Dating Nightmare – Why Men Pull The Slow Fade
Just to be clear, when I refer to the “slow fade” I’m not talking about the way he shaves his head. I’m referring to every girls dating nightmare.
You meet a guy, you kind of like him and he kind of likes you too. You’re going on regular dates, you’re sending each other super flirty texts (winky faces and all), you enjoy some 2am phone calls, followed… by absolute silence.
“Maybe he’s really busy with work” you rationalise, but no it’s not that. He probably isn’t playing it cool like you’re hoping and no, stop reading through your old text messages; you didn’t say anything to offend him. This my friend, is stage one of the slow fade.
See while you spent the last week or so excitedly telling your friends how ‘different’ this one is and even brain storming what to buy him for Christmas, he was at home, brain storming how best to let you know that this is as far as the relationship is going. It’s been fun and all but next stop is singletown and he’s getting off.
There are of course 3 basic ways to break up with a girl. Number one, the very seldom used: tell her straight. Number two, be a dick until she breaks up with you, which brings us to number three: the slow fade.
It is at this point that most girls rationalise that if the guy they are dating has stopped messaging, it’s because he is waiting for her to text first.
So after 7 draft messages and 5 or 6 conference calls to the girls, she hits send. This is usually followed by more waiting, wine and angry ranting to the best friend. Then? Sweet relief! A reply and a good one too. All that paranoia for nothing, so you reply again, feeling confident and kind of silly for telling so many of your friends what a douche bag he is.
The relief is short lived as text number two is followed by more silence.
Followed by classic female text logic from your friends: After twenty minutes: “girl calm down, you only just messaged him, he might be busy”. After thirty minutes: “anyway it’s Friday night he’s probably out!” After two hours: “You know you didn’t ask any questions, maybe your text doesn’t even need a reply”.
After a day: “Do you think he’s okay? Maybe something happened to him… oh he updated his Twitter? That bastard! He better hopes I never get a hold of him!!”
Yes it’s always an upsetting moment when you find out the guy you’re seeing isn’t ignoring you because he’s dead in a ditch, but just because he doesn’t want to talk to you.
So what happened?
Any number of things could have led him to the slow fade: you mentioned the ‘r’ word and he freaked out. His single friends look like they’re having a lot of fun and he wants to join them or just simply, he’s not as into you, as you originally thought.
So why not just say it? Most likely, because they’re scared you’re going to cry, or have a tantrum, or worse that you’ll want to ‘talk’ about it.
Given the option between telling a girl she’s about as exciting as dry toast and disappearing into the night, somehow the latter always seems the kinder approach (and if not kinder, then definitely easier).
So what is a girl to do, if the guy she is dating is exhibiting signs of running for the hills and never returning?
The most effective thing to do is absolutely nothing. Men pulling the ‘slow fade’ expect some form of retaliation, which naturally they will also ignore. Voice mails, text messages, 5 sexy Facebook profile picture updates, yawn, he saw this coming.
But meet silence with silence and that he won’t expect. What should have been a case of: “this chick has not stopped messaging me, take the hint already” becomes “I don’t think she’s noticed I’m ignoring her” and suddenly you’re a shiny and challenging new object again.
So he texts you “hey baby I miss you” and then if you’re brave enough, you let him experience what the slow fade feels like from the other end. Yes, you win.
Follow Miranda on Twitter @mirandalife