Are you still waiting for the fairytale to happen? We hate to burst your bubble but there’s a whole pandemic happening and Prince Charming can’t leave his house.

So you’re going to have to help him out by Making Your Move and finding ways to make your own magic.


Today Damona talks about modern dating with two very special guests: Jon Birger, author of Date-onomics and Make Your Move, plus Joy C Mitchell – a writer on the season’s hottest show, Bridgerton.

Here’s the rundown: 


On-Screen Romance with Bridgerton writer, Joy C. Mitchell 


Today we get the inside scoop on lessons from the writer’s room of Netflix’s hit show, Bridgerton.

(6:00) Dating in Europe – Joy’s a world traveller and actually prefers the dating scene abroad

(10:00) Gossip is women’s power

(11:00) Is socioeconomic status preventing you from finding love today?

(14:00) It’s time to go after what you want

You can find more from Joy and her world on Instagram @Joyineurope


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Joy C. Mitchell (@joyineurope)


Our guest Jon Birger is an award-winning magazine writer and author of two dating books — Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game and How Make Your Move: The New Science of Dating and Why Women Are in Charge. 


He’s also a face on ABC’s Good Morning America, BBC World Service, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and so much more. Today he’s here to share an understanding of new advancements in the science of dating today and explain why women really have the power. We talked about A LOT: 

(16:50) Dating Doesn’t happen magically, but you need to put yourself where the magic happens

(17:30) Everything you know about dating biology is wrong

(19:00) State your business because human beings suck at flirting

(24:00) What to do if men are intimidated by you: a case for dating 5 years younger

(29:00) Marriage ultimatums: what to do if he isn’t proposing fast enough



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

  • NW (from Twitter): how would you weigh common interests as important for a couple? I know how that, common values, communication, shared goals, and trust are keys…
  • B (voice memo): Hey Damona just want to say I love this show. So I’m 29 I am in my first long term relationship with an amazing, amazing man. But, you know, I’ve noticed that my, what you would call hopeless romanticism has kind of almost turned into a toxic romanticism in my relationship. You know, I feel like a lot of people in my age range kind of grew up with that Disney fairy tale, Prince, you know, kind of mentality and, you know, I grew up with the whole rom com romantic, you know, kind of mentality and aspire to that my whole life and now that I’m in a relationship, I kind of almost find myself comparing our very real world relationship to this fairy tale. It doesn’t exist and I find myself almost sometimes disappointed in certain situations, when let’s just say real life doesn’t kind of live up to this fairy tale that I grew up aspiring to. So I was just curious what you thought about hopeless romantics in comparison to real life and kind of anchoring yourself in the real world when it comes to relationships. Thanks


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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!



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[00:00:00] Damona: Are we supposed to get married? You want 

Jon: to just swipe for somebody to show dated men who are younger, this whole problem of guys being kind of scared off, went away. I keep waiting 

Damona: 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 momma’s love advice.

This is dates and mates with Dimona Hoffman. Hello lovers. Welcome to dates and mates with Dimona Hoffman brought to you by text now. Lovers it’s February. And that means that it is officially love month with Valentine’s day, right around the corner. I am enjoying seeing the vaccine flex in your profile photos and hearing the other pandemic, dating ups and downs.

And so much has changed about dating in the last 10 months. But one thing has remained the same from the beginning of my dating coaching career. 15 years ago, I have told women to take control of their dating [00:01:00] destiny. I believe that nothing good in life comes from sitting around and waiting for it to happen.

And in love, most of my clients are successful when they take the reins. Of course, there’s a huge difference between being proactive and being pushy. My guest, John Berger has a new book called make your move, the new science of dating and why women are in charge before John joins us. We’re doing something a little different.

My newer listeners may not know that dates and mates has had a lot of different segments. Over the years. There was the Hollywood hookup. Demonas diatribe. He said, she said back when I had a co-host dating dot, dot, dot, and on-screen romance, where I go inside romantic films and TV shows to show you what you can learn from the plight of their characters.

And today,  my dear friend, Joisey Mitchell, one of the writers of the Uber successful show, Bridger tin will be joining me [00:02:00] for that segment. Then at the end of the show, of course, of course. I won’t leave you hanging. I have your questions to answer in dear. Dimona so buckle up your seatbelt, tighten up your corsets, get your Valentines ready because it’s officially love month and I’m coming in hot.

