This blog is an oldie but a goodie! I last posted it in 2009, so for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, enjoy!
Your are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks on a beautiful night. Your phone vibrates. You have one new text message. You pick it up and see that it’s Sam, a guy you met three weeks ago and hooked up with because you were really wasted. He’s a nice guy, but ever since that night, he’s been pseudo-stalking you. You’ve been cordial, answering some of his texts and calls, mostly because you like the attention, but he’s just not the one for you. You tell your friends at the table, “It’s Sam the stalker again. He is out in DC and wants to know where I am.” There’s a round of snickers and laughs. Someone tells you to be nice to the poor guy and tell him where you are. You never know, he might have cute friends, she says. You take a sip of your margarita and say, “Let’s see how the night goes. If we don’t find any cute guys here, I will tell him to come by.”
Two hours and two rounds later, no one at the table has seen anyone cute. You are almost forced by one of your oversexed friends to call Sam and bring his entourage over. By now you have a good buzz going and figure, why not. He’ll buy you your next round and tell you how hot you are. So you text Sam and tell him where you are in Arlington. You laugh to yourself because you don’t even have to extend an invitation. You know very well that he’s going to say by some strange coincidence that he’s at the bar next door and will just swing by. Fifteen minutes later, Sam, his best friend, and his roommate stroll into bar. People are introduced, shots are ordered, and the night officially begins. Sam is all over you and the more you drink, the more you like it. By the end of the night, you and Sam are stumbling back to your place. You guys make out all over your apartment and for some reason it’s really great. Maybe it’s because you’ve been going through a dry spell, but whatever the reason, you are into it. You continue to make out with Sam and the more you kiss him, the more you like him. How could you have disregarded him before? Maybe he’s not as bad as you initially thought.
And then you wake up the next day completely sober and realize you had on major margarita glasses. Sam is lying in your bed, snoring like a sabertooth tiger, drooling on your favorite pillow. You are annoyed like crazy. How long is going to be here, you wonder? He finally wakes up, smiling like a cheshire cat, and pats the space next to him, indicating he wants you to lie back down. You’d rather shoot yourself than cuddle with Sam so you make up an excuse about having to run into work that morning. Disappointed, Sam reluctantly and slowly, gets out of your bed. You throw his pants at him and watch him stumble to get dressed, knocking over your alarm clock and family photo in the process. He apologizes and then asks if you have time to grab some breakfast. Ah, sorry no. You really don’t. Some other time maybe. Sam picks up on your unintentional invitation to do this again, and says, “Ok, when? Do you want to meet up later tonight?” At this point you just want him out of your apartment so you tell him to call you later and you will see about getting together. He finally leaves after you pretend to walk to your car. You get back to your apartment and collapse on the couch. You eventually drift off to sleep but not before labeling Sam’s number DO NOT ANSWER into your cell phone.
I know you can all related to this story. We have all had guys we just aren’t into, chase after us relentlessly. We’ve all caved and been nice to them, even hooked up with them once or twice. We’ve kept them on the back burner in cases of emergency and extreme boredom. But guess what? This story is not what you think. You’ve just entered the Twilight Zone. You were not out with your girlfriends having margaritas last night. You were in DC, hanging out with your best friend and her roommate, hoping to hear from the guy you met three weeks ago and had a hot hook up with. A hook up you have not been able to stop thinking about. That’s right, in this scenario, YOU are Sam. You were the one who texted him to find out where he was. You were elated when he told you he was at the Eventide rooftop in Arlington. You rushed over and played it off as if you at the bar next door. You met up with him and his friends, had some drinks and ended up back at his place, where at some point in the night you fell completely in love. You woke up in his bed filled with excitement. You are certain he likes you now. He wanted to go to breakfast, but a work emergency took priority. Totally understandable. You like him even more because he’s ambitious. He told you to call him later and you guys would meet up again that night.
