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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Have you ever done the "slow fade"?

Back in my dating days...

I was kind of...The Worst. If I didn't like a guy, I wouldn't tell him outright, but instead I would give him a good-night kiss (I know) and then slowly…stop…answering…his calls. And the worst part is that I would do this even if we had gone out like five or six times, and even if I had spent the night at his house (I know!!!). I'm not proud to admit it, but this blog is about being honest, for better or worse, right?

So, since I felt mean telling a guy that I didn't like him, I rationalized that it was better not to say anything. After all, I was saving him from that awkward conversation, too, right? But the real truth of it is: I secretly wanted to take the high road and tell guys how I felt, but I was just too big of a wuss to have those conversations. I couldn't get up the nerve to be straightforward.

So, tell me: Have you ever done the "slow fade"? (I hope I've matured enough not to do it anymore, but I guess now that I'm married I'll never know.) Or do you take the proper route and have an honest conversation? And if so, how do you get up the guts?

166 comments:

Jay said...

I've done the slow fade... a few times. I'm not proud of it but I, too, am a wuss and avoided 'those' conversations like the plague.

Manda said...

I actually....don't think so. lol!
I was always the blunt type.
Wham, Bam, thank you...sir?
Eat Cake

Grace Marie said...

Ha! I've totally pulled the fade.

It just wasn't fun being on the other end!

Allyson of Lovely Explorer said...

Guilty! I have definitely done the slow fade, and feel terrible for it. Not my best moments..

rach @ paper hearts said...

I think we've all done it once or twice (or three, or four times...hehe).

It's happened to me before, and it feels horrible, so I always think of that, and how it's always better to be honest with them! Let's face it....they'll get over it ;)

Corrie Anne said...

That's hilarious that it has a name!! It usually took me a while, but I always got done to it. Maybe via email sometimes... Lol.

Smith And Ratliff said...

No! I've always tried to be straight-forward. I figured I'd want someone to extend the same courtesy to me, 'cause we all know how much it sucks when guys do it! -LR

ae said...

OMG, I have done the slow fade- to a coworker(!) and to a neighbor who I regularly saw walking in the neighborhood! AWKWARD ALERT! It took my 5+ years to finally tell the coworker I was sorry for how I treated him and that he deserved better. He was a complete kind gentleman about it, which made me feel even worse about slow-fading him!

Anonymous said...

I think I was the opposite. Once I just heard rumors that this guy liked me, so I called him up and told him it wasn't going to happen, and I was always pretty blunt when ending something. As I've learned, that's not particularly nice either...

Mariam said...

There's something really interesting about "the slow fade"... it can apply to a lot of situations, especially with friends. I know that I tend to slowly stop responding to friends I don't particularly enjoy being around anymore. I've even been known to stop responding to professors or editors if I don't know how to tell them I'm no longer interested in a project. It's pretty bad.

Nomadic D. said...

I don't think I ever slow-faded, but I did once flat out Disappear. Nothing slow about it. So glad that's not me anymore. Ick.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

jenko said...

i figured dating is (can be) already a bit awkward at times, and can make people feel so disposable. i worked hard to be as respectful of others, whether or not i was interested...that being said, i definitely had a stock email to use as soon as i realized i wasn't interested, just swapped out the name! :P

katilda said...

i think it depends, for me, how long we'd been dating or how intense it was....if it's just a couple dates then whatevs, i'll do the fade. if i don't think they're getting the hint after a while then i'll usually let them know.

LK said...

I have done it a few times (including the times where I'm give dates in) and its been done to me. I am newly single so I have to get back in the dating game. I haven't gone on a date in almost three years, so hopefully I have grown out of the slow fade. I was just having a conversation about the fade with my friend last night. I told her that I'm not going to do it again. It will hurt a lot less to just say it and get it over with. I don't want to waste my time anymore! Uh, but I'm also terrified to date again. And Joanna, I am addicted to ASOS now. I used the discount for one dress and then a few days later I ordered 5 more dresses (all on sale)! Maybe I can wear them on terrible dates and they will give me the confidence to man up and tell someone how I feel!

Lauren-Kane.blogspot.com

Lauren said...

I have been the recipient of the slow fade and it's the WORST! So...I try to be as honest as I possibly can, although it's really hard to do sometimes. I just tell myself you've gotta be cruel to be kind.

JESSE said...

Oh no! That's the worst.

When boys pull that nonsense, my friends and I refer to it as the "smoke monster." (You know, from Lost?)

example:
"Have you heard from Matt?"
"No, I think he was eaten by the smoke monster."

Simone said...

"the slow fade"....love that name, I had no idea what it meant, I thought it might be a dance from the photo!!

Didn't know what it was....but yes, I have done it. And probably had it done to me too :)

Julie said...

I've done it a few times even though I know how awful it feels because I've it had to done to me many times. It's so awkward to tell someone 'sorry, you're just not it for me.'

Susan said...

Yes but I think someone is doing it to me now & I have to tell you that it is HORRIBLE. Please tell them, people. This feels cruel.

Annie G said...

I've slow-faded a friend who I no longer wanted to be close to. I just had no idea how to go about saying: I know we've been friends for years but you make me feel really uncomfortable and I am not sure why.
Some might say that I should just have said that outright.
Imagine.
Just not following up on calls, not making plans and moving on worked fine. Still don't regret it.

Paige said...

How interesting, and what a creative name. I actually have never done this. All of the people I dated were people that I frequently came in contact with in the "real world" and had mutual friends with was class, band, work, whatever. We always had mutual friends, and our paths would continue to cross, so a slow fade really was never an option for me.

