Tag Archive for: dating predictions 2024

Tinder Love & Love Don’t Cost a Thing


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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

(10:40) What is Tinder Live?

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

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

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

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

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

(19:18) What About the Cat Dudes?

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

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

(21:34) Green Flags

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

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

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


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

Anonymous DM from Instagram:

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

Dating Trends & Ending Ex Talk


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

(4:44) Singles in America Report

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

(8:12) AI as a Tool for Dating

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

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

(11:55) Lonely and Hopeful

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

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

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

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

(24:23) Let’s Talk About Sex

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

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

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

DEAR DAMONA (31:00).

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

Instagram DM from V:

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

Dating App Deja Vu & The Tinder Rule

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

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

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


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

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

MJ HARRIS (13:36)

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

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

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

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

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

(23:10) No is a Complete Sentence

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

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

(27:50) Ghosting is ok??

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

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

(37:17) The Tinder Rule

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

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

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

DEAR DAMONA (41:23).

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

Instagram DM from Pearl:

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

Dear Damona: Choosing Profile Pics & Dating Younger Men

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

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

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


2:34 Instagram DM from J

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

7:10 Text Message from Anonymous

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

14:32 Instagram DM from Gigi 

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

10:09 Instagram DM from Heidi

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

25:09 DM from CZ on Spotify

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

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

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

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



Dr Lisa Marie Bobby on dating and breakup recovery

Break Up Recovery & Where to Meet

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

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

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

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

Dating Dish (1:54)

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

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

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

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

Dr Lisa Marie Bobby (10:16)

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

Break Up Recovery & Where to Meet Dr Lisa Marie Bobby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healing requires that we process intrusive memories and emotions properly.


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

Dear Damona with Dr. Lisa (38:17)

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

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




Love on LinkedIn & New Year, New You

It’s January, and if there’s one thing we have heard more times than we can count this month, it’s the familiar chant of “New Year, New Me.” Now, you’ve probably heard Damona say it over the years too, but while we fully embrace self-improvement and growth, they should be a year-round focus, rather than an annual one.

That being said, we know that many of you are in that space right now, ready to make a change. So here to help us form new habits and keep them is speaker and best-selling author, Rainie Howard. She’ll be outlining the steps to creating change and and she’ll tell us the signs that you may be in need of a change, even if you don’t realize it right now.

But first, we have the Dating Dish this week, and it is spicy! There is a new hot dating site and you will never guess what it is!


Dating Dish (2:00)

Alright, take a seat because we’re delving into the latest buzz on the dating scene! Business Insider spills the beans that the unexpected star of the dating game is none other than LinkedIn. Yes, you heard that right. 

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, is apparently doubling up as a rendezvous spot. People are blending business with pleasure and the DM feature is playing a significant role in turning it into a potential dating arena.

But tread carefully when venturing into professional inboxes. While LinkedIn brings credibility, using it as a dating platform raises eyebrows. 

Now, for those considering a business connection that could turn into more, here’s a LinkedIn DM tip: Keep the initial message professional but relevant. In the slower pace of LinkedIn, no need to rush the first comment on a post. Show genuine interest without diving into personal territory too soon. Go slow and stay open to unexpected connections! 

Rainie Howard (11:40)

Introducing Rainie Howard, a powerhouse in the realm of inspiration! She wears many hats – a sought-after speaker, a Best Selling Author, and a life coach. With a repertoire that includes impactful books like “Addicted to Pain” and “You Are Enough,” Rainie spreads her empowering messages not just through her writings but also as the host of “The Rainie Howard Show” podcast.

(12:26) How Do We Create Change?

Embarking on a fresh perspective, Rainie unfolds insights into personal transformation, challenging the conventional “new year, new me” narrative. Rather than externalizing goals of love and relationships, she advocates for embodying the qualities one desires in a friend and lover. Rainie’s approach involves radiating self-love, sparking a natural attraction – a brilliant shift in perspective.

