Tag Archive for: romance

Make Your Move & Bridgerton Babes


Are you still waiting for the fairytale to happen? We hate to burst your bubble but there’s a whole pandemic happening and Prince Charming can’t leave his house.

So you’re going to have to help him out by Making Your Move and finding ways to make your own magic.


Today Damona talks about modern dating with two very special guests: Jon Birger, author of Date-onomics and Make Your Move, plus Joy C Mitchell – a writer on the season’s hottest show, Bridgerton.

Here’s the rundown: 


On-Screen Romance with Bridgerton writer, Joy C. Mitchell 


Today we get the inside scoop on lessons from the writer’s room of Netflix’s hit show, Bridgerton.

(6:00) Dating in Europe – Joy’s a world traveller and actually prefers the dating scene abroad

(10:00) Gossip is women’s power

(11:00) Is socioeconomic status preventing you from finding love today?

(14:00) It’s time to go after what you want

You can find more from Joy and her world on Instagram @Joyineurope


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A post shared by Joy C. Mitchell (@joyineurope)


Our guest Jon Birger is an award-winning magazine writer and author of two dating books — Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game and How Make Your Move: The New Science of Dating and Why Women Are in Charge. 


He’s also a face on ABC’s Good Morning America, BBC World Service, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and so much more. Today he’s here to share an understanding of new advancements in the science of dating today and explain why women really have the power. We talked about A LOT: 

(16:50) Dating Doesn’t happen magically, but you need to put yourself where the magic happens

(17:30) Everything you know about dating biology is wrong

(19:00) State your business because human beings suck at flirting

(24:00) What to do if men are intimidated by you: a case for dating 5 years younger

(29:00) Marriage ultimatums: what to do if he isn’t proposing fast enough



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

  • NW (from Twitter): how would you weigh common interests as important for a couple? I know how that, common values, communication, shared goals, and trust are keys…
  • B (voice memo): Hey Damona just want to say I love this show. So I’m 29 I am in my first long term relationship with an amazing, amazing man. But, you know, I’ve noticed that my, what you would call hopeless romanticism has kind of almost turned into a toxic romanticism in my relationship. You know, I feel like a lot of people in my age range kind of grew up with that Disney fairy tale, Prince, you know, kind of mentality and, you know, I grew up with the whole rom com romantic, you know, kind of mentality and aspire to that my whole life and now that I’m in a relationship, I kind of almost find myself comparing our very real world relationship to this fairy tale. It doesn’t exist and I find myself almost sometimes disappointed in certain situations, when let’s just say real life doesn’t kind of live up to this fairy tale that I grew up aspiring to. So I was just curious what you thought about hopeless romantics in comparison to real life and kind of anchoring yourself in the real world when it comes to relationships. Thanks


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We are proud to collaborate with an app that empowers modern daters to feel safe and secure. If you want more information, check out Damona’s video on when to give out your number to people you meet on dating apps. Click here!



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Sexy Scrabble & Chemical Romance


Today, we’re talking about brain chemistry and romance. Do you remember those ‘Your Brain on drugs’ commercials from the 90s? They were all like, “your brain will turn to mush, and you won’t be able to make good decisions, and your emotions will be all over the place….” Yeah, basically that’s also your brain on love.


But not to fret! Later we’ll be talking with Noelle Cordeaux – co-host of the “Everything Life Coaching Podcast.” She’s here to help us prevent our brains from turning into mush and give us a guide to the brain for romance.

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines!



Where the affairs are happening right now

This week, Damona received a press release from Seeking Arrangement explaining that their usership is actually up.


Ariana isn’t spending quarantine alone

Okay so here’s what we know about Ari’s new boo: he’s a real estate big shot, he has a lot of the same friends, and he miiiiiggght basically be Pete Davidson.


New ideas for quarantine dates

Listen, we’re all tired of Netflix and Chill. Men’s Health has some new ideas to keep things interesting while quarantine dating. Sexy Scrabble anybody?



Our guest for today is Noelle Cordeaux,  the CEO of JRNI and the co-host of the “Everything Life Coaching Podcast.” You may remember her co-host from a previous episode, John Kim – The Angry Therapist.

She’s here to give us a basic “Romantic’s Guide to the Brain” and some perspective on how your brain and your biology affect romance.


Noelle and Damona talk:

  • My Chemical Romance: The 3 human brain chemicals in each stage of romance  
  • Serotonin and the “meet cute.” 
  • Why your brain has you thinking, “This is the one!”.
  • Why you can’t see the” truth” about your partner until 24 months after you first meet 
  • Why your brain can’t tell the difference between a new “pair bond” & an opioid addiction  
  • How female birth control changes the way you evaluate a partner 
  • Why we seek partners who represent something we missed in childhood
  • When you’re most likely to fall in love
  • Slow love?
  • Love isn’t an emotion

Check out the Everything Life Coaching Podcast podcast on all your favorite 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:

  • My date forgot about a date that we scheduled 24 hours ago. Last night, we set a time, place, and everything and planned to get drinks after he got off work. Basically, I waited at the place for 30 minutes, sent him a text, to which he replied “?”. I got stood up and he’s so apologetic about it but is this a red flag? His text to me “sorry I’m a total dick and I deserve never to be talked to again.” but no explanation or attempt to salvage
  • I’m seeing a woman who told me she doesn’t want to go deeper because she doesn’t want to risk losing our friendship. Should I keep trying or is this a soft way to let me down?



Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers, I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe. But I’m hearing far too many stories about people still dating in person right now. Please do us all a favor and just stay home. There are still so many ways to connect. And I believe that in the end, this period will actually improve our connections and be better for dating overall. But in the meantime, we all have to do our part. If you’re still feeling that drive for connection, that desire to have matches pop up in your inbox. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I just released an exclusive training just for my patients. Patreon friends with benefits all about social distance dating. It covers where the singles are right now, how to have a successful virtual date, how to know if a match is really right for you, and so much more. And that’s all waiting for you right now. If you join our Patreon community@patreon.com, slash dates and mates, the link will be included in the show notes and it’s only $5 to join. I’d love to have you be a part of the community. I’d love for you to keep dating and learning new dating skills working on your mindset working on your dating strategy. And I’m here to support you all the way through this pandemic. And I know your dating life may be stalled at the moment. But as they say, The show must go on we are not stopping. I’ve already told y’all I intend on making more episodes for another seven seasons. So you can still count on me every Monday for your dates & mates. Fix Today, we are talking all about brain chemistry and romance. You remember those? This is your brain on drugs commercials from the 90s. They’re all like your brain will turn to mush and you won’t be able to make good decisions and your emotions will be all over the place. Yeah, that’s basically your brain on love too, because love is a drug. But don’t fret. We are going to be talking with Noel Cordova. She’s the co host of the everything life coaching podcast, and she’s here to help us prevent our brains from turning to emotional mush. But first, I will be discussing this week’s headlines. Producer Leo is working remotely today but she is still churning out the dates and maids and we are sending her much love. We are going to be talking about where the affairs are happening during the quarantine and we have a big reveal of Ariana Grande is new boo. Plus new ideas for your quarantine dates if you’re tired of watching Tiger King and just go into bed. Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. Then Noel and I will cover your questions including, what do you do when you get stood up? And how to tell if someone is just letting you down easy.

Damona  3:24  

on the docket for today’s dates and mates. I am going to hit these headlines

Damona  3:33  

If you’re looking for an affair, I know just where to go seeking arrangement seeking comm reported that they had a 74% increase over this time last year and new members who here’s what this tells me. This quarantine can make or break it for your relationship if you are already seeing someone right now. But here’s the thing. It’s like It’s like These fantasy affairs that actually aren’t going to be consummated for a long time that are sparking up because people are in this pressure cooker. You’re with your partner all day, every day, all of the challenges that you have that you used to be able to escape are now staring you in the face every morning and noon and night. And so people are turning to apps and sites like seeking and Ashley Madison because they’re trying to escape. They’re trying to avoid looking at what these relationship challenges really are. And they’re just looking for an outlet to be able to chat and make a connection with someone else. Have someone else tell them that they’re beautiful that they are proud of them for what they’re doing that they are. They are happy that they’re hanging in there through this challenging time. We’re all just looking for a little more love and support. But what I would say Rather than turning to an outside person, could we use this moment to look inward at our relationship and see what could be fixed during this time, what you could talk through, and remember not to react to what’s being said, but to really take time to listen and respond thoughtfully and look for solutions. We are going to be in this unfortunately for a long time. And hopefully, if you made a commitment to your relationship, you’re going to be in that for a long time too. And we can’t keep brushing the problems under the rug, drag him out right now. And let’s talk about it in a compassionate way. And really look for solutions to these problems so that you can move forward stronger together in the future. One person that is a lot stronger than she was in her previous relationship is ariana grande de you may remember that she connected with this random Joe in a bar she was she was photographed smooching some guy up and nobody knew who he was. Well, it’s been revealed. It’s a fella named Dalton Gomez. He’s a high end real estate agent actually looks a little bit like Pete Davidson, who I was alluding to earlier, her big breakup from before. And she’s been showing him on social the last few days. But here’s the interesting thing about it. For a lot of you who may have started dating someone right before the quarantine, they’ve decided to quarantine together. And this really adds a big challenge for a new relationship. And she does have a history as you all know of jumping into relationships very quickly. I think she NP or engaged within three or four weeks of dating one another. So she’s done it again. She’s jumped right into the arms of the next guy waiting for her Look, she’s a cat. She’s a great girl, she loves to take care of somebody. And she’s ended up being the caretaker and a lot of these relationships she’s had in the past. But I just want to warn any of you who may be in a similar situation and facing a dating pattern. If you see yourself on the track, for a relationship, repeat doing the same thing that didn’t work in your last relationship, or let’s put on the brakes, back it up a little bit. This is a time to really slow down and evaluate. And if you are quarantining with somebody that you barely know right now, you have to really ask yourself, Is this what I want for my future? if let’s say one of us gets it, do I want to be sitting here sick with this person? Is this person going to be there for me? If If I need the support down the road, you may not know I don’t know. Maybe Dalton Gomez will be that for Ariana Grande day, but let’s just take a beat and Look at our relationship history, and decide if we want our relationship past to also be our relationship future.

If you’re looking for a quarantine date Men’s Health to the rescue, I will put the link to this in the show notes. I got to tell you, there were some pretty racy suggestions here. But there were also some very cute ideas like building a pillow for if you don’t have private outdoor access. I don’t know about you. But I remember as a kid, building a pillow for was one of the most exciting things I did. And you could do it inside the house. You don’t have to go out and it adds just this level of playfulness and feeling of nostalgia which is something you’ve probably heard me say on the show before that really can bond you to someone so I thought that was a super cute idea from mental. If you want to get a little risque. This isn’t even like close to one of the more risky ideas but they suggested playing strip scratching My husband and I, during our what was it our 30th wedding anniversary, I’m embarrassed. I don’t remember which University. He was our 12. Last year, we went to a hotel that had this cool little lounge with games in it. And we played the most fun game of Scrabble ever, over drinks. never occurred to me to play strip Scrabble. So maybe you could get a little creative. You could have a karaoke night. There’s a lot of apps that can connect you and there’s a link to one in the men’s health article. You could play a game of Never have I ever I also, if you followed the last TV series that I did a question of love that was based on the 36 questions that lead to love that was in the New York Times, and how asking these intimate questions can really bond you to your partner. If it bonded strangers, just imagine what it could do for someone that you’re already in a relationship with. But hey, maybe that is something you could try. If you’re doing virtual quarantine dates as well, there’s so many ideas out there. There’s so many ways that we can be creative and innovate. During this time. I just asked that you please stay home let’s, let’s flatten the curve. But let’s pique our interest in our current relationship or possibly in a new relationship. And in just a moment, we will have Noel corto, who’s the co host of the everything life coaching podcast, and the co founder of journey coaching, talking about your brain on drugs, the drug of love, I cannot wait.


