Tag Archive for: celebrating singlehood

Speed Dating Do’s and Don’ts & Heartbreak Coach

Spring is here! We love new beginnings, the hope, and the possibility of a blank slate.

However, most new relationships form after another one has ended. So this week, we are looking at the other side of the dating equation – breakups.

And, our guest is flipping the script on heartache. Keishorne Scott, author and heartbreak coach, will share his strategies for healing after a breakup and setting boundaries. Plus he’ll also tell us which matches to avoid and to whom to give your precious heart.

But first, we have a steamy hot dating dish to serve up for you. Damona was recently interviewed by USA Today for a piece called,  “Speed dating is making a comeback as Gen Z ditches dating apps…and we shouldn’t be surprised.”


Is speed dating making a resurgence? Is the rhetoric around Gen Z ditching dating apps true? 

Damona says dating apps are all Gen Z has ever known, and while they’re frustrated with them, they often end up redownloading the apps after a short hiatus.

You CAN make dating apps work for you while and dip your toe into the IRL waters. Damona tells her clients to create a balanced portfolio for their dating life.

(06 51: ) Ready to give speed dating a try?

In speed dating, you only have 5-7 minutes to be memorable. It’s not about getting matches from everyone, it’s about getting matches with the right people.  

In her Dating Accelerator course, Damona talks about demonstrating your goals and values and having preloaded topics to talk about. Ask someone for their opinion on something benign like do they like the scent of grapefruit, are they a morning person or a night owl? 

Skip the, “Where do you work” and “Where are you from?” questions. They’re boring and won’t make you memorable.

(14:00) Planting the seeds of hope and possibility

If you don’t have your copy of “F The Fairy Tale” yet, you can grab a copy right now on Amazon on sale for a limited time! 


Keishorne Scott is an author, speaker, media personality, and relationship and heartbreak coach. 

His best-selling books include, “The Mouse, The Bird, The Dog and The Lion: 3 Men To Avoid and 1 to Marry” and “The Heartbreak Workbook: 10 Proven Strategies for Healing, Renewing and Recovering.” 

Keishorne has also been featured by Forbes, Good Morning America, BBC Radio, ABC News, MSN.com, and Marriage.com. 

(16:22) From heartbreak to happiness

Keishorne says, it’s possible to go from disappointment, frustration and heartbreak to a healthy relationship, though it takes time. He says that he had totake a step back, start to love myself, care about myself, invest in myself and then I started the healing process.”

Damona says he flipped the script. While most people might think that they are not good enough, Keishorne decided that someone wasn’t  good enough for him.

(20:51) What do a mouse, a bird, a dog and a lion have to do with love?

Keishorne breaks it down in his book, but shared:

  1. The Mouse is sneaky.
  2. The Bird doesn’t deal with conflict.
  3. The Dog will run out the gate if it’s left open and he’s also jealous.
  4. But the Lion is the king. He’ll be accountable. 

Damona appreciates the metaphors but wonders if we sometimes expect too much from our partners. She emphasizes the importance of balance in a relationship.

(30:49) How do you know you’re ready to move on?

Keishorne says everyone wants an exact answer for how long the process of healing after heartbreak will take. 

Healing is a non-negotiable and you have to do the work. Keishorne says, “there’s no timeline for it. Everybody heals and falls in love at their own pace.” 

Damona encourages people to push through the pain to seek healing. She quotes a line from her book, “F The Fairy Tale”, “discomfort is the feeling of change happening.”


Find Keishorne Scott on Instagram @keishornescott or learn more about his work by visiting Keishornescott.com.



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!

Text from Alexandra. 

Dear Damona,

I’m approaching 30 in 2 months, and I’ve been single for the past seven and a half years and recently been giving a shot at the dating world. I’ve had a very busy work life, so real dating was off the table. 

And in the past, I have invested too much in men who were not available. But I finally met someone who truly seems like he could be the right match for me. I thought we hit it off on our date and we have been intermittently texting throughout the day since. It was a Bumble match, and we met in person before he headed back to his home state. 

I don’t really like to be pushy, but I’m starting to doubt if he enjoyed the date as much as I did. I also do not know his dating intentions. 

Obviously, many more details that apply, but my main question is how frequently do I text? Do I worry about texting first, or reading too much into short messages and not too muchto much deeper conversations? 

It’s been five days. Mostly it’s hard because I really felt it with him and I don’t know where he stands.

Furniture Anniversary & Next Gen Dating

Did you know that the traditional gift for a 17th wedding anniversary is furniture? Damona says it’s perfect timing because she and her wonderful husband Seth are celebrating 17 years of marriage this week and they desperately need a new couch.

Why furniture you might ask? Well, some say it represents the security, comfort and familiarity of a marriage that has lasted almost 20 years. 

Funny enough, Damona compares a successful relationship to a table in her book, F The Fairy Tale. She says, “Think of a relationship like a table. If it’s built with a solid foundation, it can stand for years…You can build a table with only three legs, but it probably won’t last as long as one with four. And what will happen when you put something heavy on it?..”

In the end, a foundation built on the 4 pillars – goals, values, communication and trust – creates the space for a successful relationship future and the ability to overcome challenges. Grab a copy of Damona’s book F The Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story to learn more.

But enough of the past, let’s look ahead to the future. While she has been doing this work for over a decade, Damona still finds herself consumed by curiosity about where dating and relationships are headed. Recently, it dawned on her that the future of dating is sitting in her home, her daughter Addie.

And so, this week, we’re welcoming Damona’s teenage daughter, Addie Hoffman to Dates & Mates. She will be giving a , to give the Gen Z perspective on dating – and it’s surprisingly relatable to daters of all ages. 


But first we have the Dating Dish.


A New York Times article about tells the stories of five couples who married, divorced and then married their ex-spouses again. 

We thought this would be rare, but a study published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage estimated the number of people who remarry their ex spouse is actually about 10%.

Damona highlights some of her favorite stories of remarriage and shares some of her top takeaways.


Addie Hoffman is Damona’s 13-year-old daughter. This is Addie’s very first podcast appearance, but you can see her TV debut on America’s Funniest Videos on April 14th, and you’ll probably see her on stage at a comedy show in 10 years!

Addie identifies as cis-het and attends an all girls school.

(13:53) The Dating Life of a Young Gen Z 

At age 13, she is still a little young for dating, but Addie shares that she has some interest and wonders where she might meet future dates. 

Damona asks Addie where her friends have met their dates. “Most people find them in their extracurricular classes, but it’s hard because what if you don’t like anyone that does the sport you do?” 