Rainie underscores the importance of aligning actions with the desired character. Addressing the common pitfall of overwhelming to-do lists, she recommends prioritizing and focusing on one thing at a time for enduring change. Her advice? “Zero in on those small daily changes that lay the foundation for long-lasting results and stay grounded in realism about how we’re going to make it happen.”

 (15:45) Better Boundaries in 2024

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

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

Damona echoes this sentiment, endorsing the concept of slow love and dating. She underscores the significance of stepping back during the in-between moments to assess feelings without getting caught up in momentum. 

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

 (18:50) Is This Relationship Toxic?

Navigating the intricacies of relationships, the conversation takes a glance ahead, exploring potential signs of toxicity. Rainie urges a keen focus on the emotions the relationship evokes, from walking on eggshells to subtle disrespect. Toxicity, she suggests, isn’t always overt; it can manifest in demeaning words that leave one questioning their worth.

In a follow-up, Damona digs into Rainie’s expertise on addiction to pain, as featured in her book “Addicted to Pain.” The discussion unveils a nuanced perspective, acknowledging a collective tendency to tolerate certain levels of pain. 

Rainie shares examples where individuals may accept disrespectful behavior or infidelity, inadvertently allowing patterns of pain. The exchange reveals a cycle of seeking highs and lows in relationships, akin to a dopamine-driven journey. Rainie advocates for breaking free from this cycle and for the pursuit of healthier connections.

(23:07) Rainie Shares Her Goals for 2024

Sharing aspirations for the year ahead, the conversation turns to personal goals, resolutions, dreams, hopes, and wishes for 2024. Rainie expresses excitement about her upcoming book, highlighting the goal of bringing it to life and connecting with readers. Beyond that, her perpetual focus is on self-improvement, currently honing the art of listening in various aspects of life, from conversations to business meetings.

Rainie introduces her engagement with the slow living movement, emphasizing the value of taking time for oneself and approaching projects with ease. Rather than succumbing to stress and overwhelm, she embraces a mindset of breathing through challenges and acknowledging that not everything needs to be figured out instantly. 

Rainie’s journey includes morning meditations which foster a deeper connection to her intuition and spirituality. These intentional practices reflect her commitment to personal growth in the year ahead.


Dear Damona (25:37)

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

  • Instagram DM from E: Dear Damona, How do you know when you’ve been ghosted? And what do you recommend as a response? What if that person messages after some time has passed?


2024 Dating Astrology & Instant Exclusivity

It has been a whirlwind of a week here as we celebrate the launch of  Damona’s first book, “F The Fairy Tale: Rewrite the Dating Myths and Live Your Own Love Story”. 

Damona is so humbled by the support of this book and the responses to it. Some of you have said you couldn’t put it down; it’s the book you didn’t know you needed. It’s more than a regular dating book, and Damona wrote it with that intent and with you in mind, so thank you for reading, posting reviews on Amazon, and putting the writing on the pages into ACTION!

Our guest this week is here for two reasons. First and foremost, she is one of the main inspirations behind Damona’s new book. Second, she is here for her annual astrological forecast on life and love! That’s right, it’s Vedic astrologer and relationship coach Carol Allen.

Dating Dish (2:31)

A new article from The New York Times tackles decluttering your dating life. Symptoms of a cluttered dating life include an outdated online profile, a match you keep messaging despite not seeing a future together, or being haunted by someone who ghosted you.

Damona challenges listeners to apply New Year organization aspirations to their love lives: Limit apps used, set intentional usage goals, and take conversations offline quickly. 

Start by identifying relationship goals, then clear clutter, close communication loops, refresh profiles, and show up fully for meaningful matches. Confront the chaos for clarity!

Carol Allen (12:23)

Carol Allen is a Vedic astrologer, relationship coach, and author of, “Love Is In The Stars: The Wise Woman’s Astrological Guide To Men”. Not only that, Carol is a dear friend of Damona’s and one of the main inspirations for F the Fairy Tale. 

