Cara 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.