Why Do Daters Pull The Fade Out?

The amazing disappearing man.

The amazing disappearing man.

We’ve all had it happen at least once. You’re dating someone and things seem to be moving at a perfectly nice clip. You see each other once a week or so, hooking up here and there, and generally having an enjoyable time of things. (Incidentally, I never hook up here and there, unless here and there are both the bedroom, with the lights off, on Saturday night at exactly 11:21.) You and your mate aren’t getting engaged any time soon, but you do text each other a lot, and if that’s not commitment, I don’t know what it is. Then all of a sudden, without warning, the person disappears. No, “Hey, I‘m going out of town for a while,” or “I don’t really think this is working out,” or “There’s a guy in the other room with a knife and I’m pretty sure he’ll kill me, so…adios.” They just fade out. All communication stops, and you’re left to figure out where they went. Were they kidnapped? Did they get eaten by a bear? Or were they just too wussy to end things with actual human language? Or is it something else entirely?

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about the fade out. Here’s one from loyal reader Anna…

This keeps happening to me: I meet a guy OKC who’s good looking, sweet, and all around good company. So, this guy will continue to ask me out as well as text/call in between our dates, and we’ll go on 6-7 dates over the course of about a couple of months, and then suddenly he will just stop talking to me. I show interest but do not act clingy or super attached. Can you please answer me, from a man’s point of view, why after about a month or two the guy will just stop talking to me?

Bonetown International

Bonetown International

I will, Anna, but I fear you won’t like it, because not only is it infuriating, it’s also a cliche: he’s just not that into you. From what I can tell, men do this is A LOT. Like more often than they do anything else. If they brush their teeth twice a day, they fade out at least four. At first, because I’m a neanderthal, I assume this was tied to sex. Either the guys had gotten sex and felt they were ready to move on, or it seemed like sex was going to be too difficult to acquire, so they decided to jump to greener (easier) pastures. But apparently that’s not the case. After talking to more women, it’s clear that will fade out after a few emails, a handful of dates, or several weeks of visits to Bonetown International Airport. They really don’t care. Either they’ve lost interest in you or developed greater interest in someone else, and, they figure, why waste everyone’s time with genuine adult communication? Let’s just stop talking and sooner or later the message will sink in.

But here’s my question: is this really so bad? What would you rather do, hear someone tell you they’re not that into you, or figure it out after five consecutive nights without receiving a text? Because during those nights you can do whatever you want. Watch Shark Tank. Bake cookies. Solve crimes with your wise but smart-alecky cat detective Inspector Whiskerton. You’re getting dumped either way. Either via uncomfortable conversation, or slow realization after you spend a week having fun elsewhere. I don’t know about you, but I’m picking Whiskerton all the way. My female readers seem to feel this approach lacks sufficient respect (Which they would never say if they met the Inspector. He takes no guff from nobody), but what exactly does respect you? It’s a lovely concept, but it’s entirely intangible. Doesn’t the fade out allow everyone a more peaceful, dignified ending than they’d be getting otherwise? It’s like the Dr. Kevorkian of breakup techniques, right?

While I don’t think I’ve ever personally done the fade out, I talked to readers, FEMALE readers, who vouch for its value. Here’s Grace:

Kid never faded on the fade.

Kid never faded on the fade.

I see fade outs as a really gentle way of telling someone “hey, I’m not wild about you” without having to say it, and then be faced with the follow-up question of “Why?” I always explicitly tell the people I can stand “no thanks,” but if it’s a really nice person and I like them but I know, like KNOW, that they don’t blow my socks off, it’s easier to fade out because I don’t exactly know why I’m not 100% into them. I just know they’re not my guy. And trying to explain that to someone is a pretty tricky thing to do. I mean, what do you say? “I like you as much as I’m going to, and I want to look for something else.” Yeah, that’s gonna feel great.

See! I can’t be a total asshole if women agree with me, right? But Grace has more surprises for us.

The fade out is in no way gendered behavior. In fact, I’ve done it way more than guys have done it to me; and it has NOTHING to do with internet dating. In the 21st century, the people we date are more likely to be removed from our social circles, so no one has to explain to people why someone doesn’t work out. This makes the fade super easy. Had it been an option 50 to 100 years ago, everyone would have done it then too. No mess, no confrontation, a no without being a no. Isn’t that better? Why has telling someone you don’t like them come to be a sign of respect? Insults are polite now?

Wow. I’m starting to like Grace. And starting to not like the idea of dating 100 years ago. Do you think you had to pick up chicks in your horse and buggy? In the end, Grace makes the boldest case of all, that fading out is actually a sign of maturity.

What’s cowardly about walking away? Isn’t it kinda brave to know what you want instead of stopping and explaining everything to everyone? And I’ve been faded out on too. I’m fine with it. Hit it, quit it, still like it, but don’t quite love it? Move on into the wind….

So what do you think? Are you with me, Grace, or Anna? Is the disappearance act an acceptable one, or pure cowardice?

About these ads
This entry was posted in Advice, Internet Dating is Weird. Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Why Do Daters Pull The Fade Out?

  1. Rebecca says:

    Cowardice times infinity! It’s a lot braver to look someone in the eye and tell them the truth, rather than hiding behind a bunch of fabricated justifications of why YOU are doing them a favor! Geeshhh….a tad narcissistic don’t ya think? A blatant sign of severe emotional immaturity and everytime it happens, I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t wind up with a gem like that! And, if you are brave enough to venture into online dating, it will happen!

    • 30's Dater says:

      There are rules to doing the fade but it comes from online dating as there are just so many people out there to date (competition). I had a date on Friday that I wont be contacting again, hell, I didn’t want to contact her again after 20 minutes. That’s OK though, however if we’d had sex and been out a few times – then I am just a wuss for doing it to someone.

