Tag Archive for: loneliness

The 5 Dating Loops : Featuring the Multiamory Podcast

As we continue our “Summer Series” this week, we are turning the tables with another crossover episode. It is from another groundbreaking podcast, one that creates a space for non-traditional relationships, the Multiamory Podcast. 

Damona recently sat down on Dates & Mates with Multiamory hosts, Jace, Emily and Dedeker, who have made it their mission to raise awareness, provide resources, and destigmatize non-monogamy. In this episode, Damona joins Jace and Dedeker on the Multiamory Podcast and shares tips to avoid or overcome dating app fatigue, why you should microdose your dating, and how to know if you should go on a second or third date.


(7:10) Why we need real-time communication…

Damona breaks down how the concepts of texting and social media are fairly new concepts in dating and how we really need to be prioritizing real-time communication. Because when your primary mode of communication with someone is over text, you lose the nuance of tone, eye contact and body language to inform it. 

Damona also describes how texting chemistry doesn’t always translate to IRL chemistry.

(11:30) How can we overcome dating app fatigue (and the different types of it)?

Dedeker asks Damona about her thoughts on dating app fatigue – what causes it, how to get out of it, etc. Firstly, Damona says one of the biggest issues is that when we start to feel fatigue, we don’t give ourselves a break. Usually we just push through our fatigue until we hit burnout. But giving yourself a break from dating apps does not mean you’ve failed or given up, and is perfectly okay!

(27:45) Debunking popular dating advice.

With the rise of TherapyTok and the reality dating renaissance, it’s easy to get caught up in the “shoulds” of dating. But Damona states that each individual’s timeline is different and that there’s really no set rules. 

Damona also goes into some of the rules her past clients have set for themselves, and how our “type” is usually informed by the people we’ve dated in the past.

(33:45) Damona answers listener questions!

I’m on the fence about my match but I’m still curious – should I go on another date? How much should I disclose about myself on my dating profile? Am I using dating apps the wrong way? Damona answers these questions and more…


Check out Multiamory on your favorite podcast app and be sure to follow Dedeker, Jace and their co-host Emily on Instagram @multiamory_podcast.




There is no Dear Damona this week, but please submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers during a future episode of Date & Mates!Unsure if your question is right for Dates & Mates?

Check out our recent all-Dear Damona episode to get a taste of what our listeners are thinking. 📝

Dating App Curious: Featuring Seeing Other People


As mentioned in last week’s 4th of July minisode on flirting, all summer long we’ll be doing a mix of masterclasses and showcases of Damona’s favorite dating & relationship podcasts. We’ll be featuring interviews Damona has given on various topics over the past few years, and some fantastic shows that you’ll want to subscribe to to complement your Dates & Mates listening.

Today’s interview comes from the fantastic podcast Seeing Other People, hosted by Ilana Dunn. This episode is especially ideal for anyone who is “dating app curious.” You’ll also hear tips for moving towards exclusivity, advice on avoiding the texting trap, and how to fully take control of your dating destiny.


Ilana is the former video and content producer for the dating app Hinge. And she’s an expert in Millenial and Gen Z dating. In this episode we do a deep dive on dating apps from the perspective of two industry insiders.

(6:50) Has modern dating become easier or harder?

With the acceleration of dating technology in the past decade, our dating pools have seen extensive changes to the amount of people we cross paths with (and that have the potential to become our match). But with more opportunity brings more challenges, as Damona mentions. Because the dating pool has now expanded, it’s CRUCIAL that we know how to filter our matches effectively to avoid burnout.

Damona also shares why she identifies as a “feminist dating coach” and how this affects the way she works with clients.

(15:15) You will have to send the first message at some point.

Although we’ve moved past a lot of the outdated parts of chivalry, many of us are still very attached to the idea of the man approaching the woman first. But Damona suggests asking yourself – what is the life you really want to build, and how many of the old rules still apply to you? Why are you sitting around waiting to be chosen when you could do the choosing?

Damona mentions that according to OkCupid data, women who initiate messages on dating apps have higher levels of relationship satisfaction AND longer conversations with their matches. But if you’re stressed about what to say, don’t fret! Damona says the easiest formula for an opening message is a comment + a question. Comment on something that struck you in their profile, and follow it up with a curiosity question!

(26:00) Don’t skip the Screening Step…

Dating burnout is a huge symptom of the expansion in dating pools (and one of the things we get asked the most about at Dates & Mates). But Damona points out that screening your matches before going on another first date is the KEY to conserving your energy and avoiding burnout. Having a call or video chat with your match before meeting in person can actually help you suss out if you have any chemistry to begin with. And remember that just because you have good banter over text, doesn’t mean it will translate IRL.

