Tag Archive for: Valentine’s Day

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Guide


Do you have plans for tonight?

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

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

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


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



Join our Patreon! This is a way for us to connect on a deeper level and for you to get more personalized support from me on your love life.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear and allow you to get amazing listener benefits by participating

Our page is Patreon.com/datesandmates

Sign up at patreon.com/datesandmates for: 

  • an opportunity to work with Damona directly
  • to get quality advice that is tailored to your dating challenges
  • and to become part of a community that will help you find the healthiest, most loving relationships this year



Damona  0:00  

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


Unknown Speaker  1:16  

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


Damona  1:20  

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


Unknown Speaker  1:41  

So what’s Patreon?


Damona  1:44  

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


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


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


Also, it’s cold outside, I did say we can get outside, but most places it’s quite cold. So for those of you that are having a terrible weather Valentine’s Day, just know you get to cozy up inside. You don’t have to worry about going out and that could be a good thing for some of you. Hey, y’all forget to keep your New Year’s resolution diet. The number one new year’s resolution is to lose weight. However, by this time of year, it’s also one of the most broken resolutions and without the pressure to eat all the Valentine’s Day candies and chocolates from your date. Which by the way, is the number one most purchased gift on the Today, you can stick to your tick stick to your diet plan and stay on track and you can be beach ready in a couple months. But what should you do with this day? Well, first, why not take a self love day? How often do we really do that? Do we take the time to focus on ourselves and do the things that make us feel fulfilled? We’re always bending over backwards to accommodate other people and to figure out what would make someone else want to be with us or what would they want to do or compromise and just take joy in the fact that you get to do whatever you want to do tonight and try and make that a special activity for you. Whatever it is, that brings you joy. Maybe you’re getting caught up on your Netflix queue. Maybe you take a relaxing hot bath, maybe you do some exercise, maybe you organize your your home and get clear on that clutter can really create chaos in your life. So maybe it’s even that and I know that Sounds unromantic for Valentine’s Day. But this is your day. You don’t have to do what the greeting card companies have told us we’re supposed to do, you don’t have to do. What marketing says is Valentine’s day you can do what makes you feel great. And also, don’t forget to focus on friends if you’re single Today we are so caught up in romantic love on February 14. But one love that can be even deeper is the deep love of friendship. And if you and your friends find yourself single on this day, why not come together and redefine the meaning of Valentine’s Day and give that love of friendship to one another today? You know, Valentine’s Day is often regarded as Singles Awareness Day sad if you ever heard this. But if you really take a moment, to relish in all of the benefits of flying solo this year, you can really go into Valentine’s Day feeling full, feeling fulfilled. feeling optimistic about what’s to come. There’s still 320 days left to this year to meet your soulmate. So tonight, just give yourself a break. Thank you for tuning into this special Valentine’s Day dates and mates episode. I hope you’re enjoying our five q FEHB series that we’re doing this month. We have an interview with Kelly Clarkson’s love coach Bella Gandhi coming up on Monday and that’s one that you will not want to miss. And if a tip from this episode sparked something in you, I would love to hear about it. You can message me on social media at damona Hoffman and I really encourage you to share this episode with a friend who may need to hear it. I look forward to connecting with you and supporting you in love on patreon@patreon.com slash dates and dates. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up. Now. Before March 1, that’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to patreon.com slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community. As one of my friends with benefits. Happy Valentine’s Day and until Monday, I wish you happy dating


Physical Type & Dating Addiction: Love Month Part 2


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.

This is episode two of our Love Month five-question February series. We’re using the hashtag #5QFeb if you want to get in on the conversation.

Today we sat down with Julie Spira – an award-winning dating coach, media personality, and bestselling author. She was an early adopter of the Internet and has been coaching singles on finding love online for 25 years. 

You’ve seen her on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, E!, FOX, and so much more! She’s been a friend and mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago.

Fun fact: she actually holds the record for most guest appearances on Dates & Mates!

More on that later, first we have headlines!


Mental Health & Dating Apps

The latest study on mental health and dating apps comes from The University of Saskatchewan. The concern is that dating apps may be degrading mental health because of the constant exposure to rejection. Damona and Julie have thoughts. 


Sheryl Sandberg turns her tragic love story into a happy ending

Five years after the tragic death of her husband, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg finds love again with Tom Bernthal.


Don’t go broke this Valentine’s Day!

According to Wallethub, men are 3x more likely to go into credit debt for Valentine’s Gifts. Why do you think this is?



#5QFeb (15:00)


Damona asks Julie the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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 – I’m wondering your thoughts on having a “type” physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like out and about meeting men in the wild there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your “type”. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education, values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? Should I break this pattern? On the one hand I’m worried I might miss someone, on the other should I be setting up dates with guys that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Am I doing these apps wrong?
  • From Twitter – How do I quit online dating. I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis for dating with intention. And I’m objectified by creeps with every other message. But I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly. I can’t bring myself to stop.



Damona  0:12  

Happy Valentine’s week lovers. This is Episode Two of our love month five question February series during which I will interview your favorite dates and mates prior guests to ask the most pressing questions about love. Today we are using the hashtag five q fab if you want to get in on the conversation, and today’s guest is one of my personal faves. Julie aspira is an award winning dating coach, a media personality and best selling author. She was an early adopter of the internet and has been coaching singles on finding love for 25 years. Yes, finding love online for 25 years. You’ve seen her on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ie Fox, basically any three letter channel any two letter or one letter channel. She’s been on it, and she’s also been a friend and a mentor to me since I started in this business over a decade ago. So, before I get big smooches, I have to tell you that she also is now holding the record for the most dates and mates appearances. Please give big speeches to my friend Julie aspira.

Julie Spira  1:21  


Damona  1:23  

Welcome back to the show. I’m so excited to talk with you Valentine’s week. You are the person that I had to have on this week’s show.

Julie Spira  1:31  

Oh, thank you for having me. It’s always fun to be on the show. But yes, right now love is on steroids. So we really need chatting about you know what to do in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Damona  1:42  

Well, we have all these headlines that are all about how love is on steroids. This week we have the newest study on how dating apps could be affecting your mental health. And Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg has turned her tragic love story into a happy ending. Some good news is Valentine’s Day. Plus it’s Valentine’s week. But do you need to go broke to express your love? We’ll be covering those headlines and then we’ll be answering your questions including should you swipe according to your type? I really wasn’t trying to rhyme there but was pretty cute. And how can you quit your online dating addiction? Julie, are you ready to do these headlines? Let’s do it. Mental health and dating apps we are both of us have been in the online dating space for a long time. And we’ve read a lot of these headlines people have been talking about the effect of online dating on your safety and the rise and STDs which people sometimes linked to dating apps. But one thing that we don’t hear a lot about is mental health. And there isn’t a lot of research on the way that dating apps are actually impacting our emotions the way we feel. And according to this article, which will link in the show notes, the researchers are saying that the amount of rejection that one can experience on a dating app app is higher than you would normally experience through traditional dating avenues. I’m curious as someone that’s been in the space for a long time, Julie, do you feel like dating apps are making people more depressed today?

Julie Spira  3:18  

I think people can find a variety of ways of getting depressed. And here’s the thing with dating apps, you’re getting more rejection, because you’re getting more matches. It’s just a numbers game. So if you went out on three dates prior to joining a dating app, and maybe you like one out of three people, and you were rejected by two, it’s just you know, too bad dates with you, next week will be better. But when you’re chatting with 20 people at a time, 10 people at a time, you’ve got 50 matches, you’re swiping, you’re chatting, you’re matching, and then you know you find out they’ve met someone else or you find out that you’re not their type, you know, it stings and and it makes sense You really feel bad, but it’s still a numbers game. So if you’re matching with 50 people and you get 10 rejections, maybe it’s eight more than what I refer to before, but it’s still percentage wise, a volume issue, and you just need to be prepared that the rejection actually is a good thing. Because then they weren’t your type. And I’m telling you, you dodged a bullet.

Damona  4:22  

Yes, I always say rejection is your protection. And I had this philosophy that dating app messages are sort of like coins in the fountain, you know, you toss toss them and you make a wish. And if they come true, it’s wonderful. You got the relationship that you wanted, but if you didn’t, it’s like, are you going to be really upset over a penny? And I say, I’ve been saying this Julie for like, over 10 years, but at the same time, I know it’s not. It’s not so easy to just be like, I was rejected, no big deal. How do you how do you recommend that your clients keep a thick skin about it or reframe their Thinking around sending outgoing messages and swiping right and not getting the reaction that they are hoping for every time.

Julie Spira  5:09  

Well, no one’s going to get a home run every time just like no one’s going to buy the winning lottery ticket. Maybe you’ll maybe you’ll get three on the scratch or something and you’ll make $5. And so I think the point is, is managing expectations is so key to what both you and I do. And when someone comes to me and says, Oh, I really don’t want to try online dating. I did it. It didn’t work. And I see that they’ve had the last profile and they barely log on. I have to say, no one, neither myself. No one has the magic wand that’s going to make Mr. Right or news right up here within the first week. And while you might dread thinking of going on three dates and 52 weeks on your dating app. If somebody told you on the 53rd week you were going to have the greatest love ever and you were going to meet your soulmate. You really wouldn’t mind that. It’s 53 weeks away. Because you know, there’s a pot of gold. So it’s managing expectations and realizing that it takes time and new people join every single day. And you’re going to suffer through online dating fatigue, or online dating anxiety disorder, I always call it oh da dee. And And when that happens, take break. Just take a break, and don’t, don’t open the app for a week. And then new people are joining all the time, people breaking up all the time, and everybody’s looking for the chance to truly, really connect with someone. So it’s okay to go on bad days because you learn from them more about who you don’t want to be with. So when the right one comes along, it’s much more parent.

Damona  6:44  

Hmm, well, the right one did come along. For someone who’s been in the news, Sheryl Sandberg, who you all probably know is the CEO of Facebook. She also was the author of lean in and the whole philosophy of women leaning in and work and getting ahead My interpretation when I read that book was that a big part of her ability to lean in was the support of her husband, Dave Goldberg. And unfortunately five years ago he passed away unexpectedly and she was was left having to juggle all these things on our own. But here’s the here’s that pot of gold but you’re saying at the end of the rainbow, she is now engaged to Tom bernthal who is you might recognize the last name he is the richer and more handsome brother of actor john Burton. And I’m sure the two of them both thought they wouldn’t find someone again but here they are loving another time and being engaged Do you think

Julie Spira  7:47  

I you know I’ve

Damona  7:48  

never had to deal with love finding love again after a loss like that. And five years is a pretty good amount of time for someone to take before they are ready to jump into it, but it was pretty fast. Julie, they’ve just they just got together in April. And now they’re already getting engaged. What are your thoughts on on this relationship?

Julie Spira  8:09  

My thoughts are she’s had these five years to mourn. And she’s got a very responsible job and responsible for family. And she met someone who basically can really just move into her life and she can move into his life, and they can build a life together with both of their families. And I think that everybody desires companionship, and people go to bereavement groups or people sometimes whether it’s a death of a partner or even a devastating divorce, when you thought you were going to go the distance, that’s a death that feels like a death as well when you’re going through a divorce or a bad breakup. So when you suddenly can meet someone, and it’s not going to be the same as you’ve had in your previous husband or partner or relationship, but someone where you can have a great companionship, and together you can actually have find love again. I think it’s fabulous. But then again, my grandfather got remarried at 87 years old. And so I believe there’s no expiration date on love. Oh, wow.

Damona  9:09  

Yeah. I’m glad that you mentioned that to Julian. And I know you do coach a lot of daters that are older and that maybe haven’t dealt with dating apps or haven’t even dated in in decades. I think she’s 50

Julie Spira  9:22  


Damona  9:24  

and getting remarried. So it’s actually one one more vote for the over 50 married again, and finding love club.

Julie Spira  9:35  

I’m very happy for her great news. Yeah.

Damona  9:38  

Well, we did mention it is Valentine’s week. If you’ve been living under a rock. It’s been it’s Valentine’s week all week. And there was a new spending survey from wallet hub. I actually had read an article earlier. That said the according to the National Retail Federation, Americans were projected to spend $27 billion on Valentine’s gifts this year. I thought that was insane. While it helped did this similar survey, and they looked at what people are spending their money on. And it said, most people are going to buy candy cards and flowers. I’m so inspired by this Julie

Julie Spira  10:18  

right. And repeat. Right?

