Dating During Coronavirus & Healing Powers


The Coronavirus panic is spreading and the world needs some healing right now. Today we’re using our intuition to heal our love lives as well as learning some ways to continue dating during this time.

This is an uncertain time but love conquers all. 

Even though we are in the midst of social distancing, the tools that we have available now could still help you lay the foundation for a future relationship. 

Today’s co-host is Clarissa Silva, love coach, behavioral scientist, and former infectious disease specialist. She’s the most qualified person I know to tell us why love is not lost during this time.

Our co-host for today is Clarissa Silva, Behavioral Scientist and Clinician. She is the creator of “Your Happiness Hypothesis Method” which helps people understand their relationship patterns and gives them a roadmap to romance.

This revolutionary approach is based on an algorithm she created and used to meet her husband.

She was trained as a scientist and researcher at the University of Michigan where she received the prestigious National Institutes of Health Ford/Fogarty fellowship. 

You’ve seen her on Fox, NBC, HuffPost, ABC, CBS, and so much more!


Love in Time of Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a HUGE issue right now. As the world ventures into various states of quarantine, we at Dates & Mates are wondering: what about love?

Clarissa walks us through the latest trends in dating during quarantine.


What You Can Learn From Love Is Blind

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you know that Netflix’s latest love reality show is sweeping the nation. Have they ACTUALLY solved all modern dating dilemmas?



We are still finding Love in Times of Coronavirus, people!

Now, since you may have a little more time on your hands here’s an exercise I want you to try: visualize how your ideal mate will make you feel when you’re around them.

Imagine waking up on a lazy Sunday with the love of your life. What is your gut feeling when you’re with them?

It’s hard to put into words, right? But it’s something a lot of people overlook when they’re dating with intention. Even if your ideal match is perfect on paper, they can’t be the right fit if it just doesn’t feel like home.

Cheesy? Maybe. True? Without a doubt.

Enter my guest for today: Laura Powers, celebrity psychic and host of the Healing Powers Podcast. She teaches how to tap into your intuition and find that “feeling” you’re looking for. 

Laura covers:

  • Understanding what you bring to a relationship
  • How to read the feeling and energy you get from your date
  • How to use intuition to break your bad dating patterns
  • and so much more!

Make sure to check out Laura Powers’ “Healing Powers Podcast”!




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

  • IG – I’ve been dating this attractive, successful guy for about 3 months. He’s dealing with some family drama and has been asked to help out with his grandma as well as financially support his parents which has been emotionally weighing on him. He has opened up about all of this to me and he’s said that he doesn’t think he can take being in a relationship right now. Right now we talk daily and hang out 1-2 times a week. I’m happy with how things are but worried that 6 or 9 months down the line, nothing will change and he won’t commit to me. He knows I want to be married and have kids which may be why he’s bringing this up now versus later. Any thoughts?
  • Patreon: Is it good or bad if you hold out from going all the way?




Damona  0:12  

Modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Today we have two very special experts joining me. My guest for today is Laura powers. She’s the host of the healing powers podcast, and she’ll be talking with us about how using intuition can impact your love life. But first, let me introduce my guest co host for today. Clarissa Silva. She’s a behavioral scientist and clinician and the creator of the your happiness hypothesis method which helps people understand their relationship patterns and gives them a roadmap to romance. This revolutionary approach is based on an algorithm that she created and then used to meet her husband She was trained as a scientist and researcher at the University of Michigan. And you’ve seen her on Fox and on NBC, huffpost, ABC, CBS, and so much more. Let’s give big smooches to Clarissa Silva.

Clarissa Silva  1:14  

Oh, thank you, Tamara. I’m so honored to be here in such a pleasure to be on your show again. Welcome back

Damona  1:20  

with Clarissa, we’re going to discuss this week’s news like how is coronavirus affecting dating? Sorry, not sorry. We got to talk about it, y’all. And what can we learn about romance from the hit TV show? Love is blind. Then after our interview with amazing Laura powers, Clarissa and I will be answering your questions in technically dating, like, how long should you hold on if a guy isn’t ready to commit yet? And is it good or bad to withhold sex from a guy you’re dating?

Clarissa Silva  1:52  

Clarissa Are you ready to do these headlines? Yes, I’m excited. These dating dish

Damona  2:00  

Well, I was excited to read on thrive global, which you have written for for a while, but you give this different perspective on dating and relationships with your background as a behavioral scientist and you’re Clarissa wrote this article on coronavirus and dating that you have to read. So this is going to be our jumping off point for the conversation today because the article which was written last week, looked at the the the behaviors of people right now, dating in the time love in the time of coronavirus, and according to the experts that she spoke to including Michael Kay who’s Okay, Cupid’s global communications manager he is saying that everything is like all systems go and 88% of people that they surveyed were like, No, I’m not stopping dating just because of Corona virus. Clarissa I am curious to hear first of all, do you think That anything has changed in the last week, I’m feeling an increase in anxiety. But are you seeing people still looking to date and connect face to face right now?

Clarissa Silva  3:11  

Hi, everyone. Thank you. I’m a former infectious disease specialist. So everything that I am looking at this from the lens of epidemic, this is just like anything else. I mean, we lived through HIV and it was the same thing you were told you couldn’t touch, hug, do all the stuff. And we lived through that right but as we go through heftier quarantine periods, it’d be interesting to see like, how much how much in real life connection Are you going to be doing? Right? I still say that video communication will be the primary vehicle of how people will continue to date.

Damona  3:46  

Yeah, it’s interesting how that that drive for love is really so strong. I actually talked about video chat dating last week on our masterclass or 300th episode. I said, for those of you who haven’t heard it, I said Mark my words, we’re going to see an increase in video chat dating, and that’s going to become now the primary pre date filter that you’ll be going through. Now this was all before the quarantines and before like, we record this before that even happened, I believe that this is going to accelerate the use of that being a commonplace replacement for the phone call. And people have heard me say on the show before, I have not been a big fan of video chat dating before, but I believe that’s the direction that we’re heading in because we are craving authenticity. And I think we have missed that crucial step of the pre connection before you go out on the date. That’s why we have so much ghosting. But now we when we layer it with also, meeting face to face could mean risking your life. I think that video chat date becomes even more crucial. Do you see people using it as a Still a primary filter? Or do you see people maintaining long term relationships over video chat before they ever even meet in person.

Clarissa Silva  5:10  

So that was one that was one of my main drivers of talking to the vet DJ. NET local for love. So local for love is, is built on the premise that hey, this could cut cut the BS and dating have a video chat as your first date. Right so when I asked Vivek Jane Have you seen an increase and he was like yeah over 60% increase as occurred think of the worst case scenario. So the people that are going to go crazy, like the extroverts, right that needs like now you know, not be contained to their space or have some kind of entertainment video format does relieve some of that anxiety. So I think greater use of video and hopefully maybe they transition to to life. You actually mentioned in the article, a quote about people who are staying home and binge Netflix are still matching people online. So that brings me to our second topic for today’s dating dish. The Netflix hit reality show love is blind. I’ve been asked for for,

Damona  6:11  

for quotes from so many different outlets about love is blind. It feels like it’s all that’s in my social media timeline other than coronavirus. So everyone is talking about love is blind. What I’m interested in as a dating and relationship coach is what we can learn from love is blind. And I know you you’ve seen the show as well. Right, Clarissa Yeah. Okay, I find this fascinating and spoiler alert for anyone who has not seen the show yet because all the episodes are now released. So it’s fair game for me to talk about the results. But overall, there are 15 women 15 men, six proposals, right six or was it Seven, six or six? proposals, six proposals, ultimately, two marriages that are still together today. And it makes you wonder what it what was the secret special sauce in those pods where they couldn’t see one another and they could only date through hearing one another’s voice. What do you think that was as a behavioral scientist that bonded those people in a way that they were able to build a relationship apart from even the physical connection? I mean, some of them saw each other in person and then weren’t able to really build the physical connection over time. But to the two out of two couples out of 15 potential couples is a pretty good batting average once you say.

Clarissa Silva  7:47  

Well, I the only criticism that I have is that I think the show took took the concept a little too literally, right? Yes. Like there are aspects of love that are completely irrational, and that defy logic. Right? That’s, that’s what makes this this emotion so interesting as a sciences, right? If you notice all like majority of, of the couples, the ones that finally hit that final round, but all of them were connecting on like a very emotional level,

Damona  8:22  

right? For the two couples that well there’s three couples still together but two couples that were married, what can we learn from their experience in the pods? And, you know, as a reality producer, I thought there should have been more of the conversation in the pods. I felt like I don’t really know the people. But that aside, that aside, something was happening in those pods that really made them feel bonded enough to one another that they would propose sight unseen to spend the rest of their lives with another person. So what can we take from that? And what can we apply to our own dating experience to ask the kind of questions have the kind of experience that they had in the pods and recreate that in our dating life?

Clarissa Silva  9:06  

Well see, I think part of this experiment is that we have to remember that these these were people that were of a mindset, right. So with my clients, probably 80% of them are already marriage minded or long term commitment minded. So to get on the show, you had to agree to go through a real marriage ceremony whether you know what I mean, like, so you already had to want and desire marriage long term, right?

Damona  9:36  

So it’s intent. You’re saying intent was the secret sauce of the of this particular of this particular experiment that that was the primary filter. Right? Right. I should have learned something from talking to you. And I know you, you have a lot more insight to share with us. So those are the headlines of the week, but we’re going to be taking a different direction. Talking to Laura powers after the break about how you can use intuition to guide your love life. Stick around. We’re here with Laura powers. She is an entertainer, author and celebrity psychic. She also hosts the healing powers podcasts, get it powers powers, she’s going to share some of her powers with us. You may have seen her before in BuzzFeed or on NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox she also was recently interviewed by Will Ferrell on his podcast, the Ron Burgundy podcast, so please help me give big smooches to Laura powers. Thanks so much for having me today. I am excited to get into these powers to like unite powers with you. And I know in on your show, it does tap into your work as a celebrity psychic, but you also talk a lot about health and wellness and the way that different aspects of your life impact other systems. Do people are listening to the show because they want love and you’ve kind of been through this journey yourself to have of needing to address health before love could come your way? Yeah, so

Laura Powers  11:14  

our spiritual health and what we can have in our life, our intuition, they’re all really connected. So I feel like we can’t really silo things. So sometimes when people come to me and they’re looking for help with love, it’ll come up Wow, we need to work on your work life balance or your health or something else. Anything that is bringing your energy down will also impact what you can allow and receive in other areas.

Damona  11:37  

Okay, so let’s break that down for people because I know there are some folks that are listening that are like, I’m good. I have a great job. I work out all the time. And the only thing that is not flowing for me is my love life. And they may call a celebrity psychic powers and say, what’s going on for me in love? What would you first have them do to kind of tune in into different areas of their of their wellness and Life Center.

Laura Powers   12:04  

Well, first thing I do is look at them in particular to see what’s going on, because everyone has a different kind of karmic path and different things that are going on. But a lot of times there’s something in our life that maybe we’re not aware of, maybe we have some boundaries that are not being honored. And when that happens, it’s like sending a mixed message to the universe. So if we’re saying we want one thing, but then another life area, we’re accepting something different, it can basically send a message to universe like, what I want doesn’t really matter.

Damona  12:32  

Okay, so you’re saying, if you are you said accepting something, like, let’s give an example. You are at work? Yeah. And you are always the person that they go to? Because you’re always available and you’re always taking on town. Exactly. You’re feeling overwhelmed. Yeah. Is that what

Laura Powers   12:54  

you mean? Exactly. That could be one or maybe you have like a really needy friend. You’re always rescuing or

Laura Powers   13:00  

You know, girls, you know, and

Laura Powers  13:02  

yeah, or maybe you are not taking time for self care, maybe you go to the gym but you’re not giving yourself kind of loving, nurturing energy. If you don’t give that energy to yourself, you’re basically kind of rejecting it and not sending the message to the universe that you want that loving, positive nurturing energy, and then it’ll be hard for you to receive it from someone else as well.

Damona  13:23  

And I know you do this when you’re working with clients, you can assess and, and do a scan of what’s happening in different areas of their life different, probably different chakras different messages that you get. I know everyone at home is going, how could I start to do this myself? Is there a way that you can train your clients to get so far on their own before they come to you?

Clarissa Silva  13:49  

Absolutely. So I actually do a lot of training. I teach classes, group classes, and then I do one on one training. Certainly learning to tap intuition and understand whatever your gifts are is really important because you know, if you’re a clairvoyant if you’re an empath, and clairvoyant means seeing an empath is someone who feels energies and emotions from outside their body. So for empaths, it is super, super important to really get an understanding what’s theirs and what’s not theirs. Oh, yeah,

Damona  14:13  

not I have been through that. Yeah, I’m an empath as well.

Laura Powers   14:16  

Yeah. And

Damona  14:18  

sometimes, you know, I’ll go into a situation where I’ll go into a new space. And I’ll just feel really overwhelmed. And I’m like, what’s going on? Like, I don’t know why all of a sudden, my heart’s beating fast. And I. And, you know, I’ve done some of this psychic development work too, and getting in touch with, where’s that message coming from and sometimes, like you might sit across from a date, and you feel this energy from them and you don’t know why, like on paper, they seem really great, but you don’t know why. And I really have my clients get into the feeling of being with someone new and what does it feel like when you’re with them? Because that will that will unlock a lot of information for you. Oh

Laura Powers   14:58  

my gosh, I’m so glad you brought that Because I think this is true for everyone, but it’s especially true if you’re an empath, if you have that kind of sensitivity. So one of the things that happened with me is I attracted a lot of like very, I would say, successful in terms of societal kind of norms. narcissism in talking about, like, really wealthy men very successful, and then I’d be around them. And I was like, wow, I feel so insecure like, and I used to think when it first happened, I was like, Oh, I just feel insecure because they have so much and I don’t know, but what I realized after a period of time was that I was actually as an empath. They were really insecure as a person and I was picking up on that. So that’s, that’s something to pay attention to. When you’re around someone, how do you feel when you’re around them? If you’re an empath, it’s very likely that you’re feeling what they’re feeling and if you don’t feel good for whatever reason, then it’s probably not a great situation. Do you believe that

Damona  15:57  

everyone has an element of psychic ability or empathy. I mean, yeah, everyone has empathy, but empathy on that sort of level,

Laura Powers   16:05  

not everyone does have empathy, actually, I mean, I think it’s kind of a shock to a lot of people, but I think it’s definitely a range and that, you know, kind of from zero to 100, or whatever. And I would say everyone has a little something. But what that is, varies greatly. And also, we don’t have any kind of psychic training in our society automatically. Like you don’t when you’re a kid, you don’t learn your psychic. ABCs. Yeah, that’s, you know, and

Damona  16:33  

they’ll say, like, trust your gut.

Laura Powers   16:35  


Damona  16:35  

but no, but nobody really knows what that means.

Laura Powers   16:38  

Exactly. No one knows no one has learning. You know, there’s no learning system where people can access that. And I found, for example, when I teach classes and do trainings, it’s amazing to me how many people will come in and they’ll be like, well, I’m just kind of curious. I just wanna explore and then we start doing some psychic exercises. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you are super psychic, but they’ve literally just never practiced it. So I think a lot of people have that. And even just having a few psychic tools can really help. And I was telling you before we started the interview that one of the reasons I got psychic training was because I had a horrible divorce. And I basically was like, I don’t want to ever go through that again. So I got training, I started to look at the guys that I was considering dating,

Laura Powers   17:19  

to try to get a better sense of what was really going on.

Laura Powers   17:21  

Right? Well, that’s,

Damona  17:23  

that’s a high level skill set that you that you’ve developed, but even at the beginning, just assessing what what you have attracted before. I mean, that’s, that’s so much of this process is like and that’s why I begin every program that I do with mindset. Yeah, and with with assessing like who you are, what you want, what have you attracted in the past? What are your patterns? What are your predominant thoughts because also, like there’s a lot that a lot of work that I’ve had to do in reducing the chatter we all have that that inner critic that chatter in our brains and that really blocks Any psychic ability for me any tuning in?

Laura Powers   18:02  

And I think a lot of times it’s actually connected with your psychic ability. That chatter is actually different beings talking with you.

Damona  18:08  

Sometimes Yes. But like that inner voice that is like talking you out of things. Yeah, judging things. Like a lot of my clients will will come to me, I’ll say, What is your What? What’s your love mantra right now? And a lot of times they’ll say to me before I even ask like, well, there’s no single guys in my city. Well, all the women that I date or after my money, and then the more that you repeat that thought, the more that thought becomes your reality. And then the more you’re attracting, it’s kind of like what you were saying before. Then you start attracting, you attract what you don’t want, because the message is just amplified.

Laura Powers   18:49  

Yeah, completely. I agree that we definitely have our own thoughts, but I believe most people are actually basically picking up on thought forms ideas from others. other beings could be other humans could be non human entities. So just like they’re beings of the light, you know, I believe in angels, they’re helpful they will send you positive messages, but there are non helpful beings that will also share negative thoughts. I think of them as like energy parasites, and they will, you know, feed on fear, anxiety, stress, pain, anger, etc. And they will go wherever there’s food, so if we have a lot of negative mind talk, that they are kind of feeding us and they just keep kind of keep that going. Yeah, eat on it. Yeah, that’s

Damona  19:34  

true. We don’t want that know, from happening. One thing we haven’t talked about before on the show, and that is something I know you’ve addressed, is past lives. And this is like this is such a, you know, we’re playing on today’s show and looking at what is possible and and so many there’s so many theories of like the love that you attract is somewhere That you have had a history with in the past? I don’t know, I’ll just be like, totally upfront, even as someone that believes in a lot of these things I literally do not know on past lives. But I’ve had a lot of funny coinkidink What is your feeling on past lives?

Laura Powers   20:15  

Yeah, I think most of us here have had quite a few lives. And a lot of times when we have some kind of close relationship with someone, it’s it’s very likely that we’ve had past lives with that person. So whether it’s a parent or a spouse or a child, and we are helping each other learn various lessons, and we learn a lesson two degrees. So let’s say this is something came up with a client where she came in and she was having a hard time in her marriage and didn’t feel comfortable. And when I looked at their past lives, she had been the slave of her. Oh, my husband in a past life. Yeah, yeah. So you know it. I looked at her psychically and so she was basically she was wearing a color and like, you Kind of at his beck and call. And it was like when I like the passive was like No wonder, like her lesson was to have stronger boundaries and do what she wanted and not just, you know, do someone else as well have her own sense of power. And just helping her understand that she cried during the session. And she felt this relief but also helps confirm for her why she felt this way because she did feel like controlled and disempowered in the relationship. And then just even knowing that sometimes will help you just have comfort and then be better able to move forward instead of a lot of people will have these feelings but they’ll just dismiss it because it’s not

Laura Powers   21:36  


Damona  21:37  

Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people come to you from the logical

Laura Powers   21:41  

point of view.

Damona  21:43  

How do you get them past that point to see see other perspectives of things that you know, there’s no empirical evidence one way or another about any of this stuff that that you’re talking about? And that and yet, I know you’ve experienced I know I’ve experienced it. I know many of my, my clients, I’ve experienced it too. How do you get people over that hump from like skeptic to believer?

Laura Powers   22:09  

I would say most people that come and work with me are already there. But there are people that are just curious. And I think the best thing is just to be open and then see what resonates. And just see what unfolds. You know, I have one client that came in, and he was just kind of curious, started listening to podcasts. And I could talk about this because he’s talked about it publicly. He was on my podcast, and then he booked a session and in the reading, I said, you’re gonna write a book. And eventually that book is going to be your work and you’re going to tour around the world and, you know, talk about it. And at the time, he was like, I don’t know, then he, you know, a year later wrote the book year later was the bestseller. So just being open and just, just sometimes it’s just this information that comes in and also there is more and more evidence about some of these things. So his book is called an To upside down thinking so if you’re very scientifically minded, that book by Mark Ober is all about the scientific aspect of consciousness, and there’s quite a bit in there that’s specifically talking about psychic abilities and intuition.

Damona  23:12  

Oh, wow, you’ve inspired him. Yeah, you come here. I’m sure. You’ve inspired a lot of people through your work. Thank you. Yeah, that’s my goal. Well, you and you’re doing the healing powers podcast, talk to me a little bit more about that, and about some of the themes that you’ve addressed and that you aim to address going forward that that would be relevant for dates and mates listeners.

Laura Powers   23:36  

Sure. So I think you know, if you’re wanting to improve your love life, whether that’s to find a partner or to improve your relationship, intuition is going to be extremely helpful because it’s basically like the learning the easy way to go. Like what you’re being guided to do is going to help you have less pain and suffering, which I think is ultimately what we all want and and have more love in our lives. And on that podcast, we talk a lot about intuition. Access then then we also talk about the physical aspect because the mechanisms that we are using quite a bit for our intuition and psychic abilities are in the gut, and the heart and the brain. And especially in our society, we have a lot of like gut health issues.

Laura Powers   24:16  

Yeah. Talk to us about Oh, just

Laura Powers   24:18  

eating poor food. Our microbiome is messed up from antibiotics and our immunity and everything is there. Well, what’s bad for the gut is bad for the brain. Like we have the second highest number of neurons in our gut as we do in the brain. So basically, if your digestion is messed up, your brain is messed up. And your brain is where you know, our third eye is and that area is believed to be in the pineal gland. So if you are physically not doing so well in those areas, you are not going to be able to tap into your intuition, which again, is to help you just navigate better in your life and you experience that yourself as well. You are on a

Damona  24:55  

less healthy path. Yeah. Talk to us about your story.

Laura Powers   24:58  

Yeah. And so In my case, I was about 55 pounds heavier than I am now I was on sleeping pills. I was diagnosed as depressed. I had PCs, which is polycystic ovary syndrome. I just I was a real mess and was trying to heal it sort of the sort of standard way I was eating the standard American diet. And like, you know, everything was not bad enough to where I was getting a lot of headway and sort of the traditional way. So I started going some alternative health practitioners and addressing my diet. And once I did that, you know, things started to really shift for me. So I, before you move on, you would also mention you had a marriage that ended was this happening simultaneously. Yeah, so that was all intertwined. It was all intertwined. And, you know, I left my marriage, I mean, some big health changes. I started taking psychic development classes. So that’s why on my podcast, we talked about all of these things together, because I don’t think you can just isolate You know, one area of your life, it’s all connected. So if you have, you know, A major health issue immune disorder, maybe your relationships actually are being that come into, you know, view because I think a lot of people, for example, when they have a chronic health condition, there’s usually some kind of a relational issue that’s at its core.

Damona  26:15  

Oh, wow. That’s deep. That’s deep and and I think also sometimes when you are so consumed with what’s happening in your health issue, or in another area that is not being addressed, then, like, how can you even begin to think about finding love if you are if you don’t feel well, or you are, you’re stressed from you know, work, family, friends, anything, if you’re not addressing those things, then it’s just overwhelming to even think about opening yourself up to love.

Laura Powers   26:51  

Absolutely. And the other thing I’d like to bring in as it relates to love is the importance of following your soul plan or purpose which might seem disconnected from life. But there’s a lot of people when they incarnate they’ve basically decided on a soul level. I am not going to have relationship until I kind of do XYZ.

Laura Powers   27:07  


Damona  27:08  

Wait, I hear this all the time from the guys that listen to the show. Yeah, they’re not ready for a relationship until they get their finances together until they get such so far along in their career, is that what you’re talking about? Or something even

Laura Powers   27:22  

I’m talking about that but maybe not necessarily dark, tied with finances, but your soul’s desire. So let’s say you’re like, Hey, I really want a relationship, but your soul is like, well, until I write that book or I do whatever. I’m not that doors closed. Because maybe on a on a personality level, you know, as a soul that once you get a relationship, all your focus goes on that relationship. True. So I think this is all different from person to person, but these are some of the patterns and things that I see people so just checking in like, what is it that you came here due to so what does that lights you on fire? Are you doing that? Maybe you have a stable Good job. But it’s not your purpose. You’re not excited. It’s not driving passion in you, and then you’ve kind of shut that door down for yourself.

Damona  28:06  

Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s so true. And you know, the same thing in relationships. Like there may be some people listening right now who are in a relationship that doesn’t really excite them, you know, and it’s sometimes there’s a feeling that it’s easier to stay the course than to go through all of the I don’t want to say the drama or the chaos, but you know, to go through that experience of reorganizing your life. But you’ve done it. You’ve been there. Yeah. Through the tough stuff.

Laura Powers   28:37  


Damona  28:38  

And you were able to rebuild your life in a more, more passion filled way, right.

Laura Powers   28:44  

Yeah. And I do see one pattern that comes up over and over again, is just boundaries and whatever you allow, is what you get more of. So the analogy I give to people is that it’s very much like a Netflix cue, which may sound funny, but like Whatever you watch on Netflix, it kind of suggests other show like here’s, yeah, you know, here’s some other shows like that. And the world is like that. So whenever you’re accepting something, if it’s not what you what you want, say no. Yeah, say no. Because otherwise you’re just gonna keep getting that. And sometimes you, you know, it’s like there’s a memory in the queue. And let’s maybe you haven’t watched a horror movie for a year. But you watched that one A while ago, and it just kind of keeps showing up for a while. Yeah, so you have to say no, for a while sometimes because for fully like, the new thing starts to show up that you want.

Damona  29:31  

Yeah, I feel like my Netflix queue doesn’t even know me. Like, sometimes it suggests things and I’m just like, really, you think that but in a way, like if we use that analogy, sometimes you’ll you’ll get things that you’re just like, how did this even come into my head, especially you know, I talk a lot about dating apps, online dating. And when you’re in that space of swipe, where you really don’t know that much about the person if you’re not Keep queued into your intuition, and you’re just swiping based on looks or something superficial or something. Like, you know, people will tell me Oh, well, he asked to be over six feet like that is my main criteria. Like, what? There’s so many other things that are much more important than that. But if you continue to swipe it, same thing, algorithms, just like Netflix, it will bring you more of the people that you shouldn’t be swiping right on, or that you don’t really have that, that deeper connection with. If you were to advise a client on tapping into intuition for swiping, how would you do it?

Laura Powers   30:38  

Gosh, Well, the first thing I’d say take a look and see what you feel. And then just take a moment pause and like, see what you feel in your body when you think of that person? Mm hmm. Because our bodies tell us so much and most people are just completely ignoring it. Because they don’t understand it. They just don’t even think to do it. But yeah, do you feel excited? Do you feel upset In your stomach, do you feel a sense of dread? Like these are all things that most people are just not even pausing to listen to what their body is telling them. And it’s so important for safety, obviously, with something like, you know, dating where it’s a complete stranger, but also just is this person able to connect with you in the way that you want to?

Damona  31:18  

Yes, in a lot of times, we do get the message, you guys get the message, and then we shut it down. And we say, oh, but I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. Or, well, I don’t really know what if I’ll just go out with him and see when we’ve already heard the message.

Laura Powers   31:37  

Oh, absolutely. I love that. Maya Angelou quote, you know, when someone shows you who they are, believe them, you know, this is the biggest problem. And I think on a deeper level, a lot of this comes from this but there’s a lot especially a lot of women it can happen with men but as I see a lot with women, where they are in the sort of martyr pattern of trying to heal, save or rescue And what I say to anyone is in that pattern is you don’t have to sacrifice yourself to help someone. And if you do, that’s not actually helping. Because I believe the universe is benevolent. And it can be a win win. You can help someone and be good. Yeah, you don’t have to suffer or die. You know, at this point, it’s usually not someone dying, but maybe they’re, they’re sacrificing their emotions, or they’re being treated poorly. And that is a kind of sacrifice.

Damona  32:28  

self sacrifice. Yeah. And you also don’t have to, you don’t have to save everyone. Like I had a bit of a pattern for that before I met my husband, like, I would always attract guys that I thought I could help. And then I was like, I don’t want to date all these guys that, you know, is working as a casting director, like I don’t want to date these actors that need me to help them but at the same time, I would then date these actors and I’d be like, Can I help you? Right? So it’s like you were saying before, like attracting the same thing that you say that you Don’t want. And that’s really not the relationship that you want where you’re, you’re in it to save the other person or to help the other person. Right? It really should be a reciprocal support system for one another. Right?

Laura Powers   33:14  

Absolutely. And if that feels like a driving motivation behind the relationship that I’m saying that that’s not a healthy relationship, and that it’s sometimes the hardest thing is to keep saying no, even when the thing you don’t want isn’t showing up.

Damona  33:28  

Say that again. For me, Laura, because I think that’s really important.

Laura Powers   33:31  

Yeah, it’s sometimes the hardest thing is to keep saying no, even when what you want isn’t showing up. So basically, don’t accept something that isn’t what you want, just because it’s the only thing there because if you keep doing that, the thing you want will never show up because it’s like that,

Damona  33:45  

please. Vain cold. Yes. Yeah, that’s exactly it.

Laura Powers   33:49  

That that is. That’s

Damona  33:51  

the perfect place to end this conversation. Because sometimes there’s this feeling of, well, I don’t want to be alone. So and people say to me, Well, are you telling me I should just settle? No, I’m not telling you to settle. I’m telling you the opposite of settling. I’m telling you to keep that space open until you feel it. Right.

Laura Powers   34:12  

Yeah. And spend that time doing things that bring you passion and joy in other ways. Focus on yourself, you know, improving your life, and then you’ll be in a better place and you’ll automatically attract more of what you’re looking for anyway.

Damona  34:25  

Yes. Well, those are wise words to end this interview on. I am so excited that you were finally able to join me on the show here in LA. And I’m really excited for what’s next with the healing powers podcast. So thank you so much for being here.

Laura Powers   34:39  

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been my pleasure.

Damona  34:42  

We have more dates in May. It’s coming right up, so stick around.

Damona  34:49  

Welcome back to dates and mates.

Damona  34:50  

I am here with my co host, Clarissa Silva. And it’s time to break down your modern dating dilemmas. Clarissa you You know so much about dating from not just the dating coach perspective that I offer, but from a behavioral science perspective and you you have this happiness hypothesis, that tell us a little bit about the half happiness hypothesis and how you’ve how you’ve used that to not only meet your husband, but to help other people.


Clarissa Silva  35:20  

So when I was when I was single, and going through dating, I was frustrated and I was using online dating and in real life dating, and I felt like I was completely failing myself. I kept you know, following the same pattern. So then I kind of re engineered a lot of the stuff that I thought was ideal, right? So you you tell yourself, okay, these certain things are, are what you need, then you test it, right? So I was always treating dating like it was a social experiment. So once I put myself through the rigor of Hey, if you if you seriously think that these are the reasons that that your family Right, start start looking at this on a broader scale. So then we started testing out the model. And for two years in a row, we have 97% efficacy, and we reduce anxiety and depression risk and we increase brain health. It’s a decision making model to help you explore based on like five factors of decision making that impede your ability to find love.


Damona  36:25  

Well, I know you have a line out the door, people wanting to work with you, but I have a line of people wanting to ask questions. So I’m going to read a couple of them to you and hopefully people can get a little touch of the Clarissa Silva magic. Here’s our first question. This one comes to us from Instagram. She says I’ve been dating this attractive, successful guy for about three months. He’s dealing with some family drama and has asked has been asked to help out his grandma as well as financially support his parents, which has been emotionally weighing on him. He’s opened up about all of this to me. And he said that he doesn’t think he can be in a relationship right now. Right now we talk daily and hang out one to two times a week. And I’m happy with how things are but worried that six or nine months down the line, nothing will change. And he won’t commit to me. He knows I want to be married and have kids, which is, which may be why he’s bringing this up now versus later. Clarissa, is there any hope for this lady on Instagram? Is this a relationship she should be patient with? Or should she cut and run since he said that?


Clarissa Silva  37:33  

So there’s only two ways to go about this. He’s already exiting. Right? So I would take that as you’re exiting the relationship, and I don’t think that there is going to be any point where six months, nine months, three days down the line where they’ll evaluate because if they felt like you were part of that whole evaluation, then they wouldn’t let you go because they are going to be confronting different issues that go Grandmother, you know what I mean? And those are not times where people want to be alone.


Damona  38:06  

That’s true. I just wonder it’s only been three months. I just wonder if it’s too early. Like if maybe the conversation came out of him feeling pressured? And it’s like, well, if you want me to give you an answer right now, the answer is no. But if, if she continued to be a support system for him, and became someone that was trusted, so that he didn’t want to be alone and didn’t feel judged for having to, you know, contribute to his parents financial well being and help out his grandmother, then maybe he would see you in a different way. But I wonder if it’s just too soon to make a call or to put any kind of ultimatum on a person that essentially you just met?


Clarissa Silva  38:45  

Wow. Three months is not a short time. I mean, it is a short time, you know, but it’s enough. It’s enough data for you to know what you know. I mean, like, it’s, that’s enough time for you to figure out which way you feel about a person or which For you.


Damona  39:00  

Absolutely. I think the bottom line though is don’t force an outcome.


Clarissa Silva  39:03  

Right? To say that absolutely not. And that’s that’s probably what she’s trying to do. But she’s already been exited. So he exited A while ago. But she’s, she’s enamored and wants, wants it.


Damona  39:14  

But what do you say to those people? I know there are other listeners that are like, they feel like they’ve been exit exited. But he’s still calling her daily. He they’re still meeting up once or twice a week. So how can she deal with him having exited or opted out of being more serious, but still being in her life?


Clarissa Silva  39:36  

Yeah, they’re exited, you’re still you’re helping some optional queue. And that that seems normative to people where you know, it, we would see a difference if people just started saying, well, it’s a mutual exit at this point.


Damona  39:53  

I’m not gonna allow this to keep going on top not what I want.


Clarissa Silva  39:56  

I draw the line out right people, please. My


Damona  40:01  

All right, how about this question? Going kind of a different direction. This one came to us from our new Patreon group, which all of you all can join by going to, slash dates and mates if you want to support the show and have more access to get your questions on the show. This person says, Is it good or bad if you hold out from going all the way? And this is from a lady. So withholding sex from someone that you are at the beginning stage of dating? What do you think? Clarissa?


Clarissa Silva  40:39  

Good, bad, ugly? Well see, these are the two arguments that are made to me all the time. So we have sex a screener happening amongst certain populations, right? When you when you talk to people that use sex as a screener, they say, Well, I’m not going to be in the game if I don’t have sex with them immediately. Right? And if I hold out the outcome is still the same, right? I’m holding out for whatever timeframe you hold out on. And you still get ghosted, right, like so. So the data point is am I compatible? Is this person going to ghost me? Should I hold off on doing like anything more committal on my ends, and hopefully prevents ghosting, hopefully find a decent person and the end result is ghosting. Anyway. Yeah.


Damona  41:28  

So it so the answer is doesn’t really matter. Like you’ve seen it work out if people have sex right away or not, it’s more about the substance of their connection beyond that,


Clarissa Silva  41:40  

right? So as long as it doesn’t have any impact on your self esteem, and you’re able to draw clear lines about what people are and what people aren’t in your, in your mind, or you’re getting some actual compatibility data, from the sex of screener then continue to do what you’re doing.


Damona  41:58  

Yeah, just to add myself two cents I think, obviously, everything you said is right. But I think also, sometimes now people look at sex as a screener, like you said, like if we’re not sexually compatible, and my perspective is that your connection with someone can grow. And once you and once you have like clear communication with them, if they’re willing to grow with you, in, you know, sexually and experiment and meet your needs in that way, then you can make any situation work. That’s my perspective. Obviously, there are other medical situation, but we won’t get into this. I’m just talking more generally right now. But the problem right now is if you’re using it as a tool, like Well, I’m gonna withhold sex, because then I’ll get the result that I want. That is not the way that you want to think about it. But if you’re like, I’m going to Hold on, because I just love that magic moment when you’re starting to get to know someone and you haven’t crossed that line and there’s all that anticipation before you’ve had sex and you won’t get that feeling back not in that way. And so my feeling is why rush it if you are living in the magic, and it’s not so long where they’re like, this is never gonna happen. It’s not like a Kenny Kelly was blind situation, then why are we in such a hurry? I don’t believe in sex as a as a primary screener because it tells you nothing about the emotional content of that person and their willingness to really commit to you and grow with you. Oh my gosh, we could talk about this forever. But I know you have lots of people to help. lots, lots of behavioral analysis to run. I so appreciate you being able to join us and I appreciated your article, which we’ll link to, and of course, if anyone wants to try the happiness hype This method or work with you personally, then Clarissa is the best place to go to get hooked up. Thank you for being here. Clarissa Thanks so much to Clarissa for joining us. You can find Clarissa at Clarissa and you can find Laura at Laura powers 44 healing powers dotnet and of course on the healing powers podcast, this has been Episode 301 of dates and maids. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. We need your questions. I know this is a crazy time. And there’s probably a lot going through your mind about whether it’s cuffing season, whether it’s social distancing season, how you can FaceTime a date and keep the connection going strong whatever it is, that’s on your mind. I’m here to help you with it. So you can DM me on all the socials at damona Hoffman or visit us at dates and mates calm and you can submit your question there. And we would love to have you join our community of love and support on this show on Patreon, you can see which goodies you’ll get from being a trusted friend with benefits of dates and mates if you check out our page slash dates and mates. Next week we’ll be talking to Noel corto on how your brain chemistry might be leading you astray in love. That is a not to miss episode. Until next week, I wish you good health and happy dating

Master Class: The Future of Dating



It’s my job to stay ahead of the pulse in dating, so you can focus on being present.

