Tag Archive for: Choose Love

Choose Love & Quarantine Courtship


They say that choosing love is a revolutionary act. Especially now, with this global pandemic, we need to be reminded that there’s a lot of love to give in the world – virtually in times of quarantine of course.

That said, how is everyone holding up? Don’t give up on love. It may be bleak right now but we believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel.


Today we’re going to spread some love and a little romance. We’re talking to Tenisha Nicole, host and producer of the Choose Love Podcast. She’s here to convince us why we should all be hopeless romantics.

More on that later, first we have headlines! 


A Different Kind of Coronavirus Casualty

The divorce rate spikes IMMEDIATELY after couples in China get out of quarantine. Coincidence? Definitely not. Damona and Tenisha break it down.


Courtship Now

Here/Now has invented a new way to date in spite of the pandemic: virtual hang out group dating. WAIT! It’s actually kinda cool, don’t knock it until you try it.




  • Choosing Love is a revolutionary act
  • After losing her mom to breast cancer, she set out to create a life worth living
  • Hopeless romantics are revolutionaries
  • digging into life’s big questions about love because they enable us to better understand ourselves and the world around us.
  • Love Stories are an unconventional therapy method


Check out the Choose Love podcast on all your favorite podcast platforms!



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

  • If a man wants the both of you to get healthy (lose weight) because he’s thinking long term (marriage, kids, etc) should that be taken as a positive thing or negative?
  • What are clear signs that a guy is leading you on or playing games rather than a guy who is trying to put all the ducks in a row first ?



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, welcome to dates in mates. How’s everybody holding up? I have to admit hasn’t been the easiest week for me. Not so easy to be mom slash teacher slash running both of my podcast slash serving clients slash checking in on parents and friends and family. And oh, yeah, me time. What about that? I’m sure you’re going through the same thing. But I just want to remind you just take it one day at a time and don’t give up on love. It may be bleak right now, but I believe that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I think a lot of great things will come for daters out of this time of having to relearn New dating techniques having to slow down the rapid speed of dating, to actually get to know somebody to filter properly and make sure there’s someone you really want to go out with before we just swipe, swipe, show up and just throw caution to the wind. No, I want you to date strategically and mindfully, I want you to practice slow love. And I want you to be able to be as present as possible in your new relationships. And hopefully today, I can give you a little bit of inspiration on some of those new relationships or maybe the inspiration to start a new relationship, even if it’s virtually. Today we’re going to spread some love and a little romance we’ll be talking to tonisha Nicole, she’s the host and producer of the choose love podcast, and she’s here to convince us why we should all be hopeless romantics. Let’s give big smooches to to Nisha Nicole.


Tenisha Nicole  1:57  

Hi. Thank you so much for having me. It’s It’s an honor to be here. Oh, I’m so


Damona  2:02  

glad to have you. We need some inspiring stories today. So thank you for sharing a little bit of light and joy and spreading some more love in the world. And we’re also going to be handling these headlines including the biggest casualty of coronavirus plus a totally new way to date in the time of quarantine, then we’ll be answering your questions like should you lose weight with your man? And are there clear signs that a guy is leading you on tonisha? How are you ready to do this? Let’s do


Tenisha Nicole  2:35  

  1. These dating dish.


Damona  2:39  

Well, I told you I was going to cover the biggest casualty of coronavirus. Maybe it’s not the biggest casualty but in my business it is because now that China has sort of turned the corner on handling new cases and I just heard actually then move on. There were no new cases. So that’s Really, really good sign that that things are moving in the right direction. But the effect that it’s having on people’s love lives is pretty, pretty treacherous. Turns out that divorce appointment requests have skyrocketed. Since the quarantine ended around February 24. One office saw over 300 couples applying for divorces in the last three weeks. And this it’s just insane the number of people that are coming forward and being like, I’ve been on quarantine with him. And I can’t do one more day to Nisha, what do you think about this statistic? And do you think it’s the quarantine that that accelerated this or do you think this is something that like those couples would have probably probably been filing for divorce this year anyway?


