The Fade Away

This song is fucking brilliant.

The lyrics are so smart, it makes my head hurt. And, of course, anyone who calls out hypocrisy is all right by me.

So, what do you think? Are women just as bad as men when it comes to breaking up?

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.

Join our conversation (102 Comments).
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  1. 1

    flippn hilarious!

  2. 2

    Lmao! Too much.

    I did the “fade away” a lot in my younger years. I almost did it to the really sweet guy I was seeing when I met my current boyfriend, but I felt bad a few days into it and told him I met someone else. We still chat on facebook occasionally.

    I think it really depends on the individual person. Not necessarily their gender. Some may want to avoid confrontation, or hurt feelings. Although we know the fade away hurts. You don’t have to deal with the persons pain if you’re simply disappearing.

    It may be a “pussy” thing to do but I believe people mostly have good intentions. Only sociopaths desire to harm people who’ve done nothing wrong. It’s definitely about conflict avoidance, with a little self-preservation thrown in the mix. 

    With so many people belonging to both genders ending relationships in shitty ways I don’t think either gender really has a right to point the finger. We just have to learn to understand these faults, take them for what they are (possibly a minor character flaw) and not take it personally.

  3. 3

    100% True, I am doing this to someone now!!!! So funny, it is just really hard to end it just in case we women change our minds.

    1. 3.1

      Actually,not funny. Once you ‘ve started the fade away, you can’t go back.You ‘ve already trained your guy to think that you don’t need a lot of attention.Going back to him will only make you look will then be his turn;)

    2. 3.2

      Yeah, screw how the other person feels. The important thing is that you keep your options open. Hilarious.

    3. 3.3

      Someone is doing this to me now after several weeks and being intimate. It hurts. Nothing hysterical about it. Just break up with the poor guy next time. The worst is having no closure or any  idea what is going on, this person who was in your life everyday for weeks and made future plans to see you is just pulling away. So so funny. Really it’s hysterical stuff.

  4. 4

    Yeh I’ve been on the receiving end of a few “fade aways”. I don’t mind getting dumped per se, but sometimes you don’t know whether they’re just playing it cool, or trying to fade you away – it can make you feel so stupid! It’s almost easier to get “the cut” (no reply at all).
    Then again I’m guilty of doing it too – it’s like another way of saying: “I like you, but not enough, I don’t have the guts to say so, but I’m still a nice person!”
    To answer your question Evan, I’d say women and men are as bad as each other.

  5. 5

    Very funny and very true, for both genders.. I’m imagining a large proportion of people on here, both male and female, have been on both the giving and receiving end of such behaviour, I know I have.

    As with many dating and relationship behaviours, it’s not a man thing or a woman thing, it’s a human thing.. I guess we are all huge pussies!

  6. 6

    The fadeaway move, I think has its place in certain situations, such as you went on a first date and your date totally lied to you, or heaven forbid, they were physically or verbally abusive.  At that point I think you’re entitled to not ever talk to them and they’re not entitled to an explanation.

    But in most cases, and especially if you’ve been seeing each other for more than a week or two and a connection is building, it’s a pussy move and rude to boot.  It’s happened to me alot and IMO, if you can’t be man/woman enough to give the courtesy of an email, phone call, show up in person, then you’re not an adult and should not be dating.  It’s cowardly and rude, no matter who does it, man or woman.

  7. 7

    In this day of electronic communications, can’t we just those methods to break up 🙂 Seems like the best of all worlds!

  8. 8

    Julie #3, you really ought to have the guts to tell the guy what is happening. Otherwise you have no right to complain about others’ bad behavior towards you, since you behave badly towards other people.

  9. 9

    I agree with Heather #6 1000%. I’ve twice been the victim of a fade away – the second time it occurred, I was wearing a 3.25 carat engagement ring given to me after a New Year’s Eve proposal, complete with stopping me in a garden and getting on one knee. A fade away is a cowardly, weak, despicable, and rude move to say the least. Who does that? Only cowardly, weak, despicable, and rude people.

    1. 9.1

      Dear ASwirlGirl,  Oh my gosh, I am sooo sorry that happened to you, but hopefully, your heart has healed a good.  You deserve a real man, who knows what real commitment is!  Sadly, you get to someone’s character when the heat is up, on the situation so to speak.  I went through something similar a few years back, proposal, took the ring and said I needed a week or two to make sure and pray about it.  I did think he was the one, a week later I had a horrific accident at work and got grouchy from pain of course. My true friends stuck by me, but the guy…he faded out over a month or two.  Few months, he wanted to go out and party with me!  Ridiculous.  I did the “fade away” once I’ll confess when I was quite young.  A real man or woman does not do this; they part with class, love and dignity! Best of luck.

