Ask a Matchmaker & The Love Doctor


Dating is all about options and finding a person who is going to live your best life together with you.

So today we’re going to talk about some of the options that are available to you right now. With my friend Matchmaker Maria. And now she’s here to make sure that everyone is putting their best self out there online and off. We have so much to cover today.

Here’s the rundown:


(2:30) The LOOOVE Doctor is in

On her show, Kelly Clarkson revealed to FLOTUS Dr. Jill Biden that she has been having a pretty tough time dealing with her divorce. Dr. Biden’s advice: Things will look better one day at a time. This comes at a time where the pandemic has forced couples into more amicable divorces. Damona explains why you need to hear this message, too.

(5:00) Pandemic Dating: A Year in Review

OkCupid gives us the skinny on the current stats behind pandemic dating.


Matchmaker Maria comes from a long line of matchmakers. And she spent 10 years studying psychology and love languages so that she can bring her clients the best options in dating. Plus, she’s going to give us some advice on dating in a pandemic, and putting your best foot forward. Let me tell you, she has reviewed some pretty janky profiles in the past year on her insanely popular tic Tock.

(10:00) Recapping bad dating predictions from 4 years ago

(11:00) A therapist, matchmaker, and dating coach walk into a bar…. Lol jk. What is the difference between a therapist, matchmaker, and dating coach?

(13:00) How to get hooked up with Matchmaker Maria’s clients FOR FREE in her database (you can join at

(18:00) Consider going to a matchmaker if you have one of these careers: Professors, Celebrities & Public Figures, and Executives who have very nosy investors

(20:30) If you have ever said, “I don’t see anyone I’m attracted to on this dating app”, you might have severe dating fatigue, pandemic fatigue.

(23:00) The cure for two dimensional dating – finding virtual events that are rich in the kind of singles you are looking for. Bonus points if it’s a Zoom meeting

(27:00) How men and women look at dating profile differently: Men swipe, women read more upfront. Women need incredibly accurate photography

(30:00) The subtle ways to write your non-negotiable traits and creating openings for your ideal matches to approach you comfortably

(33:40) Problem: Getting too attached to the idea of your pandemic boo.

Solution: Don’t let them waste your time.

(34:30) What is the “texting timeframe” for online dating?

(36:00) Treat your matches like toddlers? Maria suggests that you make sure they know you’re busy and to be clear about their options if they want to move forward.

Find Matchmaker Maria on IG @MatchmakerMaria and definitely join her database


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

  • J (Email): I am writing to you, because a couple of weeks ago, a guy (in my study program) messaged me on Facebook. I did not really know him, but we had attended some virtual events together. I wasn’t looking for anything but We were messaging back and forth, and we also had a couple virtual dates. We even went on a social distanced walk (masks on!). It was going great and I had a great feeling about it, until he started opening up about his doubts. You have to know that he is black and I am white. He was unsure I would be ready about being in an interracial relationship. He kept going on about it and how he was taking a risk and making himself vulnerable. I understood from where he was coming from. As a white privileged person, I can only hope to one day understand his reality. I believe I was supportive and caring. Since he kept going on about this relationship being a risk, I would say things like this: I was willing to take the risk with him, and we would be stronger together. However I understood, that it was a matter of trust and I felt he didn’t trust me enough. Each day, he would go on about his doubts (sometimes in the middle of the night!). I kept trying to be as supportive as I could, but his doubts started creeping on me too. It was only the beginning of the relationship (we’ve been talking for 3 weeks!) and I felt it was already a rocky start.Today, I finally broke it off, but I feel horrible. Did I make the right decision? He asked for a second chance, but I felt I couldn’t…When should we talk about our doubts in a relationship?
  • Franklin (Voice): My name is Franklin and I’m a twenty-four-year-old nursing student who just loves your podcast has been helping me along throughout my dating journey. My question is when should a person know to quit trying to date someone. I just met an amazing girl. We had a fun first date, but she’s going to be graduating from college soon, and she told me at the end that you should probably keep dating around since I probably am here only a few months, but I’m down to keep hanging out with you. And we did hang out on a second outing together, and we even planned a third, but I can’t help us feel that maybe this could turn into something more meaningful, or maybe that was her way of friend-zoning me. What’s your take?


The app solves many major challenges that Damona’s clients face in dating today:

  • You can keep your main number private
  • You can separate your personal and dating contacts
  • Plus, It’s easy to use and FREE.

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



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Are you on the right dating app for your dating style? Find out with Damona’s quiz


Damona 0:09

You can keep waiting for the fairy tale, or you can get on board with the new rules of relationships. If you’ve read my advice in the LA Times, then you know, this ain’t your mama’s love advice. This is dates and mates with damona Hoffman Hello lovers, welcome to dates and mates with damona Hoffman presented by text now the app that will give you a free second phone number just for dating. You know, dating is all about options and finding a person who is going to live your best life together with you. So today we’re going to talk about some of the options that are available to you right now. With my friend Matchmaker, Maria. She comes from a long line of matchmakers. And she spent 10 years studying psychology and love languages so that she can bring her clients the best options in dating. Plus, she’s going to give us some advice on dating in a pandemic, and putting your best foot forward. Let me tell you, she has reviewed some pretty janky profiles in the past year on her insanely popular tic Tock and now she’s here to make sure that everyone is putting their best self out there online and off. We have so much to cover today. But first, you know we have these headlines. The love doctor is in Dr. Jill Biden that is and she’ll give you her best advice on love after divorce. And this week marks one whole year into pandemic dating season. And you know, I have the skinny from Okay, keep an eye on what is going down in the DMS and beyond. Plus, are you ready to date outside your race? Well is your partner and did I just get friendzone All that and more on today’s dates and mates. It’s now time for the dish

Matchmaker Maria 1:59

Dee’s dating dish.

