Tag Archive for: emoji

New Year & Healthy Dating Habits


Welcome to the first Dates and Mates episode of 2020! 

We love this time of year and everything it symbolizes. You know we’re all about staying proactive and evolving your approach to dating and relationships year around – but we also like the idea of a fresh start and some motivation to reach your goals this year. 

Coming through the holidays you might just be feeling like you can’t even with dating & relationships right now but what my guest for today would say to that is to Deal With It.                                                                                                                                                                        

Joining me in studio in a moment will be Tracy Crossley – a Behavioral Relationship Expert and host of the “Deal With It! Podcast”, who specializes in treating individuals with unhealthy dating and relationship patterns. 

More on that later, first we have headlines! 


What does Wilmer Valderamma’s engagement mean for Demi Lovato

Wilmer popped the question to model Amanda Pacheco this New Year’s Day! You may recall that Demi and Wilmer dated for six years. Damona’s take: “When you know you know. When a guy is ready, he is really ready. And when he’s not ready he will gladly take 6 years of your time to figure it out.”

Peak Dating Season launched yesterday!

Dating Sunday was yesterday. Everything you know for this year’s quest for love.

Science says emoji users have more luck in love and we’ll tell you why

We’ve been telling you this for years and we just love when Damona is right. 

DEAL WITH IT (14:60)

Tracy Crossley, a Behavioral Relationship Expert and host of the “Deal With It! Podcast”, joins us to talk about how to flip unhealthy dating and relationship patterns.

In addition to her mentoring services, Tracy offers her successful digital coaching program called “The Insecure Attachment Cleanse” where clients can start taking the steps to rid whatever roadblocks keep them from having healthy relationships.

Tracy is here to help us usher in the new year with some great advice to get us all started on our new years resolutions!



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

  • (From Instagram) Hi Damona, The guy I’m seeing still hasn’t officially made me his gf yet nor have I met his family but they do know about me. His uncle even calls me “his girl.” Me and my guy had a convo as to if I was someone he saw in his future. I asked is there a light at the end of the tunnel, was that the right choice of words? This conversation happened on the phone and I feel like I didn’t get a straight answer out of him. What should I do?
  • (From Facebook) My fiance wants to get a gym membership but only for him, which I don’t approve of. I’m having doubts about it because last time he ended up flirting with his personal trainer. I had her blocked on his social media and blocked her number from texting him. I don’t understand why he needs a female personal trainer and not a male? Am I wrong to be concerned? Should I let him go alone to the gym?


Damona has THOUGHTS on the “22 Convention” – which we are referring to it as the mansplaining convention. Here’s an article wit the breakdown if you’re curious!



Damona  0:12  

Happy New Year lovers. Welcome to the first dates and mates episode of 2020. I’m your certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman here to give you the scoop on how to date and mate in the new year. I love this time of year and everything it symbolizes. You know, I’m all about staying proactive and evolving your approach to dating and relationships year round. But I also like the idea of a fresh start, and some motivation to reach your goals this year. Coming through the holidays, I know you might be feeling just like you can’t even with dating and relationships right now. But what my guest for today would say to that is to just deal with it. Joy Me in studio in a moment will be Tracy Crossley. She’s a behavioral relationship expert and she’s the host of the deal with it podcast. She specializes in treating individuals with unhealthy dating and relationship patterns. And she’s going to be doing just that and helping us rewrite our rules on love for 2020. But you know how we do? We have to discuss the headlines first. Today we’re talking about Wilmer Valderrama pops the question, but what does that mean for Demi Lovato and peak dating season launched yesterday? Everything you need to know about how to find love online this year. Plus, science says emoji users have more luck and love and we’ll tell you why. And then we’ll be answering your questions like how to get a guy to commit when even all his family knows that you’re kind of dating. And could your fiance be at the gym flirting instead of doing flies will tell you the signs in a little bit. And then I will leave you with my first damona is done. tribe of the year, and I’m fired up about something. Producer Leah, are you fired up? 



I’m fired up!



Are you super fired up?






Let’s dish!


Damona  2:14  

Wilmer Valderrama is engaged to Amanda Pacheco. He is a ripe 39 years old. She is just 28. And he popped the question on New Year’s Eve, very popular to pop the question on holiday. But first, I just have to mention his AX, Demi Lovato with whom he was involved for six years. And they were never engaged. And now he’s been with Amanda Pacheco, not like we’re counting but only since April. And he’s already popped the question. Here’s the thing, producer Leah. All the time people ask me like how do you know when it’s the one or my boyfriend won’t commit to me but I really feel like he’s the one and Should I stick it out? Demi Lovato put in six, six years hard time years and got nothing to show for it my rehab. And here comes Amanda Pacheco, what like eight, nine months later, she’s just like, okay, I’ll take those. Right. Yeah. My feeling is that when you know, you know, and when a guy is ready, he’s really ready. And when he’s not ready, he will gladly take six years of your time to figure it out.


Leah Schell  3:25  

That hurts to hear, but it’s hard. Yeah. No, I mean, we need to hear it also, like it shouldn’t be hard. Like, it seems like Demi and Wilmers relationship was really tumultuous, and I feel like the right relationship shouldn’t be hard.


Damona  3:39  

Yeah, I mean, she was definitely dealing with some things. Yeah, you’re exactly right. When you’re in the right relationship, all of these other questions and concerns and challenges. They really don’t arise in the same way. So I have to say I’m happy for Wilmer that he found somebody that he does want to spend his life with and Demi has said in the news that she’s cool with it and she wants what’s best for them and they’re still friends. Right? And I do believe you can be friends with your ex after you’ve done some healing they’ve they’ve been broken up for over a year. It’s been a minute like it’s been a while. Yeah. And he’s been supportive of her and in her relapse and keeping her sobriety. So he’s gonna move on, he has to get his life together. I don’t know about doing it on New Year’s New Year actually was on New Year’s Day. I said New Year’s Eve, but it was on New Year’s Day. And then he made a big post about it. I just don’t like engagements happening on holidays. I feel like these are stressful, right?


Leah Schell  4:37  

Yeah. And then like, I don’t know, just like, every year from now on, it’s going to be like, you’re some sort of like anniversary and like that. That holiday too. So it’s just kind of adds to the stress to me also like it, I don’t know, it makes the holiday less special. So


Damona  4:54  

yeah, I have no idea when my husband proposed to me know it might have been June. Yeah, I mean, I remember the moment and it was when we moved into our first house, but I wasn’t checking the clock like that. But I’ll tell you because there was such a focus. Like we hear all these stories of engagements like this. I was stressed out every time there was a holiday, or we did a trip together because I thought he was going to like, make this grand gesture thing. Yeah. And then stop and then I just like spent every holiday for a year just off it didn’t happen. You know what somebody asked me actually this week, they said, How do you do you believe in women proposing to men and I was like, in theory? Yes. Yeah, I totally do. But I don’t know why when it was my turn. I couldn’t do it. I was a little old fashioned about that. I guess all evolving.


Leah Schell  5:44  

I know. Yeah. Sam, I just like I don’t know. I’m feminist. I consider myself self feminist, but I don’t think I would have the guts to do it. Like, do that. 


Damona  5:57  

Well, I don’t know if you would have the guts for a proposal. It would You have the guts to go online for dating Sunday? Yes, yes. resounding yes. this past Sunday was the biggest online dating day of the year. Let me explain why. This is the time of the year when the dating app see a huge surge in new members, starting with last Sunday night. That’s when everybody goes online to try to set up their dates for the first date of the year, right. And now we’re in a mad dash to Valentine’s Day. I’m really not trying to stress you guys oh yeah, not for nothing but the clock is ticking. But everyone is feeling everyone’s feeling the way that you all are. If you’re single and you’re like, New year, new boo, you’re ready for a change everybody flocks to the dating apps and this is when you’re going to see the most number of new people online. You know, everybody’s like, I go online, I see the same people I see the same people on Bumble And then they’re also on hinge and then they are they’re also on Tinder. If you have said that. This is the Day, this is the week, this is the time that you need to go online refresh your dating profile. If you haven’t gotten my free profile starter kit, do it. It’s on the website, we’ll put this link in the show notes. But it’s going to be bigger this this peak dating season is going to be bigger than ever. All of the apps are growing at rapid rapid numbers. And so if you ever wanted a chance to find a match is now pace right now. Did that was that stress, though? I made? I added stress didn’t I


Leah Schell  7:31  

know I? Okay. I mean, no, I feel like it’s just important knowledge for people to know.


Damona  7:37  

Okay, thanks, Russell. Yeah, let’s flip it. I’m adding opportunity. This is your best opportunity. And while you are on the apps or while you are moving into these new relationships, I have another tip for you because the Kinsey Institute came out with a study that said people who use emojis have better luck on dating apps. Now for the longtime listeners of this show, this is not going to surprise you. But I love it when science backs up what I’ve said on the show. The reason is, according to the author of the study, she says specifically for emojis were particularly interested in them as a way to signal effect or emotion in an effort to better connect with someone in the context of online dating. Now she said it in the scientist way, I’m going to bring it down to earth for you. I’ve always said emojis or mood modifiers. The problem with communicating through text, and especially communicating with people that you don’t know through text or through chat is that we can’t tell the context. We don’t know what you mean. If you use emojis sparingly for effect, as she says, you actually can make a better connection. People can understand your sense of humor, they can understand your personality better, and you’re going to do better according to the Kinsey Institute on these dating apps.


Leah Schell  8:56  

Yeah, I have something to add. I just Like I’m personally not like the hugest user of emojis, but I prefer gifts instead. Um, so like, if you’re like a person who like is still like not obsessed with like emojis, maybe try gifts and you can go to the app store and get the gift keyboard for free and it’s just like, I don’t know, there’s it’s super easy to use if like, you’re just not using emojis.


Damona  9:22  

gifts are really great. Yeah, we’re showing personality and showing sense of humor. rashly and memes. So they’re great to use in tandem with words. Yeah, I do not recommend them in new chats. Oh, really? Don’t know. Yeah. As the only text Right,


Leah Schell  9:41  

right. Totally. Yeah, no, yeah. As like a text like a joke and then like a GIF to reinforce that.


Damona  9:48  

Yeah. Producer Leah, was like, honey, I got this. I’ve been doing this.


Leah Schell  9:52  

I’ve been doing that. It’s good for people to know like, you know, it’s good, you know, information.