Your first date goal should not be a 3 hour long dinner date – this is a guaranteed trip to burnout. A one-hour coffee date is enough to let you know if you are interested in a second date. And if it goes well, you are leaving your first date on an energetic high!

(31:40) Does exclusivity mean the same thing to everyone?

The idea of being “exclusive” often gets us into trouble if we don’t include clear communication. Damona asserts that it’s never a good idea to assume you’re exclusive – you will have to have an intentional conversation with your match where you are both on the same page about what that means.

We also avoid clear communication when we focus on “playing it cool.” But truly, what do you lose by being up front with your match and letting them know you want to see them again? As Damona states, when you clearly lay out your intentions, you get a clear response back.

(51:00) Every interaction we have in dating is a chance to learn.

Although most times the goal of dating is to find a partner, dating is also a great way to learn about ourselves and clarify our core values. Damona says it’s also a great chance practice of empathetic dating, which involves having compassion for yourself and your match.

Damona and Ilana also discuss how to give yourself closure when dating. Because often, we won’t get the explanation we need from the other person in order to move on. But Ilana mentions a great way to create closure for yourself – dig deep and figure out the exact lesson you’re taking from that relationship.


Check out more episodes of Seeing Other People on your favorite podcast app. And be sure to follow Ilana on IG @ilana.dunn or @seeingotherpeople.




There is no Dear Damona this week, but please submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers during a future episode of Date & Mates!Unsure if your question is right for Dates & Mates?

Check out our recent all-Dear Damona episode to get a taste of what our listeners are thinking. 📝

Summer Dating & SET It Up


It’s 4th of July, Independence Day here in the States! And while people might say summer isn’t a great time for romance, we beg to differ.

This week 20 years ago, Damona actually had her first date with her husband Seth, and has since made many matches for her clients over the summer.

Summer takes people out of their normal routines. Think about it – there’s travel, summer work schedules, wanting to be out and about enjoying the good weather with friends. It’s switching up the mundane that gets you to take chances, say yes to new things, and bring new people into your orbit. And THAT is precisely the energy we want you to harness if you’re single this summer.

The other thing that makes this summer unique is this is the first time we are officially not in a pandemic in 3 years!!! Everyone has had their lives deeply impacted since Covid-19, which has prompted people to enter into dating with a new mindset and drive for true connection.

So let’s get down to it. Here are the 3 ways you can take advantage of your single status this summer…

  • (2:00) Adopt an attitude of yes.
  • (2:25) Embrace the apps – here’s how.
  • (4:00) S.E.T. it up! (AKA Smile, Eye Contact, & Touch)

Ready for Damona’s 201 Flirt School class? She recently created an entire Guide on Flirting in the Blinkist app!

Blinkist allows you to hear or read the key points from books and podcasts, and they invited Damona to share her biggest flirting tips and favorite books that will help you with your flirting skills. Download Blinkist today and look for Damona’s Guide on Flirting. 😘

Argument Styles & Dr. Orna Guralnik


It is NO secret that we love television shows about relationships and dating, but one Damona holds particularly dear to her heart is Showtime’s “Couples Therapy.”

If you don’t already know about the show, the documentary TV series is a deep dive into the authentic and visceral experience of weekly therapy where couples confront each other AND themselves. Spicy, but also, incredibly deep. It’s the best.

Leading the sessions for all three seasons is our guest today, Dr. Orna Guralnik! She’ll be sharing how she leads couples to some extraordinary breakthroughs, the best and worst ways to show up in a partnership, and what she has learned along the way.


How to figure out your partner’s “argument style”:

Refinery29 came in clutch with a recent article about how identifying your argument style can help your relationship dynamics in a similar way to knowing your love language, attachment style etc. 

The article lays out four common argument styles: Attacking, Defensive, Withdrawing, and Open (AKA the “holy grail” of argument styles). 

The author also points out that identifying the feelings or sensations that arise in your body during an argument can be key in directing you towards your argument style. Damona refers to this act of noticing as interoception, and explains how this can help you tune into your intuition and use it to improve your relationship communication.


Dr Orna Guralnik is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. She lectures and publishes on the topics of couples treatment and culture, as well as culture & psychoanalysis.  

Her article – “I’m a Couples Therapist. Something New Is Happening in Relationships.” – was featured in the New York Times in May. And, of course, she is the host of the hit Showtime television series, Couples Therapy.

(11:24) How do you get people to reveal themselves?

As a renowned couples therapist, Orna seems to have the magic touch when it comes to helping couples open up. Orna states, “The whole therapeutic profession is based on the idea that if you create space, people will want to walk into it. People want to share space, people want to connect.” 

