Tag Archive for: LTR

ChatGPT & Dating, Decoded

As Damona has been posting more dating advice on Instagram, we’ve been reading through the comments (as one does). And some folks are wondering, “Why should I take my dating advice from Damona? She’s a married lady, yet she’s offering online dating advice.” Which made us realize that many new listeners don’t know Damona’s background!

So here’s why Damona should be your go-to gal for dating advice:

  • Damona has over 15 years of experience in online dating and offline dating.
  • As a professional dating coach, she wrote her first online dating profile for a client in 2004 – so she’s been in the game for a minute.
  • Damona became certified as a dating coach in 2013, consequently the same year she launched the Dates & Mates Podcast.
  • She’s collaborated with all of the major dating apps, including Match.com, JDate, Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and now OKCupid as their Official Dating Coach and spokesperson.
  • Damona loves staying on top of all of the latest trends and tips on dating, both offline and online.

If that doesn’t convince you to listen to the rest of the show, we don’t know what will. Maybe it’ll be our guest for today, Hannah Orenstein. She’s the deputy editor of lifestyle and wellness at Bustle, and she has her finger on the pulse of modern dating trends. So she is the perfect person to help us decode the new rules of dating.


Will ChatGPT take over online dating?

Our friends at CNET published a captivating article this week, asking what happens when ChatGPT gets a hold of your online dating profile. To get you up to speed, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chat bot that can assist you with basic writing tasks. So Erin, the author of the article, decided to conduct an experiment in which she asked ChatGPT to write witty responses to classic dating profile prompts. For example, Erin gave the prompt “write a 500-character dating app bio for a woman who likes music, books and houseplants.” ChatGPT responded: “Music lover, bookworm, and proud plant parent… Seeking someone who shares my passions and is ready to join me on spontaneous adventures, cozy nights in, and trips to the local nursery… Bonus points if you have a green thumb!”

Damona dives into the ethics of using ChatGPT, the question of misrepresentation, and how ChatGPT is going to revolutionize online dating and communication.

(Funnily enough, ChatGPT’s response to Erin’s prompt above is almost the same as one of the prompts in Damona’s Free Profile Starter Kit. 😂)


Hannah Orenstein is the Deputy Editor of Lifestyle and Wellness at Bustle, where she covers dating, relationships, and sex, among other topics. 

Previously, she was the Senior Dating Editor at Elite Daily, where she still writes her advice column “Dating, Decoded.” She’s also the author of four novels; her most recent book, MEANT TO BE MINE, was praised by Vogue, Cosmo, BuzzFeed, USA Today, and more. 

(18:30) Am I normal?

After having written a dating and relationship advice column for so many years, Hannah says the most common theme within the questions she’s received is: am I normal? Although Hannah describes that one of the most scandalous messages she received was about a reader who had slept with her boyfriend’s best friend, and her struggle with what to do. Another reader had also messaged Hannah asking about how to feel comfortable in her own skin, after having gained weight and having her hair fall out.

Hannah shares a story on how she went about addressing such a layered question, while giving her thoughts on defining “self care.”

 (26:40) Dear Damona/Dear Hannah…

Hannah points out that many of the singles writing in to Dating Decoded are in college or in their early twenties. And when you’re trying to figure out dating for the first time, having an advice columnist to give it to you straight can be a really comforting thing. “I don’t know their lives. But I think sometimes you do need somebody from the outside to say, ‘hey, you seem okay, I think you could be doing better.’”

So if you’re in a relationship, what are the signs that it may be feeling like it’s stagnating? Number one, it’s a pretty clear sign if you write into an advice column for help. Number two? “Anytime you are dwelling on something or ruminating on it, and you just can’t get it off your mind, I think that’s a sign that maybe something is worth examining or worth being curious about there. Because if everything was totally hunky dory, you wouldn’t be obsessing about it all the time.”

Be sure to follow Hannah on Instagram @HannaHorens and check out her monthly advice column, “Dating, Decoded” featured in Elite Daily.