Damona  9:57  

I know some of our some of our more mature listeners are probably listening to that, like, What is she even talking about? Like, it’s the video, you know, with a funny saying, yeah. So don’t panic. If you don’t know about this stuff yet. Don’t panic. Just stay tuned, I’m going to keep giving you all of the guidance and advice and we’ll just ease you into it. It’s 2020. We are starting the year fresh. But don’t worry, we’re going to baby step into it. We’re going to get you going. And we’ll be talking later with Tracy Crossley, a behavioral relationship expert and the host of the deal with it podcast. But first, I just have to tell you if you want to date differently in 2020, let’s talk I am hosting a very special webinar just for the single ladies and the single guys called why online dating doesn’t work for you. And we’ll be doing a presentation plus a live coaching and QA. And if you have a dating dilemma that you want to talk to me about this is your chance. This is the time where you can get free coaching from me on your specific problem plus, you’ll get all of the online data tips that I have been sharing on this on this podcast. And on TV I was just on E news doing a profile makeover, and then more. It’s a whole webinar about online dating dating apps and how you can really master them for this year. So you can sign up at the dating secret.com it’s free. Again, the website is th e dating secret calm we’ll put the link in the show notes and on our blog at dates and mates. com. Stick around we have Tracy Crossley coming right up plus your questions being answered and technically dating see in a moment. We are here with Tracy Crossley. She is a behavioral relationship expert and the host of the deal with it podcast which specializes in treating individuals with unhealthy dating and relationship patterns. In addition to her mentoring services, Tracy offers her successful digital coaching program called the insecure attachment cleanse you know I’m always talking about attachment styles. So we will get into that. And a little bit but in this program, her clients can start taking the steps to rid whatever roadblocks are keeping them from having healthy relationships. And it’s the beginning of the year. And I know many of you are looking at your dating patterns of the last year, maybe two, maybe more. And you’re thinking this is the time that I need to make a new year’s resolution around dating around this relationship that is not serving me and you want to clear out that roadblock so today I’m going to give you a little taste of what Tracy does. First, let’s start out with giving her big smooches, big smooches to Tracy Crossley.


Tracy Crossley  12:37  

Well, thank you and big speeches to you.


Damona  12:39  

Thank you. I will take all this mooches especially this time of year, the year starting out. Everybody is kind of like clean slate. I’ve been through the holidays. It’s stressful for everyone regardless of your relationship status. And you want to start new you want to start fresh. What are Some of the steps that you find people can do at this time of year to set themselves off on a new on a new foot. It’s 2020 New Year new you, what’s the like the first thing that you should be doing?


Tracy Crossley  13:13  

Well, I believe most people get caught up in the season. And on the one hand, they’re thinking, I can go to all the parties, I can drink, I can eat, I can do all these things and let loose. And then January 1, all of a sudden, I can’t do any of that anymore, because now I need to get it together, right? So a lot of times we have expectations of ourselves that actually set up a downfall to me because you get into a mindset through the holidays and and if you’re struggling through the holidays, of course, you have this idea that maybe once the holidays are done, things will be better. So it’s always an expectation you’re having of some kind of future that you want to have happen. And there’s pressure with that. And so I say stay in the moment, stay in the moment as much as you can. Enjoy where you are, or if you’re even suffering where you are, except that you’re not in a great place, but that that will pass and it does pass. But a lot of times we have expectations, we really get caught up in, it needs to be this way. I want things to be this way. And instead, it’s so much better just to stay in the moment and be where you are.


Damona  14:20  

And you brought up an interesting point about this all or nothing philosophy. Like I was totally an indulgence in December and now it’s January. And I can’t do any of that I have to I have to be very rigid with myself or for some people like dating Sunday is coming up. This is when the most number the highest number of new users will be on dating apps and will be swiping Sunday night, y’all this week. So it can also go into a state of overwhelm where you’re so focused on it. You’re gripping it so tightly. And even brief. How do you help people find that balance and set up their expectations where they want something, but they’re not crushing it to death?


Tracy Crossley  15:10  

Well, that still comes back to being attached to an outcome, right? And a lot of times we put pressure that we have to have it now, like when I was dating before my husband, one of the things that I did was I stopped doing this thing that I did every year, which is I can’t be alone for the holidays. I can’t go through another holiday alone, right? And so that creates a lot of that pressure. And I just said, You know what, whenever it happens, it happens for me, as long as I am doing things that are going toward getting into a healthy relationship. So I gave myself a break, and I stopped with the craziness. And I you know, I did not put a time limit on it because I figured when I was ready, it would show up. And that didn’t mean I was sitting on my couch eating bonbons, but it was I was actively moving in that direction without Bunch of this has to happen by this date this has to happen here there. I took all of that off the board, because really all you’re doing is making yourself a crazy person.


Damona  16:08  

So what did you do in that time when you realize that your relationship patterns were not serving you,


Tracy Crossley  16:16  



Damona  16:18  

you have to do something right to shift out of that mindset. And to prepare yourself to, to be ready for the next relationship, the different relationship.


Tracy Crossley  16:30  

And I did I you know, I’ve been doing the work in my business for 12 years at this point. And I was also growing along with my work. So about six, eight months before I met my husband. I came I was standing in my bathroom, and I realized, oh my gosh, I am afraid to go out on a date. I had a huge wall of fear, and I knew that I had to do something. So I really took myself in hand and I committed Committed to dating to get to a relationship whenever that would happen, which was totally different than how I did it before I always had one foot in and one foot out, oh, I’ll go on a date. And I’ll see what happens, oh, gosh, this guy’s a loser or always finding a problem with the person. And I realized that a lot of the problems were with me and how I was doing it how open I was not.


Damona  17:21  

As in I was closed.


Tracy Crossley  17:23  

So I went through all of these different iterations with myself and it kept growing, kept going on on dates, made myself be vulnerable in places where I would never in a million years have done like instead of ghosting somebody actually saying to them, hey, look, this isn’t gonna work out for me. So about two months before I met my husband, I started writing letters to him. And so two months later, he showed up and again when I did the letters, I had no okay, this has to be by this date sort of thing. I just wrote them and i was growing along with my letters. And they were I mean, they were letters where I looked at them and I thought, How did this happen three months after I met him, I’m like, Oh my god, this is so him and weird things that I never in a million years would have asked for or said, but for some reason I wrote them in the letters.


Damona  18:17  

Hmm. I had a similar experience before I met my husband of like writing down all of these qualities that I was looking for, and thinking that that person didn’t exist. I won’t bore our listeners because they’ve heard the story a couple of times, but it sounds like what you’re talking about is manifestation. And I know that’s that’s also that’s a program that you have about manifesting your your honeybun the love of your life. Okay, a lot of people are just heard me say that word and they backed up and they’re like, Oh, that sounds that sounds like witchcraft or something. How do you define manifestation? And how do you think we’re


Tracy Crossley  19:01  

Well in a non woowoo way, and this is very true, its commitment to what you want most of us, like I was just saying we have one foot in one foot out, I actually committed with both feet, that means riding the roller coaster of whatever is going on, whether it’s inside of you, whether it’s the dates, it’s really being committed to that end result that you want. And its intention. If you have an intention, and you take action towards that intention, you’re going to arrive there at some point, but we have a lot of doubts and a lot of other crap that we put in the way. And then we end up in these cycles where we never get where we want and we’re lamenting about our situation. And I stopped doing that. And so for me in how like in the course that I’m teaching the 30 day course on manifesting your honeybun it’s really showing people how to write letters because one of the things whenever people talk about attracting, they feel that they have to be perfect or only show their positive side In these letters, I would say things like I am having a bad day. Now, I was being very honest and open with who I was. And I kept growing through the process and taking responsibility for the things I was saying the things I was doing. And just like I said, when he showed up in my life, I didn’t immediately go to the letters and go, Oh my gosh, is this the guy? But a couple months later, I looked at the letters and I was like, Oh, my God,


Damona  20:25  

this is the guy. That’s how it happens. Because if you think if you recognize it in the moment, then sometimes it goes back to what I was saying earlier. That’s when you start to squeeze it like, this could be the one this could be the one and it, it’s it. It kind of takes the magic out of the moment. And I’m so glad that you said really staying present and staying in the moment. This is what I’m always telling people about dating. I mean, longtime listeners, how many times have I said it’s not about projecting that person into the future as your husband or could they meet my friends are My mom, but it’s it’s about being there with them and listening and responding authentically. So I like this, I like this method. I, I don’t want to just brush the past under the rug, though. And I’ve been in situations where I found it useful to advise clients to write a letter that they’re never going to send to an X that they feel they have unresolved issues with. Do you think that letters to the past have have a place in this process? Or is it more about just looking towards the future?


Tracy Crossley  21:37  

Or is there something else you recommend and healing through there? I mean, there’s a quite a few different things that in my work that I do to help people and it’s always backwards and present, because we don’t want to create the future from our past.


Damona  21:52  

Right. So so it’s a present letter to this person, just to clarify the letters that you were writing daily. It’s a present Letter to that person, even though you haven’t met them yet,


Tracy Crossley  22:03  

right. And it was really about the things on a deeper level that I wanted. I mean, there were some things that were surface level too. But it wasn’t, you have to be this height This way, you have to have this job. I wasn’t like that I made it more about, where’s my connection going to be to this guy, it’s going to be from my heart, because my head should not be in a relationship. romance and your mind really don’t get along when it comes to that. And so I look at it from the perspective of what is the heart one and that was very difficult because I was closed for a long time and I didn’t realize it. I had done all this work on myself. And I thought, No, I’m in a good place. But really, it wasn’t until I got to. I’m not in relationship I am afraid of dating. And I had to go through all the things I feared which to other people may or may not be fearful, but for me it was and so it was really getting to Who am I authentically when it came to dating Being my most authentic self, when I dated


Damona  23:02  

What were you afraid of?


Tracy Crossley  23:04  

I was actually afraid of being in a relationship. I had been divorced. This is my second marriage. But I had been divorced for a number of years. And I had dysfunctional relationships. I had, you know, my own attachment issues that I had worked through. I call it using the Laboratory of past relationships, and basically experimenting with my own growth through the relationship. So I had a lot to work through. And when I got to that point, about six months out, I had been working for years, but it was that recognition of, Hey, I haven’t really wanted a relationship up until now I’ve been too afraid of that.


Damona  23:44  

Hmm. That’s a big moment to acknowledge that acknowledge that fear. And I think probably everyone listening that is wanting a relationship and is not in it right now. There’s, there’s something there’s probably a fear component. attached to some element of dating or being in a relationship, or maybe even being in the wrong relationship and knowing it, and being afraid to leave that. So let’s talk about like healing and moving out of those relationships. You were just about to give me some very juicy, juicy exercises or tips on, on moving out of the past. Maybe it’s writing this letter to to your ex that you never send. What What is it that you recommend for people?


