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.
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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.
It’s the part of my job that is the most fun – Taking photos of clients for their dating profiles! After a thorough review of a client’s profile, the first thing I usually tell them is that taking new photos will heavily increase their traffic (and therefore their chances to find love.) It’s not that their current photos are bad, I just know they can be better and with so much competition out there, it’s imperative to post the most flattering, yet authentic photo of yourself.
So I’ve decide to post a few of my favorite “Before” and “After” photos (with my client’s permission) in order to highlight a few of the most common photo flubs, and how to fix them.
1. Angle is everything. Yes, we all know how to take a selfie. Shoot from above. But in addition to holding the camera high, it’s best to also pull back on the subject. Look how much thinner my client appears in her after photo. The two pictures were taken around the same time, yet she looks as if she’s lost 20 pounds in the photo I took. The illusion of weight is due to the “before” pic being a little too close and cutting off the side of her arm. (And busy patterns don’t help the cause either.)
2. Lighting May Not Be Everything, But It’s Pretty Important. If you quickly glance the before photo, your first thought might be, “It was a windy day and her hair is blowing all over her face.” But look at the second photo. Her hair is blowing there, too. So why does it work in one photo and not the other? The answer is because the before pic was shot mid-day when the sun was right above my client, casting shadows all over her face and neck. The best time to take a picture is during the first hour that the sun comes up and the last hour before it goes down. If you have a shaded setting a few hours plus or minus will work as well. As you can see, the right lighting can capture the sparkle in your eyes, or the beauty of your smile. The wrong lighting can wash it all out.
3. Don’t Point And Click. Although our smartphone cameras have come along way, they still can’t compete with a digital SLR camera, and your friend’s photography skills cannot compare to those of a professional (unless your friend is also a dating coach or photographer.) As an expert in this field, we know what pose, what angle, what look, is going to produce the very best shot of you. So while it may seem that everyone is a photographer these days, I would say, yes but not everyone is a good one. Since you only have a handful of images to show someone who you are and entice them into meeting you, why risk a poor end result? Hire someone who knows what they are doing with a camera. It’s not life or death, but it may be date or no date.
Jess McCann is the author of “You Lost Him at Hello : Secret Strategies from America’s Top Dating Coach” and “Was It Something I Said: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas”
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.
We all watched last night as Arie said goodbye to fair-haired Lauren and popped the question to “Better choice Becca”. Most of us cheered, as Becca seemed to be the total package. Pretty, fit, smart, and as her still infatuated ex-boyfriend pointed out, “a girl with a heart of gold.” Who could ask for more? Apparently Arie. The confusing thing to many viewers is, he seems to be opting for less. Although Lauren is beautiful and obviously sweet, she doesn’t seem to have the basic conversational skills that most people have. Kind of hard to imagine growing old with someone that doesn’t have much to say about …well, anything.
So why make the trade? If Arie could see his future with both women, why suddenly decide that the one he committed to, the one he could talk and laugh with for hours, the one he said he’d never be bored by, is not the one he wants? As a dating and relationship coach, I answer questions like this all the time. I’m asked by clients coming off their own break-up, why would their man suddenly throw away a good thing? The “why” behind a split is very important when it comes to closure, because if you don’t have a reason that makes sense to you, it can take months or years to find peace and move on. Since all of us don’t want to spend months (God forbid years) wrestling with the Ari-Becca-Lauren triangle, I’ll go ahead and tell you my two cents on why things went down this way. None of which you will hear tonight when Arie tries to explain himself.
This Is Arie
I believe Arie did fall for both Becca and Lauren. But, as I told my husband, if he met Becca on his own, they would have dated for a while and then ended up parting ways. She was never going to be the girl for him long term because Arie is not a guy with a strong personality, or a lot of confidence (both of which Becca has.) Sure, he may be a former race car driver, and for a spell that probably gave him an ego boost, but now he’s out of that business, and as Arie himself put it, “he is just a guy that barely graduated high school and worked at Pizza Hut (no offense Pizza Hut.) He is just not a “solid” guy. He’s a guy with doubts about himself and being coupled up with a women that is so self-assured and solid on her own doesn’t help give him his boost back. And that is what he’s looking for. He wants the girl that looks at him as if she’s struck gold, the girl that won’t challenge him, the girl who thinks everything he says or does is absolutely right and perfect because it soothes his own insecurities. With Becca they would be equal partners, and he’d rather be Lauren’s savior.
