Tag Archive for: love

WHOREible Decisions & Cat Guys


Our guest for today felt like the world would have to end to meet her match. But she’s gone from dating married men and loving her single life to a happy committed relationship… and all it took was a global pandemic to get her there.

Today we’re talking with Mandii B – WHOREible Decisions co-host and multimedia star – about her unexpected journey in love. 

Sit tight ladies and gents, this episode is going to be a FUN one – but a little on the raunchy side. So if your kids are in the car make them do earmuffs or better yet, listen to us later.

There will be some Fbombs, there will be adult talk, but there will also be some intriguing advice and hardcore humor.

First Damona eases you into this show with the dish:


Can you ever truly get over your first love?

According to experts quoted by Elite Daily, there are many psychological reasons that it’s hard to let go of your first love. Damona explains just exactly why and tells you what you have to do to get them off your mind once and for all.


What’s really going on between the White House sheets?

According to body language experts, Melania is more than unhappy in her marriage to President Donald Trump. Damona breaks it down.


Should you date a dude with a cat?

News for cat dudes: A new study shows that women have a tendency to rate men who post dating profile pictures with their cat as less desirable. There are limitations to the study, but still, it gives us pause.



WHOREible Decisions (11:00)

Today Damona sits down with Mandii B aka FullCourtPumps on IG – corporate business boss babe turned into podcast star and entrepreneur! She is one of my favorite women in podcasting. You might have heard me on an episode of her podcast – Whoreible decisions – which she hosts with her friend Weezy.

Mandii is THE ultimate career woman. She’s leveraged her corporate background into one of the most successful podcast careers in the game.

Now she’s here to give us an update on her love life in the time of Corona.

We discuss:

  • Professional women who boss up in their relationships
  • What does it mean to be dominant in your relationship?
  • Dominant women dating dominant men
  • Dating married men
  • It took the end of the world for her to find her perfect relationship

Did you LOVE Mandii as much as we do? Make sure to follow her on all the socials @fullcourtpumps and check out all her podcast projects!


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

  • G – He wants me to be more dominant in the bedroom. I don’t even know where to start?
  • Isaac IG – How should older virgins (25+) go about navigating dating in this pandemic?



Damona 0:00
Hello lovers, I have a special announcement for those of you looking for love. I will be doing a free webinar on Wednesday September 2, all about how to find love in the new normal. Yes, it is possible to meet your match in the middle of a pandemic. And yes, cuffing season is coming and yes, I have the secret to dating and I will share it with you. Why not join me so you know what to do to get out of the dating rat race. You can register for free at the dating secret.com again, that’s th e dating secret.com and you can join me live virtual style for my presentation on how to find love in the new normal and so that you can get your questions answered directly by me. It goes live on September 2 I hope you’ll join me

Unknown Speaker 0:55
is a tale as old as time he’s handsome debonair. She’s pretty and sweet. They lock eyes across the room.

Damona 1:05
Okay, hold on. Honey, you need to get your facts straight. Finding love today is more like Greece posts to get

Unknown Speaker 1:15
somebody to share my life. What is this text me? Maybe he’s just not that into me

Unknown Speaker 1:19
or even I have told all my hoes I got a man I know y’all cheat on your wives, but I’m not gonna cheat on my boyfriend. So I’ll let you know what I’m saying. Okay, you can

Damona 1:26
keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, what would it take for you to find love? My guest for today felt like the world would have to end to meet her match. But she’s gone from dating married men and loving her single life to a happy, committed relationship. All it took was a global pandemic to get there. Today we’re talking with Mandy be co host of the hit podcast, horrible decisions and multimedia star about her Unexpected Journey in love. But first, we’ll hit this week’s hot headlines including Can you ever get over your first love? And what’s really going on between the White House sheets according to body language experts, plus, should you date a dude with a cat? Then? At the end of the show, I’ll answer your questions along with Mandy including what to do when your man decides he wants something more in the bedroom and advice for older virgins on navigating the pandemic. Sit tight ladies and gents This episode is going to be a fun one, but a little on the raunchy side. So if your kids are in the car, make them do earmuffs or better yet Listen to us later, there will be some f bombs there will definitely be adult talk. But there will also be some intriguing advice and hardcore humor. First, I’ll ease you into the show with a dish these dating dish.

Elite daily asks, Can you ever get over your first love? Oh, we’ve all had that that first romance those first butterflies. And thanks to the wonders of social media, you can relive them again and again, if you don’t get yourself blocked. Why is it so hard to move on from a first love? Well, for many, it’s the first time that you’ve ever really gotten to be yourself that you’ve stepped out outside of your your home nest and came into your own in the context of a relationship. But according to experts, there are some ways that you can move on from these adolescent or from relationships. You know, it’s funny because one thing they talk about that keeps us tied to the past is thinking about it again and again and again. And I actually have talked on the show about nostalgia, and how effective it is if you’re on a first date to spark feelings of nostalgia and your date to actually create a bonding experience. So asking things like, what did you do for summers growing up? Instead of just being like, hey, how’s your job? Or something like that? Just imagine, like, even me just saying, what did you do for summers growing up, probably made you transported you back to another place. And even if I didn’t have the exact same experience, I can almost connect with you just by thinking about what I did for my summers growing up. But nostalgia. If you’re thinking about a past relationship, it actually can be really dangerous, because there’s this phenomenon that experts refer to as Pollyanna syndrome, and you’re only focusing on positive relationship memory so you don’t forget Get all the fights. You don’t forget the time they lied to you or cheated on you. Well, maybe you remember the cheated, cheating, but you’re not thinking about all of the negative things, all of the friction points in the relationship, you’re you’re taking the Pollyanna approach, and you’re looking at only the optimistic side of the relationship. So how do we fix it? How do we get over that love of the first person we fell for? Well, in this article, this elite daily article, they quoted a couple of doctors doctor, which suggests that getting to the bottom of why you’re having trouble moving forward is really the, at the crux of being able to do that. So you have to ask yourself questions like, how lovable do I feel? And if I don’t feel lovable, what’s getting in the way? And Dr. Wish says until you can really get over that. You won’t be able to move on and when you can get to why didn’t I feel whole or enough from in myself without that relationship? You might have a big life change ahead of you. And it could be something that would make you even more happy than a relationship but certainly more happy than romanticizing the past. Also, Dr. manly quote in this article said, by grieving the first love fully accepting that life has taken a different path and moving forward, the psyche is then open to new possibilities. Obviously, this is a long journey if you’re still thinking about your first love, but you have to take the first step. One person who’s clearly not thinking at all about his first love is Donald Trump. He’s now on wife number three milania, our First Lady of the United States of America, and Nicole Moore, a body language expert has analyzed their relationship. And she tells us according to interview clips and photographs and everything that she’s seen that milania did love Donald at one point, but may not be in love so much anymore. She looked at an interview That milania did in Barbara Walters, I think back in 2015. And she said that the energy of milania changed when she talked about how they first met, going back to the first love and then nostalgia factor, right. She lit up when she was talking about when she first met Donald. But she didn’t seem to be so thrilled about Donald’s presidency. And now, now that she’s in it, she she really doesn’t seem to be so thrilled. And she said she encouraged him to run for president. But according to body language experts and the clues that she’s giving, she may have been lying when she said that. There were also interviews where they asked what

There was also an interview where she was asked point blank if she loved her husband, and you know what she said? She said, Yes, we are fine. That just made me I don’t I’m not a body language expert, but I’m not I don’t think you need one to know that saying yes, we are fine and this is in relation to all of the the affair reports that have come out against Donald to just say yes we are fine is not really answering the question like are you in love with your husband still, so that gives me a little bit of concern. But nothing more so than watching their inauguration first dance. Y’all. I just watched this for the first time. And it is the most cringe worthy moment that I have ever seen. I mean, worse than a middle school dad’s terrible and it’s not even the fact that neither of them could dance and I kept thinking maybe her dress is just too tight. You know when you wear like the, the kind of pencil skirt and and I was like No, there’s plenty of room in that dress for her. Her to dance but she keeps turning her head away. And they’re looking at the crowd and they clearly were the most awkward that they have ever been in the relationship. But now looking at the way that they’re photographed together, he’s definitely taking the lead. He always walks in front of her. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that he always walks in front of her, and he often will initiate conversation. And he, of course will often speak on her behalf. So I can’t predict the future. But I would say based on body language, they have gone through an entire entire lifespan of the relationship. While going through the lifespan of this presidency. I’ll let you check it out. on the list, we’ll put the link to this analysis in the show notes. If you are a fellow looking for love, you might want to think twice about posting a photo with your cat in your dating profile. There was an interesting study that looked at pictures of men themselves and then men holding cats and it turns out she Docker you guys. Turns out that men who are holding cats in photograph seem less masculine, more neurotic and ultimately less dateable. I don’t know why it is that cats gets such a bad rap. But there is something sort of weird about looking at a photo of a super masculine man holding up little fluffy cat. And I really don’t mean to be gender normative or hetero normative or, or feline normative or any of that, but it is sort of funny and people have asked me before do you put your pets in your profile? Do you put cats do you put dogs? Actually, according to the study women who said that they were dog people were the ones that ranked these men, so unfavorably the most unfavorably. So I would say it’s a bit of a gamble. I mean, maybe if your cat is super important in your life, and it’s like Love me love my cat or ever Then I would put it but otherwise you might want to save the cat for the second date. Those are the headlines of this week when we come back. I am going to be with Mandy B aka, full core pumps on IE, she is going to be here talking about her Unexpected Journey and love. She’s also going to dish out a little bit of love and sex advice. And I’m telling you, it’s going to get hot and heavy. So if you’re bothered by some colorful language, this might not be the episode for you. But if you’re up for some fun, definitely keep listening. Welcome back. I’m here with Mandy be also known as full court pumps on Instagram. She’s a corporate business boss babe turned into a podcast star and entrepreneur. She is one of my favorite women in podcasting. You might have heard me on an episode of her podcast horrible decisions, which she hosts with her friend weezy now she’s here to give us an update on her love life in the time of Corona please help me give a big smooches to Mandy

Unknown Speaker 12:09
Hey guys

Damona 12:12
I’m trying to get you on this

Unknown Speaker 12:15
time right it does

Damona 12:16
yes and then when I was on horrible decisions I don’t know if you remember but we talked about doing your dating profile we

Unknown Speaker 12:23
did we did and girl it is unnecessary at this moment

Unknown Speaker 12:30
so what you got to boot up I

Unknown Speaker 12:32
wound up in quarantine of apparently it took the world to end for me to actually find someone I liked. Um so we actually met in the most pandemic fashion possible we met on zoom like

Damona 12:48
what we actually were Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 12:50
we met on zoom through a mutual friend. And literally two days after that, like we exchanged numbers in the in the chat on zoom because he doesn’t Now wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Damona 13:01
It was like Was it a group like a group zoom party?

Unknown Speaker 13:04
It wasn’t even a group party. No, like a friend of mine was trying to start a podcast. And so he was like, Oh, yeah, well, I think I won’t have my boy on it. So get on and like we got on. I was like, Oh, he kind of fine. And so even started flirting. And then I gave him my contact in the chat because he doesn’t have social media. And we literally went hiking Two days later, and I’ve been inseparable since so. Oh, I know. Right.

Damona 13:34
I love hearing this story. And I’m sure my listeners are sitting there going. Okay, well, that worked for Mandy, but how’s that gonna work for me? Do you have any tips on how you like what was going through your head and how you made it work? Was he

Unknown Speaker 13:51
he was just so fine. And so I was like flirting with him calling him Teddy Riley because he couldn’t get his sound right. So I was just like, I was Pretty much what I mean. And then, um, he like he’s very tall. I like tall men. So as girls do when we flirt, we joke and kind of like to me, I like to really crack jokes. So I was like, hey, so is your head just really big? Or are you a tall person over there? Because, you know, I’m looking at him through a box. And he looks like a huge, a huge guy. But he could have also just had a huge as head on a little body. I don’t know. So when he told me his height, I was like, Well, hello there. How are you? kept flirting? And I’m, like I said, I mean, it happened the same way. I guess you would flirt on a dating app. Like I said, I know we talked about that last time and how to go about like, starting the conversation and letting it know up front what you want. And I think when we exchanged contacts, I didn’t really know what I wanted. It’s funny because as soon as I met him, I was like, Yeah, I just need you know, Dick once a week. I don’t really want to see you that much. I don’t really like People a long time and I just wouldn’t do all these things on on how emotionally unattached I normally am with men and so that I just wanted this. And literally everything I said in the first day is out the window with how I’ve been with him. So

Damona 15:16
do you think he wanted a challenge? Do you think saying those things made him be like, I’m gonna just I don’t even know

Unknown Speaker 15:23
how much of a challenge it was girl I thought as soon as we got back from hiking, so, I mean, there wasn’t much of a challenge. I would say, first day, first day, I mean, I was shit at that point, like three and a half months with no action because of quarantine. And so I was just like, you know, to hell with it. And literally, we ended up seeing each other every day for two months after that. And, and what are his feelings on pegging? Oh, yeah, go for it. It’s so crazy. Yeah, it’s so crazy because he is so dominant. And so for your listeners who may not know I am you bringing up pegging? I guess I’ll open up a little bit here audience. So I am very dominant in the bedroom. I’m very dominant. Like, I’m the type of woman that when I go out to eat even on a date, I’m ordering for the man. So once I know what he wants, when the waiter comes, the man normally doesn’t talk at all. He’ll take this, he’ll take this and I’ll take this. And I’m literally normally that dominant. And so with him, No, ma’am. It I’m in the most submissive state that I think I’ve ever been with a partner. And it’s crazy, because I’ve actually gotten him to like, open up and we go to like the nude beach here in it. Well, it’s in Jersey. And what Wait, what there’s a new jersey shore? Yeah. Well, Cindy gunnison. And it’s funny because I was talking to my friend GLAMAZON tile me shout out to her, and I was like, oh my god. I’m so submissive. He doesn’t let me be dominant. And what’s crazy is he opened up he was like, actually When we go to the beach, and when you bring me to places, that’s you in a dominant state, he was like, I’m literally allowing you to take me into the spaces that you feel comfortable in. And he was like, so I’m vulnerable in that state, like all of these new places and new things that you’re showing me. That’s a form of me allowing your dominance as well. And I was like, Oh, you just go worse. I’m talking about the bedroom. But no, it was. So like, I think that he actually does feel a sense of vulnerability and submissiveness when he allows me to kind of take the lead. So you know, there’s a balance.

Damona 17:36
Yeah, it’s nice. That’s actually that’s a, you said in a very raw way. That’s really beautiful. That’s really beautiful that you can allow him to be vulnerable in his way and that you can be you can find your vulnerability as well. I imagine it must be a little different, too, because he came in knowing that you had this podcast horrible decision.

Unknown Speaker 17:57
Not really and no,

Unknown Speaker 17:58
no, no.

Unknown Speaker 18:00
He didn’t know until the end of the cabinet gonna hold him, literally. So what’s crazy is he knew of the podcasts. And the only reason he knew of the podcast was because he was like, yeah, so I was in Jamaica, and I went on Google and found the podcast. And I was like, sir, you’re not slick. You. If you were looking while you were in Jamaica, you came across our hedonism episode. hedonism is the swingers resort in Jamaica. So I was like, Oh, you bought that life, huh? And so I kind of open it. But yes, he actually saw that episode and thought I was approved. He was like, Oh, so y’all didn’t even have sex there. Like he was like, I watched the whole episode and I thought both of y’all just weren’t as freaky as y’all. Y’all made it out to be. So yeah, he Wow.

Damona 18:47
That was I think you found the right guy. I think you found that guy and girl. But on the show, you really talk in a in a very, in a very open way about sex about Gender roles about sexuality, gender identity, all that stuff. And I think it must have been, what was that moment? Because you also came from a corporate? Yes. You and weezy, right? Yes. And here you are doing this very. If I may say kind of x rated podcast, right. While you’re also still working your corporate job for a while. Yeah, I mean, now this is your thing is

Unknown Speaker 19:25
my main job now. I mean, of course, I did feel like I was living two different lives. I mean, I’m sure they thought I was sick as hell because I would have to leave work to go to the studio and I was like, Oh, my God, I have a doctor’s appointment. So I don’t know how many times I use doctor’s appointment while I was at work, but I was like,

Damona 19:41
you were knocked out. That’s why I do I’m gonna

Unknown Speaker 19:44
count. I was an accountant for a big four firm. So like during tax season, I’m in the office till two o’clock in the morning. But like if I had to go to the studio, I was like, oh, tonight can’t be one of those nights I stay late. And they definitely you know, pin that against me especially in review time because They thought I wasn’t saying as late as I should have been. Um, but what’s crazy, I think that that’s where our audience grew as well, just because I worked corporate just because I have two degrees just because, you know, I’m in that kind of conservative setting as well. You know, I could even show my tattoos. I think that a lot of our audience resonated because when they go home, they suck dick to you know what I mean? On the weekends, they’re going out, and they’re hoping for a one night stand after they go to the club and meet a guy that, you know, puts them into a pretzel. So it’s, it’s, it’s funny because you call it x rated. But really, we just talk about, literally sex in a way that I think a lot of people are ashamed of saying, but we all do these things. You know what I mean? I mean, is everyone pegging? No. But I was

Unknown Speaker 20:53
like, I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know.

Unknown Speaker 20:57
But you know, like, even though

Damona 20:58
it’s aspirational in a way

Unknown Speaker 21:00
Yeah, there we go. Like a lot of people say they literally live their lives through hearing our stories. And I love that. And I mean, even when we were on tour, people were saying we change their relationships, because now they found ways to communicate with their partners. And even if both of them just listened to the episode, we talked about topics that maybe you wouldn’t even think to bring up to your partner. But because you’re listening you could just literally blame us if you want to peg your man. Just be like, Hey, I heard this crazy shit on this podcast. What are your thoughts? And then now you have the conversation open to that you know?

Damona 21:33
Yeah, and you you make it so fun the dynamic between the two of you is just so honest your friends before he started the podcast, right?

Unknown Speaker 21:41
No, yeah, like so we’ve known each other since we went Didn’t she

Damona 21:45
go to it like a guy no appointment with

Unknown Speaker 21:47
me. So that was actually upon us like getting back into good graces we actually became, we started off actually as enemies because I dated her ex This is mind you 15 years old, so doesn’t really count. It’s a boyfriend. That never counted. And so we ended up being becoming friends around 1516. And we have a wild crazy traveling party liquor infused just rock star type of friendship up and through about 20 years old. And then we stopped being friends for about five years, somehow prior to the legal. We were definitely under age drinking, absolutely with fake IDs and all. But say like, we ended up parting ways for about five years. And just the way the universe has things set up. She ended up in New York A few years after I moved here. And so a lot of our mutual friends were just like, Oh, we these moving to New York, you guys should meet up, you know, at this point. Now, we’re 2526 years old. A lot of things have changed. We’re both now you know, I’m in college, literally working at Goldman Sachs at the time, she’s you know, upping the ranks in her tech job and so We were like, Okay, let’s try this again, literally a month. Within rekindling, we ended up in the studio and started horrible decisions. And here we are three and a half years later

Unknown Speaker 23:11
doing this full time story. Yeah.