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

  • Email from Heidi – Hi, I’m a widow and I’m new to dating sites. I made a friend recently and he is so complementary that it makes me nervous and a little uncomfortable. Is this a red flag?

Dating Up & Toxic Relationship Fix

Finding love is a journey and as you date, you are bound to encounter some people who are not good for you. But with the right mindset and approach, you can find and maintain a healthy, loving relationship.

It all starts with awareness and the ability to identify narcissism and toxic behavior in your matches. Don’t worry though, these behaviors are not as common as the TherapyTok trend might have you think. Even still, they exist and can cause you tremendous pain.

And that is why I have licensed psychotherapist, Sherry Gaba, and certified Life and Dating & Relationship Coach, Carla Romo, here today. They will be talking about how to avoid toxic relationships, trust your gut and find and keep healthy love. 


Is “dating up” really a bad thing?:

A recent article from Essence Magazine dove into the details of “dating up” when looking for a life partner – i.e. dating someone who has access to more resources than you. The article begins by calling back to a trend around getting your “MRS Degree” (AKA a woman going to college to pursue a man with the potential to be rich or successful in the future). The article continues by dropping some stats in support of dating up regarding the gender pay gap.

Well, you KNOW Damona has some thoughts to share – one being that “dating up” puts too much of a focus on dating someone above your status, versus someone who could be your equal. And what qualities really connote someone being at a higher level than you? If you are so fixated on dating someone above your level, at least be sure you’re asking yourself if it’s really something you want, or if this is a story that was told to you about what a secure partner should be.

THE LOVE FIX (10:32)

Sherry Gaba is a licensed psychotherapist, life coach, author and co-host of the podcast, The Love Fix. Sherry has appeared on Vh1’s Celebrity Rehab, CNN, Inside Edition, Access Live, and E! News. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Women’s World, the LA Times, the New York Post, Zoosk, Psychology Today and other leading publications.

Carla Romo is a certified Life and Dating & Relationship Coach, author of “Contagious Love” and co-hosts The Love Fix podcast with Sherry. She has been featured on or partnered with Simon Business School, Milwaukee Bucks, BRAVO, Bumble, Lifetime, and Bustle.

(12:25) Toxic red flags (and have we heard them all)?

Being a hot topic on their own podcast, The Love Fix, Damona asks Carla and Sherry for their take on the signs of toxic behavior. Carla states that oversharing can be a red flag (less in a vulnerable way, more in the let-me-dump-my-childhood-trauma-on-you kind of way). She also points out that it’s good to look for consistency in their behavior, AKA if they’re telling you one thing but their actions are communicating another.

But contrary to what a lot of people feel about dating culture and the individuals on dating apps, Carla doesn’t think the majority of people are toxic. Sherry then covers what she learned in her training about the cycle of abuse.

(24:00) Healthy doesn’t always feel like attraction…

Damona shares that in her dating journey (before meeting Seth, of course), she really has to deprogram what she defined as a healthy relationship – “I find that for a lot of people, when they’re used to that sort of chaotic relationship, a healthy relationship can feel like nothing’s happening.” Sherry continues that if you grew up with a certain amount of trauma, your nervous system experienced a lot of activation which can create a lack of regulation.

Carla adds how she advises her clients to go on a second date, even if the first date felt boring. “Go on that second date, go on the third date, just get to know people. And you don’t have to define if you’re going to marry this person. Like, the point of dating is that you need to go on multiple dates.” Sherry also gives us some of the indications of healthy conflict vs. toxic conflict

(32:35) Wholeness is in your body.

Damona mentions how employing our intuition can be a really useful tool in being able to suss out the signs of toxicity. But if we’ve been in abusive relationships in the past, we’ve often been taught not to trust our intuition, let alone ourselves. Sherry states that part of this is how trauma shows up in the body: “If you haven’t worked through your early trauma, and it’s still lodged in your body, you’re going to be responding from that place, instead of the place you need to be responding from – a wholeness.”

