Tag Archive for: breakup

Boundary Bubble & Fourth Date Day

It’s that time of year… Mariah Carey has her Santa hat on and Starbucks has changed their cup color to red.

The holidays are a magical moment when family comes together and people celebrate. But the same things that make it so great can create some strain – like cramped spaces, a little too much booze and overly nosey visitors.

You know what you need my friend? Boundaries. Both to make it through the crush of cuffing season and to make it through another holiday with well-intentioned family and friends.

And that’s why we have relationship and recovery coach Dufflyn Lammers joining Damona this week. She’ll be outlining how to set healthy boundaries with your loved ones AND dates so you can have a happy and healthy holiday season.


Just FYI, your fourth date should absolutely be a day-date.

A new article from Cosmopolitan Magazine gives several reasons to go for the day-date during your fourth meetup. Firstly, the fourth date is still early enough that if red flags come up during the date, you can make your exit. The day-date also provides less pressure to dress to perfection or play up the sex appeal. And unless you’re doing mimosas for brunch, you can’t hide behind alcohol during a day-date. You can also escape that pre-date anxiety since you’re not waiting around all day.

Damona is a fan for a different reason – the day-date gives you a deeper understanding of your matches’ personality. The goal of the first three dates is to give and receive as much authenticity as possible. So going out for lunch, coffee, a hike etc. is more likely to create opportunities for connection than hiding behind a few drinks.

Additionally, Damona gives tips for why activity dates (aka bowling, mini golf, hiking) can play a role in feeling more attracted to your match…


**REMINDER: Our big cuffing season giveaway with OkCupid is still on through December 15!!! Just share this episode or your fav episode of Dates and Mates to social media, then tag Damona (@damonahoffman) and OkCupid (@okcupid) for a chance to win three FREE months of OKCupid Premium.



Dufflyn Lammers is a relationship and recovery coach with over 10 years of experience. More specifically, she’s trained in attachment repair, tantra, intervention, and personal coaching.

She has published and performed for the LA Times, In The Rooms, The Fix, She Recovers Foundation, The International Conference on Addiction and Associated Disorders, National Association for Poetry Therapy, HBO, NBC, and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

(12:00) Learn to voice your expectations.

Defining our boundaries can take time, but as Dufflyn observes, “that’s the big thing that boundaries give us is an opportunity to be our authentic selves.”

When we know our boundaries but don’t express them, we often end up in situations where we feel disrespected or betrayed. But how can the other person have an opportunity to show up for us if we don’t let them know what we expect? Set up your expectation, and THEN see how that person shows up.

(16:36) Boundaries are gates, not walls.

We set up boundaries around others to protect ourselves and make us feel safe, right? But that doesn’t mean we can’t be flexible. Dufflyn compares boundaries as being alike to gates rather than walls, which more easily allow us to come together with another human who isn’t us. “When two people come together, there’s always negotiation. We say these are my standards and boundaries and these are the other person’s. Do they match?”

Dufflyn also maps the different levels of boundaries, and explains how setting boundaries is a kind thing to do for ourselves AND other people.

(23:25) The MOST common myths about boundaries.

The top misconception Dufflyn hears about boundaries is that maintaining boundaries will hurt people’s feelings. “The truth is when we stop pleasing people, people aren’t pleased, right? But the fact that they’re not pleased doesn’t mean that we should trash our boundaries. It might actually mean the opposite – that this was overdue. Or that they’re uncomfortable.”

Damona asks if there’s a right and wrong way to express our boundaries. There is no right and wrong way, but only the most compassionate way. Dufflyn’s strategy is to “top and tail” your boundary. A.K.A. Top it (acknowledge the other person), then express your boundary, and finally tail it (how you will take action or collaborate with the other person).

(31:24) Let’s regulate these emotions…

One of the biggest obstacles we may face when setting boundaries is unregulated emotions. Because it’s really hard to place a boundary when family members or other people are pushing against them, right? Dufflyn adds, “If you’ve got two people that are both dysregulated, they’re not going to be able to regulate one another, which is the primary way that we find regulation, right? It’s co-regulation with another person.”

So how do we emotionally regulate in those moments? By having a few people who we can rely on to help us emotionally regulate, rather than relying solely on our partners, matches or a family member. Not sure who to call? Dufflyn likes to imagine the conversation ahead of time. She says, “Before I dial, I think, will this person make me feel regulated?”


Be sure to follow Dufflyn on Instagram @Dufflyn. Dufflyn has also created a FREE guide for Dates & Mates listeners – The 8 Top Tips for Getting Through the Holidays With Boundaries


And if you want to work with Dufflyn ASAP, her new workshop Boundaries Are The New Black is going LIVE on Saturday December 17, 2022 at 7PM CET.



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


  • Email from Anonymous – Dear Damona, I am a 25 year old female and I have been putting a lot of effort into online dating recently and have been challenging myself to go on at least one date per week. So far there is one trend that I run into a lot while talking to men online and that is they don’t ask me questions about myself. I will ask them a question like what is your favorite genre of music for example and they will respond with a long paragraph but then not think to ask me the question in return. It really frustrates me because I feel as though this is a lack of awareness and interest in me and it really turns me off. It really is a dealbreaker. Am I overreacting? Is there a way I can communicate this without sounding overly negative and judgmental? I don’t know what to do and I am tired of carrying the conversation and not getting the same effort in return. Thank you!

Gender Wars & Broken Picker

Gender norms are evolving rapidly but online there still seems to be a lot of rhetoric circulating about things like alpha males and high value women. 

And while there is no doubt that there are certain characteristics of these labels that are valued by many, like a strong work ethic or being accountable, I’ve been wondering if these terms and the online communities that seem to be building around them are driving us further away from authentic love and true understanding between the sexes.

And that’s why we have one of the hottest multi-platform content creators, Chris Thompson, here to break down the gender war he’s witnessing online and to share his methods for coming back to a place of peace. 


Should dating references be required in online dating?

We all go to Yelp for reviews on new restaurants – but what if you could do the same thing for potential dates? A recent article from Refinery29 makes the case for why dating references should become the new norm in online dating. The article cites a lot of scary statistics about the potential dangers of online dating – but Damona wants you to remember that it’s really unlikely that some of these extreme situations will happen to you. More likely, your worst case scenario will be realizing you and your date are incredibly incompatible.

But if something does happen to you, report this user to the app immediately! Because there’s no way that apps can police toxic or dangerous behavior if we’re not reporting it.

P.S. If you’re really nervous about online catfishing, listen to Damona’s interview with Kamie Crawford, co-host of MTV’s hit show Catfish. She shares her top tips on how to research your matches before you meet IRL. 


**If you’re looking for a little more discovery in your dating life, try out Damona’s FREE Profile Starter Kit to magnetize your dating profile. (This won’t be free forever, so get it while you can!!)



Chris Thompson is a veteran of the influencer industry and has an audience of over 2 million. He also hosts the podcast, Unfiltered Friends, where he helps your favorite creators tell their personal stories.

(12:15) Let’s end the Gender Wars.

The dominant theme amidst Chris’s social media content is discussing gender roles (or breaking down the “Gender Wars”). When we say “gender wars,” we are referring to the strict thinking that men must support men and women must support women, solely. In this line of thinking, people tend to blame the opposite gender for their horrible dating experiences. Chris believes that this divide is mostly created when we project our dating disappointment & resentment onto each other.

Chris also gives details about his experience interviewing someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, and how our mainstream fantasies about love actually allow narcissistic people to manipulate us more easily. (Say whaaaat?)

(22:38) Look beyond the checklist.

When dating apps give us access to more matches than we could ask for, it’s great to be specific about what you’re looking for in a partner. But if our must-haves consist of mainly surface level qualities, sticking with this checklist can begin to dehumanize our matches. Make sure your must-have qualities help determine your long-term compatibility with someone, and allow potential partners to be included in the building of your relationship. 

Chris and Damona also discuss (and debunk) the idea of what it means to be a “high value” woman or man.

(28:30) Alpha-male atrocity…

Let’s get one thing straight – Alpha-male culture is ridiculous and should not be seen as an exemplary approach towards dating. That being said, there is a reason why so many men have continued to gravitate towards the Alpha Male persona. Damona believes that this attraction comes from a place of pain and feeling as though they are not enough. Chris states that in order to alieve the toxic symptoms of alpha-male culture, we must approach the situation with compassion. 

**Note: compassion does NOT mean validation. Of course alpha-male culture tends to validate really crappy and toxic behavior, which is never okay. But the more we can understand where toxic behavior is coming from, the more we can help to heal it.


Be sure to follow Chris on Instagram and TikTok @SupDaily and check out his podcast, Unfiltered Friends, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.



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


IG Message from E – Hi Damona – help! I discovered your podcast a few months ago and listen a few times a week when I walk. I go on lots of dates. Men usually ask me out on a second and third date. I have actually turned down numerous opportunities with nice guys who want a relationship. I’m not attracted to most of the guys I date! What do I do? Am I picking the wrong people? I find the really attractive guys are often jerks or have very different values (like very conservative, anti-abortion, that sort of thing). I’m starting to wonder – is it me? Is it my selection strategy?

Sexual Attraction & Post-Divorce Dating

Whether or not you’ve been through a bad breakup, we can all agree that no one gets into a relationship intending to call it quits. But unfortunately people sometimes grow apart to the point where the best thing for them to do is to split. 

It really depends on the situation, but just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean your love story is over. You’re just moving on to your next chapter!

And that’s why we have best-selling author and relationship coach, Jennifer Hurvitz, joining Damona today. She will share her personal experience and outline how to return to dating after a big breakup.


What you should know if there’s no sexual attraction for your partner, according to a therapist:

You go on a first date with someone you’ve been chatting with, and it goes great! A few more dates pass by and you eventually decide to take things to the bedroom… only to find out that your sexual connection may not be up to par with your romantic one. Now what??

Well according to a recent CNN article, a lot more goes into physical attraction than we realize. Dr. Justin Lehmiller of the Kinsey Institute notes that physical attractiveness “doesn’t actually top the list for men or women… traits like intelligence, humor, honesty and kindness are often at least as important, if not more.” The article also points out that in hetero relationships, men more often internalize an “either/or” view of women– those who make great wives and mothers and those who are sexually adventurous.

All that being said, can sexual attraction make or break a relationship? Damona observes that in current dating culture, there’s a big difference between “I can do what I want to do and experience pleasure without labels” (which we’re all for), and “I am pursuing pleasure at my own expense and not getting my core needs met.” Damona explains how to build more awareness of this, and why sex actually gets better the more you get to know your partner.


Jennifer Hurvitz is a relationship expert and dating coach. She is the best-selling author of “Midlife Priceless: A Dating Coach’s Guide to *Finally* Doing Relationships Right” and the host of the podcast Doing Relationships Right.

(12:40) The hardest thing about dating after divorce.

There are many aspects that make dating after divorce difficult, from rediscovering your sense of self to becoming intimate with a new person. But Jennifer shares what the biggest hurdle was for her – “I don’t know why I get so emotional and talk about it. But it’s really frightening to do it all again, after you think you’re with this one person forever.”

Part of Jennifer’s journey back into dating was accepting that you don’t have to be the perfect version of yourself in order to put yourself out there. Because realistically, we are never going to be the ABSOLUTE perfect version of ourselves. The only thing you can be prepared to do is put trust in who you are, and take that first leap into the dating pool.

Jennifer also gives tips on how you should go about revealing your relationship history (especially if your history is kind of a complicated one).

(18:00) D.A.T.E.

Much like Damona discussed with family therapist Jordan Green last week, Jennifer also likes to break down the dating process into four different stages, which she calls D.A.T.E. – Decide, Attract, Trust, and Evolve. “You decide who you want to go out with, you attract (or you realize you’re not attracted to the person). And then basically, you either trust them or you don’t. And then you evolve together.” 

Jennifer points out that the Decide phase is crucial, because it is the catalyst for growth in your dating journey. Deciding not only refers to deciding to pursue a specific person, but also speaks to making the choice to date AT ALL (that’s that first leap we referred to before). 

Damona and Jennifer also discuss why it’s important to choose your boundaries instead of choosing to “go with the flow” in social situations.

(26:25) Trust & time.

Developing trust is a slippery slope that, in dating, we have to learn to bounce back from. But Jennifer poses a great question – do you trust until someone gives you a reason not to trust them? Or do you go in not trusting and they have to prove themselves?

Jennifer believes that in order to develop trust in any relationship, time has to be a core factor. Because no one can create a really solid foundation overnight, especially if you’re coming out of a situation like a divorce or breakup where you’ve already been burned. 

Side note: did you know that in some states, if you’re dating someone who is separated, that person’s partner can sue you?? Jennifer breaks down the legalities of dating someone who is separated and why these laws exist.


Be sure to follow Jennifer on Instagram @DoingRelationshipsRight and check out her book, ‘Midlife Priceless: A Dating Coach’s Guide to *Finally* Doing Relationships Right.’ And, listen to Doing Relationships Right wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.



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

IG Message from M – Dear Damona: First off, I love, love, LOVE your podcast! Your energy is amazing! So, I’ve been divorced for 12 years, had off and on relationships that typically ended when the guys cheated or were commitment phobes. I’ve finally met someone, and we’ve been dating for 3 months now. My question to you is when do we know if we’re being too picky, unrealistic, or holding onto an idealized connection that may never materialize? On paper, my boyfriend is great. We enjoy each other’s company, but already things are a bit mundane. The sex isn’t great, but it’s not the focus of our connection (that’s where I’ve messed up in the past). I just really desire someone who stirs my soul, but that hasn’t happened yet with someone who desires a committed relationship (that desire usually only happens with f*ck boys).


Dear Damona: Quarantine Love Questions


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

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

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

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

Damona  0:12  

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

Unknown Speaker  1:06  

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

Damona  4:15  

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

Unknown Speaker  4:48  

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

Damona  5:44  

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

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

Unknown Speaker  12:02  

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

Damona  12:22  

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

Unknown Speaker  16:33  

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

Damona  18:23  

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

Unknown Speaker  21:40  

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

Damona  21:53  

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

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

Physical Type & Dating Addiction: Love Month Part 2


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.

This is episode two of our Love Month five-question February series. We’re using the hashtag #5QFeb if you want to get in on the conversation.

Today we sat down with Julie Spira – an award-winning dating coach, media personality, and bestselling author. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

You’ve seen her on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, E!, FOX, and so much more! She’s been a friend and mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago.

Fun fact: she actually holds the record for most guest appearances on Dates & Mates!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Mental Health & Dating Apps

The latest study on mental health and dating apps comes from The University of Saskatchewan. The concern is that dating apps may be degrading mental health because of the constant exposure to rejection. Damona and Julie have thoughts. 


Sheryl Sandberg turns her tragic love story into a happy ending

Five years after the tragic death of her husband, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg finds love again with Tom Bernthal.


Don’t go broke this Valentine’s Day!

According to Wallethub, men are 3x more likely to go into credit debt for Valentine’s Gifts. Why do you think this is?



#5QFeb (15:00)


Damona asks Julie the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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

  • Email – I’m wondering your thoughts on having a “type” physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like out and about meeting men in the wild there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your “type”. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education, values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? Should I break this pattern? On the one hand I’m worried I might miss someone, on the other should I be setting up dates with guys that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Am I doing these apps wrong?
  • From Twitter – How do I quit online dating. I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis for dating with intention. And I’m objectified by creeps with every other message. But I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly. I can’t bring myself to stop.



Damona  0:12  

Happy Valentine’s week lovers. This is Episode Two of our love month five question February series during which I will interview your favorite dates and mates prior guests to ask the most pressing questions about love. Today we are using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation, and today’s guest is one of my personal faves. Julie aspira is an award winning dating coach, a media personality and best selling author. She was an early adopter of the internet and has been coaching singles on finding love for 25 years. Yes, finding love online for 25 years. You’ve seen her on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ie Fox, basically any three letter channel any two letter or one letter channel. She’s been on it, and she’s also been a friend and a mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago. So, before I get big smooches, I have to tell you that she also is now holding the record for the most dates and mates appearances. Please give big speeches to my friend Julie aspira.

Julie Spira  1:21  


Damona  1:23  

Welcome back to the show. I’m so excited to talk with you Valentine’s week. You are the person that I had to have on this week’s show.

Julie Spira  1:31  

Oh, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to be on the show. But yes, right now love is on steroids. So we really need chatting about you know what to do in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Damona  1:42  

Well, we have all these headlines that are all about how love is on steroids. This week we have the newest study on how dating apps could be affecting your mental health. And Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has turned her tragic love story into a happy ending. Some good news is Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s Valentine’s week. But do you need to go broke to express your love? We’ll be covering those headlines and then we’ll be answering your questions including should you swipe according to your type? I really wasn’t trying to rhyme there but was pretty cute. And how can you quit your online dating addiction? Julie, are you ready to do these headlines? Let’s do it. Mental health and dating apps we are both of us have been in the online dating space for a long time. And we’ve read a lot of these headlines people have been talking about the effect of online dating on your safety and the rise and STDs which people sometimes linked to dating apps. But one thing that we don’t hear a lot about is mental health. And there isn’t a lot of research on the way that dating apps are actually impacting our emotions the way we feel. And according to this article, which will link in the show notes, the researchers are saying that the amount of rejection that one can experience on a dating app app is higher than you would normally experience through traditional dating avenues. I’m curious as someone that’s been in the space for a long time, Julie, do you feel like dating apps are making people more depressed today?

Julie Spira  3:18  

I think people can find a variety of ways of getting depressed. And here’s the thing with dating apps, you’re getting more rejection, because you’re getting more matches. It’s just a numbers game. So if you went out on three dates prior to joining a dating app, and maybe you like one out of three people, and you were rejected by two, it’s just you know, too bad dates with you, next week will be better. But when you’re chatting with 20 people at a time, 10 people at a time, you’ve got 50 matches, you’re swiping, you’re chatting, you’re matching, and then you know you find out they’ve met someone else or you find out that you’re not their type, you know, it stings and and it makes sense You really feel bad, but it’s still a numbers game. So if you’re matching with 50 people and you get 10 rejections, maybe it’s eight more than what I refer to before, but it’s still percentage wise, a volume issue, and you just need to be prepared that the rejection actually is a good thing. Because then they weren’t your type. And I’m telling you, you dodged a bullet.

Damona  4:22  

Yes, I always say rejection is your protection. And I had this philosophy that dating app messages are sort of like coins in the fountain, you know, you toss toss them and you make a wish. And if they come true, it’s wonderful. You got the relationship that you wanted, but if you didn’t, it’s like, are you going to be really upset over a penny? And I say, I’ve been saying this Julie for like, over 10 years, but at the same time, I know it’s not. It’s not so easy to just be like, I was rejected, no big deal. How do you how do you recommend that your clients keep a thick skin about it or reframe their Thinking around sending outgoing messages and swiping right and not getting the reaction that they are hoping for every time.

Julie Spira  5:09  

Well, no one’s going to get a home run every time just like no one’s going to buy the winning lottery ticket. Maybe you’ll maybe you’ll get three on the scratch or something and you’ll make $5. And so I think the point is, is managing expectations is so key to what both you and I do. And when someone comes to me and says, Oh, I really don’t want to try online dating. I did it. It didn’t work. And I see that they’ve had the last profile and they barely log on. I have to say, no one, neither myself. No one has the magic wand that’s going to make Mr. Right or news right up here within the first week. And while you might dread thinking of going on three dates and 52 weeks on your dating app. If somebody told you on the 53rd week you were going to have the greatest love ever and you were going to meet your soulmate. You really wouldn’t mind that. It’s 53 weeks away. Because you know, there’s a pot of gold. So it’s managing expectations and realizing that it takes time and new people join every single day. And you’re going to suffer through online dating fatigue, or online dating anxiety disorder, I always call it oh da dee. And And when that happens, take break. Just take a break, and don’t, don’t open the app for a week. And then new people are joining all the time, people breaking up all the time, and everybody’s looking for the chance to truly, really connect with someone. So it’s okay to go on bad days because you learn from them more about who you don’t want to be with. So when the right one comes along, it’s much more parent.

Damona  6:44  

Hmm, well, the right one did come along. For someone who’s been in the news, Sheryl Sandberg, who you all probably know is the CEO of Facebook. She also was the author of lean in and the whole philosophy of women leaning in and work and getting ahead My interpretation when I read that book was that a big part of her ability to lean in was the support of her husband, Dave Goldberg. And unfortunately five years ago he passed away unexpectedly and she was was left having to juggle all these things on our own. But here’s the here’s that pot of gold but you’re saying at the end of the rainbow, she is now engaged to Tom bernthal who is you might recognize the last name he is the richer and more handsome brother of actor john Burton. And I’m sure the two of them both thought they wouldn’t find someone again but here they are loving another time and being engaged Do you think

Julie Spira  7:47  

I you know I’ve

Damona  7:48  

never had to deal with love finding love again after a loss like that. And five years is a pretty good amount of time for someone to take before they are ready to jump into it, but it was pretty fast. Julie, they’ve just they just got together in April. And now they’re already getting engaged. What are your thoughts on on this relationship?

Julie Spira  8:09  

My thoughts are she’s had these five years to mourn. And she’s got a very responsible job and responsible for family. And she met someone who basically can really just move into her life and she can move into his life, and they can build a life together with both of their families. And I think that everybody desires companionship, and people go to bereavement groups or people sometimes whether it’s a death of a partner or even a devastating divorce, when you thought you were going to go the distance, that’s a death that feels like a death as well when you’re going through a divorce or a bad breakup. So when you suddenly can meet someone, and it’s not going to be the same as you’ve had in your previous husband or partner or relationship, but someone where you can have a great companionship, and together you can actually have find love again. I think it’s fabulous. But then again, my grandfather got remarried at 87 years old. And so I believe there’s no expiration date on love. Oh, wow.

Damona  9:09  

Yeah. I’m glad that you mentioned that to Julian. And I know you do coach a lot of daters that are older and that maybe haven’t dealt with dating apps or haven’t even dated in in decades. I think she’s 50

Julie Spira  9:22  


Damona  9:24  

and getting remarried. So it’s actually one one more vote for the over 50 married again, and finding love club.

Julie Spira  9:35  

I’m very happy for her great news. Yeah.

Damona  9:38  

Well, we did mention it is Valentine’s week. If you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been it’s Valentine’s week all week. And there was a new spending survey from wallet hub. I actually had read an article earlier. That said the according to the National Retail Federation, Americans were projected to spend $27 billion on Valentine’s gifts this year. I thought that was insane. While it helped did this similar survey, and they looked at what people are spending their money on. And it said, most people are going to buy candy cards and flowers. I’m so inspired by this Julie

Julie Spira  10:18  

right. And repeat. Right?

Damona  10:20  

Right. What are some better gifts you think that people can be thinking of? You know, if you’re listening to this on Monday, you still have time to get a better gift. Candy To me, it just seems like you ran out of time you didn’t really care then you just like grabbed a box of chocolate.

Julie Spira  10:36  

I’ll never forget the time and a former boyfriend. Valentine’s Day showed up with this box of drugstore candy that I know he picked up along the way. And I’m like, really? And so I feel as though these items Yes, people would like flowers. And you know what women do like flowers. Men actually like flowers too. You can get my guy a bouquet of tulips and in And in color other than red, but you don’t need to break the bank. And I’m not really spending a lot on Valentine’s Day this year, probably because I’m going to be tired. But But what I am doing is I’m recommending that people create experiences. So what that means is maybe Valentine’s day you’ll get a gift card. If somebody really loves books, get a gift card to a bookstore. If someone’s anxious to see a play, and they really love plays, and that it’s something you can go to together or concert tickets, something you can go to together. Or better yet, if you really can’t splurge on StubHub for that fabulous sold out rock concert, then look and see other events that are free. There’s always a pre museum day or a museum night and create an event and give your partner a coupon for a future date, where you’re going to go museum hopping for the day and maybe you know, a little gift from the museum store.

