Tag Archive for: dating horror stories

Halloween Horror Stories: Gambling with Love & Fake Date Fiend

Happy Halloween AND welcome to a shocking episode of Dates & Mates!

In the spirit of All Hallows Eve, this episode is dedicated to ghosting, ghoulish behavior and suspicious situations.

Yes, it’s our annual Halloween Dating Horror Stories episode!


This year we collaborated with Reddit to find some of the scariest dating disasters and we found some doozies. From a money monster to a fake date fiend, and everything in between, we’ve got some stories to make you laugh off your own dating disasters. Plus Damona gives her expert insights on how you can escape a similar fate. These tales include:

🎃Gambling With Love… (2:26)

🎃Mixed Signal Pickup… (10:25)

🎃Fake Date Fiend… (15:10)

🎃Xanax Zombie… (16:41)


Then, at the end, friend of the pod, Matt Marr, shares his salacious story:

🎃Caught Him Texting During the Deed… (21:28)


Our Dear Damona segment is returning next week. Submit your questions on Instagram, X, or Facebook to hear Damona’s answers live on the show. 👏

Dating Dance Cards & Catch a Catfish

It’s officially cuffing season folks! The days are shorter and colder, and many of us are feeling that urge to spend more time cozying up in a warm place. And we may want to cozy up with a partner. So that’s exactly what cuffing season is. It’s a reference to being handcuffed or tied to one partner up before your imagination goes wild. It’s not the kinky kind. It’s just the partnership kind. 

That’s why we have MTV’s Catfish co-host and host of the podcast Relationsh*t, Kamie Crawford, joining us today. She’ll be bringing you up to speed on all things dating, from the apps to catfishing and beyond, so that we can get YOU cuffed.


We’re bringing back a classic Dates & Mates segment: Romance Rollback! 

If you’re new to this segment, Damona will be taking a classic romance, dating, courtship, or relationship tradition that you may or may not have heard of – we’ll tell you what it is, how it worked and what we can apply from the customs of yesteryear to today’s dating and relationship scene.

Dance cards: A classic ballroom custom

Have you ever heard the phrase “my dance card is full”? This is in reference to the 1830s ballroom tradition. Basically, a dance card was a card that was provided at large balls with a list of chosen dances for the evening & a blank space beside each dance. Ladies each had a card and when a gentleman asked her to dance, he would write his name in the space for a particular agreed upon dance.

Damona dives into how dance cards came into fashion, lists off some other ballroom etiquette of the time and breaks down the modern love lessons we can learn from them.


Kamie Crawford is a television host, podcast host and model. She co-hosts the MTV hit series, Catfish, and hosts the amazing podcast Relationsh*t, an advice podcast that covers all relationship topics – the good, the bad and the straight up sh*tty.

**Want to hear some Valentine’s Day do’s & don’ts? It may seem a ways out, but is it ever to early to prepare?  Check out Damona on the Relationsh*t podcast with Kamie Crawford here!

(14:50) Friends can catfish too??

Having been co-hosting MTV’s Catfish since 2019, it makes sense that Kamie would have some firsthand experience with catfishing. But what surprised Damona is that it wasn’t a potential match that was misleading her – it was her close friend and roommate! According to Kamie, her friend had faked an engagement, posted about a fiancé that didn’t exist, and posed as traveling to a bunch of different countries.

Moral of the story: You can even be catfished by people that you know in real life, so don’t blame yourself if you couldn’t see it beforehand. 

Kamie also gives us the scoop on how she researches potential matches before meeting them IRL (hint: Google is your friend).

(20:47) Dating profile red flags

Kamie and Damona discuss the bizarre pictures they’ve both seen on dating profiles. Remember that you should be the star of your dating profile, because whoever matches with you is going to be dating YOU – not your dog, not your group of best friends, not your friend’s baby. So make sure that your pictures are always showcasing parts of your personality.

 (29:00) What is the Texting Trap?