(15:36) What Addie’s Learned From Damona & Seth

Damona asks Addie what she has learned from her parent’s relationship, so Addie shares a story about the family preparing for an event. It seems laughter is key!

When asked for another lesson, Addie jokes about mutual care. “If I have a partner who can rub my feet, or Theragun my back, we set!”

(18:07) Designing your dating destiny 

Damona says that when she was Addie’s age, she had already been sold the fairy. She recounts how she would write her name next to her crush’s last name. 

Damona asks Addie if she has considered marriage and kids saying that today’s daters don’t have to toe that line. 

Addie replies, “I think I would like to have kids and marriage. That sounds really weird coming out of my mouth. I’ve thought about it, but I’ve never said it.”



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!

In this unique take on Dear Damona, Damona answers questions from Addie and her teenage friends about dating: 

  • If you don’t think a person is a good match for your friend, is it okay to tell them they should break up?
  • How can you tell if someone is attracted to you?
  • How do you break up with someone if you know that you don’t have feelings for them anymore?

Dating With Intention & Taking A Break

Look, we all want to be dateable, but here’s the real question – would you date yourself? 

Before you start your dating journey, ask yourself, do I embody the type of person I am looking for? Because it’s not enough to be an expert dater, the search for your match goes deeper, within. We have to love and know ourselves first, and that takes time. In a fast-paced digital world with DMs and endless swiping, the texting trap and A.I. dating profiles, it can be hard to be intentional about how you’re dating.

But slow love is key to success in long-term relationships and even short-term relationships. And as our guests today say, it’s not about getting to a bunch of second and third dates, but going on dates that make you feel connected or curious, Damona often says.  

Those guests are none other than Julie Krafchick & Yue Xu, the hosts of Dateable! They will be discussing the true meaning of dating intentionally and how some daters may need to reframe their approach.


So you’ve probably heard Damona talk about dating burnout and a recent survey proves the point – statistically speaking.  The Survery Center on American Life released an article titled, “From Swiping To Sexting: The Enduring Gender Divide In American Dating And Relationships,” summarizing it’s recent American Perspectives Survey. 

According to the survey, 42% of participants said they are not currently dating anyone, but they’re open to the possibility. 41% said that they are not interested in dating anyone at the moment at all, and 11% of single Americans said that they are currently dating one person. Only 2% are dating more than one person. 

In the end, Damona suggests intentionality in dating as a solution. She says that by carefully selecting which matches we spend time with and limiting how and when we interact with the apps, can save us a lot of frustration. 

Damona says, “time is your most valuable resource. We’re not getting any more of it and the way you spend it – whether it’s swiping Tinder and being frustrated or showing up to a speed dating event or asking friends for setups, the way you spend your time does matter.”

(13:56) Hosts of the Dateable podcast, Julie Krafchick  & Yue 

This week we’re welcoming app designer and researcher, Julie Krafchick, & former dating coach, Yue Xu. They are active daters turned dating sociologists. Together they help daters challenge the way they think about modern dating so they can design the love life they’ve always wanted.  

They are the creators of Dateable, a podcast, community, and knowledge source for finding love in today’s world. Their work has been featured on CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, BET, and New York Public Radio, amongst others. 

 (15:48) Why is dating so hard today?

Julie and Yue shared their thoughts that dating might seem hard because of the expectations we put on the whole process, such as

  • Wanting our partners to be our best friend, therapist, life partner and fellow yogi.
  • Expecting our partners to always be available.
  • Expecting someone to prove they can before our forever person before we’ve decided we like them

 (18:18) It’s like we’re snacking and we’re full, but we keep on snacking! 

Damona compares today’s constant communication to snacking and the desire to have just a little more. 

Yue says, “Yes! The more we snack, the hungrier we get because we feel like there’s more for us to snack on. We also live in one big echo chamber with social media and the Internet. Everyone’s always echoing each other’s misery when it comes to dating. And misery loves company.”  

(25:14) Is my racket even hitting the ball here? 

Damona asks Yue to share her tennis analogy. After beginning tennis lessons recently, her coach told her one of the biggest mistakes beginners make is taking their eye off the ball. Yue mimics her coach, “Watch it make contact with your racquet before you see where it lands.”

Yue says, “ it’s such a great analogy for how we date today. Before we even assess if there’s a connection, if we truly even like this person, we’re already looking five years ahead.”

Find and follow Yue and Julie on Instagram @DateablePodcast And be sure to check out Dateable the podcast wherever you listen to Dates & Mates!


Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!

Text from Anonymous

Hi Damona, do I need to take a break from dating to get my personal life in order?

She says, coming into 2023, I quit a very stressful and draining but decent paying job for two part-time jobs that I later found would each burn me out and set me back financially. Now, in 2024, I, like many educated and capable millennials, am struggling to jump back into the corporate and or otherwise known as safer and more financially secure jobs I’ve been dating.

 And despite my struggle to reposition myself back to a place of financial stability. I recently hit my opinion of a rock bottom. My financial life is a mess, and I’m currently living paycheck-to-paycheck, living at home with my parents, with increasing credit card debt merely to get by. I’m very educated and driven, so I know that this isn’t forever, even though it feels like I’m stuck. I’ve put off love and dating in the past many times to focus on my financial life, and admittedly, it’s never been this low. I desire healthy love and companionship now more than ever in my life. Plus, I’m approaching 30, so I don’t want to get stuck in a loop of not dating at all, which will put me completely out of the game of finding my person.

I know money isn’t everything, but I can’t help feeling like I may have to sit out dating again for a while to make improvements. The last two guys I dated were a bit of a reflection of this type of financial turmoil I’ve been experiencing, and I’m quite  

Should I sacrifice the next six months to a year to become a better me financially, for the type of man I want to attract?

The Big 500 & Savage Love

This is not just any old episode. It’s the 500th episode of Dates & Mates! 

Here to celebrate with us is the GOAT, the legend, the original dating columnist, Dan Savage. He’s coined several popular dating terms over the years and this week he will be revealing 2024’s newest dating trends, as well as his predictions for the year when it comes to dating and politics, polyamory and app drama. In this special episode, he joins Damona for a supersized Ask Dan and Dear Damona.

Looking back over the last 11 years of this podcast, we’ve done a lot of things. We covered the launch of Tinder, interviewed celebrity guests and had a variety of segments from the Hollywood Hookup to Damona’s Diatribe. 

But the biggest thing to happen since the launch of this podcast was the release of Damona’s first book, F the Fairy Tale, in January. 