Damona 23:14
And you’ve been through a lot of changes even personally through the course of doing the show. And you’ve always been very body positive. Yes. You know, you share bikini shots on Instagram.

Unknown Speaker 23:28
I think at this point, I own a goddamn bikini line.

Unknown Speaker 23:32
I mean, you wouldn’t think I live in New York.

Unknown Speaker 23:35
You see me in a bikini. Right? I know. Right?

Damona 23:39
Right. Right. But also your body has changed during that time. So you and you actually had surgery. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 23:46
I had you had the so I had the gastric sleeve. VSG it’s the vertical sleeve. So basically, they took out 80% of my stomach. And this isn’t to be confused with life. Whoa, this is literally my organ my stomach went from literally the size of a flattened football to a to a golf ball. And so it’s pretty much a forced portion control as far as food is concerned, and literally the first three months of it was like a liquid only than soft food only then blended food only because my stomach was stapled shut. And so yeah, literally within a year and a half, I went to my peak of about 230 pounds, all the way down to about 155. So about 80 pounds. And I mean, also to put into perspective as well. I’m five foot one. So 230 pounds on someone who’s five one, you know, is is kind of a lot and so there was a lot as far as how I felt in the bedroom. I felt like my partner’s had a lot to say. There were a lot of uncomfortable conversations as well. Where you’re saying before you had

Damona 25:01
this? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 25:03
Well, even with people knowing about my surgery like I mean, at one point, when I started losing weight, my my lovers at the time because I had multiple, they were like, Oh, we gotta we gotta get you some food. They actually liked my way I had other men that was like, Oh, well let me let me have sex with you before the weight loss. And what’s crazy is there’s there’s such shame and stigma surrounding bigger women in dating, not only for men, but women as well. And what’s crazy is a lot of these men did not want me to lose these pounds. But also, you know, there’s stigma and if we get into the talks about how they view lizzo and how they view a lot of just bigger girls in the industry, we almost come across as we’re not the type of people that men would fuck, essentially. And what’s crazy is I feel like I was getting way more men when I look bigger. Not gonna lie. To me now you just got that one. I do. Just have And I’d never thought that I’d be the one to be like, like I’ve always said that I need a boyfriend who’s gonna let me keep all my hopes. And I literally have told on my hose now like, Hey, I got a man. I know y’all cheat on your wives, but I’m not gonna cheat on my boyfriend. So I’ll let you know what I’m saying again.

Damona 26:19
Oh, wait a minute, you just you just here we go. You just dropped something there that I have to pick up. So So you’ve been the other woman? A lot? A lot. What at? What does that feel like for you?

Unknown Speaker 26:35
I’ve started thinking about it psychologically, as to why I prefer these relationships. And I mean, for anyone listening who’s married, they’re just probably going to be like, Oh, fuck, whatever you have to say about this. Like, you’re an awful woman to do so. But I’ll be honest, I feel like if it’s not me, it’ll be someone else. First off. Secondly, I don’t go into it. with malice, I don’t go into it wanting to steal away this man from their wives. I honestly normally don’t know the wives name, the birthday, their relationship, we don’t talk about it. But I’ve gotten into more thinking as to why I like these relationships. And here’s, here’s the fact of the matter. When dating a married man, I can be 100% myself, when dating while being single. I think as a woman, you lose yourself because you’re trying to be wiped or cuffed or become the girlfriend. And a lot of times you go about doing things, thinking, This is what I need to do in order to become a wife with this man. So I’m going to change who I am to do so in the relationships that I have with these married men. It’s been just the most honest and organic relationship because I know exactly what they want out of me and, and vice versa. And so we’re able to be honest, the lies that you would normally Tell somebody that you’re trying to pursue don’t have to be there. Because clearly there’s another woman. And so it’s honestly just become some of my most honest and fulfilling relationships over the last decade.

Damona 28:12
And you’re really living in the moment and those really you

Unknown Speaker 28:14
are and you can just say, Mr. Chair, so whatever stress they’re having, as far as you know, the financials of a marriage or being parents in a marriage, when I’m with them, and they’re with me, it’s, it’s not really a thing. And I will be honest, too, like, I’ve benefited financially through those relationships. I’m not getting them, you know, just to say, Hey, I have a married boyfriend, husband, whatever. No, like normally it’s, it’s financially beneficial to me. And it is, I guess, emotionally. You know, an advantage for them. And it’s just, it’s just fun. I mean, I’ve enjoyed it and they’ve looked out for me more than anyone has I just, like knowing what I’m getting into and I think with dating and being single you It’s all up in the fucking air

Damona 29:02
is but you must have had some experiences. so crazy experiences with the wife finding out or stalking you or whatever. No, never. Um,

Unknown Speaker 29:13
I’ve had one that’s like so they’ve all told me that they’ve been questioned about me. But I’m a friend. And they’re that. So like, it’ll go to where maybe we just make sure we don’t look like we’re in the same cities at certain times on social media wise, but other than that, like no, it’s never been like a difficult thing. I’ve never called the house. I’ve never made it awkward.

Damona 29:41

Unknown Speaker 29:42
Okay, well as a wife, I don’t know that. I know. I know.

Damona 29:45
I don’t know I can cosign on that. But maybe you should do like a class for the women that do.

Unknown Speaker 29:51
You also have a new podcast. You may not know busy busy, and this is only two I have a third one dropping in two weeks. So I

Damona 30:00
So the new one I was talking about is period. Yes. And tell us about what that is. So

Unknown Speaker 30:07
I think with the three and a half years that we’ve been doing a horrible, a part of horrible that I love although Yes, we talk about all of the nasty, kinky things involving sex. I really enjoy learning about just the body, psychologically how things happen. We’ve had a lot of experts come on, and I just love hearing stories about how other people maneuver their lives and and you know, so with period says, I wanted a platform to focus on women. I am I have so many home girls, and I actually blame them as to why I’ve been single so long. Because when I have free time, I just want to hang around my home girls, I love my friends. And I mean, of course, we always talk about so many different things. And it’s just crazy that so many women experienced so many different things. And people just assume that we all go through the same course in life and, and and I’m just like not at all. And so I started period CES to go into just all of the things that women go through. So some of the topics include pcls, infertility, trying to conceive after birth control, breastfeeding, single parenting, co parenting, I’m doing one on body positivity, of course and loving your curves I talked about. I talked with my friend Latasha about loving her dark skin and her coarse hair, and how society has deemed those features to be not beautiful. And so literally just opening the dialogue with so many women on on how they live through life and it’s, it’s so rewarding. I just, it’s been so fulfilling and recording and getting that content out there.

Damona 31:50
I’m so glad that you’re doing it. Yeah. I and I love that you have found love since the last time that we had a hand in that Mandy But I think it’s really exciting to just see all the changes that have happened in all of these changes happening through quarantine. I was gonna say

Unknown Speaker 32:09
for the, for me to find happiness Jesus, right, but

Damona 32:13
you know what it did it. It caused us to flip our perspective

Unknown Speaker 32:17
and currency and I got a fucking cat because I was so lonely. Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 32:21
you got a cat, you got a boyfriend, you got two

Unknown Speaker 32:24
podcasts and I actually see boxes behind here I actually, quarantine allowed me to sit my ass down and I was like, there’s no reason why I still don’t have a product. And so I am actually also periods. This is a part of the official box owner brand and it’s a subscription box that focuses on bringing women own and black owned feminine hygiene and sexual wellness products to your front door. And so I’m partnering with a lot of brands who may not have the the capacity to get on shelves, or be in Target or Walmart. Finding a way to help bring those brands into your home.

Damona 33:04
That is so exciting. I am definitely gonna get my boss

Unknown Speaker 33:07

Damona 33:08
and when you come out with that bikini line, right, you let

Unknown Speaker 33:11
me know.

Damona 33:13
Alright, we’re gonna take a short break, but I want you to stick around because we have a lot of questions that are more in the horrible, horrible decisions kind of category. Data meets category and you are the woman to answer those. d damona. Help me. We are back with Mandy from horrible decisions. And Mandy Yes, let’s do it. Love your advice. So let’s help some ladies and some Jen. I love that. Get their loving in quarantine. This one comes to us from Gina on Twitter. She says he wants me to be more dominant in the bedroom. I don’t even know where to start. Mandy How can Gina become a boss?

Unknown Speaker 33:56
Oh Boss Lady. I mean dominance is different for A lot of people, to me, it’s what it’s putting them in a vulnerable state, which is probably why I like the pegging in the booty play so much, because those are normally no go places to go. I mean, I think something up, the way to dominate, I think would be as easy as starting with a massage. Maybe blindfolding them, adding some different toys and layers into the bedroom. But you literally being like, hey, tonight, we’re going to try something new. That’s the way to be dominant, because now you’re taking lead. And it’s literally that simple. You say? Yes. Yes, that simple. So you taking the lead in the bedroom, and being like, hey, I want to introduce you to something new. And we talked about that earlier. Literally just being the person to lead allows you to have that dominance. And so it can be something as simple as that and now you’ve opened the, you know, conversation to maybe he wants to try something else and you take that lead and introduce them to those things.

Damona 35:00
Yeah, I love that. And I also read a study about how people are more open to trying new things during the pandemic. Now, it’s like, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 35:13
They’re like, wait, I realized there’s a few things I want to try before I leave this earth. That’s why

Damona 35:19
I also bored. Like, if you’re at home all the time, and you’re there with your partner all the time, you’re just like, well, we might as well do something out and

Unknown Speaker 35:26
try some new things in quarantine. And I didn’t even think there was anything new for me to try. So yes, I think it is wrong. I think the world Yes, but yes, please like,

Damona 35:37
She’s also already in a relationship. And I think a relationship should be based around trust and you should be able to try new things and know like, what’s the worst that’s gonna happen? Right? I mean, maybe a trip to the hospital, I don’t know. Right? But if you’re with your partner, he there shouldn’t be any shame or embarrassment or grief. There’s somebody that you really trust and can open up to. Okay, I have another one for you from Isaac on instant He says, How should older versions 25 plus go about navigating dating in this pandemic?

Unknown Speaker 36:08
Well, the way I lost my virginity at 16 I don’t even I don’t know how to really help with that, um, to me.

Unknown Speaker 36:18
To me, I mean, I guess you could maybe talk about maybe talk more to the dating profile in it. Um, you being a virgin, I think has more to do with maybe you wanting that emotional or whatever type of attraction outside of sexual. And so, I don’t know, I would say to just bring up that conversation. I still think maybe he’s looking for something more serious before he loses it. And to me and quarantine actually, now is the best time because people are sitting the fuck down. So you probably actually have more time to get to know somebody before diving into sex.

Damona 36:52
Yeah, you have to get over that covid hurdle of is this person right? safe to even be around to even be around right and then once you’re in You’re in no pun

Unknown Speaker 37:03
intended I want intended

Damona 37:05
no intended intended. Um, I will say I feel like when I was ready I was just like, let’s just let’s just get it done. And we put so much emphasis on the first time especially as you get older you start thinking like it has to be a certain thing it has to be really special and it has to be candlelight and magic and sometimes you just need to you know, I’m now I’m speaking to women but you know, Papa cherry and get it done and then move on tonight

Unknown Speaker 37:36
just talks about this. I don’t think I realized how much bad sex I was getting until I actually realized Okay, more about myself and experiencing good sex. And what’s crazy is I talked about even because I lost my eight my virginity, as you know, in my teens, I realize how quick my body count added up to because I was Looking for that hi that loving basketball first time moment that made me feel special and actually felt good. And the first couple times you have sex, you’re gonna be like, this is it? This is the Big Bang Really? And so yeah, it’s I mean, to me I think if you’re a virgin it’s also to me at this age smart for you to figure out what you enjoy. Do you like your balls played with? Do you want some math play and really start exploring yourself so that you are able to communicate with your partner the things that you’re gonna like?

Damona 38:32
sales of toys are up in nature and there’s maybe your third business there’s a third Oh my god. This quarantine keeps going on just like

Unknown Speaker 38:43
the at home toys buyer. We go.

Damona 38:44
Oh, ideas, ideas, that one’s for you. Okay, one last question before you have to go Mandy this one. I think this one came to us in an email Leo Tell me later and I’ll do a pickup. This person says what if you find someone that you would like to see Dark a committed physical relationship with how do you navigate and set safety agreements. You just went through this Oh, and slept with them on the

Unknown Speaker 39:08
first year. You know what I mean? Um, but it’s hard. You know, he was COVID free. Well, how did you know his status? He wasn’t coughing. I don’t know. I mean,

Unknown Speaker 39:18
honestly, I mean, I would hope I mean, this is I mean, giving the human species way too much credit. But I would hope that it’s something to where if you don’t feel well, you know, just not to bring your ass around people. And again, that’s probably giving people way too much credit. Because we have seen a lot of people just pretty much out in the open like, Yeah, I got COVID but I wanted to go to the beach. There are those selfish individuals. But I think it’s funny. You’ll know if that person is the right person for you. There was a person that I had been having sex with, I think we talked about him. I had been bugging him for seven years. The guy 24 seven, who’s no longer in the picture. It was there in Quincy. And we ended up reaching out to each other. And he actually was offended that I asked him if he had any symptoms or was COVID free or had tested positive. And he made it seem like I was asking him if he had HIV. Now this was early on, this was like, in March or April, like right in the midst locked down, but it’s like, he got offended that I asked him if he was healthy. And so I think that you opening that, that dialogue with whoever you’re wanting to seek that physical interaction with? You need to make it to where you guys can not only talk about COVID in this space, but hey, are you fucking anyone else Ross Should I know like, you know, when was the last time you got tested? I think that this actually opens up the dialogue to the important questions. If you’re going to go forward with having sex with someone and literally open up about all things you get tested for everything. You know what I mean? I just

Damona 40:50
think it’s a it’s an open that up. Yeah. What about though going forward into the relationship now you’re a little ways into it. Is it an ongoing agreement that If you are bringing someone into your bubble, that they’re not going out and going to parties or having a different risk level than you Oh,

Unknown Speaker 41:07
I mean, I’m not gonna hold you my man didn’t pretty much asked me if I was chasing Corona. Because I’ve been on I mean, I’ve been to Atlanta twice. I’ve been to Florida, I’ve been to LA. And so you just figure out where Corona is poppin

Unknown Speaker 41:21
and then, you know, that’s,

Unknown Speaker 41:24
like, so you just want to go to all the epicenters. Hmm. And, um, to me, it’s and that’s why like, even when I go to those places, I’m not going to a Hookah Bar, I’m not going to clubs, I am being around my friends. Even when I was just in LA, my home girl was like, I don’t feel too well. And I said, Well, I love you, but Honey, I’m not gonna see you. Like, if you’re not feeling well. This is not the time to be around your friends with a cold or anything you know. And honestly, just getting tested, like I’m scheduled to get tested next week. Just so that he knows my results and just so that we can like be on top of it and Yeah, again, it’s the conversation you have to at the end of the day, we’re all not living in our own little bubbles anymore. People are back to work. People are back eating out, they’re at the gyms. I mean gyms opened up here in New York this week. So, wow.

Unknown Speaker 42:14
Yeah, I mean, it’s

Unknown Speaker 42:16
a lot of kids are back to school, you have to realize this bubble that we were living in maybe in April and May. It’s kind of bursted and so you just have to be do your due diligence, wear your masks, do your hand sanitizer, and if you don’t feel well stay away from people until you get tested.

Damona 42:34
There you have it take responsibility for your life and those around you take control of your sexuality and what you need in the bedroom to and definitely definitely check out horrible decisions. And oh, periods. Yes, definitely check out periences and you’ll let us know when these new prod these this new buy.

Unknown Speaker 42:55
Box is dropping in September. So in the next couple of weeks The website will launch anyone can can join up for the subscription or the mailing list. It’ll have a newsletter component to it as well. And again every Monday, if you’re not, you know if you actually like this little raspy voice that you just listened to for the last hours, though, it’s we I released both shows on Mondays so you can listen to horrible decisions and get your kink in comedy. And then head over to period sis and get some edutainment tales of womanhood.

Damona 43:30
I love it. I love it. Make sure you follow make sure you follow me on Instagram, every little court pump and Mandy even though I didn’t get a chance to do your dating profile, I got a man now girl. I’m so happy that you found love and continue to track your journey and hopefully you can come back on dates and mates and tell us more. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 43:51
thank you so much for having me.

Damona 43:53
This has been Episode 325 of dates and maids. You can follow Mandy on all of the social At full court pumps, we’ll put the link in the show notes, of course, but make sure you stay tuned on all of her latest updates. There is definitely some tea coming down the pike. So you’re going to want to know what’s happening with Mandy because she has big news to share, and just a few weeks, and as always, we will give you a shortcut to today’s headline articles and the best gifts in the game. On the show, recap at dates and mates.com. Don’t forget that registration is now open for my free webinar that’s happening this Wednesday on September 2, so don’t miss out. Sign up at the dating secret.com again, th e dating secret.com and I will share the secret with you. In the meantime, hit me up on your favorite social platform at damona Hoffman. DM me, let me know what you liked from this week’s episode. And let me know what questions you have that I could answer on a future show. We We’ll be back again next week with a deep dive on dating app algorithms to kick off your labor day. Until then, I wish you happy dating

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Love Lessons: Your Spirit & Inner Child

Are you giving off the right first impression?

Are you giving off the right first impression?

You have 7 seconds to make the right first impression. It takes 7 seconds for someone to decide whether you are a right fit… or not.

It’s surprising that someone can discern a strong sense of who you are with a first impression. Even more surprising, they can pick up on some of the most intimate details of your past:

Are you compensating for something? 

Do you have some lingering emotional scars?

Are you looking for love?

So what does your first impression say about you?

Today on the Dates & Mates podcast, I’m guiding you to understand and visualize your true essence and how to align with your inner child so you can make a real and lasting impression.

This is the final episode in a 4 part series 
designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Full series LIVE NOW!