This special 300th episode Master Class is a list of tips based on my predictions for the future of dating.

Did you know that there was a 52% increase in revenue for meditation and mindfulness apps in the last year?

I know what you’re thinking: What does that have to do with dating and relationships?

It means that technology may not be ruining our connection to other human beings. 

I always talk to my clients about staying present in the moment. One way to do this is to practice mindfulness outside of dating. Another way is to put your freakin’ phone away. (I’ll tell you how to do this in this week’s episode)

The fact that so many people are investing in mindfulness means that there is hope for the future of dating.

This special 300th episode Master Class covers:

  • How to survive the disappearance of dating apps
  • The ONE THING you must do before you start a relationship
  • The gender roles of tomorrow and how to prepare for this shift
  • How to diversify your dating pool now
  • and so much more!


Here are a few Master Classes that might also help you on your journey:



This is a way for us to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from me on your love life.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

There are three different tiers. One for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others and keep this show going strong for another 7 seasons.

Sign up at for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers and welcome to the 300th episode of dates and mates. kind of amazing that this little idea that I had seven and a half years ago, has turned into a movement towards happier, healthier modern relationships. We have seen a lot in the last 300 episodes. Here’s a snapshot at some of the things that were different when the show originally launched. The phrase swipe right meant nothing to you. Matt Lauer was still the host of the today show. Megan Markel was married to a guy named Trevor Trump wasn’t president and party affiliation wasn’t a deal breaker for daters. Caitlyn Jenner was still Bruce. And the transgender conversation had barely begun. The IUD was 900% less common to get as a birth control method. And online dating wasn’t the most popular way to meet. Actually, it was far from it. I could go on and on. But I think you get the point. Modern dating has changed at the speed of light, and it’s going to keep changing. My goal on dates and mates is to keep you up to speed with the changes and create an army of people who love love, and spread more of it in the world. So for the 300th episode today, I’m going to play Nostradamus a little. I’m going to be the Nostradamus of love, and I’m going to Muse about where we are headed in dating and relationships. And then I’ll share my tips and my stories along the way. And at the rate we’re going the future is going to become the Present, unbelievably soon, the maybe we’ll look back at this episode one day and say, Wow damona was so right, that was amazing. Or we’ll laugh and we’ll say, Boy damona was so wrong. Either way, we’re going to have fun along the way. This show today is broken up into three topics that I think are crucial to the future of love. First, technology, the ways in which technology is going to start changing our biology. Second feminism, women are at the forefront of change in all major societal shifts of the last century. And they will be at the center of this next wave of dating and relationship changes as well. Third, connection as humans, our drive for community sex and partnership, rules, everything. And as technology changes and feminism evolves, the way we connect and who we connect with is going to evolve right along with it. And now, part one, technology. Let’s take a look at the timeline of technology and love. computers were first used for dating in 1959. When two Stanford students tried their hand in matchmaking while conducting a class project for the happy families planning services, using a punch card questionnaire and an IBM 650 mainframe computer, they matched 49 men and 49 women. Then in 1965, Harvard students further the idea with a social experiment called Operation match. Millions of daters use the service during the 1960s paying about $3 to fill out a questionnaire. Let’s fast forward a little bit to the mid 90s when AOL launched and they had these chat rooms that were then popularized as a possible place for dating. In the film, you’ve got mail and now Brought online love connections into the mainstream. After that, we had Yahoo personals, Craigslist, personals, and, soon followed. In 2003, after several years of using online dating sites, I met my husband online and became a dating coach. And I really started tracking this stuff. So here’s the deal, not much changed for many years. In fact, in February 2013, I released my book, spin your web, how to brand yourself for successful online dating, because I saw that profiles and the free to join pay to communicate model was about to change. I didn’t know what was coming next, but I sensed it was something big. Then later that year, something major happened. I call it


the Tinder effect on April 1 2013. For our very longtime listeners. You may remember I did a story on this very show about a little app that was taking Brigham Young University by storm. And it gave us a whole new way of dating. It was a free app. It had free communication. And it had the right swipe that did for online dating, which Uber did for transportation. It made it accessible to everyone, and extremely easy to use. The other thing it did, which was an important factor for the success of dating apps, is it leaned into authenticity? Instead of a nameless and sometimes faceless profile, you were a real person with a real name and a real age hopefully, and, and it took the fear away from this idea that you don’t know these people who you’re going to meet on the internet. You don’t know who they really are. Tinder was that game changer that I was anticipating. And it paved the way for the proliferation of dating apps. So here we are at today as many As a third of all relationships begin online. But here’s the thing that’s just looking at dating sites and dating apps. But the entire world of online dating is much, much bigger than that. Think of all the connections that you make online every day, from Twitter threads to Facebook groups, our entire lives have moved online, and so has much of our dating pool. Even when we’re out IRL looking for dates, many of us are still living in the virtual world being constantly connected to our phones. So how will this change in the next five years? Well, I believe in two ways. First, we are extremely close to a no stigma world for online dating. It’s not that long ago that clients of mine told me that they would never try online dating. In fact, I actually just did some new client consultations last week, and some of the things that I heard from Data is is that people still just want to meet in real life. But what we’re failing to realize is that online life is real life right now. And meaning IRL isn’t this romantic fantasy that we remember from the good old days, the world has changed. And you can either be nostalgic about it and get left out. Or you can accept it and get dates. So many people are mad at dating apps. And they’re saying that dating apps are the reason that they can’t date in today’s world. But the bigger issue is that the way that we communicate has changed. There’s a reason that I have a training on the texting trap that I did many years ago. And it’s because texting is at the core of our communication challenges. So much of what we say is conveyed through context and through intonation and body language and We are literally being forced to learn a new language right now to connect effectively with text tools. My tip is to check out my masterclass on how to communicate. If you really want to know how to text more effectively, and use emojis and mood modifiers and gifts as connectors and other tricks to improve your texting connection. I did a whole episode about it. It’s called How to communicate. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But in the meantime, we have to accept that this is for the foreseeable future, our primary mode of communication are you hearing me? This is really important. text based communication is now your primary mode of communication. Most people talk to other humans far more hours and speak to far more people today, through text through dm through email and other forms of written communication. So guess what lovers unless you have Cyrano de Bergerac in your corner, or me helping to write your messages, which you can do. By the way, if you’re interested in coaching, you have to learn this skill, specifically as it relates to dating and flirting. The number one question that I’m asked when people find out that I’m a dating coach is which dating app is best? They want to know what is that magic pill?


And I always laugh because there is no one answer to this question of what is the best dating app. Just as each one of you is different. The app that works best for you may not be the one that works best for your sister or your friend or for me or for any of my clients. I can’t prescribe the perfect app for you. You have to see how you like the functionality. You have to see how you like the matches and the results of each app to make a


Unknown Speaker  9:57  



Damona  9:59  

But here’s what I think. is next, the average number of apps that people are on is five. Even if you aren’t actively using five apps, most people have five apps or more on their phone, and five profiles that are circulating in cyberspace, potentially even getting matches that you may never see. So I believe that in the next five years, there will be a return to simplicity, with people choosing one or two apps to use, not five. Yes, I know a lot of you are breathing a sigh of relief right now. Just as we’ve seen a contraction in social media and people picking their one or two platforms to focus on dating apps will be the same way and people will choose their tribe. That being said, we are going to see a contraction in the world of dating apps. We’ve already seen, that match has bought up many of the independent players in this space. I know many of you don’t even know this. So I’ll lay it out. For you, in case you don’t know Matt owns, okay, keep it plenty of fish, hinge, and Tinder, among others. They tried to buy Bumble but Whitney Wolff is holding out. Maybe we’ll see in the next five years that Bumble will become one of their apps too. But my belief is that some of these apps are going to basically March, you’ll see the features that you love from hinge on match. Actually, they’re already doing this as they’ve added the hinge style of prompting questions, and allowing you to react to those prompts into match rather than the classic bio. But this will continue. And as those features begin to migrate to some of the bigger apps, the smaller ones will be absorbed, or made obsolete. Because this is a key factor of success for a dating app. You need critical mass for dating apps to work if there aren’t enough people there that you want to match with, no matter how great the function analogy of the app might be, no matter what great hook, they’re advertising. If the people aren’t there, it’s not going to work. So here’s my tip on what you can do to step into the future, hone in on the one to two apps that you like best, and become a master at those instead of hopping around to whatever app you hear is hot right now, or signing off of an app. Ahem, every three weeks when you start to get bored and new matches start to slow, go just a little further past the place where you usually quit, and see what happens. And I know you all like these free dating apps. Hmm. But don’t get too used to that. It’s one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book to give someone something for free and then you get them hooked on the product until they need that product or service so badly that they’ll pay for it. That free to communicate model is not simple. attainable for these businesses. And they are businesses. Yes, they want you to connect. And yes, they want to spread love. But essentially, they want to make money and they cannot do it on the free communication model. So eventually, we will see them changing over to a pay to join model like the old days of dating sites. Yes, this will result in a drop in users. But what you will get from it is a higher engagement so that you’ll have less ghosting and less of the, you know, those half committed daters that you’ve seen on dating apps up to this point that all of you are writing to me like how do you tell the people that are really there for serious business, from the people that are there to waste your time you slap a price tag on it, and the people that are not serious about it will melt away? In terms of features. Remember when I said that there’s been a move towards authenticity since Tinder made everyone use their real names instead of a made up handle or username. Well, the next evolution of authenticity in dating apps are you ready for this? It’s video. Now that I G stories have popularized peeking into people’s lives and now that the technology is there to support streaming video whether you are on Wi Fi or not, daters are going to start demanding that they see someone in person on video before a date. You know, I’ve been a longtime fan of the phone call. And I’ve been cautious. I’m the first to admit I’ve been cautious about the video call, because you never get a second chance to make that first impression. But I predict


that within one to two years, you will see me giving a training on how to ace the first video call date. And there will be a name for this date and I don’t know what the name will be. Probably bustle. We’ll call it The term in an article somebody will name this phase in the dating process. Maybe you’ll be the one to name it. If you have an idea of what to call the video date, DM me, and I’ll do a poll and I’ll write an article, maybe I’ll write an article for bustle about what this winning name should be. But it’s going to happen, it’s going to become crucial to the dating process. We’ve seen this video component already integrated into many dating apps. So you don’t have to give your number out or your skype name or download another app to video chat. And this is going to be the next big change in the dating process as it relates to tech. So get ready for it and catch your makeup on. Here’s the tip prep for a video call the same way you would for a regular date. And maybe that’ll hold you over until I do that next training one to two years from now. So who will be the leader in the world of dating apps though? Well, to answer that question, We have to move into part two of this masterclass feminism. Part Two feminism in 2016 when Kelly stackelberg was the head of Zoosk, I heard her speak at a conference. She said that online dating only worked when women were made to feel comfortable, and that women were the ones driving the dating process. All that time when you read the fairy tales and thought that the prince was the one taking the action, you misread the situation. The princess was inspiring the prince to take action, even though she wasn’t the one saving him. She was the one pulling the strings to make everything happen. And Kelly was exactly right. Bumble, which she was not a part of is now the second biggest dating app in the world behind Tinder. For those of you who don’t know, Bumble, the difference with this app is that you have to have a mutual match to communicate As you do on most apps, and then women have to initiate with the first message. Women were so tired of having their inboxes filled with guys that they hadn’t invited to their door, that Bumble put them back in the driver’s seat by allowing them to filter and choose who sends messages, but also, too, it asks them to drive the initial communication. This might sound familiar to some of my longtime listeners, who else said that women should initiate sending messages Hmm, who said that in her 2013 book, and for many years before that was even written that that was the process that we should follow. Yes, you got it. I have always known that women are doing the choosing, and that is when the best communication and connections happen. But what’s the real reason that feminism is driving dating today and in the near future? It’s not because of hashtag Me too. Although that is a factor. This may sound a little bit harsh, but stick with me. The real reason that feminism is driving dating today is because women don’t need men. There. I said it, but it’s true. For generations women have needed to partner off for their livelihood. They needed that for a roof over their head to have children to have a comfortable life. women had to have a partner. Even if a woman had the financial means to raise a child on her own. The stigma of having a baby out of wedlock was a strong deterrent. But this is 2020. Women don’t need to get married to have a child in the last year or four and 10 births were two women who were either solo mothers or mothers living with a non marital partner. And that’s according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 50 years ago, one in 10 births were to an unmarried woman and although women are still grossly underpaid in comparison to men. I will not get on my soapbox about that. Women


are now outpacing men in earning master’s degrees and doctoral degrees. And 10 and a half percent of women are now among the top earners in the workforce. And it’s growing. So watch out boys. So that explains a little bit about why feminism is driving manufacturers and dating, but it’s also driving relationships. A study came out a number of years ago that said men and women who shared domestic duties had 50% more sex than couples in which the women did most of the housework. Guys, I have your attention again, suddenly, as I’m talking about sex. Now keep in mind that most of these women who are doing the housework and maybe some of you listening right now, are also still going to work. So while we got ahead in the workplace, we were still living in our homes like it was 1950, which meant that women We’re getting caught in the middle and having to work everywhere that they went. And you know what that leads to tired women who don’t want to have sex. What else? women who are a boss in their position at work, but don’t feel fully appreciated at home. You know, what makes a woman feel like having sex being valued. It’s that simple. We have figured out the solution to this epidemic of married couples having significantly less sex than they did 20 years ago, which was reported on by a medical school in London that did a study of couples in relationships. This study also reported an increase in people wanting to have sex. So we’re not having less sex because we want to have less sex. We’re having less sex, because we just can’t. And leveling the playing field at home for women is the quickest way To get us out of this conundrum. So my tip, if you’re embarking on a new relationship, set the rules of the partnership early on, it’s much easier to do that than to try to change them once you’ve both fallen into the relationship routine, and equality is the name of the game. Now, I have to mention, as we’re talking about feminism, don’t tense up on me. What is feminism really mean? Well, if you Google it, you’ll see that it’s defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality of the sexes. It doesn’t say anything about man hating. There is no mention of traditional roles in the household. I sense nothing militant about it. Feminism simply means equality. And that is what we’re striving for equality partnership. But as we define partnerships in the new paradigm, they don’t necessarily look like they did 25 or 50 years ago. Which brings us to our third and final element of today’s show connection. Welcome to part three, where we’re talking about connection and how that impacts the future of dating and relationships. You may have heard me say on the show before that we are in the middle of a communication crisis. But it’s really deeper than that. It’s a crisis of connection. At a time when technology has allowed us to be always on always connected. We are more disconnected than ever, because we’re not running to our technology with a drive to connect right now. It’s our drive to disconnect from the reality that we’re in the need to escape the present moment that is sending us running to our phones. disconnection is driving connection. How backwards is that? But here’s the real problem. The problem moment is all that we have. One of the biggest things that I coach my clients on is staying in the present moment on a date is that that is where all of the interesting stuff is happening. That’s where you find out all the information that you need to know. That’s where you get all the fields. But we are so fixated on our past. And whatever story we’re telling ourselves about the past, or we’re busy romanticizing about the future and what this person might mean to our lives down the road that we’re missing what’s right in front of us in real time. And we are all desperately wanting that connection in the present moment. We are aware of the connection crisis. Why else would there be a 52% increase in meditation and mindfulness app


revenue in just the last year. We are so dissatisfied from trying to escape At the present moment that we are willing to pay to be brought back into it. And in relationships, it’s vital that we are connecting to each other in the now, not over text, which can be time shifted, not over technology, but through direct in person human connection. Here’s my tip, to create more real time connection. Make sure that you are putting your phone on silent during a date, and tell your date that you’re doing this, thereby focusing your mind on what’s in front of you, and essentially telling them the level of focus that will be expected of them throughout the date. As we look to the future, we will see an openness to finding human connection in different ways than we saw in the past. First, the binary is behind us. While the human race has been propagated on this idea of man and woman, and I No much of the advice that you hear on the show is delivered in more of a gender binary framework is that is still the point of view of the majority of my audience right now. Society is opening up to different possibilities that we weren’t even aware of in previous generations, as we are sought out to find this connection. I remember watching the movie Chasing Amy with Joey Lauren Adams and Ben Affleck. And in it, Joey Lauren Adams character declares herself to be bisexual because by defaulting to straight, she automatically cut out half of her potential dating options. Just seeing this one movie and hearing that thought, made me completely reframe my perception of sexuality. So the next week I declared the same thing about my own sexuality. Soon after I declared it I realized that I’m very, very low number on the Kinsey scale, which means I am super attracted to men. But I needed that moment of opening up to the possibility to really be able to explore my options, expand my mind, and go after connection to figure out really what was right for me. And that’s what’s happening right now. We are waking up to possibilities of different gender identities and definitions of sexuality. We are not even really locked into this idea of bisexuality, you can be pansexual, you can be omnisexual, you can choose not to choose a label at all. And that only amplifies your options and your possibility of finding a match who meets you on a deep emotional level. And Mark my words, someone listening to this podcast right now will be in a relationship in five years, with someone of a gender identity that you didn’t think you were attracted to. might be you. And when that happens, I want you to message me. And to acknowledge that this was the moment that you opened the door just enough to let in a deep connection. As we’re talking about people of different backgrounds, and you expect one of my favorite dating topics, interracial dating is going to go through a massive expansion in the next five years. Massive. Okay, I don’t know, for those of you who’ve been watching, love and love is blind. I’m not sure why it took Lauren and Cameron for us to all get the message, but I’m thankful that it put interracial dating on the map. And it allowed us to see what happens when you judge someone truly by the content of their character, not by the way they look, but by the way that you connect with them. Looking at the most recent data 17% of all US newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, marking on more than five fold increase since 1967, when only 3% of newlyweds were married. We have many more things in common than we have different about us. Plus, the only way to overcome our differences is by creating connection across race and across nationality. Oh, speaking of nationality, interracial dating will also be on the rise over the past 30 years k one fiance visa is issuances. That’s a tough word to say. International dating will also be on the rise. Over the past 30 years k one fiance visas have increased by 75% as dating apps and Skype and WhatsApp and


all of these tools have made connections possible from country to country. And we will continue to see more of that. I have so many of my clients that have met and married internationally over the last 15 airs. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re single, your best possible match may not even be in this country right now. Here’s my tip. See what happens if you drill down to the three must have values and qualities in your match the ones that really matter to long term connection, and then take away anything that is a would like to have quality, anything that would deal with location, ethnicity, age, height, maybe even gender, and then see what magic might happen. This is such an amazing time. Our dating pool has expanded so dramatically in recent years. A study of census data in the 1950s if any of you read that book that Aziz Ansari wrote called Modern Romance he, he cited this data that as many as possible Third of people married someone who lived within five blocks of their home. five blocks. You were marrying your neighbors just 70 years ago. And now your dating pool has expanded to anyone in the entire world. This gives us the ability to choose partners who are more ideally matched, but also who can help us expand our worldview. What a wonderful time to be single, and to have choice. Those are my predictions for the future of dating and relationships. I also predict the dates and mates and I will still be here dishing out your advice in five years. Your love advice I want to say I also predict the dates and mates and I will still be here dishing out your love advice in five years. I love hearing from you. So please share your reactions to this episode with me either through social media or throw a review on your favorite podcast platform. And if there’s something in this episode that you think could help a friend out if there’s some way you can expand their mind and possibilities for finding love, please do us both a favor and share this show with them or post about it on social media. So we can spread the love and we can heal more hearts. We will be back again next week with a regular episode but today, I just want to thank you for 300 episodes of doing what I truly love, sharing the love I feel in my heart. And I love that I know it’s possible for you to feel to Until next week, I wish you happy dating

Breaking Dating Patterns & Whelming: Love Month Part 4


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks. This is the final episode of our Love Month #5QFeb!

Back by popular demand is Mike Goldstein, a successful dating coach, public speaker, and author who has appeared on the Today Show, Reader’s Digest, The Star Ledger, and Shape Magazine. Through his BLOG EZ Dating Coach he has reached over 100,000 women.

He’s here to give us a whole new perspective on love that we haven’t heard yet!

More on that later, first we have headlines! 


Could your partner be snooping through your phone?

In their latest study, Whistleout determined that 50% of Americans look at their partner’s phones. Do you think this is okay?

The newest dating term: whelming

According to Cosmo, the newest way to ‘impress’ your match is by complaining about how many matches you have. Damona and Mike have thoughts. 

Read Damona’s Profile Polish in Shondaland!


Are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner getting back together?

In an interview with the New York Times, Ben Affleck explains that his divorce to Jennifer Garner was the biggest mistake of his life. Damona did some digging and it turns out that Ben’s family history with alcoholism could have contributed to the breakup patterns he might have inherited from his father. Damona and Mike weigh in.


#5QFeb (20:32)

Damona asks Mike the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?




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

  • So I had a conversation with my guy and asked why he isn’t putting more time into our relationship. He’s busy and seems to be pulled in a lot of different directions. My question is: If I wait patiently, will that hurt me in the long run?
  • What does it mean when a guy says he does something because it’s funny? For example, my guy tells me other girls are flirting with him because he says he is being honest and he isn’t doing anything with them but he finds it cute that I get jealous. Is this a red flag?


Are you feeling overwhelmed with dating and relationships and looking for a little more support? then you are the perfect person to become one of my Friends with Benefits.  

We just launched a special Patreon program for our listeners who want a little more love from Damona

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

A private facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show.

And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions.

Plus secret BTS content from our nearly 300 episodes of Dates & Mates.

And for my really special top-tier FWBs, you can even get a personalized dating profile analysis from me with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws the right kind of dates to you.

The Patreon is live on at

And we have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the Lover or VIP level – a free autographed copy of my book. But only if you sign up during the month of February.

Go to to see which of tier is right for you. I look forward supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my Friends with Benefits.



Damona  0:12  

Happy love month lovers. This is episode four of our love month #5QFeb the five question February series during which I am interviewing your favorite dates and mates prior guests to ask the most pressing questions and love today. We are using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation. My guest for today is back by popular demand. Mike Goldstein is a successful dating coach. He’s a public speaker and also an author. You may have seen him on the Today Show in Reader’s Digest the star ledger or its Shape magazine. And through his blog, easy dating coach. He has reached over 100,000 surely more 200,000 just so many women Need help in dating and he’s here to help the men and women of the de tomates community, please give big smooches to Mike Goldstein,

Mike Goldstein  1:07  

thank you so much for having me. I’m so pumped to be here.

Damona  1:11  

I’m so glad you’re back. And this is a perfect time of year because we’re still like, we’re still feeling the energy of Valentine’s Day. And whether people listening had a great Valentine’s Day or one that they would rather forget. We want to keep people moving towards that, that road to love. Right? Yeah. And then we’ll also talk about this week’s headlines, including could your partner be snooping through your phone? And you can be overwhelmed. And you can be underwhelmed because you just be well, plus, our Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner getting back together could be now I don’t know. We’ll talk about that in a minute and then we’ll answer your questions like, should you wait around for a guy who’s super busy? And is it a red flag? If your boyfriend thinks you’re cute when you’re jealous. All that and more on today’s dates and mates. Mike, are you ready to do this?

Mike Goldstein  2:06  

Whoa, those are some great topics.

Damona  2:10  

Yeah, like we just surprised you. He knows what’s coming. He’s ready for you guys and he’s ready to do the dish. He’s dating dish. Whistle out did a survey on how much Americans look at their partners phones, and I’m talking about like, unapproved snooping, not just glancing over, but actually like cracking into their phones. they surveyed 1600 people from the ages of 15 and 55 about all aspects of cell phone privacy and snooping and romantic relationships. And it turns out that a lot of people 48% of women and 31% of men think snooping is okay, but people are worried Mike people are worried about things that their partner might see in their phone and Most people are worried about browser history texts, social media accounts. What do you think about cell phone privacy? I mean, this is just a factor in relationships today. Should you be able to look into your partner’s phone? Or is the phone like a barrier for privacy, something that should still remain secret and private?

Mike Goldstein  3:22  

Can I tell you a story?

Damona  3:23  

Of course, we have nothing but time. Oh, yes.

Mike Goldstein  3:26  

So Dimona, I was 25 years old, I had a girlfriend, and we were at a beach house at our beach house. And we were sleeping in bed, about to go to bed. And she’s looking at her phone. And I glance over. And there’s a message from a guy saying, Come over and it’s about 1am at night. Oh, no. But I am the most trusting human being on the planet. You may not know this about me. So she gave me some explanation like oh, it’s just our friend. Like He wants to drink more. And I was like, oh, that seems reasonable. And then I went to bed.

Damona  4:05  

But you had a little bit of suspicion. Surely, I had

Mike Goldstein  4:08  

a little bit, but I totally let it go. Because I just assumed I’m in love. She’s in love. Like we’re good.

Damona  4:14  

Oh, no, what happened?

Mike Goldstein  4:16  

Oh, well

Mike Goldstein  4:19  

while she was sleeping with it,

Damona  4:22  

did you ever confront her about the text? Because like looking at this survey, 38% of couples gotten a fight or broke up over something over snooping. So like, was there ever a conversation? Like, you know, that text didn’t quite sit well with me? Did you ever go back into her phone and be like, I’m gonna see if there are additional messages here.

Mike Goldstein  4:44  

No, I don’t believe in that. Like even through that through that story. Like privacy is important. And trust is important. So any partner I’m with, like they can do whatever they want. And I want to be in a relationship. I know and I feel safe for them to. They can be private, they can do whatever they want. I know we’re together. There’s no cheating. We’re good.

Damona  5:09  

Mike, you know what I love about that terrible story is that you still believe in love and you still have trust, like so many times people go through an experience like that, and then they think it means they can’t trust anybody again. But it was like that was one situation and it seems like you’re able to now separate her choices from the choices of whomever you’re in a relationship with from that point forward.

Mike Goldstein  5:35  

Yes, but to be fair, there was a lot of healing if you would have brought up her name probably for the first like four or five years after we broke up. You’d probably see my eyes like start to water like it definitely hit me. Yeah, but yeah, I’m over it now. But I alway

Damona  5:50  

give like a tip and one thing that you did to to heal and move on after that situation and trust again,

Mike Goldstein  5:59  

honestly, the Like so right after it happened and I thought I was gonna marry this woman, so I was crying my eyes out. You’re 25 I know.

Damona  6:08  

life ahead of you. This is true. Okay, you figure it out, though before.

Mike Goldstein  6:11  

Yeah. So I was crying my eyes out for three months straight. And then finally I picked up a copy of john gray men are from Mars, women are from Venus. And I realized I just didn’t understand women at all. And I realized like, I was a big part of the blame of why she was looking outside of a relationship. So that gave me a lot of clarity. So I guess for me it was what am i accountable for? What do I need to change? What do I need to work on? And then on top of that, now I’m saying like stop being sad, go do some things. Go play soccer, go to the gym, go see your friends. Go keep yourself busy.

Damona  6:47  

Yes, she would. One of the things that you might do be go on a dating app and start swiping. That is something that our next article is all About in Cosmo, they’re talking about a new dating trend called whelming. And this is when your matches complain to you about how many other matches they’re getting. So I know like, just just to recap the story that you told, when people get, they’re ready to move on. Sometimes they go full force into swiping, and they just swipe right on everybody because they want that instant gratification of like somebody likes me. But would you ever then complain about the number of matches that you’re getting? Because this seems to be an epidemic that’s happening?

Mike Goldstein  7:36  

So you’re telling me that I’m going to complain because so many women want to talk to me? Is that correct?

Damona  7:45  

That’s what people are doing and this is happening and you know, it’s happening for your clients as well like there. They must be I’m sure you’re helping them to be online dating masters, and then they’re getting are they getting overwhelmed by the matches.

Mike Goldstein  8:01  

Yes, some of them. Yeah.

Damona  8:03  

But they wouldn’t complain about it on the date because you told them not to.

Mike Goldstein  8:07  

Yeah, I don’t know what like, what is that?

Damona  8:10  

Well, the article also gave us some ways to cope if you’re feeling overwhelmed, because I think this is a symptom of this Paradox of Choice of feeling like there’s this endless supply of matches. And their tips are really good for for dating apps. They said, Be more selective. ration your screen time. Don’t rely on just dating apps. And I know that you’re you’re a fan of alternate ways of dating as well. Don’t swipe late at night. No, it’s like I say dating apps are sort of like Gremlins like don’t feed them after midnight. craziness. craziness ensues, that’s when you get the worst possible matches. And don’t take dating too seriously. What do you tell your clients about ways to reduce overwhelm when they’re using dating apps?

Mike Goldstein  8:57  

Yeah, this is so Important is, first of all, online dating needs to be a science experiment. Like try to leave your emotions to the side. I know like love is obviously a very emotional thing. But the actual online dating aspect science experiment, once you get to know someone, then emotions can get involved. But the strategy is, you need to pick three times a week that you’re going to go on. And if you’ve got a good system, like my clients are only doing half an hour, three times a week. So that’s manageable. It’s not taking over your life. So maybe it’s like Monday, Wednesday and Friday at eight o’clock I’m going on. The key is what folks are doing is that like, works kind of boring. Right now I’m going to hop on a dating app for a second. Oh, I got a match. Ooh, that’s not a fit. And then you repeat that sometimes one to 10 times a day. And you keep getting let down. versus if you’re going on once, you know every few days and you’re looking at maybe 510 20 at a time. Then you will manage your expectations of Okay, I got 10 Ooh, this one looks good. And then you don’t get upset about individually each nine times you got something bad, but you get excited about the one guy that actually makes sense for you, or, or woman, excuse me.

Damona  10:12  

I like that. And I think that’s good philosophy for any kind of online escape. Like, I know I do the same thing with with Facebook, I’ll be like, Oh, I just need to escape my kids and make it be crazy. I’m going to just escape into the world of Facebook for a while, but it does have the same effect. When you are using it for more of an entertainment purpose, then, you know, dating with strategy. I’d like to add one other thing that I think they did not touch on in the article that is really important. And that’s in making sure that your profile is the right profile to attract what you want. Like I did a profile Polish for Shonda in the fall and the woman that I worked with she was gorgeous. She had tons of matches, but she was like, I’m so over. So over dating apps. And I hear this a lot of time from a lot of times from our database listeners as well. I said, Let’s be really specific in your profile. And I’m getting all of these things that you’re not from reading your profile and looking at the pictures that you chose, let’s change the the strategy and let your profile be sort of the online calling card for you that the resume that draw that draws the right applicants in and what she said in the article, and I will put the link in the show notes if you guys want to actually read it but what she said was after she did my profile updates, she got fewer messages, which you would think is a bad thing. But at the same time there were messages from more more serious guys at that lead actually today’s instead of leading to overwhelm and then she didn’t have to complain about the overwhelm on the One thing in this article last thing about this article that I want to get your take on is they said that single people should be using five to six dating apps, according to their study, to have the best chance of finding love, like based on how many matches people are getting that are that are actually turning into dates. Five to six dating apps. What What do you think about that?

Mike Goldstein  12:24  

No, thank you.

Mike Goldstein  12:29  

Dating should be fun. And that’s gonna like take over your life. Six dating apps. Yeah, that’s way too much. And I’m sure the listeners can tell us like, the same people are on them. So you don’t need to see them in

Mike Goldstein  12:45  

areas again, I swipe left on the last time.

Mike Goldstein  12:48  

Yeah, but like, we’ve talked about it before, but I love

Mike Goldstein  12:51  

three. No one

Mike Goldstein  12:53  

just wants get one good one like and don’t even do an app like maybe like a match. com Or like an okay Cupid and just build a great profile. I’m, as you know, I’m not a fan of apps because they’re not as robust in terms of profiles. Yes. So if we’re going to go on dates, I want to be more strategic with hopefully, looking at a man or a woman’s robust profile on match is like, Whoa, a lot of things are aligned. I’m excited. Because if we’re going to give up, you know, our Wednesday night and you know, get dressed up and makeup and whatever needs to happen, let us be excited, be excited. And let’s go on only one day a week, pick a good one. So even if you have 12 options, or four options or whatever, figure out which one is your most excited about and do one day a week, so you can still live your life and have six other nights where you’re doing whatever you want to do. And this will be a much more efficient, much more strategic way to get a partner.

Damona  13:50  

Yes, and then it’ll be more fun, you’ll be enjoying it more. Well, one person is not really enjoying his dating and relationship experience right now. is bad. Aflac he was he was promoting his new movie and gave a very raw and real interview to the New York Times. And he said that the divorce with Jennifer Garner is his biggest regret the biggest regret of his life. They announced their separation in 2015. You may remember it actually took another three years until they were divorced. And he fully admits they broke up because of his drinking, which it’s something that is also a part of his family history. Like his dad was an alcoholic and his relationship and his parents relationship broke up because of that. And it just makes me so sad to see him falling into that same pattern. And I want to know what you would tell a client who has a family history of something like, like divorce or like addiction, and how they can carve out a different path for themselves.

Mike Goldstein  15:00  


Damona  15:01  

we don’t know softball questions here. Mike Goldstein,

Mike Goldstein  15:04  

I don’t know if I’m qualified that, but I will try to answer that. Well,

Damona  15:07  

I’m sure you’ve dealt with this, like people that don’t have a positive relationship role model for themselves. You can still have a successful relationship and your history doesn’t have to be your future.

Mike Goldstein  15:20  

Absolutely. I mean, everyone has their own choice, right. So if you and usually what you see is when they have a parent that went so far off the deep end, and one thing they like, they don’t even want to touch that thing. Because they don’t want to repeat that. Yeah. So usually see that happen. But yeah, to your point, like everyone has the choice. You know, do whatever you need to do to be happy and to be healthy. And then you can have great partnership.

Damona  15:45  

What about this element when we are so quick now to be looking for perfect, that we’re very quick to move on. And, you know, I don’t think it was really Ben’s decision. Once he he went so far into his alcoholism. I think Jennifer just had to move on. But they ultimately divorced rather than working on the relationship and I and I’ve worked with other divorce clients that were like, I’d much rather now have stayed with the person in a relationship that was challenging, then be single again and have to basically start over. What do you think about that?

Mike Goldstein  16:29  

Well, I got a question is Jennifer Garner single these days or she lives she’s

Damona  16:34  

got a boyfriend, a guy named john Miller, who is kind of like a Ben doppelganger and way they’ve a lot of physical similarities. He’s a younger man to he’s 40. She’s 47 I ain’t mad about it, but that’s the answer.

Mike Goldstein  16:50  

Well, I think she handled it, how you’re supposed to handle it. If there’s alcoholism or something that’s got a disease. You kind of have to leave And if they get that sorted out and you’re still available and you know, they’re wildly healthy, and you want to revisit it, then go revisit it. But when they’re in that state, you’ve got to get out of there. You can’t fix them. Yeah. And they need to go fix themselves.

Damona  17:15  

All right, great insights. I told you know, softball questions here we have, we have the hard questions that are coming up in our next segment and five key fobs. So stick around. I’m here with Mike Goldstein, who’s also known as easy dating coach, right? Easy dating coach calm, so stick around for more dates and dates. We’re back with easy dating coach Mike Goldstein. And if you’ve been following all this month, we’ve been asking the same five questions of four different dating experts and we’re getting wildly different responses. So I’m going to kick it off Mike with our first question of five key fab. What is the biggest challenge for daters today.

Mike Goldstein  17:58  

Whoa, that’s a big One I told you,

Mike Goldstein  18:01  

you know, softball question, you know softball, Scott.

Damona  18:05  


Mike Goldstein  18:06  

datings freaking hard. And there’s no manual. And, you know, if we look back to 100 years ago in the 1950s, our parents were getting married mostly for security, finances, money, safety. And everyone told us, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Right? And now, you know, we’ve got women in the workforce, men in the workforce, boss, ladies to boss ladies, kicking butt. And it’s not like, hey, the man goes to work and the woman takes care of the kids now, it’s just confusing. And women have plenty of money and they’re kicking butt. And now everyone needs you guys. Exactly. Now, women are dating for love. And everyone’s dating for love, and it’s not security. And this is brand new. We’ve been on this earth for what, thousands, millions of years. And now finally, the only reason we’re getting together or the biggest reason is the Love, not just procreating and security.

