OVERCOMING ONLINE DATING STIGMA

So a few weeks ago, Damona got a tweet from someone who was – let’s say NOT a fan. This person really just had to let her know they were really against online dating.

REALLY Really anti online dating.

We want to talk about the stigma that online dating may or may not still hold with a very special guest – Damona’s husband Seth, who had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love.

But first, let’s dish!

 

DATING DISH

No Shave November

Dating.com finds that No Shave November doesn’t hurt men’s chances at love. Damona explains why.

Questions to Ask Before You Date Right Now

Disease experts give a guide for questions you should ask while dating during the pandemic. Damona weighs in on this Business Insider article.

Being Ghosted

Well and Good tells us why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. Damona explains.

RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS

Damona’s husband, Seth Hoffman, joins to share his perspective on the challenges of online dating, relationship dynamics, and the realities of falling in love.

FOLLOW ALONG

Damona 0:00
Hello lovers, what a special yet interesting week it is Thanksgiving here in the United States this week. Unlike most years, many of you may be having a different kind of Thanksgiving, maybe a friend’s giving maybe a long distance giving. But we are all being called right now to clip our perspective on a few things. And same is happening in my neck of the woods a few weeks ago, I got a tweet from someone who was, let’s say, not a fan. And usually I try not to overthink the criticism I received, but this person was really, they just really had to let me know that they were really against online dating, like really, really anti online dating. So I, you know, I tried to look at it from different perspectives. And I thought, I need to address this stigma that online dating may or may not still hold. Because I’ve been in this space for 17 years, I met my husband online 17 years ago. And there was definitely a stigma back then. But I’m interested in how it has shifted, changed or maybe remain the same in recent years, and there was only one person I could think of, to talk to me about this journey of online dating. And that is my husband, Seth. I convinced my very favorite person to come into the studio. And let me tell you, he is a major introvert. So this is a huge deal for him. But I really thought that he had an important perspective to share on how online dating is definitely the right choice for modern love in my book, and in his and hopefully in yours. Plus, it’s my birthday week. So he had to say yes. But first, of course, I have to get you up to speed on the headlines, even though it’s a holiday. The news just keeps on coming. You know, it’s No Shave November. But do you know, is it improving or hurting the chance of love for guys that wear their beards out? Also, what you should be asking to know if your date is COVID safe before you go out. And why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder than before. Those are the headlines this week. It’s a thought provoking week here on dates and mates. And now let’s dish dating.com did a survey for No Shave November. And it turns out, despite what popular dating experts might say, it’s not hurting men’s chances at love that I kind of poke fun at the fact that some of you know who’ve been listening to the show for a long time. I am not a fan of beards. And I’m sure there are some bearded men listening to this right now that are like come on Dimona. Why can’t bearded men have the love? Well, now you can and especially with No Shave November upon us. You really have no choice. Whatever charity you’re supporting, you know, for for those who don’t know, No Shave November you grow out your beard for a charity all month and then you shave but maybe you shouldn’t shave because according to dating.com survey 86% of singles enjoy facial hair on men and feel that it makes them look more masculine and mature. And this was a crazy number. You know, I thought oh, like a couple people do No Shave November. We’re all kind of aware of it. But is it really a thing? Well, according to the survey, almost 60% of men surveyed shared that they were participating. According to this dating.com survey, almost 60% of men shared that they were participating in No Shave November but then it made me think are we participating in No Shave November are we doing No Shave like the entire year? I know Look, I bought I bought some more of my Old Navy stretch pants some of you saw on Instagram I declared it is officially mumu season.