    • Lilasaid says:

      I have ended up being friends with a few guys I went on a few dates with but it just didn’t click after a bit for one or the other or sometimes both. If we hadn’t had the maturity and mutual respect to have a conversation about it, I wouldn’t be friends with them and that seems like a shame if it’s someone you genuinely cared about. The fade out is disrespectful because it treats you like a distanced object rather than nurturing heartfelt and genuine communication.

  2. bluemoon says:

    I’m all for the fade out in terms of early dating situations, in particular when they come from the joy of online dating! I’d much rather have someone just gradually disappear on me than hear them directly tell me why they don’t like me. I do this in the reverse as well. If it’s early, and I’m not feeling it, sometimes it’s just easier. I do it because I know it’s what I’d prefer, though I’ve had some people confront me about it and vehemently disagree. Ifigure no matter which way I do it, someone is going to find fault with it.

    Like Grace said, it’s challenging to explain to someone who is nice enough, good looking enough, smart enough, but just not right somehow why you don’t want to date them anymore. If I definitively don’t like someone, I’m much more likely to just state that so there’s no confusion, but often times in these other situations it’s simply too hard to articulate why it isn’t working, thus the benefits of the fade out.

  3. Mandy Cotton says:

    Unacceptable when it happens to me, but acceptable when I am the one doing it.

  4. Tony Shiffman says:

    I don’t like the fade-out. I would rather have a message saying “Thank but I am not interested” than to have a person just fade away. This just happened to me and it is frustrating to say the least.

  5. ej says:

    Tell me about it. NYC dating scene is all about this fade-out. It doesn’t matter what your gender is. I once heard from my friend, his girl who just disappeared after romantic getaway. I also had such bad experiences with men just disappeared after romantic dinner at my place, after symphony at Lincoln center, after conversation about future, after ultra expensive dinner at Per se,,,etc.. yes, it was with different men.. and obviously I still don’t have a clue what really was going on their mind that time.

    I am tired of this game and to be honest, I want them to tell me directly. I don’t like sudden Houdini act. If they tell me right away, I don’t need to wonder, I don’t need to worry, and most of all, I don’t need to waist of my time thinking “what did I do wrong?”

    So far, only two gentlemen told me after couple dates “sorry, I don’t think it will work out.”
    And I appreciated that they were so honest and up front.

    • rene' says:

      I so agree. here here, it takes courage AND maturity. It also says you are accountable for your actions. We have all become so, ‘I don’t care what other people think’ but what that leave us is a bunch of people who just cannot face truth. (and truth be known, they probably are in denial about many things as well. ) The truth is just that, it is what it is. And those that can speak from the truth instead of run or walk…unless the person you are NOT interested in is say annoying you, then you might just be courteous and be an adult. It is about communication after all, relationships, that is.

  6. hmmmm says:

    And why would two people exchange pleasant text messages after promising first date, agreeing to another, yet one party later drops off the planet? The other, not wanting to appear too desperate, leaves it be. Disappointing.

  7. Amused says:

    :: shrugs ::

    I don’t like being faded out on, but that just means I refuse to do it to women. I’m not about to preach that other people shouldn’t do it, because I can understand why they do: some people are fucking crazy enough that fading out is the only way to avoid the butthurt drama that will result.

  8. S says:

    I don’t mind being faded on–everyone handles things the way they handle them–but I dislike doing it to someone else. We’re all on dating sites for a reason (to meet someone) and by leaving them twisting in the wind, I know I’m wasting their time; time they would have been spending continuing their search.

    I don’t mind being asked why, because the details differ but the answer is always, “I’m not feeling a romantic connection. I don’t know why.”

  9. LJ says:

    When I was online dating, I always had the uncomfortable conversations. I hated every second of it, and sometimes I really wished I could have pulled the fade-out, but having the talk is just what adults should do. Plus, my friends (and my conscious) never let me pull that kind of a shit move. I mean, if you had several dates (and ESPECIALLY if you had sex) with someone, it’s only right to have that break-up conversation. After all, if you felt good enough about them to spend multiple dates, then you should have the decency to end things face-to-face. Yes, people don’t like to hear it, and I was ALWAYS asked “why?” In an effort not to bash the person (because that’s just tacky), I would just give them a form of “it’s not you, it’s me.” Or I would straight out tell them, “Do you really want to know why I don’t want to spend time with you?” When phrased in that manner, they usually backed down and accepted their fate without too much hassle. And sure, occasionally I was “the stupid bitch” for breaking up with them, but for those special snowflakes I’d say, “Well, at least now you don’t have to date a stupid bitch.” The ONLY times I would pull the fade-out was if we had never met in person (only in the email stages) and I’d get a bad vibe, OR if we only had one horrendously bad date. Because if someone wants me to meet their entire family on the second date, and they have already picked out “our” childrens names, then I want to be as far away from that crazy as possible!

  10. JA says:

    Now, I don’t really appreciate being faded out on, especially after we’ve had sex a few times. It leaves me to wonder what the hell I did, and I start making excuses for him like he’s in the Witness Protection Program. Eventually I get over it an move on, but it still hurts. That being said, I had an experience recently that made me realize why this is done so often. I had one date with a guy that I just wasn’t that into, and when he asked me out again, I politely said that “though I had a great time, I didn’t feel a romantic connection.” Well, the guy went apeshit on me, and said I should have paid for half of the dinner bill, and called me a freeloader. Would have been much easier to just well…fade.

  11. maygately says:

    I think if you’re still talking online and haven’t met its ok but if you’ve gone out a couple times I think you should tell the person you’re not interested.

  12. guest says:

    I think there is a difference between the “fade out” and the “disappear” that isn’t made clear in the article. in fact, the article describes “fading out” in terms of complete and immediate disappearance. that isn’t fading out.