Damona  19:04  

So what do you how do you see that changing the way that we operate in dating? If you’re dating for love? How’s your process different than if you’re dating for security? You spend more time probably right? Because you have to vet people.

Mike Goldstein  19:25  

Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely wildly different. Like, it’s just security. It’s like, Oh, he’s got a good job and he looks healthy. Yeah, okay. That’s all I need.

Damona  19:32  

And my parents know, like, that’s the other thing that’s different is now our dating pool has opened up to anyone possibly in the world who’s the best match for us? So now, in addition to dating for love, we’re dating to check like 17 boxes as opposed to like, Oh, well, I know him and he can be a good provider and he looks all right. Like I could wake up next to that for at least a few years. You know, it was like the criteria The criteria was lower. And the ability to meet someone that really matched us on multiple levels was, was also lower. You know, there’s a,

Mike Goldstein  20:11  

there’s just way more variables to contend with. And then the other thing is like our brain tries to mess with us. Because for a lot of us, we kind of look at chemistry as the be all sale instead of compatibility. So we’re like, man, when I’m with them, like, it’s just electric, and I feel something. And what the heck is that? Like, you’re gonna spend 50 years with someone you feel something for? No, like, what is this laundry list of things? You actually need to be happy with someone for 50 or however many years you’re going to be together?

Damona  20:40  

Can I tell you something really corny, please. As my husband and I have built our life together, I feel like the electricity has increased. Because it’s like, now we’re not just we’re not just checking boxes. We’re actually like, We’re actually intertwined in our lives. And as our lives have gotten bigger, like our love can actually get bigger. And I feel like there’s this feeling that, that that chemistry that you feel on whatever the first date or that people are, like desperately searching for is something that is on a decreasing scale, that it’s never going to be as high as when you first meet. And I would love to see what happens if people looked at it in the inverse, like, it can only build from here if you’re with the right person, that you’re that you’re matching with on like, much more on on more long term factors, right.

Mike Goldstein  21:46  

Yeah, I mean, that’s, no, it’s not. I mean, you’re talking to a love coach. So I’m like, that’s so beautiful. I love that. But back to your first question. That’s what I think is the biggest problem really is we’re not great. So we end up picking. And then once we fall in love, we’re like, All right, I’m gonna stick this out because it’s kind of close. You only get one person. So you got to make sure you pick the right person. So then when you are together for years, you are going in that upward trend of the relationship getting better, as opposed to what most people are, is it either flatlines or it’s going worse? Right? That’s a good point.

Damona  22:23  

Okay, you aced that first question, Mike. Second question, what is the best way to find love?

Mike Goldstein  22:33  

Whoo. That’s a big one to love, love, love. First off, you got to do a little work and make sure you’re like ready to rock and roll. Like you’ve got and there’s a lot to this. Because I have so many women that go to me, they’re like, I have everything on solid ground. Like I’ve got a great job. I’ve got this amazing house. And I’ve got this, like all these activities I do and this amazing Family like, That is wonderful. Do you know anything about dating? Or how the opposite sex works or whoever you’re trying to partner with? Like that really. So there’s a lot to it it’s one you got to have a good life but to you got to kind of help know how this whole dating, how to interact with whoever you’re going after works.

Damona  23:18  

And it’s also you have to have a growth mindset like this is something that I haven’t mastered. And I, I can actually learn something from my girl from the dates and maids podcast like there’s room for growth because the way you describe that, and I hear that a lot too, from listeners is like, it’s a close circle. like where’s the space if you have those five things? Where’s the space for another person to get in and actually enhance your life? How can you find love love? So let’s say you’ve done that and you have accepted that there is a skill set called dating that you are going to develop? Then what how do you find love

Mike Goldstein  23:58  

Wow. Then you got to decide, are you I want to be in my pajamas on a Friday night doing online dating and find love? Or are you the type that’s like, I’ve got the biggest personality on the planet. And I want to be out there just mingling, and meet someone. So who are you, and then go on to those routes.

Damona  24:18  

That’s, it’s good that you incorporate this idea of like figuring out what works best for you, because I’m big into online dating, obviously. And I think that that is just the best way in today’s world to to exponentially increase your dating options. But I also recognize it’s not necessarily the right fit for everyone. And if you’re doing it and it’s making you frustrated or you’re uncomfortable with it, and you’ve done the work that Mike is talking about to develop that skill set and get more comfortable and it still doesn’t work, but you have great success when you’re meeting people out on a Friday night at a bar then Why make your life easy? Right? Why do we always wait? Why do we always complicate things for ourselves?

Mike Goldstein  25:07  

Yeah, I don’t know if people can see a picture of me but I’m like mediocre looking. But online like if maybe if you’d call them the attractive women are the women that are good looking that have like seems their life together. They pretty much want nothing to do with me because I’m not like, I’m not everything marketable online. But when you put me in person, like sometimes I’m pretty charismatic. And then I’m able to actually kind of like hit probably above my league sometimes.

Damona  25:38  

So okay, I’m not even buying anything, you guys. He’s very attractive and he’s very charming. But for you, you feel more like in your element. It sounds like when you’re meeting people out in the world.

Mike Goldstein  25:52  

I mean, I come from a life prior to starting this like I came from a sales background. I’m like, pretty social. So yeah, that’s fun for me. But I’m also considered one of the top online dating experts in the country. So I, and I teach that and I work with, you know, eHarmony. Okay keeping match with their data. So I can go both routes, and I teach a lot of clients online dating, but I also want to be open to who I’m working with and what their skill set is.

Mike Goldstein  26:18  

Does that make sense? It makes total sense. So there’s no answer to question two.

Damona  26:23  

There’s no best way but the best way is just to start and to get clarity on what path is best for you. How can people change their patterns in love? We talked a little bit about this in the Ben Affleck of it all. But what if somebody just recognizes a dating pattern? Like I always date I always date jerks or my relationship somebody just told me. I think someone DM me on Instagram and they said, I always have this thing where I’m like, really into somebody at first and then three weeks, three or four weeks go by and I’m just not that interested anymore. If you recognize your pattern, which is the First step, right? Then what’s the next step to changing it?

Mike Goldstein  27:04  

Like the first you gotta like, go, why am I doing this? So like, get the explanation for yourself. I do this because x. So now that you know why they aren’t, so how do I solve this? Okay, when person does x, then I’m going to do this. So now that you’ve got a strategy, like, right, what happens? You like, Oh, it’s happening. I see it. Yeah. And then you do your plan. So you can’t do it in the moment because like, as you know, when you go on date for and you like, your heart’s beating fast, and you’ve got your butterflies, like, I don’t care about this anymore. Get your strategy while you’ve got, you know, cool, calm, collected head. And so then when it happens, you’re like, Wait a second, I wrote this down, I have a plan, and then you can implement it.

Damona  27:49  

I did a plan. I did a dating plan called Operation date. Nice guy. Some of the longtime listeners know this, but I haven’t talked about in in a few episodes. So I recognize my opinion. My pattern was dating, dating, like, these sort of creative types that weren’t really into commitment and that that just wasn’t the place that I was at in my life. And I was like, I need somebody that’s like, gonna just be nice to me. So I actually really retrain my brain, I retrain what I was attracted to, I slowed everything down to like, that’s the thing like the chemistry, you’re saying, that’s reactive, as opposed to responsive of like, Okay, I’m taking this in. And I know that my instinct is to do this. But what’s better for me is to do

Mike Goldstein  28:37  


Damona  28:39  

And if you can create that space, to give yourself time to respond, instead of just reacting to whatever you’re feeling in the moment, then I think that can put you on a different path and work for me

Mike Goldstein  28:54  

and it can work for you too. I love that that’s such a smart way to do it. And that that’s solves, like probably 99% of the problem, right? There’s if you implement that, exactly,

Damona  29:05  

I just couldn’t, I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t date those kind of guys anymore. And I couldn’t accept that kind of behavior. Like there’s also what what are you accepting in your life? Right? Like, what are what what do you want? And then what are you letting be okay? And they’re at a certain point, you have to if you want to change your pattern, I’d say you have to, you have to recognize it. And then you have to choose not to do it anymore.

Mike Goldstein  29:32  

Yeah, just to give folks some clarity on this. It’s freaking hard, because our brain actually tells us the exact opposite. They did a study, I think it was like five years ago, where they attach people’s brains while they were dating people to see what triggered and really we just kept. The reason we keep dating the same people is something trigger triggers in the amygdala every time we date the exact same person. And it’s basically comfort. We feel comfortable because it’s like, oh, last time, I dated profile, who it’s the same profile, I feel comfortable. Let me go that route. And we’ll just keep repeating that for. And I have clients that have been repeating that literally for 50 years when they keep dating the exact same person, because it’s comfortable. So you really do need to kind of like smack yourself in the head and be like, Wait a second. It’s why am I feeling comfortable? Is there something here? That’s not healthy for me?

Damona  30:22  

Yeah, what am I reacting to? Because it does feel different. When you do it differently. It feels different. And it’s just sort of like, like a fitness routine, right? If you is when you start it, you’re like, Oh, this sucks. This is really hard, and this feels uncomfortable. And then you get into it. And then you see things changing, and your lifestyle is changing. And you’re like, Oh, actually, this isn’t as hard as it used to be. But you have to get over that hump. Okay, I have more questions for you, Mick. Question number four is what are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?

Mike Goldstein  30:58  

Can I tell a story about the last one You have nothing

Damona  31:00  

but stories. Yes, you can tell I don’t want to keep going. No, no. Go ahead. Go ahead. We like your stories.

Mike Goldstein  31:07  

Okay. Um, so my old client, Isabella, she had pattern issues. She had actually abuse she came to me from an abusive relationship and was like, think of like, 40 year old 44 year old woman like battered, like very abusive relationship. She’s like, but I’m, I’ve healed I’m ready to go like beautiful. We’re going to start dating men that treat you well. She’s like, you’re absolutely right. We sure are. She starts dating, we, we send messages. We’re sending messages to guys. We send a message to this guy. He wants to go on a date. She comes back from the first date. She goes Mike. I’m not sexually attracted to this guy it at all. I said, Okay. On a zero to 10 scale. How was the conversation? Like a nine or a 10?

Damona  31:53  

Like, oh, that’s pretty good.

Mike Goldstein  31:55  

Pretty good. Would you go on another date with him? I guess so. Yeah. I gotta Second day. Hey Isabella, are you attracted to him yet? Nope, not at all. No attraction. You guys kiss? No. Okay. Day 45 you still gonna go out with them? Yeah, go. How’s the conversation? Oh, it’s a 10 really like me super smart. comes back from date eight. She goes, Mike. Nick is the sexiest man alive. What changed? He finally kissed her on date eight.

Damona  32:29  

Oh my gosh. Wow, what a nice guy. He waited quite a while. Now a lot of people would read into that too and would think, Oh, well, he doesn’t really like me that much because so much of attraction is also like feeling that the other person is attracted to you. But she didn’t do that she kept going out like most of my clients don’t get past eight three if they’re not feeling something.

Mike Goldstein  32:50  

I know. But if the conversations like at least at eight. I say give these guys a chance because this was the nice guy. The You know, super smart like he’s written I think like 10 books, college professor like PhD, just like a little socially not great, but great guy. And he was planning these amazing dates. And he probably, you know, didn’t have that much experience sexually. So he’s figuring it out a little bit.

Damona  33:16  

Well, and it’s also like that slow love thing that I talked about a lot on the show, like real chemistry develops over time. And so as she got to know him better, and as she trusted him more, and as he saw her, and she saw him for who they truly were, then she was able to feel attraction on a deeper level. And it’s way better than that, like, just initial like hubba hubba. Okay, we’re gonna do fourth question. I loved your story. Thank you. What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?

Mike Goldstein  33:54  

Whoo, I’m really you need one thing. Let’s make this simple. Another science Study, they hook people up, that will have been married from anywhere from like 20 to 50 years that are self proclaimed happy marriages and see what triggers. And these people in happy relationships, the magdala triggered when they were giving, when both parties were givers within the relationship, that’s a happy relationship. If one person is not a giver, and chooses to give, these were unhappy marriages. So that was the one thing they found that needs to be there for a marriage to be happy, you know, 2050 years in,

Damona  34:36  

they have to both feel like they’re givers or feel like they’ve been given too.

Mike Goldstein  34:40  

So both just need to be givers. So like you

Damona  34:43  

have to actually be giving, you have to actually have to do it is what

Mike Goldstein  34:48  

you’re saying. You know, obviously, you know, the Five Love Languages was a big book. So you need to figure out what your partner wants to receive. But yeah, you need to go give like whether it’s Hey, damona you’ve had a tough day. I’m gonna make you you know Chicken tonight or whatever? Find out what

Damona  35:02  

Yeah, every day. That is definitely I am an acts of service gal. Interestingly as we’re talking about the five love like languages, which if you guys don’t know it, definitely look it up. I don’t have like an affiliate link or anything, you can just go check it out. But, um, I found when my husband and I like both did the quiz that we actually had the same exact first three love languages. And I was like, That explains it that explains why it’s so easy. Do you think there’s any value in trying to look for someone with I mean, it just happened to be that way. And part of me is like, Well, we’ve been together so long. I wonder if our love languages started to overlap or something? Or if we always were the same love language. Is there any benefit in trying to figure out the love language early on and match for that, or is that doing too much?

Mike Goldstein  35:54  

That’s a great question. Honestly. So first of all, opposites do not attract. So if you can find people that are similar. That’s a home run. So I actually, when I’m dating, do ask that question pretty early on. And I do prefer someone who’s the same. It’s so much easier like I’m a 10 out of 10 words of affirmation.

Damona  36:14  

Oh my god, we’d never be compatible. Yeah, so someone tell you these things like Didn’t I just, I just got my husband’s car clean like didn’t that that didn’t show? Yeah. So but you find somebody that is very effusive and shares their their words of how they feel about you.

Mike Goldstein  36:33  

Yeah, like I’m so drawn to someone who’s gone. sounds terrible, but someone who gives me compliments. Like, I’m like, who tell me more. Yeah, I want to be a part of this,

Damona  36:41  

right? Because that that’s how you are hearing and receiving the love so so is the answer. Don’t look for that or just ask them so that then you can know how to deliver love in the way that the

Mike Goldstein  36:53  

I would say in an ideal world you do want to look for. I mean, like when I work with clients, I Like 36 things that we write down that are things that you probably wanted a partner and you’re not gonna get all of them, right. But you want to start getting a lot of them. And this is one of those things that would be part of my 36 of like, something to be cognizant of while you’re dating, so it’s a little more strategic. You’re not just, hey, when I’m on the date, we’re having fun, no, like, well, what are the answers to all these questions? Do these things fit? So to answer your question, yes, that would be great if they have it, but no, don’t make it a deal breaker. Just be cognizant of what they are and see as you’re dating, like, Okay, I know their acts of service. Let me put in that effort and do some acts of service and see if they’re a giver, are they doing what you need? And if you’re both giving and giving in the right way, are you happy? Is this working? That’s more important.

Damona  37:47  

That is very important. Okay, last question for five Keifa. Before we move on to questions from our listeners, this is kind of a personal question, Mike, whose relationship do you admire and why? Could be a celeb could be someone in Your life could be me. No.

Mike Goldstein  38:05  

I’m not gonna lie after hearing about you, I kind of that is change. No

Damona  38:11  

no, but tell, like Tell me for real, like if there’s a relationship role model that you’re like relationship goals.

Mike Goldstein  38:18  

So I’m totally seeing this from afar, so I’m just imagining most of it, but that’s probably the best relationship. Do you know Johnny and Lera Fernandez the dating coaches? Yeah. I’m like obsessed with them from afar like I do know them personally. But their Facebook just looks like they’re so in love. That’s everybody. Yeah, they look so happy and like so aligned and they’re like, eat the same foods. I think they have the same like vegan diet and there was just smiling and they almost like look the same to them. Like man, they look so happy and perfect.

Damona  38:50  

Well, it’s probably also they’re like living this. They’re living this life of like giving people dating and relationship advice and then they have to live by it too. So, I think that’s very beautiful. Love to have them on the show one day. Okay, we are going to take a short break. When we come back we have your questions, listeners, we have things that have been on your mind that you’ve submitted through Instagram and Twitter and email and we are going to be answering your questions right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates. This is our final segment where we answer your questions we call it technically dating.

Mike Goldstein  39:31  


Damona  39:33  

this one comes to us from Instagram, this lady says so I had a conversation with my guy and asked why he isn’t putting more time into our relationship. He’s busy and seems to be pulled in a lot of different directions. My question is, if Should I wait patiently, and will that hurt me in the long run? Now, we all want guys that have stuff going on that are like living their best Life as well. But sounds like she doesn’t feel like she’s totally apart of all those other things.

Mike Goldstein  40:07  

Do we have any idea? Like, are they married? how long they’ve been dating?

Damona  40:10  

I, they’re dating. But I don’t know how long.

Mike Goldstein  40:15  

So I have different answers for different phases. If it’s very early on, and you really need a lot of interaction, maybe, you know, you can do a quick like, you know, it makes me so happy if you do x. And so you’re painting exactly what he needs to do. And you go tell him, you’d make me really happy if you did x and see what he delivers. And then when he does do something, you need to give him some appreciation. Like, thank you so much like it’s so great to hear from you. It’s so great to do this. I’m having so much fun. This is fabulous. Like I know you’re busy. Like I

Damona  40:52  

love spending time with you.

Mike Goldstein  40:54  

Yeah, like you’re amazing.

Damona  40:55  

That is so key, Mike and this is something that I feel like we haven’t talked about On the show, because I’ve said, you need to tell a guy how you want him to show up for you. And yet the other other side of that is to also acknowledge it when he does, because so many times we’re like, do this, do that. Do this, do that, but then you forget to close the loop. And that’s so key to know that like his actions, changed the way that you’re feeling.

Mike Goldstein  41:26  

Okay? Give them like a bonus tip,

Damona  41:28  


Mike Goldstein  41:30  

Bonus Tip in your appreciation. If it’s just a little more valuable than the thing he actually did, he’s going to want to do it more. So like, for example, if he, you know, did the dishes, and you go, give him a big smooch and be like, Oh, I can’t believe you did the dishes like you’re so amazing. Thank you so much. He’s like, wow, all I did was like, clean a few dishes and I’m getting like this big bear hug and a smooch. I might be doing the dishes more often.

Damona  42:00  

Right, exactly. It totally works. I can tell you from experience. Also, let’s address she says, if I wait patiently, will that hurt me in the long run? She shouldn’t just be like waiting. Like, what time do you get off work like, right? What else can she do?

Mike Goldstein  42:16  

Yeah, definitely not waiting.

Mike Goldstein  42:19  

Because you’re valuable. But being strategic and having a conversation with him at the right time, like not like in the middle of his workday when he maybe in the meeting or something. But hey, would it be possible to talk to you and you get a moment and then you know, he brings you up when he’s free. And you say, You’re so awesome. And I love spending time with you. It makes me so happy if we could do something x or, or I would love to hear from you more. See you. It makes me so happy when I get to do X with you.

Mike Goldstein  42:50  

And then see how he responds. Right?

Mike Goldstein  42:55  

Because maybe he can make some time for you. Maybe he doesn’t realize and

Damona  43:00  

Maybe it’s not his love language like maybe your love language is quality time. And he thought it was acts of service or something like that. And he did all these things, but he didn’t realize that it wasn’t connecting for you. I have another question for you, Mike. This one comes to us from one of our friends with benefits from the Patreon club. She says what does it mean when a guy says he does something because it’s funny. For example, my guy tells me other girls are flirting with him because he says he’s just being honest. And he isn’t doing anything with him with them. But he finds a cute that I get jealous. Is this a red flag?

Mike Goldstein  43:39  


Mike Goldstein  43:41  

finds a cute one. She’s just funny. cute and funny.

Damona  43:47  

What do you say my

Mike Goldstein  43:48  

sounds like he’s almost like deflecting her feelings.

Mike Goldstein  43:52  

I’m like, I wonder if that person who asked that as feeling like he’s not listening or not. not concerned about her. I mean, I’m just projecting that. But you know, I think you need to present if it’s bothering you, it needs to be presented that way, like, hey, when you do act, you know, when you’re flirting with these girls, that makes me feel a little less special. And I don’t ever want to change who you are like, I love who you are. But I just wanted you to know how I feel and

Damona  44:23  

own your feelings and then see how he responds to that.

Mike Goldstein  44:26  

Because maybe he doesn’t if you’re feeling upset, maybe he doesn’t want you to feel that way.

Damona  44:30  

Yeah, I tend to not think of anything as a red flag. People are always like, what are the red flags and dating? I think it’s just like, what kind of response do you get when you express your truth and your feelings and what you need? I also wonder if he is doing that, because he’s not feeling like you’re seeing him enough. And he’s not feeling like you’re, you’re pumping him up, because why else would he go? If you’re in a relationship and he’s committed to you? Why would he need the validation from these other women flirting with him. And then why would he need to tell you? It’s just because he wants you to tell him? Like, those same things? Right? That’s a great point. Yeah. I mean, it’s a childish way to go about it. Yeah. But that’s probably what’s underneath.

Mike Goldstein  45:16  

Yeah, like the whole situation. I mean, it does lead to an amazing, such an amazing point. Just go sit down and be like, Hey, are you happy with in our relationship or what’s going on within our life can 

Damona  45:25  

do to make you feel more secure? Because I You don’t need to get validation from these other women if I’m doing what what you need, you know,

Mike Goldstein  45:35  

maybe he wants some flirting from his girlfriend and some words of appreciation and then he will be the other women in this room. I don’t see my girlfriend. She’s fantastic.

Damona  45:45  

I need to know your love language, honey. Okay, um, one bonus question because you’re a guy and because this came from a guy, our fan Jose, who’s been listening to the show for a really long time, he says what is it that women with children take care of guys better than those with women without children. Do you see this? Mike? I don’t know. Do you date ladies with children? I have? Do they? Do they take better care of you?

Mike Goldstein  46:15  


Damona  46:16  

We’re just so used to take care. I mean, I even mom to earlier, I was like, you need to scoot your chair and let me put this. Let me put this microphone here. But like, that could be kind of dangerous thinking for Jose, right? Like, the fact that he’s already drawing a conclusion about a whole group of people based on a couple of experiences, right?

Mike Goldstein  46:38  

Yeah. And you know, it’s probably fun initially. It’s like, whew, someone’s doing stuff for me. And I’ve been there. I’ve had women that do stuff for me. But eventually, it’s like, hold on, she took the masculine role. And now what am I doing? How do I get to provide? Wait a second, I’m no longer sexually attracted to my mom who happens to be my girlfriend. You don’t want to date your mom. You don’t want them doing stuff. You want to be doing stuff for them, letting them kick their feet back. You know, mom is doing stuff for kids all day long, all day long. All day long. And then imagine back to the chicken and all night

Damona  47:12  

too. Okay. But I digress. Back to the Yeah, like, be the mayor chicken. Yeah, we’re

Mike Goldstein  47:19  

gonna, mom can arrest and all of a sudden she’s like, wow, this guy’s great. He’s doing stuff for me. I don’t have to do stuff for him. I got to kick my feet back. Cool. Maybe I owe him like a kiss or something or good conversation or I’m excited about this.

Damona  47:37  

I like that you didn’t go blue. I’m not good conversation. It’s like, oh, there’s other things you could do.

Mike Goldstein  47:43  

Yeah, sorry.

Damona  47:45  

We’re gonna keep it clean. For today’s episode. This is our last of five q fab. I love to hear which takeaways from the things the wonderful wisdom that Mike shared, really hit home for you. You can tweet me at five keys. With using the hashtag, you can tweet me using the hashtag five q fab, and share those insights and we’ll share them with the rest of our audience as well. Thank you so much for being here, Mike.

Mike Goldstein  48:11  

Thank you for having me.

Damona  48:13  

And you can catch up with Mike at easy dating coach calm and check out his YouTube channel. So awesome look for easy dating coach. And while you’re on his website, get his free gift. There’s so many free gifts but one that you think I think you might really be interested in is the video for how to get and keep a guy forever. We’ll put the link in the show notes. Thank you so much.

Mike Goldstein  48:36  

Thank you.

Damona  48:38  

I hope you enjoyed Episode 298 of dates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials and I want to hear your love questions and maybe you need a little bit more support from me right now and you want to get in on some of those live coaching calls, check out our Patreon slash dates and mates and see how I can support you in a bigger way in love will be back again next week when I will be talking to my co host from the TV series hashtag black love. Mr. jack daniels who has a big announcement about his own love life. And he’ll be talking with me about how dating has changed since black love. And since we began this podcast, we’re coming up on 300 episodes. So we’re going to ring in the 300th episode in a big way. We’ll see you next week. But until then, I wish you happy dating

Is this the time to give up on love?

My listener Jen didn’t have the Valentine’s Day she wanted. At the beginning of the year, she wanted to find love by February 14th (or at least someone cool to take her out.) She took my webinar in January and understood that the problem wasn’t HER, it’s that her dating funnel needed a tuneup and with the right process, she could get her love life on track again.
Jen had every intention of following the plan I laid out for her. But then life happened. She took on a new project at work. She had a medical situation that needed attention. Her best friend went through a rough breakup and she was pulled in a million different directions.
Within days she fell off the dating plan.
A few days after Valentine’s Day she accepted that, although she didn’t follow the plan she wanted, she had the roadmap to love. She did one step I recommended about follow-through and she had a fabulous date on Tuesday.
Now she’s feeling optimistic about love again and ready to give it another shot.
You know the saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago and the second-best time to plant a tree is today”?
It’s Today.
I want to give you a second chance at love. I want simplify dating for you so that it can be easy and fun to meet your dream match. I want to teach you the exact steps to follow that have led hundreds of my clients to love over the last 15 years.
90% of the people who did my VIP Diamond Coaching Program last year were dating someone exclusively within 3 months.
But here’s the deal…Due to my production schedules I can only take on a handful of private clients per year and I have only 3 slots opening in March.
Here are the signs that this program might be a fit for you:
– You connect to my advice or have taken one of my online programs but you are the kind of person who does better with a personalized plan and an advocate working with you
– You are ready not to be single anymore and you are prepared to make an investment of time and finances in yourself and in the relationship you want
– You believe that it’s possible for you to find a relationship by the end of this program.
If the 3 things above are true and you would like a consultation with me to see if it’s a fit for us to work together, CLICK this link to schedule a 30 minute session for next week
P.S. If you aren’t sure these options are right for you but you want more support in love and would like to participate in live coachings, get a signed copy of my book or a dating profile polish, check out my new Patreon Program which has a special bonus for people who sign up before the end of the month.

Man Shopping & Psychotic Optimism: Love Month Part 3


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks. This is episode three of our Love Month #5QFeb!


Before we get into the show, just a quick shout out to our new listeners. We are so grateful to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Pandora for all featuring us or Valentine’s Day and we welcome you if you’re new to the show!

This week’s love expert is Bela Gandhi, founder of Smart Dating Academy and a weekly media correspondent. She is a relationship expert and has been featured on everything from Good Morning America, Steve Harvey, The Today Show, Fox & Friends and so much more!

She’s here to give us a whole new perspective on love that we haven’t heard yet!

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Why Shakira won’t marry her super hot baby daddy

According to their latest interview on 60 Minutes, Shakira and hunky soccer player Gerard Pique will not marry. ‘I don’t want him to see me as ‘The Wife’,” she says. “His lover, his girlfriend. It’s like a little forbidden fruit, you know? I wanna keep him on his toes. I want him to think that anything’s possible depending on behavior.” Is this manipulative behavior? Damona and Bela have thoughts.


Could Twitter be the right dating app for you?

The Bold Italic published a personal piece from comedian Ginny Hogan where she explains how Twitter became a dating app for her! Damona breaks down how to know if it’s right for you.


Everything you need to know about online dating today

From Damona’s most trusted resource, the Pew Research Center!


#5QFeb (20:32)

Damona asks Bela the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?




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

  • What’s a reasonable age gap for dating? I started dating someone who is 7 years younger. My concern is we won’t be on the same page when we get down to having future talk. Is it worth dating someone that much younger?
  • Would you suggest speed dating? 
  • What do you do when you feel like giving up on dating?




Are you feeling overwhelmed with dating and relationships and looking for a little more support? then you are the perfect person to become one of my Friends with Benefits.  

We just launched a special patreon program for our listeners who want a little more love from Damona

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is

What will you get if you sign up?

A private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show.

And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions.

Plus secret BTS content from our nearly 300 episodes of Dates & Mates.

And for my really special top-tier FWBs, you can even get a personalized dating profile analysis from me with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws the right kind of dates to you.

The Patreon is live on at

And we have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the Lover or VIP level – a free autographed copy of my book. But only if you sign up during the month of February.

Go to to see which of tier is right for you. I look forward supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my Friends with Benefits.


Damona  0:00  

Are you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with dating and relationships and looking for a little more support than you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits? We just launched a special Patreon program for our listeners who want a little more love for me. What is Patreon? Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear. And it allows you to get amazing listener benefits by participating. Our page is slash dates and mates. What will you get if you sign up? First, we have a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. Plus, you’ll get secret behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates. And for my really special top tier Fw B’s, you can even get a personalized dating profile. analysis from me, with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic dating profile that draws in just the right kind of dates to you. The Patreon is live, slash dates and mates. And we have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level during the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book but only if you sign up during this month of February. So go to slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community. As one of my friends with benefits.

Bela Gandhi  1:41  

What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that into me. I’ve always been battle for attention.

Bela Gandhi  1:48  

I’m ready for miracles but

Bela Gandhi  1:49  

I’m sure my

Damona  1:54  

Modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman happy love month lovers. This is episode three of our special five to five love month series during which I will interview your favorite dates and mates guests and ask the most pressing questions about love. Today, we’re using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation and let me know what the big takeaways are for you from today’s episode. Before we get into the show, I also just want to give a quick shout out to our new listeners. We are so grateful that Apple podcasts and Stitcher and Pandora are all featuring us for Valentine’s Day and have sent us a lot of new listeners. So we’re so glad to have you here. And I just want to welcome you if you are new to the show, I’m certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman and I’ve been coaching singles on online and offline dating for about 15 years. I’ve made a lot of marriages and I’ve seen a lot of dating changes during that time. And one dating expert who has been in the love trenches with me for a lot of that time is Bella Gandhi. Bella is a data And relationship expert. She’s the founder of smart dating Academy and she’s a weekly media correspondent. You’ve probably seen her on anything from Good Morning America to the Steve Harvey show the today show fox and friends and so much more. But she’s so much more than just that resume. She’s a dear friend of mine and I am excited to give big smooches and welcome Bella Gandhi.

Bela Gandhi  3:23  

I am so excited to be here. This is amazing.

Damona  3:27  

You are amazing. Your advice is amazing. And I’m really excited to do this five q fab. These questions with you today. But I’m also excited to cover these headlines we have a lot of news to talk about, including why Shakira won’t get married to her super hot baby daddy, and how you can use Twitter as your dating app, plus some new research on dating from my most trusted source. And then we’ll be answering your questions including what’s a reasonable age gap for dating and what are the odds you’ll meet your match at speed dating All that and more on today’s dates and mates. Bella, are you ready for love month?

Bela Gandhi  4:05  

Girl? I could not be more ready. No Well then let’s do this 

Damona  4:12  

Now Shakira is making headlines not just for her very hot performance in the Super Bowl halftime show, but also because she and her boyfriend Spanish soccer star, Gerard PK are not getting married anytime soon. Now before you go thinking this is just, this is just too hot people getting together. It’s no big deal. No, they have actually been together since 2011. And they have two children together. So these two are really bonded. They are central essentially living as a married couple but they do not want to get married. Bella, here’s why she says on an interview for 60 minutes she said I don’t want him to see me as the wife. I want him to see me as his lover his girlfriend. It’s Like a little forbidden fruit, you know, I want to keep him on. I want them to think that anything’s possible depending on behavior. What do you think about that statement in the fact that she is not putting any any value on marrying the father of her children?

Bela Gandhi  5:20  

You know, I think, I think she came out of a pretty famously bad divorce, before she got together with pk. So I think it’s really normal after you’ve been through something that can be so traumatic, especially as a celebrity and when somebody was trying to you know, you know, take a legitimate part of your fortune that didn’t belong to them. Like I understand why she would be kind of have a lot of trepidation about getting into another marriage situation.

Damona  5:51  

It is understandable. I’m a big fan of marriage, but I also think it’s not the right fit for everyone. I do find though, when you start to build your life together, you have two kids. You have a home together, that sometimes we, we lose sight of the big picture. And we just think like, well, I don’t want to go, I want to go against the grain I don’t want to do what what I did before or what other people are doing. And that sometimes, like, as much as we want it to be, like passion filled and romantic, we have to be a little bit practical and pragmatic.

Bela Gandhi  6:22  

Oh, I think that that’s, I think that that’s so true. And I think, you know, keeping that spark going in a marriage, right, or even a long term relationship, it takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of communication, it takes a lot of negotiation, and it takes a lot of intimacy to get there and sometimes, you know, the the issue can be in a relationship, you know, especially when people can be have, you know, multiple partners or not married is the question is how truly safe Do you feel in this relationship without that official commitment, right and that can drive trust issues as well. Yeah,

Damona  7:03  

I got a little nervous I must admit when she said I want to keep him on his toes. I want them to think that’s any anything’s possible depending on behavior, which I’m reading into me and like his behavior and that she could maybe withhold something from him if she doesn’t like what what he’s doing. And that felt a little bit manipulative to me, but maybe I’m reading it the wrong way.

Bela Gandhi  7:27  

Yeah, I mean, I think you can read it that way. For sure. You know, and I think it’s also based on like, Okay, if you end up you know, pulling the wool over my eyes if you end up doing what you know, some other athletes have done to the people they’re in relationships with cheated on them, then there’s consequences for that behavior and peace out. I’m out if you do that.

Damona  7:53  

Yes, she is. Setting a firm boundary. I expect nothing less of Shakira, but I do You like this idea of keeping the romance alive and like I think there’s a way that even if you are married or you’re considering getting married, you can still have that have that essence of the girlfriend the lover the the romantic interest and still keep keep that that energy alive even though you are now the wife.

Bela Gandhi  8:21  

Yes, again, it definitely takes work right and it is because in a sense, like safety and excitement are two opposite emotions right? And the more attach them the more safe you feel with your partner, which is amazing. And you know, it’s the best feeling in the world. It becomes hard to keep that spark. So it’s really working on the balance of the two which is possible it just again, it’s it’s not natural.

Damona  8:45  

Yes, it’s not natural. One thing that’s also not natural, is meeting people on Twitter. I read this really fun article in The Bold Italic which of course will link to in the show notes by a comedian named Jenny. Hope Again, who is just frustrated with Tinder she says she signs on and off multiple times throughout the day. But one thing that’s been consistent in her life is her Twitter presence and she actually uses it as a place to try out her jokes and really show her personality. And she gets a lot of dm slides, Bella, I hear you

Bela Gandhi  9:20  

I know, I got married on Twitter.

Damona  9:22  

I know a couple who got married on Twitter as well who will not on Twitter but from Twitter. They are tweet hearts. It can work but like this this article, they she posted a lot of her dm slides that were less than less than exciting to receive. And less than savory. Less than savory to read.

Bela Gandhi  9:49  


Damona  9:50  

How do you look at that in terms of Twitter being a dating, a place for dating and Twitter as she says being her dating app in a way? How do you filter Through those dm slides and not get overwhelmed or, or like disappointed and find the real gems, if you’re going to use Twitter in that, in that function. You

Bela Gandhi  10:11  

know, Don’t I look at the entire world is fair game for dating, right? Whether it’s Twitter or Instagram, whether it’s work, whether it’s church, the synagogue, the train, you can meet great people everywhere. And the filtering mechanisms, ultimately, are going to be a little bit different just based on the context that you’ve met this person. But what what I liked about what she said is, you can really tell a lot about someone through reading their Twitter profile, and her Twitter profile was really thick. She had a lot and you could tell a lot about you could kind of make conclusions about her personality based on the things that she was tweeting. And you can also draw conclusions about other people based on what they’re tweeting. It’s like, in a sense, if you’re on Tinder or Bumble or match you can only look at that conversation that you’re having with that person. Here, you can look at the conversations that people are having with the world. Yes, it’s

Damona  11:08  

in a way, it’s taken down the filter of I’m here for dating, like people on dating apps always try to put their best dating face forward. But there’s so much more information if you can actually see that person in their natural habitat and what they would post on Twitter. It was a little confusing in that she’s a comedian. And she’s like, some of this stuff is basically just jokes. And so people are going to make certain assumptions, assumptions based on what they’ve seen on her Twitter profile. But it seems like overall, it’s been more successful for her than dating apps have been,

Bela Gandhi  11:44  

hey, if it works, keep doing it right. For some people. They meet on match for some people they meet on eHarmony Twitter, Instagram, I know you like me do this on a daily basis. You’ve seen it all. You’ve heard it all. Keep doing what works.