That book is truly a labor of love. Three years in the making, the backbone of the book is really YOU – all the questions you’ve asked Damona over the years, all the people who have trusted her as their coach, all the wishes granted and hearts healed.

As Damona says in F The Fairy Tale, “So much has changed in dating and relationships in the last hundred years, and also in the last 11 years that I’ve been doing Dates & Mates. So why keep living by the old rules that governed love in a time when computers didn’t exist, smartphones were science fiction, and laws were in place to disadvantage many groups that are moving toward equality today?”

Hopefully this snippet from the book inspires you in your dating journey. 


Dan Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist and LGBT community activist. He is the author of Savage Love, a sex advice column that appeared originally in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly paper, in 1991 and is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. 

He’s also the host of the podcast, The Savage Love Cast, where he answers your sex questions and talks about politics. 

Dan is also the author of multiple books, including his most recent one, Savage Love from A to Z: Advice on Sex and Relationships, Dating and Mating, Exes and Extras. 

(8:01) Ghosting and Flaking… a new trend in dating and relationships? 

Damona asks Dan why ghosting seems to be on the rise. Dans suggests that it is tied to the fact that dating apps allow us to meet singles far outside our normal orbits. Because we don’t run much risk of running into them again, we don’t feel obligated to avoid the drama and social tension.

He makes an interesting observation though, “Ghosting seems to be one of those things we object to vociferously when someone does it to us, but we can rationalize when we do it to someone else because we don’t avoid the awkwardness of issuing a rejection.”

In the end, both Dan and Damona say that ghosting is wrong suggesting that daters follow the Golden Rule.

(20:55) Some Nonmonogamy Data Doesn’t Match Up

Damona mentions two important stats that seem to be in conflict. In an Ashley Madison study, 59% of Gen Z users said they preferred a polyamorous or open relationship and felt that one person could not fulfill all of their sexual needs. But in a Kinsey Institute study, it was reported that only 1 in 9 Americans has been in a polyamorous relationship. She says, “when I start doing the math, I’m like there’s a lot of people here, especially younger singles, who are saying, I prefer polyamory, but people aren’t necessarily acting on it.”

Dan’s theory is that people are using nonmonogamy to mean relationships that aren’t strictly monogamous rather than relationships that are fully open. “That could be a couple where there’s an understanding that there may be some outside sexual contact over the course of the many decades that they’re together, but they are invested in being perceived as a pair, a bonded couple, and not doing anything that might communicate to friends, families, neighbors that they’re anything other than monogamous.”

Dan believes that dater’s ultimate goal with this line of thinking is to create strong relationships. “And if you define cheating as unforgivable and always the end of a relationship, then when you consider how often cheating happens in committed relationships, you’ve made your relationship really brittle.”

(34:20) Dan’s New Dating Term – Tolyamory

Dan’s new term for the year is Tolyamory. From “tolerare”, which is the Latin for put up with, and “amor”, which is Latin not just for love, but also for lover. Dan combines them to become Tolyamory which describes being in a relationship with somebody who has cheated.

Dan explains that some people turn a blind eye because they’re economically or socially stuck. Others, he says, are just not interested in being physically intimate with their partners anymore and so see it as having a chore taken care of for them. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for anyone, but it does happen.


Find Dan on Instagram @DanSavage and check out The Savage Lovecast wherever you listen to Dates & Mates!



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!


IG DM from Jeff:

I’m fine doing vanilla stuff, but whenever it gets rough, I get shy. My girlfriend enjoys it when I’m dominant and I fantasize about being dominant, but it’s frustrating. My girlfriend doesn’t act awkward during sex at all, and she has a lot more experience than me. 

Maybe I just get worried about that because I compare myself to what I imagine all the other men she has been with. Or maybe it’s something else I don’t know, but I’m getting super frustrated with myself. 

She says I meet her sexual needs and that she does enjoy vanilla stuff, but we need to switch it up a little bit.

Email from L :

I (26F) am in a committed monogamous relationship with my bf (25M). We’ve been together for over three years and have a healthy, consistent sex life so far. We sort of recently became good friends with a couple. They live an hour away from us and we hang out with them about every other weekend when we can make the drive. We get along super well with them and have really enjoyed becoming closer over the last few months. We’ve discussed our sex lives with them before, but in relatively vague terms. 

My bf and I are open to group sex, but really want it to be with people we know or have a history with. We connect well with this couple and admittedly, I’ve been thinking… a lot…. about sex with them. How could we potentially hint that we’re interested? I really don’t want to mess up the friendship if they reject it or, worse, are weirded out. And what if they agree…? Will that mess our friendship up too maybe? I haven’t felt this pull toward a couple before and I just want to know what I would be getting us into. 

Email from Starting Fresh

Dear Damona, 

Thank you for your podcast and the work that you do. You seem very pro-long-term-relationship so I’m not sure if you’re the right person to ask but I love listening to you all the time and really trust your opinion and advice, so I wanted to reach out to you. 

After my 15-year-marriage ended last year I haven’t been able to start dating yet. I have been working on myself and doing a lot of therapy, but now I would like to date. However, I was raised in a conservative religious environment and never dated until meeting my ex and subsequently marrying him in a matter of months so I actually have no idea how to even start dating. I also don’t want a serious relationship, but I don’t want a one-night stand (I don’t think?!) – I want to date for fun, enjoy meeting someone new and learning more about myself. But I know nothing about dating at all and definitely nothing about dating for fun! How do I even start and how do I stay safe? Help! 

Love, Starting Fresh

Cosmo’s AI Advice & Love Languages Lesson

It’s 2024 and AI is here to stay. The question is, how will it impact your dating life? The answer…well, a lot. From photo generators to language models to analyzing past relationships and offering advice, we’re essentially on a collision course with the 2013 Joaquin Phoenix movie, Her. 

But it turns out that the news is not all bad – actually it’s pretty good if you’re willing to give it a listen! 

Cosmopolitan Magazine recently teamed up with Bumble to conduct an AI & Dating Survey, made up of over 5,000 singles and actively dating Gen Z’ers and Millennials ages 18 to 42. 

And here to break down the findings with us today is none other than the Deputy Editor of Cosmopolitan herself, Madeleine Reeves! She will be sharing key data, what we can expect and how to navigate the intersection of technology and love.

But first we have a steamy hot dating dish to serve up for you – New science concludes the love languages are nothing but fluff.


The very sexy Neuroscience News.com says: Debunking love myths. A new look at romance and science challenges the popular five love languages with evidence based research.