Unknown Speaker 4:20
So

Damona 4:24
you do what you want to do. But I feel like I I feel better. When I put myself together a little bit. Of course we have to be comfortable. We might have to wear stretch pants. We might have to wear moose. But if you’re going on a date, at least just try just try your best and there’s definitely a difference between your I’ve given up kind of beard and your I’m I’m deliberately intentionally wearing a beard and this is a statement or this is an experiment for me to see if I will be perceived as more masculine and mature Business Insider India shared some tips from a disease expert. I’m sorry to use the D word in this episode. But I want you all to have the facts. This disease experts said, there’s a guide for which questions you should be asking before you go on a date. Right now it’s funny because I keep getting these questions from my clients. So clearly, there is not a consensus on what you need to know before you decide to meet someone in a social distance setting, or not in a social distance setting. So this, this expert said, You should say, Are you a careful person or a carefree person? When it comes to the pandemic? I find that there’s a big spectrum though, there, there’s a lot in between, because I would say I’m probably more careful than carefree. But I’m not like, I’m not too, too crazy in either direction. But this is a great one. Do you wear a mask while you’re out in many places, as we are approaching the second wave, I’m in California, we just got a mask mandate and a curfew just to double down on that. So in other places, I know the attitudes are different. It’s a little crazy to me to think about, like what do you what do you mean asking? Do you wear a mask? It’s not a choice here. But in places where it is a choice, you definitely should be asking that. I thought this one was cute. How aware Are you of social distancing? Uh, if you are living in 2020, and you are not aware of social distancing, that is an absolute swipe left pass, don’t do not pass go Don’t even bother. So clearly, they have to be wary of social distancing. It’s more like, do you respect social distancing? But these are the tougher questions. Have you been tested for COVID-19? for any reason? I’ve been tested many times for no reason. And for also for work for a TV show that I’ve been working on. But I think it’s a good idea to know your status whenever you’re going to be near others. Have you been near anyone who’s tested positive for covid? 19? That’s an important one. Do you take public transit? Or do you go into an office for work? If you want to go on an in person date, make sure you ask them about their habits and their whereabouts and where they’ve been and whether you’re on the same wavelength, this is so vitally important, and I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and try and become a COVID safety expert. But I think it’s so important, especially where we are right now. And y’all have seen the graphs, and they do not look cute. If you do not want to be on that graph. And part of that statistic, you need to take this seriously. And you need to be asking your date’s, these tough questions, to protect yourself and your own safety. Okay, we’re going to turn a corner. I think dating, when we get the vaccines, things will shift. But up until that point, there’s so much that you can do to take responsibility for your own safety, and to also think about it from the other person’s perspective to maybe give them peace of mind that they’re going to be safe when they’re dating you. Our friends at well. And good.com gave us the answer to the question why being ghosted in a pandemic is so much harder. According to a poll of over 1000 people that the University of Phoenix and Harris Poll conducted 41% of Americans are feeling lonelier than ever since the pandemic setting. And I know, I know that that is it’s not easy, and it’s not getting any easier, anytime soon. So what’s happening is, it’s affecting people in different ways. And I’m seeing I’ve been doing this a long time, as, as you know, I’ve been coaching singles for a long time on online dating. And you have to consider first of all, you’re meeting strangers when you’re dating online. So we don’t have any context really, to what else is going on in their life or the way they process information. And it started this article started out with a story of this person who had been dating someone you know, for for a few weeks, like to the point where they were bubbled, they he was coming to her apartment, and then all of a sudden, he just stopped texting. He just totally ghosted, and she started to send those texts, you know, those texts like Hey, are you okay? which I’d never recommend sending. But look in the middle of a pandemic, it’s totally irrelevant.

Unknown Speaker 9:23
Are you okay?

Damona 9:24
This guy could have been in the hospital, he could have been worse. She didn’t know where he was or what had happened. Until she goes on Instagram and sees this fool doing backflips into the pool. And she knew Oh, he was alive and well. So that was certainly a blow to her and I’m sure you can relate to what she she was feeling and it’s happened to you as well, whether you’ve been ghosted further down the line like she was or even earlier, in feeling like you’ve made a connection or you’re texting someone and suddenly they go away. There’s this little this Just a bit of panic that I’m seeing set in, and anxiousness that’s making people do weird things. So it’s making like I was just swiping for a client the other day. And, you know, I’ll do the swiping, but then I have my clients are always the ones to do the communication. And this dude, in 24 hours, she hadn’t responded because she hadn’t logged in. And he started freaking out and sent like six messages. And it’s not completely unusual that I would see that in non pandemic times. But I felt a little bit more over the top. And the funny thing was, he wasn’t the only one that did it. And it was just like the act of swiping that gave them the sense of interest that made them like go full on into this expectation or anticipation of what dating her might be like. So it’s making people have this sort of anxious attachment, both in trying to move forward to getting someone in the bubble. But then a lot of people are panicking. On the other side, when things are moving along too quickly, I just heard from another client who seemed to be in a really successful relationship. And it’s blossom throughout the pandemic, but but I’m also hearing from people who are in relationships, or are in situation ships. And they’re feeling like their partners, like like this woman in the article are pulling away unexpectedly. And I just want to offer you compassion, and I want to offer you a tool to be able to, to forgive and release that person from the responsibility. And it can begin even just with writing a letter, just write a letter of forgiveness to that person rather than chasing them down. Are you okay? stalking them on social media, assuming they are still alive and well see what would happen if you could just just release them from from the need to take care of your emotional needs, so that you can release yourself of that expectation. And possibly open yourself up to the possibility that this person might not be right for you. But holding on to the idea or the pain of, of their unpredictability may keep you from being open to finding love with someone else. Again, those are the themes of the week. I know it is a tough one for so many of you. So I just I’m sending out lots of love. Lots of gratitude. I thank you for listening to the show. And I thank you for sticking with me through this break. Because when I come back, I will be here with my person, Mr. Seth Hoffman. Welcome back. with no further ado, and no need for smooches because obviously, they’re implied. Here I am with my husband, Seth Hoffman.

