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How a Small Town Girl found her Passion in Saigon, Vietnam with Dana Drahos, Women's Nutritionist

Dana Drahos was a young 20-something working at an advertising agency in New York City in 2018. The dream, right?

Not so much for her. After just 2.5 years in corporate America, Dana knew that there must be more to life than dragging herself out of bed every morning to go to a job she hates, working till 11pm, getting drunk regularly with coworkers at happy hours, and repeat. 

She had no clue what else she wanted to do for a career, but she couldn't ignore this burning desire to live abroad. Finally, she resigned and found herself teaching English in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, where she's been living for the past three years.

Since then, it's been a wild ride of teaching, starting a podcast called Creators in Saigon, becoming a podcast manager with Melissa as her first client(!), and now just finished a Holistic Nutritionist and Health Coach certification and discovered a burning passion to help women relieve their PMS symptoms through natural and holistic...

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Lessons Learned after 51 First Dates with Romance Novel Author Jolie Moore

An avid listener of the Gumball Love Podcast, Jolie reached out to me via email after listening to the episodes describing the different flavors of attention addiction. I was so impressed with how she was able to connect each "flavor" to a real life Gumball Guy she'd met over the course of her 51 first dates, I had to get her on the show!

Yes, after spending 20 years married to the wrong person, Jolie got divorced and set out to go on 50 first dates. Jolie openly shares this journey through her memoir and podcast titled "Fifty First Dates". She's also an author of several other romantic novels

This episode is like "casual girl chat meets real coaching session". We totally dig into her current dating situation with a Gumball Guy, and decode his behaviors using the flavors of attention addiction. 

We hear about what patterns she saw after going on so many first dates, how she learned to #filterlikeafreak and not just be open to anyone, what advice she'd...

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Is It Time to Hire a Dating & Relationship Coach?

Wondering if it's time to start working with a dating and relationship coach?

It can be scary investing in coaching. You might be embarrassed that your situation is such a mess, or worry that I'll judge you, or feel weak for asking for help. Trust me, I hold no judgement because all I care about is meeting you where you're at and helping you figure out where to go from here. I love the mess, this is what I was born to do! And asking for help is the strongest thing you can do.

I talked with some of the alumni of my Back to You Academy to see what thoughts were going through their mind when they decided to start coaching with me, and what advice they'd give to another woman considering coaching, but is still unsure.

In this episode, you'll hear:

  • What the Back to You Academy Alumni had to say about why they decided to hire a coach, and what they liked about my coaching style specifically
  • The difference between coaching and therapy (both complement each other well!)
  • How I...
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What I Wish I Knew Before Falling in Love

In this episode, I reflect on what I wish I knew earlier on, back in the days when I was totally lost on everything love, dating and relationships. I think back to mistakes I’d made...although I don’t really like to call them mistakes, because I think everything happens for a reason and everything happens in the timing it’s supposed to.

Nevertheless, I have a list of 13 things I did that helped me on the journey of finding my true love. I believe that if I hadn’t done these things, I certainly wouldn’t be able to experience the deeply loving relationship I’m now in, because I wouldn’t know who I am, I wouldn’t love myself, I wouldn’t understand my trauma and how to manage my triggers in a healthy way, and so much more.

Let me know your thoughts and if you can relate! Please share this episode on your social media and tag me so I know if this content is resonating with you.

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How to Stop Getting Caught Up in the Fantasy

Are you constantly caught up in unrealistic day dreams about a guy you just met or have been talking to for a while?

It's so easy for us to come up with these elaborate romantic scenarios where the bad guy turns into the good guy, or he "saves" you from something, or whatever is yours.

Why do we get so caught up in these stories and become obsessed with the guy so quickly?

Think back to the movies you've watched, the books you've read, and the songs you've grown up with. These depict an unrealistic expectation of romance and love that leads us to float on a fairytale cloud for a while, only to come crashing down when reality hits. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How media has influenced our perception of love
  • How to uncover what your current perception of love is
  • Signs you're caught up in an unrealistic fantasy with a Gumball Guy
  • What types of things you actually should be fantasizing about
  • What to expect from real love

As always, if any of this resonates with you,...