Damona  11:55  

I love that I’m very big into experiences and I’ve always said that to my husband since the beginning like Don’t give me stuff. I’m not into stuff. Although I told him long ago that I really wasn’t into flowers. But there have been some instances where I was like, you’re good, I got me flowers, you have to be you have to be careful what you what you tell them early on, right. But

Julie Spira  12:13  

there’s nothing wrong with flowers. And here’s the thing I recommend, if you can’t afford, you know, the flowers that are delivered that suddenly are $99, go to the grocery store and pick up a dozen red tulips and just show up with something and a card that shows that you you’re thinking out of the box, you recognize that this is a romantic day, but you don’t know to need to go to Tiffany and buy really expensive jewelry and you just need to do something, you know, that’s within your budget. And if you’re in a relationship that’s not new, it’s great to talk about the Valentine’s budget. So where do you Where do you like to go? Um, you know, going to the post six restaurants on Valentine’s Day may not be an option. So the good news is Valentine’s Day is a On a three day weekend was actually for if you think about it, because it’s because of, I think it’s Presidents Day. So you can celebrate on Friday and spend a lot of money at a restaurant or bring in takeout and have in room dining, or you can instead, you know, Happy Valentine’s Day celebrated when it’s less chaotic and we’re, you know, hurt your bankbook as much. And that would be on Saturday, Sunday. And if you’re lucky enough not to have to work on Monday, Monday, see a lot of other options to do things that other people are spending a lot of money on Friday, that won’t as I said, it won’t kill your wallet on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Damona  13:37  

Yeah, I was shocked from this article. They said that men are three times more likely to go into credit card debt for Valentine’s Day gifts. Guys, you don’t need to go into credit card debt. It’s not that serious. But one thing that surprised me Julie is they asked men and women if they thought that the bill should be split on Valentine’s Day. 38% of men said yes and 31 percent of women also thought that they should split the check. I just have to know where you land on that.

Julie Spira  14:07  

I don’t believe in splitting the check on Valentine’s Day or your birthday, or anything that’s really that significant when it comes to love and romance or first date, of course. But it really depends on what you’re doing. I mean, if you’re cooking first class tickets to go something pairs for Petland time today, which most of us aren’t, but then go ahead and use miles or split the check. But outside of that, I think that for a heterosexual relationship, the man wants to be the hero on Valentine’s Day. So let them pick up the bill.

Damona  14:36  

All right, you have had the final word in that segment. Julie, we are going to be back with your five q fab. The five questions we’ve been asking are for repeat, dating experts on dates and mates. Since you’re still listening, you must like what you hear. And if you do, why not take a moment to hit the subscribe button on whichever podcast platform you’re listening to. Right now and that way you will be immediately notified whenever we drop a new episode. Or for example, a bonus episode ahem which will be happening on Valentine’s Day my friends, so don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review while you’re there so we can reach more people and heal more hearts this Valentine’s Day. We will be back with Julie spirent answering our five questions for five q FEHB. In just a moment. We are back with Julie aspira, the cyber dating expert and we are doing our love month five q FEHB. So, Julie, I’ve known you for a long time. And I very much trust and respect your your advice on everything dating and relationships. So I’m really curious what your answers are to the five questions that we have teed up for this month. Are

Julie Spira  15:52  

you ready for this? Go for it.

Damona  15:55  

Julie Spira What is the biggest challenge for daters today

Julie Spira  16:01  

I think the biggest challenge for dangerous today if there are too many choices, and I guess that’s a good news, bad news answer, because without all of these choices, we wouldn’t be able to meet so many people and actually form relationships. But because we have too many choices, it’s hard for people to be able to make a decision to say, you know, I really like you and maybe I should take my profile down, or let’s see where it goes. If it doesn’t work out, well, we can always rejoin people are hesitant to take the profiles down because of all the the abundance of options, you know, they call it the Paradox of Choice. And as a result, they’re giving up good opportunities. And then suddenly they circle back and we’ll see that guys in a committed relationship. So we need to learn to be aware when someone really great comes along, and I’m telling you, he or she won’t be perfect because none of us are perfect, but if they have, you know, three out of the five of your top traits and give them a second chance Go on a second date going a third date, and at a particular time, move it forward or move on.

Damona  17:07  

I want to pause to talk about that DTR conversation because I have been getting a lot of questions from listeners and from clients about when is the right time. And just as you said, there’s that question of, are you taking your profile down? I don’t know. I don’t want to, like, mention it and then have him think that I’m trying to move things too fast. And I actually had a client recently where we literally spent maybe a month of sessions talking about how to bridge the conversation. And my advice to her was like, just wait a little bit longer, a little longer. I feel like women want to have that cup DTR conversation usually, before the men are ready.

Julie Spira  17:48  

Do you do say, I think it used to be that way and what I’m finding now there’s a shift because I’m working with men who are like I met her and I’m done. I mean, they they want to hunt and they want to like grab their prey now. And so what they’re doing is they’re chasing women away because they’re saying, Okay, so here’s my boundary, this is what I can offer you. And this is what I want to take you and this is how I want to live our life and can we be exclusive, and the women are freaking out and going, Hey, I’ve only been dating you in six days, or six dates or whatever it may be. And so don’t so quick to seal the deal because I love the different phases of courtship. But when it comes to being sexually intimate, you’ve got to decide you know, are you okay? in an open relationship? people I work with are not are, are you? If you’re about to have sex? Do you want them to go get tested, I mean, that’s the perfect time to talk about defining the next phase of your relationship. And that doesn’t mean you putting a ring on it. It just means if you want to be sexually exclusive, let’s go together and get tested I know doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s responsible. And while we’re doing it, you know, I really don’t feel comforted. dating somebody who has an active dating profile. So I’m going to take mine down. But I’m not going to ask you to take your stand until you’re ready. And when you say that, you know, usually someone will just catch up in time. I’m glad

Damona  19:14  

that you you phrased it that way like you make it about you. It’s not you need to take down your profile right now because things are getting serious. It’s, I’m going to take down my profile, you can do what you want. I’m just letting you know where I stand and how I feel. And that takes a level of bravery, Julie, because so many times we are afraid to really express how we feel because if we say we like this person, and they don’t feel the same way yet, then we there there comes the rejection. Again, we feel like we’ve been rejected,

Julie Spira  19:46  

but before you you know, put that big in a scarlet letter are on your face. And then here’s another one that won’t commit to make as they’re playing the field and you must be a player. Make sure you say and I hope you catch up and that doesn’t mean they will Or they won’t, but you’re not putting this like pressure on man. And when you say I hope they’ll catch up, you’re just giving them a little nudge. And chances are they’ll catch up a little sooner than they might have been had you not have to have the conversation.

Damona  20:13  

Yes, I’m a big fan for just just voicing just voicing that thing that you’re feeling. And maybe if you’re a guy, and you’re six days, six days into dating someone, and your instinct is to tell them that you love them. Maybe

Julie Spira  20:27  

that’s too soon.

Damona  20:28  

But like, if you’ve been dating for a little while, and you’re really feeling bonded to someone to say how you feel the end of the story with my client is that last weekend, she she was introducing this guy, she’s been dating to friends. And we came up with her just saying, I’m excited for you to meet my friends. How do you want me to introduce you? And then he said, I’d like to be introduced as your boyfriend. Is that okay? You know, and here there’s like four months this elephant in the room of like, We both feel like we’re exclusive, but nobody really wants to say it. And she was like, I was amazed at how easy it was. And I’ve just seen this happen time and time again, where we make it so much harder, because the different outcomes are so become so much bigger and so much more weighted in our minds.

Julie Spira  21:17  

And I think happy ending and does but you know, relationship labels, I think they’re more important, generally speaking for women than for men. A guy feels good in the relationship. He sees you every Saturday night. He calls you every day texts you in between, you know, as far as he’s concerned, he’s in a relationship. But if you say, you know, I want to be called girlfriend, I want you to call me your girlfriend when you introduce me. You know, he might not be ready to say that just yet. And so it’s really important to understand that doesn’t mean there’s not a level of commitment if you don’t have a label. Labels aren’t important to everybody. That’s a really good point.

Damona  21:56  

Okay, second question of five q fab, Julie. What is the best way to find love.

Julie Spira  22:03  

The best way to find love, okay, I’m feeling I know what you’re gonna say. But

Julie Spira  22:09  

it’s not because you know, I’ve been doing online dating coaching for 25 years. It’s because I love this new research that came out from Stanford, and University of New Mexico that showed that 39% of singles met through online dating number one, as compared to 20%, who met through friends. Now, everyone tells me I want to meet someone that someone knows and I’d like to meet a friend of a friend, but the numbers double Okay, the closest second is through friends at 20% and almost 40% are meeting through dating apps. So if you’re not using a digital dating strategy, along with going out and being your fabulous self and going to your favorite events and going into your hiking clubs, and whatever you may do, just live your life but have an online and an offline strategy because the number First don’t lie and you’re going to be missing out.

Damona  23:03  

Okay, I’m glad you brought up the S word strategy. And you may remember like way back when when we first met and we exchanged business cards, my business card actually said, online dating strategist and people were like, what is that? That sounds super unromantic. I want no part of strategy. But it’s a big part of my philosophy. And I want to know how it is incorporated into your philosophies cyber dating expert.

Julie Spira  23:31  

Well, I you know, it’s romantic to call the business love But love is a multi billion dollar business if you I mean, just look at the number of the amount of people are spending on Valentine’s alone. And we’re looking at dating apps, you know, in the billions of swipes and the multi billions of such an enormous industry that that there is a strategy that is very similar to looking for your dream job. And when you’re looking for your dream job and maybe you’ll go on LinkedIn and you Look for a few things. And maybe you’ll go to networking events and you’ll hand out your card or you’ll swap digits or whatever. The fact is, if you get to the point of finally getting a job interview after doing all of this work, to be prepared to look your best to have the best block and resume out there, and you go on an interview, and you don’t get the job, because there’s a 100 other candidates, you go on the next interview, and if you don’t get the job, because there were 200 candidates, you go on the next interview, because you probably need to pay your rent and put food on the table. And so that same strategy, I transfer that to online dating, and if you’ve had three bad dates, you don’t say I’m not going to go on another bad day because I met people that didn’t look like their profile, because you say okay, I want to find love. I’m going to go on the next day and maybe you’ll have a better experience.

Damona  24:52  

Hmm, that’s that’s a really good point. And like you I like looking at dating in a way as Your own social experiment, where each time you go out with someone, you’re learning about yourself, you’re iterating you’re improving your dating skills, your dating strategy, and then you’re fine tuning to get closer to what you’re looking for. Can we go a level deeper? Julie? Okay. How can this is the actual third question, how can people change their patterns in love? A lot of our listeners don’t like the path that they’re on right now in love. How can they change their patterns?

Julie Spira  25:33  

Well, if you don’t like the path you’re on, you need to hop off that saddle and here’s the problem. We are so used to what is comfortable for us, even if it’s bad for us, therefore, people go after the same type over and over again. And maybe it’s a commitment phobe and then they find another commitment phobe or the down someone that’s just gotten divorced, and then they find someone else who’s newly single and isn’t over their ex yet. And so I think it’s It’s really important to jump out of that comfort circle and date somebody completely different than your last three relationships. Because if you have a type, you know, it’s it’s wired into your brain that this is your type, even if it is bad for you. I mean, if you think about what happens when you bond with someone when you have sex with them, and you know that they’ve, there’s no long term possibilities in that relationship. The next thing you know, they’re on a pedestal, you’re fantasizing about them, you know, the, the hormones are kicking in, and they become better than they really are in real life. So you’ve got to date somebody completely different from your type, and whether they’re shorter or whether they live farther away, or whether, you know, they didn’t have this kind of degree that you thought that you were hoping they would have, whatever it may be, you need to date somebody different and see what it’s like and get uncomfortable for a little bit and give them a couple of chances. Because the Maybe the person who actually would be a great match for you, especially since the other ones didn’t go the distance.

Damona  27:07  

We actually one of our questions today is about type. So I’m going to, I’m going to leave a little bit of this for our technically dating segment. But I just want to say also like identifying your type, because I think we tend to look at just what the physical type is. But identifying what is that pattern, right? Like if you, maybe you date people who are wildly different in physical types, but like the, the relationships have all ended the same way or you feel the same way and the relationships. They’re probably some commonalities that you don’t realize are even there if you go back and connect the dots.

Julie Spira  27:47  

And I think it’s important to just again, make a list now make it a list that’s, you know, got 100 items on it, but make a list of the most important character traits and this is outside of like, What does someone look like? Life is looks changed, we I mean, looks really changed as you get older. But, but make a list of the type of person you want to be with the type of relationship you want, whether it’s casual, they’re committed, whether you want to be married or not. Whether you want a life partner or travel partner, make a list of all the things that you like to do, and then see if you can find someone that gets part of that list and then give them a shot.

Damona  28:27  

Alright, so we’ve been talking about finding that dream match that ideal person that has most of those qualities. What do you think for your, your fourth question for five key fab? What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Julie?

Julie Spira  28:44  

A strong, long lasting relationship. Number one, without a doubt, trust. If you can’t trust the person you’re with, why are you with them? If you’re agonizing about why they didn’t text you last night, maybe they fell asleep or you and you automatically Well, they’re cheating on you because someone else had, and you’re bringing that baggage to the table, if you’re going to have a situation where eventually they won’t, you know, they will betray your trust. If you keep feeling like you don’t trust that person, trust takes a real long time to build and a split second to lose. And that is a really important thing. So again, for online dating, if you’re taking your profile down, and you say you’re going to be exclusive, don’t say it just because you want to get into bed with this person. Say it because you mean it and you’re going to live it and your words mean everything. And so I can’t tell you that relationships once the trust, you know, has been broken, they can be fixed, but it takes a long time and it takes two committed people really working hard at regaining their trust. So don’t lose it in the first place. be that person who you say you are and if they aren’t, move on.

Damona  29:53  

Yes, and that that dovetails into something else that I always wind up coaching my clients on that it’s it’s about getting into the feeling of what it’s like being with that person and sometimes,

Julie Spira  30:09  

like if you have trust issues,

Damona  30:11  

then you your automatic default is not to trust when you’re with someone new. And the only way to tell if someone is trustworthy is by trusting them and seeing that they’re being consistent. But I find it starts with getting into feeling on the date like how do you feel when you’re with them? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like they are doing what they say they’re going to do? What about for those people that already have the built in issue with trust? Maybe they have been they have been taken advantage of in a prior relationship or been cheated on? How can they learn to trust again so that they can have that long lasting relationship that they want?

Julie Spira  30:57  

This is a real issue. This is a real issue because I’ve met people that I’ve worked with, who saw their fathers cheat on their mothers. And therefore, they ended up with boyfriends who cheated on men, and if not what they want it, but for some reason, they repeated this patterns that they grew up with. And so I think, you know, breaking these patterns is clear, clearly the the first step that I see that people need to do, and then how do you do that we have to go back into self love. You have to realize that you know, you are lovable, you are the prize. And whenever someone feels insecure about going on a date, or they feel unhappy in their relationship, and they wish their boyfriend would be more committed, just look in the mirror and go, Hey, he’s lucky to have me, I am the prize. And the more confident you are, the better off you will be in your relationships because a man doesn’t want a needy woman and he doesn’t want an insecure woman and he doesn’t want someone you know, checking up on him and staring at his text messages when he’s taking a nap.

Damona  32:00  

So true. Yep, you have to, you have to find that that faith and that courage to to trust again, and I know it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time to unravel those, those patterns and even if you saw it as a kid and didn’t experience yourself or you’ve been through it before, it’s not gonna happen overnight. There’s one more question doing for five to fab, whose relationship do you admire and why?

Julie Spira  32:27  

Okay, I’m going to name two. Okay. The first one I’m going to say, would be Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And the reason I say that is because it’s someone that most of us know. And I have admired them for a really long time. They’re both just kind people. They have so much respect for each other. They live their lives as individuals and they live their lives as a couple and they’ve been married for over 30 years. So Hollywood romances are so so difficult, and this is one that you know I give you know, a five star review to because because I just think I’ve been around them and if anyone’s watched them on TV or an award ceremonies, you can just see that they do adore each other. And they do have their independent projects, and they respect each other. So that’s my, my, my Hollywood couple. And outside of that, I’m going to actually add in one more couple, and that is my parents. And I say that with so much love and respect because my parents have been married for 60 years, over 60 years, okay. At my mother met my father when she was a senior in high school. I think she’s the only man she was ever with. And they have been together through thick and thin and they still love and adore each other and they are living, you know, their later years in an adult active retired community where they have this enormous social life and They love their children, they love their grandchildren. And they have it’s still such great role models for me, looking at the love of a share, and that they shared over multiple decades. And I only hope that I get to celebrate a 70th anniversary with them.

Damona  34:16  

Well, that’s beautiful Julie, and I’ve seen pictures of them online and they do look so cute. What do you think is the secret to their long lasting relationship?


Julie Spira  34:26  

That changes just like every relationship changes decade per decade, you want something different and different decades. At this point? I think the secret to their relationship is they watch TV in separate rooms and watch two different news channels. But But really, I think they have such a companionship, my father sends her a card every year on the anniversary of their first date. And in the end, their first date was on May 7. So he has this little poem that he writes, you know, he’s 91 years old, you still write this poem. Remember the day the seventh of may and it was the day of the first day It was the day one year later that he proposed to her and they became engaged. And so he has these rituals of making sure that my mom My mother is loved, you know, all year long, but they never forget the anniversary of their first day. And I think that’s fabulous. Oh my gosh, it gave me chills.

Julie Spira  35:19  

I have no idea when my first day was.

Julie Spira  35:23  

Better go look at the calendar.

Damona  35:25  

I better go look at the calendar. But yeah, it’s a reminder that those little rituals that seems silly like with Valentine’s Day coming up, people are thinking, How do I make this memorable? And sometimes it’s, it’s the little things it’s sending that card. It’s writing that poem, and even it’s the same poem every year that she knows that that she can count on that and she can count on him is something that’s really inspiring for us this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing. How you liking this five q fab. I want to know what what’s your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. You can tweet me or You can leave a comment on Instagram or message me on Facebook and use the hashtag five q fab. That’s the number five q f Eb. And then we’ll be following and sharing your responses about your big takeaways and aha moments from this month’s episodes. Now she’s answered my questions, but it’s time for her to answer yours in the next segment. By the way, we are always doing technically dating so if you have a question, you can always submit it to me for the show on any social platform at damona Hoffman You can also message me through dates and mates.com or leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 Don’t be shy. We love hearing your voice. We’ll put all those links and, and instructions in the show notes. But this show works best when you tell me what is on your mind so that I can give you the dating and relationship advice that you need. And chances are if you’re having a question, there’s someone else listening right now to this podcast, who’s going through the exact same thing that you are feeling right now. So you be brave and ask the question that you need an answer to and you could be helping yourself and others to have the love and relationship that you want this year. We’ll be back right after this with more Julie Spyro. All right, we are here with Julie spire off for our final segment. You have sent in your questions and we are giving you answers and I am passing on your questions to Julie Spyro. Who’s the cyber dating expert. And I hand picked these ones for Julie. So just want to say to anyone that submitted a question I know I’ve I’m I have a few questions in queue from previous weeks. But Julie is an expert in online dating so I wanted to make sure that I gave these specific questions to her. So this one came to us in an email from a woman will call Jay. Julie, she says I’m wondering your thoughts on having a type physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like When I’m out and about meeting men in the wild, she calls it, there’s a cut, there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your type. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? On one hand, I’m worried I might miss someone on the other eye. Should I be setting updates with guys that I don’t that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Or am I doing these apps wrong? And then she used the like, hands up. What do you do emoji?

Julie Spira  38:34  

Well, I’m doing it wrong. Maybe but maybe not. So I think you should really, my best advice is to look at it as a quantity thing. And how many dates Do you want to go on in a given week? And who in that given week really rises to the top of people you’ve been communicating with, that you think you have enough in common with I’m also a big fan of hopping on the phone. I know what an arcade thing but you Know swapping digits and getting on the phone. Because if you have a phone chemistry with someone, chances are you’re going to have a good experience on the day. But if you’re on the phone with them, and you’re so bored, and you’re like yawning, oh my gosh, I can’t wait for this phone call to end and you take another incoming phone call just to get out of it, then don’t schedule a date because it’s going to be a bomb. And you’re going to it’s going to be a dating disaster. But yes, try and date people that are different than who you dated the week before. And but if you really feel like, Hey, we just have nothing in common. Our backgrounds are so different. I don’t think I can have a good time. What am I going to talk about, then just take a pass because there are so many millions of other people that you could be chatting with. So don’t be too rigid. loosen it up a little bit. But if you really know you’re going to be on a bad date, just don’t go your time is really precious.

Damona  39:56  

Yeah. I am all about one Quality, but also you have to get enough quantity in the mix to make those decisions. And this is this is a big problem with dating apps is that I think people forget that they’re using a tool. The dating app is just the tool. It’s not the it’s not the chemistry, it’s not the butterflies, it’s just the means for you to meet the person. That’s the way I look at it. So I’m like, drive to the date, get offline, get to the date, because all those things that she feels when she’s out in the wild, as she says, and she feels those sparks and the chemistry, you probably aren’t going to get them in the same way when you’re swiping right.

Julie Spira  40:37  

You’re not and the other problem that you have to be concerned about is the false expectation that you’re in a relationship because you’ve been chatting you know, morning noon and night on on via text or WhatsApp or on the dating app. And all of this chatting and this what I call the digital foreplay. It’s sort of advances your relationship where you think you really know someone and like Dimona said, you don’t know them until you actually can get together in person and see what it’s like to laugh at their jokes and see if you really feel enough to want to go on a second date. Because all first date really is, is the opportunity to decide at the end of the day or the evening, do you want to go out again and pull out your calendars and schedule something so it doesn’t get lost in the Abyss?

Damona  41:21  

Yeah, what about this idea of type though, I do want to talk about that. Because I know I I’ve always had a physical type. And I went out with people that were way different from my physical type. But I ended up ultimately with someone who was like, straight down the middle, my exact physical type.

Julie Spira  41:41  

Well, you know, you got lucky, I got lucky.

Julie Spira  41:45  

Because here’s the thing. I had a physical type and it was really interesting. I and then I ended up at one point marrying somebody who was completely opposite my physical type, and it was a bad choice not because of the physical type, but it was a bad choice, but I was at a point My life were, well, I want to get married, I want to settle down, it’s time. And you know, other boxes got checked off. So I thought it was a good decision. So now I’m back to Well, I have a certain type. And sometimes when you meet someone that’s not your type physically in a photo, first of all the photos you don’t know necessarily that they’re going to resemble what you they look like when you meet them in person, you have to hope for truth and advertising. But if you really know that you have a certain type, and you’re comfortable with that type and you’ve had successful relationships with that type, then stick with that type and just, you know, go outside the box a little bit because you do have to go outside the box.

Damona  42:39  

Yeah, and I think sometimes our type is predicated on the experiences that we have, the more that we go out with someone who is 510 and slender, the more we will be attracted the next time to someone who’s 510 and slender, but I think it can be dangerous and especially like I know y’all didn’t Ask about this. But especially when it comes to race, a lot of times people will come to me with a very narrow view of the physical type, the race, the the ethnic background of someone. And I’m like, if you go a level deeper into the values, that person may be completely aligned with you. But you’ve never dated someone who’s African American or Asian, because you just had it in your mind that you date Caucasian men. And we have to sort of shake that up a little bit. If you’re really, if you’re really opening up to finding love.

Julie Spira  43:31  

We have to shake it a lot, because there’s so many great people. And I think that I believe in diversity, and I love you know, inclusion and I love such a variety, I would say the 64 colors of crayons in the Crayola crayon box, you know, and I know dimana you’ve talked about the ice cream flavors, but the fact is, there are so many different types of people and if you haven’t had a chance to be with them, you really shouldn’t say they’re not your type because you don’t know exactly

Damona  44:00  

Thank you for saying that and making me not the only one saying that because I know you believe it too. We have one more question Julie. This okay this is put a strap your seatbelt on. Because this is this is a this is a big one. Kayla on Twitter says how do I quit online dating? I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis pardon the language on a daily basis for dating with intention. I’m objectified by creeps with every other message but I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly that I can’t bring myself to stop

Julie Spira  44:38  

when you’re asking to stop but you don’t want to stop you just want to get rid of the creeps. You know you don’t want somebody sending a dick pic and you don’t want somebody that you know is is calling you a bitch or whatever they want to say because you’re a woman that is strong has strong values and you’re stating your intentions. Keep stating your intentions because you are going to attract someone who’s looking for Exactly what you’re looking for. And as far as these debit guys, you know, swipe left block them, so you don’t have to see them in a search again. And all the tools that these dating apps have right now make it very easy for you to not be bothered by people who are harassing you or make you uncomfortable for any reason.