(14:41) What is Vedic Astrology?

Carol takes us on an eye-opening ride through astrology’s ancient history. She notes Vedic astrology draws on past civilizations while adding its own zest – like a 27-sign lunar zodiac symbolizing the moon’s nightly visits with his varied “wives.” 

This intricate system landed in Greece thanks to a conquering Alexander and eventually mingled with Western motifs. But Vedic astrology uses different calculations, shifting the lens by a whopping 24 degrees. 

Carol reveals astrology arose from earthly needs like farming before evolving to illuminate personalities and soulmates. In the end, Vedic readings offer richer compatibility clues than the usual sun sign checks.

 (20:14) Damona and Seth’s Vedic Charts

Carol examines the Vedic astrology birth charts of Damona and her husband Seth and notes our host boasts a rare and auspicious combination, indicating an advanced soul here to enlighten the world through teaching and healing. 

This powerful arrangement seeds abundance, benefiting endeavors around counseling and uplifting others. Carol traces how these cosmic codes manifest in talents for uniting and guiding women in matters of the heart.

Delving deeper into the predestined forces underlying relationships, Carol spotlights a remarkable 15-point compatibility system. She determines the couple’s bond and checks every box, stacked with intellectual chemistry and effortless alignment. 

Carol suggests lasting love requires a meeting of hearts, minds, and spirits – a transcendent sense of fate. 

(30:00) The Best and Worst Days for Love in 2024

Carol scans the stars for insight into romantic forces in the coming year. She spotlights fortunate phases for connection: 

  • April showcases a powerful placement for the planet of love, Venus, making it prime time for mingling and dating apps. 
  • Mid-May through June also beams beneficent energies ideal for pairing up. 
  • Damona’s sign hosts lucky Venus from September to October. 
  • However, caution comes with Mercury’s retrograde, often bringing unfinished stories back into the fray. 
  • So while April offers Venus’ blessings, Mercury retrograde then tends to destabilize new bonds. 
  • August and November-December also see Mercury mixing things up. 
  • Intense eclipses in March-April can catalyze drama and change.

(42:40) Get Your Own Personal Success Calendar from Carol

Carol provides a chance to chart one’s own course ahead. She creates Personalized Success Calendars, mapping auspicious days for everything from communicating to making money, traveling, and dating. 

These individualized reports integrate your birth details to forecast the year’s energetic flows. Damona consults her own annual calendar for guidance on significant decisions. 

So, for those of you who are seeking insight into when the stars align for bold moves or new beginnings, Carol makes it easy to glimpse the personal potential the heavens have in store. 

Dear Damona (47:10)

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

  • Text from Paula: Dear Damona, How do I handle situations where potential dates want to be exclusive right away? Sometimes, they bring it up before we have even met in person.


Master Class: The 4 Dating Myths & 4 Pillars

This week’s episode is brought to you by Damona’s new book F the Fairy Tale!


  • – Drew Barrymore says it’s the relationship book we’ve all been waiting for…hope with a roadmap!
  • – Dr. Drew Pinsky says it’s entertaining, smart and fun.
  • – Lori Gottlieb says it invites readers to take control of their love stories.
  • – John Kim calls it the cold shower and warm cup of tea singles need.


What will you say? It’s on bookshelves now or at F the Fairy Tale Book.com

There are many new listeners to the show this week, so let’s get started with a quick introduction to our host, certified dating coach with 17 years of experience, Damona Hoffman.  Damona embarked on this journey after meeting her husband online and having her friends come to her for advice on how to write a dating profile.

Today she writes for The Washington Post, LA Times, LA Magazine, and various other platforms. Damona is also the official Love Expert of The Drew Barrymore Show and a regular on NBC’s Access Daily with Mario Lopez and Kit Hoover.

The Dates & Mates podcast won Best Black Podcast at the Black Podcasting Awards and Damona has been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sonic Bloom Podcasting Awards. Additionally, the show has landed on esteemed top 10 podcast lists by Mashable, Huff Post, and Cosmo.