Unknown Speaker  0:00  

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


Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. My lovers, my lovers, my lovers. Welcome to dates in May. It’s I can’t believe it. But this is the last episode of the seventh season of the show. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wait long for the next season. To begin. It will begin next week. But to close out this season, we have a special micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome. But be advised that this is not the regular format, which usually includes headlines, interviews, and q&a. So I encourage you to go back and listen to previous episodes from this season first, and then come back and join me for this unusual podcast experience. For those of you already ready to go deeper with me and want to join me for a unique exploration to open you up to love. This is the last part of a three part exploration into your mind, body and spirit. Last week, we covered the body with a yoga tutorial that demonstrates how your physical movements and the patterns you carry in your body are a living metaphor for your love life. Deep right? Then the week before we did a visualization to help you picture yourself in the future with your ideal mate and get into the feeling of what it will be like to be with this person and what messages they might have to send to you. That will help you in being able to identify them and find them in the now. today. I’m going to talk to your spirit and share a lesson that I’ve only presented in private circles before. I really hope If you enjoy it, seven seconds, that’s it. According to an NYU study, you have only seven seconds before the person across from you makes up their mind about who you are seven seconds to get someone to ask for your number, or be offered the job, or close the deal. only seven seconds. Now, you know me as a dating expert, but I actually started out as a casting director. And in my work, I saw tons of actors who were talented, but couldn’t book apart because they didn’t know who they truly were. What if Melissa McCarthy thought she was a Jenny McCarthy? Or if Taylor Swift was trying to be Beyonce? I know you probably have some thoughts about that, but I’m not gonna get into it. I just want you to know. We wouldn’t connect with them if they were constantly trying to be someone other than who they were. But I noticed that the way that my students headshots capture their personality. This is the photos that actors use to present themselves to casting directors and the information that they would choose to include in their resume and their style. When they walked in the audition room. It all had an impact on their career. My classes essentially got actors in touch with their authentic selves, and taught them how to express that clearly, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s mold to be noticed. Sound familiar? The first time I became aware of this principle was during a theater class in college. Yes, I was a nerdy theater major. We did an exercise that was designed to teach us about our essence, which is basically just a fancy theater term for the way that you present to others physically and emotionally. The way that people perceive you the minute you walk in the room so We walked around the theater waiting for the teacher to call out a student’s name. When that name was said, we were supposed to embody that person’s essence and express how we perceived their energy. So she calls the name Robin and Robin was lively. So everybody started walking around going Robin, Robin Robin. And then she mentions Mandy Mandy sorta, easygoing, everybody starts to kind of shuffle their feet and say, Mandy, Mandy, Mandy, and then she says Dimona, and everyone says Dimona, and then crosses their arms in front of them in a judgmental and sort of discerning manner. And I was shocked, because that’s what they saw. But that’s not how I felt. That’s not who I really was. But to understand this moment, I have to give you a little bit of background on what I had brought into the room that day.


So I grew up as one of the only people of color in my affluent neighborhood in East Lansing, Michigan. My mom is a black woman from the projects in Detroit. My father is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. And the year before I came to college, my parents divorced. And people would ask me how I was handling their split, and I would say, it doesn’t even really affect me. I just I just keep busy. And all that time. I was also battling my weight and overcoming the image of myself as a pudgy kid with poofy hair, who looked nothing like anyone else she knew. I fit in everywhere, and nowhere at the same time. So when I went to college, I wore black every day. It’s slimming right? Plus I was an artist. And I thought I was doing a great job of hiding away the broken misfit inside and parading her around the mask of a discriminating artist. But in an instant, they had all seen behind it when everyone in my class did Dimona, with crossed arms and that look, I had to acknowledge what they were seeing. Who was this critical, uptight girl in black? Was that who I had become? Or was that a mask in itself that my childhood pain had put on top of me? Eventually, I began to shed away the layers with a lot of personal growth and a lot of time to surrender to who I truly was the whole time. A helper, a healer, a lover of bright colors, especially pink You all know that and everything I experienced started to converge when I was teaching my acting classes at night, and then looking for Mr. Right online. And it didn’t take me long to see that correlation between what I was teaching actors. And my experience with online dating. My profile pictures were like my headshots, and my profile bio was like a resume. And doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a first day is essentially an audition. I know you won’t argue with me on that. And everything that I was learning at work, and everything that that burst theater exercise taught me was being put into practice in my dating life


Unknown Speaker  7:42  

every day.


Damona  7:43  

But once I embraced my own unique quirks and qualities, and allowed them to shine through in my profile, rather than hiding behind a little black dress, or a snarky email, my dating life completely shifted This new perspective led me to meet the man who has been my husband for 13 years. And it helps me to lead hundreds of clients to success and guide. Thousands of podcast listeners right here through this show dates inmates. The COVID pandemic is reminding us of how important human connection is. And the current racial climate reminds us of how important it is to see the person in front of you for what’s inside what’s deeper than the surface. If you ask me, it’s the perfect time to fall in love. But wait, have you ever thought about why they say fall in love? Because for you to see yourself and for someone else to see the real you. It requires surrender. Acceptance of who you are, who your partner is, and an understanding of your true essence. Your soul, your soul. berat. Anyone can experience an initial physical attraction when they see someone. That’s the seven second rule I was telling you about earlier. But to actually fall in love, you have to be willing to fall. You have to be willing to share your true self with someone and let them see beyond the black clothes and the crossed arms. You have to accept that the outcome. It’s not entirely within your control. You have to surrender. So for a moment today, I invite you to take a look at yourself and look at the deeper layer your essence. What do you know about yourself that you keep locked away? How does that inner self come across when people first meet you? Can you peel back the layers? The coats of armor that you’ve cloaked yourself into cushion the fall Can you see that the Real discovery is in the fall. It’s so heavy to carry around all that armor with you all day. What if you just let it go. To help you do this, I’d like to lead you through a little exercise. It was part of my own transformations so many years ago. And I want to offer it up to you today as a way to get closer to that true essence of self, your soul. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Picture yourself in your body right now. how it looks on the outside, how it feels on the inside. Really experience what it’s like to live in your current self. feel the emotions that you brought into this room or you’re listening to this podcast right now. Feel the stressors that you live with. Feel that armor that you carry around with you Each day Ah, take a deep breath and picture yourself peeling away the top layer like a Russian nesting doll underneath the shell. There’s another self that looks almost identical to the current you but feels slightly lighter, a little more free. Now take a breath and peel away another layer. I feel the differences in this body and this self. And as you peel back layer after layer, you are shedding the stories that you’ve been telling yourself, the wounds that you’ve acquired over the years to get to a more authentic sense of self without all of those layers without all of those pains. Keep peeling back these layers until you see yourself as a Child. Look clearly at the image of your child self. Observe what your child looks like and what they’re doing. What is the expression on their face? How do you perceive the essence of your own child self? Now in your mind, ask the child, who they are and what they want.


And listen, listen intently, as the child expresses their identity, perception, thoughts, feelings, and needs. Maybe these are things that never got expressed when you were a child, but things that you wish You could hear your child’s self Express right now. And as you listen, let their words fill you up with those dreams and intentions. Let their description of themselves wash over you. This is the real you inside. Before you were hurt, before you learned how to shape shift into someone else, to survive difficult situations. Feel what it’s like to just be in your true essence. Not to put on airs, or change yourself to be lovable, to be lovable just by being you. You. You let that feeling wash over you And now, picture this child growing, getting bigger and bigger until you start to realize and recognize the you have today. Start to come back to your present self.


That child is still inside you. He or she has been there all along. You just need to sit back sometimes and let your child self come out to play. If your eyes are closed, you may open them right now and hear this message. This child, your child self deserves it all. Compassion hope unconditional love. And so do you. You’re not your stories and experiences, your soul is pure. And you always have the choice to come back to your true essence and begin again. You always have the option to bring your whole heart and your whole self into your next relationship. Be your true self attract true love. And don’t be afraid to fall in love. Thank you for joining me for this special dates inmates love lessons micro series. Next week, season eight of dates inmates will begin and I’m really excited to finally share with you that my guest will be the incredible garcelle Beauvais and you actually have something in common with her. Though she started out as a model and she starred in films and TV shows For decades, she’s now on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She lives her fabulous life, but garcelle is still looking for love. And she has bravely agreed to do a dating coaching session with me on air. Y’all. This episode is perfect for anyone who loves the real housewives, or is a fan of garcelle or as a black woman looking for love, or is just curious about what it’s like to go through this experience and coach one on one with me. So I hope you will join me for that on Monday, August 3. And in the meantime, I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episodes I know is a bit of a departure from what we normally do. But this is the kind of work that I do in my programs. And this is the kind of practice that I have incorporated into my own life and use to find love and to help others. So I wanted to share the deeper level with you and give you the opportunity to go on that journey. If you didn’t like it, no worries. We’ll be back to the regular format soon. But if you love it, let me know and I’ll be sure to do more of this. In closing, I humbly ask you to support the show through Patreon, I wanted to bring you these love lessons without any ad interruptions in the middle. So it would help me to continue to make dates and mates free to so many if you can just pledge $5 to support the show. In addition to the special video trainings and discounts on my future programs, and access to my library of older episodes, I’m also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits group that give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. They’re called behind the mic. And they’ll also include some live private q&a with me. So I invite you, I encourage you to please join the community and you’ll be with other daters who understand just what you’re going through and you’ll have me to walk you through it and We’ll support future episodes of the show and keep it free for hopefully eight more seasons. You can join right now for just $5 at patreon.com, slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your support. I’m so appreciative of the recent five star reviews. trueblue says it’s top notch advice. This podcast as informative and insightful. I think so true blue. I I’m really glad to hear that you found it and that you believe so as well. If you’re listening have a friend who could use this week’s love lesson or any of our prior episodes. Please do share dates and mates with them and help us spread the love. Until next season, which happens to be next week. I wish you happy dating

Love Lessons: Mind-Body Connection


There are three basic steps to complete before you can truly find a “forever kind of love”:

  • A mindset realignment
  • A flexible body
  • A spiritual connection

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ This doesn’t mean what you think it means! ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

This month, Damona’s explaining what all of this means and then walking you through these steps on the Dates & Mates podcast.

We’re releasing a 4 part series designed to take you deeper on a mental, spiritual, and even physical level to design the love life you want.

Lessons 1, 2 and 3 are LIVE NOW!

These short lessons will take you less than 30 minutes to complete, but might be the key to unlocking your missing link in love.

In the first lesson, we talked about self-forgiveness and deciding when you are ready to date.

In the second lesson, Damona gave a meditative guide to understanding your ideal mate.

But this week, your body tells you what your love life is missing. So let’s get physical!

I’m helping you open up to love by releasing blocks in your body and strengthening a mind-body connection in today’s yoga tutorial.

This simple exercise is made for everyone. So take 30 minutes to dedicate to this journey today!


Table Top – use your body with intention. (6:00)

How are you showing up in your relationships? How are you setting up your relationship foundation?

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Plank Pose – What is your gut feeling?

Mountain Pose – Receive Love

Are you in a position to receive the love you deserve?

Sun Salutation – Leading forward with the heart (11:00)

Are you ready for this relationship? Are you pushing yourself too hard? 

Downward Facing Dog – (13:00)

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Close your eyes – Trust and Faith

Cobra Pose – Gaze forward through your mind’s eye (15:27)

(picture courtesy of Jeff Nelson for Yoga Journal)

Tree Pose – Focus your intention

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)

Twisted Lunge

(picture courtesy of gaia.com)

Camel Pose

(picture courtesy of beyogi.com)



Damona  0:12  

Lovers, welcome to dates and maids. We are closing out this seventh season of the show departing from our regular format of headlines and interviews and QA to bring you a micro series called love lessons. If you’re new to the show, welcome, I adore you. I’m so happy you’re here. And I strongly encourage you to go back and listen to some other episodes from this season first, because this is going to be a different kind of thing. But for those of you who are ready to go deeper with me and want to experience a different kind of transformation, strap on your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. Last week, I shared an exercise with you about the mind and How to visualize yourself in the future and train your brain to get on a course to find your ideal mate. So today, I will do an exercise with you that uses the body to heal prior wounds and open you up for love. Our bodies are incredible. They store information and emotions that inform our daily choices in life. But just as we store tension and pain and fear, there are movements that you can do to release these emotions and unlock a deeper level of trust and confidence and openness to love. The other powerful thing about the body is that it can’t be talked out of something. While you can do a mental exercise, you can do those exercises all day but still sabotage yourself with negative thinking that counteract the positive effects of visualization and meditation and other mental exercises. When you work with your body, you can be impacted on an immediate physiological level. Without having to battle with stories and memories in your mind. The body is pure action and reaction. And this is one of the reasons that you’ve heard me say on the show before, that you learn in motion. This is why I do improv and practice dates with my VIP clients so that they can feel the new dating habits in their bodies. And then it becomes second nature and you don’t have to think about it. It’s also why I say that you don’t necessarily need to wait until you’re 100% over a breakup to begin dating again. We can talk about your feelings and picture yourself in the ideal relationship forever, but you cannot get there without taking action. So let’s take some action right now. 20 years ago, I took my first yoga class and I never looked back it transformed my body for sure. But more importantly, it transformed my mind. Today, I’m going to give you a series of poses that have a profound ability to impact your love life. What’s coming up is not a yoga class per se, but it’s a tutorial. If you’re new to yoga, I will describe the poses in detail and we will post a blog at dates and mates comm showing the poses if you’re not totally clear on what it’s supposed to look like, but also I encourage you to just trust yourself. And even if it’s not perfect, as long as you’re not in pain, you don’t have to do it perfectly. You’re making progress just by attempting the movement. Now, if you’re a seasoned practitioner, I hope that this session gives you a deeper understanding behind the postures that you can take into your flow classes and practices in the future. This will not be a substitute for regular class and this is not intended as a workout. But it can be a helpful supplement to your regular practice and give you a deeper level of knowledge as to why your teacher is following you through a certain sequence of poses. Before we begin moving, I have to include a disclaimer that I am not a yoga teacher. I’m a committed practitioner of 20 years I’ve studied with some of the best teachers in the world. And I am a former AFA certified fitness instructor, and an accredited Pio plotters, yoga teacher. And most importantly, if you do any of these exercises at home, you must be aware of your surroundings. So clears some space out. And let’s begin. 


If you have a yoga mat or blanket, please take a seat on it. Now, ideally with your legs criss crossed or if that’s not possible for you and your body. Prop yourself up on a pillow or sit on your knees. Now close your eyes. Take a breath in and out And feel yourself in your seat. Whatever part of your body is touching the ground right now, visualize the points of contact rooting into the ground, through the floor


into the earth. You’re grounded and you’re sure of yourself as you are connected to the earth. Breathe in again. Hi and feel that sensation as you breathe out. Now I want you to set an intention for our time together. What do you hope to get out of this experience? How do you want to feel when it’s done? breathing that intention. Breathe that intention in and over your body. In and out. And sit with intention for a moment. Now, you can open your eyes and come up onto all fours. So this is tabletop position. I want you to look at your fingers. How are your hands connected to the mat or the floor below you? Are they placed with intention? Or are they kind of curled? Or are they flat and strong? How strong are your forearms and your elbow right now? Okay, it’s alright if you did it without tension before, but now, let’s place them mindfully. I want you to think about spreading your fingers out evenly. And think of pressing the mound of your hand like right there under your knuckles into the ground. Imagine you’re almost clawing the floor while pressing your fingertips and Knuckles into the floor beneath you. And then Picture yourself drawing up strength from the floor. So you have all five fingers and the pad of your hand pushing down yet, muscle energy is pulling up from the floor. feel those muscles of your arms and the rooted intensity of your fingers. This is a foundation. This is being grounded. And you see how it affects the whole experience of the finger, the hands, the forearms, the elbows and the shoulders in this pose. Okay, now relax for a second and go back to how you were doing it before. Don’t think about it too much. Just put it back how you were. And then ask yourself this question. How have I been showing up in my dating life or in my relationships? I might just placing my fingers on the mat and expecting to be supported. Or am I taking the time to set up my foundation and using my energy to hold my intention. So now you get to reset your foundation. Go ahead and push those fingertips and the mount of your hand into the floor, climbing the floor almost and drawing that energy up. Do it the good way. And I’ll pop up to plank pose. So this is ideally with your knees up off the floor, toes curled under making a straight line from the top of your head all the way down your spine to your heels. And if that’s not accessible for you right now, that’s okay. Put your knees down, but focus on getting that straight line. You want that going from the top of your head down to your knees. Now Engage your core. And this isn’t Suzanne subbers ABS of steel stuck in your belly. This means picture the entire core of muscles The front sides and back of you, which all support you in this post. If you’re not feeling them yet, you’re not feeling that court, drop your hips down an inch and see if that engages them. Stay there. I know you’re still there. Think of how important your core is to your decision making in dating and relationships. When you’re out with someone and you’ve heard me say before that you have to get in touch with the feeling you have when you’re with them. You need to know what’s up in your gut. We are still up my friends. We’re still up in plank. You’ve heard the saying, I had a gut feeling right? This is where that feeling begins. Keep breathing. This exercise is helping you to awaken this area of your body so that you can feel your gut when it’s speaking to you. Okay, it’s alright, you can come back down. Come back down now to all for us. Intense right


for more experience practitioners you can add on a Breath of Fire. That’s another great gut check. We’re not going to do it today. But I encourage you to incorporate that into your practice. If you find yourself saying, I don’t know what to look for in a match, or I feel out of touch with my gut reaction. And as you train this gut instinct, you should be able to know within the first 30 minutes or so of meeting someone if your gut is giving you a yes or no on them. Now, if you’re familiar with sun salutations, you can come up and move into your own flow right now. And then I’m going to throw you a curveball in a moment. But for now, if you’re new to yoga, if you’re completely new, you don’t know what a sun salutation is, don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through it right now. Come up to standing at the top of your mat. Some teachers will tell you to bring your feet together when you come up to standing. But that’s physiologically challenging for many people. If you look at where your hips are placed, bring them together does For a lot of people in the hip and groin area, so for myself and for many other people, if you are more comfortable with your legs, hip width apart, that’s all good. And I encourage you to do that stand with your arms at your sides and your palms turned slightly open. Think of this as a position of receiving. And remember, remember we had that intention from before. Put that back in your brain and we are going to flow. Now like you’re drawing a sun, bring those arms up and around and up to the sky, and then bring them apart and dive forward to touch the ground. If you don’t have the flexibility to touch the ground like this, just bend your knees, no biggie. modify this to make it feel good for you. Now with your arms still on the ground, I want you to take your head up and look forward towards your future. And release your head down and drop back to the floor. keeping those in Knees bent if your hamstrings are tight. And now we’re going to step back to all fours or plank position as you were a moment ago. And I want you to lower down slowly to the floor, as if you’re doing a descending, push up. This is Chaturanga. Go all the way down to the floor. Next, we’re going to come up to Cobra. Inhale, no upward facing dog folks, most people do not have the flexibility for that and doing poses, your body isn’t ready for is the number one way to get injured. Just like pushing yourself into a relationship that is not right for you is number one way to get your heart broken. So we’re just going to keep our hands down and push into the floor with our hands with the same intention we did in tabletop. But keep our elbows bent. So you’re going to pull your heart through your shoulders, think of leaning forward with the heart. And we are unlocking the heart through this exercise. We will get deeper into that and Moment. Exhale and release down to the ground and push back to downward facing dog. This is basically just an upside down V position. If you don’t know it again, tight hamstrings, no problem, just bend your knees and focus on getting your butt up to the sky and that straight line from your head all the way down your tailbone. We are going to breathe here for three deep breaths, focusing on our original intention again.


