#202 – Dates & Mates – Damona Hoffman

#202 – Dates & Mates – Damona Hoffman

Listen to “202: Dates & Mates – Damona Hoffman” on Spreaker.

Dates and Mates 

In this episode, we take a closer look at the exciting world of dating – from using different dating apps to tackling difficult conversations and navigating the dating scene amid a pandemic. Life and dating coach Damona Hoffman shares tips on how to progress relationships and how to deepen them by cultivating curiosity.  

For people looking for a relationship, what do they need to know in order to be successful in dating? 

Damona said that dating is a pretty and repeatable process. If you are already getting frustrated with dating, learn about these five areas to know what you could have been doing wrong.  

How do you handle sexual concerns as well as various loaded topics during dating? 

Sex is a part of any relationship, but COVID changed the dating scenario such that there are added health concerns that needed to be addressed first before you even begin to see each other in person. For example, instead of talking about STI testing and the like, you now talk about getting tested for COVID and quarantining. But COVID aside, having a difficult conversation such as sex, politics, or race in the early phases of dating ultimately boils down to listening and understanding. There should be a time when we set aside our beliefs and focus on what really matters like communication, conflict resolution, values, and goals. 

Interracial dating and racial bias in dating 

Damona talks about the hot topic of race and how it comes into play in dating. Does excluding a particular race from your dating preferences just simply a matter of preference or racial bias? Learn how to ask the five “why’s” to unpack biases and beliefs and how to turn your differences from your partner into a very rich and positive aspect of the relationship. 

How important is sexual compatibility during dating? Can this still change over time? 

People toss away a perfectly good relationship because in the early phase, the sex isn’t as fulfilling as prior relationships that they compare it to. But Damona believes that sex, along with whatever is in our checklist of what we’re looking for in a partner, should be disregarded in the early phases. During this stage, curiosity should fuel the relationship and not the chemistry or any other arbitrary reason. 



Damona is the Dating Expert of The Drew Barrymore Show and NPR, a dating coach & TV personality who starred in the A+E Networks’ (FYI TV) series #BlackLove and A Question of Love.  She’s a contributor for CNN Headline News (HLN), BET.com, The Washington Post, LA Times, Match dating app and more. Her advice has been featured in hundreds of publications, podcasts, and TV shows and she was the subject of an Oprah O Magazine cover story in 2019. She hosts The Dates & Mates Show as well as the I Make A Living podcast.  

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#136 – Back into Dating – Marni Battista

#136 – Back into Dating – Marni Battista

Listen to “136: Back into Dating – Marni Battista” on Spreaker.

Dating again 

Marni shares a great tip for figuring out what entering the dating world would be like. After gathering the stories we have about it in our minds, she suggests that we challenge the stories that could turn into fears or excuses. Her method is light-hearted and creative but really eye-opening! 

Entering the dating arena after a while can require a bit of preparation. Marni recommends practising dating by targeting the areas you are less comfortable with like dressing or confidence. For those surviving divorces or reaching their golden years, Marni encourages you not to run away from dating but lean in and take a step in a direction that could lead you to happiness. 

Marni shares advice on communicating openly as a vital element when dating to ensure both parties are clear on where each stand and if there are any concerns or issues upfront. 

Dating while parenting 

She shares advice for parents in the dating world – advocating that time is separately allocated for dates and that your expectations regarding your partner’s role in your kids’ life are clearly voiced early on. 

Where to find a date 

If you are wondering where you can meet your perfect partner, Marni recommends Match.com. From her findings, dedicating at least 30 min a day to one chosen app should return decent results.  

Beware of free apps like Plenty of Fish. Marni warns that these sites can be cumbersome.  She mentions a few niche sites that you can find in the links below. 

“Be the person you want to attract” Marni has experienced people unexpectedly finding partners within their current circles eg: work, clubs they belong to etc. She suggests dressing well and being aware of the habits and interests of people around you when you are looking for that someone special. A connection can happen in the most unexpected place.  

You will also hear her view on matchmakers. She reveals the right age for trying matchmaking services and what people generally look for.  

How does dating work today? 

With men having to adjust to the times, Marni explains that their biggest fears include rejection and being perceived as predators. For this reason, women need to be much more direct about what they want. 

Paying can be a grey area for many. Marni’s advice is fair and allows men to express their chivalry and for women to reciprocate in return when the time is right. 


An absolute must is safety during dating. Marni shares some great tips in terms of defining available time upfront and not using your personal environment as a venue for your first meeting. Red flags include your potential date refusing a video meeting! 

Dealing with Quarantine 

Funny, thoughtful ideas given by Marni reveal how easy and special dating can still be if you are in quarantine. For those that just need to abide by social distancing, Marni suggests hiking or picnics within the rules.  


Marni Battista is a certified professional Dating and Relationship Coach and expert writer. Her work can also be found in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Yahoo! Shine, Huffington Post, YourTango.com, CupidsPulse.com, Men’s Fitness, Glamour and more.  

She has also had appearances on major television networks, including CBS and ABC where she has been a guest on Loveline (filling in for Dr Drew!) and Dr Phil, on nationally broadcast radio shows, such as On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and on Youtube Channels, like Off Air with Sisanie.  

Marni’s weekly dating and relationship podcast, “The Dating Den,” has more than 25k downloads per month and she was named one of the 10 Best Women’s Dating Experts by @DatingAdviceCom. 

Resources and Links 






#79: Dr. Sharon Cohen – Feminine Energy

#79: Dr. Sharon Cohen – Feminine Energy

All about Feminine Energy 

My guest Sharon Cohen, PhD has been working in the mental health field for over 25 years. She has also specialized in love and relationships for the past 7 years, but as she states during the interview, she has always been passionate about the subject.  

Her main clientele is women in their 30’s and 40’s, but she does work with men as well! She says she is committed to helping women find the right relationship for them.  

In this episode in particular, she taps into her knowledge base to teach us about the dynamic energy fields at the root of all relationships. Often there are masculine and feminine interplays in energy and the best, most stable relationships have a healthy balance of the two. She talks much more in depth about this fascinating subject within. Enjoy!  


#41: Peggy Bennett – Matchmaking

#41: Peggy Bennett – Matchmaking

Basics of Matchmaking School
Listen in as Peggy describes her learning experience at the Matchmaking Institute of New York. What do you need to pay attention to when matchmaking? Peggy details that listening carefully during one-on-one sessions and making sure to take care of the business are essential. (more…)

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