Yeah. I love you. Boy. See, Mitchell is a TV writer who worked on the Netflix series, Bridger curtain. She’s also written for Alex rider, which is on Amazon prime. And I am DB TV, the letter for the King on Netflix and Deutschland 86 on Sundance and Amazon prime. In addition to writing television, she also freelances as an entertainment travel journalist.

Her writing has been published in billboard, the Hollywood reporter and teen Vogue. She’s an expert. In the European craft beer scene and is visited 27 countries, 20 of them just in the last five years as a female solo traveler, she is [00:03:00] running out of empty passport pages, my friends, and she speaks fluid food and bar German.

Please help me get big smooches to Joyce C. Mitchell. 

Joy: Hey, thank you so much for having me happy to be here. 

Damona: You have taken time out of a busy writing and a busy travel schedule? Well, I guess COVID kind of took a bite out of that too, before I got here. First of all, I just have to congratulate you on the success of Bridgehampton.

That is so huge. And I’m so excited for 

Joy: you.  

Thank you so much. Yeah. I’m super excited. It’s awesome that it’s done so 

Damona: well, 

 it must be a little bit wild, like, you know, cause you’ve been on this writing journey for awhile. We go way back joy. Yeah. 

So I wanted to bring her in today. To talk about writing for romcoms writing for romantic dramas and how those stories that we see as as little girls and young women and, men. And any other definition that you [00:04:00] have for your, your gender identity? Those shows that we watch really imprint upon us and the way that we approach dating and relationships.

But before we get all into bridge, Bridgehampton. I saw this really cute little quiz, this little meme on your bridge, certain name. So, and I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of iterations of this, but in this one, your Bridger, Tim name is five parts, Lord or lady, your first name, you add ton to the last thing that you drank to the, to the end of that.

And then of of course, and then the brand of shoes you wore today. So joy, I am lady Dimona coffee, ton of ox. That’s hilarious. What is your 

Joy: name? I think, okay. Let me work this out. So it would be lady joy. Fizzy hoppy [00:05:00] Teton of Uggs too. So I guess we’re cousins 

Damona: they’re from the same, the same region. This is wonder region.

Joy: Yeah.  I’d love to be exit from Australia, right? They’re doing all right down there. So I’d love to be of Uggs right now. Well, you 

Damona: travel all the time. Enjoy. I know you also. If you don’t mind me saying you are single ready to mingle, and you’ve shared some stories with me about dating abroad and especially like I’m curious as a woman of color to how you found  the dating culture different.

When you lived say in Germany

Joy: yeah. , so I would say the biggest difference is actually dating itself because in LA you’re used to like, you know, you get someone’s phone number, they get yours. And then somebody, whoever calls that person, and then you set up a date and then you have all the dating rules in your mind, like, you know, the [00:06:00] third date,  you’re allowed to hook up .

You know, the fifth date is like, are we exclusive or where’s this going?  And then going abroad. I would say like that those rules don’t exist.  Dating doesn’t even really technically exist. It’s more like you. Make friends, uh, and within your friend group, which comes together for drinks or to hang out at a park or to like go to a concert, you might meet someone that you find attractive and you’ll just be friends first for a bit.

And then eventually somebody kisses somebody, and then you went to, it ended up like dating for a bit. So it’s kind of a bit more, it’s not as straight forward as like. Here’s my number. Like let’s go on a date. It’s more like we happened to have hung out as friends on things that could be considered dates

it’s  more like your friends and individually you decide like, Hey. Uh, kinda like you, I kind of go 

Damona: from there. I’m curious, [00:07:00] thinking of Richardson, how that might have influenced your experience, writing that show. Cause I mean, it is, it is a little, the courtship process is certainly different. 

Joy: Yeah, yeah, no, definitely.

I mean obviously like the 19th century of it all influences a lot of it, but it is like, you know, our, our central characters, like Daphne and Simon. Start out as strangers and connect more as friends to start, uh, just helping each other out and then things blossom kind of from there. So it’s something life they do.

