Tag Archive for: single

Boundary Bubble & Fourth Date Day

It’s that time of year… Mariah Carey has her Santa hat on and Starbucks has changed their cup color to red.

The holidays are a magical moment when family comes together and people celebrate. But the same things that make it so great can create some strain – like cramped spaces, a little too much booze and overly nosey visitors.

You know what you need my friend? Boundaries. Both to make it through the crush of cuffing season and to make it through another holiday with well-intentioned family and friends.

And that’s why we have relationship and recovery coach Dufflyn Lammers joining Damona this week. She’ll be outlining how to set healthy boundaries with your loved ones AND dates so you can have a happy and healthy holiday season.


Just FYI, your fourth date should absolutely be a day-date.

A new article from Cosmopolitan Magazine gives several reasons to go for the day-date during your fourth meetup. Firstly, the fourth date is still early enough that if red flags come up during the date, you can make your exit. The day-date also provides less pressure to dress to perfection or play up the sex appeal. And unless you’re doing mimosas for brunch, you can’t hide behind alcohol during a day-date. You can also escape that pre-date anxiety since you’re not waiting around all day.

Damona is a fan for a different reason – the day-date gives you a deeper understanding of your matches’ personality. The goal of the first three dates is to give and receive as much authenticity as possible. So going out for lunch, coffee, a hike etc. is more likely to create opportunities for connection than hiding behind a few drinks.

Additionally, Damona gives tips for why activity dates (aka bowling, mini golf, hiking) can play a role in feeling more attracted to your match…


**REMINDER: Our big cuffing season giveaway with OkCupid is still on through December 15!!! Just share this episode or your fav episode of Dates and Mates to social media, then tag Damona (@damonahoffman) and OkCupid (@okcupid) for a chance to win three FREE months of OKCupid Premium.



Dufflyn Lammers is a relationship and recovery coach with over 10 years of experience. More specifically, she’s trained in attachment repair, tantra, intervention, and personal coaching.

She has published and performed for the LA Times, In The Rooms, The Fix, She Recovers Foundation, The International Conference on Addiction and Associated Disorders, National Association for Poetry Therapy, HBO, NBC, and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

(12:00) Learn to voice your expectations.

Defining our boundaries can take time, but as Dufflyn observes, “that’s the big thing that boundaries give us is an opportunity to be our authentic selves.”

When we know our boundaries but don’t express them, we often end up in situations where we feel disrespected or betrayed. But how can the other person have an opportunity to show up for us if we don’t let them know what we expect? Set up your expectation, and THEN see how that person shows up.

(16:36) Boundaries are gates, not walls.

We set up boundaries around others to protect ourselves and make us feel safe, right? But that doesn’t mean we can’t be flexible. Dufflyn compares boundaries as being alike to gates rather than walls, which more easily allow us to come together with another human who isn’t us. “When two people come together, there’s always negotiation. We say these are my standards and boundaries and these are the other person’s. Do they match?”

Dufflyn also maps the different levels of boundaries, and explains how setting boundaries is a kind thing to do for ourselves AND other people.

(23:25) The MOST common myths about boundaries.

The top misconception Dufflyn hears about boundaries is that maintaining boundaries will hurt people’s feelings. “The truth is when we stop pleasing people, people aren’t pleased, right? But the fact that they’re not pleased doesn’t mean that we should trash our boundaries. It might actually mean the opposite – that this was overdue. Or that they’re uncomfortable.”

Damona asks if there’s a right and wrong way to express our boundaries. There is no right and wrong way, but only the most compassionate way. Dufflyn’s strategy is to “top and tail” your boundary. A.K.A. Top it (acknowledge the other person), then express your boundary, and finally tail it (how you will take action or collaborate with the other person).

(31:24) Let’s regulate these emotions…

One of the biggest obstacles we may face when setting boundaries is unregulated emotions. Because it’s really hard to place a boundary when family members or other people are pushing against them, right? Dufflyn adds, “If you’ve got two people that are both dysregulated, they’re not going to be able to regulate one another, which is the primary way that we find regulation, right? It’s co-regulation with another person.”

So how do we emotionally regulate in those moments? By having a few people who we can rely on to help us emotionally regulate, rather than relying solely on our partners, matches or a family member. Not sure who to call? Dufflyn likes to imagine the conversation ahead of time. She says, “Before I dial, I think, will this person make me feel regulated?”


Be sure to follow Dufflyn on Instagram @Dufflyn. Dufflyn has also created a FREE guide for Dates & Mates listeners – The 8 Top Tips for Getting Through the Holidays With Boundaries


And if you want to work with Dufflyn ASAP, her new workshop Boundaries Are The New Black is going LIVE on Saturday December 17, 2022 at 7PM CET.



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


  • Email from Anonymous – Dear Damona, I am a 25 year old female and I have been putting a lot of effort into online dating recently and have been challenging myself to go on at least one date per week. So far there is one trend that I run into a lot while talking to men online and that is they don’t ask me questions about myself. I will ask them a question like what is your favorite genre of music for example and they will respond with a long paragraph but then not think to ask me the question in return. It really frustrates me because I feel as though this is a lack of awareness and interest in me and it really turns me off. It really is a dealbreaker. Am I overreacting? Is there a way I can communicate this without sounding overly negative and judgmental? I don’t know what to do and I am tired of carrying the conversation and not getting the same effort in return. Thank you!

Gender Wars & Broken Picker

Gender norms are evolving rapidly but online there still seems to be a lot of rhetoric circulating about things like alpha males and high value women. 

And while there is no doubt that there are certain characteristics of these labels that are valued by many, like a strong work ethic or being accountable, I’ve been wondering if these terms and the online communities that seem to be building around them are driving us further away from authentic love and true understanding between the sexes.

And that’s why we have one of the hottest multi-platform content creators, Chris Thompson, here to break down the gender war he’s witnessing online and to share his methods for coming back to a place of peace. 


Should dating references be required in online dating?

We all go to Yelp for reviews on new restaurants – but what if you could do the same thing for potential dates? A recent article from Refinery29 makes the case for why dating references should become the new norm in online dating. The article cites a lot of scary statistics about the potential dangers of online dating – but Damona wants you to remember that it’s really unlikely that some of these extreme situations will happen to you. More likely, your worst case scenario will be realizing you and your date are incredibly incompatible.

But if something does happen to you, report this user to the app immediately! Because there’s no way that apps can police toxic or dangerous behavior if we’re not reporting it.

P.S. If you’re really nervous about online catfishing, listen to Damona’s interview with Kamie Crawford, co-host of MTV’s hit show Catfish. She shares her top tips on how to research your matches before you meet IRL. 


**If you’re looking for a little more discovery in your dating life, try out Damona’s FREE Profile Starter Kit to magnetize your dating profile. (This won’t be free forever, so get it while you can!!)



Chris Thompson is a veteran of the influencer industry and has an audience of over 2 million. He also hosts the podcast, Unfiltered Friends, where he helps your favorite creators tell their personal stories.

(12:15) Let’s end the Gender Wars.

The dominant theme amidst Chris’s social media content is discussing gender roles (or breaking down the “Gender Wars”). When we say “gender wars,” we are referring to the strict thinking that men must support men and women must support women, solely. In this line of thinking, people tend to blame the opposite gender for their horrible dating experiences. Chris believes that this divide is mostly created when we project our dating disappointment & resentment onto each other.

Chris also gives details about his experience interviewing someone who has narcissistic personality disorder, and how our mainstream fantasies about love actually allow narcissistic people to manipulate us more easily. (Say whaaaat?)

(22:38) Look beyond the checklist.

When dating apps give us access to more matches than we could ask for, it’s great to be specific about what you’re looking for in a partner. But if our must-haves consist of mainly surface level qualities, sticking with this checklist can begin to dehumanize our matches. Make sure your must-have qualities help determine your long-term compatibility with someone, and allow potential partners to be included in the building of your relationship. 

Chris and Damona also discuss (and debunk) the idea of what it means to be a “high value” woman or man.

(28:30) Alpha-male atrocity…

Let’s get one thing straight – Alpha-male culture is ridiculous and should not be seen as an exemplary approach towards dating. That being said, there is a reason why so many men have continued to gravitate towards the Alpha Male persona. Damona believes that this attraction comes from a place of pain and feeling as though they are not enough. Chris states that in order to alieve the toxic symptoms of alpha-male culture, we must approach the situation with compassion. 

**Note: compassion does NOT mean validation. Of course alpha-male culture tends to validate really crappy and toxic behavior, which is never okay. But the more we can understand where toxic behavior is coming from, the more we can help to heal it.


Be sure to follow Chris on Instagram and TikTok @SupDaily and check out his podcast, Unfiltered Friends, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.