Damona 2:01

Jill Biden, and that’s Dr. Joe Biden to you gave Kelly Clarkson some amazing divorce advice on her show. You see, I actually didn’t know this. Joe Biden is a divorcee herself. I knew that Joe had been widowed and had you know his two boys that he then married Jill, and, and brought her into the family. And then they of course had their daughter. But I didn’t know that Jill had been married before to and her advice to Kelly Clarkson, who we’ve covered on the show before she’s going through a very high drama divorce from her husband, Brandon Blackstock. They’ve been together for seven years. I won’t belabor the point. But she admitted, you know, we love Kelly for her, you know, wearing putting her heart on her sleeve and wearing it all out in the open. And she admitted she’s having a hard time. And Jill said to her simply, things are going to look better one day at a time she said that the advice her mom always gave her as it things will be better tomorrow. And it just made me think of some of the questions that I get on the show. And all of you who have been faithfully listening through the pandemic and have maybe been in and out of relationships, and are at the point where you’re not sure what to do next. It’s just a reminder that if you’re not in the relationship of your dreams, if it’s if it’s bringing you more pain that is bringing you positivity, you have to keep the faith that things are going to be better tomorrow, and that there will be somebody else out there, as Dr. Biden said to Kelly, there will be somebody else out here there who will make you happy and for her divorce from her first husband freed her to marry Joe and have a family with him and build the life that she really wanted. And staying in the wrong relationship doesn’t serve anyone. We’ve talked a little bit about COVID induced divorce on the show in the last year. And interestingly, I read this study that said COVID divorce is on the slow track. A lot of divorces are happening. But there’s complications of moving out during COVID financial issues. A lot of people are settling outside of court, actually 98% are settling out of court and mediating divorces and finding simpler solutions to just make it work and start building the life that you want. And if anything, that if the pandemic is teaching us anything, maybe it’s that, you know, life is short, and who you choose to spend your life with really does matter. And it really does affect every every area of your life and your mental health and your finances. And so I was really comforted to hear the words of Dr. Biden, and I think Kelly Clarkson was to, hopefully, you will also benefit from those words. Well pandemic dating season. And apparently has some other benefits. According to my friends at OkCupid. They just released a blog looking back, can you believe we’ve been doing this mess for one whole year? Can you believe it? Well, they looked at the changes in behavior in dating. And actually, there’s some interesting news to report. You know how demona has been saying to y’all that women need to send more messages and take more initiative on dating apps. We’re seeing it on OkCupid women under 30. In particular, they sent 28.5% more first messages in January 2021, then of the previous January. So that is saying to me that we’re not sitting here waiting to get chose, we are doing the choosing. And that’s the right approach. If you want to give yourself a little boost on your profile, and we’ll be talking about this a little bit more with Matchmaker, Maria, say yes to the vaccine, because people who are reporting that they will get the vaccine or have gotten it or getting 20% more likes, and 12% more matches. And for intensa, they would cancel a date with someone who doesn’t want the vaccine I actually just posted on Instagram, somebody did get canceled from a date, because they said they found the other person found somebody who was vaccinated. And so that seemed like a better match for them.

But a lot of people said that they also would cancel a date 215,000 people said they would cancel a date with someone who refused to social distance. Wow, there was so much more info on this on everything from politics, to lock down restrictions to commitment more people in the course of this year, people have started to say they are looking for a committed relationship 12 times more than pre pandemic. So I will just say this again. That is where the singles are. They’re on OK Cupid. They’re on the dating apps. They are they’re looking for love and ready to be serious. And hey, if you need a little help navigating that you’re in the right place. Those are the headlines for today. When we come back matchmaker Maria gets real about all of the terrible dating profile mistakes she could be making. Oh, I’ve seen her Tick Tock and let me tell you, it’s grisly out there. I don’t want you falling into any of those traps. You got to hear what she has to say. But before we get into that conversation, I got to ask you, are you on the right dating app? If you listen to last week’s episode, you know that dating apps are the quickest and easiest way to make new matches right now. And you have your own unique dating style. So that means that not all the apps are going to work for you. If you’re frustrated with your app, it might mean you’re on the wrong one. If you go to my quiz at quiz dot damona Hoffman calm you can find out what dating app style I recommend for you could be niche. Could be swipe, could be traditional, could be curated. You won’t know until you take the quiz. And hey, you might learn a thing or two about your dating style. You can find it at quiz dot damona and of course it’s all free. Don’t go anywhere. matchmaker Maria is coming right up. We are back with the meaty part of dates and mates. I am here with matchmaker Maria. Man this woman is a powerhouse. I met her about 10 years ago when she started out her journey as a matchmaker. She has so many matches under her belt since then. Plus she is slaying the game on Tick Tock where she reviews people’s dating profiles live genius, and she has been featured in The New York Times. The Financial Times Fast Company, CNN, Esquire, elle, writers vice and thrill us and on the database podcast, but I digress. It’s been a while and so help me welcome her back with big smooches Matchmaker, Maria.

Matchmaker Maria 9:00

Hi, demona girlfriend. Welcome

Damona 9:02

back to the show. So much has happened since the last time you were here.

Matchmaker Maria 9:09

An entire administration went in and out. Yeah. Last time I spoke to you. We were talking last

Damona 9:14

time about how Trump supporters were not getting a lot of love among the people that you were trying to match them with. And that there was this was like a month.

Matchmaker Maria 9:25

Yeah, this was like a month before the election.