  10. 10

    It is acceptable to not return the other person’s call after as many as four dates, with no explanation. Beyond that , it’s absolutely rude, selfish and despicable. These are actual fucking people with hearts and feelings. I have had 2 men fade out after 8 dates, and didn’t think they owed an explanation when they called two weeks later as though no time had lapsed. I suppose both genders act badly, but men are more prone to hurting people after there is already an emotional investment – its different than us blowing off an annoying guy at the bar trying to talk who we don’t know. Furthermore, plenty of men seem to enjoy the challenge of getting a girl interested, than disappearing. I don’t buy the idea that these are just nice innocent men who meant no harm. 

    1. 10.1

      Exactly Mia!  I agree one hundred percent.  8 dates and you do start to obviously have some kind of connection; this happened to me with one guy with whom I had a real bond.  I chose to just directly and peacefully say, “I thought we really connected and I like you…when I didn’t hear from you for three weeks I thought you had blown me off,” to which he responded that his father had been hospitalized and he was out of town back East the whole time.  It turned out to be true.  But certainly I empathize bc I have been actually blown off.

      1. 10.1.1

        That’s bs he could of told you something.

  11. 11

    Very interesting, the women’s responses on here. As a guy, I find most of the women’s responses on here to be extremely disappointing. 

    Especially yours Mia #10. You seem to think it is OK to disappear on a guy who went through the effort to take you out 2 or 3 times (even once isn’t cool) without considering HIS feelings, but then you go on a rant about how insensitive guys are. You don’t see the irony?

    As a guy, I can tell you that it sucks to meet someone, go through the effort and money to take them out on a date, and then have the girl treat you like a non-person. I wish the women on here (thanks Heather #6) would make it a point to not be so selfish and consider other people’s feelings besides their own.

    1. 11.1
      Gina Leary


      I make a good salary, master’s degree done, and very athletic, pretty I think. Kind. Met a man bit younger than I. He pursued me very aggressively after meeting out at a club. I was direct/assertive, paid for most nights out as he often “complained” of his finances…See a few red flags here? I tend to give the benefit of the doubt, am very supportive and I will never [hopefully] change! Some men/women are immature, forever. If you don’t want to pay, then don’t, be upfront with your dates. I truly dislike it when friends or dates bring up paying for things or being in debt (less doing something about it)…Dating is not about WHO pays, who gets the control. Yes, very kind of you to treat the gals/dates, yet that is your choice! I learned from “Matt” that some people can be truly unkind, lie to your face and then just rationalize all poor behavior. It took me to leave, not be a DOORMAT, to get him to realize I expected what he got from me…Respect and kindness. Hurts much after three months. I waited two months to be intimate with him, but ultimately, I think “red flags” or hunches are not so bad to pay attention to.  So, perhaps you will see, as I do, signs of BAD behavior with dates early on: Don’t argue, try to change or stay. Next:)
      Good luck, nice/fun/smart…Cute gals out there!!! 

  12. 12

    The dating world would be a better place, IMO, if people showed more consideration for other people’s feelings.
    If someone takes you out and calls you to see you again (yes, even if that person took you out only ONCE) then the right thing to do is to let the person know kindly and directly that you weren’t feeling it. The person who took you out–THAT’S ALSO different from blowing off an annoying guy at the bar trying to talk who you don’t know. If you get physically involved with someone, same thing. 
    Ladies, you can’t expect respect for your feelings if you don’t give respect for other’s feelings yourself.

    1. 12.1

      Michael17, Thank you soooo much for your eye opening and thoughtful comments; I got an education from you.  I am sure I could have and should have told many guys after a date or two, who called again, politely and directly that I just didn’t feel a connection.  Thank you!

  13. 13

    I think many women tell them(our)selves that they(we)’re just “too nice” to break up with someone and hurt his feelings.  I call BS on this; the Fade Away is simply the Easy Route.
    Both men and women need to pull on our Big Kid Panties and learn to give the, “Thanks but I’m just not feeling it” speech like thoughtful, kind adults.  Yeah, it can be a bit uncomfortable for both parties to have this talk but with practice we can give ~ and receive ~ it graciously.
    The idea that it’s okay to Fade Away if there haven’t been many dates seems ludicrous to me.  Either you’re a person who believes in treating everyone you date with respect, or you’re not.