Tenisha Nicole  3:49  

Yeah, I don’t know if they would have filed for divorce this year. But one thing I have noticed when listening to folks love stories is that I should be in things that really You know, makes you realize what’s important to you. And on top of spending so much time with each other, like you really can’t avoid those things that you annoy about that annoy you about your partner. So I think just in this time of, you know, just so much time being spent together, they’re, you know, there are things that you can’t ignore anymore. So, I can’t say that I’m surprised by the statistics, but I do truly feel for those folks who who are going through this right now.


Damona  4:29  

Well, it does intensify feelings when you can’t get out and you have to deal with it. I saw one one post on Twitter that was like, this is the time to air all your, all your dirty laundry and like force your boyfriend to face the music and deal with whatever’s going on in your relationship because he can’t run away and hide right now. I don’t know if I recommend that philosophy. But I do know that it’s really it is challenging. Like I can even say, from my own perspective. Usually my husband and I have no friction and we We’ve had to have a lot of like, like nightly sit down conversations just to keep the sanity and make sure that one another feels heard in the relationship. Do you have any other tips for any of our listeners, based on what you’ve heard from people in successful relationships of how they can navigate this time if they are living in close quarters with their boo?


Tenisha Nicole  5:23  

Yeah, I mean, I would just recommend I’m actually building a tiny home right now and thinking about how me and my partner are going to live in that space together, but it’s really about making sure you can still have your alone time and like have your own space. Even though you may be in a room together. You don’t really have to be together like you can be doing your own thing. But I do as an introvert believe that it’s so important to just carve out time for yourself and and your partner just so that they can have a moment of rest.


Damona  5:54  

Yeah, that’s so important. And I’ve often talked about each partner having their own space in the in the home even if you just have a desk that’s that’s your workspace and that’s your sacred space or a chair that you meditate in. I’m curious though how you would do that with a tiny house maybe you should go for a slightly bigger


Tenisha Nicole  6:17  

I mean you can really design homes and ways that you know, it feels like a separate space even though it’s not really but you can still go outside and take a walk. Same with the coronavirus. You can still go outside take a walk with your by yourself or with your dog or with your partner six feet away.


Tenisha Nicole  6:34  

But you can still enjoy nature.


Damona  6:37  

Yes, I’ve been I’ve been doing that and getting getting out in the world and just like also figuring out the things that make you get centered. Whenever you are starting to feel triggered. Do something that gets you centered because you’re going to lash out it’s all going to come towards your partner and the people closest to you. And we have to choose love, don’t me. Well, it turns out single people are also choosing love during this time. We talked last week about how dating apps are still seeing a surge in new users in communications. But y’all do not go out and meet that person face to face right now. It’s just too big of a risk. If you ask me. You could try something new, like a bunch of folks that joined up with a dating company called here. Now they are doing virtual dating events. And basically, it’s like speed dating on zoom. And they have it very well organized. They have 10 singles log on and they get I don’t know if Have you ever done speed dating Tunisia?


Tenisha Nicole  7:42  

I’ve hosted an event but I did not participate because I was in a relationship.


Damona  7:46  

Oh, how nice of you to continue to, to share the love. I have both participated. And I have hosted events actually. And I always thought it was a really fun way to practice dating like Those people may not end up being your, your be all and end all. But we have to keep these dating skills fresh throughout whatever long whether it’s two weeks, two months, hopefully not two years, but during this period, we cannot let the dating muscles atrophy. So I think that this is a really great way for people to connect. They just basically time, their conversations just like speed dating, so they get five minutes or something with a person virtually. And then a little message pops up on the screen that says your chat is about to end and at the end, they get a survey and they can see whether they vibe with someone on a platonic level or like a friendly level, or romantic. I like that, that it gives them the option because there are some people when I did speed dating, where I was like, I marked them as like a Yes, because I thought they were cool, but they were not necessarily somebody that I would actually date. But I like that you can say like I think I did think you were cool.


Tenisha Nicole  8:59  

Just Not


Damona  9:00  

I wasn’t feeling the vibe, but sometimes the vibe can it can expand if you give it time.


Tenisha Nicole  9:06  

Yeah. When you say Don’t think like most people don’t know that it’s the one after the first meeting. So I think having those options, those variations of yes is actually a great idea.