She also mentions that she is listening to the less conscious registers of what is troubling someone. This includes details relating to early family dynamics, personality structure, trauma, attachment styles, and the overall societal issues that affect how a couple is interacting with each other.

(17:30) What are the biggest elements that are shifting for relationships today?

Referencing her infamous article “I’m a Couples Therapist. Something New Is Happening in Relationships,” Damona asks Orna about the biggest elements that are shifting for relationships today. “With the recent social justice movements, we’re all learning what it means to understand ourselves in relation to systemic issues and how these issues are running through us… This helps us understand what’s governing the dynamic of a couple.”

Orna also points out how the consciousness of privilege is shifting the way we look at relationships (and let alone communicate). “When you really understand privilege, how privilege shapes the way we experience the world and how people differ in terms of how much they walk around the world with or without, something really fundamental changes inside you.”

(25:40) We gotta go to the hard, scary places.

As most of us can presume, any type of therapy will only work as much as you are willing to open up and go deep. Damona wonders how one might handle a situation where one partner in a couple is willing to go deeper, but the other isn’t ready? Orna responds, “The person who’s not in pain is out of touch in some way that they’re not well in the relationship, so it’s just a matter of time in how to gain access to that part of the person.” 

Orna adds, as the therapist, that there’s a level of “the client is always right” – if she can’t get through to someone, Orna believes she needs to figure out what is being blocked and adjust her approach. But this is always made easier if the client is willing to be as open as she is.

(32:25) Becoming a better partner starts with being yourself.

Damona asks what advice Orna can give to single folks on being a better partner, and her primary advice is to “show up as yourself and not someone else.” She also believes that a good reason to get into a relationship is to expand beyond who you are, not just pull someone into what you already are and know. And if that’s your motivation, then it’s going to get wonderful, complicated, and really interesting.

Orna also shares how you can get motivated to do the hard self-work, and reframe it so it’s not scary (hint: stay curious about yourself).


Be sure to follow Dr. Orna on Instagram @OrnaGuralnik and check out Couples Therapy on Showtime!


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


  • Voicemail from S – Hi Damona! I’m a finishing PhD student and I’m getting ready for a big cross country move in the next 6 months. As you can imagine, I have a lot on my plate. I am curious about short term dating, but I could use some advice. On the one hand, I think it would be good practice. That way when I get into this new environment I’m ready to dive in feet first. But on the other hand, with everything that’s going on, I don’t know if it’s going to be a good distraction or if it’s just going to add more stress. I would love to get your advice on how to go about short-term casual dating or anything about dating right before a big move. Thank you so much for your time and your advice, looking forward to hearing what you have to say!


Unsure if your question is right for Dates & Mates? Check out our recent all-Dear Damona episode to get a taste of what our listeners are thinking. 📝 

Truths and Myths & Reality Gays


In reality, love is all around us! No, seriously. We see it in shows like Love Is Blind, Married at First Sight, The Bachelor, Too Hot To Handle, and so so so many more. 

At Dates & Mates, we are HERE for this reality dating renaissance. (Damona has even hosted some reality dating shows herself). They are both a window into the current landscape of dating and a mirror reflecting many of the same dating experiences that we’ve all been through.

They also give us an opportunity to learn through the contestants’ experiences, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to watch too. So today, we will be doing an ALL-Dating Dish episode to examine the latest TV trends, some new data, and hot headlines on dating and relationships. And we’ll be joined by one of Damona’s BFF’s and host of Reality Gays, Matt Marr.


Matt is one of the hosts of the mega-hit podcast, Reality Gays. But what some people don’t know is he’s also trained as a psychotherapist, so he knows all about why we do the wacky things we do in love. 

Plus, Damona and Matt will be celebrating Pride Month Reality Gays style.

(5:05) Not celebrating Pride Month? Here’s how to be a solid Ally. 🏳️‍🌈

Although we often focus on the “out and proud” aspects of Pride Month, there is always room for clarity on how to be a great ally. This recent headline about Abbott Elementary star Tyler James Williams is the epitome of how to do just that. After rumors started circulating about his sexuality, Williams stepped in to highlight how overanalyzing someone’s sexuality “contributes to the anxiety a lot of queer and queer questioning people feel when they fear living in their truth.” 

Matt and Damona weigh in on Williams’ statement and the importance of coming out on your own terms.

(11:25) Love Is Blind & relationship timelines…

If you watched Love Is Blind Season 3 (one of the shows Matt consistently covers on his podcast), you may remember one of the season’s most controversial couples – Matt and Colleen. The two did get engaged at the end of the season, but decided to prolong moving in together. And after two years of marriage, they’re finally doing it!!! 

Damona and Matt recall the couple’s emotional history, and dive deeper into breaking conventional relationship timelines. (Check out Damona’s thoughts on when couples should have the moving-in-together talk…)

(18:00) Once a cheater, always a cheater??