We’re here with Noel Cordell. She is the CEO of journey and that’s about Jr. and I they are a coaching platform that trains coaches, and she’s also the co host of the everything life coaching podcast. You may remember her co hosts from that show from a previous episode. JOHN Kim the angry therapist great episode, check that out. But first, today we have to talk because Noel is going to be giving us the basic romantics guide to the brain and some perspective on how your brain and your biology actually affects romance. I am so pumped for today’s episode you guys know I’m, I’m all about this brain chemistry and nerding out on love. So luckily today, I don’t have to do it alone, please get big smooches to Noel Cordeaux.

Noelle Cordeaux 11:30  

Thank you so much for having me. And honestly, I don’t like doing it alone either. So this

Damona  11:36  

this is a wonderful day, I am really pumped because so many of my listeners feel like they’re kind of on this, this, this journey not to use it to use your own term, this journey of love and feeling like they don’t have any control over it. They don’t really understand what’s happening in their body. They don’t understand dating apps. They don’t understand how they’re reacting to people on dates, and they’re Just kind of going through the motions like there has to be a better way. And I find that the better way to start that way to solve most problems I’m sure as a coach you you would agree with this is to first figure out what the heck is going on

Noelle Cordeaux 12:14  

100% 100% I, you know, I say to my students at journey coaching and to my clients, it’s not you, it’s your brain. Okay, so let’s talk

Damona  12:24  

about that. My Chemical Romance there are three human brain chemicals that come into play at each stage of romance. Can you talk us through that?

Noelle Cordeaux 12:36  

Yeah, I sure can. And you know that some of these chemicals teamed up with each other. So there’s a lot of complex processes, but I think the most important piece of information that I can drop is the bomb, that when you experience romantic love, it’s actually not an emotion. It is a it is a hardwired motivator. system that’s evolutionary, and it’s been built up over the history of humankind, to enable humans to find and maintain intimate relationships with a preferred partner.

Damona  13:15  

Oh, wait, that’s deep. We have to back that up for a second. Because there’s a lot in there. You said love is not an emotion. We are basically biologically wired for it. So explain how that plays out then in today’s

Noelle Cordeaux 13:32  

in today’s world of dating,

Noelle Cordeaux 13:34  

yeah. So you know, the feeling the chemical feelings of romance are not the only motivational system that we have hardwired in our body. So another really common one is our negativity bias that’s associated with a fight or flight response. So the way that that works is because our ancestors used to have to physically outrun danger. We are naturally attuned to that which is negative. It really doesn’t help us out in modern life. Same deal with romantic love. Obviously, everyone loves love. We see it reflected in movies and poetry and music and all of the things that humans produce. So it’s clearly a huge and vital part of our existence and the purpose of it is procreation of the species. So whenever we’re feeling these feelings, we kind of have to step back and say, okay, there’s something deeper going on here. There are unconscious drives, there are chemicals, neurotransmitters that are coursing through our body that are kind of hijacking. our capacity to choose for ourselves how we respond and react in situations where romantic love is on the table.

Damona  14:50  

That sounds complicated. Noel

Damona  14:54  

In all seriousness, you know, I’ve said before on the show that I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight. But I think I believe in slow love and that love. True love develops over time. What’s your reaction to that?

Noelle Cordeaux 15:14  

You’re pretty spot on with the way the chemicals work,

Damona  15:18  

guys, I didn’t pay her to say that or anything. But you know, I’m saying I’m saying it from a from an experiential point of view of watching how my clients have developed relationships over the last 15 years that I’ve been doing this Tell me from like the more brain chemistry perspective, what’s really going on in that?

Noelle Cordeaux 15:38  

Yeah, so so when you fall in romantic love with someone, for men, it tends to be visually based for women, it tends to be emotionally based and, and that’s not as terrible as it sounds. You know, from an evolutionary perspective, symmetry is what typically tipped off on ourselves. species that somebody was healthy. So symmetry is attractive for people and men are more susceptible to focusing on symmetry than women. Women are looking for stability from partner. That’s where the emotional piece comes in. And again, this isn’t based in you know, kind of hearsay this is these are long held evolutionary traits. So, the deep cut is that we, we evolved from bonobos in this particular regard. We have a 90% DNA match with bonobos, which are chimpanzees. And these guys used to live in tree tops, and when they lived in tree tops, they were a non monogamous species. When they fell out of the trees and began living on the ground, though women were female, but no bows needed men to take care of them or males to take care of them and then they began serial monogamy and then humans evolved from that

Damona  16:58  

gives a whole different tone to the term swinging.

Noelle Cordeaux 17:02  

Oh, yeah.

Damona  17:06  

Okay, sorry for the corny joke, but I know a lot of people listening are thinking that was evolution, right. But we’re modern. We don’t have to be. We don’t have to be married to this old model of how relationships were formed.

Noelle Cordeaux 17:27  

Absolutely. What do you say to that? We do not have to be. We can choose we absolutely have determination. But what we don’t have control over is our brain chemistry. So when there there are two types of romantic love reciprocated and unrequited. And they’re very different beasts. And so you know, everybody listening, think about what it feels like to fall in love. That means that you have focused attention on that person that there’s magnification you have pink lenses, there intrusive thinking you can’t get that person out of your head you feel exhilaration, torrents of emotion, yearning for them looking for clues. How many times have you guys seen people like listening to songs looking for clues about the person they’re interested in? And all of those behavioral markers are actually driven by neurotransmitters that start showing up when our brain gets tipped off that, hey, I might have a meeting partner.

Damona  18:29  

Okay, so you’re telling me basically we are working against our own biology, like when when we say, Well, I don’t necessarily I don’t want a partnership or I’m not into monogamy? Is that what you’re saying? Or am I hearing this wrong?

Noelle Cordeaux 18:44  

Yeah. So so so when we’re talking about kind of working against ourselves, we have to understand where these drives are coming from. And there’s there’s two different kinds of mating drives. And so we’re using like really technical language here to describe what happens in us not As in certainly humans, but as an animal species, right, so we all have hardwired in us last, which is the craving for sexual gratification. And that evolved in humans, where we’re looking to seek sexual union with a semi appropriate partner so that when I say semi appropriate partner, that’s a genetic match. And that’s actually driven by a sense of smell in humans, interestingly enough, and then the second piece is attachment. And so that evolved in humans to enable our ancestors to live with me long enough to rear a child. And those feelings paired with a long term partner are a really specific part of your brain that grows with courtship rituals, and intellectual conversation and emotional bonding.

Damona  19:54  

So let’s talk about that because I mentioned slow love, but I think some of our listeners that are newer to this concept, don’t really get what I mean.

Noelle Cordeaux 20:07  

So how

Damona  20:08  

does that happen? And like how, what is actually happening in our brains as you’re getting to know someone slowly over time. And I’ll just add one thing. I also recommend that my clients spaced out their interactions. Because when it all happens when you’re in that initial phase, and you’re seeing each other, like every day for the first week, you think that you’re very bonded, and you’re having this flood of brain chemicals, I imagine. And then you get further down the road and the, the feeling changes what’s going on in that in that evolution.

Noelle Cordeaux 20:45  

Yeah, so so you’re I’m gonna validate you again, your advice is actually spot on. I’m two for two I two for two with your brain chemicals. So spacing out communication Gives you a fighting chance to disrupt the mayhem that takes place in your brain. So when you first fall in love or when you have that surge of chemicals with romantic love, that period of time with those bonkers chemicals will last 12 to 18 months. So we have to understand that first of all the first 12 to 18 months are not going to be an authentic representation of what you can expect from this person as a partner. So really early on, what happens is dopamine spikes and the other chemical we really want to pay attention to here is serotonin, which lowers so how those two components relate to each other is dobutamine is so very, very addictive. So a text message from that person, contact communication. They liked your Instagram post. That all gives you this motivation set that you keep wanting more You keep reaching for this romantic drug that you’re being fed. On the other hand, serotonin, which is a regulator lowers when you’re in that crazy beginning phase. So that serotonin regulator increases your sense of risk taking behaviors. That’s how people can get very swept away in the early stages of romantic love. serotonin produces a sense of call and mood stabilization. So when that gets hijacked everything kind of goes out the window in terms of actual sense.

Damona  22:32  

So we turn crazy is what you’re saying. Yeah, we sure do. We turn crazy. Our inhibition lowers. We’re like high basically high on dopa mean. We’re pretty messed up in that first phase,

Noelle Cordeaux 22:44  

very much so very much so

Noelle Cordeaux 22:47  

and that

Damona  22:48  

that’s for a relatively long time you said 12 to 18 months

Noelle Cordeaux 22:52  

12 to 18 months.

Damona  22:55  

So this is why we here Well, I thought I knew him and then married him. And this is not the man that I married, you’re saying it’s really not the man that you married, or you’re not the same?

Noelle Cordeaux 23:07  

Exactly both all of the above. And if you happen to be on SSRIs, which are a form of antidepressants, or birth control, the birth control messes up your sense of smell. And a lot of times when you go off of those kinds of medications, you’re no longer attracted to your partner because your turn on template was compromised when you first got together.

Damona  23:31  

Okay, so so what do we do Noel? Like, do we just take the IUD or do we take his shirt home and smell it and sleep with it? Like how can we retrain our brain so that we can be wired correctly for romance?

Noelle Cordeaux 23:45  

Yeah, well, you know, I think that

Noelle Cordeaux 23:49  

awareness is the key to everything. So having a pretty clear understanding of the way your brain works, what the brain chemicals are, how they exist, what your experiences In the moment is really valuable information. So let’s talk about testosterone. When you are single, your testosterone is higher. So you know how people say, Oh my god, I got no relationship and I put on weight. That’s because your testosterone lowered and you didn’t feel like working out and you were putting on less muscle and you weren’t as interested in attracting a partner. And then we break up your testosterone goes right back up again, that gets us into fighting form to find our partner.

Damona  24:30  

Wait, that’s for men and women.

Noelle Cordeaux 24:32  

Oh, yeah.

Damona  24:33  

Okay, so that’s, that’s different than what a lot of people hear we hear testosterone just being associated with men really, but for women, it’s also important driver in relationships

Noelle Cordeaux 24:44  

very much so very much though. So testosterone has a lot to do with your sex drive, and both single males and females have higher levels of testosterone and if you separate or divorce or breakup, your testosterone rises

Damona  24:59  

this Just this is just blowing my mind.

Noelle Cordeaux 25:03  

Okay, this is blowing

Damona  25:04  

my mind and I know it’s going to blow the minds of a lot of our listeners. What about for those who really want to fall in love? Like we have all the information we know that our brain is basically working against us or working in concert with biological factors that we cannot control you. Can you still fall in love in today’s world? Is

Noelle Cordeaux 25:24  

it possible? Yes, it is certainly possible. And you know, there we can work with our motivation system to induce scenarios when we actually fall in love. So I’ll give you the one two punch, I’ll let’s talk about the scenarios in which we’re most likely to fall in love. And then once we are in a relationship that we are kind of looking around and saying, well, this is a really good thing. Let’s talk about the parts of the brain and what we need to do to keep everything going. So you’re most likely to fall in love When you meet someone during a life crisis. So don’t you know try to bring on a life crisis but if you happen to be in crisis start looking around. It’s a really good move.

