Tag Archive for: dating offline

This Is Supposed to Be Fun & Conflict Styles

Dating is a journey – a process of trial and error, learning, vulnerability, compromise. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile is. The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself along the way.

And that’s why we have certified clinical sexologist and sex & dating coach Myisha Battle joining Damona today. She will be talking about her new book, “It’s Supposed To Be Fun: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.”


Can thinking about your ex improve your relationship?:

It seems logical that thinking about your ex while in a relationship is a bad sign, right? Well Best Life Magazine says this may actually improve your current relationship. A new study in the European Journal of Social Psychology focused on “the potential positive influence” of former romantic partners. Study participants were instructed to reflect on a past relationship, particularly focusing on “nostalgic memories.”

Damona dives deeper into the results of the study, how nostalgia works in our prefrontal cortex, and why we should bring nostalgia into ANY first date scenario.


Myisha Battle a certified clinical sexologist, sex & dating coach, educator, and speaker. Her work has been featured in national print and online outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Refinery29, Oprah Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Playboy, Nylon, and more. Plus, her newest book is called “THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.”

(13:45) “Hooking up” is not the same as dating.

One of the most common thoughts Myisha encounters from her clients is that having fun in dating usually equates to hooking up with your date. As Myisha points out, “I wanted to recognize that a major focus for people dating is to try to gather sexual experiences. But again, I think hooking up – that fun part – is mistaken for like the whole of dating.” 

Myisha also goes over what it means to be intentional with your dating life. Plus, how you can identify your sexual values – AKA finding the exact right words to describe what you’re looking for.

(23:47) Are their words and actions aligned?

Damona asks Myisha for clarity on reading between the lines in someone’s dating profile. Like, what does it exactly mean when someone says they’re looking for *blank* but “open to possibilities”? 

Myisha brings up that famous Maya Angelou quote – “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time” – and states that people will usually reveal themselves and their true intentions through the dating process. There are times when their words and actions aren’t aligned, and if this happens then that can be a conversation you have with your match.

(29:19) The pros and cons of the “sex buddy.”

There is a whole section in Myisha’s book, This Is Supposed To Be Fun, about the varying ways of having a sex buddy. Damona brings up the point that a sex buddy has the potential to be a bit of a crutch to avoid being more intentional in dating, and Myisha acknowledges that there can be an unhealthy component in hanging on to somebody for too long. 

But in her book, Myisha purposefully refers to the sex buddy as a gift in order to destigmatize the judgment around casual relationships. As Myisha puts it, “just because this is a sexual connection, it’s still a connection, it’s an exchange… there’s an energetic exchange I get from you and you get for me, so it’s a relationship of sorts.”

(34:52) How to communicate using S-B-I

SBI – or Situation, Behavior, Impact – is a communication technique that Myisha says she picked up during managerial training in a former life. Basically, you state the situation (i.e. the facts), you name the behavior that you were affected by, and then describe the impact it had on you.

Myisha clarifies that the SBI model is a really helpful framework to filter our emotions through, particularly when pre-breakup thoughts start to creep in. “So it can be a way to start those conversations. And to get into the weeds a little bit with people. No matter how early or late things have been going on, it’s just a good way to organize your thoughts and to be able to give that feedback in a way that feels authentic to you.” 


Be sure to follow Myisha on Instagram @myishabattle and check out her book – This Is Supposed to Be Fun: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.





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 Tayba – Dear Damona, love your podcast. You mentioned that there’s 4 key compatibility markers, one of them being conflict resolution. Would you explain the different styles of conflict resolution in one of your episodes, as well as how to identify your own/your date’s style?


Damona is running her signature dating coaching group LIVE one last time with live session starting WEDNESDAY 1/25. This is your LAST CALL to get Damona’s direct support on developing your dating plan for 2023. Grab one of the last remaining seats today at TheDatingSecret.com

Savage Love & Hookup Hangup

The rules of dating have changed! But you know that. We’ve been shouting it from the rooftop for 10 years now.