Unknown Speaker  13:30  

Breathe in


Unknown Speaker  13:33  

and out


Damona  13:38  

and out. Breathing in and out again, preparing to jump or step forward to the top of your mat. Then circle your arms up again. Come up to the sky and back down to Mountain Pose. Tadasana again at the front of your mat with your arms at your sides turned slightly open In a pose of receiving. Now, if you’ve already been flowing, please come back and meet me here at the top of your mat for your curveball. Relationships require an element of trust and release. And this is one of the things that my clients struggle with most. So to allow us to feel the sense of trust and faith. I’m going to have you close your eyes and do all of that. Again. I want you to allow my voice to lead you and don’t worry about how you look or where you are on your mat. We are going with feeling eyes closed. Breathe in and circle your arms up to the sky. And then as you hinge forward, dive your head down to the ground as you circle your arms around to the floor. And exhale, eyes still closed. Now inhale and bring your head and heart forward, but keep your arms down and your eyes still closed. And here’s the tricky part step back to plank pose. Feel it? Are you getting that gut check? Uh huh. Now, we’re going to exhale all the way to the ground. Chaturanga. Reverse push up and inhale again, bring your head up to cobra pose bhujangasana. As your hands are rooted to the earth, your eyes are still closed and yet you’re gazing forward through your mind’s eye. Bringing that heart forward. Now tuck your toes under and push back. Downward facing dog on a muka Shavasana. Eyes are still closed, exhaling fully and inhaling. What are you feeling? This is bringing up anxiety to have your eyes closed. Is it scary to be inside alone with yourself. Keep breathing. We’re still in downward facing dog. Keep sitting with your feelings. On your third inhale and exhale, step forward to the top of your mouth, still keeping your eyes closed or back at Tadasana Mountain Pose. What do you feel now? on your own, I encourage you to do a closed eye flow again sometime, but for time, we’re just going to do that one circuit today. Yet, if you do another sequence with your eyes closed, pay attention to the feelings that come up for you. When you must lose control, and struggle with balance and face what’s inside your body and mind when you’re alone in there, without outside stimulus. For today’s exercise, we’re going to move on to a few more poses. tree pose is next. Turn your right knee out to the side and lift the inside of your foot up to your calf or inner thigh. Just avoid the knee you’re either above it or below it essentially your leg You’re going to look like a flagpole and your knee a flag. And I want you to put your hands together in prayer position or raise your arms up to the sky. How’s your balance? Are you looking forward? Do you have a focal point? Do you have a focus? Do you have a focus in your love life? Think of that focus that intention, get clarity. See how that impacts your balance. In yoga, we call that focal point, your drishti. And your drishti will tell you whether or not you can stay in a pose. Maybe if you’re feeling balanced, you can lift your leg higher or your gaze higher. People are always talking about seeking balance and visualizing. There’s this magical point where everything just comes together that they just haven’t attained yet. haven’t unlocked that level. The Game of Life. What you’re experiencing right now is that to get to a relative level of balance, there is a constant ebb and flow. Your muscles are probably working very hard to balance just like your mind is working to find that focal point. Switch sides. You take your left leg up to your calf or inner thigh and arms up to the sky, or in front of you palms together in prayer position, find that focal point. Breathe in


and out. Are you struggling to find your balance? But feelings are coming up for you when you do? self doubt? Are you saying I can’t do this? What is wrong with me? Then ask Have you let go of your muscle energy? Have you lost sight of your drishti your focal point? Are you challenging yourself enough? Are you just okay being in balance Are you willing to push yourself further? If you’re balanced, see if you can look a little higher, or bring your arms up, or your legs up. Oh, did that push you out of balance? Are you out of your comfort zone? Wait, are you still breathing? That’s the most important thing in yoga, keep breathing, inhaling and exhaling. My friends, this is what balance really looks like. This is the constant process of being in and out of balance with a constant focus on realignment. And I guarantee you that the feelings that are coming up right now what you’re experiencing emotionally, it’s probably echoed in your daily life and in your love life as well. Try to approach approach yourself with kindness and compassion. Last few moments really grood down through the ground see yourself as a tree with strong roots whose leaves and branches can move in a breeze, but still say connected to the trunk. You’re strong, you’re connected, build out power. And release. Let it go back into dossena Mountain Pose. We’re going to move on to my least favorite type of pose, but one that is extremely important and you’ll see why it’s my least favorite and why it’s so important in just a moment. Now, take your right leg back into a lunch, you can either put the knee down to the mat, if that’s more secure for you, or you can keep it up. Now press your hands together in prayer position, and I want you to rotate your torso to the left over your left knee. Breathe in and imagine yourself wringing out your midsection as you pull your body left. Keep turning, keep turning. Keep turning and if you can now take your right elbow outside your left knee I know it sounds like twister. You are in a twisted position with your upper body. Moving to the left and you’re in a lunge in your lower body with your left leg forward. You are compressing your mid body. But I want you to try to lift up through your heart and bring it closer to your prayer hands can you twist a little more through your heart? What is coming up right now, um, for me, I get anxious in this position. I really want to move I really want to move I really want to pull out and away but I know that that feeling is just the remnants of my avoidant attachment style wanting to run away at the first sign of trouble. Maybe that’s coming up for you too, but still stay in it. Remain in the twist until you can feel the feelings coming up for you and keep breathing. You can try to lift your back knee and balance if you’re not there yet one more moment breathing in And out. On an exhale, release and switch sides. You can bring your right leg forward and your left knee to the ground or up, hands again, at prayer position, and now we’re going to rotate to the right for you in and on an exhale, wring out those in our drag them out all the way to the right, keep going and on an exhale how you can hook that left elbow outside your right knee, and then feel all the feels. Maybe for you, this is very comforting. You might not have the same associations that I do. Maybe for you, it brings up a feeling of being supported and locked in or connected to your core self. Or maybe it brings up a lot of discomfort for you. And for you the juice in this pose is about learning to To be nonreactive in a challenging situation, we want to choose to respond in challenging moments, rather than just react or explode. Whatever’s coming up for you Don’t be afraid of the feeling. Stick with it. Breathe in and out once more. What was that intention again?


Are you still remembering it? Are you here in the moment? Are you thinking about what comes next in your day? Try to be right here with me. Breathe in and on an exhale, wring out those innards, wring them out as you turn to the right. It’s backbend time. This is the most important movement for my clients looking for love as we are often afraid to open up our hearts. I’ve seen tremendous relief happen in people’s lives beginning with learning to open the heart physically, as it leads to open The heart emotionally. We are going to move into camel pose.


So now come up to sitting on your knees, we’re going to lift our body up. So you’re making a right angle at the back of your knee, your torso is straight up and your shins are parallel to the ground. Now, tuck your toes under, unless you already knows know this pose and you can do it with your feet flat. tuck your toes and put your hands on your hips. With your thumbs facing towards the back. You should be able to feel your tailbone. Now lift up through your heart. We’re not moving anywhere just yet. Just imagine your heart like Superman, bursting through your chest up to the sky and begin to dip your head slightly back and up to the sky without crunching your neck. This is a very vulnerable position isn’t it? When you open your heart to someone, one of your most Most important organs is exposed unprotected. And if you experienced heartbreak in the past, as I’m sure most of you have, this could be very hard for you. It could feel like you’re literally having to crack open your ribs to get your heart through. But the more you do it, the easier it will be. And we need this kind of opening to be able to let love in. So this pose could be enough for you. 


But if you want more or you know, camel pose, you can begin to take your hand back to your heel, still lifting up through your heart, and then slowly take the other arm back. So now you’re in a teardrop sort of shape, with your heart up to the sky and your head falling back behind you. Again, not crunching your neck. Your body is fully supported by your hands as they push into your heels feel that support Knowing that when you open your heart It’s okay. Because your network supports you, your friends, your family, me, we literally have your back. So you can just let go of having to protect and cover your heart all the time. It’s time to release. Breathe in again and out. Now we’re going to come up slowly Hold on, but here is the most important thing. Your head comes up last. I guarantee you if you do this too fast, you will lead with your head just like you do in love. Today, we are going to lead with our hearts trying to come up from your hips and your heart all at once. Think of rooting down like a tree through your knees and then pulling your heart forward with you while your head trails behind. Did you Read with your head. Hmm, if so, try it again. Heart first heart, first head last heart burst. And once you’re up high, you can come back down to sitting, and then move into lying on your back. Your feet are stretched out on the ground, your arms are at your side, your palms are up to the sky. Relax into your final resting post Shavasana feel the effects of this practice, wash over your body. This is just a primer of some key poses to get you into the feelings of dating and relationships and the patterns that may not be serving you that have become imprinted on your body. So to review, we played with getting in touch with our core, closing the eyes to access trust and surrender. Balance And needing to accept that ebb and flow of life, twisting to access our attachment style instincts and our ability to stay calm in the face of challenges. And finally, we open the heart to allow others to come in and see our true self. There’s so much more that we could do. But this is just a starting place. If you do this practice again, once a week, you will notice that there is a change that will happen in the way that you’re connecting to your body, and how that’s affecting your mind and the patterns that you have in love. All that will show up in your practice and it will show up in your real life. The next time you’re in a regular yoga class, if you are a yogi, think of the deeper association of these postures. Fitness is amazing. But Yoga is so much more than that and it can lead to a deep discovery. And acceptance of yourself, which is really what this whole life journey is about. Right?


Close your eyes for a moment. And remember that intention word that we started this practice with. Imagine it, bathing your body, head to toe and washing over you. Now let it all go and just be you’re here. There’s only one you you can stay stuck in a body that has locked in hurt and anger and sadness. Or you can release all that and write a new story for yourself. From here on out. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are you Thank you for listening to this special love lesson with me. Next time, we will have a love lesson for your spirit. This is all leading up to our season eight launch on August 3, we have a super fantastic special guest for that show, who I cannot wait to reveal to you. But in the meantime, you should follow me on social media. And I will announce first on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook who that guests will be. plus I would love to hear your reaction to these special love lessons episode so you can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I would love your support of this show through Patreon. I am also adding videos within the Patreon Friends with Benefits Facebook group that will give you a behind the scenes take on the recent dates and mates episodes. And they’ll also include live private q&a is with me. Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast Plus, you’ll get the members only podcast library that is now open. We have over 300 episodes of dates in mates. Our public feed has the most recent 100, which is damn good, but there’s so much more and I’d love for you to have access to that you can become a member for only $5, a month@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. The link will be in the show notes. But I wanted to bring you these love lessons without add interruptions in the middle, because I wanted you to be able to experience that journey with me without interruption. So if you want to support that, and keep making the show free to everyone, and you have five bucks laying around that you could pledge to the show, I would deeply value your support@patreon.com slash dates and mates. Thank you so much for your recent five star reviews. I have just I’m so honored that you took the time to be with me and to share your thoughts about the show with others. And thank you for also sharing these episode So with other people who could benefit from them. Thank you so much for listening. Until next week. I wish you happy dating

Pride & Prejudice


Here at Dates & Mates, we are exhausted.

Exhausted from the events of the week, but also exhausted as women of color in America. (Shout out to Damona for being an OG champion of diversity!)

As Damona puts it in today’s episode, “For decades I’ve been shouting about racial injustice from the top of my lungs and I was starting to run out of breath so I’m relieved to see others now working to create conversation and enact change.”

We thought long and hard about whether or not to drop an episode of Dates & Mates this week but came to the conclusion that in times like these, it is my responsibility to keep using our voice.

The way that Damona uses her voice? To heal people and build bridges is through LOVE.

So today, we’ll be talking to Donny Meacham, a dating coach who is also a correspondent on Celebrity page TV, as well as a Sirius XM co-host and writer for Naught Gossip, Elite Daily and more. We’ll be talking about all things Pride and Love.

But first, we should address what is going on around us: 


In light of the week’s events, we had to ditch the dating dish and instead, Damona gives her perspective on the week’s events and to give you some historical context to what’s happening right now. She says:

“As I record this, it has recently been announced that a lot of pride parades will march in solidarity with the current Black Lives Matter protests, and before you say, not my March, those are two separate things.

I need you to look at the history of Pride Month, as this actually makes a lot of sense and I want to put this in context for you with a tiny history lesson.  On June 28 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was a meeting place for LGBTQ New Yorkers, and as a result a spontaneous protests broke out to oppose police violence against queer people in this country. And that’s why we now celebrate Pride Month in June.

Okay, you probably know that already. We’ve discussed it on Dates & Mates before. But one thing that I didn’t know and that you might not be aware of either, is that a trans woman of color was a part of initiating much of the gay rights movement, and in particular, the Stonewall riots.

And one woman who’s absolutely worth remembering is Marsha P. Johnson. The P and Marsha P. Johnson stood for a “pay it no mind”. And when people got too nosy about her, that’s what she would tell him she’d say “pay it no mind”.

Johnson saved lives and she spoke up and she put herself in the spotlight at a time that was dangerous for a transgender woman, even among the gay community, which sometimes silenced her or saw her identity as a trans woman as being contrary to their agenda. Marsha P. Johnson was a minority within a minority within a minority. And prior protests have often pitted one group against another. But what’s different about this movement that we’re going through right now is that we know that true change can only come when we link arms and speak up together. 

This is not a black issue. This is an American issue. This is an ‘us issue’. And that’s been the most beautiful part of watching this all unfold for me, seeing black people, white people, straight people and gay people all marching together, all demanding change, just as Marsha P. Johnson did so many years ago. So today, we will pay Marsha P. Johnson some mind because we know that the world just wasn’t ready for her yet. And I want to dedicate today’s show to her. She reminds me as I said last week, that love is what will get us all through. 

Let us not seek to divide ourselves again right now. Let us listen. Let’s invite others in and let love lead the way.

PRIDE (4:00)

Donny Meacham is the Millennial love guru who tells it like it is.  He is passionate about love and being sure you are mentally prepared for it when it comes. 

You’ve seen him on Celebrity Page TV and CoHosting the iHeart Radio Top 20 Entertainment podcast ‘Naughty But Nice’.

We discuss:

  • Dating app secrets for 
  • Dating and Date Ideas for this time
  • Is it really ghosting if you didn’t give them a second chance?
  • Taking chances in love


Find Donny on Instagram @DatingDonny and make sure to check out his podcast, Naughty But Nice on all the podcast platforms!


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

  • I miss my ex and I’ve been tempted to reach out and check on him. Is this a good idea?
  • Alexander Host of On the Rocks Podcast: Tips for meeting someone for the first time after a couple of months of constant FaceTime dates.
  • Ned on Twitter: Dating a guy in NYC. He’s been very sweet and communicative via text and FaceTime. How do i know if any of it is real?!


Donny Meacham  0:00  

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

Damona  0:12  

modern love Made Simple. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman. Hello lovers, it’s Pride Month. And this is the time when we specifically celebrate love in all forms. You know that I’m always doing that on the dates and made show. But June is a time to remind us that love is love. And it doesn’t always come in the way that you’ve expected in or that society tells you is acceptable. I stand by my lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and queer listeners and everyone listening now regardless of how you identify. I know my regular listeners might be expecting a dating dish. But in light of the week’s events, I had to ditch the dating dish and instead, I’m choosing to give My perspective on the week’s events as a woman of color, and to give you some historical context to what’s happening right now. In a moment, we’ll be talking to Donnie Meacham, an LGBT dating coach who’s also a correspondent on Celebrity page TV on rails Channel, as well as a Sirius XM co host and writer for naughty gossip elite daily and more with him will discuss the dating app secrets for queer and straight singles. And he and I will also answer some of your questions like, how do you know if your long distance relationship is real, and tips for moving offline after several virtual dates? As I record this, it has recently been announced that a lot of pride parades will march in solidarity with the current Black Lives Matter protests, and before you say, not my March, those are two separate things. I need you to look at the history of Pride Month, as this actually makes a lot of sense and I want to put this in context for you with a tiny history lesson.  On June 28 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, which was a meeting place for LGBTQ New Yorkers, and as a result a spontaneous protests broke out to oppose police violence against queer people in this country. And that’s why we now celebrate Pride Month in June. Okay, you probably know that already. We’ve discussed it on Dates & Mates before. But one thing that I didn’t know and that you might not be aware of either, is that a trans woman of color was a part of initiating much of the gay rights movement, and in particular, the Stonewall riots. And one woman who’s absolutely worth remembering is Marsha P. Johnson. The P and Marsha P. Johnson stood for a “pay it no mind”. And when people got too nosy about her, that’s what she would tell him she’d say “pay it no mind”. Johnson saved lives and she spoke up and she put herself in the spotlight at a time that was dangerous for a transgender woman, even among the gay community, which sometimes silenced her or saw her identity as a trans woman as being contrary to their agenda. Marsha P. Johnson was a minority within a minority within a minority. And prior protests have often pitted one group against another. But what’s different about this movement that we’re going through right now is that we know that true change can only come when we link arms and speak up together. This is not a black issue. This is an American issue. This is an ‘us issue’. And that’s been the most beautiful part of watching this all unfold for me, seeing black people, white people, straight people and gay people all marching together, all demanding change, just as Marsha P. Johnson did so many years ago. So today, we will pay Marsha P. Johnson some mind because we know that the world just wasn’t ready for her yet. And I want to dedicate today’s show to her. She reminds me as I said last week, that love is what will get us all through. Let us not seek to divide ourselves again right now. Let us listen. Let’s invite others in and let love lead the way. Now, please, let’s give some love to my guest for today. Donnie Meacham is the millennial Love Guru who tells it like it is he is passionate about love and being sure that you are mentally prepared for it when it comes. You’ve seen him on Celebrity page TV, and co hosting the I Heart Radio top 20 Entertainment podcast naughty but nice. Please help me give some big smooches to Donnie Meachem.

Donny Meacham  4:55  

How are you?

Donny Meacham  4:57  

I am so excited to have you on the show.

Donny Meacham  5:00  

I’m excited to be here. I I’m actually a big fan of your site, listen to the podcast and I even though I talk about dating and relationships, I get a lot of my advice from you that

Damona  5:12  

we can get advice from each other. It’s like, yes, it’s like a circle of life here that’s happening.

Donny Meacham  5:17  

So I’m the worst Dad, I don’t actually take my own advice when it comes to

Donny Meacham  5:22  

my mother.

Damona  5:25  

She’s like, Oh, damona I can you can be my dating coach. And then and then I tell her what to do. And then she’s like, Oh, I’m not gonna do that. I’m like, what’s the point? Mom? What’s the point of that? Yeah, so it’s Pride Month, Donnie, and I’m really excited that you’re here and that you can share some advice for our LGBT q ay ay audience on above all of the above. And really what that means just want to break it down. For all of you listeners, it means that this show is for everybody. So don’t think that you’re if you’re if you don’t identify As one of the many letters that I just said that you’re like, Oh, this showing it for me, because the advice that Donnie is going to give you is going to resonate on in whatever situation that you’re in. So I know you’re a you’re a big fan of dating apps, and you’re up to speed on all the things that are happening. I’m really curious. What you have experienced as an LGBT dating coach, I’ll drop a few letters, but you guys know I inclusive. I’m including all of us.

Donny Meacham  6:33  

Yeah. Well, now we literally just say the word queer just kind of encompasses everybody.