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


IG Message from E – Hi Damona – help! I discovered your podcast a few months ago and listen a few times a week when I walk. I go on lots of dates. Men usually ask me out on a second and third date. I have actually turned down numerous opportunities with nice guys who want a relationship. I’m not attracted to most of the guys I date! What do I do? Am I picking the wrong people? I find the really attractive guys are often jerks or have very different values (like very conservative, anti-abortion, that sort of thing). I’m starting to wonder – is it me? Is it my selection strategy?

Sexual Attraction & Post-Divorce Dating

Whether or not you’ve been through a bad breakup, we can all agree that no one gets into a relationship intending to call it quits. But unfortunately people sometimes grow apart to the point where the best thing for them to do is to split. 

It really depends on the situation, but just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean your love story is over. You’re just moving on to your next chapter!

And that’s why we have best-selling author and relationship coach, Jennifer Hurvitz, joining Damona today. She will share her personal experience and outline how to return to dating after a big breakup.


What you should know if there’s no sexual attraction for your partner, according to a therapist:

You go on a first date with someone you’ve been chatting with, and it goes great! A few more dates pass by and you eventually decide to take things to the bedroom… only to find out that your sexual connection may not be up to par with your romantic one. Now what??

Well according to a recent CNN article, a lot more goes into physical attraction than we realize. Dr. Justin Lehmiller of the Kinsey Institute notes that physical attractiveness “doesn’t actually top the list for men or women… traits like intelligence, humor, honesty and kindness are often at least as important, if not more.” The article also points out that in hetero relationships, men more often internalize an “either/or” view of women– those who make great wives and mothers and those who are sexually adventurous.

All that being said, can sexual attraction make or break a relationship? Damona observes that in current dating culture, there’s a big difference between “I can do what I want to do and experience pleasure without labels” (which we’re all for), and “I am pursuing pleasure at my own expense and not getting my core needs met.” Damona explains how to build more awareness of this, and why sex actually gets better the more you get to know your partner.


Jennifer Hurvitz is a relationship expert and dating coach. She is the best-selling author of “Midlife Priceless: A Dating Coach’s Guide to *Finally* Doing Relationships Right” and the host of the podcast Doing Relationships Right.

(12:40) The hardest thing about dating after divorce.

There are many aspects that make dating after divorce difficult, from rediscovering your sense of self to becoming intimate with a new person. But Jennifer shares what the biggest hurdle was for her – “I don’t know why I get so emotional and talk about it. But it’s really frightening to do it all again, after you think you’re with this one person forever.”

Part of Jennifer’s journey back into dating was accepting that you don’t have to be the perfect version of yourself in order to put yourself out there. Because realistically, we are never going to be the ABSOLUTE perfect version of ourselves. The only thing you can be prepared to do is put trust in who you are, and take that first leap into the dating pool.

Jennifer also gives tips on how you should go about revealing your relationship history (especially if your history is kind of a complicated one).

(18:00) D.A.T.E.

Much like Damona discussed with family therapist Jordan Green last week, Jennifer also likes to break down the dating process into four different stages, which she calls D.A.T.E. – Decide, Attract, Trust, and Evolve. “You decide who you want to go out with, you attract (or you realize you’re not attracted to the person). And then basically, you either trust them or you don’t. And then you evolve together.” 

Jennifer points out that the Decide phase is crucial, because it is the catalyst for growth in your dating journey. Deciding not only refers to deciding to pursue a specific person, but also speaks to making the choice to date AT ALL (that’s that first leap we referred to before). 

Damona and Jennifer also discuss why it’s important to choose your boundaries instead of choosing to “go with the flow” in social situations.

(26:25) Trust & time.

Developing trust is a slippery slope that, in dating, we have to learn to bounce back from. But Jennifer poses a great question – do you trust until someone gives you a reason not to trust them? Or do you go in not trusting and they have to prove themselves?

Jennifer believes that in order to develop trust in any relationship, time has to be a core factor. Because no one can create a really solid foundation overnight, especially if you’re coming out of a situation like a divorce or breakup where you’ve already been burned. 

Side note: did you know that in some states, if you’re dating someone who is separated, that person’s partner can sue you?? Jennifer breaks down the legalities of dating someone who is separated and why these laws exist.


Be sure to follow Jennifer on Instagram @DoingRelationshipsRight and check out her book, ‘Midlife Priceless: A Dating Coach’s Guide to *Finally* Doing Relationships Right.’ And, listen to Doing Relationships Right wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.



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

IG Message from M – Dear Damona: First off, I love, love, LOVE your podcast! Your energy is amazing! So, I’ve been divorced for 12 years, had off and on relationships that typically ended when the guys cheated or were commitment phobes. I’ve finally met someone, and we’ve been dating for 3 months now. My question to you is when do we know if we’re being too picky, unrealistic, or holding onto an idealized connection that may never materialize? On paper, my boyfriend is great. We enjoy each other’s company, but already things are a bit mundane. The sex isn’t great, but it’s not the focus of our connection (that’s where I’ve messed up in the past). I just really desire someone who stirs my soul, but that hasn’t happened yet with someone who desires a committed relationship (that desire usually only happens with f*ck boys).


Dating App Identity & Partner Power Struggles

Dating happens in stages, but did you know that relationships do too? We’re not just talking about the traditional path of dating, committing and getting married. There’s more to it than that, a whole lot more.

And that is why we’ve got family therapist Jordan Green on Dates & Mates today.  She’ll be breaking down the 5 stages of every relationship to help you navigate the ups and downs that come with time. After all, no relationship is perfect.

And the timing is perfect too! It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. and some of you might be accelerating your relationship to the next level by blending families this holiday… or you might need to “Define the Relationship” after spending a week dodging questions from nosy family members. Either way, we give thanks to you for listening to this episode.


The No. 1 thing that makes relationships successful:

Have y’all ever heard of the Gottman Institute? I bet you have. The Gottman Institute was co-founded by Drs. John and Julie Schwartz Gottman and helps provide practical, research-based tools to strengthen relationships. (Just for perspective, the Gottmans have studied over 40,000 couples.)

In a recent article for CNBC, John and Julie Gottman shared the number one factor they’ve nailed down for relationship success – turning toward your partner instead of turning away. Basically, turning toward your partner is acknowledging them and engaging with their attempt to connect. These attempts could show up as making eye contact with you, giving you a smile, asking you for help, or even just saying good morning. On the other hand, turning away is actively ignoring or not noticing your partner’s attempt to make a connection. And even more detrimental is turning against, which is irritably or angrily shutting down their attempt to connect.

It seems simple enough, and Damona says it all boils down to just having good communication (which is one of D’s four pillars of long-term compatibility – shared goals, shared values, trust, & communication/conflict resolution). Remember that we are not born knowing how to communicate, but we can always practice it. 

Read the article for tips on how to practice turning toward…


Jordan Green is a family therapist and the founder and CEO of Remble, a relationship improvement and mental health app.

Before that, Jordan founded and managed a membership community called The Love Group, which offered monthly courses and collaborated with therapists from around the world.

(12:00) A little more about Remble…

Being a therapist herself, Jordan says she has received tons of DM’s from women who were struggling in their relationships and seeking advice, but were not inspired to sign up for any of the preexisting therapy websites. 

This led her to launch Remble, an app which collaborates with therapists from around the world to offer courses, daily short-form videos, journaling prompts, and even on-hand conversation questions that you can ask during your date.

(16:07) Unfolding the 5 relationship stages.

Jordan offers up some insight from psychologist and author Dr. Susan Campbell, who pinpointed the five stages we all experience in a relationship after doing a study with hundreds of couples. 

Those five stages are: 1) Romance, 2) Power Struggle, 3) Stability, 4) Commitment, and 5) Co-creation.

Damona asks Jordan to clarify what happens in the power struggle stage & why it’s important. (Spoiler alert: this is the stage where couples either break up, or push through and become stronger.)

(21:21) Codependent vs. interdependent vs. independent

Jordan states that in all relationships – “there’s me, there’s you, and then there’s us. But in a healthy relationship, ideally, you have a good balance between all those parts.” And, that balance is where you will find interdependence. Jordan goes through the challenges that one might face when being too codependent or independent, and what you can do to rebalance yourself in your relationships with others.

(26:30) Is the bar too high?

We are Team Dating App all the way, but Damona brings up the observation that sometimes people focus too acutely on having certain things in common. Instead of focusing so much on whether they like tennis or not, think more about the questions that matter. Like – what is this person’s character? What values are important to them? What are some of the characteristics and qualities that I see in them that I’m actually looking for in a partner? Nails down these answers, and then let go of your attachment to exactly what that has to look like.

(32:17) Wants, needs, and boundaries.

Communicating can be really hard. And if healthy communication wasn’t modeled for us growing up, trying to express hard feelings can accidentally come out as criticism. So Damona asks Jordan for any wise words regarding expressing boundaries and what you need. 