Damona  12:00  

I like that. And I like that it’s you’re not attaching meaning to a certain way of meeting someone. A lot of times people tell me Well, I don’t want my story that I tell my kids to be that we met on Twitter or Tinder or what have you. And ultimately, if you get the happy ending doesn’t necessarily matter where it comes from.

Bela Gandhi  12:19  

I hear it too to me. I’m like, then I don’t know that you’re truly ready to find love. Oh,

Bela Gandhi  12:28  

tough love. Yeah. Right. You should be open to meeting people anywhere whether you meet eyes across mangoes at Whole Foods, whether you meet them on Tinder or match or on the train wherever it is right that it’s finding the lid to your pot. There’s nothing better in life who cares where they came from? Be grateful for that outlet.

Damona  12:49  

Yes, well, I know you’ve been doing this a long time. As I have. I’ve I’ve written the way from online dating to dating apps and one source that I always look to for research on this area is the Pew Research Center. And they just released the 10 facts about online dating in America that I don’t think anything is shock is going to shock you or I, but it might shock some people that that now 45% of people are saying that dating apps are positive experiences, but they say they’ve had frustrations. Now, the majority of people under 30. Well, almost 50% of people under 30 have used a dating site or dating app. And those numbers are also growing in the 30 to 49 and the 50 plus group. So it’s really becoming a much more accepted way of dating then when I began coaching singles on dating apps before and people were like,

Bela Gandhi  13:47  

I don’t want to do that.

Damona  13:48  

What are you seeing as someone that’s also been in this space for a long time, in terms of attitudes around dating, and dating online?

Bela Gandhi  13:58  

You know, I think there’s a certain reason Ignatius

Bela Gandhi  14:02  

people are resigned to it like they know that they need to do it. And it’s just the way life works. I don’t know that anybody comes to me, particularly jazzed about mind dating. But you know, I look at dating that with three major pipelines I do you meet somebody in real life, you get set up with them, or you’re using a site or an app to meet people, it really boils down to those three. So if you don’t use technology, you’ve just eliminated one major pipeline of candidates.

Damona  14:32  

Yeah. And the pipeline that really keeps growing. I mean, when I began doing this, they would say like, one in six relationships started with a dating site. And now those numbers are looking like more like one and four and possibly even one in three. I think the numbers actually underreported. So that’s really the trend. And even though you’re not maybe excited to use a dating app, I think sometimes people assign more meetings. To the vehicle, then they do intention to the process. Do you know what I mean by that?

Bela Gandhi  15:06  

Yeah, absolutely. It’s like, well, I don’t want to do the online dating. I said, Do you want to find love? Then you need to do the data. Do you want to do the dating? Most people don’t want to do the dating, right? They want to Amazon Prime there, mate. You know, I want to check off 17 boxes. He should be this tall. He should make this much money. He should be this funny. And I’d like him delivered prime to my mailbox.

Damona  15:29  

Yeah, I used to think that I actually felt that way about online dating for I still feel that way about online dating. I would call it man shopping. And I really feel like I ordered up my husband, but you know, I had to make a few returns. And that’s just part of the process. Sometimes you buy something it doesn’t really fit. So you got to take it back.

Bela Gandhi  15:47  

Exactly. It’s like Goldilocks man. She had to sit in three chairs before she found the one that was just right.

Damona  15:53  

Yes, yes, exactly. Just like Goldilocks. We’re all Goldilocks out here. What do you think in terms of the The qualities or the values that people are looking at, according to the Pew study, people were were focused on things like the type of relationship that the person was looking for whether or not they have children, hobbies and interests, religious beliefs. I’m going in, in descending order, racial or ethnic background, occupation, height still in there. And political affiliation. Those are all factors that people are sorting based on. Do you think we’re focusing on the wrong things right now?

Bela Gandhi  16:30  

You know, I think that we’re focusing on quantitative things, right? Things that you can put numbers to things that you can assign values to things that are that things that seem easy, right? height, interest, religion, race, political affiliation, right. But ultimately, it’s the qualitative stuff that is the beauty of relationships.

Damona  16:52  

Yes. So maybe it’s the maybe the maybe the religious beliefs if that’s really core to who you are. Maybe like the Children that’s kind of a hard thing to overlook if they have children and you’re not into that, but the superficial stuff like what’s your take on height? I feel like I keep going around and around with clients about the importance of height. What do you say to women that that are like must be six to our taller?

Bela Gandhi  17:20  

Now I tell them you’re kind of dating from your cave woman self like I get. we’re wired that way right? There’s evolution. 200,000 years humans haven’t evolved very much. And women still preference traits that they did you know back in the caveman days like I want you to be big caveman who can go out to jungle kill buffalo drag buffalo home to feed me and children. But I really rationally in today’s day and age, size doesn’t really matter height doesn’t really matter. If you look at the statistics, only 12% of men in this country are over six feet tall. The average American man take it A cross white, black, Hispanic, Asian is between five, eight and five, nine.

Damona  18:06  

And that’s a perfectly good height for most women who are what average five for the average American

Bela Gandhi  18:11  

woman. It’s about 5455. You know, and six feet tall. I tell my clients like, think about, I just put 100 age appropriate men in the room. Okay? Now if you say you want him to be six feet or over, you open the door, let 88 of them walk out of the room. Now you’re left with 12. That is what you did with just that one parameter.

Damona  18:36  

That is so interesting when you look at it that way and you really see the numbers of your dating pool going down and then and then all of the other filters that we put on it, suddenly we’re like there’s one guy or less

Bela Gandhi  18:48  

that we may be looking, it’s a percentage multiplier. Exactly. So if you have 12 guys left in the room that are six feet taller over, then if you’re like, I’d like him to be white and I’d like him to be Halfway right? There’s nobody left.

Damona  19:04  

What can people do to expand their dating pool right now beyond just taking away some of those, those filters that you and I feel are non essentials? What are some other ways that people can open up to love,

Bela Gandhi  19:18  

you know, with every inch that you come down closer to your height, I’m five, three on a really big hair day. And my husband’s five, six on a really big hair day. Right? And, and the closer you can come to your own height, every inch screens in hundreds, if not thousands of good prospective candidates for you. You know, so really think about you know, I tell my clients like everybody’s the same height line down. Yeah.

Damona  19:47  

That’s what everyone’s going for anyway.

Bela Gandhi  19:50  

Right. Right. And, and I get how we’re wired right and, but understand the math of what you’re looking for. Know what’s really non negotiable to you. To your point earlier, if religion is a big deal for you, then that has to be in there, but you’ve got to be able to give on something else. Because if you do that percentage multiplier and you’re not getting good candidates in your pool, you might just be constraining too many parameters and the sites don’t have someone for you. If you’re not getting good matches, take a look at yourself and say, What if I asked for? Is it realistic based on the demographic on this site?

Damona  20:32  

Yes. Is it realistic and is it even really what I need? Yes, it really that important when you really think about the long term goals that you have and the values that you have and what you really need in a partner. Okay, we are going to take a quick break when we come back we’ll be doing these five q fab questions with Bella. So Bella, get ready because we’re going to go deep in the next segment, I’m ready. We are back with Bella Gandhi of smart Dating Academy. So if you’ve been following this month, we are asking five big questions of for dating experts and getting wildly different responses, but all very illuminating. So Bella, Here’s your first question for five q fab. What is the biggest challenge for daters today?

Bela Gandhi  21:23  

Man? I have to pick one. Just one. And like,

Damona  21:27  

Here, I’ll I’ll narrow it down. Not one of the ones that we’ve talked about before. In the first segment.

Bela Gandhi  21:34  

Yeah, I think relying too much on chemistry. Right. We feel like like there’s a lot in that one statement. I think that with dating apps and sites and this abundance of people that are seemingly out there for us, what happens is we go out on a date, and we’re not feeling fireworks chemistry butterflies were like men Let me see who else is in my inbox. I don’t think we’re a match. You know, when you throw that person back to the pond, it’s such a big mistake. For example, I knew my husband, we were friends for six years before there was a spark, right? And we work with our clients. I don’t care if you’re feeling chemistry on the first or second or third date because good love can be a slow burn. It’s such a mistake what people are doing today expecting to be bowled over electrified by a person. In fact, if my clients are feeling really heavy chemistry with somebody on the first date, it’s a total red flag to me it’s a red flag meaning I think this person that you have all this chemistry with me just remind you of someone that you dated that was bad for you.

Damona  22:42  

Oh, yeah, I remember you saying that on Good Morning America segment that that those heavy butterflies are actually a bad sign and not to keep going back to the same well, but I talked to a few weeks ago about love at first sight and how it can’t exist because you I don’t really know that other person but I never really thought about it from the perspective of it may be your reaction to that person reminding you of an of something familiar and we tend to attract the familiar, right? Even if it’s something that’s not good for us, we we tend to repeat

Bela Gandhi  23:17  

the same pattern. Hey, I believe there’s lust at first sight, but love at first sight know lust comes after lust, attraction, and then attachment and love,

Damona  23:28  

like those difference, like how is there a certain amount of time that it takes you think to develop that slow love?

Bela Gandhi  23:36  

Yeah, for sure. I mean, you have to, you have to grow emotionally intimate with the person, right? You have to feel like this person is good for you. They’re stable. They make you feel safe, secure. They’re a cheerleader for you. They’re supportive. They’re kind, they’re generous. They love your people like those things take time to unfold. And this is where so many people Fuck is, you know, I would say lust is nature’s way of tricking us into love and attachment. And you really have to vet who the hell you’re dating. Yeah,

Damona  24:11  

yeah, that’s it. That’s a easier said than done, you know, when we get caught up in the feelings and and then and it’s not even just the feelings Bella, we get caught up in the story, this that happy ending that we want. And the story that we’ve told ourselves he’s going to be six to he’s going to make this much money. He’s also like you said going to be like Catholic and this background and whatever. And then you get there and realize the story that you were telling yourself isn’t the story that’s in front of you. Yeah, question to the story into getting that happy ending even though the facts aren’t necessarily there in front of us.

Bela Gandhi  24:46  

And yeah, yeah. And it’s focused on the right things. I tell people be picky, but be picky about the right things. Be open to the story.

Damona  24:55  

Huh? Yeah, yes. And so and sometimes, the story goes in and unexpected directions and you have to be willing to, to go with the flow. So for those people that are still looking for their love story, here’s the second question, what is the best way to find love today?

Bela Gandhi  25:13  

Hey, now I’m going to hark back to the three wells that I talked about right in, in real life getting set up and going on online dates, right? I mean, the best way is to make a plan that includes all three of those pipelines, and then optimizing it, everything that like finding love, there’s nothing more important than you will ever do in your life, then find the right partner for you. And the best way to do it is to take those three pipelines into consideration and then make a plan you have to know where you are right? And then you have to know where you want to go. You need two points to have a path where I am and where I want to be. But it’s hard right it that that’s the

Damona  26:00  

Renee brown calls that’s the messy middle.

Bela Gandhi  26:03  

It’s the messy middle. It’s like anything, right? It’s like changing careers. It’s like starting a business. It’s like having children. The middle is always messy. Right? And the journey is never a straight line up. It’s a lot of mess in between ups downs, plateaus, downs, lower downs, high ups, right and coming back to the mean.

Damona  26:22  

Okay, so for those that have identified that they are not necessarily on the path that they want to be on. Our third question is What? How can people change their patterns in love?

Bela Gandhi  26:35  

intervention, you need help. It doesn’t come naturally. Right? You can an intervention, meaning you might go out and buy a book that resonates with you, if you’re a person that’s a DIY, or you can Google it, you can read it. You can put your plan together and do it then do it. Right. If not, you need a supportive team. Maybe it’s a therapist, you know, maybe it’s a village of friends. Maybe it’s a co You need to change patterns requires a lot of work, a lot of mindfulness and a lot of Conscious Dating.

Damona  27:09  

Oh, but that’s tough. Because that also, it does require an acknowledgement that that something is broken. And that’s the place that I find a lot of people get. Talk themselves out of, right? How do you know what the right next step should be like? I had someone who I think follows me on Twitter, who was like already for a dating plan. We’re talking about dating plan, and then all of a sudden, she’s like, actually, I just decided that I’m going to do a like a man cleanse and I’m going to have just no just no men this month instead. And it was like, Whoa, like in between day one, I wanted to do it day two, I am just actually going to retreat from the whole thing. How do you know what the right path is at the right time?

Bela Gandhi  28:01  

It just it depends on how you feel right? If the thought of going on a date excites you, then go on the man plan. If the thought of going on a date, you know, makes you want to vomit, then it’s time, man. It’s

Damona  28:15  

good. It’s a good point, like, Where are you right now. And so many times people come to me and they’re like, I’m just super frustrated with dating apps. And I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall. And I’m doing this than the other thing. And I just I hate it. I’m all about you dating from a healthy, happy place, right?

Bela Gandhi  28:34  

Look, if you’re tired of anything, it’s not going to work for you. You have to, you know, the mindset that I espouse is called psychotic optimism, right? You have to believe in your gut, in your toes. Every part of you, like love exists for me, it’s when it’s not an F. Right? And like once you start to adopt this mindset, side of you know, the FDA psychotic optimism, then you’re going to start to be in a good mindset today. If you’re telling yourself, you know, the bad stories, I’m too old. I’m too fat. I’m too damaged. There’s nobody good out there. How well do you think you’re going to date? Huh?

Damona  29:21  

Yeah. And you have to be dating from that place of psychotic optimism. But in a way that’s like faith in the face of it, even when does the story that you see doesn’t add up to that it’s just like having the faith in spite of what you might be getting right now and knowing that the right now is not necessarily the future to get a leap of faith.

Bela Gandhi  29:51  

Everything is a leap of faith right and it requires hope, massive amounts of hope, and hope springs eternal when you live Take on that mindset of love will come to me. It’s a when it’s not an if I’ve just guaranteed you guys that you’re going to find love. Now all you have to do is go out and date like hell define this person. So go forth and conquer.

Damona  30:16  

Yes, yes. Okay, so now we found the person. Now the fourth question is what are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?

Bela Gandhi  30:27  

commitment, shared commitment to each other. Right. And a shared partnership. You know, I, my husband and I have been married, it’ll be 23 years this year. And we have work committed to each other and we’re committed to each other’s happiness. And we’re committed to running this crazy business that we have called home. And yes, and being supportive of each other’s dreams and wishes and you know, being Continue to give more than you take and you cannot go wrong.

Damona  31:05  

Oh, I love that you said that give more than you take,

Bela Gandhi  31:07  

give more than you take and make a gratitude list about your partner, right? We talk a lot about gratitude and it’s linkage to happiness, right? It’s irrefutable, we all know it’s true. Make, you know, make a gratitude list about your partner. If you find yourself in that rut for those of you that might be in new relationships that are listening, or in relationships, think look at what this person does for you see them, notice them, tell them, watch your relationship change for the better.

Damona  31:41  

Hmm. I love that gratitude and everything. Gratitude, gratitude, also, and dating. That’s something I do with clients at the beginning of the process of making sure that they appreciate what they have, rather than focusing on what they don’t have. Yeah, I have one final question for you for five key fab. And that’s whose relationship do you admire? And why?

Bela Gandhi  32:02  

Well, you know, I am really lucky. I know we can’t pick our families, but I really will. I respect and admire the relationships of both sets of my parents, my own parents as well as my husband’s parents. Both of them are have been married 51 and 52 years respectively. And they have been through high highs. They’ve been through low lows. They have had children together, they have had success in careers they have had, you know, bankruptcies, they’ve had health scares, they’ve had people close to them die, and they have held each other’s hands through this journey called life.

Damona  32:47  

Do you think having a successful relationship yourself, how much do you think having that relationship role model in each of your parents impacted your ability to form a successful relationship and be securely attached?

Bela Gandhi  33:05  

Yeah, I think it’s really important. You know, I think that in general, our parents and the relationships that they modeled for us can have a profound impact on how we choose our own partners. Right? You can either repeat or you can repel. It’s usually one or the other.

Damona  33:22  

Hmm, yeah. And then there’s hope still, for those listening who, like me came from a divorced, divorced couple. There is hope, right?

Bela Gandhi  33:33  

Oh my gosh, you guys. I mean, every client of mine, we’ve had thousands of clients over the last decade. Most people come in with divorce, death, trauma, abuse, you know, one or two narcissistic parents. I believe me, I see the absolute beautiful, Rainbow laid and happy endings for people That’s why earlier when you asked what do people need, they need intervention with the right intervention and the right amount of hard work and doing things and being patient positive and perseverant, you can overcome that it does not have to be your destiny as well.

Damona  34:17  

Well, thank you for sharing your insights with us for five q fab. And for answering my questions, but that’s not all because our listeners have also sent in their questions and we are going to keep you keep you here for technically dating. How are you liking five q FEHB. This is a totally new format for love month and I want to know what you think of it so far. So you can tweet me at damona Hoffman with the hashtag five que FEHB FBB. And tell me what your big takeaways were from my interview with Bella. So she’s answered my questions, but now she’s going to answer yours. If you have a dating question. By the way, I love giving love Advice. And you can send me a question anytime on any platform at damona Hoffman or you can leave me a message through dates and or email me or send me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 I triple dog dare you because people are so scared to leave their voice. But I promise you, I won’t buy I’ll be compassionate as I always try to be on the show. But I would love to hear your voice. I’d love to have you submit a question via voicemail. So however your questions get to me, we will be answering them. We have three questions queued up for Bella to answer in the next segment. We are back with data mates and here’s what’s on your mind today. Every week we take questions that you’ve submitted through Instagram through Twitter in my email inbox, and we get the questions answered by highly qualified experts like Bella Gandhi. Okay, Bella, this one Lady asks, What is a reasonable age gap for dating? I started dating someone who is seven years younger. My concern is we won’t be on the same page when we get down to having future talk. Is it worth dating someone that much

Bela Gandhi  36:14  

younger? Look, I’d have to know what the ages you know, if one is 18 and the others 25. That’s a big age difference. But if one person is 35 and 42, those age differences whittle away as we get older,

Damona  36:28  

I did actually do a little follow up research and found out the ages are 33. And I think she said 20. She said 26. So there’s six years, almost seven, right? Yeah.

Bela Gandhi  36:40  

Not necessarily. I mean, it’s person specific. You know, I know the average age for men to get married in this country still 29 years old, right? So 26 is not a baby.

Damona  36:51  

Mm hmm. But at the same time, there are some questions that they should ask each other or figure out Throughout the process of dating about where they are in the timeline, right, 100% and

Bela Gandhi  37:04  

soon Don’t wait a year to ask those questions.

Damona  37:08  

Yeah, so that’s that. That’s something I just want to seize on for a minute in her question. She said, Is it worth dating someone that much younger? And to me that sounds like we’ll meet, you’re playing ahead to the end of the story. before you’ve you’ve actually read it. What do you think about that?

Bela Gandhi  37:28  

Yeah, you know, I have the conversation, right? You don’t catastrophize it just because it’s different than other people. Some of my best friends are, you know, one of my best friends has a husband who’s seven years younger than her and they’re now married and they have three kids.

Damona  37:44  

Yes. I found out today that Shakira has a boyfriend. I almost called him husband she would she would kill me. Sorry, Shakira. Her boyfriend is 10 years younger than her. She’s 43. He’s 33. So get it, girl. Get it girl. If it works, why not? But yeah, she’ll have to go through the process right of figuring out like not just not focusing so much on the age gap but in terms of future goals and the path that they’re on right

Bela Gandhi  38:12  

yeah, you like you know what if this goes well I would like to be engaged in a year and married in two years and I’m looking to have a couple of kids right so I’m not looking to drag this on for the next eight years. Like how do you feel about that? And having those direct conversations and he will

Damona  38:29  

run if he is not up for that he will run so fast Exactly.

Bela Gandhi  38:33  

If you’re the right person for him. He will stick around

Damona  38:38  

Yes, it’s amazing when when they feel ready to commit guys will commit but man when you when you try to force it. I know you fellas are like, Nah, we’re not down for that. I have a couple more questions Bella, before we let you go. This person this is a sometimes people messaged me on Instagram. Very simple. direct question. This one is would you suggest speed dating?

Bela Gandhi  39:05  

Hmm, sure, why not?

Bela Gandhi  39:10  

Why not? I have a client that got married through speed dating. Not a lot of them. But definitely, I can think of one off the top of my head. I like, you know, look, do whatever it takes for you to feel good about dating. And for some people, as part of their plan, they want to get out there. And they want to meet people IRL in real life. So if that’s you, go for it do the speed dating.

Damona  39:36  

Yeah, I find it funny. A lot of people will say to me that they, they don’t like online dating, but then when I suggest speed dating, that’s too much work. So it’s like somewhere in between. I don’t ever want to leave my couch and I can’t actually get dressed up to meet 10 guys that may not be a match for me. It’s like finding that middle ground. Sometimes very tricky. I found speed dating was more popular when I started doing this. And like I did some speed dating events that I hosted with, you know, speed dating companies like, it’s been a minute. It’s been like, you know, eight or 10 years, since that really seemed like a very popular option, but at the same time, it’s like it’s all in the pool, right? You get in the pool, and then you see who’s there and maybe what if your perfect person is there, and you just didn’t show up that day? Yeah, that’d be a bummer.

Bela Gandhi  40:34  

That would be a bummer.

Damona  40:36  

Yeah, so I suggest trying it sounds like we’re both on the same page there. Yeah. Love alright. Last question. Bella. What do you do when you feel like giving up on dating?

Bela Gandhi  40:47  

Become a psychotic optimist!

Bela Gandhi  40:54  

you have to know Look around you, right? Not every person That’s in a relationship is perfect size zero, you know, whatever it is you think it takes to get into a relationship and that you feel like you don’t have. And you have to know that this is what you’re wired for. You’re wired for love, right? And you just have to get back on the bike and keep doing it. If you need to take a break, go into do a 30 day dating, detox, that’s fine. And then by that, I mean shut it down. Right? Don’t like peek at your apps, like delete everything, and go into a total like, I’m going to rebuild myself and self care for that month, and really do the things that bring me joy, and make me feel good again and then go back into the dating pool.

Damona  41:45  

Yes, so now we’ve convinced everybody to stop dating. But then everything will be better later. No. Yeah, that’s like if you’re, if you’re at that place, you could stop dating But otherwise, you should keep keep moving forward. You should work Bella and smart dating Academy should keep listening to this podcast and become a psychotic optimist and then you’ll be all right. Amen. Thank you so much for being here Bella, I love having you for our love month five q FEHB. keep spreading the love out there in the world. Thank you for having

Bela Gandhi  42:15

You’re doing such great work.

Damona  42:18  

Thank you You too. If you love Bella Gandhi as much as I do, please follow her on Twitter at Bella Gandhi we’ll put the link in the show notes. You can also find her online at smart dating I hope you enjoyed Episode 297 of dates and mates coming up on that three hundo again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials and I really really do want to hear your love questions. Don’t forget to leave us a review on Apple podcasts or Stitcher or wherever you are listening to this show. We love our listeners. We love to know what you like about the show. What you want more of what You want less of so thank you so much for all of your feedback. Keep it coming. We will be back again next week with our final episode of this special love month series. We have easy dating coach Mike Goldstein, who will be giving us the male perspective on the five questions about love. Can’t wait for next week. Until then, I wish you happy dating


Physical Type & Dating Addiction: Love Month Part 2


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.

This is episode two of our Love Month five-question February series. We’re using the hashtag #5QFeb if you want to get in on the conversation.

Today we sat down with Julie Spira – an award-winning dating coach, media personality, and bestselling author. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

You’ve seen her on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, E!, FOX, and so much more! She’s been a friend and mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago.

Fun fact: she actually holds the record for most guest appearances on Dates & Mates!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Mental Health & Dating Apps

The latest study on mental health and dating apps comes from The University of Saskatchewan. The concern is that dating apps may be degrading mental health because of the constant exposure to rejection. Damona and Julie have thoughts. 


Sheryl Sandberg turns her tragic love story into a happy ending

Five years after the tragic death of her husband, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg finds love again with Tom Bernthal.


Don’t go broke this Valentine’s Day!

According to Wallethub, men are 3x more likely to go into credit debt for Valentine’s Gifts. Why do you think this is?



#5QFeb (15:00)


Damona asks Julie the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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

  • Email – I’m wondering your thoughts on having a “type” physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like out and about meeting men in the wild there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your “type”. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education, values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? Should I break this pattern? On the one hand I’m worried I might miss someone, on the other should I be setting up dates with guys that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Am I doing these apps wrong?
  • From Twitter – How do I quit online dating. I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis for dating with intention. And I’m objectified by creeps with every other message. But I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly. I can’t bring myself to stop.



Damona  0:12  

Happy Valentine’s week lovers. This is Episode Two of our love month five question February series during which I will interview your favorite dates and mates prior guests to ask the most pressing questions about love. Today we are using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation, and today’s guest is one of my personal faves. Julie aspira is an award winning dating coach, a media personality and best selling author. She was an early adopter of the internet and has been coaching singles on finding love for 25 years. Yes, finding love online for 25 years. You’ve seen her on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ie Fox, basically any three letter channel any two letter or one letter channel. She’s been on it, and she’s also been a friend and a mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago. So, before I get big smooches, I have to tell you that she also is now holding the record for the most dates and mates appearances. Please give big speeches to my friend Julie aspira.

Julie Spira  1:21  


Damona  1:23  

Welcome back to the show. I’m so excited to talk with you Valentine’s week. You are the person that I had to have on this week’s show.

Julie Spira  1:31  

Oh, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to be on the show. But yes, right now love is on steroids. So we really need chatting about you know what to do in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Damona  1:42  

Well, we have all these headlines that are all about how love is on steroids. This week we have the newest study on how dating apps could be affecting your mental health. And Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has turned her tragic love story into a happy ending. Some good news is Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s Valentine’s week. But do you need to go broke to express your love? We’ll be covering those headlines and then we’ll be answering your questions including should you swipe according to your type? I really wasn’t trying to rhyme there but was pretty cute. And how can you quit your online dating addiction? Julie, are you ready to do these headlines? Let’s do it. Mental health and dating apps we are both of us have been in the online dating space for a long time. And we’ve read a lot of these headlines people have been talking about the effect of online dating on your safety and the rise and STDs which people sometimes linked to dating apps. But one thing that we don’t hear a lot about is mental health. And there isn’t a lot of research on the way that dating apps are actually impacting our emotions the way we feel. And according to this article, which will link in the show notes, the researchers are saying that the amount of rejection that one can experience on a dating app app is higher than you would normally experience through traditional dating avenues. I’m curious as someone that’s been in the space for a long time, Julie, do you feel like dating apps are making people more depressed today?

Julie Spira  3:18  

I think people can find a variety of ways of getting depressed. And here’s the thing with dating apps, you’re getting more rejection, because you’re getting more matches. It’s just a numbers game. So if you went out on three dates prior to joining a dating app, and maybe you like one out of three people, and you were rejected by two, it’s just you know, too bad dates with you, next week will be better. But when you’re chatting with 20 people at a time, 10 people at a time, you’ve got 50 matches, you’re swiping, you’re chatting, you’re matching, and then you know you find out they’ve met someone else or you find out that you’re not their type, you know, it stings and and it makes sense You really feel bad, but it’s still a numbers game. So if you’re matching with 50 people and you get 10 rejections, maybe it’s eight more than what I refer to before, but it’s still percentage wise, a volume issue, and you just need to be prepared that the rejection actually is a good thing. Because then they weren’t your type. And I’m telling you, you dodged a bullet.

Damona  4:22  

Yes, I always say rejection is your protection. And I had this philosophy that dating app messages are sort of like coins in the fountain, you know, you toss toss them and you make a wish. And if they come true, it’s wonderful. You got the relationship that you wanted, but if you didn’t, it’s like, are you going to be really upset over a penny? And I say, I’ve been saying this Julie for like, over 10 years, but at the same time, I know it’s not. It’s not so easy to just be like, I was rejected, no big deal. How do you how do you recommend that your clients keep a thick skin about it or reframe their Thinking around sending outgoing messages and swiping right and not getting the reaction that they are hoping for every time.

Julie Spira  5:09  

Well, no one’s going to get a home run every time just like no one’s going to buy the winning lottery ticket. Maybe you’ll maybe you’ll get three on the scratch or something and you’ll make $5. And so I think the point is, is managing expectations is so key to what both you and I do. And when someone comes to me and says, Oh, I really don’t want to try online dating. I did it. It didn’t work. And I see that they’ve had the last profile and they barely log on. I have to say, no one, neither myself. No one has the magic wand that’s going to make Mr. Right or news right up here within the first week. And while you might dread thinking of going on three dates and 52 weeks on your dating app. If somebody told you on the 53rd week you were going to have the greatest love ever and you were going to meet your soulmate. You really wouldn’t mind that. It’s 53 weeks away. Because you know, there’s a pot of gold. So it’s managing expectations and realizing that it takes time and new people join every single day. And you’re going to suffer through online dating fatigue, or online dating anxiety disorder, I always call it oh da dee. And And when that happens, take break. Just take a break, and don’t, don’t open the app for a week. And then new people are joining all the time, people breaking up all the time, and everybody’s looking for the chance to truly, really connect with someone. So it’s okay to go on bad days because you learn from them more about who you don’t want to be with. So when the right one comes along, it’s much more parent.

Damona  6:44  

Hmm, well, the right one did come along. For someone who’s been in the news, Sheryl Sandberg, who you all probably know is the CEO of Facebook. She also was the author of lean in and the whole philosophy of women leaning in and work and getting ahead My interpretation when I read that book was that a big part of her ability to lean in was the support of her husband, Dave Goldberg. And unfortunately five years ago he passed away unexpectedly and she was was left having to juggle all these things on our own. But here’s the here’s that pot of gold but you’re saying at the end of the rainbow, she is now engaged to Tom bernthal who is you might recognize the last name he is the richer and more handsome brother of actor john Burton. And I’m sure the two of them both thought they wouldn’t find someone again but here they are loving another time and being engaged Do you think

Julie Spira  7:47  

I you know I’ve

Damona  7:48  

never had to deal with love finding love again after a loss like that. And five years is a pretty good amount of time for someone to take before they are ready to jump into it, but it was pretty fast. Julie, they’ve just they just got together in April. And now they’re already getting engaged. What are your thoughts on on this relationship?

Julie Spira  8:09  

My thoughts are she’s had these five years to mourn. And she’s got a very responsible job and responsible for family. And she met someone who basically can really just move into her life and she can move into his life, and they can build a life together with both of their families. And I think that everybody desires companionship, and people go to bereavement groups or people sometimes whether it’s a death of a partner or even a devastating divorce, when you thought you were going to go the distance, that’s a death that feels like a death as well when you’re going through a divorce or a bad breakup. So when you suddenly can meet someone, and it’s not going to be the same as you’ve had in your previous husband or partner or relationship, but someone where you can have a great companionship, and together you can actually have find love again. I think it’s fabulous. But then again, my grandfather got remarried at 87 years old. And so I believe there’s no expiration date on love. Oh, wow.

Damona  9:09  

Yeah. I’m glad that you mentioned that to Julian. And I know you do coach a lot of daters that are older and that maybe haven’t dealt with dating apps or haven’t even dated in in decades. I think she’s 50

Julie Spira  9:22  


Damona  9:24  

and getting remarried. So it’s actually one one more vote for the over 50 married again, and finding love club.

Julie Spira  9:35  

I’m very happy for her great news. Yeah.

Damona  9:38  

Well, we did mention it is Valentine’s week. If you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been it’s Valentine’s week all week. And there was a new spending survey from wallet hub. I actually had read an article earlier. That said the according to the National Retail Federation, Americans were projected to spend $27 billion on Valentine’s gifts this year. I thought that was insane. While it helped did this similar survey, and they looked at what people are spending their money on. And it said, most people are going to buy candy cards and flowers. I’m so inspired by this Julie

Julie Spira  10:18  

right. And repeat. Right?

Damona  10:20  

Right. What are some better gifts you think that people can be thinking of? You know, if you’re listening to this on Monday, you still have time to get a better gift. Candy To me, it just seems like you ran out of time you didn’t really care then you just like grabbed a box of chocolate.

Julie Spira  10:36  

I’ll never forget the time and a former boyfriend. Valentine’s Day showed up with this box of drugstore candy that I know he picked up along the way. And I’m like, really? And so I feel as though these items Yes, people would like flowers. And you know what women do like flowers. Men actually like flowers too. You can get my guy a bouquet of tulips and in And in color other than red, but you don’t need to break the bank. And I’m not really spending a lot on Valentine’s Day this year, probably because I’m going to be tired. But But what I am doing is I’m recommending that people create experiences. So what that means is maybe Valentine’s day you’ll get a gift card. If somebody really loves books, get a gift card to a bookstore. If someone’s anxious to see a play, and they really love plays, and that it’s something you can go to together or concert tickets, something you can go to together. Or better yet, if you really can’t splurge on StubHub for that fabulous sold out rock concert, then look and see other events that are free. There’s always a pre museum day or a museum night and create an event and give your partner a coupon for a future date, where you’re going to go museum hopping for the day and maybe you know, a little gift from the museum store.

Damona  11:55  

I love that I’m very big into experiences and I’ve always said that to my husband since the beginning like Don’t give me stuff. I’m not into stuff. Although I told him long ago that I really wasn’t into flowers. But there have been some instances where I was like, you’re good, I got me flowers, you have to be you have to be careful what you what you tell them early on, right. But

Julie Spira  12:13  

there’s nothing wrong with flowers. And here’s the thing I recommend, if you can’t afford, you know, the flowers that are delivered that suddenly are $99, go to the grocery store and pick up a dozen red tulips and just show up with something and a card that shows that you you’re thinking out of the box, you recognize that this is a romantic day, but you don’t know to need to go to Tiffany and buy really expensive jewelry and you just need to do something, you know, that’s within your budget. And if you’re in a relationship that’s not new, it’s great to talk about the Valentine’s budget. So where do you Where do you like to go? Um, you know, going to the post six restaurants on Valentine’s Day may not be an option. So the good news is Valentine’s Day is a On a three day weekend was actually for if you think about it, because it’s because of, I think it’s Presidents Day. So you can celebrate on Friday and spend a lot of money at a restaurant or bring in takeout and have in room dining, or you can instead, you know, Happy Valentine’s Day celebrated when it’s less chaotic and we’re, you know, hurt your bankbook as much. And that would be on Saturday, Sunday. And if you’re lucky enough not to have to work on Monday, Monday, see a lot of other options to do things that other people are spending a lot of money on Friday, that won’t as I said, it won’t kill your wallet on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Damona  13:37  

Yeah, I was shocked from this article. They said that men are three times more likely to go into credit card debt for Valentine’s Day gifts. Guys, you don’t need to go into credit card debt. It’s not that serious. But one thing that surprised me Julie is they asked men and women if they thought that the bill should be split on Valentine’s Day. 38% of men said yes and 31 percent of women also thought that they should split the check. I just have to know where you land on that.

Julie Spira  14:07  

I don’t believe in splitting the check on Valentine’s Day or your birthday, or anything that’s really that significant when it comes to love and romance or first date, of course. But it really depends on what you’re doing. I mean, if you’re cooking first class tickets to go something pairs for Petland time today, which most of us aren’t, but then go ahead and use miles or split the check. But outside of that, I think that for a heterosexual relationship, the man wants to be the hero on Valentine’s Day. So let them pick up the bill.

Damona  14:36  

All right, you have had the final word in that segment. Julie, we are going to be back with your five q fab. The five questions we’ve been asking are for repeat, dating experts on dates and mates. Since you’re still listening, you must like what you hear. And if you do, why not take a moment to hit the subscribe button on whichever podcast platform you’re listening to. Right now and that way you will be immediately notified whenever we drop a new episode. Or for example, a bonus episode ahem which will be happening on Valentine’s Day my friends, so don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review while you’re there so we can reach more people and heal more hearts this Valentine’s Day. We will be back with Julie spirent answering our five questions for five q FEHB. In just a moment. We are back with Julie aspira, the cyber dating expert and we are doing our love month five q FEHB. So, Julie, I’ve known you for a long time. And I very much trust and respect your your advice on everything dating and relationships. So I’m really curious what your answers are to the five questions that we have teed up for this month. Are

Julie Spira  15:52  

you ready for this? Go for it.

