LOVE LOCKDOWN

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

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

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!

DEAR DAMONA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DID YOU HEAR THE GOOD NEWS?

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

WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!

Unknown Speaker  0:00  

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

Damona  0:12  

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

Unknown Speaker  1:06  

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

Damona  4:15  

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

Unknown Speaker  4:48  

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

Damona  5:44  

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

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

Unknown Speaker  12:02  

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

Damona  12:22  

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

Unknown Speaker  16:33  

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

Damona  18:23  

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

Unknown Speaker  21:40  

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

Damona  21:53  

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

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

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