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Why You Need to Slow Down for True Love

In this episode, I felt called to discuss this urgency around needing to "fix" yourself so you can find the right guy and enter into a healthy relationship. I want to tell you to slow down, because trying to go fast and force it will only make the process longer. 

In this episode, I discuss:

  • Why you need to slow down on the urgency to "fix all your issues" and find the guy
  • How you don't have to be totally perfect and without insecurities to enter a relationship
  • How I handle my personal insecurities when they come up
  • Stop idolizing all the couples who appear so perfect and happy on Instagram
  • Qualities I've found in the love of my life that make him a great partner, and what makes our relationship great
  • Get yourself ready to be able to receive love, but don't rush it. Take your time.

Follow and Work with Melissa

  • The Back to You Academy is officially closed, but you can still work with Melissa one-on-one! Click here to view services or reach out via email: ...
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Does He Want Love or a Hook Up?

Many of you have been coming into my DMs or writing in the private Facebook group asking about what are the red flags to know if he's really looking for love or just a hook up?

And I'm going to share these red flags with you in this podcast, but I'm also gonna give you some tough love, because while knowing red flags is great, we need to stop focusing so much on them.

What should you really be focusing on? 

YOURSELF!

If you don't know who you are and what you want, it doesn't even matter if you know the red flags. 

And while red flags don't really ever change and can generally be applied as a rule of thumb, your values and the things you're specifically looking for in a partner are highly personal. That means that no one...not I, not another relationship expert...can tell you what to look for. 

Join me in this episode as I get real with you about red flags to look for, and how to start thinking about dating differently so you can filter out the bad guys and...

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Why isn't he texting back?

We've all been there...you're texting back and forth with a guy, and the responses are pretty quick in the beginning, everything is exciting, you're getting the butterflies....and gradually, the responses get slower and slower to be returned (or, it's very sudden that he's taking so long to reply).

You start to freak out, thinking he's not interested in you, he's texting another girl, or whatever else our creative minds think up! Your natural response may be to scold him and educate him on how he should be responding, but I want you to consider a different approach.

In this episode, I walk you through the reasons why he may not be texting back right away, why you shouldn't freak out and start imagining worse case scenarios, why you should just wait it out, and what it looks like when you're texting a healthy guy.

Other episodes mentioned

5 signs to tell early on he's not the right one

Follow and Work with Melissa

  • The Back to You Academy is officially closed, but you can still work...
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Is Your Ex Still in Your Head?

Are you carrying around the weight of how your ex made you feel not good enough, into new relationships? Or maybe it's even affecting relationships with friends, family, or your work life. Don't beat yourself up about it or carry shame around about it!

"You're still gonna miss a guy that treated you poorly. It's part of the process."

You have so much love to give, and yet when you try to give this love, the men you're with question it. They doubt you and your love. Which gets into your head, and now you're questioning your own worth and value.

Now, when you try to date or get into a new relationship, you're questioning everything you say and do, and analyzing everything he says about you. It's exhausting.

The message I want to get across in this episode is that:

  1. These men are insecure, so they try to dim your light to make themselves feel better
  2. We all come from messy backgrounds, many of us didn't receive healthy love with our parents, so we need to do our own work to heal...
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Is He Falling in Love or Full of BS? [Podcast EP 52]

How do you know if he's really falling in love? How do you know if the guy on the other side of the screen is really looking for true connection or if he's full of crap? In this episode, we're talking about how to know if the romance you're experiencing is really built to last for the long term or if it's just a temporary high that will leave and come back again for as long as you allow it.

You can also download and subscribe to this podcast for free on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, or Spotify, or listen on Youtube


But first...the self-care tip of the week!

This week, be mindful in noticing what inspires you. What gives you the full-body goosebump chills? What are the simple things that you just LOVE?

When you've been in Gumball Guy relationships and you've only thought about what they want and what they need, you lose who you are. After a relationship like that, finding a hobby feels like a daunting task. In reality, we...

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