Damona  15:55  

Julie Spira What is the biggest challenge for daters today

Julie Spira  16:01  

I think the biggest challenge for dangerous today if there are too many choices, and I guess that’s a good news, bad news answer, because without all of these choices, we wouldn’t be able to meet so many people and actually form relationships. But because we have too many choices, it’s hard for people to be able to make a decision to say, you know, I really like you and maybe I should take my profile down, or let’s see where it goes. If it doesn’t work out, well, we can always rejoin people are hesitant to take the profiles down because of all the the abundance of options, you know, they call it the Paradox of Choice. And as a result, they’re giving up good opportunities. And then suddenly they circle back and we’ll see that guys in a committed relationship. So we need to learn to be aware when someone really great comes along, and I’m telling you, he or she won’t be perfect because none of us are perfect, but if they have, you know, three out of the five of your top traits and give them a second chance Go on a second date going a third date, and at a particular time, move it forward or move on.

Damona  17:07  

I want to pause to talk about that DTR conversation because I have been getting a lot of questions from listeners and from clients about when is the right time. And just as you said, there’s that question of, are you taking your profile down? I don’t know. I don’t want to, like, mention it and then have him think that I’m trying to move things too fast. And I actually had a client recently where we literally spent maybe a month of sessions talking about how to bridge the conversation. And my advice to her was like, just wait a little bit longer, a little longer. I feel like women want to have that cup DTR conversation usually, before the men are ready.

Julie Spira  17:48  

Do you do say, I think it used to be that way and what I’m finding now there’s a shift because I’m working with men who are like I met her and I’m done. I mean, they they want to hunt and they want to like grab their prey now. And so what they’re doing is they’re chasing women away because they’re saying, Okay, so here’s my boundary, this is what I can offer you. And this is what I want to take you and this is how I want to live our life and can we be exclusive, and the women are freaking out and going, Hey, I’ve only been dating you in six days, or six dates or whatever it may be. And so don’t so quick to seal the deal because I love the different phases of courtship. But when it comes to being sexually intimate, you’ve got to decide you know, are you okay? in an open relationship? people I work with are not are, are you? If you’re about to have sex? Do you want them to go get tested, I mean, that’s the perfect time to talk about defining the next phase of your relationship. And that doesn’t mean you putting a ring on it. It just means if you want to be sexually exclusive, let’s go together and get tested I know doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s responsible. And while we’re doing it, you know, I really don’t feel comforted. dating somebody who has an active dating profile. So I’m going to take mine down. But I’m not going to ask you to take your stand until you’re ready. And when you say that, you know, usually someone will just catch up in time. I’m glad

Damona  19:14  

that you you phrased it that way like you make it about you. It’s not you need to take down your profile right now because things are getting serious. It’s, I’m going to take down my profile, you can do what you want. I’m just letting you know where I stand and how I feel. And that takes a level of bravery, Julie, because so many times we are afraid to really express how we feel because if we say we like this person, and they don’t feel the same way yet, then we there there comes the rejection. Again, we feel like we’ve been rejected,

Julie Spira  19:46  

but before you you know, put that big in a scarlet letter are on your face. And then here’s another one that won’t commit to make as they’re playing the field and you must be a player. Make sure you say and I hope you catch up and that doesn’t mean they will Or they won’t, but you’re not putting this like pressure on man. And when you say I hope they’ll catch up, you’re just giving them a little nudge. And chances are they’ll catch up a little sooner than they might have been had you not have to have the conversation.

Damona  20:13  

Yes, I’m a big fan for just just voicing just voicing that thing that you’re feeling. And maybe if you’re a guy, and you’re six days, six days into dating someone, and your instinct is to tell them that you love them. Maybe

Julie Spira  20:27  

that’s too soon.

Damona  20:28  

But like, if you’ve been dating for a little while, and you’re really feeling bonded to someone to say how you feel the end of the story with my client is that last weekend, she she was introducing this guy, she’s been dating to friends. And we came up with her just saying, I’m excited for you to meet my friends. How do you want me to introduce you? And then he said, I’d like to be introduced as your boyfriend. Is that okay? You know, and here there’s like four months this elephant in the room of like, We both feel like we’re exclusive, but nobody really wants to say it. And she was like, I was amazed at how easy it was. And I’ve just seen this happen time and time again, where we make it so much harder, because the different outcomes are so become so much bigger and so much more weighted in our minds.

Julie Spira  21:17  

And I think happy ending and does but you know, relationship labels, I think they’re more important, generally speaking for women than for men. A guy feels good in the relationship. He sees you every Saturday night. He calls you every day texts you in between, you know, as far as he’s concerned, he’s in a relationship. But if you say, you know, I want to be called girlfriend, I want you to call me your girlfriend when you introduce me. You know, he might not be ready to say that just yet. And so it’s really important to understand that doesn’t mean there’s not a level of commitment if you don’t have a label. Labels aren’t important to everybody. That’s a really good point.

Damona  21:56  

Okay, second question of five q fab, Julie. What is the best way to find love.

Julie Spira  22:03  

The best way to find love, okay, I’m feeling I know what you’re gonna say. But

Julie Spira  22:09  

it’s not because you know, I’ve been doing online dating coaching for 25 years. It’s because I love this new research that came out from Stanford, and University of New Mexico that showed that 39% of singles met through online dating number one, as compared to 20%, who met through friends. Now, everyone tells me I want to meet someone that someone knows and I’d like to meet a friend of a friend, but the numbers double Okay, the closest second is through friends at 20% and almost 40% are meeting through dating apps. So if you’re not using a digital dating strategy, along with going out and being your fabulous self and going to your favorite events and going into your hiking clubs, and whatever you may do, just live your life but have an online and an offline strategy because the number First don’t lie and you’re going to be missing out.

Damona  23:03  

Okay, I’m glad you brought up the S word strategy. And you may remember like way back when when we first met and we exchanged business cards, my business card actually said, online dating strategist and people were like, what is that? That sounds super unromantic. I want no part of strategy. But it’s a big part of my philosophy. And I want to know how it is incorporated into your philosophies cyber dating expert.

Julie Spira  23:31  

Well, I you know, it’s romantic to call the business love But love is a multi billion dollar business if you I mean, just look at the number of the amount of people are spending on Valentine’s alone. And we’re looking at dating apps, you know, in the billions of swipes and the multi billions of such an enormous industry that that there is a strategy that is very similar to looking for your dream job. And when you’re looking for your dream job and maybe you’ll go on LinkedIn and you Look for a few things. And maybe you’ll go to networking events and you’ll hand out your card or you’ll swap digits or whatever. The fact is, if you get to the point of finally getting a job interview after doing all of this work, to be prepared to look your best to have the best block and resume out there, and you go on an interview, and you don’t get the job, because there’s a 100 other candidates, you go on the next interview, and if you don’t get the job, because there were 200 candidates, you go on the next interview, because you probably need to pay your rent and put food on the table. And so that same strategy, I transfer that to online dating, and if you’ve had three bad dates, you don’t say I’m not going to go on another bad day because I met people that didn’t look like their profile, because you say okay, I want to find love. I’m going to go on the next day and maybe you’ll have a better experience.

Damona  24:52  

Hmm, that’s that’s a really good point. And like you I like looking at dating in a way as Your own social experiment, where each time you go out with someone, you’re learning about yourself, you’re iterating you’re improving your dating skills, your dating strategy, and then you’re fine tuning to get closer to what you’re looking for. Can we go a level deeper? Julie? Okay. How can this is the actual third question, how can people change their patterns in love? A lot of our listeners don’t like the path that they’re on right now in love. How can they change their patterns?

Julie Spira  25:33  

Well, if you don’t like the path you’re on, you need to hop off that saddle and here’s the problem. We are so used to what is comfortable for us, even if it’s bad for us, therefore, people go after the same type over and over again. And maybe it’s a commitment phobe and then they find another commitment phobe or the down someone that’s just gotten divorced, and then they find someone else who’s newly single and isn’t over their ex yet. And so I think it’s It’s really important to jump out of that comfort circle and date somebody completely different than your last three relationships. Because if you have a type, you know, it’s it’s wired into your brain that this is your type, even if it is bad for you. I mean, if you think about what happens when you bond with someone when you have sex with them, and you know that they’ve, there’s no long term possibilities in that relationship. The next thing you know, they’re on a pedestal, you’re fantasizing about them, you know, the, the hormones are kicking in, and they become better than they really are in real life. So you’ve got to date somebody completely different from your type, and whether they’re shorter or whether they live farther away, or whether, you know, they didn’t have this kind of degree that you thought that you were hoping they would have, whatever it may be, you need to date somebody different and see what it’s like and get uncomfortable for a little bit and give them a couple of chances. Because the Maybe the person who actually would be a great match for you, especially since the other ones didn’t go the distance.

Damona  27:07  

We actually one of our questions today is about type. So I’m going to, I’m going to leave a little bit of this for our technically dating segment. But I just want to say also like identifying your type, because I think we tend to look at just what the physical type is. But identifying what is that pattern, right? Like if you, maybe you date people who are wildly different in physical types, but like the, the relationships have all ended the same way or you feel the same way and the relationships. They’re probably some commonalities that you don’t realize are even there if you go back and connect the dots.

Julie Spira  27:47  

And I think it’s important to just again, make a list now make it a list that’s, you know, got 100 items on it, but make a list of the most important character traits and this is outside of like, What does someone look like? Life is looks changed, we I mean, looks really changed as you get older. But, but make a list of the type of person you want to be with the type of relationship you want, whether it’s casual, they’re committed, whether you want to be married or not. Whether you want a life partner or travel partner, make a list of all the things that you like to do, and then see if you can find someone that gets part of that list and then give them a shot.

Damona  28:27  

Alright, so we’ve been talking about finding that dream match that ideal person that has most of those qualities. What do you think for your, your fourth question for five key fab? What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Julie?

Julie Spira  28:44  

A strong, long lasting relationship. Number one, without a doubt, trust. If you can’t trust the person you’re with, why are you with them? If you’re agonizing about why they didn’t text you last night, maybe they fell asleep or you and you automatically Well, they’re cheating on you because someone else had, and you’re bringing that baggage to the table, if you’re going to have a situation where eventually they won’t, you know, they will betray your trust. If you keep feeling like you don’t trust that person, trust takes a real long time to build and a split second to lose. And that is a really important thing. So again, for online dating, if you’re taking your profile down, and you say you’re going to be exclusive, don’t say it just because you want to get into bed with this person. Say it because you mean it and you’re going to live it and your words mean everything. And so I can’t tell you that relationships once the trust, you know, has been broken, they can be fixed, but it takes a long time and it takes two committed people really working hard at regaining their trust. So don’t lose it in the first place. be that person who you say you are and if they aren’t, move on.

Damona  29:53  

Yes, and that that dovetails into something else that I always wind up coaching my clients on that it’s it’s about getting into the feeling of what it’s like being with that person and sometimes,

Julie Spira  30:09  

like if you have trust issues,

Damona  30:11  

then you your automatic default is not to trust when you’re with someone new. And the only way to tell if someone is trustworthy is by trusting them and seeing that they’re being consistent. But I find it starts with getting into feeling on the date like how do you feel when you’re with them? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like they are doing what they say they’re going to do? What about for those people that already have the built in issue with trust? Maybe they have been they have been taken advantage of in a prior relationship or been cheated on? How can they learn to trust again so that they can have that long lasting relationship that they want?

Julie Spira  30:57  

This is a real issue. This is a real issue because I’ve met people that I’ve worked with, who saw their fathers cheat on their mothers. And therefore, they ended up with boyfriends who cheated on men, and if not what they want it, but for some reason, they repeated this patterns that they grew up with. And so I think, you know, breaking these patterns is clear, clearly the the first step that I see that people need to do, and then how do you do that we have to go back into self love. You have to realize that you know, you are lovable, you are the prize. And whenever someone feels insecure about going on a date, or they feel unhappy in their relationship, and they wish their boyfriend would be more committed, just look in the mirror and go, Hey, he’s lucky to have me, I am the prize. And the more confident you are, the better off you will be in your relationships because a man doesn’t want a needy woman and he doesn’t want an insecure woman and he doesn’t want someone you know, checking up on him and staring at his text messages when he’s taking a nap.

Damona  32:00  

So true. Yep, you have to, you have to find that that faith and that courage to to trust again, and I know it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time to unravel those, those patterns and even if you saw it as a kid and didn’t experience yourself or you’ve been through it before, it’s not gonna happen overnight. There’s one more question doing for five to fab, whose relationship do you admire and why?

Julie Spira  32:27  

Okay, I’m going to name two. Okay. The first one I’m going to say, would be Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And the reason I say that is because it’s someone that most of us know. And I have admired them for a really long time. They’re both just kind people. They have so much respect for each other. They live their lives as individuals and they live their lives as a couple and they’ve been married for over 30 years. So Hollywood romances are so so difficult, and this is one that you know I give you know, a five star review to because because I just think I’ve been around them and if anyone’s watched them on TV or an award ceremonies, you can just see that they do adore each other. And they do have their independent projects, and they respect each other. So that’s my, my, my Hollywood couple. And outside of that, I’m going to actually add in one more couple, and that is my parents. And I say that with so much love and respect because my parents have been married for 60 years, over 60 years, okay. At my mother met my father when she was a senior in high school. I think she’s the only man she was ever with. And they have been together through thick and thin and they still love and adore each other and they are living, you know, their later years in an adult active retired community where they have this enormous social life and They love their children, they love their grandchildren. And they have it’s still such great role models for me, looking at the love of a share, and that they shared over multiple decades. And I only hope that I get to celebrate a 70th anniversary with them.

Damona  34:16  

Well, that’s beautiful Julie, and I’ve seen pictures of them online and they do look so cute. What do you think is the secret to their long lasting relationship?


Julie Spira  34:26  

That changes just like every relationship changes decade per decade, you want something different and different decades. At this point? I think the secret to their relationship is they watch TV in separate rooms and watch two different news channels. But But really, I think they have such a companionship, my father sends her a card every year on the anniversary of their first date. And in the end, their first date was on May 7. So he has this little poem that he writes, you know, he’s 91 years old, you still write this poem. Remember the day the seventh of may and it was the day of the first day It was the day one year later that he proposed to her and they became engaged. And so he has these rituals of making sure that my mom My mother is loved, you know, all year long, but they never forget the anniversary of their first day. And I think that’s fabulous. Oh my gosh, it gave me chills.

Julie Spira  35:19  

I have no idea when my first day was.

Julie Spira  35:23  

Better go look at the calendar.

Damona  35:25  

I better go look at the calendar. But yeah, it’s a reminder that those little rituals that seems silly like with Valentine’s Day coming up, people are thinking, How do I make this memorable? And sometimes it’s, it’s the little things it’s sending that card. It’s writing that poem, and even it’s the same poem every year that she knows that that she can count on that and she can count on him is something that’s really inspiring for us this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing. How you liking this five q fab. I want to know what what’s your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. You can tweet me or You can leave a comment on Instagram or message me on Facebook and use the hashtag five q fab. That’s the number five q f Eb. And then we’ll be following and sharing your responses about your big takeaways and aha moments from this month’s episodes. Now she’s answered my questions, but it’s time for her to answer yours in the next segment. By the way, we are always doing technically dating so if you have a question, you can always submit it to me for the show on any social platform at damona Hoffman You can also message me through dates and or leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 Don’t be shy. We love hearing your voice. We’ll put all those links and, and instructions in the show notes. But this show works best when you tell me what is on your mind so that I can give you the dating and relationship advice that you need. And chances are if you’re having a question, there’s someone else listening right now to this podcast, who’s going through the exact same thing that you are feeling right now. So you be brave and ask the question that you need an answer to and you could be helping yourself and others to have the love and relationship that you want this year. We’ll be back right after this with more Julie Spyro. All right, we are here with Julie spire off for our final segment. You have sent in your questions and we are giving you answers and I am passing on your questions to Julie Spyro. Who’s the cyber dating expert. And I hand picked these ones for Julie. So just want to say to anyone that submitted a question I know I’ve I’m I have a few questions in queue from previous weeks. But Julie is an expert in online dating so I wanted to make sure that I gave these specific questions to her. So this one came to us in an email from a woman will call Jay. Julie, she says I’m wondering your thoughts on having a type physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like When I’m out and about meeting men in the wild, she calls it, there’s a cut, there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your type. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? On one hand, I’m worried I might miss someone on the other eye. Should I be setting updates with guys that I don’t that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Or am I doing these apps wrong? And then she used the like, hands up. What do you do emoji?

Julie Spira  38:34  

Well, I’m doing it wrong. Maybe but maybe not. So I think you should really, my best advice is to look at it as a quantity thing. And how many dates Do you want to go on in a given week? And who in that given week really rises to the top of people you’ve been communicating with, that you think you have enough in common with I’m also a big fan of hopping on the phone. I know what an arcade thing but you Know swapping digits and getting on the phone. Because if you have a phone chemistry with someone, chances are you’re going to have a good experience on the day. But if you’re on the phone with them, and you’re so bored, and you’re like yawning, oh my gosh, I can’t wait for this phone call to end and you take another incoming phone call just to get out of it, then don’t schedule a date because it’s going to be a bomb. And you’re going to it’s going to be a dating disaster. But yes, try and date people that are different than who you dated the week before. And but if you really feel like, Hey, we just have nothing in common. Our backgrounds are so different. I don’t think I can have a good time. What am I going to talk about, then just take a pass because there are so many millions of other people that you could be chatting with. So don’t be too rigid. loosen it up a little bit. But if you really know you’re going to be on a bad date, just don’t go your time is really precious.

Damona  39:56  

Yeah. I am all about one Quality, but also you have to get enough quantity in the mix to make those decisions. And this is this is a big problem with dating apps is that I think people forget that they’re using a tool. The dating app is just the tool. It’s not the it’s not the chemistry, it’s not the butterflies, it’s just the means for you to meet the person. That’s the way I look at it. So I’m like, drive to the date, get offline, get to the date, because all those things that she feels when she’s out in the wild, as she says, and she feels those sparks and the chemistry, you probably aren’t going to get them in the same way when you’re swiping right.

Julie Spira  40:37  

You’re not and the other problem that you have to be concerned about is the false expectation that you’re in a relationship because you’ve been chatting you know, morning noon and night on on via text or WhatsApp or on the dating app. And all of this chatting and this what I call the digital foreplay. It’s sort of advances your relationship where you think you really know someone and like Dimona said, you don’t know them until you actually can get together in person and see what it’s like to laugh at their jokes and see if you really feel enough to want to go on a second date. Because all first date really is, is the opportunity to decide at the end of the day or the evening, do you want to go out again and pull out your calendars and schedule something so it doesn’t get lost in the Abyss?

Damona  41:21  

Yeah, what about this idea of type though, I do want to talk about that. Because I know I I’ve always had a physical type. And I went out with people that were way different from my physical type. But I ended up ultimately with someone who was like, straight down the middle, my exact physical type.

Julie Spira  41:41  

Well, you know, you got lucky, I got lucky.

Julie Spira  41:45  

Because here’s the thing. I had a physical type and it was really interesting. I and then I ended up at one point marrying somebody who was completely opposite my physical type, and it was a bad choice not because of the physical type, but it was a bad choice, but I was at a point My life were, well, I want to get married, I want to settle down, it’s time. And you know, other boxes got checked off. So I thought it was a good decision. So now I’m back to Well, I have a certain type. And sometimes when you meet someone that’s not your type physically in a photo, first of all the photos you don’t know necessarily that they’re going to resemble what you they look like when you meet them in person, you have to hope for truth and advertising. But if you really know that you have a certain type, and you’re comfortable with that type and you’ve had successful relationships with that type, then stick with that type and just, you know, go outside the box a little bit because you do have to go outside the box.

Damona  42:39  

Yeah, and I think sometimes our type is predicated on the experiences that we have, the more that we go out with someone who is 510 and slender, the more we will be attracted the next time to someone who’s 510 and slender, but I think it can be dangerous and especially like I know y’all didn’t Ask about this. But especially when it comes to race, a lot of times people will come to me with a very narrow view of the physical type, the race, the the ethnic background of someone. And I’m like, if you go a level deeper into the values, that person may be completely aligned with you. But you’ve never dated someone who’s African American or Asian, because you just had it in your mind that you date Caucasian men. And we have to sort of shake that up a little bit. If you’re really, if you’re really opening up to finding love.

Julie Spira  43:31  

We have to shake it a lot, because there’s so many great people. And I think that I believe in diversity, and I love you know, inclusion and I love such a variety, I would say the 64 colors of crayons in the Crayola crayon box, you know, and I know dimana you’ve talked about the ice cream flavors, but the fact is, there are so many different types of people and if you haven’t had a chance to be with them, you really shouldn’t say they’re not your type because you don’t know exactly

Damona  44:00  

Thank you for saying that and making me not the only one saying that because I know you believe it too. We have one more question Julie. This okay this is put a strap your seatbelt on. Because this is this is a this is a big one. Kayla on Twitter says how do I quit online dating? I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis pardon the language on a daily basis for dating with intention. I’m objectified by creeps with every other message but I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly that I can’t bring myself to stop

Julie Spira  44:38  

when you’re asking to stop but you don’t want to stop you just want to get rid of the creeps. You know you don’t want somebody sending a dick pic and you don’t want somebody that you know is is calling you a bitch or whatever they want to say because you’re a woman that is strong has strong values and you’re stating your intentions. Keep stating your intentions because you are going to attract someone who’s looking for Exactly what you’re looking for. And as far as these debit guys, you know, swipe left block them, so you don’t have to see them in a search again. And all the tools that these dating apps have right now make it very easy for you to not be bothered by people who are harassing you or make you uncomfortable for any reason.

Damona  45:17  

Yeah, I second that definitely use the block and report feature. They take those those complaints very seriously. But what do you think, Julie? If she’s, I mean, I spent a lot of time on dating apps well, online dating before they were dating apps and I but I help my clients with with dating apps every day. I know you’ve done the same for 25 years. I’ve rarely been called a bitch. And I haven’t seen my clients be called a bitch all that often. Do you think there’s something that she’s doing that maybe allowing these guys it or could it be the app that she’s on? Or could it be something about the way that she’s presenting herself, because like, I don’t want her to be getting this abuse every day,

Julie Spira  45:59  

right? And also I’ve never gotten many views from that, you know, when I’ve been on dating apps, and I’ve seen for the most part, my clients have all had, you know, good experiences, they just didn’t feel that they had enough in common or there wasn’t a connection, but it didn’t mean they were a bad person. And so I don’t know what kind of messages are being sent out. I’ve seen dating profiles with disclaimers, don’t contact me if this don’t contact me if that I mean, don’t say anything that’s negative, you want people to contact you. So I don’t know what your communications have been. I don’t know what types of dates you want to go on. Some women really would prefer not investing a lot of time and going on coffee dates. There are other women that do not want to go on coffee dates, because they don’t want to be in allowed Starbucks and they’d like to have a quieter like lunch conversation with someone even if it’s over a cup of soup. So I think it’s a question of how are you communicating with these guys, because deep down, they want to connect with someone and you want to connect with someone. You’re obviously not a fit with these people, but there has to be another 80% of guys out there that aren’t You a bitch. That’s hope.

Damona  47:01  

Yes Yeah, definitely don’t stand for it. But definitely don’t give up if you really want that relationship keep listening to dates and mates and keep showing up for yourself and setting those boundaries and you’ll find the right one.

Julie Spira  47:14  

Julie this has been such

Damona  47:16  

a blast talking to you again on data needs.

Julie Spira  47:20  

Thank you for having me and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and don’t forget you know, gallon times day is the day before Valentine’s Day. So support you know, loving your friendships with your girlfriends ladies. And if you don’t have a Valentine’s date, have a blast on Valentine’s Day.

Damona  47:36  

Thank you for reminding us of that. And thank you for being here. You can follow Julie at Julie aspira on Twitter and Instagram we will put the link to her socials in the show notes as well as her link to cyber dating expert calm which is where she gives dating advice. She has a wonderful blog there with lots of great resources and you can sign up there for her free weekly flirt newsletter which will also give you the seven secrets to finding love online. Thanks for being here. Julie. Thank you. Are you feeling overwhelmed by love month and looking for a little bit more support? And then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits. We are launching a special Patreon program this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. For our listeners who are ready for more. What is Patreon? Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear. And it allows you to get amazing listener benefits by participating. Our page is slash dates and mates. What will you get if you sign up? Here’s just a few of the benefits. You get access to a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. Maybe you’ll make a love connection there. Maybe you’ll get some more advice that you need that’s directed specifically towards you. You’ll also have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. These will be live these will be video and Phone chats that you’ll be able to participate directly with me so you can get the support that you need in love. And you’ll also get access to behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates.


Julie Spira  49:13  

And for my really, really special


Damona  49:14  

top tier VIP, Fw B’s, you can even get a dating profile analysis, with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws just the right kind of dates into you. The Patreon is live, slash dates and mates. And don’t worry if you’ve never used Patreon before, if you just click the link in the show notes, we will walk you through all of the different tiers and what you get and make it really easy for you to become a part of the community. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up now before March 1. That’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my friends with benefits. I hope you enjoyed Episode 296 of dates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear your love questions. And I want you to join me again next week when I will have Bella Gandhi who will be doing the five q fab thing with us. Until next week, I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day and happy dating


Healthy Communication & Roasting for Romance


This week is all about discerning healthy communication patterns in response to conflict in all your relationships. Conflict is going to happen no matter what. It’s normal. Whether you’re self-partnered, dating, or in a relationship it’s important to look inside take a moment to prepare for healthy conflict. 

Marla Mattenson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples using her background in neuroscience and mathematics. Over the course of her 25+ year career, Marla has helped more than 12,000 couples including Academy Award winners, NBA players, and Grammy Awards winners!

She’s here to give us all the answers on healthy communication!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Are you and your partner headed for a breakup?

According to Elite Daily, 55% of couples see moving in together as a step towards marriage. According to Marla, if your partner is giving you more gifts than normal this is a SURE sign you’re headed for a breakup.


Tim Tebow has tied the knot and FINALLY popped his cherry

Wedding Bells for Tim Tebow and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. No word yet on whether she’ll add another hyphen to her name.

Roasting for Romance?

Some new research from Appalachian State University indicates that roasting – sarcastic jabs at your partner – can actually be healthy and bring you and your partner closer together. Damona and Marla disagree.



Marla and Damona go in-depth on exploring your childhood conflict when it comes to healthy communication:

  • Fight, Flight, or Freeze
  • It’s not your fault, it’s your biology
  • Insightful knowledge as to how we handle conflict
  • Three key ways to effectively navigate the situation:
    • Acknowledge your childhood
    • Introduce awareness to the conversation
    • Press the reset button on all default settings
  • Introducing a safe word in your relationship to let you partner know when his/her “fight, flight or freeze” default setting is kicking in
  • Speaking your truth
  • Getting Unpleasant feedback
  • Why you need GEJF in your life (Grace, Ease, Joy, Flow)


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

  • IG – This guy I’ve been in a situationship with has been working a lot lately. He told me at his job someone was eyes him and asked if that person was flirting with him? But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? Is he asking me how to read the signs?
  • EMAIL -I have been this guy long time – after a long period of being broken up, I have found him again on Facebook. I miss him, love him, and want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance and to be with him for Valentine Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do?
  • IG – I’ve been divorced for about 10 years and I’m just getting back into dating. When I was 18, I needed an ileostomy to save my life and now I’m wearing an external pouch. My ex had no problems with it because it doesn’t interfere with intimacy. ButI’ve told guys after a few dates about my pouch and I’ve also waited to tell them. In most cases the guy ghosts me. Do I wait until there is a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Thank you for making this your go to dating show for the past seven years to all the new listeners who watch my dating profile polish on E Welcome to the fam I am here to love up on you and support you at all phases of dating and relationships and so is my guest for today. Marla Martinson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples. She uses her background in neuroscience and in mathematics to do this. And over the course of her 25 year career. She has helped more than 12,000 couples, including Academy Award winners and beyond. Players, Grammy Award winners millionaires, y’all. She’s the real deal. Please give big smooches to Marla Martinson. Thank you so much for being here.


Marla Mattenson  1:10  

Thank you so much. I’m super excited for this show!


Damona  1:13  

All right, this is the gold standard of advice, y’all. So, get your pen and paper ready because we are going to give you some really key advice about building healthy relationships, and communication. Even when things get a little bit uncomfortable, especially in a fight. We’ll be talking about fighting it’s gonna happen y’all. So we’ll tell you how to navigate through so that you both can get your needs met in the relationship. And we’ll also be covering this week’s headlines including What are the signs that you and your partner could be heading for a breakup and Tim t bow tie the knot and finally popped his cherry Garcia we have the decision about that was is it good for you to roast your partner will tell you the answer to that in a minute and then we’ll answer your question. Including, should you be worried that someone is flirting with your boo at work? And what do you do? If you want your ex back? Especially when you already have a Valentine’s Day present for them? Oh, is this gonna be a spicy one? Marla?


Damona 2:15  

Are you ready to dish though?


Damona  2:19  

All right. All right, our friends at elite daily gave us the skinny on the four signs that you may be headed for a breakup. I have to admit I did give a lot of the advice for this for this article. But I’m curious Marla because you work with you work with couples. And I’m sure you have seen a lot of these signs coming up. I’ll just go over some of the signs. Y’all should read it on your own. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But I told them to look out for a change in communication style and a decline in sexual intimacy, signs of annoyance or them needing space from you and I think those are just some of the signs, but I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of other signs and people want to know like, what is my partner thinking? What should they be looking for before things get into crisis? I love this article, actually,


Marla Mattenson  3:14  

I think it’s really fantastic. It’s a great sign post, there’s not a whole lot more to add to it To be honest, except gifts. If they start giving you more than you’re used to, then that kind of a change, also more than just in the communication style. If they’re starting to go above and beyond, it might mean that they’re trying to put in the extra effort, just in case maybe it will work.


Damona  3:39  

Oh, wow, way, way, way way. Wait, because I know a lot of our listeners are saying, Oh, this is great. Like my partner is really leaning in. And they’re they’re showering me with attention. And this is something that I see also in dating in the early phase that I tell people to look out for that when somebody is too too romantic. too aggressive with trying to lock down the relationship? I say that’s actually a bad sign. So that’s also a bad sign on the way our on and the relation. Yes, yes.


Marla Mattenson  4:10  

It’s sort of like a last ditch effort. It’s it’s, it’s actually something that I coach on as well in relationship is you want to put in your real hundred percent efforts that maybe you have been holding back because you’ve been waiting for your partner to show up and do the work. And they haven’t. So what I teach is you show up and you do the work. So you put in the extra effort and you see how your partner responds. And so because I know that I offer that as advice to my couples, if they’re having a lot of challenges, I know that sometimes that’s what’s actually going on, someone’s putting in one more big huge effort at the end to see is my partner going to change? Are they going to do anything different or they’re going to still be the curmudgeon? Are they still going to be you know, bitchy, are they still going to have problems and you know, complain, etc. Or they going to see me a new because the idea and relationship as you know is you have have to be able to see your partner with fresh eyes every day, every moment of the day. And if you can’t see your partner with fresh eyes, then you’re always going to be looking for the things that they’re doing wrong. You’re going to be looking for those problems, rather than looking for what’s new and fresh about my partner today. How can I honor and love what he’s all about today are what she’s all about today, rather than looking for all of the issues and the problems and the challenges,


Damona  5:25  

yeah, I like the idea of really focusing on the present and I talked to daters about this a lot. What about if we were to look into the past many of these, these cohabitation situations, which is really what this article was talking about, like signs, your partner may be moving out, not just breaking up with you. I think that some of the problems begin before the point of that this article begins. And according to the article 55% of people see moving in together as a step toward marriage. I actually hosted a TV series for a networks called a question of love were removed couples in together for the first time. And they had to go through this intensive experience for 30 days and see if they wanted to stay together or move out and break up. And I found that so many of the times as we move these couples together, they were like, yeah, I’m ready for a relationship. But the moving in together meant something different to each of them. Many of them hadn’t had conversations about like almost sort of a prenup of what’s going to happen if we break up. And it was it’s continually surprising to me with clients as I help them through the dating process. that so many of them are are focused on let me get to the moving in like then now I’ve now I’ve got something, but it’s so much more complicated when you’re living with someone. And I find a lot of these questions aren’t being asked early enough. The dating process


Marla Mattenson  6:54  

definitely you know, meaning making is one of the biggest challenges and relationships My partner, Julian, he could literally walk across the room and I can make meaning out of that. How he’s walking across the room, the look on his face what he’s paying attention to, you know. And so if you start paying more attention to the inner world of your own, and you start asking yourself, what meaning Am I making out of moving in together out of how he’s doing this, how she’s doing that, then you’re going to start to understand more about yourself, your own needs, your own desires, and then instead of waiting for your partner, to show up and be all of what you want, you actually know what you want, and then you can articulate it. And you can actually verbalize, you can say it, you can speak it out loud, and then you can see how it lands and how it lands matters, right? Because then you can feel the sort of reverberation of how it lands no matter what they say. You can feel the truth in the vibration of the tone of the vibration of you know, their body posture or their arms folded, look away. You know what’s happening as you’re saying Speaking your needs and your desires to your partner.


Damona  8:03  

Well, one person who seemed to be very clear about his needs and his desires was Tim Tebow. He loved love. We’re on board for this. He married Miss Universe Demi Lee Nell Peters. She has a lot of hyphens in her name. I don’t know she’s going to definitely mail Peters t bo. But here’s the catch with this story. Tim was very vocal for many years about his faith and about his desire to stay celibate until he was married, and only 3% of the US population waits until marriage. I was not aware of that. I was not either. But I I’m curious what you think about the faith aside about making this declaration of not having not being intimate until you get married, and if you’ve seen like any couples that have been successful waiting or unsuccessful in not been finding out later that they weren’t intimately compatible.


Marla Mattenson  9:04  

Yes, that I love the way you just said that. That’s really wonderful. I wonder if Tim did not have his faith if he would have been celibate. That’s my first wondering, because I believe that celibacy and faith tend to go hand in hand for our youth now, and there is a movement for celibacy in our youth that has nothing to do with faith that just has to do with I’m saving myself for the right time, but it’s not necessarily marriage. saving yourself for marriage is different than saving yourself for love. So celibacy till marriage is a completely different animal and I have to be honest, unless it’s your faith, please don’t do it. Don’t wait until you’re married to have sex. Okay,


Damona  9:55  

why Marla?


Marla Mattenson  9:56  

Okay, because exactly what you said which is sexual portability is a real thing. I mean, I have a client who a former client who she ended a relationship with someone she really loved because of the way his anatomy hit her on the inside, in a way that caused pain every time they tried to make love. And it was just him. It was it was just the way he curved to the left a little bit that hit her and they tried I gave them all kinds of coaching on that, you know, different positions this and that. And it was painful. She couldn’t enjoy sex with him. And so he was really big,


Damona  10:42  

right? No, no, he wasn’t actually okay. We don’t even Okay, we


Marla Mattenson  10:45  

don’t have to go there I go, there I go.


Marla Mattenson  10:51  

But it’s sometimes the anatomy is an issue and if that’s an issue, you do not want to be in a lifelong relationship with someone that is Going to have that kind of a problem that’s just starting with a foundation that’s really shaky. That’s very challenging, even when you love someone, so literally, there are so many issues in the sexual arena that have nothing to do with compatibility that have to do with taste and touch and the way you hold each other and you know, how, how rigid or contracted you are versus how much you can relax. There’s so many nuances to lovemaking that, you know, you kind of want to take the car for a test drive before you buy it.


Damona  11:36  

Yes, you know, just don’t like move the car in your garage before you know you know where you’re going to be driving it. There you go. Okay. As we are looking at different qualities that make a relationship successful beyond the INTIMACY COMPATIBILITY. Community communication is obviously something that you specialize in and something We’ll be talking about more later on in the show. There was an article Marla in the sun, obviously a very reputable source that said, roasting your partner every day makes the relationship stronger. I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say, this goes against everything I know about healthy relationships. And they were saying that it’s good for the the energy to kind of rip them on certain qualities that irritate you rather than nag them. But I kind of feel like if you’re having that much contempt in your relationship, you know, that’s what one of john Gottman four horsemen, you’re feeling those feelings towards your partner. I’m not sure that roasting them is the right way to


Marla Mattenson  12:48  

bring it to the surface. I’m so glad you feel that way. I can


Damona  12:52  

say on this lady, so I was ready.


Marla Mattenson  12:56  

I’m a hell no for that.