Anonymous said...

You talk a lot about your "dating days..."

Stephanie McPeak said...

I don't think I've ever ended a relationsip any way BUT the slow fade. Even someone I've dated for years. Miss Non-Confrontational & Passive Aggresive.

HiLLjO said...

Nope; I am committed to not having relationships out of obligation. If I don't want to be around them, I simply told them and was done. Moved on after. It's a waste of your and their time to drag it out... and it leads them on.

Steph said...

There's a song about exactly this! Garfunkel and Oates, "The Fadeaway."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-FeyYubtzk

Katie said...

I always called it the Fade to Black. It has happened to me and I just didn't get it for the first two weeks (yeah, two weeks of being THAT girl) and eventually would simply send the text that I get it, it's over, I just needed the closure to say that it was done. Because for me, closure is everything. Without a sense of closure, they come back and then it starts again.

If I go on one or two dates with someone and we both go a week without talking, then yeah, it's over. Mutually. But going out for a few weeks and then suddenly hearing crickets just bugs me. I'm usually very up front.

Unfurled said...

I've never heard this term for it, but I've done it with so many friends instead of boyfriends! Too cowardly to tell them I'm just not getting enough out of the friendship anymore. Boo on me.

Kelli Anderson said...

blatant honesty is sometimes more hurtful, but in my opinion the easier way to go. by far.

kaela said...

I used to slow fade or disappear and then someone disappeared on me and that hurt a lot hahaha....i'm not dating anyone now but i hope i'm mature enough to at least send an email explanation! lol

Vicky NYC said...

My ex did the immediate Vanishing act! We were together for 6years (on and off) and he was my best friend! He just stopped talking to me one day... Years later he claimed it was because he was scared of marriage! He even wanted to start dating again! Ummmm no thanks!

Emily said...

Oh boy. Now that your baby is growing up, you'll find that slow fade skill handy. There are going to be parents that you don't dig: slow fade. Kids that you don't like: slow fade. You can't break up clean or mean with folks in your child's school. It WILL come in handy, trust.

Carol Rial said...

Oh, you're so brave for admitting the whole thing! As Rach says above I think all of us have done it once or twice or many more times. But I never told anyone and also felt embarrased because I'm not proud about this kissing thing when I was not really into him. After reading your post and these comments, got to say I feel relieved. I always say there's nothing better than talking about your feelings and worries because it's surprising how many people are feeling just the same way you are.

Robbyn said...

I've been married for 6 years now, but I've only officially broken up with one guy in my life, the rest got the fade. I'm not proud of it, but I was young and giving someone the boot is awkward.
The last one was the worst. We'd known each other for years so when I broke up with the long-term guy before him and we started dating, things moved WAY too fast. He'd basically moved in within a few weeks and by then I was already over it. I slowly made him take his stuff to his parents house and when the bulk of it was gone I severed contact. He didn't get the hint for weeks until he walked into my apartment one day to find me having dinner with my (now) husband.
I still cringe when I think about how awful I was to him.

Lanie said...

I used to do something I called 'the reverse breakup'. I'd chose some time he was really busy or super focused on work and say "it seems like a really busy time for you right now and probably not the best timing to be starting a new relationship. I totally understand that it's just bad timing". He would usually agree how busy he was, and there was some confusion, but it worked.

You almost always get a call a few days later saying he missed hanging out or something but you just give one last "No i understand it is for the best this way, you were right" and it is finished.

I've even been able to stay friends with some guys that way b/c they always thought they did the break up! It's such a pleasant way to end things if you don't have an ego of who breaks up with who.

Mo (New on U) said...

Oh, I have. Without a doubt. Not something I'm proud of, but it's been done to me a time or two, so karma got me in the end.

Even worse than the fade, I was a real expert at the "I'll be such a bitch to you you'll want to break up with me" move. I was a pretty awesome person back then :/

Anonymous said...

I've done it and I'm non too proud either. Eventually it evolved into a sort of fade and release technique where I gave it some time and avoided them like the plague till I resolved to tell them it's over. Ending things always suck, but it seemed to work a little better then telling them flat out it was over; they were always so caught of gaurd. This way they saw it coming.

Abbie said...

Oooh, I like Emily's comment! I'm so worried about friends of my son's that I will one day not like... He's only six months old so I've got some time. But I was never a slow fader, I have zero poker face and a guy could tell ten minutes into a date it wasn't going well. I know that's not going to fly with other people's children (or their parents!) in this new "parent" world.

heisschic said...

i tried the slow fade once... but the blow-back from it was awful. awful. he's still in my core group of friends, and i don't think (10yrs later) we've had a conversation since.

because of him, everyone after has gotten a straightforward "i can't do this anymore" when the time has come.

Hallie said...

I did that too, not to reply a phone call, or always busy with somebody. And, at the meantime, whoever man said to me that they were too busy, and I would knew what's that mean, and never contact again, hehehe...

Nick Goddard said...

Lost my phone, slow-fading the world. Bis später!

Aya said...

I've done the "flat out", the "slow fad"e and the "disappear". I'm horrible! I'm assertive and communicative in other parts of my life, I don't know why I have been like this in the past. I'd like to think I have changed (and I haven't tested it truly for the past 4 years or so since I've been with my boyfriend) but judging how awkward I was last week when someone asked me out via telephone, I would guess I'm still a bit lily-livered in this department. Darn...

kater said...