Damona  6:38  

I was explaining this actually to my nine year old daughter, because she was like, I think his last Pride Month and she was asking me like, what’s the difference? And then and then I was like, queer is like the umbrella and then there’s like, all of these other and she got it. That’s what’s so cool. Donnie, she’s nine and she was like, Oh, cool. I got it. And it’s just like, so It’s so wonderful to be able to raise a child in a world where that is that that’s how she looks at the world. And that is just so like, when I was coming up, and I think you’re a little bit younger than me, but probably when you were when you were coming up to like, there were so many there was so much. There was so much weight around identification, right and like or how and having to choose a lane. So the fact that you can, you can either not have a lane necessarily or have many lanes or change lanes. It’s kind of cool,

Donny Meacham  7:40  

but you think, Oh, it’s so cool. And he’s mean your daughter, I wish that I because I’m from Alabama. So growing up there was imagine that being a gay kid in Alabama. It was hard. And your daughter though, is like she’s, she’s lucky in a way now that it’s cool. And it’s just like you have a word and it’s like, you know what the word just means ever. Hear everybody’s the same. We’re all cool. And what you were saying earlier about how the podcast is for everyone, because we think about it. Everyone dates. Dating doesn’t have like, there’s not only straight people date, it’s gay people date straight people, people who are bisexual people who, you know, don’t date at all. There’s like room for everybody, but we all need some sort of help, or we all want to talk about it. So that’s what the beauty about dating is, is that it’s universal.

Damona  8:26  

Hmm, yeah, that’s so true. And everybody, everybody wants love and everyone deserves us. And, and I’ll even include the asexual people. Cuz Everyone needs like that kind of companionship, and I feel like a lot of people now we’re coming out of this COVID Halo that we’ve been underneath. And a lot of people have kind of just sworn off dating. Like I was just talking with a client the other day and he was just like, I’m just kind of like he doesn’t like to just casually chat with people. So and he was finding that a lot of the guys he was talking to, were just looking for sort of quarantine pen pals. And he’s like, I’m not really into this, like, I want to actually meet in person and until they’re ready to do that, it’s not really worth my time to. What do you say to that?

Donny Meacham  9:20  

Well, that’s my thing is I, a lot of people are saying, Oh, datings got to be easier now. Because we’re all at home. And we literally don’t aren’t doing anything else. We should literally be focusing on dating and talking to people. But I find that that is actually a problem. It’s a hindrance, because we’re just sitting here, we’re bored. So it’s like, what do I need? I need a pen pal. Or going back to the old days of like, I just need somebody to text and to jump online, you find a random person because you’re tired of your roommate, or you’re tired of your friend or you’re tired of always talking to your family to you like, Oh, I talked to somebody new, but you’re not actually looking for a connection you’re looking for. Hey, what’s up? It’s like, Oh, well, I just hung at home today. It’s what you hung at home, and then the conversation ends.

Damona  10:03  

I don’t know about you, but I’ve done plenty of quarantine activities. I did drag queen bingo virtually I got the whole family doing it. We had a great time I did scavenger hunts. I like all these people that are like I’m bored and quarantine. I don’t understand. There’s so many things to do.

Donny Meacham  10:23  

Well, me I’ve just what’s funny is actually I played Bingo. The other day I went 200 bucks.

Donny Meacham  10:27  

What? I gotta get on your Bingo.

Donny Meacham  10:30  

Yeah, I was like what I was like, This is amazing. It that is the one beauty about this is people are being so creative. Yes. It’s what you got to be what you got to be creative in dating too. But I have found because I’ve I use Tinder personally. Tinder is like that’s my go to. Yeah, because some of the other apps aren’t fully inclusive of gay people, because they companies have come around within the years. I remember when Bumble was strictly just for You know, straight couples. Yeah. But then Bumble, like other companies realize that when you allow gay people on it, you increase your usage and you therefore increase revenue, which helps. But I use Tinder because it’s always been inclusive. But I found the same thing. I’m like, I’m matching with guys. But it’s been really weird because now the stay at home order. The algorithm has changed a lot to where I matched with this guy who like is serving overseas in Afghanistan. I was like, how did I have a 10 mile radius?

Damona  11:33  

Oh, yeah, they changed that Tinder changed it? Mm hmm. Yeah. Or whatever. Safer at home. Yeah. Safer

Donny Meacham  11:39  

at home. So I’m like, Alright, that’s cool. But and he’s a really cool guy. And he’s doing great things for children who are suffering over there. And like, That’s amazing. That’s beautiful. You’re great. But this is not going to go anywhere. Yeah, because you’re there. I’m here. And it just it can only go to pen pal. So it’s almost discouraged. Which I think they think it’s helping people because you’re opening yourself up to more matches, but it’s actually discouraging people because you know, right off the bat, this isn’t going anywhere I need to match with people who were physically within reach or physically within my limitations of eventually we will be able to meet up. And if we’re going to be able to meet up, I need to be able to drive to you or ride the train to you, or take an Uber to you

Donny Meacham  12:27  

actually touch you.

Donny Meacham  12:29  

At some point, we will have to touch each other again.

Damona  12:31  

Yeah, I am curious as now we are getting into the dating app discussion. algorithm algorithms, I’m big into algorithms and and really using the app as a tool, just a tool for connection and plugging in the right inputs. So you get the right, the right responses. And and when I say inputs, I mean, your profile, but also the way that you’re searching, but I do really wonder For for LGBT for queer daters. Thank you for allowing me to just say queer for queer daters. I really worry about the algorithms. If I’m being honest with you, I worry, especially for those people who are not either non binary or are bisexual and may not even have a set preference, how it works for them. What do you recommend to daters that are wanting to have a more open? I mean, other than necessarily using Tinder, are there ways that that you recommend using the apps as a tool or do you think it’s just not the most successful tool as of right now for queer daters?

Donny Meacham  13:47  

I will for people who are such as myself, so I’m a gay man who likes other men, that is an option on tender Yeah, if you’re, you know if say you’re trans and sad Some people in the queer community, that’s not their preference. And so therefore, they’re automatically shut out of dating, because that’s not an app on that you can’t go in there and be like, I’m a trans person who’s into other or you could be like, I am a gay individual who’s into trans people. And I know it sounds terrible to say that, but that’s a reality. And it’s a harsh reality when it comes to dating apps. Because if you swiping and if people will automatically, you know, discriminate against them based on what, and there’s no option for them, there’s no option to opt out of it. There’s no option to opt in. And sadly, I think that that comes time for where apps need to develop within themselves of give people the option of I want to opt into this. This is my niche market. This is what I’m into. And sadly, only things like Grindr, which is not necessarily known as a dating app, but a lot of people have to turn to that because you’re allowed to Specifically put on there. This is what I meant to this is what I’m looking for. And as a gay person, we really need to narrow it down for us. Yeah. Okay, wait, we’re not open to everyone.

Damona  15:11  

That’s true. That’s so true. Yeah. And I think, you know, a lot of these products are designed by people that don’t live the life. Like, like, as a person of color. I experienced that too. Like people think, Oh, well, you’re Brown. So like brown things would appeal to you. And it’s like, oh, there’s like a whole range within that. Yes. But I am curious, since you brought up, said Grindr. I had a client that said to me, like, obviously, Grindr. To clarify for those listening has the reputation of being a hookup app. Right. It’s a sex app. It’s a sex, sex, sex app, a hookup app. But I had a client that said to me, really, they all they used it like, in the gay community for them. sex. They’re almost like putting sex as a early filter when I don’t think it’s the same, quite the same in the straight community. And so he was like, I like using Grindr as a dating app. But I don’t really know alternatives. Because if we’re, you know, that’s where we’re starting out. It’s sort of the best option. But But you I mean, you found you have love off of Grindr.

Donny Meacham  16:29  

I have and what’s weird is I’ve I’ve I’ve found many friends off of Grindr, and I have found dates off of there, because it goes back into you use it for what you’re using it for. So if you go on there, and you’re strictly looking for sex, I’m gonna know that right away when you messaged me and you’re like, Hey, what’s up, like, send me nudes. And it’s like, Yeah, no, not doing that. You’re not looking for what I’m looking for at this moment. The crazy thing is is gay men are very forward like that and they will Let you know right off the bat what they’re looking for. But that goes into Grindr, though is is a gay man’s app. So you’re already limiting the scope for queer people to where it’s just men looking for other men to hook up.

Damona  17:14  

That makes sense. That makes sense. Why they brought up, like, send nudes. And you’re so right, like you can. They’re the best, but they’re the worst.

Donny Meacham  17:26  

The best and the worst. They’re terrible.

Damona  17:30  

But I like how you mentioned that it. It’s the it’s how you use the tool. Sure. Right. So what if you get a request for nudes, and I’m speaking to everyone in our in our in our audience right now you get a request for nudes. And like maybe even talking to some maybe it’s not the first message they send but maybe it’s a little further down. And you’re like, Oh, I kind of thought this was going somewhere. Do you automatically cut it off? Do you send the nudes? What do you say? In that situation,

Donny Meacham  18:02  

literally people have to be you got to be firm in what you want. If you’re a lot of people are okay with just sending pictures right away and trust me, I have no shame in that if that’s what you want to do be proud of your body if you want to share it, share it, like that’s, I’m open to that and be totally cool with that. But for me, especially, it’s like well, I’m not going to send that because that’s not necessarily who I am and not what I’m looking for. Eventually down the road, I have no problems. But right now that’s not it. One benefit though is on there it now they’ve added an option to where you can do a timed so the picture will only last three seconds and then it automatically deletes from it just like disappears. So if you can like send it so that way nobody can screenshot it because that’s what you worry about, is when you’re sending a nude photo, and everyone has to think about this just because they see it. Nothing is stopping them from screenshotting it sending it around to their friends show Everybody that they know. And before you realize that, you know, there’s instead of one person seeing all of your junk, there’s about 30 people who have seen everything.

Damona  19:09  

Yeah. And then revenge porn, it could really come back. Well, I was gonna bite you in the ass, but it’s kind of fun.

Donny Meacham  19:20  

But no revenge porn is really actually rampant in the gay community. And it’s really, it’s actually quite sad, but because men especially, and I hate that leaving out lesbians in this but lesbians really do. They get the short end of the stick because there’s not many apps that are out there dedicated solely to them. And partially is because of the old you know, u haul lesbian thing where they think that they kind of settle down right away.

Damona  19:48  

But they move offline too fast.

Donny Meacham  19:50  

They move offline too fast. So it’s not economical for a company to create something for them. And even if you look around, I know here currently I’m in New York City. There’s probably 25 gay bars. There are two lesbian bars. Wow. So you’re like it just goes to show you that more emphasis is placed on the men solely because men are more sexualized. So we do take that into the dating apps, hence why Grindr is so successful. Hmm.

Damona  20:23  

Wow, you are educating me, Donnie? I am learning things that I did not. I did not know. What about ghosting that’s we talk about that a lot on the show, obviously, and I’m curious during quarantine. If you have seen any change like even with like the virtual dates, or I know people are starting to kind of move offline. How What do you see happening for ghosting during the time of quarantine and is it different in the in the queer community, or is it just as bad or worse as straight daters ghosting is has been off the hook since before quote COVID started.

Donny Meacham  21:06  

Oh no ghosting is like savage in the gig like, came in especially they have at no problem ghosting you. It is it is just ruthless, but I find it’s actually tire in the quarantine because people think we’re sitting at home a lot of people are unemployed right now. So you’re thinking, alright, you’re not doing anything you have time, but you’re bored. And a lot of people which is taken to a little side is they’re depressed or they’re dealing with things and they’re just trying to get out of it personally. So they may not have time to talk to somebody, just because you know, depression weighs you down and your mental health kind of works at you. So you’re like, oh, that person messaged me. I don’t want to get back to them. And before you realize it’s three days later, and you’re like, Oh, well, three days that’s too late and then you just stop all communication. So technically you did ghost them, but you didn’t even mean to go them.

Damona  22:01  

Yeah. And if you really flip it from that perspective, Donnie, and you look at it, as you know, it’s not always intentional. I think sometimes we do take it so, personally, and I’ve recommended to listeners before that if there’s somebody that you really wanted to talk to just pick up the thread again, and especially like, a lot of our straight female listeners are like, well, I can’t do that. That’s like, now I’m chasing him. But it’s just, it’s situational. It’s sheer volume. The reality is, you’re dating many people, right?

Donny Meacham  22:36  

Yeah. Well, I I have a little controversy on the fact that I think when it comes to dating, you really have to put aside your pride A lot of times, because people are like, Oh, I just like chasing them. It’s like and what’s wrong with chasing somebody that you’re into? There’s a difference of you if them saying I’m not interested, you continue to message if the messages is kind of trailed off, and You know, pick it back up, that’s not chasing them. That’s you showing initiative. And a lot of people need initiative. Because a lot of people are lazy. You think, which is true people are lazy. And they need you to say, Hey, what are you doing? Hey, do you want to jump on a zoom call? Do you want to jump on House Party, which is like an app for your phone where you can do? You can play games and stuff with somebody in video. And people need initiative. They need a push and that’s totally okay to do.

Damona  23:31  

I like that. You You mentioned house party. Yeah, because a lot of tim’es people are like, I don’t know what to do. Like on a zoom day. It’s like you and me and the wall behind me know I love

Donny Meacham  23:43  

people. I’m telling you, if you do house party is an app, it is free, which is the best value and get on there because there’s games you can play. You can play like charades with somebody you can play heads up, which is the game where you get love. And that’s just an icebreaker. Yeah, you think about it when you meet somebody at a bar the icebreaker is the waiter, the bartender, the other people at the bar. Those are icebreakers. When you eliminate those. You need one at the house and I don’t want to date I don’t want to go on a virtual date somebody is playing video games. I need them paying attention to me. So what you do is you bring the icebreaker to them by creating it through the app.

Damona  24:23  

I love that such good advice, Donnie. I’m learning so much and I’m gonna Can I Can we be friends on house party? Can I like

Donny Meacham  24:32  

please? Can we I am. I am really good.

Donny Meacham  24:37  

Okay, love trivia.

Damona  24:39  

I am terrible at trivia, but my husband is excellent. So I figured out it used to cause a lot of drama actually, in a relationship. No joke, like we had Trivial Pursuit and I would always just get mad and turn into like a whining child because he would just beat me so mercilessly. This has been a theme throughout our entire relationship like he always wins at games. And then I realize Like, Oh, just get on his team, and then you always win. And it’s been a lot better in the last couple of years.

Donny Meacham  25:08  

This is funny because you bring up a point, actually anybody, because when you’re dating somebody, it takes a minute to kind of see what their personality traits are. But if you’re doing something via house party, if you’re playing a game with somebody, and they are getting super competitive, and they’re angry, and you’re not into that, you’re gonna see that right away, so technically, that works in your favor.

Damona  25:30  

Fortunately, he saw it right away. We played pool on our second day, and again, he just beat me just mercilessly. And I was like, I thought you liked me like why would you beat me so badly and again, like, mercilessly, no, no mercy? And he was like, well, this is the kind of guy I am Wouldn’t you rather that you know that I’m a guy with integrity that’s going to be prioritize being honest in the game, over letting you And so he’s still is that guy but I still haven’t learned how to beat him at school.

Donny Meacham  26:05  

I love that I that’s a tip for that I always give is just be I know sounds crazy, but be yourself but being yourself is don’t let them win. If you’re good at it, be good at it.

Damona  26:18  

Well, it worked out for us in the end, but I’m still thinking about it was so

Donny Meacham  26:23  

many years later so I get a little angry but

Damona  26:26  

we’re definitely we’re definitely gonna play on house party. All right, we’re gonna take a quick break when we come back. We have questions from our listeners that have been submitted for our next segment. So stick around. We’re back and Donnie and I are going to answer the questions that you’ve submitted over the last few weeks specifically, we have a lot of questions geared towards pride month but they can apply to everyone who is dating in the time of Coronavirus oh yeah Coronavirus still happening. Before we go to the questions, I first need to shout some of you out those of you who’ve taken the time to write a podcast review. I thank you. Specifically, I just want to thank Clarice for saying that this is an awesome podcast, and that we highlight all the aspects of relationships and more and that this is a can’t miss podcast for her. We can’t miss you either. And so I hope you are listening on the regular still and I encourage you, and everyone listening to share this show with a friend. Let’s bring more love in the world. We really need it right now. Now moving on to your questions. I am here with Donnie and it’s time for technically dating. Alright, Donnie, we have questions from our listeners. And I know you have answers so I can’t wait.

Donny Meacham  27:45  

Oh, we got lots of answers.

Damona  27:46  

Let’s do it. Okay, this one comes to us from Instagram. And this person says I miss my ex and I’ve been tempted to reach out and check on him. Is this a good idea?

Donny Meacham  28:01  

Wow, ah, you know, when it comes to exes, I really am the worst at it because I have a different approach and other people do. I stay in contact with my ex, I stay in contact with all my exes and I stay in contact immediately after when we break up. But granted, I’ve had decent breakups, we didn’t end things terribly. They weren’t, you know, emotionally physically abusive or anything like that. They were just common decency. So that is my rule of thumb is if the breakup was good, if there was no strings attached, you just broke up. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to them. Because they are a person too. And if they’re, you know, they’re going through a hard time. I say there’s nothing wrong with it. But you have to ask yourself, What are you trying to get out of it? Right? If you What are you okay with saying, hey, how is everything and if their response is just, Hey, I’m doing good. And you can leave it at that then okay. If you want more You have to ask yourself, am I okay with the response I’m gonna get?

Damona  29:04  

Yeah. And that’s always the thing, right? What do you what do you want? Because rarely I actually just got a message from a client who said her ex has been reaching out to her and then sent her a birthday cake. And yeah, for her birthday, and I’m like, uh, I don’t think that that’s just like a friendly like, Hey, how you doing?

Donny Meacham  29:25  

Right? No, that’s, that’s another thing. It’s like he obviously wants more. What are you willing to give back? Mm hmm.

Donny Meacham  29:34  

Everybody always wants something from us.

Donny Meacham  29:37  

Always something because ultimately, and the sad thing is, is right now we’re in a safer at home. You’re staying home. They’re just as bored as you are. So if you think that you’re bored, you’re at home, you’re reaching out to people. Third, probably in the same boat. They’re just as bored as you are. So there might be reaching out to you out of boredom. Yes, yeah, always. Keep that.

Donny Meacham  30:01  

But also in these moments when we have a lot of extra time and space to,

Damona  30:07  

to think sometimes we go back to those past relationships, and we idealize them. And we think, oh, why did I break up with him or her? At because now like, now I’m single, and I’m going through quarantine alone. And maybe it wasn’t that bad. And then we forget all of the other stuff and all the reasons why we actually broke up. And in our romantic view of the relationship, it was perfect. And we missed a good thing.

Donny Meacham  30:33  

Yeah, well, hindsight. I mean, the old thing hindsight is 20. That goes with dating too, because we ultimately forget the negative little arguments that happen and you just think about, oh my gosh, remember that amazing time we had in Central Park. Remember that amazing time we had at Disney World? Because those are the big memories. And you often forget just the little fights where it’s like, he never complimented you or he made you feel Like he made you feel worthless or he made you feel bad about yourself, you kind of tend to forget those moments because it’s like in life do you think about with family? What do you remember with family? You’re there remember the really bad moments or you remember the really good moments you don’t remember each individual time that your mom got you a birthday card. You don’t remember that. But you remember, she took you to get your first car. That’s kind of like how dating is you remember the good, and oftentimes we forget about the little things that happened in between.