The study covers the work of Toronto based researcher, Amy Muse, which puts forward proof that most people like all of the love languages. The work proposes a balanced diet metaphor for expressing love and says that we need diverse and evolving expressions of affection in relationships. Ultimately, the new research says that Doctor Chapman’s measure pits the love languages against each other.

If you’ve read F The Fairy Tale, then you know that Damona has been skeptical of the love languages for some time despite their on-going popularity. She points out that “we are far more complex than any label on a dating app, any hashtag on TikTok, or any simple phrase could sum up.”


Madeleine Reeves is the deputy editor at Cosmopolitan and oversees all the sex, dating, and relationship content for Cosmo. 

With more than a decade of magazine industry experience in editing, writing, and reporting, she now recruits writers, sources, and pitches, and shapes stories and lineups for both the site and the print magazine. She also assigns and edits celebrity profiles, including Cosmo’s cover stories. 

(10:35) What stood out in Cosmopolitan and Bumble’s AI & Dating survey?

Madeleine shared that she was a little surprised to find that the survey results around AI & dating were overwhelmingly positive. “I thought it would be a bit more split as far as people’s eagerness to accept AI into their dating lives.” But she shared these key stats:

  • 71% of people say that they would use AI to help set up their profile
  • 81% say that they would share their whole messaging history with a dating bot coach to give them advice on what to do next
  • 59% say they would rather ask AI than their friends for help choosing a picture for their profile

Damona agrees that AI is going to be better than your friends, but she says a dating coach will always be more helpful than AI. “The difference between what I would say and what Bumble’s tools would say is they’re just going based on swipes, and I’m going based on connection and results.”

(14:48) Make AI your assistant, not your replacement.

Damona often suggests to listeners and clients to think of AI as a tool. “We put so much pressure on them to do all of the work for us, where if we can just use it as a data point of like, oh, well, that’s interesting. Now I know that piece and fill in the rest with our brains and our hearts, then it’s a lot more useful.”

Madeleine says that ended up being the thesis of the AI & Dating survey. “You don’t want to rely on these tools to do it all for you, because you want to use them to show up as authentically yourself, you know? So if you’re getting prompts of, here are some things you can say, you want to be personalizing those even further, using it as a jumping off point, using it as an assistant, and not as a replacement for yourself.”

(18:49) Madeleine’s hope for AI & Dating

Madeleine points out that if you’re online dating without the help of a coach, then you’re kind of just swiping based on how well the other person takes photos, writes quippy answers to prompts, and how well they flirt. She laughs when she says these aren’t the qualities she looks for in a partner, but she means it. Her hope is that it will be a good tool “for folks who maybe aren’t the best at writing a quippy, flirty phrase; that they can turn to these tools to help them do it in a way that feels authentic to them.”


Find Madeleine on Instagram @madeleinefrankreeves, Cosmopolitan on Instagram @Cosmopolitan and check out Cosmo & Bumble’s AI & Dating Study for yourself by visiting: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a46574186/ai-dating/



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!


IG DM from Anonymous

Hi Damona, I’m a new listener and I’ve really enjoyed your podcast and perspective! 

I’m in my late 20s and until recently I didn’t have a strong desire to be in a relationship. I was never really a boy crazy child or teen. I had crushes but was a shyer kid so didn’t put much into exploring that. In college I got a fair amount of attention but again I didn’t see the point in committing to a relationship because I felt like I had all my needs met with my social relationships. 

Now as an adult something about it feels physically uncomfortable. I know personally that I am so skeptical about people’s intentions and feel like I attract men that think I’m a challenge because I don’t actively seek their attention. I tried once going on a dating app but it felt really inauthentic. 

I’d love to just be set up by a friend but I’ve been told that they don’t think they know anyone good enough for me which is kind but not helpful. What do I do??

Love on the Spectrum & Dating Bounty

Our brains work in very different ways and statistically speaking, you probably know someone who falls under the banner of neurodivergent. You might even be or suspect you are neurodivergent yourself. 

But how does that impact dating? Well, a lot. 

Our guest today discovered later in life that she was on the Autism spectrum and now she makes her living teaching people with Autism now to navigate a world that is not built for them, dating and beyond! That’s right, we are welcoming Jennifer Cook back to the show! 

She’s the autism and dating expert on one of our favorite shows, Love on the Spectrum, and she’s going to tell us what you can expect if you’re dating someone on the spectrum or if you have a hunch that you might be on the spectrum yourself.

Plus she’ll give us really practical exercises for building the skills of dating that you can try at home, even if you’re neurotypical.

But first we have a steamy hot dating dish to serve up for you: Wanted, True Love. Reward, $100,000. 


In a recent New York Times article, a reporter covered the story of two friends who listed dating bounties summing over $100,000. Spoiler alert, one of the men has found love and the couple is raising a child together. But Damona questions if the money would have been better spent on a matchmaker who already has connections to qualified singles.

Regardless, Damona emphasizes the importance of investing in your love life, whether with your time, your money or both. She encourages trying a paid subscription on your favorite dating app in combination with meeting people IRL, through friends and possibly even singles events.


Jennifer Cook is an autism advocate and the on-camera expert for Netflix’s triple award winning Love On The Spectrum US. She is the author of nine best selling books available in eight languages, including the foundational Asperkids and her groundbreaking memoir, Autism In Heels.

(13:06) Identifying Late In Life 

Jennifer didn’t display any of the stereotypical signs of autism in her youth. She was the social chair for her sorority and a cheerleader in college. It wasn’t until after her children were identified to be on the spectrum that she saw the similarities.

“I wasn’t really into Star Wars, but I sure lined up on my Barbies, and I took some great wedding album pictures of them and, you know, it was a different way of playing, a different way of being.”

(21:57) Tanner Would Stand In Front Of You At The Zoo 

Jennifer coaches a participant on the show named Tanner, asking him where he would stand if he took a date to the zoo. He replies that he would stand in front so that he could be a good leader.  Good intention, wrong idea. Jennifer argues that this is Tanner’s interpretation of society’s messaging that a man should lead.

She says it popped up again when it came to communication. Tanner reveals that he felt he had to keep the conversation flowing at all times so as to be a good leader.  Jennifer explains that sometimes it is okay for the conversation to die down, but recommends that in these moments Tanner relieves the pressure by simply saying, “I can’t think of anything else to say right now, but I’m having a good time.”

Damona reminds listeners that oftentimes just naming a feeling can be so disarming to the other person that it allows them to open up again.

(31:28) Friendship Is Like Concentric Circles 

Jennifer talks about an exercise she developed to help explain the levels of intimacy. “A lot of times neurodivergent people who tend to be very warm and very friendly, will misunderstand the idea that if someone is friendly, that they are a friend.” 

