Unorthodox Dating & Newly Single

We had so much fun bringing you all the “F the Fairy Tale Challenge” last week. We connected with so many of you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook AND our brand new (well, technically reinvented) Youtube channel! (Check out the Dates & Mates Youtube channel here…)

And with that, today’s word of the week is REINVENTION.

There are certain pivotal moments in our lives. Little windows open up for us to peer inside our hearts and ask, what do we truly want? And are we living life in alignment with our goals and values?

In the face of these challenges, we find our true strength through reinvention. It’s a beacon of hope that says, “You are not defined by your past, but by the potential of your future.” To embrace reinvention is to become the authors of our own narratives. It’s the fuel for personal growth and transformation.

This week, let the word “reinvention” inspire you to chase dreams, break boundaries, and shatter limitations. Go for what you know in your heart is meant for you. If you’re listening today, on the precipice of a reinvention of your relationship future or any other aspect of your life, our guest is the perfect person for you to hear from.


Julia Haart is a fashion designer, entrepreneur and the current CEO of Elite World Group, a fashion talent management group. However, Julia started out in a very different place in life. She was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and was married off to a man she barely knew at a young age. That marriage ruled her life for 23 years before she gained the courage to leave.

Julia joins Dates & Mates today to talk about how she went from ultra orthodox long sleeves to designing lingerie, and how to find your voice and power in a relationship.

(6:41) Shifting into body confidence.

Julia goes into her orthodox background, including the three laws that defined her life for years. Her transition into body empowerment, and consequently starting her lingerie brand, was inspired when her 5-year old daughter asked why their religion wouldn’t allow her to play soccer with the other kids.

(18:12) Don’t take freedom for granted.

Julia details what it was like to start dating for the first time at 52-years old. “The first like nine months, it was more about self discovery than dating. I didn’t really date.” For Julia, one of the most important transitions was experiencing her own sexual freedom for the first time. 

Julia also explains what she’s learned since being on My Unorthodox Life in 2022.

(25:05) Gardeners & flowers…

Damona and Julia talk about what it takes to really create change in your life, and deprogram old beliefs that aren’t serving you anymore. Julia also offers a metaphor that says everyone is either a gardener or a flower. “Gardeners are the people who take care, they nurture, they feed, they support, they help. Flowers are the people that say give me, give me, give me everything… I would like someone who gardens some of the time, and doesn’t always say ‘give me.’”


You can follow Julia on Instagram @JuliaHaart AND you can learn more about her sexy shapewear by visiting



Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live on a future all-Dear Damona episode!

Manifest Love & Slay Monsters


From what we’ve been hearing lately, so many of you feel like you’re doing all the things to find your match, but not seeing the progress you want. So in today’s episode, we’re going to work a little magic – well, a specific kind of magic.

The word of the day is MANIFESTATION.

We believe that manifestation is magic and that we all have the power to manifest our destinies. When we dream it and believe it, we can achieve it, whether we’re talking financial success or love.

And before you say “that’s too woo woo for me,” we encourage you to have an open mind. Having an open mind is the first step to making manifestation work for you. When we manifest, we are actually programming our subconscious mind, helping our brains get to order our actions and make what we visualize real.

Or maybe it’s just straight up magic. Either way, our guest today – Morgana Rae – will show us how it’s done.


Morgana Rae is the #1 international best-selling author of “Financial Alchemy: 12 Months of Magic & Manifestation.” Morgana has been a 7-figure spiritual life and business coach for over 30 years (that’s over a million for those who are counting). She’s guided tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, artists, healers and humanitarians to heal the rift between heart, spirit, and money.

Morgana’s groundbreaking approach to “attracting money like a lover” has featured her on all the major television networks – United Press International, Yahoo Finance, The Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of others. As a thought leader on the topics of Wealth and Relationships, she’s also been a featured expert on stages with Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington, Bob Proctor, and many others. 

(3:00) Change happens at the speed of safety…

Although a lot of her work has been financially oriented, Morgana says manifesting love is a lot like manifesting wealth. She shares her story of how she slayed her “love monster” in 2012, when she met the man who would eventually become her husband. 

