Wednesday, December 11, 2013

death to the slow fade!

gather 'round, kids! today, we're going to talk about some awful phenomena that seem to pervade today's dating culture: "ghosting" and its evil, heinous twin, the "slow fade."

first, let's look at what we're dealing with here. urban dictionary defines "ghosting" as the act of suddenly ceasing all communication with someone the subject is dating, but no longer wishes to date. while the "slow fade" is when someone is lacking in readiness, or willingness to accept a budding relationship and therefore institutes this passive aggressive method of disappearing from a relationship altogether over an extended period of time.

i think it's important to note that in cases where you go on one date with someone and neither of you reach out, that's not ghosting. neither is a hookup where you both agree that this is just a solitary occurrence. but after you've been out a couple times (or have been dating for weeks or months) and CERTAINLY after you've acquired carnal knowledge of this person, vanishing into the night just makes you look like a douchecanoe. really, it does. come onnnn, bro.

(this one goes out to the ghosted gals out there.)

yes, i've been ghosted, and yes, i've been slow-faded. make no mistake, both are absolutely despicable behaviors, and can make even the most confident girl go completely britney-in-2007 cray-cray and want to throw her phone into the ocean. it's really not pretty, but slow-fading is truly the worst of the worst. instead of being ignored completely, you get occasional, teeny-tiny breadcrumbs from the other person that make you feel like you could be overreacting. "maybe they really are just busy!" you think. "i mean, they DID say they wanted to get together, but we didn't talk about specifics ... maybe i'll hear from him tonight!" you think. and then, you snap out of it and your rational brain goes "bitch, get real! he hasn't even liked any of your instagram photos in 3 weeks."

i don't care where you're from, or how you were raised. in no universe should it be acceptable to let another human being -- one you have presumably spent an enjoyable period of time with AND have probably seen nekkid -- just disappear from view, like a TV show you got sick of watching and decided to abandon halfway through the season. grow a pair, put on your big boy pants, and just holla at yo' girl to let her know that you don't wanna holla at her no more, okay? you don't even have to call! and i'm guessing you're probably not the "phone call type" if you're pulling these shenanigans to begin with. regardless, a simple text that says "hey, not feeling this anymore, but i hope you find someone great" will do. you don't have to explain why. and if the other party presses, just make something up if you don't want to get into it. i guarantee that a white lie will go over much better than silence ... or a lame text response that comes a week later. why even bother, y'know? 

while reading up on this stuff on the interwebs (LOTS of interesting articles -- every word of this was my life at one point), i also came across a concept called passionate detachment. yeah, it was invented by one of those so-called dating coaches, but i can't deny that it's a great idea, and a simple one. "you are passionately open to all dating possibilities, but you’re not attached to any outcome. you don’t expect anything of your partner, and you allow your relationship to unfold naturally and at its own pace, without pushing any kind of agenda." i like the sound of that, especially when a dude could so easily disappear at a moment's notice. easier said than done, though, right?

so, while being all passionately detached, i will continue to call out the ghosts and slow faders of the world for their offenses and kindly let them know that they're being dicks. what happens beyond that, i can't control. it's probably too presumptuous to think that i've saved their next not-so-lucky lady from the agony of queasy feelings, overanalyzing, and self-doubt.

but hey, a girl can dream! 


  1. Oh damn, I've done the fade out thing with people on OkCupid or Match that the chemistry is not really there, and we've only met up once or twice. I've never done it to someone I've actually started a relationship with. Guys are just as crazy as some girls and can really lash out. You've just got to do the responsible thing and communicate, otherwise you're looking at possible damage to your car.

    1. truth. i just think that, when you're a grown-ass man (or woman), it's just common courtesy not to leave someone hanging. especially when you've sent mixed signals!