Oh nooooo, I'm at that point in a new relationship where I'm constantly freaking out inside and worrying that this is being done to me :(

I MEAN, based on other things I'm sure everything is fine, but, ugh! There's that thing where beginnings are AWESOME but also riddled with anxiety!

Wendy said...

Only with one guy because I didn't want to hurt him (or if we're being honest, I was afraid of the drama that would ensue). With the rest, I told them outright (nicely) that it wasn't working.

Aya said...

By "flat out" I mean blunt.

Tiffany said...

Honestly is the best policy in my opinion. I classify the slow fade as mixed messages and they are the worst because it just keeps you or him lingering on forever. The sooner you know you should move on the better. I know the slow fade applies to someone you have been out with at least once but I heard great advice once for when you initially meet a guy, when you walk away from him after about 5 to 10 steps look back at him and smile. This will tell you a few things 1)if he is still watching you, you know he is interested and it gives him an opportunity to come after you. 2)if he is not watching you and is looking off for someone else to talk to you know he is not that interested. Thus you are saved from days, weeks, months of wondering why he didn't call.

Kate said...

Well, if we are being honest.... I'm currently slow fading as we speak... and now I feel sort of bad about it! I must tell this boy how I feel (or don't feel hehe)!

Anonymous said...

I have been involved in a slow fade that happened over a year. I know, I know, tha's one hell of a sloooooooow fade. Until we just stopped calling each other. Neither party tried.... the phone calls just stopped happening... Wonder what you would call that?

Lauren said...

I did the slow fade so many times before I met my now boyfriend that my friends referred to me as an expert in the matter! They even came to me for tips and advice! This probably makes me a terrible person but I just hated telling people no!

GirlieBlogger@Beauty Fashion Blog Seattle said...

Oh no. For me, it was always straight forward. I've ended both relationships and friendships that way, and it's clean cut.

LB said...

By the end of my dating days, I found it easier to just make a 30-second phone call and say "I'm just not feeling it, sorry, good luck" than screen their calls, avoid them out and about, and carry the guilt around. Plus, you feel SO much better after that phone call.

I even had a couple say they honestly appreciated the call. I know that I appreciated when a guy was upfront with me in the same way.

Kristen Larson said...

Hi Jo,

I am a firm believer in the blunt and honest truth, but sometimes it hasn't worked for me.

My freshman year of college I was dating a guy and I wasn't interested anymore. I told him that I didn't want to date him anymore and I hope that we could still be friends. However, if that wasn't blunt enough, he asked me, "Is this because the semester is ending and you are afraid of being apart?"

I replied, no, but he didn't get it. I had to resort to the slow fade and luckily my finals were an excellent excuse not to see him.

Aly said...

Been the victim of a slow fade...so not fun. When I've broken things off though, I've always been pretty straightforward about it. I surprised myself, actually, because I'm pretty non-confrontational in every other aspect of my life.

Eleni said...

Hehe, I never had any problems to be upfront and say I didn't like a guy anymore. Actually, I felt it was the only right thing to do. I was treated with the "slow fade" a few times, however, and it sucked!!! I think men do it more often than us ladies do as they are far worse with words!

Amber-Rose Thomas said...

YES. I nearly always do this. I don't feel bad about it either tbh.

I wouldn't do it to someone that I've been dating for a while, but I don't see the harm when it's in the very early days of dating.

People get busy and just forget all about it right?!

I hope so... Eek.

meet emily said...

um... yes. i'm the worst. like every time... like even in an on again off again relationship of like a year... oh, jeez.

sumslay said...

Oh, sure, I've done it. And I actually don't mind it on the receiving end either. I don't need an explanation, and the truth is, I'm probably done too. I'm really more of an emailing type - the few times i've been honest face to face is usually a catastrophe, like, they want to argue their side or be rude. No thanks. Best wishes will do just fine, thanks.

Kara said...

Please tell me you've heard this song from the female comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1vk_I7MTPQ

It's their song "The Fadeaway."

kendra said...

you are adorable Jo!
i did it once. it was a long distance thing, and he made a really judgement, deal-breaker comment about me one night on the phone. I didn't answer his calls for about 2 weeks. that is how he knew it was over. But we are friends now. :) I was even invited to his wedding (being invited to an ex'es wedding sucks big ones)

Lauren Ashley said...

Yep, I've totally done this. I've also done the confrontation, tears, yelling, drawn out dramatic break-up thing too. Not sure what's worse. :-)

ElsaD said...

Hmmm I didn't even know it had a name 'slow fade.' That's what I have always done. Just breaks my heart dumping someone! I have been dumped though...not nice! :)

Briel said...

I'm sure I've done it and it's definitely been done to me by both guys and friends. It REALLY sucks and takes me forever to get over. Sometimes I'd rather people just be up front and tell me instead of dragging it out.

Meadow said...

I think the last time I did this was in high school. My ex did this to me... and it was highly inappropriate because he was in his mid/late 20s and we were in a relationship (ended up 5 yrs off/on of misery but he pulled this more than once and stupidly I put up with it). I don't have a ton of dating experience so I can't say I've ever done this to a guy I've been seeing (since high school). Seems like I've just had a string of long term relationships since. I hope to never test this theory out, though... I am happy with my bf and usually a straightforward person :)

Anonymous said...

Am attempting a slow fade very unsuccessfully on a bad friendship I have been caught up it. I would love you to write a post about that, I could use some helpful insights!

Anonymous said...

Am attempting a slow fade very unsuccessfully on a bad friendship I have been caught up it. I would love you to write a post about that, I could use some helpful insights!

