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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Guide


Do you have plans for tonight?

Everything you need for a successful Valentine’s Day: last-minute dates ideas, money-saving tips, and ways to celebrate if you’re single. 

UNUSUAL VALENTINE’S DATE IDEAS – instead of the same old dinner and a movie, Damona offers clever tips for a memorable Valentine’s Day with your boo.

  • Be a Tourist in Your Town 
  • Get outdoors 
  • Heat things up 
  • Get artistic
  • Live performance
  • Game Night
  • Give back


  • A penny saved is a date earned
  • Avoiding present panic
  • Baby it’s cold outside
  • Keep you New Year’s Resolution Diet
  • Take a self-love day
  • Focus on friends



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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 allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is Patreon.com/datesandmates

Sign up at patreon.com/datesandmates for: 

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  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Damona  0:00  

Happy Valentine’s Day lovers, I had to drop a special bonus episode for this special day. I know for many of you, Valentine’s Day, isn’t really a happy time. And when I was single, the approach of February 14, always made me anxious and resentful about love. And it was the last thing I wanted to think about during this week. The last thing I wanted to think about was dating. So for anyone that finds themselves single on this day, just know, I understand, I know where you are. And I want to give you some support today on how to survive Valentine’s Day single, and how you can do something different today that will really fill you up with love, which is really what Valentine’s Day is all about. And now that I’m in a relationship, there’s a whole new set of challenges. There’s the overwhelm about what to do on Valentine’s Day. There’s a questions about how to celebrate without breaking the bank. And this is all kicking in weeks, weeks before Even today, for those of you in relationships if you haven’t made a Valentine plan yet, you’re late, but it’s okay. I’m going to give you several ideas for clever Valentine’s activities so that you can still save the day, or at least save your


Unknown Speaker  1:16  

money, save the bank and maybe celebrate later this weekend.


Damona  1:20  

And many of these ideas are also great tips for singles who are looking for clever date ideas. So regardless of your relationship status, you want to stay tuned to this special bonus episode. But first, do you know about our new Patreon program, this is a new way for us to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from me on your love life.


Unknown Speaker  1:41  

So what’s Patreon?


Damona  1:44  

Well, Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and it will allow you to get amazing listener benefits just by participating. Our page is patreon.com slash dates and mates. I’m sure you’re wondering, Well, what do I get damona. If I sign up? Well, there’s three different tiers. And one is for our loyal listeners who want to connect with others that listen to the show and keep the show going strong for another seven seasons. And then we have a top tier for those of you who really want a more personalized experience from the dates and mates, podcast and for me. And this includes a dating profile analysis for me with insights from my 15 years of writing dating profiles to address your specific photos and responses and the challenges that you have faced on dating apps. And then there’s our most popular middle tier, and that will give you a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show, a monthly private live group coaching sessions. And by the way, those are not available anywhere else on my site right now. But if you join into the program, you’ll be a part of the conversation and you’ll be invited to those monthly live coaching sessions with me. And then you also get behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates. And then I didn’t mention this on Monday show, but you also will get access to my new content club in this tier. And that includes my recommendations of books and podcasts, and other content that can help steer you towards the relationship you want. So that Patreon is live@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. I’ll tell you at the end about the special bonus that we’re giving for anyone who signs up this month during the month of love. But I know you came here for advice. And so I’m going to kick things off with my unusual Valentine’s Day date ideas. Also caveat these can be used any time of year to have a different kind of date. Because Aren’t we all just so sick of the old dinner in a movie, I’ve talked about this before on dates and dates, but when you are at a dinner date with someone, whether it’s someone you’re just meeting for the first time, or someone you’ve been in a relationship with, it’s kind of it’s like interview. It’s not very romantic, and it’s long, it doesn’t bring the energy into the date that you really need to have. And man, if you’re going to a movie, that’s just saying, like, I want to have this experience with you, but I don’t really want to talk to you for two and a half hours. So that’s not the most romantic choice for Valentine’s Day, either. So these ideas can get you out of your rut and can infuse some some more excitement into your dating experience. Whether you’re in a relationship or just dating someone new. The first idea is be a tourist in your own town. I love to take walking tours and bus tours and just explore whether it’s my city or someone else’s. But here in your own city, you can see your hometown from the point of view of a visitor, and as corny as tourists can be, I know you’re thinking damona that’s just that’s just that’s just cheesy. But it can be really fun for you and your significant other to see the city through new eyes and it might even cause you to look at your relationship through new eyes as well. So get some new perspective, try one of these tours and just just have fun with it. You can also take the day to


