ask the inevitable question… is dating better today than 50 years ago? Even though she describes herself as an old soul, Kim is all for dating culture today because of the amount of autonomy you get while dating. And if dating apps aren’t your thing, you have total  freedom to date exclusively offline.


Then, Grandma Gail shares her thoughts and advice around sex on the first date.

(20:45) Kim’s rules for texting and communication.

You may have heard Damona reference emojis as being “mood modifiers”. They can be helpful in communicating your tone to someone while texting. But Kim has some controversial thoughts on what emojis you should NEVER use.

(25:25) The dangers of online dating today.

With all the Tinder Swindlers and West Elm Calebs out there today, it’s no doubt that all this online access makes dating a little dicier than in the pre-dating app era. Grandma Gail takes us back to how you “screened” the people you were dating before the internet – “If we did meet in person, we had a reference! There would be no way you’d go out with somebody who somebody else didn’t know, it just wouldn’t happen.”

(29:00) Never Have I Ever…

Damona, Kim and Grandma Gail play the classic get-to-know-you game, Never Have I Ever. Damona hits us with some spicy questions, including – have you ever kissed someone on a first date? Have you ever done MORE than kiss on a first date? Or have you ever given out a fake phone number?

Be sure to follow them on Instagram and TikTok @ExcuseMyGrandma and learn more 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:


  • IG Message from Matthew – How do I approach my disability and associated issues with someone I might be romantically interested in? I am currently single. I dated once many years ago with a fellow wheelchair user and we shared similar difficulties, but since we broke up I haven’t dated anyone or met up with anyone new. I would love to be more approachable to women, but I have a fear that once they know certain things about me they’ll think I’m too much for them. I’m afraid they’ll walk away and I’ll be left feeling rejected and hurt, and worried that I won’t ever find someone who loves me for me.

Positive Psychology & Too Nice

Okay y’all know my goal here is to help you find love and happiness in the relationship style you desire because with love comes trust, companionship, support and so much more. 

But one thing that evades many of us is the fact that all of this starts with us, our habits, our outlook in life, our choice to be present in love regardless of our relationship status.

And so I have positive psychology expert, author and television personality Rob Mack here to share his lessons and inspirations for how to Love from the Inside Out.


Why is being “too nice” such a turn off?

Y’know, I think we can agree that everyone deserves to date a nice guy/gal. But have you ever met someone so nice that it becomes a turnoff? Our friends at PopSugar were wondering the same thing.

According to a recent study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, how altruistic someone is has a huge effect on how attractive they are. More specifically, those who behave moderately altruistic are rated as MORE attractive vs those that behave highly altruistically.

Although we all have our opinions on how it feels to be “too nice,” there is definitely a line between being too nice and love bombing. Damona breaks it all down. 

PLUS Damona shares her story of “Operation Date Nice Guys” & how nice guys can get the girl using the Nice Guy 9.

ROB MACK (12:15)

Rob Mack is an Ivy League-Educated Positive Psychology Expert, Inspirational Speaker, and Published Author. His work is endorsed by Oprah, Vanessa Williams, Lisa Nichols, and many others. 

His most recent book release, Love from the Inside Out, is a best-seller following its release in March 2022.

(13:09) Have you found love from the inside out?

One of the major hallmarks in Rob’s book is learning how to find love from the inside out by practicing the presence of love. According to Rob, love is synonymous with happiness – more specifically, love is your happiness shared.

He continues that practicing self love, or the presence of love, is key to improving our relationships. How do we do this? Rob gives us the scoop.

(18:34) The Age of Distraction

I think we can all agree that we live in the ultimate age of distraction, right? With all the options available on Netflix alone, it’s impossible not to get overwhelmed with the amount of choices we have.

Rob agrees that it’s becoming harder and harder to enjoy anything nowadays because it’s becoming more impossible to be present. This causes us to seek out more relationships, and more material objects and more of everything, mostly because we’re not present with the people and the things that are in our lives.

So how does this factor into our dating lives? Rob spells out his tips for best practices on dating apps & how to combat the effects of distraction.

(26:10) Our texting mindsets are out of sync.

Damona mentions a piece of advice she heard from Nick Viall about texting – “people read your texts in the mindset that they’re in, not in the mindset that you sent them.” You’ve heard Damona say time and again how without tonal cues or body language, so much gets lost in translation while texting.

On top of this, Rob adds that we all have cognitive biases and distortions that factor into how you send or read a message (i.e. distortions like confirmation bias or the Halo effect).

Given that our biases are kind of unavoidable, is there a way we can bridge this gap in texting communication? Rob says that developing emotional regulation is essential, and explains why.

(33:45) It’s an extraordinary life if you don’t overthink it.

Since he ties love and practicing self love so closely to happiness, Rob states that we should be slowing down and finding more joy in the day-to-day moments. One way to do this is to practice emotional regulation – i.e. learning how to just chill out for the sake of chilling out, and enjoying it.

Secondly, identify the specific things or activities that allow you to feel inspired, relaxed, happy, joyful or just peaceful. One of Rob’s biggest examples is music, since “music is one of the fastest ways to shift your emotion. And your mood is a state that exists out there in the world. So just listen to some music, and notice how quickly your mood shifts according to the kind of music you’re listening to.” 

If we continue to take the time to improve our inner world, as Rob has shown us, your dating life is bound to follow.

(40:35) Loneliness, aloneness, & all oneness.

In Rob’s book “Love from the Inside Out,” there is a chapter titled “loneliness, aloneness, & all oneness.” Rob notes that we tend to think of these words as synonyms, as describing the same experience. But there is actually quite a difference.