Morgana also believes that change happens at the speed of safety, and explains the 3 steps you can take to dissect and heal the ways you feel unsafe in love.

(22:15) Character versus characteristics.

After Damona describes her 3 C’s rule for profile photos – having Color, Context & Character – she notes that many people forget about implementing your character, because they get too caught up in impressing potential matches instead of leaning in authentically. 

Morgana revisits her own profile, and how she used her bio to paint a picture of what it would be like to date her. This is when the quality of her matches began to change. Morgana buttons her thought with, “if you feel like you need to impress that person, it’s not your person.”

(28:30) Find your Money Honey!

Morgana clarifies that your “money monster” can be anything that has ever made you feel unlovable, unworthy, unsafe, judged or powerless. And once you slay that money monster, you will open yourself up to finding your “money honey.” (Check out Morgana’s website for 6 steps on how to take action in finding your money honey.) 

Morgana adds that “you must create safety in your own relationship, with your existence, with your life on Earth. So that when somebody shows up with ill intent, you don’t take it personally. You just say no, and move on.”


Visit Morgana’s website and grab a copy of her bestselling book, “Financial Alchemy: 12 Months of Magic & Manifestation.”




Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live on a future all-Dear Damona episode!

Dear Damona: Great Expectations & The Talk


We’re coming at you this week with our very first all-Dear Damona episode of Dates & Mates Season 11! And the word of the week? HEALING.

We’ve been seeing a lot of misplaced anger, frustration, and disappointment on all the socials this week on well-intentioned posts – everything from raising money for charity to book recommendations. There’s a lot of pain circulating in the form of critical comments and insults being delivered behind the veil of a phone screen.

But instead of fighting anger with anger, think about shifting your instincts towards healing.

Every action that we take is motivated by one thing – to move toward love or away from pain. We do not heal our pain through complaining, through dragging someone on social media, or from ghosting. We heal our pain through listening and through extending compassion to others.

And when we are healed and whole, we can move towards love and away from pain at the same time. Hurt people hurt people and healed people help people. And boy, do we need more helpers and healers right now.

On that note, let’s get into the business of the week. You asked for it – our first Dear Damona episode of the season.



Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live on our next all-Dear Damona episode!


  • (2:45) Voicemail from Chantel: Hello, I recently jumped back into using dating apps and I’ve met someone who I really like who is kind, thoughtful and cute. We’ve been dating for about three months. I’m wondering if I should initiate a serious relationship talk? He said he is open to long term relationships. But we haven’t really talked about what our relationship goals are yet. So I’m not sure whether he meets my needs for a long term relationship. I am attending grad school and working. So I’m pretty busy, and I don’t have a whole lot of time for dating apps. I’m kind of worried that if I continue to date him, I won’t explore other potential matches. So I’m just wondering if I should initiate the serious dating talk or if I should just continue to date him casually and learn more about each other.


  • (9:50) Voicemail from Bren: Hi Damona! I am a 60 year old woman, new to the dating scene after a recent divorce. I have a question about complete honesty on dating profiles. I am a physician and I am very hesitant to put it on a profile so as to avoid a lot of the predatory stuff that goes on and some of the dating sites. But of course, I like the fact that I’m a physician. I’m proud of what I do, but not really sure how to approach that on a dating website. What is your advice in regards to staying safe and being fully transparent about your profession online?


  • (15:37) IG Message from Shana: Hi Damona, I have a query about not getting too disappointed after first dates which appeared to have gone very well, but then you don’t hear back from the man. Would you be able to offer some sound advice on expectations and not having them deflated?


  • (24:35) Voice Memo from T: Hey Damona! I was in a relationship for about two and a half years. Two weeks before it ended, we were engaged. It has been three months of healing, grieving, therapy and journaling and processing the end of this relationship. I am getting curious and excited. So the question is, how do you internally know if you’re ready to get back into the dating world after processing a serious breakup?


  • (28:52) Text from S: Hi Damona! I absolutely love your podcast. My question is how boring is too boring? I have been dating online for the past year and have met a lot of guys who are nice and want to see me again, but the dates are very bland and low energy. Should I be doing more to spice things up, or should I just pass on the guys if we don’t click after a couple dates?