Damona  26:08  

This is this is pretty different. This is a different approach because a lot of times you hear that people like you shouldn’t meet someone in the middle of a crisis because everything in your life is a blur. Like what let’s define crisis for people

Noelle Cordeaux 26:26  

like Yeah, boy.

Damona  26:28  

Or girl.

Noelle Cordeaux 26:30  

Yeah, actually. Yes. So times of stress, make you more likely to fall in love novelty. If you meet someone when you’re moving. When everything is brand new. If you’re having a hard time at work if you’re suddenly meeting a whole bunch of strangers. Anything that is different or stressful makes you more likely to fall in love. When you’re faced with mystery novelty Kwazii dangerous situations.

Damona  27:00  

This is why I say no well that you want to do something on a date that has action and activity to it. Rather than just oh my gosh, if I hear of another boring dinner date, but if you do something or there’s like competition or your, you know, go kart racing and there’s adrenaline, that’s it, that’s a better

Noelle Cordeaux 27:24  

first date, right? It is, and it’s all to do with those dopamine levels. You’re kicking them into high gear.

Damona  27:33  

And probably also, I’m just just musing here for a second. We hear people meeting at the gym,

Noelle Cordeaux 27:41  

does that yes, does the testosterone

Damona  27:42  

level there have something to do with that? Likely

Noelle Cordeaux 27:48  

and we can smell people I mean, we can you can smell people. And and and that, you know, you cannot underestimate the role of smell. Women are attracted To men whose sweat smells good to them, and that signals that you’re good genetic match.

Damona  28:08  

I’m gonna say something really creepy.

Noelle Cordeaux 28:11  

Do it Do it.

Damona  28:12  

I actually smell my husband like, like, Oh, my God. How like a bloodhound. Yeah, like, go up to him. And I’ll be like, I just want to smell like this is so weird. That is not weird. I can tell him now this is not weird. Doesn’t change though. Like the way that we smell them as like we’ve been together 16 years do people’s smells change in the way that you are attracted to certain smells change over time?

Noelle Cordeaux 28:42  

No, the chemical foundation will remain the same. What changes is the the way that you experience pair bonding. So in the beginning, lust is the main driver and then as you go deeper into the relationship, that’s when attachment and emotion takes over. Mm hmm.

Damona  29:03  

Tell me more.

Noelle Cordeaux 29:05  

Yeah. So emotional attachment is one of the things that keeps couples together, and it goes through four year chapters. So as we’re thinking about this, there is a really specific part of your brain that we want to be concerned with. And it’s the cottage in stealer part of your brain. And this part of your brain lights up, the deeper the verbal, mental, emotional connection. So when you press on that part of your brain, it expands your capacity for pair bonding. So it expands the capacity of the couples stay together if they are mutually engaging with each other and pressing on that intellectual, emotional, void that needs to be filled and unknown. thing to understand about this part of your brain is there’s another time when it lights up. And it also lights up with cocaine and opioid withdrawal. Oh my gosh,

Damona  30:09  

I thought you were gonna say like in childbirth. Then you’re like, when you’re strung out on drugs.

Noelle Cordeaux 30:17  

Yeah. So you’re similar a breakup and you feel like you’re dying. That’s why you’re basically

Damona  30:26  

having like an opioid withdrawal.

Noelle Cordeaux 30:29  

Correct from the psychological emotional part of your brain that you need.

Damona 30:36  

So wait, how can we get over this though?

Noelle Cordeaux 30:40  

Like, like there’s no

Damona  30:42  

What is that? I don’t remember the name of that drug. You take like when your

Noelle Cordeaux 30:48  

lockers no yeah, you can’t.

Damona  30:51  

You can’t go to the hospital and be like, help me I’m having a relationship with Joe. Give me a shot. Yeah. So I do this. With with The tools that we have that are legally and responsibly available.

Noelle Cordeaux 31:04  

Yeah, so I mean, first let’s talk about maintaining your relationships. So you know, similar to when you first start dating the role of dopamine is really important. So doing novel and exciting things together, increase adrenaline equals increased opening. Prolonged eye gazing is something that really works to get those brain chemicals rolling in to keep everything pair bonded, increased. Dopamine, he also gives you more feelings of attraction towards each other. So the more does mean that you can direct towards each other, the more you’re going to feel attracted to each other touch also amplifies and exponentially impacts pair bonding. So the more actual touching that a couple engages in, the more likely they are to stay together. And that really specifically triggers the endorphin of oxytocin, which gives That feeling of attachment. And also working out increased testosterone equals increased romance. So staying mentally and physically stimulated is really what we’re talking about. So, and the intellectual piece can’t be discounted here because that’s your prefrontal cortex, the logic center of your brain, your reasoning, and so we need to keep that piece really super alive.

Damona  32:24  

That’s a lot to do. But I think we could start somewhere we can start small. And just understanding like I said at the beginning of this conversation, just first understanding what factors are at work is the beginning of that process. But I know through journey, you You not only coach people and help people understand all of these factors and create a plan to move forward but you also are training other coaches to be able to to spread this message. Tell me a little bit about journey and why you have this mission. To to start this company.

Noelle Cordeaux 33:02  

Oh, sure. So, you know, journey coaching is a coaching collective. We have coaches from all over the world who have come through our training program to learn things similar to what we’re talking about today. It all starts with a brain. It all starts with, you know, how did we get here? What’s our evolutionary cycles? Let’s understand what makes us up. It’s not you, it’s your brain. We look at the difference between feelings and facts. And we train coaches based on graduate level evidence based work. The reason that we started our company is because when john and i, my business partner both started out 10 years ago, it was really hard to gain traction as a coach. And so we created the company in the community that we wish we had.

Damona  33:46  

That is wonderful. And yeah, I encourage anyone who is listening that thinks they might want to help other people in this way to check out journey and see how how they can begin this process because we need more We need more warriors of love and of truth and of authenticity and all the wonderful things that I know you teach in in this program. Before we go, Noel, we have questions that have been submitted to us from our listeners. So I would love for you to stick around and answer a few of those.

Noelle Cordeaux 34:20  


Damona  34:25  

Welcome back to dates and mates. We are here doing your favorite segment and mine technically dating.

Noelle Cordeaux 34:33  


Damona  34:35  

All right, no, no well Korto you are in the hot seat because we have questions that have been submitted from our listeners. This one comes to us from someone that says my date forgot about a date that we scheduled 24 hours ago. Last night we set a time place and everything and plan to get drinks after he got off work. Basically I waited at the place for 30 minutes. Send him a text to which he repeated Question mark. I got stood up and he’s so apologetic about it. But is this a red flag? He texted me Sorry I’m a total dick and I deserve to never be talked to again. But no explanation Noel or attempt to salvage? Is this a red flag People always ask me is this a red flag?

Noelle Cordeaux 35:19  

Yes. Red Flag. Yeah. Yes. You know, and really, you know, when we’re when we’re dating, one of the things that I always say to my coaches and my clients is, you know, it’s not about whether a certain behavior is good or bad. It’s what’s acceptable for your life. If it is fundamentally unacceptable for you to have someone not remember plans and to not give you an explanation, well, then this person’s behavior isn’t going to be a good fit.

Damona  35:52  

Yeah, I and I’m all for like giving people the benefit of the doubt. Like if they’re, look, I have I have goofed up. I’m pretty good with appointments but I have definitely goofed a couple of times and profusely apologized and said, Please like, Can I make it? How can I make it up to you?

Noelle Cordeaux 36:11  

But it sounds like

Damona  36:12  

from her response to his response to her, sorry, I’m a total dick and I deserve to never be talked to again. He’s not really making efforts to repair the relationship.

Noelle Cordeaux 36:24  

No, and it’s kind of a pass off. He’s abdicating responsibility. And instead of you know, owning it, he’s he’s linguistically forcing the choice for the other person to make the call. Yes, you deserve to or not be talked to again.

Damona  36:44  

Right. And I would bet, just based on this language, this is not the first time this has happened to him. No. Hmm. But then the question is, yeah, the question is, What can she do to avoid this happening again? Because I found like, my clients really don’t get stood up or ghosted, very often or at all. I can think of one in the last year. But do you have a system that you would tell your clients to make sure that people are showing up for them, and that they’re like honoring their time so that other people will honor it too.

Noelle Cordeaux 37:23  

I mean, very being very straightforward with what your ask is, you know, or what your expectations are at the beginning, that if communication is important, if promptness is important, if showing up is important, then let somebody know right up front, hey, this is important to me. And I’d like to see you and so if you’d like to see me you need to show up and communicate.

Damona  37:48  

Absolutely. And I was so I was when I was single. This was such a deal breaker for me. Like if someone canceled a date. That was just it and I, I want to make sure that like even though I said, I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt that it’s clear that I’m saying people, you teach people how to treat you. And I can think of so many instances where I was like really excited to go out with someone, but if they showed me who they were, I believe them right away, and I just was like, nope, we’re not gonna do this. And if she gives him the benefit of the doubt, she’s probably gonna end up with him not showing up for her down the road,

Noelle Cordeaux 38:26  

based on showing up in different ways.

Damona  38:30  

Yeah, you got me? Yep, exactly that Noel. Okay, one more question before you leave us for the day. This one comes to us from a fella who says, I’m seeing a woman who told me she doesn’t want to go deeper because she doesn’t want to risk losing our friendship. Should I keep trying? Or is this a way a soft way to let me down?

Noelle Cordeaux 38:54  

I have so many questions

Damona  38:57  

based on the information that we have you He’s been friend zoned. That’s for sure. But is it salvageable? Should he move on? What do you think?

Noelle Cordeaux 39:07  

So when he when he says, I have been seeing a woman, what does that mean? You know, are we talking about

Damona  39:14  

Like, like seeing her face? He’s seeing her face. Okay.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:19  

Yeah, I think

Damona  39:20  

it’s this casual like this epidemic of just hanging out dates or just like this Not knowing, you know, it’s people just not being in a specific dating situation, but we’re just hanging out.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:37  

Yeah. Okay, so So this sounds like a boundary has been set that this woman has said, you know, what we have going on right now is where I want to stay.

Damona  39:47  

Yeah, it could be a Friends with Benefits situation, too.

Noelle Cordeaux 39:49  


Noelle Cordeaux 39:52  

It could be and you know, I mean, honesty is always the best policy like if and it’s always worth a shot, you know, to say to somebody Hey, You’ve told me where your boundary is a See you, I hear you and I respect it. And here’s what I would like. So I’m going to put it on the table. And here’s the threshold that I have for continuing to see you and not having my needs met. So there’s gonna come a time when this casual thing ends, because I want more. And if you want more, let’s discuss it.

Damona  40:22  

Okay, now tell me from a, a chemical brain chemistry perspective. When, first of all, if a woman puts you in the friendzone, can you get out of it? And is it different from the man? And then also, if they are in a Friends with Benefits situation, and they’re like, let’s say they are having sex, can you? Can you still like form a relationship with someone else if you’re having sex with a different person?