Unknown Speaker 13:07
Hi, ty.

Damona 13:08
Thank you for thank you for being on the dates and moods podcast again, your repeat.

Unknown Speaker 13:16
I’m a friend of the show.

Damona 13:18
That’s, that’s what he says about me. Um, okay, so for our newer listeners, they might not know you, I talk about you all the time on the show, but I wanted them to know that you are a real person. And I think it’s been, what, seven years since you’re on the show. It’s been

Unknown Speaker 13:37
it’s been a while.

Damona 13:38
I had your parents on like three years ago to celebrate their 50th anniversary. But it’s been a while since you’ve been here. So tell everybody who you are. And tell them what you do as well. That’s kind of interesting. Um,

Unknown Speaker 13:55
I name is Seth Hoffman. I am demonios husband. for work. I am a television writer specializing in one hour dramas.

Damona 14:07
I thought you’re gonna say like specializing in zombies and breaking out of prison zombies

Unknown Speaker 14:13
and irascible doctors and breaking out of prison. Yeah.

Damona 14:20
So yeah, that was a pop quiz. If you can figure out what shows he means. He’s worked on the walking dead and house and Prison Break and a bunch of other stuff that maybe he doesn’t want me to mention that.

Unknown Speaker 14:32
Those are the highlights of my IMDB page.

Unknown Speaker 14:35
Yeah, everybody good. Go check it out.

Damona 14:37
I didn’t try to make you claim me on IMDB by the way.

Unknown Speaker 14:41
You did.

Damona 14:42
I did. I claimed you. So you are claimed on my IMDB page. But when I go to your IMDB page, not for nothing. I’m not there. I

Unknown Speaker 14:52
I don’t have much of a social media imprint of any sort. So I don’t really maintain My IMDB page are there. Are there people maintaining my IMDB page for me?

Damona 15:05
No, that’s I think for you to do. I don’t know, talk to your talk to your people about it. I do my own.

Unknown Speaker 15:13
But you don’t have any social media presence. I am. I was on Friendster. For a while Friendster was the thing in like 2005.

Damona 15:24
Where we Friendster friends, we must have.

Unknown Speaker 15:26
Yeah. But what happened was, I realized very quickly that it was I was addicted to it and sort of needed that needed to constantly refresh Friendster and sort of see what everybody was up to. And it was, it was kind of poison for me. And so when Facebook came out, I just knew it would be bad for me. bad for my mental health. If, if I if I became a Facebook subscriber member.

Damona 16:03
Yeah, I feel like it does add this other layer of pressure. In fact, I just got a question from a listener who was was asking me about her boyfriend’s social media dealings. So in this particular situation, she, she wasn’t sure what coworkers, likes or emojis meant. And I feel like you can get really caught up trying to interpret different social media messaging and people’s behavior online and extrapolate what that means. I’m curious as somebody that is not on the socials, it what what you would say to that person, if you think that’s cause for alarm?

Unknown Speaker 16:52
So you’re saying, I want to make sure I understand the question. Somebody’s got like, a text.

Damona 17:01
No, no, dear. Okay, so she has, is in a relationship with someone and saw that he recently became Facebook friends with a co worker, and she liked one of his posts with a heart emoji, and she wants to know if that’s a red flag.

Unknown Speaker 17:27
I mean, so not knowing anything about social? I think, I think different emojis mean different things to different people. And so what’s important is context and communication. So if that coworker is giving heart emojis away, like candy, and everybody gets a heart, then it doesn’t mean anything. Um, if if not, then it might mean something, but as opposed to sort of playing detective about it. Um, I think it would be like, I think this is a place where it comes back to communication, and trust. Where if you don’t trust this person, because they got a heart emoji from a co worker, maybe that’s not the only reason why you don’t trust them. Um, and you should sort of examine that, you know, like, if someone, again, if I were on Facebook and saw that someone gave you a heart emoji, that wouldn’t bother me in any way. Because even if someone was romantically interested in you, I would trust that you wouldn’t act on it.