Matchmaking the Stars & Eggs In One Basket


Welcome to the second episode of Dates & Mates Season 11!

As part of the new season, each episode we will have a Word of the Week to set the tone. And the word this week is EXPANSION. The Dates & Mates team just got back from the Podcast Movement Conference in Denver, where we met so many new people, reconnected with the community, and discussed ways to expand the bounds of Dates & Mates. So this week’s mission is to expand your thinking around your dating pool and take some time to look at what you’re attracting in.

To help in expanding your dating pool, our guest today is Amber-Kelleher Andrews. She’s known in the biz as the matchmaker to the stars, but the name on her business card is CEO of Kelleher International, one of the largest matchmaking firms in the U.S.

Amber will share what her clients are really looking for in a match and how she finds it. Plus, she’ll reveal why she rarely pairs two celebs together. (So if you’ve always dreamed of matching with your favorite movie star, you might have a better shot than you realize. 🫢)


Damona will still be dishing on all the hottest dating news, BUT the Dating Dish segment will now live on TikTok and Instagram (so we can see YOUR hot takes in the comments).


In 2014 Amber starred in NBC’s prime time reality show “Ready For Love” which followed her radio talk show for CBS. Since then, she has appeared on The Today Show, GMA, 20/20, Nightline, BBC, and NBC news. Now, she is the CEO of Kelleher International, one of the largest matchmaking firms in the U.S.

(4:05) What makes two people a good match?

A matchmaker’s sole purpose is to have an eye for a good match – but how does Amber know when this is the case? She shares that people tend to look outside themselves for what a good partner possesses, and suggests turning more towards self-discovery. “If we were to walk around like a magnet, drawing in everything we need, we’d have to do some self-inventory first. You don’t want to draw in unhealthy patterns, drama, etc.”

Stereotypically, celebrities aren’t usually known for being introspective. So how do you find a match for someone who isn’t in the healthiest place? Amber gives her thoughts.

(9:10) Unlinking your social media & dating profile…

One of Damona’s top recommendations when dating online is to avoid including your social media information on your dating profile, because there is a big difference in how we may present ourselves in public versus when we’re trying to find a partner. 

Amber says she tries to match her clients on who they are, versus how they’re perceived in the celebrity world.

Amber also mentions it’s important to manage your expectations when dating, and challenge yourself on your type. One way you can do this is for every must-have, simply ask yourself “why.”


(18:40) How to make a great first impression!

 From a matchmaker’s perspective, Amber details why it’s important for her to keep her client’s expectations low when sending them out on a date – “you want the client to set their own expectations for their date.” 

That being said, Amber goes over some of the ways you can make a great first impression. For example, don’t do a lot of texting or have a lot of phone calls beforehand. Know what questions you’re going to ask on the date, so you don’t freeze up.

Amber and Damona also go over some crucial first date red flags, plus signs that your date is DEFINITELY interested in you.



Be sure to follow Amber on Instagram @Amber_Kelleher. And if you’d like to become a client of Kelleher International, just visit


Our first ALL Dear Damona episode of the season will air next week on September 5th. SO, if you have a question, the DMs are open @DamonaHoffman on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook

How to Decode Mixed Messages

We’ve all been there – on the other end of texts, DMs, or in-person interactions that seem to carry hidden meanings, leaving us teetering on the edge of confusion. The ability to decode mixed messages is a skill that transcends personal and professional realms alike. It’s about peeling back the layers of ambiguity and gaining insight into the genuine meaning beneath.

From examining the reasons behind mixed messages to strategies for clearer communication, this guide will empower you to become a more astute interpreter of human interaction.

Here are some tips on how to decode mixed messages:

  • Escape The Texting Trap: The allure of texting lies in its convenience, but it’s also a breeding ground for misunderstanding. A concise response could indicate your match’s communication style or potentially signal disinterest. But if you’re uncertain, remember that opting for a call or an in-person conversation might provide the clarity you seek.