get outdoors I find that outdoor dates can create a completely different energy especially from those dinner dates. So I know I’m recording this from California. The weather is 70 degrees and sunny as it always is, but I know I’m from Michigan, a lot of a lot of people are having a very snowy and cold Valentine’s Day but that’s okay. Why not grab a sled or a pair of skis and get out into the world and experience experience your your own environment with your significant other because when you do something active, it releases endorphins. It makes you feel those those butterflies And those chemical feelings that you felt when you first met, and it’s great for a first date, to to get outdoors and really do something that gets your heart pumping. You can also try to heat things up amateur cooking classes have been springing up all over the place. I actually bought a class at this place called hip cooks in LA for me and my husband last year for Valentine’s Day, and creating a meal together cooking and creating together something that can really bond the two of you. So maybe you don’t have one of these these studios or places in your city. That’s okay. You can make your own special day and you can make something together. Whether you pull a recipe from a cookbook or even some of these meal kits. Now you can even go to Whole Foods and buy a meal kit that has all of the ingredients worked out for you and see how you work together. See how you collaborate and communicate And then, and then you can enjoy a beautiful meal in the privacy of your own home even. And that might be more romantic than sitting with all of these other people out and about who’ve spent three times as much on the prefixed menus. I also encourage people to get artistic. Now I mentioned the cooking studios, but there’s also a lot of art studios that have popped up where you can paint a ceramic piece of your choosing so you can make this a gift for your partner something that you do together. My husband I did this many, many years ago, and we still have the items that we created for one another and it’s a memory of that that special time before kids that we we were able to get out of the house and celebrate Valentine’s Day together and that way, but if you can’t get out of the house, maybe you do have kids, maybe a babysitter is too expensive for you. That’s okay. You can go to the art store. You could even go to the local grocery store. And get some poster board and markers and do something that really taps into the artistic side of you. Even though you might not feel like you’re artistic. It’s more about that creative expression. And that feeling of nostalgia, remembering how you used to color things when you were a kid and getting into that feeling of being carefree, not having judgment, on what you’re making, and just having fun with it. Another idea is to try out a live performance. This is also something we’ve done for Valentine’s Day, we went to a comedy show comedy is a great way to bond yourself to someone else and have a shared experience. But we’re so used to watching the movies where the characters can’t talk back, the characters can’t interact with you. You’re not really meant to talk to other people around you, but many live performances. That’s the point. You can actually you can actually connect with others out in the world. And you can have a shared experience that’s more interactive than the usual movie night. Speaking of getting out, you might want to try a game night. There are a lot of bars that offer game nights, either on Valentine’s Day or over the weekend. But you don’t have to go out you can do a game night at home, and some of my fondest memories are playing video games with my husband. Or you can play other kinds of games. You can even play games that


