We know, this is controversial, especially at a time when everything feels political.

That said, there’s a lot of grey area in politics and even when someone is voting for the same candidate – a lot can get miscommunicated and muddied in political conversations.

So you are much better off talking about values and goals because at the end of the day that will teach you more about the person you’re dating.

If you didn’t already get the picture, this week is all about First Dates.

Damona is joined by Rich Juzwiak, advice columnist behind “How To Do It” in Slate and co-host of the Pot Psychology podcast. Rich also happens to write for the Washington Post Date Lab column with Damona – matching hopeful singles in the DC on blind dates and then writing the recap.

But first we have headlines:


(2:52) Men say sex is better during the pandemic. Is it true? 

In a recent study by the New York Post, men reported having more sex than women. Damona examines the facts of this study. 

(5:55) Are dating apps ruining your self-esteem?

Damona looks at an article by StyleCaster where the author reveals dating apps were affecting her mental health. 


Rich Juzwiak is a writer for Slate’s “How to Do It” which answers intense questions about sex, love, and relatioships. He and Damona cover A LOT:

(18:20) You watch movies and read books to view the world from a new perspective. Here’s why you should find a date who also has a different life perspective than you do.

(21:30) Do matches based on physical attraction have a higher success rate?

(25:00) First date topics: If you’re going to ignore Damona’s political moratorium, then here’s how to have THAT conversation

(28:00) 🚨STOP RIGHT NOW🚨: Are you breaking the 1 hour first date rule?

(26:19) Both Rich & Damona have been in relationships with partners where being a vegetarian comes into play. Can meat eaters vs. plant eaters truly enjoy a life together? 

(31:18) As a co-host of the hit podcast Pot Psychology, Rich discusses the impact of smoking pot on relationships and his personal experiences with it.

(36:29) Demi Lovato’s recent declaration of her sexuality brings up a major discussion of the importance and effects of labels. 

Want More of Rich?

Date Lab Column: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/date-lab/

How to Do It: https://slate.com/human-interest/how-to-do-it

Pot Psychology Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pot-psychology/id1496859784



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

  • Meg (Voicemail): I met a guy on a dating app, and I’m not finding myself to be super attracted to him on the first couple dates. He’s not the physical type I usually go for. He feels more like a friend.
  • (Sora): Hello Damona! I love listening to your podcast, and I hope you will answer my question. Do you believe in the rubber band theory in a relationship where a guy pulls away and then returns? My guy has not contacted me for 8 days, should I wait and assume it’s all part of the rubber band theory or am I already being ghosted?


The app solves many major challenges that Damona’s clients face in dating today:

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

We are proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. If you want more information, check out Damona’s video on when to give out your number to people you meet on dating apps. Click here!




Get Better Help: real therapy, convenient and affordable. Get started today and enjoy 10% off your first month. BetterHelp.com/datesandmates




Unknown Speaker  0:00  

are we supposed to get married


Unknown Speaker  0:01  

gonna just swipe i just want somebody to share my talking about your future together on a first date might be very off putting you


Damona  0:09  

can keep waiting for the fairytale or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships if you’ve read my advice in the la times then you know this ain’t your mama’s love advice this is dates and mates with damona hoffman hello lovers welcome to dates and mates with damona hoffman presented by tax now the app that gives you a free second phone number that you can use just for dating so you can keep your dating live separate and sexy many of you know that i am a writer on the washington post date love column what that column is is basically a lot of hopeful singles in the dc area submit themselves to be matched on a blind date and when i say blinding i’m not talking like an online date i’m talking about they put their trust in us the date lab writing team and an editing team to make a match for them then they show up in talk to a stranger and we write about it after the fact it’s wild the columns been around for like 12 or 13 years i’ve been there two and a half years and i absolutely love it and i look forward to writing these pieces every week if you’re looking for cliffsnotes on which of the pieces i was most proud of i would definitely recommend the one i did a couple months ago where a lady from florida talks about her medical school research on the effects of bath salts on your desire to want to eat a person’s face i didn’t know that was a thing i fact checked it actually is you could check out that article or my latest one on politics and dating and how that can affect a first date but today i’m excited to break down all of the elements of a great first date with my fellow washington post date lab writer and friend and the voice behind slates hit advice column how to do it rich jozwiak but first you know there are headlines and you know there are studies and you know i love a good study like men say sex is better during the pandemic women do not say the same thing so who’s right and what to do if you find that dating apps are affecting your self esteem plus we will answer your questions and dear dimona like he’s great on paper but you’re not feeling the vibes should you move on and his rubber band theory a thing in relationships and doesn’t mean that he’ll come back and more on today’s date tomates it’s time now for the dish these dating dish according to e harmony’s happiness index love and relationships in america survey of 2000 people men are pretty happy with the effect of the pandemic on their dating life 45% of men said they’re having sex more frequently compared to just 29% of women which makes me wonder are men not accurately reporting the amount of sex they’re having or who are they having sex with if only 29% of women are saying that they’re having sex with them i’m a little confused but the numbers the facts are what they are and there was a new article in the new york post the most reliable of sources that said that women were reporting that sex during this health crisis did nothing to boost their overall sex satisfaction i was curious to figure out why first men and women said different things but also to see what is really going on like is it that women are feeling the effects of the pandemic more acutely like women in relationships moms like hello that’s my situation if moms are just like look i’m dealing with virtual school i’m tired i’m working from home i just don’t i can’t really think about having sex with you when i’m thinking about like staying alive