Damona  45:17  

Yeah, I second that definitely use the block and report feature. They take those those complaints very seriously. But what do you think, Julie? If she’s, I mean, I spent a lot of time on dating apps well, online dating before they were dating apps and I but I help my clients with with dating apps every day. I know you’ve done the same for 25 years. I’ve rarely been called a bitch. And I haven’t seen my clients be called a bitch all that often. Do you think there’s something that she’s doing that maybe allowing these guys it or could it be the app that she’s on? Or could it be something about the way that she’s presenting herself, because like, I don’t want her to be getting this abuse every day,

Julie Spira  45:59  

right? And also I’ve never gotten many views from that, you know, when I’ve been on dating apps, and I’ve seen for the most part, my clients have all had, you know, good experiences, they just didn’t feel that they had enough in common or there wasn’t a connection, but it didn’t mean they were a bad person. And so I don’t know what kind of messages are being sent out. I’ve seen dating profiles with disclaimers, don’t contact me if this don’t contact me if that I mean, don’t say anything that’s negative, you want people to contact you. So I don’t know what your communications have been. I don’t know what types of dates you want to go on. Some women really would prefer not investing a lot of time and going on coffee dates. There are other women that do not want to go on coffee dates, because they don’t want to be in allowed Starbucks and they’d like to have a quieter like lunch conversation with someone even if it’s over a cup of soup. So I think it’s a question of how are you communicating with these guys, because deep down, they want to connect with someone and you want to connect with someone. You’re obviously not a fit with these people, but there has to be another 80% of guys out there that aren’t You a bitch. That’s hope.

Damona  47:01  

Yes Yeah, definitely don’t stand for it. But definitely don’t give up if you really want that relationship keep listening to dates and mates and keep showing up for yourself and setting those boundaries and you’ll find the right one.

Julie Spira  47:14  

Julie this has been such

Damona  47:16  

a blast talking to you again on data needs.

Julie Spira  47:20  

Thank you for having me and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and don’t forget you know, gallon times day is the day before Valentine’s Day. So support you know, loving your friendships with your girlfriends ladies. And if you don’t have a Valentine’s date, have a blast on Valentine’s Day.

Damona  47:36  

Thank you for reminding us of that. And thank you for being here. You can follow Julie at Julie aspira on Twitter and Instagram we will put the link to her socials in the show notes as well as her link to cyber dating expert calm which is where she gives dating advice. She has a wonderful blog there with lots of great resources and you can sign up there for her free weekly flirt newsletter which will also give you the seven secrets to finding love online. Thanks for being here. Julie. Thank you. Are you feeling overwhelmed by love month and looking for a little bit more support? And then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits. We are launching a special Patreon program this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. For our listeners who are ready for more. What is Patreon? Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear. And it allows you to get amazing listener benefits by participating. Our page is patreon.com slash dates and mates. What will you get if you sign up? Here’s just a few of the benefits. You get access to a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. Maybe you’ll make a love connection there. Maybe you’ll get some more advice that you need that’s directed specifically towards you. You’ll also have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. These will be live these will be video and Phone chats that you’ll be able to participate directly with me so you can get the support that you need in love. And you’ll also get access to behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates.


Julie Spira  49:13  

And for my really, really special


Damona  49:14  

top tier VIP, Fw B’s, you can even get a dating profile analysis, with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws just the right kind of dates into you. The Patreon is live now@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. And don’t worry if you’ve never used Patreon before, if you just click the link in the show notes, we will walk you through all of the different tiers and what you get and make it really easy for you to become a part of the community. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up now before March 1. That’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to patreon.com slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my friends with benefits. I hope you enjoyed Episode 296 of dates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear your love questions. And I want you to join me again next week when I will have Bella Gandhi who will be doing the five q fab thing with us. Until next week, I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day and happy dating


Being Intimidating & Taboo Topics: Love Month Part 1


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.


We’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for Technically Dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devised the top 5 question about the state of romance today.

So each week in February you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective to the same big love dilemmas – I’m calling this series 5 Question February.


This week, we’re joined by the FABULOUS Francesca Hogi!

Franny is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She is a Match and Today Show love expert, and has been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Mens Health. 

Fun Fact: she was also a contestant on two seasons of the CBS reality show Survivor. Francesca is the co-host of the podcast Romantical and the host of the podcast Dear Franny. 

She’s here to give you the no nonsense answers that you need to hear.

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Is A$AP Rihanna’s rebound?

Rihanna may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound.


The MOST TABOO Topic on dates

Seriously people, don’t talk about your breakups. It ain’t cute.


Your guide to swipe safety this month

Are swipe apps really that dangerous?


#5QFeb (14:60)

Damona asks Franny the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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

  • IG – I’m a 46 year old divorcee. Should I pay for a dating app to get better results? I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks.
  • I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins. When and how can I date?



Damona  0:17  

Welcome to dates invades your dating and relationships source for swipe season, Valentine’s Day divorcement and everything else that you need help navigating right now. It’s February and you know what that means Valentine’s Day is upon us and to celebrate the month of love. I’ll be doing something special. We have four of the top prior guests love experts from dates and mates who will be joining me for the next four weeks of episodes. I’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for technically dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devise the top four questions about the state of romance today. So each week in February, you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective on the same Big Love dilemmas. I’m calling this series for question February. But first I’m going to introduce my guest co host for today. Francesca hoagie is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She’s a match and today’s show love expert and she’s been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar Marie Claire, and men’s health funfact. She was also on two seasons of the CBS reality show survivor, and now she’s the co host of the podcast romantical and she has a new podcast called dear frannie. Let’s give big smooches to Francesca hoagie. Hey, welcome back to the show. Thank you for having me.


Franny  1:41  

damona I love being here. I love having


Damona  1:43  

you and I’m so excited for this month of love with you. And to cover these headlines including riana may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound. And the most absolutely most taboo topic on dates. will tell you what that is plus will give you the latest news on Swype safety for this year’s season of love. And then we’ll answer your questions including do paid dating apps yield better results. And how can you date if you’re a single mom with newborn twins?


Franny  2:17  

With great difficulty?


Damona  2:20  

Ready to do this? I’m so ready. Let’s do this. These dating dish, according to Page Six, riana and ASAP Rocky are reportedly dating. Now if you are late to the news, she was dating billionaire. That’s with a B, that’s gonna be a beautiful billionaire. Double be a son Jamil. I mean, let me tell you this man. This man had it together but it didn’t seem to work out for them. According to sources, they said that they just were living different lives and it just didn’t work. So


Franny  2:53  

people, they don’t buy you happiness. Well, I mean, they can buy you some a lot of things that can make you happy.


Franny  2:59  

True. That’s true. That’s true. But you need some other things too. But maybe ASAP Rocky has those things.


Franny  3:05  

Hopefully, actually, I think that first celebrities and you know, even though that guy is a billionaire, and he has a high public profile celebrities, and he’s beautiful, and he’s beautiful, it’s easier for celebrities to date other celebrities. And in general, sure,


Franny  3:19  

because there is Liberty


Franny  3:20  

because their lives are just so bizarre. And right, they just have a whole set of concerns that they have to deal with that. I don’t I think it’s hard for a non famous person to understand what it’s like to have to navigate both a relationship which can be obviously very challenging in even if you’re the most anonymous people in the world, you know, and then add on top of the fact that every move you make is being documented and speculated on and Oh yeah,


Damona  3:47  

people saw this they saw they were sharing a hotel suite in New York together. And just to your point about celebrities dating celebrities, ASAP Rocky has had quite a history of famous exes. He was with candled For a couple years, he was with Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea. He’s been linked to riana before there was this whole thing about him grabbing her button public a few years ago. scandalous, scandalous. But here’s the thing. She heard her sources people close to her saying like, Look, she just got out of this serious relationship. It’s just a rebound. She’s saying she’s trying to be single. She’s not looking for a serious relationship right now. Like Yeah, oh, girl can’t even


Franny  4:28  

lurking and being like, What are you guys doing in the suite together? I am. So


Franny  4:32  

I, you know, there’s there’s obviously benefits to being famous. But there’s so many drawbacks. And this is one of them. Like, you can’t just like hang out with your ex and like, get a little nookie. without, you know, strangers sitting around talking about it and speculating on it.


Damona  4:47  

That’s true. Just like we’re doing right now. Exactly. But I hope I hope she really finds love because I think she deserves it. And she’s had a rough go of it.


Franny  4:54  

Yeah, it’s hard. She’s such a boss, and she’s so busy. She’s juggling so many things. And I mean, think of like the confidence level A man has to have to be able to be with a woman who is like such a superstar. And then you add on top of just the time factor, like how do they make time for a relationship? You know? So there’s a lot of challenges there for


Damona  5:16  

a lot of our superstar ladies that are listening to this, this podcast that may be thinking, it’s really hard for me to find a match, like one element is sometimes it is intimidating when you have everything together. The guys that don’t approach you are the ones that don’t feel like they can handle all that. Yeah, so maybe that kind of rejection is not such a bad thing. And you should save yourself for Yeah, great term match.


Franny  5:40  

Oh, yeah. Anyone who’s intimidated by you is not for you. So he doesn’t have the competence, you know, but I do think that as women who might be perceived as being intimidating, it is worth thinking about. Okay, am I leading too much with my accomplishments, am I leading too much with it? And I don’t mean to say like, I want to be really clear about this, I don’t mean to dumb yourself down or pretend like, Oh, I just have a little company. And you


Franny  6:09  

know, I’m not saying that, but


Franny  6:10  

I think even just in your interactions with people, like most people go on dates, and they talk about their jobs, right? Which is like, generally like not, it’s not right for romance, right? Like, it’s not right for like connection. And I’ve seen this with women who they feel that men are intimidated by them by their sex because of their success. But then they also when they meet men, it’s kind of like they’re using their success as a little bit of a crutch, and they’re leaning into it as a kind of a thing to puff them up. And I don’t know, I think it’s kind of a subconscious thing that we can do sometimes. So


Damona  6:42  

well, it’s what’s giving you love back. So the thing that you’re successful at is the thing that’s giving you that that feedback and making you feel successful. So you then you lean into that when you’re on the dates and then you talk more about those things. But that’s not how that’s not how women really are meant to attract men. That’s not attractive to men that’s attractive to women who are looking for providers. And we’re talking about traditional gender roles. But I’m curious, as we were going through these headlines, what you should definitely not talk about on first dates. And there was an article in elite daily that talked about those who discussed breakups. Yeah, on first dates. I hear this all the time, too.


Franny  7:25  

Yeah. My feeling.


Damona  7:26  

My feeling is if you’re talking about a breakup on a first date, your first date is not going well.


Franny  7:33  

I agree. I don’t think it’s a good sign. We’re talking about breakups. Also just talking about not even like necessarily breakups, like you were in a relationship, just talking about how dating is going on the app and like, Oh, my God, yeah. So last week, I went on this date with this guy. I’m like, what, you know, why are you talking about that on your day, right? Yeah, no way I’m all about I really, really encourage people to set an intention when you go on a date, and put your Like setting an intention to, you know, see if you can spark a connection with that other person to just set an intention to just be present in that moment, share something of yourself, learn something new, just something that’s going to keep you really focused on the other person and the connection that you might be able to build because a lot of people go on dates and they feel like, oh, there was no spark. But then if you break down, what would you talk about? You talked about work you bring you talked about your ex, he talks about where you grew up, okay. Like where you went to school? Like, I mean, that’s not, that’s not that’s not I think you can do better.


Damona  8:34  

Yeah. And I feel that, of course, there are people that are going to be boring on dates that are going to be uncomfortable on dates that aren’t going to really inspire you, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to to take the conversation where you want it to go. Agreed. And if you are saying, Well, that was a boring day. Well, you were boring, some responsible Yeah, yeah. Making it boring yourself.


Franny  8:56  

Yeah. And if it means you have to think about questions ahead of time to Ask if it means like when you when you start talking about work, or you know, your date starts talking about work, you know, instead of asking them 20 questions about their boring accounting job that you don’t have any interest in, and they probably hate anyway, right? You know, say like, well, if you’re going to talk about work, you know, what do you love about what you do? Or if you could do anything, what would it be? Or what do you want to be when you were a kid, like just something to, you know, have it be something that’s more about what they care about and their values and what they dream of, you know, just there’s ways to hibbett conversation so that you’re going to a more a place that’s more likely to yield some real connection.


Damona  9:36  

I really love those tips and remembering that you, you can pivot, you don’t have to stay on track track that is leading you to a boring conversation, and you can do it gently.


Franny  9:48  

You don’t have to be like, let’s not talk about this anymore. This is boring. Don’t say that. Right? Like you can do it really gently. It’s a skill, but it’s a skill that you can develop and it’s it’s worth it’s worth it’s worth developing.


Damona  9:58  

Yeah, and you you really could change any conversation topic at any point just by leaning in and be like, you know what I’m really curious about. And then the other person will lean in and be like, Oh, yeah, body language and be like, well, I want to know what you’re curious about. Yes. And I love that so great. What did you dream of when you were a kid?


Franny  10:16  

which wouldn’t be what did you want to be when you were a little kid? Yeah. I’m


Damona  10:21  

queen or princess. Initially, and then I wanted to be an architect. I’m really into historic homes and, and design. And then I took drafting one on one and almost flunked out of high school. I’m really more interested in cheerleading. So I had to find something else to do with my life. Yeah. What about you? I wasn’t


Franny  10:44  

really a kid who had any strong sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I do remember after I saw the movie, Wall Street, I wanted to be a corporate raider. No, really an actor I saw Top Gun I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Very briefly. I don’t know what this reveals about my person.


Damona  11:00  

You are inspired by the things you see.


Franny  11:02  

I guess what I think I think I was inspired by I don’t know, power.


Franny  11:07  

alarming, but um, yeah, I never really knew I never really knew


Damona  11:10  

while we’re, while we’re talking about power, the transfer of power. A lot of times with dating apps people tell me that they’re afraid of something happening to them. They’re afraid of dating safety, like people that are hungry for power that might take advantage of them. And there were some new features that Tinder rolled out to address this concern. They announced that they’re, they’re now using a panic button, you have to download a an additional app to get this. And here’s the catch that app actually sends data it shares your data with its your location. So they it’s the same technology that you that Uber uses, okay, it’s sharing your location with Facebook and a bunch of other apps and other data that you don’t necessarily have control over. Yeah, but I digress. It can alert the authorities if you are uncomfortable on a date.


Franny  12:08  

And then they all said also just use you have in the future if anyone has an iPhone and probably Android has the same feature you have there’s an emergency. You know, if you hit that side button


Damona  12:20  

I sit down. Yeah,


Franny  12:20  

I think Megan emerge. I think everyone has probably accidentally done this and you’re like, Oh, God.


Franny  12:27  

But dial but dial but yeah, you know, I think it’s good. It’s me.


Franny  12:30  

Well, you think that people?


Franny  12:33  

I don’t know if it’s necessary. Okay. I’ll tell you. I do think that, you know, Tinder in particular has has that reputation like, Oh, you can’t go on Tinder. Like, you know, it’s just for hookups. And there’s, you know, people looking to abduct you or you know, but I think that


Franny  12:49  

so we hear those stories. I mean, we hear those stories, but we hear like


Franny  12:54  

I don’t know, six of those stories a year


Damona  12:57  

and look at how many people are date and


Franny  12:58  

look at how many times 10s of millions of people are on Tinder. So it is a very, very, very, very uncommon occurrence. So obviously, you want to be smart, and their ways to be smart. And I find that generally when you’re actually paying attention, and you’re not, you know, maybe kind of ignoring things or hoping against hope because like, well, this person, their pictures are really great. So I just want to meet them, and you’re not, you know, you’re, you’re maybe ignoring some signs that there’s something a little off, or, you know, maybe they’re pressuring you, or they’re like, they want to meet really quickly, you know, or just things ideal, either something’s off, you know, or like, they’re insisting that they pick you up or you mean, like, just things like, just don’t, you know, it’s, it’s just important to be smart. And make sure when you’re, I don’t care which app you’re on, you know, you don’t know this person. And even if you meet somebody, you know, and you can meet somebody in church who turns out to be, you know, not a good person, right? So you just have to just exercise that common sense. We meet in a in a public place and place you feel comfortable. Be you know have your own transportation. Right. So you’re not relying on a stranger to pick you up or take you home. You know,


Damona  14:12  

so and that’s like meeting someone. And in any, in any setting Yeah, yeah, you don’t know them. They’re not checked out by, in fact, actually there was I went out with somebody that I met at a party through a friend and I was still like, something’s off about this guy. Even even then you don’t even know. Yeah, you don’t say don’t know, just be seeing this feature. They also added a photo Vera verification feature. That’s cool.


Franny  14:37  

That’s great. Yeah, so it’s already.


Damona  14:40  

Yeah, it’s using AI and then like, trusted people internally, to make sure that you are who you say you are. Yeah. Do we need that or is catfishing that much of a problem?


Franny  14:51  

I mean, I don’t think similar to the safety issue. catfishing is a problem but it’s usually whenever somebody has been captured When you look back, and you kind of look back at the messages, you look back at the profile, it’s not that hard to spot. Yeah, it’s really like, I mean, if you’re looking at somebody, and their profile is just like, oh my god, this is the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen. And these model photos and like, you know, and things are looking, he was in the Navy, and like, you know, like, it’s just like, you know, it, you could do like a river. If you if you’re suspicious, you could do a reverse reverse image search, you know, in Google, you can take a picture from the app, and you can put it into Google and you can see where else it comes up. So usually the cat pictures they’re using stock photos or they’re using photos from you know, that are appearing lots of other places that you’re like, Oh, wait, this isn’t the same person


Damona  15:40  

and we want to believe the fantasy don’t mean frannie like want to believe Haha, yeah, this idea of the person, like so many times people right into the show, and they’re like, I am in love. I fell in love with this person. In fact, I just posted on my Instagram today that I don’t believe in it. In love at first sight. It’s a myth and somebody said, Well, maybe you just haven’t experienced it, huh? No. You don’t know that person. Right? I mean, you don’t know that person. You tell them


Franny  16:09  

you don’t know them. You don’t you? You? Well, that’s kind of a philosophical question. What


Franny  16:15  

is love?


Franny  16:16  

Love Is it can choose a lot. But I mean, yes, obviously when most people when they’re thinking it’s love at first sight, it’s just it’s lost its luster first. It’s chemistry. It’s Oh my god, this is finally the kind of person that I’m looking for. But you know, one big solution to catfishing is just meet them, meet them in person, right? Just meet them in person, because the person who has a million excuses why they can’t meet and oh, and I’m out of town and this and that, and it’s adding up. It’s like the you know, it’s pretty obvious if your gut is telling you it’s


Damona  16:47  

probably Lissa. What it Yes, yeah. And I think there’s a bigger issue of people not necessarily stealing other people’s photos. I know that is happening, but it’s more just people having false advertising. editing photos, which we announced a couple weeks ago Bumble is cutting down down on and and taking those photos off. But it’s more people just using old photos. Yeah, it’s always advertising or just not looking like themselves when you meet or just not being attractive to you like you can look at someone’s picture. I don’t know how many online dates I went on where I was like, oh, that person looks really hot. And you’re like, Oh, I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel


Franny  17:26  

it Are you are you were like, Oh, you can see it’s not a catfish. It’s like, Oh, this is you. But this is the best picture you have ever taken in your life.


Franny  17:36  

We’ve all done it. We’ve all


Franny  17:38  

done it. So I think if there’s anything that’s feeling off about someone’s profile, just ask yourself, if these photos weren’t as good if this person didn’t look as hot, or they didn’t have this job, or there’s something that I’m like really, really looking for would I still be excusing or ignoring an intuition that I have? And you know, just check in with yourself because it’s usually it’s because the people who are out there to deceive people, they know what to do they know the profile to put together, they know how to make themselves look so irresistible. They’re experts at it. They’re experts at it. So it’s like if somebody seems like really too good to be true, and then there’s something off about the communication and they’re not you know, trying to meet you in person are there you know, there’s something shady going on there just you gotta you gotta listen to your instincts and use your common sense and just say it’s, it’s a leap of faith to say, the person who was right for me is out there and I don’t have to waste my time hoping against hope with somebody who’s showing me already that there’s something not right here.


Damona  18:38  

Yes, you have to keep the faith. Love is out there for you. We will give you more hope later in this episode, and we’re doing this fun. Five question February. So when we come back, Franny is going to answer my five questions about the state of love relationships and romance. Today, so stick around.


Franny  19:03  

We are back with frannie. She hosts the dear frannie podcast and she has been a go to expert in media for years. So I know that she can tackle these big issues for five question February. And I’m really excited to hear these questions because I Can I just tell everyone, yeah, that you offered to show me the questions ahead of time. I said, No, don’t show me at a time. I just want to freestyle it. So let’s go.


Damona  19:28  

She’s not good. She can answer these questions on the fly. We’ll see. Okay, Francesca hoagie. What is the biggest challenge for traders today? Ooh,


Franny  19:39  

gosh, that’s a big question.


Franny  19:40  

I told you. Yeah.


Damona  19:42  

I know you can handle I can handle it. And you can break it down into chunks. Yeah, yeah. One question that you always Yeah. here from Pete.


Franny  19:50  

Um, I would say, Okay, well, there’s probably two things that initially comes to mind. One of the biggest challenges is that we have so much cultural messaging conditioning around romance that’s so terrible. And I’m talking about like the fairy tale industrial complex. And you know, there’s one perfect person and you’re going to know as soon as you see them. And as soon as you meet that perfect person, everything’s going to fall into place. And you’re either lucky in love Are you aren’t. So I think that kind of mindset that people have about romance in general is a huge, huge, huge obstacle to love and real connection. So there’s that. But then there’s also because of dating apps, and because of the proliferation of online dating, people have this sense that they have infinite choice. And it becomes this illusion that oh, well, I there’s something one little thing I don’t like about someone, I’ll just keep going because I’ll find that perfect person. So they’re related, right? It’s this idea that you’re going to know right away, and the person is going to be perfect, and then everything is going to fall into place. And just know that even though there are millions and millions of people on dating apps, all of those people are not Actually options for you, right? And not all of those people. You most people overestimate their ability to determine who is and who isn’t compatible for them, like in a very short amount of time. So people are very quick to dismiss someone because they’re like, Oh, no, like, Oh, I only want somebody who’s, you know, six too early, six feet tall, or like, you know, or just like, oh, like, he seems too nerdy. And I need somebody who’s that, you know, just all of these little things that I should. I’m going to quote another expert here. Michelle Jacoby, who I interviewed recently for my podcast, and she said something I was like, Oh, my God, this is so good. And she, she was talking about how she was in DC. And she was on a corner and she saw this father and daughter and they were just having this really lovely father daughter moment. And she was like, Oh, my God, that’s so sweet. Like, Oh, look at that bother. He really loves his daughter. It’s so sweet. And then she thought I was I was single, what would I think looking at that guy? And she said, Oh, I think well, he doesn’t really dress that well. He’s kind of dorky and, and it was like all this stuff. And then She realized that, you know, it’s like the opposite of beer goggles, like we put on these dating goggles. And when you have your dating goggles on, and you’re always looking for what’s wrong, and you’re always picking people apart, and I just think that’s so wise and so true. So I don’t I think maybe I’m going on a tangent, maybe I should have gotten these questions ahead of time.


Franny  22:20  

But I think, you know, people,


Franny  22:23  

people, and especially people who could should really kind of know better because they can look at their own dating history and their own dating success to kind of know, like, Oh, I’m maybe not as good at this as I think I am. Like, maybe I’m not as good at picking partners as I think I am. Maybe I’m not as good as making a snap decision about who is and who isn’t right for me. But oftentimes, people just want what they want. And they don’t stop to think like, Oh, well, why do I want that? And is that important? And what am I bringing to the table and, you know, what is the relationship I want to have and the people that I’m focusing on, are they even capable of being the kind of partner that I’m looking for? So


Damona  22:57  

I want to break this down a little bit because I I hear a lot. You I’m sure you get this to clients will come to me and they’ll say, well, I’ve been looking but I’m just really picky. Yes. When you hear I’m really picky. Yeah. What do you say to that?