Fancy Pants said...

I did the slow fade occasionally but once I did the hard conversation (was forced to because I KNEW I'd see the guy again..he worked with my cousin.)

I kept it short and sweet:

"I'm sorry if I have seemed a little distant lately. The truth is, my heart isn't in this. I hope you understand."

And you know what?!? He THANKED me for being honest and we are cordial to this day.

Olga said...

Definitely guilty of the slow fade here.

Anonymous said...

Haven't done this to a boyfriend, but definitely have done this in friendships. I was close to a girl, but realized, after some time, that all our conversations were about her. I also came to a point where I felt I couldn't trust her....She acted differently around certain people and her stories changed, depending on who she told. And to piggyback on Emily's comment, her 3 children are rude and out of control. It got to the point that I had little respect for her. The problem is that she lives down the street from me, and some of her friends are my best friends. If I had been honest with her, it would have hurt her feelings to the point that we couldn't socialize. She's confronted me several times, and I made lame excuses. Now we're cordial and not much more. I feel horrible, but don't know how I could have done things differently.

Whew-Thanks for the therapy session!

Lori said...

I've done it all, but I think eventually one of us will get the hint. The last guy I broke it off with I only went out with a few times but he was really into it and I wasn't, so we went out to lunch and he tried holding my hand but I pretended I was busy latching onto my purse or phone, so he grabbed onto my belt loops and I just weaved in between people so he'd have to let go. But when it came to it, he dropped me off and instead of kissing him goodbye I hugged him. And when he asked what was up, I gave him some speech about not sure where I would be in a few months, if I moved or not, etc. He seemed really upset even afterwards, texting and what not. Finally, he stopped because he saw that I wasn't going to change my mind. And then I saw him last weekend, walking and holding hands with a new girl. He waved! haha.

Jessica said...

I've done that exact thing with a man I worked with. It wasn't too awkward, though, because he moved to Poland for 4 months a week after our first date. Still, I felt bad about it. Giving them a slow kiss first is like a kiss goodbye!

the obsessive imagist said...

Ha! Jesse, your comment about the "smoke monster" is brilliant. I am totally stealing that to use with my friends.

I have not done the slow fade, but I have been awkwardly blunt. In college I once told a boy I needed to "phase him out" because I knew it wasn't going to work (he was going abroad, I was staying at school, he was getting clingy, I was becoming interested in someone else). He later told me that the whole end had felt heartbreakingly abrupt but I was proud to have been brutally honest and prevented myself from dragging it out way longer than I should have. Hopefully now, nearly six years later, he sees it the same way and has forgiven me!

(p.s. I told this story to my fiance when he and I started dating; he later confessed that it made him think twice about dating me since it seemed cruel and out of character. Ouch!)

Angry Asian said...

i think the best way to not do this, no matter what your inclination is, is to have it happen to you. a guy you really dig who slowly stops answering calls etc.

i've done it before and it's happened to me. both instances i felt horrible. it's a no-win situation, unless you're honest.

Lisa said...

Oooh, I haven't done the late-stage slow fade like you described above, but I have done it after 2 dates....and it was awkward, and I felt like a wuss.

However, I think the slow fade is ok after, like, 1 date. - At that point, it seems more rude to tell a person they're not your type. - why hurt their feelings if you don't have to, right?

me said...

Wow, that is a very slow fade.

I'm not a slow fade kind of a person. Once my mind is made up, I'm outta there. Call me Houdini.
http://ungratefulbliss.com/

Hayley said...

The only way I get the courage to tell a guy I'm not interested is to remember how much it hurts me when I've been on the receiving end of the slow fade - its infuriating and so painful! Now I'm not perfect and I usually wait longer than I should, but I do try to do it.

Ms. Shypoke said...

I think the slow fade, flat out and disapear all have their place.

Slow Fade is good/ok for when you have been out a few times (3ish) and you gave it a chance.. but realize there is just no spark. I don't think you owe a breakup speach to someone you have only seen a handful of times.

Flat Out is good/ok for when you have been going out for more than a couple dates and whenever the other person may have begun to get the impression that you are in anyway an exclusive item.

Disapear is completely fine if the other person has done something completely inapropriate/illegal or when the other person appears to be mentally unbalanced and you fear for your life!

Yeah.. no one wants to be on the receiving end of any of these brush offs but that's the risk we take to try to find the right person for us. Do you really want to be with someone that doesn't feel the same about you?

J.Elizabeth said...

Not even slow fade. the cut off. not proud of it.

Rachael {all things beautiful} said...

I did the 'slow-fade' one time but the guy literally never got the hint. He just kept calling and texting to ask me to continue to go out. I finally had to tell him that I just didn't think we were the right 'fit' for each other. He didn't understand but hey it got the point across and I was finally done with it!

Amanda Blair said...

I have, haven't we all but I hate when it's done to me so I try my best to be upfront. We always hear women complain and complain about how we want guys to "be a man and tell me how he really feels", yet in the next breath will blow off some nice guy who we don't like. It doesn't sit well with me to do to someone what I'm complaining about someone doing to me. Yes, it's awkward but think about how you would want to get broken up with.

I say this as I'm going through a breakup right now. It sucks and it's awkward but I think it honors the relationship to talk it out.

Emma said...