Damona 19:01
Someone did slide in my dm the other day, yesterday. Yeah, yeah, I was trying to hook him up with a client. And then he was like, Well, if it doesn’t work out, maybe I could take you I give I give points for effort. I could maybe we could have a drink. And I was like, Oh, I don’t think my husband would like that. But But appreciate the over but I mean, we do have also transparency like, like, I have access to your calendar, you have access to mine. You can check like even though you’re not on social media, you can check my social media like and it’s not because like, like I think people get sort of caught up in this idea of like, should you give your passwords your partner, it’s just like you said, like just being being having that level of trust, where also you can have communication around it. Where if it makes you uncomfortable, you address that because you could go way down the rabbit hole trying to try So social media sleuth and see if this girl is liking other people’s pages and posts in the same kind of emojis, it’s like you could literally make yourself crazy. Or you could just have a direct conversation with your partner and start it from a place of like, you know, it made me kind of feel uncomfortable when I saw that, is this something that I should be worried about? And not from an accusatory space? But just like, this is my reaction? You know, I, I do feel like social media puts this pressure on, on relationships that maybe shouldn’t be there, especially at the beginning, right?

Unknown Speaker 20:41
Yeah, I mean, so you’re saying, like, if for for for people in the dating pool, now, you start dating someone, and then you look at their social media history and sort of try to gauge what kind of person they are that too. I

Damona 20:58
did also have a client that next somebody because she went too deep down the Instagram, Instagram, rabbit hole, and was like, I know too much. So that’s a problem. But then also, just all of the nuances of like, when do we make it Facebook official? Or, like, if you break up with somebody, then you have to erase their existence from your social media platform? And you don’t have to worry about any of that, because you’re not on social.

Unknown Speaker 21:25
Yeah, no, I dating was sort of complicated enough for me. Just Just trying to meet so I mean, so so it’s, I’d say, I think my day, my personal dating, and then our dating story is, is interesting in that respect, in that we met online, sort of as online dating was was really beginning to move from the fringes into sort of something more More, more mainstream.

Damona 22:03
You think that really?

Unknown Speaker 22:04
Yeah,

Damona 22:05
I mean, there were mainstream says, We didn’t even tell people, that’s how we met when

Unknown Speaker 22:09
we first met. It was it wasn’t like, kind of, in the dark corners of the internet, like, there was match.com. There was there were like, legit sites that would advertise on TV, that it was a thing like my aunt, who, you know, was single until she was about 50, you know, would would talk about what internet dating was like, in the 90s. And that was felt like it was much more kind of the Wild West. You know, in Los Angeles, as a 24 year old, there were, you know, you, you could go online, and meet lots of different people. Mm hmm. Whereas, and they were people who were using online dating as a supplement, as opposed to kind of feeling like this was the only way that they could meet people. Mm hmm.

Damona 23:16
What made you go online?

Unknown Speaker 23:17
What made me go online? I was. I was really nervous about it. So it wasn’t it certainly did still have a stigma, at least for me. And what made me go online was that one of my best friends who, throughout high school was always sort of the alpha, the group and the ladies man. He said, You know, he told me over Christmas break, when we were sort of back in the same town. He told me that he was starting to date online. And I was like, Oh, wow. If there was no stigma for him, then maybe I should give it a try.

Damona 24:00
Yeah, I sort of had a similar experience, like my boss at the time. She, who, you know, I really looked up to and I was like, she’s got it all. And she went through this divorce. And she was like, I’m going on two days a week. It’s amazing. devono you have to get online. So I think by the time I met you, I had already been doing it for like two years. So I wasn’t that,

Unknown Speaker 24:21
um,

Damona 24:22
I wasn’t that. I don’t know that I was nervous about it. I had a bit of a of a routine. A bit of a routine. Actually, we should tell them how we chose our first date spot. So I lived in West Hollywood, which is about 45 minutes to an hour and traffic from where Seth lived, which is Santa Monica. And we were looking for we decided to meet and we were looking for a place

Unknown Speaker 24:57
and so I’m not the most Most social guy. So, you know, it’s actually one of the reasons why internet dating, I think really worked for me that I could sort of see as opposed to meet someone at a bar and immediately kind of come up with the snappy thing to say, or the thing that’s gonna draw someone’s interest to me. You know, as a writer, I could sort of look at somebody’s profile and really think about how, what I could write to, to make them potentially interested. But because I didn’t have I wasn’t super social. You know, damona, you said that you lived in West Hollywood, and I knew one bar in West Hollywood. And so I, I floated that one.

Damona 25:52
Yeah, the problem was, that was the bar that I always took my online dates to, which you had no way of knowing. But I had this whole system, it was like, it was like a mile from my house. So it was easy for me to get there Get home safely. I knew the waiters, I knew that I knew the menu. I had this whole system down. And but I had decided like, well, maybe I need to change up my system, because it’s not working. It hasn’t worked. And then you use so I was like, I’m gonna go somewhere else. Oh, and you know, what else I used to do? I would always suggest the place. You know, I’m, I’m sort of that kind of take charge. Woman. We’re here laughing

Unknown Speaker 26:35
because it’s true. I mean, I think it’s, I think I don’t think our relationship would work particularly well. If you weren’t.

