Tag Archive for: Myisha Battle

Dear Damona: Rubbish Texter & Dating Racism


We have covered a LOT of topics over the last 5 months – from building your own relationship with columnist and author Dan Savage to the challenges faced in interracial dating with Rachel Lindsey of the Bachelorette.

At this point, we can confidently say that if there is one thing Damona has in common with you all, it’s a thirst for knowledge. And boy, does that manifest in the number of emails, DM’s and voice memos we get from all of you.

But hey, we are NOT complaining! While we love bringing you the most up to date and helpful information on all things dating, our favorite thing is still answering your questions directly. And that’s why we’ve decided to do an all Dear Damona episode today! 🎉



(3:42) Voicemail from Alexis: Hi, Damona. My name is Alexis. So really, I have a big problem with moving past a scarcity mindset. So how do I remain positive that there are people out there, especially considering that I haven’t had much experience in dating? In addition to that, the past three years have been pretty rough with the pandemic. I’m also still figuring out my career. Really what it boils down to is I don’t feel successful enough really to be dating. I want to focus more on my career. But at the same time, I also want to make up for lost time that I spent not dating prior to the pandemic. How can I feel successful enough to feel comfortable dating?


If you want to dive a little deeper on building self-love and confidence, check out Damona’s episode with author and life coach Michelle Elman.


(10:35) Voice Memo from C: What do you do when you’re in the early stages of dating and he seems keen in every other way, except for the fact that he’s a rubbish texter? Now, he is a doctor who works shift work. So I’ve been inclined to give him a little bit of a pass. But we could be having a conversation, he’s texting back, and then all of a sudden it takes him like two or three days to reply, which seems a bit crappy. So what do you do there? Do you just kind of continue to go on the dates but just have lower expectations? Do you keep exploring other options, or do you playfully call him out on it?


This question is a doozy – but if you want more texting tips, Damona did a recent interview with fellow dating coach Blaine Anderson. Damona and Blaine also go into more detail about how to avoid the Texting Trap.



(17:10) Voicemail from B: Hey Damona! I just got back onto Tinder after a breakup a couple months ago, and it’s going pretty well. I had three solid first dates with three different guys this past weekend. And yet, I’m still curious about some of these other guys I’ve matched and had communication with on the app. I live in a huge city with tons of options, which can be obviously a blessing and a curse. So how do you know when to stop looking? And then beyond that, do you just go on second dates with all of these people, assuming that they’re actually into you? And then do you disclose this to them? Is that type of transparency respectful or is it unnecessary?


Getting back on the apps after a hiatus? Then you’ve GOT to download Damona’s Profile Starter Kit – only free for a few more months!!


(23:50) Voice Memo from B: Hi Damona, I have a question. So there’s this guy that I met through Facebook. We follow each other on a couple of different social media platforms. And we flirt and we text back and forth sometimes, but he’s never asked me on a date. So to me, I was kind of thinking I was friendzoned. Well, he just invited me to his 40th birthday party. And now I’m a little bit nervous about going because it would be our first time meeting each other with all of his family and friends there. Do you have any advice? Am I thinking too much into it? So anything you have to say would be helpful.



(28:45) Voicemail from Cautiously Open: Hi Damona! So as a black woman, I have always found beauty in all ethnicities, but have always felt more comfortable with black men. As of late, I’ve been really feeling like maybe I should expand my horizons and be open to dating outside of my race. But the one race that kind of scares me to be in a relationship with is white men. While I’ve met some really nice white men, with everything that has gone on in the political arena in Charlottesville, it has really scared me. To the point where I’m just like, well, what if he’s okay, but his friends or his family are racist? How do I fully open myself up to the idea of being in a relationship with a white man, knowing that there’s a possibility that I would be encountering racist people? I’m open to being with whomever or whatever ethnicity, but that’s the one thing that scares me. I also find that when I’m out, those are the men that look at me. So if white men are finding me attractive, I don’t want to reject them for fear of my assumption. How do you navigate that?


(37:35) Voicemail from Ms. M: Hi Damona, I’m a 43 year old pansexual cisgender female. I spent the last eight months not dating to become very clear about what I want going forward. I listen to Dates & Mates every week and read Myisha Battle’s This Is Supposed To Be Fun. Right now I’m looking for respectful and empathetic folks with aligned values that I can go on fun dates with as well as explore my sexuality with. Ultimately, I would love to find a Shibari partner. For me practicing Shibari means getting to know someone and establishing trust. This will not happen within the first few dates. I don’t want first date sex or hookups, however, I also don’t want a long term relationship. I want a lover I can continue to explore with. How do I convey this in my profile? I found that if I write I like Shibari, my matches tend to take the in-app convo to a very sexual place before meeting IRL. I’ve thanked and released a few of these matches already. Damona, I want to practice slow love and explore my kinks and sexuality. Is this possible? Also can you explain slow love some more? Is sex on date five within three weeks of meeting too fast? I know it’s different for everyone. Thank you so much!

Submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers live on a future all-Dear Damona, or another episode of Dates & Mates!

Love Letters & Undefined Relationships

You all know Damona has been in this game for a minute – and by a minute, we mean like 17 years. Damona has spent her career as a love expert reading, studying, and analyzing all of the trends and stories out there on dating and relationships, so you can chart yourself to the love life you want and deserve.

And there are a handful of people who we’ve been tracking for a while. Folks who share this same passion for stories, for relationship trends, and for love. Meredith Goldstein is one of those people and it’s a special delight for us to share her interview today. Meredith will be sharing insights from her long-running Boston Globe advice column, Love Letters, and her podcast of the same name. 

You know how JLo once said “my love don’t cost a thing”? Well, Meredith and Damona will also be examining the actual cost to be single vs coupled and how it’s far more expensive to be in the wrong relationship! 


How do undefined relationships impact your mental health?:

At this point, we’ve all heard the terms “ghosting” and “situationship” floating around, and Forbes recently published an article spelling out the effects of undefined relationships on mental health. The article first defines a situationship – “a relationship of romantic or sexual nature that exists without commitment and the expectations of such” – and mentions the details of a 2022 YPulse survey, revealing that 16% of Millennials have been involved in a situationship and 35% of Gen Z individuals prefer an undefined relationship rather than one with a label.

Damona further explains why undefined relationships and ambiguity can work against us, and dissects another Time Magazine article written by friend of the pod, Myisha Battle, stating that “situationships are the future of dating, and that’s not a bad thing.”

(Check out Myisha’s Dates & Mates interview!)


Meredith Goldstein is an associate editor and advice columnist for The Boston Globe. Her column, Love Letters, is a daily dispatch of wisdom for the lovelorn that has been running since 2009. She also hosts the popular Love Letters podcast. 

She is the author of the memoir “Can’t Help Myself: Lessons and Confessions From a Modern Advice Columnist,” 

(19:34) Some of the best advice is the wrong advice…

Both Meredith and Damona were questioned when beginning their careers as to why they should be the ones giving others advice. Meredith elaborates, “I always used to tell people – if I was a trained mental health professional, I would not be telling people what to do in 300-word responses, that’s not really what happens. And so much of the process is about hearing an opinion from someone like you or me, and then saying, ‘Well, wait, that’s actually not it.’ Sometimes my best advice is the wrong advice. Because someone says, ‘oh, Meredith, I’m not going to do that. And here’s why.’”

Meredith also shares her own current experience with dating in her 40’s, and what she has learned about the metropolitan dating scene from those 40+ who write to her.

(26:30) Every story is really about money.

In her most recent season of the Love Letters podcast, Meredith decided to center her stories and interviews around the idea of money. “I started to realize that every story we’ve ever told was kind of about money. Like you could call it a story about how to meet someone, but it was about the cost of dating. You could talk about a breakup, but it was about the trip the person took after the breakup or running to the hairstylist to get bangs.”

Damona and Meredith discuss the gray area of dating during inflation, while Meredith relives an interview she did with a man who decided to buy himself a giant ball pit in his mid-fifties.

Be sure to follow Meredith on Instagram @MeredithGoldstein and check out her podcast, Love Letters, 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:

  • Text from Dale – Dear Damona, I’m currently on Match and am finding that the majority of men that are interested in me I’m not interested in. The men that I look at their profile and think “oh you could be interesting”, don’t seem interested in me. Maybe that’s just normal, like that there are only a few folks of real interest… I tried really going out with pretty anyone who expressed interest and that just led to nowhere. So basically I’ve stopped dating. Suggestions welcomed.

Too Hot to Handle & Budget Valentines

It’s February, or as we call it here, LOVE MONTH, so it’s time to turn up the heat! We’re going to be talking about temptation, attraction, intimacy, relationship pacing and expectations. 

How can you practice slow love if you’ve never done it before? Does having sex on the first date reduce your chances of long-term love? Will waiting for intimacy make it hotter when you finally do the deed?

These are the questions that the cast of Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle, Season 4, contend with. If you haven’t seen the show yet, here’s the deal with Too Hot To Handle. They put 10 gorgeous singles on an island where they wear bikinis, live together, and fight for a chance to win a $200,000 grand prize by… get this… staying celibate.