Matchmaker Maria 9:29

And we did 2016

Matchmaker Maria 9:30

Weaver we didn’t know no if I don’t even I cringe thinking about the things that I said. Because I was certain that he was not going to win. Why don’t we all and I kept saying, oh this is gonna blow over like people are just gonna take the loss it’ll be fine. And then I’m like, Oh my god, I could not have predicted Well, here we are. The worst interview ever given Stop

Damona 9:53

  1. It’s not because I was on the same. I was in the same place that you were and I think so many of us We’re gonna be surprised on how that unfolded. I will say now that was, well, four years ago, more than four years ago. So that is now part of our Patreon library of content. So we can just start with a clean slate. We have a lot of new listeners now. And I want to begin at the beginning, you’re a matchmaker, I know you also coach and advise people on dating. But there’s, I find there’s confusion on what the different roles are in the love business. Can you explain specifically what a matchmaker is? And what she or he does?

Matchmaker Maria 10:34

So I’m actually going to go to the beginning, because you mentioned was the difference between coaching and then I think I need to give a definition between that. So the difference between like a therapist and a dating coach, like the fabulous damona Hoffman, is that a therapist asks you questions and teaches you emotional range, they teach you the words that you need to use to communicate what you’re feeling, because emotions are not binary. It’s not I’m happy, or I’m sad, there’s 1000s of emotions that exist within and that’s what therapy does, it teaches you how to express those emotions. And then, and then figure out the balance of those emotions. A coach typically teaches you, there it is, because every coach is different. They teach you their own personal map to the dating milestones you want to achieve. Right? So if you hire Dimona, or if you hire any other coach, they are going to give you their roadmap to dating and relationship success to finding a healthy and fun relationship. What a matchmaker does is there is no roadmap, it’s understanding what their values are, what their lifestyle is, and putting down the components for long term compatibility. Now, what’s interesting about the matchmaking service or product, if you will, is that one, you’re essentially selling hope because there’s ever a guarantee because, you know, I could set you up with the most fabulous people ever. But if you don’t know how to get into a relationship, which is why coaching can certainly help anyone. It doesn’t matter, right? And long term compatibility may be my product. But it’s heavily judged on initial chemistry, which is elusive and complete zero guarantee. No, there’s no guarantee on chemistry, how many of us have seen the perfect woman or man on paper only to meet them and not feel anything? So So what matchmaking does is that it’s not necessarily a roadmap, it’s getting access to new opportunities. And depending, of course, on the matchmaker, a certain drive or work ethic or charisma that attracts, the kind of people you want to work with no matchmaker is created equal. And you know, even myself, I am not a matchmaker for everyone. But if if you’re the kind of person that I might work with, and I attract the kind of person you want to date, then you should absolutely hire me.

Damona 12:54

Let’s talk about the database, because there’s a difference between someone coming to you and saying Matchmaker, Maria, I want you to find dates. For me, this is what I’m looking for. giving me my matches girl, and being in the database is kind of being having access to your matches, but you’re not necessarily working for them. Right.

Matchmaker Maria 13:16

Right. So there’s an active matchmaking clients, so they’ve paid, you know, my fee. And, you know, to get you into that process, there’s like an initial conversation, there’s a preliminary match, you know, like we I do a preliminary matching first to see, you know, what are you attracted to, because I don’t ever want to take on a client, if I don’t have matches, they’re going to be attracted to. So you know, we go through photos, we go through BIOS, like, we know, we try to figure out, like, what are they attracted to, and that is an active client. So I’m going to be sending them to maybe three matches a month. Now for every person that they’re meeting, I probably met anywhere between 10 and 30. matches, so I’m having in person online in person now, one on one zoom meetings myself, so anyone can join my company’s database, a copy And, and you would in, you know, you just follow the prompts, and you’re then in our database, so that way, if a current or future client is a match for you, based on the preliminary information that you send us, we can then keep you under consideration as a potential match, it’s free, you know, we’re not going to charge you and all you know, if as long as the full profile with, you know, accurate photos of yourself, you know, hopefully we can call you in if you’re a potential match, and then get that process started. So therefore, if you are a match, we would set you up on a date. So you’ve

Damona 14:37

talked about this, this database that you have this, these clients that you have, and whether it’s a match for the two of you to work together. What do you typically look for and what would you say what kind of clients do you tend to attract?

Matchmaker Maria 14:54

That’s these are such great questions. Wow, I never really talked about this.

Damona 15:00

If I know our listeners are going to be like, Well, obviously, by the end of this interview, especially, they’re going to be like, I want to work with Matchmaker, Maria, how do I get shows? Girl? How