Damona  31:30  

Yes, yep. The stories we tell ourselves. Okay, this question comes to us. from a friend of the show, his name is Alexander. He actually hosts a wonderful podcast called on the rocks. He’s asking for tips for meeting someone the first time after a couple of months of constant FaceTime dates.

Donny Meacham  31:49  

All right, so this is I can I give up I’m gonna take it back for a second on the little tip when you’re facetiming somebody and I know this might sound terrible. I roll up Thumb for me is do not dress up for them. Because you’re at home, you’re allowed to be in your comfort zone. And for me, it’s just a little tip. Yeah, like right now I’m just wearing like a nice little casual buttoned up, my hair is done more than I would normally do. But I didn’t go crazy. I didn’t go out of the way. And that’s how it should be when you’re meeting somebody via FaceTime. Because it’s going to add that level of suspense because when they see you in person, and in person, we all doll up for the first date, just something that we do when they see you, it’s going to add a level of attraction to it. Hmm. And so if it’s like, I was like, Oh, wow. And you’re gonna shock them and you’re gonna surprise them. And to me, it’s gonna make the date right off the bat more intense, which is a good thing.

Damona  32:49  

Interesting. See, I always say dress for the, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Yeah, so dress for the day. The way that you would show up, but you’re kind of holding back Little some

Donny Meacham  33:01  

yeah I I’ve always been that way I’ve even gone I know this is like I said some people disagree with me but I’m even on the very first date is not when you Wow them you Wow them on the third day you wild them on the fourth day because I know when I wake up in the morning it’s a pretty it’s a little rough job

Damona  33:22  

by that not for a second

Donny Meacham  33:26  

and eventually they’re gonna see that so I’m very pro on give them for what they’re gonna see. Yeah, maybe you want to wear a little mascara or even I wear a little concealer. It’s Yeah, that’s fine but really wow them wait to wow them because they have to earn that from you.

Damona  33:44  

Hmm, now you’re using now you’re using my terminology like that. earn it earn it earn it.

Donny Meacham  33:50  

Okay for his advice though, I’ve just given a little advice real quick.

Damona  33:53  

Yes, I’ve given some of

Donny Meacham  33:55  

it is going to be hard because you’re going to be nervous because right now We’re seeing each other, we’re looking at each other and you’re doing that during a date, you are connecting with that person. So when you meet up, and when you meet up a first time, you’re actually going to know them better than you would if you just met up. So think of something that they’ve said in the past conversations. If you’ve been communicating for a while, think of what they like, do, you’ve had time to communicate, that’s when you go alright. I remember this one time, he said, he loves bowling sounds silly. But I’m gonna take him bowling, that’s your opportunity to show that you have listened to the multiple conversations. And that’s going to put take a little pressure off the date, because we’re all nervous when you’re meeting it for the first time, but it’s also going to impress them.

Damona  34:48  

That’s great. Yeah. And show everybody just wants to be listened to. So showing that you’ve been listening to them is really key. And then I like that it’s an activity date. So it’s the same as What you’re saying about FaceTime dates, it’s not just like, here we are sitting over dinner, but you can kind of skip ahead. If you’ve been having all those FaceTime dates. It’s almost like, take like my third date and on recommendations and see what happens. Okay, let me ask you one more question. This comes to us from Ned. He says,

Donny Meacham  35:20  

Hello to Mona. My situation is as follows are down. And one of the many things is a little far away from me. So far, it’s going well, as far as I could tell, he can’t really tell anything without that physical chemistry.

Damona  35:38  

He’s been very sweet and communicative via text and FaceTime, but how do I know if any of it is real?

Donny Meacham  35:45  

Alright, so two things here. First is I’m going to say this is a big deal breaker for me is when you’re dealing with somebody on an app for me, you have two weeks to take it off the app. Okay, too. Two weeks you haven’t texted me. We haven’t FaceTime we haven’t zoomed. We haven’t made a plan to meet up when we can. There’s no point you’re wasting your time. Mm hmm. Because within two, yeah, within two weeks, I’m not pen pal. I know I have friends. I can text all day. What I am going to save this being a somebody now who lives in New York City. I remember when I first came out, I was like, oh, there’s somebody who lives a state away. That’s no problem. Now, if I get on Grindr, and they’re more than 500 feet away, I’m like, Oh, I’m not doing that. It really does change as you get older. But I’m going to say four hours. I’m sorry. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s just it’s not gonna work being that it’s so new. I have no problems with long distance dating. If you have met the person there because I for a while dated a guy who lived in Philly. I went to Philly. him he was amazing, Philly’s only two hours. So I was taking the bus and I was going to see him. But I met him physically first. Hmm. I find it very hard for online long term dating.

Damona  37:12  

Yeah, that’s the key, I think long term right. So I have had a lot of clients that have met and married or moved into serious relationships with someone who lives long distance. But the question I always asked at the ask at the beginning, is are you open to moving? Or is that could that person also relocate? Like, how if you play this forward, how is it going to end? So that’s, I think at the core of Ned’s answer like, can they care? Is there a world in which they can actually physically be together? Because for hours back and forth is not really sustainable? I don’t think like you said two hours. It’s probably the max as far as max. Yeah. And Ned

Donny Meacham  37:54  

right now, there’s nothing wrong with you asking and people are gonna say, Oh, it’s too soon. It’s no It’s not to say there’s nothing wrong with you asking him, Hey, if this was to go further, do you see yourself moving? And if he says no, and you know that your life is where you are, it’s it’s not gonna work. I mean, and there’s nothing wrong with asking that when it comes to long term, long distance relationships, because when it’s long distance, some of the rules are immediately scrapped. Mm hmm. And there is no there’s nothing wrong with asking and being blunt. You can say I don’t plan on moving. Do you plan on moving ever? Yeah, nothing wrong with that.

Damona  38:34  

Yeah. But pretty soon, he should figure out what’s really going on, right? Because Yeah, I’ve spent three weeks. They’ve been texting and facetiming. But the only way to know that it’s real is to move off the app, right?

Donny Meacham  38:48  

Yeah, you have to move up the app and you got to be straightforward with what you’re looking for.

Damona  38:53  

Donnie? I adore you. I can’t wait. When you go to LA we all hang out. In the meantime. We’re going to be playing house party. Yes. And I hope all of our listeners will follow you on Instagram at dating, Donnie. So why? Oh, dating down with you. I will put the link in the show notes to check them out, y’all. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you. That is it for Episode 313 of dates and mates. You can follow Donnie on Instagram at dating, Donnie, do n NY and make sure to check out the podcast naughty but nice, trust me. It is so fun. And remember also that we need your voice now, more than ever. I don’t usually talk politics on the show. But I really want to encourage you to use your voice and to vote. And just like I want you to become confident in dating and relationships. I want to encourage you to take that same energy and invest it in democracy. Some states have primary elections coming up Hello, Georgia, West Virginia, June 9. That’s tomorrow. After this episode drops, and Atlanta, I know you’re listening because I have a lot of listeners in Atlanta who’ve written to me, so make sure you have your voice heard. Also on the 23rd, Kentucky and New York, shout out to my peeps in New York. And remember, there are so many more things on the ballot that matter than just president. So pay attention to your local government and your Senate and House races as well as ballot initiatives, as those are all things that are going to affect your day to day rites and experiences. If you’re curious which causes I’m supporting right now, I’ve just made donations to the black futures lab and n double A CP Legal Defense Fund to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard in this country. I encourage you to support them or whichever causes will create the change you want to see in the world. Thank you to those of us who’ve supported the show by becoming a Patreon friends with benefits. You can get show exclusives and contribute to this podcast. Continuing To expand and heal more hearts by signing up for just $5 a month@patreon.com, slash dates and mates, in spite of everything happening right now, I know your love lives are not unhold and I still want to hear from you. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials, connect with me. Send me your questions, send me your thoughts, use your voice. And until next week, I wish you happy dating

Dates & Mates Success Stories: Finding Love in Quarantine


This year, both Shannon and Mel completed some of my programs and were able to find their dream relationships. In Shannon’s own words: 

“Normally I’m pretty picky about like distance. So I normally kind of do the whole five left like nope, nope, nope, too far no piece too short. Nope. I mean, I listened to your podcast and I was laughing like, that’s kind of me. I kind of go through that and don’t even really dig deeper because the superficial stuff. So this time around, I was like, Okay, I need to listen to the voice I’ve been hearing from damona. And so this guy pops up. So I messaged him and so we started chatting and just kind of hit it off and he’s lived an hour away. But I thought you know what he needed to be open minded to go for this. And instantly he was had great questions. He was interested in me he was like, if he remembered things he’d ask me a question and then you know, the next day he might remember what he asked me the day before and check in on me and just really was just all around proving to me quickly that he was pretty amazing. We went out on a Tuesday and We did the whole phone call first because I know that’s a big thing too. I was like, okay, gotta do the phone call before we leave here. So all this was like, right smack before, you know all the quarantine stuff. And so we had planned to see each other again on March 15. Our plan was I was going to go to where he lives and I was going to come and see him for the day. Well, that Friday was when they shut everything down. From then on. We’ve just had these like quarantine pipes at home, get to know you fast forward. No clutter, no people around kind of experience. And I know there’s probably a little bit of pros and cons with that. I think I’m typically kind of a fast relationship person, I need people and it kind of goes too fast and we get to know each other and the kids are involved in the families involved in a big ordeal. But this time, it went fast in a way that was just he and I like totally getting to know each other totally, you know Trying to figure out okay, well we’re gonna hang out for the next three days. What should we do? Like we can’t go anywhere. We can’t go to restaurants we can’t go to the movies like we can’t go to bars like we would typically do on a date. And so you know, we went on hike, and we took the dog for a walk and we ordered food in and we played cars, we played dominoes, we put a puzzle together and we cook together I bought a smashing little aprons and we cook together. And we were just kind of doing what we could do is what we had. And in the meantime, when we weren’t seeing each other, it was kind of funny because I have it on my phone. So we have this whole list in our in our notes on our phone that we’ve shared, of all the things we want to do when everything opens up because we’ve now said I love you. We’ve now like fully committed to each other and all of a sudden is debt. But yet I’ve never been to the movie with him. I’ve never been really in a bar with him. We haven’t done any Have those traditional things that you would do? Yeah, it’s been pretty interesting. And we’ve spent the time away from each other really digging deep and getting to know each other and like there’s definitely been a lot of God signs where we are things that just prove that okay, maybe maybe this is the one I’ve finally been waiting for.”

Shannon also shared with us the perfect quarantine date she had with her man. You should ABSOLUTELY steal this idea:

Dates & Mates Success Story from Damona on Vimeo.

Here are a few more picture that she sent us of her special night!

Mel received a profile polish (You can too! By joining the Patreon Friends with Benefits program at the $100 level!). Soon after, she saw amazing results and found love. Here’s Mel’s story in her own words:

I started listening to Dates & Mates about a year ago and started intentionally dating and then damona sent me information on how to polish my profile. Then a month later, I met this great guy. We been together now for over three months and it’s going really well. quarantine definitely slowed down our relationship but definitely in a good way, because it really got us thinking, just creative ways to keep the relationship going. Because we both knew we were still interested in each other. We played games with each other like audio, and video dates. We also like, talked about different date ideas like ordering each other, like takeout food. And watching in a movie together, we’ve made lists about movies that he’s seen that I haven’t and movies that I’ve seen that he hasn’t. So we were we got really creative with dates. For us, it’s worked out really great, because we feel so much closer and so much more comfortable with each other then, either one of us expected to at this point in our relationship And to be honest, if we hadn’t had all that time, like apart, and like forced into like, so many situations where like we have to talk and really make effort for a relationship, we probably wouldn’t be meeting each other’s parents. We keep talking about actually how it feels like we’ve been dating longer than we actually have, but in a good way.

If you’re interested in the resources that helped Shannon and Mel find love, maybe it’s time we changed our relationship status.  

You are invited to become a Friend with Benefits. This exclusive program includes bonus content from the show, secret training sessions, voting power to influence future episodes, a private online community, and more. JOIN NOW!

Dating During Coronavirus & Healing Powers


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

This is an uncertain time but love conquers all. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


Love in Time of Coronavirus

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

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


What You Can Learn From Love Is Blind

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



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

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

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

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

Cheesy? Maybe. True? Without a doubt.

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

Laura covers:

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

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




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

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




Damona  0:12  

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

Clarissa Silva  1:14  

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

Damona  1:20  

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

Clarissa Silva  1:52  

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

Damona  2:00  

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

Clarissa Silva  3:11  

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

Damona  3:46  

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

Clarissa Silva  5:10  

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

Damona  6:11  

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

Clarissa Silva  7:47  

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

Damona  8:22  

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

Clarissa Silva  9:06  

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

Damona  9:36  

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

Laura Powers  11:14  

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

Damona  11:37  

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

Laura Powers   12:04  

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

Damona  12:32  

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

Laura Powers   12:54  

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

Laura Powers   13:00  

You know, girls, you know, and

Laura Powers  13:02  

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

Damona  13:23  

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

Clarissa Silva  13:49  

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

Damona  14:13  

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

Laura Powers   14:16  

Yeah. And

Damona  14:18  

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

Laura Powers   14:58  

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

Damona  15:57  

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

Laura Powers   16:05  

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

Damona  16:33  

they’ll say, like, trust your gut.

Laura Powers   16:35  


Damona  16:35  

but no, but nobody really knows what that means.

Laura Powers   16:38  

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

Laura Powers   17:19  

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

Laura Powers   17:21  

Right? Well, that’s,

Damona  17:23  

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

Laura Powers   18:02  

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

Damona  18:08  

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

Laura Powers   18:49  

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

Damona  19:34  

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

Laura Powers   20:15  

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

Laura Powers   21:36  


Damona  21:37  

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

Laura Powers   21:41  

point of view.

Damona  21:43  

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

Laura Powers   22:09  

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

Damona  23:12  

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

Laura Powers   23:36  

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

Laura Powers   24:16  

Yeah. Talk to us about Oh, just

Laura Powers   24:18  

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

Damona  24:55  

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

Laura Powers   24:58  

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

Damona  26:15  

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

Laura Powers   26:51  

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

Laura Powers   27:07  


Damona  27:08  

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

Laura Powers   27:22  

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

Damona  28:06  

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

Laura Powers   28:37  


Damona  28:38  

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

Laura Powers   28:44  

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

Damona  29:31  

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

Laura Powers   30:38  

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

Damona  31:18  

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

Laura Powers   31:37  

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

Damona  32:28  

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

Laura Powers   33:14  

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

Damona  33:28  

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

Laura Powers   33:31  

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

Damona  33:45  

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

Laura Powers   33:49  

That that is. That’s

Damona  33:51  

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

Laura Powers   34:12  

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

Damona  34:25  

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

Laura Powers   34:39  

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

Damona  34:42  

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

Damona  34:49  

Welcome back to dates and mates.

Damona  34:50  

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


Clarissa Silva  35:20  

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


Damona  36:25  

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


Clarissa Silva  37:33  

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


Damona  38:06  

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


Clarissa Silva  38:45  

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


Damona  39:00  

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


Clarissa Silva  39:03  

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


Damona  39:14  

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


Clarissa Silva  39:36  

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


Damona  39:53  

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


Clarissa Silva  39:56  

I draw the line out right people, please. My


Damona  40:01  

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


Clarissa Silva  40:39  

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


Damona  41:28  

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


Clarissa Silva  41:40  

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


Damona  41:58  

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

Physical Type & Dating Addiction: Love Month Part 2


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

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

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

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

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

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Mental Health & Dating Apps

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


Sheryl Sandberg turns her tragic love story into a happy ending

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


Don’t go broke this Valentine’s Day!

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



#5QFeb (15:00)


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

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



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

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



Damona  0:12  

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

Julie Spira  1:21  


Damona  1:23  

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

Julie Spira  1:31  

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

Damona  1:42  

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

Julie Spira  3:18  

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

Damona  4:22  

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

Julie Spira  5:09  

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

Damona  6:44  

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

Julie Spira  7:47  

I you know I’ve

Damona  7:48  

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

Julie Spira  8:09  

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

Damona  9:09  

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

Julie Spira  9:22  


Damona  9:24  

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

Julie Spira  9:35  

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

Damona  9:38  

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

Julie Spira  10:18  

right. And repeat. Right?

Damona  10:20  

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

Julie Spira  10:36  

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

Damona  11:55  

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

Julie Spira  12:13  

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

Damona  13:37  

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

Julie Spira  14:07  

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

Damona  14:36  

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

Julie Spira  15:52  

you ready for this? Go for it.

Damona  15:55  

Julie Spira What is the biggest challenge for daters today

Julie Spira  16:01  

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

Damona  17:07  

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

Julie Spira  17:48  

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

Damona  19:14  

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

Julie Spira  19:46  

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

Damona  20:13  

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

Julie Spira  20:27  

that’s too soon.

Damona  20:28  

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

Julie Spira  21:17  

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

Damona  21:56  

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

Julie Spira  22:03  

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

Julie Spira  22:09  

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

Damona  23:03  

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

Julie Spira  23:31  

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

Damona  24:52  

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

Julie Spira  25:33  

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

Damona  27:07  

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

Julie Spira  27:47  

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

Damona  28:27  

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

Julie Spira  28:44  

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

Damona  29:53  

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

Julie Spira  30:09  

like if you have trust issues,

Damona  30:11  

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

Julie Spira  30:57  

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

Damona  32:00  

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

Julie Spira  32:27  

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

Damona  34:16  

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


Julie Spira  34:26  

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

Julie Spira  35:19  

I have no idea when my first day was.

Julie Spira  35:23  

Better go look at the calendar.

Damona  35:25  

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

Julie Spira  38:34  

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

Damona  39:56  

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

Julie Spira  40:37  

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

Damona  41:21  

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

Julie Spira  41:41  

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

Julie Spira  41:45  

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

Damona  42:39  

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

Julie Spira  43:31  

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

Damona  44:00  

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

Julie Spira  44:38  

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

Damona  45:17  

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

Julie Spira  45:59  

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

Damona  47:01  

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

Julie Spira  47:14  

Julie this has been such

Damona  47:16  

a blast talking to you again on data needs.

Julie Spira  47:20  

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

Damona  47:36  

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


Julie Spira  49:13  

And for my really, really special


Damona  49:14  

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


Co-dependency & Contagious Love


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

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

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

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

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Do you have accent bias? 

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

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

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

Should you be looking for marriage?

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


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

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



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

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

History’s Love Letters

I think a lot about love letters throughout history.

For most of us, it’s really hard to express how we feel about another person. Beyond the “Words of Affirmation” love language, how do you specifically express how much your special someone means to you? Why does it seem like it was so much easier in years past to write the perfect love letter?