Rob defines aloneness as being the objective experience of being by yourself. On the other hand, loneliness is the subjective experience of that feeling (how you feel about that aloneness). Because you can be alone all by yourself, and not be lonely.

So why is it important to make this distinction? Rob expresses, “I want people to recognize that they have a lot more power and control with respect to feeling good and feeling loved, and more control in feeling loved and feeling happy than they might be giving themselves credit for.”

Damona also revisits her own history and experiences with loneliness.


If you liked this interview, you can follow Rob on Instagram @RobMackOfficial.


And be sure to grab your copy of Love from the Inside Out by visiting



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 Kristen – Hi Damona! I have an entire notebook dedicated to your advice. Thank you for all that you do! I am a 39 year old woman and I was in a 3.5 year relationship with a 50 year old man. We were exclusive but more casual for the first 2.5 years, which we both wanted. I then had some big changes in my life that made me realize I wanted more commitment and security and spoke with him about it. He agreed that he wanted more too. It was okay for a little bit, but never quite enough for me. I explicitly gave him examples of what I needed, and he never followed through with the behaviors/actions I told him I needed. I brought it up to him and he promised he would do better. Mind you, the number one thing I said I needed was for him to ask me how I’m doing that day and truly listen to my response – nothing wild! About a year ago, I decided that I had had enough and he wasn’t going to change, so I broke up with him. A few months later he reached out and we tried again, but it was very short lived. Here we are a year later, and he is beating down my door and promising to be who I want and need. I’ve dated in the meantime and I still can’t stop thinking about him and what we could have. Please help!

The Daily Show & Cheater Effect

A few months ago, Damona caused quite a stir after her appearance on The Daily Show: Beyond the Scenes podcast. Apparently racism in dating is a HOT topic, and not in the spicy way – more in an attracting-internet-trolls kinda way.

So we decided to bring up the subject again today (much to our dismay, racism is a thing and therefore racial bias in dating IS also a thing). It’s understandable if that sounds a bit triggering, but we encourage you to stick with this episode because you might hear something today that gives you a whole new perspective.

As Damona’s mom always said, “we should be laughing to keep from crying.” That’s why comedian, actor and podcaster Roy Wood Jr. is here to give us his take on dating, race relations and the worst dating advice he’s ever heard. Plus he reveals the most important factor to determine relationship success. 


Monkey see, monkey do. Your friends are cheaters, how about you?

Metro UK broke down a recent study by Reichman University examining how different factors (particularly external factors) have an effect on cheating in a relationship. Long story short, the results concluded that people are more likely to have an affair if they know that others around them are also cheating on their partners. 

So Damona recommends asking yourself some important questions: What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? Are you building a life to support the kind of relationship you want? Plus, Damona drops some tips on getting into the right relationship mindset.

ROY WOOD, JR. (8:44)

Roy Wood, Jr. is a comedian, an actor, and correspondent on The Daily Show. He has collected so many credits and accolades over the years. But fun fact – when Damona worked in casting, she showcased him from an open call audition!

He is the host of the podcast Roy’s Job Fair where he explores the human condition every week through the prism of employment. And now Roy has a starring role in the upcoming film “Confess, Fletch” starring John Hamm, based on the classic Fletch movies. Catch it in theaters on September 16th.

(11:26) Embrace what works for YOU.

Damona and Roy go back and forth on the advice they’ve received over the years on what to look for in a man/woman. Roy also mentions that these pieces of advice – like “find yourself a woman who knows how to cook” – create a lot of traditional expectations in a relationship that you might not vibe with. Remember to check in and ask yourself about the kind of life YOU want to build.

(15:37) Relationship promotions.

Roy brings up a controversial joke he once told about how after a certain point in a hetero relationship, the label “girlfriend” starts to feel stale – i.e. the more serious a relationship is, the more saying girlfriend feels like an insult. D & R discuss the significance of various relationship terms, like “partner” or “boo thang.”

Damona also explains why situationships are more prevalent today than ever before…

(23:36) We all have “thermostatic compatibility.”

Damona throws it back to one of Roy’s jokes about thermostatic compatibility. Meaning, one element of determining your compatibility with someone is if you run hot or run cold. But other than who gets to use the heated blanket, what factors are important in a relationship? Roy shares his thoughts.

(28:38) Beyond the scenes.

Back in May 2022, Damona appeared on The Daily Show’s Beyond the Scenes podcast to divulge her thoughts on sexual racism on dating apps. So Damona asks Roy for his perspective – are dating apps really contributing to dating racism?


Be sure to catch Roy on the big screen in the upcoming film “Confess, Fletch” with Jon Hamm – it hits theaters September 16, 2022.


And check out his podcast Roy’s Job Fair!



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:

  • IG Message from Overwhelmed & Not Prepared – Hi Damona. I’m a huge fan of your podcast. I have been divorced for five years and dated on and off since. I’m now getting back into dating and have tried the online apps as it seems to be the way to go (although it feels very inorganic to me, I’m not a fan). I’ve been getting a great response rate but I’m having trouble making meaningful connections with my matches… Or even getting through the likes to figure out who ARE potential matches. Do you recommend going through only a certain number of them and exploring potential matches in that group before moving on?  I opened an account last night and I woke up to over 1500 likes. 😳I messaged a few but I knew it wasn’t a good match very early on. I would send a nice message and wish them well. Each person responded by verbally attacking me when I was simply trying to be polite. Is this why ghosting is such a big thing?