She shares a simple formula for communicating your feelings – I feel [blank] about [blank], and I need [blank]. “This helps the other person to understand how you feel, and it gives them a recipe for how they can best support you…”


Be sure to follow Jordan on Instagram @the.love.therapist and check out the Remble app!




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

Email from Nikki – Hi there. I’m 51 and would love to be in a meaningful relationship in the next year. I’ve been single for 11 years. My son is 13 now and I’m ready. Do you have any specific tips for Bumble? That seems like a healthy place for professionals to meet other professionals. Thanks for the work you do!


Financial Love Languages & Dating Against Type

Real talk: when was the last time you discussed money on a date? Probably never. It’s always a taboo topic – until the check comes. It’s time we destigmatize talking about money on a date. 

And that’s why we have best-selling author and host of the Money Rehab podcast, Nicole Lapin, joining us on Dates & Mates today. She will be outlining how to navigate the conversation and develop a financial love language for a happier, healthier and more secure relationship.



Do you have a type? Maybe what you think you want and what you actually prefer don’t match up.

A recent study from the University of Toronto has us questioning if having a “type” is really all that legit. According to the study, the qualities that we think we like in a partner depend on the social context in which we encounter these qualities. For example, you attend a great party and the people there happen to be really funny. Then you come away thinking, “gosh, I prefer funny people.” But it was really just a great party.

Andre Wang, one of the co-authors of the study, said “it could be that people are so constrained by their own ideas about liking, that they are limiting their dating pool.” But good news – understanding the distinction between what we think we like vs what actually drives us to like someone can actually be a useful tool!

Damona describes how this reaction is actually related to something called “the familiarity principle” and how gravitating toward what’s familiar may be part of our biological attraction towards safety.


Nicole Lapin is a financial journalist, television news anchor and businesswoman known for her work on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and MSNBC. 

Nicole is also a New York Times bestselling author of four books, including her most recent one “Miss Independent: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Start Investing and Grow Your Own Wealth.” She is also the host of the podcast Money Rehab where she rehabs your wallet so you can get your financial life together.

(14:20) Financial first-date etiquette.

Damona and Nicole dive into the classic first-date debate – who picks up the check? And is there a certain etiquette we should be aware of when talking about money on a first date? 

Nicole shares that you can actually get a glimpse of someone’s financial situation and habits by asking them about their goals. “Goals have price tags… It’s timing, it’s tone, it’s turf. It’s having a glass of wine, talking about your hopes and dreams, and then getting into sort of how you’re going to pay for those hopes and dreams. Versus, you know, approaching it in an aggressive way.”

(20:15) A question of property.

Damona gets Nicole’s thoughts on what it means for a woman to own property (which is often rumored to be a turn-off). Nicole points out that “I think it’s just not the right person if it’s a turn off. There will be a person for whom it’s a turn on.”

Women have also expressed to Damona that if they own property or make investments, they’re afraid their partner may see this as a free ride. To that Nicole says: “I think that is about being really clear whether or not you want somebody who makes the same amount of money as you or more or whatever. “ 

Plus, Nicole breaks down the difference between good debt (there’s such a thing?) & bad debt.

(25:13) We all have financial trauma.

Our individual relationships to money are as unique as our upbringings. Which is why Nicole says we all have our own version of financial trauma. There is bigger trauma like having your house foreclosed on or family members being in debt, but Nicole also says that financial trauma can be vicarious. “It can be in your friend group. Like do a lot of your friends have a bunch of debt? Do they hide purchases from their significant others?” This all affects your FQ (financial intelligence).

Nicole also explains how to deal with a financial imbalance in your relationship (hint: there will be an imbalance in EVERY relationship).

(28:40) What to ask before move-in day…

The relationship expectations for moving in together have definitely shifted over the years – now everyone feels the freedom to go by their own timeline. But does this affect the kinds of financial conversations we should be having before merging homes? Nicole says the foremost thing to be aware of is knowing whose name the bills are under. “I’ve seen women in particular get screwed in one of two ways. Either the bills are under somebody else’s name, and so they’re not accumulating credit. Or the bills are under their name and they’re not getting paid, so their credit is getting screwed.”

(32:45) Setting yourself up for success.

So is there something more we should be doing to set ourselves up for financial (and in turn romantic) success? Nicole states that compound interest is our best friend, although we are familiar with it when it works against us through credit cards. Nicole also shares her favorite spending plan called The Three E’s – essentials, endgame, and extras.

Learn more about Nicole at NicoleLapin.com & be sure to follow her on Instagram @NicoleLapin for more investment tips.



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

Email from B – I met a nice guy on a dating app. We’ve had wonderful conversations. The problem is when we did our first video chat, I noticed he has rotten teeth. I do NOT see myself kissing him. What do I do?


Dating Dance Cards & Catch a Catfish

It’s officially cuffing season folks! The days are shorter and colder, and many of us are feeling that urge to spend more time cozying up in a warm place. And we may want to cozy up with a partner. So that’s exactly what cuffing season is. It’s a reference to being handcuffed or tied to one partner up before your imagination goes wild. It’s not the kinky kind. It’s just the partnership kind. 

That’s why we have MTV’s Catfish co-host and host of the podcast Relationsh*t, Kamie Crawford, joining us today. She’ll be bringing you up to speed on all things dating, from the apps to catfishing and beyond, so that we can get YOU cuffed.


We’re bringing back a classic Dates & Mates segment: Romance Rollback! 

If you’re new to this segment, Damona will be taking a classic romance, dating, courtship, or relationship tradition that you may or may not have heard of – we’ll tell you what it is, how it worked and what we can apply from the customs of yesteryear to today’s dating and relationship scene.

Dance cards: A classic ballroom custom

Have you ever heard the phrase “my dance card is full”? This is in reference to the 1830s ballroom tradition. Basically, a dance card was a card that was provided at large balls with a list of chosen dances for the evening & a blank space beside each dance. Ladies each had a card and when a gentleman asked her to dance, he would write his name in the space for a particular agreed upon dance.

Damona dives into how dance cards came into fashion, lists off some other ballroom etiquette of the time and breaks down the modern love lessons we can learn from them.


Kamie Crawford is a television host, podcast host and model. She co-hosts the MTV hit series, Catfish, and hosts the amazing podcast Relationsh*t, an advice podcast that covers all relationship topics – the good, the bad and the straight up sh*tty.

**Want to hear some Valentine’s Day do’s & don’ts? It may seem a ways out, but is it ever to early to prepare?  Check out Damona on the Relationsh*t podcast with Kamie Crawford here!

(14:50) Friends can catfish too??

Having been co-hosting MTV’s Catfish since 2019, it makes sense that Kamie would have some firsthand experience with catfishing. But what surprised Damona is that it wasn’t a potential match that was misleading her – it was her close friend and roommate! According to Kamie, her friend had faked an engagement, posted about a fiancé that didn’t exist, and posed as traveling to a bunch of different countries.

Moral of the story: You can even be catfished by people that you know in real life, so don’t blame yourself if you couldn’t see it beforehand. 

Kamie also gives us the scoop on how she researches potential matches before meeting them IRL (hint: Google is your friend).

(20:47) Dating profile red flags

Kamie and Damona discuss the bizarre pictures they’ve both seen on dating profiles. Remember that you should be the star of your dating profile, because whoever matches with you is going to be dating YOU – not your dog, not your group of best friends, not your friend’s baby. So make sure that your pictures are always showcasing parts of your personality.

 (29:00) What is the Texting Trap?

It’s one thing to have really great texting banter with someone, but it’s another thing if you never actually meet in person. This is what Damona calls the “Texting Trap” – when you and your match are endlessly messaging back and forth but never actually make plans to talk on the phone, Zoom, or meet in person. 

Damona and Kamie talk about the importance of in-person chemistry, and how “90% of your dating problems are going to be solved if you do a phone call or a quick video chat before you meet.”


Be sure to follow Kamie on Instagram @KamieCrawford and listen to the Relationsh*t Podcast wherever you listen to Dates & Mates. 



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

IG Message from Renee – Hi Damona! I am a young widow – it’s been almost two years since my husband passed away (we were married for 13 years). Although I’m on instagram and etcetera, I am 100% new to dating apps and have been extremely reluctant to join one. However, I’m very restless at this point (not to mention horny) and have finally decided maybe I should try one (or two or three). I think I just need to date and not take it so seriously (as in looking for a hubby) since I’m sure I still am working through the loss in my own way. Do you have any tips for someone in my situation?

Building Trust & New Partner Nerves

Relationships are trial and error, a learning curve, a journey. Each date brings new experiences and a little (or maybe a lot) more self-awareness. You start to develop a sense of your needs and wants, establish your boundaries, and navigate towards a partner that shares your goals and values.