  14. 14

    I would say that the gender difference here is that women tend to do the slow fade, while men just disappear. I think EMK wrote a book about that…
    Because the man is usually doing the pursuing, he’s the one calling while the woman is backing away, saying she’s busy, avoiding his calls. Men, on the other hand, think nothing of telling you they will call, even when they’re not planning on following through. I even had one man tell me he’d call me “tomorrow” to make weekend plans… never heard from him again. I’d rather a guy didn’t say anything. Actually, after 1 or 2 dates, I’m not sure I need any explanation, but after more dates than that some explanation is polite, even if it’s b.s. like, “I’m too busy for a relationship right now.”
    Sometimes, I’d go out with someone and feel ambivalent about them, so I’d tell them that I wasn’t sure if I saw our relationship as a friendship or a romance, but if I definitely didn’t want to see someone again, I would not give them any false hopes.

  15. 15

    i did it a few times in my younger days. Now, i think it’s really immature. If it’s that hard, then sent a quick email. Have mercy on the person! No one likes wondering.

  16. 16
    Soul Sister

    One thing I have noticed about dating in the electronic world is that guys seem to think it is ok to just text after a date. I have met several men on line, went on one date, and would have gone on a second date if they had actually called. Instead I get these inane texts, like “hope you have a good day”, or “I hope we can get together again”.  I will respond to one or two of the texts, by the third, I stop responding.  One guy texted me to go out with him the following week, I texted back ok, and then he thought we actually had a date set up for the next week!  In my book, there was no date. There was no phone call, there was no follow up, there was not even a confirmed day.  I did not hear from him for several days, and then late in the next week he texted asking when we would get together. I texted back “we’re not” and he got mad because he said I agreed to a second date!  I admit I do the slow fade almost always with just texting, but if a man actually called I would tell him if I didn’t want to see him. Text me a few lame texts and I owe you nothing. I fade. 

    1. 16.1

      Soul Sister:

      I think the “we should get together” and “when are we getting together” messages are BS.  Happened to me and I just ignored them – if a man wants to ask a woman out, he asks a woman out.  These felt like fishing lines – not really interested.  Men- what is the deal with these kind of lines – are you fishing but not really interested when you say/text things like this to us?

  17. 17

    Michael, thanks for your perspective — I guess I’m alwsys surprised when a guy has actual feelings that could be hurt. I never seem to meet those types. I have actually never disappeared on a man – when I said blowing someone off after four dates is ok, I more meant that I wouldn’t be devastated if a guy did so to me. If I personally go on four dates, I must really like the guy and would not vanish. Only twice has a man I did not LIke express interest after our first date, and I did not respond to their text. I thought that was acceptable after only one date, but maybe, based on your comments, it isn’t. I usually do not have this  problem bc if I am not interested, I radiate such a strong uninterested vibe that I am hardly ever pursued by men I’m not into. Men  never extend me the same courtesy – they’ll talk about the future, make physical advances, and act really into me, whether they like me or not. 

  18. 18

    I guess I’m alwsys surprised when a guy has actual feelings that could be hurt. 
    That made me laugh. Even most jerks have feelings (and half of the jerks are merely incompetent at dating, like Soul Sister’s texter.) They might get what they deserve, but it hurts ’em when they do. Only sociopaths don’t have what we think of as feelings.  They are out there, but are actually quite rare, like one in a hundred.
    Going silent after a first date is not a big deal emotionally but it can be rude. I had one experience where we both said we had a good time (and it sure seemed like she did) and kissed. We swapped a couple of texts/vmails about another date and  sshe went completely silent. This did not hurt my feelings because I was not attached yet, but I made plans, left messages about it a week ahead and was holding a precious child free night open for her. I didn’t hear back so left another message with maybe 2-3 days to go. The day of the date I finally left a message saying I am assuming she is no longer interested and good luck. She was rude to me. If a guy makes plans and asks you out, I think you do owe a courteous no thanks, I don’t think we will work out (except maybe in Heather6’s case..if someone is abusive, yeah, protect yourself!)
    One time I experienced sort of a mutual fade.  Went out 4-5 times with this woman over 2-3 weeks. We talked on the phone or at least left messages for each other every day or two. We both enjoyed each others company, but I think we could both tell we simply were not clicking. Both of us are busy and after my last ditch effort date to see if sparks would happen, we just sort of stopped talking.
    We were busy people and I didn’t think of it for a while, but I don’t like loose ends. I wanted to talk to her about it in case she was into me, so after a week I tried calling her. I dislike one way communication to deliver a message like that so starting leaving ‘how are you” type vmails about wanting to talk sometime. After a few of these over a week or so, I finally broke down and sent it in an email.  She (thankfully) responded that she had indeed picked up on the same thing, no harm no foul. That was the one time a fade was OK.
    Maybe because men tend to become invested more quickly than women (when they become emotionally invested at all) the fade might seem OK to the woman. The woman isn’t all that interested/invested yet so assumes the same of the man. 
    @Mia17 Mia, did you mean you are surprised when the guy actually has feelings towards you because you did not have them towards him yet, so you assume the disinterest is mutual?