    Fading out is saying “i’m busy” for two weeks until you text less and less until no more texts. Like the Garfunkel and Oates video above, THAT is fading out. and THAT, i think, is at least SOMEWHAT acceptable. sure, it’s shitty but at least there is some iota of respect for the person you have seen or had sex with. you aren’t treating the person like a non-entity. like someone who doesn’t exist anymore. that’s just cold. but that’s, somehow, what the article is claiming is acceptable. not a fade out. a complete disappear as if the person was an animal with no memory. and treating humans like animals drives them insane. it also just perpetuates the idea that this is acceptable behavior.

    treat relationships like you treat your professional life. it’s that simple. don’t be late. if you are late, apologize and have a damn good excuse. don’t cry or scream. treat people civilly. and if you want to end it, go in and tell them you are quitting. you don’t have to give two weeks (the analogy falls apart somewhat there) but you don’t just stop going in and ignoring their calls. that’s what cowardly, insane people do.

    • While I disagree even ‘fading out’ is acceptable (it’s still a way of getting rid of the person without being honest and upfront about it, only with a bit of delay so you don’t feel as guilty about doing it), the rest of your comment is dead on.

      If you have the maturity to enter the dating pool, have the maturity to exit a date the proper way.

  13. Spent too much time thinking about this says:

    I use to do the fade out. I thought it was a nice way to just sorta disappear. Especially for things like sexual chemistry.

    However, I now think that I like the “we’re not the right fit” text better. Both receiving and sending. It gives it closure and doesn’t drag things out (a fade out can typically take a week before it is final, although I usually cut a guy off after 4 days if he hasn’t said he’ll be traveling/busy/in space). The “right fit” text says: There’s nothing wrong with you, there’s nothing wrong with me, but this isn’t going any further.

    The problem with silence meaning disinterest is that you start to doubt silence. If we’ve gone a few days without texting/setting a date I wonder if he’s pulling away. This is a problem because I don’t really like to check in every day, or feel the need to setup a date immediately.

    When silence equals disinterest this allows for paranoia to set in. And while I am out having my cat-mystery-adventures, I am also mentally disengaging. This becomes disruptive if you are always engaging-disengaging-reengaging-separating. It makes it hard to know how much reassurance you need to give each other.

    This may be a problem because I don’t really want a guy who needs to check in everyday. I don’t necessarily want to share the rundown of “how was your day” early in a relationship. Yet, I also don’t want to date men that aren’t into me. Thus, does his silence mean disinterest or that we are compatible? Typically you can distinguish by tone, but this becomes slightly tricky over text.

    Rather than spending time analyzing texts I would like a clear “it’s not a match.” Being told “no” really doesn’t hurt my feelings that much and I’ve never responded “why.” I’m actually more confused when a man texts “I had a really fun time,” but never texts again. I’d rather, “I had a rally fun time, but it’s not a fit.” It’s not ignoring my message, it’s not sending texts but not setting a date, and it doesn’t extend the mystery for a week.

  14. People — not just men — do the “slow fade-out” because it’s easy to do these days. And it’s easier than being direct. It’s modern society. Rude.

    I have a theory though. These dating sites. They provide often too many options to the reasonably attractive person. So they stay in the “buyer mode” more or less forever. There’s always a “bigger, better deal” just around the corner. They keep options open indefinitely. I think that’s the downfall of having so many choices to browse. You don’t want to “settle.”

    And the slow fade-out is the coward’s way out of these situations. Sad commentary on modern society and manners.

  15. I agree with Recovering WS’s statement above about “buyer mode” completely.

    This should be a future INAM post!

  16. Pingback: When It's Okay to Fade Out On Someone - Atypical Redhead | Atypical Redhead

  17. Jane Q says:

    The idea of someone i’ve being dating for months and have gotten close to dispearing without a word is one of my biggest fears. I’m not kidding i seriously have anxiety attacks about this exact situation. I seriously cannot believe that there are really people out there that think it’s ok to behave this way. The fade out or disappearing act as it’s known in my part of the world is only acceptable in the very early stages i.e before you’ve slept with them/ made any kind of commitment. To leave someone your dating hanging for a week or two, not knowing what’s going on, what they did wrong or if they will ever hear from you again is one of the most douchebag things you can do to a person. I’ve talked to my friends (both male and female) and they all agree that only an asshole would do something like that. A polite “it’s not working out for me but thanks” phone call – or even a text message if you’re totally chicken shit – is always preferable to the disappearing act because it means that you know exactly where you stand and can move on faster. I’ve had guys disappear and then reappear – sometimes after weeks or even months of no contact – and then be genuinly surprised that a) I’ve moved on and b) that i have no interest in having anything to do with them. Where as on the otherhand there are guys that i’ve dated for a little while and then for various reasons the relationship didn’t progress that are still friends/ friends with benefits because they are decent people and handled the break-up well. I mean unless the person has done something really bad, why totally burn your bridges? You never know when you might run into them socially or profesionally so why be a jerk about things? Relationships end all the time – it really need not be a big drama if everyone is mature about it.

  18. JP says:

    It’s not just guys, women do it too. I will admit, I am a guy and have done it a few times, but lately, I really don’t like it. And, if someone was to contact me and be like, “what’s up?” I’d be honest and tell them…chances are, if they’re a good person, I’d want to stay friends if they’re ok with that. For example, I had a girl that was texting me a lot, we were conversing with each other, mutually, we even had sex, we even gone out some times after sex, and we had a lot to talk about on a personal level….now…she has just disappeared. I even asked simply, “how are you doing?” Nothing. If we had gone out like once or twice, I wouldn’t care, but when you’re in a situation where you’re seeing someone, I think it’s kind of messed up.

    • rene' says:

      Totally agree, the greater the invested time, the greater the need to face things to that person. If only a date or phone conversation, I think a polite, ‘its just not working for me, no attraction’ is fine with no further explanation but when more has happened between you, both adults (being mature and honest adults) would handle things with more tact.