While many of our parents and grandparents adhered to strict gender roles, monogamy and a typical relationship timeline (first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage), WE are building relationships that suit our lifestyles.

For example, non-monogamy is on the rise! Since last year, there has been a 42% increase in mentions of “ENM” or “ethical non-monogamy” on OkCupid profiles. There has also been an increase in the number of married couples who “Live Apart Together” – folks in committed relationships who live in separate homes. And according to the Census Bureau, the percentage of people in these LAT relationships increased by more than 25 percent between 2000 and 2019.

Based on our inbox, y’all have a lot of questions about how to make your relationship dream a reality (even if it includes a non-traditional arrangement). So we brought in the big dog today – THE Dan Savage is here with us. He’s the host of the Savage Lovecast and the long-running column, Savage Love. Dan will be talking about writing the rules of your own relationship and answering your love questions in a special Dear Damona segment!


If you clap when planes land, your partner might break up with you:

Hold onto your “icks” ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to dive into dating dealbreakers. A study commissioned by the dating site Seeking discovered that out of 2,000 adults, over half (65%) have ended a relationship because of an ick. What is an ick, you ask? It is a specific and possibly non conventional trait that turns someone off (i.e. “they gave me the ick”).

Damona goes over the most prominent icks from the survey – including bad body odor, clapping when your plane lands, and being obsessed with astrology (LOL since Dates & Mates just did a whole episode about astrology). Do you have an ick? 👀 

DAN SAVAGE (13:06)

Dan Savage is an American author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist.

He is the author of “Savage Love,” a sex-advice column, which first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. 

Dan is also the host of the podcast The Savage Lovecast, where he answers your sex questions and talks politics, and 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.”

(15:54) Dating dinosaurs.

Damona and Dan have many things in common, but the biggest is that they’re both veterans of the professional dating scene for 15+ years. Damona asks Dan what he’s seen as the biggest changes in dating and relationships during his career. Surprisingly, Dan responds that the question – “am I normal?” – is a thing of the past.

(22:21) The non-monogamous spectrum.

Damona brings up an interview that Dan did on the Death, Sex and Money Podcast with Anna Sale, in which Dan brought up the difference between non-monogamy and cheating.

Dan states that monogamy is a spectrum, and that you CAN in fact be cheated on in a non-monogamous relationship (just as you would a monogamous one). He also shares the kinds of feelings you may be having if you’re non-monogamous at heart (and how to have the “I’m non-monogamous” conversation).

Be sure to follow Dan on Instagram @DanSavage and to check out his book “Savage Love from A to Z: Advice on Sex and Relationships, Dating and Mating, Exes and Extras.” You can find his podcast, Savage Lovecast, 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:

  • Voice Message from B – I put so much pressure on myself to find a guy that meets my standards, I think I am hindering myself from finding my match. What should I do?
  • IG Message from R – I find myself getting lost in flings while I search for my forever partner. How do I balance this dissonance?



Damona is running her signature dating coaching group LIVE one last time starting the week of January 23rd. If you want to find love in 2023, this is your moment! Want to learn more? Check out the free intro class on Wednesday January 18th at 4pm PT/ 7pm ET. You can sign up for that at DamonaHoffman.com/freeclass

Love Astrology & Main Character Energy

It’s week two of 2023 and Peak Dating Season is going strong! Plus Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so it’s not surprising to hear that many of you are looking for love in the new year. 

Luckily there are more tools than ever to help you in your search. You can create a vision board to roadmap what you want in love and life (as Damona covered in the last episode of 2022). You can refresh your dating profile regularly to boost you in the search algorithms. You can even let your friends know that you are looking for a date and ask for support in your search.

But – did you know that you can look to the stars for more information on your dating future? (Say what?! It’s true.) Astrology can be a powerful tool in predicting the compatibility and timing for when your stars will align to find love…

Today we have one of Damona’s dear friends and mentors joining Dates & Mates, Vedic astrologer and relationship coach Carol Allen. She’s going to help us understand the stars of 2023 and compatibility as it relates to someone else’s astrological imprint.