Franny  23:13  

I, I think that Okay, first of all, I should be, I should just want to say that, obviously, you should be selective about who you,


Damona  23:20  

you know, have a relationship with. I mean, I, when I was dating, I was just not picking. Like you’re


Franny  23:28  

I just and I only say that because I think that sometimes when people hear, you know, dating experts, or coaches like us to say, like, you know, talk kind of criticize people for being overly picky, they’re like, Well, you know, you just want me to date some loser, just, you know, and it’s like, No, I don’t, I don’t want you to date somebody who isn’t a great fit for you. I don’t want you to date somebody who or be in a relationship with somebody, get into a relationship with someone unless you’re excited to be in a relationship and you have attraction and all those you know, so let’s I want to say that for anybody who’s like, shutting down here, stay with us. Stay with us. But when I hear I’m just really picky, that tells me that there is a vulnerability challenge and that they’re hiding behind a lot of pickiness in order to avoid having to, like be truly intimate with someone.


Franny  24:16  

Turn it off you guys.


Franny  24:18  

That’s my first indication. Yeah. And then sometimes people just really, I think, in dating, we’re so focused on this list of like, Okay, this person has these, all these trades, and you can have 1000 things on that list. But a, you need to go through all of those things and make sure that they actually have to do with your relationship with that person, which most of them don’t, right. And you have to make sure and then you have to be able to prioritize what those things are, right? Because you can have 1000 things but if you’re looking for them all in one person, that’s not a person that’s a unicorn, that’s a fantasy. So it’s about really understanding what are the most foundational things for you and really starting to sort from that place which makes A lot easier.


Damona  25:08  

And then let’s go into this Paradox of Choice because I hear this a lot in the media actually, that there are so many options today. Nobody wants to make any choices. And so then people are just choosing.


Franny  25:21  

Yeah, I’m not choosing anyone, right? Or most people in dating apps don’t even go on a date. So I’m sure you are familiar with that statistic. That’s


Damona  25:27  

a that is real. In my experience as a dating coach, my clients end up making selections. So I’m wondering what is different is it you think it’s just when you get to the point of you’re like, I need support with this, I’m going to hire a dating coach. And then we talk through the questions like, why am I not seeing with my clients this Paradox of Choice happening? Yeah, instead with my clients. They’ll work with me for three or four weeks and then they’re like, Oh my gosh, I already met somebody that I really like this be it Should I date other people? I mean, this has literally happened to the last clients that I had there. Like, should I stop now? I mean, should there should there maybe there’s somebody better out there but I don’t know this person seems pretty great. Yeah,


Franny  26:12  

well that well that’s because your clients and my clients are coming to us because they’re actually ready. And they’re and they’re open to listening. And I mean, I think for me, my clients same thing, they get to that place really quickly and it’s because once I say you can’t look at a dating app profile can’t look at a little two inch photo and you know 100 character bio and think you are able to determine whether or not you can be in a relationship with this person.


Damona  26:39  

So love at first sight is a myth and


Franny  26:43  



Franny  26:46  

but so I think once you understand that, the purpose of swiping right on someone the purpose of going on a first date with someone is not that you’ve already decided that yes, this is a person I can see myself with forever. That’s too high of a bar is too unrealistic of a bar, and you will, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment with that bar. So I think for me, when I explain to my clients like, you know, when you’re looking at a profile, you’re just trying to decide like, Can I talk to this person for 10 minutes, because most of those people that that you match with, it’s never it’s not going to go beyond that 10 minutes, a lot of people it’s going to, you know, you’ll make your decision here. I mean, a lot of people, first of all response rates are not 100%. For anyone show, you’re never even not even all going to turn into conversations. A lot of those people are going to take themselves out of the running, because they’re going to you’re being open and then they’re going to say something or like, and now I’m closed. You know, they’re going to take themselves out of the running or they’re not serious about meeting or you know, all these things. So when we point that out to our clients, and we teach them like this is a tool This is not like a crystal ball, right? This is a tool and you have to use it like a tool. In this year. Success on this platform is going to be based on your strategy and your approach. And the decisions that you make, and you know, people are paying us money because they’re ready to meet someone. So they’re ready to hear that. Yeah, but the average date or, you know, the average data online never goes on a date. And that’s so true. And it’s not because they’re not millions of options, right?


Damona  28:14  

Just to add one more thing about love at first sight. When I first saw my profile, I actually did say, Oh, my God, where have you been? And I did, I was in love at first sight. But I was in love at first sight, probably 20 other times. Oh, yeah. just so happened that time really does love. Yeah, that’s why even though


Franny  28:37  

my mother says she, my father at first sight, they met IRL back in the day. Sure. But and she said she she walked she saw him walking across the room and she said she fell in love with him the first night for that even spoken to each other.


Damona  28:49  

But that’s happened to me too. And then it didn’t work out, you know? Yeah, no. question. Question one. Oh, my God. The second question. What do you think the Best way to find love is today.


Franny  29:02  

Hmm, I think the best, most important way to find love is to make sure that you have a love mindset that is conducive to it. And then honestly, it’s irrelevant like which app you’re on and all because it’ll be. It’s making its taking chance out of it and making it in evitt. In inevitability. I can’t say that word in every city.


Damona  29:21  

Okay, you said it yesterday. Do you think that people can meet offline now?


Franny  29:27  

Absolutely. Of course they can. Every time you leave your house, you have the potential to meet someone special. I met my boyfriend on the street,


Franny  29:33  

just on the streets walking home. Come on.


Franny  29:36  

I’ve met I’ve dated so many guys that I’ve met just out in the world, but it’s because I have an attitude. And I had had that attitude for a long time, which is that every time I leave my house, I have the potential to meet someone special and I believe that that’s your mantra. That’s my mantra. So like, why not


Damona  29:52  

wait but when you met him, are you looking down at your phone and I


Franny  29:56  

wasn’t looking along. I was not looking down at my phone. I was rushing because I was trying to make the lights across the street.


Franny  30:04  

I don’t have time, but sometimes we do that though. Yeah. Wait, what happened?


Franny  30:08  

So what happened was, um, he was with his brother. And we had all been in a screening a few blocks away and his brother recognized me from the screening. So as I was rushing by his brother said, Oh, hey, how’d you like the movie? And I was like, oh, oh, you guys were in there, too. Yeah. So then I so then I laid my panic button. So then I missed the light because I stopped to talk to them. But then I didn’t fall in love at first sight. But I did have this intuition. Once I started talking to my boyfriend. I did have this intuition. Just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to this guy. I just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to him. I did that came to my they came to me like very clearly.


Franny  30:45  

Yeah, yeah, that’s different than love it first.


Franny  30:48  

Yeah. I didn’t say that. I had fallen in love at first sight. I’m just saying I’m not gonna rule out the possibility that it can happen. It can happen and it does happen to you and my mother. At least


Damona  31:00  

I see I’m still not buying it.


Franny  31:01  

Okay, we don’t have to talk about.


Damona  31:03  

It took time for me to, to actually know him and love him.


Franny  31:09  

It took time for you to decide that this is a person that you were going to choose to love.


Franny  31:14  

Yes. Okay.


Franny  31:18  

Next time that takes is no kids.


Damona  31:20  

Okay, as we were talking about these mindset and beliefs. The third question is how can people change their patterns in love?


Franny  31:29  

Okay, well, the first thing is even recognize that you have a pattern, because a lot of people don’t see their patterns, or they believe that their patterns are just happening to them. So once you understand that you are the common denominator and your pattern, everyone has one, even if you don’t date at all, that’s still a pattern, right? So even if your if your pattern is you only get like mad crushes on unavailable people. That’s a pattern right? So everyone has a pattern. So when you see that they’re like, and then you You start to understand, oh, even if it’s happening on a subconscious level, like I am pulling the strings here. So when you that, like, I swear, that’s half the battle of just just identifying it. And then if you commit to it, then you can start to say, all right, well, if there’s some, if I’m doing this, how can I start to what can I start to do differently? Like, why am I drawn to people who aren’t into me? You know, why do I have a belief that people are cheaters? And if that because if I really believe that if you really believe that everybody is going to cheat, you’re going to always be attracted to cheaters. Sure. It’s amazing how this works. These beliefs are like, they are like, set it and forget it. So


Damona  32:40  

I’m curious about something you said earlier, when you met your boyfriend and you trusted your intuition and we talked about this. Yeah, we went deep on the dear frannie podcast, and I talked about my own experience with intuition and teaching people how to how to tap into here and here it yep. We have so much chatter down there that sometimes you can’t even hear the intuition. Yes. So is that an element


Franny  33:08  

of it, it is an element of it. There’s, if you if you really, if you start to really understand that we are co creators in all of our relationships, like, and, you know, it’s, it’s empowering really like, you know, this isn’t just happening to you, you’re not a victim. Right? And so, you may have had some experiences and some programming that happened that made you think that this is how relationships have to be. And in your mind, you think that you know, to be with somebody who say, doesn’t value you or doesn’t respect you, if there’s some belief there that that’s quote unquote, safe, because that’s what you’re used to. And that’s the message that you got at a young age or, you know, some traumatic experience. Then when you understand that, then it’s like, Okay, I need to go deeper in myself. Make sure that what I believe is possible for me is what I actually want. Because so many people are out here, they’re looking for love, and they’re looking for connection, and they’re looking for partnership, but they don’t really believe that they can have it. And if you don’t believe you can have it, you’re going to make yourself right about what you believe. And it’s, it’s so it’s really important to understand that so obviously, it’s a longer process. And you know, I know you have a process where you work with your clients through this, I have a process where I work with my clients through this, but honestly, the first step is just recognizing that you have a pattern and that you are pulling the strings and then to become determined to like get curious and figure out okay, why am I doing that and how can I stop?


Franny  34:37  

It doesn’t take long right? We


Franny  34:38  

can do you know, I’m sure you can do this. I’m sure you can help your clients work through this and like a couple of sessions.


Damona  34:43  

Well, yeah, I’m I’m interested in you said when you’re identifying that, that pattern, that it’s like you said you can people can self sabotage like you can still be acting like You deserve love and you want love. Then you self sabotage like, how do you know that that’s happening for you? So you identify Yeah, where that that block is because you’re like, I’m doing all the things like this is what I hear a lot from our listeners. I’m on all of the apps. I’m meeting people out I did my profile makeover. I did my personal makeover. I did my wrote a letter to my family. Yeah, and process that. And yet, I’m still getting this. Yeah.


Franny  35:32  

So it’s important to understand that


Franny  35:36  

the beliefs like the true beliefs that are really like what’s pulling the strings here, this, this resides on a subconscious level. So if I ask anyone, and I asked people this all the time, you know, like, I have myself a formula and you know, I work my clients through that and part of it is self worth. That’s a huge part. And every single person I asked, Do you believe that you are truly worthy of having the love the commitment, the intimacy, the fulfilling relationship that you’re looking for? Everyone’s like yes, instantly. Instant. Yes, hell yes. Everyone says yes. I’m like, Okay, great. I’m going to ask you the question again. And this time, I want you to take a deep breath. And I want you to close your eyes. And know that your brain is going to say yes. And we want to confirm with whatever comes up in your body that is a real Yes. And then just sit for a moment, just sit with that question for a moment and see what happens in your body. And 99% of the time, they’re like, Oh, actually, I got this, like, pit in my stomach, or this tightness in my chest. Or, you know, I had a client recently described it as they felt this heaviness or like, so there’s, like, our emotions, really, in our subconscious speaks to us through our bodies, which is why like getting into your body and having body awareness is actually like, it’s actually important. If you have you know, a lot of subconscious believes that it’s just important to check in. It’s just a check in because hey, if you ask yourself the question and your heart swells, and you feel relaxed and excited and you get that like juicy, warm feeling, then that’s a Amazing, you’re on the right track, right? But if it is anything less than that, you just want to check in with that and just say, Okay, if there is something in me that believes that I’m not worthy of having this, for whatever reason, don’t judge it just like, for whatever reason, then if I did believe I was worthy, what would I do right now? And just keep checking in with yourself just trying to like change your choice, just how would that change your choices and just it’s like, it’s just sort of starting to retrain yourself to understand that your logical brain is not the only thing that’s driving the train here. And so you’ve got to go a little deeper.


Damona  37:37  

Okay, I’m gonna give everyone like a secret advance. Notice that we’re going to be doing a workshop together. Yes, doing some of this mind body spirit connection in love. So it’s a little ways off. Yes, we will announce it when the time is right when the Registration is open, but if you like what what Franny is talking about, you’re going to go home. More when you work with us in person in May. Okay, there’s more questions. What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Oh, beautiful


Franny  38:11  

acceptance of yourself and the other person true vulnerability. So that’s really the risk, the ability to risk pain, right of opening yourself up and really going deep with another person, letting them see who you really are seeing who they really are. That’s the hardest part for me. I mean, I think, I think that vulnerability, like true vulnerability is often the last love block to fall for people. And they got like, so much they’ve worked on the belief they’ve worked on, you know, the acceptance they’ve worked on, you know, putting themselves out there, they work on all these things, but that vulnerability piece isn’t quite there. And so that’s why, you know, they keep on kind of bumping up against a pattern that’s like not serving them. I say that a lot. So acceptance, vulnerability. shared that values, yes, dancing, that’s really important. And I ended beyond values also just like a shared vision of your life, you know, like, what’s the kind of life that you want to lead, because, you know, if you are somebody who knows that you want to get married, and you want to have three kids, and you are continually dating people who are like, I don’t know, actually, I want my freedom, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I want to spend every weekend, I don’t know, campaign or, you know, like, you know, whatever it is, like you have to just understand, like, you know, you can do what many people have done throughout history, which is kind of force a square peg into a round hole. But you know, that’s not going to be a very fulfilling relationship. So


Damona  39:43  

yeah, and I think this is such a great time right now where you have the ability to choose Yeah, yeah, go a different way or to not need to get married to have that mean that you in a person are committed to one another or to date someone One of a different gender for the first time or to not, not date at all. Like, yeah, I have so many options that, especially for women were just not available to us, even if you even one generation. Yeah. Oh, yeah,


Franny  40:15  

absolutely. Yeah. So you know, so understanding that and then, you know, commitment, like being committed, like really committed that like, okay, we’re in this together, when challenges arise, we’re going to work through them together. And I’m not going to hightail it at the first sign of trouble, because trouble will always appear. Right? Like, it’s never going to be smooth sailing, and you just genuinely like each other, enjoying each other’s company. I think people underestimate that. Like, it’s not always going to be like, you know, fancy trips and romantic dinner. It’s like you’re just going to be sitting on the sofa a lot together.


Damona  40:50  

A lot enough.


Franny  40:51  

Yeah, we do.


Franny  40:53  

Like that. I love it. I also like I also like being out in the world,


Franny  40:58  

but also, I would say accident Well, we need the mix. Some people don’t some people want I want to, you know,


Damona  41:03  

I’m more of a out of the house person. But and my husband is definitely more of an introvert and like, cozy up in front of Netflix. But I’ll say also you and your partner don’t have to want the same want to do the same things all the same values like yeah, and ultimate goals for the future. Yeah.


Franny  41:24  

And even have some overlapping interests. Yeah, but not 100%


Damona  41:28  

I don’t want to watch soccer. I just don’t know. Yeah, that’s right. You get up early you watch soccer. My yoga.


Franny  41:39  

I’m not gonna go ride my bike up a mountain like him. People are like, oh, cuz my boyfriend’s very serious cyclists and people are like, Oh, do you ride? Do you ride with him? I’m like, No, why would I do that?


Franny  41:50  

Right. Exactly. Yeah, no interest.


Damona  41:52  

Yeah, but I feel like now because of dating apps and because of technology, being able to, to connect you to someone. That’s not just A couple of boxes but the checks a lot of boxes Now sometimes people expect them to check every box. Yeah.


Franny  42:07  

Oh, I can’t tell you how many people I set up. Even actually, a really good friend of mine said to me, she’s like, wow, I’m so impressed that you ever gave your boyfriend a chance because of this his cycling thing. She’s like, why? And she’s like, well, because you don’t cycle.


Damona  42:21  

Yeah, like, people say that about me. I’m like my husband, vegetarian. And people are like, how do you make it work? He doesn’t eat my food.


Franny  42:33  

It’s not hard. It’s not really that hard. It’s not hard and he wants somebody who has their own passions and their own interests, right. Like I think this is the whole like you complete me this goes back to what I was saying earlier about the fairy tale industrial complex, and you’re supposed to be this like, perfect, perfect match. And you want to spend every moment together and do everything to get no like that’s not the healthiest relationship. So you’re both coming as complete people and you’re complementing each other’s lives and you’re making each other’s lives better. And richer and more fun and exciting and you know, but you’re not. You know,


Damona  43:05  

there’s a difference between You complete me. And you duplicate me though to like, my husband does complete me like I’m complete, but he does fill in gaps of places that I need to work on and helps illuminate those areas where I want to be a better person. But we’re not we’re known as carbon, or carbon carbon copy. Yeah, I am curious, though. You’re for the fifth question. Whose relationship do you admire? And one and it could be a famous person or someone in your personal life? Yeah, tell us their story.


Franny  43:38  

is a good question. Um, well, I guess I’ll just take a famous example because I guess that’s easy shorthand for people. Um, I do admire Brock and Michelle.


Damona  43:48  

I knew you’re gonna say that. Oh, my gosh, her birthday photo and I did so sweet. I did so sweet. Woman, he


Franny  43:57  

really loves her. They’re very devoted to each other and I read her memoir, which and she goes, you know, really into detail about their relationship and their courtship and everything


Damona  44:06  

she was really trying to


Franny  44:09  

show you.


Franny  44:10  

Which, by the way, it’s interesting, though, as much as I admire their relationship, when I read her book, I was like, I never would have dated him, like I never would have. I would have started that I would have been like, yes, not gonna


Damona  44:20  

work. He was like a big dreamer. She, like had her life


Franny  44:22  

together. Yeah, he’s like, when they got married, and he’s like, hey, my mom rented me a house in Hawaii for two months to write my book. I’m gonna go, I know, I would have been like, Oh, no, I buy. But it works for them, you know, um, but I think but I kind of, I think that commitment, that sense of like, we have shared values, we love each other, we trust each other, we respect each other. And we are committed. So we are going to work through whatever challenges that arise because it’s worth it because that that love is so strong and that connection is so strong. So I think the fact that They just have true respect and trust for each other. And that’s not that’s, that’s rare. That’s rare. It’s really beautiful. And you can see it, you can’t fake that. You can’t fake it, but you can find it, you can find it, you can totally find it, but you can’t you can’t fake it. And, you know, especially not the kind of scrutiny that they’ve been under and what they’ve had to deal with as a couple and as a family and they just seem stronger than ever, especially now that they’re like out of the White House. Like they’re living their best


Damona  45:30  

lives. I know, I know. I’m so inspired by this beautiful and I’m inspired by you and answer to our five, four FEHB question. And I know you all have a lot of questions you have sent them into me and now Francesca is going to answer them. By the way, if you have a question. There are so many, many, many ways you can send them to me, you can DM me on any social platform and damona Hoffman leave me a message through dates and mates calm Or a voicemail at 424-246-6255 I don’t know why nobody wants to ever leave me a voicemail. Everybody shy of the voice I want to hear your voice You can call me call so now I had a guy that wrote it. It was like, I don’t you’re a married woman. I don’t want to bother you on foot. You guys. It’s my it’s my database. Yeah.


Franny  46:20  

Anytime a day anytime today.


Damona  46:26  

All right. We’re going to take a short break when we come back. We will be handling your questions in our next segment. Welcome back to day two mates. I’m here with Francesca hoagie. She is the host of the podcast, dear Franny, yes, among other things, and she’s also a wonderful dating coach and I know you’ll be able to knock it out of the park with these questions that we have today. The first one comes to us from Jillian she says I’m a 46 year old divorce I should I pay for a dating app to get better results. I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks. This is a complicated question. Yeah, you and I both collaborate with a lot of dating apps. And we both were part of the dating experts that match com brought in for their summit. So I’m always like, careful just to let people know, I’m not going to endorse one app or another specifically or dog one dating app, or Yes, but save for this 46 year old


Franny  47:26  

dog eHarmony bound to be honest, and commenting. I know that you don’t. That’s just me. I know. That’s me. That’s


Franny  47:37  

Do you think that the free apps are not going to work so well for her? I think that I think that if you are drawing a blank, I think there’s probably something more going on there. So I would be really curious to see your profile I would really be curious to see the story that you’re you’re that you’re telling with your with your photos and your bio, and I would be very good. curious to know your strategy. Because most people are really bad at online dating, and paying for a dating app or dating, you know, website or whatever is not going to solve your poor online dating problems. That’s a good point.


Damona  48:15  

I mean, I usually say you get what you’re paid what you pay for. So if you’re on a free app, you’re getting people that have, there’s no such a low barrier for entry. Like you’re getting any and everything. And you’re going to have to sort through a lot more. But at the same time, it’s a good testing space, right.


Franny  48:36  

But even that is not working there. But even the paid apps have free options. Like Yeah, every paid app has a free option. So just the fact that you’re seeing someone on a paid app doesn’t even mean they’re paying. So there’s that they can’t communicate with you know, so communicate. So that’s so that’s and I know that some people get frustrated because they do pay for an app and then they’re sending you know, they’re like I’m still have to send all the messages are people aren’t read, you know, like so it there’s still a lot I think because there are so many free apps. It’s really democratized online dating. If this was five years ago, there, I think there might have been more of a difference. Certainly if it was 10 years ago, there would have been a difference but in 2020. So like I said, I’m not, I’m not saying don’t pay for an app, I’m saying that make sure that you’re that you’re actually using the right strategy and telling the right story with your profile, because that’s going to yield you better results than you know, paying for any you know, you can pay for every dating app that’s paid and still not get have any luck. So I don’t think that so I guess my point is, I don’t think that just because somebody is paying for an app, it means that they’re more serious or they’re better at online dating.


Damona  49:47  

Good point. And I have to add one more message to Jillian because she mentioned that she’s a 46 year old divorce a beautiful and Jillian I don’t want you for one second to think that you can’t find Match because you’re over 40 or because maybe because you’ve been married before it Megan Markel can do it you can do. Or I don’t know if you have kids or whatever. But whatever beliefs like we were talking about earlier that may be attached to what that means to you to be a 46 year old divorcee. let that go.


Franny  50:17  

Yeah, let it go. It’s not at all a hindrance to you finding an amazing partner. And I actually think that it’s I think all of these things that a lot of people consider to be baggage are actually really great litmus test, because the person who’s like, Oh, God, you’ve got kids, oh, god, you’re divorced. Great. Now I’ve seen you shown me that you’re not for me. So just be really authentic and, and lead with who you are. And don’t feel self conscious about it. Like you’re looking for the people who are specifically into you, like I think, you know, trying to be generic and be like, oh, and just, you know, like, just trying to have these ideas of like, what’s going to make you have mass appeal? Like it’s not about having mass appeal. It’s about having specific appeal to the people that you want to meet. Exactly, yeah.


Damona  50:59  

Quality over quantity 100% we only have time for one more. We have more questions. I promise you all. I will answer more questions next week. But this one came in from your network. This person said I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins, when and how can I date?


Franny  51:19  

So kind of what I said about the you know, really leaning in to your truth and not feeling self conscious about it. Look, if you’re a single mom with newborn twins, like is that going to weed out a lot of men? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s good, because you’re a single mom with newborn twins. So you need to be with somebody who’s okay with that. So it’s, it’s definitely going to be a challenge is for you to prioritize the time and all of that, but if you can do it, and you’re motivated to do it, it can 100% be done. Also. I’m a mom, as you guys know, I’ve never had twins. My sister has twins


Damona  51:55  

actually was their birthday last month and it’s Lot having twins and having newborns like I could barely brush my hair. I can’t imagine trying to date in that state. So also, I feel like there’s the messaging we’re talking about, like the fantasies and the messaging that we get. There’s this messaging, like, if you are a woman and you’re single, you failed your broken, life didn’t work out for you. And so even like this woman who has made this choice to have kids, and is in this newborn phase, is hearing that message of like, she’s got to be out there dating.


Franny  52:35  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you’re ready, when you feel ready,


Franny  52:38  

ready when you feel the right time when you feel like


Franny  52:41  

okay, I have the time I have the bandwidth. That’s when the time is and you have you battle to be sure hair. Yeah, I think she does. She does have help. So she’s not like totally on her own. So I


Damona  52:53  

mean, I had I had a nanny and a husband. Yeah, and one Child and I could barely keep my keep my act together. So I think it might not be the right time. It may not


Franny  53:06  

be the right timing, but if you can brush your hair if you can find the time to, but again, I think I think it’s being a single mom and dating. I think it’s good because again, you weeding out the men who aren’t interested in dating a single mom and it’s I think it can be something that’s really clarifying for you. Like, you know, maybe you had a lot of distraction and you were like, Oh, it’s okay that he’s like blah blah blah and flaky. It’s okay that he you know, you might have when you were when before you had kids, now you have kids, you’re like, Oh, hell no, I need somebody who’s going to show up, be consistent, you know, really be a partner. understand the challenges that of being a single mom supporting me through them, and then the cream will really rise to the top in that situation. Hmm,


Damona  53:48  

that’s really good advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you. Thank you for being here. you for having me. I really appreciate you being our first victim. I mean, guess


Franny  54:01  

554 February and to


Franny  54:03  

listen to all these episodes and see who answered the questions better than me.