but why is it like a turn on for men i don’t know for me i will say i think the pandemic could have a positive impact on sex lives if you know what i mean because i think it allows you the space with your partner to really feel connected and feel like it’s you too against the world then kind of conversations we’ve had to have in the pandemic just about like who else are you seeing and what is your behavior within the pandemic that might expose me to risk and how can we figure this out together and support one another through this really challenging time, I would say that it should have a positive impact on a relationship and a sex life. However, also, I mentioned the kids a minute ago, the kids are always home. So I don’t know when you’re going to do it. I don’t know who you’re doing it with. But thanks, eHarmony. For this very interesting survey, it looked at many other things too, on like, personal space, and politics and mental health and the way that the covid 19 pandemic has affected relationships overall. So it might be helpful information for those of you who are in relationships. And for those of you who are looking to move into stronger relationships coming out of the pandemic to check it out. If you are still looking for love, and you’re on the dating apps, don’t do it. If it’s ruining your self esteem, I caught up with an interesting article on stylecaster.com. It was actually a kind of personal story from a writer who said she had noticed that dating apps were not having a good effect on her overall mental health. She talked about being drawn to hinge, of course, their slogan is the date the app designed to be deleted, they are billing themselves as the relationship app. And yet some of you can relate to this, she feels that she’s been hit with a steady stream of disappointment. And she also experienced the same thing on Bumble. So this is, this is not a platform problem. This is a global problem that she’s experiencing. And some of you may be experiencing too. When she sends messages out, they people don’t respond to her. When she goes through, say her Beeline and sees who’s already interested in her. And then she messages them and they still don’t respond, or the people that are liking her she doesn’t feel attracted to and it’s causing. It’s causing her to feel down. So she went to a few experts who gave her some tips. Number one, change your mindset. You all know that the foundation of my dating coaching program is all mindset. It is the starting point, you have to get clear on what those those connections are that you’re making mentally between your experience and what it means about you, or your worthiness or possibility of finding love. So this PhD, Patrick weightiness, who she interviewed said, it’s important to note that while you can’t control the person on the other side of the phone, you can change your perspective on how you use dating apps. And look, that’s true in everything as you move through the world. But it’s even more true on dating apps. She also referenced this study that said 1/3 of male Tinder users report that they casually like most profiles, whereas zero women endorse this strategy. I don’t think it’s zero because some of the smart listeners here have adopted this strategy. I feel that people are far too discerning on swipe apps. Now it used to be you could really do a deep dive on someone’s profile and see if you had things in common. But as we moved to more of the picture, first apps that don’t have a lot of additional information, you have to get past that phase to see if you have a connection with someone. So I find that particularly women are actually too discerning in their swipes up front. Men are not discerning enough. And Gen Z daters are actually the most open to possibility. And they swipe right far more frequently than older generations. So adopt a little bit of that to expand your possibly your possibilities. But also, don’t overthink when you match with someone or when you send a message Try not to go into Fantasyland of telling the story that that means it’s just a connection. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. Another tip that I thought was really, really valuable was accept what feels bad and move on. You can’t question your own self worth. Or you can’t even assign the word rejection when someone doesn’t respond to your message or when someone doesn’t swipe right on you as well because guess what? They’re not swiping left on you as a person they’re swiping left on any number of factors that you may be representing you don’t know if you look like their axe you don’t know if they have a thing for blondes and you’re a brunette you don’t know if they’re looking for a different gender or like I don’t know, it’s, it’s, it’s so it’s so vague in that face, what their intentions are that you cannot internalize it and take additional meaning for it. So it’s that thinking release strategy that that I’ve talked about. And if they are not a match for you, you use you send them love and light right and you remember that rejection is your protection. So you’re being protected from something you’re being spared or prepared, okay, something better is around the corner. But if you get to that point where you are putting too much emphasis into each individual swipe, and it is starting to


hijack your your mental health, that’s a great time to take a break. And this article talks about that to take a break, take a break, reset, go back to the mindset, get clarity, maybe refresh your profile. And it could be the profile that is not selling you as as valuable as you are right. So maybe you need to go back and do a refresh. If you’re not sure what should go in the profile. Guess what I’m going to tell you check out that free profile starter kit that I have at dates and maids calm. It has plug and play profile templates that can be adapted for any dating app, it has writing prompts that have led to winning profiles for my clients that have worked, and a short, easy to follow video on how to choose the right profile photos. So don’t just stay in the drama, don’t stay in like it’s not working for me and, and now I’m going to internalize it and think it means something about me. Just take one action, the action may be to wait, maybe to shift your mindset and maybe to change over your profile. But that’s why you’re listening to this podcast to do something different today. So check out that profile starter kit, a dates and maids calm we’re gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we’ll be talking about how to have a great first date with rich jozwiak. Y’all are in for a treat. I am here with rich jozwiak. Let me tell you, first of all, this man is a wordsmith he can spin a tail and give you love advice. He does it every week in the slate column how to do it. He also writes for Jessie Bell, GQ, The New York Times and of course, the washington post date lab column. He’s also the host of the podcast pot psychology, and he’s here to break down what you should be doing. On your first dates. Please help me give big switches to Rich jozwiak.