A few other fun facts about Damona – she is a vibrant Sagittarius, theater enthusiast, yoga lover, and an advocate of all things pink!

Now, the Dates & Mates podcast is typically a blend of headlines, interviews, and Q&A, but today, to mark the new year and celebrate the birthday of her first book, F the Fairy Tale,  Damona is shaking things up with a fan-favorite: a Master Class.

Oh, and don’t miss out! Damona wraps up the episode with her absolute hottest tip for dating in 2024.

The 4 Dating Myths & 4 Pillars Masterclass(2:40)

In her 17 years as a dating coach, Damona has noticed four common yet misleading belief systems being ingrained in daters by media, families, and communities. In her book, Damona pairs each myth with one of the four pillars of long-term compatibility. By unveiling these myths and applying the pillars, daters can reshape their dating perspectives for genuine connections.

(4:32) The List Myth

The List Myth emerges when seeking specific qualities in a match, leading to a mental scorecard during dates. Those following this myth often feel pressured by societal timelines for love or marriage.

If you have ever said this, you may be caught up in The List Myth

  • I’m just really picky and that’s why I never meet anyone.
  • There’s no one online that I’m interested in.
  • Everyone I’ve dated seemed great on paper, at first.

Damona shares how to reframe The List Myth and get your mindset right to create a permanent fix.

(8:00) The Rules Myth

The Rules Myth influences those who view dating as a strategic game and often adopt a mechanical approach to meeting people and going on dates. It dominates modern dating culture, fueling the hunger for content in books, Instagram, and TikTok, where everyone seeks shortcuts to love. This myth emerges early in dating, hindering genuine connections from forming.

If you have ever said this, you may be caught up in The Rules Myth:

  • I never imagined I’d meet my person online.
  • He has to ask me out first or I’m not going.
  • I’m matching with people but once we start texting I lose interest.

Damona reframes The Rules Myth with by advising daters to search for values and tools over rules. Tasha’s story is shared as an example of overcoming The Rules Myth and the success that can come from following Damona’s advice.

(12:45) The Chemistry Myth

The Chemistry Myth insists on immediate sparks for a successful long-term relationship, amplified by the rapid pace of modern dating. Seeking shortcuts often leads to overlooking crucial relationship indicators, causing doubts in dating and relationship decisions.

If you have ever said this, you may be caught up in The Chemistry Myth:

  • It was a nice first date, but I didn’t feel the spark.
  • They aren’t right for me, but we have such great chemistry.
  • They give me butterflies. It’s amazing!

Reframing The Chemistry Myth take a change of focus. Damona talks about breaking free of The Chemistry Myth with clear concise advice.

(16:00) The Soulmate Myth

The Soulmate Myth is the idea that you have one perfect match out in the world waiting to meet you.

If you have ever said this, you may be caught up in  The Soulmate Myth:

  • Love will find me when I’m not looking.
  • If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

These pervasive ideas, while hopeful, can be more damaging than uplifting. They set up this anticipation of perfection, expecting someone flawless to seamlessly walk into your life, aligning perfectly. Yet, reality rarely mirrors that ideal.

Successful relationships often unfold differently than expected. It’s about how you engage every day, choosing to make someone your soulmate through continual actions, not just seeking a perfect match.

Damona explains that reframing The Soulmate Myth starts with a growth mindset and shares an exercise for you to try the next time you are questioning your soulmate story.

Hottest Dating Tip for 2024 (21:54)

This Sunday, January 7th, marks Dating Sunday, the pinnacle of online dating for the year. On this day the apps are loaded with fresh individuals and new dating prospects entering 2024 with renewed intentions and clarity. This is a prime moment to explore new connections, so spend some time on the apps between 7 and 10 pm local time. Don’t let this valuable opportunity slip by.

Dear Damona 

There is no Dear Damona segment this week, but you can still submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook for a future segment!