Marla Mattenson  12:57  

So it makes me question. I’m not The sun they’re just reporting but it makes me question the research and the ages of the participants. It makes me want to question how many people they interviewed it makes me want to question how long they’ve been in relationship it makes me want to question a number of things about the actual research and it feels very teenage It feels like a teenage You know, when you’re in middle school and you kind of negative each other like, you know, you can’t


Damona  13:27  

write boy makes fun of you, like sells your hair, then he likes you


Marla Mattenson  13:32  

Why is that a thing and that should not continue into a healthy adult relationship. So preamble also to just add on to what you said is, you know, I love dr. john Gottman and it’s if you are using sarcasm in your relationship in any way. Sarcasm, the definition of sarcasm is tearing flesh. I mean, it is not kind it’s saying something that you’re hoping somebody Going to get a message underneath of a truth. Why not just say the truth? And why don’t we because you know, we don’t want to deal with the actual reaction from our partner. So if we are sarcastic instead, then we can, if there’s a negative reaction, we can easily just say, oh, babe, I was just kidding. Oh, why can’t you just roll with it? You’re all you’re so serious, you know, rather than, you know, actually that hurt my feelings. I didn’t like when you said that. That doesn’t feel good to me. To me. Building a loving healthy lifelong relationship with your partner means you pour love and kindness into the union of your relationship the big week, right? You don’t pour sarcasm and jokes that are meant for little digs. Just to get some you know upregulation of hormones so that you can get horny for each other.


Marla Mattenson  14:51  

You know, that’s not that will keep you


Damona  14:54  

it’s not sustainable to now walking off into the sunset now. This is this is getting interesting, Marla, this is getting very interesting. And I know you have many more insights to share on how to build a healthy relationship, how to deal with conflict, like what we were talking about, and how to have this partner in crime that you you live with, that you love, and maybe even that you work with, that you can really build a long term standing relationship with. So yeah, we’ll be talking about that right after the break. But first, I just have to acknowledge one of our listeners who left this lovely five star review on Apple podcast. Darling Nikki says, Wow, I’m obsessed and I can’t believe I never heard this pod. I can’t believe you haven’t either. loving every app and don’t want to sleep just binge. Thank you, Nikki. We’re so glad that you found the show and we are so grateful you took the time to give us a review. Whether you’re a binge listener like Nikki or a casual fan of the show, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform so we can shout you out and give you some love on a future episode. More with Marla Martinson in just a moment.


Welcome back. We are here with Marla Martinson and we’re talking about dealing with conflict and relationships and building healthy communication. Marla. Now, you alluded to this in the first segment, but you also work with your partner, Julian colker. He’s a little under the weather today. So we’ll have to join us on a future show. But first of all, how is that because so many people tell me so many clients say I really want to find my partner in crime and somebody who’s going to support me through not just like, love but also life and business. You’ve done it. Yes. How’s that working for you? It’s amazing.


Marla Mattenson  16:38  

It’s amazing. And it’s challenging. It is challenging from time to time, right? You know, we’re just like any other couple, we get into the arguments that sometimes spiral down into the pit of hell. And then we come out together the other side, but really, we look at it like it’s kind of like an obstacle course that we go through together. So even when we’re spiraling down, we’re aware because awareness is always the first Step in any process that you’re going to master at some point, you become aware at some point in that conflict. Oh my gosh, wait, I’m in a conflict with the person I love the most on this planet. And when you can pause long enough to remember that that’s the point to insert a knowing that actually it’s not your fault. It’s your biology. Your biology is telling you lies about your partner. Wait, what does that mean? So this is like, this is inner game, inner game, baby. All ready to go in.


Marla Mattenson  17:37  

Okay, let’s do it.


Marla Mattenson  17:40  

So, when you’re aware that you feel like you want to attack your partner, verbally, just even in your mind, right? You’re saying really awful things in your mind about your partner, blaming them angry, you know, why can’t he or why can’t she just get it or whatever it is. for you in that moment, when you become aware that you’re thinking negative thoughts about your partner, that’s the moment to say, I must be activated. I must be activated about something. It may even not be about my partner, it may be about because, you know, we can’t pay this bill or you know, the mother in law just called or you know, something else is happening with the kids or something is going on in your life. You’re feeling stressed, you’re looking around. I’m not sure if you saw this burn a brown video of it’s hilarious. She talks about how she’s in her kitchen, and she accidentally drops a mug of coffee on the floor. And her husband is nowhere to be found. He’s not even in the house at the time and she yells his name out and blames him for it. And she dropped it and she dropped it.


Damona  18:50  

Right girls you know it,


Marla Mattenson  18:53  

like the closest person to like ttttt Oh, you You’re the problem. It can’t be me. Right because our ego Won’t let it be us as the problem. So as soon as you realize you’re in that loop, the crazy loop of I want to blame. I want to blame my partner for how I’m feeling right now, even if it is their fault. Okay, here’s the thing. One of our philosophies is it’s never you versus your partner. It’s never you, it your partner is the problem. It’s always the two of you versus the problem. Yes, right. Even if your partner is the problem, we still look at it like we’re sitting next to each other, rather than across from each other across from each other is actually very aggressive. It’s an animal aggressive state to be exactly opposite each other looking into each other’s eyes, rather than sitting next to each other at a table and looking out or going for a walk together and talking about a problem. So the thing is, is that our biology is telling us your partner is a threat. He’s a threat, he’s the problem, or she’s the threat. She’s the problem. The lies that go on our chemical. So your body is is telling you through cortisol through norepinephrine through all the chemicals flowing in your system when you feel attacked in some way. There’s no saber toothed Tiger anymore. We’re not running from a lot of wild lion anymore. But now the threat is can we pay our bills? Right? Is my partner having an affair? Are it does he really love me? You know, all of those things. And when you get into a conflict, it’s a mini microcosm of that old fight flight or freeze response that happens.


Damona  20:32  

Right? So talk to us about this fight, flight, or freeze. I’m sure people have heard fighter flight. The talk to us about what the freeze element means and then, you know, as we are just nothing but mammals. Yeah. How does it How is it really affecting us in relationships in our biology?


Marla Mattenson  20:53  

Yes. So, fight so if everybody has one major default In the fight flight or freeze response so as as everybody’s listening, you can listen for your own. And sometimes it’s a combination sometimes you go back and forth and sometimes it’s all three and that’s the like, you know, trifecta of horror, when they’re all three activated. So the fight is something happens. Your partner does something they say something they could load the dishwasher wrong in your eyes. Something happens to me, right once.


Damona  21:24  

No, no, on the regular rice, right? Because there is a right way to load the dishwasher according to each of us. Don’t we want the dishes to be clean? I don’t know. But okay, go on. Okay, and then we’ll and then we’ll come full circle back to analyze me later. Okay.


Marla Mattenson  21:42  

So the fight response is your first inclination is to lash out and to say something to take action. So if your first response is, I need to say something about that dishwasher. The first response is, hey, hey babe, may remember put the glasses on the top Remember, right? Exactly that okay, though, remember. So that’s also kind of like the nag, the nag and the fighter are kind of cousins. So that’s if you have your first response is some action. It can also be a passive aggressive action, which is, let’s say there’s a towel left on the floor every morning, okay? And so white response is, I’m going to pick up that towel and put it back on the hanger. that’s a that’s a it’s a lower level version of the fight response, because on the inside your mind is saying to yourself, that so and so why can he ever just pick up that’s how I’ve told him a million times? So even if he’s not even there, you can still have the fight response when there’s nobody listening. Okay, yeah. Okay. So that’s the fight response. The flight response is, you just want to exit the building, either actually, or in your mind. So these are people who sort of shut down. They they You know, hey, I gotta go handle these other things. They want to put everything on pause.


Marla Mattenson  23:04  

This is the people that ghost


Marla Mattenson  23:06  

these are the ghost tours, the fighters are they can’t handle conflicts they will avoid at all costs. They’re the ones who actually will use sarcasm and then pretend like it’s not a big deal to actually try to communicate. So the flight people will get the same chemicals but chemicals bond and they start reacting in the way that they learned how to deal with conflict by witnessing and experiencing from childhood.


Damona  23:29  

Oh, yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about that. Okay. A lot of people come into relationships with their own conditioning, and they think, I don’t want to do that. My parents did that. And that was uncomfortable for me. So I’m going to be different in my relationship. Do you find that people if they are able to consciously acknowledge what their childhood conditioning was? Are they able to rewrite it? Or do you find that they end up just falling into the same pattern?


Marla Mattenson  23:56  

You know, both. I’m just gonna I’m going to answer all of the above Because what happens is just because you’re aware of it doesn’t mean you have a new pathway. So typically, when you become aware, oh, I don’t want to recreate this pattern that my parents did. Typically we do the opposite, which is the opposite side of the same coin. So you’re still doing the pattern, you’re just doing the pattern, the opposite, it does not heal the pattern. To heal the pattern, you need to do something completely new, have a completely new response. And so part of the work that Julian and I do with couples and that we practice ourselves is really excavating family lineage patterns. Because Where did you come from? You didn’t come from nowhere. You came from somewhere, and you learned through experience. And up until the age of seven, we’re literally just open vessels receiving we have no ability to deny or reject or say no to anyone or anything.


Damona  24:50  

And you’re not talking just about parental relationship. You’re talking about lineage like what has been passed down generation Right, Andre, she says,


Marla Mattenson  25:00  

Did your parents do the work to excavate their material from their parents? Or did their parents or did their parents or their parents, everybody? You know, at one point, what your current parents taught you was very helpful. But that could have been five generations ago. But we’re still using those things today, because who has taken the time to look at their family lineage around, let’s say, pleasure? What did you learn about your family? lineage from pleasure? Like, what did you witness your family doing around physical pleasure? Guess what, it’s in your bedroom? Yeah. And we can excavate that. So really, taking a look at the biology of what’s happening inside of you, is really the most important first step. So becoming aware and pausing long enough to listen to your own thoughts before they fly out of your mouth. And that’s one of the hardest things to do. Right? Because especially those of us who are fighters who just want to say it and then also if you happen to be articulate as you are, as I am Right, you can say things in a way that are logical, they make sense and they’re obviously non combative. But are they building intimacy? are they building more connection? And there are plenty of times where what I say to Julian is not building intimacy and how it’s not about being perfect. It’s about how quickly can I become aware that oops, I just said something that is not in alignment with who I really am. That’s an old version of Marla. That’s the kind of Marla that’s the little hurt girl right? The one who just wants to be loved and doesn’t need us understand all I need a hug. All he needs, whatever, but how does he know that I need a hug when I’m throwing prickly, you know, dark energy out and him right? And he’s like, I’m just gonna stay away from that until that calms down. It’s like a porcupine, you know, right. All the plumes come up, and he can’t get close to me.


Damona  26:52  

And then what is his conditioning to is the other side of that Right,


Marla Mattenson  26:54  

exactly. So the Exactly, so the other side of the pattern is what is he conditioned to do and part of I’ll just share because we share all apartments cereal. Thank you, right?


Damona  27:04  

We’re open book. Yeah. Jason made? Yes.


Marla Mattenson  27:08  

So you know, part of his side of the pattern is he doesn’t want to be made wrong. Oh, well, isn’t that the perfect other side of the pattern? I get to be right and he has to be wrong. And so when I find that I’m feeling righteous, or justified or verified in my, because I have a long list of reasons why my way is correct, even if it is, that’s not going to build the intimacy and he will feel wrong. And so that will activate him. And so when he gets activated, and if I’m activated, we call that double activation. And that is the most challenging thing to go through. And that’s when you start spiraling down. And so when one of us has the courage to say, pause, hold on. We’re in it. We’re in it. This is it. This is the moment can we go through the rest of this together like that? Okay, oops, we didn’t do so hot the first five minutes. But How about now?


Damona  28:05  

Right now, it’s like kind of bringing it back to what you said earlier of having that moment. Living the moment again, and you’re you’re right there, you’re not like in what just happened five minutes ago, or what happened last week, or what is going to happen next week, it’s being in that moment with your partner and being on the same team, like you were saying, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  28:26  

we actually have a technique for that. I can teach it in two seconds, teach it, it’s called the redo.


Damona  28:31  



Marla Mattenson  28:33  

redo it. And so what it is, is you ask for Rito. So if I’m the one who kind of started it, then I’ll say Wait, can I get a redo? If I, if I can be aware, and then we pause, and he’s, we’re both sort of calm enough that I can say, Can I get a redo, babe, I really did not. Start that the way I really wanted to. And he’ll go, Okay, hold on, give me a second. I gotta shake that off. First. They’ll shake it off. I’ll shake it off and then I’ll go okay. And the idea is You bring sparkly eyes, you bring your open heart, you bring your best self and you both reenact the same scenario. But this time you show up as your best self as your loving self as the self who wants to build love, intimacy and connection, even through challenges and chaos. And when you redo it, you’re literally rewiring your brain in the moment because when you think back on a memory, you remember what happened mostly at the end? Yes, okay. You remember the beginning and you remember the end, you don’t really remember the murky middle, okay? That’s all where it gets very subjective. And so when you redo it, you have redone it and you end smiling. So when you remember the beginning next time, you’ll also remember Oh, yeah, and we did the redo. And we went


Damona  29:44  

through it together, and we ended up smiling. Yeah. Marla, how do I get how do I deal with this dishes that you know, I know, how do I get the towels off my floor? I’ll tell you. I mean, of all the things it’s pretty a pretty minor thing. We’ve been together so almost 17 years, 16 years, I’ve, I’ve also just realized, like people sometimes have their patterns and limitations and like, I can be mad about the towel on the floor, or I can just pick it up and move on with my life and let it be over. Yes. And so that’s what I 17 years later decided to do. But honestly, I seriously don’t know you guys. Is that, is that what you recommend? Or is that like, is that a flight response?


Marla Mattenson  30:29  

Okay, let’s let’s chat about it.


Marla Mattenson  30:30  

Yeah, it depends. And the reason it depends is because it depends on your state of mind in the moment. So, next time, he leaves his towel on the floor, if you will, first of all, I’m assuming. So let let me not assume Let me ask a question. Have you mentioned this to him in the past?


Damona  30:49  

He like years ago, like years, okay, it’s been years and then now it’s just like, oh, there’s gonna be towels on


Marla Mattenson  30:55  

and so is it every day that there’s two or every time


Marla Mattenson  30:58  

I mean, it’s like 6040 Okay, 6040


Marla Mattenson  31:03  

So, okay, so there’s a couple of things. First thing is you can with a whole fresh new attitude and love in your heart, you can have a new conversation with him to say, you know what, I realized that I’ve kind of let this thing go, but it actually is still kind of a little bit of a thing for me. I wonder if you’d be willing to make an extra effort to hang up your towel after you use it every day. And then wait for the response and have a conversation about it. And you can also say, and I want to let you know that if you forget from time to time, it’s okay. But it’s still okay. Like it’s been okay this whole time and it’s also still okay. And I also just want to let you know, like, it actually would still feel loving to me, if you would make an even an extra effort, right now, how does that feel to you? And then wait for his response.


Damona  31:51  

And now let’s play out the different responses. Okay, everybody. So let’s say the response is like, you know, and just for listeners, like we’re talking about towels, with This could be anything in your relationships. Right? And it’s like a woman. Why are you talking to me about these towels again? I don’t think he would say that. But let’s just play devil’s advocate that


Marla Mattenson  32:10  

Yeah. Yeah. What is it about me asking you that bothers you? Oh,


Marla Mattenson  32:16  

so whenever someone that’s not that’s not.


Marla Mattenson  32:20  

That’s not a fight response. So know if you’re in a calm place, and you ask genuinely because you’re curious and you really want it like, ooh, up. Okay, that’s your reaction. I wasn’t expecting that. And that’s totally fine. I’m just curious, what, what is it about me asking you that feels so off. And you really want to know, and this is the thing is that we don’t really want to know certain things about our partners. And so we just don’t ask and we don’t ask. So I’m a big fan of asking.


Damona  32:53  

Yes, that is so important. Like in all we’re talking about conflict, but that’s just important at all phases. Building the relationship curiosity. Oh, yeah. Yo, you hear in her I curiosity comment is what I say for people when they’re dating, like be curious about so good about what you need to know about that person just like be curious on a date. So it’s the same thing in the relationship. And people always ask me, How do you keep the relationship feeling fresh and feeling new and discovery? Right? You still have to stay curious. You talk about something, a philosophy called gaggia. Yes. What is gaggia?


Marla Mattenson  33:32  

Okay, gaggia I just have to say I hated that word for many years. And it finally in 2020 is actually a thing. It’s a thing and Julian named it okay, but it’s our philosophy of grace, ease, joy and flow. So get GIF getcha getcha g JF gadget that it’s just easier to say yes. And so it’s like our philosophy is, you know, you can’t control what’s coming at you in life, you know, there’s always the UPS, there’s always the downs, you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you respond. You do have control over that. And if you respond with, I expect grace, ease, joy and flow, even through conflicts, even through challenges, and through the joy and through the happiness, then you start living your life that way. And then when something bad happens, you get a car accident, you know, life happens, right? Then you’re prepared because that’s what you’ve been practicing. I want to run one more thing, which is the freeze response. We didn’t get to that. Can I just say that really quick? The freeze response is and it’s so interesting that it almost is forgotten, you know, because the freeze response is literally like the chameleon just blending into the wall. It’s you know, the octopus that can turn into anything. It’s, you know, the the freeze response is feeling paralyzed. You have no words, no words will come out of your mouth. You’re not trying Two eyes out your partner but you just can’t find any words. Everything in your mind is confusion and your partner’s articulate and you have no idea what to say. So you just say nothing. So the freeze response is a really delicate response that is challenging for people. You know, I actually am an introvert people don’t realize that about me. But I can get into the freeze response. When I’m really activated. I go right into that little girl space where I’m like, I’ll just be like the silent little Good girl where I don’t know what to say. So I’m going to say nothing.


Damona  35:31  

Hmm. And so very fulfilling for your prey.


Marla Mattenson  35:33  

It is not they’re not


Marla Mattenson  35:34  

know and it’s trying to work through the GED. Exactly, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  35:39  

so you know, then you find ways to sort of down regulate the emotions and allow those chemicals to flow through your system and pass through and give yourself a little bit of time and then you come forward again, and you go Okay, let’s, let’s try this again. Let’s do a redo.


Damona  35:54  

I love that. And I’m also married to an introvert who’s like Now he’s uh he’s like an introvert mascot yeah found power in introversion but yeah it’s it’s it’s hard when everyone else is is talking and everyone else is in like fight response if your tendency is to go inward and and shut down or we’re not be able to find the words like me right now


Marla Mattenson  36:24  

if you tapped into the introvert I did you tapped in


Damona  36:27  

like channeling him. This is all such such great information and I know you have insights that our listeners are going to want to hear in our next segment because we got a lot of questions. I so appreciate it y’all. I appreciate you. trusting us with your love lives. We have some very, very challenging questions, but I know Marla Martinson is up to the task so don’t go anywhere. We have more dates and dates right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates.


We have some Very challenging questions on this week’s show that have been sent to us far and wide from all different sources Instagram, email, Facebook, you can hit me up on any of the platforms at Damona Hoffman if you if you have a question for a future show. This one Marla comes to us from Instagram. This gal says this guy I’ve been in a situation ship with has been working a lot lately. He told me that at his job, someone was eyeing him. And he asked if that person was flirting with him. But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? is he asking me how to read the signs? So this person it seemed in situation ships, so it’s kind of a new relationship. But the guy’s asking or like somebody seems to be flirting with me. I don’t really know. What do I do?


Marla Mattenson  37:58  

Yeah. How would you read this? This I think this is such a beautiful question because it’s very clear that he wants to move things forward with the woman who wrote that, because he wouldn’t say anything to her about someone flirting at work or potentially flirting. If he wanted to go off and flirt with that other person or start something with somebody else, he would he would probably just go do it rather than talk about it or ask about it. So it’s really beautiful that and it’s sort of a celebration that he is coming to you with this information. And so it’s it’s um, it’s kind of like a toe dip in like, how honest can we be with each other in this relationship? He’s checking to see if you’re going to greet him with love and affection. Or and this may be conscious or unconscious in him okay, but he’s coming to you with Are you a safe person to reveal the truth of my life too, or are you going to freak out, are you going to judge me? Are you going to blame me? What are you going to do with this information? So So the idea here is, in my experience and opinion would be to ask him a question, to get curious to get curious about him and say, Wow, first of all, number one, always when someone brings information to you that they wouldn’t normally bring or they don’t have to bring. The first response is always two words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for bringing this to me. I really appreciate you sharing this with me. What did that feel like to have that happen? What what Kate, what came up for you like if you become the open, curious space for this person to come and share this information, the number one, he’s going to bring more to you. And number two, you’re going to bond over the fact that you can get curious about this very benign situation because he wasn’t That flirting, if he was into that flirting, then he would have just gone into that flirting.


Damona  40:04  

Yeah. So well done. I agree with you. It seems to be a sign of desiring this to become more serious. I do wonder though, if there’s an element of, I’m telling you someone else’s flirting with me to let you know, like, I got options here. Yeah, so yeah, let down


Marla Mattenson  40:26  

this Right, right. Exactly, exactly. So. So before you nail it down, though, you want to make sure that he’s not just playing a game, you want to actually ask questions to see how he shows up in the response. So he’s checking to see how you’re going to show up. But you also want to check to see how he’s going to show up. So gathering more information through experience, not just through your thinking about it, but through actual questions and having him answer and having a beautiful conversation about it is what’s going to help the two of you together come to Oh, yeah.


Marla Mattenson  41:00  

Well, I don’t want anybody flirting with you at work,


Marla Mattenson  41:03  

I want to flirt with


Marla Mattenson  41:05  

flirting with you or you know, so you can get playful with your responses and show him if you want more in the relation. If you want the situation to be a relationship, then you can offer up a little bit


Damona  41:16  

more like playful. Okay, I need everyone. I just have to pause for a second because I need everyone to really hear what Marla just said. It is so important in the early phase of dating and getting to know people that you find that playfulness and that flirtatiousness as you are trying to figure out where things are headed. So a lot of times my clients get very stressed in that period of when we’re trying to DTR figure out is this going to be a relationship or not, and they don’t know how to find the words to really express what they want without feeling like they’re being raw and vulnerable and potentially getting going to get hurt. But you have to you have to get Curious, and you have to present it if you present it in the way that Marla said. It’s it keeps it light, but it keeps it also intriguing. I would say yes.


Marla Mattenson  42:12  

And if Also, if you’re not curious, if you’re not bringing curiosity to these conversations, then you’re bringing something else. You’re bringing your assumptions. You’re bringing what you think is going on,


Damona  42:22  

you’re bringing your assumptions, you’re bringing your desire to get married and have a baby yesterday into whatever outcome you’re trying to create. You’re trying to create an outcome, right? That’s kind of the bottom line. That’s right.


Marla Mattenson  42:35  

That’s right. So you’re not actually available for what the real outcome is. And the real outcome unfolds, you can’t control it. It actually just kind of naturally organically comes together more and more, the more you’re open and vulnerable, rather than what a lot of people try to do. And I know you’re a master at this is, is helping people understand that if you try to control the dating process, you could actually end Up engaged to someone who doesn’t really know you. Because you’ve been showing what you think they want to see every step along the way, rather than who you really are


Damona  43:11  

or manipulating the outcome or


Marla Mattenson  43:13  

exactly, exactly, exactly. So curiosity. No, we don’t want that for you don’t do that.


Damona  43:17  

Okay, that’s actually a perfect segue in. Okay, this was an email that was sent to me, I’m going to kind of paraphrase hope it’s okay to the listener who’s on this question. But basically, she was with this guy for a while. They broke up, they got back together. They were together for a few years. And then, about three or four months ago, they broke up again. But she’s saying, I miss him. I love him and I want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance to be with him for Valentine’s Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do to get him back


Marla Mattenson  44:00  

I have a little yikes on that when I noticed, I don’t know go easy. So I don’t know how to say this in, I’ll just say it in the most gentle kind way I can. If you want to give a gift to someone, a gift is a one way direction. It is not a two way direction. It’s you want to give a gift. And it’s received by the other person and the person can do whatever they want with they can throw it in the trash, they can cherish it forever, they can do whatever they want. Right? I


Marla Mattenson  44:30  

love that.


Marla Mattenson  44:32  

Or, and then if they want to respond or reciprocate than they can, but there’s no no guarantee obligation at all for them to have to respond. So if you’re giving a gift with the hopes of getting something in return, then that’s the first question. I would ask yourself. Why do I want to give something to someone who I can’t even get ahold of right now? Like what is it in me that wants to still Reach out and give to someone who I have not received from in months and that I literally don’t really even have any way to get ahold of that. So to me, that tells me that there’s something in you that needs nurturing, and need love and needs attention and affection from someone who loves you, meaning you, you, you need to love yourself first, more than wanting to get married to this particular person. So if you start fulfilling your own love first, you know, then the way the universe works is you shift yourself, then that sends the vibration out to the universe. And then if he is meant to come back to you, he will and if he is not, he will not.


Marla Mattenson  45:54  

But let’s look at let’s just look at facts. I mean, they were together for a year I said I was going kind they can No, and then they got back here.


Marla Mattenson  46:01  



Damona  46:02  

I’m glad that you went kind. But I do want to also just realize the reality of the situation. He is being very clear about how, what he sees in the future for this relationship. If he blocked you or he changed his phone number, he’s not responding to you. He is saying, I need a clean break here. And there. I just like you said, I don’t see an positive outcome in chasing a relationship that one person does not want to be in.


Marla Mattenson  46:37  

Okay, I’ll say something more about that. That so I appreciate that. So the thing is, is


Marla Mattenson  46:43  

you either want harmony in your life, or you want suffering, and it’s conscious or unconscious. And when we chase after someone who clearly is sending the message, no, you’re asking for suffering. So if you you know what would happen, let me let sort run through some, some scenarios. My background is in mathematics and neuroscience pattern recognition is my thing. I can run through all the iterations of what might happen, let’s say spreadsheet, let’s


Damona  47:07  

do it. You’re talking about language. Okay,


Marla Mattenson  47:10  

so what if you dropped off the package at his house and you saw him? Get out of the car, from you know, kissing somebody else? Oh my gosh. And then what you’re standing there with this present, just dropping in a suffering, you’re going to suffer, everyone’s gonna suffer? What is going on inside of you? That you want suffering? And it’s obviously unconscious, because nobody consciously wants suffering. That’s not that’s not what we do. As humans. We don’t consciously want suffering, unconsciously we recreate family patterns. So ask yourself, can you actually receive love from someone who actually loves you? Who wants to build a life together because as soon as you can really let go of this particular person, in your mind, in your heart, and your soul in your body, go do some cleanses or something like go on a on a solo journey, take a trip by yourself get go to the local park and look at the flowers, take some time for yourself, and then start loving more and more of who you are. And then that’ll shine out. And you’ll actually attract someone who values who you really are


Damona  48:19  

so true. Yeah, and just just just to cap it off. I hear this all the time, like I want. I was in love with this person, and I wanted to marry them. And I just have to remind you, if you’ve said that to a relationship that has ended, you’re not in love with that person. You are in love with the idea of that person. They may are in love with the time you invest in or the idea of marriage or the idea of marriage, but you are not in love with that person. Because if that relationship was going to fulfill all your needs, it would be happening. I’m so


Marla Mattenson  48:49  

glad you said that because people fall in love with the idea of a person.


Marla Mattenson  48:54  

And we have to really I’ve been married in my


Marla Mattenson  48:56  



Damona  48:59  

But it was so Different when I met my husband, and then you look, I swear, you look back at those other relationships and you’re like, how could I thought that that was going to be it for me? So so if you look at it from that perspective, maybe that’ll give you a little bit of hope to that something greater. Yeah is out there for you if you do the work that Marla is recommending, we do have one more question. I want to start. Okay, this is this a little bit different. Jenny says I’ve been divorced for about 10 years, and I’m just getting back into dating. She says when I was 16, I needed an ileostomy. I’m not sure exactly what that is. But she said she needed this position, this medical procedure to save her life. And now she has to wear an external pouch for you know, digestion. So she said her ex had no problems with it. And it didn’t interfere with intimacy. But she’s told guys after a few dates about the pouch, and she’s also waited to tell them in some cases, but in most of the cases, she’s told them the guy ghoster she says, Do I wait until there’s a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Marla Mattenson  50:12  

So you think it’s a great question. I think this is a really like beautiful vulnerable question. Absolutely. And


Damona  50:18  

I’m sure a lot of people like maybe you don’t have the the pouch like Jenny does, but maybe you have another mental medical condition or,


Marla Mattenson  50:27  

or feeling shame around certain part of your body or something


Damona  50:29  

body shame, mental health challenge, whatever it is. Everybody has their something.


Marla Mattenson  50:34  

Yeah. How do you do this specific thing is a special case scenario really is.


Marla Mattenson  50:41  

I would say,


Marla Mattenson  50:43  

it depends on who you are. So knowing yourself, so some people are a little more shy. So Jenny, if you’re more of the shy kind of a person, then I would say wait for a significant amount of time before you share that bowl. detail about your life. If you’re more of like a bold, brazen kind of unapologetic person, then then I would say it very early on, I would go very early because if somebody can’t handle that about you, then they can’t handle you.


Marla Mattenson  51:15  

So, bye. Bye, Felicia,


Marla Mattenson  51:18  

we don’t need any of that. Right, right. We need people in our lives who accept and love us for who we are. So if you’re the bold, I’m more of the bold type. So I’m the type who, hey, I’m just gonna lay it on the table right now from the beginning. And if you don’t dig that about me, that’s okay. We won’t be friends. And that’s okay, too. You know, we should doesn’t mean literally like,


Marla Mattenson  51:38  

No, no, no. No, right. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.


Marla Mattenson  51:44  

don’t deal with it. Hey, what about this?


Marla Mattenson  51:47  

You know, and there’s a way to do it, obviously, I’m sure you’re very way more nuanced than what I just tried to say. But really knowing who you are because this is not just about Jenny right? This is about everyone who has that one thing that they don’t Really want to share the beginning they’re not sure. I mean, I actually just wrote an article about, you know how to have difficult money conversations with your partner early in a relationship. And, and so that is it’s so tender to talk about the things that we keep very private, that are just for us that are just for the people who really love and know us. And then we’re opening up to the possibility of a new relationship. You know, on some level, you want to test the waters First, make sure this is someone who’s worthy of that kind of information, not just somebody that you met, that you may be interested in, you know, you want to make sure that it’s on the other side, like there’s one side of it is, who are you? Right? You’re bold, or you’re more shy, where are you in that sort of spectrum? That’s how long you should wait and then also, who’s the other person? Are they worthy of hearing these details? Because you don’t want to just share this with someone who’s gonna go post it on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or you know,


Damona  52:58  

or Yeah, or judge you and Fairly for it like, right. our listeners have heard me say that on dates early on, people have to earn information that’s right from you. So is it something that you would share with like your coworker on the first day at a new job? Is it something that you would tell the person on the bus next to you? If it’s not, then maybe you wait until that you feel that you’ve you’ve earned a little bit of trust in that person? Yeah, they have earned a little


Marla Mattenson  53:26  

and also you can be playful with it. Yeah, right. Yes, like transform it into a superpower. Like, oh, oh, you still use some digestive juices to digest your food. That’s amazing. Because mine totally goes into a bag. Yeah. I’m saying like you could do or whatever your particular bag is. You know, some people have a philosophy bag. People have different things. So you can use your quirky thing as a way to be playful with it.


Damona  53:57  

Yeah, and some people like her situation. is sort of invisible until she becomes intimate, right? There are people I know that are dealing with very, very visible disabilities challenges, like I had a client who had a very pronounced stutter. That got worse when he was attracted to someone or, you know, sexually, you know, interested. And what we worked out with him is for him to acknowledge it just right right away, but to also turn it into a compliment. So he’d say, I’m sorry, I, I have a stutter. And and I actually stutter more around beautiful women. And so then it became sort of brought them it’s almost going back to what you were saying about putting your partner on your team it put your date on your team. Yeah. So that you acknowledge the elephant in the room, but at the same time you brought that person into it?


Marla Mattenson  54:46  

Yes. And then it’s not made into a problem. And here’s the thing. The other piece that I want to say is, if you make your own and it doesn’t sound like you are Jenny, I’m just saying, if if you’re making your own thing, A problem, then that’s the energy that’s going to come through how you communicate it. So before you communicate it, you want to make sure that you’ve made best friends with whatever issue it is that you have, so that you can bring it to the table as not this big huge issue. But as just this is just me,


Damona  55:19  

this isn’t is it? You know, it’s just a thing. Yeah. Yeah. This is such great, great advice. Marla, I’m so glad you could be here to share all of your wisdom with us. And this is such valuable information for people who are both dating and in relationships. And if you go into a new relationship, using some of the tools and techniques that Marla just shared, I’m telling you guys, you’re going to have a completely different experience of it. You can find Marla and Julian colker on social media at the intimacy experts. You can find her online at Marla will also be sure to put those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. Marla.


Marla Mattenson  55:59  

Thank you so much. Much. Also don’t forget,


Damona  56:01  

you still have time to find a date for Valentine’s Day. So if you are ready to date differently in 2020, but you don’t know how to get started, the 30 day dating playbook could be your solution. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it is your solution. And it has worked for so many of my clients before and it works quickly. 90% of my clients last year, left my programs dating someone exclusively in as little as eight weeks. So give yourself this gift, get yourself launched into a relationship and maybe even snag a date before Valentine’s Day. You can find that at 30 day And that has all of the five steps that I lead my private clients through that help them to go through their dating funnel figure out where they’re looping and get themselves into the relationship that they dream of. And it’s 30 days it’s self led so you have no excuses go to 30 day And I’ll put the link to the 30 day dating playbook in the show notes as well. And for those of you who want more love support, but maybe you’re not ready for the playbook. We will be launching a Patreon Friends with Benefits Program in February. So please stay tuned for that we’d love to welcome you into the community. I hope you enjoyed Episode 294 updates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. And we’d love to have you join in on the conversation. You can send me your questions for future episodes and you can leave us a review like darlin, Nikki. And also don’t forget to share this episode with a friend who needs to hear Marla’s unbelievable relationship advice. Thank you so much for listening until next week. Wish you happy dating

Co-dependency & Contagious Love


Here’s a question we have to ask for today’s show: do you feel like you’re always having your boundaries tested? Are you struggling to figure out how to get your needs met in a relationship without it turning into co- dependence?                                                                                                                                                                    

Then, friends, you need some Carla Romo in your life.

Carla is a nationwide speaker, certified dating & relationship coach, and author of the book Contagious Love. You’ve seen her on BRAVO, Cosmo, Bumble, Lifetime, and more

She’s here to help us understand red flags and co-dependence.

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Do you have accent bias? 

Have you ever heard the words, “he was so sexy until he opened his mouth”? According to Refinery 29, a recent study reveals that accent bias might be the reason behind this

What to expect when you are dating someone with a mental health diagnosis

The Tinder Blog writes a very honest guide to navigating dating someone with a mental health diagnosis. Damona and Carla have thoughts. 

Should you be looking for marriage?

Amanda Seales reveals that she’s not looking for marriage and most millennial women aren’t either. Damona breaks it down.


Carla Romo, dating coach, love-life cheerleader, and author of the book, Contagious Love, has so much to share on healthy relationships. 

  • Carla’s philosophy is that the most important relationship you have is with yourself, and it sets the tone for every relationship you have in your life.
  • Feeling stuck and stagnant 
  • Codependency
  • Boundaries
  • Don’t paint your red flags green



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

  • I’ve been online dating for about a month and the conversations with 3 guys have been taken offline. While Online the messaging back and forth was consistent and quick, but offline I feel I’m the one mainly holding the conversations and asking pertinent questions. How do i get more engagement? I’ve practiced the “yes and” role playing from one of your podcast episodes but then there are awkward moments of silence via FaceTime or on the phone. (Btw I let guys know I’m not much of a texter and phone calls are preferred) Help me please! -Andrea
  • Rachel- I met someone about nine months ago and we had the most amazing connection I’ve ever had with anyone. However, there are circumstances going on in his life that have caused him to not be able to focus on his love life, so we are no longer together. He says his feelings have not changed for me, but these other obligations keep him from being the man that he wants to be and to be fully invested in a relationship. Aka, he’s not ready. How do I get over someone who I expected to live the rest of my life with?

Your Dating Funnel Is Broken

In last week’s webinar, “Why Dating Apps Don’t Work For You,” I dropped this truth: 1 in 3 relationships start on a dating app.

If dating apps aren’t working for you, your dating funnel is broken and you’re probably reliving the same dating disappointments again… and again… and again.

It’s time to break the cycle.