Noelle Cordeaux 40:57  

Okay, we’re going to take these questions separately, the break Because the brain cams are all different. Yes. So

Noelle Cordeaux 41:05  

if if you are seeing someone and you have been friendzone. So this is not my opinion, this is like purely from a chemical perspective. So, dudes typically won’t give up the hunt because they’re attracted physically to the symmetry. Women’s minds can be changed because of the deepening emotional intimacy and capacity for support and connection.

Noelle Cordeaux 41:34  


Damona  41:36  

Go on.

Noelle Cordeaux 41:39  


Damona  41:40  

so if she’s so she’s friendzone him, it’s,

Noelle Cordeaux 41:46  

it’s possible that she could change her mind. It is possible that she could change her mind. What would you have to do? Yeah, what would I do? A he would have to I mean, so we’re talking about that part. of your brain that lights up with pair bonding. So from an emotional intimacy and intellectual intimacy perspective, press on that part of the brain because that’s actually the more important part that the emotional connection supersedes the physical connection for women.

Damona  42:16  

Okay, so we’re not saying do that, but we’re saying, if you are friendzone, and you’d like to change it, and you want to devote the next three to six months of your life to try to do that, rather than to pursuing someone else, there you go. There, you know. Now we have to talk about friends with benefits from a chemical perspective, having sex with someone that’s easy and available, even if they are not somebody that you want to pair bond with. Does that reduce your ability to make another relationship happen?

Noelle Cordeaux 42:49  


Damona  42:51  

Tell me more.

Noelle Cordeaux 42:53  

So, once you get into that zone, where you’re you’re being in To meet with somebody you’re so remember romantic love is a motivation system. That motivation system wants to keep kicking and complete itself. It goes through phases. It wants to go through the first 12 to 18 months and then it wants to go into the next four year chapter and then the four year chapter after that, basically looking at procreation as the goal. So I know that everybody listening to me is like, I don’t want to have a baby and like your brain and body don’t know that, right? Like, your brain and body are trying to override all of your actual desires. So what you’re doing is setting yourself up for a world of hurt on both sides for you and your partner. And that’s not an opinion that’s just the chemical facts. So when when stuff starts to not work or when love is unrequited or when that emotional piece doesn’t deepen, then we get into a whole series of other chemical reactions that scramble your brain.

Damona  44:08  

That sounds painful.

Noelle Cordeaux 44:10  

It is. Yeah, it’s stage one is protest. And that’s where we have frustration, restlessness, obsession, panic stress. And then stage two is despair and resignation. And that’s when we have depression.

Noelle Cordeaux 44:30  

Women withdraw socially and need to retell their story over and over again. men get angry and engage in risk taking behavior. Not my opinion, science.

Damona  44:43  

We can’t fight the science No. All right. Well, thank you for continuing to spread the good good word. If anyone listening is interested and exploring this world of coaching, you should check them out at journey coaching and that’s spelled j r n i Coaching comm or on the socials at journey coaching. Thank you so much for being here, Noel. It’s been awesome. Thank you. Thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed Episode 303 of dates and mates. And I hope I didn’t get too preachy on you about washing your hands and staying at home. But hey, somebody’s gotta say it. You can connect with me on all the socials. I’m still answering DMS and I’m taking questions for future dates and mates episodes. I’m at damona Hoffman on all the socials. Please connect with me. I love hearing from you guys. And we all could use a little extra community right now speaking of community, I’d love to have you as an official part of the dates and mates community on Patreon, my friends with benefits, get all my best goodies, especially that video training that I just released on how you can still be social distance dating. It’s so helpful, so juicy, I’m loving the feedback I’m getting from my current Patreon Patrons And friends with benefits. I’d love to have you in the club. Just go to patreon.com slash dates and mates. Until next week, I wish you good health and happy dating


Healthy Communication & Roasting for Romance


This week is all about discerning healthy communication patterns in response to conflict in all your relationships. Conflict is going to happen no matter what. It’s normal. Whether you’re self-partnered, dating, or in a relationship it’s important to look inside take a moment to prepare for healthy conflict. 

Marla Mattenson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples using her background in neuroscience and mathematics. Over the course of her 25+ year career, Marla has helped more than 12,000 couples including Academy Award winners, NBA players, and Grammy Awards winners!

She’s here to give us all the answers on healthy communication!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Are you and your partner headed for a breakup?

According to Elite Daily, 55% of couples see moving in together as a step towards marriage. According to Marla, if your partner is giving you more gifts than normal this is a SURE sign you’re headed for a breakup.


Tim Tebow has tied the knot and FINALLY popped his cherry

Wedding Bells for Tim Tebow and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. No word yet on whether she’ll add another hyphen to her name.

Roasting for Romance?

Some new research from Appalachian State University indicates that roasting – sarcastic jabs at your partner – can actually be healthy and bring you and your partner closer together. Damona and Marla disagree.



Marla and Damona go in-depth on exploring your childhood conflict when it comes to healthy communication:

  • Fight, Flight, or Freeze
  • It’s not your fault, it’s your biology
  • Insightful knowledge as to how we handle conflict
  • Three key ways to effectively navigate the situation:
    • Acknowledge your childhood
    • Introduce awareness to the conversation
    • Press the reset button on all default settings
  • Introducing a safe word in your relationship to let you partner know when his/her “fight, flight or freeze” default setting is kicking in
  • Speaking your truth
  • Getting Unpleasant feedback
  • Why you need GEJF in your life (Grace, Ease, Joy, Flow)


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 – This guy I’ve been in a situationship with has been working a lot lately. He told me at his job someone was eyes him and asked if that person was flirting with him? But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? Is he asking me how to read the signs?
  • EMAIL -I have been this guy long time – after a long period of being broken up, I have found him again on Facebook. I miss him, love him, and want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance and to be with him for Valentine Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do?
  • IG – I’ve been divorced for about 10 years and I’m just getting back into dating. When I was 18, I needed an ileostomy to save my life and now I’m wearing an external pouch. My ex had no problems with it because it doesn’t interfere with intimacy. ButI’ve told guys after a few dates about my pouch and I’ve also waited to tell them. In most cases the guy ghosts me. Do I wait until there is a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Thank you for making this your go to dating show for the past seven years to all the new listeners who watch my dating profile polish on E Welcome to the fam I am here to love up on you and support you at all phases of dating and relationships and so is my guest for today. Marla Martinson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples. She uses her background in neuroscience and in mathematics to do this. And over the course of her 25 year career. She has helped more than 12,000 couples, including Academy Award winners and beyond. Players, Grammy Award winners millionaires, y’all. She’s the real deal. Please give big smooches to Marla Martinson. Thank you so much for being here.


Marla Mattenson  1:10  

Thank you so much. I’m super excited for this show!


Damona  1:13  

All right, this is the gold standard of advice, y’all. So, get your pen and paper ready because we are going to give you some really key advice about building healthy relationships, and communication. Even when things get a little bit uncomfortable, especially in a fight. We’ll be talking about fighting it’s gonna happen y’all. So we’ll tell you how to navigate through so that you both can get your needs met in the relationship. And we’ll also be covering this week’s headlines including What are the signs that you and your partner could be heading for a breakup and Tim t bow tie the knot and finally popped his cherry Garcia we have the decision about that was is it good for you to roast your partner will tell you the answer to that in a minute and then we’ll answer your question. Including, should you be worried that someone is flirting with your boo at work? And what do you do? If you want your ex back? Especially when you already have a Valentine’s Day present for them? Oh, is this gonna be a spicy one? Marla?


Damona 2:15  

Are you ready to dish though?


Damona  2:19  

All right. All right, our friends at elite daily gave us the skinny on the four signs that you may be headed for a breakup. I have to admit I did give a lot of the advice for this for this article. But I’m curious Marla because you work with you work with couples. And I’m sure you have seen a lot of these signs coming up. I’ll just go over some of the signs. Y’all should read it on your own. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But I told them to look out for a change in communication style and a decline in sexual intimacy, signs of annoyance or them needing space from you and I think those are just some of the signs, but I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of other signs and people want to know like, what is my partner thinking? What should they be looking for before things get into crisis? I love this article, actually,


Marla Mattenson  3:14  

I think it’s really fantastic. It’s a great sign post, there’s not a whole lot more to add to it To be honest, except gifts. If they start giving you more than you’re used to, then that kind of a change, also more than just in the communication style. If they’re starting to go above and beyond, it might mean that they’re trying to put in the extra effort, just in case maybe it will work.


Damona  3:39  

Oh, wow, way, way, way way. Wait, because I know a lot of our listeners are saying, Oh, this is great. Like my partner is really leaning in. And they’re they’re showering me with attention. And this is something that I see also in dating in the early phase that I tell people to look out for that when somebody is too too romantic. too aggressive with trying to lock down the relationship? I say that’s actually a bad sign. So that’s also a bad sign on the way our on and the relation. Yes, yes.


Marla Mattenson  4:10  

It’s sort of like a last ditch effort. It’s it’s, it’s actually something that I coach on as well in relationship is you want to put in your real hundred percent efforts that maybe you have been holding back because you’ve been waiting for your partner to show up and do the work. And they haven’t. So what I teach is you show up and you do the work. So you put in the extra effort and you see how your partner responds. And so because I know that I offer that as advice to my couples, if they’re having a lot of challenges, I know that sometimes that’s what’s actually going on, someone’s putting in one more big huge effort at the end to see is my partner going to change? Are they going to do anything different or they’re going to still be the curmudgeon? Are they still going to be you know, bitchy, are they still going to have problems and you know, complain, etc. Or they going to see me a new because the idea and relationship as you know is you have have to be able to see your partner with fresh eyes every day, every moment of the day. And if you can’t see your partner with fresh eyes, then you’re always going to be looking for the things that they’re doing wrong. You’re going to be looking for those problems, rather than looking for what’s new and fresh about my partner today. How can I honor and love what he’s all about today are what she’s all about today, rather than looking for all of the issues and the problems and the challenges,


Damona  5:25  

yeah, I like the idea of really focusing on the present and I talked to daters about this a lot. What about if we were to look into the past many of these, these cohabitation situations, which is really what this article was talking about, like signs, your partner may be moving out, not just breaking up with you. I think that some of the problems begin before the point of that this article begins. And according to the article 55% of people see moving in together as a step toward marriage. I actually hosted a TV series for a networks called a question of love were removed couples in together for the first time. And they had to go through this intensive experience for 30 days and see if they wanted to stay together or move out and break up. And I found that so many of the times as we move these couples together, they were like, yeah, I’m ready for a relationship. But the moving in together meant something different to each of them. Many of them hadn’t had conversations about like almost sort of a prenup of what’s going to happen if we break up. And it was it’s continually surprising to me with clients as I help them through the dating process. that so many of them are are focused on let me get to the moving in like then now I’ve now I’ve got something, but it’s so much more complicated when you’re living with someone. And I find a lot of these questions aren’t being asked early enough. The dating process


Marla Mattenson  6:54  

definitely you know, meaning making is one of the biggest challenges and relationships My partner, Julian, he could literally walk across the room and I can make meaning out of that. How he’s walking across the room, the look on his face what he’s paying attention to, you know. And so if you start paying more attention to the inner world of your own, and you start asking yourself, what meaning Am I making out of moving in together out of how he’s doing this, how she’s doing that, then you’re going to start to understand more about yourself, your own needs, your own desires, and then instead of waiting for your partner, to show up and be all of what you want, you actually know what you want, and then you can articulate it. And you can actually verbalize, you can say it, you can speak it out loud, and then you can see how it lands and how it lands matters, right? Because then you can feel the sort of reverberation of how it lands no matter what they say. You can feel the truth in the vibration of the tone of the vibration of you know, their body posture or their arms folded, look away. You know what’s happening as you’re saying Speaking your needs and your desires to your partner.