They really, really do. Um, so yeah, so I think, you know, I actually didn’t think about it like that, but I guess when you say it like that, it’s true. 

Damona: Yeah. Well, you know, it’s all these experiences that we have. I think that really influenced.  Our reality. You know what they say, art imitates life, life, Tate’s art.

We don’t know which one starts, but I’m curious also as a writer for, for shows like this, how much [00:08:00] are you trying to create an escape for people? Like how much do you think about the, I dunno, ideals that you’re setting up when you are writing something in this genre. 

Joy: Yeah. So, I mean, the series is based on books by Julia Quinn the Bridgeton series.

So we definitely had sort of a roadmap of where to go and like all that sort of sexy tension and the will, they want, they  like the slow burn of it all.  Romance novels. I think as a genre are  stereotypically for women, be it at whatever age, like to kind of escape either a boring relationship or.

Like a sexless relationship or like they don’t have a relationship. And so they’re like, you know, reading this book to enjoy like, feeling like they’re part of a relationship. So I think that’s something that was definitely, [00:09:00] um, on our minds as writers. Like how can we make this. Kind of something that no matter what, you know, whether you’re single or married or dating or whatever, that this is something that could appeal to you and,  connect with you.

Damona: Yeah. That, I think you definitely achieved that goal of, of being able to connect obviously so many people. Um, I also really resonated with the theme of these women are. Not just looking to be matched by their family and given away. But there, there is that element of finding a love match in someone that they actually are interested into, which you don’t always see in, in movies and TV shows of this genre.

Was that something that was conscious for you and Shonda and the rest of the writers? 

Joy: We weren’t necessarily trying to show women trying, like trying to be empowered. I guess it’s more like, because they were. [00:10:00] They were disempowered in the society. It was them trying to find any kind of way that they could, you know, make sure that who they marry, um, that they do love them because like the ideal in this world is that you do marry someone that you love, even though, you know, there’s a strong chance you could end up with someone you don’t love.

 The weight gossip in this society works, it’s. Women’s power. Like that’s, women’s super power in this world, right. Is talking to each other and protecting each other by talking to each other about these guys or different men. So I think.

That was the biggest thing like them, knowing that they don’t necessarily have any power in this society outside of the power kind of, of gossip and how they can use that to their advantage, to find like a match, like find a love match is kind of what was like running through our heads. Like  knowing, and accepting the disempowerment, but like, Finding a way to find what pieces of [00:11:00] power you can, and then you’ll yielding that power and using it to get what you want kind of thing.

Damona: I, that was actually a much deeper, uh, response than I expected. You all were really thinking in that writer’s room. But there was another theme that I, I feel like really references what’s happening today. I’ve said for a while that I see socioeconomic status as. A much bigger divide now than a lot of things that maybe our parents’ generation or the generation before w were completely fixated on like, like race or, um, like religion now.

It’s like, well, how much money does he have? Well, you know, how much education does he have? And. I feel like that’s something that in today’s society has become more of an issue, but I saw it reflected back in Bridger tin again, where there are lines [00:12:00] of social status that you cannot marry outside of. And I don’t want to give too many spoilers away, but there’s a character who’s in love with somebody that he can’t marry because she’s not on his status level.

Joy: Yeah. Yeah. That’s definitely something that still exists to this day, you always hope characters will kind of overcome those kinds of circumstances. Cause it’s not that to me is not so much about love and it is just status, like loving someone who’s outside of your, you know, socioeconomic group.

Like how can you. How can you overcome that if money for, depending on the person, if money is important to you or in this case, like on the show, because they’re there in a whole other just world because of their, um, well like this family. So it’s like, you can’t bring, you know, you can’t bring someone who’s not of that world to that world because it would just be, you know, a disaster.

[00:13:00] Damona: This is so complex, but I do think we have an opportunity now to think outside the box and to do things a little bit differently. So this was a reminder also to just not do things the way they’ve been done, forever hope, joy that people will take away. From Bridgehampton, if they are a hopeful, romantic, as most of my dates and mates, listeners are, what, what messages do you hope that you were able to say and through your writing on the show?

Joy: Yeah, I mean, I think for me, , finding your power and  being willing to make the first move. Like I I’m trying not to spoil anything, but like, it’s like, uh, my episode is the wedding episode.