Tracy Crossley  24:35  

Well, there’s, I mean, as I started to say before, I went off on a tangent there, but I basically look at it from the perspective of when you look at the past, you want to find where the root of your pain is, whatever your fear is, is attached to some old pain, usually from childhood and what you want to be able to do is know where the root of it is, and you want to feel Your feelings around it as well. Like I have a big thing about feeling your feelings most people are in their heads. Again, your head is not your heart. And so to do the past work, you need to get into your feelings. You need to not be afraid of your feelings. So many people are afraid of them. You have anxiety for a moment, and you’re thinking, I can’t handle this. I don’t want anxiety again. But you can handle it. You can live through it. And it’s not the anxiety that really is going to give you the answers. It’s what’s that past pain. And then as you feel your past pain, you can make a choice, you can make a choice to do something different. But you have to do it and feel it. You can’t just think it because we just think it you’re not really changing anything.


Damona  25:41  

Hmm. And many times we end up in what I call snack relationships or just snacking along the way. And we’re full because I mean, we’ve been eating all day, but at the same time we would really like to have a meal actually we really need a meal to sustain ourselves. And you talk about something similar in not settling for bread crumbs. How do you know if you’re even settling for bread crumbs.


Tracy Crossley  26:09  

So I have a very easy way of knowing. And that is, if it feels like hard work, and it’s not easy on any level, you are in a breadcrumb relationship, because you’re always in a state of struggle always wanting more, not having more. And a lot of this, of course comes from inside in your own value. But when you’re looking at that other person as they don’t do enough, they don’t do what I want a list of complaints. You’re basically in a breadcrumb relationship because your needs aren’t being met, first by you, and then by the other person in a healthy relationship. It’s easier. These aren’t even issues that I have in my relationship. I don’t nag at my husband. He’s not nagging at me. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect. But there are not those components of working like a dog to make it happen. Mm hmm.


Damona  27:00  

What about those people who are dating, they’re not even necessarily in a relationship, but they’re just going from date to date to date. Just feeling unsatisfied. I just hear this from so many listeners like, well, I’m out here damona I’m doing the online dating thing, and I’m swiping, but I’m not meeting anybody that’s at my level.


Tracy Crossley  27:23  

Right? But see, here’s the thing. First of all, we don’t know the package that it’s going to come in. And a lot of times we think we know, but we’re really going on someone else’s checklist or we’re going on our past. So we’re not really open to what else there is out there. I wasn’t looking for a specific package. I was looking for somebody who was kind, okay, so somebody who’s kind and I’m attracted to that was basically what I was looking for.


Damona  27:50  

Tracy, that’s like, that seems like that could be anybody. Like people say to me, I don’t want to lower my exercise. But in a way that’s that’s pretty is that it sounds kind of modest, those expectations, but is it that hard to find someone that is kind?


Tracy Crossley  28:12  

Well, because you have to also be able to be kind to yourself to some degree, a lot of us aren’t very kind to ourselves and we’re very judgmental and not accepting. And so when we meet people, we apply those same strategies. Oh, this is wrong with this person that’s wrong with this person. And then we never feel good inside because we’re judging ourselves in the same way. So you have to have some level of self acceptance, that you’re just a flawed human being and that’s okay. We don’t know why we’re here. So nobody is saying to us, will you you need to do this and everybody in the world is agreeing upon it. There’s all sorts of different opinions. There’s all sorts of different subjectivity when it comes to someone’s perception. So why are you needing somebody to be perfect for you? When there’s no such thing you need a human being


Damona  29:00  

So glad that you said that I hope all of you are taking notes. Because you just said something extremely profound. First, the acknowledgement that you are flawed because I think we’re all trying and we look at social media, and we’re trying to live up to this idea of perfection. But that when you Okay guys, you don’t get, don’t get, don’t close up on me because I’m about to just repeat something that Tracy said that I really want to make sure you hear. When you are finding something wrong with every other person with every person that you’re dating, you have to stop and look at the way that you’re judging yourself, girl that is that is profound. And that’s something that I think most of us never do it look at like how, what is that self talk that that you’re saying to yourself? And then how are you applying that to someone else?


Tracy Crossley  29:57  

Right, because that goes back to the checklist. So When you were saying all the different characteristics someone is looking for, the reason that they are is because of their own shortcomings. Why do you need somebody to, let’s say, earn a certain amount of money? What does that mean to you? Why is there a meaning in it? I’m not saying it’s wrong or it’s bad. It’s where does it come from? A lot of times, it’s some kind of compensation for how you feel about you. Mm hmm.


Damona  30:22  

Yeah. And if you feel like I will, I can make that much money. I don’t need someone with that much money because I’m taking care of myself. But some of it is also these societal restrictions, whether it comes from comes from your parents, or it comes from the belief that the man is supposed to be the breadwinner, then then we start filtering things through these really arbitrary social constructs. not to get too esoteric,


Tracy Crossley  30:51  

but no, but it’s true. Because the thing is, I noticed that most of us do not know what a sense of well being is. We don’t know how to be happy. Happy inside. And we think that having these attributes in a partner that’s somehow going to make us happy, and it doesn’t, you’ve got to take care of your own happiness and bring that to the relationship rather than you need to make me happy. Mm hmm.


Damona  31:15  

Okay, I hope you all are listening and taking notes because this is really profound. We’re talking about New year, new year new you new relationship. What are some things can you give us like maybe one or two exercises that people can do to to get to get set up to bring in the right relationship? This time we talked about writing the letters. I’d love to give people like one more tip to take into dating Sunday that is coming up so that they’re not repeating that same pattern.


Tracy Crossley  31:49  

So there’s actually a couple things that come to mind. I mean, I have several but I’ll just start with these two. Number one is you have to be you and everybody says that but nobody really understands what that is. When you are being you, that means you’re not apologizing for you. That means you’re not trying too hard as in, you’re putting in extra effort. You put in enough effort in. In other words, if I want to go out on a date, and I want to wear a certain outfit, it’s because I feel good in it. I’m not thinking Oh, my dates gonna like this. Because if I think my dates gonna like it, and then I go, well, it’s kind of uncomfortable, but I know it looks good, but I don’t feel my best in it, then what am I doing? I am not being true to myself. So there’s all these ways that we show up to dating, where we sort of give ourselves away when we’re not actually taking care of ourselves. So being you is a big one. The other thing is when you go on a date with somebody, you want to focus on how you feel. This is a big one for most people, because most people go on a date and their whole focus is on the date. What’s that person like? What’s that person doing? I don’t like how they park their hair. I don’t like how they choose their food. There’s this critiquing going on, right? And so there’s no connection to the feeling you’re having of, am I enjoying this date? How do I feel without it being a reaction to the other person and what they’re doing? It’s, I’m here to be open, am I being open? Like I would check with myself when I was dating and go, am I being authentic? Or am I trying to get a second date? What am I doing? And then I would dial it back when I realized, Oh, I am trying to get a second date. And I would say something that was meaningful and honest about me to that person at that point. And I would always feel so much better, because I was just being me at that point. And that is so much easier.


Damona  33:38  

I I love that you said that and that it’s about how you feel on the day, I was just having this conversation with a client. And she can be very analytical and have a checklist. And I said, let’s put the checklist away and focus on feeling how, just how do you feel when you’re with this person? Let’s not think about the future or mechanics or anything, just that, that feeling. You’ve talked earlier about how people are afraid of their own feelings. And in a way, it’s almost like sometimes we’re afraid of feeling good. And I’ll admit, I even had this experience when I met my husband. And it was so good. And I had been used to such drama. Before that, there’s a part of me that almost was waiting for it to turn bad. Because it was such a foreign feeling of just feeling good. So even just being able to differentiate between like, this feels really comfortable. And this feels like I’m in my head. There are certain people that would trigger those old patterns in you, and others that will let you be more authentic.


Tracy Crossley  34:45  

Oh, I think so. I mean, when I met my husband, just to give you an idea, I was also doing online dating, and had been the whole way through when I was writing the letters and before and what’s funny is, I was attracting all these things. Different men, because I realized I was open, I didn’t get a better profile. I didn’t do anything differently, except open myself. And on an energetic level, because we are all human beings were made of energy. There’s just something it’s like when you walk in the room at the party, right? And you can read the room and tell who’s in a bad mood, who’s somebody who’s approachable. It’s that kind of energy that as human beings that we give off, or we can tell things are going on. So when you’re open, it’s different because you’re now experiencing yourself. And you’re not so concerned with, okay, what’s gonna happen to me But anyways, back to I had I think, like six guys. And yeah, it was really funny because it’s not at one time. And it never had been that way before. And one of the funniest things was one of them. I thought, Oh, this guy is really interesting. And then I felt that feeling and that feeling of Oh, if you go down this road with this, dude Here, you are going to be in the kind of relationship you’ve been in before and that this wasn’t my husband. This was some other guy. And it was only through a conversation I had with him. I didn’t even go out on a date with him. And it wasn’t because I was judging him. It was knowing the feeling I was having inside and going. And then and then and no Red Flag Warning.


Damona  36:18  

Oh, yeah, that’s something you will pick it up energetically, you will pick up that feeling of this is familiar but familiar in a bad way sometimes. But it could be also familiar in a good way. Like this person makes me feel comfortable, like when I’m around my friends, but just tuning into that can be a big shift. We’ve been talking about some very deep and heavy things. Just logistically, are there good or bad places to go on a first day in your opinion?


Tracy Crossley  36:49  

I really don’t think so. Because you mean obviously don’t go to a strip club or something. Like that sort of a you know, I guess if you both are into that, that’s fine. I mean, I’m talking about something where it’s super distracting and you’re not actually paying attention to the other person on a date. Like, I don’t think a great first date is a movie. But that’s my opinion, just because you’re not really learning anything about that person. And I think that that is important when you’re dating because you’re going in the store. You’re trying on the shoes. Oh, these shoes fit great are these shoes are a little tight. And that’s what dating is to me. So how can you tell if you’re distracted?


Damona  37:26  

Good point. What if you’re already in a relationship at this point, and you’re just not sure. This is the person for you that this is this is the right relationship right now. Are there things that that our listeners should be doing to assess that?


Tracy Crossley  37:44  

So you want to again, pay attention to yourself when I started dating my husband as an example, I realized I was smiling all the time. Okay, that’s unusual for me. When it came to dating or relationships, I was usually in some state drama, some kind of struggle. And I wasn’t struggling, that was one thing. And it felt easy. And I was smiling, I was having fun. I was the biggest goofball I’ve ever been. I mean, I was really


Damona  38:14  

me, that’s important, bringing out the humor and the fun side of you.


Tracy Crossley  38:19  

And it was really interesting, because I never felt when I was dating my husband that he was judging me and I wasn’t judging him. And that was also different. So those are signs of a healthy relationship. And that’s what you want to look for when you have the drama. And I hear this all the time, because I have a call in where people will ask me questions. And a lot of the questions are trying to take something that’s dysfunctional, and make it functional, but they’re the only one that’s wanting to make it functional. They’re not including like the partner in making it functional. So when you’re starting off there, unless both of you are committed to making the relationship good, you’re probably in a dysfunctional relationship that’s going to remain that way. doesn’t mean you have to remain that way you can do work on yourself. But it’s really knowing that you’re in a healthy relationship. It’s just it’s easy. I don’t know what your experiences, but that’s my experience. It is easy.