This new year, remember that it takes just 30 days to change a habit. Dedicating just 30 days to updating your dating habits could change your luck in love by Valentine’s Day.

Can you change your habits if you only know this way to date?

Yes, but it requires a little work! I prescribe my private clients an individualized dating plan that gets them unstuck from the dating rut and, within 3 months, 90% land exclusive relationships.

You don’t have 3 months until Valentine’s Day. And maybe you don’t have the $3,000+ that my VIP program costs.

So I’ve distilled this exact system into a simple, affordable, digital one-month program:


This version has been completely refreshed for 2020’s most current dating challenges that I know you are facing.

BONUS: Get it now for the 30-day countdown to Valentine’s Day and I’m giving you $100 off the program.

That’s a 33% discount on my tried-and-true system if you use the offer code: countdown

Here’s proof it works:

This time last year, Marquis, 41, was single and dreading Valentine’s Day. But he had two things that I think you have, too:

  1. An insatiable drive to find his person
  2. My step by step instructions on how to break the single cycle

At the end of the program, Marquis had all the tools he needed. Now, I’m thrilled to say Marquis found his first girlfriend ever!

Are you dreaming of a different relationship destiny for yourself? If so, click here to watch a video about his journey and learn more about the 30 Day Dating Playbook!

Master Class: How to Change Bad Dating Habits


Do you want to make a change this year? Are you looking to commit to your dating goals? 

If so, you need to stop operating by the old rules of dating. 

Many people who come to me for dating help are stuck in negative dating patterns that have become ingrained and familiar because they do it the same way over and over again.


  • Ghosting – no one wants to be ghosted but almost everyone does it – then we make excuses for why that person didn’t deserve our time or the respect of a real response
  • Obligaswiping – Do you have a dating app installed on your phone right now that you hate? 
  • First Date Fails
    • No pre-dating 
    • Not showing up your best 
  • The Set it and Forget it profile
  • The Texting Trap – Texting is not a chemistry builder, it’s a chemistry blocker.
  • Being afraid of starting over 
  • Negative self talk – What is that phrase that is playing over and over again in your mind about why you’re still single? 
  • Lack of a plan – Are you buying into the myth that love is meant to find you?

Just like your fitness and wellness routines, dating requires the same dedication to positive habits for the best results.

Take 10 minutes today to start building better habits for you and your future life partner!


I’ll be doing a webinar called “Why Dating Apps Don’t Work For You”

on Thursday, January 9th!

In this FREE coaching call, I will go into detail on how you can finally make the dating apps work in your favor for 2020.


If you are ready to date differently in 2020 but you don’t know how to get started – The 30 Day Dating Playbook could be your solution!

I’ve taken the 5 steps to find your match that have worked for hundreds of clients over the many years I’ve been coaching and created an easy to follow 30 day program that will lead you towards the love you deserve.



Damona  0:01  

Hey lovers, today we’re going to talk about something that is really integral to my practice as a dating coach, how to develop better habits and dating, and the rules and you know what I mean? I mean the new rules for finding love. When I was thinking about this topic, and the best way to share this info, I realized that y’all love master classes. I got so many emails thanking me for the master class that I gave on dating app do’s and don’ts and I’m glad that I finally got you all off of that set it and forget it profile technique. And then when I released the masterclass on first dates, I remember one listener wrote to me and said that he had never in his life considered a picnic on a first date. And you know, who got a second date, and a third, and then a fourth date. That guy and my masterclass on how to meet your match has been one of my most popular episodes of dates and mates to date. So Really, this seems to be the best format to share one of the most important aspects of dating today. Now, I present to you my masterclass on the most common bad dating habits and how to rewrite your rules on love.

Intro  1:17  

Damona  1:29  

A lot of times I see daters operating by old dating rules in this new and rapidly changing dating environment. Many people who come to me for dating help are stuck in what my 30 day dating playbook participants know to be a samskaara. So samskaara is a pattern. It’s something that becomes ingrained and familiar because you do it the same way. Over and over again, there are positive some scars like the exercise routine that you commit to. But then there are also negative some scars that hold you back and cause you to keep reliving the past and attracting the same thing that you don’t want into your life again and again and again. And today, I want to talk about a few of the most common bad dating habits, these negative some scars, and how to fix them. And if you hear something that resonates for you, I want you to know that the purpose of this episode is not to shame you. We all have patterns in our lives that are not serving us, that needs to be changed. But the first step in even solving the problem is recognizing the problem. And then the next step is putting a plan in action to change it. So today, I hope that you hear something that makes you feel like I am talking directly to you. And I hope you will accept my challenge today to do something about it. And at the end of the episode, I’ll tell you how I can continue to support you on making this change even after the episode ends. So get your pen and paper ready, because dates and mates masterclass is about to begin, and I’m going to share with you the most common bad dating habits and how to fix them right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates for this masterclass on the eight most common bad dating habits but don’t worry. I’ll also be telling you how to fix them.


Number one, ghosting. Look. No one wants to be ghosted, but almost everyone does it. And then we make excuses for why that other person didn’t deserve our time or the respect of a real response. So here’s the bottom line. If you’re tired of getting ghosted, the first thing I asked you to do is to see where you are ghosting in your Your own life. It might just be in work emails that you don’t deem important enough to reply to. Or it could be in messages from dudes online that you think are unattractive. Here’s the fix. When you treat others with respect in all settings, you will find that you encourage those around you to rise up to your level of respect. And you will communicate more effectively so that you don’t get left in that void of ghosting.

Number two obliga swiping. If you haven’t heard this term before, I covered it a couple years ago on the show, but since then it’s become an epidemic. obliga swiping is when you have a dating app installed on your phone right now that you hate that maybe you’ve never had a date from Or that you just go on and start swiping for the momentary ego boost or the boredom blocker. But if you’re swiping without any intention behind it, you’re not only obliga swiping, you are wasting your time and depleting your energy for dating. So here’s the fix, delete any app that is not bringing you joy or quality dates, and then focus on swiping only for people, you actually could see yourself dating, and make it your point not to go for high volume of matches, but instead to make a real connection and move from the app to a real date. Third, we have first date fails, and there are a few of them. First, no pre dating. People tell me that they’re going on tons of first dates that are hours and hours long, but not connecting with anyone. Most of these people that talk to me have had very limited contact with the person predate only over text and then they feel guilty. Leaving once they’re there, don’t waste your time or anyone else’s. I highly recommend the pre date call. So here’s the fix for this one, just 10 minutes on the phone could save you two to three hours and hundreds of dollars in person. The next predate fail is not showing up your best. Often this comes from burnout or the idea that you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. So many people are setting dates without trying at all. I had a client Tell me on a recent date that a recent date of her showed up in a track suit because he wanted to fit in a workout right before the date. Okay, here’s the fix. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So put yourself together the way you want to be seen every single time. All right, we talked about this in the intro but the set it and forget it profile. People tell me that they’re frustrated with dating apps and then I find that their profile and the photos that they’re using are five years old, and they haven’t even read their own profile in months or even years. Your profile is a living document. It changes as you also change as Time marches on. And your profile should always be a reflection of your current self. And your current relationship goals. The fix, refresh it every one to two months. Not only will it be an accurate reflection of who you are, but also what you’re looking for. Plus, it will boost you to the top of the algorithm for people who are searching for someone just like you. Then there’s the texting trap. Texting is not a chemistry builder. It’s chemistry blocker. Yeah, most people think that they should spend a lot of time texting someone before they meet up so they can build a rapport. But what happens when you build a connection and then you finally meet and discover that the person doesn’t look the way you imagined or that their banter in person is far less clever that it was on a screen. You were caught in the texting trap. There’s a fix. You can’t thoroughly vet a match via text, either set a phone call as discussed before, or move offline quickly. So you can see if what you have in writing sustains in person. Then there’s this bad dating habit, being afraid of starting over. I can’t tell you how many listeners of the show tell me that they know they’re in the wrong relationship. But they don’t want to break up because they’re afraid of starting over. If this is your issue, here’s the fix. Think of it this way. It’s your destiny to find the person who’s your best possible match just as it’s your partner’s destiny to be with theirs. And if you’re staying together out of convenience or fear of being alone, you’re blocking two people from their destiny. The next bad dating habit is negative self talk. This is a big one. What is that phrase that’s playing in your mind over and over again about why you’re still single. A major element that could be blocking you from Happiness is your own mind. negative self talk, whether it’s about who you are or what you have to offer in a relationship. Or if it’s about the matches you’re meeting. It isn’t doing you any favors. Here’s the fix. Start with rewriting your mental mantra about love. As corny as it sounds. The more you repeat it, the more you will believe it. And put the negative mantra to bed so you can see the reality and the possibilities before you.

Next bad dating habit, lack of a plan, who this one is huge. Are you buying into the myth that love is meant to find you that romance shouldn’t involve any planning or preparation, it should just magically happen? Well, you’re wrong. I’ve been coaching singles and finding love for nearly 15 years. And time and time again, I find that when people put a plan in place, the same way that they plan for everything else in their life that they are successful at. They get what they want. Here’s the fix, get into a program, get an accountability partner, do something proactive to find love, and see if that changes the outcome for you. Speaking of a plan, if you’re ready to date differently in 2020, but you don’t know how to get started, then the 30 day dating playbook could be your solution. I’ve taken the five steps to find your match that have worked for hundreds of clients. over the many years that I’ve been coaching, and created an easy to follow 30 day program that will lead you towards the love you deserve. I’ll put the link to the 30 day dating playbook in the show notes. But if you have questions about how it works, and about why you haven’t been able to find your dream match yet on your own, I’ll be doing a webinar called why dating apps don’t work for you on Thursday, January You can register for that at the dating that’s t h e dating and that link will also be in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining me for Episode 290 of dates and mates the last one I’m 2019 please send me your questions. Any dating or relationship question anything that’s on your mind. You can reach me at Damona Hoffman on all the socials. Or you can leave me a voicemail and of course your question can always remain anonymous if you would like for it to. We know the holidays can be tough for dating and relationships so there will be no break no winter hiatus for us your dates and mates. We will be back again next week with a regular episode. We’re talking with dating and relationship expert Tracy Crossley. I can’t wait for you to hear that episode. She has so much deep transformational work that We’ll be talking about and I know it will be super valuable for you. Thank you so much for listening. I wish you a Happy New Year and as always, happy dating.

Dear Damona: DTR Conversation & Dating Dry Spell


Happy holidays, Lovers! 

If you’re anything like us, you both love and loathe this time of year. It’s a time to connect with loved ones but it’s also a time of major stress. Which gifts to get, who to spend the holidays with, how to bring in the new year and when you add being single to the mix that adds a whole layer of anxiety and stress for many of our listeners and maybe for you, too. 

But we want you to remember that we’re here to help you at all times of year and when the going gets tough we’re not taking a break. We’re doubling down!

So this week we’re answering some listener questions!



Can you date someone who doesn’t share your political values?

Hi Damona, I have a dilemma. I’ve been dating a white guy for about 3 months. Last Saturday we had a conversation about politics and he has opposite viewpoints on subjects like immigration and border politics (topics that are dear to me). Since our conversation, I am completely taken aback and haven’t answered his texts because I honestly feel like i can’t date someone who doesn’t share my values or ideas. What do I do? 


How do you start to date after a 6-year dry period?

I’ve been single since I was 19 and I’m now 30. In that time I’ve hooked up with one guy once when I was 20 and then another guy that I like a lot but it didn’t work out for maybe once a year from when I was 22. Altogether, I haven’t had sex for 6 years. I would like to get back out there but I think right now I’m dealing with a mix of fear and because I’ve been self partnered for so long I don’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider someone else. How do I deal with getting over this fear and getting back into dating?


How to be better at texting?

I’m so bad at texting. I wish I knew how to text a woman to make her more interested in going out with me. I seem to always have the opposite effect. 


Do you think men and women, who used to date, can be friends? 


When should I have the DTR conversation and how should I do it? I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over a month that I met through Bumble. 


How should I feel about my new bf having a preplanned 2 week trip to Mexico in January with an ex? They are going to a wedding from someone in her family. He stressed that she’s just a friend and a lot like a sister. He could tell I wasn’t happy but I told him that I don’t have a reason to not trust him since this is new. Did I do the right thing?




Happy Holidays, Loves! If you’re anything like me you both love and load this time of year. It’s a time to connect with loved ones, but also a time of major stress, which gifts to get, who to spend the holidays with, who to bring with you to holiday events, how to bring in the new year. And when you add the anxiety and the stress of being single to the mix, that adds a whole other layer for many of my listeners, and maybe for you too. But I want you to remember that I’m here to help you at all times of year and when the going gets tough. I’m not taking a break. I’m doubling down. And maybe to the dismay of producer Leah over here who’s been busting her buns to make this show for you every week. I’m still going to give you shows all throughout the holidays. How are you hanging in there?


Leah Schell  0:57  

Honestly though, I’m having fun. I love doing Dates me. 


Damona  1:02  

Oh gosh, this show’s loving you. And honestly, you guys, I just have to give credit to Leah. She doesn’t know I’m going to say this but I just have to give all the credit because she is the reason that this show gets to you every week on time when you need it. She’s the one that helps me funnel all the questions that you send. She brings so much so much joy to this show. She brings so much heart and I just really have to say this holiday season how grateful I am. Oh my god. I’m like, I’m like blushing over here. So I don’t make my show before I get all teary eyed but I I really just do appreciate Leah. So maybe give her a little shout out when you comment on this episode The next time please. Thank you. And I also just want to shout out I had the great pleasure of meeting one of our longtime listeners, Catherine Hey girl you out there. Catherine recognize me out in about an La and we had a good long talk about her love situation. And honestly, I left feeling really excited for her. And for the possibilities that lay ahead, not just because she’s listening to the show, obviously I love that but because she’s really walking the walk, she’s hired a matchmaker, she works on herself care. She’s on dating apps, and she’s showing up in a big way for herself and for her relationship future. And that’s what it takes to make a change. First, you get clarity on what you want, and then you show up, and then you keep showing up, no matter how dire your dating or relationship challenge seems for you right now. It will shift if you put in the effort to make it shift. And that is a wonderful thing. I have one of my former clients who was expecting her first baby. I have another client who was in a new relationship. I have someone from my 30 day dating playbook program, who let me know she’s celebrating her her second anniversary this month. And I want all of that for all of you that are listening to this podcast right now. And if you’re ready to make a change for the new year, I will, I will tell you about how you can join my upcoming free webinar on changing bad dating patterns, and how you can get live coaching from me at the end of the show. And for you overachievers that already know you want to be in that you can go right now to the show, show notes and sign up. But first, I want to address your questions so many of your questions have been submitted this fall and every once in a while we like to do a special episode dedicated to you and dedicated to giving you the advice in love that you need. So without further ado, I bring you


Leah Schell 3:43  

Dear damona What does his text me so frustrated? He’s just not that intonation. I’ve always been battle. I’m ready for miracles.


Damona  3:57  

Modern love Made Simple. This is day two. mates with damona Hoffman. So producer Leah has been cataloging your recent questions. And Leah, I want to hear what is on everyone’s mind.


Leah Schell  4:10  

First we have a question from Instagram. She says, Hi damona I have a dilemma. I’ve been dating a white guy for about three months. Last Saturday, we had a conversation about politics, and he has opposite views on subjects like Immigration and Border politics or topics that are near and dear to me. Since our conversation, I am completely taken aback and haven’t answered his tax because I honestly feel like I can’t date someone who doesn’t share my values or ideas. What do I do?


Damona  4:38  

Ooh, ciao. This is this is complicated. Obviously, you guys know I come from a cross cultural cross religious background. We just talked about that last week. But at the same time, I’ve been coaching people on navigating cross cultural challenges for the last How long have I been doing this? 15 years and I What I’ve seen is a big shift towards politics. Being a bigger source of contention and relationship, frustration than race, religion, anything that used to be such a major divisive issue. And the data really supports this. Now we are divided on political issues. We are divided on things like immigration. And I have to say it’s not something to be taken lightly. You know, I’m super optimistic. I’m going to show I believe that many relationship challenges can be worked through with communication. But I wonder if this challenge speaks to a fundamental difference in value systems, and the way that you look at the world, which you also know if you listen to the show regularly, that’s one of the major tenants of long term compatibility, shared values and I don’t know specifically what the fight ended up being about or this heated conversation. But if you’re feeling like you are really diametrically opposed on different sides where you can even have a conversation about these issues and come to some sort of an understanding, you don’t have to agree on everything. But you just have to have enough space to understand the other person’s point of view, and to be able to accept and allow that their experience is different than yours. Their perspective is different than yours. And that’s okay. You can each hold one on one another’s point of view in consideration, while also still strongly believing in what you believe. here’s the here’s the answer. Is there a way to move forward with this? It’s been about three months. Yes, there is a way to move forward. This is where the going gets tough. I find relationships work in threes. You’ve heard me talk about my three date rule. You need to decide, wait until the third day to decide if someone is worth investing more time. And I also find that at three months, that is when most relationships either take off or fizzle out. Because this is when you’re really being yourself. This is now he’s letting down his guard, he is being authentically the person that he is. And he’s sharing with you his authentic thoughts, which, in a way requires a lot of vulnerability and especially at a time when we know it’s so divisive. The fact that he wants to share that with you does speak well of his his trust in you to be able to share that perspective. However, if you’re at the point where you cannot see his point of view, and you feel that his point of view is somehow challenging your own, then that is a major here A major turning point in the relationship and you have to decide if you play this relationship done in down the road, three months, six more months a year. Could you be a part of this person’s world? Could you be a part of their family if you decided you wanted to move forward with long term partnership or marriage, or maybe having children. And so these are the tough conversations that need to be drawn out. The difference in opinion itself is not enough to spell the end of the relationship. It’s how you deal with that information once it comes out. And how he deals with it and whether you can still communicate through the difference in opinion produce really good you have anything else you’re a Texan. So I imagine you deal with


Leah Schell  8:43  

Yeah, actually it says like this a lot. Yeah, this reminded me of my first like long term relationship. In college. I come from a like a very, very conservative background, being from Texas and I think like when I started college, like my friends litical views were like really like opposite of what they are now. And the guy that I dated, he was very, very liberal. And like, it was like a whole like four year relationship of like him, teaching me and just like exposing me to like different, like political points of view. And dude, thank you, if you’re listening to this for like teaching me all those things and putting in all that effort, it must have been awful. But even though that, like relationship didn’t end up working in the end, like I know that, like, you can definitely, like, have conversations and like teach people about your point of view. And, like, it doesn’t have to be the end of the race relationship. But


Damona  9:42  

did he come at you like, my perspective is right. And let me show you the way.


Leah Schell  9:49  

Yeah, I mean, you know, we were in college and very politically active and so like, there were lots of really heated arguments. But I feel like the times that were most impactful to me It was just more through like actions, not words. And that makes sense. I don’t know exactly how to explain it. But it was more just like three experiences and just like showing me exactly what his life is like, well, and we form our opinions based on our experiences.


Damona  10:17  

So sometimes someone might have one perspective, because that’s what your parents told you, or that’s what you’ve experienced. Right? And if you’re in the right partnership, it should open up your horizons, right? Total. I mean, my politics haven’t really shifted. But I’ll say one thing I really appreciate about my husband is he’s he is able to consider someone else’s point of view, even if it is 180 degrees opposite his own. Right. And I, I really appreciate that and I’m working to can you guys see how hard I’m working here. I’m working to be able to understand that and not not automatically shut down the conversation because that’s what we’re doing right now. No and in love, but also just in life. We’re just shutting down the conversation. And that’s pushing us all further apart. So this is a invitation for deeper discussion. Yeah, totally. More questions, more questions. What else is in the hopper?


Leah Schell  11:15  

More questions? Okay. This one also comes from Instagram. She says, I’ve been single since I was 19. And I’m now 30. And that time, I’ve hooked up with one guy once when I was 20. And then another guy that I like a lot, but it didn’t work out with for maybe once a year from when I was 22. altogether. I haven’t had sex in six years.


Unknown Speaker  11:35  

I was a lot of years. So a lot of years.


Leah Schell  11:38  

I would like to get back out there, but I think I know I’m dealing with a mix of fear because I’ve been self partnered for so long, and I don’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider somebody else. How do I deal with getting over this fear and getting back into dating? I like this to use all partnered.


Damona  11:56  

Yeah, thank you for it. Maybe we inspired you When we were talking about Emma Watson being self partner to use that term, or maybe that’s a term that you’ve used for a lot, but a long time, but I first want to just acknowledge her bravery and vulnerability with even asking this question. I know there are a lot of people listening right now that are dealing with some challenges like this and some things that they might have embarrassment over like not having sex for six years, some for some people, that’s a source of source of embarrassment and not being able to share that with anyone you know, you might not even be able to talk to your best friends about that. So first, I just want to say thank you for sharing that with me and with my audience, anonymously, of course, because that’s the first step in changing patterns or in getting help is just acknowledging what your story is, what your situation is, and then learning how to move through it. So thanks for your bravery with that. Yeah, girl, that’s a long time to be celibate. And in some respects, it sounds like not celibate by choice. I really want to focus in on the part where she’s talking about being self partnered for so long, that she doesn’t have the desire to really deal with having to consider someone else. Again, this person is extremely self aware, because she already knows what the challenges for her. And I have a lot of clients, particularly clients that are out of long term relationships or that are older, that have their life set and have their social circle sad have their patterns and beliefs and behavior set. And they want someone to just fit into the groove. It’s like these are the holes in my life. I want you to be available. At this time. I want you to believe these things. I don’t want you to require too much extra time for me and I want you to enjoy the same things that I enjoy doing. And that’s a really tall order. That’s very hard to To find someone that just fits and meshes with your life. So I’m glad that she’s acknowledging that. But I have to say, if you don’t want to deal with having to consider someone else, you are choosing to stay in a static point of your life, you are choosing to stay there. And, yes, you could have sex, you could probably go online right now and have sex with somebody tonight if you wanted to. But that’s not really what you’re looking for. And I also appreciate that she acknowledges that she has this fear of getting back into dating. But you have to just start at some point you have to start and you have to be willing to expand your life. And I wouldn’t think of it as not wanting to deal with considering someone else. It is a joy to consider someone else and I do hear this a lot like I don’t have to tell someone where I’m coming and going. I, I was super independent person, but the fact that somebody cares, where I’m going to be at a certain time that someone is expecting me to be somewhere or to, to, to communicate with them, or to consider them in my actions is actually a real gift. And that’s an opportunity for growth and for expansion of your life. Think of all the things that this potential partner that you haven’t met, could actually bring into your life could teach, you could could expand your world over. So when you look at it that way, maybe you’re actually depriving yourself of an opportunity. And it’s not about this considering someone else. Or Or maybe it’s the history that you’ve had in the past with relationships, that is making you feel like it’s going to be repeating that again, but it doesn’t happen. You’re rewriting the rules of your life and the rules of your love life. This is your opportunity to do it again and do it differently. So do it mindfully and do it with the intention of having your world get bigger. Instead of keeping your world in the same in the status quo. Don’t stay in stasis, stay in a period of change. More questions, more questions, questions before the break.


Leah Schell  16:25  

Okay, cool. One more question from Instagram from a guy. He says I’m so bad at texting. I wish I knew how to text a woman to make her more interested in going out with me. I seem to always have the opposite effect.


Damona  16:38  

Oh my gosh, texting. That’s a whole other thing. I feel like I should run the texting trap again as a webinar.


Leah Schell  16:48  

Yeah, we get a lot of questions about texting. Do


Damona  16:50  

we get a lot of questions about texting? Look, texting is not a natural state of communication. I know for many of my listeners, That that grew up on phones. It It is because that’s all you’ve known. But when you really think about it, it’s a very new mode of communication. And it’s very specific, short form, short form volleys back and forth with emojis, and gifts and stickers and what it means emoji all these. There’s just all of these mood modifiers you’ve had me heard me talk about how adding things like emojis can change the context. But the I’ll just give you the basic rules of texting and then I will do a whole episode on texting. Feel like I had an episode until I have Oh, how to communicate go back to last season and episode on how to communicate. But I’ll give you the cliff notes. Don’t write too much, you’re probably writing too much and these tax if you’re, if you’re meeting women online and then you’re moving into the tax And she seemed interested in all of a sudden she’s not you have said something that made her run away so you’ve probably said too much or you’ve said something the wrong way and she didn’t know how to interpret it. So keep it short and sweet. overtaxed definitely use an emoji. Not a whole. Not like my kids do a home run of emojis. I don’t like that too. It’s the cutie what is that my granddaddy, your granddaddy? Oh my gosh, that’s, that’s both charming and frightening at the same time. But just one emoji can be very effective to to state your intention because when you’re communicating with someone face to face, you have all of these other inputs of information, you have their intonation, you have their facial expressions, you have their body language, you have so much more to tell you what that person means by it. But when we’re talking about text that’s all stripped away. So first, I would just shorten shorten your texts and try to get offline more quickly. Don’t try to build a report over text because that is something that is really a learned skill and try an emoji or two, but don’t go overboard with it.


Leah Schell  19:14  

I have a questions kind of related to this. More recently, I’ve seen kind of a trend towards doing like voice messages like sending like an actual voice instead of text. Like, what do you think about that? Especially like in the early stages of dating?


Damona  19:30  

It’s funny you would say that because many times when people DM me on Instagram, I respond with a voice message. And everybody like freaks. Oh my god, it’s really you you’re actually sending but sometimes for me, just because I’m used to communicating verbally, sometimes it’s easier and sometimes I think my message is clear. If I actually leave the voice message because they can hear how I’m intending To say what I’m saying. Sometimes I don’t love receiving voice messages personally because if I’m with my kids, I can’t always listen to it right? But I think it’s it can be a good way. Then you at least have intonation you have another layer. So I think that’s that’s a good point. Leah. Adding voice to the mix. I wouldn’t do every one a voice message but adding it to the mixed mix maybe with it the animal Geez.


Leah Schell  20:28  

Yeah. Don’t do the animal


Damona  20:30  

Jesus to hear the technology hasn’t caught up.


Leah Schell  20:33  

Especially not the owl. Don’t do that. Don’t do the owl.


Damona  20:36  

But yeah, I think a voice message short voice message can be very effective in building rapport, particularly before you’ve met. Because sometimes it’s like I just need to hear their voice and know their real person and really hear what they sound like to feel that connection. Look at you, Junior dating coach. I love it. Can we do one more before the break? Yeah. Of course,


Leah Schell  21:01  

um, this one. She says Hi, damona I love listening to your podcast. Thank you. I have a question. Do you think men and women who used to date can be friends,


Damona  21:12  

too? I think men and women who used to date can be friends. Yeah. I’m friends with pretty much all of my exes. That’s awesome. I mean, so I’m not in touch with someone like Facebook friends with but um, it’s really important to set up what the boundaries and the rules are of the relationship so that it’s clear you’re not going to whoops a daisy catch feelings and end up in a weird situation ship again. But absolutely, I think men and women can be friends and I have a ton of guy friends that are platonic and always have been. And I think I’m just the fact that used to date someone that doesn’t necessarily say You are still attracted to them. That just means that at some point in your life, you felt a connection and it’s very common. I mean, how many axes do all of us have? It’s very common for you to confuse that feeling of I like this person. I enjoy their company. I find them funny I find them to be intelligent. We like the same things whatever with I should date this person. Yeah, so to answer a broader question with a real specific answer,


Unknown Speaker  22:27  

yeah, I don’t


Leah Schell  22:29  

think it speaks to like the maturity of somebody who can be friends with their exes. I


Damona  22:36  

What, are you calling me old? No, no,


Leah Schell  22:39  

I’m calling myself image here just because I I don’t know the relationship though


Damona  22:45  



Leah Schell  22:46  

now. Okay. I definitely know that I’m 100% at fault in this situation. That’s why I’m willing to admit it or not like at fault, but I know that I was being immature. I was just like, Oh, never talked to me again and moving to California by like, you know,


Damona  22:59  

over time. Again, sort of,


Leah Schell  23:02  

but yeah, like, just like we’re not friends like 100% not friends. So like, but that was something that I just decided, um, and I think it was a really immature decision. So,


Damona  23:16  

but sometimes that’s what you need. Sometimes you need to close the door. Yeah. First completely close it, shut it lock it. Like most of my exes that I’m friends with now there was a period where I was like, please don’t talk to me, right? Yeah, where you have to get distance from it. And then the next time you see them, you’re like, Oh, I don’t feel anything anymore.


Leah Schell  23:35  

Right? Yeah, I totally can see that. But like in that situation. Did you leave the possibility open for them to be friends with you? in the future? in the future?


Damona  23:43  

Yeah, but I would say right now. Not a good time. Right.


Unknown Speaker  23:49  

Right. Yeah.


Damona  23:50  

Yeah. So I feel like in general, though, do you think men and women can can be used today can be friends? And yeah, absolutely.


Leah Schell  23:58  

Totally. Just don’t What I did


Damona  24:02  

if you learn nothing else from the show, no, I, we all look, we all have these experiences that teach us how to be better in relationships. If you have the missteps, then you wouldn’t have the the, the learning that you need rate continue to evolve and relationships. So that’s true. We are continuing to evolve and we are continuing this show after the break. I just want to thank the longtime listeners and supporters of dates and maids. And even though it’s holiday time, like I said, we will continue to make these episodes for you because I know your love life doesn’t stop just because the holidays are here. And if you’re starting to take stock of your year and make plans for 2020 about how you want to date differently, we should talk and that’s why I am doing a webinar on January 9. It is called why online dating doesn’t work for you. And I will be doing a presentation plus a live coaching and q&a. At the end so if you have a dating dilemma that you want to talk to me about live, this is your chance to live, live, live, live live, and you will get free coaching from me on your specific problem should you be brave enough to share it and join me? You don’t have to ask a question you can just come for the presentation and figure out why online dating doesn’t work for you. and sign up at the dating that’s th e dating and I will spill all of my dating secrets with you. The link will also be in the show notes and on our blog at dates and mates. com We have more dates and mates coming up. I want you to stick around for more questions from our listeners including how to have the DTR conversation. All that and so much more right after this. lovers, we’re back you asked I answered and there’s more dear damona Producer Leah, what else you have in the hopper?


Leah Schell  25:58  

Okay, this one is from an email. She says, I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over. I’ve been going out with a guy for a little over a month that I met through Bumble. When should I have the DTR conversation? And how should I do it?


Damona  26:16  

This is a big question, Leah, because it’s different for everybody. There is no set time that you need to like, Oh, it’s five o’clock on on January 1, and we haven’t had the DTR conversation and we have to do it now. That is a recipe for disaster. You have to feel out where you are in the relationship. Does it feel like you’re moving towards exclusivity? Are you seeing each other more than once a week? Are you having conversations about the future? Are you feeling like you don’t want to be swiping online, this happens a lot of times to my clients. They’ll get in the program. And then within I don’t know four Five weeks, they are dating someone that they want to be exclusive with. And then they think, wait, it happened so fast. Maybe I should go back and date more people. But like the idea now that I have a burden hand, and I really like this person, the idea of going back and swiping feels exhausting, and it feels like you can’t focus on the person in front of you. And it just feels if swiping Do you feels on, appealing, uninspiring because of this person that you’re with, and maybe this is the person that you should focus on. So when do you have the conversation, if those feelings are becoming more and more intense for you, and if you’re having more and more conversations about the future, then it’s worth just checking in and seeing how they’re feeling and it doesn’t have to be a whole thing like this is this is not a bank binding contract. This is not a marriage proposal. You don’t have to say like, I I feel that way. We are destined for marriage. And I want to know where we are. And let’s define the relationship. So I could track you on the timeline trajectory of my relationship future. That’s too much. You could just say, I am feeling like, I want to focus on just the two of us and just eating you. How do you feel about that? But here’s, here’s the hard thing. You have to be willing to accept whatever answer you get when you’re ready to do that. So if you’re not ready to accept whatever answer you get, without trying to control the outcome, then it’s too soon to have the conversation. If you feel like you could have that conversation, and if they say, only really like you, I’m not sure where this is going. But I like seeing you. I’m not ready to take my profile down. Then you have information that you have to catalog and say, Do I want to continue dating this person knowing that they’re not sure when I feel very, very short? Or do you say like, oh, man, Maybe I have been moving a little bit fast and I don’t really know this person that well? Or do you need to redefine how you are, how you are moving forward in this relationship. Or maybe you need to go online again and see, maybe if I date one more person, then I can determine if this is someone that I still think is special, but it’s information. It’s crucial information that will allow you to move forward or move out of the relationship. But you can’t have this conversation lightly. You can’t have this conversation when you’re not sure. So wait until you really have clarity for yourself. And then make it as painless as possible. Don’t Please don’t do the We need to talk. How many of you have had that conversation like we need to talk about where this is going dramatic? Right, we get into harsh robbing. Yeah. I hate that. I hate that. Like even my husband will be like, we need to Talk. It’s like something about the kids. Like, I don’t want an appointment, have a conversation. Let’s just talk. We need to talk. Just talk. Yeah. So don’t do that. Not that he does that that often. But just just begin the conversation at a time when you’re both comfortable and casual and you can speak openly. Don’t do it over over new the New Year’s party, like while the ball is dropping, and all of your friends around, do it somewhere when you can both be vulnerable, authentic, clear, and speak with clarity and openness. And it it’s a hard conversations a very hard conversation. You know, and I remember when I had been dating my husband like six weeks, and it’s funny because he had a birthday party, and then he invited me to the birthday party. But then I was like, I don’t know how I’m going to be introduced his birthday party. I was pretty sure that we weren’t dating anyone else. Uh huh. But we hadn’t had the conversation. So I showed up to the party and he was like, This is damona. And all of his friends were like, Oh, damona like it was clear that they had. But I still didn’t have a title. We hadn’t had the conversation. So then I asked him later, where where do you?


Where do you? Yeah, what is this? And he was like, Well, I’m not really sure. And then he like backpedaled. And I went, Okay, I get this, like, this is not my first rodeo. Okay. So I was like, Oh, it’s gotta be his idea. You know? Like, the guys that are listening. Y’all have to think it’s your idea. For the ladies, just just let it be their idea. You can’t You can’t push it, you can’t force it. You will not get the outcome that you want. So I just backed off. I was like, okay, that’s fine. You know, I’m really enjoying hell. Yeah, I’m enjoying this, but whatever. And I’m like a week later, he was like, so do you want to be my girlfriend? Oh, this is the funniest part. He was like, I was going to ask you before my party, but then like he kind of chickened out. Oh. And I’m like, wait, then why did you act when I asked you You acted like you weren’t really sure. Can he just needed it to be enlightened by him? Okay. Oh, yeah, like I needed to not emasculate him.


Unknown Speaker  32:24  

Worked out. Okay. And yeah. Do you have any other questions this week?


Leah Schell  32:27  

Yes. One more actually. Tell me. Okay, another one from Instagram. This person says How should I feel about my boyfriend having a pre planned two week trip to Mexico in January with an ex Oh, oh, wow. They are going to a wedding from someone in her family. He stressed that a she’s just a friend and a lot like a sister. He could tell I wasn’t happy but I told him that I don’t have a reason not to trust him. Since this is new. Did I do the right thing?


Damona  32:58  

Okay, let’s break this down. It’s two weeks. In Mexico, who gets two


Leah Schell  33:01  

weeks off in January anyway, couples vacation not that this is a couple of couples vacation, but like a huge vacation. Wow,


Damona  33:09  

that is a huge vacation. Um, but it’s for a wedding, okay for someone in her family, okay. I mean, there are definitely people that have a certain place in your life that you have dated in the past. We’re talking about this a little bit before the break, that there is not the like, if he’s telling you she’s like a sister, then he probably doesn’t have the desire to be with her again. And this sounds like this is a new relationship. This is our new boyfriend, she said. So she can express that she’s not happy about it. But ultimately, this is a test of her trust of him and of where the relationship can go. And you cannot build a relationship without complete trust. And this could be a test of The relationship. So there’s a saying, If you love someone, let them go. Or if you love something, let it go. And it comes back to you, then it’s meant to be, yeah. Yeah. And again, you can’t just like he’s got to think it’s his idea. You cannot squeeze the situation, too, so tightly that you you cause him to actually want to rebel against that. And if it’s so new as well, that’s your new boyfriend, then let them know you’re going to be chill because this is a long distance run. This is not a sprint. Yeah. And this will not be the last time if you stay in the relationship with this person. This will not be the last time that you question who he’s spending time with or where this if this woman is that good of a friend, where her role is in your relationship, so you have to give him enough space to be able to show that he’s trustworthy,


Leah Schell  35:01  

right? And I like that she was honest about her feeling so those resentments didn’t build up and they could have a conversation about it.