Damona  9:17  

Absolutely. And while we’re self quarantining, or whatever we’re doing, and we have to be distanced, from other socially distanced from others, that could be a really great way to let the connection develop over time. I’ve talked a lot about the speed of dating going so fast today. Maybe this is a good little speed bump for people to take a step back. And maybe there’s somebody that you had a friendly connection with, that if you continue to talk with them over zoom or Skype or WhatsApp or whatever, for the next few months, maybe something will develop maybe your feelings will change.


Tenisha Nicole  9:54  

I have not


Tenisha Nicole  9:57  

but I don’t know that it very well could happen. For sure,


Damona  10:01  

I’m sure well, I’m sure you’ve heard stories of it happening and in a moment, we are going to lighten the mood. And here are some of these love stories here. Tunisia’s own love story and some uplifting advice and and stories about love in just a moment so stick around and we are back with tonisha Nicole of the choose love podcast. So in choose love you tell these extraordinary love stories to Nisha about people that have found love in different ways and how their romances have evolved. I’m curious what gave you the idea to start this podcast?


Tenisha Nicole  10:45  

Yeah, well, I would say it was a series of unfortunate events that led me to start this podcast, but I a little bit of background about me. I have not been in that many relationships. But I have dated quite a bit and I am one of those people who is like a fan of dating. I feel like I’ve had the most fun on date. Like I’ve had some incredible dates with some incredible people. Although those did not lead to relationships. I still had an incredible time meeting that person getting to know them, sharing about myself and things, which I think people should partake in actively. A quick fun note, I’ve never online dated. So I am so interested in all of the things that you do Dimona, in a lot of the guests on our show actually have met their partner through online dating. So I know maybe one day I’ll have that opportunity, but I just haven’t had it yet.


Damona  11:45  

Well, but let’s hope not. Because you are dating someone now when you started the podcast. You were single, though.


Tenisha Nicole  11:53  

No. So I was actually in Well, yes, sorry, I wasn’t. I was single at the time


Damona  11:58  

where you were in a situation What was going on,


Tenisha Nicole  12:01  

though? So I was in a relationship for five years. And towards the end of that relationship, my mom passed away. And it was at that time that I realized that that really wasn’t the relationship for me. The guy was a great guy. But we were really in two different places. And he really wasn’t set up to provide the kind of support that I needed at the time going through, I would say, you know, the beginnings of the grief cycle. So I had broken up with him. And that’s when I started questioning love. So that’s why I kind of hesitated like, I was thinking I was in a relationship. But after I dated him after I broke up with him, I was single for two years. And during that time, is when I just got really curious about love and started reflecting about my love life. And I realized that I suck at love. I was like, I probably should get some professional help. So I sought out some things And then I started literally asking strangers about their love stories to give me insights into their experiences, what worked, what didn’t work for them. And then what blew my mind was the different types of love that exists that I had no idea about,


Damona  13:17  

Oh, you’ve piqued my interest. What different types of love are there?


Tenisha Nicole  13:22  

I mean, so I would, I don’t know, maybe I’m giving that a little bit too much hype. But for me, I had always believed in this, like fantasy love that you see in the movies. And it’s false.


Tenisha Nicole  13:34  

It doesn’t happen like that. So fake.


Tenisha Nicole  13:36  

And I had always been waiting for that to happen to me and looking for that in these people that I was dating. And I’m wondering why it’s not happening to me. So I think I think just talking to real people about their relationships, it was just like, oh, wow, sometimes, love just unfolds. You know, just day to day but there is something so magical about it, you know, unfolding, but I think we have to start to look at it differently are magical is actually pretty ordinary, but it is still magical.


Damona  14:10  

Yes, I agree with you on that. I want to go back a minute to something that you said and I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. But you know, sometimes those moments like when we are we are challenged. And we have to, we have to face things like mortality and these big questions like, what are what am I doing with my life? Who am I bringing into my life, they make us look at all of the other choices that we’ve made and realize that some things don’t don’t ultimately line up with what we want in life. And it sounds like that’s what happened with your relationship. But I did hear that you were together for five years. And that is a pretty long time. That’s a pretty long time. Was there any indication before that point? That The relationship was not heading the direction that you wanted it to go or that, you know, you visualized in this fantasy romance that you had.