Damona  39:12  

Yeah. And I’ve told people about that before on the show that I think we’re addicted to that feeling of drama. And it should be easy and it should be a communication based. Like if you are afraid to really express how you feel or you feel like the communication is off like that is a really big red flag. And that’s a lot of the questions we get to is just like, I feel like they don’t understand me or whenever I say something, then it turns into a big to do and it doesn’t mean like that person’s a bad person or you’re a bad person. It’s just like, maybe this isn’t the right match for you right now in your life. And I believe in There being different relationships potentially at different parts of your life, I think there are different matches that there isn’t just one possible match for you. So sometimes you have to just take stock of what you have new year. And, and maybe what you have is not the relationship for this for the, for the immediate future.


Tracy Crossley  40:21  

I look at it that way too. And I always tell people, especially again, going back to my own dating story, but what I also share with clients and people that I talked to, it’s a journey. And when you allow it to not have an expiration date, I have to have something by this date, or it has to be in this package, and you allow it to be the journey. every relationship every date always brings you closer to having that healthy relationship. So you want to allow yourself to have experiences that’s another big thing. People do not want to have the experience. They want to either learn it in a book, think about it and go Oh, you know what, I don’t want to do that and then they never go have the experience or They think they know and they don’t go have the experience. But it really is about becoming resilient to disappointment. Allowing yourself and that’s emotional resilience. But allowing yourself those things you grow as a person, you grow as a partner, so that as you’re on that journey, and you finally get to the healthy relationship, you’ve picked up all these tools, and you become more yourself and more available.


Damona  41:23  

And then no matter what comes your way, you know how to deal with it. Just like you say, in your podcast, deal with it. What What made you title your podcast, deal with it? So


Tracy Crossley  41:36  

So the reason I named it deal with it was my literary agent. I had submitted my book title to her, and it was part of my book title. And then we’ve actually changed the book title. And, but But the thing is, I’m always saying that I will say deal with it. We’re all expletive. We are all screwed up. We are all messed up. We are all in That’s okay. And you can be happy anyway. Because the bottom line is happiness to me is what’s really important. Not being perfect, not trying to be what somebody else thinks you should be. And therefore, if you just deal with the fact that you’re just a flawed human being, okay, so what it becomes not a non issue to me,


Damona  42:22  

I say it actually to my daughter all the time, like, you know, she’ll, she’ll be railing against some something went wrong, and I’m like, Okay, now we know that’s the situation now we have to deal with it. Like, we can’t just stay in this state of crisis. We have to take action, and we have to process what’s going on. So I love that you’re doing that on your podcast, and you’re helping people deal with it on a daily basis. We have questions that have come to us from our listeners. They’re trying to deal with it, Tracy. So hopefully you can help them with these questions. All right, first question. Hi damona Hello. The guy I’m seeing still hasn’t officially made me his gf girlfriend yet, nor have I met his family but they do know about me his uncle even calls me his girl. Me and my guy had a Convo as to if I was someone he saw in his future. I asked, Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Was that the right choice of words? This conversation happened on the phone? I feel like I didn’t get a straight answer out of him. What should I do? So she’s trying to figure out is this is this relationship going somewhere? I would say if she didn’t get the answer that she was looking for. It probably wasn’t the right choice of words at that moment because she didn’t get her answer out of it. How would you recommend she go forward now to get the answer about where this relationship is going?


Tracy Crossley  43:51  

Well, okay, so I have a little bit of a different spin. My question to her is, what is she actually communicating to him besides what she said? In other words, when you’re in a relationship with someone, and supposedly other people know about you, in this case, that’s what’s happening. But the problem is, she has confronted him with this. I don’t know how long they’ve been going out. But there’s an expectation. And it doesn’t sound like they’ve been communicating all the way along. Usually in a healthy relationship. You’re talking about this stuff, it’s not that you have to pull it out of a guy to get there. And if you’re having to pull it out of the guy, then you have to ask yourself, how hard am I working at this? And in what she said to him in a healthy relationship? Again, the guy would still answer you, the guy would still be like, oh, what do you mean, or, you know, wanting to elaborate on that so that you guys come to a really, you know, clear communicative point in your relationship. But it just sounds like to me, he’s not completely coming forward. I also think when you put it on the other person to describe what the future is, you’re kind of taking yourself out as a partner, where you’re a partner in this as well. You have the power of choice and you’re just leaving it up to the other person to make all the choices.


Damona  45:05  

You’re so so right about that. And it’s, it’s crazy how much power we do give away in relationships. And it sounds to me like this might be a newer relationship that that she is wanting to become something and kind of pushing it in that direction. And maybe also, you know, holiday time tends to bring out that sort of stress and obviously family knows about her but she’s not really sure what the relationship is. And this is a this is a pattern that I’m seeing a lot just culturally of people being in these situation ships and not knowing where they stand. So I it sounds like our advice is if you want the relationship to go somewhere, you have to be brave enough to share that desire for for things to be exclusive and


Tracy Crossley  45:57  

be clear because that’s what I think a lot of Women don’t do is that they are hoping they can just hint around or say things and then the guy is going to go Oh, well, here, this is what’s happening.


Damona  46:08  

Yeah. Yeah, guys, you’re not you’re not so into the subtlety.


Tracy Crossley  46:12  

Now. And the thing is, when you really are taking care of yourself, you’re going to ask as a direct question, because again, you have a choice in it. So if you’re asking, Hey, where do you think this relationship is at right now? Like right now, not in the future, because a lot of times we get caught up in what’s going to happen in the future that causes anxiety, it causes pressure, and it starts to drive a wedge in the relationship anyways, but it’s to be clear where you are now Hey, where do you feel like this is headed right now? What? What is going on with you because I know where I am. And this is where I am. Right? And then you can make a choice. Otherwise, you’re sort of in this Limbo land, waiting for somebody to come up with something. Well, maybe if I manipulate him this way, he’ll give me the answer I want meaning maybe I’ll be really nice or I’ll do something special. And then he’ll go oh my god, I can’t live without you. I want to be with you the rest of my life. But that’s all manipulation. And that’s not really being true to yourself either.


Damona  47:06  

Mm hmm. That’s great advice. That’s great advice. And I’ve done the other. Go, I have to. It doesn’t work, y’all. Okay. This is someone that that seems to have a little bit more clarity in communication, but still not going the way that she wants. This woman says, My fiance wants to get a gym membership, but only for him, which I don’t approve of New Year everybody’s thinking, fitness. Right? Well, here’s why she says I’m having doubts about it because last time he ended up flirting with his personal trainer. I had her blocked on his social media and blocked her number from texting him. I don’t understand why he needs a female personal trainer and not a male. Am I wrong to be concerned? Should I let him go alone to the gym? A big trust Yeah, trust issue here.


Tracy Crossley  47:56  

Yeah, and control and the thing is when you are trying to control Your partner, you are in a losing battle, you’re in a struggle that you’re going to be in the rest of your life, because it’s probably not just that. So let’s say that he doesn’t join the gym without her, then he may do something else. And she’ll have the same issue, she’ll find an issue somewhere else. It’s like when women get into this place, and I’ve had clients do this where they meet somebody, and then they have a time limit, well, it’s been six months, or it’s been a year we should move in together. And then if it’s not happening in that time, then they’re upset and they’re focused on that. And then it happens. And then it’s like, okay, when are we getting married? So it’s, it’s always shifting that focus. And the truth is, either you’re going to be able to trust your partner is committed to you or not. And then if not, you gotta ask yourself, why am I in a relationship with someone that I don’t feel as committed? And then asking yourself, Am I committed? So if this guy is committed, and he’s he’s saying her fiance so


Tracy Crossley  48:49  

the committed to something? Well,


Tracy Crossley  48:51  

yeah, words are wonderful, but it’s really about Is he really emotionally committed? I’m not saying he is or he isn’t. Okay? Because We don’t know. We’re not that it’s her perception of him and what he does when he’s not with her. So he could be flirting with somebody at the grocery store. He could be flirting everywhere he goes. But that’s neither here nor there. It goes back to how uncomfortable Are you in trying to control what he does or doesn’t do


Damona  49:18  

it? It’ll make you crazy. If you’re, if you’re worried about every place, he goes, who he’s going to be talking to, it will literally make you crazy.


Tracy Crossley  49:27  

Yes. And that’s why why do it? Well, now you might be attached, maybe you’re afraid of losing him. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have any fear of losing somebody, but you want to be with somebody because you love them and because you feel good. But this doesn’t sound like it feels good. And so you don’t want to be controlling him. You’re going to need to let go of that outcome and let him do what he does. And if he ends up disappointing you, if he ends up having another female trainer or what have you, then you got to make a choice. At that point. Do I want to be with somebody who makes these kinds of choices? Or not. And it’s pretty much that because it doesn’t sound like you’re going to be able to change him. And one other thing, he probably is in a state of rebellion on some level, if he feels that you’re trying to be his parent here.


Damona  50:13  

Yeah, that definitely happens. Nobody wants to be controlled and and then when you get resistance, then you push back. Even harder. It sounds like, we’re just gonna have to deal with it. We’re gonna have to rip the band aid off and deal with it, just as Tracy does on her podcast, deal with it. Make sure you check that out. We’ll put the link in the show notes. And you can also find Tracy on Facebook at transformative coach and on Twitter @TracyCrossley, Again, that’ll be in the show notes for you. And also, if you’re ready for a change in the way that you move into relationships, maybe you need an insecure attachment cleanse, so you can do that 30 day program with Tracy, thanks so much for being here.


Tracy Crossley  51:00

Well, thank you for having me. This has been great. I’ve really enjoyed it.


Damona  51:03  

Before we wrap this up, I need to talk to you all about something. It’s been a while since we’ve done a de monas diatribe, because there’s a lot to say about this. There’s been controversy about this topic. All right. There is this convention happening in Orlando on May 1. If you got nothing better to do, you should go to the 22 convention, which media has affectionately referred to as the mansplaining convention? It’s being put on by a guy on Twitter called beach muscles, who calls himself the president of the manosphere. Obviously, I was joking, you should not go to this conference. But if you want to know what you would get for the low, low price of $2,000, you can sit in a convention center in Orlando, while men mansplain femininity to you. It’ll cover topics like feminism versus femininity, getting pregnant, being wiped up and getting fit because he says women’s health is in a major crisis today. Don’t believe the hype ladies do not buy into this idea that you have to change Who you are to become more dateable. It’s 2020. You can be a boss and still be a lady. You can choose if you want to have kids or not. You can delay marriage until you get your career together or skip it entirely. And you can be beautiful in


Tracy Crossley  52:13  



Damona  52:14  

body. Thanks for the help beach muscles. But no thanks. I think ladies are doing pretty damn great just as they are right now. I’m sorry, I got a little worked up producer Leah.