Damona  10:20  

Right. What are some better gifts you think that people can be thinking of? You know, if you’re listening to this on Monday, you still have time to get a better gift. Candy To me, it just seems like you ran out of time you didn’t really care then you just like grabbed a box of chocolate.

Julie Spira  10:36  

I’ll never forget the time and a former boyfriend. Valentine’s Day showed up with this box of drugstore candy that I know he picked up along the way. And I’m like, really? And so I feel as though these items Yes, people would like flowers. And you know what women do like flowers. Men actually like flowers too. You can get my guy a bouquet of tulips and in And in color other than red, but you don’t need to break the bank. And I’m not really spending a lot on Valentine’s Day this year, probably because I’m going to be tired. But But what I am doing is I’m recommending that people create experiences. So what that means is maybe Valentine’s day you’ll get a gift card. If somebody really loves books, get a gift card to a bookstore. If someone’s anxious to see a play, and they really love plays, and that it’s something you can go to together or concert tickets, something you can go to together. Or better yet, if you really can’t splurge on StubHub for that fabulous sold out rock concert, then look and see other events that are free. There’s always a pre museum day or a museum night and create an event and give your partner a coupon for a future date, where you’re going to go museum hopping for the day and maybe you know, a little gift from the museum store.

Damona  11:55  

I love that I’m very big into experiences and I’ve always said that to my husband since the beginning like Don’t give me stuff. I’m not into stuff. Although I told him long ago that I really wasn’t into flowers. But there have been some instances where I was like, you’re good, I got me flowers, you have to be you have to be careful what you what you tell them early on, right. But

Julie Spira  12:13  

there’s nothing wrong with flowers. And here’s the thing I recommend, if you can’t afford, you know, the flowers that are delivered that suddenly are $99, go to the grocery store and pick up a dozen red tulips and just show up with something and a card that shows that you you’re thinking out of the box, you recognize that this is a romantic day, but you don’t know to need to go to Tiffany and buy really expensive jewelry and you just need to do something, you know, that’s within your budget. And if you’re in a relationship that’s not new, it’s great to talk about the Valentine’s budget. So where do you Where do you like to go? Um, you know, going to the post six restaurants on Valentine’s Day may not be an option. So the good news is Valentine’s Day is a On a three day weekend was actually for if you think about it, because it’s because of, I think it’s Presidents Day. So you can celebrate on Friday and spend a lot of money at a restaurant or bring in takeout and have in room dining, or you can instead, you know, Happy Valentine’s Day celebrated when it’s less chaotic and we’re, you know, hurt your bankbook as much. And that would be on Saturday, Sunday. And if you’re lucky enough not to have to work on Monday, Monday, see a lot of other options to do things that other people are spending a lot of money on Friday, that won’t as I said, it won’t kill your wallet on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Damona  13:37  

Yeah, I was shocked from this article. They said that men are three times more likely to go into credit card debt for Valentine’s Day gifts. Guys, you don’t need to go into credit card debt. It’s not that serious. But one thing that surprised me Julie is they asked men and women if they thought that the bill should be split on Valentine’s Day. 38% of men said yes and 31 percent of women also thought that they should split the check. I just have to know where you land on that.

Julie Spira  14:07  

I don’t believe in splitting the check on Valentine’s Day or your birthday, or anything that’s really that significant when it comes to love and romance or first date, of course. But it really depends on what you’re doing. I mean, if you’re cooking first class tickets to go something pairs for Petland time today, which most of us aren’t, but then go ahead and use miles or split the check. But outside of that, I think that for a heterosexual relationship, the man wants to be the hero on Valentine’s Day. So let them pick up the bill.

Damona  14:36  

All right, you have had the final word in that segment. Julie, we are going to be back with your five q fab. The five questions we’ve been asking are for repeat, dating experts on dates and mates. Since you’re still listening, you must like what you hear. And if you do, why not take a moment to hit the subscribe button on whichever podcast platform you’re listening to. Right now and that way you will be immediately notified whenever we drop a new episode. Or for example, a bonus episode ahem which will be happening on Valentine’s Day my friends, so don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review while you’re there so we can reach more people and heal more hearts this Valentine’s Day. We will be back with Julie spirent answering our five questions for five q FEHB. In just a moment. We are back with Julie aspira, the cyber dating expert and we are doing our love month five q FEHB. So, Julie, I’ve known you for a long time. And I very much trust and respect your your advice on everything dating and relationships. So I’m really curious what your answers are to the five questions that we have teed up for this month. Are

Julie Spira  15:52  

you ready for this? Go for it.

Damona  15:55  

Julie Spira What is the biggest challenge for daters today

Julie Spira  16:01  

I think the biggest challenge for dangerous today if there are too many choices, and I guess that’s a good news, bad news answer, because without all of these choices, we wouldn’t be able to meet so many people and actually form relationships. But because we have too many choices, it’s hard for people to be able to make a decision to say, you know, I really like you and maybe I should take my profile down, or let’s see where it goes. If it doesn’t work out, well, we can always rejoin people are hesitant to take the profiles down because of all the the abundance of options, you know, they call it the Paradox of Choice. And as a result, they’re giving up good opportunities. And then suddenly they circle back and we’ll see that guys in a committed relationship. So we need to learn to be aware when someone really great comes along, and I’m telling you, he or she won’t be perfect because none of us are perfect, but if they have, you know, three out of the five of your top traits and give them a second chance Go on a second date going a third date, and at a particular time, move it forward or move on.

Damona  17:07  

I want to pause to talk about that DTR conversation because I have been getting a lot of questions from listeners and from clients about when is the right time. And just as you said, there’s that question of, are you taking your profile down? I don’t know. I don’t want to, like, mention it and then have him think that I’m trying to move things too fast. And I actually had a client recently where we literally spent maybe a month of sessions talking about how to bridge the conversation. And my advice to her was like, just wait a little bit longer, a little longer. I feel like women want to have that cup DTR conversation usually, before the men are ready.

Julie Spira  17:48  

Do you do say, I think it used to be that way and what I’m finding now there’s a shift because I’m working with men who are like I met her and I’m done. I mean, they they want to hunt and they want to like grab their prey now. And so what they’re doing is they’re chasing women away because they’re saying, Okay, so here’s my boundary, this is what I can offer you. And this is what I want to take you and this is how I want to live our life and can we be exclusive, and the women are freaking out and going, Hey, I’ve only been dating you in six days, or six dates or whatever it may be. And so don’t so quick to seal the deal because I love the different phases of courtship. But when it comes to being sexually intimate, you’ve got to decide you know, are you okay? in an open relationship? people I work with are not are, are you? If you’re about to have sex? Do you want them to go get tested, I mean, that’s the perfect time to talk about defining the next phase of your relationship. And that doesn’t mean you putting a ring on it. It just means if you want to be sexually exclusive, let’s go together and get tested I know doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s responsible. And while we’re doing it, you know, I really don’t feel comforted. dating somebody who has an active dating profile. So I’m going to take mine down. But I’m not going to ask you to take your stand until you’re ready. And when you say that, you know, usually someone will just catch up in time. I’m glad

Damona  19:14  

that you you phrased it that way like you make it about you. It’s not you need to take down your profile right now because things are getting serious. It’s, I’m going to take down my profile, you can do what you want. I’m just letting you know where I stand and how I feel. And that takes a level of bravery, Julie, because so many times we are afraid to really express how we feel because if we say we like this person, and they don’t feel the same way yet, then we there there comes the rejection. Again, we feel like we’ve been rejected,

Julie Spira  19:46  

but before you you know, put that big in a scarlet letter are on your face. And then here’s another one that won’t commit to make as they’re playing the field and you must be a player. Make sure you say and I hope you catch up and that doesn’t mean they will Or they won’t, but you’re not putting this like pressure on man. And when you say I hope they’ll catch up, you’re just giving them a little nudge. And chances are they’ll catch up a little sooner than they might have been had you not have to have the conversation.

Damona  20:13  

Yes, I’m a big fan for just just voicing just voicing that thing that you’re feeling. And maybe if you’re a guy, and you’re six days, six days into dating someone, and your instinct is to tell them that you love them. Maybe

Julie Spira  20:27  

that’s too soon.

Damona  20:28  

But like, if you’ve been dating for a little while, and you’re really feeling bonded to someone to say how you feel the end of the story with my client is that last weekend, she she was introducing this guy, she’s been dating to friends. And we came up with her just saying, I’m excited for you to meet my friends. How do you want me to introduce you? And then he said, I’d like to be introduced as your boyfriend. Is that okay? You know, and here there’s like four months this elephant in the room of like, We both feel like we’re exclusive, but nobody really wants to say it. And she was like, I was amazed at how easy it was. And I’ve just seen this happen time and time again, where we make it so much harder, because the different outcomes are so become so much bigger and so much more weighted in our minds.

Julie Spira  21:17  

And I think happy ending and does but you know, relationship labels, I think they’re more important, generally speaking for women than for men. A guy feels good in the relationship. He sees you every Saturday night. He calls you every day texts you in between, you know, as far as he’s concerned, he’s in a relationship. But if you say, you know, I want to be called girlfriend, I want you to call me your girlfriend when you introduce me. You know, he might not be ready to say that just yet. And so it’s really important to understand that doesn’t mean there’s not a level of commitment if you don’t have a label. Labels aren’t important to everybody. That’s a really good point.

Damona  21:56  

Okay, second question of five q fab, Julie. What is the best way to find love.

Julie Spira  22:03  

The best way to find love, okay, I’m feeling I know what you’re gonna say. But

Julie Spira  22:09  

it’s not because you know, I’ve been doing online dating coaching for 25 years. It’s because I love this new research that came out from Stanford, and University of New Mexico that showed that 39% of singles met through online dating number one, as compared to 20%, who met through friends. Now, everyone tells me I want to meet someone that someone knows and I’d like to meet a friend of a friend, but the numbers double Okay, the closest second is through friends at 20% and almost 40% are meeting through dating apps. So if you’re not using a digital dating strategy, along with going out and being your fabulous self and going to your favorite events and going into your hiking clubs, and whatever you may do, just live your life but have an online and an offline strategy because the number First don’t lie and you’re going to be missing out.

Damona  23:03  

Okay, I’m glad you brought up the S word strategy. And you may remember like way back when when we first met and we exchanged business cards, my business card actually said, online dating strategist and people were like, what is that? That sounds super unromantic. I want no part of strategy. But it’s a big part of my philosophy. And I want to know how it is incorporated into your philosophies cyber dating expert.

Julie Spira  23:31  

Well, I you know, it’s romantic to call the business love But love is a multi billion dollar business if you I mean, just look at the number of the amount of people are spending on Valentine’s alone. And we’re looking at dating apps, you know, in the billions of swipes and the multi billions of such an enormous industry that that there is a strategy that is very similar to looking for your dream job. And when you’re looking for your dream job and maybe you’ll go on LinkedIn and you Look for a few things. And maybe you’ll go to networking events and you’ll hand out your card or you’ll swap digits or whatever. The fact is, if you get to the point of finally getting a job interview after doing all of this work, to be prepared to look your best to have the best block and resume out there, and you go on an interview, and you don’t get the job, because there’s a 100 other candidates, you go on the next interview, and if you don’t get the job, because there were 200 candidates, you go on the next interview, because you probably need to pay your rent and put food on the table. And so that same strategy, I transfer that to online dating, and if you’ve had three bad dates, you don’t say I’m not going to go on another bad day because I met people that didn’t look like their profile, because you say okay, I want to find love. I’m going to go on the next day and maybe you’ll have a better experience.

Damona  24:52  

Hmm, that’s that’s a really good point. And like you I like looking at dating in a way as Your own social experiment, where each time you go out with someone, you’re learning about yourself, you’re iterating you’re improving your dating skills, your dating strategy, and then you’re fine tuning to get closer to what you’re looking for. Can we go a level deeper? Julie? Okay. How can this is the actual third question, how can people change their patterns in love? A lot of our listeners don’t like the path that they’re on right now in love. How can they change their patterns?