Matchmaker Maria 15:08

do I get shows? Right? Right. But Maria, um, so you know,

Matchmaker Maria 15:15

when we take on a client, we look at a few things, you know, your fugit Look, just like you said, Your first matches with your matchmaker. And what I want to see is, you know, are you respectful of our time? Are you kind are you respectful? Tell me a bit more about your drive at work, I want to learn a lot more about your lifestyle. And so many of my clients are very different from each other. So you know, it’s not, it’s not that we’re looking for a specific person. But when we do preliminary matching, so this is part of the consultation process, you know, we’re going to look at matches with you and see what you like, you know, typically will show about 40 matches. And based on how many people they would say yes to so that we can create a boa which is called that will be it’s an abbreviation it’s called barometer of attraction report. That’s what we use in my office, which is something that we pull up. So every time we’re looking at matches, we look up your Boa to see like, okay, does this person fall in line with what you said to us the first time we met? So we look at the quantitative information, that qualitative information that you’re giving us to understand like, okay, who was the kind of person age range, ethnicities races, intellectual curiosity, empathy, like all these different things that you know, make a match? And they get to select like to tell us? Okay, preliminarily, I would Yes, go on a first date with these people. And, you know, there have been times where we show 40 women and they only accept five or one. And that tells me that you know, what, we just don’t have the person that you’re looking for. Because if I have to start from scratch, to recruit for, it’s going to be very tough. When this does happen. Sometimes I do have to start from scratch, but we tell them ahead of time, like you know, it’s like, okay, our brand can attract this kind of guy or woman, you know, just give us a minute, here’s what’s going to look like, by and large, I would say 90% of my consultations go you know, of the 40 matches, maybe they’ll accept 18. And that’s that’s a great place to start. That gives me enough room to play with, I can now pull in more people as I do data mining in our database or outside recruitment through social media, be it tick tock Instagram, I don’t know about clubhouse yet. I have very mixed feelings about that. I have social anxiety from that stupid app. Anyway. In terms of like, what kind of clients we attract, most of my clients are in New York City based, although we do have clients that live in Chicago, and LA, we tend to attract either C level executives, entrepreneurial people, small business owners, or just in general, busy people, like I think half of our clients are in private equity. And it’s not because oh people private equity can afford us. It’s because people that work in investment banking, and private equity, tend to have really early mornings and really late nights and they’re not busy swiping. That’s just the reality. So so we have that, and then, you know, 20, maybe 10% of our clients and 20% of our clients, they are in this population that really cannot use modern dating trends to meet people. So, you know, maybe they are a professor, so they can’t date if they think that their students are going to be on you know, hinge or maybe they are celebrity, which, you know, that is its own drama. And, you know, we in a few instances, we’ve had C level executives that are just incredibly famous, you know, like think Elon Musk famous and I’ve had some of his friends as clients. And you know, that is its own animal. You know, they can’t they you know, they have to use a matchmaker. I think I might, I believe in my opinion, because their shareholders don’t want their CEO to be single. Hmm. So this is a way of dating without Us Weekly learning about it.

Matchmaker Maria 18:57

Oh, yeah.

Matchmaker Maria 18:58

Forbes magazine, in this case, learning about

Damona 19:00

  1. Yes, we’re all obsessed with who’s dating? Who even knew, I mean, look, hold

Matchmaker Maria 19:06

on, think about Jeff Bezos, that and that was dramatic. Well, what happened with his marriage and you know, the girlfriend, all that stuff that that would be? You know, I’ve had a few of his club few of his friends, his clients, and it’s the same thing. They’re all in the same, you know, the shareholders can’t really no, let me use a professional matchmaker.

Damona 19:29

You mentioned that sometimes people will get get shown, you know, 40 matches to develop their Boa. I love that. I love that acronym. I see this, you know, a coaching people on dating apps. Sometimes people will say to me, I’ve been swiping I’ve been on this app for days, weeks, months, years, and I just don’t see anyone that I’m attracted to. How do you translate that like, what does that really mean? If you see 40 if somebody comes in your office and sees 40 matches, and are just like Pass, pass, pass, pass pass what up with that.

Matchmaker Maria 20:01

I think the people that tend to swipe into there’s no one on this on this app, I think those people are experiencing severe dating fatigue. Because if I put all those men or all those women in at the open bar at your friend’s wedding, I can guarantee you’re going to talk to someone.

Damona 20:21

Right? Right. I mean, it could, I guess, be an example of dating fatigue. I also wonder, like, I feel like I’ve gotten more people to that are just maybe it’s the pandemic, that are just like, I just don’t if you want attraction to anyone, right? Because I think we’re all so isolated, that we’re going you know, deeper and deeper, inward and dimensional.

Matchmaker Maria 20:43

I have found I have found a hack to this. This is a really good time. Gimme. So how do I meet someone during a pandemic? I as a 511, voluptuous woman, I know exactly how awful online dating can be. And I’m a fan of online dating. I think it works for many people. Millions have been married through it, I get it. But there are certain people, black women, Asian men, Indian men, tall women, voluptuous women, overweight men, that don’t get the same kind of love that a classic tall white man will you know what I mean? Or totally attractive Asian woman or Hispanic woman or white woman will get on these apps. Okay. So if I were you, I would head up to Tech 2020 These are really great websites. There’s there’s other web websites as well. I’m sure Gary’s list same thing, where they can stay it shows like what events are happening, like I just got invited to this event in a few weeks by the Greek tech, which is an organization, which is going to be predominantly men, I would look for events, these are all virtual, I get it virtual events, I would look for events that are being hosted on websites like, which is like a conferencing software or if it’s an open not a webinar, a zoom meeting, because when you have the chance to meet other people via zoom, there’s chances to get to know someone ask anyone doing an online class right now, how easy it is to get to know people even in just a couple of hours and then start private messaging. I had a client two weeks ago finish I so I run a group coaching intensive, every month. It’s limited to 12 women. And at our last class, one of our women. She took what I said to her she went on meetup that night, and she joined a beginner Spanish zoom class. It was hosted on meetup, but she joined it from there. And she said, I met a guy The next day, like we were on this week, it was two days of intensive so like Monday, data class and Tuesday, that class, he got the courage to just start private messaging or and they went for a you know, he gets a walk or a cocktail. I’m not really sure. But you know, I guess 25% open dining in New York now, but but she was able to meet someone who you know, is the reason why she’s doing beginner Spanish because after the pandemic, I think she wants to travel to South America. And you know, here’s an opportunity to learn some Spanish and he’s also learning Spanish, probably for the same reasons

Damona 23:18

as well, the class because Yeah, probably conversation so it’s really easy opening we have we need to crack sighs Yeah,

Matchmaker Maria 23:27

that’s so another another person that I know they did a walking photography tour. She met a guy like that, too. She found this event through meetup. So I know what I’m saying can be really overwhelming. Because like, Where do I even begin with these websites. So the best advice I could give anyone listening right now is to choose two days that you can block out for the next three months. So let’s say for for you, it’s Tuesdays and Thursdays, I want you to block them out from six to 9pm for the next three months. And I want you then to go to Eventbrite or a meetup. And you can actually filter events by day. So filter all the events that happen on Tuesdays and look for things that you have not only an interest in, but even think about things that are like