But the story doesn’t end once you find your partner. In fact, it’s always being written. 

That’s the joy in love AND the reason Dr. Pia Holec, one of the experts from Married At First Sight, will be joining us today. She will be sharing tips on how to expand trust and build intimacy with a partner for a healthier, more satisfying relationship.


Toxic forgiveness – is it really possible to forgive and forget?:

Have y’all ever heard of Red Table Talk, the talk show led by Jada Pinkett Smith & her daughter Willow? During a recent episode, Jada and Willow had Will’s ex-wife, Cherie, on the show to clear the air about some things that rubbed each other the wrong way from way back (and to potentially forgive & forget). They did this all with the help of relationship expert Nedra Glover Tawwab, but you might know her from Instagram

In her new book, Nedra coined the term “toxic forgiveness.” So our friends at PopSugar asked, what exactly is toxic forgiveness? According to Nedra, it is the unhealthy way we pretend to be “over it” in an effort to move on quicker. 

Damona goes over why we feel in such a hurry to forgive when we’re not ready, and poses a thoughtful question – who is our forgiveness really for?


DR. PIA HOLEC (8:20)

Dr. Pia Holec is a psychologist, sex therapist, relationship guru and speaker. And to top it all off, she was an expert this year on the 15th Season of Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight.”

(9:22) The relationships of Married At First Sight.

Being in a relationship is one thing, but starting a relationship through a reality show is a completely different ball game. Besides the relationships on MAFS undergoing an extremely accelerated process, Dr. Pia also has to ask her clients on the show – what are you willing to do in order to make this work?

Plus, Dr. Pia gives us the 4 biggest factors that are affecting relationships and the way we communicate today.

(13:04) Being prepared for a relationship.

Damona believes that you have to prepare for the relationship that you want to have, and Dr. Pia says that being single (or living in your “single season”) is the perfect time to prepare. “Your single season is the time to work on yourself, so that you can be a fully formed adult when entering into a relationship… Conflict arises and issues come up when you’re expecting your partner to complete you, or help you figure out what you want and what you need.”

Dr. Pia also shares the kinds of questions you should ask yourself to be relationship-ready.

(15:38) Defining trust.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle we have to jump when dating is learning to trust someone. Damona defines trust as “when you see that someone’s words match their actions consistently over time.” Dr. Pia continues that trust is usually what we equate with safety.

She adds that when it comes to trust, “your feelings are real… they’re not always based in facts, though.” Dr. Pia helps her clients and couples on MAFS cultivate trust by grounding themselves in the present moment. This way, they are able to take a pause on their emotions and focus solely on the facts of a situation.

Dr. Pia describes the power in naming our own trauma (and how to do it).

(21:00) Is your therapist third-wheeling?

We LOVE that everyone is so open about going to therapy these days (according to the stats at Hinge & OkCupid, people are actually more likely to swipe right if you go therapy). But for those who are not as comfortable sharing our mental health journey on our dating profile, Damona asks Dr. Pia for some advice on bringing up this topic with new matches.

Dr Pia says: Just put it out there in the open. Acknowledging that you go to therapy won’t feel awkward if we don’t let it feel awkward, right? It’s a beautiful thing to be in touch with your emotions… And if that person judges you for bringing up mental health early on in dating, then chances are they’re not your person!

(26:55) Is it love bombing, or are they just being honest?

If you haven’t heard, love bombing happens when someone showers you with attention or affection to gain your trust, in order to manipulate or control you. It sounds scary, but it’s very easy to stop love bombing in its tracks if you know what to look out for.

Our gut and intuition will almost always tell us what’s up. But if you’d like more proof that your spidey senses are correct, try asking yourself these questions:

❓Are they only saying nice things?

❓Are they trying to isolate you from your family?

❓Do they use phrasing like you were meant for each other or belong together?

❓Do you feel a sense of safety with this person?

❓How do I feel with this person? Then ask – how do I feel when I’m NOT with this person?


Check out Married At First Sight on Lifetime and follow Dr. Pia on Instagram @SexDrPia for more of her amazing advice.



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

Email from Emily – ​​I had breast cancer and a lumpectomy in 2020. I wasn’t dating actively before my diagnosis, but this year I decided to start actively looking. I have been on the dating apps and talking to people. When do I tell the person I am getting to know about my cancer? I have scars on my body I can’t hide if I choose to be intimate. I also have side effects from my radiation. Nobody talks about life and dating after cancer treatment. How does a 48 yr old never married, no kids kinda woman navigate the dating world?


Halloween Dating Horror & Crimes of the Heart

This week’s episode of Dates & Mates is gonna get a little spookier than usual… because it’s almost Halloween!

This is one of our favorite times of the year here at Dates & Mates, because we all get to dress up, get creative and find a sense of play. 

Give yourself permission to get a little weird this year. It’s okay. In fact, it’s often something people are attracted to, both platonically and romantically.

If you prefer to stay in, try making some spooky cookies and listening to a Halloween themed playlist. But if you want to get out and get dressed up with a friend, then we’ve got some of the TOP costumes for couples coming up!

Then actress, singer-songwriter, and host of the podcast, Crimes of the Heart, Rory Uphold will be joining us to share her dating horror stories and the lessons she’s learned from them.


Costumes ideas that are cute, but not the nauseating kind of cute:

Damona gives us her fav suggestions on this year’s top Halloween costumes.

Hot tip: Damona notes that costume pics work GREAT in dating profiles. They show your sensibility, your sense of humor, what cultural references you lean towards, and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. 

**If this Halloween tip piqued your interest, you’ll be amazed at what else Damona has to share about your dating profile in the FREE Profile Starter Kit. Click here to check it out.




Rory Uphold is the host of Crimes of the Heart, a podcast where singles and couples share their most tragic and embarrassing love, dating and sex stories. She is also an actress and a singer-songwriter.

(12:05) The parallels between love & horror

Rory shared how she happened upon hosting a crime/horror podcast about love (and how the two feelings are more alike than you may think). 

Plus, Roy and Damona discuss what defines a “dating horror story.” Because sometimes the scariest thing of all is waking up next to someone you DEFINITELY regret gettin’ it on with.

(15:55) YOUR Dating Horror Stories

Damona and Rory dive into some frightful dating stories submitted by five Dates & Mates listeners, then give their thoughts on what went wrong. These tales include:

🎃A weirdly ambiguous accent… (16:47)

🎃A chin-to-forehead tongue kiss… (27:00)

🎃A man on all fours… (34:05)

🎃Kissing a waiter on the lips… (36:00)

🎃Fire-throwing in a park… (40:10)


Be sure to follow Rory on Instagram @ICouldBeBlonder and check out her podcast, Crimes of the Heart, wherever you listen to Dates & Mates.


There is no Dear Damona segment this week. But you can submit your questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to hear Damona’s answers live on a future show. 👏

Non-Negotiables & LDR Lessons

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

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

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

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


Do long-distance relationships have the most potential?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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



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

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

Retro Dating & Bad Vibes Only

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

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


Dating is broken – but could going retro fix it?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

(11:15) The beginning of something healing.

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

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

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

(21:50) We’re always choosing.

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

Green Flags & Don’t Text Your Ex Happy Birthday

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

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

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


Can work stress make you more critical in your relationships?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(27:50) Get yourself unstuck.

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

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


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


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



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

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

Tall Guy Vibe & Keeping It Cute


On today’s episode of the Dates & Mates podcast, Damona sits down with Vince Gauglione, long-time friend of the show and author of “Why Are You Still Single? An Average Joe’s Take on What’s Really Going On in the Dating Pool and What You Can Do to Stay Afloat.”

Vinca and Damona discuss if height really matters in today’s world, the biggest pet peeves men have in dating, and his new book on why you’re still single

More on that later, first Damona covers headlines!


Something you need to know…

This week is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Damona covers everything you need to know. If you or someone you know needs help, call Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.



A Netflix show you will hate to love or love to hate

Is Too Hot To Handle hot or not? It’s stirring up a lot of controversy for its potentially detrimental messages on sex and love. Damona has thoughts.


Relationship Stress Strategies

John and Julie Gottman – some of Damona’s most trusted researchers on love and relationships – give their tips to reduce relationship stress during this time.