Sherry states that you can discharge that trauma using processes like EMDR or doing somatic work with a trauma therapist. And if being able to afford this kind of treatment feels like a financial stretch, Sherry and Carla share their tips on finding resources.

Be sure to follow Sherry and Carla on Instagram @TheLoveFixPodcast and listen to their podcast, The Love Fix, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.



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

IG Message from R – What do you think about putting your HSV+ status on your dating profile to weed out anyone that isn’t in alignment with you???

Selfish Romantic & Audio Attraction

Do you struggle with setting boundaries in a relationship? Do you feel guilty for putting yourself first? Well, what if we told you that prioritizing yourself was actually a key to dating success?

Today we are going to redefine the word “selfish” and explore how being “selfish” is actually an essential part of self-love and self-care. We’ll explore practical ways to prioritize ourselves in romantic relationships, how to set healthy boundaries, and why it’s crucial to avoid losing ourselves in the pursuit of love.

And we will do it all with the help of five-board accredited body confidence coach, author, and speaker, Michelle Elman. She will be joining Damona today to talk about her latest book, “The Selfish Romantic: How to Date Without Feeling Bad About Yourself.” 


The dos and don’ts of Hinge audio notes:

If you’ve been in the dating app scene recently then you know about Hinge’s audio prompts, which the app introduced in November 2021. Although the option for audio prompts didn’t revolutionize the way we swipe, hearing someone’s voice on their profile can become a key piece to whether you’re attracted to someone or not. And it limits the amount of information you share which can be important in the early phases of dating when it doesn’t take much to flip from someone peaking your interest to giving you the total “ick” (which we talked about in a recent D&M ep).

That’s why we were so grateful to see this article from Mashable, featuring tips on how to make the most of your audio notes from Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science and friend of the pod, Logan Ury. In the article, Logan shares Hinge’s top 5 most popular voice prompts and some CRUCIAL do’s and don’ts. But all in all, Damona thinks you can never go wrong with the more creative route. The more you can showcase your character in your profile, the more you frame yourself as a real person instead of just a face to swipe on.


Michelle Elman is a five-board accredited life coach, broadcaster, and public speaker (but you may know her as the queen of boundaries). What you might not know is that she had 15 surgeries before the age of 20, and is a leading expert on body positivity.

Michelle has been featured by Stylist and Glamour, and has appeared on The Today Show, Teen Vogue, E! News and MTV. Lastly, she’s the author of two best-selling books and her most recent book, The Selfish Romantic, is out now! 

(9:24) What inspired The Selfish Romantic?

There seems to be a fine line that is walked between selfishness and self care or self love. But Michelle notes that in order to have self love, you are required to be selfish. “The practicality is you cannot be higher on your priority list unless you start saying no to other people around you. And it’s the same in your dating life. So if you’re putting someone else’s opinion above your own, you aren’t going to make decisions in your love life that are good for you. And so you do need to be more selfish.”

Michelle also talks about her surgery scars, self-consciousness, and how she reframed the relevancy of her scars in her own dating life.

(20:20) Is your focus on dating stunting your growth?

Michelle brings up a pretty life-changing session she had with her life coach. In this session, the coach called Michelle out for making a guy she was dating for 3 weeks her #1 priority (and Michelle was even writing her first book at the time). Michelle says this convo was the catalyst for deciding to reset her dating life by remaining “consciously single” for three years.

Michelle goes into why being consciously single is NOT halting your love life (at least not as much as you think it is) & how she went about her dating detox.

(26:45) The myths & lies about singlehood.

Speaking of Damona’s book and dating myths, Michelle has a lot to say about the myths around being single. “People seem to think that being single is something that accidentally happens to us. That it’s like this illness that gets thrust upon us, or it’s a waiting room until we get our next relationship… We all came into this world single. Being single is the default, being coupled is not the default.”