Damona  35:08  

Yeah, yeah, I mean she said she wasn’t happy but you know, you got to make yourself happy then. Why don’t you go on your own trip to Mexico don’t like Shadow them. That would be awkward. Oh, hi. I didn’t know you were going to be at the moon palace resort.


Unknown Speaker  35:25  

I just happened to stay here to


Damona  35:29  

vacation. No, don’t do that. But do something. No for real though. Do something that is going to make your soul flourish during the time when he’s gone. I know I said that kind of flowery. But do something that will fill you up whether it’s maybe it’s a maybe it’s a trip with your girlfriends or maybe it’s a going to the spa and having a massage day or self care day or doing meditation every day or yoga or working I don’t know, whatever you do read a book, whatever it is do it with intention. I’m doing this for the with the intention of keeping my mind occupied and my heart full while he is away. Because if you are calling him every day going, what are you doing? Who are you doing it? Have you seen her? You’re you’re just going to squash this again. So you’ve got to have your own stuff going on. So that he feels like you trust him. You’re giving him the space that he needs. But you’re also taking care of yourself. I mean, not what is sexier than someone who can take care of themselves. I’m hearing that more and more for my male clients and the listeners of this podcast. They want a woman who has her own stuff going on, has her own career, her own life, and isn’t reliant on a man. prior generations. That was that was a societal construct that we were stuck with it. We had to we had to be reliant on a man for our financial and emotional well being Now you don’t have to. So you can have this relationship. You can have your cake and you can eat it too. I am spent. We it’s a holiday season. And I will go back and recharge. Because like I said, we are not taking a break for this holiday season. I can’t believe this is Episode 289 of dates and mates. If you have a question that you want answered, and you’ve been too shy to share it with me, just know that I don’t fight. And if there’s a question that you’re having, just like you were listening to this episode probably heard something that resonated for you if you have a question, just know that you could be helping out thousands of other listeners by sharing your question with us, and we will make it anonymous. We will make it safe and secure for you to share your question. You can dm it to me on any social media platform at damona Hoffman or email me damona at damona Hoffman calm we also have a forum on our website, data mates com basically it’s so easy Easy to get in touch with me I just need you to reach out and take the first step I heard we got a review a new review yes we did Who’s it from?


Leah Schell  38:10  

It’s from sure door them


Damona  38:13  

to join me that’s what their that’s their name


Leah Schell  38:15  

dr them okay the door them what it what is your door them say just adore them said excellent dating guidance or advice is wise current and she is engaging and positive thank


Damona  38:26  

you thank you she door you I try to stay current y’all I’m reading all these headlines trying to stay up on the trends for you and yes, I try to keep it positive. There’s a lot of stress out there in the world and I want data mates to be a fun experience for you. Thanks for the five star review Joe door them if you want to shout out on future episode, leave us your five star review on the platform. You can leave us a four star review if you want but I’d really like a five I’ll still read it was four star but review on whatever platform is bringing This podcast to your ears right now and then make sure you’re subscribed to the show and that you’re sending the episodes that your friends need to hear to them. This is probably one of those episodes so go ahead and share it and you do those three subscribe, review and share dates and mates we will keep it free. like clockwork will be back again bright and early next Monday morning to ring in the new year with a masterclass episode on how to change the bad dating habits that aren’t working for you. And in the meantime, Registration is open now for my webinar coming in January on January 9. It’s called why dating apps aren’t working for you. And I will also be doing a live q&a and coaching as a part of that call. So if you want to be in on that it’s free to sign up at the dating Until next week, I want to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and of course, happy dating


Love Story & Dangerous Dating Apps


We’re all trying to navigate our own love story, but the question on everyone’s lips right now seems to be: Are dating apps dangerous?

This week, Rene Lynch, LA Times writer and editor for the LA Affairs column, talk about the best love stories that teach us the best lessons. Also we break down all of the recent bad press surrounding dangerous dating apps.

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Why aren’t people having sex?

According to Financial Times, there is a huge decline in the amount of sex young people are having- especially men. Damona and Rene break down what this means for you.

Are free dating apps dangerous?

A recent investigation showed that predators are free to use free dating apps. Should all dating apps use a dating app registry

Is cheating the norm?

Recently Anna Ferris and Kat Von D talk about their history with cheating exes. Is this the new normal?

LOVE STORY (14:60)

Rene Lynch, lifestyle writer and editor at the LA Times, proves that we learn a lot from other people’s love stories. We talk about:

  • Compelling love stories
  • Big Takeaways from love stories
  • Our stories make up who we are, whether good for bad
  • Write your won happy ending

Make sure to find Rene Lynch at the LA Times or on Twitter (@ReneLynch).


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

  • Email Question: Hi Damona. I recently started internet dating & I have met some nice guys but no one that really blows me away. I have been asked by one of the men to stop seeing the other men to see if this relationship can work. I am in my 40’s & the endless dating cycle is tiring, but I do not want to settle for the man that is giving me the most attention and who is the most demanding. Any advice?
  • Lately I’ve been really struggling in my relationship. He’s a great guy and we share a lot of the same values. The thing is I was never really attracted to him and never felt the spark, I thought I could get passed it bc we do share similar values for the future and in life but I’ve been nit picking and criticizing him for a few months now. I’ve tried changing but biting my tongue feels impossible. Do you think I should stay and work it out even tho I’m not exited bc he is so nice and loves me so much? Hanging out with him feels more like an obligation than something I enjoy and it’s so hard bc he’s everything I want on paper and loves me so much.
  • How can I understand if a guy has serious intentions without asking directly?




Damona  0:17  

Hello lovers, welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman. And I want to thank you for making this show your source for modern dating and relationship advice. Whether you’ve been listening to Dates & Mates for all seven years, or if you’re new to the show, you know, you can learn a lot about dating from hearing other people’s stories. And today we’re going to take a deeper look at how love stories and our quest for a happy ending can change a romantic future. In studio with me today is Renee Lynch. She is a writer and editor for the LA Times Saturday section and features. She works across a variety of coverage areas including wellness, design and food and lucky for us She’s also the editor of the weekly la affairs column, please Give big smooches to Renee Lynch.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  1:02  

Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here.


Damona  1:04  

I’m so happy that you’re here. I’m a big fan of the column. And you know, I love a good love story. I love a bad love story. I love all love stories, because I think you can really learn something from hearing other people’s stories. So I’m excited to get into the details of what you’ve learned from your years of editing the LA affairs column. All right. But we also have headlines and we’ll be talking about why young people really aren’t having sex anymore. And what you can learn about cheaters from Kat Von D and Ana Faris, plus, our free dating apps dangerous, huh. We’ll cover those headlines and we’ll be answering your questions, including What if he’s ready to be exclusive? And you’re not? And should you break up with a guy who has everything on paper, but just doesn’t excite you? All that and more on today’s date and mates? Renee Are you ready to do this then? I am ready. I’m so excited. Let’s dish Financial Times published a new study on how dating apps are changing relationships. And there was a lot of interesting data in this study that some of which we’ve covered before, like the marrying age is going up and people are waiting longer to actually tie the knot or deciding not to tie the knot at all. But all but what I thought was really interesting was the research on sex. It I know I have. Yes, men apparently are reporting they’re having the least amount of sex. This is a major decrease in recent years. 28% of men have not had sex in the past year versus 18% of women. And the article posits that one of the reasons is that women are the younger men are really struggling in the dating market. They’re not having sex. much because women are looking for older men. So like there’s this gap in the market where they have a high sex drive, but they’re not getting any. What did you think of this article? Renee?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  3:10  

Well, I find it very surprising because the media image is that we are kind of bombarded with daily seem to suggest that everyone is having sex all the time, which makes a lot of people wonder whether there’s something wrong with them, right. I mean, we’re, you can’t drive down the freeway without seeing some kind of sexually charged image. But when you dig deeper to it, I think it, it’s not all that surprising. And it does reflect that I think it is harder for men to kind of like, meet and connect with women. I think there are variety of reasons behind that. I also think there’s an interesting parallel to this Instagram world that we see that we think everything is so perfect out there, and everybody is having so much fun, and we’ve got this fear of missing out. And yet, there’s also this incredible loneliness that’s going on in the world. And I think some of those statistics really reflect that, that there’s an emotional disconnect in a variety of ways. It’s weird as the world gets a little smaller through technology, we can reach and connect with people more than ever before. There’s still a sense of, we’re not connecting.


Damona  4:16  

Yeah, I definitely see that with dating apps. And you all know, I’m a huge fan of dating apps. I think it has opened up a lot of possibilities for connection. But there’s a lot there are a lot of people that are on dating apps that aren’t actually connecting. They’re either doing it just just to waste time, or there are the people that are on the dating apps, specifically out for sex. And I feel like there’s been a pushback to people, especially women rejecting the idea that they’re on a Tinder or a hinge because they are looking to hook up. They’re like people and we actually you’ll see this in the questions from this week to people are really craving a deeper level of connection and We’re not getting it on the dating apps. But I think that has to do with the way that we’re using the apps and the mindset that you, you show up with when you’re there.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  5:08  

I think that’s totally accurate. I think the dating apps kind of give us this idea of like, dial up a date, and you can just, you know, get on and in five minutes have a date. And in some cases, true, that’s probably true. But if that’s all you’re looking for, your you may find it. But if you’re looking for anything more, it’s far more complicated than that. That’s just a simplistic view, you’re not going to dial up a husband or a wife or partner, it’s just not going to happen. And so you’re you’re you we kind of have that we live in a society where we kind of get whatever we want whenever we want it. And yet, of course, there’s this huge hurdle between dialing up you know, whoever on a dating app and actually meeting and connecting so I used to call it man shopping, right?


Damona  5:52  

But I did it with a clear intention. But I know a lot of people out there are getting more than they bargained for when they’re using dating apps there was a an article that hit people calm and a number of other outlets, criticizing match the parent company of many dating apps, including Tinder, and OkCupid. And plenty of fish for not doing thorough background checks on their free sites. Actually, they don’t do any background checks at all. Match itself does scrub their roles, and it kicks off anyone that does have a match to the sex offender registry. But they don’t do it for OK Cupid and plenty of fish. And there was a new investigation that revealed that sexual offenders are looking for potential victims on these free apps. Here’s my take, Renee, I think that the dating apps are not we’re making them too responsible for our choices. Like if you went to a bar and you met a sex offender, you wouldn’t go and sue the bar because you met them there and You might, you might, you probably wouldn’t win. But I, I feel like it’s unfair to put this kind of pressure and burden on dating apps, especially the free dating apps, like you didn’t pay anything to be there. And now you’re expecting all of these, all of these resources to be provided for you, but you don’t want to actually pay for them to be to be given to you. Now, I’m a little bit biased. I do work with match on content, and I’ve worked with them for many years. But I’m saying this more as a dating coach, and someone that has done this for over I’m almost embarrassed to say, for nearly 15 years, I’ve been coaching people on dating apps, and I’ve always said you have to do your own research.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  7:41  

What do you I think that you make a great point. And I think in a lot of ways, you’re you’re totally right. But there’s also a reality that situation. Most people have no idea you’re sophisticated you are working in this area, you understand what it means to try to track somebody down and get some background information on them. A lot of people Just don’t have that I think about, you know, I’m a journalist. So my first reaction is if I’m going to date you, I’m probably going to look you up in our database. And but a lot of people don’t have access to that. And they might do an easy Facebook search, but they’re not going to go beyond that. I think a lot of these dating apps are in a tough situation, because they did not go into this business to be investigators. But I think on the other hand, there’s an argument to be made that just as we’re demanding more accountability from Facebook and from Twitter, we, these, these businesses realize that they are potentially putting people in the path of the sex offender, and they’re certainly not advertising that, but at some point, we do expect them to take some responsibility for it. So I think if I’m coming at this from a we are all responsible for our own actions, position. I agree with you. But I mean, at some point Do they really not have any accountability or responsibility in some ways by knowing that you You have this problem and you’re not doing anything about it. They’re there. They’re acknowledging their role and trying to step away from it. Yeah, I need to do more.


Damona  9:07  

They certainly could do more. And I think they have in recent years done a lot to shore up. Just general dating data. Potential faults in their in their data sharing like it used to be when you would go search for ok key, but you could you could search the profiles were actually indexed by Google. And you could find them you could find anybody and search by their photo and it would come up as associated with Ok, Cupid. So they have since they’ve since shored that up, and it gave a lot of my clients more, more of a sense of security, that their information wasn’t all out there. But I think we also have we have to accept responsibility. Like you said, you brought up Facebook and Instagram. We have to accept responsibility that when we put our image out there and when we put our information out there that it could be used in many different ways. But you’re absolutely right that a lot of people don’t have these resources. And that’s why I’m glad that people are listening to this podcast right now. Because I’ve said for a long time you have to do you have to do your research, like do a google check, do a phone call before the day and see if anything doesn’t match up with what what they’ve said. And if if they’re, if they’re a registered sex offender, or if they have a criminal record, you might be able to find some of that information just from a basic Google search. So that at the very least you should be doing if you have any concerns about this, or go to match and pay for it. Like maybe what they should be doing is adding an like an app an add on service that you can pay to have background checks. I know, Bumble lets you verify your account. But maybe there’s an added level of security they can give to people that aren’t willing to pay for the service because not free.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  10:56  

Right. Right. That’s a very good point. I mean, we shouldn’t expect that this is all going to be handed to us for free. I think this also speaks a bit to a generational divide. Millennials, they know their way around all this stuff. They’re much more savvy. But I think if somebody like my mom who is widowed, if she were to go on a dating app, she would fall for every anything because she doesn’t use a computer she doesn’t know. You know, it would be it would be a hard asset to just get her on a dating app. But some people are just not that sophisticated there. And I shouldn’t say sophisticated because sometimes people are just not interested in living their life connected to the internet and a computer. And should those people be more susceptible to, you know, a bad actor? I would say no, but I do think that we have, we can’t expect that this is all going to be handed to us for free. I do think that a pay option. That’s something that seems fairly reasonable.


Damona  11:49  

Well, we’ve given them all the all the information they need. Hopefully they’ll pick it up and run with anyone credit for it. But one thing that’s a little bit harder to tell when you’re on a dating app is whether someone is in a relationship or not. I’ve read in some of the LA affairs stories people find out later on that the person they thought they were madly in love with was already madly in love with someone else and in a relationship with them. And Kat Von D and Ana Faris, normal normalize to the the phenomenon of cheating on the unqualified podcast and you look at these two ladies and you think who’s gonna cheat on Kat Von D. First of all, she’s gorgeous. Second of all, I feel like she like she she would cut you your life. But she says she’s dated nothing but jerks and has never been on a real date. She claims a past boyfriend cheated on her Renee 18 times while they were together she she looked in she saw in his email and messages that there were 18 different women that he had she verified He had had sex with while they were together. What is going on? You’ve been editing this column for a long time. Is there an increase that you see in submissions? of Cheaters or do you think it’s just like now we’re talking about it more before it was just so taboo that people wouldn’t discuss if it happened to them?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  13:21  

I don’t I can’t say that I see an increase in it I can tell you that a lot of the submissions we get have to do with cheating. But before I get to some examples, on a Ferris we had I had the pleasure of meeting her once in studio she came into the LA Times. so incredibly nice, incredibly, you can always tell them Sure, you can bet your shares celebrities, you can always tell how they treat everyone else. She was so pleasant and when I heard that story, I thought who would cheat on Anna you be getting me It’s horrible. What What luck to the rest of us have? But we we you know, it’s not.


Damona  13:55  

It’s not about that it’s not about even reading this week, Justin Timberlake I was holding hands I was like Justin and like you like you’re not going to do better than Jessica he’ll it’s not going to happen john What is going on?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  14:11  

But it’s it’s really shocking how often that happens and I am sure there’s you could do a whole show on the psychology of cheating but people I think go into relationships expecting that the person is if they are in a monogamous relationship they’re expecting that the person is going to be honest with them. And my god the LA affair submissions just show time and time again that that is not the case. And and it sometimes just seems so, so surprising that the person didn’t catch on one of our more popular columns had to do with a woman who was I can’t exactly remember all the details of this, but she found out that her boyfriend had her phone number in his phone, but under a guy’s name and she did not Real that’s how she found out red flag right? Somehow his phone rang or she would she called the phone Oh, they were looking for his phone or something. And the phone rang and she’s like, why do you have me in here as Tony? Take it all fell apart. It was funny about that, as so many people did not understand who were read the column that that is a common practice that people do. They’ll hide the person’s name and their phone under another name so that if the phone rings and their partner says, Oh, it’s Tony from work or Joe from work, it’s not another woman calling.


Damona  15:29  

So in that situation, she was the other woman.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  15:32  

Yes. She found that’s how she found out that she was the other woman. I know.


Damona  15:36  

That is just the worst. What are some other other other red flags that you’ve seen? Or, or patterns that you’ve seen that cheaters will do? Because I know people are listening like, I gotta take some notes here from Renee because I need to know because I think a lot of people have suspicions like, what if my partner is cheating on me or has cheated on me? But are there any things that You should really be on the lookout for like, like, is only being able to see you on the weekends like, Is that an automatic red flag? Are there any other things you’ve seen? Well,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  16:10  

I think it particularly in LA some of those rules that might apply elsewhere are difficult in LA because when I was dating my husband, I, we lived about 40 miles apart. We only saw each other on weekends. So he could have had an entire other family and told her that he was going on business trips for the weekend, and I wouldn’t have known it. So those rules do not always apply. I would say, to step back a little bit further before you try to figure out if somebody is cheating. Have you had the conversation? Are we in this together? And it’s just us too? Are we monogamous? Are we? You know, is it just as to we published a story not too long ago by a woman and I have to tell you, I had a hard time editing the column a little bit because I was struggling to understand her point of view, she met a guy, they hit it off, they go on their first date, and then after their First Date she does her due diligence and starts googling him and finds out I believe through Facebook, that he’s in these photos with another woman and kids and she’s trying to figure out what this is. And she calls him in a fury. And he says, we’ll wait a second. I’m Yes, I’m married. However, I am in the process of getting divorced. I have a great relationship with my wife. She knows I’m dating, and we’re separated and we’re in the process of getting a divorce. I don’t know is that is that a problem? This woman went through the roof over that, but I don’t know.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  17:32  

I don’t know about disclosing all that on your first date. I feel like I kind of felt for him.


Damona  17:38  

I feel like he should say before the date, just so you know I am. I mean, you have to say that you’re separated, not divorced. And that’s a really common. That’s a really common cheater move. Right right to say, oh, we’re in the process. I mean, how many times we heard that I’m leaving my way. But tomorrow,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  17:59  

but It’s true. It’s true. I mean, I guess I


Damona  18:03  

was like, so, so jaded.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  18:05  

Should you have to reveal everything on the first day? I don’t know. I personally would have appreciated that being revealed on the first day. But I think sometimes people find out that their quote unquote being cheated on, and maybe they haven’t had the conversation about are we monogamous?


Damona  18:20  

No one else such a good point. I also read a recent la affairs column where a woman was talking about her dating patterns. And she said that in all of the, the, the relationships or the date she she had the intuition, she had the gut early on, that they were not a good guy or they weren’t, weren’t right for her. And so many times, we just squash that and we put our intuition aside. And those of you who’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, know that I’m really big into using that intuition and trusting your gut. Because we could we can do all the steps but ultimately, we can do background checks, but I think the best background check is it starts with how do you feel when you’re with them? And what are the signals that you’re getting? Yeah,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  19:07  

you’re totally right. I i in particular loved that column because I worked with her on that for quite a bit. It had a very different tone to it. In the very beginning, she was very down on herself that this was never going to work out. And, you know, this is all horrible. And then as we work through it, ice center will it actually seems like you’re, we need to play up that idea that you have listened to your intuition and it ended up being a much more I think inspirational column because, you know, think about how many dates you’ve gone on in your life. You’ve had far more dates that did not end up in you being married then the date that got you married, right, so are you a dating failure? If you look at the statistics, you are right, you are more bad dates that didn’t go anywhere today. True. And so I think we have to not take the bad date as like a sign of that. Some thing is horrible. It just didn’t work out. It didn’t work out if you went shopping, and you didn’t find the black pair pants that you were looking for you and be like, I’m a failure to shop another day, right? Like you would just be like, I’m ready to get back in the hunt and look for those pants. I think we need to approach dating a little more like that. It’s not the end all be all, you know, referendum on who you are as a person. You’re just trying to find your match, trying to find your person. And that takes time. And it’s not a big deal. It’s like calm down. It’s all going to be okay. didn’t work out the Saturday, maybe next Saturday is your day. So uplifting


Damona  20:34  

and I totally agree with you. Speaking of time, it’s time for us to take a little break. And first I wanted to just acknowledge our listeners that have told their friends about the podcast and that have told other podcast listeners about the podcast through reviews. Special thanks to Nicole who just left us this review. She said I enjoy listening to this podcast on my way to work every Monday. Not to sound arrogant or anything But she’s the host is funny and engaging. And she always has a wide variety of love and dating themes to themes to address you won’t be disappointed. Thank you so much, Nicole for listening. And thanks to all of you who are dedicated to listening to this podcast. Please take a moment to review the show on the podcast platform that is bringing it to your ears right now. So the more people can get the help and love that they need and we can keep making Dates & Mates a free resource for you for seven more seasons. We will have more with Renee Lynch of the la times in just a moment.


We are back with Renee Lynch of the LA Times. She is the editor of the LA affairs column which I’ve been a fan of for a long time. Renee, people love a love story. They love a good love story. And we’re sometimes really addicted to happy endings. I’m curious because you read a lot of love stories What’s your favorite kind of love story?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  22:12  

I you know, I love a good love story where there’s a lot of drama and obstacles before you get to the to the wonderful payoff. I just think that I love the story where it slowly revealed itself kind of like When Harry Met Sally story the way we knew it slowly revealed itself that Wait a second, the person I’ve wanted all along, or the perfect person for me is right here.


Damona  22:39  

So much more like people are like, how did you know your husband was the one and I’m like, I don’t know cuz I just wanted to keep seeing him and not seeing anybody else. It wasn’t like, all of a sudden whiz bang like the music change and I swept off my


Rene Lynch, LA Times  22:55  

feet and we danced off into the sunset.


Damona  22:58  

I don’t know. Did you hear you’re married. Did you know when you first met your husband? He was the one No,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:05  

my husband, I’m a very silly person. And my husband for is also very silly person, which that’s why I love him. I always say he’s the goof to my ball. Our first few dates, he was so serious, and just so kind of like this kind of commanding and control very serious personality. And I was like, No, like, No, no, no, no, no. And we actually went on a date we went golfing and I told a friend I go he doesn’t know this but he’s got one shot like this date. This is about to be over


Damona  23:38  

way this was your this is your first


Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:41  

No, this is like your this is the person I’m married to now


Damona  23:43  

but how many dates and more dates Okay, so this is like the date it and


Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:47  

I was like, This guy is just too serious. And it because I felt like I couldn’t be my ridiculous silly self because I felt like he was like disapproving and like why are you being loud or silly or whatever. And so we go coughing and we are in the parking lot at the end of the night and we’re about it we were two different cars are about to go our second way and somebody starts playing Britney Spears hit me Baby One More Time started doing the dancer, Brittany’s my god parking lot and I was like, will you marry me?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  24:20  

That is a bold move or a guy


Rene Lynch, LA Times  24:22  

I couldn’t like I wish I had a camera on my face because the shock of like, is this guy really doing this right now? And he had the whole like he was doing the whole thing. And I thought okay, well you just one date number five.


Damona  24:35  

But it’s I like hearing that story because it shows how people really reveal themselves over time and I talk on the show a lot about slow love and how people are not usually themselves right away and true. Like people get so caught up in chemistry and what am I feeling on the first date, but it’s really the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth date. Yeah, that really tells you who that person is? I’m curious what made you stick with it beyond the first or second day because there are a lot of people that after a soso or a bad first date might just be like,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  25:13  

you know, there was enough there. He’s very handsome. There was no is there? Yes, that always helps. And we we kept finding weird things in common. Like we were reading the same book at the time. And you know, just like an odd little thing. And it wasn’t a new book. It was an old it was Lance Armstrong’s book. It’s not about the bike. Before Lance. Yeah, youngsters, Grace. And he knew, you know, so he was able to talk about that. And then we would just find these like weird little things in common. And I just found this he is he’s Puerto Rican, he’s very close to his family. And that’s something that I really admired. And there were just little things that I thought this is a really a stand up guy. I was just really worried that I that I wasn’t I was like, maybe not measuring up, it was really this kind of like weird thing where I thought, I’m kind of like, you know, I’ll say silly stuff, I’ll just I’m kind of a very relaxed person. And he just seemed like a little too uptight. And I thought, Oh, this is not gonna work out


Damona  26:13  

the best behavior with you. Right?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  26:14  

Well, that said he was really nervous. And so it took us a while to I think, I think a slow burn is such a great way to describe it, that it took a while for it to unfold and reveal itself. And that was the relationship that really made me understand that I would say if you have two things that you need in a relationship, it’s compatibility. And also attraction. I mean, you need to have some attraction to the person that you’re with. But if you are not compatible, I think that the media image that we often get is that you need to have a fiery tempestuous Lake relationship. And I’m like, Girl run on and run late. I do not want that. Like, maybe that’s great for a hot summer romance, but that is not what you want when the roof is leaking. Getting in the kid is crying and the bills need to be paid. You want slow, steady compatible somebody who who your spending habits are similar. Somebody that you know that you can rely on, you don’t mean that that you know exactly.


Damona  27:16  

What’s interesting about the LA affaires column and the work that you do with it, you get submissions, you get like hundreds of submissions every month. And I’m guessing


Rene Lynch, LA Times  27:28  

No, it’s true. I tell people, I could run the column if I stopped accepting submissions today, I could run it like through 2015. I mean, I have it literally in my quote unquote short stack. I have probably 150 columns in the short stack.


Damona  27:41  

Wow. So this is anyone in LA that has a love story that wants to tell something about about their journey. And I’m curious when you have all of these stories, I’m sure everyone feels like their story is the most important one to be told. But what is it that makes you pick one out over the other and then talking about A little bit about your process of how you take this core idea. Like we all tell the story from our point of view, like this happened, and he did this to me, but like, like the example you were telling about before the break, how you shape it to almost give them new perspective on the story that they’ve lived.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  28:16  

I feel like doing this job is kind of being a little bit of a therapist for people, always, because I’ll see something in their story. And they don’t see it because they’ve lived it, right. It’s, it’s staring them in the face, and I’ll start to ask them about it. And then it’ll slowly fall away that this the story isn’t over here. It’s actually on the other side of the room. It’s over here. And part of that is the editing process. When columns come in, first and foremost, I’m looking for a really great story. I tell people do not worry about filing a perfectly polished, edited manuscript. That’s not what I want or need, because I’m the editor. I can guarantee you that whatever you file, no matter what shape it’s in, I’m going to find some changes because the style changes for the paper. Like for example, we don’t use profanity. So just like maybe that makes us old school but you know, changes will be major columns. So first and foremost, I’m just looking for a good story. Tell me a good story. Pretend you are you and I just met, we’re sitting next to each other having coffee and they say so you know, tell me about your last date or your partner, whatever. Start typing. That’s what I want. Just tell me a good story. And then from there, I’m looking for something original. I’m, you know, if you if you read the column, I’m just looking for something perhaps offbeat. I love a story that ends up happening an inspirational aspect to it like that woman who I think is like so many of us, we think, Oh, I went on another bad date. There’s something wrong with me. And we were able to finally get to the point where she already understood but she wasn’t fully embracing it. That when you walk away from a bad day, you’re walking towards yourself. You’re that is a victory. You put that in the win column sister You do not walk away from that feeling bad. about that. And so I loved that I’m working on a column with a man right now, it’s probably going to take a while it’ll run early next year, and he and his partner broke up because of his drinking. And when they get back together, you know, it’s it’s very difficult challenge for them to recover their relationship. But he, he really comes to the idea that so many people do who struggle with substance abuse that he had to say no to that in order to say yes to the relationship. And it’s just a really beautiful inspirational story. And I’m fully convinced that somebody will read that column. And he was very upset with his partner because he felt like his partner was rejecting Him and not accepting him. But the partner was saying, I cannot have this alcoholism in my life. And so I’ve seen enough of right


Damona  30:47  

intervention to know that line.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  30:50  

And so I’m sure that people will read that column and somebody somewhere will read that column and say, You know what, I’m going to stop drinking today. And so that to me, I want to Love that I get to do something like that it’s an honor and a privilege.


Damona  31:04  

You just gave me chills honestly to know that you’re impacting people that are reading this on on such a deep level and even just the people that you’re writing that you’re editing the column with, to know that they can get new perspective because our stories really sometimes trap us in a pattern. Like all the time when I’m working with clients, I, I help figure out what is that story that’s playing in your head about why you’re still single, maybe it’s you’re telling yourself every day there are no good men in LA or I can’t trust my gut or they’re all cheaters whatever that story is. Sometimes you have to take a step back from it and maybe even in writing it out. Like not everyone listening to this podcast is going to have their their story published in LA affairs, but maybe they can get started by just writing down their story on paper, getting the story out of them. And then almost distancing it Yes, it’s yourself from it to just read it and say Okay, where How have I grown from this? What can I learn from this? How can I become a better person myself through this experience, and then maybe that will lead me to?


Rene Lynch, LA Times  32:12  

Well, I think you have just hit right on it that I sometimes think that we think like life is just supposed to be perfect and unfold. But we all know we come with so much baggage, and then you’re meeting somebody else who has baggage. And we’re both trying to see if our baggage will fit within it, each other’s baggage. And if you’re coming from the perspective of like, I can’t find, you know, there are no good women in LA or I can’t find a date or there’s something wrong with me. In some ways, I would encourage people to do exactly what you said, which is, instead of using this as a negative use it as an opportunity for personal growth. We are in the land of of personal growth, right? There’s no place in the world that encouraged us to look within like LA, we should take advantage of that. And maybe it’s seeing somebody maybe it’s talking to somebody maybe it’s trying to journal or Right about it there are plenty of free online resources. But why not delve into? Why am I finding it hard to meet a woman in LA? Do I really believe that all women are bad look, let’s push back on that belief and see what happens when I start digging into it is what happened in my background that has led me to believe that and then what am I going to move past that? I mean, be the hero of your own story right? Every good hero needs an obstacle. You gotta like go around it or through it or under it or whatever just in


Damona  33:28  

the third act


Rene Lynch, LA Times  33:31  

it’s not the end but but I think we can often give up right we can often give up just before the breakthrough so I think we the way you put it is just perfect. We just need to push through that and sometimes for some people writing it down and submitting it to a column like Ella fares or or someplace else or maybe even writing it down and burning it in the backyard and being like I’m now done with that. I’m ready to move on.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  33:51  

Oh, yeah,


Damona  33:52  

right. I did that. Actually. I had a I had a group of girlfriends over in in the I guess it was in the summer, spring or summer, and we got a fire pit and we all we burned our stories. And this woman had this relationship that she was still holding on to a lot of negativity around it. And she was still processing it, even though she was in a healthy, positive relationship. Now she still had unfinished business. And so she took all of these photos, all of these letters, all of these things that were tying her to the past and she burned them. She burned them in my backyard. And it was just so cathartic.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  34:36  

Okay, now you’re


Damona  34:38  

just to see, I mean, y’all like fire safety, like don’t like make sure you are doing this in a way which I didn’t do that but you know, like, have a professional or water or something, I don’t know. But just just seeing her go through that and, and be able to, to release that. Like we carry around all these feelings that we attend. To the stories that we’ve had,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  35:01  

right, and you know what it’s okay to have a wonderful relationship that for whatever reason, didn’t work out, it’s totally fine. And it’s fine to reflect on that and maybe remember that person and think about him or her fondly. But that it’s think sometimes things just don’t work out. And that’s just the way it is. And it’s okay. It’s not a reflection on who you are. It’s just a reflection on that moment in time. And that can actually be a beautiful thing, right that you had a, you know, a summer boyfriend or summer girlfriend, and it was great, and then it didn’t work out. But that’s a wonderful memory to have not baggage to kind of like drag into like your next 17 relationships. Exactly.


Damona  35:39  

You are so wise, Renee. I’m like, I’m getting all of the chills and all the fields here. And all of our listeners have submitted questions to all of our listeners. Some of our listeners have submitted questions that I think our listeners would really want to hear your insights to the questions that they’ve submitted. So we’re going to roll right into our next segment. Alright, Renee, we have questions from our listeners that people have submitted all kinds of ways. We get questions through email, through Instagram, through Facebook, through Twitter. And today I have a question that came to my inbox. That said, Hi damona I recently started internet dating and I’ve met some nice guys, but none that really blow me away. I’ve been asked by one of them to stop seeing the other men to see if this relationship can work. I’m in my 40s and the endless dating cycle is tiring, but I do not want to settle for the man that is giving me the most attention and who’s the most demanding? Any advice? Ooh, that is a hard one. That is a hard one is a burden hand.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  36:45  

Yeah, she has a burden. And I guess I I would wonder, first of all, I’d love to know a little more about her dating history. How she got to this point, what is your story? What is your story? But I mean, what about Giving it a certain amount of time so that you’re not putting too much into it but maybe four or five more dates or say, I mean, I can kind of understand somebody saying like, can we make this monogamous or at least make it about us? For now, I think I would be so anxious if I knew my boyfriend were leaving me and dating somebody. Like, I just think that would just ratchet up my anxiety.


Damona  37:24  

But in the beginning, you were you were online. Right? Right. And you knew in the beginning the chances chances were he was dating other people.


Rene Lynch, LA Times  37:32  

But once we started dating a few more dates, and once he did his little bit,


Rene Lynch, LA Times  37:39  

you know, we never actually had the conversation of are we is this are we exclusive, but we just kind of knew we were exclusive. But Had I known that he were out dating other women. I think that would have been, I think I would have at some point said can we make this just about us? I think that would have been a little hurtful, so I can understand somebody’s asking for that. I mean, if he says I need you to never date another man again for the next 10 years, I think you say you got to get out of here. But saying if let’s put our emphasis on this and see if we can work six, eight weeks. I don’t know that doesn’t seem that doesn’t seem unreasonable.


Damona  38:15  

You’re giving me food for thought running because my initial reaction was if she’s not excited about him, and he’s already at the point where he’s saying, Let’s be exclusive, that maybe they’ve given it enough time to see if it’s working or not. And for her, it’s just not working. And


Rene Lynch, LA Times  38:32  

well, that’s why I wondered about her background because I wonder if she I wondered if she is a little bit like me who was like, Wait, you’re not bringing fireworks and like 3000 roses on our first date? She this isn’t very exciting. Yeah. I


Damona  38:48  

Well, there’s a clue in here. She says the endless dating cycle is tiring. And I know a lot of our listeners struggle with that. Especially she says she’s in her 40s we have a lot of listeners in their 30s and Does it feel like I’ve been doing this, I’ve been like, on this in this rat race of dating, and it’s like wash, rinse repeat of I’m going on this date, I’m not really connecting with a guy I’m this far in, I don’t really want to break up with him because I don’t want to start over. Right? Like that fear of starting over can keep people in the wrong relationships. But by the same token, I totally hear what you’re saying, like you have to be looking at the bigger picture of what, what you need out of the relationship. And maybe if it’s not, you’re not checking all the boxes. But if you’re checking enough of the boxes, you know, maybe it is worth just just focusing


Rene Lynch, LA Times  39:39  

and committing for a little bit and saying like, if you are invested in this relationship, what would that look like? I can guarantee you that if you and I are in a relationship, and we’re totally committed to each other, it’s going to look very different than if I’m dating five other people. And so I’m not giving you my all I’m not giving you all my attention. That person is going to feel that but again, I’m a little curious as to what it what are her expectations about a relationship? I guarantee you that I do not check all of my husband’s boxes, I’m sure. He would be like, I would like somebody who’s maybe a little more organized. There’s there are definitely things that he will be like, I wish I could change about her. But if you’re, you know, checking most of them. He’s the person who, if he is my desert island person, I want him on that desert island. Is he perfect? No, he’s not perfect. But at some point, you just get to that point where you think this person is very, very special to me, and I want them in my life more than I don’t want them in my life.


Damona  40:41  

Okay, that’s a good segue into our second question, which is similar but different. This one came to me from Instagram. She says I’m a 20 year old female. She said I just listened to a podcast you were on. I’m not sure which one but thank you for listening. Maybe horrible decisions or maybe kind of dating but thank you for Much. Lately I’ve been really struggling in my relationship. He’s a great guy and we share a lot of the same values. The thing is I was never really attracted to him and never felt the spark. Never felt the spark, Renee. I thought I could get past it because we do share similar values for the future and in life, but I have been nitpicking and criticizing him for a few months.