The show has become so popular that everyone knows the game. So this season, they had to trick the contestants by making them think they were on a raucous hot new reality show called Wild Love. Surprise! Instead of Wild Love, you get to sleep in a bed with someone you’re wild about and you can’t do anything about it.

Too Hot To Handle is full of twists and turns that can actually teach you a thing or two about your dating journey. And that’s why we’ve got two stars of the show – James Pendergrass and Brittan Byrd – joining us today to share their love story and the surprising realizations that they had since the show ended.


Planning your V-Day last minute? Here’s what Americans are buying this Valentine’s Day:

Valentine’s Day has come around once again, lovers! But this round is not without strife – even with the impact of inflation on normal dating (or “infladating”), the National Retail Federation says that Americans will spend around $26 BILLION on Valentine’s Day this year. What are they buying, exactly? 57% are going for candy, 40% for greeting cards, 37% are picking flowers, 32% are choosing an evening out. This is followed by 21% for jewelry, 20% for gift cards, and 19% for clothing.

All these stats are fine and good, but the bottom line is to give your sweetheart a gift that is thoughtful and mindful. (AKA Don’t just throw money at the problem.) Think about the conversations you’ve had with this person and let that inspire your gift-giving. And if you’ve run out of ideas for outings, let us give you some inflation-friendly date ideas for V-Day (because eating out doesn’t have to be the default):

  • Get crafty. Try doing an at-home paint and sip night or get your hands dirty while playing with clay.
  • Engage with your inner child. Go to an arcade or visit a mini-golf course. **Hot tip: evoking feelings of nostalgia will automatically bond two people on a date, whether you have a long history or you’re newly matched.
  • Cook a meal at home! Cooking actually helps couples communicate AND will give you that sense of accomplishment when you’ve made something you can share together. Plus, the cost is a lot lower than going to a restaurant. 
  • If you are going to a restaurant, be smart about it. Many times you can use points for your meals. Or if you can’t use points to reimburse yourself, you can acquire points and use it to buy something else (like a free dessert). **Keep in mind that restaurants jack up the prices on Valentine’s Day because that is big business for them.
  • Celebrate your Valentine’s Day on a different day! It doesn’t have to be February 14th for you to celebrate love day. And that way, you may be avoiding some of the crowds that make it hard to enjoy your holiday more intimately.

If you’re on the online dating struggle bus, not to worry! We have a FREE resource called The Profile Starter Kit, which you can get your hot little hands on just by clicking here!



James Pendergrass and Brittan Byrd were contestants in Season 4 of the Netflix reality show, Too Hot To Handle. 

Off-screen, James is a physical therapist, model and basketball enthusiast. Brittan is a model as well (a cover-model to be exact). They’re beautiful but they’re also bright – and they are now officially a couple!

(14:22) PSYCH! You’re on Too Hot To Handle.

With a show like Too Hot To Handle gaining so much traction in so little time, many contestants have caught on early to the twist of the show (AKA you’re not allowed to be physical with other contestants, or money is taken away from the prize fund). So in James and Brittan’s case, they thought they had been cast in a show called “Wild Love.” James and Brittan share what went through their heads when they realized they were in the “sex jail” of reality shows – and how the show’s rules actually further led them to each other.

(Would you ever go on a reality dating show? What about if the show ended up being Too Hot To Handle? Let us know! 👀)

(20:37) The real world vs Reality TV

Damona asks the couple if they feel their relationship would have unfolded the same way if they had met IRL instead of on a TV show. Weirdly enough, James recalls how he and Brittan both lived in Hawaii (about 8 minutes from each other) and never crossed paths. “I think the way we access our relationship through the show compared to if we would have done it before the show, it would have been an entirely different route that I don’t think would have been as successful as it is now.” Brittan also comments how meeting on Too Hot To Handle helped them build a strong foundation that they may not have been able to if meeting in the real world.

Damona also asks for James and Brittan’s honest opinion on whether they recommend the Too Hot To Handle experiment to others…

(24:05) Don’t let the haters get you down.

We all know that to an extent, what we see on reality television is always “reality.” So is the couple actually in a relationship, or are the internet’s claims about faking their love story true? Brittan responds, “Honestly, we know our relationship, we know each other. And many of the experiences we share and the time we spend together are very private, it’s very intimate. And I don’t feel the need to go and share everything on social media like some other couples do.”


Be sure to follow James and Brittan on Instagram – @JamesPendergrass_ and @Brittan_Byrd.