  • Nix Early Exclusivity: In an age where opportunities abound, people like to keep their options open. You are not exclusive until proven otherwise so try to embrace the discovery in the first few weeks or months and don’t be in too much of a rush to demand a commitment. 
  • Don’t Play It Cool: One common pitfall is pretending to be casual when you’re yearning for something more. Being authentic about your feelings prevents the heartache that often arises from misaligned intentions. Prioritize your emotional well-being and be truthful about your desires.

  • Teasing and Tension: Teasing, often misunderstood, can be an intriguing mixed signal. Embracing a lighthearted banter reveals layers of interest beneath the surface. In today’s dating landscape, showcasing a sense of humor and demonstrating your ability to engage playfully can be incredibly attractive. However, if a line is crossed, address your discomfort promptly before frustration festers.
  • Translating What’s Unspoken: Confused about something they said? Here are some translations for common miscommunications…
    • Maybe we should hang out sometime. = I’m interested in more than friendship but I’m trying to play it cool.
    • What’s up with your friend? = I’m not interested in you; I’m interested in your friend.
    • What are you looking for? = Are you seeking a serious relationship or not, be honest.
    • I’m going to that party. = I want to spend more time with you; please come to the party – and maybe even suggest we go together.
    • I’ll see you around. = I see you as a friend, not a romantic interest.
    • I’m single. = Could mean that they are still dating others but not in a committed relationship.
    • I’m not looking for anything serious. = I’m not looking for anything serious (don’t waste your time if you are.)

Communication is a dynamic landscape influenced by culture, technology, and individuality. So when getting to know your match, keep in mind that navigating communication is a fusion of understanding timeless human behavior and adapting to the ever-changing ways we connect.


Shan Boodram & The Marriage Pact

Believe it or not, we have been making episodes of Dates & Mates for over a DECADE – and now we’re excited to welcome in both loyal and brand new listeners for Season 11!

As mentioned last week, we have developed a new and improved, shorter format of the show. You’ll still hear all of the info-packed interviews that you love every week with all-Dear Damona episodes sprinkled in here and there (so keep those questions coming – scroll to the bottom to find out how).

But we’ve got a hot topic to kick off the new season: marriage pacts. This topic has been moving back into the limelight these days as Roku’s new show The Marriage Pact sets out to analyze the friendship-to-relationship pathway. And, we HAD to know more!!

The show is hosted by friend and former Dates & Mates guest, two time best-selling author, certified sexologist and host of the Lovers & Friends podcast, Shan Boodram. 

And that’s why we HAD to have Shan join us for the Dates & Mates Season 11 Premiere to talk about why YOU might want to consider a marriage pact.



Damona will still be dishing on all the hottest dating news, BUT the Dating Dish segment will now live on TikTok and Instagram (so we can see YOUR hot takes in the comments).



Shan is a two time best-selling author, certified sexologist and host of the Lovers & Friends podcast. She can be seen hosting Roku’s new show The Marriage Pact, streaming for free!

(2:50) Define “marriage pact.”

In case you forgot, a marriage pact is an agreement between two people (usually friends) that agree to pursue a marriage or partnership if neither of them is married by a certain age. So as the host of The Marriage Pact, Shan assists these pairs in navigating whether or not to pursue a friends-to-lovers relationship. Damona asks Shan for her thoughts on the most difficult marriage pact scenarios, and the two discuss the differences between settling vs. settling down vs. securing.

(9:55) The pillars of LTC…

You may have heard Damona mention her pillars of long-term compatibility – shared goals, shared values, trust, and conflict resolution. Although Shan offers that in her book, attraction often comes into play in those pillars. Shan also offers her thoughts on the power of marriage pacts – one perk being that if you’re a self-sabotager, having a specific timeline can push you to make a definitive decision about your future.

(20:05) The pandemic-dating ripple effect.

Damona and Shan debrief on the most prominent dating trends that came out as a result of the pandemic, and how they have evolved in the last two years. These trends include being more “consciously single,” prioritizing mental health, and how some singles prefer to find pen pals over dating apps rather than meet IRL. Ghosting also appears to be a RAMPANT behavioral trend nowadays, and Damona and Shan break down why this is.

Be sure to follow Shan Boodram on Instagram @ShanBoodram and check out The Marriage Pact on Roku for free!



Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live on a future Dear Damona episode!

Season 11 is coming!

Dates & Mates just wrapped up its 10th season, and over the years we’ve had the opportunity to interview many celebrities, authors, matchmakers and more. So with Season 11 right around the corner, we’re compiling a list of some of Damona’s favorite interviews from this past season to get you prepped for the Season 11 launch on August 22nd! Check it out below…

PLUS –  we heard your feedback and you’ll notice some changes to Dates & Mates Season 11. The episodes will now be shorter and more action-packed. You’ll still hear the amazing in depth interviews that you love most weeks, but we will also sprinkle in some all Dear Damona episodes. 

As for the Dating Dish? You’ll still be able to hear Damona dish about the hottest headlines. Only now, you can view extra content as we move those juicy parts of the show to TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.

1. Ep #453 with Rachel Lindsay: Rachel is a podcaster, author, and TV host – but you probably know her as the first Black Bachelorette.



2. Ep #436 with Kamie Crawford: You may know her as the co-host of MTV’s hit series, “Catfish: The TV Show.” In this episode, Kamie shares some mind blowing dating safety tips with Damona…



3. Ep #427 with Roy Wood Jr: Damona doesn’t just interview people on dating shows. Occasionally old friends and comedians stop by to share their two cents on the current state of the date – we’re talking about Daily Show Correspondent Roy Wood Jr.!



4. Ep #446 with Dan Savage: Damona was joined by the OG dating and sex columnist, dating and relationship expert, Dan Savage, who shared an interesting perspective on some things straight couples can learn from gay daters.



5. Ep #469 with Orna Guralnik: And we can’t forget Clinical Psychologist Orna Guralnik, the star in Damona’s favorite show Couples Therapy, and the gems that she dropped about communication in relationships.




Keep your questions coming for Season 11! You can reach us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to hear your answers on a future episode of Date & Mates.

Team Dating App: With Excuse My Grandma

We are wrapping our Summer Series up with a big bang this week and bringing you a special crossover episode with the Excuse My Grandma podcast where the hosts, Kim and Grandma Gail, talk about the generational differences of dating, sex and relationships. 

Damona sat down with them on their pod to take on the task of convincing Grandma Gail to come on over to Team Dating Apps. Damona, Kim and GG also discuss how to PROPERLY screen your dating app matches, why you SHOULDN’T text too much before a first date, and how a simple phone call could SAVE YOU HOURS in your dating life.

Whether you’re on Team Dating Apps or Team Traditional Dating Methods, this crossover summer series episode with the Excuse My Grandma Podcast is for YOU!


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.

(11:05) Getting Grandma Gail on Team Dating App…

There are a lot of common concerns around using dating apps – like, how do I know my match is being honest about who they are? Is online dating really safe? What if I end up swiping so much that it affects my mental health? 

Damona addresses all of Grandma Gail’s dating app concerns and goes over the 5 Dating Loops that may be keeping you from finding your match.

(17:20) Texting etiquette & the 3-Date Rule.

Damona goes over some common traps in texting, most prominently something called the “Online Disinhibition Effect.” This is the process in which texting too often with someone can create a false sense of intimacy, which can cause you to overshare with someone. So if you think you may be sharing too much too quickly, ask yourself – would I say this to this person if we were face to face at a bar or on a coffee date?

Grandma Gail also shares her 2-Date Rule, while Damona goes over her 3-Date Rule.

(37:30) Dating in your 60s vs your 30s…

One of the biggest differences between dating culture for people in their 60s vs 20s and 30s? Women over 60 are the biggest targets for romance scams, which is why Damona has her clients be extra diligent about screening. One tip Damona gives is to read someone’s messages as if they were written to someone else – how personalized or specific to you are the messages? 

Damona also goes into the key phrases someone might use if they’re trying to scam you.

(42:55) OkCupid’s Dating Trend Predictions!

Throwback Tuesday! Since this episode aired last Fall, Damona goes over OkCupid’s Fall 2022 dating trend predictions. Some of the main trends include emphasis on IRL dates and being forward about mental health with matches. 