  19. 19

    This has happened to me twice, when I was a bit younger. Both times we’d been dating for a few weeks and had plans to do something together on a specific day and then on that day they became suddenly unavailable, and I just knew. After that it was just abruptly over.

    Even though I wasn’t heavily emotionally invested in these guys yet it hurt because such discourtesy and bad manners feels like an affront. These guys were young though, and I’d like to think I wouldn’t get involved with someone now who would do that to me.

    I have only done it once to a guy and that was after one date, admittedly it was an expensive one. But I got a hugely uncomfortable vibe the second I got into his car when he picked me up. He phoned 5 times the following day and I just couldn’t bring myself to answer.

    Otherwise I always let the guy know as soon as I know it’s not going to work for me, in clear, kind and unambiguous language. I really do think being absolutely crystal clear is the kindest thing you can do for people in dating.

  20. 20

    Actually, I think it’s super easy to just tell people after only 3 or 4 dates that you aren’t into it, but wish them well.  They shouldn’t have any emotional investment, so the worst you are letting go is someone with strong interest.  Why be rude when you can just send a “Sorry. Nothing personal, you’re a nice guy, but I’m not interested in going out again” text.  Yes, it will sting.  No, it will not anger, enrage, cause fits of sorrow, etc (unless the person has a personality disorder, in which case, good thing you got out of that!).  They will get over it in a couple days.  For the record, I don’t recommend saying anything like “I don’t see us getting into a LTR, and I’m seeking a husband” or anything presumptuous and dramatic.
    I actually do find some men don’t GET it, though, when you politely decline.  I once told a guy I didn’t want to go out with him again, but he continued to email my okcupid account and text me.  THIS TIME, I just ignore-ignore-ignored.
    You really can’t fade out of a several-month-long relationship, though, especially when the other person has started picturing your future children.  And some people, unfortunately, need it spelled out.

  21. 21

    This is pretty funny.

    I was actually at a dating meetup group today and we were talking about  men doing the “fade away.”

    The women there said there’s no point in men calling back after the first or second date if he’s not interested.

    What could he say to make things better?


    They prefer that he do the fade away as well.

    This means they’d also do the same thing to a man on a date, if they’re not interested.

    Looks like we’ll never come to an agreement on this one.

  22. 22

    Michael17 – I agree 100 percent. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and fading away is not fair on the man. It is not fun explaining to a man that it isn’t going to go anywhere but it is the right thing to do.

  23. 23

    I think there is often a natural ”fizzle out” when neither party is particular excited about things. this has happened to me a couple of times.  But the fade, surely is just another name for ”disappearing”?

    Interesting comments about texting and messaging. I don’t really have an issue with getting texts – its the content that matters to me. Inane and vague is ICK but an engaging or witty one is fine by me.  On the other hand, the guy who communicates entirely by text or skype message- what’s that about?!?!


  24. 24

    I agree with the responses about considering other people’s feelings.  When I would meet guys I didn’t like, much as I dreaded the conversation, especially after coming from an abusive marriage, I still pulled up my big girl panties and did it.  3-4 times it got ugly to the point where I thought I might need to have the authorities involved, because I was being harrassed, but I am still glad I behaved like a mature adult on my part.  Because I know all too well what it feels like to be disappeared on.  I have even told guys, look.  Don’t like me?  That’s cool, I am not the type to go slitting my wrists because you don’t like me.  But be a man, be an ADULT, and tell me that you’re not feeling it and just wish me well.  But no. no I always got the disappearing acts.

    I can empathize with guys who have had that happen to them, I know it sucks.  It’s just a really childish behavior.  I used to call guys out on it too, if we’d dated a few weeks and then they just went poof, I’d just email them and go yanno?  Maybe you think that’s cute and maybe you don’t think I have feelings but I do, and what you did sucked. 