Damona  54:06  

It’s got your this is like tough mark to be. I’m really curious to see how it changes from different perspectives. But you know, I love having your your insights and your perspective on the show. So thank you for being


Franny  54:18  

you. Thank you so much damona


Damona  54:21  

You can find Franny on the socials at dear frannie and make sure you check out her podcast dear frannie on all your favorite social media platforms and by the way, she has something very special for you six love mindset hacks. We were talking about this mindset and she will help you work through it and rewrite your mindset on love. So you can find that at Francesca hoagie calm, of course, we’ll put the link in the show notes. Or you can just text love hacks to 44 222 that’s 44 222 and for those of you who want more support and love for Valentine’s Day We will be launching you ready for this? A Patreon Friends with Benefits Program. On Valentine’s Day February 14, you’ll get access to exclusive behind the scenes content from the seven years of the show, you can become a part of bonus content club which will include my podcast, video and book recommendations. And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. Oh, and this for my really special top tier Fw B’s you can even get a dating profile analysis with tips tailored just for you on how to make your profile magnetic so that it draws in the right kind of dates. So I’ll tell you all about my new Patreon friends at benefits program on next week’s show. But in the meantime, get pumped. I can’t wait to have more opportunities to connect directly with each one of you. I hope you enjoyed Episode 295 of dates and dates again, I’m @DamonaHoffman on all the socials and I really want to hear Your love questions. Until next week, I wish you happy dating and happy almost Valentine’s Day.


Healthy Communication & Roasting for Romance


This week is all about discerning healthy communication patterns in response to conflict in all your relationships. Conflict is going to happen no matter what. It’s normal. Whether you’re self-partnered, dating, or in a relationship it’s important to look inside take a moment to prepare for healthy conflict. 

Marla Mattenson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples using her background in neuroscience and mathematics. Over the course of her 25+ year career, Marla has helped more than 12,000 couples including Academy Award winners, NBA players, and Grammy Awards winners!

She’s here to give us all the answers on healthy communication!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Are you and your partner headed for a breakup?

According to Elite Daily, 55% of couples see moving in together as a step towards marriage. According to Marla, if your partner is giving you more gifts than normal this is a SURE sign you’re headed for a breakup.


Tim Tebow has tied the knot and FINALLY popped his cherry

Wedding Bells for Tim Tebow and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. No word yet on whether she’ll add another hyphen to her name.

Roasting for Romance?

Some new research from Appalachian State University indicates that roasting – sarcastic jabs at your partner – can actually be healthy and bring you and your partner closer together. Damona and Marla disagree.



Marla and Damona go in-depth on exploring your childhood conflict when it comes to healthy communication:

  • Fight, Flight, or Freeze
  • It’s not your fault, it’s your biology
  • Insightful knowledge as to how we handle conflict
  • Three key ways to effectively navigate the situation:
    • Acknowledge your childhood
    • Introduce awareness to the conversation
    • Press the reset button on all default settings
  • Introducing a safe word in your relationship to let you partner know when his/her “fight, flight or freeze” default setting is kicking in
  • Speaking your truth
  • Getting Unpleasant feedback
  • Why you need GEJF in your life (Grace, Ease, Joy, Flow)


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

  • IG – This guy I’ve been in a situationship with has been working a lot lately. He told me at his job someone was eyes him and asked if that person was flirting with him? But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? Is he asking me how to read the signs?
  • EMAIL -I have been this guy long time – after a long period of being broken up, I have found him again on Facebook. I miss him, love him, and want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance and to be with him for Valentine Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do?
  • IG – I’ve been divorced for about 10 years and I’m just getting back into dating. When I was 18, I needed an ileostomy to save my life and now I’m wearing an external pouch. My ex had no problems with it because it doesn’t interfere with intimacy. ButI’ve told guys after a few dates about my pouch and I’ve also waited to tell them. In most cases the guy ghosts me. Do I wait until there is a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Thank you for making this your go to dating show for the past seven years to all the new listeners who watch my dating profile polish on E Welcome to the fam I am here to love up on you and support you at all phases of dating and relationships and so is my guest for today. Marla Martinson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples. She uses her background in neuroscience and in mathematics to do this. And over the course of her 25 year career. She has helped more than 12,000 couples, including Academy Award winners and beyond. Players, Grammy Award winners millionaires, y’all. She’s the real deal. Please give big smooches to Marla Martinson. Thank you so much for being here.


Marla Mattenson  1:10  

Thank you so much. I’m super excited for this show!


Damona  1:13  

All right, this is the gold standard of advice, y’all. So, get your pen and paper ready because we are going to give you some really key advice about building healthy relationships, and communication. Even when things get a little bit uncomfortable, especially in a fight. We’ll be talking about fighting it’s gonna happen y’all. So we’ll tell you how to navigate through so that you both can get your needs met in the relationship. And we’ll also be covering this week’s headlines including What are the signs that you and your partner could be heading for a breakup and Tim t bow tie the knot and finally popped his cherry Garcia we have the decision about that was is it good for you to roast your partner will tell you the answer to that in a minute and then we’ll answer your question. Including, should you be worried that someone is flirting with your boo at work? And what do you do? If you want your ex back? Especially when you already have a Valentine’s Day present for them? Oh, is this gonna be a spicy one? Marla?


Damona 2:15  

Are you ready to dish though?


Damona  2:19  

All right. All right, our friends at elite daily gave us the skinny on the four signs that you may be headed for a breakup. I have to admit I did give a lot of the advice for this for this article. But I’m curious Marla because you work with you work with couples. And I’m sure you have seen a lot of these signs coming up. I’ll just go over some of the signs. Y’all should read it on your own. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But I told them to look out for a change in communication style and a decline in sexual intimacy, signs of annoyance or them needing space from you and I think those are just some of the signs, but I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of other signs and people want to know like, what is my partner thinking? What should they be looking for before things get into crisis? I love this article, actually,


Marla Mattenson  3:14  

I think it’s really fantastic. It’s a great sign post, there’s not a whole lot more to add to it To be honest, except gifts. If they start giving you more than you’re used to, then that kind of a change, also more than just in the communication style. If they’re starting to go above and beyond, it might mean that they’re trying to put in the extra effort, just in case maybe it will work.


Damona  3:39  

Oh, wow, way, way, way way. Wait, because I know a lot of our listeners are saying, Oh, this is great. Like my partner is really leaning in. And they’re they’re showering me with attention. And this is something that I see also in dating in the early phase that I tell people to look out for that when somebody is too too romantic. too aggressive with trying to lock down the relationship? I say that’s actually a bad sign. So that’s also a bad sign on the way our on and the relation. Yes, yes.


Marla Mattenson  4:10  

It’s sort of like a last ditch effort. It’s it’s, it’s actually something that I coach on as well in relationship is you want to put in your real hundred percent efforts that maybe you have been holding back because you’ve been waiting for your partner to show up and do the work. And they haven’t. So what I teach is you show up and you do the work. So you put in the extra effort and you see how your partner responds. And so because I know that I offer that as advice to my couples, if they’re having a lot of challenges, I know that sometimes that’s what’s actually going on, someone’s putting in one more big huge effort at the end to see is my partner going to change? Are they going to do anything different or they’re going to still be the curmudgeon? Are they still going to be you know, bitchy, are they still going to have problems and you know, complain, etc. Or they going to see me a new because the idea and relationship as you know is you have have to be able to see your partner with fresh eyes every day, every moment of the day. And if you can’t see your partner with fresh eyes, then you’re always going to be looking for the things that they’re doing wrong. You’re going to be looking for those problems, rather than looking for what’s new and fresh about my partner today. How can I honor and love what he’s all about today are what she’s all about today, rather than looking for all of the issues and the problems and the challenges,


Damona  5:25  

yeah, I like the idea of really focusing on the present and I talked to daters about this a lot. What about if we were to look into the past many of these, these cohabitation situations, which is really what this article was talking about, like signs, your partner may be moving out, not just breaking up with you. I think that some of the problems begin before the point of that this article begins. And according to the article 55% of people see moving in together as a step toward marriage. I actually hosted a TV series for a networks called a question of love were removed couples in together for the first time. And they had to go through this intensive experience for 30 days and see if they wanted to stay together or move out and break up. And I found that so many of the times as we move these couples together, they were like, yeah, I’m ready for a relationship. But the moving in together meant something different to each of them. Many of them hadn’t had conversations about like almost sort of a prenup of what’s going to happen if we break up. And it was it’s continually surprising to me with clients as I help them through the dating process. that so many of them are are focused on let me get to the moving in like then now I’ve now I’ve got something, but it’s so much more complicated when you’re living with someone. And I find a lot of these questions aren’t being asked early enough. The dating process


Marla Mattenson  6:54  

definitely you know, meaning making is one of the biggest challenges and relationships My partner, Julian, he could literally walk across the room and I can make meaning out of that. How he’s walking across the room, the look on his face what he’s paying attention to, you know. And so if you start paying more attention to the inner world of your own, and you start asking yourself, what meaning Am I making out of moving in together out of how he’s doing this, how she’s doing that, then you’re going to start to understand more about yourself, your own needs, your own desires, and then instead of waiting for your partner, to show up and be all of what you want, you actually know what you want, and then you can articulate it. And you can actually verbalize, you can say it, you can speak it out loud, and then you can see how it lands and how it lands matters, right? Because then you can feel the sort of reverberation of how it lands no matter what they say. You can feel the truth in the vibration of the tone of the vibration of you know, their body posture or their arms folded, look away. You know what’s happening as you’re saying Speaking your needs and your desires to your partner.


Damona  8:03  

Well, one person who seemed to be very clear about his needs and his desires was Tim Tebow. He loved love. We’re on board for this. He married Miss Universe Demi Lee Nell Peters. She has a lot of hyphens in her name. I don’t know she’s going to definitely mail Peters t bo. But here’s the catch with this story. Tim was very vocal for many years about his faith and about his desire to stay celibate until he was married, and only 3% of the US population waits until marriage. I was not aware of that. I was not either. But I I’m curious what you think about the faith aside about making this declaration of not having not being intimate until you get married, and if you’ve seen like any couples that have been successful waiting or unsuccessful in not been finding out later that they weren’t intimately compatible.


Marla Mattenson  9:04  

Yes, that I love the way you just said that. That’s really wonderful. I wonder if Tim did not have his faith if he would have been celibate. That’s my first wondering, because I believe that celibacy and faith tend to go hand in hand for our youth now, and there is a movement for celibacy in our youth that has nothing to do with faith that just has to do with I’m saving myself for the right time, but it’s not necessarily marriage. saving yourself for marriage is different than saving yourself for love. So celibacy till marriage is a completely different animal and I have to be honest, unless it’s your faith, please don’t do it. Don’t wait until you’re married to have sex. Okay,


Damona  9:55  

why Marla?


Marla Mattenson  9:56  

Okay, because exactly what you said which is sexual portability is a real thing. I mean, I have a client who a former client who she ended a relationship with someone she really loved because of the way his anatomy hit her on the inside, in a way that caused pain every time they tried to make love. And it was just him. It was it was just the way he curved to the left a little bit that hit her and they tried I gave them all kinds of coaching on that, you know, different positions this and that. And it was painful. She couldn’t enjoy sex with him. And so he was really big,


Damona  10:42  

right? No, no, he wasn’t actually okay. We don’t even Okay, we


Marla Mattenson  10:45  

don’t have to go there I go, there I go.


Marla Mattenson  10:51  

But it’s sometimes the anatomy is an issue and if that’s an issue, you do not want to be in a lifelong relationship with someone that is Going to have that kind of a problem that’s just starting with a foundation that’s really shaky. That’s very challenging, even when you love someone, so literally, there are so many issues in the sexual arena that have nothing to do with compatibility that have to do with taste and touch and the way you hold each other and you know, how, how rigid or contracted you are versus how much you can relax. There’s so many nuances to lovemaking that, you know, you kind of want to take the car for a test drive before you buy it.


Damona  11:36  

Yes, you know, just don’t like move the car in your garage before you know you know where you’re going to be driving it. There you go. Okay. As we are looking at different qualities that make a relationship successful beyond the INTIMACY COMPATIBILITY. Community communication is obviously something that you specialize in and something We’ll be talking about more later on in the show. There was an article Marla in the sun, obviously a very reputable source that said, roasting your partner every day makes the relationship stronger. I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say, this goes against everything I know about healthy relationships. And they were saying that it’s good for the the energy to kind of rip them on certain qualities that irritate you rather than nag them. But I kind of feel like if you’re having that much contempt in your relationship, you know, that’s what one of john Gottman four horsemen, you’re feeling those feelings towards your partner. I’m not sure that roasting them is the right way to


Marla Mattenson  12:48  

bring it to the surface. I’m so glad you feel that way. I can


Damona  12:52  

say on this lady, so I was ready.


Marla Mattenson  12:56  

I’m a hell no for that.


Marla Mattenson  12:57  

So it makes me question. I’m not The sun they’re just reporting but it makes me question the research and the ages of the participants. It makes me want to question how many people they interviewed it makes me want to question how long they’ve been in relationship it makes me want to question a number of things about the actual research and it feels very teenage It feels like a teenage You know, when you’re in middle school and you kind of negative each other like, you know, you can’t


Damona  13:27  

write boy makes fun of you, like sells your hair, then he likes you


Marla Mattenson  13:32  

Why is that a thing and that should not continue into a healthy adult relationship. So preamble also to just add on to what you said is, you know, I love dr. john Gottman and it’s if you are using sarcasm in your relationship in any way. Sarcasm, the definition of sarcasm is tearing flesh. I mean, it is not kind it’s saying something that you’re hoping somebody Going to get a message underneath of a truth. Why not just say the truth? And why don’t we because you know, we don’t want to deal with the actual reaction from our partner. So if we are sarcastic instead, then we can, if there’s a negative reaction, we can easily just say, oh, babe, I was just kidding. Oh, why can’t you just roll with it? You’re all you’re so serious, you know, rather than, you know, actually that hurt my feelings. I didn’t like when you said that. That doesn’t feel good to me. To me. Building a loving healthy lifelong relationship with your partner means you pour love and kindness into the union of your relationship the big week, right? You don’t pour sarcasm and jokes that are meant for little digs. Just to get some you know upregulation of hormones so that you can get horny for each other.


Marla Mattenson  14:51  

You know, that’s not that will keep you


Damona  14:54  

it’s not sustainable to now walking off into the sunset now. This is this is getting interesting, Marla, this is getting very interesting. And I know you have many more insights to share on how to build a healthy relationship, how to deal with conflict, like what we were talking about, and how to have this partner in crime that you you live with, that you love, and maybe even that you work with, that you can really build a long term standing relationship with. So yeah, we’ll be talking about that right after the break. But first, I just have to acknowledge one of our listeners who left this lovely five star review on Apple podcast. Darling Nikki says, Wow, I’m obsessed and I can’t believe I never heard this pod. I can’t believe you haven’t either. loving every app and don’t want to sleep just binge. Thank you, Nikki. We’re so glad that you found the show and we are so grateful you took the time to give us a review. Whether you’re a binge listener like Nikki or a casual fan of the show, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform so we can shout you out and give you some love on a future episode. More with Marla Martinson in just a moment.


Welcome back. We are here with Marla Martinson and we’re talking about dealing with conflict and relationships and building healthy communication. Marla. Now, you alluded to this in the first segment, but you also work with your partner, Julian colker. He’s a little under the weather today. So we’ll have to join us on a future show. But first of all, how is that because so many people tell me so many clients say I really want to find my partner in crime and somebody who’s going to support me through not just like, love but also life and business. You’ve done it. Yes. How’s that working for you? It’s amazing.


Marla Mattenson  16:38  

It’s amazing. And it’s challenging. It is challenging from time to time, right? You know, we’re just like any other couple, we get into the arguments that sometimes spiral down into the pit of hell. And then we come out together the other side, but really, we look at it like it’s kind of like an obstacle course that we go through together. So even when we’re spiraling down, we’re aware because awareness is always the first Step in any process that you’re going to master at some point, you become aware at some point in that conflict. Oh my gosh, wait, I’m in a conflict with the person I love the most on this planet. And when you can pause long enough to remember that that’s the point to insert a knowing that actually it’s not your fault. It’s your biology. Your biology is telling you lies about your partner. Wait, what does that mean? So this is like, this is inner game, inner game, baby. All ready to go in.


Marla Mattenson  17:37  

Okay, let’s do it.


Marla Mattenson  17:40  

So, when you’re aware that you feel like you want to attack your partner, verbally, just even in your mind, right? You’re saying really awful things in your mind about your partner, blaming them angry, you know, why can’t he or why can’t she just get it or whatever it is. for you in that moment, when you become aware that you’re thinking negative thoughts about your partner, that’s the moment to say, I must be activated. I must be activated about something. It may even not be about my partner, it may be about because, you know, we can’t pay this bill or you know, the mother in law just called or you know, something else is happening with the kids or something is going on in your life. You’re feeling stressed, you’re looking around. I’m not sure if you saw this burn a brown video of it’s hilarious. She talks about how she’s in her kitchen, and she accidentally drops a mug of coffee on the floor. And her husband is nowhere to be found. He’s not even in the house at the time and she yells his name out and blames him for it. And she dropped it and she dropped it.


Damona  18:50  

Right girls you know it,


Marla Mattenson  18:53  

like the closest person to like ttttt Oh, you You’re the problem. It can’t be me. Right because our ego Won’t let it be us as the problem. So as soon as you realize you’re in that loop, the crazy loop of I want to blame. I want to blame my partner for how I’m feeling right now, even if it is their fault. Okay, here’s the thing. One of our philosophies is it’s never you versus your partner. It’s never you, it your partner is the problem. It’s always the two of you versus the problem. Yes, right. Even if your partner is the problem, we still look at it like we’re sitting next to each other, rather than across from each other across from each other is actually very aggressive. It’s an animal aggressive state to be exactly opposite each other looking into each other’s eyes, rather than sitting next to each other at a table and looking out or going for a walk together and talking about a problem. So the thing is, is that our biology is telling us your partner is a threat. He’s a threat, he’s the problem, or she’s the threat. She’s the problem. The lies that go on our chemical. So your body is is telling you through cortisol through norepinephrine through all the chemicals flowing in your system when you feel attacked in some way. There’s no saber toothed Tiger anymore. We’re not running from a lot of wild lion anymore. But now the threat is can we pay our bills? Right? Is my partner having an affair? Are it does he really love me? You know, all of those things. And when you get into a conflict, it’s a mini microcosm of that old fight flight or freeze response that happens.


Damona  20:32  

Right? So talk to us about this fight, flight, or freeze. I’m sure people have heard fighter flight. The talk to us about what the freeze element means and then, you know, as we are just nothing but mammals. Yeah. How does it How is it really affecting us in relationships in our biology?


Marla Mattenson  20:53  

Yes. So, fight so if everybody has one major default In the fight flight or freeze response so as as everybody’s listening, you can listen for your own. And sometimes it’s a combination sometimes you go back and forth and sometimes it’s all three and that’s the like, you know, trifecta of horror, when they’re all three activated. So the fight is something happens. Your partner does something they say something they could load the dishwasher wrong in your eyes. Something happens to me, right once.


Damona  21:24  

No, no, on the regular rice, right? Because there is a right way to load the dishwasher according to each of us. Don’t we want the dishes to be clean? I don’t know. But okay, go on. Okay, and then we’ll and then we’ll come full circle back to analyze me later. Okay.


Marla Mattenson  21:42  

So the fight response is your first inclination is to lash out and to say something to take action. So if your first response is, I need to say something about that dishwasher. The first response is, hey, hey babe, may remember put the glasses on the top Remember, right? Exactly that okay, though, remember. So that’s also kind of like the nag, the nag and the fighter are kind of cousins. So that’s if you have your first response is some action. It can also be a passive aggressive action, which is, let’s say there’s a towel left on the floor every morning, okay? And so white response is, I’m going to pick up that towel and put it back on the hanger. that’s a that’s a it’s a lower level version of the fight response, because on the inside your mind is saying to yourself, that so and so why can he ever just pick up that’s how I’ve told him a million times? So even if he’s not even there, you can still have the fight response when there’s nobody listening. Okay, yeah. Okay. So that’s the fight response. The flight response is, you just want to exit the building, either actually, or in your mind. So these are people who sort of shut down. They they You know, hey, I gotta go handle these other things. They want to put everything on pause.


Marla Mattenson  23:04  

This is the people that ghost


Marla Mattenson  23:06  

these are the ghost tours, the fighters are they can’t handle conflicts they will avoid at all costs. They’re the ones who actually will use sarcasm and then pretend like it’s not a big deal to actually try to communicate. So the flight people will get the same chemicals but chemicals bond and they start reacting in the way that they learned how to deal with conflict by witnessing and experiencing from childhood.


Damona  23:29  

Oh, yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about that. Okay. A lot of people come into relationships with their own conditioning, and they think, I don’t want to do that. My parents did that. And that was uncomfortable for me. So I’m going to be different in my relationship. Do you find that people if they are able to consciously acknowledge what their childhood conditioning was? Are they able to rewrite it? Or do you find that they end up just falling into the same pattern?


Marla Mattenson  23:56  

You know, both. I’m just gonna I’m going to answer all of the above Because what happens is just because you’re aware of it doesn’t mean you have a new pathway. So typically, when you become aware, oh, I don’t want to recreate this pattern that my parents did. Typically we do the opposite, which is the opposite side of the same coin. So you’re still doing the pattern, you’re just doing the pattern, the opposite, it does not heal the pattern. To heal the pattern, you need to do something completely new, have a completely new response. And so part of the work that Julian and I do with couples and that we practice ourselves is really excavating family lineage patterns. Because Where did you come from? You didn’t come from nowhere. You came from somewhere, and you learned through experience. And up until the age of seven, we’re literally just open vessels receiving we have no ability to deny or reject or say no to anyone or anything.


Damona  24:50  

And you’re not talking just about parental relationship. You’re talking about lineage like what has been passed down generation Right, Andre, she says,


Marla Mattenson  25:00  

Did your parents do the work to excavate their material from their parents? Or did their parents or did their parents or their parents, everybody? You know, at one point, what your current parents taught you was very helpful. But that could have been five generations ago. But we’re still using those things today, because who has taken the time to look at their family lineage around, let’s say, pleasure? What did you learn about your family? lineage from pleasure? Like, what did you witness your family doing around physical pleasure? Guess what, it’s in your bedroom? Yeah. And we can excavate that. So really, taking a look at the biology of what’s happening inside of you, is really the most important first step. So becoming aware and pausing long enough to listen to your own thoughts before they fly out of your mouth. And that’s one of the hardest things to do. Right? Because especially those of us who are fighters who just want to say it and then also if you happen to be articulate as you are, as I am Right, you can say things in a way that are logical, they make sense and they’re obviously non combative. But are they building intimacy? are they building more connection? And there are plenty of times where what I say to Julian is not building intimacy and how it’s not about being perfect. It’s about how quickly can I become aware that oops, I just said something that is not in alignment with who I really am. That’s an old version of Marla. That’s the kind of Marla that’s the little hurt girl right? The one who just wants to be loved and doesn’t need us understand all I need a hug. All he needs, whatever, but how does he know that I need a hug when I’m throwing prickly, you know, dark energy out and him right? And he’s like, I’m just gonna stay away from that until that calms down. It’s like a porcupine, you know, right. All the plumes come up, and he can’t get close to me.


Damona  26:52  

And then what is his conditioning to is the other side of that Right,


Marla Mattenson  26:54  

exactly. So the Exactly, so the other side of the pattern is what is he conditioned to do and part of I’ll just share because we share all apartments cereal. Thank you, right?


Damona  27:04  

We’re open book. Yeah. Jason made? Yes.