It’s one thing to have really great texting banter with someone, but it’s another thing if you never actually meet in person. This is what Damona calls the “Texting Trap” – when you and your match are endlessly messaging back and forth but never actually make plans to talk on the phone, Zoom, or meet in person. 

Damona and Kamie talk about the importance of in-person chemistry, and how “90% of your dating problems are going to be solved if you do a phone call or a quick video chat before you meet.”


Be sure to follow Kamie on Instagram @KamieCrawford and listen to the Relationsh*t Podcast wherever you listen to Dates & Mates. 



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

IG Message from Renee – Hi Damona! I am a young widow – it’s been almost two years since my husband passed away (we were married for 13 years). Although I’m on instagram and etcetera, I am 100% new to dating apps and have been extremely reluctant to join one. However, I’m very restless at this point (not to mention horny) and have finally decided maybe I should try one (or two or three). I think I just need to date and not take it so seriously (as in looking for a hubby) since I’m sure I still am working through the loss in my own way. Do you have any tips for someone in my situation?

Building Trust & New Partner Nerves

Relationships are trial and error, a learning curve, a journey. Each date brings new experiences and a little (or maybe a lot) more self-awareness. You start to develop a sense of your needs and wants, establish your boundaries, and navigate towards a partner that shares your goals and values.

But the story doesn’t end once you find your partner. In fact, it’s always being written. 

That’s the joy in love AND the reason Dr. Pia Holec, one of the experts from Married At First Sight, will be joining us today. She will be sharing tips on how to expand trust and build intimacy with a partner for a healthier, more satisfying relationship.


Toxic forgiveness – is it really possible to forgive and forget?:

Have y’all ever heard of Red Table Talk, the talk show led by Jada Pinkett Smith & her daughter Willow? During a recent episode, Jada and Willow had Will’s ex-wife, Cherie, on the show to clear the air about some things that rubbed each other the wrong way from way back (and to potentially forgive & forget). They did this all with the help of relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab, but you might know her from Instagram

In her new book, Nedra coined the term “toxic forgiveness.” So our friends at PopSugar asked, what exactly is toxic forgiveness? According to Nedra, it is the unhealthy way we pretend to be “over it” in an effort to move on quicker. 

Damona goes over why we feel in such a hurry to forgive when we’re not ready, and poses a thoughtful question – who is our forgiveness really for?


DR. PIA HOLEC (8:20)

Dr. Pia Holec is a psychologist, sex therapist, relationship guru and speaker. And to top it all off, she was an expert this year on the 15th Season of Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight.”

(9:22) The relationships of Married At First Sight.

Being in a relationship is one thing, but starting a relationship through a reality show is a completely different ball game. Besides the relationships on MAFS undergoing an extremely accelerated process, Dr. Pia also has to ask her clients on the show – what are you willing to do in order to make this work?

Plus, Dr. Pia gives us the 4 biggest factors that are affecting relationships and the way we communicate today.

(13:04) Being prepared for a relationship.

Damona believes that you have to prepare for the relationship that you want to have, and Dr. Pia says that being single (or living in your “single season”) is the perfect time to prepare. “Your single season is the time to work on yourself, so that you can be a fully formed adult when entering into a relationship… Conflict arises and issues come up when you’re expecting your partner to complete you, or help you figure out what you want and what you need.”

Dr. Pia also shares the kinds of questions you should ask yourself to be relationship-ready.

(15:38) Defining trust.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle we have to jump when dating is learning to trust someone. Damona defines trust as “when you see that someone’s words match their actions consistently over time.” Dr. Pia continues that trust is usually what we equate with safety.

She adds that when it comes to trust, “your feelings are real… they’re not always based in facts, though.” Dr. Pia helps her clients and couples on MAFS cultivate trust by grounding themselves in the present moment. This way, they are able to take a pause on their emotions and focus solely on the facts of a situation.

Dr. Pia describes the power in naming our own trauma (and how to do it).

(21:00) Is your therapist third-wheeling?