Damona also defines “cuffing season” and “peak dating season” for those who aren’t aware…


Check out Excuse My Grandma on your favorite podcast app and be sure to follow Kim and Grandma Gail on Instagram @ExcuseMyGrandma.



There is no Dear Damona this week, but please submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers during a future episode of Date & Mates!

Unsure if your question is right for Dates & Mates? Check out our recent all-Dear Damona episode to get a taste of what our listeners are thinking. 📝



Up Your Dating Skills: feat. The Mark Groves Podcast

We’ve got another amazing crossover episode for y’all this week. Damona joins forces with the The Mark Groves Podcast, where the two break down the ways in which dating is a learned skill, not a natural born talent – and more.


This episode originally aired in November of 2020, so the conversation will take you back to that time when covid and racial justice were at the forefront of our minds. And if you’ve been listening to the rest of the Summer Series, you’ll recognize some familiar details about Damona’s origin story.

So if you are ready to maximize your relationship potential, then this crossover Summer Series episode with The Mark Groves Podcast is for YOU!


On his podcast, Mark explores the juiciest parts of the human experience and what it’s like to live authentically in the modern world. The Mark Groves Podcast is also one of the top 10 podcasts on relationships in the world.

(8:00) How to use dating apps “properly.”

One of the biggest hurdles Damona has encountered with her clients is that they don’t know how to use dating apps to their fullest potential. A big part of this is knowing how to couple clarity with action. In her sessions, she often prompts her clients to reflect on how they have programmed the app to deliver matches of a certain caliber – AKA we teach the app to give us more of what we’re swiping on. Mark also mentions that we tend to put people into predefined boxes when dating. And although this can be a shortcut to getting closer to our match, it often limits the potential for the matches we COULD have.

Damona continues to dish on the best way to tell your story in your profile photos, including what pics NOT to use.

(25:25) Breaking down our biases through self-work…

Damona shares a bit more about her upbringing, being the daughter of a black woman from Detroit and a Jewish man from Chicago. She explains that it took a lot of self-reflection in order for her to question and break down her own biases about herself and “ideal” beauty standards. Only then was Damona ready to meet her life partner, Seth. Mark and Damona pose the question to listeners – what beliefs are you holding that are keeping you stuck in a place of familiarity?

Damona also breaks down some OkCupid stats surrounding biases on dating apps, and how attraction bias can change based on your upbringing.

**If you want to know more, listen to this episode of The Daily Show Podcast where Damona goes further into the idea of “sexual racism.”

(44:55) No one is born knowing how to date!

With all that we absorb culturally from Rom-Coms and happy endings, we tend to see finding love as something that should come easy. But surprise – dating is a learned skill! A common worry from Damona’s clients is that they “don’t want to waste time” on the wrong people. But you will never waste your time if you learn something from the dating experiences you do have. Mark asserts that “one of the best things you can learn in dating is how to say no faster.”

Mark and Damona continue discussing how people can get trapped in a dating rut by focusing on the quantity of matches vs. the quality of their matches and conversations.

Check out The Mark Groves Podcast on your favorite podcast app and be sure to follow Mark on Instagram @ItsMarkGroves AND @createthelove.



There is no Dear Damona this week, but please submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers during a future episode of Date & Mates!

Unsure if your question is right for Dates & Mates? Check out our recent all-Dear Damona episode to get a taste of what our listeners are thinking. 📝 

First Date Conversation Tips

Finding love and companionship has taken on a new dimension, with online dating becoming the norm rather than the exception. While dating apps offer exciting opportunities to connect with potential partners, one of the key aspects of a successful date, whether online or offline, is the ability to hold a captivating conversation. But don’t worry; this isn’t about being the funniest person in the room or having the perfect pick-up lines. It’s about being genuine, passionate, and creating a comfortable atmosphere for both you and your date.

