Tag Archive for: confidence

Sweet 16 & Couples Challenge

What do wax and serving trays have in common? Besides having been everywhere during Damona’s recent family trip to Colonial Williamsburg, they are both traditional gifts for a 16th Wedding Anniversary, which is PERFECT timing, since Damona and her husband Seth just celebrated their Sweet 16(th Anniversary).

To celebrate, our guest today is none other than Seth Hoffman! Seth isn’t *technically* an expert in love, but he’s taught Damona a heck of a lot about what partnership really means. The two will be sharing their most important lessons, favorite memories, and will be taking a stab at the infamous Couples Challenge.


The social experiment that wants to end dating apps:

According to a recent article in Interesting Engineering, the Pear Ring is the real-life social experiment looking to make IRL connections easier for singles. The Pear Ring is advertised as “the opposite of an engagement ring,” and wearing the green-colored accessory signals to others that you’re single and looking for a match. Although an altruistic idea, there are some caveats to wearing something that advertises you’re open to being approached. Damona goes over these caveats, as well as some intriguing stats on engagement rings – for example, while both men and women are more likely to wear a wedding ring today than in previous generations, those under 40 are also more likely to remove it


Seth Hoffman has written on tv dramas you know and love, including House, Prison Break and The Walking Dead. But his most important creations are certainly Damona’s two children.

(12:30) Love will find you when you least expect it.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of unsolicited relationship advice at one point or another, and there are definitely phrases that float around in the zeitgeist of romantic advice. But do these suggestions really check out over time? Damona and Seth ponder over and debunk some classic pieces of relationship advice, including “happy wife, happy life” and “never go to bed angry.” 

(18:05) The memory jar exercise.

If you’re an avid watcher of The Drew Barrymore Show, you may have seen Damona featured in an episode honoring the newest issue of Drew Magazine. Drew brought together her cohost Ross Mathews, his husband Wellington, and Damona to deliberate whether soulmates were real. In this same episode, Damona mentioned an exercise she and Seth have done called The Memory Jar – you write down your favorite memories together, place them in the jar, and continue to add to it over time. (You can see a clip from the segment on Damona’s Instagram!) Seth shares the proper origin story of the memory jar, and how their daughter Addie played a vital role.

(28:50) The Couples Challenge!

You know that the truth comes OUT during a couples challenge. And in Damona and Seth’s version, we get answers to questions like: Who is more likely to talk to a stranger? Who is stricter with the kids? Who steals the bed covers more? Who would die first in a zombie apocalypse? Who is usually right? And who’s the better kisser?

Want to hear more reflections from Damona and Seth? Be sure to check out their previous Dates & Mates interview here!



Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! There was no Dear Damona this episode, so listen in next week to see if Damona addresses your question. 👀

Love Trauma & Overflowing Inbox

Here’s a fun fact: did you know that the word April comes from the Latin verb “aperir,” which means “to open”? Many people like to believe the name of the month describes the flowers and trees opening in springtime. I’m preparing as I speak to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC for the first time. Swoon!

Springtime is a period of renewal and rebirth. So in the spirit of growth, we wanted to touch on self awareness and the idea of opening yourself up to love.

And that’s why we’ve got certified dating & relationship coach, Lauren Zoeller, here to talk about how you can become aligned in love, personally and in your relationships. 


Mr. Owl, how many swipes does it take to get to the love of my life?:

The team at Shane Co. Jewelry conducted a study asking online daters how much time they spend on dating apps, whether they’ve met a partner from an app, and how long it took them to do so. According to this study, the average American will spend about eight months on dating apps and swipe on just under 4,000 profiles before finding a partner. Damona breaks down the other specifics within the study – and tells us why decisive action will be your best bet in finding a match online.


Lauren Zoeller is a certified dating & relationship coach, an author, and the host of The Aligned Love podcast. She is also the Founder of The Aligned Love Experience™ and an expert practitioner in reparenting, generational healing and Somatic Experiencing.

Lauren’s insights have been featured on The Drew Barrymore Show (holla!), The NY Post, Business Insider, NBC News, SHAPE magazine and other international media outlets. 

(10:00) What makes Somatic Therapy different?