The summer before my senior year of high school, I had a very flirty, texting filled relationship with this one boy. He was a nice guy, but by September I wasn't feeling it anymore. When he told my friend that he was going to ask me to be his girlfriend on HIS BIRTHDAY, I knew I had to do something. There was no way I was going to be his girlfriend but there was no way I was going to ruin his birthday. The fear of both scenarios forced me into action! So, I marched up to him in the middle of the school day and told him very awkwardly that I didn't want to be his girlfriend. He was very very nice about it.
Unfortunately, the next time a boy liked me and I didn't like him back, I pretended another friend of mine was my new boyfriend so the boy would leave me alone (not proud!). But then the fake boyfriend became my real boyfriend and we've been happy ever since :)

RTah said...

I always do the slow fade, because I am such a wuss! I even do it outside of the dating context. If I have a friend who I don't want to hang out with anymore, I just stop responding to texts and calls. If I think my mother in law is mad at me, I never call her back until she has called several times...unfortunately I can't completely fade there... But yes, I am terrible!

carolyn said...

haha, my girlfriends and i call it 'the phase out.' i think there's a good chance we've all done it once or twice!

Anonymous said...

it is the easiest way to end friendships with other women for sure! i admit I'm guilty of that with "girl" friends. i never did it with romantic relationships. I always ended up being friends with my ex's.

Colie Parks said...

I always did this, but my friends and I called it "the fade away". I thought it was better then dealing with the awkward breakup conversation, especially if you only went out on a few dates. Then one day, after going on many great dates for a couple of months with this guy I had liked for a while he stopped calling and answering my calls. I went crazy trying to figure out what had happened. Then I realized he pulled the fade away on ME! I learned my lesson and I never did the fade away again, but that didn't make the breakups any easier. Unfortunately, those will always be crappy. Thank God I'm getting married!

Alana Vieira said...

Oh, that's nice to read! I thought I was the only one... I prefer not to hurt someone's heart and just disapear. I did that twice. Later, I had the oportunity to tell them what happened, and they were relieved. They didn't forgot it until I told them I did the slow fade because I didn't like them, but I didn't want to hurt them.

Anonymous said...

I ALWAYS DO THIS!! Advice please?

Kate K said...

Yes and it backfired! In college, I went on about three dates with this guy in December and completely wasn't feeling it. I stopped calling him but we hung out in the same group of friends. I assumed that since we weren't spending any time one on one and didn't have any type of physical relationship, he knew that we were just friends. Nope, on Valentine's Day, he tried to kiss me.

Ever since then, I am completely honest and straight forward (even when I might not need to be that way.)

Anonymous said...

Garfunkel & Oates have an entire song dedicated to this - "The Fadeaway"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-FeyYubtzk

Joss D. said...

I'm so guilty i've slow fade even with friends or just disappear. But i've learned my lesson and even if it's worst to have "the talk", it's the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

No, I only dated about 6 guys before finding my husband, and I was the queen of getting dumped. Now I'm wondering whether I would have preferred a "slow fade" from these guys.

Alexa said...

i did the slow fade a few times in college and felt super guilty about it. i kept thinking, what if this were my little brother?! i'd want to kill any girl that phased him out.

and i am happy to report that post-college dating in nyc has taught me to up front about how i feel. the first guy that was blunt with me stung...and now i realize it's so rare for people to be honest, i want to send his mom flowers :)

vera kate said...

This just happened to me over the last couple of weeks. It's so awful. Please, for the love of all that is good, just tell the other person what you're thinking and feeling! It's really not the end of the world, and you'll be doing BOTH of you a favor in the end. Even if feelings get hurt, they'll heal much quicker the sooner and more cleanly you break ties.

Kipin Alexander said...

That's been done to me before, and it really eats at you. I also see people do this with friendships...though sometimes that's the only diplomatic way to go about it. Breaking up with toxic girlfriends can be just as messy (or messier) than breaking up romantic relationships, don't you think?

Chantel B. said...

Oh man, back in the day I was the queen of the slow fade, haha!

To be honest, I felt terrible about it. True story: I got to know a guy that I really liked in one of my evening Uni. classes (he was handsome, had good chivalry, and was romantic) except any time I saw him in the day time he turned into this super cheesy dude who wore friendship bracelets and slicked back hair (sounds superficial, I know!). Total opposite of his night time persona and came as quite a shock.

Anyhow...he eventually asked me out and I was SO chicken that I just stopped talking to him...even though we were in class together!....Three years later we got paired up to volunteer at a play (we were both seeing other people at this point) and I FINALLY told him how sorry I was. Amazingly, he was overjoyed that I was sensitive enough to apologize years later and really took my apology to heart.

Goes to show you that it's never too late to apologize and more often than not will show how much you really care.

Stephanie Sabbe said...

I thought you were talking about hair cuts:)

Betsy said...

I did it every time. My friends dubbed me "the Queen of the Slow Fade" as a matter of fact. Just easier. How do you go about breaking up with someone with whom you haven't had an exclusivity discussion? If asked about it, I was always honest with the guys...but a lot of people don't want honesty.

Alex said...

Ah, I've done that before.

But if I was ever on the receiving end, I would make "that guy" sit down with me and tell me why he felt the way he did (was it me? was it him? was it priorities? was it timing?).

I'm not sure why I couldn't muster up the courage to return the favor to men. It was always there in the back of my throat just waiting for the chance to roll of my tongue. But it was frozen there, never to be heard.

I will say I am still friends with all of "those guys" I faded away from.

Amy P said...

I think it depends. Acquaintances, people you've only dated a couple times, with people who don't seem that attached...definitely slow fade. They either a) won't notice or b) won't care. A sit-down chat is likely to be worse than just letting things go quietly.