So Jennifer created a bullseye out of crepe paper to illustrate the ways that friendship is built in levels. She says, “it was the idea that you can’t literally jump to the center of the room, to a very close bond and relationship, without falling flat on your face.”

Jennifer says the key is reciprocity, time spent, and a balance in both interest and care and empathy. 


Be sure to follow Jennifer on Instagram @JenniferCook_Author and check out “Love On The Spectrum US” on Netflix!



Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok, or Facebook, and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!


Email from N

Greetings! I saw you on the Drew Barrymore Show, bought your new book and loved it. I’ve been listening to your podcasts and have a question that I haven’t heard addressed. 

I’m a long time divorced senior in the dating world, using apps to meet guys. Many are widowed. I’m an empathetic and kind person and all of these guys have to tell me the long version of how their wife died and constantly talk about their deceased wife. 

I’ve sometimes waited 6 months and the chatter never changes. I understand they had a long history with her. I’ve joked that I wish I would have met her or how much I feel like I know her, but they don’t get the hint. 

Truthfully, I don’t enjoy hearing all of their cute little stories with what’s her name. It is a way of getting to know him but it must be all he thinks about…..any suggestions?

Couple To Throuple & Dumped Over Dogs

In one of Damona’s recent episodes of The Drew Barrymore show, she chatted with a lovely triad of people called Camp Throuple. They were on to share the realities of being in a polyamorous relationship from living together to sleeping in the same bed. 

So many of you were curious about it, we decided we should explore this a little bit more.

The groundbreaking polyamorous reality dating show, Couple To Throuple, premiered on Peacock February 8th. Now we won’t give any spoilers today, but our guest will share what he’s learned after hosting this unique show and from his own experiences in polyamory. 

That guest is none other than Damona’s friend, the co-host of Access Daily & Access Hollywood and NOW host of Peacock’s revolutionary new series, Couple to Throuple – Scott Evans!

But first the dating dish today might leave you howling…Pawlicy Advisor says People Are Getting Dumped Over Dogs.

Then our Dear Damona question this week is super relatable: Should I pay for upgrades on my dating profile?

All right, friends. Grab a friend, grab two friends, maybe grab a throuple because it’s time to dish!


Pawlicy Advisor says folks are getting dumped over dogs! 

Pawlicy Advisor, a pet insurance marketplace, conducted a survey and found that over half of women would dump their boyfriend if their dog did not like them. In fact, 44% of women feel that their dog is a better judge of character than them, which concerns Damona.

Now here’s where things get very interesting because only 18% of women have pets in their profile. But 71% of women admitted that if a man had a dog in his profile, they would match with him. Damona adds that dating profiles that contain the words travel, music, love, and dog get the most matches and likes on OkCupid. 

It is fascinating to see how people have developed these relationships with their pets that are sort of like surrogate relationships. Damona breaks down the importance of creating space in our lives for a potential partner. “So if you have a dog, certainly show one picture in your dating profile, not multiple, and also no solo shots of your dog, please. That’s not the look.”

Damona shares how you can use your dog as your wingman in this blog post and this Instagram post.


Scott Evans is an Emmy award nominated entertainment journalist. He currently hosts the entertainment news show “Access Hollywood” and the talk show “Access Daily with Mario and Kit”. (Damona gets to do her Dating Dictionary segments with him – here’s the most recent one. And they also did a super fun segment up at Universal Studios in the Love Shack where they were answering dating questions.)

But, You may know Scott as the host of two seasons of NBC’s hit dance competition series “World of Dance,” USA Network’s “America’s Big Deal” and OWN’s first weekly live talk show “OWN Tonight.”

Now, he’s the host of the hit Peacock series Couple to Throuple’

(11:15) Scott’s First Experience with Nonmonogamy

Scott talks about his early days living in New York at a time when he was still exploring his sexuality. He describes the day of his father’s funeral, “And I remember praying that if I were keeping myself back, if I were withholding myself from love… to open me up to it and to make it so obvious that I couldn’t deny it.” 

According to Scott that “love” appeared the very next day. When they discovered that they lived far apart, they decided they would work it out and not allow the distance or other partners to come between them.

(24:13) So You’re Considering Opening Your Relationship

Scott says that if you are considering opening your relationship, it is first important to determine what you are trying to achieve as a couple. “Get very clear on that because if you’re not on the same page, adding someone to your dynamic is not going to magically repair that. Second, I think that you also have to recognize that it’s going to feel just like dating all over again.”

(29:11) Couple to Throuple

Scott describes the show as being about open and clear communication. It’s about what happens when people say I trust you enough to be who and how you are 100% and being able to accept that whatever happens, happens.

“I think so much of our time in a relationship, we’re trying to manage the other person, we’re doing our best to make them be, or hope that they’ll become, or prevent them from doing, that we don’t ever actually allow them to be who they are. And so we mess up the beautiful part.”


Be sure to follow Scott on Instagram @IAmScottEvans and check out Couple To Throuple on Peacock!



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

  • IG message from P

Hi Damona! I am brand new to your work – I just started F the Fairy Tale on audiobook and am wanting to reevaluate & revamp my approach to dating! 

I’m sorry if you address this elsewhere, but would you recommend paying for a dating app like Hinge to access the enhanced filtering and other features?

Tinder Love & Love Don’t Cost a Thing


Dating is sometimes just a string of mistakes and learning experiences.  We’ve all had our ups and downs – from figuring out how to flirt to navigating new relationships to learning how to read subtle cues. It’s sometimes trial and error, but who says it all to be sooo serious? What if, instead of internalizing our setbacks, we took a moment to laugh at them? Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

That’s why our guest this week is Lane Moore, host of the comedy stage show Tinder Live. She’ll be joining us to talk about her new book “You’re Not the Only One Effing Up: Breaking the Endless Cycle of Dating Mistakes.” 

Later on, for our “Dear Damona” segment, we’ll answer this question: People often say boring equals healthy. But are there ever times this just isn’t true?

All right, pull up a chair and get ready, lovers. As they say, love don’t cost a thing – but our advice is priceless!



Money talks are getting spicy in the dating scene lately! As traditional gender roles shift and women gain financial independence, we’re seeing folks vet potential partners on money manners as much as romance. These matches are being referred to as “financial flames”.

In this week’s episode, we’re exploring whether getting fiscal can actually bring couples closer. Can shared finance goals and tools lead to greater understanding? Does splitting the check change the power balance? There’s a new “norm” in town!