Dates & Mates podcast listener success story finding untraditional love. New Years resolutions for your love life

Minisode: A Dates & Mates Love Story

Greetings, Happy Holidays, and a warm welcome to all the new listeners joining Dates & Mates from Excuse My Grandma, The Angry Therapist, Lovers & Friends, and more! In this special minisode, Damona has a delightful treat lined up.

For anyone who felt Santa’s deliveries were missing that extra touch of love, worry not! Damona has an inspiring story to share that will fuel your romantic journey. Joining the show is a fantastic guest, ready to unveil a love story woven into the fabric of Dates & Mates.

And stay tuned till the end for quick, actionable advice on creating a New Year’s resolution for love.

ROBIN (2:30)

Today, the focus is on the remarkable love journey of our guest, Robin, who discovered dating success by implementing advice from “Dates and Mates.” Robin’s story serves as a testament to the potency of setting clear goals and values while seeking a partner. 

(3:33) The Power of Clarity and Communication 

Robin shares her love story and how Dates and Mates played a significant role in her journey. Robin highlights the importance of clear communication and setting shared goals and values in a relationship. She mentions how she applied the advice from the podcast, such as getting off dating apps and focusing on building communication through phone calls. Robin also emphasizes the significance of prioritizing how someone treats you over external factors like income or profession. “I remember the shared goals and values that really registered with me and making sure that I was identifying those as early on as possible in dating.” 

(7:03) Navigating Nontraditional Romance

Robin’s love story takes a nontraditional path, as she met her current partner on a dating app after freezing her eggs. Despite societal expectations, Robin and her partner decided that marriage wasn’t their immediate focus. Instead, they prioritized milestones like buying a house and starting a family. Robin’s story challenges the notion of traditional relationship milestones. 

(9:40) Overcoming Challenges and Finding Love

Robin shares her experience of navigating challenges in her dating journey. After a challenging breakup, she took time to reflect on her goals, values, and the lessons she learned. “The breakup was devastating for me. I thought that I was with my person. And I told myself there are three things I want to be sure of before I start dating again.”  She emphasizes the importance of being clear about what you want and not settling for someone who is ambivalent or unsure. Robin’s story shows that when you do the work and have clarity, you can quickly align with the right person. 

 (16:05) Making Your New Year’s Resolution for Love Come True 

Damona provides three tips for making your New Year’s resolution for love a reality:

  1. Write down your goals and visualize them daily.
  2. Share your resolution with a friend or support system to hold you accountable. 
  3. Seek guidance and using available resources, such as her book “F the Fairy Tale,” to navigate the dating process more effectively. Damona’s tips empower individuals to approach dating with clarity and intention in the new year.

As always you can submit your questions for Dear Damona on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! 

Dates & Mates podcast interview with Paul Keable from Ashley Madison about Gen Z joining the app

Decoding Gen Z & Financial Secrets

It’s no question that with every generation the world of dating evolves and changes. Sociologists say baby boomers enjoyed the sexual revolution, Gen X experienced an individualized dating experience, Millennials launched us into the era of online dating, and now Gen Z are really taking things to the next level. From LAT relationships to being monogamish,  Gen Z is looking for relationships that fit their needs while encouraging their growth.

And here to discuss it all with Damona is Paul Keable, the Chief Strategy Officer for Ashley Madison, the world’s leading married dating website.

Now we know what many of you are thinking – “Ashley Madison?! I am looking for a single partner!” And we get it! We are not here to encourage infidelity, but we are here to learn! 

The team over at Ashley Madison has been hard at work compiling invaluable data about its users. So Paul joins us to break down the company’s recently published study, “Decoding Gen Z: A global report on non-monogamy, sex, and the desire for discretion”. 

Dating Dish (2:39)

But first, we have the dating dish and WalletHub’s Financial Secrets Survey reveals intriguing insights:

WalletHub’s latest survey exposes the hidden truths people hold about money in their partnerships. From who’s more secretive to the generational honesty divide, the data is eye-opening. 