Let me be crystal clear on one thing here before I leave you, though. I do believe that Becca would have eventually grown frustrated and dissatisfied with Arie. After a few years together, she would have ended up wearing the pants in that relationship and I don’t think that’s what she ultimately envisions for herself. So, although she may be heartbroken now, I am confident that she will find a man that is much better suited for her. And to any single girls reading this thinking that you have to play dumb or be a “yes girl” to get a guy, that’s not the lesson here. Men love smart, confident women (case in point, Arie PICKED and PROPOSED to Becca first!) This is just what happened here with these three people and why Arie did what he did. In the end, he’s making the right decision for himself now. He and Lauren will probably get engaged and live happily ever after.
You’ve got your reasons for being single. You’re picky. You’re career-focused. You just haven’t found the one. Whatever excuse you’ve given over the years about why you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t matter. The truth is you’d like to be in one, and as Valentine’s Day approaches yet again; you are reminded of just how much you really want to find your person.
I understand your plight all too well. I’m a dating and relationship coach and every day I talk to dozens of singles that are trying to best navigate the dating sphere in the hopes of living happily wedded-after. Like you, many of my clients have a lot to offer. They are smart, attractive, well rounded and thoughtful. And with so many dating apps rife with potential prospects you would think coupling up would be quick and easy. So why isn’t it?
The truth is that most of us go about looking for love the wrong way. Our culture of instant gratification has us impatient for anything that takes longer than a few nanoseconds. While you may be able to get a date that quickly, building a relationship with someone still takes ample time. We can’t order up our perfect match like a Starbucks drink, and yet that’s just what we try to do. We want what we want and we want it now. If you can let go of these bad habits, however, and embrace some important new ones, this can be the very last time you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
In 2008 it was all about “playing hard to get”. Ten years later we’ve that replaced that strategy with “go after what you want.” Gone are the days of waiting with anticipation to hear from someone. If you like them, you text them. Doesn’t matter if you said goodbye thirty seconds ago and they are still within eye shot. That’s what we do now. When we want something we go after it like an Olympic athlete goes for gold. There’s no holding back.
The problem is that as fast and furious as we make connections today, they burn out even faster. We have lost our restraint and will power to the technology God and he is royally screwing us over in the love department. If we want to make something last, we have to pace ourselves. Relationships are not built overnight, so regardless of how badly we want someone, making them wait a little is still a good move.
Try Someone New
Keep ordering your grande, iced, sugar-free latte, but when it comes to dating you need to branch out. You might daydream about someone who’s six feet tall, or curvy and blond, but love doesn’t always come in the package that we expect. Just because we are attracted to a certain type doesn’t mean we won’t be attracted to someone outside those parameters. Rosey, a 38 year-old stay at home mom remembers the day she met her husband at a local bar. “I started talking with him because he was standing there. Not because I was initially attracted. He had facial hair, which I’ve never been fond of, and he looked like he lived at the gym. But I said yes when he asked me out, and after our first date, I fell in love with him. We’ve been married for five years.”
A common mistake, especially with online dating, is to narrow your search preferences down to your seemingly “ideal match”. But we don’t fall in love with someone because their eyes are blue, they went to Dartmouth, or they live in a swanky part of town. We fall in love because of how we feel when we are with them. And that’s something you cannot tell until you actually go on a date. So widen your search criteria and sample date as many people as you can.
