Are you currently in the dating scene? How does one form genuine connections with new people? Why must you always start with honesty and authenticity on a dating app? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Dr. Frankie about dating post-covid and how to practice authenticity in new relationships.


Dr. Frankie Bashan is a renowned relationship coach and dating expert. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with over a decade of experience working with couples and individuals and specialized training in the field of trauma. Dr. Frankie is the CEO & Founder of, which focuses on personalized matchmaking for lesbians and bisexual women, and has successfully connected couples across the United States for the last decade. Her latest venture is as CEO & Founder of, specializing in personalized matchmaking for heterosexual singles. Dr. Frankie’s coaching is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but clients can access her services via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom from around the globe. You can follow Dr. Frankie on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.


  • Start slow
  • Be committed to challenging yourself
  • Navigating dating app issues
  • Always strive for authenticity

Start slow

Dating post-COVID is a difficult situation to navigate, especially if you haven’t been around people a lot, and perhaps find it tricky to meet people. Start slow and gradually. Go to events that you feel safe at, like outdoor events, and to ones that showcase or include activities that you actually enjoy.
I encourage [clients] to commit to going to one event … a week or one event a month, especially if they’re somebody who has a lot of [social] anxiety. (Dr. Frankie)
What matters most is connection. Realize that everyone who is around you also desires and appreciates genuine human contact and connection.

Be committed to challenging yourself

If you are constantly choosing the easy route, then it will take a long time for you to reach your goals and fulfill your desires. So, commit to challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone to make the necessary change, because then you open yourself up to new people, experiences, and connections.
When you do that, you increase your self-esteem, you feel like you’ve accomplished something, and it leaves you feeling good on the other side of it. If you’re always choosing the path of least resistance … you don’t allow yourself to experience the accomplishment or success of leaning in and facing fear and walking [through] it. (Dr. Frankie)
Be authentic in what you do by sticking to doing the things that you actually enjoy when meeting people. Do not let yourself down by pretending to like something to meet someone, but rather stick with your preferences, and challenge yourself within that space to meet someone. Then, you are more likely to connect with someone who has similar interests and form a sincere connection.

Navigating dating app issues

Due to the pandemic, dating apps have become the main way in which people seek and find connection. However, there can sometimes be issues, such as catfishing or false pretenses. You can:
  • Say no
  • Set your boundaries and expectations
  • Decline requests that do not make you feel comfortable
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Pay attention to the red (and green) flags and listen to your intuition
I do still hear success stories [from] using dating apps, but I think you gotta kiss a lot of frogs … but just because you have a negative experience doesn’t mean that you throw in the towel. (Dr. Frankie)

Always strive for authenticity

Sometimes when people are desperate for connection, they feel willing to do almost anything to try to connect with someone, such as editing their picture or pretending to be someone that they are not.
Then you’re going to get rejected. That’s going to backfire, 99% of the time, if you’re putting up a filtered photo and you show up on your first date, you’re going to get rejected … that’s not love and that’s not loving yourself. Don’t do that to yourself. Be authentic because most people want somebody honest, real, and authentic. (Dr. Frankie)
Do not neglect yourself in the process of trying to find love and connection, because then you risk losing yourself, or getting into a relationship with someone who does not truly value you for who you are.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to comment below and share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of Behind The Bite on Apple Podcasts (previously) iTunes and subscribe!