  19. BK says:

    Fading, disappearing, Houdini…it’s unacceptable and just plain wrong and I’d give more consideration to a complete stranger, never mind someone that you spent time with. There’s only one person in my life who ever did this to me but man was he a first class douche bag. We had been colleagues for several years and we always had chemistry. Finally, we went out on a couple of dates, (yes had sex) and he showered me with all sorts of amazing compliments that seemed sincere. After all, we had known and respected each other for a long time. After our last date, he told me he was going to be very busy with work for the next few weeks but that he wished he could spend every day with me. When he didn’t call or text during the entire 2 week period, I knew something was up. I was really frustrated and hurt. I wrote him a nice note saying that I really enjoyed our time together, wanted to see him again and asked him straight out if we were on the same page. He responded affirmatively but did not call as he said he would to discuss. After no correspondence for a week, I texted how disappointed I was that he would treat me that way. Finally he called and made up some excuse. Too late. I would much rather be told that he wasn’t into me as much as he thought but instead he strung me along AND faded at the same time. Clearly there’s a personality disorder to describe this obnoxious behavior and I kick myself for not recognizing before I hopped into bed with him.

    • jane j says:

      Almost my exact story just that this was someone from school and that after I sent my text saying I guess we are done and he didn’t reply, we bumped at school and he greeted me like nothing had happened.

    • rene' says:

      It’s called, PLAYER, dear.

  20. Truth Hurts says:

    I think the problem here is that too many people hop into the bed too fast. If it’s only been a few dates and you’re already banging, of course it’s going to complicate things and cause people to become more upset than they should when things don’t work out.

    • ManFeelings says:

      I agree with this, as someone who has done exactly that. It takes a while to know someone, but sex immediately amplifies the perceived connection between two people. I’ve been in several long-term relationships all starting with a way too quick hookup, and I’m just now trying to figure out how to actually get to know someone casually without sex early on. I have difficulty trying to keep things very casual without making her feel like I’m uninterested. I honestly wish “courting” was still the norm.

  21. SM says:

    I just recently had this happen to me a month ago after meeting someone on Match. We went out for two months, slept together during that time, and then POOF! Houdini pulled a fast one. Now, mind you, I’ve only dated one person my entire life (for 5.5 years), so finally meeting someone new and exciting was thrilling to me. But to have this happen to me after so many years of being with someone who showered me with affection made me sick to my stomach. How can people be so disrespectful? It boggles my mind.

    • Carol says:

      Exact thing happened to me too! Wandered if if we dated the same person! Lol
      Up to now it still bothers/boggles me why he kinda faded but I don’t want to sound desperate to ask him why, I texte

  22. Sam says:

    Im sorry but this fade out method never sits well with me. I’d rather someone come up to me and tell me ‘im sorry but im not into you’ as painful as that sounds because i’ll know where i stand and ill know its not my fault that person is not into me and ill know how to not waste time trying to get that person’s attention. On the other hand, the fade out makes me worried , questioning myself what went wrong and what did i say that pushed him away? Also endless thinking about why did it have to happen when everything was going so well. Seeing him talk to other females during these times don’t help either because a) he never made it official if it was over b) my self esteem takes a dive. In the end, i’ll be like a lost puppy trying to figure out how to fix things while still having feelings for said guy. It is so disrespectful in so many ways. Disappearing without a trace when the other person cares so much. So what do most guys expect ? That the girl will eventually figure out by day 5 and move on by day 6 ? Well. You try to be in that position. Especially when you are with someone whom you have been absolutely serious about and they do that to you without warning. Sick to the stomach because of it.

    • Lee Bennett says:

      Me too – sick to my stomach. My man and I were in a serious committed 14 month relationship with marriage as end goal. He just emailed me today and said he loves me and is trying to get things together for us but that he needs time without being bothered and pestered. Ouch!!!

      Lee

      P.S. If you want to touch base with me, my email address is: leeb3944@att.net. Maybe we can help each other, each from a gender-based input.

  23. Stuart White says:

    I fade often because I detect I’m not engaging the woman or I fear I’m not good enough/rich enough for her tastes.
    Every other time, yes, it’s due to lack of interest… Is that bad? Why, if so?
    I’m pretty sure I see a lot of encouragement for women to do just this as often and as harshly as they please.

    • Ali says:

      It’s bad because it’s cowardly, and cowardice is immoral. Sorry. You want straight talk? There it is. Fading out does not make you strong or dignified, it just makes you a coward. End of story.

    • kristen says:

      Hey, Stuart, build up your self esteem because maybe you are fading out on a really great someone who thinks you ARE good enough and doesn’t put money high on her priority list. What you think is you not engaging her is her just needing a couple more dates to warm up. You never know. I wouldn’t give it too long, and if she turns away when you try to kiss her, then yeah– either fade it out or tell you you don’t think it is happening. She will either agree or say, “But I liked you!”

      If you fade out on someone due to lack of interest on your part, It would be nicer to let her know that you just aren’t interested and won’t be calling again. She probably won’t need you to go into an awkward explanation unless you were sexual,. It would be nice to let her know so she will know not to wait around or wonder what happened if she did like you.

      I don’t think women encourage each other to fade. We have been faded on so many times that we like to speak up and just tell a guy that we aren’t interested.

  24. msmc2008 says:

    Yes, it is bad. To be blunt, it makes you a coward.

  25. Nomorehoudiini says:

    Coward. This happened to me too many times. And it always happen right after we had such romantic date or nice weekend get away. Thing I still have a hard time to understand is they all act like they were really crazy about me. At least that’s how I felt.

    So I prefer somone tell me directly, “I had a great time with you but this isn’t really working for me”. Of course it sucks to be rejected but at least you know what’s going on and move.

    And do you want to know interesting thing? Those coward men usually come back after a while. It can be couple month or several months later. And since I don’t trust those men anymore, I never even want to speak with them again. So I tell my guy friends don’t do Houdini act! women don’t appreciate it. It’s quite rude.