Julie Spira  25:33  

Well, if you don’t like the path you’re on, you need to hop off that saddle and here’s the problem. We are so used to what is comfortable for us, even if it’s bad for us, therefore, people go after the same type over and over again. And maybe it’s a commitment phobe and then they find another commitment phobe or the down someone that’s just gotten divorced, and then they find someone else who’s newly single and isn’t over their ex yet. And so I think it’s It’s really important to jump out of that comfort circle and date somebody completely different than your last three relationships. Because if you have a type, you know, it’s it’s wired into your brain that this is your type, even if it is bad for you. I mean, if you think about what happens when you bond with someone when you have sex with them, and you know that they’ve, there’s no long term possibilities in that relationship. The next thing you know, they’re on a pedestal, you’re fantasizing about them, you know, the, the hormones are kicking in, and they become better than they really are in real life. So you’ve got to date somebody completely different from your type, and whether they’re shorter or whether they live farther away, or whether, you know, they didn’t have this kind of degree that you thought that you were hoping they would have, whatever it may be, you need to date somebody different and see what it’s like and get uncomfortable for a little bit and give them a couple of chances. Because the Maybe the person who actually would be a great match for you, especially since the other ones didn’t go the distance.

Damona  27:07  

We actually one of our questions today is about type. So I’m going to, I’m going to leave a little bit of this for our technically dating segment. But I just want to say also like identifying your type, because I think we tend to look at just what the physical type is. But identifying what is that pattern, right? Like if you, maybe you date people who are wildly different in physical types, but like the, the relationships have all ended the same way or you feel the same way and the relationships. They’re probably some commonalities that you don’t realize are even there if you go back and connect the dots.

Julie Spira  27:47  

And I think it’s important to just again, make a list now make it a list that’s, you know, got 100 items on it, but make a list of the most important character traits and this is outside of like, What does someone look like? Life is looks changed, we I mean, looks really changed as you get older. But, but make a list of the type of person you want to be with the type of relationship you want, whether it’s casual, they’re committed, whether you want to be married or not. Whether you want a life partner or travel partner, make a list of all the things that you like to do, and then see if you can find someone that gets part of that list and then give them a shot.

Damona  28:27  

Alright, so we’ve been talking about finding that dream match that ideal person that has most of those qualities. What do you think for your, your fourth question for five key fab? What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Julie?

Julie Spira  28:44  

A strong, long lasting relationship. Number one, without a doubt, trust. If you can’t trust the person you’re with, why are you with them? If you’re agonizing about why they didn’t text you last night, maybe they fell asleep or you and you automatically Well, they’re cheating on you because someone else had, and you’re bringing that baggage to the table, if you’re going to have a situation where eventually they won’t, you know, they will betray your trust. If you keep feeling like you don’t trust that person, trust takes a real long time to build and a split second to lose. And that is a really important thing. So again, for online dating, if you’re taking your profile down, and you say you’re going to be exclusive, don’t say it just because you want to get into bed with this person. Say it because you mean it and you’re going to live it and your words mean everything. And so I can’t tell you that relationships once the trust, you know, has been broken, they can be fixed, but it takes a long time and it takes two committed people really working hard at regaining their trust. So don’t lose it in the first place. be that person who you say you are and if they aren’t, move on.

Damona  29:53  

Yes, and that that dovetails into something else that I always wind up coaching my clients on that it’s it’s about getting into the feeling of what it’s like being with that person and sometimes,

Julie Spira  30:09  

like if you have trust issues,

Damona  30:11  

then you your automatic default is not to trust when you’re with someone new. And the only way to tell if someone is trustworthy is by trusting them and seeing that they’re being consistent. But I find it starts with getting into feeling on the date like how do you feel when you’re with them? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like they are doing what they say they’re going to do? What about for those people that already have the built in issue with trust? Maybe they have been they have been taken advantage of in a prior relationship or been cheated on? How can they learn to trust again so that they can have that long lasting relationship that they want?

Julie Spira  30:57  

This is a real issue. This is a real issue because I’ve met people that I’ve worked with, who saw their fathers cheat on their mothers. And therefore, they ended up with boyfriends who cheated on men, and if not what they want it, but for some reason, they repeated this patterns that they grew up with. And so I think, you know, breaking these patterns is clear, clearly the the first step that I see that people need to do, and then how do you do that we have to go back into self love. You have to realize that you know, you are lovable, you are the prize. And whenever someone feels insecure about going on a date, or they feel unhappy in their relationship, and they wish their boyfriend would be more committed, just look in the mirror and go, Hey, he’s lucky to have me, I am the prize. And the more confident you are, the better off you will be in your relationships because a man doesn’t want a needy woman and he doesn’t want an insecure woman and he doesn’t want someone you know, checking up on him and staring at his text messages when he’s taking a nap.

Damona  32:00  

So true. Yep, you have to, you have to find that that faith and that courage to to trust again, and I know it takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time to unravel those, those patterns and even if you saw it as a kid and didn’t experience yourself or you’ve been through it before, it’s not gonna happen overnight. There’s one more question doing for five to fab, whose relationship do you admire and why?

Julie Spira  32:27  

Okay, I’m going to name two. Okay. The first one I’m going to say, would be Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And the reason I say that is because it’s someone that most of us know. And I have admired them for a really long time. They’re both just kind people. They have so much respect for each other. They live their lives as individuals and they live their lives as a couple and they’ve been married for over 30 years. So Hollywood romances are so so difficult, and this is one that you know I give you know, a five star review to because because I just think I’ve been around them and if anyone’s watched them on TV or an award ceremonies, you can just see that they do adore each other. And they do have their independent projects, and they respect each other. So that’s my, my, my Hollywood couple. And outside of that, I’m going to actually add in one more couple, and that is my parents. And I say that with so much love and respect because my parents have been married for 60 years, over 60 years, okay. At my mother met my father when she was a senior in high school. I think she’s the only man she was ever with. And they have been together through thick and thin and they still love and adore each other and they are living, you know, their later years in an adult active retired community where they have this enormous social life and They love their children, they love their grandchildren. And they have it’s still such great role models for me, looking at the love of a share, and that they shared over multiple decades. And I only hope that I get to celebrate a 70th anniversary with them.

Damona  34:16  

Well, that’s beautiful Julie, and I’ve seen pictures of them online and they do look so cute. What do you think is the secret to their long lasting relationship?


Julie Spira  34:26  

That changes just like every relationship changes decade per decade, you want something different and different decades. At this point? I think the secret to their relationship is they watch TV in separate rooms and watch two different news channels. But But really, I think they have such a companionship, my father sends her a card every year on the anniversary of their first date. And in the end, their first date was on May 7. So he has this little poem that he writes, you know, he’s 91 years old, you still write this poem. Remember the day the seventh of may and it was the day of the first day It was the day one year later that he proposed to her and they became engaged. And so he has these rituals of making sure that my mom My mother is loved, you know, all year long, but they never forget the anniversary of their first day. And I think that’s fabulous. Oh my gosh, it gave me chills.

Julie Spira  35:19  

I have no idea when my first day was.

Julie Spira  35:23  

Better go look at the calendar.

Damona  35:25  

I better go look at the calendar. But yeah, it’s a reminder that those little rituals that seems silly like with Valentine’s Day coming up, people are thinking, How do I make this memorable? And sometimes it’s, it’s the little things it’s sending that card. It’s writing that poem, and even it’s the same poem every year that she knows that that she can count on that and she can count on him is something that’s really inspiring for us this Valentine’s Day. Thank you for sharing. How you liking this five q fab. I want to know what what’s your biggest takeaway from today’s episode. You can tweet me or You can leave a comment on Instagram or message me on Facebook and use the hashtag five q fab. That’s the number five q f Eb. And then we’ll be following and sharing your responses about your big takeaways and aha moments from this month’s episodes. Now she’s answered my questions, but it’s time for her to answer yours in the next segment. By the way, we are always doing technically dating so if you have a question, you can always submit it to me for the show on any social platform at damona Hoffman You can also message me through dates and mates.com or leave me a voicemail at 424-246-6255 Don’t be shy. We love hearing your voice. We’ll put all those links and, and instructions in the show notes. But this show works best when you tell me what is on your mind so that I can give you the dating and relationship advice that you need. And chances are if you’re having a question, there’s someone else listening right now to this podcast, who’s going through the exact same thing that you are feeling right now. So you be brave and ask the question that you need an answer to and you could be helping yourself and others to have the love and relationship that you want this year. We’ll be back right after this with more Julie Spyro. All right, we are here with Julie spire off for our final segment. You have sent in your questions and we are giving you answers and I am passing on your questions to Julie Spyro. Who’s the cyber dating expert. And I hand picked these ones for Julie. So just want to say to anyone that submitted a question I know I’ve I’m I have a few questions in queue from previous weeks. But Julie is an expert in online dating so I wanted to make sure that I gave these specific questions to her. So this one came to us in an email from a woman will call Jay. Julie, she says I’m wondering your thoughts on having a type physically and criteria wise when it comes to picking men on the apps. I feel like When I’m out and about meeting men in the wild, she calls it, there’s a cut, there is conversation and sparks that might lead to attraction outside of your type. The apps feel more like reading resumes looking for alignment in terms of interest, education values and physical attraction. So do I break this pattern? On one hand, I’m worried I might miss someone on the other eye. Should I be setting updates with guys that I don’t that don’t seem interesting or attractive to me? Or am I doing these apps wrong? And then she used the like, hands up. What do you do emoji?

Julie Spira  38:34  

Well, I’m doing it wrong. Maybe but maybe not. So I think you should really, my best advice is to look at it as a quantity thing. And how many dates Do you want to go on in a given week? And who in that given week really rises to the top of people you’ve been communicating with, that you think you have enough in common with I’m also a big fan of hopping on the phone. I know what an arcade thing but you Know swapping digits and getting on the phone. Because if you have a phone chemistry with someone, chances are you’re going to have a good experience on the day. But if you’re on the phone with them, and you’re so bored, and you’re like yawning, oh my gosh, I can’t wait for this phone call to end and you take another incoming phone call just to get out of it, then don’t schedule a date because it’s going to be a bomb. And you’re going to it’s going to be a dating disaster. But yes, try and date people that are different than who you dated the week before. And but if you really feel like, Hey, we just have nothing in common. Our backgrounds are so different. I don’t think I can have a good time. What am I going to talk about, then just take a pass because there are so many millions of other people that you could be chatting with. So don’t be too rigid. loosen it up a little bit. But if you really know you’re going to be on a bad date, just don’t go your time is really precious.

Damona  39:56  

Yeah. I am all about one Quality, but also you have to get enough quantity in the mix to make those decisions. And this is this is a big problem with dating apps is that I think people forget that they’re using a tool. The dating app is just the tool. It’s not the it’s not the chemistry, it’s not the butterflies, it’s just the means for you to meet the person. That’s the way I look at it. So I’m like, drive to the date, get offline, get to the date, because all those things that she feels when she’s out in the wild, as she says, and she feels those sparks and the chemistry, you probably aren’t going to get them in the same way when you’re swiping right.

Julie Spira  40:37  

You’re not and the other problem that you have to be concerned about is the false expectation that you’re in a relationship because you’ve been chatting you know, morning noon and night on on via text or WhatsApp or on the dating app. And all of this chatting and this what I call the digital foreplay. It’s sort of advances your relationship where you think you really know someone and like Dimona said, you don’t know them until you actually can get together in person and see what it’s like to laugh at their jokes and see if you really feel enough to want to go on a second date. Because all first date really is, is the opportunity to decide at the end of the day or the evening, do you want to go out again and pull out your calendars and schedule something so it doesn’t get lost in the Abyss?

Damona  41:21  

Yeah, what about this idea of type though, I do want to talk about that. Because I know I I’ve always had a physical type. And I went out with people that were way different from my physical type. But I ended up ultimately with someone who was like, straight down the middle, my exact physical type.

Julie Spira  41:41  

Well, you know, you got lucky, I got lucky.