Here are a few interesting love letters from history that I found today in Glamour’s “10 Best Love Letters Ever”:

“I can’t say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home” –  Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich

“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Joséphine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?” – Napoleon to Joséphine

“Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.” – Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

“Dearest — my body is simply crazy with wanting you — If you don’t come tomorrow — I don’t see how I can wait for you — I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours — the kisses — the hotness — the wetness — all melting together — the being held so tight that it hurts — the strangle and the struggle.” – Georgia O’Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz

“Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm-love me-today-yesterday-what tearful longings for you-you-you-my life-my all-farewell. Oh continue to love me-never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.” -Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”

Definitely read the rest of the article for some more interesting examples of love letters throughout history!

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to research a specific group of love letters – ones throughout Jewish history preserved at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Most people don’t realize that I’m Jewish or think I married into it. But it’s actually a big part of my identity. I was so elated to be selected for the Reboot Fellowship and the American Jewish Historical Society to research love letters and personal stories. Here’s an excerpt from the story about me:

Damona Hoffman, the dating coach, wrote that she initially intended to explore historical love letters for an article or a segment of her podcast, Dates & Mates. But she ended up doing research for a second podcast, about the origin of names. “I was amazed by the number of personal diaries and essays with unbelievable stories that are here and unpublished/not available anywhere else,” she wrote.

If you’re curious about Reboot read the whole article here!

Sun Signs & Zodiac Compatibility


It’s Thanksgiving week, the last thing we’re thinking is dating, right? Wrong. It so happens that this week is also Damona’s birthday week and we thought we’d take some time to explore love according to the stars. 

People always ask Damona: Can astrology help you find the one? 

And the answer is… a lot more in-depth than we expected. So Damona brought in Astrologer Rachel Lang to explain Zodiac compatibility in honor of her birthday week!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


The Real Deal with Pick Up Artists

Screenshot Mag asks, Is the dating industry failing daters? Pick up artistry seems to be a very popular sector of the dating industry and it gets a lot of criticism. Damona explains. 

How do you explain “it’s complicated” to your parents?

Another year, another round of explaining your relationship status to your parents over Thanksgiving. How do you explain more complicated relationship terms to your parents? Damona and Rachel have thoughts. 

A little twist in Mr. Rogers’ love story

Mr. Rogers is one of the most wholesome men in history. It’s not surprising that the story of how he proposed to his wife, Joanne, is just as sweet as you would expect. Story time!


Love in the stars

Rachel is an astrologer, psychic medium, and healer who  has been developing her spiritual gifts more than 20 years. She helps her clients maximize the potential of their natal charts as well as upcoming transits and progressions. You’ve seen her work in publications like Bustle, Well+Good, Brit + Co, Romper, PopSugar, and more.

So basically, she’s more than qualified to answer your questions on astrology.

We go in-depth on:

  • Astrology Basics
  • Sun signs, Moon signs, rising signs, etc
  • Transits, transitions, and progressions,
  • Natal charts
  • Compatibility
  • How to try this at home

Make sure to find Rachel Lang on Instagram (@rachellang11) or online at rachellangastrologer.com.


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

  • If a guy brings up “the bedroom” in a text before you’ve even met – is that a red flag? 
  • Is it possible today to meet someone without dating apps? What is your advice for people who want to date but don’t want to do it online?



Damona  0:00  

Hello lovers, welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified Dating Coach Damona Hoffman and we are here to handle all of the challenges that you’re dealing with in love as I have on the show for the last seven years and hope to do for the next seven years. This week is a really special week. I know it’s Thanksgiving, and you’re thinking this is going to be a Thanksgiving-themed show. And that was initially what I was thinking about. But then I realized it’s also my birthday. And people ask me all the time about astrology and compatibility and I thought why not let my birthday be the reason to look into compatibility, in love according to the stars. People are always asking me how to know if the person they’re with is the one and whether astrology can tell them the answer. 


And I don’t know the answer. But as usual, I do know someone who does. And it’s my good friend, Rachel Lang. Rachel is an astrologer, psychic medium and a healer who has been developing her spiritual gifts for more than 20 years. I mean, she looks like she’s 20. But she’s been developing years, I guess, more than 20 years as well as knowing the ins and outs of astrology. And there’s so much to know she helps clients maximize the potential of their Natal charts as well and their upcoming transits and progressions. If you don’t know what that means. We’ll talk about it a little bit later in the show. You’ve seen her work and many publications including Bustle, Brit + Co, Romper, Pop Sugar, you’ve seen her on the Dates & Mates show. It’s been many mercury returns since then, it is time for you to return again, please give big switches to Rachel Lang. 


Rachel Lang  1:57  

Thanks so much for having me on the show. I’m excited to talk about two of my favorite subjects, astrology and love.


Damona  2:03  

This is such a hot topic. And people ask me all the time like how do I know if this person is the one? How do I like people want to know more about themselves in love and and I’ve studied with you in classes I am nowhere near I am like a zygote infant in the world of astrology and you know so much I was like, we just have to have Rachel to tell us what all of this stuff means because the birth chart really is it is a window into your path your soul. 


Rachel Lang  2:35  

Absolutely, yes. And I would say that you know more than you let on that you know. So give yourself a little bit of credit pat yourself on the back. 


Damona  2:45  

I did study I studied very hard at your astrology one on one course. But you’re the master. I’m really glad that you’re here today. 


And I’m glad you’re here to talk about the headlines with me including the real deal about pickup artists and how do you explain your it’s complicated status To your parents. Plus, a surprising twist to the love story of Mr. Rogers and his wife, Joanne. 


And then we’ll be answering your questions, including, is it a red flag if he brings up the bedroom before you’ve even met? And is it possible to date without dating apps? We’ll talk about all of those things on today’s Dates & Mates. Rachel, are you ready to do this? 


Rachel Lang

I’m Ready



Screenshot Mag is wondering: is the dating industry regressing now, as a dating coach, I have seen a lot of evolutions. I’ve been doing this for 16 years, starting out as a profile writer and then becoming specifically a life coach and dating coach. But I have seen the number of dating coaches in dating coaches increase. But according to this article, while the dating coach industry is growing, the pickup artists industry is growing faster and for those of you who aren’t quite up to speed on what that means. It’s like Have you heard of the game? Or like any of these terms like negging where a guy will sort of put down a girl to lower self esteem and make her more receptive to his advances? there? It’s a lot of strategies and manipulation that get someone to say yes to you to fall for you, but it’s not really it’s not what I do. I really coach people more for relationships for for life partnerships, that’s my expertise. And I don’t want to knock pickup artists because I think there is a value in having someone to help you build confidence, but I don’t think it should come at the expense of someone else’s well being.


Rachel Lang  4:47  

Absolutely because I think when someone’s approaching, dating or approaching, attracting someone to be in a relationship, if you’re starting from a place of inauthenticity, then they’re really Relationships not going to ever start on a solid ground. Plus, I think we’re moving out of this paradigm this like hetero normative paradigm that we’ve been in, where men are stereotypically acting a certain way and women are, are a certain way. And we’ve expanded our consciousness is expanded as a as a culture as a, as a human body. We’ve expanded beyond this. So I think some of those ideas that these pickup artists are, you know, talk, you know, the, that they’re like, Yeah, well, I can’t find the mode and some of those ideas are really steeped in, in an old model of relationships. And an old model of, you know of male and female gender norms. 


Damona  5:54  

Yeah, I wasn’t even actually thinking about that. So I’m glad that you brought up like this, this whole heteronormative like a man’s supposed to act this way a woman supposed to act that way? The part that really bothers me This is a huge industry. According to this article, the pickup artist community, not the dating coach community, specifically, artist 100 million dollar a year business. And I see these advertisements. What it does is it, it really preys on people’s weak spots.


And I’ve seen,


I’ve seen it sort of, it’s the marketing that bothers me. I’ve seen an evolution actually with a lot of people that were really entering the industry as pickup artists, they’re starting to move into my lane, and they’re like, we’ll hook you with all of that, you know, get her to sleep with you. But then when you get there, it actually is a lot of the personal development and wellness. I just wish we didn’t have to do that kind of messaging to get people to be invested in personal growth.


Rachel Lang  6:58  

Hmm. as a as a Dating Coach, do you struggle sometimes with that those kinds of people kind of coming into your territory or, or some of the the gray area around that


Damona  7:10  

I have abundance mindset, Rachel, which you could probably tell from my charge areas in your chart. So I’ve never thought this person is taking possible clients away from me, I think there are clients that are going to be attracted to that sort of marketing and their clients. I it’s very clear, that’s not what I’m about. So the men that listen to the show, and the men that work with me tend to be tend to be looking for something different. So I think everybody can have a seat at the table. Everybody can come to the party, as long as we’re like treating one another with respect, right, right. And coming from a place of authenticity is big for me, like you just said, Yeah, well, if you have, maybe you followed some of my strategies, and now you’re you’ve moved into a relationship, but sometimes there’s this gray area where you’re in Relationship maybe you’re in a situation ship, maybe you’re in a no labels relationship. And that gets complicated over the holidays, doesn’t it? Rachel? Yes, it does. Now, I will say I have not actually been in a situation where I brought a no label relationship home to my parents elite daily talks about how to discuss this relationship with your parents and the factors that make them either accepting of it or rejecting in if if they have strong feelings about it. You know, a lot of people still have very traditional families that want the heteronormative relationship, the these certain trajectory of now you’re dating and now you’re engaged. Now you’re getting married, and now you’re having kids. And I just find now so many people want to follow a different path, but I haven’t experienced that that I haven’t experienced before. Moment of needing to say, Hey Mom, this is my friend, but not having a label to it. Have you been in that situation before?


Rachel Lang  9:09  

Well, you know, I have so and I, you know what I came I came out of the closet pretty early in my late teens. And, and there were times when I had friends who were sort of were friends, but there was always like this, you know, and often I would just avoid the whole topic. I mean, I would just categorize the person as a friend and I wouldn’t tell my my family that that there was something more. So there was for me it was a there was a double layer of this is uncomfortable the subject matter is is is touchy. So I understand that the dilemma of how do you how do you how do you tell your parents that, you know, because I think what it all boils down to is when you’re in an undefined relationship. It’s perhaps a sexual relationship. And you might not want to tell your parents that you’re sleeping with this person. And so I think just keeping the whole sexual keeping the relationship and the sexual aspect of the relationship separated in your mind, in your conversations with your parents, I think that’s one way to approach it. Like, we don’t have to tell them everything that we’re doing


Damona  10:23  

know. And as a parent, I’m like, there’s some things they don’t get to know. Yeah. But I also think why put yourself in an awkward situation. Hmm. If you know that you’re going to get questions from your parents that maybe your no labels relationship can exist in your world. And if it’s not going to be accepted by your parents,


Rachel Lang  10:44  

just don’t even get up through it. Exactly. Exactly.


Damona  10:48  

Well, this was a surprise to me. You know, there’s this new Mr. Rogers movie coming out with Tom Hanks playing Mr. Rogers. I watched the documentary not that long ago. And you know, I thought They’re going to find some deep dark things and Mr. Rogers closet like nobody is that nobody is that nice and kind and altruistic. According to the documentary according to like l the biographers, Mr. Rogers, just a nice good guy, nice good guy. And there was a new article that that revealed the details in biography calm or revealed the details of his proposal to his wife and the I didn’t realize they had been together since college days. He was transferring colleges and she was like, going to welcome this new perspective student and they they hit it off and but then they were different year they were finishing a different year so they kind of had this long distance on again off again relationship. So we had to propose to her by letter, which shows I think is the sweetest thing and the funny thing you think like Mr. Rogers, it should be like a total claimed she was like in a she called him from like a phone booth. Yeah. And there was like graffiti scrawled. And the only answer she could get out when she, she accepted was we don’t really swear on the show but it was like sh It was like not at all what you would think of Fred Rogers wife saying right to his proposal. Yeah, this is a really sweet story


Rachel Lang  12:22  

so sweet. So I did his birth chart. Yeah, of course because I you know, I wanted to I wanted to find out what What’s the story behind the story. And he is just a total romantic. He’s got a Taurus rising. He’s a Pisces with the Pisces moon. And for our Pisces listeners out there in Pisces moon listeners, Pisces men have hearts of gold and can be very sensitive. But it’s not always it’s not always comfortable for men in our culture, and especially at that time, to be to be so sensitive and to be so in touch with their emotions. But he had this really this really beautiful chart total romantic and I could see him just being a faithful, loving husband and a loving partner.


Damona  13:05  

Yes, the only criticism that his wife Joanne had was he was too patient with the kids. So she had to be the family disciplinarian. And again, going back to like traditional gender roles. I appreciate that they worked through that. And they let that be their norm. Because it’s kind of the same thing with with my husband and I we don’t have we don’t have traditional gender roles, and I have no interest in that. I’m just more interested in finding out what works for my family. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, we’re going to tell you what works for you based on your birth chart and what is in the stars for you in love. And we’ll dive deeper into astrological compatibility in just a moment. But first while you’re here, make sure you do three and keep it free. Number one, subscribe number two, review and number three, share this episode with a friend I know astrology is super shares So I’m sure there’s someone that you know that will want to hear the information that Rachel is about to share on astrology and compatibility. So stick around this is Dates & Mates.


Commercial Break


We’re back with Rachel Lang. She’s an astrologer, a psychic medium and a healer, who’s here to talk to us about astrological compatibility in love. Rachel, I am so so so excited for you to be here for my birthday week talking about astrology. And it’s something that I’ve I’ve always been curious about. And I think the entry point for a lot of people into astrology is just like, this is your sun sign like this is yours. Like what people know of as your sign. Hey, baby, what’s your sign? That’s just your sun sign? Yeah, there’s so much more to astrology


Rachel Lang  14:53  

so much more. And I think that’s one thing that that that gets it gets tricky when we’re talking about compatibility because so many People know what sun signs they’re compatible with. But your chart is a reflection of so many different aspects of yourself. The sun sign is just one aspect. We have at the time of your birth the moon was in a certain place Mercury, which is how you communicate and relationships was in a certain place. Venus which is how you flirt, how you attract your love. Mars is kind of your your sex drive your passion, you know, what, what, what turns you on. And so we have all of these different aspects in our in our chart that make up our personality. And so when you’re looking at compatibility, you want to factor in everything and not just the sun sign.


Damona  15:44  

Mm hmm. And now, how do you I know the answer to this, but I’m sure a lot of our listeners are saying, okay, that’s nice, Rachel. But how do I find that out? Other than going to Rachel C. Lang calm and and getting a real With you, which I hope you will all do. How can they figure this out


Rachel Lang  16:04  

yet? So there are so many great apps now that are available. Time passages is a good app. costar is a great app. And are these free these are free. Yeah. So yeah, just plug in what do you what information do you need? You need your your birthday, the time and the place. And if you don’t have your birth time, this is what a lot of people say. I don’t have my birth time. How do I know? There are ways to figure it out. It’s there’s there’s a process called rectification. And there are certain astrologers who are great at this and it costs a little bit of money. If you don’t want to go that route, you can call the hospital that you were born in there often hospital records, birth certificates. So so there’s there’s always there’s always a way to figure it out. Yeah.


Damona  16:52  

And once you have your your chart like will put in the Dates & Mates blog what I can put my chart up there. It’s like It’s like putting like a naked selfie. So you’re all dizzy. But it’s a lot of symbols and lines and graphs and graphics. And it can be a little bit overwhelming for someone to just read on their own. What are the most important things for you to look at once once you’ve gotten your your birth chart? Yeah,


Rachel Lang  17:24  

great question. So the sun sign is the most important The sun is your essence, the moon is the second most important and that is your emotional self. So it’s more of your unconscious, subconscious self. So it’s your emotions. It’s how you relate to people. It’s what you need in relationships. And then the ascendant is your rising sign, and it’s what it what sign is on the eastern horizon at the time of your birth, and that’s how other people see you. And, and so often those are the three most important aspects to look at. And then after that, then you can say start exploring where the other planets are in your chart and how they relate to one another. And it shows your complexity that shows like where you get hung up some of those patterns that you just can’t get out of that you that make you feel stuck in life. And it also shows your potential and what you’re capable of achieving and your purpose in your destiny, all of those things.


Damona  18:21  

I’m going to ask you a very skeptical question, even though I’m what I classify as a skeptical believer. Why Why do you think this works? What what it like scientifically or spiritually? Why does astrology matter? Hmm? Well,


Rachel Lang  18:40  



all of the planets in our solar system have certain electromagnetic frequencies. There are actually even minerals and and chemical compounds that each one of them have and to say that we’re not affected by the Cosmos to say that we’re not affected by the moon by the sun, I mean you can see the the tides moving with the moon cycles we are all part of a bigger, bigger picture. And so in astrology we have until on a spiritual level we have saying As above, so below and that which is the microcosm is like that of the macrocosm. So we are all intricately connected to one another to the earth to the cosmos, in ways that we can see in ways that we can’t see. And this information has been in our collective unconscious for thousands and thousands of years. So, we, we we live based on the archetypes and and we have these mythological stories that inform this the structure and the creation of our of our universe in our cosmos. And we’re all a part of that. So, so I think it works, you know, it works on physical levels and it works on on more esoteric levels as well.


Damona  20:13  

And we see astrology in in other cultures as well. It’s really


baked into the fabric of interpersonal dynamics and communication. I also know


some people who do vedic astrology, which is not the same you’re doing Western astrology, right? Yeah, the explain the difference.


Rachel Lang  20:33  

Sure, sure. They’re different. They’re different calculation systems. And, and then there’s Chinese astrology too. So so different cultures have different astrological frameworks. But these are but astrology has been around since the beginning of of recorded history for thousands of years.


Damona  20:55  

Wow. Okay. I know what everyone’s thinking. They’re thinking well How do I know who’s going to be right for me like I I go I know you’re right for for a number of publications and bustle has like a whole section now on astrology so people scan through and they’re like, Who am I compatible with? This is my sun sign? Who should I be with? What do you say to that? Is that is that a real marker that we should be looking at?


Rachel Lang  21:24  

Yeah, so, again, sun sign astrology is great. It’s often an entry point to other to astrology to deeper levels of astrology. But the sun sign alone isn’t what we should be looking at for compatibility. Now, what I will say is if you don’t know the other factors in your chart, then then sun sign is a good starting point. And often what what you’ll find is that elements get along really well with similar elements.


Damona  21:55  

So let’s break that


Rachel Lang  21:57  

will break it down the elements and astrology In Western astrology, our earth air fire, water, and earth signs are Taurus Virgo Capricorn. And they tend to relate really well to other earth signs. And water signs are Cancer, Scorpio Pisces, and they tend to relate really well to one another as well. And fire signs and air signs are the same or similar. What with with the elements, each element features a specific set of goals a specific set of personality traits look for earth signs, it’s they’re very practically based. So they’re really interested in the material world. And in in, in taking, you know, in having good solid material security, building a life in that way. air signs for example, are more about intellect and communication and Id And sharing thoughts and those kinds of knew that your sons again, they’re Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, okay? And then our fire signs which you are


our throw all that out the wind.


fire signs are Aries, Sagittarius and Leo and fire signs are there, they’re passionate they want to they want to inspire people and they’re very active, and so they have a lot of energy that they need to exert. And so you can see how certain elements really relate well with other elements. And, and, and you can think about the elements themselves and, and to think about compatibility. So for example, water extinguishes fire. So if you’re a fire sign and waters water signs emphasize emotions, and there, they tend to be more intuitive and, and and so a lots happening beneath the surface and fire signs ready to go. And so there can be. And that doesn’t mean that fire signs and water signs can’t have amazing, wonderful relationships. It just means that you have to that you have to understand your, your particular needs and your particular personality differences in order to relate well with one another.