Maybe you saw this switch-a-roo coming from a mile away. Maybe my Twilight Zone blog was totally predictable. I really don’t know. What I do know is this. There are lots of girls out there that string along men that they aren’t interested in. They hook up with them when it’s convenient, call when they are lonely, and essentially use them when they want to. Those same women often come crying to me when a man does the same thing to them. These girls bounce back and forth between men that like them but have no interest in, and men that they like but can’t pin down. Ironically, these women cannot see the writing on the wall when a man is only with them out of convenience. They make up excuses for sporadic behavior. If he doesn’t call for a week, but then suddenly texts while he’s out on a Friday night, they believe it means he’s suddenly come around! He was just busy all week with his stressful work schedule. The truth is that guys will use you in the same way you use them. In order to find love and happiness you must stop the cycle of use. It’s the most anti-love action possible. How is it fair that you waste that nice boy’s time but then fall to pieces when another guy does it to you? The Universe will absolutely bring you what you deserve and if it knows you are only hanging out with someone because you are lonely, it will not blink at handing you the same scenario. Don’t waste your time on men that are not interested in you and don’t waste someone else’s time either. Getting involved with men who make you chase them can do a terrible number on your self-esteem. Unbalanced and unloving relationships chip away at your heart and by the time you find a guy that really likes you, you don’t know how to act. You don’t know how to really be in a healthy relationship because, thus far, in your past there has only been use. If you don’t like someone, don’t waste their time. And if a guy doesn’t seem crazy about you, do yourself a big favor and just move on to someone who is. What you put out to the world is what you will get back. Be kind and loving to men and they will be kind and loving to you.
I matched with three guys I wanted to meet, but none of them have started a conversation!
I spend so much time on these apps and nothing ever comes from it!
Any of these thoughts sound familiar? If you have frequented any of the dating apps on the market today, it’s likely you can relate to all three of these statements. It’s almost proven that the overabundant online selection and quick-to-judge vetting process is more curse than blessing to females looking for something serious. Weeks, months, or years spent sorting, swiping, matching, and messaging often result in nothing but extreme dating fatigue, landing most women right back where they started when their membership expires.
Most clients who seek my help have nearly given up hope of making something online happen offline. It’s one of the main reasons I decided to change my coaching structure two years ago from single sessions to a six month program. As fast and easy as app dating may be, the process is anything but that. To play the new dating game, you not only have to understand the other team, but you have to really know the playing field, and it has become challenging, confusing, and all too time consuming.
I’ve been dating for over twenty years (ten years for myself, ten by proxy) and can confidently say I know the app game pretty well. There are ways to work the new system of dating so that the system doesn’t work you. I teach my clients how to do just that, and at times, I even do it for them by logging into their profiles. Today, I’m going to share a few of my app dating techniques right here so that you, too, can up your odds of making love happen.
As much as we’d like to use Tinder and the like to “cherry pick” our Prince Charming, doing so is a recipe for sitting home every night. If you want to find the right person for you, you have to ditch your list of physical must-haves and swipe right on almost anyone who fits your age range and location. Before you start posting the backlash comments to this, let me clarify that I’m not telling you to go out with everyone you swipe right on. I’m saying that in order to have enough of a dating pool to fish from you need to swipe right A LOT. From the guys who “SR” back on you and result in a match, you can then decide who you want to message and possibly meet. If you hate this idea, you will likely need to read my upcoming book, “Cursed: Why you are smart and savvy but bad at love and the 5 cures that can save you from heartbreak” because your problem likely runs deeper than your “swipe psychology”. (Sorry!)
I am a big fan of old school rules like never texting a man first, and not asking him on a date. However, those principles don’t apply before you meet! Pre-first date, throw all the rules out the window because they will only have you scratching your head asking yourself why you aren’t meeting anyone. It’s not only fine to start messaging a guy first, it is necessary at times. Remember that most men have a substantial online funnel going, too, and if you don’t initiate a icebreaker you could get pushed down the line by the five other aggressive females clamoring to have coffee with him. And speaking of coffee, I also encourage you to throw out the suggestion of grabbing a cup because some guys are slower to pull the trigger and ask than others. Again, you don’t want Aggressive Abby and Brave Betty to beat you to the punch… or to the latte.