Unknown Speaker  12:09  

Big switches back.


Damona  12:10  

Oh, I’m so okay, this. This is an episode years in the making? Yes. We both have been writing for date lab for a long time. It’s true. I have admired your articles


Unknown Speaker  12:24  

are yours. And I mean, I admire your whole thing. Really? You know, I mean, if somebody comes on TV and says I’m an expert, my I’m always like, I doubt it. You know what I mean? But I find like literally everything that you say to be totally no bullshit. I don’t know, you’re a real one. And I really appreciate that.


Damona  12:46  

Wow, thank you, I did not bring you on the show to give me compliments. I’m here to give you compliments. I wouldn’t


Unknown Speaker  12:53  

be given them if I didn’t mean them. Honestly, it’s not in my disposition.


Damona  12:57  

Well, I will take it and I will raise you a your writing is so excellent. And we kind of collaborated, you have this column. How to do it in slate, very fancy column. We talked about this before. Like my husband reads your column. He doesn’t read mine. But he reads yours, which is which is appropriate. And because I want him to learn from your advice, right? He hears me all the time. But you get some really some really intense questions and how to do it. People are not playing around. And you got a question about about race. And I just thought it was really smart for you to bring another expert into the conversation who could add a different perspective,


Unknown Speaker  13:41  

I don’t want it to just be about like my sort of philosophy, I think bringing in other experts, citing data, talking about past research, even past theory is all like really important. So it really keeps me on my toes. That’s what I like so much about it that I’ve just learned so much.


Damona  13:59  

I’m curious where this even began. How did you end up writing about sex and love and relationships?


Unknown Speaker  14:06  

Well, I you know, it all originated when I wrote for Gawker. And my editor told me that I had to do something to distinguish myself and he said, Oh, you should write a column about your experiences as a gay man in New York. And I wrote like really explicitly about my sex life to the fear of other people. I never knew what to make of that, other than I blamed myself for everything. So just that I was doing a terrible job, you know, it just made me feel really bad. I got the strongest criticism from other gay men. But, you know, without if I hadn’t done that, I would have never put myself on the map. So that when slate decided to do this column, they came to me and said, Would you like to do this? You know, it was like sort of that easy of an experience. There had been a long period of time where I hadn’t really written about sex or relationships, whatever. And I was really glad to get back into it. Cuz I do have stuff to say. And I like I like this in particular, because it’s not about me, but I can make it about me whenever it needs to be. So I can throw in a personal anecdote every Well, it doesn’t have to be 1000s of words about my sex life, which like, does seem a little bit, it’s a little bit indulgent. But, you know, I like this balance that this requires, at this point,


Damona  15:21  

people love to have something to say about everything. And I find that also in love. I feel like, we’re always looking for the differences between us, and like reasons to, to say, oh, that person’s not right for me, or I can’t relate to that person’s life. And I’m always trying to get people to see the similarities.


Unknown Speaker  15:44  

And for me, I don’t know, I’ve long been attracted to, you know, any kind of media that actually examines that difference, or that like, shows me a life different than my own. So, you know, the very idea that like, this piece that I’m reading doesn’t describe my experience, even if I happen to share some form of identity with the writer, doesn’t bother me. In fact, if it’s well argued, and illuminating in some way, that’s what I appreciate. That’s what I go for. I have this life. So I don’t need that reflected back at me. This is just personally speaking, it seems a lot of people do. For whatever reason, I don’t know what the psychology is there. But for me, I have long been a sort of world traveler via media, which means putting other perspectives etc. in front of my face, because it’s nice to get out of your own head. At least.


Damona  16:38  

Yeah, and it makes our, our own experiences more rich, rich, yeah. To to be able to really see the big picture and see somebody else’s point of view. You know, when it comes to matching, that’s a whole other game.


Unknown Speaker  16:56  

I love your stuff I love especially the you know, the to me, like they sort of crowning achievement and your experiences, the essay that you wrote last year about, you know, racial bias and dating, I thought that was so well argued and plainly put this thing that causes a lot of kind of like, anxiety and anger in people to even talk about, I just thought it was like so well laid out. I revisited it today, actually, in preparation for this and just so useful, you know,


Damona  17:25  

thank you. I got a hate mail. Thank you. I got a ton of hate mail for


Unknown Speaker  17:30  

imagine that you would have Yeah.