First of all, treat yourself and get this book The Selfish Romantic out NOW. Second of all, treat yourself again by watching Michelle’s inspiring content on IG @MichelleLElman.



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

Email from Allison – How can I pursue a relationship rather than friends with benefits? My usual pattern has been to like a guy, sleep with him, then fall hard for him – only to find out that he doesn’t want a serious relationship.

Non-Negotiables & LDR Lessons

On past Dates & Mates episodes, Damona has talked about the ways our childhood experiences shape our relationship habits in adulthood, for the good and… the not so good. But we have to remember that our past doesn’t dictate our future, and we can reclaim our power by acting upon that.

Like Damona said in her chat with Nora McInerny last week, we are always writing our stories. And as Nora said, “In 10 years, you are going to look at the version of you presently and be like, ‘you had no idea. You had no idea how young you were. You had no idea what was possible for you, what was ahead of you.’”

Life is a journey and we are always learning and growing.  So remember to keep doing those journals, chatting with your therapist and taking the time to be introspective. That is how I define self-care. As you come to understand yourself better, you will understand your relationships better, your needs and wants better, and how establishing and keeping to your boundaries will help you design the life you are destined for.

And that’s why I have friend and fellow love coach, Orna Walters, on the show today. For those who don’t know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and she is going to share her personal story, some signs to look out for, and how to prepare yourself for a happy, healthy partnership.


Do long-distance relationships have the most potential?

A recent article from the John Hopkins newsletter dives into how “the challenges of a long-distance relationship are what cause it to have the most success.” Damona gives her two cents, and some definitive strategies on how to make the most out of your distance. 

The article also mentions how technology has helped close both the distance and communication gap when dating someone in another location. From dating apps, to Zoom, to apps that allow you to play games or watch TV shows together. 

But – in order for technology to work in your favor, you also have to be maximizing your chances with the algorithms. Damona’s FREE Profile Starter Kit is a great place to begin.


Orna Walters is a domestic violence survivor turned love coach and is a featured guest expert on Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” She uses her experiences to educate people on healthy relationships, openness and authenticity. 

She’s a dear friend of the show and a fabulous dating coach, along with her amazing husband Matthew. This time Orna is back on Dates & Mates solo to share her personal story and wisdom.

(15:40) Taking on someone else’s behavior.

On New Year’s Eve of 1994, Orna’s relationship with her partner at the time took a violent turn that would change everything. The lessons she learned from this relationship now contribute to her expertise in teaching individuals how to take their power back. As Orna says, “no person should take on the shame of another person’s actions.”

(19:44) Signs of a potentially violent partner.

Orna says that with her former partner, she couldn’t spot any specific signs that he might be violent. But there is one thing she is absolutely clear of – when wanting to get out of a toxic relationship, Orna implores that you cut off ALL contact. And if communication is necessary, ask someone to be a mediator between the two of you.

Orna also shares what it is that keeps us stuck in a toxic or abusive relationship. Hint: “We get addicted to the apology…”

(26:48) Orna & Matthew, sitting in a tree…

Having been in a relationship with her husband Matthew for 11 years, Orna now spreads the message that it IS POSSIBLE to unlearn your relationship patterns. “The truth is we’re attracted to what is familiar to us… and when I realized I had repeated the same situation [I experienced as a little girl], I knew I had to leave.” 

She continues that on a basic level, we are all fighting for love on our own terms. And because of this, it’s crucial that we take the time to know what those terms actually are.

(32:35) What does a healthy relationship look like?

After Damona asks Orna for her thoughts on healthy relationships, Orna brings our focus over to the body. She says that our emotions are technically bodily sensations. And because it’s really important for us to be able to communicate our feelings to our partner, we have to be in touch with our bodies as well. 

Try this: Set 6 or 7 alarms throughout the day. Whenever an alarm goes off, check in with your body and name the emotion you are currently experiencing. And if you can, try and define the thought that is causing the feeling in your body.