Leah Schell  52:26  

But now this is a topic that deserves such a response.


Damona  52:31  

I cannot believe that in this day and age. He thinks that he has the right to come into a convention to create a convention for women to teach women how to be women.


Leah Schell  52:42  

Also, I want to know who’s buying these tickets like I can’t


Damona  52:45  

I can’t even believe that this thing exists. And of course it’s getting tons of press. So I just had to throw my two cents into it and say Don’t even think about doing this workshop. But if you want to do an actual workshop That will help you please join me for why dating apps won’t work for you. It’s a virtual free webinar for anyone men and women I don’t discriminate, and you can sign up. Sign up at thedatingsecret.com and keep coming back to dates and mates. I’ll keep giving your love life a boost all throughout the year. We will put all the links from today’s show in the show notes at dates and mates calm and we’ll also show you how you can get a hold of Tracy Crossley my amazing guest for today’s show. Also, if you are really ready to get started and date differently in 2020, 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 my clients. over the many years I’ve been coaching and created an easy to follow 30 day program that will lead you to the love that you deserve all before Valentine’s Day. You can find out more at 30 day dating calm and again that link will be in the show notes at dates and mates calm as well. I hope you enjoyed episode. 291 of dates and mates. Again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. Please join in the conversation. Send me your questions for future episodes and share this episode with a friend. Until next week, I wish you happy dating

Fleabag & Blended Families


On today’s episode, we’re talking all about blended families, tradition, and the holidays.

We like to keep you up to date and aware of what’s trending here at Dates & Mates. And no surprise but here in the US and worldwide, blended families are becoming more popular – whether that be blended races, blended cultures, blended religions, or two families joined through re-marriage.

So if you’re dating, in a new relationship, or are re-married, you will likely at some point find a point in your life where you are looking to blend your family traditions with your significant other. Blended families are becoming more and more prominent and we want to keep you informed!

More on that later, first we have headlines! 


Should we ban Plantation-style weddings?

You may know that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s 2012 wedding pictures have been “shadow-banned” because they took place at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston. Is it time to ban plantation-style weddings once and for all? Damona and Carmelia weigh in.

Are you a Fleabag?

If you’ve seen the show “Fleabag” on Amazon Prime (WATCH IT!! IT’S GREAT!) you know that “fleabagging” is making lots of really, really bad dating decisions over and over and over again.

What emoji should you use in your Tinder Profile?

Tinder’s EOY breakdown of Tinder profiles is here! Which emoji should you be using on your profile? hint:


Joining us today is celebrity matchmaker, and online dating expert, Carmelia Ray. 

Carmelia is an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for high achieving men and the quality women they’re searching for. You may also know her as a TV personality on shows such as Mom Vs. Matchmaker, The Real Housewives Of Toronto, and most recently A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. Carmelia’s advice has been featured in AskMen, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, OK! Magazine, and so much more. She recently launched a dating app here in LA called Censio.

When we decided to do an episode on blended families and holidays, and blended traditions, our first thought was that we had to get Carmelia’s input on this episode. 

Fun Fact: When she’s not supporting clients in their search for love, she’s traveling and loving life with her extraordinary husband, and family (4 kids and American bulldog).

Today we talk:

  • Sixteen percent of children live in blended families.
  • The number of kids living in blended families has been stable for nearly thirty years.
  • Children of Hispanic, black, and white backgrounds are equally likely to live in this type of family.
  • Children from Asian families are half as likely as Hispanic, black, or white kids to be part of a blended family.
  • Six of ten women’s remarriages create blended families.
  • 60-70% of marriages involving children with a previous marriage
  • 1 in 5 adults raised in interfaith homes
  • Most common interfaith household is protestant/catholic
  • Mixed faith partners shot to 40% (20% in the 60s) DOUBLED SINCE THE 1960s
  • Today, mixed-race marriages are at a high, and the number of multiracial Americans is growing three times as fast as the population as a whole, according to the Pew Research Center. 
  • Although multiracial people account for only an estimated 7 percent of Americans today, their numbers are expected to soar to 20 percent by 2050.
  • As a matchmaker, how much do you pay attention to things like race and religion?
  • What are the most important factors in compatibility for blended couples
  • How can you blend families over the holidays – first holiday with a partner’s kids or introducing a partner to your kids.

Follow Carmelia on all the socials (@carmeliaray) and don’t forget to use the code “singlebells” for your first unlimited month of Censio free!


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

Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • (From Instagram) I’m on all of the dating apps and I’ve been looking trying not to be too picky. But I can’t tell if I’m on the apps because I’m scared of being single and I feel like I should be. Or if I’m doing poorly being because I’m scared or I’m doing poorly because I’m not interested. I’ve always seen myself in the future with kids, but there was never a man attached to that future, and I would like to have sex but I’m not into just going on hook up apps because I feel intimidated from being out the game for so long.
  • (From Instagram) What is the youngest appropriate age I can date? I’m a 34 year old man.



Damona  0:17  

Hello Lovers and welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified Dating Coach Damona Hoffman, and thank you for making this show your source for dating and relationship advice, especially holiday dating and relationship advice. I know this is the time of year that a lot of you are thinking about dating challenges, relationship challenges, and I’m really excited that you took the time to join us during this busy holiday season. 

We love to keep you aware of what’s trending. And it’s no surprise that here in the US, especially blended families are trending and becoming more popular. So whether that be blended races, blended cultures, blended religions or two families joined through remarriage. Whether you’re doing dating or in a new relationship or are remarried, you will likely find at some point in your life you may be looking to blend your family with someone else in someone else’s traditions. 

And that is why we are doing today’s show to give you the resources to navigate that challenge of blending. Joining me today is celebrity matchmaker and online dating expert, Carmelia Ray.


Carmelia Ray  1:24  

Hi Damona!


Damona  1:26  

Hi! I got to tell people about you. She’s an internationally acclaimed matchmaker. You also probably know her from TV. She is the host and matchmaker of a show called “Mom versus Matchmaker”. Yeah, she’s the matchmaker. She’s also been on The Real Housewives of Toronto and most recently a user’s guide to cheating death. You’ve seen her and asked men variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Ok magazine and so much more. She’s also become a partner in a dating app


Carmelia Ray  1:55  

Matchmaking app! Yes. We want to do distinct ourselves from like the swiping apps to a relationship based and relationship oriented app. So this is why we call it a matchmaking app.


Damona  2:09  

Well, I can’t wait to hear more about that. And I can’t wait to talk about the headlines with you. We have some juicy ones this week, including a wedding tradition that is being banned.


And fleabagging. Are you doing it? We’ll tell you what this new dating term means and maybe how you should be avoiding it in the future. 


Plus, we’ll break down Tinder’s end of year report on this year’s hottest dating trends.


And then we’ll answer your questions, including how to master dating apps, if they make you feel scared, confused and intimidated. I know a lot of you are nodding your heads to that. Plus what ages are appropriate for you to date. 


All that and more on today’s Dates & Mates. Carmelia, I didn’t give you some smooches earlier. Maybe I’ll give you some smooches now – 


Carmelia Ray  2:58  

And you’re gonna give me a real smooth or is it Virtual?


Damona  3:00  

a virtual smooch. I don’t want to make it weird. And then we’ll do these headlines. 


All right. Did you know that Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are shadow banned, their wedding pictures? You cannot find them on many in many publications because they got married in 2012 at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston. You may recognize it as the location for the notebook, which is probably why they chose it. Right. But y’all, it’s a plantation. It’s a plantation. Yeah. So this this week Pinterest has banned plantation style wedding pictures from their whole site. And there’s a people are taking sides like the not saying we don’t want to. We want to celebrate love wherever people decide to have it. But is there a reason to not promote these plantation style weddings as Something that are grand and beautiful when you really consider the history


Carmelia Ray  4:04  

I mean you know, you you when you consider the history you’re stepping and celebrate you know you’re on a grounds where you know some bad things happen right and so historically It’s a place where attached to a lot of really awful memories so you’re trying to the only thing that that I might think is positive that you might want to replace those memories and and with something more positive and and have the past be in the past but I guess you know I have not i’m not personally related to that. So I want to emphasize with people that that it might offend.


Damona  4:42  

Yeah, well as a as a black person in America I am I am personally connected to it. But at the same time, I think there is something empowering and being able to say like, now I can choose if I want to I can have my my wedding This spot, right and like you’re saying kind of re, like, rewire exactly that the reasoning that some people use the N word which I never use, right, but they’re like, we are redefining it for ourselves. And so in a way, I guess that is a possibility if we can look at it that way, but I’ll tell you I have friend that that’s from Louisiana and was getting married and looking at venues. And one of them called the the, obviously this the homes that the the enslaved people lived in right quaint cottages that your guests could stay on on the grounds and I was like, I don’t know that you get to do that. I don’t know that you get it right. The history. You have to acknowledge what the history is and say like maybe we can educate people by inviting them to this place to see where where this history happens. So


Carmelia Ray  5:48  

I mean, forgive, I really don’t know about plantations or their actual people like, are they abandoned now? Are they


Damona  5:55  

working on the other like their giant mansions that are beautiful locations for writings but have like you said this horrible, dark, very attached to it. So I don’t know if it’s it’s really the place of, of Pinterest. Sure ban it because again, if you ban it, you’re trying to you’re trying to negate it from Well,


Carmelia Ray  6:17  

I mean, and then what happens what happens to the, you know, freedom of speech, right? opportunity like you can’t express this is your wedding day. I mean, I don’t know, I think it’s hard for me, I want to I want to not talk about that. But it’s great that you’re bringing up that point. We talked


Damona  6:35  

about the stuff you do to me, it’s another tough thing to do. People that are in terrible relationships, cycles, these bad relationship choices again and again and again. Cosmo has coined a new term called fleabag. For those of you who are fans of the show like I am, you know that


Carmelia Ray  6:59  

there is a show I’ve been out of the woodwork here so like like I’m a Netflix person in my free time. Yeah, there’s a show called fleabag


Damona  7:07  

there’s a bag okay and in it the main character is just a train wreck date or she dates people who are unavailable. I won’t. I won’t spoil it for anyone okay seen it or for you. Okay, but she makes some really bad relationship choices particularly in season two. Okay,


Carmelia Ray  7:25  

like where the audience is going. Oh, no, you didn’t


Damona  7:27  

know Yeah. Oh my god. I have a friend that is Yang or has fleabag or we’ve all fleabag Darcy Yeah.


Carmelia Ray  7:34  

Oh my god. Yes. Not to be confused with tea bag. That’s right. Just believe earlier on the show.


Damona  7:41  

Let’s just say I want to get some advice since you are such a an expert in dating and relationships and matchmaking. Yes. For people that are in these toxic cycles of makeup, break up. relationships that aren’t serving them what’s like one tip you could give them to break that cycle.