Unknown Speaker 26:47
Somebody has to. Yeah, I

Damona 26:49
guess to make the hotel reservations.

Unknown Speaker 26:50
I interesting.

Unknown Speaker 26:51
Yeah. I’m, I’m much more content to kind of, yeah. I think there’s a lot of inertia with me, like, kind of whatever direction I’m in. I’m generally content to stay in that direction. So it’s good to have someone pushing me around. In sort of, you know, in the

Unknown Speaker 27:16
meeting, can you say it me? No, but I meaning you’re

Unknown Speaker 27:20
sort of like in the in the Newtonian physics kind of way.

Damona 27:23
Like there’s so hot Newtonian physics. What?

Unknown Speaker 27:30
So, yes, short version? I think, I think your, your take, charge your, your short version, I think, your willingness and your, your desire to sort of short version, I think your desire, your short version, I think your willingness not to stay in a comfort zone, either sort of you staying in your own comfort zone, or me or our family. I think that that has been to all of our benefit.

Damona 28:13
Oh, yeah. I in a way, I look at it as my biggest gift and my biggest faults at the same time. But it’s often

Unknown Speaker 28:21
kind of the case, right?

Damona 28:24
I’m sure that there’s a quote in there that I just can’t think of right now. But, but yeah, I it’s kind of a good lesson, I think for people and in not leaning away from the things that make you you. Because I hear I had this grand plan, like I was going to shift my dating plan and I was being too assertive and always suggesting the place. So I was just gonna let let the guy choose the next guy choose and whatever happens. And then you go and say Lola’s, which is the same place that I would have picked if I was still driving the train. So it’s interesting to see how sometimes fate pushes you in the direction that you’re already going. I’ve talked on the show, but I’ve talked on the show before about how how do we really have a 5050 partnership. And in fact, I was talking with my girlfriends last night, Seth was nice enough to watch the kids while I went and had outdoor drinks with my friends. And I was saying how it really was by design, like the kind of guy that you are. And the lifestyle that we built for me was by design. I don’t know how much thought you had put into the kind of woman that you wanted to marry, and the lifestyle that you wanted to build, but I was like, they know that I’m not big into chivalry. And I’m not big into traditional gender roles. And I think for us, that worked. I actually remember visualizing, I was like, What if I could marry a writer and he could like work from home and be an equal partner in raising the kids. And it’s kind of weird that here we are. And this is, in a way, the lifestyle that we built, but how much of that was by design from your side?

Unknown Speaker 30:13
I mean, so I, you know. So from a very early age, you know, my parents made sure I knew that men and women were equal. Um, there’s this picture of me from my fourth birthday party wearing a T shirt that says men of quality, respect women’s equality. Um,

Damona 30:42
yeah, it’s so cute. You got your little glasses on this shirt is like down to the ground. But, yeah, um, your foundation?

Unknown Speaker 30:51
Yeah. So, you know, I’d say, you know, like, I some of the big arguments I’d get into with single friends before I met Dimona, or about, like, should guys be expected to pay on the first date? What is the morality involved in engagement rings? Like sort of those

Damona 31:18
have these conversations with your friends?

Unknown Speaker 31:20
You guys talk about those things? It was a mix of guys and girls. Well, really? Yeah. I mean, I think because I would, sort of, you know, I remember reading a book about diamonds and sort of the diamond trade and kind of the, the, the, both the ways in which diamonds are problematic now and the and the ways in which De Beers And particularly, and the ways in which two beers in particular, sort of built an engagement ring business out of nothing. And so, you know, I was talking about that, and how it, you know, like, engagement rings are silly. And here’s all the reasons why it’s, it’s sort of, and it was, you know, it’s a subject that people have strong feelings about, that people have. Some people really cling to some people have really dreamed of the day that someone will get down on their knee and propose to them for a long time. And I’m, and having people question, why that is important. is, uh, you know, I think can spark spark argument.

Damona 32:56
Yeah, for sure. And I remember, even I gave you a maximum amount to spend on my ring. I was like, I will feel uncomfortable. cuz sometimes if it’s too big, it’s like, What are you trying to prove? And I just didn’t feel comfortable? Like, even I didn’t feel comfortable with you even spending that much of your salary on it. What do they say? It’s like, like two months salaries?

Unknown Speaker 33:16
Well, so so it’s in America? Yes. That’s what they say sort of debeers has done market research for different countries. And so in different countries, it’s different percentages. I forget exactly. What where it’s a larger percentage, and where it’s a smaller percentage, but in the United States to beer says you should spend two months salary on on your engagement, right?