<b>If He Bites, Reel Him In</b>
This might be the most important part of my app dating strategy and it’s one that I don’t see many people use. Listen carefully because this is the golden nugget! If you get a guy chatting through one of the apps, do not leave the conversation. Do not play hard-to-get by hopping offline for an hour or a day, and then come back and try to resume your chat. It won’t work. If someone starts messaging you, stop what you are doing and build a relationship with him right then and there! Spend the next 15-20 minutes getting to know that person and creating a connection. After you feel you’ve done a good job building a little rapport, close him for a coffee date like this, “Hey, it’s been great chatting with you but I have a pilates class at 7:30. Maybe we should grab coffee this weekend? Let me know and I’ll check back with you tomorrow.” By closing him but also leaving him at the height of impulse, you create what I call the “laid back close.” This strategy makes you seem somewhat indifferent (not overeager), but still allows you to take control and get yourself the date!
If you are having troubling with the last piece of advice and can’t figure out how to quickly and effectively build a relationship with a stranger, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s actually hard to generate a good, meaningful conversation over “text” with someone you have never met. If you need help, you might want to reach out to me and find out more about my coaching program. Or email me at email@example.com
RebateCara heard her phone buzz for the third time and ignored it again. She knew it was him – the guy she met off Tinder last night. He had already texted her twice before expressing his interest in another date, but Cara was already back on the app, swiping for someone new. She felt somewhat guilty for ghosting him, after all, he had taken her out a few times, treating her to expensive dinners, but she was afraid to actually say the words, “I’m not interested.” Even if it was over text.
Then, it came through. A payment request from Paypal for $175. Cara’s mouth dropped open. The guy she was trying to ghost was now trying to “rebated” her.
If you haven’t heard of “rebating” yet, you likely soon will. It’s a term I’ve coined for a new dating trend where guys are attempting to recoup money ill-spent on women who ghost them. As appalling, tacky, and bold as it may be, guys argue that dating these days is expensive, and to have someone only date you up until the point that the relationship would become physical, boarders on use. To be fair, many girls have been guilty of dinner-dating where they do use men for a free meal, however, other girls who are very keen on finding love have been advised to give a guy at least a few dates before deciding on them. After all, for many girls, love can grow.
So what do you do if your date tries to rebate you? One client of mine was rebated after meeting up with a guy off Bumble just one time. He wanted his $15 bucks back for the cocktail he bought her and attached a nasty note claiming she was disingenuous. Knowing how much this woman wants to find her person and settle down, she is anything but that. She did ghost him when he sent a follow-up text after their date, and perhaps that’s the key to the whole rebating trend. If a guy is ghosted he assumes the girl was using him for dinner-dating…although it’s hard to argue that if he only bought her one drink. In that case his rebating reads more into him and his bitterness at dating or women in general.
The best protection against being rebated seems to be transparency. If you don’t feel a connection with a guy, tell him. Be kind about it, and use a reason that feels as close to honesty can without being brutal. Use build-break-build and sandwich the bad news in between two positives about him. It is worth the awkward exchange in order to avoid dealing with a post-date rebate bill.
New!!! Watch KLG and Hoda Mention Jess McCann on the Today Show!
Click here to load other advice blogs.
Jess McCann is the author of “You Lost Him at Hello” and “Was It Something I Said”. She is also a dating and relationship coach. To learn more about about her coaching rates and packages, email her here.
I love my female clients, and in truth, they are the bulk of my business. But every now and then a guy will sign up for my coaching program and it’s a very nice change of pace for me. It’s probably no surprise to those reading this, but when it comes to coaching men, the challenges that arise and the strategies we employ are totally different. Recently I was reminded of this when I gained another male client who was having a hard time getting matched on Tinder. Most guys complain that it takes twenty to fifty swipes to get just one match, and the chances of meeting up with said match are only 50-50 at best. This can lead to frustration, fatigue, and in some cases, feeling like a failure. The good news is that this is a workable problem. No, you will never achieve a 100% response rate when it comes to online match-ups, but there are many things that a guy can do to up his odds with women he’d like to meet.
You might think you need more hair, or less flab, but truthfully, whether a woman swipes on you or not has more to do with the feeling she gets from your photo – do you seem interesting? Confident? Sexy? Or is she about to tip off America’s Most Wanted because she is pretty sure she’s seen you someplace before and it’s not good…Ok, so that might be stretch (but those guys are out there). It’s more likely that your photo is simply not doing you justice or perhaps giving off an awkward or unappealing vibe. Here are some of my best photo-tips that are sure to up your swipe rate.