You’ve heard love advice from the experts, now the average joes:

According to Vince, men have a few dating pet peeves we should all know about:

  • Unrealistic Dating Profiles
  • Too much shorthand in DMs
  • Too much phone time on dates
  • When their date makes it obvious that they’re just checking off boxes “ideal-mate must-haves” list


He goes into detail on this, PLUS he gives us his opinion as a 5’7 man trying to find love:

Find Vince at www.vinceguaglione.com and make sure to pick up a copy of his book and follow him on Facebook, @theaveragejoesdatingconfessional


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

  • Email from Jacqueline – During this time of Covid19 pandemic I’m looking to get back into online dating. In this time of pandemic no salons are open so no makeover for me do I go with “the best I can” look due to circumstances and not let it be a deterrent for my profile?
  • IG message – A guy and i matched on Bumble prior to all of this happening, but never got the chance to meet up. We have FaceTimed twice (first time was 2 hrs!) and text/Instagram every day. Finding it hard now that it’s almost 2 months in to keep up conversation beyond daily Groundhog Day happenings. Also hard to not get too emotionally invested when you talk daily and you don’t know where the other person stands (if they are talking or other people) and you haven’t even met yet so what position are you in to ask?! Any tips for keeping an even mind and things to chat about until we have a chance to meet?




Damona  0:12  

Hello lovers. Those of you who follow dates and mates for a while now know that I am all about getting clear on the true criteria that you need in your future or current life partner. And it’s not a secret that I have been campaigning for daters to take height completely off their list. Back in February, during the five q fab series, Bella Gandhi and I had a little conversation that was rather controversial. For some of our listeners. We are of the opinion that height shouldn’t matter in today’s world, but not all of our listeners are in agreement with that. So today, we’re getting a man’s perspective on dating As a short guy from Vince Gagliano, he’s a longtime listener of dates and mates. And he’s a successful author with a new book that’s all about his dating experiences. More on that later. But first, we have headlines this week, including something important that you need to be aware of this month, and a new Netflix series that you will love to hate, or hate to love. Plus a few tips to make marriage and quarantining a little less stressful. Then, after my chat with Vince, I will be answering your questions, including how to keep it cute for dating during quarantine, and how to have better conversations with the Bumble Bay you’ve never met. Then in the last segment of the show, I will make a very big announcement that you won’t want to miss. And now it’s time for the dish, these dating dish. So it’s April and that means yes, it’s tax month and financial literacy. The month, which I could do a whole episode on, but even more importantly, right now, it’s also Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. And I have to admit, I went back and forth on whether or not to include something in the show about that because, you know, I like to keep it light on dates and mates and keep it positive and give you all advice and opportunities to find love. But I can’t overlook the fact that this is a serious problem in many relationships. When you look at the numbers, eight out of 10 rapes are committed by someone that you know, and sometimes even by your own partner. And looking at the numbers for forensic nurse examiners in DC, they’re reporting a 43% decrease in patient seeking treatment year over year. So that means fewer people are reporting sexual assault and coming in to get treated and evaluated for it. So that tells me one of two things either, people are quarantining, so often They’re just not in situations where they’re coming in contact with one another. And there are fewer sexual abuse incidents happening. Or worse yet, and more likely the case, people are experiencing it more and feeling unsafe about getting help and saying what’s going on. So just a little note for today’s to start out today’s show, that there are programs that are still open for victims of sexual assault, and the government has actually passed funding to keep them running. So if you are someone that you know, is dealing with a sexual assault situation, please call the number we’ll put in the show notes. One 800 656. Hope that’s 1-800-656-4673


on a completely different notes on a consensual sexual note, there’s a neutral show on Netflix that’s blowing my mind and the minds of many other people. Have you seen this? It’s called too hot to handle. It’s all about a celibacy challenge. It’s basically temptation Island, but nobody can have sex with one another. That is the rule of the series. They put all these super hot singles in bikinis and high heels all the time. I love the bikini and high heel. Look, don’t get me wrong, but none of them are supposed to have sex with one another. They’re not even supposed to make out they’re not supposed to have Heavy Petting. They can’t even touch themselves, or they lose money. They’re trying to get $100,000 if they can abstain from sex for a month. Now, sexologist apparently are concerned that this will reverse the thinking on sex. They’ve done so much work to keep to make sex not taboo. And it seems like Netflix is on this. They’re on this mission, as they say at the top of life. as blind as at the top of this show, they’re trying to find ways to help people make deeper connections. And you can see in the first episode, I’m not telling you any spoilers because this is really the concept of the show, but the first episode when the people find out that they can’t have sex, and then they’re told you’re all here because you have way too much sex and you’re you’re not having deep enough emotional connections. The look on their faces is enough for the price of admission alone. But I gotta tell you, I love dating and relationship shows as you know, I can’t I cannot even with the show. It is literally the most salacious version of a dating and relationship show that you could possibly find. And I know what’s coming up is all these people sneaking around trying to have sex and not get caught. And it just seems like it’s gonna become a big ol mess. If you like that kind of train wreck programming. I think it’s going to be right down the middle perfect for you. But I for 1am going to be tapping out For those of you who are already in a relationship, and maybe feeling a little bit of the stress from quarantine, my friends at NPR interviewed, the amazing john and Julie got Minh and they offered up their tips on Morning Edition on how to reduce stress if you’re in a relationship and quarantine together, especially if your relationship is already on the rocks, because right now we’re dealing with a lot of anxieties. I know I’m feeling it, there’s the anxiety of the fear of possibly catching COVID or the stress of even dealing with friends or family members who have the virus, maybe you even have the virus or you’ve come out of quarantine. And you have that on top of not ever being able to get away from your partner and all of their idiosyncrasies and all of the fights, the old fights that you’ve had coming back up because you’re in this pressure cooker. And there was some advice in this in this interview and this article that we’ll link to in the show notes that really is so key in communicating and relationships. The first thing I want to share with you is that they advise for one person to be the speaker when you’re trying to de stress and solve a problem. They said instead of trying to both trying to talk and everybody trying to be a fixer, right, we’ve talked on the show before about when you get in conflicts, a lot of times the partner wants to fix the issue instead of just listening. So what john and Julie got, Minh said was, you need to elect one person to be the speaker, and the other is the listener. And then the listener simply has to ask questions to deepen their understanding of the issue, and then just offer sympathy. And that is so hard. I believe me, I understand because I’m in this myself too. We we want the problem to go away. So we want to fix it, but sometimes what the other person needs is for you to just pause and hear them. And let them know that their frustration has been heard and felt by their partner. Because research shows that what partners really need in a marriage or a relationship is for the other person to be empathetic to them to be supportive. And that really can help when you have an ally that can help you manage your stress and feel really hurt. The second piece of advice that I think is really, really important, is they say when things get sort of snippy, when you get to that point of you’re like, Well, you did this and then you remember that time and 10 years ago, when it gets heated to that point, take a break, take a break from the conversation, and they recommend doing something self soothing, that calms you down, not ruminating on the conversation that just happened but doing something completely different that will give get you out of the fight or flight we talked a few weeks ago about fight flight or freeze, right? So you got to get yourself out of that mental space to be able to come back into it and have a conversation on a neutral level. And then you return to your partner at a designated time that you’ve already agreed to like, okay, we’re gonna take a break. Let’s talk about this after the kids go to bed. Let’s talk about this when we go on our nightly walk, and then you continue to the discussion from a more neutral place. Look, y’all I know it’s tough out there. We are going to get through it and communication. clear communication is the best. The best way for us to sort through these challenges, whether they’re new dating challenges and problems or coming up for miscommunication, or you’ve been in a relationship for a while. Speaking of NPR turns out that this week, I’m actually going to be on NPR. I’ll be recording an episode of NPR show. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders, and I’ll be answering Bring your questions about love in the time of Coronavirus. So if you have a question dating or relationship related, it’s not too late to submit it to me for the answer on that show. You can just email me your question at Dimona at damona. Hoffman you can leave me a little voice memo and send that over or just leave me a voicemail if you don’t want to deal with all the all the buttons on the phone. Just call my voicemail four to 42466255 tell me what your challenges and you could end up hearing it on NPR. Those are headlines for today. right after this. We will hear Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, not my words, his words, but do stick around.


I’m back and I am joined by someone who has been right where you are right now listening to this podcast for love and relationship advice. Ben Scaglione is an author. Who writes about what he’s seen and experienced as a single guy in the dating world. His last dating book, Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, looked at the dating challenges of men through the lens of his own experience. And now, he’s written a new book titled Why are you still single and average Joe’s take on what’s really going on in the dating pool and what you can do to stay afloat? Joining us now from Raleigh, North Carolina, please give big smooches to a friend of the show. Vince Gagliano, the owner. All right, Vince, before we talk to you about your perspective, first I just want to thank you for being a longtime dates and mates listener and supporter. You and I have had a lot of conversations about dating challenges over dm. But now I’m really excited to speak with you in person about your new book. And any new perspective you’ve gained since the last time we communicated. I want to just start out Vince with this dedication you have in the book because I found it very inspiring. It said, it’s for those who have the courage to remain steadfast in their belief that through the disappointment, anguish and heartache, the world, the dating world serves up, it will all be worth it in the end. Keep the faith. Vince, how do you keep the faith in the face of the current dating scene as you see it?