Damona  17:32  

I mean, that’s how you know, you’re saying something that is worth discussing, if if people are so polarized on the topic, but it’s true. I want to give people a sense from the matchmaking perspective and just to give everybody kind of a peek behind the curtain at the way things work at date lab. So those who don’t know date lab is a column in the Washington Post where two strangers are set up on a completely blind date, not like an online date, like, have never heard don’t know their last name, have never seen their face before. Although I did set up one day, this no last year, and they had right before the pandemic they had been on like a Tinder date. Yeah, and then she was like, Wait, is that the same name as the guy that I went out with? Like in November? It didn’t work again.


Unknown Speaker  18:21  

But with the algorithm, though, that’s all


Damona  18:27  

Yeah, there was a time when we were doing a lot of the matchmaking ourselves the writers? Would there’s been some changes behind the scenes. I haven’t done any of the matches on the last three that I’ve written.


Unknown Speaker  18:39  

Yeah, me? No.


Damona  18:40  

Okay. So that aside, back when you were doing the matching, what kind of things would you look at when you were trying to find a good fit for someone?


Unknown Speaker  18:49  

I mean, I’m gonna sound maybe awful here. First thing I looked at, were the pictures.


Damona  18:57  

It’s, it’s this is the world we live in.


Unknown Speaker  18:59  

This is the world we live in. And I think that like, you know, I mean, people come around, you know, especially the better you know, somebody, the more attractive they can be to you at some times if they don’t grab you right away. Unfortunately, with people’s busy lives, when they’re meeting somebody for the first and quite possibly last time, if there’s not that physical attraction, how many how, what percentage of time is it actually going to be like, No, I’ll see them again. I don’t know maybe like 20% You know, it seems like really, really low to me.


Damona  19:35  

I learned that after my very first one, which was a total bust. I think it was a 2.5. So everybody can at the end, they rate the date from one on a one to five scale and my I would say my average is like four 4.25 but this first one was a solid, like 2.5 which is very rare because you know when people are like asked to, to talk about their experience, they’re like, I don’t want to make the person look bad. This is going in the paper like, Oh, yeah, I’ll say a three. It was like, Nah, I learned that for at least for the purposes of this column. And maybe I would match differently if I were matching people like for their life. But for the column, I’m like, I want to have a good date to write about. I want them to have a good experience. And so what I started doing in the application, it says what somebody is looking for, like, what their type? Yeah, and I would literally just start first looking at the pictures and seeing does that person sort of evoke that actor or celebrity 100%? I’ll go into the other stuff, exactly.


Unknown Speaker  20:43  

My most recent date lab, it was two women, one was Episcopal an Episcopal priest and the other one had grown up in the Episcopal Church. And because that’s such an affirming environment, the fact that there could be a queer priest was nothing for the other woman to wrap her head around. Whereas this very notion for people who weren’t raised in that environment aren’t people are like, Whoa, so it really helped that they both had that foundation. You know, that’s an example of something that like, made a conversation easier gave them common ground, it’s always a wonderful thing to have. That said, if they weren’t into each other, when that zoom popped on, which they were, I don’t think the date would have went as well as it did.


Damona  21:25  

Oh, I can’t wait sweet to read that one. It’s


Unknown Speaker  21:28  

a good one. Because they went like really deep. And then, you know, they talked about like mental illness. And the woman who talked about her experiences with it said, I want this in the paper. You know, I called her to make absolutely sure to give her some time in case she changed her mind. Absolutely. So there was a real sort of rawness to it that you don’t really get often with the lab, which was just it was just like you are two of the most perfect subjects possible.


Damona  21:55  

So you’ve written about a ton of dates? And five, I’ve done my gosh, and it’s, it’s interesting, looking at the similarities, and like you said, it got to a deeper level. I also had one recently, where politics came up on the first day, of course, it’s DC. Interestingly, neither you nor I live in DC, but I hear is a little bit of a political thing.


Unknown Speaker  22:21  

Yeah, a little bit.


Damona  22:23  

A little bit people are interested in politics. But this person worked in politics. And so it was really important to, to her to know how that person voted, which like, in olden times, and when I say olden times, I mean, like, 10 years ago, yeah, would not really be great conversation for a first date. Do you see in any patterns, in first date topics, that things you should definitely talk about? Things that are absolute, no no’s that you should never talk about?


Unknown Speaker  22:53  

Okay, so there’s like, my idealism, and then there’s like, strategy, right? I think that, like, strategically, talking about your future, together on a first date, might be very off putting, you know, that said, if this is a conversation that needs to happen, because both of you want to have it, I wouldn’t say don’t do it, you know, I mean, like, I every single relationship I’ve had has gone from zero to 80. I’m like, not dating, and then we’re boyfriends. And that’s what it is, you know, so I’d be a hypocrite if I said, Don’t go there. But then then again, like, you know, in other dealings, relationships that didn’t work, that could have been a thing. I may have pushed too hard or been like too into it, which pushes somebody away. And I feel like you know, you know, it’s a thing when it doesn’t push them away, you know? So, you know, I always i think i idealistically I’m, like play cool, you know, don’t show too much of yourself. In fact, that’s also a great strategy. Because leaving some Mystique keeps people like wanting to know more, you know, great fodder for a second date. I had like a pretty promiscuous period, I was in a relationship for like 10 years. And then we broke up in my early 30s. And then I was pretty much single for like a year or so. And, you know, if you’re using sort of like, hookup apps, you’re communicating with a lot of people and the more people you communicate with, the more opportunity you’re giving yourself to be rejected. And you can take that in two ways. You can say you can take that personally. Or you can take that as a way of filtering that person out. Like, you know, I put myself out there. They didn’t like it or vice versa, you know, moving on and so on. I would in general, as much as I do believe in playing it cool as a strategy. I also think that there is great, great worth in putting so much of yourself out there and saying, Take it or leave it. And if they don’t want to take it, then you know, to move on and keep, you know, keep it moving.