Julie Spira  41:45  

Because here’s the thing. I had a physical type and it was really interesting. I and then I ended up at one point marrying somebody who was completely opposite my physical type, and it was a bad choice not because of the physical type, but it was a bad choice, but I was at a point My life were, well, I want to get married, I want to settle down, it’s time. And you know, other boxes got checked off. So I thought it was a good decision. So now I’m back to Well, I have a certain type. And sometimes when you meet someone that’s not your type physically in a photo, first of all the photos you don’t know necessarily that they’re going to resemble what you they look like when you meet them in person, you have to hope for truth and advertising. But if you really know that you have a certain type, and you’re comfortable with that type and you’ve had successful relationships with that type, then stick with that type and just, you know, go outside the box a little bit because you do have to go outside the box.

Damona  42:39  

Yeah, and I think sometimes our type is predicated on the experiences that we have, the more that we go out with someone who is 510 and slender, the more we will be attracted the next time to someone who’s 510 and slender, but I think it can be dangerous and especially like I know y’all didn’t Ask about this. But especially when it comes to race, a lot of times people will come to me with a very narrow view of the physical type, the race, the the ethnic background of someone. And I’m like, if you go a level deeper into the values, that person may be completely aligned with you. But you’ve never dated someone who’s African American or Asian, because you just had it in your mind that you date Caucasian men. And we have to sort of shake that up a little bit. If you’re really, if you’re really opening up to finding love.

Julie Spira  43:31  

We have to shake it a lot, because there’s so many great people. And I think that I believe in diversity, and I love you know, inclusion and I love such a variety, I would say the 64 colors of crayons in the Crayola crayon box, you know, and I know dimana you’ve talked about the ice cream flavors, but the fact is, there are so many different types of people and if you haven’t had a chance to be with them, you really shouldn’t say they’re not your type because you don’t know exactly

Damona  44:00  

Thank you for saying that and making me not the only one saying that because I know you believe it too. We have one more question Julie. This okay this is put a strap your seatbelt on. Because this is this is a this is a big one. Kayla on Twitter says how do I quit online dating? I keep having really bad experiences. I’m called a bitch on a daily basis pardon the language on a daily basis for dating with intention. I’m objectified by creeps with every other message but I feel like I’m longing for a relationship so badly that I can’t bring myself to stop

Julie Spira  44:38  

when you’re asking to stop but you don’t want to stop you just want to get rid of the creeps. You know you don’t want somebody sending a dick pic and you don’t want somebody that you know is is calling you a bitch or whatever they want to say because you’re a woman that is strong has strong values and you’re stating your intentions. Keep stating your intentions because you are going to attract someone who’s looking for Exactly what you’re looking for. And as far as these debit guys, you know, swipe left block them, so you don’t have to see them in a search again. And all the tools that these dating apps have right now make it very easy for you to not be bothered by people who are harassing you or make you uncomfortable for any reason.

Damona  45:17  

Yeah, I second that definitely use the block and report feature. They take those those complaints very seriously. But what do you think, Julie? If she’s, I mean, I spent a lot of time on dating apps well, online dating before they were dating apps and I but I help my clients with with dating apps every day. I know you’ve done the same for 25 years. I’ve rarely been called a bitch. And I haven’t seen my clients be called a bitch all that often. Do you think there’s something that she’s doing that maybe allowing these guys it or could it be the app that she’s on? Or could it be something about the way that she’s presenting herself, because like, I don’t want her to be getting this abuse every day,

Julie Spira  45:59  

right? And also I’ve never gotten many views from that, you know, when I’ve been on dating apps, and I’ve seen for the most part, my clients have all had, you know, good experiences, they just didn’t feel that they had enough in common or there wasn’t a connection, but it didn’t mean they were a bad person. And so I don’t know what kind of messages are being sent out. I’ve seen dating profiles with disclaimers, don’t contact me if this don’t contact me if that I mean, don’t say anything that’s negative, you want people to contact you. So I don’t know what your communications have been. I don’t know what types of dates you want to go on. Some women really would prefer not investing a lot of time and going on coffee dates. There are other women that do not want to go on coffee dates, because they don’t want to be in allowed Starbucks and they’d like to have a quieter like lunch conversation with someone even if it’s over a cup of soup. So I think it’s a question of how are you communicating with these guys, because deep down, they want to connect with someone and you want to connect with someone. You’re obviously not a fit with these people, but there has to be another 80% of guys out there that aren’t You a bitch. That’s hope.

Damona  47:01  

Yes Yeah, definitely don’t stand for it. But definitely don’t give up if you really want that relationship keep listening to dates and mates and keep showing up for yourself and setting those boundaries and you’ll find the right one.

Julie Spira  47:14  

Julie this has been such

Damona  47:16  

a blast talking to you again on data needs.

Julie Spira  47:20  

Thank you for having me and Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone and don’t forget you know, gallon times day is the day before Valentine’s Day. So support you know, loving your friendships with your girlfriends ladies. And if you don’t have a Valentine’s date, have a blast on Valentine’s Day.

Damona  47:36  

Thank you for reminding us of that. And thank you for being here. You can follow Julie at Julie aspira on Twitter and Instagram we will put the link to her socials in the show notes as well as her link to cyber dating expert calm which is where she gives dating advice. She has a wonderful blog there with lots of great resources and you can sign up there for her free weekly flirt newsletter which will also give you the seven secrets to finding love online. Thanks for being here. Julie. Thank you. Are you feeling overwhelmed by love month and looking for a little bit more support? And then you are the perfect person to become one of my friends with benefits. We are launching a special Patreon program this week in honor of Valentine’s Day. For our listeners who are ready for more. What is Patreon? Patreon is a platform that allows you to support creators like me to keep making helpful content that you want to hear. And it allows you to get amazing listener benefits by participating. Our page is patreon.com slash dates and mates. What will you get if you sign up? Here’s just a few of the benefits. You get access to a private Facebook group where you can chat with me and other listeners of the show. Maybe you’ll make a love connection there. Maybe you’ll get some more advice that you need that’s directed specifically towards you. You’ll also have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. These will be live these will be video and Phone chats that you’ll be able to participate directly with me so you can get the support that you need in love. And you’ll also get access to behind the scenes content from our nearly 300 episodes of dates and mates.


Julie Spira  49:13  

And for my really, really special


Damona  49:14  

top tier VIP, Fw B’s, you can even get a dating profile analysis, with tips tailored just for you on how to make a magnetic profile that draws just the right kind of dates into you. The Patreon is live now@patreon.com, slash dates and mates. And don’t worry if you’ve never used Patreon before, if you just click the link in the show notes, we will walk you through all of the different tiers and what you get and make it really easy for you to become a part of the community. And by the way, we also have a special bonus for anyone who signs up at the lover or VIP level through the month of February. You’ll also get a free autographed copy of my book, but only if you sign up now before March 1. That’s a special benefit for the lover or VIP level. So you can go to patreon.com slash dates and mates to see which tier is right for you. And I look forward to supporting you on a deeper level and inviting you inside the community as one of my friends with benefits. I hope you enjoyed Episode 296 of dates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. I want to hear your love questions. And I want you to join me again next week when I will have Bella Gandhi who will be doing the five q fab thing with us. Until next week, I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day and happy dating


Being Intimidating & Taboo Topics: Love Month Part 1


It’s February and you know what that means – Valentine’s Day is upon us! And to celebrate the month of love, we’ll be doing something special. We have 4 of the top prior Dates & Mates guest love experts who will be joining me for the next 4 weeks.


We’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for Technically Dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devised the top 5 question about the state of romance today.

So each week in February you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective to the same big love dilemmas – I’m calling this series 5 Question February.


This week, we’re joined by the FABULOUS Francesca Hogi!

Franny is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She is a Match and Today Show love expert, and has been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Mens Health. 

Fun Fact: she was also a contestant on two seasons of the CBS reality show Survivor. Francesca is the co-host of the podcast Romantical and the host of the podcast Dear Franny. 

She’s here to give you the no nonsense answers that you need to hear.

More on that later, first we have headlines!



Is A$AP Rihanna’s rebound?

Rihanna may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound.


The MOST TABOO Topic on dates

Seriously people, don’t talk about your breakups. It ain’t cute.


Your guide to swipe safety this month

Are swipe apps really that dangerous?


#5QFeb (14:60)

Damona asks Franny the 5 MOST IMPORTANT dating questions of our time:

  • What is the biggest challenge for daters today?
  • What is the best way to find love?
  • How can people change their patterns in love?
  • What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship?
  • Whose relationship do you admire and why?



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

  • IG – I’m a 46 year old divorcee. Should I pay for a dating app to get better results? I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks.
  • I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins. When and how can I date?



Damona  0:17  

Welcome to dates invades your dating and relationships source for swipe season, Valentine’s Day divorcement and everything else that you need help navigating right now. It’s February and you know what that means Valentine’s Day is upon us and to celebrate the month of love. I’ll be doing something special. We have four of the top prior guests love experts from dates and mates who will be joining me for the next four weeks of episodes. I’ve been listening to the questions that you all have sent for technically dating and hearing the challenges that the media has asked me to comment on lately and devise the top four questions about the state of romance today. So each week in February, you’ll hear me with a different love expert giving their unique perspective on the same Big Love dilemmas. I’m calling this series for question February. But first I’m going to introduce my guest co host for today. Francesca hoagie is a love and life coach for extraordinary people who happen to be single. She’s a match and today’s show love expert and she’s been featured in multiple national publications such as Harper’s Bazaar Marie Claire, and men’s health funfact. She was also on two seasons of the CBS reality show survivor, and now she’s the co host of the podcast romantical and she has a new podcast called dear frannie. Let’s give big smooches to Francesca hoagie. Hey, welcome back to the show. Thank you for having me.


Franny  1:41  

damona I love being here. I love having


Damona  1:43  

you and I’m so excited for this month of love with you. And to cover these headlines including riana may have found love in a hopeless place, or at least a rebound. And the most absolutely most taboo topic on dates. will tell you what that is plus will give you the latest news on Swype safety for this year’s season of love. And then we’ll answer your questions including do paid dating apps yield better results. And how can you date if you’re a single mom with newborn twins?


Franny  2:17  

With great difficulty?


Damona  2:20  

Ready to do this? I’m so ready. Let’s do this. These dating dish, according to Page Six, riana and ASAP Rocky are reportedly dating. Now if you are late to the news, she was dating billionaire. That’s with a B, that’s gonna be a beautiful billionaire. Double be a son Jamil. I mean, let me tell you this man. This man had it together but it didn’t seem to work out for them. According to sources, they said that they just were living different lives and it just didn’t work. So


Franny  2:53  

people, they don’t buy you happiness. Well, I mean, they can buy you some a lot of things that can make you happy.


Franny  2:59  

True. That’s true. That’s true. But you need some other things too. But maybe ASAP Rocky has those things.


Franny  3:05  

Hopefully, actually, I think that first celebrities and you know, even though that guy is a billionaire, and he has a high public profile celebrities, and he’s beautiful, and he’s beautiful, it’s easier for celebrities to date other celebrities. And in general, sure,


Franny  3:19  

because there is Liberty


Franny  3:20  

because their lives are just so bizarre. And right, they just have a whole set of concerns that they have to deal with that. I don’t I think it’s hard for a non famous person to understand what it’s like to have to navigate both a relationship which can be obviously very challenging in even if you’re the most anonymous people in the world, you know, and then add on top of the fact that every move you make is being documented and speculated on and Oh yeah,


Damona  3:47  

people saw this they saw they were sharing a hotel suite in New York together. And just to your point about celebrities dating celebrities, ASAP Rocky has had quite a history of famous exes. He was with candled For a couple years, he was with Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea. He’s been linked to riana before there was this whole thing about him grabbing her button public a few years ago. scandalous, scandalous. But here’s the thing. She heard her sources people close to her saying like, Look, she just got out of this serious relationship. It’s just a rebound. She’s saying she’s trying to be single. She’s not looking for a serious relationship right now. Like Yeah, oh, girl can’t even


Franny  4:28  

lurking and being like, What are you guys doing in the suite together? I am. So


Franny  4:32  

I, you know, there’s there’s obviously benefits to being famous. But there’s so many drawbacks. And this is one of them. Like, you can’t just like hang out with your ex and like, get a little nookie. without, you know, strangers sitting around talking about it and speculating on it.


Damona  4:47  

That’s true. Just like we’re doing right now. Exactly. But I hope I hope she really finds love because I think she deserves it. And she’s had a rough go of it.