Vince Gauglione 12:26  

Well, that’s that’s certainly tough, right? So I mean, we have a lot of people that are out there floating around that are single, and they have their own unique set of challenges. Of course, it’s a very personal experience for each and every one of us. And over time, you know, you’ve got so many disappointments, heartache. It kind of warps your perspective a little bit. So what you I think, what what every one of us has to do, who you know who’s single who’s dealing with these issues, we have to remember that You know, at some point, as long as we are doing everything we can to titles


Damona  13:05  

Why am I still single? I’m just gonna cut to the chase, why am I still single chapter one you say so why am I still single? And then you turn it around on yourself? What if, what if, what have you learned and what wisdom Can you share? in answering this question for other people or helping people answer it for themselves.


Vince Gauglione 13:24  

The key is really, you know, we’re not everybody’s cup of tea. That’s just the way dating works. You know, we’ve all been through those experiences, life and situations where it’s like, we think somebody’s perfect for us, or we’re really interested in someone and we find out you know, we’ve learned that that’s just not the case. Maybe they don’t you know, reciprocate. So, for us, we have to take a closer look, and when we take a moment to reflect back and ask ourselves, if we can be better if, you know, there’s, there’s anything that we need to look at a little bit closer, maybe things we haven’t explored in the past. is a good time to do that. And you might gain a new perspective. And I think that, you know, that’s that’s really the question here. Why if you ask yourself the question why you’re still single, you might find a few things that you maybe were unaware of that, you know, were kind of blockers in preventing you from finding what you were looking for.


Damona  14:19  

Okay, so let’s talk about what some of those things might be. And just based on your first book, Confessions of a middle aged short guy with no game, there’s there’s a lot of challenges just in that title. Right. Let’s just focus on the first one because I do hear this a lot, both from women and men. How big of a dating challenge Do you think being and you say short, Vince, you’re five, seven. That’s short. My dad is fine, too. And he’s had three wives and he’s doing just fine. So are like talking to him. He would even make some talk. He would make tell jokes about you. But people tell you you have a tall guy. What does that even mean?


Vince Gauglione 15:01  

Well, actually, that was kind of interesting because that came about through a, an IM chat, we’ve got talking about how he said to me, I would have never guessed your five, seven, you have a tall guy by and I thought, Okay, well, you know, in, in understanding this and kind of going looking looking back the past few years, a few years when I had gone and you know, research this based on my own experiences and tried to understand it a little bit more in depth is that, you know, the the height issue is it’s always out there, it’s always going to be an issue for short guys. But if we’re able to project dominance, power protection, we’re able to just admit that we’re just kind of evoke that through our personality, then all of a sudden, we as short guys wind up with that tall guy vibe. And that’s kind of what you know, attracts women. And that is the one thing that I hadn’t really Understood throughout all my years of dating, I realized that you know, I mean I looked at it as I wasn’t having any success, I get turned down a lot. And as it turned out, I wound up with like this chip on my shoulder, so it affected my overall mood and disposition. So in a way, I became kind of a martyr. And that certainly affected my dating life through you know, my, my first, you know, 30 years here on this earth, I didn’t finally start understanding what was going on until I got probably closer to 40. It affected me for a very long time in my life, and thus, you know, I wound up making poor choices myself.


Damona  16:36  

Well, that’s how we learn Right, exactly the last time I talked about high on the show, I got a little bit of hate mail Vince, I’m not gonna lie. Some tall ladies were pretty mad at me. And in encouraging them to look beyond height. So what I’m going to step back and just let you talk to the tall ladies and share what you I would say to them, because I mean, I totally get it like, there are definitely shorter guys that would be in that insecure place that maybe you were in before. That would be intimidated by a woman who is say over 510 or taller. Right? Sure. But then if you’re just limiting your dating pool, because you’ve had those experiences in the past, there could be great, shorter guys, that you’re overlooking, no pun intended.


Vince Gauglione 17:32  

Yeah, absolutely. Again, it’s like when we talk about this part of this is, you know, it’s like evolutionary, you know, it’s kind of wired into our DNA, the connotation for height is that person can protect that person. You know, I could be on that that person’s arm and I feel secure. And I think that, you know, for taller women, some of them certainly understand that Yeah, most of the men that they’re going to be You know, evaluating the dating pool probably are going to be shorter than them, especially if they’re like 511 or six foot. But what they’re really looking for is that sense of security in a way and a guy can he can he can present that just threw his personality alone. Mm hmm.


Damona  18:23  

Yes, I completely agree with you. And I, I find that it’s not even so much like the biological attraction to height. I think it’s a lot about the societal connotations with height as well, because, really, biologically, we should be attracted to that provider type, right, which can come in a lot of different forms. And it’s kind of going back to that the confidence element that you were talking about,


Vince Gauglione 18:56  

right. So yes, to Yeah, because you have if you if you are out in public and you see a couple, and the woman is like five or six inches taller than the guy, then you get a lot of weird looks, you know? Yeah.


Damona  19:10  

I mean, how many crews and Katie Holmes have or Tom Cruise and like anyone Tom Cruise has ever dated. Right? Right. Right. We’re like, fixated and fascinated, but Okay, I’m gonna, I’ll just give my one take and then we’ll move on that there are a lot of combinations that society will look at you and B, society will be uncomfortable with it. So like, if my parents were allowed what society told them about their relationship to impact their actions, then I wouldn’t be here because my dad’s white, my mom is black. And all the time they would go to a restaurant and get stares and sneers and even, you know, this was, this is 70s 80s like, they would get direct comments that they shouldn’t be together and I can’t. I can’t imagine it’s that as bad as that. But I’ve never been. I’ve never been a tall woman, people will look, you know, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate hate, but we, we don’t have to pay attention to that if we’re going for what our heart really wants. So in your book, you talk about knowing what you want and knowing what you need, what is the roadblock to people being able to grasp that from your perspective?


Vince Gauglione 20:29  

Well, I think that we have a lot of noise. That’s the problem. There’s there’s certainly a lot of noise in society, right? So we’re constantly distracted in a number of different ways. And you know, if we’re always dealing with distractions, then we really don’t take the time out to just sit with ourselves and understand our emotion. I could read a one story for you where I was actually at an event all singles and it was just a little get together at a restaurant. At one point. A number of is hurt. Like the familiar audio audible game of a phone, right? And then it was, it was odd that about eight people all look down at their phones at the same time. And they stopped talking and they started texting. And it was only after a few minutes did the rest of us realize all eight of those people were in the same group chat. So they had stopped doing what they were doing to participate in the group chat, when the purpose of them being there was to be exposed to other singles. See what I mean? That’s what we’re dealing with today.


Damona  21:35  

We are consumed by the virtual world. And like I said this, I said this a few weeks ago on the show, that we are also so desperate to escape the reality that we’re in. We’re almost waiting for that ding. We’re waiting like we’re on a date. And we’re like, this is so uncomfortable. Because it is I mean, you’ve listened to the show for long enough to know like, I don’t sugarcoat it. Like datings awkward, it’s odd. We created it. It is a it’s a skill set that is learned it is something that is not part of, you know, natural courtship. Really. It’s, it’s created. And so that feeling of wanting to escape the day, when you have your phone nearby, it’s so easy to just jump into that other word world and that other other. You know that conversation. So how do how do you recommend people move into dating? in a way that’s more mindful, like we talked about mindfulness, getting clear before you date, but when you’re on the date, how do you stay in the moment there?


Vince Gauglione 22:45  

The thing to remember is you want to be present, right? You want to be an active participant in terms of listening and actually, you know, comprehending what the other person is saying. And of course, you know, if we’re talking about technology, The phone has to be on silent. I mean, you have to have that phone on silent. You can’t have a dinging all the time. While you’re having this conversation while you’re on the state. It’s just, I think it’s just, you know, just really inappropriate. When I would go on dates, it would just be phone goes on silent and it’s turned, you know, flat face down on the table.


Damona  23:22  

I would I would even add like, yeah, if you can put it away away. Because I mentioned Yeah, I mentioned on the show a while back, there was a study with cell phones and how having the cell phone in view on a in a meeting and not even on a date, but just in view, when two strangers were meeting, it made them feel mistrustful of the other person, even if the phone is off, and and if it was on, it was just on the table. You also talked about connecting meaningfully and one part of that being vulnerability. I get it from men sometimes, especially for men and for women too. But especially for men, that’s really hard. How’d you get to that place? It is,


Vince Gauglione 24:08  

it’s kind of funny because you have a friend and opposite sex female. And we were we would always talk about dating and dates. And she said to me one time, she said, you know, you’ve got the problem that a lot of women have, they get the emotionally unavailable guys, how is it that this is happening to you? So I, you know, getting you know, a lot of emotionally unavailable women.


Damona  24:32  

What does that look like the emotionally unavailable woman? How is that showing up for you?