Did you know 76% more men harbor financial secrets than women? And surprise, baby boomers top the charts for honesty. But here’s the kicker: nearly one in four people believe their partners don’t deserve financial transparency. 

Yet, as Damona explores, these secrets aren’t just about money—they’re often a stand-in for deeper issues, impacting communication and trust. With 17% unwilling to forgive financial deceit, she challenges us to rethink the risks of hiding financial truths in relationships. There’s more to uncover in this insightful WalletHub study—tune in for the full scoop!

Paul Keable (7:45)

Paul Keable, the Chief Strategy Officer at Ashley Madison, joins the conversation to discuss the company’s recent study on Gen Z relationships and dating. With over seven years of experience at Ashley Madison, Paul sheds light on intriguing insights about the dynamics of relationships among the younger generation. 

(09:46) The Evolution of Ashley Madison and Its Appeal to Gen Z 

Paul Keable shares the evolution of Ashley Madison, which was born in the early 2000s when traditional dating sites like EHarmony and Match were grappling with married individuals pretending to be single on their platforms. The founders of Ashley Madison saw an opportunity to create a space specifically for married people looking to have affairs.

Since its launch in 2001, Ashley Madison has grown to over 80 million members, with a significant portion being Gen Z. Paul believes this is because Gen Z values the discretion that Ashley Madison offers. He also mentions that Gen Z has a greater awareness and acceptance of their own sexuality and sexual activities. He says they no longer feel the same pressures and shame associated with sex that previous generations experienced.

 (13:43) The Changing Dynamics of Relationships

Paul and Damona delve into the changing dynamics of relationships and the unrealistic expectations placed on one person to fulfill all roles in a partnership. Paul explains how Ashley Madison provides a space for individuals to be more honest and open about who they are and what they want in relationships. Damona asks Paul why platonic relationships can’t fulfill those other relationship needs.

The episode also touches on the trend of non-monogamous relationships among Gen Z daters. Paul mentions that 56% of Gen Z individuals surveyed expressed interest in non-monogamy. This reflects a shift in the definition of partnership, where individuals seek multiple partners who fulfill different aspects of their personality and interests. “This doesn’t boil down to just getting in the bedroom and having sex every other day with ten different partners… a far greater portion of people are just saying I want to have a level of intimacy, a connection with people that suit different parts of my personality.

(28:33) The Role of Ashley Madison in Exploring Desires

Paul emphasizes that Ashley Madison is not for people in happy monogamous relationships but rather for those who are seeking emotional validation or are not satisfied sexually in their current relationships. 

He challenges the stereotype that men cheat solely for sexual desire, stating that many men on Ashley Madison seek emotional validation. 

On the other hand, women on the site are often looking for good sex and orgasms that they are not getting from their partners. “80% of the women who came to Ashley Madison said they were there because they were in a sexless or orgasm-less marriage, and you know that really holds true when I speak to my members.”

Read the full Ashley Madison study, “Decoding Gen Z: A global report on non-monogamy, sex, and the desire for discretion”, yourself by visiting ashleymadison.com/insights

Dear Damona (40:34)

Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show!

  • IG Message from Molly: Hi Damona! I broke up with my ex 10 months ago because of a lot of issues within the relationship. He was a nice person but the puzzle pieces did not fit well for us. I guess for me I am having trouble “letting go/moving on completely”. I have gone on a few dates this year but question if this other person is someone whom I want to build a life with for the next 40 years? How do I move on from my ex?


Dear Damona: Much Younger Match & Saying I Love You

The questions have been pouring in and so we are doing an all-Dear Damona episode of Dates & Mates today! Time to ease your minds and get you back on track for love in the new year.

In case you’re new here, our podcast episodes typically happen in three parts – headlines of the week, interviews, and a Dear Damona Q&A segment but we love shaking things up! It’s always to help you understand yourself and handle the ups and downs of modern dating.