Marla Mattenson  27:08  

So you know, part of his side of the pattern is he doesn’t want to be made wrong. Oh, well, isn’t that the perfect other side of the pattern? I get to be right and he has to be wrong. And so when I find that I’m feeling righteous, or justified or verified in my, because I have a long list of reasons why my way is correct, even if it is, that’s not going to build the intimacy and he will feel wrong. And so that will activate him. And so when he gets activated, and if I’m activated, we call that double activation. And that is the most challenging thing to go through. And that’s when you start spiraling down. And so when one of us has the courage to say, pause, hold on. We’re in it. We’re in it. This is it. This is the moment can we go through the rest of this together like that? Okay, oops, we didn’t do so hot the first five minutes. But How about now?


Damona  28:05  

Right now, it’s like kind of bringing it back to what you said earlier of having that moment. Living the moment again, and you’re you’re right there, you’re not like in what just happened five minutes ago, or what happened last week, or what is going to happen next week, it’s being in that moment with your partner and being on the same team, like you were saying, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  28:26  

we actually have a technique for that. I can teach it in two seconds, teach it, it’s called the redo.


Damona  28:31  



Marla Mattenson  28:33  

redo it. And so what it is, is you ask for Rito. So if I’m the one who kind of started it, then I’ll say Wait, can I get a redo? If I, if I can be aware, and then we pause, and he’s, we’re both sort of calm enough that I can say, Can I get a redo, babe, I really did not. Start that the way I really wanted to. And he’ll go, Okay, hold on, give me a second. I gotta shake that off. First. They’ll shake it off. I’ll shake it off and then I’ll go okay. And the idea is You bring sparkly eyes, you bring your open heart, you bring your best self and you both reenact the same scenario. But this time you show up as your best self as your loving self as the self who wants to build love, intimacy and connection, even through challenges and chaos. And when you redo it, you’re literally rewiring your brain in the moment because when you think back on a memory, you remember what happened mostly at the end? Yes, okay. You remember the beginning and you remember the end, you don’t really remember the murky middle, okay? That’s all where it gets very subjective. And so when you redo it, you have redone it and you end smiling. So when you remember the beginning next time, you’ll also remember Oh, yeah, and we did the redo. And we went


Damona  29:44  

through it together, and we ended up smiling. Yeah. Marla, how do I get how do I deal with this dishes that you know, I know, how do I get the towels off my floor? I’ll tell you. I mean, of all the things it’s pretty a pretty minor thing. We’ve been together so almost 17 years, 16 years, I’ve, I’ve also just realized, like people sometimes have their patterns and limitations and like, I can be mad about the towel on the floor, or I can just pick it up and move on with my life and let it be over. Yes. And so that’s what I 17 years later decided to do. But honestly, I seriously don’t know you guys. Is that, is that what you recommend? Or is that like, is that a flight response?


Marla Mattenson  30:29  

Okay, let’s let’s chat about it.


Marla Mattenson  30:30  

Yeah, it depends. And the reason it depends is because it depends on your state of mind in the moment. So, next time, he leaves his towel on the floor, if you will, first of all, I’m assuming. So let let me not assume Let me ask a question. Have you mentioned this to him in the past?


Damona  30:49  

He like years ago, like years, okay, it’s been years and then now it’s just like, oh, there’s gonna be towels on


Marla Mattenson  30:55  

and so is it every day that there’s two or every time


Marla Mattenson  30:58  

I mean, it’s like 6040 Okay, 6040


Marla Mattenson  31:03  

So, okay, so there’s a couple of things. First thing is you can with a whole fresh new attitude and love in your heart, you can have a new conversation with him to say, you know what, I realized that I’ve kind of let this thing go, but it actually is still kind of a little bit of a thing for me. I wonder if you’d be willing to make an extra effort to hang up your towel after you use it every day. And then wait for the response and have a conversation about it. And you can also say, and I want to let you know that if you forget from time to time, it’s okay. But it’s still okay. Like it’s been okay this whole time and it’s also still okay. And I also just want to let you know, like, it actually would still feel loving to me, if you would make an even an extra effort, right now, how does that feel to you? And then wait for his response.


Damona  31:51  

And now let’s play out the different responses. Okay, everybody. So let’s say the response is like, you know, and just for listeners, like we’re talking about towels, with This could be anything in your relationships. Right? And it’s like a woman. Why are you talking to me about these towels again? I don’t think he would say that. But let’s just play devil’s advocate that


Marla Mattenson  32:10  

Yeah. Yeah. What is it about me asking you that bothers you? Oh,


Marla Mattenson  32:16  

so whenever someone that’s not that’s not.


Marla Mattenson  32:20  

That’s not a fight response. So know if you’re in a calm place, and you ask genuinely because you’re curious and you really want it like, ooh, up. Okay, that’s your reaction. I wasn’t expecting that. And that’s totally fine. I’m just curious, what, what is it about me asking you that feels so off. And you really want to know, and this is the thing is that we don’t really want to know certain things about our partners. And so we just don’t ask and we don’t ask. So I’m a big fan of asking.


Damona  32:53  

Yes, that is so important. Like in all we’re talking about conflict, but that’s just important at all phases. Building the relationship curiosity. Oh, yeah. Yo, you hear in her I curiosity comment is what I say for people when they’re dating, like be curious about so good about what you need to know about that person just like be curious on a date. So it’s the same thing in the relationship. And people always ask me, How do you keep the relationship feeling fresh and feeling new and discovery? Right? You still have to stay curious. You talk about something, a philosophy called gaggia. Yes. What is gaggia?


Marla Mattenson  33:32  

Okay, gaggia I just have to say I hated that word for many years. And it finally in 2020 is actually a thing. It’s a thing and Julian named it okay, but it’s our philosophy of grace, ease, joy and flow. So get GIF getcha getcha g JF gadget that it’s just easier to say yes. And so it’s like our philosophy is, you know, you can’t control what’s coming at you in life, you know, there’s always the UPS, there’s always the downs, you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you respond. You do have control over that. And if you respond with, I expect grace, ease, joy and flow, even through conflicts, even through challenges, and through the joy and through the happiness, then you start living your life that way. And then when something bad happens, you get a car accident, you know, life happens, right? Then you’re prepared because that’s what you’ve been practicing. I want to run one more thing, which is the freeze response. We didn’t get to that. Can I just say that really quick? The freeze response is and it’s so interesting that it almost is forgotten, you know, because the freeze response is literally like the chameleon just blending into the wall. It’s you know, the octopus that can turn into anything. It’s, you know, the the freeze response is feeling paralyzed. You have no words, no words will come out of your mouth. You’re not trying Two eyes out your partner but you just can’t find any words. Everything in your mind is confusion and your partner’s articulate and you have no idea what to say. So you just say nothing. So the freeze response is a really delicate response that is challenging for people. You know, I actually am an introvert people don’t realize that about me. But I can get into the freeze response. When I’m really activated. I go right into that little girl space where I’m like, I’ll just be like the silent little Good girl where I don’t know what to say. So I’m going to say nothing.


Damona  35:31  

Hmm. And so very fulfilling for your prey.


Marla Mattenson  35:33  

It is not they’re not


Marla Mattenson  35:34  

know and it’s trying to work through the GED. Exactly, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  35:39  

so you know, then you find ways to sort of down regulate the emotions and allow those chemicals to flow through your system and pass through and give yourself a little bit of time and then you come forward again, and you go Okay, let’s, let’s try this again. Let’s do a redo.


Damona  35:54  

I love that. And I’m also married to an introvert who’s like Now he’s uh he’s like an introvert mascot yeah found power in introversion but yeah it’s it’s it’s hard when everyone else is is talking and everyone else is in like fight response if your tendency is to go inward and and shut down or we’re not be able to find the words like me right now


Marla Mattenson  36:24  

if you tapped into the introvert I did you tapped in


Damona  36:27  

like channeling him. This is all such such great information and I know you have insights that our listeners are going to want to hear in our next segment because we got a lot of questions. I so appreciate it y’all. I appreciate you. trusting us with your love lives. We have some very, very challenging questions, but I know Marla Martinson is up to the task so don’t go anywhere. We have more dates and dates right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates.


We have some Very challenging questions on this week’s show that have been sent to us far and wide from all different sources Instagram, email, Facebook, you can hit me up on any of the platforms at Damona Hoffman if you if you have a question for a future show. This one Marla comes to us from Instagram. This gal says this guy I’ve been in a situation ship with has been working a lot lately. He told me that at his job, someone was eyeing him. And he asked if that person was flirting with him. But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? is he asking me how to read the signs? So this person it seemed in situation ships, so it’s kind of a new relationship. But the guy’s asking or like somebody seems to be flirting with me. I don’t really know. What do I do?


Marla Mattenson  37:58  

Yeah. How would you read this? This I think this is such a beautiful question because it’s very clear that he wants to move things forward with the woman who wrote that, because he wouldn’t say anything to her about someone flirting at work or potentially flirting. If he wanted to go off and flirt with that other person or start something with somebody else, he would he would probably just go do it rather than talk about it or ask about it. So it’s really beautiful that and it’s sort of a celebration that he is coming to you with this information. And so it’s it’s um, it’s kind of like a toe dip in like, how honest can we be with each other in this relationship? He’s checking to see if you’re going to greet him with love and affection. Or and this may be conscious or unconscious in him okay, but he’s coming to you with Are you a safe person to reveal the truth of my life too, or are you going to freak out, are you going to judge me? Are you going to blame me? What are you going to do with this information? So So the idea here is, in my experience and opinion would be to ask him a question, to get curious to get curious about him and say, Wow, first of all, number one, always when someone brings information to you that they wouldn’t normally bring or they don’t have to bring. The first response is always two words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for bringing this to me. I really appreciate you sharing this with me. What did that feel like to have that happen? What what Kate, what came up for you like if you become the open, curious space for this person to come and share this information, the number one, he’s going to bring more to you. And number two, you’re going to bond over the fact that you can get curious about this very benign situation because he wasn’t That flirting, if he was into that flirting, then he would have just gone into that flirting.


Damona  40:04  

Yeah. So well done. I agree with you. It seems to be a sign of desiring this to become more serious. I do wonder though, if there’s an element of, I’m telling you someone else’s flirting with me to let you know, like, I got options here. Yeah, so yeah, let down


Marla Mattenson  40:26  

this Right, right. Exactly, exactly. So. So before you nail it down, though, you want to make sure that he’s not just playing a game, you want to actually ask questions to see how he shows up in the response. So he’s checking to see how you’re going to show up. But you also want to check to see how he’s going to show up. So gathering more information through experience, not just through your thinking about it, but through actual questions and having him answer and having a beautiful conversation about it is what’s going to help the two of you together come to Oh, yeah.


Marla Mattenson  41:00  

Well, I don’t want anybody flirting with you at work,


Marla Mattenson  41:03  

I want to flirt with


Marla Mattenson  41:05  

flirting with you or you know, so you can get playful with your responses and show him if you want more in the relation. If you want the situation to be a relationship, then you can offer up a little bit


Damona  41:16  

more like playful. Okay, I need everyone. I just have to pause for a second because I need everyone to really hear what Marla just said. It is so important in the early phase of dating and getting to know people that you find that playfulness and that flirtatiousness as you are trying to figure out where things are headed. So a lot of times my clients get very stressed in that period of when we’re trying to DTR figure out is this going to be a relationship or not, and they don’t know how to find the words to really express what they want without feeling like they’re being raw and vulnerable and potentially getting going to get hurt. But you have to you have to get Curious, and you have to present it if you present it in the way that Marla said. It’s it keeps it light, but it keeps it also intriguing. I would say yes.


Marla Mattenson  42:12  

And if Also, if you’re not curious, if you’re not bringing curiosity to these conversations, then you’re bringing something else. You’re bringing your assumptions. You’re bringing what you think is going on,


Damona  42:22  

you’re bringing your assumptions, you’re bringing your desire to get married and have a baby yesterday into whatever outcome you’re trying to create. You’re trying to create an outcome, right? That’s kind of the bottom line. That’s right.


Marla Mattenson  42:35  

That’s right. So you’re not actually available for what the real outcome is. And the real outcome unfolds, you can’t control it. It actually just kind of naturally organically comes together more and more, the more you’re open and vulnerable, rather than what a lot of people try to do. And I know you’re a master at this is, is helping people understand that if you try to control the dating process, you could actually end Up engaged to someone who doesn’t really know you. Because you’ve been showing what you think they want to see every step along the way, rather than who you really are


Damona  43:11  

or manipulating the outcome or


Marla Mattenson  43:13  

exactly, exactly, exactly. So curiosity. No, we don’t want that for you don’t do that.


Damona  43:17  

Okay, that’s actually a perfect segue in. Okay, this was an email that was sent to me, I’m going to kind of paraphrase hope it’s okay to the listener who’s on this question. But basically, she was with this guy for a while. They broke up, they got back together. They were together for a few years. And then, about three or four months ago, they broke up again. But she’s saying, I miss him. I love him and I want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance to be with him for Valentine’s Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do to get him back


Marla Mattenson  44:00  

I have a little yikes on that when I noticed, I don’t know go easy. So I don’t know how to say this in, I’ll just say it in the most gentle kind way I can. If you want to give a gift to someone, a gift is a one way direction. It is not a two way direction. It’s you want to give a gift. And it’s received by the other person and the person can do whatever they want with they can throw it in the trash, they can cherish it forever, they can do whatever they want. Right? I


Marla Mattenson  44:30  

love that.


Marla Mattenson  44:32  

Or, and then if they want to respond or reciprocate than they can, but there’s no no guarantee obligation at all for them to have to respond. So if you’re giving a gift with the hopes of getting something in return, then that’s the first question. I would ask yourself. Why do I want to give something to someone who I can’t even get ahold of right now? Like what is it in me that wants to still Reach out and give to someone who I have not received from in months and that I literally don’t really even have any way to get ahold of that. So to me, that tells me that there’s something in you that needs nurturing, and need love and needs attention and affection from someone who loves you, meaning you, you, you need to love yourself first, more than wanting to get married to this particular person. So if you start fulfilling your own love first, you know, then the way the universe works is you shift yourself, then that sends the vibration out to the universe. And then if he is meant to come back to you, he will and if he is not, he will not.


Marla Mattenson  45:54  

But let’s look at let’s just look at facts. I mean, they were together for a year I said I was going kind they can No, and then they got back here.


Marla Mattenson  46:01  



Damona  46:02  

I’m glad that you went kind. But I do want to also just realize the reality of the situation. He is being very clear about how, what he sees in the future for this relationship. If he blocked you or he changed his phone number, he’s not responding to you. He is saying, I need a clean break here. And there. I just like you said, I don’t see an positive outcome in chasing a relationship that one person does not want to be in.


Marla Mattenson  46:37  

Okay, I’ll say something more about that. That so I appreciate that. So the thing is, is


Marla Mattenson  46:43  

you either want harmony in your life, or you want suffering, and it’s conscious or unconscious. And when we chase after someone who clearly is sending the message, no, you’re asking for suffering. So if you you know what would happen, let me let sort run through some, some scenarios. My background is in mathematics and neuroscience pattern recognition is my thing. I can run through all the iterations of what might happen, let’s say spreadsheet, let’s


Damona  47:07  

do it. You’re talking about language. Okay,


Marla Mattenson  47:10  

so what if you dropped off the package at his house and you saw him? Get out of the car, from you know, kissing somebody else? Oh my gosh. And then what you’re standing there with this present, just dropping in a suffering, you’re going to suffer, everyone’s gonna suffer? What is going on inside of you? That you want suffering? And it’s obviously unconscious, because nobody consciously wants suffering. That’s not that’s not what we do. As humans. We don’t consciously want suffering, unconsciously we recreate family patterns. So ask yourself, can you actually receive love from someone who actually loves you? Who wants to build a life together because as soon as you can really let go of this particular person, in your mind, in your heart, and your soul in your body, go do some cleanses or something like go on a on a solo journey, take a trip by yourself get go to the local park and look at the flowers, take some time for yourself, and then start loving more and more of who you are. And then that’ll shine out. And you’ll actually attract someone who values who you really are


Damona  48:19  

so true. Yeah, and just just just to cap it off. I hear this all the time, like I want. I was in love with this person, and I wanted to marry them. And I just have to remind you, if you’ve said that to a relationship that has ended, you’re not in love with that person. You are in love with the idea of that person. They may are in love with the time you invest in or the idea of marriage or the idea of marriage, but you are not in love with that person. Because if that relationship was going to fulfill all your needs, it would be happening. I’m so


Marla Mattenson  48:49  

glad you said that because people fall in love with the idea of a person.


Marla Mattenson  48:54  

And we have to really I’ve been married in my


Marla Mattenson  48:56  



Damona  48:59  

But it was so Different when I met my husband, and then you look, I swear, you look back at those other relationships and you’re like, how could I thought that that was going to be it for me? So so if you look at it from that perspective, maybe that’ll give you a little bit of hope to that something greater. Yeah is out there for you if you do the work that Marla is recommending, we do have one more question. I want to start. Okay, this is this a little bit different. Jenny says I’ve been divorced for about 10 years, and I’m just getting back into dating. She says when I was 16, I needed an ileostomy. I’m not sure exactly what that is. But she said she needed this position, this medical procedure to save her life. And now she has to wear an external pouch for you know, digestion. So she said her ex had no problems with it. And it didn’t interfere with intimacy. But she’s told guys after a few dates about the pouch, and she’s also waited to tell them in some cases, but in most of the cases, she’s told them the guy ghoster she says, Do I wait until there’s a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Marla Mattenson  50:12  

So you think it’s a great question. I think this is a really like beautiful vulnerable question. Absolutely. And


Damona  50:18  

I’m sure a lot of people like maybe you don’t have the the pouch like Jenny does, but maybe you have another mental medical condition or,


Marla Mattenson  50:27  

or feeling shame around certain part of your body or something


Damona  50:29  

body shame, mental health challenge, whatever it is. Everybody has their something.


Marla Mattenson  50:34  

Yeah. How do you do this specific thing is a special case scenario really is.


Marla Mattenson  50:41  

I would say,


Marla Mattenson  50:43  

it depends on who you are. So knowing yourself, so some people are a little more shy. So Jenny, if you’re more of the shy kind of a person, then I would say wait for a significant amount of time before you share that bowl. detail about your life. If you’re more of like a bold, brazen kind of unapologetic person, then then I would say it very early on, I would go very early because if somebody can’t handle that about you, then they can’t handle you.


Marla Mattenson  51:15  

So, bye. Bye, Felicia,


Marla Mattenson  51:18  

we don’t need any of that. Right, right. We need people in our lives who accept and love us for who we are. So if you’re the bold, I’m more of the bold type. So I’m the type who, hey, I’m just gonna lay it on the table right now from the beginning. And if you don’t dig that about me, that’s okay. We won’t be friends. And that’s okay, too. You know, we should doesn’t mean literally like,


Marla Mattenson  51:38  

No, no, no. No, right. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.


Marla Mattenson  51:44  

don’t deal with it. Hey, what about this?


Marla Mattenson  51:47  

You know, and there’s a way to do it, obviously, I’m sure you’re very way more nuanced than what I just tried to say. But really knowing who you are because this is not just about Jenny right? This is about everyone who has that one thing that they don’t Really want to share the beginning they’re not sure. I mean, I actually just wrote an article about, you know how to have difficult money conversations with your partner early in a relationship. And, and so that is it’s so tender to talk about the things that we keep very private, that are just for us that are just for the people who really love and know us. And then we’re opening up to the possibility of a new relationship. You know, on some level, you want to test the waters First, make sure this is someone who’s worthy of that kind of information, not just somebody that you met, that you may be interested in, you know, you want to make sure that it’s on the other side, like there’s one side of it is, who are you? Right? You’re bold, or you’re more shy, where are you in that sort of spectrum? That’s how long you should wait and then also, who’s the other person? Are they worthy of hearing these details? Because you don’t want to just share this with someone who’s gonna go post it on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or you know,


Damona  52:58  

or Yeah, or judge you and Fairly for it like, right. our listeners have heard me say that on dates early on, people have to earn information that’s right from you. So is it something that you would share with like your coworker on the first day at a new job? Is it something that you would tell the person on the bus next to you? If it’s not, then maybe you wait until that you feel that you’ve you’ve earned a little bit of trust in that person? Yeah, they have earned a little


Marla Mattenson  53:26  

and also you can be playful with it. Yeah, right. Yes, like transform it into a superpower. Like, oh, oh, you still use some digestive juices to digest your food. That’s amazing. Because mine totally goes into a bag. Yeah. I’m saying like you could do or whatever your particular bag is. You know, some people have a philosophy bag. People have different things. So you can use your quirky thing as a way to be playful with it.


Damona  53:57  

Yeah, and some people like her situation. is sort of invisible until she becomes intimate, right? There are people I know that are dealing with very, very visible disabilities challenges, like I had a client who had a very pronounced stutter. That got worse when he was attracted to someone or, you know, sexually, you know, interested. And what we worked out with him is for him to acknowledge it just right right away, but to also turn it into a compliment. So he’d say, I’m sorry, I, I have a stutter. And and I actually stutter more around beautiful women. And so then it became sort of brought them it’s almost going back to what you were saying about putting your partner on your team it put your date on your team. Yeah. So that you acknowledge the elephant in the room, but at the same time you brought that person into it?


Marla Mattenson  54:46  

Yes. And then it’s not made into a problem. And here’s the thing. The other piece that I want to say is, if you make your own and it doesn’t sound like you are Jenny, I’m just saying, if if you’re making your own thing, A problem, then that’s the energy that’s going to come through how you communicate it. So before you communicate it, you want to make sure that you’ve made best friends with whatever issue it is that you have, so that you can bring it to the table as not this big huge issue. But as just this is just me,


Damona  55:19  

this isn’t is it? You know, it’s just a thing. Yeah. Yeah. This is such great, great advice. Marla, I’m so glad you could be here to share all of your wisdom with us. And this is such valuable information for people who are both dating and in relationships. And if you go into a new relationship, using some of the tools and techniques that Marla just shared, I’m telling you guys, you’re going to have a completely different experience of it. You can find Marla and Julian colker on social media at the intimacy experts. You can find her online at Marla martinson.com will also be sure to put those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. Marla.


Marla Mattenson  55:59  

Thank you so much. Much. Also don’t forget,


Damona  56:01  

you still have time to find a date for Valentine’s Day. So if you are ready to date differently in 2020, but you don’t know how to get started, the 30 day dating playbook could be your solution. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it is your solution. And it has worked for so many of my clients before and it works quickly. 90% of my clients last year, left my programs dating someone exclusively in as little as eight weeks. So give yourself this gift, get yourself launched into a relationship and maybe even snag a date before Valentine’s Day. You can find that at 30 day dating.com. And that has all of the five steps that I lead my private clients through that help them to go through their dating funnel figure out where they’re looping and get themselves into the relationship that they dream of. And it’s 30 days it’s self led so you have no excuses go to 30 day dating.com And I’ll put the link to the 30 day dating playbook in the show notes as well. And for those of you who want more love support, but maybe you’re not ready for the playbook. We will be launching a Patreon Friends with Benefits Program in February. So please stay tuned for that we’d love to welcome you into the community. I hope you enjoyed Episode 294 updates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. And we’d love to have you join in on the conversation. You can send me your questions for future episodes and you can leave us a review like darlin, Nikki. And also don’t forget to share this episode with a friend who needs to hear Marla’s unbelievable relationship advice. Thank you so much for listening until next week. Wish you happy dating

Healing Heartbreak & Baby Mama Drama


According to some data from Facebook, it turns out that this is the season for both heartbreaks and hookups. Apparently, the period from Christmas day to New Years has one of the highest rates for breakups. This is probably due mostly to stress and pressure from the holidays.

Even some divorce attorneys like to call January divorce month because of the spike they see in divorce filings continually this month!  So if you’re just coming out of a breakup or have ever dealt with heartbreak, this episode is for you.

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Everything you need to know about dating if you’re participating in dry January

Can you even go on a first date if you’re not going for drinks? We think actually, this might be a good thing for first dates and maybe we should all do it more often!

The New York Times wants to know, “is divorce month even real?”

Divorce is definitely seasonal according to the New York Times, but March and August are some other months you need to look out for when it comes to relationship turmoil.

We need to have a conversation about former senior Royals Harry and Meghan

I’m sure you heard that Harry and Meghan have stepped back as senior royals. Is Harry making a mistake?


Joining me as my today is Claire Byrne, a Heartbreak Coach who helps women stop wanting Mr. or Ms. Wrong back, as well as help them find the right kind of love. She’s a regular contributor on Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh.com, and the creator/host of the podcast, How to Stop Wanting Him Back.