    • kristen says:

      I think these Houdini types get scared. A really great evening may make them think that now you expect a lot more than they are ready to give (even if you don’t expect a lot more). They are commitment phobic and think that an intense night means you want to get married tomorrow. They can blow it all out of proportion in their heads and run instead of talking about it. Then once they have had space to not feel the fear, they will come back because they were attracted, after all. But once they sense that you may be really feeling it again (or if they themselves are feeling it), they freak out and get scared again, and the dance continues if you let it. Best to try to talk to them and see if they thought something was too much. You can try to slow it down, but best to go for a guy who is really ready and willing and not scared to get intense and keep going forward. Some of these guys don’t know what they want and will stay wishy washy if you let them. Good for you for not taking them back! I have gone back to those types only to get burned and then have them come back again even! ugh!

  26. It’s all BS. Here’s an ironic story: I was on a date last Sunday with a gorgeous woman. We met online and hit it off, lots of attraction, great phone conversations, couldn’t wait to meet. We met and had a 5-hour date, and in a brief conversation about our families’ religious backgrounds, including a discussion about the ten commandments (one of which says “do unto others”). When we parted for the evening, she confirmed that we would get together again the next weekend. In fact, she asked, are you still coming to see me next weekend.

    The next day….the VERY next day…she literally disappeared with no explanation – only an excuse when I asked what was up. I haven’t heard from her since. Do unto others? And her profile said at least twice that she’s honest and values honesty, when she couldn’t even be honest with ME and I am sure would not want done to her what she did to me. Talk about hypocrisy.

    Fading out and disappearing are NOT cool. They are disrespectful and RUDE, and I don’t care if you’ve been dating one week or one year. Put on your big kid panties and tell someone that it’s not going to work out; don’t be a complete pussy and just leave. The caveat is abusive situations, where you *should* just leave, if you can. But in a typical dating scenario, it’s just not cool. Karma sucks….your karma will be the crappy person you deserve to end up with after you do someone wrong.

    • kristen says:

      In your case…I am confused… the next day??? I don’t get it… a fade out happens over a longer time period than one day, let alone the next day after your first date. Did you call her and not get a call back the day after your date? How do you know she disappeared the very next day after your date? Not everyone talks to each other the next day after the first date. did you try to call her, she didn’t answer, so you asked what was up and she told you why she didn’t answer and perhaps you didn’t believe it or maybe scared her off by assuming she was ditching you since you didn’t hear from her the day after your first date?

  27. G the girl says:

    The worst thing about dating these days is the lack of clarity. “Hanging out,” “talking,” whatever you want to call it, it’s tough to know what’s going on in your date’s head using context clues. While this can be construed as a lack of pressure, it also leads to a lot of confusion, especially if you like the guy. How refreshing it is when a guys says, “I’d like to take you out on a date”!!! Even if you’re not sure you like him, at least you now know some ground rules. And you know enough to say no if you don’t want to date him.

    The fade-out is just one more way for dating to be a minimal-risk “grey zone.” Sure, no one wants to be rejected outright but it’s MUCH MUCH better than having to live in that state of confusion until the appropriate amount of time has passed (who knows how long THAT is?) and you accept that you, my dear, have been faded…are a fadee…have been dating a fader…?

  28. gwenp81 says:

    The worst thing about dating these days is the lack of clarity. “Hanging out,” “talking,” whatever you want to call it, it’s tough to know what’s going on in your date’s head using context clues. While this can be construed as a lack of pressure, it also leads to a lot of confusion, especially if you like the guy. How refreshing it is when a guys says, “I’d like to take you out on a date”!!! Even if you’re not sure you like him, at least you now know some ground rules. And you know enough to say no if you don’t want to date him.

    The fade-out is just one more way for dating to be a minimal-risk “grey zone.” Sure, no one wants to be rejected outright but it’s MUCH MUCH better than having to live in that state of confusion until the appropriate amount of time has passed (who knows how long THAT is?) and you accept that you, my dear, have been faded…are a fadee…have been dating a fader…?

  29. Marta says:

    Total cowardice and on top of all you are so coward you justify it.

  30. MK says:

    wow it’s crazy to read how many others have dealt with the same complete lack of respect! i think it’s completely cowardice and shows that the person just doesn’t have any values. I recently went through this.. I met a guy, we went on a couple amazing 4/5 hour dates, and then noticed he was sporadic and kind of flakey. I straight up asked him where he was and he responded saying he hadn’t been looking for more, which fine, I actually respected that and never contacted back again. The loser comes back two months later saying he wanted to make up for it, I respond back saying i was hesistant and not looking for just fun, and he says he understands/wanted to make it up to me, we go on a couple more wonderful dates and POOF GONE. WTF? Who does this? Looking back I know he probably came back because I originally presented a challenge and he wanted to see if he could get me in bed as a milestone for himself, but it still hurts and I’m still kicking myself in the a*s about it. Giving someone a second shot and they just disappear without an ounce of respect. THANK GOD I never slept with him. At least I still have my dignity there. The only thing I regret is telling him to screw off the second time he came back. Here’s a quote for you all “the first time someone shows you who they are, believe them” If any of these fools ever re-appear, keep repeating this saying to yourself.

    • kristen says:

      That is what is risky about a fade… they will fade in and out if you let them. And if no closure was made, they think that door will always be open. You are lucky he responded when you straight up asked him, because many faders will still leave some hope there that everything is fine in spite of their fading actions, or they will not respond. Forgive yourself for giving him the benefit of the doubt for a second chance. Sometimes people really do come around after taking some space to evaluate what they want and what they had. He wasn’t that type, unfortunately.

  31. NB says:

    We are made to connect and stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Every connections a chance to learn something new….fadings ok…lighten up….really…if you are revolving your life around someones response to you, you will be living in your own self created hell….be kind to yourselves

  32. jace says:

    The person above who said people are stuck in “browse” mode (or “buy” mode?) has it. i get the impression that people are so indoctrinated by relationship fiction (romance and drama in tv and movies) that they expect the “right one” to instantly and utterly knock them sideways with lust and passion. But that’s lust. That’s infatuation. If you’re looking for an ACTUAL relationship, as in long term and reliable, extremes of emotion are exactly the wrong metrics to measure. Even if you find that initially, it WILL wear off. Infatuation isn’t love. Infatuation wears off. Long term relationships are built on decision making, not magic and continually intense emotions.