We LOVE that everyone is so open about going to therapy these days (according to the stats at Hinge & OkCupid, people are actually more likely to swipe right if you go therapy). But for those who are not as comfortable sharing our mental health journey on our dating profile, Damona asks Dr. Pia for some advice on bringing up this topic with new matches.

Dr Pia says: Just put it out there in the open. Acknowledging that you go to therapy won’t feel awkward if we don’t let it feel awkward, right? It’s a beautiful thing to be in touch with your emotions… And if that person judges you for bringing up mental health early on in dating, then chances are they’re not your person!

(26:55) Is it love bombing, or are they just being honest?

If you haven’t heard, love bombing happens when someone showers you with attention or affection to gain your trust, in order to manipulate or control you. It sounds scary, but it’s very easy to stop love bombing in its tracks if you know what to look out for.

Our gut and intuition will almost always tell us what’s up. But if you’d like more proof that your spidey senses are correct, try asking yourself these questions:

❓Are they only saying nice things?

❓Are they trying to isolate you from your family?

❓Do they use phrasing like you were meant for each other or belong together?

❓Do you feel a sense of safety with this person?

❓How do I feel with this person? Then ask – how do I feel when I’m NOT with this person?


Check out Married At First Sight on Lifetime and follow Dr. Pia on Instagram @SexDrPia for more of her amazing advice.



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 Emily – ​​I had breast cancer and a lumpectomy in 2020. I wasn’t dating actively before my diagnosis, but this year I decided to start actively looking. I have been on the dating apps and talking to people. When do I tell the person I am getting to know about my cancer? I have scars on my body I can’t hide if I choose to be intimate. I also have side effects from my radiation. Nobody talks about life and dating after cancer treatment. How does a 48 yr old never married, no kids kinda woman navigate the dating world?


Halloween Dating Horror & Crimes of the Heart

This week’s episode of Dates & Mates is gonna get a little spookier than usual… because it’s almost Halloween!

This is one of our favorite times of the year here at Dates & Mates, because we all get to dress up, get creative and find a sense of play. 

Give yourself permission to get a little weird this year. It’s okay. In fact, it’s often something people are attracted to, both platonically and romantically.

If you prefer to stay in, try making some spooky cookies and listening to a Halloween themed playlist. But if you want to get out and get dressed up with a friend, then we’ve got some of the TOP costumes for couples coming up!

Then actress, singer-songwriter, and host of the podcast, Crimes of the Heart, Rory Uphold will be joining us to share her dating horror stories and the lessons she’s learned from them.


Costumes ideas that are cute, but not the nauseating kind of cute:

Damona gives us her fav suggestions on this year’s top Halloween costumes.

Hot tip: Damona notes that costume pics work GREAT in dating profiles. They show your sensibility, your sense of humor, what cultural references you lean towards, and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. 

**If this Halloween tip piqued your interest, you’ll be amazed at what else Damona has to share about your dating profile in the FREE Profile Starter Kit. Click here to check it out.




Rory Uphold is the host of Crimes of the Heart, a podcast where singles and couples share their most tragic and embarrassing love, dating and sex stories. She is also an actress and a singer-songwriter.

(12:05) The parallels between love & horror

Rory shared how she happened upon hosting a crime/horror podcast about love (and how the two feelings are more alike than you may think). 

Plus, Roy and Damona discuss what defines a “dating horror story.” Because sometimes the scariest thing of all is waking up next to someone you DEFINITELY regret gettin’ it on with.

(15:55) YOUR Dating Horror Stories

Damona and Rory dive into some frightful dating stories submitted by five Dates & Mates listeners, then give their thoughts on what went wrong. These tales include:

🎃A weirdly ambiguous accent… (16:47)

🎃A chin-to-forehead tongue kiss… (27:00)

🎃A man on all fours… (34:05)

🎃Kissing a waiter on the lips… (36:00)

🎃Fire-throwing in a park… (40:10)


Be sure to follow Rory on Instagram @ICouldBeBlonder and check out her podcast, Crimes of the Heart, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.


There is no Dear Damona segment this week. But you can submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to hear Damona’s answers live on a future show. 👏