Be sure to follow Orna and her husband Matthew Walters (a fellow love coach) on Instagram at @OrnaAndMatthew.


And check out their website 7StepsToSoulmating.com for more info.


**If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please do not hesitate. Call the domestic abuse hotline at (800)799-7233.



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

  • Email from T –  I love your podcast, thank you for all that you do! My question is… when in your opinion is it appropriate to discuss taking your profile down and being sexually exclusive with a partner that you’ve met online and it’s going really, really well? Thank you for the advice!

Retro Dating & Bad Vibes Only

I don’t have to tell you that sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan.  So, while planning ahead is helpful, it’s important to leave a little room for things to go sideways. Even still, the question remains – how do you deal with days, weeks, months when life feels like it’s headed off course?

Today, Damona will unpack those questions and more with Nora McInerny, host of the “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” podcast. They’ll discuss how Nora carried on after losing the love of her life, how she opened herself back up to love, and how every experience in between led her to exactly where she is today.


Dating is broken – but could going retro fix it?

A recent New York Times article has been causing a STIR in the dating community (Damona was sent this article by 3 different people!). If you haven’t read this op-ed piece already, the author writes that “going retro” – i.e. returning to matchmaking – could be our salvation from dating burnout, ghosting, and swipe fatigue. 

The article notes 4 positive effects that matchmaking could have on dating culture:

  1. A mediated match more easily connects individuals who are looking for the same kind of relationship or have similar education, religious background or values. 
  2. Matchmaking eases the difficulties of the IRL approach.
  3. Going out with a mediated match offers behavioral accountability.
  4. Matchmaking helps to avoid feeling “completely disposable” because you have a mutual connection it might get back to.

In light of the obstacles of our current dating culture, it seems like a reasonable solution to return to the dating practices used before the prevalence of online dating and hookup culture. But let’s not outcast dating apps altogether – because a huge part of what the apps give us is agency in our own dating lives. They are but another avenue for us to clarify what we want in a partner and to learn more about ourselves in the process. Damona also gives her tips on what we can do to elevate our own “behavioral accountability” and avoid dating burnout…

**P.S. Interested in exploring matchmaking? Damona currently has a partnership with the company Three Day Rule, which has headquarters in multiple cities. Go to threedayrule.com/damonahoffman to get started, or listen to Damona’s interview with Three Day Rule matchmaker Devyn Simone to learn more.


Nora McInerny is the host of the award winning podcast “Terrible, Thanks For Asking.” She has contributed to publications like The New York Times, Time, Slate, and Vox. Nora is also the author of two bestselling memoirs – and her new book “Bad Vibes Only: And Other Things I Bring To The Table” is out today!

**Want to learn more about Nora before listening? Check out Damona’s 2021 interview with Nora about her previous book – “The Hot Young Widows Club.”

(11:15) The beginning of something healing.

Nora’s love story begins with her first marriage to her husband Aaron, who passed away after being diagnosed with brain cancer – “We’d been dating for a year, and we got married a month after his brain surgery. We had a baby 13 months later. And then our third wedding anniversary was his funeral. So that’s my first marriage right there.” 

Her process of stepping into love again was more like falling, as she describes it. “I was not interested in meeting someone. You know, I wasn’t interested in falling in love with somebody. I was interested in possibly having sex with a person… They could fall in love with me if they wanted to, but I wouldn’t love them back. And when it started to develop into something else, I felt horrible. I felt horrible for having any kind of happiness at all, it was the most excruciating time and it was also, I think, the beginning of something like healing.”

Loving Aaron, and then falling into love with her current partner Matthew, taught Nora that we are not cursed by whatever past experiences we carry – sometimes those experiences can just be information.

(21:50) We’re always choosing.

We all hold different versions of ourselves in our heads – our rom-com self, our weekend-with-the-parents self, or relationship self. But in her book Nora mentions a caveat to the selves we carry with us – “The future ahead of me is not boundless, and never was. Every choice I made eliminated other versions of myself.”