Damona  8:03  

Well, one person who seemed to be very clear about his needs and his desires was Tim Tebow. He loved love. We’re on board for this. He married Miss Universe Demi Lee Nell Peters. She has a lot of hyphens in her name. I don’t know she’s going to definitely mail Peters t bo. But here’s the catch with this story. Tim was very vocal for many years about his faith and about his desire to stay celibate until he was married, and only 3% of the US population waits until marriage. I was not aware of that. I was not either. But I I’m curious what you think about the faith aside about making this declaration of not having not being intimate until you get married, and if you’ve seen like any couples that have been successful waiting or unsuccessful in not been finding out later that they weren’t intimately compatible.


Marla Mattenson  9:04  

Yes, that I love the way you just said that. That’s really wonderful. I wonder if Tim did not have his faith if he would have been celibate. That’s my first wondering, because I believe that celibacy and faith tend to go hand in hand for our youth now, and there is a movement for celibacy in our youth that has nothing to do with faith that just has to do with I’m saving myself for the right time, but it’s not necessarily marriage. saving yourself for marriage is different than saving yourself for love. So celibacy till marriage is a completely different animal and I have to be honest, unless it’s your faith, please don’t do it. Don’t wait until you’re married to have sex. Okay,


Damona  9:55  

why Marla?


Marla Mattenson  9:56  

Okay, because exactly what you said which is sexual portability is a real thing. I mean, I have a client who a former client who she ended a relationship with someone she really loved because of the way his anatomy hit her on the inside, in a way that caused pain every time they tried to make love. And it was just him. It was it was just the way he curved to the left a little bit that hit her and they tried I gave them all kinds of coaching on that, you know, different positions this and that. And it was painful. She couldn’t enjoy sex with him. And so he was really big,


Damona  10:42  

right? No, no, he wasn’t actually okay. We don’t even Okay, we


Marla Mattenson  10:45  

don’t have to go there I go, there I go.


Marla Mattenson  10:51  

But it’s sometimes the anatomy is an issue and if that’s an issue, you do not want to be in a lifelong relationship with someone that is Going to have that kind of a problem that’s just starting with a foundation that’s really shaky. That’s very challenging, even when you love someone, so literally, there are so many issues in the sexual arena that have nothing to do with compatibility that have to do with taste and touch and the way you hold each other and you know, how, how rigid or contracted you are versus how much you can relax. There’s so many nuances to lovemaking that, you know, you kind of want to take the car for a test drive before you buy it.


Damona  11:36  

Yes, you know, just don’t like move the car in your garage before you know you know where you’re going to be driving it. There you go. Okay. As we are looking at different qualities that make a relationship successful beyond the INTIMACY COMPATIBILITY. Community communication is obviously something that you specialize in and something We’ll be talking about more later on in the show. There was an article Marla in the sun, obviously a very reputable source that said, roasting your partner every day makes the relationship stronger. I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say, this goes against everything I know about healthy relationships. And they were saying that it’s good for the the energy to kind of rip them on certain qualities that irritate you rather than nag them. But I kind of feel like if you’re having that much contempt in your relationship, you know, that’s what one of john Gottman four horsemen, you’re feeling those feelings towards your partner. I’m not sure that roasting them is the right way to


Marla Mattenson  12:48  

bring it to the surface. I’m so glad you feel that way. I can


Damona  12:52  

say on this lady, so I was ready.


Marla Mattenson  12:56  

I’m a hell no for that.


Marla Mattenson  12:57  

So it makes me question. I’m not The sun they’re just reporting but it makes me question the research and the ages of the participants. It makes me want to question how many people they interviewed it makes me want to question how long they’ve been in relationship it makes me want to question a number of things about the actual research and it feels very teenage It feels like a teenage You know, when you’re in middle school and you kind of negative each other like, you know, you can’t


Damona  13:27  

write boy makes fun of you, like sells your hair, then he likes you


Marla Mattenson  13:32  

Why is that a thing and that should not continue into a healthy adult relationship. So preamble also to just add on to what you said is, you know, I love dr. john Gottman and it’s if you are using sarcasm in your relationship in any way. Sarcasm, the definition of sarcasm is tearing flesh. I mean, it is not kind it’s saying something that you’re hoping somebody Going to get a message underneath of a truth. Why not just say the truth? And why don’t we because you know, we don’t want to deal with the actual reaction from our partner. So if we are sarcastic instead, then we can, if there’s a negative reaction, we can easily just say, oh, babe, I was just kidding. Oh, why can’t you just roll with it? You’re all you’re so serious, you know, rather than, you know, actually that hurt my feelings. I didn’t like when you said that. That doesn’t feel good to me. To me. Building a loving healthy lifelong relationship with your partner means you pour love and kindness into the union of your relationship the big week, right? You don’t pour sarcasm and jokes that are meant for little digs. Just to get some you know upregulation of hormones so that you can get horny for each other.


Marla Mattenson  14:51  

You know, that’s not that will keep you


Damona  14:54  

it’s not sustainable to now walking off into the sunset now. This is this is getting interesting, Marla, this is getting very interesting. And I know you have many more insights to share on how to build a healthy relationship, how to deal with conflict, like what we were talking about, and how to have this partner in crime that you you live with, that you love, and maybe even that you work with, that you can really build a long term standing relationship with. So yeah, we’ll be talking about that right after the break. But first, I just have to acknowledge one of our listeners who left this lovely five star review on Apple podcast. Darling Nikki says, Wow, I’m obsessed and I can’t believe I never heard this pod. I can’t believe you haven’t either. loving every app and don’t want to sleep just binge. Thank you, Nikki. We’re so glad that you found the show and we are so grateful you took the time to give us a review. Whether you’re a binge listener like Nikki or a casual fan of the show, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform so we can shout you out and give you some love on a future episode. More with Marla Martinson in just a moment.


Welcome back. We are here with Marla Martinson and we’re talking about dealing with conflict and relationships and building healthy communication. Marla. Now, you alluded to this in the first segment, but you also work with your partner, Julian colker. He’s a little under the weather today. So we’ll have to join us on a future show. But first of all, how is that because so many people tell me so many clients say I really want to find my partner in crime and somebody who’s going to support me through not just like, love but also life and business. You’ve done it. Yes. How’s that working for you? It’s amazing.


Marla Mattenson  16:38  

It’s amazing. And it’s challenging. It is challenging from time to time, right? You know, we’re just like any other couple, we get into the arguments that sometimes spiral down into the pit of hell. And then we come out together the other side, but really, we look at it like it’s kind of like an obstacle course that we go through together. So even when we’re spiraling down, we’re aware because awareness is always the first Step in any process that you’re going to master at some point, you become aware at some point in that conflict. Oh my gosh, wait, I’m in a conflict with the person I love the most on this planet. And when you can pause long enough to remember that that’s the point to insert a knowing that actually it’s not your fault. It’s your biology. Your biology is telling you lies about your partner. Wait, what does that mean? So this is like, this is inner game, inner game, baby. All ready to go in.


Marla Mattenson  17:37  

Okay, let’s do it.


Marla Mattenson  17:40  

So, when you’re aware that you feel like you want to attack your partner, verbally, just even in your mind, right? You’re saying really awful things in your mind about your partner, blaming them angry, you know, why can’t he or why can’t she just get it or whatever it is. for you in that moment, when you become aware that you’re thinking negative thoughts about your partner, that’s the moment to say, I must be activated. I must be activated about something. It may even not be about my partner, it may be about because, you know, we can’t pay this bill or you know, the mother in law just called or you know, something else is happening with the kids or something is going on in your life. You’re feeling stressed, you’re looking around. I’m not sure if you saw this burn a brown video of it’s hilarious. She talks about how she’s in her kitchen, and she accidentally drops a mug of coffee on the floor. And her husband is nowhere to be found. He’s not even in the house at the time and she yells his name out and blames him for it. And she dropped it and she dropped it.


Damona  18:50  

Right girls you know it,


Marla Mattenson  18:53  

like the closest person to like ttttt Oh, you You’re the problem. It can’t be me. Right because our ego Won’t let it be us as the problem. So as soon as you realize you’re in that loop, the crazy loop of I want to blame. I want to blame my partner for how I’m feeling right now, even if it is their fault. Okay, here’s the thing. One of our philosophies is it’s never you versus your partner. It’s never you, it your partner is the problem. It’s always the two of you versus the problem. Yes, right. Even if your partner is the problem, we still look at it like we’re sitting next to each other, rather than across from each other across from each other is actually very aggressive. It’s an animal aggressive state to be exactly opposite each other looking into each other’s eyes, rather than sitting next to each other at a table and looking out or going for a walk together and talking about a problem. So the thing is, is that our biology is telling us your partner is a threat. He’s a threat, he’s the problem, or she’s the threat. She’s the problem. The lies that go on our chemical. So your body is is telling you through cortisol through norepinephrine through all the chemicals flowing in your system when you feel attacked in some way. There’s no saber toothed Tiger anymore. We’re not running from a lot of wild lion anymore. But now the threat is can we pay our bills? Right? Is my partner having an affair? Are it does he really love me? You know, all of those things. And when you get into a conflict, it’s a mini microcosm of that old fight flight or freeze response that happens.


Damona  20:32  

Right? So talk to us about this fight, flight, or freeze. I’m sure people have heard fighter flight. The talk to us about what the freeze element means and then, you know, as we are just nothing but mammals. Yeah. How does it How is it really affecting us in relationships in our biology?


Marla Mattenson  20:53  

Yes. So, fight so if everybody has one major default In the fight flight or freeze response so as as everybody’s listening, you can listen for your own. And sometimes it’s a combination sometimes you go back and forth and sometimes it’s all three and that’s the like, you know, trifecta of horror, when they’re all three activated. So the fight is something happens. Your partner does something they say something they could load the dishwasher wrong in your eyes. Something happens to me, right once.


Damona  21:24  

No, no, on the regular rice, right? Because there is a right way to load the dishwasher according to each of us. Don’t we want the dishes to be clean? I don’t know. But okay, go on. Okay, and then we’ll and then we’ll come full circle back to analyze me later. Okay.


Marla Mattenson  21:42  

So the fight response is your first inclination is to lash out and to say something to take action. So if your first response is, I need to say something about that dishwasher. The first response is, hey, hey babe, may remember put the glasses on the top Remember, right? Exactly that okay, though, remember. So that’s also kind of like the nag, the nag and the fighter are kind of cousins. So that’s if you have your first response is some action. It can also be a passive aggressive action, which is, let’s say there’s a towel left on the floor every morning, okay? And so white response is, I’m going to pick up that towel and put it back on the hanger. that’s a that’s a it’s a lower level version of the fight response, because on the inside your mind is saying to yourself, that so and so why can he ever just pick up that’s how I’ve told him a million times? So even if he’s not even there, you can still have the fight response when there’s nobody listening. Okay, yeah. Okay. So that’s the fight response. The flight response is, you just want to exit the building, either actually, or in your mind. So these are people who sort of shut down. They they You know, hey, I gotta go handle these other things. They want to put everything on pause.