    Do the dating long enough and people get tired of it. Eventually they start looking realistically at their options, making decisions, rather than expecting magic lightning to strike. It’s maturity vs immaturity.

    As for the fade outs themselves… sometimes it happens naturally. Two people stop interacting. You contribute to it by not checking in on a person who didn’t respond once. Check. If they are ignoring you repeatedly, then it’s on them. Be glad you didn’t get into a relationship with that person, because their behavior is immature and relationships demand good communication.

  33. Sarah says:

    “What would you rather do, hear someone tell you they’re not that into you, or figure it out after five consecutive nights without receiving a text?”

    Honestly, I would SO MUCH RATHER hear someone tell me they’re not into me than spend five days agonizing over why a guy isn’t texting me back.

    First of all, if someone you’re really into is ignoring your texts for five days you’re likely not baking cookies and watching movies gleefully. You’re stressing, obsessing, and doubting your every word, big time.

    But more importantly, I always felt that worst thing about the fade out (or rather, the total disappearing act) is that not only are you getting dumped, but you’re getting completely discarded forever. This fader will go to great lengths to avoid you in the hopes that they’ll never, ever have to see you again–how awful is that to imagine? I would much rather have someone say “you’re nice/fun/cool/whatever but I don’t think we’re a match” than have someone go out of their way to never see me again. At least with the breakup, even if it’s fake kindness, there is kindness and the opportunity for civility and politeness in future interactions (and in certain circumstances possibly even friendship). But disappearing is just awful, and anyone who thinks it’s not is deluded.

    That said, in the long run I want to be with a classy person who doesn’t think it’s OK to make people think they’re a jackass “for their own good,” so I’ve come to get over the fade out quickly these days. But I still see it as deeply disrespectful, rude, and way more hurtful than a normal breakup.

  34. april says:

    Yeah this happens to me too. He chased me and eventually succumb to his charm and good looks. Infact, I was falling inlove with him. But, just as he appeared from nowhere he was gone overnight. Please dont tell me hes just not that into you because I have guys falling inlove with me at a drop of a hat. Ive been told so many times that I am super hot with a gorgeous face, slim and sexy body and most of all very inteligent with a sharp wit. I am also a very nice person with a good heart.
    Im not needy Im very independent and most of all im a very happy person. Are men generally stupid and coward? I despair, id rather be myself now that with a man who is not good enough to be called a Man in the true sense of the word.

    • kristen says:

      You never know… he could have been scared off. Some guys freak out when things start to get serious even when they really like the girl. It is commitment phobia. And they are too scared to actually end it, too, so they just run. Maybe he had doubts and took the chicken way out because he doesn’t know how to communicate. maybe something did turn him off and he didn’t have the skills to communicate about it and work it out. Who knows. I understand how annoying it is to not know what happened when things seemed to be going so well. It is cowardly, I agree.

  35. Snoopythecat says:

    Hey, I’m a guy who does this, *Dodges rotten tomatoes*. I’m not sure cowardice is the correct term. I do it because I really don’t want to hurt a womens feelings, and make them feel inadequate. But I do it in such a way that, we end up communicating less and less, so that the other person actually ‘drifts’ away from me, and it’s as pain free as possible.

    I look at it this way, if I was dating / calling / texting a woman I really liked and everything seemed to be going great and then one day she said “Hey this won’t work, cya”, my initial reaction would be WHY NOT? The most logical answer is shes obviously seen flaws in my character which she doesn’t find acceptable in a long term partner. But surely the who point of finding someone who is compatible with you, is that they subconsciously accept your flawed character traits without feeling the need to expose them to you. Why is there a need for people to ‘air’ out what they hate about a person they do not see as a viable partner. I’d rather live in ignorance in regards to my character flaws, and as such I expect women to not take fading out to heart. Just feel glad that the person in question, backed out of proceedings before they got serious and hearts got broken.

    My 2 cents (which may or may not contain sense)

    • kristen says:

      Don’t assume it is painfree. Maybe for you because you didn’t have to get uncomfortable and communicate. Also don’t assume that talking about not wanting to be in a relationship anymore is going to kill the other person.

      You don’t have to air out what you hate about a person. You don’t have to get into specific things that may be hurtful, like, “I don’t like cellulite and you have it.” Just say, ” I think our values may be too different,” or, “I am just not feeling the connection or the chemistry.” They may want to dig a little deeper or change your mind, but you do not have to go so deep as to “air out all that you hate about the person.” If the person did something to hurt you or break your boundaries, you could air that out so that the person can learn from it.

      YOU may not want to know your character flaws, but you seem to think that fade outs are because of character flaws and that is not always the case. Regardless of what the fade out is about, remember that not everyone is YOU. Not everyone will want what you want nor react the way you would react. YOU may be able to walk away from a fade out and be happy about it, but not everyone can.

      If you fade out on someone and she attempts to ask you what is going on, I hope you will man up and tell her. You don’t have to tell her flaws if you are bailing because of flaws, but if you aren’t interested, just tell her you don’t see it as a match. If she asks what is happening and you ignore her, you are being rude. fade out all you want if you must if the girls take the hint and don’t bother to chase you or ask what is happening. But if they start to chase or want to know what is going on, please keep in mind it is mean not to just end it.

  36. DB6000 says:

    No, Snoopythecat, “cowardice” really is the correct term if this is a woman that you have had more than a few dates with and especially if she’s a woman that you’ve had sex with or to whom you have spoken the powerful words “I love you.”

    Believe me, in such a case the woman isn’t “drifting away” from you; instead, you are sneakily drifting away from her because you don’t have the decency or the true manliness to be honest with her.

    Also, don’t be under the illusion that your slow fade is “pain free” for her. No, Snoopythecat, it’s only pain-free for you. She’s in agony, because she doesn’t understand what’s going on.

