Getting the Fade.

Don't make us wait by the phone.
Don’t make us wait by the phone.

The fade is more than just a haircut. In dating terms, the fade is when one person in the “relationship” (it could happen during the earlier stages of a relationship) disappears. Basically, they fall off the face of the earth.

I know I’m not the only person this has happened to — I’ve got audio evidence — but it’s happened to me a lot. In fact, it might be happening to me as I type this, I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

While I don’t have numerical data to back it up, I’d venture to say that the fade is most likely to occur in the earlier stages, like when you’re talking, or have just gone out on a few dates. Maybe you’ve had sex, maybe you haven’t. While not the reason, but I’d also venture to say that texting has made the fade a much more popular route when it comes to methods of rejection.

The fade allows someone to get out without having that awkward conversation… Umm, yeah, I don’t really think it’s working/I’m just not ready for a relationship/I’m really busy with work right now. I’ve heard it all. But the fade means none of that happens. A person just stops replying to your texts and/or answering your calls.

It is the rejection method of pussies, to put it lightly.

An article in Marie Claire confirms my point, that men love to avoid the issue (it’s quoted) and any chance of pressure. Puh-lease!

The fade is less likely to bother me (I can only speak for me) if we’ve only been out two times. It’s a completely different story if we’ve been out a handful of times, if we’re sleeping together, or if we’re exclusively in a full-blown relationship.

I’ve gotten the fade in all of those situations — but the ones that hurt the most were when actual boyfriends stopped talking to me. Some, to this day, still have never reached out and told me what the deal was. Which is completely fucked up.

So, what do you do when this happens to you? While you may really want to send a super shitty text, try to refrain from flying off the handle. There is a small chance that something legit is happening that’s keeping him away from his phone (although I wouldn’t bet on it), so don’t make yourself look crazy.

Instead, keep yourself (and your hands) busy. Bake something new. Paint a picture. Clean out your closet. See a movie. Take a yoga class. Basically, do you. Get on with your life. And while you’re busy doing that, you just might find that he’s not really important anyway.


      1. aliciamshops

        “Boys” are cowards. I believe the MEN I have dated are the ones that I can and do still speak with even after we broke up, for real, through conversation and (sometimes eventual) mutual understanding. 😉

  1. Twenty-ish

    I agree. “The Fade” is shitty. But is there really a good way to break up with someone? Over text, on the phone, in person? I think no matter which way it happens, there’s always going to be room for hurt & misunderstanding. No?

    1. thebitterlemon

      You’re right, every breakup sucks. But for me, and I will admit that I’m sensitive, I do appreciate the awkward text, phone call, or face to face — even if it’s just, “I’m not feeling this” …it gives me closure. And I find when I get the closure, I can move on much faster. hp

  2. Matthew

    Before Becca, but after the Ex you saw red flags flying high, I experienced two fades.

    One was from a girl I started “dating” about a month after the Ex and I split. I use the quotes because we never really did much along the lines of text book dates. Our time together was usually spending time at my apartment, her apartment, hanging out with mutual friends; running errands and just spending time together…but with the one-on-one time there was ample cuddling, touching, fooling around.

    Then I went to LA for an eleven day vacation. We had texted occasionally while I was gone, but upon my return she just faded away.

    Then in December I went on a few dates with this girl Shannon. After the 3rd date, which we discussed making plans later that week to go see Les Mis, when I reached out to discuss date/time I never received a response.

    While the latter was no big deal, the former hurt a little considering up until my trip we had spent time together about 3-4 times a week for a good month.

    I think one thing that makes the fade worse these days, as opposed to 10 years ago, is that there are multiple other ways to see what a person is up to without being in direct contact with them (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc). The fade makes more of an impact if you see they’ve faded out of your life, but have continued to make updates to the “fun” they are having without you. Not so much the case when we had landlines only and dial-up Internet.

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