I Would Never Ghost Someone But I’m Queen Of The Slow Fade

When the occasion calls for it, I’m all about the slow fade with a guy. Plans are indefinitely postponed, enthusiasm wanes and communication decreases, until finally, contact ceases altogether. It’s not as abrupt as ghosting and yes, I have done it on more than one occasion. But before you pull out your torches and pitchforks and evict me from the sisterhood, hear me out.

  1. Slow fades are never okay in committed relationships. Let me start off by saying this is not a way to actually break up with someone. If you’re in an agreed upon, non-casual relationship, I do not condone pulling the slow fade on someone. That is absolutely a terrible thing to do. But this brings me to my next point…
  2. If the relationship hasn’t been clarified, why should the departure? In this no labels, online dating era, the social etiquette when it comes to sex and relationships has changed. More people are willing to jump into an undefined relationship and enjoy the perks that come with it. So I figure, if a guy has been enjoying the pleasure of my company without expressing a desire for a relationship (AKA locking this thing down), I reserve the right to disappear into the night without an explanation if he no longer floats my boat. Sorry dude—you snooze, you lose.
  3. It seems kinder. Think of the last time you realized you weren’t that into someone you’d been seeing. Would you disclose your honest reasons to that person’s face? Really? People say they want honesty in the slow fade situation, but I fail to see how telling a guy I actually find him a little dull/immature/unattractive is going to do him any kind of service. Successful dating is all about aligning preferences and chemistry, and just because I’m not feeling it with a guy doesn’t mean it would be the same for every girl. Why hurt his feelings because I’m picky?
  4. It’s less awkward. For me and for them. When announcing your exit is not entirely necessary (i.e., you’ve made no promises or commitments), who wants to have that uncomfortable conversation on either side? And how are you meant to terminate a relationship that hasn’t been outlined—pull the old sandbox “I don’t want to play with you anymore”? And furthermore…
  5. It could be totally unnecessary. What if I give my casual fling some detailed explanation and he’s just thinking, “Uh, okay? I’ve actually got seven other girls on the side, but thanks for the heads up.” I’m not willing to put myself in a situation where it looks like I believe we’re more serious than we are with some official announcement. Maybe my pride needs to chill out, but that’s where I stand.
  6. I really am trying to spare their embarrassment. There is always an element of embarrassment when it comes to rejection, no matter how thoughtfully it’s carried out. The slow fade gives the fadee a chance to take the hint and accept over time that your involvement is expiring. Yes, there were a couple of occasions where the fadee demanded an explanation and I was happy to give one. But I find most the time, people appreciate keeping their ego intact.
  7. It leaves communication open. Okay, so maybe it just isn’t a good time? Millennials these days have their fingers in many pies. Maybe I want to focus on my career? Maybe I’m thinking of moving town? Maybe I’m going to Oktoberfest and want to get rip-roaring drunk for a week with no accountability? The point is, the bucket list for 20-somethings is getting longer and still time’s a-ticking. The slow fade allows you to slide off someone’s radar for a while and have the option to pick up where you left off at a better time. Yeah, okay, so this is selfish AF, but there it is.
  8. I would rather be slow faded than straight up rejected. I’ve put myself in their shoes and still believe my technique is a nicer way to disengage from a casual relationship. If a guy is pulling away, I can do the math. I don’t need it spelled out for me that he’s lost interest, nor do I need an explanation why. I don’t need him to tell me he’s just not that into me. If I wanted to feel shit about myself, I would just watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
  9. And yes, I admit, it’s easier. Fine, I confess that pulling the slow fade as opposed to having an uncomfortable conversation is taking the easy way out. But isn’t that what the whole world of casual dating is? An easy, no muss, no fuss approach to maintaining a love life while freeing yourself of accountability? Let’s be honest, chivalry is dead and being a lady millennial isn’t always fun. So if one perk to dating in these modern times is getting to dodge an uncomfortable conversation or two, I’m going to take it.
Tabitha is a freelance writer and editor who is currently trying and failing to achieve a tan in Queensland, Australia. When she's not traveling the world in search of the country with the best food (and hottest dudes), she is living the perfect hermit life and fostering her unhealthy addiction of "The Bold and the Beautiful."