    Breaking up with a woman directly will, of course, cause her pain, But it’s a pain she will get over much quicker than she will get over the pain of the slow fade, which is what you are doing. The slow fade not only says to the woman that you don’t love her; it also says to her that she is of such little worth that she doesn’t even deserve a goodbye from you. And it’s being treated with this kind of contempt that shatters a woman’s heart and soul. It’s bad enough that you no longer love her, but that you don’t even have enough respect for her to tell her goodbye directly is the real nail in her heart.

    You “expect women to not take fading out to heart”? You actually think they should “feel glad that the person in question backed out of proceedings before they got serious and hearts got broken”? News for you, dear boy: if you’ve had sex with her or told you that you loved her, it’s already “serious.” And the slow fade won’t prevent her heart from being broken. The slow fade rips her heart apart, but slowly, with maximum pain.

    Man up, Snoopythecat. All women deserve better than this. You’re thinking only of making things easier on yourself. She is every bit as important as you are.

  37. greg myer says:

    I’m not sure if what I did was the fade out. It was in the very early stages of the relationship. We just hung out a few times before I just disappeared lol. She emailed me a few times asking why I stopped talking to her. I never answered. The reason I never answered was because I felt it was pointless. The truth was I didn’t find her as attractive as I thought she was when I first saw here. Now that sounds bad and I don’t think a girl needs to know that you think she’s the opposite of beautiful ever in her life. We definitely weren’t an item or serious and it’s early in the phases of the relationship so I don’t regret fading out or disappearing. It’s almost expected I think if someone isn’t really feeling it and I’m fine both ways.

    But like most of the posts, if it is serious, you can’t fade out. Both people’s heart’s are already in the relationship. You can’t imply that you two are broken up by fading away because simply, you’re leading her on. How do you know that she “knows” or “gets it?” Communication is about being transparent even if it is bad news. No one likes bad news so it’s important to be sensitive in the matter, but it’s more important to communicate. I have girl friends who didn’t know they’re man was fading away until it was too late. They thought things were going right and didn’t want to ruin anything so they never took the chance of showing that person their other qualities that made them great. They were afraid of messing up something that they thought was working. So I suggest if it feels like you want to fade, first check that you know the person thoroughly enough. You maybe fading away from the best thing in your life … a hidden gem. If you found someone else, it’s important to be honest to both of them, the one that you’re leaving, and the one that you’re interested in because it pays huge dividends if you’re looking for a serious relationship with the one you’re interested in. If you are just not feeling it anymore, say you just want to be friends or need time apart and be honest with why. If the woman can’t handle that and gets mad at you for being honest, then it’s validation to definitely leave and walk away. She’s more into being in a “relationship” than being with you.

  38. DeeAnna says:

    God NO!! Do not like the fade out at all!! That’s what LOSERS do in my book!! Be responsible & have respect & by God some GUTS!! Can’t stand a freaking PUNK!!

  39. Pingback: After the Fade Away | STOP REQUESTED

  40. Megan says:

    I think the worst thing you can do is disappear from someone’s life, it is SO cowardly and disrespectful! I have had it happen to me, after a guy pursued me heavily for months, was so sweet, and once we had sex… POOF! I wondered for weeks what I had done wrong, if perhaps it was something I said, or maybe the sex was so awful, or god forbid he wasn’t attracted to me or my body! I will never know what I did wrong, or if there was something wrong with me, but it definitely dragged my self-esteem down. The worst part is, he never got to know the real me.. oh how he missed out on that!

    I then went on a date with another guy, after the first date I knew he wasn’t for me, but I was in no way just going to disappear on him, how mean! When he asked me out for a second date, I was honest with him and told him I enjoyed his company and thought he was great but that he wasn’t a match for me. He thanked me for my honesty, and we parted amicably. As how it should be done!

    To all the guys out there thinking its ok to just disappear on a woman, GROW SOME BALLS AND BE HONEST!!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Megan, you’re awesome for telling him that. My “date” bailed on me twice. I knew after the first date we had no chemistry at all, yet I asked her out for a second date and she agreed and surprisingly, for me, showed up. Our date went OK and she said she’d want to see me again, so I planned for a third. Few hours before our planned meet up, she canceled on me, so I was about send a text saying “It was nice knowing you but we both know we aren’t a match,” but she sends me a text for rescheduling the date, so I just went along. When I confirmed our date a day in advance, she replies with “oh I forgot and scheduled something else.” I anticipated this, so I wasn’t upset, just annoyed that she’d be like that. Ironically during our first date she mentioned how she didn’t like people “fading out” or not being “straightforward and honest.” Anyway, since then, I’ve ignored her text messages, but you think I should just send her the “we are not a match” note to her? Not sure if she deserves it.

  41. James says:

    Wow, this article was super disappointing after all the other enjoyable stuff on this website.

    “Fade out” on some messages back and forth on a dating site? Sure. That’s just how dating sites work, no big deal.
    Fade out on a person you’ve actually now met and had some meaningful time with? That’s just immature, and frankly selfish.

    The only reason anyone does the “fade out” is a lack of maturity or guts. An adult actually picks up the phone (or if it’s a long term thing, meets in person) and with love and respect informs the other person that they’re not interested. And if it’s handled maturely, this conversation can offer excellent closure for both parties and leave the situation overall positive and healthy.

    Fading out just promotes confusion, anxiety over what happened, and a lot of wasted time for the person on the receiving end thinking they’re involved with someone when they’re not. Man up and be honest.

    Seriously, shame on you for doing this and promoting it. I wonder how many women you’ve hurt and confused with this selfish tactic just so you don’t have to face them.

    Man I’m fuming…

  42. Red Stone says:

    Mature, immediate, communication is always the best answer, that will be respectful and kind to the person you have dated. After all, you liked them for a reason. Even though they will be hurt by the felt rejection, they will appreciate and respect your honesty in return. Who knows, by being respectful and honest, you might have a friendship down the road.