Nora gives the Dates & Mates audience insight on how we can empower ourselves to make the hard (but healthy) choices in our lives, even if it involves eliminating possible future versions of ourselves.

(28:37) Sometimes the fairytale isn’t your happy ending.

Nora describes her relationship with her current husband Matthew as being unique in its own way. Firstly because they went through the experience of blending families. And secondly because they were never really single together – “you know, in that classic sense where you find someone, you date them, and you can go spend weekends away or take a spontaneous road trip. We met each other, and we came with kids. Like, we came with established lives. And so we had to fit those together in a way that made sense.”

Nora notes that her relationship with her first husband Aaron felt as close to a fairytale as you could get. But sometimes, the fairytale isn’t your happy ending or final destination. “[My relationship with Matthew] is very different. It is not a fairy tale. And thank God, honestly. Because if I thought that my happy ending happened when I was 30… It’s like, where do you go from there?”


Be sure to follow Nora on IG @Noraborealis and pick yourself up a copy of her newest book, “Bad Vibes Only: And Other Things I Bring To The Table.”



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

  • IG Message from Suzanne – When is it acceptable to ping someone on Linkedin (if ever…)? I know it’s not a dating app, but I’ve had a great exchange with someone on Hinge mid-pandemic. Then I didn’t hear from him for weeks, got dejected and gave up. Recently logged back in after nearly a year to find that he HAD responded to me (2 months later) and now I had responded nearly a year later… I keep kicking myself over the missed connection (the guy was perfect!). His profile is unchanged (he’s either coupled up or on this app about as often as I am) and it doesn’t help that Hinge archives messages after 2 weeks, which is how I missed his last for months even after I was back on it. Found him on LinkedIn (no crazy sleuthing; 1st result given his name and schools) – is it completely inappropriate to reach out saying something to the effect of “sorry for unintentionally ghosting you on that other app”? Really want to meet him now that we can!

Green Flags & Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday

Choosing a partner is the most important decision you’ll ever make. It affects your finances, your family, your mental health and your future. But remember that your dating journey is just as important as your relationship destination. 

It’s a myth to think any relationship is ever a waste of time. These experiences can be the greatest source of information when it comes to better understanding ourselves and the relationships that best fit our lives.

And that’s why we have Nick Viall, author and host of The Viall Files podcast, here to discuss his new book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” and help you navigate the ups and downs of the dating process, so you’ll leave this episode feeling more empowered in dating.


Can work stress make you more critical in your relationships?

Have you ever come home from a stressful day at work, only to find yourself completely annoyed that your partner didn’t throw away that empty chip bag on the couch? That’s why the Society for Personality and Social Psychology published a new study diving into how work stress can affect our relationships. Researchers looked at couples and had them fill out a questionnaire that asked them about the stressful situations in their lives.

The results? Turns out that participants who reported experiencing more stressful life events outside of their relationship, were especially likely to notice their partner’s negative behaviors.

But if you aren’t in a relationship, Damona also believes that work stress could be making singles more critical of their dating lives, and causing them to show up on dates already looking for negative behaviors. Remember that where our attention goes, the energy flows. So on your next date, see what happens if you more consciously refrain from scanning for negative behaviors and look for those green flags instead.


You may know Nick from his starring role on the 21st season of ABC’s The Bachelor. Nick is also the host of the podcast The Viall Files, which explores all things dating and love – from post-breakup healing, to salacious texts in their three weekly episodes. 

And his book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday: And Other Advice on Love, Sex, and Dating” is out TODAY!

(11:00) Bad texting doesn’t always mean bad communication.

Although there’s no arguing that dating apps have totally changed the landscape of dating, Damona believes that texting has actually been the biggest shift in dating culture (given that texting is now a whole separate stage of the courtship process). And the biggest challenge with this is interpreting someone else’s tone. Nick notes that regardless of our intention when sending a text, the other person will always read the tone to match whatever mood or feelings they are in – if they are feeling defensive they will read your text defensively, or if they are feeling guarded they will read the message in a more guarded tone.