If that resonates, be sure to pick up a copy of Damona’s new book, F the Fairy Tale, out January 2nd! Enter our pre-order giveaway at DamonaHoffman.com/giveaway for a chance to win two VIP tickets to The Drew Barrymore Show, a $500 travel voucher, and a $500 shopping spree at Democracy Clothing. 

damona hoffman f the fairy tale book giveaway drew barrymore show

Now…let’s get to these questions!

Dear Damona (3:22)

03:27 IG DM from Aaron

Hi Damona, I started dating someone just under two months ago. It’s going well; the conversation flows. I feel secure and calm when we are together. He told me he loves me a little over a month in. Is that too fast? I’m pretty inexperienced with long-term relationships. How should I know when to say “I love you”?

7:02 Voice memo from V

Hi, Damona. I’m a big fan of your show. Thank you for everything that you do. It’s been so helpful. I do have a question. I’m wondering if you have advice for the ladies out there who are the ones being engaging, keeping a conversation going, asking the questions, and doing the heavy lifting because it’s getting tiring. I find myself in this position. It’s frustrating that it feels like a lot of guys I match with don’t know how to pass that ball back and forth in a conversation. It feels like a dead end. And, frankly, I’m feeling so over it. So, I would love to know your thoughts on if I should just move on

15:57 Email from Montie

Dear Damona, I hope you know that you are my bestie (in my head)!!! You’ve always given such great advice; sister don’t fail me now; just shoot me straight! I’ve been divorced for 12 years, and while I’ve had a couple of significant relationships, nothing has ever stuck as my forever relationship. I’m currently seeing someone who is much younger (I’m 57; he’s 39…gulp!). We click, we vibe, and the relationship is relaxed and easy. We are monogamous, and he’s wanting a forever future with me (we’re approaching 4 months together). I adore him, but I often wonder if I’m excited about being off the market finally or if we really will fit long term! Help!! Or realize that this could just be one of my deal breakers? Honestly, the thought of dealing with it stresses me out.


21:48 DM Voice Memo from C:

Dear Damona, I’ve mentioned before that I’m dating in my 30s. And, you know, it’s a priority for me to have a family. I’ve been going on lots of dates. But yeah, I just have not found, honestly, anyone that I’ve been really excited about. There hasn’t really been any man who I’ve gone on more than four dates with. And, yeah, I mean, look, I have to say it’s always me who’s ending it. I’m really struggling, in all honesty, in finding men who are emotionally mature. Just what I consider a basic level of maturity is just so difficult to find for some reason. And so, and I think that’s partially contributing to my disillusionment. But yeah, if you have any tips for sourcing men who are more emotionally mature, that would be great. I’m open to it in real life. I’m open to online. I must be just looking in the wrong places. I don’t know. Thanks!!!

Have More Questions? (33:37)

Submit your questions on Instagram, X, TikTok or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! 


Good Jealousy & Dating App Etiquette

As 2023 draws to a close and the holiday season approaches, you may be experiencing a wave of strong emotions. Perhaps you are introducing your loved ones to your new partner for the first time or fielding questions on why you remain blissfully single. Or you may be contemplating whether to take a relationship break and start fresh in the new year.

Whatever your situation, emotions can run high! That’s why today’s episode features an insightful chat with sex and relationship coach Dr. Tara. She’ll share her secrets to improving conflict resolution through empathetic listening. Dr. Tara will also reveal whether jealousy can play a constructive role in relationships. Additionally, she’ll discuss trends she expects to see in 2024, drawing from her extensive experience as a tenured professor of sexual and relational communication.

But first, this week’s spicy Dating Dish explores the latest dating app etiquette trends you can’t miss.The Dear Damona question is: How do I get my boyfriend to be honest with me? Let’s get started!



It’s the giving season, and with all your time spent on others, now is the time to give back to you. For those who pre-order the January-releasing book “F The Fairytale,” our exciting giveaway offers prizes like two VIP Drew Barrymore Show tickets in NYC plus $500 shopping/travel vouchers. Over 30 runners-up can win a 3-month OkCupid Premium membership.