This week, we welcome Lane Moore! She is an award-winning writer, actor, comedian, and host of the “I Thought it Was Just Me” podcast on Patreon. Her best-selling books are titled “How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t,” and “You Will Find Your People: How to Make Meaningful Friendships as an Adult”. 

Lane also has a brand new book out: “You’re Not the Only One Effing Up: Breaking the Endless Cycle of Dating Mistakes.” Her comedy show Tinder Live has been praised by the New York Times, Spin Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, CBS, Timeout New York and New York Magazine. 

(10:40) What is Tinder Live?

Online dating can unearth some wild profiles. In her show Tinder Live, Lane lets audiences in on the swiping experience by projecting her actual app on stage. The crowd votes left or right, intentionally opting for oddball picks – we’re talking near-naked selfies, an excess of fish pics, even a guy snuggling roadkill!

While played for laughs, Lane takes a thoughtful approach, too. She critiques profiles constructively and finds that even chaotic matches can spark insightful conversations around better self-expression. “So it’s really taking that and turning it into something cathartic and really funny. There is an element of Tinder life that is also educational,” Lanes says.

(13:37) When is a Red Flag not a Red Flag?

Tired of toxic dating advice based on oversimplified “red flags”? Lane urges more nuance when evaluating relationships. She pushes back on rigid rules that write people off—like the trope that a guy not close to his mom spells trouble. Her own difficult upbringing taught Lane that family estrangement doesn’t define someone’s worth.

Lane unpacks the problematic “life hack” mentality around modern dating in favor of more compassionate understanding between partners.

(19:18) What About the Cat Dudes?

The data shows dudes with cats in dating profile pics get fewer messages. But Lane argues our reaction says more about lingering gender norms than the guys. “To me, it’s so obvious what that is. It’s because we think of cats as being a more feminine animal, like having a more feminine energy than a dog.” Lanes shares.

Lane calls BS – caring for pets shows compassion and consistency, right? And cats selectively give their love – so “cat guys” put in the effort!

(21:34) Green Flags

Forget red flags – Lane says start spotting relationship green flags! Instead of worrying what your date thinks, take note of how they make you feel. Do they bring fun energy that helps you relax and be yourself? Or are you working overtime to fill awkward silences and prop up bad convos?

Pay attention to that instinct telling you, “this kind of sucks.” You shouldn’t have to perform extreme emotional labor to save lackluster dates! As Lane puts it, dating is “an interview” to see if you both impress each other with natural chemistry and authenticity.

Be sure to check out the Tinder Live tour. Dates are listed at LaneMoore.org.  Her new ebook and audiobook You’re Not the Only One F*cking Up: Breaking the Endless Cycle of Dating Mistakes is out now and available exclusively from Everand.


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

Anonymous DM from Instagram:

  • Could you add some nuance to the popular boring equals healthy advice? I understand it from an attachment perspective. But let’s assume I’ve done the inner work. I have found that boring just sometimes equals boring.  I fully agree with your four pillars and wonder where things like intellectual connection and humor/laughter fit in because they aren’t often addressed in dating advice. I am rarely attracted to someone for their physical appearance. The “spark” for me is a good conversation that occasionally goes deep and laughs. So if that’s not there after one or two phone calls and or dates, I usually END things. Am I being short-sighted? I always try to give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s such a fine line between giving a connection time to bloom and leading someone on – of which I’ve been accused. Thanks.
Damona Hoffman interviews Dr. Helen Fisher on the 2023 Singles in Amercia Match.com report

Dating Trends & Ending Ex Talk


Welcome to a very special Valentine’s Day post, friends! Tomorrow’s the big day and many of you are feeling the pressure to be coupled up or get struck by Cupid’s arrow. But we all know the holiday brings up a mix of emotions – from excitement to disdain and everything in between.

Regardless of your date status, we can look to relationship insights to chart brighter paths forward. That’s why we are thrilled to share this conversation with the incredible Dr. Helen Fisher, chief science advisor for Match and renowned anthropologist. Helen is unpacking the latest Singles In America Study just in time to rethink our romantic futures.

We knew Helen’s wisdom would unfold an intriguing discourse with new trends emerging across politics, technology, and intimacy. The insights deliver optimism for love in modern times. While dynamics are shifting, an inherent human drive for meaningful connections endures.

It’s a super-sized interview, so we are skipping the Dating Dish this week. But, we still have a steamy hot Dear Damona: How do I get my guy to stop talking about his exes??

It’s a very F the Fairy Tale style Valentine’s Day episode!



Dr. Helen Fisher, renowned as a Ph.D. biological anthropologist, holds esteemed positions as a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana Universit and as the chief science advisor to the Match Group.

She has written six books on the evolution, biology, and psychology of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the neural chemistry of romantic love and attachment, human biologically-based personality styles, why we fall in love with one person rather than another, hooking up, friends with benefits, living together and other current trends, and the future of relationships.

She is quoted in Damona’s book, F the Fairy Tale. Damona has worked alongside her and admired her for many years.

Dates & Mates Podcast guest Dr. Helen Fisher on Match.com's study Singles in America

(4:44) Singles in America Report

Match Group’s annual survey of American singles, Singles in America Report, reveals intriguing insights into dating trends. This year, some of the most surprising details emerged around three topics: polyamory, AI, and sex education preferences. While the data shows more openness to non-monogamy, most still ultimately seek committed relationships. Match also collected pioneering data on how people use AI in dating.

(8:12) AI as a Tool for Dating

Match’s annual singles study revealed 43% are now using AI to help craft more attractive dating profiles and messages, yielding better connections.

Helen argues this continues the eternal drive to leverage any advice to find mates – previously from mothers and friends, today from algorithms. So while some question if AI detracts from authenticity, Helen views it as the newest iteration of humans strategizing to present their best self when courting.

(11:55) Lonely and Hopeful

While 1 in 4 Americans are lonely, Match’s singles study surprisingly found 20% of youth see isolation motivating their love lives. Helen says loneliness drives connection. She advises meeting more people and focusing on compatible matches. Though modern dating can trigger loneliness, the feeling may also realign singles to relationship fundamentals.

(19:08) Gen Z: Victorians on the Move

“I’m calling them the new Victorians,” says Helen of young singles.

Despite Gen Z’s remote-work enabled nomadic dating, and millennials marrying much later, she argues an extended “pre-commitment” stage nurtures wisdom – allowing more time to self-discover and try partners before settling down. Though modern dynamics grow complicated.

(24:23) Let’s Talk About Sex

Today’s singles are getting intimate faster, with fewer taboos or repercussions. But Helen argues hookups aren’t really “casual” – biologically, sex still sparks bonding brain systems that evolved for attachment. Essentially, the lid is off sexually. Yet our brain wiring remains the same for meaningful connections – even amid freer exploration.