Franny  4:54  

Yeah, it’s hard. She’s such a boss, and she’s so busy. She’s juggling so many things. And I mean, think of like the confidence level A man has to have to be able to be with a woman who is like such a superstar. And then you add on top of just the time factor, like how do they make time for a relationship? You know? So there’s a lot of challenges there for


Damona  5:16  

a lot of our superstar ladies that are listening to this, this podcast that may be thinking, it’s really hard for me to find a match, like one element is sometimes it is intimidating when you have everything together. The guys that don’t approach you are the ones that don’t feel like they can handle all that. Yeah, so maybe that kind of rejection is not such a bad thing. And you should save yourself for Yeah, great term match.


Franny  5:40  

Oh, yeah. Anyone who’s intimidated by you is not for you. So he doesn’t have the competence, you know, but I do think that as women who might be perceived as being intimidating, it is worth thinking about. Okay, am I leading too much with my accomplishments, am I leading too much with it? And I don’t mean to say like, I want to be really clear about this, I don’t mean to dumb yourself down or pretend like, Oh, I just have a little company. And you


Franny  6:09  

know, I’m not saying that, but


Franny  6:10  

I think even just in your interactions with people, like most people go on dates, and they talk about their jobs, right? Which is like, generally like not, it’s not right for romance, right? Like, it’s not right for like connection. And I’ve seen this with women who they feel that men are intimidated by them by their sex because of their success. But then they also when they meet men, it’s kind of like they’re using their success as a little bit of a crutch, and they’re leaning into it as a kind of a thing to puff them up. And I don’t know, I think it’s kind of a subconscious thing that we can do sometimes. So


Damona  6:42  

well, it’s what’s giving you love back. So the thing that you’re successful at is the thing that’s giving you that that feedback and making you feel successful. So you then you lean into that when you’re on the dates and then you talk more about those things. But that’s not how that’s not how women really are meant to attract men. That’s not attractive to men that’s attractive to women who are looking for providers. And we’re talking about traditional gender roles. But I’m curious, as we were going through these headlines, what you should definitely not talk about on first dates. And there was an article in elite daily that talked about those who discussed breakups. Yeah, on first dates. I hear this all the time, too.


Franny  7:25  

Yeah. My feeling.


Damona  7:26  

My feeling is if you’re talking about a breakup on a first date, your first date is not going well.


Franny  7:33  

I agree. I don’t think it’s a good sign. We’re talking about breakups. Also just talking about not even like necessarily breakups, like you were in a relationship, just talking about how dating is going on the app and like, Oh, my God, yeah. So last week, I went on this date with this guy. I’m like, what, you know, why are you talking about that on your day, right? Yeah, no way I’m all about I really, really encourage people to set an intention when you go on a date, and put your Like setting an intention to, you know, see if you can spark a connection with that other person to just set an intention to just be present in that moment, share something of yourself, learn something new, just something that’s going to keep you really focused on the other person and the connection that you might be able to build because a lot of people go on dates and they feel like, oh, there was no spark. But then if you break down, what would you talk about? You talked about work you bring you talked about your ex, he talks about where you grew up, okay. Like where you went to school? Like, I mean, that’s not, that’s not that’s not I think you can do better.


Damona  8:34  

Yeah. And I feel that, of course, there are people that are going to be boring on dates that are going to be uncomfortable on dates that aren’t going to really inspire you, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to to take the conversation where you want it to go. Agreed. And if you are saying, Well, that was a boring day. Well, you were boring, some responsible Yeah, yeah. Making it boring yourself.


Franny  8:56  

Yeah. And if it means you have to think about questions ahead of time to Ask if it means like when you when you start talking about work, or you know, your date starts talking about work, you know, instead of asking them 20 questions about their boring accounting job that you don’t have any interest in, and they probably hate anyway, right? You know, say like, well, if you’re going to talk about work, you know, what do you love about what you do? Or if you could do anything, what would it be? Or what do you want to be when you were a kid, like just something to, you know, have it be something that’s more about what they care about and their values and what they dream of, you know, just there’s ways to hibbett conversation so that you’re going to a more a place that’s more likely to yield some real connection.


Damona  9:36  

I really love those tips and remembering that you, you can pivot, you don’t have to stay on track track that is leading you to a boring conversation, and you can do it gently.


Franny  9:48  

You don’t have to be like, let’s not talk about this anymore. This is boring. Don’t say that. Right? Like you can do it really gently. It’s a skill, but it’s a skill that you can develop and it’s it’s worth it’s worth it’s worth developing.


Damona  9:58  

Yeah, and you you really could change any conversation topic at any point just by leaning in and be like, you know what I’m really curious about. And then the other person will lean in and be like, Oh, yeah, body language and be like, well, I want to know what you’re curious about. Yes. And I love that so great. What did you dream of when you were a kid?


Franny  10:16  

which wouldn’t be what did you want to be when you were a little kid? Yeah. I’m


Damona  10:21  

queen or princess. Initially, and then I wanted to be an architect. I’m really into historic homes and, and design. And then I took drafting one on one and almost flunked out of high school. I’m really more interested in cheerleading. So I had to find something else to do with my life. Yeah. What about you? I wasn’t


Franny  10:44  

really a kid who had any strong sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I do remember after I saw the movie, Wall Street, I wanted to be a corporate raider. No, really an actor I saw Top Gun I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Very briefly. I don’t know what this reveals about my person.


Damona  11:00  

You are inspired by the things you see.


Franny  11:02  

I guess what I think I think I was inspired by I don’t know, power.


Franny  11:07  

alarming, but um, yeah, I never really knew I never really knew


Damona  11:10  

while we’re, while we’re talking about power, the transfer of power. A lot of times with dating apps people tell me that they’re afraid of something happening to them. They’re afraid of dating safety, like people that are hungry for power that might take advantage of them. And there were some new features that Tinder rolled out to address this concern. They announced that they’re, they’re now using a panic button, you have to download a an additional app to get this. And here’s the catch that app actually sends data it shares your data with its your location. So they it’s the same technology that you that Uber uses, okay, it’s sharing your location with Facebook and a bunch of other apps and other data that you don’t necessarily have control over. Yeah, but I digress. It can alert the authorities if you are uncomfortable on a date.


Franny  12:08  

And then they all said also just use you have in the future if anyone has an iPhone and probably Android has the same feature you have there’s an emergency. You know, if you hit that side button


Damona  12:20  

I sit down. Yeah,


Franny  12:20  

I think Megan emerge. I think everyone has probably accidentally done this and you’re like, Oh, God.


Franny  12:27  

But dial but dial but yeah, you know, I think it’s good. It’s me.


Franny  12:30  

Well, you think that people?


Franny  12:33  

I don’t know if it’s necessary. Okay. I’ll tell you. I do think that, you know, Tinder in particular has has that reputation like, Oh, you can’t go on Tinder. Like, you know, it’s just for hookups. And there’s, you know, people looking to abduct you or you know, but I think that


Franny  12:49  

so we hear those stories. I mean, we hear those stories, but we hear like


Franny  12:54  

I don’t know, six of those stories a year


Damona  12:57  

and look at how many people are date and


Franny  12:58  

look at how many times 10s of millions of people are on Tinder. So it is a very, very, very, very uncommon occurrence. So obviously, you want to be smart, and their ways to be smart. And I find that generally when you’re actually paying attention, and you’re not, you know, maybe kind of ignoring things or hoping against hope because like, well, this person, their pictures are really great. So I just want to meet them, and you’re not, you know, you’re, you’re maybe ignoring some signs that there’s something a little off, or, you know, maybe they’re pressuring you, or they’re like, they want to meet really quickly, you know, or just things ideal, either something’s off, you know, or like, they’re insisting that they pick you up or you mean, like, just things like, just don’t, you know, it’s, it’s just important to be smart. And make sure when you’re, I don’t care which app you’re on, you know, you don’t know this person. And even if you meet somebody, you know, and you can meet somebody in church who turns out to be, you know, not a good person, right? So you just have to just exercise that common sense. We meet in a in a public place and place you feel comfortable. Be you know have your own transportation. Right. So you’re not relying on a stranger to pick you up or take you home. You know,


Damona  14:12  

so and that’s like meeting someone. And in any, in any setting Yeah, yeah, you don’t know them. They’re not checked out by, in fact, actually there was I went out with somebody that I met at a party through a friend and I was still like, something’s off about this guy. Even even then you don’t even know. Yeah, you don’t say don’t know, just be seeing this feature. They also added a photo Vera verification feature. That’s cool.


Franny  14:37  

That’s great. Yeah, so it’s already.


Damona  14:40  

Yeah, it’s using AI and then like, trusted people internally, to make sure that you are who you say you are. Yeah. Do we need that or is catfishing that much of a problem?


Franny  14:51  

I mean, I don’t think similar to the safety issue. catfishing is a problem but it’s usually whenever somebody has been captured When you look back, and you kind of look back at the messages, you look back at the profile, it’s not that hard to spot. Yeah, it’s really like, I mean, if you’re looking at somebody, and their profile is just like, oh my god, this is the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen. And these model photos and like, you know, and things are looking, he was in the Navy, and like, you know, like, it’s just like, you know, it, you could do like a river. If you if you’re suspicious, you could do a reverse reverse image search, you know, in Google, you can take a picture from the app, and you can put it into Google and you can see where else it comes up. So usually the cat pictures they’re using stock photos or they’re using photos from you know, that are appearing lots of other places that you’re like, Oh, wait, this isn’t the same person


Damona  15:40  

and we want to believe the fantasy don’t mean frannie like want to believe Haha, yeah, this idea of the person, like so many times people right into the show, and they’re like, I am in love. I fell in love with this person. In fact, I just posted on my Instagram today that I don’t believe in it. In love at first sight. It’s a myth and somebody said, Well, maybe you just haven’t experienced it, huh? No. You don’t know that person. Right? I mean, you don’t know that person. You tell them


Franny  16:09  

you don’t know them. You don’t you? You? Well, that’s kind of a philosophical question. What


Franny  16:15  

is love?


Franny  16:16  

Love Is it can choose a lot. But I mean, yes, obviously when most people when they’re thinking it’s love at first sight, it’s just it’s lost its luster first. It’s chemistry. It’s Oh my god, this is finally the kind of person that I’m looking for. But you know, one big solution to catfishing is just meet them, meet them in person, right? Just meet them in person, because the person who has a million excuses why they can’t meet and oh, and I’m out of town and this and that, and it’s adding up. It’s like the you know, it’s pretty obvious if your gut is telling you it’s


Damona  16:47  

probably Lissa. What it Yes, yeah. And I think there’s a bigger issue of people not necessarily stealing other people’s photos. I know that is happening, but it’s more just people having false advertising. editing photos, which we announced a couple weeks ago Bumble is cutting down down on and and taking those photos off. But it’s more people just using old photos. Yeah, it’s always advertising or just not looking like themselves when you meet or just not being attractive to you like you can look at someone’s picture. I don’t know how many online dates I went on where I was like, oh, that person looks really hot. And you’re like, Oh, I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel


Franny  17:26  

it Are you are you were like, Oh, you can see it’s not a catfish. It’s like, Oh, this is you. But this is the best picture you have ever taken in your life.


Franny  17:36  

We’ve all done it. We’ve all


Franny  17:38  

done it. So I think if there’s anything that’s feeling off about someone’s profile, just ask yourself, if these photos weren’t as good if this person didn’t look as hot, or they didn’t have this job, or there’s something that I’m like really, really looking for would I still be excusing or ignoring an intuition that I have? And you know, just check in with yourself because it’s usually it’s because the people who are out there to deceive people, they know what to do they know the profile to put together, they know how to make themselves look so irresistible. They’re experts at it. They’re experts at it. So it’s like if somebody seems like really too good to be true, and then there’s something off about the communication and they’re not you know, trying to meet you in person are there you know, there’s something shady going on there just you gotta you gotta listen to your instincts and use your common sense and just say it’s, it’s a leap of faith to say, the person who was right for me is out there and I don’t have to waste my time hoping against hope with somebody who’s showing me already that there’s something not right here.


Damona  18:38  

Yes, you have to keep the faith. Love is out there for you. We will give you more hope later in this episode, and we’re doing this fun. Five question February. So when we come back, Franny is going to answer my five questions about the state of love relationships and romance. Today, so stick around.