Carmelia Ray  7:58  

get professional help. Number one, I mean, tip number one, we’re both coaches,


Carmelia Ray  8:03  



Carmelia Ray  8:04  

And a lot of times people don’t know or they can’t recognize or even in that cycle, do you know you know, that friend and you keep talking to that person and they don’t do anything differently. So, make a different move, make a different decision, get help get support, put yourself outside of that toxic relationship and give yourself space. I think for people that continue to go back, they’re just either that again, it maybe has to do with their attachment styles. Are they anxious and avoidant? Do they are they addicted to this push pull type of situation? Right and, and so a normal relationship for them is foreign. I will


Damona  8:42  

say that was definitely my experience before I was used to the drama to me drama felt like attraction. And that like, you know that that we’re fighting now we broke up, we’re making up the


Carmelia Ray  8:56  



Damona  8:58  

highs and the lows, that starts with Feel like the norm. And it’s done. I think that’s what people really need to hear. Well, when you


Carmelia Ray  9:05  

thought a flea, I mean, that is so relevant, right? You just want it to go away or squash that but


Damona  9:12  

always jumping around


Carmelia Ray  9:15  

in your face is just like, Oh, yeah, I love that term. So I think want to be if you if you know that you can’t get out of this or you recognize this cycle and it is toxic, get help, get support, ask for you know, go to people that you trust, and maybe even go outside of your family. I really strongly believe in coaching and working with professionals, the experts that can maybe even do an intervention for you. They might have to drag you out of this relationship so that you can have the space you need to really see yourself outside of what you’re going on when you’re in the thick of it. It’s hard to get out of


Damona  9:52  

yet. So let’s say you’ve done the work and you’re ready to date again. Maybe Tinder A place for you to start. Tinder came through with their 2019 year in swipe report. This is their end of year evaluation about the most talked about topics particularly focusing on Gen Z. That’s their biggest


Carmelia Ray  10:14  

story. I wasn’t even aware Tinder did an annual end of year report. It’s like I know match.com does singles and managers singles


Damona  10:20  

in America. So when did this start? Maybe this year? Okay. I don’t know. But this is not really the last year. Okay. Actually, for a number of different countries. They have one for the UK. They have one for Australia, France, Germany, India. So


Carmelia Ray  10:34  

all that data that I mean, they are amazing data. Yeah,


Damona  10:37  

yeah. So if you’re listening from another country, check out your report, but I’ll tell you what the US report said and I’m so curious Yeah. Gen Z. daters were more likely to mention causes or missions than a travel in their Bibles. But millennials old old asked millennials. They were three times more likely to talk travel. I find that When I’m when I’m coaching people of different generations, because I have all the way from like, late 20s, all the way up to late 60s and even 70s and


Carmelia Ray  11:09  

Gen Z, right, and Gen Z


Damona  11:11  

were younger than millennials.


Carmelia Ray  11:12  

Yeah, younger than me not got it.


Damona  11:14  

And so the trends are different for different age groups. And I find that really interesting. As I’m coaching people. Now I have to say like, well, if you’re dating someone over 40, you definitely do the phone call. But if you’re dating someone between 30 and 40, you might not want to do the phone call. If you’re dating someone under 30. If you do the phone call, you’re going to get you’re going to get shadow back.


Carmelia Ray  11:33  

Well, you know, I think I think Gretta The is the poster child for Generation Z, right? So yeah, she is the poster child for Gen Z, which is why I think a lot of high schoolers, and it’s so funny. I work with a lot of teachers and different singles, who work with young people. And when you ask young people were talking even like elementary and primary, they’re all about wanting to help someone My daughter, my three year old is like, Mommy, can I help you? Are you okay? Daddy? Are you okay? Like you stub your toe and she wants to, like, admin immediately fix it. I said I have a headache. She goes and gets her pretend doctor kit. Like, I don’t know what it is about these young young people that are really focused on helping others whereas, you know, Millennials just want to get away and not work.


Damona  12:23  

Like our core audience, but apparently you’re right on with with the reference to gretta Yeah, climate change social justice, the environment and gun control were really popular phrases and oh, my girl files in emojis. emojis are are on the case. Yeah, I have had various feelings about emojis because I definitely use them like anyone that’s done my texting trap or texting 10 commandments training they know that I’m, I’m all about using emojis as mood modifiers but I’ve been seeing them more in place of words in profiles to kind of short Cut the the conversation


Carmelia Ray  13:02  

I I love emojis I have again various children we’re going to talk about blended blended families but my various my various and sundry curious show, I should qualify that I have children in three different age groups, primary elementary and young adult. And they all speak to me an emoji. Like they all speak to me in emotion. It’s like very few words and more signs and yet I can completely understand it you can understand I can show that there are some things that emojis you know are better for


Damona  13:34  

Okay, what about this one the most popular emoji is not was not the eggplant is actually the face palm emoji like the face the hand in front of the face like the kind of my head yeah 41% increase in use this year.


Carmelia Ray  13:50  

That we all have a we have more dumb moments. Like why did I do that like that is a permanent emoji in my phone.


Damona  14:00  

Want to connect with people? definitely use emojis. Yes, you can connect on female superheroes Captain Marvel lizzo Elizabeth Warren, we’re trying to go with the overall theme of superheroes. All of those were very big topics and 2019 also, Jonas Brothers, who knew? I didn’t know that was still a thing. Yeah, job rose. They call it in


Carmelia Ray  14:22  

the urine swipe. I work. I couldn’t be one song.


Carmelia Ray  14:26  

I’m so dating myself. I’m so sorry people.


Damona  14:29  

Well, we’ll put the link if you want to brush up on it will put the link to the articles we talked about in today’s dating dish, on our blog at Dates & Mates. com. We will be back with Carmela in just a moment talking more about blended families. But first I have to ask you, are we friends? Are we friends on social media? Are you getting all the bonus Dates & Mates content through Instagram and Twitter and Facebook? Is my blog bookmarked on your browser? If not, I want you to know that the New Year’s right around the corner and I have some Very special things lined up to help you meet your dating and relationship resolution so don’t miss out follow me @Damona Hoffman on all the socials and while you’re at Dates & Mates calm for this week’s show notes. Take a look at the rest of the blogs. We have new content coming at you every week with dating and relationship tips. We will be talking about blended families in just a moment. So stick around.


Damona 15:24

Lovers we are back with Carmela Ray. She is an internationally known celebrity Matchmaker, online dating expert and so much more. Welcome back to the show.


Carmelia Ray  15:33  

Thank you.


Damona  15:34  

You may be like now the reigning champ. I think this is your


Carmelia Ray  15:38  

I think it’s been you’ve had seven years and I travel every time and I’m not even from here. I fly all the way from Toronto just to be on Dimona show. Literally, I call her and I say I’m here and and we graciously make time for me. So that is probably number four.


Damona  15:54  

I know you’re not coming just for the show, but we’re lucky to have you and you’re coming at the right time because At this time of year, I get so many questions from our listeners about blending families about blending traditions for the holidays. I know you know a few things about that both through working with your clients and even through your own experience. And when you’re not supporting clients and you’re not working with sense CEO and launching the number one matchmaking app, you are living the fabulous life traveling with with your extraordinary husband.


Carmelia Ray  16:28  

Andrew do today. Yes.


Carmelia Ray  16:29  

And my children, you have kids, you got


Damona  16:32  

various and sundry children, various and sundry kids and your two Bulldogs.


Carmelia Ray  16:36  

Oh, one one now. So I have I know. I know what. Anyway, so I have I have and I’ll tell you the ultimate blended example of the ultimate blended family because my older children Michaela and Brandon because 21 Brandon’s 15 is from my first marriage. My youngest daughter who’s turned who turned three this year is from my current Marriage, and then mom and then my husband has a daughter who is my step daughter. And she’s one year younger than Michaela. So there’s four kids in total. Very blended. I don’t even know how to keep track of the kids.


Damona  17:14  

Okay, well, let’s, I have to and I can’t. Myself. Yeah. But looking at the stats, 16% of children live in blended families. But you actually found an interesting stat that you shared with me. Yes, that 60 to 70% of marriages involving children with from a previous marriage don’t make it Yeah, they fail. And actually, I just


Carmelia Ray  17:37  

worked with a recent client, who was super sad story and she had shared with me that the reason her last relationship ended was because the teenage daughter of the man she was with could not get along with her, and to the point where she had said, had had put the dad in an awkward position to choose between Between the partnership or her,


Damona  18:02  

then the daughter,


Carmelia Ray  18:04  

the daughter said, Dad and ultimatum you know, it’s either me, I mean, you know, and she backed out as well, because she’s like, she has a daughter too. So there’s her daughter, there’s this daughter. And then there’s the the, you know, position that she held that it’s going to made it very challenging. And the sad part was the relationship between the couple was solid, but the relationship between the child and the partner, even though it wasn’t solid, clearly, the child was dealing with whatever she was dealing with. And, and that’s part of the issue. Sometimes kids, they just do not want to see another person in the role of their mother or father and regard and it’s unfortunate.


Damona  18:46  

It’s really unfortunate. What do you think people can do? Like some of our listeners now are dating people with kids? Get looking for marriage? Are there tips that you can give in terms of especially during the holidays, how to You set things up so that you can be successful with the other person’s kids so that you don’t get into that ultimatum situation.


Carmelia Ray  19:06  

Wow, there, you know, there are so many moving parts in a blended family. And it also depends the advice is going to be different based on the stage of the relationship, how comfortable the children are, I think if you’re trying to create a bond, and we’re talking about the holidays, and it’s always great for you to try to plan something with the kids, but like this potential step brothers and sisters together, because then you start your test that unity, whereas if the kids are going with their parents, and they never get to see each other, you’re also missing out on an opportunity to, to share a really awesome moment, right? And then at the same time, it’s when when when the other partner wants to have the children, how does it work with the schedule, right, because the dad may want to spend time with the kids and the new partner, and then it just doesn’t align. So you really want to get agreement between the couples? And then, you know, integrate the kids. And also I think it’s really important to ask the kids what they want, right? Because what are they comfortable with? Maybe they don’t want to spend time with the family. So there’s or with their, you know, the people, the other children so to speak. So there’s so much to consider there.


Damona  20:20  

What if you are dating someone that that has kids and you don’t have kids yourself? Okay. So that’s a lot of our listeners that are they’ve never been married, they don’t have kids, but they’re like, I want to be a part of this family. Is there a way to, to integrate, or should you just let the parent pace the forming of that relationship?