Tenisha Nicole  15:10  

I would have to say like I was in total delusion, like I was so in line with where I was going, and I was I was like an active partner in shaping it. But it was going to be a relationship where, you know, we both had advanced degrees, we worked in the corporate world. We went to, you know, we went to buy a house, and then we got, you know, we got married, we had a baby, it was going to be that story. But like you said, it wasn’t until my mom passed away that it made me question if I wanted that to be my story. And I realized that I did not and that is never who I was, but I had kind of became that. I became that person in those five years. And I just looked in the mirror and I was like, Who the hell is looking back at me? I didn’t even recognize myself. So I don’t think I realized until, like, you know, I had that aha moment. Yes,


Damona  16:04  

yes. And you mentioned a lot of things that are like the box check things like, we have advanced degrees. And we, you know, we, we fit together in these ways. And he’s this and that. And a lot of times people date based on that list on paper. It’s this, but in reality, and we talked a little bit about this on last week’s show, it’s about how do you feel with that person, right? And where are you headed in the future if you continue on the path that you’re going, so you made a change, you made a big change, and then you started hearing other people’s stories and started to look at love differently, and then continued to evolve and change and something else happened.


Tenisha Nicole  16:49  

And so, I mean, this kind of really, I feel like happened overnight. But I mean, it was another series of events, but I think these were positive ones. So it led me to quit my job. I moved from the state that I was living in, I went to pilot school, which was something that I had always dreamed of. And then I finally got the courage enough to do it. And then, while I was in pilot school, I actually fell in love. I really didn’t plan any for any of that to happen. But things just started unfolding and doors opening. And I just took every opportunity that came my way.


Damona  17:28  

Wow. And you were following your passion. It sounds like doing the thing that really made you feel good about the path you were on in life, and then everything else sort of fell into place. It sounds like


Tenisha Nicole  17:40  

Absolutely, and I would say that I didn’t realize it was my passion because I was so afraid of, you know, taking the leap to do it. But it wasn’t until I took the leap that I was able to really embrace it and like realize, oh my god, I love flying planes and I love being in the sky like this is is an amazing, incredible feeling.


Damona  18:02  

Yeah, since amazing you found love as well. And so now you’re continuing to share other people’s love stories. I would love to hear from you. You’ve called choose love an unconventional therapy method. Right? What are some of the things that you learned that you’re now applying to your relationship?


Tenisha Nicole  18:21  

Yes. So there are so very many things. But I mean, I think the biggest one is, we talked a little bit about it earlier, is just there really is no, you know, there’s not a thing called love a box that we have to check for that we can attain after we’ve done X, Y, and Z. Like our love stories are going to be as unique as the two individuals or more that are in that relationship. And I think that we have to stop trying to make it something and just allow it to be us, you know, allow love to be us. So That was, I would say that would be the biggest takeaway for me. The second one would really be, it was it came from an episode. I remember recording it, we were literally at a conference in the corner, crying our eyes out, as this woman is telling me about her love story. But she was telling me in essence, how, you know, in the beginning, she took love so seriously in the beginning, like of her relationship with her at the time, it was her boyfriend, but she was taking love so seriously. And it wasn’t until he said, like, you know, I love you so very much. But I really cannot. I cannot today promise you that in 30 years, we’re going to be together and then I’m going to feel the same way about you. And I think that’s a really hard thing to hear. But that is also the reality and the nature of life. I feel like going into a relationship. I was always wanting someone to promise me the world and promise me forever. But really, when you start to think about all those things, you lose sight of what’s here and now right in front of you. So, definitely a lesson for me has been to enjoy the present. And yes, of course, I want to spend the rest of my life with someone, but there is no way I can tell what’s going to happen tomorrow. So just be present and enjoy it.