Damona  25:18  

It’s tricky to find that line between saying enough, and not saying too much, too much. And that’s why that’s why y’all I’m just gonna remind you of the one hour date, first date rule that I like to keep it to an hour, hour and a half. You really can’t say that much in in that length of time. But you can see, am I attracted to this person? Do I feel like we have a bit of a flow? And am I curious enough for the next date? And sometimes these folks will surprise me on date lab. Because they’re on zoom dates right now. I think we’ll probably transition to regular ish dates again, or social distance dates, like they did over the summer last year. Yeah. But some of these people are saying like, two, three hours on a zoom. And I’m like,


Unknown Speaker  26:04  

I had for four, they spent four hours together.


Damona  26:08  

Honestly, I’m exhausted. I’m so exhausted. Just hearing that I, I couldn’t even like save something to be discovered. A little bit down the road. But okay, let’s talk more about these differences that people are, are often examining or similarities that they feel that they need. I also learned something about you from listening to pop psychology or a podcast that you’re a vegetarian, right? Yeah. Well, tech terian. Yes,


Unknown Speaker  26:40  

I hate that word. So I don’t say it. It’s easier to say I’m a vegetarian, but eat fish. Even though pescatarian is completely functional in describing what I am.


Damona  26:50  

You’re a Midwest vegetarian. That’s how but then you would eat chicken too?


Unknown Speaker  26:54  

Oh, yeah. No, I don’t I don’t eat chicken. I don’t eat chicken. But uh, yes, I have since I was in seventh grade that well, that’s when I stopped eating red meat. And then in high school continued and ever since then have been, I guess, plant based, you know?


Damona  27:11  

My favorite. My husband is also plant based. He is a he’s a very strict vegetarian, which means he’s a cheese Attarian. You can have cheese and eggs. So he mostly eats cheese and bread. No, he is not French. And it’s interesting, because I mean, we met 17 years ago. And back then plant based diet was not really part of the lexicon. Interestingly, food is such a big part of dating culture. Obviously, like with date lab, we’re always writing about a dinner date. And I you know, I’ve even said a few times, like, can they do something else for the day? Like, can we add an activity? You heard me talk about this when we did the date lab, Valentine’s Day event, because it just gives you something else to pay attention to something else to comment on. Another reason to make that it makes it fun. Because sometimes you don’t want to have dinner and it’s just boring. And then it feels like an interview. But that aside, food is such a big part of dating culture. And people were like, I cannot believe that your boyfriend is a vegetarian. How does that work? And I was like, he orders his food and I order mine. How does that work? In your world? Has that ever been an issue for you when when you were dating?


Unknown Speaker  28:28  

No, I don’t think it’s ever been an issue. I’ve had a lot of boyfriends who have been open to eating vegetarian. The wonderful thing about eating vegetarian is that like, yeah, my food might be bland and unexciting. But like if I’m over somebody’s house, and they’re serving, like, some kind of innards, or something chitlins


Unknown Speaker  28:51  

you’re not gonna have chitlin I’m


Unknown Speaker  28:53  

not gonna have chitlins I’m not gonna have haggis. I’m not gonna have any kind of blood, anything, any of that stuff that just kind of like it’s intense. I get to avoid. And so like, I never am confronted with sort of the gore of life eating this way. I might not be fully satisfied, but I’m never kind of like shaken to my core eating


Damona  29:14  

apples. like would you walk away from a relationship with a with a very sexy, very meaty meat eater?


Unknown Speaker  29:23  

No, I mean, okay, I would not be happy if my boyfriend were frying bacon in my apartment every day. I would not be into that. I find


Damona  29:33  

out really good, though.


Unknown Speaker  29:35  

But it also smells like pervasive, you know, so it’s, like just kind of your life Exactly.


Unknown Speaker  29:42  

Somebody made bacon.