Patience and wisdom remain vital navigation tools on the modern romantic landscape. The terrain may have shifted, but human hearts still seek meaning.

Connect with Dr. Helen Fisher on her website: HelenFisher.com. Be sure to read Match’s Singles in America 2023 report.

DEAR DAMONA (31:00).

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

Instagram DM from V:

  • Dear Damona, I love your podcast. Here’s my background and dilemma: I’m 56, my 20-year marriage ended in divorce 10 years ago, and I’ve been actively dating for the past seven years, learning what I need at this stage of life. My dilemma. I’ve been dating a guy for six months. We met on a dating app, and we live two hours away from each other and see each other once a month, sometimes twice. We typically spend the weekends at his place. We are not exclusive. Although I’m not dating anyone else by choice. He’s transparent about having a long-term polyamorous relationship. I know it’s a lot. We get along great, have a lot in common, sex is good, and we practice safe sex, but he constantly talks about his past relationships. I appreciate the vulnerability. But I’m getting tired of hearing about all the women he’s dated. How can I tell him I’m not polyamorous? By the way, I didn’t expect this to go beyond a summer fling, but it’s nice. We have an ease about us. And we really like each other. I’m not trying to move too fast or force anything. But I’d like to let him know the conversations about his past are starting to turn me off. 
MJ Harris and Damona Hoffman talk about love, tinder dates, ghosting and valentines day

Dating App Deja Vu & The Tinder Rule

As we approach Valentine’s Day, let’s shift our focus from the idyllic scenes painted by Hallmark, See’s, and Tiffany’s. Instead, let’s embrace the essence of the holiday: LOVE. 

Our esteemed guest, MJ Harris, author of “Get The F*ck Out Your Own Way,” joins us to reveal the secrets of empowering your relationships—be they personal, platonic, or romantic. He challenges conventional notions, including the surprising perspective that there might be nothing wrong with ghosting?! As a seasoned world traveler, MJ will also share The Tinder Rule for those navigating the dating scene abroad. Get ready for insightful revelations and a dose of love wisdom!

But first, we have the Dating Dish this week, and it’s right on time for Valentine’s Day!


Damona explores the phenomenon of “avalanching” highlighted by Stylist Magazine – a frantic, quantity-centric dating approach fueled by the pressure of Valentine’s Day. Damona’s upbeat advice centers around intentional dating. She advises singles to avoid the rush and focus on slow love.

Citing Sylvia Liza Loni, an expert from  FindingtheOne.com app, Damona shares three quick tips on capturing the conclusion of peak dating season and maybe even a date for Valentine’s Day!

MJ HARRIS (13:36)

MJ Harris is an international speaker, social media celebrity, and the author of the new book, “Get The F*ck Out Your Own Way: A Guide to Letting Go of the Sh*t That’s Holding You Back”. MJ has been featured by Oprah, USA, Today and Black Enterprise. He’s also the CEO and founder of the MJ Harris Financial Group.

MJ Harris and Damona Hoffman discuss love and dating valentine's day

(16:20) Are You a Recovering People Pleaser?

People pleasing is a hard habit to break, but being aware of this tendency allows you to pause and respond intentionally. As MJ says, anytime someone presses you to answer right away, that likely serves them more than you. A thoughtful pause is so much better than quick reactions we might regret. Moving too fast or on auto-pilot can mean ignoring our needs and wants.

MJ gives himself space when asked for something: “I am conscious of processing my feelings so my decisions reflect my best interest – not just pleasing others.”  

(23:10) No is a Complete Sentence

Saying “no” challenges even the most caring people pleasers. We tend to over-explain, trying to talk ourselves into a “yes” instead of setting clear boundaries. 

MJ suggests that “no” can be a complete sentence and it doesn’t have to be blurted out directly. Give yourself permission to phrase it in whatever format feels most comfortable to you. The priority becomes honoring what you actually want or don’t want to do. 

(27:50) Ghosting is ok??

MJ doesn’t demonize ghosting. He says that ending communication abruptly causes real hurt, but not everyone has the tools to confront disappointment directly due to past trauma. Rather than excuse it, he suggests accepting that ghosting exists as an unfortunate dating reality. 

He says that staying attuned to subtle cues along the way can alert you to a potential situation. MJ shares his own ghosting experiences saying, “there were normally some nonverbal cues along the way that I may have kind of overlooked,” he says. Essentially, if texts decline in warmth and plans grow platonic way before the final silence forms, a fade is brewing. 

(37:17) The Tinder Rule

MJ shares his “Tinder rule”. Different cultures find different looks attractive. So vet destinations beforehand by asking locals if your vibe resonates there.

When asked about LDRs, MJ says, “I think that long-distance relationships can work if there is the prospect of you two living in the same place within a very clear timeline.” Most important emotional needs don’t get met without frequent in-person contact, but for busy careers, scheduled mini-reunions help maintain bonds.

Follow MJ on Instagram @MJHarrisSpeaks and grab a copy of his book, Get The F*ck Out Your Own Way, wherever books are sold!

DEAR DAMONA (41:23).

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

Instagram DM from Pearl:

  • I’m going back on the apps after having been on and off for a few years now. What do you do when you see men you’ve previously matched with, went on one or multiple dates with, or have slept with?
long distance relationships, dating younger men, get the perfect dating app profile picture

Dear Damona: Choosing Profile Pics & Dating Younger Men

It’s been just over a month since our last all Dear Damona episode and we’re thrilled to welcome a bunch of new listeners. If you’re new here, we extend a warm hello and a heartfelt welcome. Damona, with over 17 years of experience in Dating Coaching, is your guide through the intricacies of love. Join us for: Dear Damona: Choosing Profile Pics & Dating Younger Men

Now, dear listeners, we don’t mean to add any stress, but the countdown to Valentine’s Day has begun – just two weeks and one day away from the most loved and, for some, the most dreaded day on the calendar. Whether you’re in a new relationship or aspiring to be in one within the next two weeks, this episode is tailor-made for you.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the questions of the day! We’ll be addressing inquiries on dating etiquette when preparing for a significant move, navigating the challenge of matches dating a stereotype, and determining whether an abundance of compliments from a match is a red flag or not. Stay tuned for some love-filled insights!


2:34 Instagram DM from J

I’m over 30. And it’s nearly impossible to find single guys that are older than me now. Can you give me advice on dating younger men?