Damona  24:22  

Okay, so let’s talk in specifics. I’ll be the guinea pig. Yes, you have, you know everything about me, you have all my birth chart there. And then I also gave you my husband’s birth chart.


Much to his dismay.


He’s not so sure he’s it. He’s like into all it but he likes he supports the exploration for me. So I have had a pattern as a Sagittarius and whatever. I have a rising sign of cancer rising and a Scorpio moon. I know. I know my basic three. Yeah. I don’t know why I don’t think it makes sense. But you’ll probably tell me why it does. I’ve had many, many relationships with Virgos. And my husband again is a Virgo. Is that something where like cosmically, I keep Connect I keep pulling like pretty much everyone I every boyfriend I had was Virgo in an except for one who was like almost on the cusp of Leo Virgo.


Rachel Lang  25:21  

Hmm, interesting. Well, well so Virgo so your Saturn Saturn is we’ll talk about Saturn in a second. Um, I would say that there are two reasons why Virgo, why you tend to attract three brigand reasons why you tend to attract Virgo men. First of all, I’m a great big mess and


Damona  25:41  

they put it all together totally


Rachel Lang  25:46  

No, so Virgo. So Sagittarius and Virgo are Sagittarius is fire Virgos Earth and they’re what we call square one another both mutable signs, and I’m getting mutable signs. It’s okay we can okay. Okay, go ahead. Okay. So, so mutable signs. So there are three. In addition to elements. There are qualities. And qualities are Cardinal fixed and mutable. Cardinal signs are Aries, cancer, Capricorn and Libra. And they’re all about initiating taking action. You have some Cardinal in your in your chart, but you’re primarily mutable and mutable signs follow Cardinal. And I’m sorry, they follow fixed. mutable signs are, are kind of like what’s next? What’s going to happen next there, they’re more adaptable. They’re more flexible. And our fixed signs are Tell that to my house.


Well, you have a you have a perfect match of fixed and mutable in your chart. So fixed signs can be a little bit stubborn. And and they’re the ones that stick with it. And they’re the ones who don’t give up and they’re great in relationships. If it’s a good healthy Relationship he’s got a lot of he must have a lot of fixed. He doesn’t actually he does not. He’s primarily mutable. Oh my god. So two mutable signs can be like squaring one another meaning your your sun signs actually form almost an exact 90 degree angle away from each other. Now, wait, wait, wait, wait.


Damona  27:19  

You’re saying looking at my chart and my husband’s chart? Looking at the geometry of it? Yep.


Rachel Lang  27:25  

Yep. They fit together. They fit together. Yes. But here’s the thing. So some people were born to need really easy, really like no stress relationships. And some people need a little bit of excitement. You and he are the type of people who need a little bit of excitement. And we’re each just exciting enough for one another. Exactly, exactly. Wow.


In addition to that, so the 90 degrees gives a little bit of tension, but it’s healthy tension because you stretch and you grow. Neither one of you are going to be okay and In a relationship where there’s not growth, or there’s not like, you know, you’re not going to be in a complacent relationship, you need to put pressure on one another to evolve to expand. And so this is a relationship with a tremendous amount of creative potential. Ah, yeah. Now, Virgo is really significant for you in your chart, because there’s a sensitive point called the north node. The North node is a destiny point and everyone has one. And it is what you’re reaching toward in this lifetime. What what you’re here to experience, but it’s not your comfort zone. Your comfort zones, the opposite point. And that’s often what’s familiar. What’s, you know what we have in your pad? Yes, it’s comfy. Exactly. old pair G. Exactly. Yes. Yes. So your North know that that uncomfortable place is in the place of Virgo and the sign of virgo.


Damona  28:58  

Stop that Yeah, yeah. So like what let me like amateur astrologer this so that means like basically he’s here to create the challenge that I need to drive me push me further and yes drive to evolve to grow to be your best self. Yeah rejoin know it’s kind of emotional


actually when you do this, especially when we’re talking about love and compatibility like when you really understand yourself and that’s what I always say with relationships. You’ve guys have heard me say this on the show before your job is to find the person that is your highest possible match for you. And so you’re if you’re in one of those comfy jeans, relationships, and it’s not it’s not your ideal match. You are doing two people a disservice you’re blocking the person that you’re with from being able to find their best match and you are not getting you’re not growing to your your best self.


Rachel Lang  29:55  

Absolutely. And I think when when I work with clients Who are in those comfy jeans relationships, it doesn’t mean that you have to leave the comfy jeans relationship. You just have to rock the boat, you have to change the comfy patterns. And so if that means that you you never fight, and this is your thing, you never fight and everything’s good, but it’s boring, there’s no passion, then speaking honestly and saying, I don’t like this or you know, rocking the boat a little bit creating some conflict might actually be healthy conflict, not just unnecessary conflict, productive conflict. But that could be the thing that that drives you to stay together and to reinvent the relationship.


Damona  30:37  

Are there things that people need to understand about their chart? Obviously, we’ve talked in specifics about a lot of different things from you know, fixed, mutable, mutable, and Cardinal and fire and air and earth and water. Are there certain guidelines that people should always be looking for when They’re talking about compatibility. A lot of the listeners of the show are they’re dating. So they don’t necessarily, like have the ability to say, and tell me again, what was your birth date and time and place? It’s a little bit too much for early dating. But are there certain signals or signs that you should look for more know in yourself before you go on a date?


Rachel Lang  31:20  

Great question. So I think knowing your sun, your moon and your rising, really important and again, you can get you can get this information free on the internet, you can get it free on apps. That way, you know, what you need in relationships. If you have a cancer moon and and you’re going out dating, cancer moons actually need someone who’s a little bit more sensitive, and they need someone who can talk about emotions, who’s not afraid of getting who’s not afraid of getting close. They also need emotional security. And so for someone with a cancer moon knowing What sun signs might best resonate with that? You know, other water signs, for example. That’s something that’s important. So I think knowing yourself first can can really help. And then just knowing sun signs actually can be helpful. Sun signs tend to get along really well with complimentary sun signs.


Damona  32:21  

And then how do you bridge that conversation? Like, Hey, baby, what’s your sign? Like? How do you get the information? I find a lot of people don’t even know what their sun sign is like that. You if you go on a date with someone, or they think you’re weird if you ask, how can you get it out in a way that’s like, kinda sly?


Rachel Lang  32:40  

Cool. Well, you there’s, you know, you can you can talk about like, oh, for my birthday, I did this when it’s your birthday. You can


Damona  32:50  

like slip it into conversation. Did you always when you were dating, did you always ask people you must listen? Yes, yeah, but


Rachel Lang  32:55  

here’s the thing. I also got myself into big trouble doing this. So There, you might take the alternative approach and just not find out and not know until you get to know the person. When my wife when I first did our charts together, I saw some things that were like


Damona  33:12  

red, I was like, nope, this will never work not going to happen, just in terms of like who you were or in terms of your compatibility in


Rachel Lang  33:21  

terms of just just looking at our charts, but I realized now that I was really, I was kind of I was kind of blocking I was I had my own relationship commitment, things that I had to work through first,


Damona  33:31  



Rachel Lang  33:34  

But I think I think Um, so yeah, so I do I did. I used to do it, but I used to do the whole chart and understand every aspect of it. But I think when you’re first falling in love, you want the magic of love, you don’t like astrology can get really analytical, and so can I. And sometimes that’s good. That’s helpful because you can see the red flags before you go into a relationship or invalid In, in your any more of your precious time. But I think keeping a real balance between knowing what you’re getting into and understanding how your how your astrology, astrological compatibility works or doesn’t work. I think you have to balance that with letting yourself experience love and letting yourself experience the connection, whatever it happens to be.


Damona  34:25  

Yeah, that’s great advice. As an astrologer, and just generally in in life and in love. If people want to explore further with you, you kind of have two options, right? You have someone can come to you for reading, but you’re also still teaching Yeah, teaching astrology and helping more people be able to do this great work. Can you tell us about what you have coming up and how people can can get a session with you? Yeah,


Rachel Lang  34:52  

thank you. So yeah, so I do, I do sessions one on one. I do couple sessions. If you’re just starting a really friendship and you want to know a little bit about your compatibility, I do have those kinds of sessions as well. And I’m teaching classes three classes starting in actually four classes starting in 2020. Doing astrology one on one, just the basics, then advanced for transits and progressions, so you can you know, so for the first three months of the year, I’ll be I’ll be teaching all kinds of astrology.


Damona  35:27  

All right, let’s, let’s bring it down to the earth plane, right? People that are just learning about sun signs. When you say transits and progressions What’s up,


Rachel Lang  35:36  

so transits so our natal chart, a birth chart shows our personality, of kind of a roadmap of our lives. And transits are the planets that are moving around in the heavens today and how they’re affecting one another. And how they aspect your birth chart. So it’s kind of a predictive tool. It shows us a little Bit of a forecast of what’s coming up of what’s happening for us in the collective but also what’s happening for us personally.


Damona  36:07  

So that’s how you get the difference between this is my birth chart. This is who I am. And this is my day to day horoscope Exactly. Yes. What you read in the paper all that exactly and what you read you also write for idea. Tell us where we can read your your horoscope horoscopes. Thank you. Yeah, I write


Rachel Lang  36:26  

horoscopes for life box magazine, and also for the Omega Institute, their monthly newsletter, and they’re also on my website. I also do articles about Mercury Retrograde about full moons and new moons rituals that you can do for those.


Damona  36:43  

Okay, we’re going to put the links in the show notes. I have done the classes you guys and again, I’m not good at it. But I it was really valuable information in even just the one on one is a ton of information that you can really use and I get you Your email every month with the horoscopes, the monthly horoscopes, and it’s one of like very few emails when my inbox is, is clogged up, I still will go to your email first and be like, Okay, well what’s Rachel saying that’s coming for the month. So thank you for being here to share all this. I hope everyone will get get whatever they need, whether it’s the one on one support or even learning how to do this themselves. We also have questions from listeners. So if you can stick around one more segment, okay.


This one comes to us from Instagram. This person says if a guy brings up the bedroom in a text before you’ve even met, is that a red flag now without knowing what’s in their birth chart, or their birth time and place? Do you think it’s a red flag? If somebody is like, I would love to see what you’re like in the bedroom and you haven’t even had a first date?


Rachel Lang  37:58  

That’s a good question. Think it depends on the on the person on the person receiving the the text because there are some people who might be more inclined to wonder those things as well you know the the different personality types need different things. So for some people it’s going to be a red flag for other people it’s not


Damona  38:19  

I just wonder if for that person to have that bold approach it says a little bit about them and because it’s so likely for that to backfire and makes me wonder if they feel comfortable saying that that early on, if they have either a lack of awareness of just social norms because you know, there may be some people’s or not but turned on by it, but it’s sort of like dick pics like it’s it’s sort of a 200 to one ratio like, might send 200 dick pics and one person is like, thank you so much for this dick pic and then 199 people go, I hate this. Why did you send me this? Yeah, block and report? Yeah,


Rachel Lang  39:10  

I know I can tell you for me it would probably be a red flag. Yeah, just because you know they’re there. There’s it’s kind of like if you’re if you’re in an if you’re if you’re flying, you’re you’re going to want the airplane to kind of take off gently and then reach a cruising altitude and then land it. It’s like if you go straight into the air, it’s like startling. Yeah,


Damona  39:33  

yeah. And I actually she sent me the text. So I read in contacts. And I will say like, it didn’t seem completely out of the norm. It was kind of like, mixed in with a lot of other things. But it just feels to me unnecessary. So if you’re including that in your early text, I would say maybe just pump the brakes a little bit until at least after you’ve met. But I find especially for women, it tends to make them feel a little bit crazy. Being like creeped out if you do that too soon,


Rachel Lang  40:03  

but she was she’s sending any other. She’s sending any messages like Okay, so that’s another thing too I think read the read them.


Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.


Damona  40:14  

Totally. Okay, let’s see if we’re psychically connected. Okay, one question comes to us from Facebook. And this lady is wondering, is it possible to meet someone today without dating apps? What is your advice for people who want to date but don’t want to do it online? Hmm. What do you think I know you’re a married lady. Now.


Rachel Lang  40:31  

I know I am. And happily, so. I, I think that you can I think definitely, people meet if two souls are are supposed to meet and if you’re, if you’re, if you’re really you know, manifesting love and your persons there, I think it’s possible to meet. I think that going online gets you into the dating realm. It can Kind of speed things up. But it’s, I think it can help. But I have a lot of clients, I work with a lot of clients who who do manifest relationships or get into relationships where they’re not going online.


Damona  41:13  

Yeah, yeah, I think it is. You guys have heard me say this on the show before, but it’s the most powerful tool in your dating toolbox. But it shouldn’t be the only thing that you’re doing. I think it’s like you said the manifesting, right. It’s the focus on love, the strategy, the way that you go about it more than it is about the tool. But just for a lot of people that are busy, or coming out of relationships or just haven’t dated. It’s an excellent tool for ramping up your dating options very quickly, and also giving you the practice exactly today. So maybe not think so much about the end game, but what is the experience that you want to have and if you think that experience is not online, then just know that you’re going to have to triple down on your effort in other areas, if that is your ultimate goal,


Rachel Lang  42:03  

right, right. And also, I think some people going online for the first time can get overwhelmed with all the choices. And I, you know, I’m sure that you know more than I do, but when I, when I talk to clients who are doing online dating, I say be very discerning. And don’t just go on a bunch of dates just to go on a bunch of dates, like filter filter exactly before,


Damona  42:26  

get their birth date, their birth time, and where they’re born, and then you can really figure out the date with them or not. Thank you so much for being here, Rachel, for having me. And we’ll put all the links in the show notes, but you can find Rachel at Rachel Lang astrologer calm she’s also on Instagram, and we will tag her on lots of posts this week at Rachel lang 11. Thank you so much for listening to Episode 285 of Dates & Mates. All of the links for the stories in the dating dish and everything else will be on our website datesandmates.com and I’m at Damona Hoffman on all of the social so you can join in on the conversation, you can send me questions for future episodes. We will be back again next week with a deer Damona episode and you know what that means? It’s all questions from you. And you know the best way to get me questions for a dear Damona episode is by messaging me on social media, or by emailing me Damona at Damona hoffman.com. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode all about love and astrology. celebrate my birthday with me. It’s on November 27 this week right before Thanksgiving. And I also wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you and your family and your friends giving is everything you dream it will be and I wish you lots of luck and love. Until next week. I wish you happy dating


Thirty-Life Crisis & Gay Ex-Boyfriend


Listen, dating in your 30s and later is no joke. Even mega-celebrity Emma Watson interviewed this week on the pressure of dating when everyone around you seems to be ahead of the game.

Are your social media feeds never-ending streams of engagement photos and baby pictures? 

Are you thinking of tying the knot too but constantly on the quest for Mr. and Mrs. Right?

Are you wondering how this became your life? 

Maybe you’re also asking yourself the question, “Is my boyfriend gay?”

Are you having a quarter-life crisis, mid-life crisis or even a thirty-life crisis? TRUST. We’ve all been there.


Are you single or “self-partnered” like Emma Watson?

Emma gave an interview in British Vogue this week about her mindset shift around dating in your 30s. Damona actually thinks this has the potential to inhibit to your dating journey. 

Can dating apps lead you to develop a disease? 

According to a new Harvard study, a high percentage of daters develop eating disorders while using dating apps. Damona breaks it down.

If you had your ex’s IG password, would you log in?

Cosmo reports that a staggering amount of people log into their ex’s instagram account. WHAT. 


Dating in your 30s and quarter-life crises

Are you having a quarter life crisis, mid life crisis or even a 30 life crisis? Well Lisa Schwartz joins Damona to open up about hers.

You probably know her from her wildly popular YouTube channel, Lisbug, which features original comedic and musical content. 

Lisa found herself in a Thirty-Life Crisis after her boyfriend came out as gay to some 6 million fans – you probably know him. Shane Dawson, he’s a huge youtube celebrity.

But now Lisa has turned that moment into a guide to figuring out where your passion is in your life with her new book, Thirty-Life Crisis. 

We go in-depth on:

  • Finding out my boyfriend is gay (believe it or not, Damona also had this moment)
  • Dating might be harder in your 30s, but breakups get easier


Find Lisa on YouTube and make sure to get your copy of Thirty-Life Crisis!


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

  • My guy and I have been talking for almost a year. Connection is great but I don’t know how long to wait for commitment. He has a kid and was divorced years ago. I am 33 and I don’t know if my rush is because all my friends are getting married and having kids. Should I expect him to commit?
  • How can I tell if a woman really likes me? I had the impression that she did but out of the blue she tells me that she was seeing someone else. Why do women do this?
  • No girl ever seems interested in me. What am I doing wrong?
  • I’m not sure why men and women always carry unnecessary baggage from past relationships?

Love & Loss



After a breakup, divorce, or a loss of a partner, we often ask ourselves this question.

In the description of this show we say you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll believe in love again. But have you ever had to learn how to love again after loss?

 Whether you’ve been through a breakup, divorce, or the passing of your partner this episode is for you. Healing your heart is a long process – A lot of us feel guilty moving on or feel like we’ll never find someone as great as what we once had.

We’ve all been there. 

But today we want to give you hope. That is why I’ve brought in Gladys Diaz – a love expert who helps people learn to love and trust again.

She is the co-founder of The Love Twins of Heart’s Desire International. 

After being widowed at a young age, Gladys believed that she would never love or be loved again. She and her sister developed  a program that women how to love after loss – a program that she followed to meet the second man of her dreams 19 years ago. Here’s the rundown:


How to find the perfect first date spot

According to GQ, you should find a few first date spots and stick to them. Damona and Gladys discuss.

Do you really need to find your intellectual match?

Damona and Gladys have thoughts on this article from Female First. 

Do you want to feel safer when dating?

Apparently there is a brand new chaperoning / matchmaking service that takes away the pressure of meeting a stranger in public for the first time. Is this really necessary?

Love & Loss

Learn to Love Again

Gladys lost the love of her life at age 27. After some time, she developed a program to heal her own heart and open herself up to love again. Gladys now helps women of all backgrounds heal from breakups, divorce, and the loss of a partner.

We cover:

  • Gladys’ Love Story
  • Breakups and divorces are in a lot of ways like the passing of a partner
  • Limiting Belief: I will never love again
  • Feeling guilty for moving on
  • The two steps you must do before moving on
  • Accepting new love in your life


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

  • What’s the deal with people who put someone else’s kids in their dating profile?
  • Is online dating a must if you’re 39 and divorced?