How To Meet Your Match In The New Normal

Since I began my dating coaching practice 15 years ago, there have been only two major disruptors that have required me to modify my system: Tinder and COVID.

Online dating was always one of my primary dating tools but Tinder and the apps that followed made online dating accessible to all and forever impacted the dating landscape. Free, easy to use swipe apps brought love to people who otherwise would have been shut out of the dating pool due to divorce, geographic isolation, or age. Especially for those using a Matchmaker, so much more opportunity exists than ever before but if you don’t address your unique dating challenge, you’ll experience the same frustration you’ve always felt from dating.

All dating challenges fall into one of five areas which I call Dating Detours.

If someone’s love life feels stuck, it means that they are being blocked by one of these 5 detours, I simply identify it, patch it up, and love flows in. It sounds so easy but honestly, it is. I look at dating and attraction as skills that can be learned and improved rather than factors outside of your control. Considering that 90% of my private clients ended up in exclusive relationships within 3 months of starting my program, I think it’s a skillset worth learning.

The five dating detours are:


We all come into relationships carrying along our past. This sometimes includes prior relationships, limiting beliefs, and lack of clarity about what we want and need in a relationship. If you are looping at this detour, it’s important to go beyond “the list” and figure out what you need in a partner from the perspective of values and long-term goals, the two biggest factors in long-term compatibility.


The place you look for dates can have a direct impact on your dating success. While matchmaking clients have a leg up in finding dates, you should be open to meet your match anywhere you go and practicing your dating skills “in the wild” will help you be ready when your Matchmaker lines up the perfect date for you.


The key to loving your dating life is having an easy way to filter through potential dates to ensure your dating choices are in alignment with your relationship goals. One of the biggest first date mistakes I see is overstaying your welcome. You want to end the first date feeling like it’s ending in the middle and leave something for you and your date to discover the next time around.


The image you put forth must line up with expectations and you need to present yourself in a way that is attractive to the kind of people you want to date. Also, you cannot inherently be a person who is bad at flirting as it’s a learned skill that can be improved with practice. I help clients do this through improv coaching which focuses on listening, storytelling, and risk-taking.


The way you communicate after dates to signify interest and move the relationship forward is crucial to dating success. I’ve seen many connections fizzle out because one person was interested but didn’t feel the vibes from the other person. To overcome dating apathy, it’s important to clearly signify interest and curiosity when it’s there and to cut the cord when it is not so you don’t deplete your dating energy.

Now that you know the 5 dating detours, let’s look at the second disruptor I encountered: COVID.

With the inherent risk that comes from dating during a pandemic, singles now have to engage in a new process to be able to properly vet dates and determine if they are not only compatible but also safe to spend time with in person.

For months singles have waited for things to return to normal. Now, more than ever, those who are uncoupled have felt the weight of their decision to stay single or the frustration of being unable to find a suitable partner. We are in the new normal and dating will not return to the old model anytime in the foreseeable future so it’s time to re-enter the dating scene with purpose and clarity.

There are some pros of dating in the time of COVID:

1. Slow Love

I have always taught the benefits of letting a connection develop slowly over time to get to know dates on a deeper level. Now you simply have to if you want to stay safe and healthy.

2. The Return of Courtship

On my podcast, Dates & Mates, we recently did an episode about how to convey interest through body language on virtual dates and with only the eyes when you are masked on a social distance date. The mystery hearkens back to the old romantic style of courtship and can propel our curiosity, thereby driving the connection forward.

Swipe culture has led to rampant dating fatigue and dissatisfaction. Pandemic dating has given us an opportunity to reset the tempo and prioritize shared values and goals, which are a better predictor of long-term compatibility than butterflies and instant chemistry.

Want to figure out which Dating Detours is sending you off track in finding love? Registration is now open for Damona’s new course The Dating Accelerator.

Click here to learn more or if you are ready to change your life forever, sign up now!