7:10 Text Message from Anonymous

Hi, Damona I want to start dating again, but I want to move in a year. I’m in Alabama and looking at the West Coast to be closer to my grown children around the Joshua Tree area. How would I update my profile to reflect that? Or would I start looking in the area that I want to go? Help! 

14:32 Instagram DM from Gigi 

Hey, Damona, you are great on Drew Barrymore. I can’t wait to get your book. Let’s talk about size and women, curvy girls. I feel like there’s a stigma where men are looking for a size 6. I feel like my size 16 isn’t suitable for my dating era. I’m still struggling with men not wanting curvy white chicks.

10:09 Instagram DM from Heidi

Hi, I’m a widow and I’m new to dating sites.  I friended a gent recently and he is so complementary it makes me nervous and a little uncomfortable. Is this a red flag?

25:09 DM from CZ on Spotify

I’m stuck on the technical issues of getting good pictures and being able to access them on dating sites. I’m not a photo genius, so I need professional shots.

Do you want to learn more about dating app etiquette? Check out this past episode: Good Jealousy & Dating App Etiquette

Did you like “Dear Damona: Choosing Profile Pics & Dating Younger Men”? Submit your questions for future Dear Damona Episodes:

Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live in a future episode!



Dr Lisa Marie Bobby on dating and breakup recovery

Break Up Recovery & Where to Meet

Did you know that January is National Breakup Month? It’s okay if you missed it; there’s been a lot of “New Year, New Me” talk going around, and frankly – celebrating breakups is not the goal. Break Up Recovery & Where to Meet is the theme this week!

But while painful, breakups are sometimes necessary and a natural part of dating. That’s why marriage and family therapist Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, is joining the Dates & Mates podcast this week.  She’s here to ease the pain and normalize the stages of a breakup to set listeners up for success all along their dating journey.

Plus, Dr. Lisa has brought her own Dear Damona questions! So, she joins Damona for a very special Dear Damona segment takeover at the end of the show.

Let’s get started with this week’s Dating Dish: Dating News Reveals New Study For the Best Places to Meet New People. (Wonder if LinkedIn is one of them?!)

Dating Dish (1:54)

In a new nationwide study, DatingNews.com set out to see how singles are actually meeting people. Over 500 singles were given 15 various options and tasked with selecting the methods they’ve used to find people to date.

We weren’t surprised to hear that networking platforms take the lead with almost 52% of singles saying that they use them to date. Now this doesn’t just mean apps like LinkedIn or Instagram, but also includes apps like DuoLingo and beyond. Damona says we need to consider our entire online and offline identity as part of our dating landscape.

What did surprise us was to hear that according to the study 40% of people still meet at bars and clubs. That number seems high in our current age especially when post-pandemic, people are wary of in-person interactions being perceived as creepy or aggressive. Even still, Damona thinks bars and nightclubs can facilitate connections as long as you aren’t getting so drunk that you don’t remember what you’ve said.

Another surprising stat – nearly half of the people surveyed found success via blind dates. Coordinating this kind of set-up is tricky, but Damona says we really ought to leverage it more. The trick is to go beyond your besties. They would have paired you off already if they could. You need to develop a circle two or three degrees out—work friends, activity buddies, teammates—and directly ask them to connect you with potential matches. Don’t be afraid to clearly outline what you’re looking for in a partner.

Dr Lisa Marie Bobby (10:16)

Dr. Lisa is a marriage and family therapist and the founder of Growing Self Counselling and Coaching. She’s also the author of the book Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love AND she’s the host of one of our favorite podcasts, Love Success and Happiness.

Break Up Recovery & Where to Meet Dr Lisa Marie Bobby

(11:43) January: The #1 Month for Breakups

According to Dr. Lisa, January sees a significant rise in breakups and divorces. Even couples who are aware that the relationship is fizzling out often delay splitting until after the holidays. As Dr. Lisa notes, “January feels like a natural transition time for making big changes.” The new year sparks reflection on identity and goals—for many, prompting major relationship shifts like breakups

(15:19) A Breakup Isn’t an Event, It’s a Process

Exploring the quest for improved boundaries, the discussion delves into a common aspiration shared by many. The prevalent issue of recovering people pleasers takes center stage, highlighting the necessity of learning valuable lessons from past relationships. 

Emphasizing the importance of taking time and setting protective boundaries, the conversation offers insights into avoiding the pitfalls of rushing into relationships without thoughtful analysis.

Damona echoes this sentiment, endorsing the concept of slow love and dating. She underscores the significance of stepping back during the in-between moments to assess feelings without getting caught up in momentum. Damona goes into this even further in a previous podcast episode: Master Class: The 4 Dating Myths & 4 Pillars.

The conversation underscores the need to be present and mindful in the unfolding of relationships, emphasizing the value of boundaries to protect oneself from potential hurt. 

(23:08) Breakup-Related Trauma: When It’s More Than a Broken Heart

According to Dr. Lisa, recovering from a breakup involves distinct emotional phases, rather than a quick linear healing. The first phase post-breakup is intense withdrawal filled with anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and desperation. Our biology makes parting painful! Jumping back into dating during this turbulent time is ill-advised.

Phase two brings the necessary sadness to mourn the loss a split signifies. Reflection and self-care help one honor the end of the relationship before moving forward. Modern life lacks helpful rituals to process the romantic loss that funerals provide for death. Still, Dr Lisa cautions against rushing into dating before properly working through grief.

(29:28) Breakups as Withdrawal: Heal Before Dating Anew

When describing her own extreme breakup reaction, Damona wonders what psychologically triggered such intense emotions even years later. Dr. Lisa explains that in addition to attachment loss, “there is a relational trauma that takes place closely related to a betrayal trauma.” This connects to our primal survival wiring. ” Hence why people do ‘insane’ things to reconnect with exes “against their own good judgment.” The trauma of a severed attachment taps into our core being.

Though not an official diagnosis, Dr. Lisa sees clients undergo traumatic responses from breakups. She explains, “It actually changes your brain; your brain encodes traumatic memories in a totally different place and in a totally different way.” However, this trauma is often invalidated by professionals because it doesn’t meet descriptions in medical guidebooks. 

Healing requires that we process intrusive memories and emotions properly.


Follow Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby on Instagram @DrLisaMarieBobby and check out her Breakup Recovery Program by visiting growingself.com/divorce-counseling-breakup-recovery/

Dear Damona with Dr. Lisa (38:17)

Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook and hear Damona’s answers live on a future all-Dear Damona episode!

  • How can you stop feeling like you will never find somebody as good as your ex?
  • How do you navigate missing your ex but also really wanting to give your new relationship a chance?