After coming across this article from The Guardian, Damona and Matt shed some light on some controversial relationship myths. Including, should you ever go to bed angry? Can a relationship really survive an affair? Once a cheater, always a cheater? And – *drumroll please* – is it possible to have a good sex life FOREVER?

(26:15) The state of Matt Marr.

Matt spills the tea on his own relationship status, diving into the embrace of his anxious attachment style and how thinking you’re “good with being alone” may actually be a reaction to some inner codependency. 

After a rocky relationship that ended in a lot of mistrust, Matt also shares some of the concrete steps he took that helped him learn to trust himself in dating again.


Be sure to follow Matt on Instagram @TheMattMarr and check out Reality Gays wherever you listen to Dates & Mates!



There is no Dear Damona this week, but you can submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers during a future episode of Date & Mates!

Single on Purpose & Second Date Decision


Going through stretches of singlehood is part of the dating process, but when the stretches run long, we can begin to lose our motivation. We may begin to doubt ourselves or question if we can create the kind of future we had in mind.

But what if we told you that these periods of singlehood were actually your greatest opportunities for growth and discovery? A time to confront your past and emerge into the world with a new perspective.

It might feel counterintuitive, but our guest today and good friend of the show, John Kim (AKA The Angry Therapist), is here to help you see the light. He will be joining Damona to talk about how you can transform being single into a joyous, exciting period of personal growth. Plus he’ll share some of the tips and exercises from his new workbook, 31 Days of Single on Purpose.


Here’s how long it takes most people to decide on a second date:

According to a new survey covered by the New York Post, the average dater knows whether or not they’d like to see someone again at the 19-minute mark of their first date. The article also noted some of the main traits folks pay attention to on a first date (manners, conversation skills, etc), as well as taboo first date topics and the main contributors to the end of a relationship. 

As for Damona’s take? Although we may have made up our mind about someone at the 19-minute mark, your best first date should be 1 HOUR LONG. We break it all down on Damona’s blog here…

JOHN KIM (9:10)

John Kim is a Licensed Therapist & Life Coach, best-selling author and the host of The Angry Therapist podcast. His books include It’s Not Me, It’s You; Single On Purpose; I Used To Be A Miserable F*ck and more.

John’s latest book, a workbook, 31 DAYS OF SINGLE ON PURPOSE, is out now!

(11:30) Why a workbook, why now?

Although having written several books, “31 Days of Single On Purpose” is the first workbook John has published. He shares that he always found workbooks kind of cheesy, but what became his main source of inspiration was the aspect of being a community builder, and creating a venue for singles to help each other out using the workbook.

John says that singlehood is the soil most fertile for growth and that finding community or groups of people you resonate with is huge. 

(16:30) What does it really mean to be single on purpose?

Inspired by his book of the same name, John recently began a podcast collective called Single On Purpose (check out Damona’s episode here). But what does it really mean to be single on purpose? 

After having coached many singles who lost themselves in their relationships, John states “it just means to find yourself first.” So when you build a relationship with yourself, you go into relationships with a foundational sense of self.

Mantras and meditation also play a huge role in John’s definition of being single on purpose. There’s so much power in language, and “if we don’t have an intentional mantra, we return to distorted thinking.” 

John continues that being single on purpose isn’t an easy feat, and shares his own struggles with his journey.

(25:10) “I’m not lonely, I’m experiencing loneliness.”

John and Damona dive into one of the hardest aspects of singlehood, which is remembering that everything is temporary. “When you’re single, the big fear is, is this going to be forever?” 

John notes it’s important not to internalize your feelings of loneliness as a permanent state of being and instead remember it is a feeling that will pass. Just like Day 23 of his workbook states, remember that your experiences do not define you.

(30:45) How do you know you’re relationship-ready?

The whole concept of being “ready” for dating or a relationship is a slippery slope. Sometimes we may be ready but we don’t know it yet, or we may think we want to get out there but still have some necessary work to do. 

John and Damona note that you might realize you’re ready when you meet a certain person, or some people even find “ready” while they’re dating. Of course, it’s all up to your discretion. But Johns says “it’s like having children – at some point you just take the leap.”


Be sure to follow John on Instagram @TheAngryTherapist and grab a copy of 31 Days of Single on Purpose by visiting TheAngryTherapist.com.



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

IG Message from P – Hey Damona, I’m a single mom and have struggled to find love… I thought I found it in my most previous relationship but I was so wrong because I became a mistress and now I keep attracting that. I want my own relationship and I’m wondering if that’s what I’m putting out? I don’t want to jump into the wrong relationship because I have to protect myself and my child.