Marla Mattenson  23:04  

This is the people that ghost


Marla Mattenson  23:06  

these are the ghost tours, the fighters are they can’t handle conflicts they will avoid at all costs. They’re the ones who actually will use sarcasm and then pretend like it’s not a big deal to actually try to communicate. So the flight people will get the same chemicals but chemicals bond and they start reacting in the way that they learned how to deal with conflict by witnessing and experiencing from childhood.


Damona  23:29  

Oh, yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about that. Okay. A lot of people come into relationships with their own conditioning, and they think, I don’t want to do that. My parents did that. And that was uncomfortable for me. So I’m going to be different in my relationship. Do you find that people if they are able to consciously acknowledge what their childhood conditioning was? Are they able to rewrite it? Or do you find that they end up just falling into the same pattern?


Marla Mattenson  23:56  

You know, both. I’m just gonna I’m going to answer all of the above Because what happens is just because you’re aware of it doesn’t mean you have a new pathway. So typically, when you become aware, oh, I don’t want to recreate this pattern that my parents did. Typically we do the opposite, which is the opposite side of the same coin. So you’re still doing the pattern, you’re just doing the pattern, the opposite, it does not heal the pattern. To heal the pattern, you need to do something completely new, have a completely new response. And so part of the work that Julian and I do with couples and that we practice ourselves is really excavating family lineage patterns. Because Where did you come from? You didn’t come from nowhere. You came from somewhere, and you learned through experience. And up until the age of seven, we’re literally just open vessels receiving we have no ability to deny or reject or say no to anyone or anything.


Damona  24:50  

And you’re not talking just about parental relationship. You’re talking about lineage like what has been passed down generation Right, Andre, she says,


Marla Mattenson  25:00  

Did your parents do the work to excavate their material from their parents? Or did their parents or did their parents or their parents, everybody? You know, at one point, what your current parents taught you was very helpful. But that could have been five generations ago. But we’re still using those things today, because who has taken the time to look at their family lineage around, let’s say, pleasure? What did you learn about your family? lineage from pleasure? Like, what did you witness your family doing around physical pleasure? Guess what, it’s in your bedroom? Yeah. And we can excavate that. So really, taking a look at the biology of what’s happening inside of you, is really the most important first step. So becoming aware and pausing long enough to listen to your own thoughts before they fly out of your mouth. And that’s one of the hardest things to do. Right? Because especially those of us who are fighters who just want to say it and then also if you happen to be articulate as you are, as I am Right, you can say things in a way that are logical, they make sense and they’re obviously non combative. But are they building intimacy? are they building more connection? And there are plenty of times where what I say to Julian is not building intimacy and how it’s not about being perfect. It’s about how quickly can I become aware that oops, I just said something that is not in alignment with who I really am. That’s an old version of Marla. That’s the kind of Marla that’s the little hurt girl right? The one who just wants to be loved and doesn’t need us understand all I need a hug. All he needs, whatever, but how does he know that I need a hug when I’m throwing prickly, you know, dark energy out and him right? And he’s like, I’m just gonna stay away from that until that calms down. It’s like a porcupine, you know, right. All the plumes come up, and he can’t get close to me.


Damona  26:52  

And then what is his conditioning to is the other side of that Right,


Marla Mattenson  26:54  

exactly. So the Exactly, so the other side of the pattern is what is he conditioned to do and part of I’ll just share because we share all apartments cereal. Thank you, right?


Damona  27:04  

We’re open book. Yeah. Jason made? Yes.


Marla Mattenson  27:08  

So you know, part of his side of the pattern is he doesn’t want to be made wrong. Oh, well, isn’t that the perfect other side of the pattern? I get to be right and he has to be wrong. And so when I find that I’m feeling righteous, or justified or verified in my, because I have a long list of reasons why my way is correct, even if it is, that’s not going to build the intimacy and he will feel wrong. And so that will activate him. And so when he gets activated, and if I’m activated, we call that double activation. And that is the most challenging thing to go through. And that’s when you start spiraling down. And so when one of us has the courage to say, pause, hold on. We’re in it. We’re in it. This is it. This is the moment can we go through the rest of this together like that? Okay, oops, we didn’t do so hot the first five minutes. But How about now?


Damona  28:05  

Right now, it’s like kind of bringing it back to what you said earlier of having that moment. Living the moment again, and you’re you’re right there, you’re not like in what just happened five minutes ago, or what happened last week, or what is going to happen next week, it’s being in that moment with your partner and being on the same team, like you were saying, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  28:26  

we actually have a technique for that. I can teach it in two seconds, teach it, it’s called the redo.


Damona  28:31  



Marla Mattenson  28:33  

redo it. And so what it is, is you ask for Rito. So if I’m the one who kind of started it, then I’ll say Wait, can I get a redo? If I, if I can be aware, and then we pause, and he’s, we’re both sort of calm enough that I can say, Can I get a redo, babe, I really did not. Start that the way I really wanted to. And he’ll go, Okay, hold on, give me a second. I gotta shake that off. First. They’ll shake it off. I’ll shake it off and then I’ll go okay. And the idea is You bring sparkly eyes, you bring your open heart, you bring your best self and you both reenact the same scenario. But this time you show up as your best self as your loving self as the self who wants to build love, intimacy and connection, even through challenges and chaos. And when you redo it, you’re literally rewiring your brain in the moment because when you think back on a memory, you remember what happened mostly at the end? Yes, okay. You remember the beginning and you remember the end, you don’t really remember the murky middle, okay? That’s all where it gets very subjective. And so when you redo it, you have redone it and you end smiling. So when you remember the beginning next time, you’ll also remember Oh, yeah, and we did the redo. And we went


Damona  29:44  

through it together, and we ended up smiling. Yeah. Marla, how do I get how do I deal with this dishes that you know, I know, how do I get the towels off my floor? I’ll tell you. I mean, of all the things it’s pretty a pretty minor thing. We’ve been together so almost 17 years, 16 years, I’ve, I’ve also just realized, like people sometimes have their patterns and limitations and like, I can be mad about the towel on the floor, or I can just pick it up and move on with my life and let it be over. Yes. And so that’s what I 17 years later decided to do. But honestly, I seriously don’t know you guys. Is that, is that what you recommend? Or is that like, is that a flight response?


Marla Mattenson  30:29  

Okay, let’s let’s chat about it.


Marla Mattenson  30:30  

Yeah, it depends. And the reason it depends is because it depends on your state of mind in the moment. So, next time, he leaves his towel on the floor, if you will, first of all, I’m assuming. So let let me not assume Let me ask a question. Have you mentioned this to him in the past?


Damona  30:49  

He like years ago, like years, okay, it’s been years and then now it’s just like, oh, there’s gonna be towels on


Marla Mattenson  30:55  

and so is it every day that there’s two or every time


Marla Mattenson  30:58  

I mean, it’s like 6040 Okay, 6040


Marla Mattenson  31:03  

So, okay, so there’s a couple of things. First thing is you can with a whole fresh new attitude and love in your heart, you can have a new conversation with him to say, you know what, I realized that I’ve kind of let this thing go, but it actually is still kind of a little bit of a thing for me. I wonder if you’d be willing to make an extra effort to hang up your towel after you use it every day. And then wait for the response and have a conversation about it. And you can also say, and I want to let you know that if you forget from time to time, it’s okay. But it’s still okay. Like it’s been okay this whole time and it’s also still okay. And I also just want to let you know, like, it actually would still feel loving to me, if you would make an even an extra effort, right now, how does that feel to you? And then wait for his response.


Damona  31:51  

And now let’s play out the different responses. Okay, everybody. So let’s say the response is like, you know, and just for listeners, like we’re talking about towels, with This could be anything in your relationships. Right? And it’s like a woman. Why are you talking to me about these towels again? I don’t think he would say that. But let’s just play devil’s advocate that


Marla Mattenson  32:10  

Yeah. Yeah. What is it about me asking you that bothers you? Oh,


Marla Mattenson  32:16  

so whenever someone that’s not that’s not.


Marla Mattenson  32:20  

That’s not a fight response. So know if you’re in a calm place, and you ask genuinely because you’re curious and you really want it like, ooh, up. Okay, that’s your reaction. I wasn’t expecting that. And that’s totally fine. I’m just curious, what, what is it about me asking you that feels so off. And you really want to know, and this is the thing is that we don’t really want to know certain things about our partners. And so we just don’t ask and we don’t ask. So I’m a big fan of asking.


Damona  32:53  

Yes, that is so important. Like in all we’re talking about conflict, but that’s just important at all phases. Building the relationship curiosity. Oh, yeah. Yo, you hear in her I curiosity comment is what I say for people when they’re dating, like be curious about so good about what you need to know about that person just like be curious on a date. So it’s the same thing in the relationship. And people always ask me, How do you keep the relationship feeling fresh and feeling new and discovery? Right? You still have to stay curious. You talk about something, a philosophy called gaggia. Yes. What is gaggia?


Marla Mattenson  33:32  

Okay, gaggia I just have to say I hated that word for many years. And it finally in 2020 is actually a thing. It’s a thing and Julian named it okay, but it’s our philosophy of grace, ease, joy and flow. So get GIF getcha getcha g JF gadget that it’s just easier to say yes. And so it’s like our philosophy is, you know, you can’t control what’s coming at you in life, you know, there’s always the UPS, there’s always the downs, you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you respond. You do have control over that. And if you respond with, I expect grace, ease, joy and flow, even through conflicts, even through challenges, and through the joy and through the happiness, then you start living your life that way. And then when something bad happens, you get a car accident, you know, life happens, right? Then you’re prepared because that’s what you’ve been practicing. I want to run one more thing, which is the freeze response. We didn’t get to that. Can I just say that really quick? The freeze response is and it’s so interesting that it almost is forgotten, you know, because the freeze response is literally like the chameleon just blending into the wall. It’s you know, the octopus that can turn into anything. It’s, you know, the the freeze response is feeling paralyzed. You have no words, no words will come out of your mouth. You’re not trying Two eyes out your partner but you just can’t find any words. Everything in your mind is confusion and your partner’s articulate and you have no idea what to say. So you just say nothing. So the freeze response is a really delicate response that is challenging for people. You know, I actually am an introvert people don’t realize that about me. But I can get into the freeze response. When I’m really activated. I go right into that little girl space where I’m like, I’ll just be like the silent little Good girl where I don’t know what to say. So I’m going to say nothing.


Damona  35:31  

Hmm. And so very fulfilling for your prey.


Marla Mattenson  35:33  

It is not they’re not


Marla Mattenson  35:34  

know and it’s trying to work through the GED. Exactly, exactly. And


Marla Mattenson  35:39  

so you know, then you find ways to sort of down regulate the emotions and allow those chemicals to flow through your system and pass through and give yourself a little bit of time and then you come forward again, and you go Okay, let’s, let’s try this again. Let’s do a redo.


Damona  35:54  

I love that. And I’m also married to an introvert who’s like Now he’s uh he’s like an introvert mascot yeah found power in introversion but yeah it’s it’s it’s hard when everyone else is is talking and everyone else is in like fight response if your tendency is to go inward and and shut down or we’re not be able to find the words like me right now


Marla Mattenson  36:24  

if you tapped into the introvert I did you tapped in


Damona  36:27  

like channeling him. This is all such such great information and I know you have insights that our listeners are going to want to hear in our next segment because we got a lot of questions. I so appreciate it y’all. I appreciate you. trusting us with your love lives. We have some very, very challenging questions, but I know Marla Martinson is up to the task so don’t go anywhere. We have more dates and dates right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates.