Contrary to what I tell women, for men it’s much better not to look directly at the camera and smile. Look just to the right or the left, and show just a bit of teeth. Call it creating mystery, intrigue, or just a sense of non-desperation, women find this appealing and are more likely to swipe right. However, if your second photo is a big mug shot of you, grinning like a Cheshire cat, you’ve blown it.
Have you ever noticed how big a face only photo looks on your phone? That’s usually okay if you are female but for guys, you are just asking a girl to run you over with a fine-toothed judgment comb. (Is that the beginning of a unibrow, I see?) Take your pictures from the waist up at minimum, but a full body shot works well, too.
It is assumption at it’s worst but it happens every day. If you are at a bar or holding a drink in your hand, women will assume you’re a party boy or an alcoholic. If you are standing with a bunch of women, she will assume you are player. If you are shooting a fire arm or at a gun range… yeah, even if she is a gun enthusiast, no woman is going to want to meet up with a stranger that she knows has access to a deadly weapon. Keep your photos simple. Just you, perhaps doing something outdoorsy (and non-threatening.) The only prop that women respond well to is of the canine persuasion. Sorry, no cats.
4. Learn to take a flattering selfie
If we have learned anything from Kim Kardashian (which may be the only thing), it’s to take portraits with the camera angling down. This doesn’t just apply to selfies. Make sure whoever is taking your picture knows how to use a camera and captures you from your best angle, in the best light, with your best outfit. Yes, all this stuff does make a difference.
I just read your book, WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID. I have been dating a man for 5 months. Right away he told me he wasn’t looking for a committed relationship and I told him I wasn’t either. Honestly, I do want that but I just didn’t want to lose him by telling him. Now it’s been several months and he is still hung up on not wanting a commitment even though we act like a couple. We see each other on a regular basis, spend weekends together, and have even vacationed in Hawaii. I know he is not seeing anyone else. Really, we are in a relationship, but he refuses to really acknowledge it. He texts and emails me everyday to say good morning and good night. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk. How do I get him to commit exclusively and call this what it is… a relationship!
Confused in Kentucky
Here is the good news. You are correct. You are in a relationship. Here is the bad news. It’s not the kind of relationship you want. If this man is verbally telling you that he doesn’t want to commit to you, then it means he wants to have the ability to walk away whenever he feels like it. It does not matter that he spends all his time with you now, because “the now” is not his concern. The concern is “later”, as in next month, next year, or five years from now. He is happy with you at the moment but unsure how he will feel tomorrow, and that is why he won’t commit. Is that because of you, or is it because he’s just that type of guy? The best way to find out the answer is look at the rest of his life outside his relationship with you. Does he have a problem committing to other people, such as his friends or family? Does he back out of plans often or wait to the last minute to make them? Does he agonize over major purchases because buying a house or a car is a long term commitment in itself? If the answer is yes, you are probably just dealing with a commitment phobic guy that needs more than a little nudge from you to tie the knot. Therapy may help, but many commitment-shy guys never really learn to fully settle down…even if they get married!
If, however, you find that he is solid in other areas and doesn’t have trouble committing to anything else, the problem may be specific to you and your relationship. If that is the case, your only recourse is to have a serious heart to heart with him and discuss what you want and need from him. If you continue to see him, and sleep with him, while still holding your tongue, you will only grown more resentful as time goes by. What’s worse is that you are likely going to put all your time, energy, and heart into someone that won’t stick with you when tough times hit. Do yourself a favor and own up to what you want. You should be more afraid of what will happen if you don’t say something, than if you do!
If you have a question to submit to Jess’ blog, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Continue on to more of Jess’ Advice Blogs Continue reading
Natalie had finally met someone she liked. After months of being online and going on multiple first dates, she met Henry. There was instant chemistry on their first date. He wasn’t the necessarily the best looking guy, but there was something about him she was definitely attracted to. Their second date was great too. They went to an Art exhibit and spent hours talking about their passions in life and dreams for the future. On their third date, Henry brought her flowers, took her to a five star restaurant and told her that he found her to be one of the most captivating women he’d ever met.