Right. And that would not have happened if Daphne did it, you know, make the choice she did or speak up the way she did and the episode prior. So I’m trying not to spoil anything, but it’s one of those things where I think. You know, , no matter how disempowered, someone feels in dating, I [00:14:00] think it’s important to just, you know, find your voice, figure out what you want and be brave enough to  Ask for it 

Damona: perfect. That is such a perfect, perfect ending to this conversation. And also the message of the show today is ladies make your move. We’ll be talking about it much more later in the show. Thank you so much for your time today. Joy. I adore you. I so appreciate your, your work on this series and everything.

And if I can ever support you and love, you know, Oh, 

Joy: I know who to call for sure. 100%. Thank you for having me. I appreciate 

Damona: it. I hope you enjoyed me bringing back on-screen romance. If you want to hear some of those other segments that I’ve mentioned at the top of the show, just tweet me or DM me and let me know which one sounded fun to you and you can follow what joy is up to see which country she’s in next.

And what she is writing for on all of the socials at joy [00:15:00] in Europe, we will be back in a moment with more dates and mates, but just a quick reminder that if you love the show and you want to support it and get insider access to additional content, check out our Patrion friends with benefits club. There you’ll get access to my weekly behind the mic live stream with Q and a you’ll see additional tutorials and content that is not available anywhere else.

And you can get a 10% discount on any of my online programs. And there’s so much more. You can check it all out by becoming one of my FWBs for just five bucks at and mates. Welcome back to dates and mates. I am here with John Berger. He’s an award winning magazine writer and author of two dating books.

Date a Nomics, how dating became a lopsided numbers game. And. Make your move, the new science of dating and why women are in charge. He is also a face on ABC’s good morning, [00:16:00] America, BBC, world service, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, and so much more. And now he is back on dates and mates for the second time to share the real science.

Behind dating today, please help me give big smooches to John Berger. 

Jon: Thank you so much for having me back 

Damona: on. Okay.  The dating game is it’s sort of a game, right? You really need to figure out what plan, what system is going to work best for yourself, because I don’t know about you, but in writing this book, I am sure you discovered that for a lot of people, it doesn’t happen magically like in all those romcoms that we saw as kids.

And it, it 

Jon: does not happen magically, but I’m like a big fan of the magic. And a big part of the book is promoting the idea that. You can put yourselves into situations in which magic happens. 

So, so if you look at every top selling, dating book over the past, I don’t know, [00:17:00] 40 years from the rules to ignore the guy, get the guy they’re all kind of.

Premise on this very complicated version of playing hard to get, right? Like the th the message these authors want young women to send to young men basically boils down to not interested means keep trying. Now my own view is I’m not sure this was ever a super helpful message, but in the post, me too world, it’s really, really unhelpful like  the idea that you want men to think that non-interested means keep trying doesn’t doesn’t work.

And, and I think so much of the conventional dating advice that we’ve seen over the past 30, 40 years has been premised on this belief  that there’s some kind of a scientific or biology that argued that that men live for the chase and women never hunted, well, women did hunt, [00:18:00] uh, you know, in prehistoric times. And a lot of the lot of the early research that, came up with this idea that women are, are, are kind of hardwired to be passive filters of male advances.

It’s been debunked. 

Damona: I also noticed in the book, uh, there was. There was a section where you were talking about men sort of missing the signals I say, state your business. Like, what do you want? And I do think sometimes we are all, what are of all genders.

We are guilty of sending mixed messages, but. When you’re saying, make your move. It’s it’s not just in making the initial contact, but you’re saying like, also be clear about what you want from him. 

Jon: Right. Well, I mean, a lot of it just comes with the first move. I mean, I think both, and this applies to both men and women.

The reality is the [00:19:00] human beings suck at flirting. And the research shows that that two thirds of the time that we’re flirting with a member of the opposite sex, the other person has no idea that you’re flirting. They just think you’re being nice or they like it. They like all those shoe dangles and hair flips are completely lost on most of the guys that you, you think you’re flirting with.

So my argument is that the more direct you are, um, The more likely you are to have a positive outcome. And the research shows that men, men like it when women make the first move. And I feel, I feel like you and I are on the same page on this one. Right? 