We have some Very challenging questions on this week’s show that have been sent to us far and wide from all different sources Instagram, email, Facebook, you can hit me up on any of the platforms at Damona Hoffman if you if you have a question for a future show. This one Marla comes to us from Instagram. This gal says this guy I’ve been in a situation ship with has been working a lot lately. He told me that at his job, someone was eyeing him. And he asked if that person was flirting with him. But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? is he asking me how to read the signs? So this person it seemed in situation ships, so it’s kind of a new relationship. But the guy’s asking or like somebody seems to be flirting with me. I don’t really know. What do I do?


Marla Mattenson  37:58  

Yeah. How would you read this? This I think this is such a beautiful question because it’s very clear that he wants to move things forward with the woman who wrote that, because he wouldn’t say anything to her about someone flirting at work or potentially flirting. If he wanted to go off and flirt with that other person or start something with somebody else, he would he would probably just go do it rather than talk about it or ask about it. So it’s really beautiful that and it’s sort of a celebration that he is coming to you with this information. And so it’s it’s um, it’s kind of like a toe dip in like, how honest can we be with each other in this relationship? He’s checking to see if you’re going to greet him with love and affection. Or and this may be conscious or unconscious in him okay, but he’s coming to you with Are you a safe person to reveal the truth of my life too, or are you going to freak out, are you going to judge me? Are you going to blame me? What are you going to do with this information? So So the idea here is, in my experience and opinion would be to ask him a question, to get curious to get curious about him and say, Wow, first of all, number one, always when someone brings information to you that they wouldn’t normally bring or they don’t have to bring. The first response is always two words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for bringing this to me. I really appreciate you sharing this with me. What did that feel like to have that happen? What what Kate, what came up for you like if you become the open, curious space for this person to come and share this information, the number one, he’s going to bring more to you. And number two, you’re going to bond over the fact that you can get curious about this very benign situation because he wasn’t That flirting, if he was into that flirting, then he would have just gone into that flirting.


Damona  40:04  

Yeah. So well done. I agree with you. It seems to be a sign of desiring this to become more serious. I do wonder though, if there’s an element of, I’m telling you someone else’s flirting with me to let you know, like, I got options here. Yeah, so yeah, let down


Marla Mattenson  40:26  

this Right, right. Exactly, exactly. So. So before you nail it down, though, you want to make sure that he’s not just playing a game, you want to actually ask questions to see how he shows up in the response. So he’s checking to see how you’re going to show up. But you also want to check to see how he’s going to show up. So gathering more information through experience, not just through your thinking about it, but through actual questions and having him answer and having a beautiful conversation about it is what’s going to help the two of you together come to Oh, yeah.


Marla Mattenson  41:00  

Well, I don’t want anybody flirting with you at work,


Marla Mattenson  41:03  

I want to flirt with


Marla Mattenson  41:05  

flirting with you or you know, so you can get playful with your responses and show him if you want more in the relation. If you want the situation to be a relationship, then you can offer up a little bit


Damona  41:16  

more like playful. Okay, I need everyone. I just have to pause for a second because I need everyone to really hear what Marla just said. It is so important in the early phase of dating and getting to know people that you find that playfulness and that flirtatiousness as you are trying to figure out where things are headed. So a lot of times my clients get very stressed in that period of when we’re trying to DTR figure out is this going to be a relationship or not, and they don’t know how to find the words to really express what they want without feeling like they’re being raw and vulnerable and potentially getting going to get hurt. But you have to you have to get Curious, and you have to present it if you present it in the way that Marla said. It’s it keeps it light, but it keeps it also intriguing. I would say yes.


Marla Mattenson  42:12  

And if Also, if you’re not curious, if you’re not bringing curiosity to these conversations, then you’re bringing something else. You’re bringing your assumptions. You’re bringing what you think is going on,


Damona  42:22  

you’re bringing your assumptions, you’re bringing your desire to get married and have a baby yesterday into whatever outcome you’re trying to create. You’re trying to create an outcome, right? That’s kind of the bottom line. That’s right.


Marla Mattenson  42:35  

That’s right. So you’re not actually available for what the real outcome is. And the real outcome unfolds, you can’t control it. It actually just kind of naturally organically comes together more and more, the more you’re open and vulnerable, rather than what a lot of people try to do. And I know you’re a master at this is, is helping people understand that if you try to control the dating process, you could actually end Up engaged to someone who doesn’t really know you. Because you’ve been showing what you think they want to see every step along the way, rather than who you really are


Damona  43:11  

or manipulating the outcome or


Marla Mattenson  43:13  

exactly, exactly, exactly. So curiosity. No, we don’t want that for you don’t do that.


Damona  43:17  

Okay, that’s actually a perfect segue in. Okay, this was an email that was sent to me, I’m going to kind of paraphrase hope it’s okay to the listener who’s on this question. But basically, she was with this guy for a while. They broke up, they got back together. They were together for a few years. And then, about three or four months ago, they broke up again. But she’s saying, I miss him. I love him and I want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance to be with him for Valentine’s Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do to get him back


Marla Mattenson  44:00  

I have a little yikes on that when I noticed, I don’t know go easy. So I don’t know how to say this in, I’ll just say it in the most gentle kind way I can. If you want to give a gift to someone, a gift is a one way direction. It is not a two way direction. It’s you want to give a gift. And it’s received by the other person and the person can do whatever they want with they can throw it in the trash, they can cherish it forever, they can do whatever they want. Right? I


Marla Mattenson  44:30  

love that.


Marla Mattenson  44:32  

Or, and then if they want to respond or reciprocate than they can, but there’s no no guarantee obligation at all for them to have to respond. So if you’re giving a gift with the hopes of getting something in return, then that’s the first question. I would ask yourself. Why do I want to give something to someone who I can’t even get ahold of right now? Like what is it in me that wants to still Reach out and give to someone who I have not received from in months and that I literally don’t really even have any way to get ahold of that. So to me, that tells me that there’s something in you that needs nurturing, and need love and needs attention and affection from someone who loves you, meaning you, you, you need to love yourself first, more than wanting to get married to this particular person. So if you start fulfilling your own love first, you know, then the way the universe works is you shift yourself, then that sends the vibration out to the universe. And then if he is meant to come back to you, he will and if he is not, he will not.


Marla Mattenson  45:54  

But let’s look at let’s just look at facts. I mean, they were together for a year I said I was going kind they can No, and then they got back here.


Marla Mattenson  46:01  



Damona  46:02  

I’m glad that you went kind. But I do want to also just realize the reality of the situation. He is being very clear about how, what he sees in the future for this relationship. If he blocked you or he changed his phone number, he’s not responding to you. He is saying, I need a clean break here. And there. I just like you said, I don’t see an positive outcome in chasing a relationship that one person does not want to be in.


Marla Mattenson  46:37  

Okay, I’ll say something more about that. That so I appreciate that. So the thing is, is


Marla Mattenson  46:43  

you either want harmony in your life, or you want suffering, and it’s conscious or unconscious. And when we chase after someone who clearly is sending the message, no, you’re asking for suffering. So if you you know what would happen, let me let sort run through some, some scenarios. My background is in mathematics and neuroscience pattern recognition is my thing. I can run through all the iterations of what might happen, let’s say spreadsheet, let’s


Damona  47:07  

do it. You’re talking about language. Okay,


Marla Mattenson  47:10  

so what if you dropped off the package at his house and you saw him? Get out of the car, from you know, kissing somebody else? Oh my gosh. And then what you’re standing there with this present, just dropping in a suffering, you’re going to suffer, everyone’s gonna suffer? What is going on inside of you? That you want suffering? And it’s obviously unconscious, because nobody consciously wants suffering. That’s not that’s not what we do. As humans. We don’t consciously want suffering, unconsciously we recreate family patterns. So ask yourself, can you actually receive love from someone who actually loves you? Who wants to build a life together because as soon as you can really let go of this particular person, in your mind, in your heart, and your soul in your body, go do some cleanses or something like go on a on a solo journey, take a trip by yourself get go to the local park and look at the flowers, take some time for yourself, and then start loving more and more of who you are. And then that’ll shine out. And you’ll actually attract someone who values who you really are


Damona  48:19  

so true. Yeah, and just just just to cap it off. I hear this all the time, like I want. I was in love with this person, and I wanted to marry them. And I just have to remind you, if you’ve said that to a relationship that has ended, you’re not in love with that person. You are in love with the idea of that person. They may are in love with the time you invest in or the idea of marriage or the idea of marriage, but you are not in love with that person. Because if that relationship was going to fulfill all your needs, it would be happening. I’m so


Marla Mattenson  48:49  

glad you said that because people fall in love with the idea of a person.


Marla Mattenson  48:54  

And we have to really I’ve been married in my


Marla Mattenson  48:56  



Damona  48:59  

But it was so Different when I met my husband, and then you look, I swear, you look back at those other relationships and you’re like, how could I thought that that was going to be it for me? So so if you look at it from that perspective, maybe that’ll give you a little bit of hope to that something greater. Yeah is out there for you if you do the work that Marla is recommending, we do have one more question. I want to start. Okay, this is this a little bit different. Jenny says I’ve been divorced for about 10 years, and I’m just getting back into dating. She says when I was 16, I needed an ileostomy. I’m not sure exactly what that is. But she said she needed this position, this medical procedure to save her life. And now she has to wear an external pouch for you know, digestion. So she said her ex had no problems with it. And it didn’t interfere with intimacy. But she’s told guys after a few dates about the pouch, and she’s also waited to tell them in some cases, but in most of the cases, she’s told them the guy ghoster she says, Do I wait until there’s a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?


Marla Mattenson  50:12  

So you think it’s a great question. I think this is a really like beautiful vulnerable question. Absolutely. And


Damona  50:18  

I’m sure a lot of people like maybe you don’t have the the pouch like Jenny does, but maybe you have another mental medical condition or,


Marla Mattenson  50:27  

or feeling shame around certain part of your body or something


Damona  50:29  

body shame, mental health challenge, whatever it is. Everybody has their something.


Marla Mattenson  50:34  

Yeah. How do you do this specific thing is a special case scenario really is.


Marla Mattenson  50:41  

I would say,


Marla Mattenson  50:43  

it depends on who you are. So knowing yourself, so some people are a little more shy. So Jenny, if you’re more of the shy kind of a person, then I would say wait for a significant amount of time before you share that bowl. detail about your life. If you’re more of like a bold, brazen kind of unapologetic person, then then I would say it very early on, I would go very early because if somebody can’t handle that about you, then they can’t handle you.


Marla Mattenson  51:15  

So, bye. Bye, Felicia,


Marla Mattenson  51:18  

we don’t need any of that. Right, right. We need people in our lives who accept and love us for who we are. So if you’re the bold, I’m more of the bold type. So I’m the type who, hey, I’m just gonna lay it on the table right now from the beginning. And if you don’t dig that about me, that’s okay. We won’t be friends. And that’s okay, too. You know, we should doesn’t mean literally like,


Marla Mattenson  51:38  

No, no, no. No, right. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.


Marla Mattenson  51:44  

don’t deal with it. Hey, what about this?