Find Claire The Heartbreak Coach on Instagram @clairetheheartbreakcoach and be sure to check out her podcast, “How To Stop Wanting Him Back!”


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

  • I’m a 32 women with a 6 year old and the guy I was seeing is 29 with an 18month old and baby mama drama. We were together for only 3.5 months, but were exclusive. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I am pregnant. He took two weeks to process the news and then he broke up with me because he doesn’t want the baby. I don’t believe in abortions but he told me to go as in he was done and didn’t want to be with me. I know he’s scared, but I’m so scared, and mad, and heartbroken at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated! Should I try to reach back out to him?
  • From Pamela – I was raised to pray, do ministry, and go to school and I just thought the right man would appear in my life. Not true. I’ve no real dating experience & I’ve never been in love. I’m an extremely late bloomer! I’ve two Master’s degrees and take my eduation seriously. I’m now a very liberal Christian. How do I find the right man on dating apps? The men I talk to are either judgey because I’m too religious or not religious enough.


Damona  0:12

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. I’m certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman here to simplify all things on modern love. You may have heard before on the show according to some data from Facebook, it turns out that the period from Christmas day to New Year’s has the highest rate of breakups happening. Maybe this is due to the stress and pressure pressure from the holidays people don’t want to get presents people thinking about the new year and wanting to start fresh. I don’t know the answers but today I have the person who does know the answers to these questions. Her name is Claire burn she is a heartbreak coach who helps women stop wanting Mr. or Mrs. Wrong back as well as help them to find the right Kind of love. She’s a regular contributor to cart Courtney Kardashians poosh calm and she’s the creator and host of the podcast how to stop wanting him back please. Let’s give big smooches to Claire bird. Thank you for having Oh, thank you so much for being here. This is the time of year where we really need to work through heartbreak and and start the year fresh, right everybody is is coming into this new year wanting to to create new patterns and behaviors for themselves. So this is a perfect time to clear the state slate and to let people know how to how to get into a relationship differently this time and how to stop going back over back over that old history.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  1:42

Right? Absolutely. This is definitely anything just now more and more especially we live in LA so it’s just a mecca for self personal growth but there’s nothing like cleaning the slate and really evaluating and looking back on your year and Just asking yourself, is this partnership serving me? And am I showing up as my best self? And if not, then no better time to cleanse and kick off the new year. Absolutely. Also just healing what didn’t work and then really getting clear on the relationship with yourself before you create space for the right person to come back in. I can’t wait to talk to you about that.

Damona  2:25

And speaking of cleanses, we also have headlines today including what you need to know about dating if you’re doing dry January. Plus, the New York Times wants to know is divorce month even real is January really divorce month. New York Times has something to say about it. Plus, we have to talk about the former senior Royals, Harry and Megan and then we’ll be answering your questions like where are all the men who match your religious values and how to deal with heartbreak as a single mom, Claire, are you ready to do these headlines? I’m ready

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:03

to do the headlines. All right, let’s dish these dating dish

Damona  3:09

askmen was nice enough to give us a guide to dry January dating. If you guys have not been hearing about this dry January trend, apparently one out of five people said January I’m not drinking and that may mean that you’re doing a physical cleanse but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not dating as well. And this can cause some challenges if you’re going out on dates which usually revolve around drinking alcohol or involve alcohol in some way. I’ve got to know Claire how to set ourselves up for success. A little birdie told me you’re doing dry January

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:47

and I am 100% Irish so I like my drinks.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  3:53

The holidays I always build up and I just know January. We just got to detox

Damona  3:57

so you just like you go hard all year. And then you just have to stop. Rewind refresh.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  4:03

Yeah, I like to do cleanses. 30 days I’ll probably do one or two more this year. I like to do them every few months, but definitely after the holidays and I’m currently dating someone right now. So we’re doing that together, but I have been single and dry at certain points, not necessarily in January. And I’m not gonna lie It absolutely is more challenging, but I would challenge anyone out there who is taking the best care of him or herself and wants to reset and cleanse their body. Why does alcohol have to be the thing to make you feel comfortable on the date? Right? Like why would you stop yourself from putting yourself out there just because you’re cleansing your body because I’m hoping that you’ll also want to be sober with your future partner so I think it’s a pretty cool thing like if someone said that to me, Hey, you know i’m i’m doing a cleanse right now. I’d still love to meet up and my whole thing too is Look, I’m going I’m on a cleanse But please, by all means drink. Whatever you want to drink, I’d still love to meet. I’m just letting you know.

Damona  5:03

I want to know though, do you tell them before you get to the day that I do be drinking? I do.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  5:08

And you know, I have a health coach friend and she said, Why do you even have to tell them that? Why do we have to make drinking such a thing? And I see her point, but for me, I do want to let the potential future partner know right? I do enjoy drinking alcohol. I’m a social drinker. I like my wine like my skinny Margarita is. I’m just not drinking them right now. But it is a part of my life. And I think that is something that I love doing that with my boyfriend going out for a cocktail at 5pm and enjoying the sunset, right? Like that’s something that we enjoy doing. So I think if it is something that you like to do in your life, let that person know

Damona  5:47

what if you’re sober longer than then January I do have a number of clients actually who have been non drinkers nondrinkers. Yeah, and they’ve run into some challenges of people that Absolutely I will not date a non drinker or how do you even bridge that conversation? Do you think a drinker and a non drinker can have a successful relationship? Absolutely,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  6:09

yes, I’ve definitely fallen for sober people. And I definitely think that that can work. I don’t think if you’re someone who likes to get wasted and have five, six drinks, you know, I’m someone who enjoys like two to three and because of my Irish blood, I’m not like slurring my

Damona  6:27

words. I’m like, I like to have one and I’m totally wasted. Yes, I think you need to know like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  6:33

literally your tolerance

Damona  6:34

level. And I always tell my clients to set your maximum like for me, I knew I was not making good decisions on dates. This is not just in dry January. Yeah, I was not making good decisions after one drink. Yeah. So I set a maximum of one drink because I want to be present on the day absolutely want to be able to make good decisions and be able to really assess is this somebody that I want to spend more time with and Am I going to be proud of the choices that I make into this date? If I’m with this person, months down the road?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  7:07

Exactly. And I think too, if you are permanently sober, that should be something that’s shared on your profile, so that the people who are going to write you off for being sober all the time, aren’t your people. So just make it math, not drama. Like, okay, good to know, I have that information out there because I’m not changing that this is a part of who I am. This is a part of my lifestyle. And, and and also, I think you could say, you know, I’m sober. I’m open to dating people who do drink, right? Because some sober people don’t want to date drinkers. Right? So just make that clear, so that you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

Damona  7:41

That’s what it’s all about. Well, so we call it divorce month, because really, there was some data that supported divorces happening in January, Facebook said they have all of these status changes happening between like November and January. But according to the new york times they’re saying maybe January actually isn’t divorce month they were actually seeing a lot of divorces filed in the state of New York between March and August. I guess August is end of the summer and you start thinking about going back kids going back to school or the fall and the new cycle starting. What are you seeing as a heartbreak coach? Do you think divorce month is real? Is there a cycle to I mean, relationships ending if

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  8:30

statistics are showing what they’re showing, I think that that’s interesting. It would make more sense to me that you that a divorce would be happening post the holidays because I think it’s like I can’t do one more holiday with this person anymore. The summer is surprising to me, but I’m a heartbreak Coach 12 months out of the year and people come to me regularly all the time. And I don’t know if it’s time that is you know the time of year. That is the cause of the decision making, but also I think there can be events or people or, you know, if your spouse has a dying parent, are you going to leave them then?

Damona  9:08

Right. So you’re going to wait until August.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  9:12

So I don’t know, I don’t know, if I would. But you know, indulge the trend or the statistics too much like your time is your time. There could be so many different reasons and so many different factors. There can be finances, it finance issues, kid issues, job issues, sex issues, and I think that any of those issues can happen anytime of the year.

Damona  9:35

Yeah. And especially in January as we are reassessing. As I said at the beginning of the show, what we want for the next year, I’m thinking about Can I actually be announced to me in this relationship and other year, right, right. Well, we’re talking about splits though. There’s a split of a different kind that’s happening. You all probably read about it. Megan, Markel, and Harry are stepping back from the royal family. They’re now saying They’re going to split their time between North America and the UK, and they want to become financially independent from the royal family. This is big news. And I know it’s like it feels sort of tableting like, Oh my god, they’re stepping back. But this really is, is a statement in their relationship together. And I’ve always said to my husband, we are on the same team. And once you partner with someone in a way that becomes your team, and they become in first position, not that your family is no longer important, but this person now becomes your family and your number one in a relationship that’s working. I’ve seen relationships not work where they were the mother or Yeah, still number one. So I think this is this is a statement of, of Harry saying, I first Yes, I am committed to this to this family. I don’t know how he’s gonna do for a man that has never worked a day in his life and probably has never had to do anything for himself. I don’t know how he’s really going to be like, so grown and financially independent. So you might see things shifting on that. But what do you think overall of this move? And is it as significant as the media is making it seem?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:13

Uh, is it as significant as the media? I think

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:15

it is pretty significant. I mean, they’re really, you know, breaking a historical pattern. Right. So I think it is pretty major. It will be interesting to see how he financially supports himself. But I also think he’s going to have all kinds of crazy opportunities where people are just going to be like there with a bunch of money for him to thrive. But

Damona  11:37

yeah, I think it

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  11:38

is a pretty big deal that they’re making this big statement, and it’s a test dementor how devoted they are to each other and to their child. And I gotta say, I’m not surprised. Like when I read it, I do think it’s a big deal. But I was like, that makes sense

Damona  11:54

to me. Yes. Well, it seems to have been a gradual progression, right? Yeah. They’ve been She’s there been a lot of reports of her doing things different than the tradition they didn’t give their son, a traditional royal title. So I think it’s been coming for a while. And you know, the story is and I don’t have any insider information, people that listen to the show, know that I actually I knew Megan from college and I know her mom. And so I don’t have any insider information, you guys. I do not know anything. But I really wonder if it’s actually them fully making this decision. Or if this is a little bit coming from the royal family of like, you’re doing things a little too differently. And why don’t you go ahead and and make your own choices.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:39

Interesting. Oh, no.

Damona  12:41

I heard also that that Charles had been saying he wanted to take some people off with the Royal payroll. So maybe, maybe Harry just like fell off. I think

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:52

Harry’s mother’s looking down being like, amen, kid.

Damona  12:56

You’re right. I really did things

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  12:57

differently to and really And I think he’s really stepping into her shoes right she’s he’s his mother son.

Damona  13:06

Exactly in this new classy way. Yeah, well we’re stepping into the break girl because we have so much more to talk about about heartbreak and and getting over a relationship ending and moving on and finding the love that’s going to really fulfill you in this new year. So we’re going to take we’re going to take a quick break but when we come back, we’ll have more with Claire burn. lovers, we are back with Claire the heartbreak coach talking about how you can heal your heart this January 1 clear I just want to acknowledge this the beginning of this process. It’s tough, right? Once you’ve made a decision, just to assess this person is not is not the right person for me or this relationship is not moving in the direction that I wanted to go. That takes a lot of courage. Just to be able to to admit that and have that conversation, even if it’s happened to you to have that conversation with yourself, if it’s happening to you, or if you are the one making the choice, it’s not your person. And there there’s a period of mourning that in a way that has to happen from that.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  14:16

Absolutely. I think sometimes clients come to me and they’re like, you’re the heartbreak coach. So you’re just going to make me feel better. And I think a huge part of the process and the biggest first step that you have to take is to grieve, grieve the pain grieve the loss, even if you know it isn’t right. It’s still grieving what you hoped it could have been. And then also really being with the fear of well then is my person really out there like really consciously moving through all of that to then shift your perspective on it so that again, you can create space for falling in love with yourself before and getting really clear about what didn’t work in that relationship to then go eyes wide open into the next one, and not the The next one has any guarantees, right? But to just really consciously look at what didn’t work, move through the pain, move through the loss, move through the fear of what’s next. And, and not numb out and escape those emotions and feelings, which is what we really want to do.

Damona  15:16

Yeah, and what I think our society has been trained to do, like you don’t feel good, take a pill for it. And even just as a dating coach, a lot of what I have people do is feel their feelings on the date. I was just on the phone with a client earlier and she said, it’s been so helpful to her in working with me through that, because she would go on these dates and just like check the check the list of like, does he have that is he that and she was in her head the whole time. And I said, Stop, stop, stop. We’ve got to get into the feeling of what does it even feel like to be with this person? We already know you’re on the date with them. He hits the basic checked the basic boxes, he hits the basic criteria, but how how does it feel to be with them and so it’s how Like what you’re telling people to do is to really feel their feelings of this loss, rather than just sweeping it under the rug and just moving on into the next relationship.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  16:11

Absolutely consciously processing your pain. I am big into committing to a mindfulness practice meditation, yoga, breath, work stillness, just like coming into the body and locating where you’re storing the emotional pain and breathing through it and being with it and honoring it because loss is a part of life. And at some point, you’re going to live sorry to get super morbid, but we’re going to lose people who pass on right? We have to learn how to be with our negative emotion and to your point, I think today more than ever, pop a pill, go shopping, and get get a massage, take a trip, get a new job, change your hair and like all those things, right when you’re inspired to kind of do a big shift or, you know, redesign your poem or something like that, because you’re inspired to do something different and step into a different way of expressing yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. But just be really careful that you’re not using those things to cover over the pain that you’re experiencing. Hmm.

Damona  17:13

And once you’ve done that, what is the next step?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  17:17

I think you have to get clear on what you really want. Is this a time to Are you ready? Like get really savvy? Are you really ready to date someone else again? Are you healed and clear from that past relationship? Or is this a time for you to really start dating yourself? I have a lot of clients who just they want to find their person and don’t want to be alone with our feelings I just recorded for my podcast, the last episode, it’s coming out next week. It’s called befriending loneliness. You know, when when my clients say to me, I’m lonely. I’m like, What’s so bad about that?

Damona  17:51

Well, there’s a difference in my book between alone and lonely and I spend a lot of my my time I’m single before I met my husband, and I had to really get comfortable with being alone. And this is an exercise I have my a lot of my clients like date yourself for a while and I know we’ve here that like date yourself date. What does that mean? That means be okay, going to a restaurant without another owner and not being immersed in your phone or having some way to distract only if a creeper is approaching

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  18:27


Damona  18:30

Yeah, yeah, you have to have strategies and tactics like plan. Expect the best plan for the worst. thought it’s very important, but it’s amazing what you experienced when you just like get up and out and look around and look people in the eye and feel I used to feel bad when I see people sitting alone in a restaurant and be like, Oh, that sounds sad. They don’t have anyone to eat with. Yeah. But then when you choose to be alone in certain moments, and you let yourself Sit in that awkward place of like, Who am I? What do I love about myself? How do I feel in my own body? How do I feel in this space, you start to figure out things that you never could figure out when you’re in that relationship, and you’re always bouncing your own ideas and feelings and thoughts off of another person and in what they want. I mean,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  19:22

I totally agree with that. And I also think that we’re going to have uncomfortable, lonely moments. I’m crazy about the guy that I’m with. He lives two hours away. But I think even if we were living in the same town, I’m going to have pockets of loneliness at certain times. He has a very full life. I have a very full life. There are moments where I’m alone, where I’m just like, wow, it’s just me right now. Whoa. And when I moved into a new place in, in LA, I’ve lived here for six years, but I moved in. There was an unassembled coffee table at the bottom of the steps outside my apartment waiting for me and I thought it was going to come assembled The way it was and I looked at it and I had that moment and And to your point I’ve really gotten so comfortable being alone. And when that coffee table showed up I just had that like my stomach just dropped and I was like if I had a man this is pre being in my relationship like there’s there were moments where I’m like, Whoa, this loneliness factor this desire for someone to just help me right there’s and then and then on the flip side of that, it’s like Claire, you’re a badass you just did this and I flipped the thing. up the steps into the apartment, of course I called TaskRabbit

Damona  20:35

TaskRabbit changed my life. Like that moment of

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:39

Oh, it’s like it would just be so nice to be like, babe this

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:43

unassembled coffee table Can you help

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:44

me do that? Right there little moments that surprised me. But I’m like, okay, and I move through that. It doesn’t have to be this like,

Damona  20:51


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  20:52

no, I felt lonely. We came into this world alone. We’re going to leave this world alone but majority of us right so Get comfortable with being lonely. I just had a client say this, she finally ended this this gray area of vague relationship. And she said, I’m noticing I love that she really caught herself. Like I’m noticing. I’m going to bed and I’m going to bed later and I’m just outside of myself. I’m on my phone. I’m watching Netflix, I stay up later to escape what I don’t want to feel like even closing my eyes to go to sleep and feel sad. And I’m like, What if you shut off all your screens, and you got into your bed and tears fell down your face because you missed him and you felt lonely and you move through that and she was like, scary. It’s so scary, but I think it’s so necessary. You have just circling back to what’s the first thing to do when you’re moving through the loss of a relationship feel your pain.

Damona  21:49

How much do you recommend reassessing the relationship and going back and figuring out where did things go wrong because usually that ends point was not that was not the endpoint, even though like some of my clients

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  22:03

come to me, they’re like, I had no idea was coming. And then you look back and then you’re like, oh,

Damona  22:09

how much of your process involves that assessment of what what happened?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  22:14

It really depends. It’s a good question. I think it really depends on each individual situation. Some people it’s just so clear, and some people are like, I’m completely blindsided. But I never believe the blinds. I mean, I believe that they’re blindsided when they say they are. But then as we unravel and go over things, like I have one client, where she she was completely blindsided that he ended it but then ultimately, she was saying, I love you. And he hadn’t said it back yet for months. I’m like, so you were way more invested in this relationship than he was and then he ultimately ended it like you and she said, You know, he was traumatized from a previous relationship, divorce and all of that, so she wanted to just love him enough and, and I said, that’s a beautiful thing, but you were missing That it wasn’t a reciprocal relationship

Damona  23:03

we get caught up in stories

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  23:05

is, I’m still guilty of that.

Damona  23:09

We all do we all do. We want the happy ending. And we, we impose our narrative on what’s happening. And there’s a process of just flipping the perspective. And like you said, just really seeing Well, what am I getting back here. And even, I was talking with a client recently about just creating enough space to hear what the other person thinks, and being brave enough to accept whatever outcome you got. So I mean, we’re getting a little bit away from breakups, but this is a place where I know a lot of a lot of our listeners are of just just being willing to put out what you want and what you need, and letting in where you are and letting it be okay if that person can’t meet those needs, and knowing that there will be someone else out there that could do that. But as long as you stay in that relationship that’s not doing that, that every time you say I love you, he’s like, you’re cool. It’s actually it’s actually doing damage to you, and it’s preventing you from being able to experience something greater.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  24:18

I totally agree. And I think that those are the two hardest parts, right? It’s healing from the pain of the person not reciprocate, reciprocating how you feel about that person, and then carving out space to believe that there is someone out there who will give you that I think, I actually think my clients move through the healing of the heartbreak quicker than they move through the belief that that the right person is out there because the healing the heartbreak is shifting the story of what already happened. But then the next level of the work that I do with them is being the woman in their ideal relationship before the partner appears. And that’s what the mindset Work and that’s what the belief work. And that’s how I truly believe I created the relationship I’m in now,

Damona  25:06

can you give us a little taste of that mindset work we talked about? We talked about doing meditation and breath work. And, you know, we ran through

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  25:17

the body where it were, yeah, possible options. Then there’s a tool that I use that was designed by a coach named Brooke Castillo, she created a thought model tool called the model and she breaks down showing you how your thoughts create your results in every area of your life, your relationship with your health, with your money, with family members, with your partner with your ex with yourself. And it’s just a genius tool. And I really just show my clients, their minds with this model. What are you thinking about your ex? How does that make you feel? And then what actions are you taking and then what results are you getting? So if a client is thinking, let’s call him john, right circumstances, john, the thought is, I mean, this is just an example from a first session that I had with a client yesterday. She said, Why wasn’t I enough for him? Right? And so when you’re thinking the thought I wasn’t enough for him that makes you feel unworthy, inadequate, insecure, unlovable. And then what are the actions that she’s taking? She said, she’s not getting sleep. She’s not really living her best life. She’s not really present in all the other areas of her life. She goes over all the things that didn’t work, all the things, all the ways and then thinking of all the time that she quote, unquote, wasted with him and all the time she put in fighting for the relationship, right? So she’s still very much in her brain about him, and then the result is still heartbroken. Right? So then we jump into a new model. The circumstance is always going to be the same and it’s totally neutral. Just this one person, john, right. And then we skip the thought live. For a second and we go to the feelings instead of unworthy, unlovable, inadequate, how do you want to feel about him? And here’s the tricky part because everybody wants to be like neutral over it. I don’t care, right but your brain is currently very charged around the person. So you’re lying to yourself to think that you can all of a sudden plug into a new model that you’re going to be completely neutral. So it’s so I offer and also you’re not going to go from unlovable to totally lovable, right? You have to be really savvy with what can feel a little bit better, a little bit more freeing, and still true for my brain to wrap your head around. So we come up with

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:37

I came

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:38

I came up with this particular one. How does clarity and peace feel?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  27:44

Just clarity and peace.

Damona  27:47

And that’s specific to so first example was sort of vague just like over it. But clarity knowing this person is not right for you and peace knowing that I’m going to be okay.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  28:01

Yeah, peace with the situation in peace with how she showed up and, and she was great. It was her first session and she came up with a better feeling thought and I had the same one in my brain, but I always like to let them try first. But in the beginning, it’s kind of hard to get out of the tape, the old tape that you’ve been playing, right. And the thought that she came up with was, I was a really amazing partner to him. And when I love I love hard, and now I’m showing up in a different way to really love me just as much and learn how to show up differently in relationships, right? Like that relationship that five and a half years that she was with him, brought her to and I don’t mean this be like brought her to me. She’s Welcome to then sign up for coaching to really do an overhaul of how she was showing up not just in her relationship with him, but her relationship with herself. And she wants to find love and so how does she healed the relationship and then build her own self esteem and know that Really getting all of my clients to a place that whether someone stays or goes has no reflection on her worth,

Damona  29:07

right. And like you said she was a great partner to him. And she has to acknowledge that some element of it is just history.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  29:19

If we had time, like the story, it was totally all it was clear as day for me hearing the story. And she can. She’s in

Damona  29:26

Yeah, she could be a great partner to him. And it can still not be the right fit. But that tells me she could be a great partner to someone else who could be a great partner to her as well. There’s so much in here, Claire, and we could talk about this for ages but we also have specific questions from our listeners that they’ve submitted. So we’re going to take a break, but if you want more if you want to explore this heartbreak coaching, this is really like just the beginning with surface. Yeah, there’s on Instagram at Claire. heartbreak coach and people can also find Claire online at Claire the heartbreak coach. com So more with Claire in just a moment and we’ll be answering your questions.

We are back with Claire the heartbreak coach and we have some really, really interesting questions in this this week’s episode. And first I just want to thank all of the listeners who have been submitting questions lately. We’ve been getting a lot of questions. So far this year, everyone, I guess everyone’s looking for a new relationship clarity on their relationship. And we love helping you so you can always send me your questions on Instagram at damona Hoffman or at damona Hoffman calm there’s an easy way to submit there and it can always be anonymous, if you would like it to be. We do have an anonymous question that was sent to us from Instagram from a longtime listener. She says I’m 32 year old I’m 32 year old woman, and I have a six year old and the guy I was seeing is 29 with an 18 month old and baby mama drama. We were together only three and a half months, but we were exclusive. And I realized a couple weeks ago that I’m pregnant. He took two weeks to process the news and then broke up with me because he doesn’t want the baby. Now she says I don’t believe in abortions, but I told he told me to to go as, as in he was done. And he doesn’t want to be with me. I know he’s scared, but I’m so scared and mad and heartbroken at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated and she’s wondering Should I try to reach back out to him?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  31:39

Oh, that is a huge resounding no.