Damona 24:10

collaboration environment. I like I’ll say, Okay, what Who are you looking to me? And then we’ll figure out where might that person be? So it’s like, well, I want to meet someone who’s really philanthropic. Well, maybe you should go to some sort of like, I’m doing a, a, I’m not looking to meet somebody. But I’m doing a wine tasting event. That’s a fundraiser this week with a friend. And it’s like if I were virtual, yeah,

Matchmaker Maria 24:38

yeah. So I’ve noticed that a lot of these so often what you just said, this is so important. I’ve seen a tequila tasting virtual and they send you the tequila at home. Is that what happens with you with the wind? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then and then what’s happening is it’s not on a webinar. That’s the that’s the key factor here. webinar means that all of you are looking at one person speaking but if it’s zoom Meeting then all of you are, like on gallery view and you get to see each other. And so I know someone who did a tequila tasting in gallery view zoom. And she said it was 5050 ratio, she met men, she got to talk about tequila, you know, people are going to talk casually, you know, I belong to a support group, just my own personal reasons. And I get to meet 10 people every month I check in and you get to know people. Exactly,

Damona 25:26

exactly. And you can also do this like starting with a, like a Facebook group, and then sometimes they might have then zoom meetings that are an extension of that group. That’s something that you’re already interested in. So I mean, obviously, we’ve given people a lot of ideas, obviously, they can join your group to find out more about how to be creative. But you know, you touched briefly on dating profiles. I also y’all don’t know. If you’re not following Matchmaker, Maria on Instagram and Tiktok. Y’all are missing out. Let me just tell you, because you have come up with this very creative way to help people with with online dating, and you do proof live profile profile analyses on tik tok? It’s so it’s so genius. Maria, I wish I thought of myself. So smart. Yeah. Can you give us some top line? things you’ve noticed a tips, mistakes? What do you what are you seeing in a lot of these profiles that you’re reviewing that you wish people would would do differently or look at in a different way.

Matchmaker Maria 26:33

So we have to think about how the genders look at online dating first, because then the mistakes will be a lot more obvious. So when you know when men look at a profile, and I’ve learned this from one of my colleagues, Erica and who does online dating makeovers and takeovers for our Gabi match, we’ve noticed that when men open up pins, Bumble, whatever app you’re using, they swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, they like they swipe very quickly, based on the first photo, which the first photo is just so important. If you if now I’m speaking in a heteronormative way, so if you’re a woman, but even gay men, it’s the same thing. Like there’s a swipe, swipe, swipe, and then if they match, so if they get that mutual match connection, they’ll go back to your profile, they will look at the rest of your photos. If they’re still attracted, maybe maybe they’ll read the rest of your profile. And maybe they’ll message you otherwise, they’re just gonna unmatch you. So don’t take it personally just means that your first photo is not reflective of the rest of your photos. And I would look into that. The the, what women do is they look at the profile First, if they like him, they read the rest of the profile, then they’ll go back up, look at the rest of the photos. And then if they like them, then they’ll swipe. Which means that with women, you have to have incredible photography. I’m not saying you have to look like a model, you have to have incredibly accurate photography, because one of the reasons that people don’t go on second dates is because you did not look like the photos on your profile.

Matchmaker Maria 28:07

Mm hmm.

Matchmaker Maria 28:09

So what do I mean by this? I mean, you need to have a pop of color in your initial photo, it should never be black and white, you need to be smiling with teeth, no sunglasses and not with a friend. Preferably your bus stop if just like dimana said, if you go on my Tiktok if you watch enough videos and know exactly what I mean, because it’s like repetitive at some point. with men, and with men and all women, but the message bait this is you know, I feel like women give man man a pass on the photos because they’re stupid. Like so much of what men’s photos are on online dating is catering to the male gaze and not the female gaze. Mm hmm. You know, if any man posing in front of his car that’s not for a woman that’s for a man, right there with you. Yeah. And women have to learn to just like, okay, you know, whatever. But you have to give women a reason to message you. And so this is where and this is for both sexes, you have to have a message by every single I love hinge For this reason, every single question should actually be an opportunity for you to to vet the people that are messaging you let them self select themselves to message you. So for instance, where it says let’s say your person only wants to date liberals or people who support black lives matter where it says my non negotiables select that prop and right I believe that my friends, family and strangers should have the same societal rights as I do. You don’t have to say here if you voted for x swipe left or whatever, you could just lead with your values. Right? Or if you say there’s another prompt that says like I know I’ve met the one it’s not in your set when I’ve entered a relationship well that’s a given you can say that I not met the one if they laugh at my obscure Parks and Rec references. That is such an amazing call to action because if someone does relate to the Ben Wyatt to your Leslie Knope or vice versa, that tells you a lot about that person and they can now use that message bait to reply to you with a great you know, parks and rec quote or the office quote or you know, find a way to add humor set people self select themselves. If you go to a big university a big 30 University make man you watch football or sports or whatever, make one of your photos you wearing the sweatshirt? That is such great message. Great. Oh, you’re a bulldog. So am I or Oh, I hope you’re okay that I’m a gator, you know, since you went to. But is it University of Central or whatever? What? Yeah, they, my husband went to U of f and I always see that there’s like drama between these like flirty and universities. Oh, yeah,

Damona 30:44

my best friend went there too. So I totally relate. I call that conversation piece clothing. That’s that’s an I also suggest using it on a date. Like if we ever get offline and meet people in real life. But yeah, you’re talking about like leaving threads just to connect this to what some some of my listeners may have heard before. Right on like I’m so in alignment with everything you just said. But you have to be thinking about creating an opening for somebody to come in and talk to you. I want to talk a little bit about kind of transitioning over to your Instagram. And at Matchmaker, Maria, which we’ll put a link to in the show notes and the kind of questions that you get there seems like there’s a lot of confusion around like, should I be dating this person? Are we exclusive? How do we DTR you know, like the phases of a relationship? Should we be texting? Also

Matchmaker Maria 31:34

trends? Like, you know, I get the same some of the same questions every week, like we know, when do we define or when do we have sex. But I also see some trends I’ve been doing ask a matchmaker for three years now. And I can tell you that there’s been waves like we know, I can tell you what it was like back in March and April when people were panicked. And I can tell you right now that the current trend is, while I’m locked in my house, I’m talking to someone I met online, I’m in love with him, but he has yet to make a time to meet.