Franny  19:03  

We are back with frannie. She hosts the dear frannie podcast and she has been a go to expert in media for years. So I know that she can tackle these big issues for five question February. And I’m really excited to hear these questions because I Can I just tell everyone, yeah, that you offered to show me the questions ahead of time. I said, No, don’t show me at a time. I just want to freestyle it. So let’s go.


Damona  19:28  

She’s not good. She can answer these questions on the fly. We’ll see. Okay, Francesca hoagie. What is the biggest challenge for traders today? Ooh,


Franny  19:39  

gosh, that’s a big question.


Franny  19:40  

I told you. Yeah.


Damona  19:42  

I know you can handle I can handle it. And you can break it down into chunks. Yeah, yeah. One question that you always Yeah. here from Pete.


Franny  19:50  

Um, I would say, Okay, well, there’s probably two things that initially comes to mind. One of the biggest challenges is that we have so much cultural messaging conditioning around romance that’s so terrible. And I’m talking about like the fairy tale industrial complex. And you know, there’s one perfect person and you’re going to know as soon as you see them. And as soon as you meet that perfect person, everything’s going to fall into place. And you’re either lucky in love Are you aren’t. So I think that kind of mindset that people have about romance in general is a huge, huge, huge obstacle to love and real connection. So there’s that. But then there’s also because of dating apps, and because of the proliferation of online dating, people have this sense that they have infinite choice. And it becomes this illusion that oh, well, I there’s something one little thing I don’t like about someone, I’ll just keep going because I’ll find that perfect person. So they’re related, right? It’s this idea that you’re going to know right away, and the person is going to be perfect, and then everything is going to fall into place. And just know that even though there are millions and millions of people on dating apps, all of those people are not Actually options for you, right? And not all of those people. You most people overestimate their ability to determine who is and who isn’t compatible for them, like in a very short amount of time. So people are very quick to dismiss someone because they’re like, Oh, no, like, Oh, I only want somebody who’s, you know, six too early, six feet tall, or like, you know, or just like, oh, like, he seems too nerdy. And I need somebody who’s that, you know, just all of these little things that I should. I’m going to quote another expert here. Michelle Jacoby, who I interviewed recently for my podcast, and she said something I was like, Oh, my God, this is so good. And she, she was talking about how she was in DC. And she was on a corner and she saw this father and daughter and they were just having this really lovely father daughter moment. And she was like, Oh, my God, that’s so sweet. Like, Oh, look at that bother. He really loves his daughter. It’s so sweet. And then she thought I was I was single, what would I think looking at that guy? And she said, Oh, I think well, he doesn’t really dress that well. He’s kind of dorky and, and it was like all this stuff. And then She realized that, you know, it’s like the opposite of beer goggles, like we put on these dating goggles. And when you have your dating goggles on, and you’re always looking for what’s wrong, and you’re always picking people apart, and I just think that’s so wise and so true. So I don’t I think maybe I’m going on a tangent, maybe I should have gotten these questions ahead of time.


Franny  22:20  

But I think, you know, people,


Franny  22:23  

people, and especially people who could should really kind of know better because they can look at their own dating history and their own dating success to kind of know, like, Oh, I’m maybe not as good at this as I think I am. Like, maybe I’m not as good at picking partners as I think I am. Maybe I’m not as good as making a snap decision about who is and who isn’t right for me. But oftentimes, people just want what they want. And they don’t stop to think like, Oh, well, why do I want that? And is that important? And what am I bringing to the table and, you know, what is the relationship I want to have and the people that I’m focusing on, are they even capable of being the kind of partner that I’m looking for? So


Damona  22:57  

I want to break this down a little bit because I I hear a lot. You I’m sure you get this to clients will come to me and they’ll say, well, I’ve been looking but I’m just really picky. Yes. When you hear I’m really picky. Yeah. What do you say to that?


Franny  23:13  

I, I think that Okay, first of all, I should be, I should just want to say that, obviously, you should be selective about who you,


Damona  23:20  

you know, have a relationship with. I mean, I, when I was dating, I was just not picking. Like you’re


Franny  23:28  

I just and I only say that because I think that sometimes when people hear, you know, dating experts, or coaches like us to say, like, you know, talk kind of criticize people for being overly picky, they’re like, Well, you know, you just want me to date some loser, just, you know, and it’s like, No, I don’t, I don’t want you to date somebody who isn’t a great fit for you. I don’t want you to date somebody who or be in a relationship with somebody, get into a relationship with someone unless you’re excited to be in a relationship and you have attraction and all those you know, so let’s I want to say that for anybody who’s like, shutting down here, stay with us. Stay with us. But when I hear I’m just really picky, that tells me that there is a vulnerability challenge and that they’re hiding behind a lot of pickiness in order to avoid having to, like be truly intimate with someone.


Franny  24:16  

Turn it off you guys.


Franny  24:18  

That’s my first indication. Yeah. And then sometimes people just really, I think, in dating, we’re so focused on this list of like, Okay, this person has these, all these trades, and you can have 1000 things on that list. But a, you need to go through all of those things and make sure that they actually have to do with your relationship with that person, which most of them don’t, right. And you have to make sure and then you have to be able to prioritize what those things are, right? Because you can have 1000 things but if you’re looking for them all in one person, that’s not a person that’s a unicorn, that’s a fantasy. So it’s about really understanding what are the most foundational things for you and really starting to sort from that place which makes A lot easier.


Damona  25:08  

And then let’s go into this Paradox of Choice because I hear this a lot in the media actually, that there are so many options today. Nobody wants to make any choices. And so then people are just choosing.


Franny  25:21  

Yeah, I’m not choosing anyone, right? Or most people in dating apps don’t even go on a date. So I’m sure you are familiar with that statistic. That’s


Damona  25:27  

a that is real. In my experience as a dating coach, my clients end up making selections. So I’m wondering what is different is it you think it’s just when you get to the point of you’re like, I need support with this, I’m going to hire a dating coach. And then we talk through the questions like, why am I not seeing with my clients this Paradox of Choice happening? Yeah, instead with my clients. They’ll work with me for three or four weeks and then they’re like, Oh my gosh, I already met somebody that I really like this be it Should I date other people? I mean, this has literally happened to the last clients that I had there. Like, should I stop now? I mean, should there should there maybe there’s somebody better out there but I don’t know this person seems pretty great. Yeah,


Franny  26:12  

well that well that’s because your clients and my clients are coming to us because they’re actually ready. And they’re and they’re open to listening. And I mean, I think for me, my clients same thing, they get to that place really quickly and it’s because once I say you can’t look at a dating app profile can’t look at a little two inch photo and you know 100 character bio and think you are able to determine whether or not you can be in a relationship with this person.


Damona  26:39  

So love at first sight is a myth and


Franny  26:43  



Franny  26:46  

but so I think once you understand that, the purpose of swiping right on someone the purpose of going on a first date with someone is not that you’ve already decided that yes, this is a person I can see myself with forever. That’s too high of a bar is too unrealistic of a bar, and you will, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment with that bar. So I think for me, when I explain to my clients like, you know, when you’re looking at a profile, you’re just trying to decide like, Can I talk to this person for 10 minutes, because most of those people that that you match with, it’s never it’s not going to go beyond that 10 minutes, a lot of people it’s going to, you know, you’ll make your decision here. I mean, a lot of people, first of all response rates are not 100%. For anyone show, you’re never even not even all going to turn into conversations. A lot of those people are going to take themselves out of the running, because they’re going to you’re being open and then they’re going to say something or like, and now I’m closed. You know, they’re going to take themselves out of the running or they’re not serious about meeting or you know, all these things. So when we point that out to our clients, and we teach them like this is a tool This is not like a crystal ball, right? This is a tool and you have to use it like a tool. In this year. Success on this platform is going to be based on your strategy and your approach. And the decisions that you make, and you know, people are paying us money because they’re ready to meet someone. So they’re ready to hear that. Yeah, but the average date or, you know, the average data online never goes on a date. And that’s so true. And it’s not because they’re not millions of options, right?


Damona  28:14  

Just to add one more thing about love at first sight. When I first saw my profile, I actually did say, Oh, my God, where have you been? And I did, I was in love at first sight. But I was in love at first sight, probably 20 other times. Oh, yeah. just so happened that time really does love. Yeah, that’s why even though


Franny  28:37  

my mother says she, my father at first sight, they met IRL back in the day. Sure. But and she said she she walked she saw him walking across the room and she said she fell in love with him the first night for that even spoken to each other.


Damona  28:49  

But that’s happened to me too. And then it didn’t work out, you know? Yeah, no. question. Question one. Oh, my God. The second question. What do you think the Best way to find love is today.


Franny  29:02  

Hmm, I think the best, most important way to find love is to make sure that you have a love mindset that is conducive to it. And then honestly, it’s irrelevant like which app you’re on and all because it’ll be. It’s making its taking chance out of it and making it in evitt. In inevitability. I can’t say that word in every city.


Damona  29:21  

Okay, you said it yesterday. Do you think that people can meet offline now?


Franny  29:27  

Absolutely. Of course they can. Every time you leave your house, you have the potential to meet someone special. I met my boyfriend on the street,


Franny  29:33  

just on the streets walking home. Come on.


Franny  29:36  

I’ve met I’ve dated so many guys that I’ve met just out in the world, but it’s because I have an attitude. And I had had that attitude for a long time, which is that every time I leave my house, I have the potential to meet someone special and I believe that that’s your mantra. That’s my mantra. So like, why not


Damona  29:52  

wait but when you met him, are you looking down at your phone and I


Franny  29:56  

wasn’t looking along. I was not looking down at my phone. I was rushing because I was trying to make the lights across the street.


Franny  30:04  

I don’t have time, but sometimes we do that though. Yeah. Wait, what happened?


Franny  30:08  

So what happened was, um, he was with his brother. And we had all been in a screening a few blocks away and his brother recognized me from the screening. So as I was rushing by his brother said, Oh, hey, how’d you like the movie? And I was like, oh, oh, you guys were in there, too. Yeah. So then I so then I laid my panic button. So then I missed the light because I stopped to talk to them. But then I didn’t fall in love at first sight. But I did have this intuition. Once I started talking to my boyfriend. I did have this intuition. Just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to this guy. I just feel like I’m supposed to keep talking to him. I did that came to my they came to me like very clearly.


Franny  30:45  

Yeah, yeah, that’s different than love it first.


Franny  30:48  

Yeah. I didn’t say that. I had fallen in love at first sight. I’m just saying I’m not gonna rule out the possibility that it can happen. It can happen and it does happen to you and my mother. At least


Damona  31:00  

I see I’m still not buying it.


Franny  31:01  

Okay, we don’t have to talk about.


Damona  31:03  

It took time for me to, to actually know him and love him.


Franny  31:09  

It took time for you to decide that this is a person that you were going to choose to love.


Franny  31:14  

Yes. Okay.


Franny  31:18  

Next time that takes is no kids.


Damona  31:20  

Okay, as we were talking about these mindset and beliefs. The third question is how can people change their patterns in love?