spice things up in the bedroom. What’s the last time that you played a game of truth or dare? Honestly, probably it’s been it’s been many years. But it can be really fun to do that with your partner or play. Never have I ever and you might learn something you never knew. There was a show that I hosted for a&e networks called a question of love. And this was actually inspired by the 36 questions that lead to love. And that was an article what was the study but then it became an article in New York Times. That said when strangers came together and ask these 36 questions, they felt like By the end of this session, they knew their partner, the stranger so intimately. They understood them, they cared for them. They were bonded to them. And so in the show that I hosted, they took couples and they thought, Well, what if if that happened with strangers? What would happen if two couples came if couples came together and ask these kind of deep and intimate questions of one another, and I won’t tell you the end if you can go in and rent it on Amazon, if you want to see the show. But I say this all to say that those 36 questions which you can find online, you can google and find them on the New York Times, try asking your partner some of these questions and you might discover something that you never knew about them. And my last tip, for those that are looking for a Valentine date, is to remember to give back so we always think about what do we need to do for us as the couple but you might get something out of doing doing a good thing. A good deed for another person. And there are so many people that are in need and so many causes that would be thrilled to have your time. And to have you as a couple work together to create more good in the world. And volunteering for something together can make you feel more bonded to your partner and make you feel like you have a shared goal of creating more good in the world. And remember, that’s really what Valentine’s Day is all about. It’s about sharing love. Yes, we’ve made it about the Valentine. We’ve made Valentine’s Day about romantic love. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s about feeling love, feeling loved. And one of the best ways to feel loved is to give love to another person. So why not try out a volunteer activity this Valentine’s Day in this weekend. Now, if you’re in the dating game, and you’ve given it your all, but you just haven’t made a connection yet, and you’re hearing all these data ideas and you’re like, that sounds great damona but I’m sitting here single and then Is this is doing nothing for me, then I just want to remind you not to give up. And if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know, I believe that love is out there for you and your dedication will pay off, just not always on the schedule that the greeting card companies have dictated. And actually when we look at it, there are a lot of positive factors to being single on February 14, they get overlooked quite a bit. So here are some of the benefits of being single on Valentine’s Day. First of all, you got to remember a penny saved is a penny earned. You know, I’ve mentioned earlier that a lot of the restaurants crank up their prices, they do these prefixed menus. You can’t get out of Valentine’s Day we’re less than 150 bucks today. And poor romantic schlubs like me will just plunk down the money, not even thinking about it. But really what you spend your money on your hard earned money is really important and Is it important to go out on Valentine’s Day and to have that date experience when everyone else is doing it? Does that say that you have love more than on other days of the year? I don’t necessarily think so. So you can just rejoice in the fact that you are saving money tonight. And maybe that could be enough for two days down the road, or that could even lead you to be able to invest in maybe a dating app, or maybe one of my dating programs, maybe even a Patreon program, save that money and invest in something that’s going to pay off for you long term. You also get to avoid that present panic, like February 12. I know my husband trips out every year, because he realizes that hasn’t gotten me anything. And that any gift he buys at that point, will just seem like a harried afterthought. So if you get her flowers, they’ll be dead by the end of the week you give her jewelry, then it’s too simple or she’ll be Disappointed or it’s too expensive and she’ll think that maybe it means something or maybe it means that diamond is coming, and it’s just buying Valentine’s gifts can be super, super stressful. You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. So you are saving yourself the trouble and the cost of these kind of gifts.


Also, it’s cold outside, I did say we can get outside, but most places it’s quite cold. So for those of you that are having a terrible weather Valentine’s Day, just know you get to cozy up inside. You don’t have to worry about going out and that could be a good thing for some of you. Hey, y’all forget to keep your New Year’s resolution diet. The number one new year’s resolution is to lose weight. However, by this time of year, it’s also one of the most broken resolutions and without the pressure to eat all the Valentine’s Day candies and chocolates from your date. Which by the way, is the number one most purchased gift on the Today, you can stick to your tick stick to your diet plan and stay on track and you can be beach ready in a couple months. But what should you do with this day? Well, first, why not take a self love day? How often do we really do that? Do we take the time to focus on ourselves and do the things that make us feel fulfilled? We’re always bending over backwards to accommodate other people and to figure out what would make someone else want to be with us or what would they want to do or compromise and just take joy in the fact that you get to do whatever you want to do tonight and try and make that a special activity for you. Whatever it is, that brings you joy. Maybe you’re getting caught up on your Netflix queue. Maybe you take a relaxing hot bath, maybe you do some exercise, maybe you organize your your home and get clear on that clutter can really create chaos in your life. So maybe it’s even that and I know that Sounds unromantic for Valentine’s Day. But this is your day. You don’t have to do what the greeting card companies have told us we’re supposed to do, you don’t have to do. What marketing says is Valentine’s day you can do what makes you feel great. And also, don’t forget to focus on friends if you’re single Today we are so caught up in romantic love on February 14. But one love that can be even deeper is the deep love of friendship. And if you and your friends find yourself single on this day, why not come together and redefine the meaning of Valentine’s Day and give that love of friendship to one another today? You know, Valentine’s Day is often regarded as Singles Awareness Day sad if you ever heard this. But if you really take a moment, to relish in all of the benefits of flying solo this year, you can really go into Valentine’s Day feeling full, feeling fulfilled. feeling optimistic about what’s to come. There’s still 320 days left to this year to meet your soulmate. So tonight, just give yourself a break. Thank you for tuning into this special Valentine’s Day dates and mates episode. I hope you’re enjoying our five q FEHB series that we’re doing this month. We have an interview with Kelly Clarkson’s love coach Bella Gandhi coming up on Monday and that’s one that you will not want to miss. And if a tip from this episode sparked something in you, I would love to hear about it. You can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I really encourage you to share this episode with a friend who may need to hear it. I look forward to connecting with you and supporting you in love on patreon@patreon.com slash dates and dates. 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. Happy Valentine’s Day and until Monday, I wish you happy dating