Damona 32:05

And that’s bad, right?

Matchmaker Maria 32:07

That’s really bad because it’s cold and people are less likely to get, you know, go out. And then of course pandemic. So people are spending a lot more time talking to complete strangers falling in love without the confirmation that hey, when you physically meet your expectations now have gotten so high, that reality is never going to meet it which means you’re going to be soul crushing. Like nine out of 10 times those relationships are going to spectacularly fail not just stop like just crush crush you confuse you. Right? Because we that’s occurring friend.

Damona 32:36

Yeah, we get so attached to the idea of someone like I saw one on your Instagram where somebody was was asking a similar question to that and you’re like, but why are you even attracted to this guy? Like, yeah, it’s more the idea of the connection than it is even that particular person. I want to pull up a couple that specific ones. Okay, texting. Texting is another big theme. I talk about the texting trap. My listeners know that I’m not a big fan of texting before the date, somebody asked you how long it was, how long you should talk to someone before you actually meet up and move on. I see that people are trying to use text as a filter for the date. But it’s not it’s not apples to apples, you can’t actually tell what somebody will be like on a date. From taco.

Matchmaker Maria 33:26

Do you do you think there’s a time frame?

Damona 33:28

I know you said in this particular instance, you were like you just stop texting strangers. But like, Is there a timeframe? Is there a rule that you give to your to your clients or people who write in on?

Matchmaker Maria 33:43

Well, my management clients, they don’t have any contact until an hour before the date. So

Damona 33:48

your coaching is so but

Matchmaker Maria 33:50

my coaching clients I like to call it volley for surf. So if you remember back in middle school or high school, you played volleyball, you had to determine who’s going to play who’s going to serve first, who’s like who gets over the net three times. So if you’re online dating, I don’t you know, it doesn’t matter. I have noticed that does not matter who messages who first In fact, something like 80% of men prefer that if a woman matches if a woman messages a man first so that’s great. When you’re messaging it should be back forth, back forth back forth like three times where then you can be like, hey, you seem really interesting. Would you be interested in a FaceTime call in one hour or tomorrow afternoon? It’s okay if a woman asks us

Damona 34:31

a wait hold on why on one hour

Matchmaker Maria 34:35

because then it makes it seem like I’m actually really busy right now. I’m not just online so it gives you It gives me It gives them also like you know a lot of people messaging you are currently on the toilet or they are on the couch watching like another rerun of Breaking Bad and your Blue Bloods and they are not, you know, in a capacity right now to just like get up. So just you know, you give them a give anyone an option? It’s like a toddler, right? Do you want to? Do you want to go outside and go to the park? Or do you want to go outside and walk the dog like the same thing? You’re You’re, you’re showing their children? Yeah, going outside. So put your suit where we’re still going outside. So. So here, it’s like, hey, do you want to fit? Use this this collared shirt? You know, you seem really interesting. I’d love to take this off the app. Would you like to FaceTime in one hour or tomorrow afternoon? Let them tell, you know, let them say, Oh, I don’t I think it’s too early for that. Okay, move on. Or let them say, you know, those don’t work for me. How about Wednesday, you know, like, pick a different day. And then from there, let’s say you know, you’ve met or whatever, and you’ve scheduled a now a meet date. I don’t think she texts a lot. And it’s okay to call out the elephant in the room. Say, you could say on your FaceTime data on the phone like, Listen, I’ve gotten into trouble in the past. Is it okay? If we don’t communicate too much? Like until our date? Like maybe we could just send like a few texts, but like nothing more than that. I just don’t i don’t want to get over excited. You know, I might say hi.

Damona 36:06

Yeah. demona. And Matchmaker, Maria said the rule is

Matchmaker Maria 36:12

right. I will not tell people use me use me use me use me. I always say that. Say that. And like it’ll just make you know, people get excited people get butterflies. I know that for a lot of people, they don’t even remember dating before cell phones.

Damona 36:25

I’m curious what you say to the clients that then would say, well, doesn’t that upset the rules of chivalry? If I’m a woman, and I’m asked, I’m asking a man out. And then also, like, I’ve been saying, literally, I’ve been doing this now for 15 years. And since the beginning, I said women should should be initiating and sending messages, not like waiting to see who lands in their inbox. Congratulations to Bumble for figuring out how to monetize that philosophy. But then the result that I hear from a lot of people is like, oh, that just makes men so lazy. Sorry, to my male listeners. I know you’re there too. But that’s what the girls are saying. Do you hear that? No,

Matchmaker Maria 37:12

I don’t, you know,

Matchmaker Maria 37:13

I don’t think I Oh,

Damona 37:14

that makes them and that makes them men lazy. And I don’t want I

Matchmaker Maria 37:17

don’t I don’t hear that. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about Bumble and hinge and all the apps but I don’t hear about men being lazy. I do hear about women saying I don’t want him to think x about me. And then I just tell them the statistics that you know, when men were asked if you’d like to date an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneurial woman, which an entrepreneur Oh, and what does that come with? It comes with critical thinking skills, assertiveness, you know, what, what does it take to be entrepreneurial. Four to five men said I would love to date entrepreneur, a woman, which tells me that there are four to five, four out of five men do not give curse do not give a shit about who messages who first It doesn’t mean anything.