Carmelia Ray  20:45  

You know, it’s one thing for I mean, I think it’s a great sign when somebody who doesn’t have children is dating someone with kids and wants to really have that relationship. It’s showing you that they want to be part of that family and sees that diamond As a being in their future, that being said, you can never force this outcome because you’re talking about the children’s well being is I think the most important consideration is, are the kids ready for that? And the rule of thumb, and although there’s no real rule is you wouldn’t introduce your children to a partner, unless you felt that this was going to be a long term partner. Otherwise, your kids might just feel like there’s a revolving door of partners. And that would have a negative impact as well, because they may be already suffering, the loss of the parent leaving, and now they might form this attachment to this new person, and then they’re gone. Right. So the, I think it’s important to for that person to express they would like to have that involvement, and to let them know because sometimes they don’t even say anything, right. And then the person with the child thinks, do they even want to?


Damona  21:52  

Yeah, I need this like, do you do you as the single as the person without the kid, need to drive it and say it really like to me meet your son or daughter? Or do you need to wait for that person to open the door? Because,


Carmelia Ray  22:07  

like, as a parent, I think I’d probably have to pace that right. I think you also have to look at the strength of the partnership. First of all, right? Like, is there a reason the person is not wanting to introduce this person to you? Because if you really like this person, and you’re dating them, and you haven’t yet it’s six months, and you don’t want them to meet the kids, and it’s like, What’s up with that?


Damona  22:32  

Yeah, I have a client that she and her ex husband had, they made a rule that they would not introduce anyone to their child, neither of them until they were at the point of, of either moving in together or marriage. And I will say it’s, it was a little tricky, like there was once where they died. And this, he came to drop off flowers for her birthday and her son was there. And she was like, it’s great that he was romantic, but it Same time, in honor he broke that crossed a bit of a line. So it can it can become really complicated, especially when you have certain rules. As a parent that you haven’t communicated, she


Carmelia Ray  23:10  

didn’t communicate that that’s really her bad, right? But if he stopped cross the line, and she knew that we weren’t gonna introduce and then he did it anyway. I think that’s a red flag. I really do. Because if he’s gonna stay together,


Carmelia Ray  23:25  

see massive Red


Damona  23:28  

Nose Oh, she is like the Nostradamus of dating and relationships, man. Well, when we’re talking about blended families, I’ll share my own story because I come from like, multiple blended family on multiple levels. Like my mom already had a kid when she met my dad. My sister was like, my half sister was like about nine. And then my dad is Jewish. My mom is Christian, and she’s African American. My dad is white. So my family is. So first I want to talk about interface. Okay, relationships and as a matchmaker I’m sure you deal with this. Oh my


Carmelia Ray  24:04  

gosh, comes up a lot


Damona  24:06  

mixed faith partners actually, the number of mixed faith partners doubled since the 1960s. So now we’re looking at 40% of households are mixed faith and that that could be Protestant Catholic that could be Jewish Christian could be Muslim. I deal with this every day Damona every day What do you help first of all when someone comes to you and they’re like, I want to find love. I’m say Jewish I see as my first writing gig was with JD So okay, this has a special place all the Jewish mothers that are like, please help my son. A very, very special place in my heart. Okay, but if they’re like, I must find love. I’m say 38 Yes, and I’m looking for love. I’ve only been dating Jewish. Okay, Jewish man. How’s that been working for him?


Carmelia Ray  24:57  

Is that what you say? No, but I’m saying to them, right.


Carmelia Ray  25:00  

You know it really a man? It’s really a matter of how much importance and, and and how often How does your faith show up in your life? Because if it doesn’t show up that often your life Why should it show up in your dating life and in your partner choice? Yeah, that a value that you really is it you’re trying to make your parents happy? Is it something that if you could meet the right guy, and you really think about your core values, if religion or faith isn’t top of those core values, then it’s it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t weigh more than having someone who you can trust or is loyal or reliable or has a strong sense of right and wrong. Like I think 100% of people would say they’re spiritual. I think that’s the word. Right like religious


Damona  25:48  

spirit. Yeah, exactly. I mean, spiritual but not


Carmelia Ray  25:50  

exactly right.


Carmelia Ray  25:54  

So this happens a lot where and really it’s sometimes authentically is frustrating or or challenging for me, because I’ve got someone that has this strong line in the sand about who they want to meet. And yet their religion isn’t even what drives them. And it’s not even they don’t go to synagogue, they don’t really even practice the things that that they’re supposed to as a devout Jewish or Christian person. And yet they put that in as a consideration or must in a partner. So I my coaching to that person would really be to be open and flexible and dating somebody that is outside of their faith when their faith isn’t. Really. Yeah, if you want a deal breaker and it’s not obvious in their day to day life, yeah, right now, if they have parents and family and they’ve got other family considerations that would make dating someone outside of that race or faith problematic. I could understand why they’d still be seeking a partner. However, it’s proven time and again, that when somebody meets somebody That they love. And you can just see they make them happy. Like, nobody’s going to say no to that kind of a relationship where they just know this person is happier, healthier and just elated when they’re with that person.


Damona  27:11  

Yeah, I just read an article about this couple. The man it was from. He was from Asia and the wife was from Ghana, I believe. And what a mix it was. They were both gorgeous. Yes. And the dad initially was like, Don’t even bring her to my house. I don’t want to meet her. And they he spent the, the now they are now married and the husband spent months of just introducing her over time telling her that they wanted him her to come to the house, even when they were like don’t bring her here. Yes, to kind of create those moments where they could get to know her as a person was there a happy ending? There’s a happy another married and the dad showed up to the wedding. And like sometimes I feel like parents say these things like don’t even come here if your husband is an Indian, like don’t even don’t even come in my house with with


Carmelia Ray  28:05  

it’s really sad, guys. I mean, you would think that in this day and age that millennials and Gen Z would not have to deal with that. And yet, I see this with my daughter’s friends who are different religions and cultures where they’re literally dating someone outside of the faith outside of their race behind their parents back in in relationship that’s been going on for years, terrified to tell their family about this partnership, because of the strong influence, cultural influence inside of that dynamic. Yeah, well, so young people


Damona  28:38  

as the host of mom versus Matchmaker, gosh, so if anyone hasn’t seen the show yet, it’s fabulous, and you should definitely check it out. But the premise is basically a mom does a setup for their child and Carmela does a set up for the child and then the child who’s an adult will choose who they think is the bedroom and


Carmelia Ray  28:59  

I have three jewels. Moms, they all chose Jewish people, right? They literally did. And you could tell the choice like it was so funny. And not even that the Jamaican moms and anybody who was in a cultural like, like where they were culturally specific, they ended up choosing the moms choice, which was clear because the mom had an idea or perception of who their child should date based on religion, ethnicity, culture, family values, tradition. And I chose a match based on what the person wanted. And what the person wanted, had nothing to do often with what the mom wanted, which is why one in those cases, right? And not always though, sometimes, I think that that they the kids favorite, the mother’s choice, knowing that it was mom’s choice, and if they didn’t pick mom’s choice, they’d be in a whole heap of trouble.


Damona  29:52  

So let’s say you have not chosen the moms choice and yet approaching the holidays and it’s time for you to figure out how to introduce this person into your family and your life. What would you recommend to any of these clients on mom versus matchmaker? Like, how do they begin that conversation? A Mom, I didn’t kick your person.


Carmelia Ray  30:10  

Yeah, that’s so interesting. And you know what, I don’t know that I would use a major family holiday to introduce somebody. I think that you avoid all that because you’re not just impacting that person. It’s everybody’s holiday, right? So you don’t want to make it about you must, you can’t force somebody to like your partner, you can take a stand. But if you’re willing to be that person and you have that stand, then you need to know that there it could ruffle some feathers. So if your intention is not to ruffle feathers, it’s better to have that conversation before the actual holiday. Or just express where you draw the line in the sand and say, Listen, I love this person. If you really want me to attend, it’s important that he comes he or she comes with me. Or you’re not going right yeah,


Damona  30:55  

you have to set your partner up for success. And that’s a really good point that this is a is a time when it’s already the stakes are high the the emotional intensity is off the charts.


Carmelia Ray  31:07  

Yeah, I read I don’t know who it was but it was like how did reduce drama over the holidays and you don’t bring somebody new to a family holiday function when first of all, they would completely they’re, they’re the opposite polar opposite of what who your parents want you to date. That is not the time in place to bring someone over the holidays. Oh, I


Damona  31:26  

was just so nervous to me. My husband’s family. Thanksgiving was the big, big holiday in there. Did


Carmelia Ray  31:32  

you get introduced? Were you already dating though?


Damona  31:34  

Before we were dating? Yeah, we were dating and I had met his parents, but he does this big family event where it was like aunts, uncles, cousins. I love those


Carmelia Ray  31:44  

Filipinos. So we have like hundred people in our family.


Damona  31:48  

It wasn’t quite Filipino level. But it was like, it was like, you know, yeah, big family. And I remember this moment we had been dating at that point over a year but like, yeah, I didn’t know where it was going and They were like, we’re gonna take the holiday picture. And everybody you know, they do they do, like


Carmelia Ray  32:07  

do you like sitting off to the I was?


Damona  32:10  

Like, I’m not trying to be in the family in the family. Yeah. And they’re like Damona get in the picture, get the picture. And I just felt so uncomfortable because they thought, what if I’m on the picture? And they’re gonna be going through the pictures like,


Carmelia Ray  32:24  

Who was that broad that you


Carmelia Ray  32:28  

can feel that but look at that they were so gracious. And you didn’t automatically go in there. I mean, you had respect and you’re


Damona  32:36  

set to the side that tells a lot about my family of origin I guess and like the baggage you know, we all bring like different ideas and different


Carmelia Ray  32:44  

but I I was dating somebody where you know, the family was like, get them out of the picture. Not in the pictures not in the white. Why is he even hear


Damona  32:54  

my mommy like he’s not like Tell him to go outside. He’s not in the picture. But she loves My husband from from the beginning, but I will say it was an opportunity for anyone that’s listening that may be in that situation, it was an opportunity for me to feel like, Oh, I’m included. And then I also thought he must be saying very nice things about me to them.


Carmelia Ray  33:14  

Yes, I can see now that’s probably because she relationships had it, and you’re married. And you have now two children. So he saw the future with you, which is great. But in terms of blended families, unfortunately, we don’t get that happy picture. I mean, I experienced the other side of the blended family where the partner I had chosen was somebody my family didn’t like, and it was so close after my separation, that the person who was in there and I had two young children at the time when I was dating somebody new that they were like, Who is this person? and wine is too early. And this and that was, it was actually nightmarish. Wow. Yeah.


Damona  33:51  

But how is it different now? You’re remarried, you have the happy blended family picture?