Ask The Right Questions
All too often I see my clients fall for someone that embodies a lot of what they want on the outside, but that they really don’t know on the inside. “If he’s Catholic, and we have chemistry, what else do I really need to know?” Said Jenna, a twenty-three year old graduate student at the University of Virginia. Actually there is a lot more that you need to know, although many singles today are focused only on physical attraction and have a fear of digging too deep. In an effort to seem fun and datable, women especially are keeping the conversation very light; sticking to non-controversial topics and steering clear of anything too personal. But getting personal is how you not only get to know someone; it’s how you form a real, genuine connection. If you don’t ask the right questions, neither of those things can happen.
In my book, “Was It Something I Said: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas” I stress the importance of asking meaningful questions on dates. Questions like, “When was your last relationship? Why did it end? What kind of men/women do you find yourself most attracted to?” These questions will give you good insight into the most critical aspect of the person sitting across from you – what they are like in a relationship. Other questions to ask, “Are your parents still together? What’s their relationship like? What was the last argument you had and with whom? While driving to and from work, what do you think about most?” There is no reason to fear asking any of these questions, and you should ask them early, before you fall for someone that isn’t your cup of specialty coffee…
He’s a sweet guy. He always asks you about your day. When you needed a ride to the airport he didn’t hesitate to volunteer, and when you go out to eat he always let’s you pick the appetizer. It’s only been a few months, but everything is going so well, and that, in itself, may be your biggest reservation. When life is on cruise control and there aren’t many complications, how can you see what a man is really made of? It’s so easy to be agreeable and easy going when you aren’t in the midst of stress or disappointment, but that’s when you usually see someone’s true character.
I’ve got a theory, and although it’s not been scientifically tested, I think it’s pretty accurate most of the time. If you want to know who a guy is, and what he’s like in a relationship (especially in times of stress or disagreement), all you need to do is check out the way he drives.
The road is the only place where we all have to coexist with each other in completely neutral territory. How a guy treats his fellow drivers tells you a lot about how he views himself, other people, and life in general. For example, does he put the pedal to the metal, speeding down streets, cutting people off in attempt to get where he’s going fast? If that’s his typical behind-the-wheel behavior then you are dealing with someone who thinks he owns the road. How does that translate in a relationship? Typically, this kind of guy always thinks he’s in the right, and has little regard for other people’s feelings. You’ll find out quickly that when it comes to you, his motto is, “My way or the highway.”
Or maybe he’s not the kind of guy to disobey traffic laws, and he’s generally a pretty safe driver, but heaven forbid if someone else doesn’t use their turn signal! Or worse, they change lanes unexpectedly and cut him off. If you are in a relationship with someone that explodes into road rage when other people don’t drive to his liking you are dealing with a perfectionist. This is the kind of guy that is happy when things are going his way, but when he has to deal with opposition or imperfection, his mood sinks. This can be hard in a relationship because life isn’t perfect and you can’t control everything, so having a partner who is easily aggravated by that fact can be a big source of stress. Perfectionists have big mood swings both on and off the road.
Then there is the overly cautious driver. The one who won’t pull out into traffic if he sees a car coming two miles away. He’s likely to coast under the speed limit, and never passes on an opportunity to wave another driver ahead of him. He’s not the most confident guy, and most definitely a people-pleaser, but there is nothing wrong with that. You just have to accept that you are coupling up with a man who takes his time, and for some women, that can be frustrating. He’s likely to put your feelings first in your relationship, which is good, but he can also put other people (your friends, your neighbor, your neighbor’s dog) before your relationship, as well.
These are just a few of the road habits that can give you insight about a guy. It’s a secret strategy that has served me (and my clients) well when assessing the opposite sex. It’s better than fishing for information through friends or family because they will always be somewhat biased. That’s the great thing about the road. Everyone uses it, so everyone has a relationship with it, but the road itself is never partial. It’s a mirror, bringing out the true colors in anyone who’s on it. That’s why if you want to know who someone is, just ask the road. It never lies.