Damona 38:04

So it doesn’t upset the rules of chivalry and it doesn’t mean that the relationship is going to start off

Matchmaker Maria 38:08

on an online, okay, because online dating is an incredibly unnatural. There’s the whole concept of it because in the wild, you’d meet someone at a friend’s wedding or at Temple or at a better bar. And you know, you women wouldn’t even think about what the man’s height was or what how our women were not think about how old she was. You just think about based on feeling, Oh, you know what I’m fighting for the person, I like to go out with them again. And now online dating has really upset the natural order of those things. So what I see is this, though, is that you know, can men be chivalrous? Yeah, of course they can. And they can certainly do that when they ask you out on the date or when they follow up after a first date to say, hey, I want to do it again. But But in terms of like who messages who first, I think we need to remind ourselves how I mean, look, the experience for online dating for women is awful. But it’s not as it’s really bad for men, most men because they know they have to message First they are copy pasting a message to 100 women with the hope that at least one of them will message them back. And you know, it’s kind of like if you’re on a subway, right? All of a sudden, if you’re on a subway and you’re getting off at different stops. That doesn’t mean that everyone is getting off with you right? What online dating has done is that it makes everyone get off at the Time Square stop. Right so what do I mean by that? This guy and or this, let’s say heterosexually now, right? This man who never had the chance with this woman, let’s just say from a logic perspective suddenly has access to her. Because there’s a button that says a message me there’s a call to action, and he’s shooting his shot. And so a lot of the messages that men send out are shooting their shot. It’s not based in reality, everyone’s getting off a Time Square.

Damona 40:05

And another thing that I love about the way that you deliver advice like it’s so it’s, it’s so direct and so clear. Like, there, I feel like sometimes we, we also we get so caught up on each of these individual interactions, right and you really cut through a lot of this in your in ask a matchmaker and on your Instagram. Because it’s it’s not as complicated sometimes as we make it. The challenge comes in how we interpret the information to try to get to the end of the story that we want. So we I have broken out when I get off walls this past three years and I’ve gotten couples together through ask a matchmaker, like people asked me these questions. And I think what happens is that they’re asking the same questions to their friends. And their friends are saying, oh, we’ll give him a chance or Oh, she’s she’s just going through something. And when they say to me, a stranger who does not have any context? I’m like, yeah, this sounds awful breakup with them.

Matchmaker Maria 41:06

It’s right to the points that no nonsense and I’m gonna say something I love my followers. My followers are the people that have guided me to figure out like, What do you want? What do you want from me next, like everything I post, it’s because of them. They are telling me even the tick tock. My followers came up with that. Hmm, someone messaged me saying, I have an online dating profile. Can you take a look at it? And because I don’t look at anything for free unless it’s to make content. I was like, if I look at it, can I post it and and they’re like, yeah, and then I screenshot that interaction. I put it on my Instagram stories, because it came from Instagram. And oh, my God, everyone’s like, you have to do this. So I posted the first 10 videos, and I filmed 10. And it was insane. All of a sudden, I have like 5000 submissions. Wow, yeah, I I’ve only put ups at so far. I try to post like, you know, three a week, right. And I should be posting more, but I try. I just I get burned out. I have I have two young kids. I’m tired. I’m so tired.

Damona 42:11

I was just like, I don’t even know how you have found the time to talk with.

Matchmaker Maria 42:15

Yeah, and so here Yeah, no, are you kidding? I’ll cancel everything and talk to you. But. But we’ve received so many submissions, and people get angry on tape. They’re like, how come you haven’t done mine? I’m like, I’m getting to it. I’ll get to it. When I get to it. If I get to it, you know, I try to

Damona 42:30

be very generous with your time. And honestly, there you give so much value and so much clear information. That’s, that’s so easy to understand. And honestly, I think people could figure out how to how to work through their love life, just by following you at Matchmaker, Maria or listening to the Ask a matchmaker podcast. But I do encourage them to take it a step further because like if you’re this good just on social media, for free,

Matchmaker Maria 43:00

great for content imagine imagine

Damona 43:03

imagine if you had this lady doing matches for you find in dates do asking the tough questions that you’re afraid to ask. I can’t even imagine how how many lives you have changed through your work. So I encourage everybody also to sign up in your and be a part of your database so that you can maybe match them with some of your esteemed clients. You’re amazing. Thank you so much for coming back to dates in May it’s I hope it won’t be another four years before you’re back.

Matchmaker Maria 43:33

I hope so not I I really love talking to you have the best smile and and I’m yeah, thank you again for having me.