Damona 33:42
Yeah, what actually, that might be about what is fun. But

Unknown Speaker 33:47
I mean, that it was really one of the there was a moral dilemma for me. Whether, you know, I felt like I was going to conform to society, and by you an engagement frame, which for me, had a lot of complicated symbolism, intertwined with that. You know, and ultimately, it was a case where I knew it was something that was important to you.

Damona 34:21
Yeah, well, not even so much because of the diamonds are they investment? It’s, it’s because what it represents to people outside your relationship as well, right.

Unknown Speaker 34:33
So that’s never something that I felt sort of pressure that that’s never something that I felt I never felt, Oh, okay. With this ring on her finger, then people will take this relationship seriously. But I completely honor the fact that you know, that women often oftentimes get very different social signals than men do. And

Damona 35:05
you’re kind of speaking in a code.

Unknown Speaker 35:08
What I’m just saying, the fact that for you this ring was important, and and sort of meant something to you means, and the fact that it didn’t mean something to me, I don’t want to in any way, say, you know, oh, you know, I want to honor the fact that that’s those that that’s those were the pressures and, and feelings that you were feeling.

Damona 35:33
Yes. And I’ve been asked before, because we did a show on a woman who engaged who got who, we did a show before a woman who proposed to her, her fiance, and there were a lot of big feelings from listeners on that episode. And a lot of people were really against that idea and, and also really fight back on, on a lot of the concepts I say about women taking control of their dating destiny. And so people have asked me, well, would you? Why didn’t you propose? Because, you know, it took a while we knew each other three years before we got engaged, which in today’s time is it’s a long time, I know, we were gone? Well, you

Unknown Speaker 36:21
know, I think, you know, I think, depending on three years, when you’re in your mid 20s, feels like an appropriate length of time. For me, I think three years, if you’re sort of really trying to figure out if you want to have a child with this person, and your, your, there’s a real clock on on that, then three years is a much longer time, you know, but also, I had friends who dated all four years of college, and then broke up afterwards. And, you know, for years, you know, it would have been a mistake if they had gotten married after four years. So

Damona 37:05
you really wanted to be ready. Hmm.

Unknown Speaker 37:08
I mean, you were the first woman who I really dated. Um, and so there was, I think, a sense of is, is this real love? Or is this sort of it would? Would I be feeling these feelings with a different woman? And, and it took me a while to sort of really feel confident that the answer is going to be no.

Damona 37:40
How do you sort through that as a guy, or as a human, I guess? I mean,

Unknown Speaker 37:45
I think part of it is understanding what love feels like to me. And I mean, I, so I’m a writer, and, and, you know, write for TV, and think a lot about the messages that popular culture sends to people, both positive messages and more problematic messages. And I think I consumed a lot of I mean, I, as a child, I consumed a lot of television. And the idea of love that was presented to me in those was a sort of idea where love is sort of this all consuming emotion, where you are always, like, giddy when you’re with someone, and, um, and despondent when you’re away from them. And that, that wasn’t how I felt with you. But what I realized was, that wasn’t because you weren’t the love of my life. It was because I had been fed a, an incorrect idea of what love is.

Damona 39:10
So what would you say love is now

Unknown Speaker 39:12
I think love is it has a lot to do with trust for me, and lack of judgment to some extent, like I trust you completely. Um, and I know that you will sort of approach me at all times with no judgment. And I think that, for me, is is is what love is. And it doesn’t have to do with Kind of, yeah, just just being miserable. When that person isn’t next to you.

Damona 40:05
Yeah, I think that’s an important to, to remember, you know, and I often say on the show, you have to have your own life, right you have to be, you have to be whole independently, but then better together. And then I also talk about this curiosity that is really what fuels long term love. Even though I didn’t pay you to say trust, that is one of one of the pillars of long term compatibility, trust and respect and, and communication, conflict resolution, shared values and common goals for the future. So I feel like we have those four things, certainly in spades, but this curiosity is something that I really try to, to encourage the listeners to develop when they’re dating, because that was the thing like, I wasn’t sure where it was headed, you know, by date three, but I knew that I was really curious about you. And I wanted to understand you more and know how your brain works. And I feel like that’s something that really fuels fuels me to still get butterflies. Like, when I know that we’re, we have a date planned, you know, I’ll plan now quarantine, I’ll plan dates, you know, two weeks out. Because I’m, I’m, I want to continue to keep that curiosity and that anticipation alive. I don’t know how much anticipation you felt in the last eight or nine months. But that’s been my experience.