If you are having trouble assessing someone you are dating, or if you are in a relationship or marriage with someone you don’t know how to deal with, please contact me about coaching at www.jessmccann.com/contact
It was my freshman year at college. My first day on campus, as I wandered around aimlessly with my roommate looking for the dining hall, I walked by a guy who completely took my breath away. It was the first time I had been struck with the “love at first sight” feeling. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and barely cocked a smile, but my heart raced. I had to know who he was. Was he a freshman, too? Where was he living? I had to meet him somehow….
As the months passed I learned the answers to all my questions. No, he wasn’t a freshman. He was a Sophmore, and living quite close to my dorm. We would cross paths on Thursdays while I was on my way to Spanish. Sometimes I mustered a hello, sometimes just a smile. I knew he was in a Fraternity, and at any chance I got, I attended their parties but only to swoon from afar. I just never got up the courage to introduce myself.
Then, one day, one of my friends grew tired of hearing how much I like this guy and while we were out at a local dive bar, she grabbed his arm and pulled him over. “This is Jessica.” she said. “Jessica, this is hot-guy-you-have-been-pining-over-for-almost-a-year.” No, she didn’t really say that. She said his name, which I’ll keep confidential. Hot guy smiled at me, shook my hand, and said, “You wanna dance?”
The rest of the night was a happy blur of events. I was on cloud nine. Hot guy never left my side, ran to fill my beverage, sat with his arm around me, and then walked me to my car and asked to exchange numbers. I couldn’t believe it. I was officially going to date hot guy and this was the beginning of what would be a beautiful relationship….or so I thought.
A week passed after that night and nothing but crickets. I didn’t leave my dorm for fear I would miss his call and my answering machine would fail me (yes, cell phones were for rich people at this point in time.) On the way to Thursdays Spanish class I saw him standing outside Thompson Hall smoking a cigarette with some friends. He saw me and waved. That was it.
That night, I sat around with some girls that lived on my hall and retold the story of the wonderful night I had the weekend before and how crushed I was that I had not heard from hot guy. Then, one of their boyfriend’s who was sitting nearby eavesdropping came over and gave me what would become known as the worst piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. “Call him,” he said. “He’s probably scared to make a move.” Now, I had been told by my mother repeatedly not to chase boys, so this counsel was met with resistance at first, but the boyfriend continued making his case for why calling hot guy would be a good idea.
“He was drinking and he probably isn’t sure that you’re interested. If he was drunk, he probably lost your number. It’s 1996 and girls call guys now and we like it! It takes the pressure off. You’re in control.” And then he finally added, “It can’t hurt.” So, after 10 minutes of convincing, I picked up the phone and called hot guy.
It did not go well.
His roommate picked up the phone and told me to hold. “Hot guy!” he yelled. “Jessica is on the phone for you!” To which hot guy replied, “Who??” The next two minutes were cringe-worthy. Hot guy got on the phone and we struggled through 120 seconds of conversation. Then he told me his roommate needed to use the phone and he would call me back. He never did.
Even though I was crushed by this incident, and no relationship ever materialized between us, hot guy did me a favor that night by not calling me back. He wasn’t interested in me and although it took a while to get over that fact, at least he didn’t feign attraction or take advantage of my infatuation. My dorm-mates boyfriend convinced me that calling hot guy couldn’t hurt, but if he had taken my call, asked me to come over, hooked up with me and never talked to me again, that would have definitely caused me pain.
I might have been spared, but many single girls today fall into “go-nowhere” relationships with guys and the most of the time, it is due in large part to initiating contact first just as I did. They are under the impression that initiating a simple text to someone they like can’t hurt, but truly, it is this small misstep in the “hanging out” phase that can lead to a girl wasting her time with a guy who’s only moderately interested. It can segue into an unbalanced relationship, and the possibility of being used by someone for a mere steady hook-up.
Reaching out over the phone, email, text, instant messenger, or via some social media site when you are just starting to talk to a guy, not only sends the message that you are chasing him, it also robs you of the opportunity to assess if he is truly interested in pursing a relationship with you. I always tell my coaching clients that they need to read a guy’s buying signs, and those signs will tell you most everything you need to know about his interest. One of the biggest signs is, does he text you first after you’ve seen him? If he does, then he’s likely very interested. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t.