Carmelia Ray  33:56  

Yeah. And it’s not always different. You know, it’s I mean, I authentically I’m Filipino. He’s not, you know, he’s got another child how it’s different now as I think, because I’m mature and I’m older, they realize that they can’t tell me what to do. You know, I think it’s very different when it’s also who I am. Right and what I stand for. So they they just gave up on me. That’s what it was. Do whatever that she’s gonna do I just, just they just couldn’t. It was what is that? There was a show before that. They would say something is futile. It’s Do you know that you’re the V? No. Oh, gosh. educate you. I wish I could. What was it? Resistance is futile. Okay. That was sentence. Oh, yeah. That was it. But you know, at the same time, it’s, it was it’s a matter of just being clear of what makes you happy. How you see the future and, and, and really being gentle about it. I think anytime you’re aggressive or you force an issue or force an outcome You’re not considered of the impact for other people. It’s when it’s it doesn’t work, you know, you’re looked at as selfish or self serving, and you have to first of all, consider the children.


Damona  35:11  

Yes, of course, this is such great advice for the holiday time. And just in general, if you’re looking to date someone that comes from a different circle, and we all we all have our different cultures, even if you’re both coming from a Christian background, you might have different traditions that you’re having to blend together.


Carmelia Ray  35:27  

And, you know, a real concern for singles today, especially if they’re single in their 40s, or even in their late 30s, as you said, and, and their choice in the dating pool are single parents. They often do. Sometimes they’re afraid of even dating somebody who has a child. And that’s a deal breaker for some people and me, I know that it can be very successful. I mean, I don’t like what this stat says, but I’ve seen it work where it can be successful, but it requires compromise. It certainly requires that you don’t come into the relationship with already a preconceived notion that it’s going to fail. If you go into that, well guess what’s going to happen it’s already going to fail. But they come to me saying no, I don’t want the drama. I don’t want you know that the ex baby mama or baby daddy or whatever the case is. And it’s not always like that in fact is so far from that in some cases there are people that are separated and I look at them as like oh my god poster child for the separated family that really just worked together for the kids.


Damona  36:30  

Yeah, it’s all about communication to like I did this holiday dating segment or dating relationship segment on access daily. And I every every answer I had, essentially the crux was communication in the Mario Lopez is like, so again, it’s about communication. I’m like, basically like that is the answer to every questions. One of my four pillars of long term compatibility. You have to have good communication and good conflict resolution because the problems will arise and it’s all in how you deal with it when it comes up.


Carmelia Ray  36:59  

Can you Be our Dating Coach Damona


Damona  37:02  

Yeah, of course, what will train will do okay and even trade because everybody like you said everybody needs an outside I, their dating life, their relationship life and somebody to talk to. So I’ve enjoyed talking to you and it’s not over Oh, not over currently because we have questions from our listeners. And you are just the person to answer them in our next segment.


Well Carmela the questions have been pouring in during the holiday season. I know everybody is stressed about their dating relationship situation right now. We have picked two of the most pressing questions to answer today there will be a deer Dimona episode coming up in the coming weeks. So if you haven’t gotten your question answered, please submit it to me on any of the social medias at Damona Hoffman or you can go to Dates & Mates calm and submit your question there. Our first question for the day. It’s a little bit long, but I think you’ll get the gist of it. Okay. This person says I’m on all of the data. apps. And I’ve been looking, trying not to be too picky. But I can’t tell if I’m on the apps because I’m single scared of being single, or I feel like I should be. Or if I’m doing poorly because I’m scared, or if I’m doing poorly, because I’m not interested. I’ve always seen myself in the future with kids. But there was never a man attached to that future. And I would like to have sex. But I’m not into just hooking up on apps because I feel intimidated from being out of the game for so long. I swear I feel like I’ve heard this question in different formats from so many people, but like breaking it down. Is there


Carmelia Ray  38:35  

a bunch of statements? I need a drink.


Damona  38:40  

Question is, should she be on dating apps is passed away. She’s been out of the game for a while.


Carmelia Ray  38:45  

I think she needs clarity. It’s very, very clear. And thank you for just being completely transparent and vulnerable. Because I’m hearing this going you need some clarity because you don’t know what’s going on. Understand you’re in a state of confusion. And if you have no compass, or goal or direction, you have you see a kid but you don’t see a man, you don’t know why you’re on a dating app, you don’t even have a goal. Well, first of all you’re getting, you’re not getting the result because you don’t even know what you want. You cannot get results unless you realize why you’re on the app in the first place. So if you’re on a platform, and you have no idea why you’re on that platform, that’s challenge number one. Secondly, it I’m not judging her for not for thinking maybe she wants to be an independent woman to raise a child and she’s looking for a donate, don’t donate, donate a donor a donor that Yeah, she might be looking for the perfect specimen donor and co like wonderful co parent, you know, relationship. Because I mean, she could be I don’t know because she doesn’t know either. So I think the first thing you have to do is book a session with Damona like number one, if not heard me please for free Hi, because you need to get out of this. I don’t know where I’m going left, right, upside down. It was you’re exhausted. I’m exhausted with the statements. Well, I think you need help, like, in a good way in a really, really good way. Right? So thank you for that. But


Damona  40:14  

you have dating apps amplify whatever challenges you’re already having. People think oh, the dating app, I just go on the dating app and that’ll fix it like I haven’t. I


Carmelia Ray  40:23  

I if you go into dating app with that, it’s just going to further solidify your already view of dating disappointment because that’s what’s manifesting right now. You’re not clear. If you don’t have clarity on what kind of relationship you want, you’re just going to get more of the same so I think the work has to be done with first figuring out what what she brings to the table like what really does she envision for herself in a partner you know, and and then move towards that goal. Don’t get you know, Europe, you’re playing a game with no rules. Yeah and and no way to measure success like what is success to you is success to you going on dates is success to you having sex? Because if a success is having sex, then a great you’re having sex not just going on naps for hookups so


Damona  41:15  

yes yeah and all of my programs all begin with mindset that’s always the thing because if you don’t know the direction you’re headed then how will you know if you even get there?


Carmelia Ray  41:28  

Yeah and have someone review her her profile because


Carmelia Ray  41:32  

I don’t know


Carmelia Ray  41:33  

yeah what are her photos saying is it is it as confusing as like what’s going on in her head like is she posting usually right? Is she posting photos to attract what kind of men what kind of relationship? What are the words you’re using to define yourself? Are you are there even words on there? Are you just like kind of going around thinking okay, well I’ll float in whatever direction and patches takes facepalm emoji That’s better.


Damona  41:59  

Okay, as we’re just Talking about getting clarity on who you’re looking for. Our second question comes to us from a fella who says, What’s the youngest appropriate age? I can date? I’m a 34 year old man.


Carmelia Ray  42:11  

Oh, I have a rule for that. Sony. Somebody told me this rule. You take your age. Try this half your age. half your age plus seven. Okay, you


Damona  42:21  

got the calculator.


Carmelia Ray  42:23  

So 24 is the youngest.


Damona  42:26  

for 10 years. Yeah. There’s a big difference between 24 and 34.


Carmelia Ray  42:32  

Well, because well, yes, but he’s got to realize like he’s asking what’s appropriate. what’s appropriate is someone who has emotional maturity, compatibility, physicality, and sees you at your level. There’s no age attached to that if you’re concerned about age, let’s figure out why. That’s the concern. Why aren’t you asking? What’s the kind of woman I should be dating? What are the what are the partner qualities that lead to the most successful outcome for me, not how old or young I should be. dating. That’s the wrong question.


Damona  43:02  

Girl just I’m just gonna drop the mic right there. Because that


Carmelia Ray  43:06  

you might as well say 17 then like, come on, like, like, I don’t know. I mean, you know, sorry to go.


Damona  43:12  

I mean, I didn’t know when I was in my early 20s. I was dating guys in their 30s. But then you’re also on a different track. I think it’s different when you’re in your third


Carmelia Ray  43:21  

I was to at 23 years old by someone in his 40s and he was Uber successful, currently a multi millionaire. I wish I had seen the future.


Carmelia Ray  43:33  

Because I’m like,


Carmelia Ray  43:36  

I’m kidding. No, I mean, I mean, I was not ready for a serious relationship. so dizzy given name z anonymous, he’s anonymous. Okay, so Mr. Anonymous askers. Don’t ask about age. The rules say it’s 24. But beyond that, it’s all of the other things that are more important than the age of the lady that you’re dating


Damona  43:59  

Carmelia you are wealth of information. Thank you so much for joining us. She is on all of the socials at Carmelia Ray. And also I forget yes yo is doing something. Yeah, well remember it’s the, it’s the magnetic making a matchmaking app. So chief Matchmaker,


Carmelia Ray  44:15  

yes, I am the chief matchmaker at Censio. It’s actually launched here in LA, you can download the app at Censio and be in the spirit of giving for the month of December up until I think it’s January 1, you can use the promo code single bells, exactly how it sounds all one word. So to get one month free of unlimited matches and introductions on our app, so we welcome you to use that and can’t wait to interact with you on the love couch where you can ask questions. And yes, I’m so glad to be here. Thank you so much, Mona.


Damona  44:52  

Thank you. We will put that promo code single bells in the show notes along with your social media links. Thank you for being here. Thank you. And thank you for being here to listen to Episode 288 of dates and dates again, I’m at Damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear from you. I want to know what your questions are for our upcoming dear Damona episode, so make sure you send those to me and make sure you share this episode with a friend. Next week the holidays will be in full swing, but we will still be here with our weekly episode. We’re not letting you down. My holidays are on and I know the pressure is on for you so you can count on Dates & Mates. Until then I wish you happy dating

Better Sex & Interracial Emojis

Our guest co-host this week was Kongit Farrell. Kongit Farrell is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the founder of the Inspired Journey Counseling Center in Los Angeles. She worked as a coach and therapist for nine years and she also worked in the First Lady’s Office of Communication in the White House. 



Red flags to watch out for when dating someone younger

Damona was recently featured in Elite Daily with a whole bunch of tips for those in this potentially sticky situation. Most importantly, take note of if your younger partner seems preoccupied with your career or connections, if your sex drives aren’t in sync, or if they haven’t integrated you into their life. Read the full article via Elite Daily here.

Jennifer Aniston has had enough of sex and dating

Aniston just recently split from her beau Justin Theroux, and claims that all she’s interested in is “Me Time.” Although a Hollywood heartthrob, she’s not even interested in anything in terms of the bedroom. Any eligible sutiors out there? You can read more via Hollywood Life here.

Tinder users are more open to interracial dating

Of more than 4,000 people surveyed, 72% said that Tinder was the most diverse dating app and 80% said that they’ve been on an interracial date before. What do you think? Do you think online dating is diversifying the dating pool? You can read more via BuzzFeed here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • How to deal with your significant other’s conservative parents
  • What to do when you’re not sure if it’s cool to invite someone to a wedding
  • How to turn away a persistent guy who is making you uncomfortable

And many more . . .


Every once in awhile Damona has something to get off her chest, and this week was no exception. Up this time on the chopping block: the lack of effort in guys’ dating profiles today. Tune in to see what she had to say.