And suddenly Natalie wasn’t sure if she was that interested anymore.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself becoming less interested in someone because they became more interested in you? If so, then it is very likely you have a strong affinity for the chase… and it could very well keep you single or unhappily married for the rest of your life.
Many women today have become increasingly addicted to the chase without realizing it. These women claim to want a happy, healthy relationship, however, when the opportunity presents itself in the form of a emotionally available, interested man, they turn their nose up and walk the other way. Instead they repeatedly gravitate towards the guy that shows them just enough interest to keep them hanging on but not nearly enough to ever realistically plan a future with. Why? Because they find these guys challenging, exciting, and stimulating, and to a degree they are. But what you may not realize is that when the guy you are dating doesn’t call you one night it’s just annoying and frustrating. When your husband does that, it’s absolutely crushing. Marry the guy who makes you chase him, however, and that’s what you are signing up for.
For centuries, it was only socially acceptable for men to chase women and for the most part, females were more than happy to sit back and let their pursuers do their thing. Women wanted to be called on often, and delighted in hearing professions of love. Nowadays however, their are a large number of women that only feel comfortable when they are avidly chasing the object of their affection. They might claim that they are open to being wooed and won over, it just “has to be the right guy”. What they don’t realize is that the minute a man begins to act like he should when he’s truly interested in a woman, no matter how great of a guy he is, he has just turned himself into Mr. Boring, Mr. Predictable, Mr. Smothering… and finally just Mr. Wrong. But that’s not the guy’s fault, it’s yours.
Can you be fixed?
If this sounds like you and your beginning to wonder if you have an addiction to the chase, don’t despair. The first thing you must do is acknowledge the problem. Without awareness, you’ll be a victim to your unconscious emotions time and time again. For the most part, this love of the chase can be broken like any other addiction. It simply takes works, discipline, and time. Realize a good relationship stems from a good dating experience – and that means a man treating you well and showing you that he cares. It may take some getting used to if you have always shied away from this, but the first step in the right direction is going against what feels natural to you. Say yes to the man who is reliable, stable, consistent and available and no to the one who is challenging and erratic. It will take some getting used to at first, but keep in mind this is supposed to be a relationship, not an extreme sport. The high’s and low’s, twists and turns you’ve grown accustomed to don’t work well in a marriage. In fact, they usually lead to messy break-ups.
If you think you may be addicted to the chase, it may be time to consult a dating coach! End your self-sabotaging habits by contacting Jess McCann and inquiring about her coaching rates and packages.
Other articles on this blog:
My husband and I were out to dinner with some friends the other night and one of them started talking about her relationship with her boyfriend. She had been frustrated over the last several weeks because of his inflexible attitude. We all listened and gave her the usual, polite excuses for his behavior (after all you can’t tell someone the harsh truth with seven other people sitting there.) But after dinner my husband shook his head and said to me, “I feel really bad for her. It’s obvious that he’s only with her out of convenience.”I thought it was interesting to have the male perspective on this. So I asked him. What’s the number one sign that a guy is only with a girl because it’s convenient? His answer? I’m going to paraphrase because it was late and I was full of spicy tuna rolls, but it went something like, “when a guy gets annoyed at the drop of a hat by anything his girlfriend says or does, that’s a big sign of a relationship of convenience.” So for example, you are running late from work and you call your boyfriend to ask him to take the chicken out of the fridge and pre-heat the oven for you, and he gets annoyed and tells you that he’s about to go to the gym and can’t be bothered. Or, you have told him that your cousin wants to have you two over one night, and when you bring it up for the third time he says something like, “I don’t know when I can do it! Why do you have to keep asking me every five minutes??”
If your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or partner has a very short fuse and you hesitate to ask them for anything, you may be in a relationship of convenience. If it’s not convenient for them to get off their butt and pre-heat the oven, or it’s not convenient for them to sacrifice a night at your cousins, how can you argue his intentions? My husband spoke from his own experience and said, “I’ve been there. When I’m mentally done with a relationship, but haven’t told the girl yet, it’s exactly the way I act. It’s not cool, but sometimes the guy doesn’t even realize the reason why he’s doing it. Often in these situations, the guy ends up pushing the girl to end the relationship. He’s such an inflexible jerk, she has no choice.” Continue reading