Unknown Speaker 41:44
Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 41:46
That’s, it’s been the last. So yeah, eight, eight months. It’s been, it’s been tricky. Um, it has been. It’s, it’s it, I think, part of it a large part of it, for me, is the way in which I’m family life has completely dominated my life in a way that I don’t think it ever has before. That just, we are around each other, every day. And so we, as a family are figuring out ways to, to kind of live with each other. You know. And I think partly because the relationship you and I have is very solid. That that’s the one where, you know, it’s so comforting to know. Okay, that is fine. And

Damona 43:08
it’s really effortless. And then dealing with our kids, is where we have to put so much more mental energy and tap down so much more.

Unknown Speaker 43:19
Yeah, because I mean, they’re with each other 24 seven, and sort of it, which is a much different relationship than, you know, being a brother or a sister to somebody before school after school and on weekends. Yeah, it’s, um, there’s a lot more to it when you’re with another kid. All the time. And there’s so much more conflict. And, you know, we’re learning a lot about our kids and learning a lot about our parenting styles. Um, but yeah, it’s it’s been a lot. It’s been it’s been hard.

Damona 44:07
Yeah. And I’m sure for like, if anyone listening is in a relationship and it’s not that smooth like, a I can only imagine what that experience is like with your partner if you have that kind of struggle with them day in and day out. Because it’s, I mean, it’s literally a daily struggle with our kids. And you experience it that way. But, but I but I do, I love being with them. And I love I love that I can watch them learn and I feel like there were a lot of moments like when I was working as a TV exec. I felt like I missed so many moments with our daughter. And that was really hard as a mom to not be there when I don’t think I was there for like her first words or first steps. I think I missed all of that and she was in daycare or with the nanny and I made a deliberate choice to pursue this as a career path. And you’ve been unbelievably supportive of me, of me growing this, this business and this podcast and, and my brand, which I really like, don’t, I don’t think I could have done it without the support. But anyways, I know, I want to get all emotional point is that I made a very deliberate choice to, to make sure I was a hands on parent. And, but I couldn’t have seen this coming. The whole other paradigm. How do you suggest, like, based on what you, you know, now and what we’ve been through? How do you suggest that people keep the magic alive? In a time like this? Because we may be in this for quite a few more months?

Unknown Speaker 45:58
Yeah, I’m like, so I think part of me wants to know a little bit more about magic. Like, I guess, I, this is gonna be this sort of like, technocratic version of me that, that I think sometimes you, you roll your eyes up a little bit. But like, to me, nothing is about it is magic. Like, it’s, it’s dedicated attention, like, it’s choices. And so, I mean, I think, what, like, if the question is, what is what can you do during a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy? Um, I mean, I, I don’t know that it’s much different than what you need to do outside of a pandemic, to keep your relationship healthy. I think, you know, the first thing is, and you spoke about is, is communication, and, and telling your partner what you need, and being open to hearing from your partner what they need. And I think, you know, for us, you and I need very, very different things.

Damona 47:33
Oh, I want to hear what you think. How you see that? Definitely,

Unknown Speaker 47:38
I think, for your sanity, you need to work out, one thing that you need is, is either to do yoga, or to hop on the peloton, or to do you know, a zoom session with your trainer, like, the minus that. You

Damona 48:02
I’m a raving lunatic.

Unknown Speaker 48:04
You’re just you need it your your mind and your body needs that to function at its best. And I think for me, I need I need some amount of quiet time and space to to just settle myself with and quiet time and space is difficult in a house with a very active six year old and a 10 year old and zoom school and you know, and so, so yeah, I’d say that is the thing. For me like for you. I think moving your body is the thing that calms you, I think for me, like almost like sensory deprivation is is something that calms me.

Damona 49:09
Yeah, that’s interesting. I actually was going to say, Yes, you’re right, moving my body. That’s like number one. But I was going to say, actually the same thing that I I really need space. And I need a certain level of freedom as well. And I just sometimes, because I think there’s like this feeling that if you’re in you know, we’re recording this year in my studio, which is like separated from the house, and it’s sort of my sanctuary in my quiet place. But if I’m in here, I’m on the grind. I am working. Like there’s no downtime in here. So that that’s the space that I feel like has has disintegrated in the past. dynamic of the just quiet, alone, you know, contemplative planning time. But it’s interesting. I mean, I knew that about you, obviously, that you need, you need the space and that we really, we really problem solve in different ways. But being able to, like, understand what your partner needs. And for me, I always, I’m always like, careful in how I phrased this because I do take care of my own needs. But I almost think of you first, I almost think of your needs before mine. And making sure that you’re, that you’re happy you’re taking care of your your needs are met. If I haven’t done that, like, it just feels selfish to me to just take Does that make sense?

Unknown Speaker 50:51
Yeah, I mean, so I think there’s a similar Tell me if you think this is a similar dynamic. But I think, like, if you asked me, who sort of does more for the house? I think I’d say you? And I think sort of, and I think you might say me, definitely,

Unknown Speaker 51:19
well, especially right now.