Franny  31:29  

Okay, well, the first thing is even recognize that you have a pattern, because a lot of people don’t see their patterns, or they believe that their patterns are just happening to them. So once you understand that you are the common denominator and your pattern, everyone has one, even if you don’t date at all, that’s still a pattern, right? So even if your if your pattern is you only get like mad crushes on unavailable people. That’s a pattern right? So everyone has a pattern. So when you see that they’re like, and then you You start to understand, oh, even if it’s happening on a subconscious level, like I am pulling the strings here. So when you that, like, I swear, that’s half the battle of just just identifying it. And then if you commit to it, then you can start to say, all right, well, if there’s some, if I’m doing this, how can I start to what can I start to do differently? Like, why am I drawn to people who aren’t into me? You know, why do I have a belief that people are cheaters? And if that because if I really believe that if you really believe that everybody is going to cheat, you’re going to always be attracted to cheaters. Sure. It’s amazing how this works. These beliefs are like, they are like, set it and forget it. So


Damona  32:40  

I’m curious about something you said earlier, when you met your boyfriend and you trusted your intuition and we talked about this. Yeah, we went deep on the dear frannie podcast, and I talked about my own experience with intuition and teaching people how to how to tap into here and here it yep. We have so much chatter down there that sometimes you can’t even hear the intuition. Yes. So is that an element


Franny  33:08  

of it, it is an element of it. There’s, if you if you really, if you start to really understand that we are co creators in all of our relationships, like, and, you know, it’s, it’s empowering really like, you know, this isn’t just happening to you, you’re not a victim. Right? And so, you may have had some experiences and some programming that happened that made you think that this is how relationships have to be. And in your mind, you think that you know, to be with somebody who say, doesn’t value you or doesn’t respect you, if there’s some belief there that that’s quote unquote, safe, because that’s what you’re used to. And that’s the message that you got at a young age or, you know, some traumatic experience. Then when you understand that, then it’s like, Okay, I need to go deeper in myself. Make sure that what I believe is possible for me is what I actually want. Because so many people are out here, they’re looking for love, and they’re looking for connection, and they’re looking for partnership, but they don’t really believe that they can have it. And if you don’t believe you can have it, you’re going to make yourself right about what you believe. And it’s, it’s so it’s really important to understand that so obviously, it’s a longer process. And you know, I know you have a process where you work with your clients through this, I have a process where I work with my clients through this, but honestly, the first step is just recognizing that you have a pattern and that you are pulling the strings and then to become determined to like get curious and figure out okay, why am I doing that and how can I stop?


Franny  34:37  

It doesn’t take long right? We


Franny  34:38  

can do you know, I’m sure you can do this. I’m sure you can help your clients work through this and like a couple of sessions.


Damona  34:43  

Well, yeah, I’m I’m interested in you said when you’re identifying that, that pattern, that it’s like you said you can people can self sabotage like you can still be acting like You deserve love and you want love. Then you self sabotage like, how do you know that that’s happening for you? So you identify Yeah, where that that block is because you’re like, I’m doing all the things like this is what I hear a lot from our listeners. I’m on all of the apps. I’m meeting people out I did my profile makeover. I did my personal makeover. I did my wrote a letter to my family. Yeah, and process that. And yet, I’m still getting this. Yeah.


Franny  35:32  

So it’s important to understand that


Franny  35:36  

the beliefs like the true beliefs that are really like what’s pulling the strings here, this, this resides on a subconscious level. So if I ask anyone, and I asked people this all the time, you know, like, I have myself a formula and you know, I work my clients through that and part of it is self worth. That’s a huge part. And every single person I asked, Do you believe that you are truly worthy of having the love the commitment, the intimacy, the fulfilling relationship that you’re looking for? Everyone’s like yes, instantly. Instant. Yes, hell yes. Everyone says yes. I’m like, Okay, great. I’m going to ask you the question again. And this time, I want you to take a deep breath. And I want you to close your eyes. And know that your brain is going to say yes. And we want to confirm with whatever comes up in your body that is a real Yes. And then just sit for a moment, just sit with that question for a moment and see what happens in your body. And 99% of the time, they’re like, Oh, actually, I got this, like, pit in my stomach, or this tightness in my chest. Or, you know, I had a client recently described it as they felt this heaviness or like, so there’s, like, our emotions, really, in our subconscious speaks to us through our bodies, which is why like getting into your body and having body awareness is actually like, it’s actually important. If you have you know, a lot of subconscious believes that it’s just important to check in. It’s just a check in because hey, if you ask yourself the question and your heart swells, and you feel relaxed and excited and you get that like juicy, warm feeling, then that’s a Amazing, you’re on the right track, right? But if it is anything less than that, you just want to check in with that and just say, Okay, if there is something in me that believes that I’m not worthy of having this, for whatever reason, don’t judge it just like, for whatever reason, then if I did believe I was worthy, what would I do right now? And just keep checking in with yourself just trying to like change your choice, just how would that change your choices and just it’s like, it’s just sort of starting to retrain yourself to understand that your logical brain is not the only thing that’s driving the train here. And so you’ve got to go a little deeper.


Damona  37:37  

Okay, I’m gonna give everyone like a secret advance. Notice that we’re going to be doing a workshop together. Yes, doing some of this mind body spirit connection in love. So it’s a little ways off. Yes, we will announce it when the time is right when the Registration is open, but if you like what what Franny is talking about, you’re going to go home. More when you work with us in person in May. Okay, there’s more questions. What are the elements of a strong, long lasting relationship? Oh, beautiful


Franny  38:11  

acceptance of yourself and the other person true vulnerability. So that’s really the risk, the ability to risk pain, right of opening yourself up and really going deep with another person, letting them see who you really are seeing who they really are. That’s the hardest part for me. I mean, I think, I think that vulnerability, like true vulnerability is often the last love block to fall for people. And they got like, so much they’ve worked on the belief they’ve worked on, you know, the acceptance they’ve worked on, you know, putting themselves out there, they work on all these things, but that vulnerability piece isn’t quite there. And so that’s why, you know, they keep on kind of bumping up against a pattern that’s like not serving them. I say that a lot. So acceptance, vulnerability. shared that values, yes, dancing, that’s really important. And I ended beyond values also just like a shared vision of your life, you know, like, what’s the kind of life that you want to lead, because, you know, if you are somebody who knows that you want to get married, and you want to have three kids, and you are continually dating people who are like, I don’t know, actually, I want my freedom, and I want to do this, and I want to do that, and I want to spend every weekend, I don’t know, campaign or, you know, like, you know, whatever it is, like you have to just understand, like, you know, you can do what many people have done throughout history, which is kind of force a square peg into a round hole. But you know, that’s not going to be a very fulfilling relationship. So


Damona  39:43  

yeah, and I think this is such a great time right now where you have the ability to choose Yeah, yeah, go a different way or to not need to get married to have that mean that you in a person are committed to one another or to date someone One of a different gender for the first time or to not, not date at all. Like, yeah, I have so many options that, especially for women were just not available to us, even if you even one generation. Yeah. Oh, yeah,


Franny  40:15  

absolutely. Yeah. So you know, so understanding that and then, you know, commitment, like being committed, like really committed that like, okay, we’re in this together, when challenges arise, we’re going to work through them together. And I’m not going to hightail it at the first sign of trouble, because trouble will always appear. Right? Like, it’s never going to be smooth sailing, and you just genuinely like each other, enjoying each other’s company. I think people underestimate that. Like, it’s not always going to be like, you know, fancy trips and romantic dinner. It’s like you’re just going to be sitting on the sofa a lot together.


Damona  40:50  

A lot enough.


Franny  40:51  

Yeah, we do.


Franny  40:53  

Like that. I love it. I also like I also like being out in the world,


Franny  40:58  

but also, I would say accident Well, we need the mix. Some people don’t some people want I want to, you know,


Damona  41:03  

I’m more of a out of the house person. But and my husband is definitely more of an introvert and like, cozy up in front of Netflix. But I’ll say also you and your partner don’t have to want the same want to do the same things all the same values like yeah, and ultimate goals for the future. Yeah.


Franny  41:24  

And even have some overlapping interests. Yeah, but not 100%


Damona  41:28  

I don’t want to watch soccer. I just don’t know. Yeah, that’s right. You get up early you watch soccer. My yoga.


Franny  41:39  

I’m not gonna go ride my bike up a mountain like him. People are like, oh, cuz my boyfriend’s very serious cyclists and people are like, Oh, do you ride? Do you ride with him? I’m like, No, why would I do that?


Franny  41:50  

Right. Exactly. Yeah, no interest.


Damona  41:52  

Yeah, but I feel like now because of dating apps and because of technology, being able to, to connect you to someone. That’s not just A couple of boxes but the checks a lot of boxes Now sometimes people expect them to check every box. Yeah.


Franny  42:07  

Oh, I can’t tell you how many people I set up. Even actually, a really good friend of mine said to me, she’s like, wow, I’m so impressed that you ever gave your boyfriend a chance because of this his cycling thing. She’s like, why? And she’s like, well, because you don’t cycle.


Damona  42:21  

Yeah, like, people say that about me. I’m like my husband, vegetarian. And people are like, how do you make it work? He doesn’t eat my food.


Franny  42:33  

It’s not hard. It’s not really that hard. It’s not hard and he wants somebody who has their own passions and their own interests, right. Like I think this is the whole like you complete me this goes back to what I was saying earlier about the fairy tale industrial complex, and you’re supposed to be this like, perfect, perfect match. And you want to spend every moment together and do everything to get no like that’s not the healthiest relationship. So you’re both coming as complete people and you’re complementing each other’s lives and you’re making each other’s lives better. And richer and more fun and exciting and you know, but you’re not. You know,


Damona  43:05  

there’s a difference between You complete me. And you duplicate me though to like, my husband does complete me like I’m complete, but he does fill in gaps of places that I need to work on and helps illuminate those areas where I want to be a better person. But we’re not we’re known as carbon, or carbon carbon copy. Yeah, I am curious, though. You’re for the fifth question. Whose relationship do you admire? And one and it could be a famous person or someone in your personal life? Yeah, tell us their story.


Franny  43:38  

is a good question. Um, well, I guess I’ll just take a famous example because I guess that’s easy shorthand for people. Um, I do admire Brock and Michelle.


Damona  43:48  

I knew you’re gonna say that. Oh, my gosh, her birthday photo and I did so sweet. I did so sweet. Woman, he


Franny  43:57  

really loves her. They’re very devoted to each other and I read her memoir, which and she goes, you know, really into detail about their relationship and their courtship and everything


Damona  44:06  

she was really trying to


Franny  44:09  

show you.


Franny  44:10  

Which, by the way, it’s interesting, though, as much as I admire their relationship, when I read her book, I was like, I never would have dated him, like I never would have. I would have started that I would have been like, yes, not gonna


Damona  44:20  

work. He was like a big dreamer. She, like had her life


Franny  44:22  

together. Yeah, he’s like, when they got married, and he’s like, hey, my mom rented me a house in Hawaii for two months to write my book. I’m gonna go, I know, I would have been like, Oh, no, I buy. But it works for them, you know, um, but I think but I kind of, I think that commitment, that sense of like, we have shared values, we love each other, we trust each other, we respect each other. And we are committed. So we are going to work through whatever challenges that arise because it’s worth it because that that love is so strong and that connection is so strong. So I think the fact that They just have true respect and trust for each other. And that’s not that’s, that’s rare. That’s rare. It’s really beautiful. And you can see it, you can’t fake that. You can’t fake it, but you can find it, you can find it, you can totally find it, but you can’t you can’t fake it. And, you know, especially not the kind of scrutiny that they’ve been under and what they’ve had to deal with as a couple and as a family and they just seem stronger than ever, especially now that they’re like out of the White House. Like they’re living their best


Damona  45:30  

lives. I know, I know. I’m so inspired by this beautiful and I’m inspired by you and answer to our five, four FEHB question. And I know you all have a lot of questions you have sent them into me and now Francesca is going to answer them. By the way, if you have a question. There are so many, many, many ways you can send them to me, you can DM me on any social platform and damona Hoffman leave me a message through dates and mates calm Or a voicemail at 424-246-6255 I don’t know why nobody wants to ever leave me a voicemail. Everybody shy of the voice I want to hear your voice You can call me call so now I had a guy that wrote it. It was like, I don’t you’re a married woman. I don’t want to bother you on foot. You guys. It’s my it’s my database. Yeah.


Franny  46:20  

Anytime a day anytime today.


Damona  46:26  

All right. We’re going to take a short break when we come back. We will be handling your questions in our next segment. Welcome back to day two mates. I’m here with Francesca hoagie. She is the host of the podcast, dear Franny, yes, among other things, and she’s also a wonderful dating coach and I know you’ll be able to knock it out of the park with these questions that we have today. The first one comes to us from Jillian she says I’m a 46 year old divorce I should I pay for a dating app to get better results. I’ve been doing free apps and drawing blanks. This is a complicated question. Yeah, you and I both collaborate with a lot of dating apps. And we both were part of the dating experts that match com brought in for their summit. So I’m always like, careful just to let people know, I’m not going to endorse one app or another specifically or dog one dating app, or Yes, but save for this 46 year old


Franny  47:26  

dog eHarmony bound to be honest, and commenting. I know that you don’t. That’s just me. I know. That’s me. That’s


Franny  47:37  

Do you think that the free apps are not going to work so well for her? I think that I think that if you are drawing a blank, I think there’s probably something more going on there. So I would be really curious to see your profile I would really be curious to see the story that you’re you’re that you’re telling with your with your photos and your bio, and I would be very good. curious to know your strategy. Because most people are really bad at online dating, and paying for a dating app or dating, you know, website or whatever is not going to solve your poor online dating problems. That’s a good point.