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 Marie – Hi Damona! I just turned 30 and feel like at this point, I’m not sure if I want kids due to a few reasons (financial & environmental resources depleting). I’m not sure how much weight to put into this decision so early on when I have a “prove to me that I want kids with you because we will be good at raising them together” outlook. When I’m swiping if I see “don’t want children or unsure” I think oh that’s a positive and if they have “wants kids” selected, I cautiously proceed. I recently went on a first date with this great guy knowing his biggest goal is to have a family and he mentioned it again in person. I tried thanking and releasing after the date, but we found ourselves talking again. So now I feel like I’m in limbo. Would a mindset shift help when swiping?

Getting Unstuck & Profession Confession

New love is exciting and so it’s not surprising to find yourself a little love drunk at times. But similar to a situation where you’ve had a martini-too-many, we don’t tend to think straight in these moments. 

So, HOW do you prepare yourself for those moments of intense attraction? You make a plan AHEAD of time. Without a plan, you’ll likely find yourself stuck in one of the five dating loops. Could be the mindset loop or the sourcing loop….

Whatever it may be holding you back, it’s time to overcome procrastination, acknowledge anxiety as your superpower, and learn to let go of the outcome.

That’s why we’ve got author and licensed psychotherapist, Britt Frank, joining us today. She will be talking about her new book, The Science of Stuck: Breaking Through Inertia to Find Your Path Forward.


Supporting women’s rights is a top priority for female daters:

We’re coming in hot with some new data from the desk of the OkCupid blog! In light of the 50th anniversary of Roe V. Wade last week, OkCupid decided to take a look at how reproductive rights have changed the dating landscape thus far and what’s to come. According to the stats:


✅ About 87% of women on OKCupid are pro-choice

✅ About half of women on OKCupid say a difference in opinion on abortion would make them rethink dating someone

✅ 69% of women feel they should have legal decision making power in abortion matters

✅ 4 in 10 women would move out of their state if abortion became illegal in their state


Damona illustrates how this data reveals that we are currently in a sex recession, and the (albeit obvious) reasons why we should ALL be making women’s rights a top priority.


Britt Frank is a clinician, educator and trauma specialist. She speaks and writes widely about the mental health myths that keep us stuck and stressed. 

Her new book The Science of Stuck: Breaking Through Inertia to Find Your Path Forward is available NOW.

(9:00) The book on adulting you never had.

We all bring our life experiences with us through adulthood as a sort of guide. But what if those life experiences don’t really paint a full or realistic picture? Britt goes into her inspiration behind writing “The Science of Stuck,” sharing how she basically wanted to write a book that acted as the manual on adulthood she never had – from drug addiction to relationship messiness.

Bottom line: you are not broken! There is always a reason for why we do what we do, and “The Science of Stuck” is Britt’s step towards helping people figure out their “why.”

(14:00) You need a plan to find your man!

We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s doing the same things the same way and expecting different results. So if we want to do something differently, we have to say yes to different things. For instance, Britt says that we should be saying yes to creating a dating plan. She continues, “I jumped into the dating pool knowing I wanted to feel these things, but having absolutely no concept [of how to get there]. And a lot of the shenanigans of the dating world can be largely reduced by coming up with a plan.”

Britt also explains the chemistry around when our brain “goes into Spring Break mode” (aka feeling love drunk).

(19:37) Your anxiety can be your superpower.

Along with all the usual trials and tribulations of dating, dating anxiety feels like it’s at an all time high. Well Britt is here to spill some major truth tea – that having anxiety isn’t a bad thing. “Anxiety feels awful, but it is not the problem. It’s a signal pointing towards the problem. Figure out what your anxiety is trying to tell you… because anxiety is either preventing you from something, or it’s helping you feel bonded to other people.”

Damona also shares how her relationship with her anxiety transformed once she began her relationship with her husband, Seth

(24:35) A healthy relationship won’t feel like the movies…

Britt and Damona shed light on the misconception that drama or tension in a relationship means that it’s alive. Because much to the dismay of some rom-coms, relationships are usually more of a slow burn. Britt affirms that “the pace of authentic love is always slow and steady, because how do you build trust? Through consistency over time.”

 Damona points out that instagram contributes a lot to these “shoulds” about what a relationship should look like – that we should be feeling incessant butterflies and consistently infatuated. So how can we reprogram our brains to let these things go? Britt shares her take.

(28:45) We want to get from stuck, to GO.

Ah yes, the feeling of being stuck in singlehood. Many of us have experienced this phase, but had no idea about how to get unstuck or move forward. Britt breaks down how procrastination plays a role in us feeling stuck, and clarifies the two most common types of procrastination. (Hint: Britt states that “the procrastination spell is broken the second you say yes to anything of any size in any direction.”)