Damona  20:28  

Yeah, you absolutely have to do that. And that’s something I’m always telling daters, like, don’t think about where you’re going to go on your next date or when he’s going to meet your mom. Like, think about what’s happening right now. And how do you feel when you’re with that person? But the other thing I love about that story you just told Tunisia is that she also was brave enough to get the answer to the question she was probably scared to ask. And, you know, maybe she didn’t ask it. Maybe she did. But she heard. She heard the answer she needed And she took action from it. And sometimes it’s so hard to hear those things like I don’t see us together in 30 years. And it’s brutal in the moment. But what it does is it frees you up to be able to find somebody that does see themselves with you in 30 years if that’s what you want.


Tenisha Nicole  21:17  

Right. And the crazy part about that story, it just, I think it freed up her expectations of you know what it had to look like. And they’ve been married for 12 years, and they’re still going strong. They have two beautiful children. They’ve lived in France and La like, they have created a life for themselves. So just because you don’t you know, you can’t promise the future doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have a future.


Tenisha Nicole  21:41  

Wait, so they’re still together.


Tenisha Nicole  21:43  

They’re still together. Yes, they got married.


Tenisha Nicole  21:45  

How about that?


Damona  21:49  

So that’s a good lesson as well. But sometimes hearing the truth doesn’t mean that it’s headed in different directions. But sometimes if you know the reality, then you know what you have to do to to recommit to your relationship so that’s a beautiful story. I’m going to have to download that episode and all of the episodes I hope all of you are checking out. Choose love right after this, but tonisha you’ve heard so many amazing love stories from daters, from couples on your podcast. I know you must have some great advice to share for our listeners. So let’s keep it moving with the next segment with our questions in technically dating. We are back with dates and mates. I am here again with tonisha Nicole, who is the host of choose love which is a podcast all about romantic stories on love. So she’s she’s heard the ups. She’s heard the downs, she’s heard downs that sounded like downs, but then they ended up being ups. So we have questions from our listeners. This one comes So as from Instagram, this person says, If a man wants the both of you to get your health, ie lose weight together, because he’s thinking long term marriage, kids, etc. Should that be taken as a positive thing or negative?


Tenisha Nicole  23:15  

So, I mean, whenever I hear advice about love and relationships and dating, I always like to put it in the context of my family. Because I think your partner does, eventually, you know, become a part of your family. And so when I hear that, I think back to the time when I was on my health kick work first starting my health cake, and I asked my sister, I was like, Look, you have two young children. Like I want you to be here for a long time for them. So I’m like trying to get her to come to the gym with me. So I’m like to me when I hear you know, a partner asking another partner to join in the health journey. I’m like, I don’t see that as a negative because I think health is such an important aspect of living a long life and health health reasons can bankrupt families. It can devastate families in so many ways. So I think if you just hear about you know, the intention of the of the question, and not just the shallow I think, you know, things we want to think about it, it can, it can come off a little bit differently.


Damona  24:24  

That’s a good way to look at it. I, I just get I kind of bristle whenever I hear someone saying, saying that they want their partner to do something for them, like lose weight, especially. But then I keep rereading this one because initially, I was like, that’s not his business. And then then I was like, well, he wants both of you to get your health together. So that’s saying, I’m not telling you to do something that I’m not doing. I’m saying let’s do this together. So that kind of puts me on the side of actually it’s a good And I think it’s a good thing that he’s showing. He’s thinking long term marriage, kids, etc. It’s just a really tricky thing to try to describe to another person, why you want why it’s important for them to be, you know, healthier, and make them feel the need from them themselves, make them feel like that’s important. Because if you’re just like, you should do this. And then they’ll never stick with the plan. Right, and they’ll resent you for it.


Tenisha Nicole  25:28  

Exactly. You really, I mean, I think it’s better to share your intention, like really where you’re coming from so that someone can understand, you know, is it because you don’t find them attractive anymore? Or is it because you’re concerned about their health, now that I wouldn’t be able to answer so


Tenisha Nicole  25:45  



Tenisha Nicole  25:46  

I’m assuming that they have good intentions.


Damona  25:50  

So we’ll just go back to the simplified version of the question. Is it a positive thing or a negative thing? It’s okay.