The biggest dating trends of 2023 (according to dating app experts):

Women’s Health recently published a full deep dive into the dating trends of 2023. And according to dating app experts, this year will be all about *main character energy* as people become more certain about their deal breakers and self worth. Not only that, the article mentions shifts in dating culture such as leaning into vulnerability (Damona talks about this in her episode with one of the hottest multi-platform content creators, Chris Thompson), open conversations about non-monogamy, and budget conscious dates (Damona goes over money-friendly date ideas with financial author Nicole Lapin.)

Damona dives deeper into each oncoming trend and shares some hard-hitting stats.


Carol Allen is a Vedic astrologer, a relationship coach and Damona’s mentor. She is the author of “Love Is In The Stars – The Wise Woman’s Astrological Guide To Men.” Carol has been featured on E!, Bridezillas, EXTRA, Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers and in Chicken Soup For The Soul, Woman’s World, and Daily Candy.

(If your a fan of Dr. Drew’s, like Damona, listen to his Dates & Mates episode titled “Dr. Drew & The Big 400” here.)


(11:53) Is Vedic astrology just like any astrology?

When many of us think of astrology, our minds immediately go to those Cosmopolitan, back-of-the-magazine type of readings. But Vedic astrology, which Carol studies (originating in ancient India) follows a different criteria. Before all the compatibility details, Carol suggests first looking at the capacity of your partner – i.e. do you have the capacity for being in a relationship in the first place? How conscientious are you? How supportive are you? How present are you? How empathetic are you?

Carol dives further into defining low capacity people, and how timing plays another huge part in compatibility.

(23:01) Lunar eclipses influence marriage??

Carol touches upon the marriages of Drew Barrymore, Jen & Brad (Aniston and Pitt, of course) and shares how the stars determined the fates of their marriages (hint: both happened around a lunar eclipse). Plus, Carol gives an IN DEPTH reading of Damona’s wedding day, and how her and Seth were astrologically set up for success.

(31:48) Your calendar affects the outcome.

We all like to look to astrology for things like compatibility, life purpose, and personal information. But we forget how the stars can sway things like the success of a job interview, asking someone out, the best time to buy a house, when to have an important conversation – you name it. Carol explains how she maps things out for her clients using her special model of calendar, the Personal Success Calendar..


Be sure to follow on Instagram @CarolAllenAstrologer AND for a limited time you can get your Personal Success Calendar at a huge discount at damonahoffman.com/mycalendar.



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 C – I am 62 and he is 71. 3 months together and lots of kissing, chemistry and common interests. Yet, he has made no moves toward intimacy. Should I say something? Try to seduce? Or just wait it out?


Damona is running her signature dating coaching group LIVE one last time starting the week of January 23rd. If you want to find love in 2023, this is your moment! Hear new success stories and see how the program can change your love life too at TheDatingSecret.com

Dear Damona: New Year, New Boo & Dating Sunday Too

Welcome back to Dates & Mates AND welcome to 2023!!!

The new year signifies change and rebirth for many of us. It’s a time of reflection and growth, a time when so many people are looking towards the future. And this energy is almost palpable in the number of emails, texts, voice memos and voicemails that we’ve accrued this season.

This is the season for love. Dating Sunday is upon us and this year it falls on Sunday, Jan 8th. (If you need a refresher, Dating Sunday is the time when dating apps see the biggest spike in new members & user activity.)

So we’ve decided to dedicate the first episode of 2023 ENTIRELY to your questions – it’s an all-Dear Damona episode!


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

(1:46) Email from D – I am a 28-year old woman who recently moved to a new city one year ago. Recently, I have been having terrible issues with guys not following through on plans. There’s the old rule – “if a guy is interested, he’ll let you know, you won’t have to guess.” I rarely text guys first and if they don’t follow up, I don’t either. Is this a smart approach?