Unknown Speaker 51:21
So I mean, and I think that’s part of it, I think, you know, that is one of for me, it’s not something I would have necessarily latched on to before I was in a sort of committed equal relationship. But the if both sides are feeling like, they need to do more than that, you’re probably in a pretty good place. Because they’re in a relationship.

Damona 51:50
Mm hmm. And even the same thing, I tell people on dates, like when I would do mock dates, and I would evaluate, and I have mock data that would go on a date with my client, and then they’d have a list of, of qualities or behaviors that they were sort of evaluating them on. And then we would download after and one of the qualities is how much do you feel like you were talking? That was that’s what I would ask, ask my clients. And I would have the the mock data, evaluate how much the person was actually talking in their opinion. And they’d always feel like, Oh, I was doing, I was doing more listening. And I’m always trying to push people more towards listening. And inevitably, the ratio was would always be fifth flipped, my client would say, Oh, I was I was listening 30 I was listening 70% of the time, and I was talking 30% of the time in the mock data would say, No, they were talking 70% of the time. So you know, it’s always trying to find that balance. But if you’re giving more than if you feel like you’re giving more than you’re taking, you’re probably in a good place. But you know, there are people also that are constant givers that sometimes give too much away. So, you know, obviously, take this advice with a grain of salt, because you have to find the right balance for you and your partner. And I think that’s really, what, what I think the big I don’t know, theme of our relationship is his balance. Like, we’re always, we’re like, so there are times when you’re really busy with work, or you’re on set, and I have to be more present with the kids. And then there are times like last eight months that I’ve been insanely busy, and that you’ve been able to step up more. And you know, there are times when when we really need to like even just dealing with our families like there are times when you’re better at dealing with my mom than I am. And I need your support in that way. But we’re always checking in things like pretty much on a daily basis we check in and are like, how are you doing? Yeah. And I think it’s like flossing, which I finally have mastered. Finally got the, the thumbs up from my hygenist like I finally done it. But like flossing, it’s like a daily practice that you have to be doing with your partner to make sure that you’re still on the same page and, and not headed in different different directions. So thank you. Any final words of wisdom or things, tidbits of embarrassing pieces of information you’d like to share about me? Or?

Unknown Speaker 54:33
Um, I? I don’t think I have any embarrassing information. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t want to share it. You’re so sweet. Um, no, it’s it’s lovely being on the show. I mean, in some ways, it’s, it’s great just to be able to have a conversation with you and know that we’re not going to get interrupted by the Kids. Like it’s just been lovely talking to you. Well,

Unknown Speaker 55:06
thank you.

Damona 55:07
Thank you for sharing my birthday with me. And also, I look forward to our birthday getaway. Even in the middle of a pandemic, you can still find time to be solo as a couple. So thank you. This has been Episode Number 337 of dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials and we are collecting new questions for the next dear demona episode, I humbly and somewhat forcefully ask you to please if you send me a question, I want to hear your voice, you can hear my voice all the time, I want to hear yours, why not send it to me in a voice memo on Instagram, you can just follow me at damona Hoffman, and then literally hit the little voice memo button. And then I will be able to hear your voice and we will be able to put it on the show. Or you can give me a call at 424-246-6255. Of course, if you’re shy, you can always email me. But I really encourage you to share your voice with the rest of this community and to share your question because I’m sure whatever you’re feeling whatever you’re going through right now, there is someone else listening to this podcast at this very moment who is thinking and feeling the same thing. So be unafraid to share your story and to get help and love and you might help someone else. For those of you who are newer to the show who might not know there’s a way for you to get in the inside circle. We have a Patreon Friends with Benefits group. And there’s so many benefits for joining this for just $5. You can of course support the show and help us continue to make this show free for so many people who need this love advice. But you’ll also get access. But you’ll also get access to my exclusive Facebook group and my weekly Facebook Lives where I do a behind the mic, talk back on everything that I learned from each episode that week. And what else I heard that maybe didn’t get into the show. And I can also answer your questions. Plus, we have tons of bonus content and library content from dates and mates. I’ve been doing the show for eight seasons, y’all eight years of dates and mates. So what you can see on Apple podcast or on Spotify or on Stitcher is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more inside if you sign up@patreon.com slash dates and mates. And speaking of all the pop. And speaking of all the podcast platforms that you’re listening on, don’t forget to leave us a review. And I’m just going to leave that part out because it’s just getting too long. But maybe we can put that in somewhere else. Until next week. As I mentioned we will be back with a another dear Dimona q&a episode. I’d love to hear your questions. Until then. I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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