However, if it's someone who you know is fairly attached to you, even if you're not attached to them, you owe them the respect of closure if you can no longer carry your end of the relationship for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

GUILTY. Also I did the slow fade with a few of my first jobs. First call in sick, then switch shifts, and then finally, just not return

nicole said...

Yep. I've been there, slow-faded that. :)

In my early 20s, I was quite reckless with boys' hearts.

xo.

Breanna said...

Once. With the first guy I ever dated. Then I had it done to me a few times and realized how much it sucked. Never again.

One of my dear friends just had a guy pull this on her, and I want to go smack him.

Kristian said...

Huh... I don't...think so? To be honest, its always either been pretty much long term relationships or nothing at all. The only time I've had dates that didn't turn into a relationship both took place the same week and I just said I'd prefer to remain friends and not date (this did not go over well, but then neither did his comments that I dressed like his mother.)

galinthecity said...

I’m sure I did when I was younger but these days, I don’t do the slow fade. My sister said it best once. She told me to think of how it would feel if I were in the guy’s shoes...to consider his feelings. So I do. As someone who’s looking for a serious relationship, I want guys to be honest with me, so I make an effort to be honest with them. The unfortunate truth that I find however, is that guys are very good at the slow fade. That only one I can recall being honest was 45. Maybe it’s something that comes with growing up.

Ivycoco said...

I'm being faded now, the sad thing is that we've known each other for nearly 3 years now *sigh*

Meredith said...

No, I don't do it, because I know how much it hurts. No one likes to be told "I just don't feel a connection." But having someone string you along and send mixed signals is so much more agonizing. I'm pretty blunt about it, but am tactful and deliver the news in the kindest way possible. And as quickly as possible--no one wants to keep pining after someone who lost interest in them after a couple of dates!

Eliza Jane said...

I've never done the slow fade, but I've certainly had it done to me!! The WORST was the last guy I dated! We dated for THREE MONTHS and I'm talking multiple texts throughout the day to each other, phone calls almost every day, and sleepover dates. Then one day he was helping me move a tv, the next he didn't answer my text or call. He went a WEEK without answering any of my messages, and we didn't have any mutual friends, and I was actually worried the the was ok! Then, after a week, he sent me an email saying I was a great person but he didn't think we were a match. No kidding. I tend to be drawn to more integrity than that!

J.Mill said...

In high school I actually used the excuse "I have to wash my hair that night".

I don't think I've outright used the slow fade. I did once, in my 20's, make out with a friend (male) at a bar when I knew the guy I was seeing was going to come to that bar at any moment. His friends got a phone video of my behavior and that was that. I feel awful. It must be worse than a slow fade.

I have been faded out on, so I'm sure that's karma.

Erin K. W. said...

Oh geez. I've kind of done this before, but usually it's someone that I've just met, like at the bar the night before, and gave my number and the next day when then call/text me I just don't respond because I didn't really feel anything for them. I have always felt really bad about this though even though I barely knew them. I need to stop.

The Marketing Alchemist said...

I can it a Mississippi No, people are too polite to say no.

Jackie James said...

unfortunately, I have done the "slow fade" as well! I still feel really bad about it. Yikes!

PS. I read this post recently and thought of your husband, since he has a beard. Beard fashion! haha hilarious!

http://www.topsyandhavoc.com/2012/06/beard-fashion-by-havoc.html

Lindsay Rondo said...

oh slow fade for sure. I never wanted to be mean and I didn't like confrontation. I wanted to make everyone happy.

Kiley Kate said...

I only did it one time...but it was beyond awkward because we lived in close proximity to each other. Read: three doors down in the same dorm. When I started dating a new guy I had to sneak past his room or take the stairs instead of the elevator to go all the way around his room. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I have done the slow fade lots of times, but not EVERY time. I think you can tell the difference between relationships that warrant a talk and relationships that don't. I only pull the slow fade on people I think don't care about me that much either. And when the guy catches the drift and asks me whats up I always give him the option of talking it out and hope he doesn't take me up on it.

Elizabeth said...

I've attempted to do it in the past but in the end I'd always have to tell the guy how I felt which would go awfully because I'd waited so long and I looked like even more of a bad guy!. Funny you wrote about this today because I finally learned my lesson and told a guy before things got too crazy that I wasn't interested. Still was crazy difficult to do but I feel better knowing I didn't lead him (at least not for too too long)

Ananda said...

Sadly, I did this every time I dated someone until I met my darling. It has also been done to me a couple times. Honestly, I don't think I've ever properly broken up with anyone or been properly broken up with -- just fading or being faded...

Dating stinks, and I was terrible at it! Goodbye twenties and hooray thirties!!!

Bows and Sparrows said...

When I first started online dating I would often let people down via email (even after 10 dates). I rationalized that since we met online we should break up in the same manner. Ha! I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is.

Michelle Branch said...

Twice. And I still feel bad about it.

Jillian said...

Did the slow fade. Numerous times. Even tried it on this one hunk of a guy in particular...he slow faded me back and it drew me in. He's now my fiancé :)

Kimia Kline said...

lol. guilty.

beautifully, suddenly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

No, you didn't! I have never done it because I have had it done to me and it is the worst thing! Maybe I'm just a direct person. Believe it or not though, no one ever reacted badly when I told them the truth.

Lauren Knight said...

I wish I were gutsier, because I know it probably sucks being on the receiving end of a slow-fade. I'm not happy to admit, I've actually done this with a couple of friendships that just weren't working out.

But next time (I swear!) I will be upfront! *maybe?*

Hannah Brandt said...