Unknown Speaker  29:43  

Exactly. So I wouldn’t be into that, per se. I and I you know, the only time that it’s ever been a thing because I was a really annoying vegetarian in high school and I kind of got that out of my system. I don’t you can eat and eat meat next to me. In fact, you know we’re gonna order chinese food tonight and i will pay for it in all likelihood and whatever he wants he can get like i’m not gonna say i’m not going to spend my money on chicken because i’m not supporting the meat industry even though i really do hate factory farming whatever i’m not that level of vegetarian i will buy you your chicken that you want i will not however buy you veal like i once had a boyfriend who ordered veal i think it was his birthday or was it our anniversary i was buying dinner he ordered veal and i said i’m not buying that i just you know the i just wasn’t okay on my soul and i know that sounds like not yeah the cruelty and the torture i’m just not into i don’t i think that you can have a meat filled lifestyle without like supporting suffering so it given the choice that’s the direction i’d like to put my money in for my meat eating roommate boyfriend person you know


Damona  30:59  

i like that you’re like you keep it open


Unknown Speaker  31:02  

you know you have to you know


Damona  31:05  

labels are very interesting i mean


Unknown Speaker  31:08  

my boyfriend is my boyfriend i just mean like the person i’m i’m essentially like you know attached to at the hip


Damona  31:15  

got it okay yeah so um as we’re talking about different lifestyle choices one thing we’ve never actually really addressed on the show is is can i say the pot lifestyle i mean you are the co host of pot psychology and you talk about pot a little bit on that show and i have had clients who have said like i would not date somebody who’s a pot smoker and then i’ve had other clients who were daily smokers that were like if somebody is not into pot i don’t think i could i don’t think i could be with them and i’ve i i have i’m like my child’s gonna be listening she actually asked me she literally asked me my daughter asked me point blank like yesterday she’s like mom have you ever done drugs and


Unknown Speaker  32:12  

my comment


Damona  32:13  

i mean you know i was like pots legal yeah right it’s like pot was it legal i we call her esquire cuz she’s like always making a case for something she’s like but wasn’t legal at the time that you did it and i was like too many questions my lawyers not present but anyways i digress um it never was really an issue for me kind of one way or another but i feel like in current culture because it is legalized and now it is openly a part of a lot of people’s lifestyle do you think that that should be part of the conversation should that be on the date lab application


Unknown Speaker  32:48  

yeah i mean it would be really interesting for it to be on the date lab application i feel like i would be i don’t know i feel like there’s just certain a certain connotation where it’s like if you smoke weed there’s like a potential for chillness about you that is more striking than if not right i mean you could be chill no matter what you do but i just feel like i don’t know it might be it might make for better matches personally speaking at this point like i smoke like once a week maybe when we record maybe twice a week you know so it’s not like it’s not going to be an issue no matter what i never smoked at home my boyfriend no longer smokes he did and it was kind of the opposite issue at times when he smoked so much especially in the beginning of the pandemic that it was just like this is you know i’m never gonna tell him what to do but it it created a kind of remove a fissure you know it’s just like you’re never here and you forgetting everything and you’re like in your own pot world and not here with me a lot of the time so but i felt hypocritical to be really judgmental about it in my days of smoking more weed than i do i’ve definitely had boyfriends that have been like you know ease up or you know that haven’t been as into it as i was or whatever but you know there was definitely a time very young when i thought that i couldn’t possibly go a weekend without smoking weed when i first started living alone for the first time in my life because like i had a girlfriend after college and then i had a boyfriend after that for 10 years um i would always like get stoned before i went to a bar because i was living alone and at certain points like okay i really need to take a step back all of that is to say that i’ve found it personally sort of easy to adjust when i need to and so if this were to be a problem in my relationship i would have no problem you know following the guidance of my partner if he needed to be more present But I’m often present.


Damona  35:02  

Do you think people need to kind of establish what their comfort level is? early on in the relationship? I imagine it’s harder to adapt. If, if there’s like a difference in if you’re asking your partner to change to change further down the road.


Unknown Speaker  35:18  

Well, yeah, and especially if you’ve led them to believe that you’re totally cool with whatever, and then sort of, you know, new relationship energy dissipates, and you find yourself with somebody that smokes too much weed for your comfort, and then they feel like, Well, this was never a problem before you. You kind of misled me, you made me feel like this was totally cool. And that our lifestyles jived. And now there’s a problem with it. So yeah, I think it is important to establish, I mean, you don’t want to seem like a cop, right? You don’t want to seem like


Unknown Speaker  35:54  

a narc.


Unknown Speaker  35:56  

You don’t want to be like telling people what they should do, especially something like that, where like, as soon as you take an anti stance, you immediately just seem uncool, you know? But at the same time, if you want your partner there and not stoned, and you’re not getting stoned, and they’re not listening to you, or remembering movies that you watched, or whatever, I think it’s totally valid to be like, Look, this isn’t working for me.


Damona  36:22  

And you got to speak up if you’re in that situation, moderation,


Unknown Speaker  36:24  

I think is key always no matter what,


Damona  36:27  

everything in moderation. There’s something you said, I’m totally switching gears for our last topic today. I’m totally switching gears because you said, you, you you had a boyfriend, and then you had a girlfriend, you had a boyfriend. And I don’t know why Demi Lovato was coming to mind because some articles just came out about her saying that she realized, I guess just right now she realized she was more queer than she thought she was. And I really had a reaction to just like her whole experience, we talked on the show about how she got engaged within quarantine, to max Eric, and it lasted like 65 seconds, maybe we need to just chill on labels and definitions a little bit. And that like maybe for the first time in society, as I have known it, we get permission to do that to not have to declare or not have like, well, your default is hetero until you declare otherwise, I just have to get your two cents on the dummy situation and also like even the declaration of sexual identity, if that’s something that is really out of date at this point?