Marla Mattenson  51:47  

You know, and there’s a way to do it, obviously, I’m sure you’re very way more nuanced than what I just tried to say. But really knowing who you are because this is not just about Jenny right? This is about everyone who has that one thing that they don’t Really want to share the beginning they’re not sure. I mean, I actually just wrote an article about, you know how to have difficult money conversations with your partner early in a relationship. And, and so that is it’s so tender to talk about the things that we keep very private, that are just for us that are just for the people who really love and know us. And then we’re opening up to the possibility of a new relationship. You know, on some level, you want to test the waters First, make sure this is someone who’s worthy of that kind of information, not just somebody that you met, that you may be interested in, you know, you want to make sure that it’s on the other side, like there’s one side of it is, who are you? Right? You’re bold, or you’re more shy, where are you in that sort of spectrum? That’s how long you should wait and then also, who’s the other person? Are they worthy of hearing these details? Because you don’t want to just share this with someone who’s gonna go post it on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or you know,


Damona  52:58  

or Yeah, or judge you and Fairly for it like, right. our listeners have heard me say that on dates early on, people have to earn information that’s right from you. So is it something that you would share with like your coworker on the first day at a new job? Is it something that you would tell the person on the bus next to you? If it’s not, then maybe you wait until that you feel that you’ve you’ve earned a little bit of trust in that person? Yeah, they have earned a little


Marla Mattenson  53:26  

and also you can be playful with it. Yeah, right. Yes, like transform it into a superpower. Like, oh, oh, you still use some digestive juices to digest your food. That’s amazing. Because mine totally goes into a bag. Yeah. I’m saying like you could do or whatever your particular bag is. You know, some people have a philosophy bag. People have different things. So you can use your quirky thing as a way to be playful with it.


Damona  53:57  

Yeah, and some people like her situation. is sort of invisible until she becomes intimate, right? There are people I know that are dealing with very, very visible disabilities challenges, like I had a client who had a very pronounced stutter. That got worse when he was attracted to someone or, you know, sexually, you know, interested. And what we worked out with him is for him to acknowledge it just right right away, but to also turn it into a compliment. So he’d say, I’m sorry, I, I have a stutter. And and I actually stutter more around beautiful women. And so then it became sort of brought them it’s almost going back to what you were saying about putting your partner on your team it put your date on your team. Yeah. So that you acknowledge the elephant in the room, but at the same time you brought that person into it?


Marla Mattenson  54:46  

Yes. And then it’s not made into a problem. And here’s the thing. The other piece that I want to say is, if you make your own and it doesn’t sound like you are Jenny, I’m just saying, if if you’re making your own thing, A problem, then that’s the energy that’s going to come through how you communicate it. So before you communicate it, you want to make sure that you’ve made best friends with whatever issue it is that you have, so that you can bring it to the table as not this big huge issue. But as just this is just me,


Damona  55:19  

this isn’t is it? You know, it’s just a thing. Yeah. Yeah. This is such great, great advice. Marla, I’m so glad you could be here to share all of your wisdom with us. And this is such valuable information for people who are both dating and in relationships. And if you go into a new relationship, using some of the tools and techniques that Marla just shared, I’m telling you guys, you’re going to have a completely different experience of it. You can find Marla and Julian colker on social media at the intimacy experts. You can find her online at Marla martinson.com will also be sure to put those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. Marla.


Marla Mattenson  55:59  

Thank you so much. Much. Also don’t forget,


Damona  56:01  

you still have time to find a date for Valentine’s Day. So if you are ready to date differently in 2020, but you don’t know how to get started, the 30 day dating playbook could be your solution. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it is your solution. And it has worked for so many of my clients before and it works quickly. 90% of my clients last year, left my programs dating someone exclusively in as little as eight weeks. So give yourself this gift, get yourself launched into a relationship and maybe even snag a date before Valentine’s Day. You can find that at 30 day dating.com. And that has all of the five steps that I lead my private clients through that help them to go through their dating funnel figure out where they’re looping and get themselves into the relationship that they dream of. And it’s 30 days it’s self led so you have no excuses go to 30 day dating.com And I’ll put the link to the 30 day dating playbook in the show notes as well. And for those of you who want more love support, but maybe you’re not ready for the playbook. We will be launching a Patreon Friends with Benefits Program in February. So please stay tuned for that we’d love to welcome you into the community. I hope you enjoyed Episode 294 updates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. And we’d love to have you join in on the conversation. You can send me your questions for future episodes and you can leave us a review like darlin, Nikki. And also don’t forget to share this episode with a friend who needs to hear Marla’s unbelievable relationship advice. Thank you so much for listening until next week. Wish you happy dating

Modern Fairytales & FOMO


Have you ever logged on to Instagram and it seems like everyone and their mom is getting engaged? Is Instagram-related relationship FOMO impacting your dating life?

On this week’s episode of Dates & Mates, I talk with Hannah Orenstein, Senior Dating Editor at Elite Daily and author of the new novel, Playing With Matches. 


What is sexy-poor?

Do poor men actually have an advantage in dating? D’Marge thinks so.

What you can learn from polyamory?

A recent study on polyamorous couples reveals interesting insights for sexuality. Damona and Hannah break it down. 

Everything that is wrong with your dating profile

Damona’s dating profile tips were featured in Shondaland! Damona and Hannah discuss.

Are #relationshipgoals ruining dating? (14:00)

How social comparison affects your relationships

Hannah writes a lot about how the pressures of social media impact dating today. Are you really living your best life if it’s not on Instagram?

Yes you can! Hannah and I had a great discussion about social comparison and how it affects dating today.

We go in-depth on:

  • What to do if you and your partner have different social media habits
  • What modern fairytales look like
  • What is “sexy-poor” and why should it matter?
  • What to do if your date never asks you questions about yourself?


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 should you do if your date doesn’t ask you questions about yourself?
  • If the don’t bother to fill out a bio, swipe left?
  • Should you wait for someone who’s working on the 12 step program?

Millennial Dating & First Date Sex

Our guest co-host this week was Jamie Faye. An internationally certified dating and relationship coach, Jamie currently lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and helps coach individual and couples in their personal, romantic, and professional relationships, with a special emphasis on millennials.



What is a mixed-weight relationship and why does it matter?

There’s recently been some discussion revolving around mixed-weight relationships, a relationship where there’s a notable difference in size between partners. Some find it a descriptor that can help you find power in labels, while others find it problematic and unnecessary. You can read more via Refinery29 here.

Device use can seriously impact relationships

A recent Kaspersky Lab study showed that 55% of couples argue about devices and their use. Though there’s a wide variety of specific reasons, the most common issue of contention is couples using a device while face-to-face with their partner. You can read more via Deccan Chronicle here.

Can you have sex on the first date in the age of #MeToo?

The conversation around sex and dating has seen some radical shifts: how about for as something as time-honored as the “three date rule”? Opinions vary, but there could be some benefit to getting hot and heavy early on in the relationship. You can read more via the Sydney Morning Herald.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App, including:

  • What to do if you don’t feel like a priority after six months of dating
  • How to handle an ex that’s using Snapchat to keep tabs on you
  • How to know whether you should give up on a guy or not

And many more . . .


Damona got something under her skin this week, so it was time for another Diatribe. Up on the chopping block this time around: those who don’t read beyond the headlines.

Sexperts & Date Expectations

Our guest co-hosts this week were Tyomi Morgan-Najieb and Naim Najieb. Tyomi and Naim are life partners that work together to help couples with sex and love. Tyomi is an International Pleasure Coach and sexpert that aims to represent people of color in mainstream sexuality. Meanwhile, Naim is a love educator, entrepreneur, and author of the book Love Is Not a Game: A Manual for Loving Relationships.



Dating app uses a team of moms to help its users with love

The dating app Inner Circle allows its users to get advice from a customer support team consisting of six moms, all of whom are married with children and believe that they’ve “conquered the dating game.” Users must be vetted by the team after analyzing social media profiles, but once you’re in, the moms will console you after breakups, give personalized tips on how to get more responses, and much more. You can read more via Mashable here.

Can you pick a partner based on voice?

A new app, Waving, has you swipe left and right based on a voice message. Men with lower voices and women with higher voices are typically found more attractive, but experts say that varying the tone of your voice is the most important. Nevertheless, some are skeptical that you can find love without an initial visual element. You can read more via Independent here.

Posture affects your results on dating apps

According to a Princeton study, expansive posture increases your success on dating apps. These kinds of stances suggest dominance and openness, which are seen as attractive. So for an easy boost in results, unfold those arms! You can read more via Independent here.

Vanessa Trump’s dating past

Vanessa Trump, soon to be Vanessa Hayden once the ink is dry on her divorce from Donald Trump Jr., was once attached to a Hollywood heartthrob. Sleuths have uncovered the fact that Vanessa was Leonardo DiCaprio’s beau in 1998 during the time Titanic came out. Though the publicist officially denied it at the time, several photos show them getting very cozy. You can read more via Elite Daily here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • What to do if the guy you just had sex with got back together with his girlfriend
  • How to feel about pets in the room while you’re having sex
  • What to do if you’re in it for love but he’s in it for sex

And many more . . .


We asked Tyomi and Naim for their lightning fast love advice in an installment of Dating Dot Dot Dot:

  • Who pays on a date?
  • Is it acceptable for a woman to be the breadwinner in a relationship?
  • Is it OK for a woman to propose?

The Power of Positivity & Office Crush

Our guest co-host this week was Evin Rose Lipman. Stuck in a corporate sales job in her 20s, Evin realized that she was trapped in a routine and needed to get her groove and inner light back. With the help of friends and loved ones, Evin moved to California and became a life coach, hoping to bring others joy and help them establish and nurture meaningful and authentic personal relationships. Now a personal coach, the host of gatherings for women in LA, and a leader of a passionate online community, we talked to Evin about the power of positivity in your dating life.


Users revolt against OKCupid name-change update

OKCupid recently announced an initiative to get their users to identify themselves with something other than a screen name. It did not go over well. While OKCupid thought it would lead to an increased sense of authenticity, users were wary about having identifying information attached to the dating service’s extensive questionnaire. OKCupid is rapidly backpedaling, saying that a “name” only needs to consist of a minimum of two letters, but there is still trouble in the ranks. You can read more via Salon here.

The most popular dating day of the year

The most popular dating day of the year is right around the corner! Right around 9 PM EST on Sunday, January 8th, Match.com predicts seeing a 104% increase in users for 48 hours. If you’re thinking of getting back into the game in 2018, you’ve got a few days to get yourself together! You can read more via the Chicago Tribune here.

The first celebrity engagement of 2018

Paris Hilton got hitched on New Year’s Day, kicking off what’s sure to be another exciting year for celebrity matchmaking. Boyfriend Chris Zylka proposed while the pair we’re on a skiing trip in Aspen. As Paris would say, “That’s hot!” Best of luck to the new couple. You can read more via Hello! Magazine here.


We pull the best questions posted on The Textpert App and BlackPeopleMeet.com, including:

  • How to get over an office crush
  • How to handle a boring texter
  • What to do if your boyfriend won’t give you his social media passwords

And many more . . .


We got Evin’s lightning-fast love advice in another rapid-fire rendition of Dating Dot Dot Dot, this time with new questions!

The worst pickup line ever is ________
The best place to go on a first date is ________
The sexiest thing about a woman is __________
The sexiest thing about a man is _________
The most important thing for a relationship to last is __________


It’s been awhile since Damona got in the hot seat, but she had something to get off her chest on this week’s episode. In her crosshairs this time around are those who have a vision, but not a solidified plan. Turn your ideas into a reality and listen to Damona’s Diatribe for a little pep talk.


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