Damona: Completely. We’ve talked about this on the show before I do look at flirting as a learned skill.

And as you said earlier, we are pretty crap at it without actually. Focusing on learning how to do it. So the clearer you are about your [00:20:00] boundaries or your interests, the better there was something that you said in the book, that’s so simple. It’s like, duh, but it’s really profound. You have a chapter on men like women who like them, can you elaborate? 

Jon: But among my guy, friends, I have yet to meet the guy who broke up with a woman. He really liked because she was too enthusiastic about him.

It’s kind of a universal thing. And I think there’s so much game playing. That’s been kind of, um, Baked into the dating universe of like, Oh, um, I need to pretend I don’t like him or her or particularly him. And then he’ll like me more. I just, I don’t think that works in particularly not in kind of the post me too world in which men are learning that if a woman [00:21:00] seems like she wants to be left alone.

You should leave her 

Damona: alone. I’m going to take it even a step further because sometimes at the end of the date, my client will say, well, I couldn’t tell if they were interested in me. So it just seemed like they weren’t, they didn’t seem that interested. So I’m not going to text him or call him back, um, or call her back, you know, either, either way, it works both ways.

And I’ll say, If you, you, you didn’t express interest in that person. So you might not be getting back the real response because they don’t want to be rejected. And so they feel like you’re rejecting them. So everybody’s trying not to get rejected first. Yeah. Yes. 

Jon: Yes. So particularly like from the male perspective, men are looking for kind of a green light.

And there’s a story. I tell him the book of, uh, a young woman. The key thing to know about her is that she has this enormous personality. She’s like a real cut-up and [00:22:00] some men are intimidated by the whole extrovert thing. Um, yes. You agree? Yes, 

Damona: no. I’m going to put a pin in that because, uh, I want to hear what you have to say, but that’s a whole thing.

Like the men are intimidated by me conversation. 

Jon: She’s kind of the life of the party person. And I think some men are a little bit scared by that. She told me the story about how she met her current boyfriend and they met at a party and they were talking for a while and everything seemed to be going great, but it was clear to her that he was not sure what to do.

And she basically just blurted out to him. So are you going to ask for my number? And that was all he needed. He just needed the green light. To say, okay. She likes me and that’s how their whole relationship began. She didn’t need to grab his butt or buyer, buy him a drink or throw him, you know, I mean, th this whole image of like women throwing [00:23:00] themselves at guys, this is what the, the rule followers like to conjure up.

Anytime you discuss a woman making the first move of the man. I mean, that’s not what this young woman did. All she did was kind of opened the door wide enough for him to feel. Comfortable about walking through. 

Damona: Mm. Yeah. That’s, that’s really key. Um, and I just, there is something really interesting and this idea of intimidating women, I’m sure a lot of listeners are, are like nodding their heads right now.

Um, and I would hear that too, when I was single, like, like, Oh, you’re just, they’re just intimidated by you. And I. I just think that’s kind of BS because if they’re intimidated, that means that they’re not really, they’re not really seeing you. They’re not really connecting with you. And I think some [00:24:00] people use that as a crutch.

Like, well, people always say I’m intimidating. And so I have to like dumb myself down. But I do think for a lot of my audience though, they are, they are. Successful at work. They make a lot of money. They. Are the life of the party, you know, they got to go and on in, in every area except for this one area.

And it’s, it is really confusing to them because they don’t, they don’t want to be with somebody that diminishes their light at, but you know what? Yeah, yeah, 

Jon: yeah, no, I mean, I do have one idea and this comes straight out of the book. I interviewed women who told me that when they dated younger, um, I men who are like four or five, six, seven years younger than them.

This whole problem of guys being kind of scared off by their awesomeness, went away a little bit because guys inherent competitiveness kind of went away [00:25:00] when they were dating a woman who was supposed to be more successful because she’s five years older. Um, and there was a couple who I interviewed for the book.

They’re now married with a, with a baby. And he admitted to me that with his prior relationships, he had always felt hyper-competitive with his girlfriends and that kind of doomed them a little bit. But with his now wife, um, he never felt the same thing because she’s five, six years older and there was no reason for him to think he should be in the same place professionally as she is.