    Everyone wants to know what to say and I strongly recommend staying away from cliches. ( ie “It is about me not you”). What you say is the honest truth about your situation without criticism towards your date, because you liked and cared for that person. The fact is, each person is attracted to another based on 3 primary factors: childhood conditioning; physical chemistry; and current priorities (whether it is kids, work, stage in life etc). Usually rejection is about the ‘rejector’s values about the above mentioned and has nothing to do with the rejected person’s personality or traits .As the saying goes, ‘ there is someone for everyone.’ (the only exceptionof rejection is when a person discovers the person they are dating is violent or mentally unstable).

    Here are the facts and consequeces of non-communication versus communication :

    Non-communication
    1. Non-communication makes people feel dissappointed and hurt
    2. People naturally have anxiety/stress when things are left hanging with questions and feelings.
    3. With no communication,there is no closure. Humans need closure to heal. Therefore inevitable questions and unsaid statements feed off of the brain through its power of the unresolved and the human desire to fill the gaps will make its own conclusions given the absence of reality. This usually ends up unfavourable for the rejector. ( ie. reputation)

    Communication
    1. Communication takes the higher ground in terms of maturity and honesty.
    2. People want to know rather than not know so they can have closure and move on.
    3. Honest communication brings understanding and peace of mind. We may not like what we hear but at least there is no longer consistent questioning in the mind and there is closure.
    4. It avoids the enivitable awkward meeting down the road. This way you can greet eachother comfortably and with good feelings.

    In the end, it is all a question of karma, do you want to do the right thing, or make the wrong decison and have that haunt you one day? Respect and kindness is important toward other people, especially those that we admired, loved and cared about.

  43. Molly says:

    I recently had a fade out pulled on me but it was a very confusing one. Everything was going great..He left for a trip and I didn’t expect txts or calls while he was gone.. and then late at night ;) he’d send a random pic of himself. If I sent something back.. no reaponse..or a very short one word txt back a day later .. I pegged it as a fade…and left it alone..Then a few days later.. another pic txt of himself.. and no response to my response.. and nothing 3 days later.. This behavior took me from accepting a fade out..to just complete confusion. If you are pulling a fade out.. keep it a clean cut.. and don’t keep the other person hanging with randomly sent pic txt, or short random txt. It also made me wonder…had I actually been the other woman?. And he was trying to keep me on a back burner while spending time with someone else. Not a cool feeling. It’s done now.. on my terms.. but still left with gross feelings.. and sadly if it had just been a clean cut fade .. I would have been fine (just not that into me).. but now I have no respect at all for this person. Fade outs can be ok when used appropriately. . But don’t turn it into what can seem like a string a long. If that’s your deal.. Then straight forward communication works better in the long run for both parties.

    • kristen says:

      Exactly! You don’t know if they are trying to set it up so that they can fade in and out as they please by stringing you along and giving you just enough here and there. Our brains get stimulated a certain way when we are involved with people and in love. So we will want to chase if we sense it pulling away. it can lead to all kinds of confusion.

  44. Nauseated By The Lies says:

    This has got to be the most skewed bunch of bullshit I’ve ever seen. There is no way that the people commenting on this represent an accurate cross section of the clusterfuck online dating is. This “fading” phenomena (more like “fart in a tornado”) is viral, rampant, absurd, and the NORM.

    Let me put this another way. To anybody who uses this method to end ANY online interaction when even so much as a single message has been exchanged:

    This is just unacceptable behavior and flat out ridiculous. People do all kinds of things “behind a screen” that they’d NEVER do in person. It’s the equivalent of treating someone as if they were invisible and you’re looking right at them. You owe them the respect of at least acknowledging the situation for what it is, whatever that may be.

    I’d NEVER “fade out” on someone because it’s disrespectful. Then again, what’s respect these days. Oh wait, I think grandpa said something about that once, but I was too busy tweeting about how annoying he is.

    Get with it. Grow a set. Man/Woman up. Don’t be a punk. Apologize to grandpa. Stop tweeting (seriously, nobody gives a fuck what you’re doing), and STOP FADING OUT on people.

  45. andy says:

    Great comments on here and the silent fade is never really fair as it only loads problems for a persons next relationships….. as the fade gets stronger and easier.

  46. kristen says:

    I understand the fade out, and I know it is ‘easier” than having to actually have a conversation that might or might not hurt someone. I still think it isn’t fair to leave someone hanging and wondering what happened when lessons could have been learned by KNOWING what happened. It is so important to learn lessons when dating and building relationships. It is important to know how to be open and honest with people, too. If it was something with YOU as to why you wanted to end it, don’t let the person go on for who knows how long thinking it was HIM or HER. If it moved too fast, let the person now so next time he, she can take it slow.

    I have a big problem with the fade out when it is done with some, “I really want to see you,” or, “I miss you and hope to see you soon,” or, ” I wish I could see you, but I am too busy,” kind of statements. It is not fair to show some form of interest to to throw out some form of hope when you are really going to fade out. If you are wishy-washy and can’t decide what you want, don’t keep stalling and stringing the person along. Either tell the person you don’t know what you want and have a discussion about it so he/she can make a decision whether to ride it out or not, or end it. The fade out is not nice if you give some nice comments and crumbs of interest with it.

    So in other words, if you must fade instead of just making the break, have the decency to NOT throw crumbs of niceness out there along the way. Say, “I am just too busy,” instead of, ” I am busy, but I want to see you, so maybe next week, we’ll see…” Know what I mean? That is just cruel, and then when you are gone, the person is left super confused.

  47. kristen says:

    People think they can take an easy way out and pull a vanishing act or a fade, and they assume that the other person will just take the hint and move. But not everyone can take that hint. A fade can make the person crave that which he/she cannot have, and that person may start acting in clingy or desperate behavior trying to figure out what is happening. Some people can walk away from a fade thinking it is the other person’s loss, but some people will hold onto it as rejection and not know WHY there was rejection which can tear apart a person’s self-esteem. So don’t assume the other person will just understand it and be ok.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s