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!
DATING DISH (2:05)
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 (14:20)
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!
DEAR DAMONA (35:25)
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.