Damona: That is, you know, I actually, hadn’t never really thought about that, but that’s so important that not being in competition with your partner. Um, I do see that with a lot of successful men and women that are looking for someone that are at their same level of success, it’s almost like I do [00:26:00] think you shouldn’t reduce your shine so that somebody else can, can see it can see the light, you know, you, but you should.

Be aware that they’re not falling in love with you for your accolades, like sure. You said men like successful women, but they’re not like, Oh great. I have a vice president now. I always wanted a bag of vice president. You know, it’s kind of like what we put value on doesn’t necessarily have value in courtship.

And if you can take it a step beyond that, and it’s not just. The what you have achieved, but kind of the why, why have you achieved that? That’s more interesting. Yeah. 

Jon: I mean, for guys, I don’t think it’s about the success level. I just think guys do have a little bit of a competitive streak and whether we’re talking about, um, How fast we run a quarter marathon or where you are on the corporate hierarchy.

I just think we’re good. Kind [00:27:00] of, we have a, a competitive nature and I think sometimes it gets away. It gets in the way a little bit when it comes to dating and it’s not always about career stuff, it could be about stupid stuff. Like, you know, you know, if you’re, if you’re. Flywheel junkie and you’re, and you’ve had more four hundreds than the, you know, you know, like, like there, there could be, there could be other things out there that you get competitive about.

Um, and I, and I think at least what I discovered when working on this chapter of make your move is that guys who were a little younger, it kind of took the edge off the whole, um, competitive. Uh, I’m kind of intimidated by her, her success problem. 

Damona: I love that. Okay. One last part of the book that I want to highlight before we go, is your chapter on the reluctant groom.

You say a couple of [00:28:00] things. So just, just to. Just to, um, set up what this really means. This is when y’all ladies who are listening that are with that guy that doesn’t quite want to commit. He’s kind of one foot in one foot out. And you’re like, why am I just waiting for him to take this relationship to the next level?

There are two things that you say that I think will be very controversial for our audience, but very helpful for them to hear one control the clock to propose to him. What do you mean when you say control the clock? 

Jon: Well, so in the, in the first book did the Nomics, I, I had a related argument, but I, I have some regrets.

Uh, and that is that that’s, I encourage women to give their guys a marriage ultimatum. Um, but, but, and there were some women who, who emailed me and told me they did this and it all worked out and I was happy for them, but like, it wasn’t long before I realized that this was. [00:29:00] I don’t know, this was not like th th there was some, there was a, a.

I am a morning TV person in Washington, DC, a woman who interviewed me for the, for the book. And before we went on air, she told me she read the book and she liked it, but it was the least romantic book about dating that she had ever read the Nomics. And, and I was like a gas because I didn’t, I didn’t think about it that way, but.

This was partly what she was talking about. This whole idea that, that the way you get your guy to marry him is to marry you is by giving him an ultimatum. And there’s, I mean, pro marriage proposals are supposed to be magic, right? They’re supposed to be these stories that you tell and retell to your.

Each other and your family and someday the kids and the grandkids, they’re the, they’re kind of like this mortar for our, the connections that we have. Um, I mean, I have a kind of a funny story. Maybe [00:30:00] you guys have a funny story, like, like, I, I, I, even though my story, isn’t perfect, we do retell it because there’s kind of a, a comedy of errors aspect to the whole thing.

But if your proposal story begins with somebody saying you have three months to propose to me or else like, where’s the magic in that. Right. Um, so I, I, but at the same time, I don’t think like if you’ve been dating the guy for three years, there’s nothing you’re going to learn in year four that you didn’t already know.

Right. So if, if, if you want to marry the guy. You can’t just like, let the clock keep, keep clicking and turning. You have to kind of get to a resolution. Um, and my feeling is asking him to marry you is a far better solution than giving him an ultimatum, um, [00:31:00] and telling him, marry me or else, because the reality is people, people like being asked, uh, people don’t like being told what to do.

And, you know, there, there are some stories. I tell them the book of women who proposed to their guys, um, and they were these really fun kind of stories that, that they enjoy telling and retelling. There’s also a story that I, I mentioned, I discussed in the book from Elizabeth Warren, the us Senator from Massachusetts.