Unknown Speaker  37:38  

Well, I think it’s, you know, within, within queer identified and non identified people, there’s a long history of denying these labels for social capital, you know, not sort of joining the resistance, as it were, just by signing up that, you know, people sort of defer that obligation that I think that, you know, everybody’s on their own timeline, etc. But I think ideally speaking, you can be the most self actualized way to be is out and without shame. And so, you know, maybe like 10 years ago, labels started to be a thing people really, really talked about talking about not talked about not liking, etc. I think that like, firstly, labels are often for other people. So you so you need to determine how much you want to be doing for other people. I think the human brain categorizes, it’s just sort of we see something and we say that is, you know, that is food, that is something that will kill me. That is fire. That is you know what I mean? Like, like we it’s just we think I think in labels as shorthand. I think it’s completely reasonable, however, to say, that label does not describe my lived experience, because it is one word, and I have this full life. So my philosophy with that is, if a label doesn’t work for you, take a sentence if a sentence doesn’t work, take a paragraph of a paragraph doesn’t work, write a page, write a book. But be honest, you know, there’s a difference between rejecting labels because you have so much shame about your sexuality and rejecting labels because you’re so self actualized that you understand yourself to be way beyond a word that describes you.


Damona  39:29  

You can just be attracted to whomever you’re attracted to. And the stress of trying to fit into any box or label is a little bit too intense.


Unknown Speaker  39:40  

It is there’s this really interesting study that this researcher David Moskowitz, what he found in kind of this longitudinal study is is is that it takes like 15 years for that kind of identity to sort of take that there’s a lot of sort of shifting and self discovery in those 15 years, and I’m For many people way beyond those 15 years, but I think that just goes to show that you can say, I am this because it’s how you feel one day or it’s an approximation, or you don’t quite have the vocabulary yet to describe the enormity of your experience. And then after a certain period of time, that answer might change that doesn’t make you a liar. It makes you a living human being who’s developing, as you know, is sort of the I think that’s the best way to live life to keep changing and moving. You know, we’re attracted to novelty for a reason. I think you have to keep things interesting. And keep learning things about yourself. Otherwise, like you’re dead.


Damona  40:39  

Wow. But you just said a mouthful. I’m just gonna leave it right there. I cannot talk that. I I have learned a lot today from you. And I liked I liked the novelty of this conversation. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  40:54  

me too. Me too, very much.


Damona  40:56  

Thank you so much for being here. Rich. It was wonderful speaking with you.


Unknown Speaker  40:59  

Thank you. I was my absolute pleasure Dimona,


Damona  41:02  

you can find Rich’s podcast pot psychology on all of your favorite podcast platforms. Definitely check out his column insulate how to do it for more great advice and look out for his washington post date lab columns. It’s an every week date lab is in the Washington Post magazine. So if you get delivery at home, open up that magazine, and you can see our data is in there. You could also find it online. All right, we’ll be back with your questions coming up in just a moment. We’re back and I’m here to give you the love advice you came for. But first, before we hop into questions, I just want to remind you that you can also get your questions answered in a private forum. Every week by joining my friends with benefits club for just five bucks, you can get access to my weekly behind the mic live stream. It’s like you’re here in the studio with me, which is you and me. And a few other friends with benefits chatting. You also get exclusive videos that aren’t available anywhere else. And you get a discount off of my online courses and programs. You can join the club for just five bucks@patreon.com slash dates and mates. Of course the link is in the show notes.


Unknown Speaker  42:11  

damona helped me


Damona  42:12  

now it’s time to dive into these questions. Our first one comes to us in a voice memo.


Unknown Speaker  42:17  

Hi Dimona,


Unknown Speaker  42:18  

I have a question. I’ve met this guy on a dating app, and he checks every box that I am looking for in a relationship. The only thing I’m left unsure of is that he’s someone that is quite different in terms of who I usually go for in terms of looks. And I don’t really find myself being super attracted to him in the first couple of dates that we’ve gone on, he feels more like a friend than someone who I have this kind of like feeling to, you know, date and be attracted to. And I’m wondering if that’s maybe something that could develop with time. Or if I maybe should take a hint and end it before you know, anyone gets hurt or anything. I’d really love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks so much.