Tenisha Nicole  26:00  

He’s gonna let you off the hook saying it’s positive


Damona  26:04  

it does depend there there are there are definitely follow up questions that we would have but it sounds like overall, he is thinking long term he is thinking about both of your health and he wants to be in the future with you. So that’s that’s, that can only be a good thing. Okay, we have one more question. This one comes from our Patreon group. This person says what are clear signs that a guy’s leading you on or playing games rather than a guy who’s trying to put all the ducks in a row first? What have you heard I wonder what have you heard from cheese love or what have you experienced


Tenisha Nicole  26:41  

that great question. Um, I’m like trying to go through my memory Baker, this one because I don’t feel like we’ve addressed this specifically.


Damona  26:52  

Yeah, well, I I would say, when someone’s playing games, generally, you know, it’s just we don’t want to hear it. We don’t want to hear it because we’ve told ourselves a story just going back to that fantasy story that you were talking about in the last segment. You know, you you want it to be, you want it to work out, and so you hear the thing that you didn’t want to hear. And then you’re like, well, I’ll just ignore that.


Tenisha Nicole  27:19  

Just keep going.


Damona  27:21  

So, you know, definitely signs of game playing. I’ve experienced, like people not returning calls or texts in a timely manner. Like if he wants to text you back. If he really wants to talk to you, he’s gonna text you back. Why are you making excuses for him like 234 days later? If he’s only available at certain times, like you can only see him on the weekends. That’s probably that’s probably a big red flag like he’s maybe in a relationship with someone else.


Tenisha Nicole  27:58  

What What else have you seen? Yeah, like those are the big red flags for me.


Tenisha Nicole  28:05  

Yeah, I mean, just obvious signs of dis dis interest? Like, I don’t know, I can recall a few girlfriends who are just way more over enthusiastic about the relationship than the guy who tended to be. And I think it was those sounds like you’re reaching out to them more than they’re reaching out to you. Those are like the big ones that I can think of for sure.


Damona  28:25  

Yeah. And I wonder like this idea of putting all the ducks in a row first, I’ve scarcely met a guy who was relationship ready, who was just like, hold on one second, like, let me let me align my ducks. Like we still have this drive for a relationship or for sex or intimacy, and he’s still going to pursue you. It’s just maybe, maybe he’s not proposing if you are looking for a serious relationship. Maybe that’s not happening fast enough because he’s getting his finances in order. But in terms of dating you, I don’t know that anyone would would be pumping the brakes on a relationship they really want to be in just because they’re getting their ducks in a row when you say,


Tenisha Nicole  29:06  

but I do think it can be confusing because some guys will make you feel like you’re dating them.


Tenisha Nicole  29:13  

They’re not really dating you. So I think you really have to be careful with that one.


Damona  29:20  

Yeah, well, it’s gonna be a lot harder right now for people to play the field. Yeah, because


Tenisha Nicole  29:26  

we can’t even


Tenisha Nicole  29:28  

it said if they’re not texting you back, right? It’s because they don’t like you because we know that everyone is it.


Damona  29:36  

Yep. So let’s just get let’s just air it all out. Unless they have kids like me. They’re just like, how there’s a reason I did not become a school teacher. And here it is. And here it is. But yeah, we just need to air everything out right now. Let’s just let’s just get everything out in the open. Let’s deal with what’s really going on. So we can move forward in truth and hope. Hopefully in love. Thank you so much for joining me to Nisha, thank you so much for having me. It’s been a joy and a pleasure. Same here. I hope all of you will check out the choose love podcast. It’s on all your favorite podcast platforms and you can find tonisha and some more love stories on Instagram at x tonisha. Nicole t n is h A and IC o l e Of course we will put the link in the show notes along with the link to the stories that we talked about in the dating dish. Thanks for being here.


Tenisha Nicole  30:31  

Thank you.


Damona  30:32  

I hope you enjoyed Episode 302 of dates and mates. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. I know a lot of you are going crazy right now with this quarantine dating situation. I’m here for you. So you can DM me anytime at damona Hoffman on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and I promise you I will give you some advice, a little bit of an uplift to keep you going as we are all social distancing, but still craving that connection. I will be here again next week with more dates and dates. Until then, wash your hands and happy dating