If you’ve never heard of “somatic therapy” before, Lauren’s got ya covered. “Somatic therapy is therapy of the nervous system, which is completely different from what most of us are conditioned to think about when we think about therapy. And that’s traditional talk therapy, going to a therapist and verbally processing your trauma.”

(19:35) Feeling safe inside of your body…

Damona asks for Lauren’s top first date tips for tapping into your nervous system awareness. She asserts that you first have to understand what safety feels like in your body, because only then will you have a sense if someone is safe when you meet them. “Your person should feel like home, they should feel safe – but you have to find home within yourself first.”

Lauren also shares her hot take on feeling butterflies, and what it means if you’re still getting them on the 3rd date.

(26:30) Bullsh*t and breadcrumbs.

One of the things both Lauren and Damona hear a lot is that women want to be pursued by their match – but Lauren points out a key difference between pursuing someone and chasing them. “I think that both people in a partnership need to pursue one another. It’s not a one way thing.”

Lauren continues that many women put up with what she calls “bullsh*t and breadcrumbs,” AKA a lack of clarity in whether someone wants to date you.

Be sure to follow Lauren on Instagram @LaurenZoeller and check out The Aligned Love Framework Course.



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

Email from Snowed Under, Down Under – Hi Damona, I’ve been listening to your podcast here in Australia and I have a burning question. Without tooting my own horn; I get a lot of interest from guys on dating apps. The area in which I live and date is very skewed in the favor of women to men ratio. So I get inundated with messages and likes on dating apps. My question is how do I handle this influx of messages? I try to be respectful and answer every message, even if I am not interested – but it’s almost a full-time job!!! I get burnt out really quickly trying to siphon through the guys and trying to message them to give me and them a chance to determine if we should meet up. I don’t like to juggle conversations, but I can take on average 7 to 10 days getting to know someone via text/message, only to meet and the connection to be underwhelming in person! I wonder if my mindset of trying to cull the numbers and really focus on what it is I’m searching for is hindering me – or should I just wing it and just go and meet people without even really getting to know them in written communication first???

Relationshopping & Last First Date

Most of us have a relationship we wish had worked out differently. We think about the one who got away, we wonder how we got to a turning point in our relationships and we second guess everything. That is a normal part of the dating process.

But sometimes daters get caught up in patterns which consistently lead them to make choices that keep them single or unsatisfied in their relationships. If this is you, today’s show will remind you that you have the power to create the love life you want and deserve.

That’s why we have dating and relationship coach, Sandy Weiner, on today to talk about the hidden reasons why we sometimes choose wrong in love, and to share the skills that lead to our best choices and ultimately, our last first date.


How dating became like shopping – and what you can do to get a good haul:

Our friends at GQ magazine state that the suggestion of pre-date questionnaires and follow up surveys could push dating culture into shopping territory. But according to Damona, the “shopification” of dating has been around long before Tinder’s swipe technology. Damona continues to break down how reviewing our dates takes away our self-discovery in dating, and why we should simultaneously embrace the efficiency that dating technology offers us.


Sandy Weiner is an internationally known TEDx speaker, dating and relationship coach AND the host of two podcasts – Last First Date Radio and The Woman of Value Podcast.

But that’s not all! Sandy is also the Chief Love Officer at Last First Date, where her team provides group and individual coaching. And her new book, “Choice Points in Dating: Empowering Women to Make Healthier Decisions in Love”, is available now.

(14:40) The paradox of choice.

Sandy divulges the inspiration for her new book, which revolves around our relationship to choice. Sandy had a first date with a man who had been widowed 15 years prior, but kept repeating that he hadn’t been able to date because of all his responsibilities – he had no choice. Although this date didn’t go anywhere, Sandy reflected that we usually have many more choices than we know. 

A big culprit of this disillusionment is what both Damona and Sandy refer to as “the paradox of choice.” They explain the concept further, while Sandy describes how you can turn around your fear of rejection by asking for clarity.

(26:25) What makes you feel safe?