Yeah. I mean, she proposed to her husband and, you know, she, she in an anniversary message to her husband. She kind of retold the whole, the whole story and it’s like, it’s beautiful and it’s romantic and it’s lovely. And it would not be any of those things. If she had said, you know what, Bruce, it’s time to get married.

I need you to propose. 

Damona: Mm. I like it. The way you phrased it. People like to be asked. They don’t like to be told. And I think that’s a good rule of thumb throughout the dating [00:32:00] process. This is such a game changing book, and I, I really hope the audience, both men and women will be inspired to read, make your move.

We’ll put a link for them to pick up their copy, uh, in the show notes and people can follow you like. W where can we, where can we get more? John Berger, 

Jon: get more. Now I do have an oddly spelled name. It’s J O N B I R G E R. Um, I’m John Berger, one on Twitter and on Instagram. Uh, I probably should be on other social media too, but I’m old and I don’t know all the places I’m supposed to be.

Damona: Well, you do know quite a lot about dating and relationships, and that’s all we’re asking of you today. So we’ll put the link to all of those great places in the show notes. Thank you so much for returning to dates and mates, and I hope make your move is a huge success and impacts a [00:33:00] lot of people’s lives.

Thank you. 

Jon: Thanks to Mona for having me on. 

Damona: Thank you so much for being here, John, if y’all want a copy, you want to know how to make your move. You want a copy of this book, make your move. You can pick one up today. It’s out today. We have a link to get it on Amazon in the show notes, but of course you can also buy it from your favorite bookstore in your town and support local business.

All right, don’t go anywhere. I will be answering your questions in dear. Dimona coming right up. The phone lines are open and your questions have been pouring in. So Dimona is here at your service.

helped me. All right. I have questions from a couple of fellas today. The first one comes to me from Ned on Twitter that says, how would you weigh common interests as important for a couple? I know that common values communication shared goals and trust are [00:34:00] keys. But how important are common interests?

First of all, kudos to Ned for being a very focused listener of dates and mates and knowing what the four factors of long-term compatibility are so kudos to you. But yes, you noticed I didn’t include common interests as one of the factors in long-term compatibility because it’s not one of them, not that common interests don’t matter at all.

They’ll get you so far. And usually they’re kind of the. Gateway. They’re the entry. They’re almost like attraction. It’s like, Oh, you see someone who’s cute. That’s a reason to talk to them. You see someone who’s doing something that you’re interested in. That’s a reason to talk to them, but it’s not a reason to stick around.

So in terms of the importance for a couple, I would actually rank it a lot lower than most people think it is, because think of it this way. You really love playing tennis. You met at the tennis club or something. You then played doubles tennis every week together. And [00:35:00] that was the thing that bonded you.

And then your, your boo blew out their knee. And then how important is. Tennis to your relationship. And if your relationship isn’t built upon any other factors, it will fizzle out. So the message here for those who are not in a relationship yet, who are putting a lot of focus on sharing interests with somebody, you need to set that aside.

Like I remember before I met my husband, I’m really into yoga. Y’all I’m like really, really into yoga. And I was like, whoever I meet must must do yoga. Like even casually, they must, they must appreciate yoga. And I set that aside for my husband. And I have to tell you, it has not impacted our relationship whatsoever.

As long as he lets me do my yoga, which he knows is very important for my mental state, as well as for my health and wellness. And. Uh, you know, [00:36:00] all of the other benefits that you get from doing yoga. So that is the big takeaway. If that person encourages you to still explore the things that you’re interested in, and maybe you have like one or two things that you both like, like, yeah, we both like going out to dinner.

We both like live theater, then that’s really enough. As long as they’re not preventing you from doing the things that you love to do. Next question is a voice memo from our listener. We’ll call him B Hey, Dimona 

Listener: just want to say I love this show. Um, so I’m 29. I am in my first long-term relationship, um, with an amazing, amazing man, but you know, I’ve noticed that my, what you would call hopeless romanticism.

Has kind of almost turned into a toxic romanticism in my relationship. Yeah. Um, you know, I feel like a lot of people in my age range kind of [00:37:00] grew up with that Disney fairy tale, Prince, you know, kind of mentality. And, you know, I grew up. With the whole romcom romantic, you know, uh, kind of mentality and aspire to that my whole life.