Because of this communication gap, Nick suggests avoiding having ongoing conversations with new matches over text. Take advantage of tools like Zoom, where you can clearly read someone’s facial expressions and hear their tone. 

Nick also gives us some crucial tips for sliding into someone’s DM’s, and how to avoid looking like a catfish.

(21:30) The player vs the f**kboy

Two famous archetypes on a similar mission – but what really is the difference between a player and a f**kboy? One might say that they’re the same thing and f**kboy just replaced the term player in the last decade. But the two definitely have their differences. 

According to Nick, a f**kboy is someone who is well intentioned. They want to have a relationship in theory, but don’t want to check their own behavior and do what it really takes or make the sacrifices required to be in a relationship. “Women, men – we all can become f**kboys. Because f**kboys happen when we’re not communicating our expectations and boundaries, and we make assumptions. The other person is having sex with us, but not really prioritizing our feelings. And then all of a sudden, we have a f**kboy situation.” Weirdly enough, your f**kboy could be someone else’s future partner. 

On the other hand, players are the people who actually have alternative motives. They truly don’t want a relationship, they just want to have sex. They tend to manipulate and lead others on, and will go out of their way to make you feel special so they can hopefully hook up with you with no attachments. They’re playing the game (hence the name “player”).

(27:50) Get yourself unstuck.

Nick had one central message when writing his new book “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” – that we have more control in our love lives than we want to give ourselves credit for. Nick shares that he has always remembered feeling very stuck in a relationship. He says that he would obsess over small details or moments and the potential for rejection. “I chose to make her choices a representation of my self worth. And I allowed her choices to validate my self worth.”

Nick encourages readers to avoid making any kind of rejection about you. “Rejection sucks. It’s not fun. But if we reframe rejection as clarity to give us the answers, to allow us to have more freedom, to empower us to make our own choices, then it can just change things a little bit more.”


Be sure to grab yourselves a copy of “Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday” today! 


You can learn more about The Viall Files podcast on their website, and follow Nick Viall and The Viall Files on IG for more hot tips.



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

  • IG Message from L – I’d like to ask for guidance on how to proceed with someone I recently met. We met last week & had an immediate connection. We saw each other the following day & he stayed with me, although we slept fully clothed. After that his communication was constant, but often made more sexual comments. We met again at my house the day he returned from a business trip. He spent the night & we just fooled around. We didn’t go all the way because I had communicated I wasn’t ready for more. He texted me the following Sunday, saying “Good morning sunshine. I hope you’re having a great weekend.” I responded. Then I sent a message on Monday just saying hi & he again responded with the same pleasantry. Since then he has not initiated contact once. I’ve reached out twice with pleasantries & he’s responded politely. I’m not sure how to proceed from here. I like him a lot & my goal is to develop a LTR with someone. 
  • Voicemail from Anon – Dear Damona, I recently became involved with a young lady that I like very much. So far, we’ve had three in person days of video call, and we’ve been texting paragraphs back and forth for at least three weeks straight. I knew from our first video call that she was someone I was extremely attracted to. At the end of our third date, I decided to ask if we can make our relationship official. But to my surprise, she kind of talked her way around saying no. So we had a heart to heart moment, where she reveals to me that she has some pretty serious past relationship baggage that only happened a few months ago. The following day, we had a text exchange where she said, “The more I thought about it last night and this morning, I truly don’t know if I’ll be ready for a relationship anytime soon. I do want to keep getting to know you and get closer though.” So my conundrum is, I genuinely like this woman and can envision myself having a future with her. But if she’s not ready to be in a relationship, should I move on and start from square one with a new person? Or is it worth the emotional investment that I continue to linger in her orbit, waiting for her to feel ready to be in a relationship? Since I already know that I like her and on some level, I know she likes me. I ask this question from the perspective of knowing that relationships require hard work, and I don’t want to waste my time if she has cold feet.