It’s easy to accidentally sabotage a potential relationship by doing something you normally would not do if not for cell phones or the Internet. After my epic fail with hot guy, I never called another boy again. And I’m happy to say, that strategy served me very well for all the years I dated. But most girls today don’t get the clear cut “not interested” sign like I did. Relationship have become more ambiguous and knowing when and what to text someone can be as complicated as a Game of Thrones plotline.
If you need help even on the smallest scale with someone you are hanging out with or dating, you don’t need to hire an expensive dating coach and spend an hour on the phone trying to decode a text and craft one back. I offer quick, inexpensive email advice for these small but critical situations. You can write me up to 800 words, allowing you to give me ample backstory, and within 24 hours, you’ll have a response from me about what you should or should not do. Best of all, you’ll have the peace of mind that you didn’t make an impulsive decision that cost you a chance with your own hot guy.
When Jenny met Matt she thought it was true love. Finally, she had found a guy that did everything right. He would text her every day, pick her up at her house, pay for all their dinners, make plans in advance, and lavish her with compliments. He was perfect and after just three weeks, he was already saying those three little words.
So imagine Jenny’s surprise when after six weeks of dating, things started to change. The daily texts stopped first, and she began reaching out to him instead. Then the planning in advance came to a halt and it was all last minute, or late night get- togethers to “watch Netflix and Chill”. And finally, the amorous professions of love ended, and Jenny was left wondering where they stood.
“I feel like I need to have the DTR talk,” Jenny said to me one day. (That’s slang for Determine the Relationship.)
“I don’t think so,” I told her. “I think you know where your relationship stands. The question is, are you okay with it?”
“I was okay with it when he was paying more attention to me. Now I feel like I’m just there. How do I get him to be like he was before?” She asked me.
“Jenny, you’ve been “Love Bombed.” And the only thing you can do now is either accept the relationship for where it is now, or don’t accept it and move on.”
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is when a guy attempts to win you over with over-the-top displays of attention and affection, but then, after a matter of weeks that all stops. Love Bombing happens frequently in today’s culture because technology makes it so easy to “bomb” someone with words of affection and future promises without having to do anything more than lift a finger (or more accurately; two thumbs.) Some love bombing is normal. When a guy first meets a girl, and is attracted to her, he will naturally want to impress her by going above and beyond her expectations. As the relationship settles down a bit, and the two become a couple, however, the avid pursuit to “win” her over wanes, but should be replaced by a happy, contented relationship. The problem with Love Bombing happens when either the girl doesn’t know how to be in a relationship, and demands the constant attention and reassurance that Love Bombing provides, or the guy is using “LB” as a technique to sleep with a girl or get her attached to him for his own selfish purposes.
How To Spot A Serial Love Bomber
Jenny eventually learned that Matt was a serial Love Bomber, and routinely came on strong with all his other girlfriends. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a habit of coming being overly effusive when he wasn’t yet in a relationship. But not all guys are like Matt, and some will Love Bomb you just to get what they want, and then leave you confused, disappointed, and still very single.
It’s important to be able to know when you are being “Love Bombed” and to remain skeptical if you see any of the following signs within the first few weeks:
– He texts you “Good Morning, Beautiful” every morning and “Good Night, Beautiful” every night, even though you just met (or haven’t met in person.)
– He talks about future plans, vacations, and even marriage and you’ve only been on a handful of dates.
– He comments or likes all your posts the minute you post them.
– In almost every communication with you, he flatters you.
– He professes his feelings right from the start and tells you he’s “never felt this way about anyone” and “can’t believe he met someone (you) that is so beautiful, special, smart, etc” and “knows already that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.”
Be wary of Love Bombers because they can reel you in, sleep with you, and move on without hesitation. If you think you are perpetual victim of Love Bombing and need professional help, please email me about coaching at email@example.com. Love Bombers are notoriously looking for “soft targets” – women with low self-esteem that they can bomb and manipulate. Don’t let yourself be a victim again.
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