Vince Gauglione 24:37  

Well, for me, it was showing up in terms of what if we’re talking and we are talking about vulnerability is like the inability to get close to keep you at arm’s length. If I would ask questions. You know, we’re talking about something that maybe hit a little bit close to home or was, you know, required some vulnerability I would get, you know, very glossed over type of answers or would not be able to even get that person to open up to speak a little bit about what they might be feeling, or what they might be thinking. We’ve become so emotionally disconnected from ourselves and from others, you know, you can, you can kind of zip into that virtual world anytime you want and feel perfectly happy and content. But what that’s done in, in effect, it’s kind of taken us away from understanding, you know, just our own nature, and how we connect in real life with people.


Damona  25:33  

Yeah, it sounds like you’ve been on you’ve been on a long journey of self discovery,


Vince Gauglione 25:39  

and many ups and downs along the way.


Damona  25:42  

Yeah. And I know like you came into this. If you if you don’t mind me sharing at the beginning of the book you talk about Yeah, and in 2012, you were in a serious relationship and you actually lost your partner, to suicide and for many people, That would be so devastating that I’m sure it would be hard to believe in love again, but it’s clear from talking to you, you do still believe that this is possible. What gives you that kind of faith? And how did you? How did you heal from such a devastating loss?


Vince Gauglione 26:16  

Yeah, that was a long journey. I’m not gonna lie, you know, and I’ve written about it in previous works. It is something that, you know, at the time for me, I was 42. So I didn’t expect that right. None of us really do it at the age of 42 that we’re going to lose, you know, someone close to us. And it took about two and a half years, almost two and a half years to fully reconcile it. So, but, you know, I, what I had done was I’ve taken in the good things away from it. So it’s like, I understood that it was a very loving, mutually, you know, caring relationship that we had and, you know, sure. It’s, it’s tough to find Those types of relationships as we go through life, you know, we might experience it once or twice a few times, but they don’t come around all that often. So, you know, when it does, I’ve learned to, you know, to cherish it more and to and to, to foster it more than I had in the past. Because for a while I had beaten myself up at times thinking I didn’t give enough or maybe I didn’t, you know, do enough. Or maybe I took it for granted. And, you know, having that experience now, and at this point in my life, I understand, you know, what, how special and how precious that actually is?


Damona  27:37  

How do you know when you’re sitting across from someone, my listeners are always asking like, well, I’m going on a lot of dates, but is this person the one I don’t know? Is this meant to be something serious? How can you tell?


Vince Gauglione 27:52  

Well, that happens over time. I mean, really, the only thing that we can point to here is time you have to give it time. Right. So if it’s someone who shares you know, your, your core values, right, if it’s someone who you have a, a, an ability to connect with and be vulnerable with, then it’s certainly worth exploring and continuing to explore. It’s not like it’s an on off switch where you can say, I know this one’s the right one, or this one’s not the right one. We kind of know more, you know, just as, as human beings, we know more about the things that we really don’t like or don’t want. So when we see those, they’re easy to identify. But the ones that are worthwhile, you know, that takes a little bit longer to figure out. So I would say if you’re, you know, if you’re, you’re, you’re cross sitting across from one that has the same core values, you want the same things or similar things and like, you have a vision of your life and the others, you know, that vision lines up and maps You’re on the right track.


Damona  29:02  

Okay, I’m going to ask you a few rapid fire questions for the ladies, a lot of our listeners are women that are dating. And would love to date an awesome guy like you? What are they doing wrong? What is your number one pet peeve that women do on? Let’s start with dating apps? Okay, what’s your biggest dating app? pet peeve?


Vince Gauglione 29:29  

Well, when it comes to dating apps, I think, of course, we can talk about like, their search criteria, and they they look for, you know, everything has to be in line, anything and that’s, I think that’s true of actually both sexes. So if you see something in a profile, that’s, you know, a turnoff, right? And you have all these other positives, but then you see this one thing you’re likely to say, Okay, well, I don’t like that. So I’m going to just, you know, swipe left. I think that’s the biggest problem. We have with with online dating right now is that, you know, we’re not able to put that into perspective, of course, we don’t gain a clear picture of who that person is. And it’s very hard to, you know, to write a profile that, you know, presents your, you know, who you are as a person, you know, realistically, along with, you know, giving someone a sense an idea of your values as well. So, yeah, we’re just too quick to move on from profile to profile. Are there syndrome as well?


Damona  30:33  

Yeah. Are there messaging behaviors that really frustrate you like, I’ll give you one example just for the guys. Like, I was working with a client who was on hinge and on hinge you have to engage with a particular picture or something that’s, that’s posted in the profile. You can’t just like swipe, swipe, swipe dm, so you have to send a message His strategy was like, I’ll just send like, these, this string, same string of emojis like a heart emoji and like, strong arm emoji, and like, right emojis worth his way of getting into the conversation. And because he was a very attractive guy, he kind of was relying on the fact that then they’re going to look at his profile and be like, Oh, he’s cute, and just get into the chat from there. But I was like, not great dating strategy. Because you’re not, you’re not actually like you were saying, finding someone who connects with you. On a values level on a deeper level. You can’t determine anything from having an emoji conversation. So that’s my guys. What’s your girl’s pet peeve?


Vince Gauglione 31:45  

Well, it’s similar similar things. You know, when it comes to actual messaging, well, if everything is in shorthand, you know, I mean, I write in complete sentences. I know that takes a while, but I write in earthly sentences. So he Yeah, exactly. And you know, so and i don’t i can’t really decipher some of the shorthand as well. So or if it’s like a text Blitz, where you get 500 messages in one shot, and there’s like, hey, do I have to respond to all these? How can I condense this down? Right? So I think it’s back and forth, you know, send a message, you get a message back, ask a question, wait for a reply. You know, don’t fall into the trap of, you know, having to send send, send, send, send, and then immediately, send, send, send again, let’s, let’s have a little back and forth here. Let’s have a real conversation as best as we’re going to have over text or I am,


Damona  32:40  

huh, what about first date? first date? pet peeves are first date tips for the ladies.


Vince Gauglione 32:47  

Well, being engaged, and I mean, that’s something that I look for, you know, someone who you can tell when someone is not engaged, if they’re distracted, or they just seem like you know, they they’re not having a good time or They are they don’t seem present. They’re not really engaged in the conversation. So if I have to carry the conversation, then I kind of know I kind of get a sense Well, I don’t think this person is really is really into me. So that’s important. Stay engaged, ask questions, let the conversation flow. Don’t have an agenda. You know, I think it’s another big one. You’re kind of when people are looking for things they want to check off list. What do you do? bla bla bla bla, that line of questioning. We’ve all heard that line of questioning before. As the conversation continues, you know, you will find things if you’re connecting with that person, you will find things to discuss something will resonate with you and the other person we there’ll be pulled in like, oh, tell me more about that. Or here’s my take on this. You have to let the conversation just devolve and flow on its own. You can’t try to force it.


Damona  33:59  

Yeah. Absolutely. And like I said earlier, dating is a learned skill. So the more you do it and the more you figure out what works for you and and build on your conversation techniques, the easier that experience is going to be for you. Before you go, I just I want to ask about, we’re recording this while most of us are in the middle of a quarantine lockdown, safer at home, whatever you want to call it. And so the world of dating has changed. How has that impacted dating for you? And what do you think will be the next phase of dating when we come out of the world of quarantine?


Vince Gauglione 34:45  

Hmm. Okay, well, I have a little disclaimer here in that around the time I had finished the draft of this book, I did meet someone that I am currently dating so I haven’t actually dating in the game, so to speak.


Damona  35:00  

quarantined together?


Vince Gauglione 35:03  

For the most part,


Damona  35:04  

yes. Oh, that’s a whole other. That’s a whole other show. Maybe we’ll have you back for that. Right? What but what are you hearing from from readers? And


Vince Gauglione 35:13  

yeah, people, it’s really, it’s not easy, because you don’t have a chance to get to those face to faces, right? So when you’re talking about having these conversations, right, you want to be able to at least this, you know, right now this present situation we’re in, you want to still be able to have that natural progression where you go from, you know, an initial interest, you know, contact contacting each other to, you know, some texting, phone calls are great. And then of course, now we have the whole you know, video chatting, facetiming zoom calls, etc. But it’s still it’s still a progression, you can start to build something during this time. However, as we know, it’s like where the rubber really, you know, meets the road is when you have that face to face. So you know that it may we might be in a situation where you might be, you know, speaking to a couple different people, and you might, you know, begin to form a connection, almost like a you know, like the love is blind series, right? Yeah, it’s similar. It’s not exactly the same, because you can see that person. But, you know, at least you can focus on understanding more about another person, then you would, you know, you would have done say previously before all of this because a lot of this, you know, before COVID-19 was, you’re on an app, you said, you match, you send a message, and then you’re already meeting thus, you know, you know nothing about the person and thus the reason for bad dates, you don’t have anything in common with that person. So it forces us to take more time to get to know others or a little bit of a deeper level.