I have definitely done the slow fade! But the week that my husband asked me out on our first date I happened to have another date lined up (this was rare for me....I'm not one to date two peeps at once, no matter how casual it is). I went on the date with my now husband and had a nice time. Later that week my date with suitor number two was approaching and I felt uncomfortable dating them both at once. I opted to call suitor number two and tell him just this. He responded so maturely, and I was really proud of myself for being honest! I can't say that I wasn't nervous about doing it though!

Anonymous said...

yes, I call it the "phase-out". it's from an episode of Friends. I was going to do this to a guy once and my friend gave me good advice to persuade me to just have the awkward conversation, "guys do it to us all the time without a blink of an eye. he'll get over it".

Janan said...

I did it always. I never had a breakup conversation. I know! I'm happily married now thank heavens!

Michelle Glauser said...

Thinking about it too much is what makes me get scared. So I just stay open with them all along. I was surprised the first time I said, "I had a good time, but I don't think I'm interested in any more dates," because I felt calm and good about it.

Micha said...

That is hilarious! I did the exact same thing. I was such a wuss!

goodnightstars said...

I've never done that...always got up the nerve to actually have that super awkward conversation. yuck.

neo said...

I've never done that. I would feel terrible if I did. I have a big, chaotic mouth family. Being matter of fact, honest and straightforward was part of the dynamic. I wouldn't know how to do the slow fade if I tried. I have issues on the opposite end. I actually wish I could be a little more subtle.

Sarah O'Brien said...

i don't want to admit this but i'm like the queen of this situation. i don't do well with confrontation its just easier to slowly stop responding!

Stefania said...

It's an awful approach when it comes to romantic relationships, but it's the best when it comes to acquaintances and your kids' friends, and those friends' parents.

Tiffany said...

I didn't exactly do the slow fade, I tried to politely and discreetly make my intentions a tad more clear, and if he didn't get it then i resulted in the slow fase. but i was never nice enough to kiss goodbye or go out more than once if i didn't feel like it. discreetion and politeness though practically never work either...

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

In my dating days, I would do anything to avoid "that" conversation. And if I got up the guts, I would awkwardly try to check in to make sure he was ok after, which obviously made for some mixed signals to the guy... I was so bad at dating... I'm so glad I'm done!

Camilla Leila said...

Here's what I used to do (before I met my gorgeous olympic swimmer husband...obviously). Around month 6 of dating i'd figure out that the guy wasn't for me. Then I'd start acting like kind of a jerk (okay a real jerk), so that the guy would feel like he just wanted to break up with me and would leave with the upper hand. It was so cowardly but I could not handle breaking a guy's heart.

Looking back, I wish I had the guts to just be honest and forthright. ya know?

Em Levy {orange + barrel} said...

My life (prior to getting married) was a love story to the slow fade.

Anonymous said...

Haha! YES! This was my classic move. I called it "putting on the ice." In high school my entire family knew I did this because I had to ask them to tell these poor guys that I wasn't home (back before cellphones when there was one phone per household). Oh, confrontation is so difficult, especially when it comes to dating.

Anonymous said...

I'm generally far too honest for everyone's good. For example, I broke up with my high school grad date ON THE WAY to pictures at 11 in the morning before all the day's festivities. lol I was pretty sure he was feeling the same way, so I just thought, "Why should we spend the whole day feeling crappy about what's coming?" So we were in the car on our way and I said, "I don't think this is working out." And he said, "You aren't seriously breaking up with me NOW?!" But we did, and we ended up having a laugh about it. We got extremely ironic photos (which I didn't order) and then he left after the ceremony so I could party with my friends.

Robin said...

I was also The Worst. I got my comeuppance when, shortly after getting engaged, at a big family dinner at my in-laws I was seated next to by husband's second cousin...a guy I slow faded 5 years prior. After drinking too much wine we tuned to each other and said "we went out, right?" even though we both totally knew. Of course my brother in law was positively giddy and asked (loudly!) if we made out. I, like you, unfortunately did let him kiss me goodnight. I never imagined I would get called on the carpet like that! Many years later, Brad and I are friendly with he and his wife but man, it was awkward for awhile!

Rashmi said...

Awww.... Don't feel bad about it. We have all been there. I haven't done that to smn i dated, but have to old-college mates etc. that I really was never that close to begin with. And yeah, I do feel bad about it, but I figure its better than telling them "You know what? I dunno why you keep calling me when in college we hardly ever spoke and now we are in different cities and have busy lives, so plz spare me."
Duh! Slow fade much better...

Caroline said...

Ugh, I hate to admit it but... I always do the slow fade.

Nyx said...

I'm slow fading from one guy right now... the sad thing his not getting it! I might need to talk to him.

My favorites said...

Personally, I think if men are too scared to man up and be honest with you when they're not that into you, I see no reason we have to make an effort. Dating is a rough sport - might as well do what you want whilst being on the battlefield!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh this is totally my weakness...I am horrible with confrontations

avie said...

I've never done it to a guy, but I've had it done to me a number of times, and it's not nice. When I've had to have the 'conversation' I've just taken a deep breath, and said I don't want to date anymore & then we both know where we stand. But I've been faded out by guys before, and it can be torture, waiting and waiting for their call, wondering if they're busy or just not interested because the last time you had lunch it was so nice etc etc. It messes with your head. I believe it's better to rip it off like a bandage, get it over with, & everyone's better off.

Eleanora Buckbee said...

Before I was married, I had it done to me several times and found it rather painful. That didn't stop me from doing the same thing to other people though! I'm not a fan of confrontation, so it's easier to take this route, though not as kind or respectful. Oh well!