(9:05) IG Message from Tamara – Hi Damona! I love your podcast. I met this guy on a dating app and we connected right away. He asked me on a first date, but then told me how to dress for the date including how to wear my hair and what lipstick to wear. This is a turnoff to me. I am not a Barbie doll and I think I can plan my own outfits. Is this a red flag?

(12:08) IG Message from J – I currently live in Denver, but I’m moving to Seattle at the end of this month. Is it okay to start matching and connecting with people on Hinge before I arrive as long as I’m honest about not being there yet? And how to keep a connection alive and not disappoint people that I’m still in the process of moving there?

(17:12) Voice Memo from Princess – I just turned 21 and I’m on several introductory dating apps. I’m wanting a meaningful long term relationship and I am only looking for matches who want the same. But  I’m finding that some of these guys who say they want a relationship or either back off from that, or say they’re just checking it out. Of course, it’s fine to not know what you want. But I think they should say that. Am I being too hard on them? Or are these men emotionally catfishing me?

**Check out the question above for a refresher on Damona’s 4 Components of Long-Term Compatibility.

(23:56) Text from Anon – Should I list that I have a child on my dating profile? What are the pros and cons of doing so or not doing so?

(27:02) Email from A – I’m in my mid-thirties and was diagnosed with some health issues in my late twenties-early thirties. I am in decent shape and one wouldn’t know by looking at me that I’m dealing with any health issues. I’m actively dating and am starting to notice that average dating questions around lifestyle choices (exercising, diet etc.) trigger me. Is there a way for me to politely or playfully decline or pivot from answering these questions until I am comfortable sharing?



Damona is running her signature dating coaching group LIVE one last time starting the week of January 23rd. If you want to find love in 2023, this is your moment! Hear new success stories and see how the program can change your love life too at TheDatingSecret.com

Minisode: How to Make a Vision Board

Happy almost new year!!! Around this time, we start to get a bunch of new questions and Dates & Mates listeners. As we all reflect on starting the new year off fresh, finding a partner to do life with often becomes a top priority for people. And we want to support you in that process.

That is why Damona’s Dating Accelerator Program always begins with clarifying your mindset. (I know, easy to say but harder to do.) There are various tools you can use: visualization, journaling, writing narratives, creating ideal scenes… AND designing vision boards.

In today’s minisode, Damona will talk you through how to design a vision board. It’s okay if you’ve never made one (and okay if you’ve never heard of one). Basically, vision boards creatively act as a roadmap for your life. And most times, putting elements together on a board is a really powerful tool to manifest what you want.


Everyone has something hard wired called “confirmation bias” – AKA the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.

Your confirmation bias can be your downfall if you let it add up to a negative hypothesis. But what happens if you foresee a positive outcome? That is what a Vision Board trains your brain to do.

So let’s get started!

You’ll need a piece of poster board, scissors, glue and a stack of magazines.

  1. Take a moment to get centered and visualize the relationship you want. How will you feel when you are with this person? Where will you go on your dates? Do you see pets, kids, a home, shared activities? What does this life look like together?
  2. Scan for images. Flip through your magazines or images on the internet and see which images jump out at you. (If you do this step after a visualization, your brain is primed to pick up the most significant markers.)
  3. Seek out words or phrases. Especially ones that affirm your vision. If nothing catches your eye, you can always write in significant words and phrases with markers.
  4. Assemble! You can either paste your elements as you go, or create more of a narrative before you start gluing. 

Still unsure of where to start? Listen to the end of the minisode (13:30) where Damona answers the most common vision board FAQs…


P.S. Don’t forget that Early Bird Enrollment is now open for the next round of my signature program: The Dating Accelerator!

Get $300 off now through Dec. 31st with the code EARLYBIRD

See testimonial videos, understand how my system changes lives and get on the road to a healthy relationship in the new year at TheDatingSecret.com

Relationship Science & Dating Cancellations

Y’all know that we LOVE statistics and science here at Dates & Mates, so why not squeeze in some more data before the end of the year?