Sandy recalls her own proposal and divorce story, having gotten engaged six weeks after meeting her ex (it involves a puppet named Rocco and an in-flight PA system). In her book, Sandy references a list of compatibility criteria she had when she agreed to marry her ex. And over the years, that criteria has shifted to help her coach her clients. “Now, when I take a client through this process, it’s really about how do you want to feel? Let’s take safety, because that’s a big one. Safety – emotionally, physically, financially. So you go through all those categories, and then you ask who that person has to be for me to feel that way.”

(32:50) Don’t be afraid to interrupt!

Being the host of Last First Date Radio, Damona asks Sandy for her top tips on first date success. Sandy puts a big emphasis on how you’re preparing for your first date. “And a lot of people put very little time into asking, what am I going to talk about? How am I going to frame my stories? That’s something I love working with clients on because we often overshare, we share in a way that feels scary to the other person. And people just say things that are self sabotaging on first dates. So prepare your stories.”

Women are also more stereotypically great listeners, and thus don’t end up participating as equally in first date conversation. Sandy spells out why we should all learn to interrupt more, or offer information without it being asked for.

Be sure to follow Sandy on Instagram @LastFirstDate1 and grab a copy of her new book, “Choice Points in Dating: Empowering Women to Make Healthier Decisions in Love.”



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

IG Message from Jean – Hi Damona, I met this guy on Facebook on December 3rd. We’ve exchanged numbers and have FaceTimed. I’m ready to meet but he wants to wait. Please see his message to me about why. Does he sound sincere? (Message from guy) “Good morning. I hope you made it safely to work this morning. A lot happened yesterday and I received a lot spiritually. I think we take getting to know each other very slowly. Let’s continue to chat and text & FaceTime to allow some more time and learning about our persons before we take any steps further. I am a very demanding and strong-willed, outspoken man that cares deeply and loves hard. The woman with me has to be able to understand and accept me as I do her without judgment, and not one second think I’d do her any harm or mean her any ill will. I LIKE YOU, and I do want to grow with you. BUT because of the man I am and things I’ve been through, it makes me a little more experienced and I don’t want that to ruin our opportunity. So I think it’s best we take more time learning and chatting before we start planning on anything sexual or having physical interaction.”

ChatGPT & Dating, Decoded

As Damona has been posting more dating advice on Instagram, we’ve been reading through the comments (as one does). And some folks are wondering, “Why should I take my dating advice from Damona? She’s a married lady, yet she’s offering online dating advice.” Which made us realize that many new listeners don’t know Damona’s background!

So here’s why Damona should be your go-to gal for dating advice:

  • Damona has over 15 years of experience in online dating and offline dating.
  • As a professional dating coach, she wrote her first online dating profile for a client in 2004 – so she’s been in the game for a minute.
  • Damona became certified as a dating coach in 2013, consequently the same year she launched the Dates & Mates Podcast.
  • She’s collaborated with all of the major dating apps, including Match.com, JDate, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and now OKCupid as their Official Dating Coach and spokesperson.
  • Damona loves staying on top of all of the latest trends and tips on dating, both offline and online.

If that doesn’t convince you to listen to the rest of the show, we don’t know what will. Maybe it’ll be our guest for today, Hannah Orenstein. She’s the deputy editor of lifestyle and wellness at Bustle, and she has her finger on the pulse of modern dating trends. So she is the perfect person to help us decode the new rules of dating.


Will ChatGPT take over online dating?

Our friends at CNET published a captivating article this week, asking what happens when ChatGPT gets a hold of your online dating profile. To get you up to speed, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chat bot that can assist you with basic writing tasks. So Erin, the author of the article, decided to conduct an experiment in which she asked ChatGPT to write witty responses to classic dating profile prompts. For example, Erin gave the prompt “write a 500-character dating app bio for a woman who likes music, books and houseplants.” ChatGPT responded: “Music lover, bookworm, and proud plant parent… Seeking someone who shares my passions and is ready to join me on spontaneous adventures, cozy nights in, and trips to the local nursery… Bonus points if you have a green thumb!”

Damona dives into the ethics of using ChatGPT, the question of misrepresentation, and how ChatGPT is going to revolutionize online dating and communication.

(Funnily enough, ChatGPT’s response to Erin’s prompt above is almost the same as one of the prompts in Damona’s Free Profile Starter Kit. 😂)


Hannah Orenstein is the Deputy Editor of Lifestyle and Wellness at Bustle, where she covers dating, relationships, and sex, among other topics. 