Damona  48:15  

I mean, I usually say you get what you’re paid what you pay for. So if you’re on a free app, you’re getting people that have, there’s no such a low barrier for entry. Like you’re getting any and everything. And you’re going to have to sort through a lot more. But at the same time, it’s a good testing space, right.


Franny  48:36  

But even that is not working there. But even the paid apps have free options. Like Yeah, every paid app has a free option. So just the fact that you’re seeing someone on a paid app doesn’t even mean they’re paying. So there’s that they can’t communicate with you know, so communicate. So that’s so that’s and I know that some people get frustrated because they do pay for an app and then they’re sending you know, they’re like I’m still have to send all the messages are people aren’t read, you know, like so it there’s still a lot I think because there are so many free apps. It’s really democratized online dating. If this was five years ago, there, I think there might have been more of a difference. Certainly if it was 10 years ago, there would have been a difference but in 2020. So like I said, I’m not, I’m not saying don’t pay for an app, I’m saying that make sure that you’re that you’re actually using the right strategy and telling the right story with your profile, because that’s going to yield you better results than you know, paying for any you know, you can pay for every dating app that’s paid and still not get have any luck. So I don’t think that so I guess my point is, I don’t think that just because somebody is paying for an app, it means that they’re more serious or they’re better at online dating.


Damona  49:47  

Good point. And I have to add one more message to Jillian because she mentioned that she’s a 46 year old divorce a beautiful and Jillian I don’t want you for one second to think that you can’t find Match because you’re over 40 or because maybe because you’ve been married before it Megan Markel can do it you can do. Or I don’t know if you have kids or whatever. But whatever beliefs like we were talking about earlier that may be attached to what that means to you to be a 46 year old divorcee. let that go.


Franny  50:17  

Yeah, let it go. It’s not at all a hindrance to you finding an amazing partner. And I actually think that it’s I think all of these things that a lot of people consider to be baggage are actually really great litmus test, because the person who’s like, Oh, God, you’ve got kids, oh, god, you’re divorced. Great. Now I’ve seen you shown me that you’re not for me. So just be really authentic and, and lead with who you are. And don’t feel self conscious about it. Like you’re looking for the people who are specifically into you, like I think, you know, trying to be generic and be like, oh, and just, you know, like, just trying to have these ideas of like, what’s going to make you have mass appeal? Like it’s not about having mass appeal. It’s about having specific appeal to the people that you want to meet. Exactly, yeah.


Damona  50:59  

Quality over quantity 100% we only have time for one more. We have more questions. I promise you all. I will answer more questions next week. But this one came in from your network. This person said I’m a single mom by choice and I have newborn twins, when and how can I date?


Franny  51:19  

So kind of what I said about the you know, really leaning in to your truth and not feeling self conscious about it. Look, if you’re a single mom with newborn twins, like is that going to weed out a lot of men? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And that’s good, because you’re a single mom with newborn twins. So you need to be with somebody who’s okay with that. So it’s, it’s definitely going to be a challenge is for you to prioritize the time and all of that, but if you can do it, and you’re motivated to do it, it can 100% be done. Also. I’m a mom, as you guys know, I’ve never had twins. My sister has twins


Damona  51:55  

actually was their birthday last month and it’s Lot having twins and having newborns like I could barely brush my hair. I can’t imagine trying to date in that state. So also, I feel like there’s the messaging we’re talking about, like the fantasies and the messaging that we get. There’s this messaging, like, if you are a woman and you’re single, you failed your broken, life didn’t work out for you. And so even like this woman who has made this choice to have kids, and is in this newborn phase, is hearing that message of like, she’s got to be out there dating.


Franny  52:35  

Yeah, yeah. I mean, when you’re ready, when you feel ready,


Franny  52:38  

ready when you feel the right time when you feel like


Franny  52:41  

okay, I have the time I have the bandwidth. That’s when the time is and you have you battle to be sure hair. Yeah, I think she does. She does have help. So she’s not like totally on her own. So I


Damona  52:53  

mean, I had I had a nanny and a husband. Yeah, and one Child and I could barely keep my keep my act together. So I think it might not be the right time. It may not


Franny  53:06  

be the right timing, but if you can brush your hair if you can find the time to, but again, I think I think it’s being a single mom and dating. I think it’s good because again, you weeding out the men who aren’t interested in dating a single mom and it’s I think it can be something that’s really clarifying for you. Like, you know, maybe you had a lot of distraction and you were like, Oh, it’s okay that he’s like blah blah blah and flaky. It’s okay that he you know, you might have when you were when before you had kids, now you have kids, you’re like, Oh, hell no, I need somebody who’s going to show up, be consistent, you know, really be a partner. understand the challenges that of being a single mom supporting me through them, and then the cream will really rise to the top in that situation. Hmm,


Damona  53:48  

that’s really good advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. Thank you. Thank you for being here. you for having me. I really appreciate you being our first victim. I mean, guess


Franny  54:01  

554 February and to


Franny  54:03  

listen to all these episodes and see who answered the questions better than me.


Damona  54:06  

It’s got your this is like tough mark to be. I’m really curious to see how it changes from different perspectives. But you know, I love having your your insights and your perspective on the show. So thank you for being


Franny  54:18  

you. Thank you so much damona


Damona  54:21  

You can find Franny on the socials at dear frannie and make sure you check out her podcast dear frannie on all your favorite social media platforms and by the way, she has something very special for you six love mindset hacks. We were talking about this mindset and she will help you work through it and rewrite your mindset on love. So you can find that at Francesca hoagie calm, of course, we’ll put the link in the show notes. Or you can just text love hacks to 44 222 that’s 44 222 and for those of you who want more support and love for Valentine’s Day We will be launching you ready for this? A Patreon Friends with Benefits Program. On Valentine’s Day February 14, you’ll get access to exclusive behind the scenes content from the seven years of the show, you can become a part of bonus content club which will include my podcast, video and book recommendations. And you’ll have an opportunity to join me for private group coaching sessions. Oh, and this for my really special top tier Fw B’s you can even get a dating profile analysis with tips tailored just for you on how to make your profile magnetic so that it draws in the right kind of dates. So I’ll tell you all about my new Patreon friends at benefits program on next week’s show. But in the meantime, get pumped. I can’t wait to have more opportunities to connect directly with each one of you. I hope you enjoyed Episode 295 of dates and dates again, I’m @DamonaHoffman on all the socials and I really want to hear Your love questions. Until next week, I wish you happy dating and happy almost Valentine’s Day.


Valentines & Love in 90 Days


Are you facing another Valentine’s Day single? It’s not too late to change your luck in love. Damona specializes in helping people get unstuck in love fast and so does our co-host for this week, Dr. Diana Kirschner. In this very special Valentine’s Day episode we get you answers on how to change your dating destiny! Here’s the rundown:

LOVE IN 90 DAYS (1:41)

You may know Dr. Diana Kirschner from her PBS show or her best selling book, Love in 90 Days. Love in 90 Days has changed so many lives over the past 10 years that Dr. Diana has updated, re-released, packed it with even more advice on how to find love fast.

  • Dr. Diana’s three steps to finding love in 90 Days
  • Where most people go wrong in dating
  • Identifying self-sabotaging patterns that prevent you from finding love
  • Finding Self Confidence & Self Worth
  • Diamond Self Identity & The Radiant Beacon of Loving Guidance
  • Dating three people at once
  • How to make sure you don’t miss “The One”
  • And so much more!

Get the book and $1000 worth of BONUS content at LoveIn90Days.com


This week we coach singles LIVE on air! We gave so much good advice so TAKE NOTES:

  • Why do we put so much pressure on our dates?
  • Where do you find people who won’t ghost you?
  • What do you do when someone wants to commit too fast?

Thank you to Marquis, Deb, and Lauren for coming into the studio and allowing us to give them guidance! Marquis, Deb, and Lauren are SINGLE and READY TO MINGLE, Ladies and Gents. Slide in those DMs!!

(But def use a better opening line than this^)

And don’t forget to submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show!


A HUGE THANK YOU to Apple Podcasts for featuring us on the front page this week! We are one of a handful of podcasts included in their Valentine’s Week “In the Mood for Love” playlist! Do you love the Dates & Mates Podcast? If you do, please take a moment to  REVIEW & SUBSCRIBE! The more subscribers and reviews we get, the longer we can continue to give all of this great dating content for free!



There are millions of people on dating apps worldwide. If you’re not finding love there, your profile may be the problem. Use Damona’s FREE guide to creating the ultimate MAGNETIC online dating profile. Get the Profile Starter Kit at profilestarterkit.com

Micro-Cheating & PTSAD

Our guest co-host this week was Carmelia Ray. Carmelia is an internationally acclaimed matchmaker for high achieving men and the quality women they’re searching for. She’s helped over 7,000 clients and is a renowned TV personality on shows such as Mom vs. Matchmaker and The Real Housewives of Toronto. Appearing in such publications as AskMen, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter, clients can’t get enough of her “never settle” attitude and we were happy to welcome her on.


New roundup of dating terms

We like to check in on dating slang every once in awhile, and we’ve got some new terms for you to keep an ear out for, including micro-cheating, catch and release, and the slow fade, in addition to some terms we’ve covered before such as breadcrumbing, ghosting, and love bombing. You can read more via FOX News here.

Drew Barrymore gives online dating a try

Barrymore has dreamed of a blind date since she was a little girl, but only recently drummed up the courage to give elite dating app Raya a try. Unfortunately, she didn’t meet with much success, and to make things worse, her ex-husband mentioned he was surprised to see her on the app even though she tried to delete her profile. You can read more via E! here.

A woman’s surprising way of celebrating a divorce

While many say that time heals all wounds, Briana Barksdale would beg to disagree. Barksdale recently held a garage sale where she sold all of the items she owns that remind her of her ex-husband, ending with her burning her wedding dress in front of the onlookers. You can read more via USA Today here.


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

  • How you should feel if your boyfriend went out with his friends on Valentine’s Day
  • What to do if you need to hack your boyfriend’s cellphone to prove he’s cheating
  • What to do if you’re in the military and learn your wife’s found another man

And many more . . .


It’s been awhile since Damona’s needed to blow off some steam, but this week we were treated to another diatribe. The topic? Love starting with you.

Get one week free at BlackPeopleMeet.com/datesandmates

Claim your free gift and get more dating advice at DatesandMates.com

Dates & Mates

Date for a Soulmate & Valentine’s Day

Our guest co-hosts this week were Orna and Matthew Walters, soulmate coaches for spiritual, successful, and single women who have everything . . . except the man of their dreams. Their breakthrough coaching program, Bring In Your Beloved, helps its practitioners remove blocks to love so you can love yourself and others more deeply. Love coaches who are actually in love, we were lucky enough to have them stick around to give our listeners some advice in Technically Dating after our interview.


A guide to having “the talk” with the person you’re dating

We’ve all been in the position of dreading “the talk,” but luckily, the Washington Post has published a guide to hold your hand through the process. The key points are to remember to never force things and to make your intentions clear from the start, but you can read more via the link above.

The new rules for workplace romance

Facebook recently revealed their workplace dating policies, and thankfully, everyone was in agreement that they’re pretty fair! The big kicker? You only have one shot to ask a coworker out. If they reject you, it’s harassment if you ask them again. You can read more via Gizmodo here.

A surprising celebrity breakup

Alas, another Hollywood couple has bitten the dust. Sarah Silverman and boyfriend Michael Sheen called it quits over Christmas break and are just now making the news official. However, Sarah is keeping her trademark sense of humor about it, and we’re rooting for her as always. You can read more via ET here.


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

  • Good ideas for Valentine’s Day if you’re single
  • How to handle a younger wife who’s getting attention from other men
  • How to tell someone you need space

And many more . . .

Get 1 week free at BlackPeopleMeet.com/datesandmates