Damona  31:41

Yes. So you’re the heartbreak coach. So I’m going to have you talk talk from the perspective of loneliness heartbreak too.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  31:49

Absolutely. I mean, but just even as a heartbreak coach, I really do try to keep stay tight lipped, but just because we’re having a conversation here. I don’t tell my friends Clients what to do. But I also do think here a man when he tells you he does not want to be with you, and he does not want to be involved in the child and if he has a change of heart and he comes back and hopefully he’s done some work and some soul searching, right? Never say never, we don’t know. But I think that just going back to what you and I were talking about in the beginning, you fall apart, girlfriend, fall

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  32:25


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  32:26

let yourself grieve, this is a super painful time. This is a super scary time. You’re a single mom already and about to have this other kid and I also think my hat is off to you that you’re going to still have this child. I think that’s super brave and commendable. And you 100% can do this and you can figure this out, but you have to grieve, you have to fall apart, and then you’ve got to figure out your life. I don’t say this to sound harsh, but I use this term of this little phrase earlier and Brooke Castillo offered at her coach Frank Kern offer this phrase and I use it all the time. Make it math, not drama. Like what are the facts what needs to be taken care of. So first fall apart, feel your feelings and then Okay, you’re about to bring a second child into this world so single

Damona  33:19

mom already

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:21

as a single mom already, but those are all neutral facts. You are a single mom, you have a kid and you are now about to have another baby. You can let your brain go oh

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:31


Claire The Heartbreak Coach  33:32

god, how am I going to do this? This is so scary. This is so painful. I can’t believe he did this. Where did he go? I’m heartbroken and moving through and all the drama or you can say okay, I have made this decision. I am bringing this child into this world. My heart is still going to keep hurting. I’m going to lean into that again. I I highly recommend talking to a coach or a therapist and moving through this for sure get professional help. we all we all need someone I work with coaches. So I’m a big fan of coaching and I’ve worked with a therapist for many years. So whatever, whoever is the right fit for you. So so you know, have someone in place for yourself, move through the the motions. And also what I always want everyone to remember is that moving through heartbreak is not a linear process. So some days are going to be okay, I’m doing this I’m a badass, I’m bringing a second baby into this world. And I’m standing on my own two feet. And I’m doing this like, I’m amazing. And I’m a warrior woman. Yes. And then you can go to bed and be like, Oh my god, how am I going to do this? Right, your brain is going to go all over the place. And so you just have to meet yourself where you’re at and then you’re pregnant. So your hormonal so things are going to feel

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  34:45

much heavier. So

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  34:47

not only having a professional in place to help guide you through this, but also leaning on solid loved ones who can support you through this time as well. And then what what’s it going to take? I don’t know what you’re doing. ob situation is your financial situation is but then like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  35:02

go take care of business to prepare for this second child

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  35:06

to come into the world. And, and you know, I have never heard of someone say, Well, I’m so upset I had that second kid. And it sounds like you’re not that person either, right that this is also a beautiful thing that’s happening. Maybe this man came into this life, it came into your life for this new jury, you know, and I know that that might be hard to hear right now because you’re just devastated and gutted over the loss of him. But you have this new, precious little human coming in and you’re committed to this little human and this family that you’re creating, and, you know, jury’s out on whatever happens with him. But 100% He has made it clear, don’t go chasing after someone who said he’s out and it they were together just three and a half months.

Damona  35:52

So the reality is, as much as you may have felt bonded to this person, you really didn’t know who he was. And this is event is showing you who he really is. And I also I commend her for deciding to keep this baby. But I also want to remind her or anyone listening who has been in the situation are going to be in the situation in the future. There are other options too, even if you don’t believe in in terminating a pregnancy, there are other people who really are desperately desiring a child to raise in this world. And there there are open adoption situations and there are a lot of options available to you that might not be apparent at the moment. So I completely agree, Claire, that if you get Greenpoint into a therapy, arrangement or coaching arrangement, someone that can help you find resources in your area just to help you work through it, and look, he can say I don’t want to be in this relationship. That is his prerogative. He could also be responsible for he is respond Yeah, he is financially responsible for this child.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  36:58

So you can That wasn’t clear in the message if, if he’s willing to, it doesn’t

Damona  37:03

sound like you can go as it done like, guess what Honey, you don’t get to be done. Because you, you are part of this and you made this decision to. So 100% if you keep this child, he needs to, he needs to be held accountable for his choices. And he needs to be financially responsible for this child. So Promise me that you are going to pursue the actions that you need to to make sure that your children are taken care of, if you do decide to raise to raise this boy and then also remember your mom of six year old, I’m a mom, too. And it’s it. I find it’s a lot easier to get through that step you were saying of like, what do I need to do when you have a kid there that doesn’t fully understand what’s going on and still needs to be taken care of. So take care of the baby that’s in your tummy, take care of the baby that you already have. And that keeping the focus on what is really important right now in kids. Yes. raising these kids is probably something that will also help you move through this.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  38:04

Absolutely and I, I say this with caution because I, my heart goes out to you. But really be careful to not indulge your victim story like this is an opportunity for you to be the heroine of your story and yeah, fight for those babies and to your point make sure that you are financially capable of taking care of them and make sure that he is responsible I think that’s an excellent point. And and if you have made those this choice, then own that choice and grieve the loss of him. I also think you make an excellent point. It’s funny because I’m just over three months dating my boyfriend and it’s pretty serious and and real and it’s been different from many other relationships. But we still do honor that we are still getting to know each other and learning how to communicate and me being vulnerable and asking for what I need and vice versa. Like those are hard things so you can feel I feel so in love with my boyfriend. And still be aware that we don’t fully know

Damona  39:03

each other yet.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  39:04

And so really recognizing that like you didn’t know this person and not that that should be an opportunity to shame yourself. But yeah, now you’ve learned who he really is because this could have happened at six and a half months or nine and a half months or two years and he could have bounced, and, you know, that to me is showing that he’s not emotionally available and it’s a testament to his character, right? So is this the person that you think you’re so madly in love with because that the person who I’m madly in love with and I don’t mean my boyfriend specifically, right? When I think about the person who I want to attract in my life, he’s just a stand up human and like, rises to the occasion in times of crisis and not that a pregnancy should be crisis, right but it’s a crisis if your baby Daddy’s going to leave,

Damona  39:51

right yeah, it’s a serious event. Yeah, I’m actually get a little bit yeah, yeah. So we wish we wish you the best and you

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  39:58

keep please I would love to updates on how she’s doing. So I hope she will

Damona  40:03

I will send you updates. If she sends me updates. I will keep doing dates and mate. So as things evolve, please continue to ask us questions. We have one more question that came to us from Pamela. Pamela. I had to like, paraphrase this a little bit, so don’t get mad at me girl. But she is a she’s a black woman. She’s 39 she says I was raised to pray, do ministry and go to school and I just thought that the right man would appear in my life. Not true. She’s She’s also highly educated. She has two master’s degrees. And she she also takes her education, obviously very seriously in her career very seriously. But she says she’s never she has no real dating experience. She’s never been in love. She’s a late bloomer. And now her Christianity has evolved to be a very little liberal Christian, and she’s having trouble finding people that are at her same level of, of, of religious, you know, commitment. Yeah. And she said many of the men that she talks to her either judgy because she’s too religious or not religious enough. What would you recommend that she do at at age 39 to finally find that love that that she desires?

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  41:28

Well, what I’m hearing is that she has lots of thoughts about what’s not working in her love life, right? It’s I’m that I’m highly educated, and I’m this way and so therefore, it’s making it hard for me to find the right guy and they’re either too judgy or what was the other?

Damona  41:45

There are two. They’re judging because she’s either too religious or not religious enough. Oh, yeah. Yeah, right. Right.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  41:52

It’s just, it’s like, she’s in indulging her story of what isn’t working. Hmm. And I do think it’s hard because I’m curious where she lives geographically. Because I think, you know, if you’re looking to date only Jewish people like you, right, LA, New York, a lot of Jewish people, right, cool. Yeah. Right. So it’s like I’m hearing her that that religion is important to her with a liberal angle on her Christianity. Right. So then I do want to just be clear, it’s like, on the one hand, I’m hearing her mindset is all off. But I’m also hearing like, for me if I I mean, I was raised Irish Catholic. I’m not I don’t practice now. But like I would, if that mattered to me, I would go find that community because I mean, here in LA, there are definitely liberal Christian groups. Sure. There’s, I mean, there’s a liberal Catholic Church in Santa Monica that I used to go to years ago. And so I mean, go to go find them. And if that means you have to move. If it’s that important to you, like how badly do you want to immerse yourself in a community where you find your people to read the That I’ve definitely heard people say I live in. I’m thinking of one person in particular, I live in rural Michigan, and it’s just impossible to find, like the kind of guy okay, then you might and she’s very cosmopolitan and stylish and high end and all the things and I’m like, you might need to

Damona  43:15

move right,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  43:16

you’re looking for a particular type. So I will give you that that’s the only the action step if you go back to the thought model that I was talking about, right, that a line so again, you have a circumstance, my dating life, the thought is, I can’t find a guy who is you know, the perfect blend of my Christianity, right? And then the feeling is frustration discouragement, and then the action is just keep dating and you’re believing the story that there to judge you that I’m too religious or not religious enough. And the result is you keep finding that your thoughts create your results. So I would just want to make clear, move to a place where you know that there’s there’s a population of people that are practicing what you preach. Right.

Damona  44:01

But even like getting immersed in those, those worlds like I had, I had a client actually, who is Christian, she came to me saying, I’m looking for a Christian man. And I want somebody who will pray with me. And she had a very clear idea of what that looked like. And so I said, Okay, well go to church, go to these kind of organizations, do this philanthropy work with these Christian organizations and be in a place where you’re around other Christians. She’s online for two weeks, Claire, and then she ended up meeting someone who she has fallen madly in love with. They’ve now been together for seven months. He’s not a Christian. He’s not a Christian, but he respects her beliefs. And he is willing, he’s open enough to he’s not judging of what she is important to her. And that’s, I think the thing finding and yeah, I’m not knocking anyone who, who puts religion at the top of their list I used to write for jadeite. I have a lot of clients who are Christian. My mother is a devout Christian. A lot of people in my world that is it. Yeah, that is number one on their criteria list. But it’s exactly what you said clear. Don’t make that don’t make that the story of why you haven’t met that person. Yeah. And I will say as a black female There is also this feeling of we read stats like black women send out the most messages on dating apps and get the fewest responses that’s a stat from okay Cupid. Black women aren’t getting married, highly educated black women aren’t able to find a match and there’s some truth to the statistics that highly educated women overall if they’re only open to dating someone at the same or just got two masters.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  45:47

Why she was sharing that information. What is her education has to do with finding her man that was another thing that popped out at me. Like who cares what you do, really, but

Damona  45:57

it’s because that that’s how a lot of women are made. That another primary criteria, so she’s only dating someone that’s at her education level or higher than her pool will be limited and does feel

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  46:08

absolutely. But so it’s funny because the way I interpreted that was like, I’m this great catch. I don’t understand why I’m not meeting. And that’s how I interpreted that. And I think that and so your interpretation could probably be more accurate, but just know it’s

Damona  46:23

a good point, though to like, so so why

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  46:25

I mean, congratulations on your Yeah, I mean, you sound like an amazing catch. I’m not saying you’re not but just careful with like, I’m these things. And so this is what I’m looking for, and it’s not working, right. You’re you’re thinking your dating life isn’t working. So what’s your result? The thought, my dating, life isn’t working. And the result is it’s not working, you’re still single, right? And you said, I’ve never been in love, like you have this whole painful story that needs to be unraveled. And so I think when I attracted my boyfriend, and My life, I created something called the belief man plan. And I thought about all the way so I got my business to where I wanted to get it and last year like I wanted to hit 20 clients and have my podcast off the ground and was just in this great place. So I put all my energy and focus into my career I got it to where I wanted it to be. And then I was like, Okay, now we’re not messing around the it’s time to welcome love into my life. I thought to myself, well, if I created 20 clients with my mind, I can create one man with my mind. And I thought about how I would feel really how I would feel with this. Oh, sorry, let me back up. I thought about who he is. Yes. And I didn’t get into what he looks like. The only superficial criteria I have is height because I’m very tall.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  47:50

But other than that, I noticed

Damona  47:53

for those of you that don’t know,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  47:55

other than that, I don’t have coloring. I don’t have I like I literally Just Just Who is this man and I, I wanted him to, I want it to be crazy attracted to him. But I didn’t have all these like physical requirements. I wanted him to be emotionally available. I wanted our senses of humor to really click, I wanted him to be ambitious and thriving in his own area of whatever his career is. I did not need him to have money, I do very well for myself. I care more about his ambition and his purpose in his life versus how much money he can make. Because I believe if I want to have financial abundance, I can create that I care way more about emotional availability, connection, commitment, loyalty, monogamy, kindness, trust, honesty, those things matter values so much more to me than money. And again, going back to your point of all the different boxes to check, and I’m turning 39 in a month, so I’m really just like, I’m not messing around and like I’m very clear of what I thought mattered to me back in the day and what It doesn’t so I got so clear on all of those qualities that he has. And then I thought how would I feel being with a man that just like the physical connection, the emotional safety, the fun, the calmness, the relief, the relaxation, just like oh, like even when I just say it my whole body just like melts and relax, I see it and then I and then it’s like, well, what would I be thinking in my relationship with him? What are the thoughts that I would think right thoughts create results right? And so what thoughts what I think to feel emotionally safe and sexy and relaxed and happy and giddy? right and and so I came up with a list of things that I would think if he was here in my life, and just just random different ones like it so basic, and then some are way more specific, but I’m a huge fan of the bachelor and so am I One of the thoughts that I had is I love coming home at the end of a long run well I coach from home but I love at the end of a long day, him coming home and us curling up with a glass of red wine and watching the bachelor and him kind of eye rolling me but tolerating my 12 year old obsession, I identify as a 12 year old trapped in a 30, almost 39 year old woman’s body with my obsession with the Bachelor. And just like him getting a kick out of my ridiculous emotional investment in these characters, right? Just just painting the picture and imagining what it would look like now I don’t have as a requirement to be clear, my man needs to watch The Bachelor with me just little tidbits like that. And then another thought that I had was whether we’re together or separate or out with friends, I love just knowing that he is mine and I’m his. And another thought that I had was every single heartbreak and event in my life had to happen to lead me to him and same for him with me.

Damona  50:57

Like what and then it all happened

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  50:58

and then it all happen and I I would read these every morning with my meditation with my other mindset work. And I would just like read it and feel that in my body and move through my day. And then like one random night, I’m literally like Swiffer in my apartment swiping on Bumble and I match with him. And I was just like, he lives two hours away. He mentioned he lived two hours away. And so then I like dropped off because I’m like, I’m so over these guys have come in and sex with a girl for our night.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:27

And then he was called back and he was just like,

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:30

so I know, we’re not exactly neighbors and I, you know, head back home tomorrow, but I would really love to meet in person at some point if you would be up to it. And I was like,

Damona  51:37

Oh, that’s really nice. I like it all happening.

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  51:43

Yeah, but I committed to being the woman in her ideal relationship. And I think the feeling and I didn’t have this like criteria on paper, it was values and connection and wanting the same things. I love this. This is actually you don’t know what that you’re doing this but you dovetailing really perfectly into all of the steps in for anyone that attended the webinar I did yesterday on the five steps in the dating funnel. mindset is the first step. And

Damona  52:10

everything that Clara saying you guys do it, everything that you’re saying really do wet because

Claire The Heartbreak Coach  52:17

I do this with my coaches. They’ll be like, well your belief is off, right? Or your you know, I’m a business coach and a personal coach. And she’s like, what are you believing? And I’m like, I’m bleeding this insistence. She’s like, yes, you need to really carve out the time and I’ve done a ton of belief work and I did it to attract my man and I did it to create the business to where I got it. But sometimes I would like hey, I believe work, whatever. mindset work, whatever, right? And it’s, it’s not just right, don’t just do it once, actually, like you said, practice right? When you go to the gym multiple times a week to keep your body strong. Download your thoughts shift your mind. I do it almost every day five out of seven days. And like not just write it out and be like that’s a better thought to put in because that sounds better. It’s like No Do I feel that in my body does that feel real for me? Is that something that my brain can really shift into believing because again, your thoughts create your results. So don’t don’t be asking yourself just to be a good student, like really implemented into your body. I love you commit to it. I love it

Damona  53:17

for anyone that is still working through this step and would like heartbreak coaching, please reach out to Claire, she is at Claire the heartbreak coach calm or you can find her on Instagram at Claire, the heartbreak coach, thank you so much, much for having me. demonte This was so much fun. I enjoyed it too. And I hope that everyone got what they needed for the new year. By the way, no pressure, but Valentine’s Day is in 30 days, no pressure. So if if you are ready to date differently, you want to do some of these exercises and and go a level deeper and go through that entire dating funnel to figure out where you keep looping and where you keep getting stuck in love. I Do have a solution for you. And it’s a 30 day dating playbook. And you can find it at 30 day dating calm and who knows, maybe by Valentine’s Day, you might be in the arms of your new boo like men. But it just takes 30 days to begin a new habit and to to commit to yourself. So I’d love to help you out at 30 day dating.com. I hope you enjoyed Episode 292 of dates. And again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. I want to hear your questions. I want to hear updates if you submitted a question, and I would love to keep helping you on this journey to find love. Thank you so much for being here. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Love & Loss



After a breakup, divorce, or a loss of a partner, we often ask ourselves this question.

In the description of this show we say you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll believe in love again. But have you ever had to learn how to love again after loss?

 Whether you’ve been through a breakup, divorce, or the passing of your partner this episode is for you. Healing your heart is a long process – A lot of us feel guilty moving on or feel like we’ll never find someone as great as what we once had.

We’ve all been there. 

But today we want to give you hope. That is why I’ve brought in Gladys Diaz – a love expert who helps people learn to love and trust again.

She is the co-founder of The Love Twins of Heart’s Desire International. 

After being widowed at a young age, Gladys believed that she would never love or be loved again. She and her sister developed  a program that women how to love after loss – a program that she followed to meet the second man of her dreams 19 years ago. Here’s the rundown:


How to find the perfect first date spot

According to GQ, you should find a few first date spots and stick to them. Damona and Gladys discuss.

Do you really need to find your intellectual match?

Damona and Gladys have thoughts on this article from Female First. 

Do you want to feel safer when dating?

Apparently there is a brand new chaperoning / matchmaking service that takes away the pressure of meeting a stranger in public for the first time. Is this really necessary?

Love & Loss

Learn to Love Again

Gladys lost the love of her life at age 27. After some time, she developed a program to heal her own heart and open herself up to love again. Gladys now helps women of all backgrounds heal from breakups, divorce, and the loss of a partner.

We cover:

  • Gladys’ Love Story
  • Breakups and divorces are in a lot of ways like the passing of a partner
  • Limiting Belief: I will never love again
  • Feeling guilty for moving on
  • The two steps you must do before moving on
  • Accepting new love in your life


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

  • What’s the deal with people who put someone else’s kids in their dating profile?
  • Is online dating a must if you’re 39 and divorced?

Arranged Marriage & Facebook Dating

Our guest co-host this week was Puja Mohindra, creator of the webseries Geeta’s Guide to Moving On. Geeta’s discusses arranged marriages, moving on after a breakup, and how to find happiness in love. We got the chance to ask Puja more about the show and hear her valuable love advice during Technically Dating.



In this new segment, Damona will be offering some encouraging words of wisdom to inspire you to live your best life and be your best self. Up this week was the topic of vulnerability.


Facebook is launching a dating feature

Despite the recent bad press involving their data management, Facebook recently announced at a convention that they’ll be launching a dating app. While stocks in other dating app companies dropped, many feel as if this is not the right time to be asking Facebook to be handling even more sensitive personal information. You can read more via CNBC here.

Stanford publishes a study about the lies people tell on dating apps

Stanford researchers recently recruited 200 people who use dating apps and analyzed 3,000 messages during the “discovery phase” of online dating, when a match has occurred but both parties are still getting to know each other. Overwhelmingly, they discovered that people are actually honest on dating apps, with only 7% of messages containing explicit fibs. That said, a sizable amount tell “butler lies,” designed to tactfully initiate conversation or matching interests. You can read more via Stanford News here.

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are back on.

Katy recently made cryptic comments about being off the market, and it’s recently been confirmed that she’s rekindled the flame with ex Orlando Bloom. According to our sources, Bloom is madly in love with Perry and missed her during their split. You can read more via Elle here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App, including:

  • What to do if your boyfriend recently found out he has a daughter with an ex
  • How to handle a sexual attraction to your neighbor
  • How to tell you boyfriend you’re bi

And many more . . .

Be sure to check out Geeta’s Guide to Moving On at GeetasGuideToMovingOn.com

Get your free dating or relationship course at listen to past episodes at DatesandMates.com

Visit AdamandEve.com and use the offer code GIFT21 at checkout for free, discreet shipping

Long-Term Love & Super Bowl Swiping

Our guest co-hosts this week were Lee and Mimi Hoffman, Damona’s beloved in-laws. They joined us to share their love story and give dating advice to the next generation.


The Stats on Super Bowl Swiping

During the Big Game, dating apps see an increase in use, whether you’re in the town where the Super Bowl’s occurring or just scrolling through your phone while the game is on. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, some apps report increases as high as 50%, with a 60% increase in message responses. Spruce up your profile, maybe get a sports-themed bio in there, and read more about it via Elite Daily here.

Lady Gaga’s Secret Lover

The recent Grammy’s had us wondering just who, exactly, Lady Gaga is shacked up with. Turns out she got engaged to boyfriend Christian Carino last November. Her manager over at CAA who’s so into her he got a tattoo of her face, we wish her all the best in love. You can read more via Romper here.

Dane Cook’s Dating a 19-Year-Old

We generally think age is just a number, but comedian Dane Cook is dating a 19-year-old despite the fact he’s a whopping 26 years older than her. What do you think, is over a quarter of a century a little too much of an age gap? You can read more via People here.

Match.com’s Singles in America Survey

We got the exclusive scoop on Match.com’s annual Singles in America survey just hours after it dropped. Each year, Match.com publishes an extensive study on dating trends they’ve analyzed, and we highly recommend everyone checks it out. You can find it right here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • How to be more confident with your body image
  • What to do if the person you’re interested in just wants to be friends
  • How to tell a partner you’re not ready to move across the country with them

And many more . . .


Get 1 week free at BlackPeopleMeet.com/datesandmates

Download your free dating or relationship course at damonahoffman.com

Love at First Sight & Chemistry Conundrum

Our guest co-host this week was Ryeal Simms. A cognitive neuropsychologist, behaviorist, motivational speaker, and the worldwide authority on the neuroscience of relationships, Ryeal and his work have appeared on everything from Stevie Wonder’s Hollywood radio station, to the U.K.’s Real Love Show, to Essence Magazine, to NPR. Currently writing his book series on the neuroscience of relationships, Ryeal gave us some cold, hard science in his discussion of the chemistry of love.


Chinese dating apps shut down in sexbot scam

Over 21 dating apps were shut down across 13 provinces in China after it was revealed that messages from women were being generated by computer programs. Technical personnel working for the apps would create “sexy girl” programs and have them lure new users into spending money on gifts and raunchy images. However, even the authorities were blown away by how real the messages felt, which explains why they were able to scam users out of $154 million! You can read more via BBC here.

Would you take advice from your Amazon Echo?

From January 14th until Valentine’s Day, Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, Alexa, will offer dating advice to those who ask in a partnership with matchmaking company Three Day Rule. However, some users are worried, as Alexa won’t have any practical grasp on tips it gives. For example, if it tells you to talk to a minimum of three women at a bar, how can it advise you on how to read their body language, consent, etc? You can read more to see if you’d take dating advice from a virtual assistant via The Verge here.

The first celebrity split of 2018

Last week we reported on the first celebrity couple to get together, but alas, the five-year journey that GIRLS star Lena Dunham and singer/songwriter Jack Antonoff went on is over. The split is amicable, but we’ll be sad to see the couple leave the news cycle. However, the writing may have been on the wall . . . back in November of 2017, Dunham thought Antonoff was going to propose, only to be sorely mistaken. You can read more via ET here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • Why you haven’t met your boyfriend’s parents
  • How early in a relationship it’s appropriate to bicker
  • If nude pictures of an ex constitutes cheating

And many more . . .


We got Ryeal’s lightning-fast love advice in another rapid-fire rendition of Dating Dot Dot Dot, this time with new questions!

The worst pickup line ever is ________
The best place to go on a first date is ________
The sexiest thing about a woman is __________
The sexiest thing about a man is _________
The most important thing for a relationship to last is __________

Don’t forget to register for Damona’s women’s group program, DATE BY NUMBERS. All you have to do is head to DATE BY NUMBERS . COM.