Today Damona is dishing with award-winning international dating and relationship expert (and the same person who gave Damona her certification in coaching!!) – Hunt Ethridge. He’ll be breaking down some new science in the relationship and dating space, so you can hack the dating game once and for all.


Canceling plans because you’re not feeling body confident? Let’s talk about it.

A new survey from a company called Wild Dose (who make products for belly & gut health) revealed that men are more likely than women to back out of a date when they aren’t feeling body confident. 

More specifically, the research showed that 25% of men will avoid sex when feeling self conscious, compared to 22% of women. And 1 in 10 men admitted they’ve canceled on a date last minute when not feeling body confident due to stomach issues such as bloating.

Damona makes two arguments based on this data. Firstly, that we should all be trusting our gut a lot more when it comes to dating. (Yeah, butterflies are a thing. But maybe what you’re feeling has to do more with intuition than nerves.) And secondly, that we all need to practice being more respectful of our date’s time when canceling plans. Damona also shares her sure-fire formula to avoid being canceled on.


Hunt Ethridge is an award-winning international dating and relationship expert with over 15 years experience.

Hunt is the co-founder of The Matchmaking Business Academy, which will educate and mentor matchmakers and dating coaches at all levels of their career. He has also been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Playboy and GQ.

(12:08) Where we are now…

There have been several milestone shifts with dating culture in the last 15 years. But most all of them fall under how we communicate – Tinder and swipe app technology increased the speed of communication, and texting became the primary mode of communication in dating. So how can we continue to use these tools as a means of connection, rather than letting them become obstacles to connection? Hunt gives his hot take.

(19:30) Authenticity pays off!

We talk about authenticity a lot on Dates & Mates and learning to show up as your authentic self. But Hunt clarifies. He says that it’s about being your *best* authentic self. “Sometimes people think oversharing or being unedited is authenticity, and that’s not necessarily what it means… I could sit here with greasy hair and a ripped t-shirt and that would be authentic because I look like that sometimes. But it’s not going to be the authentic that will work the best for you in a dating situation.”

So can we redefine what it means to be authentic? Hunt shares his thoughts…

(26:38) The science of self-disclosure

Hunt dives into a study he read recently about the science of over-sharing, which some may see as self-disclosure or being vulnerable. According to the research, your date’s response to self-disclosure works out more favorably and creates more connection when the other party values openness and vulnerability themselves.

Hunt also explains the ways in which we are wired to mirror each other (and the varied ways that mirroring shows up).

(36:04) What if Stranger Danger was wrong?

Another study? Heck yes! Hunt shares some research he found that describes how positive interactions with strangers, however minor, predict a greater subjective well being. “It boils down to if I smile at you, you’re gonna smile back. And if I see your smile, hopefully it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And so I kind of created a feedback loop.”

Plus, Damona and Hunt dive deeper into this concept of “reciprocal altruism”.

(36:04) What does it take to date offline?

Online dating has its obstacles, no doubt. And I know many of us are itching to ditch the apps altogether and solely date offline. But keep in mind – dating offline will require us to do more of the work to see results.

A tip from Hunt to ease your transition into offline dating… Instead of asking each other logical questions like “how was your day,” try asking more emotional questions that will access their more positive emotions. What was your favorite thing about this weekend? What was the best thing about where you grew up? When was the last time you had a win at work? What was the best prank you saw in college? 


Be sure to follow Hunt on Instagram @QuestforAdvice and check out HuntforAdvice.com for more information.




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 Emily – Dear Damona, I was wondering if you could provide me with some insight. I have it stated on my dating profile that I am looking for something more serious. I’ll match with someone, they say they are looking for something more serious as well, but then by the third or fourth date they say that I am further along in wanting a commitment and they aren’t quite ready for a relationship and want to keep things casual. And when that happens, I end it. This has happened to me four times now. What are some signs I can look out for to avoid this happening again and is there anything I can do to find someone more serious about wanting a relationship?