Damona 43:41

You have to catch up with her y’all. You’ve got to see what she is up to. On the gram. She is on Instagram at Matchmaker, Maria. And hello join her database so she can match you with one of her successful sexy clients. It’s free as well at a GOP a Again, that’s adopt a G A p e We’ll put the link in the show notes. Oh, the dates and made show keeps on rolling with the dear demona segment. dates and mates is here to help and now it’s time for your favorite segment. damona help me this question was emailed to me by Jay wink wink. Jay says I’m writing to you because a couple of weeks ago, a guy in my study program messaged me on Facebook. I did not really know him. But we had attended some virtual events together. I wasn’t looking for anything but we were messaging back and forth. And we also had a couple virtual dates. We even went on a social distance walk with masks on. Thank you for saying that. Jay. It was going great. And I had a great feeling about it until he started opening up about his doubts. Now here’s the kicker. Listen up y’all. J says you have to know that he is black and I am white. He was unsure I would be ready about being in an interracial relationship. He kept going on about how he was taking a risk and making himself vulnerable. I understood where he was coming from. As a white privilege person, I can only hope to one day understand his reality. I believe I was supportive and caring. Since he kept going on about this relationship being a risk, I would say things like, I was willing to take this risk with him and we would be stronger together. However, I understood that it was a matter of trust. And I felt he didn’t trust me enough. Each day, he would go on about his doubts. Sometimes in the middle of the night. I kept trying to be as supportive as I could. But his doubts started creeping on me, too. It was only the beginning of the relationship. We’ve been talking for just three weeks, and I felt it was already a rocky start. Today, I finally broke it off, but I feel horrible. Did I make the right decision? He asked for a second chance, but I felt I couldn’t. When should we talk about our doubts in a relationship? Hey, Jay, you are going through it, you are doing the hard work. And I appreciate your question. And I appreciate what you’re doing to try to bridge the divide between I mean, what is really long, deep seated racial tension in our country. So that said, there are some issues that you very astutely observed from the beginning, that would definitely make a relationship at this time with this person, a challenge. And it sounds like you are communicating that you want to learn you want to be his partner, and you want to go through this together. But you have to understand what you’re up against. You’re up against probably any other experiences he might have had in being with a white person before looks that he might have gotten comments he might have gotten from his family.

Feeling like he was not welcome in many spaces, not to mention, just the overall stress of being a person of color in America today. It’s a little tense, I don’t need to tell you any more about that. So the important takeaway for you to remember is that this isn’t your stuff. And while you are doing what you can to try to unpack this stuff, and to try to make things okay, on the micro level, it may be a hill that’s a little bit too big for you to climb. And you have to go with your gut here. If you know that this issue is not something that he is ready to try to work through or examine together, I think you did make the right decision to break it off. And I understand you feel horrible, because you really liked this person. And they were not especially if they you felt that they didn’t trust you. That is one of the four elements of a successful relationship trust is number one. And if after three weeks, you are already starting in the trust deficit position, you’re having to run just to catch up and get to get to neutral get to zero. So I don’t even think the question, Jay is when should we talk about our doubts in a relationship? I think you you should always be honest about where you are in a relationship as it’s developing. I think the real question is, is did you make the right decision, your previous question? And is there any way that you can make this right for yourself and for this person? And I wouldn’t even get fixated on the fact that he asked for a second chance. Because if you did communicate as many times as you said to me that you communicated that you were on this person side, and he still couldn’t feel it. You did give them a second chance you did give him a second and third chance. And you know what? It’s okay. Like, maybe this just isn’t the right connection for the right time. Like Dr. Biden said, there could be another great love that’s waiting for you right around the corner. And maybe this this situation was enough to help this person get to a place of healing so that they can be more open, interesting and their next relationship. Our next question is a voice memo.

Franklin 49:35

Hi, damona My name is Franklin and I’m a 24 year old nursing student who just loves your podcast has been helping me along throughout my dating journey. My question is, when should a person know to quit trying to date someone. I just met an amazing girl. We had a fun first date, but she’s going to be graduating from college soon and she told me at the end that you should probably keep dating around since I probably won’t be here in the Few months, but I’m down to keep hanging out with you. And we did hang out on a second outing together, and we even planned the third. But I can’t help but feel that maybe the cars turned to something more meaningful. So maybe that was her way of friends owning me. What’s your take? Thank you,

Damona 50:16

it’s interesting to see how in this situation, and in a lot of dating situations, we set ourselves up for disappointment. So if we just take things at face value, she’s saying she’s gonna leave, she’s gonna leave, she’s not wanting to get into a long distance relationship, or commit to someone when she’s about to move away. So that is just on the surface, what she said. But frankly, you’re layering this other element of friend zoning on top of it, that based on what I heard, is not necessarily there. And that is layering in rejection of you like, Oh, she’s not attracted to me. So therefore, I’m being put on the friendzone. And that doesn’t sound at all like what’s happening right now. On the surface, she doesn’t want to commit to someone in a place where she is not going to end up staying. It’s as simple as that. And while you could continue to hang out, keeping in mind the fact that she’s probably not going to engage in a long term relationship so that this relationship might have an expiration date. And that can totally be okay, Franklin. That could be what you need right now and what she needs and we all need companionship and, and physical touch and intimacy and, and companionship, and maybe that’s okay, for right now, if you can let that be okay. But I would not even beat yourself up for one second, wondering if the secret agenda was that she friendzone. You, you have to just say, Is this a person that I want to continue hanging out with in a casual setting, yes or no. And then you have to say at the end of the few months that she’s going to leave, and that is going to likely be the end of the relationship if you are not okay with that. If you feel that your feelings will get to an intertwined and you won’t be able to separate at that point, and it’s not worth the benefits you would get in the next few months. Then I think friendzone or not, you gotta walk away. thank her for her honesty and wish her luck on her journey. I hope you enjoyed Episode 351 of dates and mates. Don’t forget to check out the episode recaps at dates and mates comm where we will put all the links to the dating dish stories and special offers from our show sponsors. And I’d love to hear your questions. I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. You can send me a DM on any platform with a voice memo just like Franklin did. Or you can email me demona at damona Hoffman send me your question that way. Also, before we go, I have to welcome my new friends with benefits. Michelle Terry Mandy Elizabeth Humana. Thank you. Thank you for supporting this show and making 351 episodes of dates in May. It’s possible. If you’re a fan of the show, and you want to hear me read your name on air Plus, you crave a community of supportive singles. And you want to join me for weekly live streams and other exclusive content. You can get in the club [email protected] slash dates and mates for just five bucks a month. Check out the link in the show notes. Next week I will be addressing a topic that is very sensitive and important to dating and to me body image and how it interacts with your ability to find love. really enlightening conversation coming up next week with love and life coach Veronica grant. Until next week, I wish you happy dating

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