Sharon said...

I've done it a few times, but will usually be dirct.

jleestone said...

It is crazy to me that so many say that they slow fade to avoid being "mean"! But if it is after more than just one or two dates, I would say that it is way meaner than being honest! The slow fade tells someone that their feelings are way less important than just an awkward moment for you.

Tan said...

I could never slow fade.. in fact the guy I dumped three months ago and I had a really honest "3 months later chat" in which we laughed about how much we hated each other after the break up, stupid things we said and we both apologised if we had hurt the other at all.It makes life so much easier to be up front about everything and have a laugh.

Sadie said...

I have managed to end virtually all of my relationships with major blow-ups! Ha ha. But I have slow-faded a friend or two. My problem is that I'm very introverted. Friendship to me does not mean knowing every single detail of a person's life at all times. After being passively-aggressively told "It's been so long sine we've SEEN each other!" (which basically means, "You are not checking in with me enough!") a few times, I pull the slow fade. I am just not a good friend match for somebody who needs (or wants to give-- I feel smothered soooo fast) constant attention!

Kate! said...

So when I was a freshman in college this guy I sat next to in one of my classes asked me out. I'd actually never been on a date before, and I was maybe kinda sorta a little bit awkward and shy anyway, so the whole thing was pretty terrible. At the end of the night when he asked if we could do it again sometime, I was all "sure! of course!" because that is how a polite person responds, right? Aaaaand then I proceeded to be conveniently late to that class every day for the rest of the semester. And I suspiciously had a sudden urge to sit. any. where. else. Oh, I was just adorable.

Shannon said...

I think I can actually can say that I've never done the slow fade. I, instead, developed a script, which went a little like this, "I'm not feeling what I think I should be feeling in order for us to move forward." Ha!

A Little Coffee said...

Maybe I'm alone in this, but if it's early in the "dating process," like 2-4 dates in, I just don't really think it's a big deal, and it's not something I have to work myself up to or anything. At that point, I don't feel like I owe them anything, so I basically just won't contact them to suggest getting together again, and if they don't either, then I guess you could call that a "fast fade" that we're both executing mutually. But if they contact me and ask me out again, I'll just respond by email saying, "It's been great getting to know you and I really enjoy hanging out with you, but I'm definitely getting more of a friend vibe and that's not what I'm looking for right now. Wish you all the best!" Done and done. I usually don't hear from them again after that.

Allyn said...

I always did the slow fade, but mainly because I had a very low tolerance for dating, so typically it would only be like 3 or 4 dates in. I hardly knew them well enough to do more, though looking back at a few I wince a little. So many of them didn't get the hint for sooooo long. Like, longer than we had been together. The one seriously relationship I had before my husband I was completely upfront though. I can't imagine a slow fade for a long relationship.

Sammi said...

erm.... no.... not really. i have a guy friend who i knew was interested in me, though he never said it out right, and i enjoy his company as a friend but not to date him. but i didn't tell him i wasn't interested in him like that. we have since had the awkward conversation... luckily we're still friends and still go out like we did before, and actually now we both know where we stand its a whole lot less nerve wracking!

PC said...

to...taa...ly, never broke up properly with a guy! I'm such a coward! Now I'm married so I guess I'll never have to - what a wimp!

Hannah said...

I always do the slow fade! I can't bring myself to be honest and upfront. I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings or their pride, we know what guys are like! I also wish I could be straightforward and lay it down for them but I think I'm too much of a coward!

paullyn grace said...

oh, dating
when will you ever come?

Anonymous said...

Not that I've ever done the slow fade with a guy - but it's relatively easy to be honest in the dating world, because you can make it about your own feelings rather than their failings.

But with friends? Or other parents and their kids? It's hard. Is honesty the best policy, when the reasons ARE personal?

I just did the slow fade from a passive-aggressive friend with anger issues. I'm still feeling guilty that I didn't have a conversation with her about it, but still can't figure out how to be honest without being hurtful.

mommyiscoocoo said...

No, I don't think so. Dating... it seems so looooong ago. I don't like the fade though. I can't stand the phone calls, etc... that keep coming. I've got to rip it off like a band aid.

Kristine said...

I'm actually in the process of starting a slow fade, but like you said, I secretly want to just be completely up front. I keep thinking about telling him straight up because I actually feel guilty doing a slow fade. This is probably the suckiest part of dating.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious and relevant. I hope no one's already posted it:

The Fade Away by Garfunkel and Oates


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr8HKRTavM0

Anonymous said...

I have always been the slow fade wuss type. I too wish I could have been the type to just say - you and I just don't have that chemistry. Now that I am older (married too)..and, if every (oh, I so hope not) I would just put it out there, "I'm just not into you."

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Yes, in fact I don't think I've ever done anything BUT this (gasp!).

Anonymous said...

My friends and I always referred to it as "letting it fizzle." I'm def guilty of this! And a few of the awkward "I just can't handle/don't have enough time/don't want a relationship right now" convos.

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4utea said...

I'm disappointed that Joanna is not who I thought she was but it's her choice to put money above all else. If I was making $30,000 in ads because stupid ladies bought stuff I recommended, I would make sure they were the ones that were happy too, I guess. I was just hoping that it was a genuine mistake and that she had the grace to own up to it so that I could continue reading without feeling like an idiot who was being pandered to.

So, Alicia, that is my reasoning. I don't have cats and have plenty of great sex. I'm also able to have an opinion on this matter at the same time.

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