Our publishers. Seal Press and Hachette,  are calling this their biggest book giveaway yet! Be sure to enter to win by preordering your copy today at DamonaHoffman.com/giveaway.


The New Dating App Etiquette

A Washington Post article featuring Damona outlines the new dating app etiquette:

  1. Keep profiles light and fun
  2. Send a real message
  3. Create momentum
  4. Share how you like to communicate
  5. No therapy in the DMs
  6. Pause before you post

Damona elaborates offering unique insights like her #1 ghosting alternative and how to confidently avoid the endless texting trap.


Coming up this Thursday, we’re hosting a virtual cocktail party with top dating experts to deconstruct fairy tale myths and provide pillars for the relationships you desire, whether dating or committed. Incredible authors like Catherine Woodward Thomas and love astrologer Carol Allen will join live panels inspired by Damona’s upcoming book “F the Fairytale.” For one night only, these legends, who rarely collaborate, will answer your questions to walk you into new love. Sign up free now at DamonaHoffman.com/forum to engage live or watch recordings later.

DR. TARA  (11:47)

Joining us today is award-winning sex researcher and Cal State Fullerton professor Dr. Tara, host of the “Luvbites” podcast. As a tenured expert on sexual and relational communication, author of “Sexual Communication Research in Action,” and resident sexpert on the British dating show “Celebs Go Dating,” Dr. Tara’s wisdom has been widely featured from Cosmo to PopSugar.


(14:35) The Younger Generation: What Do They Want to Know

College students ask Dr. Tara about alternatives to all-or-nothing monogamy versus complete openness, unaware of relational options between the extremes. Though craving lifelong partnership, Gen Z’s divorce exposure makes them wary, hence the interest in primarily monogamous bonds with some flexibility to periodically push boundaries. “In class, we have a whole unit on relational structures where we talk about different ways you can be in a relationship, and their minds are blown because all they’ve heard is either completely open, polyamorous, or monogamous forever.

(18:36) Online Dating Trends and Predictions Going into 2024

Dr. Tara has observed much dating fatigue and choice overload on apps lately, but millions still use them. Looking ahead, she expects rising demand, especially among more mindful Gen Z users, for specialized matching based on compatibility and quality over sheer quantity. Compared to her 20s experience feeling overwhelmed by expansive possibilities on early apps like Tinder, Dr. Tara sees today’s focus shifting to self-care through intentional matching with better-suited potential partners.

(25:20) Conflict Resolution with SALLY

When fighting with your spouse, Dr. Tara advises remembering the “SALLY” method to facilitate conflict resolution: Slow down, Ask questions, Listen empathically, List wants, and Yes to doable actions while giving them the benefit of the doubt. Naturally, continued disrespect crosses boundaries, requiring a bigger conversation. But in one-off conflicts, this simple yet evergreen advice can work wonders.

(27:56) Empathetic Listening: Thinking Outside the Textbook

Dr. Tara suggests envisioning your partner as a five-year-old you aim to uplift with warmth and compassion. She proposes unarming yourself by letting go of resentment and judgment in order to deeply listen and connect. In her view, self-acceptance enables empathy for others. So Dr. Tara advocates nurturing self-care to hold space for struggles with empathy, thoughtfully questioning negativity rather than compromising dignity. Ultimately, she chooses empathy’s high road, for it can empower and uplift.

(30:39) Jealousy’s Not So Bad After All

Dr. Tara argues some jealousy can be healthy, revealing care in a relationship. She distinguishes bad explosive jealousy from good jealousy, which opens constructive communication. In her view, everyone experiences innate jealousy to some degree – low self-esteem exaggerates it, while self-confidence lessens it. Ultimately though, she believes handled compassionately, jealousy has the power to foster greater intimacy.

Follow Dr. Tara on Instagram
@luvbites.co and check out her podcast, Lovebites with Dr. Tara, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates!




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

    • Email from K: How do I get my boyfriend to be honest with me?