Damona  43:13  

I will begin with reminding you about the three date rule. Okay, y’all get your pen and paper ready, take out your pen and paper or do your voice notes or whatever you got to do. Because I’m about to tell you how to tell if you are interested in someone or not if it’s worth pursuing, or if they’re more of a friendship. First of all, gotta give it three dates. You cannot know on the first date. If you have connection or chemistry, you can know if they fit one of your deal breakers potentially, you can know if you are physically repulsed by them. But you cannot know that they are your boyfriend from one date. You all you need to know at the end of the first date is that you are curious enough to move on to the second date. All you need to know at the end of the second date is that you are curious enough to move on to the third date. If you get to the third date, and you still aren’t feeling curious about what it would be like to kiss this person, or more than it’s probably more of a friendship. But you really need to give it enough time to develop especially in the midst of the pandemic, especially if some of those dates are virtual dates. I don’t know if I really count a virtual day as a full date. Because sometimes you can’t feel that physical chemistry. I think you got to do like three legit dates. But this is also lining up with what you are looking for. So if you’ve done that mindset work that you hear me talk about all the time, if you have identified very clearly who you are and what you’re looking for in a relationship and really honed into those values and goals, and I give you three must haves and one deal breaker and that’s it. If you’re dialed into those things you’ll usually know very quickly and if you don’t know you probably are ignoring one of those signs, or you feel like they line up. And I’m not talking about the entire list of like, well, he has a good job. He also went to this college, I’m talking about the real, juicy stuff like, what does he believe? What does he want out of life? How does he see the world and operate within it? These are not simple questions. And that’s why it takes time for you to get the answers to them. And especially if you are looking for a long term committed relationship, you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to figure out those things. I don’t worry too much about physical type, because you’re going to find attraction to people that don’t fit the mold, what you’re being attracted to in that initial phase is actually familiarity. When we have a type, it’s because we have seen that before and felt feelings towards that whatever it is that you’re saying is your physical type. It’s something that we’ve seen reflected on move in movies on TV shows, in our family, it’s or it’s the opposite of what was in our family. There’s some connection to your prior experiences that you are being drawn to. And I like to set that aside and go a level deeper. Now, if you get to that third date, and you’re not feeling the butterflies and you’re not feeling like you know, little Hanky Panky, then it’s probably a friendship, but then you’ve done all the work, you’ve, you’ve laid the foundation, you’ve really given it a chance to blossom and grow. And then you can make your decision with conviction, and not a not based on you know how you’re feeling that day. Our next question comes to us from Instagram listener, we’ll call s says I love listening to your podcast, and I hope you’ll answer my question. Oh, yes, I will. Do you believe in the rubber band theory in a relationship where a guy pulls away and then returns? My guy has not contacted me for eight days? Should I wait and assume it’s all part of the rubberband theory? Or am I already being ghosted? I don’t have all the backstory on how long these two have been talking. But I would say if you’re in a relationship, or you’ve been talking regularly, like more than a couple times a week, and you go eight days with hearing nothing. That is cause for concern. And not just like you’re being ghosted, but that’s cause for concern like, is this somebody that you want to even invest time in, if they could go eight days without considering how that might affect you? I don’t love that. And I don’t know about this rubber band theory.


It’s, it’s, it’s not in any, it’s not in any of the books that I have studied. I do believe like, okay, you love something, you let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s meant to be, I believe a certain element of that, in that you don’t want to force a fit. It’s more like, if you if you don’t like strangle something to death, you might be able to hold it for a little bit longer. So you got to let it breathe, you still got to be able to breathe. And in, in a relationship. I believe in a true relationship. There is a little bit especially in the early phase of like figuring out boundaries and figuring out communication. But eight days is quite a long time. I’m not gonna lie. It’s not it’s, it’s, it’s definitely cause for concern, the way I would handle it if you were used to a more consistent communication. I mean, there’s always the old like, are you okay? I haven’t heard from you in a while. Is everything okay? If you’re past the texting phase, I would, I would love a phone call, like, Can I talk to you? Will you be around tonight? Can we talk or FaceTime. And then really get to the root of it. And the more that you’re able to authentically share what you’re feeling without trying to, to persuade an outcome, but just like hear what that person is saying, the better you’ll be able to handle it. But then there are just some people in life that are just going to be crappy, right? There are some people that are too afraid of conflict or disappointing someone to even show up with the decency of a response like I met someone else. I’m not interested any longer. I decided to completely change my life, whatever it is that they’re going through on the other side. I wish I wish I could share this message of empathetic dating and approaching dating with compassion for every person that you encounter with everyone but Alas, that is not the world that we live in. And just a reminder you for this, this comes from actually our one of our dating dish stories, you cannot control the other person’s actions, all you can control is your reaction to them. So, I hope that’s helpful. I wish I could give you a more uplifting and positive response to it. But I would rather be authentic and real and communicative with you, and give you the tools to be able to decide your next steps. Then sugarcoat it and make it all you know puppies and unicorns and rainbows because that’s, that’s life. That’s life. So maybe you are being spared or prepared for something else. I hope you enjoyed Episode 354 updates in mates. Don’t forget to check out the episode recap at day 10 mates.com. We will put all the links to the dating stories in those show notes, and especially the offers from our show sponsors. Hit me up on the socials I want to hear your questions. As you see if you record a voice memo you will get bumped to the top of the list. And I would love to hear your voice and love to hear what you are dealing with. You can dm your question to me on any platform, or you can leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255. And of course if you want a smaller community to share your questions within then you’re probably the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits check that out@patreon.com slash dates and mates. I’ll be back again next week with Kelsey Darragh from the e tv show dating nofilter where we will talk about a big shift I’m seeing in dating relationships right now. Open relationships not as taboo as you might think them to be. I can’t wait to share her thoughts and her story with you. Until then, I wish you happy dating


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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