Previously, she was the Senior Dating Editor at Elite Daily, where she still writes her advice column “Dating, Decoded.” She’s also the author of four novels; her most recent book, MEANT TO BE MINE, was praised by Vogue, Cosmo, BuzzFeed, USA Today, and more. 

(18:30) Am I normal?

After having written a dating and relationship advice column for so many years, Hannah says the most common theme within the questions she’s received is: am I normal? Although Hannah describes that one of the most scandalous messages she received was about a reader who had slept with her boyfriend’s best friend, and her struggle with what to do. Another reader had also messaged Hannah asking about how to feel comfortable in her own skin, after having gained weight and having her hair fall out.

Hannah shares a story on how she went about addressing such a layered question, while giving her thoughts on defining “self care.”

 (26:40) Dear Damona/Dear Hannah…

Hannah points out that many of the singles writing in to Dating Decoded are in college or in their early twenties. And when you’re trying to figure out dating for the first time, having an advice columnist to give it to you straight can be a really comforting thing. “I don’t know their lives. But I think sometimes you do need somebody from the outside to say, ‘hey, you seem okay, I think you could be doing better.’”

So if you’re in a relationship, what are the signs that it may be feeling like it’s stagnating? Number one, it’s a pretty clear sign if you write into an advice column for help. Number two? “Anytime you are dwelling on something or ruminating on it, and you just can’t get it off your mind, I think that’s a sign that maybe something is worth examining or worth being curious about there. Because if everything was totally hunky dory, you wouldn’t be obsessing about it all the time.”

Be sure to follow Hannah on Instagram @HannaHorens and check out her monthly advice column, “Dating, Decoded” featured in Elite Daily.



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

  • Email from Heidi – Hi, I’m a widow and I’m new to dating sites. I made a friend recently and he is so complementary that it makes me nervous and a little uncomfortable. Is this a red flag?

Bedroom Confidence & Pleasure Positivity



It’s been a tense couple of weeks for America, so we’re bringing sexy back with sex and relationship coach, Caitlin V. Caitlin joines us the week to get real about bedroom confidence, good sex, and being pleasure positive. Here’s the rundown:


Dating advice from JLO

According to JLO, men are useless until they’re 33. According to Dr. Jane Greer, men like to be established before they settle down and they take time to mature in their 20s. So JLO might be right but Damona has thoughts.


What dating app is most popular in your area?

New data from SimpleTexting shows that the most popular dating app varies state by state. It was no surprise that Match is most popular across the board and Tinder is second most popular. However there were some surprises! Texas, we see you.


How parents can improve their relationships

The secret to a new happy family: paternity leave. Studies show that long periods of paternity directly correlate with mothers’ reports of relationship satisfaction and lower relationship conflict. Have you had this experience? Tweet Damona and let her know.



 This week we took a cue from Samantha, the OG pleasure positive Guru, and sat down with Caitlin V – a sex and relationship coach who helps men become amazing lovers and incredible partners. Caitlin is a former sexual health researcher and policy analyst, turned overnight YouTube sensation. She works with clients all over the world on developing unshakable confidence, sex skills, and intimacy. Combining personal experience with evidence-based science in her coaching, Caitlin’s mission is to create a pleasure-positive world. We talked about A LOT:

  • What does Pleasure Positive mean?
  • How is Pleasure positive difference from sex positive
  • The Sixth Sense
  • What is good sex?
  • How to spice up your sex life
  • Allowing yourself to be sexual
  • How the overuse of Porn is affecting men & women in the bedroom
  • Premature Ejaculations & Performance Anxiety
  • Practice how you play
  • What is a sex coach and who should work with one?

Visit Caitlin’s YouTube or follow her on Instagram for more helpful content on bedroom confidence.


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

  • What does casually dating mean on Tinder?
  • What to do when your boyfriend sends you mixed signals.. in bed.
  • Should you warn your dates if you weigh more than the pictures they see in your profile?


You want a guy who looks like he can chop wood? But do you actually need any wood chopped? Damona closes the show with a diatribe about seeking qualities in a mate that you don’t need.


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