Britt has one of the best damn psychologist Instagrams on the planet – you’d better be following her @BrittFrank and grab a copy of her new book The Science of Stuck: Breaking Through Inertia to Find Your Path Forward.




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 Bren – I am 60 years old and new to online dating after divorce. The biggest question for me is as a medical professional, I am hesitant to put that I am a doctor on profiles due to fear of predatory practices on dating sites. It’s a tough issue, because, of course, I’m proud of what I do, and being a professional woman, but very very hesitant to put it out there that I’m a doctor. I think my main concern is those targeting women who are professionals (presumed to have money) for financial schemes. I feel like if I do not say that I am a doctor, that might weed out those looking to take advantage of a woman based on their perception that she has money. Am I being paranoid? What’s your advice on being completely transparent about your profession in a dating profile?

This Is Supposed to Be Fun & Conflict Styles

Dating is a journey – a process of trial and error, learning, vulnerability, compromise. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile is. The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself along the way.

And that’s why we have certified clinical sexologist and sex & dating coach Myisha Battle joining Damona today. She will be talking about her new book, “It’s Supposed To Be Fun: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.”


Can thinking about your ex improve your relationship?:

It seems logical that thinking about your ex while in a relationship is a bad sign, right? Well Best Life Magazine says this may actually improve your current relationship. A new study in the European Journal of Social Psychology focused on “the potential positive influence” of former romantic partners. Study participants were instructed to reflect on a past relationship, particularly focusing on “nostalgic memories.”

Damona dives deeper into the results of the study, how nostalgia works in our prefrontal cortex, and why we should bring nostalgia into ANY first date scenario.


Myisha Battle a certified clinical sexologist, sex & dating coach, educator, and speaker. Her work has been featured in national print and online outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Refinery29, Oprah Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Playboy, Nylon, and more. Plus, her newest book is called “THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.”

(13:45) “Hooking up” is not the same as dating.

One of the most common thoughts Myisha encounters from her clients is that having fun in dating usually equates to hooking up with your date. As Myisha points out, “I wanted to recognize that a major focus for people dating is to try to gather sexual experiences. But again, I think hooking up – that fun part – is mistaken for like the whole of dating.” 

Myisha also goes over what it means to be intentional with your dating life. Plus, how you can identify your sexual values – AKA finding the exact right words to describe what you’re looking for.

(23:47) Are their words and actions aligned?

Damona asks Myisha for clarity on reading between the lines in someone’s dating profile. Like, what does it exactly mean when someone says they’re looking for *blank* but “open to possibilities”? 

Myisha brings up that famous Maya Angelou quote – “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time” – and states that people will usually reveal themselves and their true intentions through the dating process. There are times when their words and actions aren’t aligned, and if this happens then that can be a conversation you have with your match.

(29:19) The pros and cons of the “sex buddy.”

There is a whole section in Myisha’s book, This Is Supposed To Be Fun, about the varying ways of having a sex buddy. Damona brings up the point that a sex buddy has the potential to be a bit of a crutch to avoid being more intentional in dating, and Myisha acknowledges that there can be an unhealthy component in hanging on to somebody for too long. 

But in her book, Myisha purposefully refers to the sex buddy as a gift in order to destigmatize the judgment around casual relationships. As Myisha puts it, “just because this is a sexual connection, it’s still a connection, it’s an exchange… there’s an energetic exchange I get from you and you get for me, so it’s a relationship of sorts.”

(34:52) How to communicate using S-B-I

SBI – or Situation, Behavior, Impact – is a communication technique that Myisha says she picked up during managerial training in a former life. Basically, you state the situation (i.e. the facts), you name the behavior that you were affected by, and then describe the impact it had on you.

Myisha clarifies that the SBI model is a really helpful framework to filter our emotions through, particularly when pre-breakup thoughts start to creep in. “So it can be a way to start those conversations. And to get into the weeds a little bit with people. No matter how early or late things have been going on, it’s just a good way to organize your thoughts and to be able to give that feedback in a way that feels authentic to you.” 


Be sure to follow Myisha on Instagram @myishabattle and check out her book – This Is Supposed to Be Fun: How to Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.





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 Tayba – Dear Damona, love your podcast. You mentioned that there’s 4 key compatibility markers, one of them being conflict resolution. Would you explain the different styles of conflict resolution in one of your episodes, as well as how to identify your own/your date’s style?


Damona is running her signature dating coaching group LIVE one last time with live session starting WEDNESDAY 1/25. This is your LAST CALL to get Damona’s direct support on developing your dating plan for 2023. Grab one of the last remaining seats today at TheDatingSecret.com