If you’re dating in 2018, apologies in advance—it’s been a rough year on the love front. Just when you finally figured out how to navigate ghosting, breadcrumbing, and orbiting, a new trend swoops in to cause even more chaos. And this time it’s coming for your sanity and your bank account.
Normally, getting a rebate is a very exciting thing. But in the dating world, “rebating”—coined by dating coach Jess McCann—involves the following: You go on a date with someone, then afterward if there’s no interest in moving forward with the relationship, you get a Venmo request prompting you to cough up half the cost of the date.
New York City-based psychologist and relationship expert Paulette Sherman, PhD, hasn’t seen the trend come up with her own clients yet (though, sidenote: it’s a topic that’s come up in the Well+Good office), she definitely doesn’t think the move is justified. “When it comes to going on a date, there are no strings attached. No one knows ahead of time whether they’ll like each other, or for how long,” she says. “If either party believes in going Dutch from the get-go, that should be determined upfront. But I don’t advise anyone asking for money back just because they didn’t see a future afterward. Dating is a pay-as-you-go type adventure, like life. Sometimes you win and sometimes you’ll lose, but at least you can try to play the game gracefully.”
I’m really just in disbelief that I went on a date with a guy and nicely told him I didn’t think we were compatible and he Venmo requested me for dinner, I had a damn grilled cheese 💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/aTzs23oQAX
— Ashleigh Bradley (@ashhbradley) August 21, 2018
Even though rebating isn’t as widespread as ghosting (for now, that is!), it’s always smart to be prepared whether it’s you or your date who determines there’s no future. And if you see that Venmo request pop up, there’s a classy way to handle it: “You could tell them if they wanted to split the check, they should have mentioned it at the time because now their approach seems rude and you don’t want any part of it,” Sherman says. “Wish them well, then don’t respond to any further Venmo requests.”
In the end, never ever feel guilty about letting someone know you didn’t feel a connection with them. If they through a tantrum and decide to pull a distasteful move afterward, that’s just further proof your gut instinct was right.
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