And now that I’m in a relationship, I kind of almost find myself comparing are very real world relationships who this fairy tale, it doesn’t exist. And I find myself almost sometimes disappointed, um, in certain things. Situations, um, when let’s just say real life, doesn’t kind of live up to this fairytale that I grew up aspiring to.

So I was just curious what you thought about hopeless, romantics and comparison to real life and kind of, um, anchoring yourself in the real world when it comes to relationships. Thanks. 

Damona: Oh, this is such an important question. And I think a lot of people can [00:38:00] relate whether they’re gay, straight. In a relationship or aspiring to one, we are all impacted.

As I was saying at the top of the show, in the interview with joy, we’re all so impacted by the stories we’re told and the things that we watch. And we think that that is how it’s supposed to be. And so often when I see my clients move into successful relationships, I coach people, not just. In finding the relationship, but a lot of times my clients find somebody very quickly and then it transitions into relationship coaching for the first phase of the relationship.

And the question always comes up, is this it is this how it’s supposed to feel? And we start to question what’s going on internally because we’re comparing whatever’s happening to the stories that we’ve been told. And a lot of times when you’re in a healthy relationship, that’s drama free that doesn’t have.

Big highs and big lows. It can kind of feel like [00:39:00] nothing’s happening because you’re not going through that emotional rollercoaster that you’ve been conditioned to expect. And especially like, you know, if this is your first real serious relationship that you haven’t even had the. Other data points, the other experiences to compare this to.

So it’s no wonder it’s not your fault that you are comparing this to these unrealistic ideals. And because the reason that they. Are so compelling as narratives. And the reason that we love watching Bridger tin is because it’s not real. It’s Epic, it’s grand, it’s romantic, it’s all of these things that don’t necessarily happen that way in real life.

So just actually going back to the first question I would ask you in this relationship, do you feel like you have. Shared values, common goals. Do you have good communication and conflict [00:40:00] resolution? And do you feel like you have mutual trust and respect because ultimately that is what you need in a relationship for it to blossom and all the other stuff is just, it’s just window dressing.

I want you to have. I want you to like, have the whole design, not just the window dressing and there’s so much more that’s jucier underneath in being able to really experience authenticity and vulnerability and some of these deeper emotions that you don’t get to. If you’re only on the surface of dating and.

Many times, those romcoms that we watch and those fairytales, they’re not about, they’re not about the Prince and the princess that we’re together, you know, for 15 years and learn how to, how to raise kids and make it work and get through the tough stuff there about that instant chemistry. That moment [00:41:00] where when the.

When the heroin was saved from danger, because we feel something when we see those, those kinds of, of stories. And we still crave that in life. And we can still get that need met by watching bridge written or watching any other mine is younger. That’s like my favorite. That’s my favorite guilty pleasure.

I’m on hiatus right now, but. We can get that need met, but then we can get those deeper needs met in our relationship. If we’re willing to stick with it and not chase the ups and downs of those chemical rushes that we, that we get from some of the more volatile relationships and that we find ourselves comparing healthy relationships too.

What a delightful way to kick off love month. This was episode 346 of dates and [00:42:00] mates. You know how to reach me. I’m at Dimona Hoffman on all the socials. And I want to hear from you. I want to know what you are going through and make sure that your love life gets on track this year, but I can only do it if I know what you need to know for me.

So don’t be shy, DME or question. And of course, if you send in a voice memo, you can get. Bumped to the top of the list. And you can hear your question answered in a future show and maybe in a sooner show. Also be sure to check the links for our sponsors that make this show possible. They are in the show notes on whichever platform you’re listening to dates and mates on, or you can find them on our

And if you want to get inside this patriotic friends with benefits club, you can find that link. Yeah. In the show notes too, we will be back next week with of course, a very special Valentine’s show. I have selected pretty wedding planner, David [00:43:00] Tutera, you know, from my fair wedding. Oh my gosh. I cannot wait for you to hear what he has to say about Valentine’s day about zoom dates and so much more.

Don’t miss it until then. I wish you happy dating.


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