Damona  37:00  

Yes, I think ultimately it will be good. But yes, some of those, some of those quarantine connections won’t last but we’re going to learn a lot in the process. And I’ve learned a lot from talking to you today, Vince, I hope everyone will pick up their copy of Why are you still single and average Joe’s take on what’s really going on in the dating pool and what you can do to stay afloat. Thank you so much for joining me, Vince Gagliano. It’s been a pleasure having you on the show. And again, thank you for your years of listening. Maybe it’s paying off in a new relationship. I wish you luck


Vince Gauglione 37:34  

with that, too. Thank you so much. I appreciate it was great being on the show.


Damona  37:38  

Thank you, Vince.


We’re back and your questions have been flooding in lately. Y’all must be really going through it. But I’m here for you. My DMS are always open and they’re especially open Right now for both dates and mates questions, NPR questions and drumroll please. Here’s the big announcement as of this weekend, also for a new advice column that I’m writing in the LA Times. So check out this Saturday’s issue of the LA Times to read my Coronavirus, dating and relationship advice. But remember, it all started here with you and me and your love questions on dates and mates. And here I will remain. Alright, here’s the lineup for today. I got an audio question from our listener Jacqueline. Here’s what she had to say.


Vince Gauglione 38:40  

What do you recommend for someone who’s looking to create a profile during this COVID pandemic period and salons and businesses are closed so one can have a makeover done? Is it okay to do the best you can with what you have with items at home such as box hair color, one’s own makeup and an iPhone. I’m would be curious as to your thoughts on this.


Damona  39:06  

All right, Jacqueline. First of all, you just got to do it. You just got to get out there and start. One of the things that makes it so hard for us to get back into the dating scene is we play out all these what if scenarios, what if I put up a profile and nobody messages me? What if I meet someone, and I do fall in love, and then I can’t meet them. And because we are afraid of all the different outcomes, we’re afraid of success and failure actually, that fear keeps us from action. And the only way to really get that valuable feedback on your profile. You’ve heard me talk on the show before about how your profile is a living document. And it will change and evolve as you change and evolve. But the only way to really know if your profile is working or not, is to put it out there, put it out into the world and see what happens. So if you haven’t done the profile starter kit, it is Free a dates and mates.com that can at least get you started and get you on an app. Any app, people always ask me what’s the best app, the best app is the one that gets you started and just see the feedback that you get. And this is kind of a low pressure time right now. Because we don’t know when we might actually be able to meet up again. In many places I’m in California, I mean, we gonna be locked down until like December it sounds like but wherever you are, you are going to be starting at least the beginning of the relationship virtually so it’s kind of low pressure right low presh just start Jacqueline and girl Don’t even worry about the nail salons and the the hair salons. I mean, I’m going through my own experience. My daughter was nice enough to point out my gray hairs to me, thank you very much today. But besides that one most people Men Jacqueline prefer lighter makeup they prefer a more natural look. Somehow we look at Instagram we think like, oh, Kylie looks great. We need to slather our face with makeup so that we can look like that with all the filters and and be a an unrealistic, unattainable vision of beauty. But it’s crazy because that’s not actually what most people are attracted to most people want the real thing. So I would say just be your authentic self. But just to give you a little peace of mind, remember we are putting our best foot forward on the first date. And if you haven’t heard my video training, on video chat dating, it is in our Patreon community patreon.com slash Jason mates Of course always in the show notes. But if you haven’t gotten there yet, I’ll just give you a reminder that on a video chat date not everything is on camera. I hope Jacqueline Not everything is on camera. So just worry about the parts that are actually going to be seen. Don’t worry so much about having everything in your house look perfect, and having every hair on your head in place. Just make sure look, you don’t even have to wear pants if you don’t want to.


Because if it’s not going to be seen, maybe it doesn’t matter if it makes you feel sexier. Don’t wear pants, just make sure you’re not moving around a lot and keep your phone propped up on the desk. That aside, you just want to be your authentic self in the end. So think about what’s going to be on camera, make sure that you know what that looks like. And then you might even want to try depending on the platform that you’re on. Taking the camera off yourself. It’s it can take a lot of the stress off of like staring at one at yourself while also trying to focus on the person in front of you. I wish you lots of luck, Jacqueline, and I can’t wait to hear about the virtual dates that you have coming up. One more question for today. This one came to me on Facebook. Young lady says a guy and I matched on Bumble prior to all of this happening, but we never got the chance to meet up. We have facetimed twice. First time was two hours. She says that’s pretty long for first time meetup. And we text and Instagram every day finding it hard now that it’s almost two months in to keep this conversation going beyond the daily Groundhog Day happenings. She means like the Hey, what’s up? How’s your day? How’s your day? We’re having the same conversation over and over again. Incidentally, I don’t know if you know, I just watched that movie. It was just maybe it was like on cable. Maybe that’s what it was on Netflix. I just watched that movie again. So it’s funny that you would reference it. Anyways. She says it’s also hard not to get emotionally invested when you talk daily and you don’t know where the other person stands. Like If they’re talking to other people, and you haven’t even met yet, so what position Are you in to ask any tips for keeping an open mind and things to chat about until we’ve had a chance to meet? So my initial advice is that, y’all, we got to keep it loose right now, we got to keep it loose during during quarantine, because we don’t know how long this is going to last. And your feelings are totally valid. you’re investing in this relationship that might be a fantasy relationship. You may know that, generally on dates and mates, I’ve said, Get offline as quickly as possible, have a few exchanges online. And then you move to a phone call, preferably or a video chat, and then you move to a date. But now we can’t move to a physical date. So you have moved to the facetiming. But all of this text and Instagram every day is giving you these bursts of adrenaline that are building up this person in your mind and what that connection will be when you meet and so that’s why it feels like a little bit of a lag. down because you, you’ve been in it for two months, and you don’t necessarily have anything to show for it. So you got to do one of two things. One, we need to rip the band aid off and find out where this person stands. And this is something that I find it’s so hard for people to do. But it’s so such a relief when you finally do it. If you just are saying like, Hey, I’m really enjoying talking to you in and I’m not really talking to anybody else are you? And then you can find out like really, really get to the bottom of what is that thing that’s eating away at you about this situation? And they might say, Oh, yeah, I’ve been chatting with other people but nothing serious like you or they might say like, Oh, I’m just having fun right now. Or they might say no, I’m absolutely not talking to anybody else. But that gives you information. And information is ultimately your friend. It’s been two months. So in real life, that is a significant amount of time and this is enough time for you to just get a sense of where you stand. What I will say, though, is that you need to FaceTime more than twice before you have that conversation. And this is the same advice I’ve given for long distance dating, you have to almost treat it as if you are dating in real life. And even in real life after two dates, I wouldn’t say necessarily stop dating other people. But you have to figure out what the situation is in the real world. So set up a an actual date, a FaceTime actual date, where you’re doing an activity together. I’m actually writing an article write this right now on this I don’t know if by the time this publishes it will be released or not. But I’m writing an article on 10 home quarantine data ideas, I’ll give you just like a couple of them. You can actually do sip and paint night virtually. You can do a trivia night, do 20 questions gamify the date, make it fun, so it’s not just like sitting there for two hours staring at one another, and then really see what this relationship is. But you have to always keep in the back of your mind that until you meet in person, this is still a fantasy relationship. But you know what? Right now we’re quarantined. Life is tough. Things are serious. Maybe we could all use a little bit more fantasy right now. That’s it for today’s show. It’s number 307 of dates in mates, y’all. I’m on all the socials at damona Hoffman. I love your questions. I really want to hear from you. So please let me know what’s on your mind. You can send me a question for this show. You can send me a question for NPR. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders, or send me a question for the la times maybe for all three. You can do this so easily just by giving me a call. leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 or shoot me an email Dimona at damona Hoffman calm you can just record a voice memo on your phone or email it over to me and you could be on NPR or on a future episode of dates and dates, just like Jacqueline. Thank you so much for listening. And by the way, if you’re ready to go deeper with me and you want access to that video chat dating training that I talked about earlier, or any other resources inside of our private community, I want to invite you inside the community, you can join me@patreon.com, slash dates and mates, it’s only five bucks a month. So I think that’s a small price to pay for an intimate relationship with me and the other dates and mates community members that’s patreon.com slash dates and mates. Do check the show notes for all the links that I discussed on today’s show. And for a cute little recap, with lovely gifts that producer Leo is top top notch at providing for us to help bring the dates and made show to life. Thank you so much for listening. Until next week, I wish you happy virtual dating