Below are some first date conversation tips to keep your date from turning into another boring interview:

  1. Pre-select topics with passion: Your authenticity will shine through in your conversation when you come to the date prepared to discuss things you genuinely care about. While starting with media and pop culture can be a good icebreaker, remember to transition into other meaningful topics as the conversation progresses.
  2. Share stories that define you: Our personal experiences make us unique, and sharing these experiences is a great way to let your date see the real you. Think about defining moments in your life or childhood anecdotes that give insight into your character and values. Offering personal stories creates a deeper connection – and while you shouldn’t dominate the conversation, having a couple of compelling stories in your back pocket will help when the time is right.
  3. Ask the right questions: Being a great conversationalist is actually more about being a good listener than being a good talker. Pay attention to what your date says and respond with specific questions about their interests or experiences. Most people love talking about themselves, and showing genuine interest in their lives will make them feel valued and appreciated. Also remember to strike a balance between sharing your own stories and asking about theirs to keep the conversation flowing naturally.
  4. Read the room and adjust: Read your date’s cues during the conversation, be flexible and adapt to the flow of the discussion. If they seem enthusiastic about a topic, explore it further. If a subject doesn’t resonate with them, gracefully transition to something else. Remember, a successful date is not about impressing someone but making a meaningful connection.
  5. Study their profile: Before your date, take the time to study the person’s dating app profile if you met online. Make a curiosity list of things you’d like to know more about before you leave for the date. This allows you to pick up on common interests and talking points, making it easier to steer the conversation in the right direction. Demonstrating that you’ve taken the time to read and remember their profile shows genuine care and consideration, and increases the chances of a successful date.

All in all, successful online dating is not just about making as many matches and going on as many dates as possible.; It’s about mastering the art of engaging conversation. By being authentic, passionate, and attentive, you can create a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for both you and your date.



Master Class: Do you have a “Type”?

Reality dating shows are all the rage. From Love Is Blind to 30 Day Fiance, we are constantly watching love as a social experiment on our TVs and it has left the Dates & Mates team wondering, are singles willing to experiment in their own dating lives? 

They should be! Having a growth mindset around improving your dating skills could be the key to finding your match.

In this mini masterclass, Damona shares why having a “Type” is a myth, why it may be holding you back in dating, and how you can expand your dating pool beyond seeing the same type of person again and again.


  • (5:00) Be open to finding love anywhere and everywhere.
  • (6:05) The Familiarity Principle.
  • (11:15) Focus on how your values intersect.
  • (15:45) What if what you believed about your “type” wasn’t true?


Have you ever been curious about 1-on-1 coaching? Enrollment is currently open for Damona’s Diamond VIP Coaching Program! Go to to book an assessment call with Damona’s hand-selected coach Yogi Marquis, and get on the road to getting unstuck in love.

How To Choose The Right Dating App For You

If your social circle is set and your leisure time is limited, as it is for most modern adults, dating apps are the best bang for your buck in love. Online dating presents an amazing opportunity to date in the little free time you have left and to connect with like-minded singles.

But with the introduction of swipe technology and an array of dating apps to choose from, where do you even start with online dating? 

Here’s an outline of the 4 types of apps, the people that like them, and the most common traps of each one:

1. Traditional Apps – Match, Plenty of Fish, or OkCupid. Dating apps like Match, Plenty of Fish, or OkCupid provide a lot of opportunity and give you a chance to try out a bunch of different matches. 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.

2. Swipe Apps – 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. The downside is it’s hard to find the right committed match since these 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 connection.
    • 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 – you may even think “I wish someone could do this part for me.”
      • The disappointment that comes with thinking you know someone, meeting in person and finding you’re not quite compatible.

3. Niche Apps – JDate and Christian Mingle. 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 the 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. 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 want.

If you’re still a bit unsure about which app is the right app, the most important questions to ask yourself are:

  1. Do I like using this app? Are the features easy to use and understand?
  2. Am I attracted to the people here? Are there matches I could see myself going out with?

That’s it! It’s useless to be on the app that all your friends say is best if you hate using it or roll your eyes at every person in you match queue. It doesn’t matter if you have great matches if you hate using the app and never check your messages. Find an app that works for YOU and your lifestyle.

Signing up for any dating app can be an overwhelming experience at first. But at the end of the day, dating apps are just another resource to meet your people…or person, more specifically. And if you don’t like the matches you get from one dating app, just start fresh on another!