    It’s all about do unto others as WE would want done to US.  Just sayin.

  25. 25
    Karl R

    Heather said: (#6)
    “It’s cowardly and rude, no matter who does it, man or woman.”

    There are a couple other reasons someone could do it.

    After I’d been dumped a few different ways, I developed an opinion about how I prefer to be dumped. At that point, I had an example of the preferable way to break up with someone else.

    It’s possible (though rare) for someone to make it into their 30s, 40s, 50s etc. with little or no dating experience. If someone is a divorcee who had been married to their high school sweetheart, their dating maturity is decades behind their peers.

    Willful blindness:
    The person has convinced themselves that the other person isn’t interested in a relationship either, or the other person will know (magically) what the fade away means, or that it’s “nicer” than being up front. While cowardice may play a part, egocentrism can play a larger part.

    Tom said: (#4)
    “sometimes you don’t know whether they’re just playing it cool, or trying to fade you away”

    If a woman is “playing it cool”, she’s just not that into you. She’s either trying to get rid of you, or she’s stringing things along until she finds someone she likes better. In either case, you need to be looking for a different girlfriend.

  26. 26

    Angie, agreed.  I think I only had one issue with a guy who told me he wasn’t interested in seeing me again because he met some other girl.  Fair enough.  He’d kind of caught me off guard when he called since I was busy doing something, and it didn’t register for a second, so I was quiet.  And then he had the NERVE to say, “Well, I thought you’d be THANKFUL for my call.”  I said, oh well yes, I am.  Later, tater!  He did me a HUGE favor, since I had no desire to date a pompous ass like him.

    I was really put off by a guy who’d been texting and calling me alot before our first in-person meeting, and after he texted me to tell me he got home safely, he disappeared.  I thought OK it’s one date so we’re not emotionally invested here, but to borrow a line from the old sitcom, “Full House”……  “How rude!”

    Evan, have you ever considered doing a bootcamp for dating, teaching men AND women how to behave on a date so they don’t act like total jackasses?  LOL  Sadly I think it’s coming to that, people are so damn clueless and rude about dating behavior.

  27. 27

    Interesting responses. I had an amazing first date last night from match, and hope to see the guy again. However, if for some reason he is not interested, I really don’t see the need for him to tell me, “This isn’t going to work.” It seems presumptuous and irritating. I would only be mildly annoyed if we were to go out a couple more times and he were to stop asking me out. However, usually by five dates, at which point we would have made out, I’m starting to feel more invested in things. I get especially angry when the guy has made all kinds of lofty plans for the future and then disappears. But it’s so rare I ever have to give someone any kind of speech or reject them. If I’m on a date with someone I don’t want to see again, I either a.) radiate a strong friend or aloof vibe so it’s blatantly obvious I’m not interested, while still being polite; or b.) act 110 percent me, which is usually not attractive on a first date – drinking too much, talking way too much, being a little weird and politically incorrect. Usually, I get a second date with men I want to see again and don’t get a second date with men I don’t want to see again.

    I have no problem with people who stop calling early on – my biggest annoyance is with people who keep up just enough contact so that by the time you think they’ll never call again and are getting over it, they call you again, those once a week, once ever week and a half types.

    Allen, as for your question about men’s feelings, I’ve never experienced what it’s like to really hurt a man’s feelings, have him pine for me, feel sad about me, feel upset about being rejected by me, except with two men when I was 19 and one way too old man when I was 26. I’ve simply never observed men having any deep emotions or capability of being hurt, so while I generally act courteous to men, I never operate from the assumption that they could be hurt, at least hurt by ME. I guess deep down I don’t believe I have the ability to make a man feel very emotionally invested/attached to me enough to be upset over me.

    1. 27.1

      I agree that a guy shouldn’t call or write after a first date to say he doesn’t want to see you again. In this situation, it is actually preferable just to not call.

      A couple of years ago, I met a man on Match who I think got over-invested in me before meeting me and thinking I could be the one.. We finally met in person. The date was pleasant enough, but I didn’t feel any sparks. He made a point of emailing me the next day to tell me that he didn’t feel any chemistry for me. Yeech. I would have preferred just not hearing from him again. Even if he had merely written to say he enjoyed our date, but just didn’t think we were a match, yeech.

      This is not about being polite and not doing the fade away. After one date, just let it go unless the woman is actively following up with you. The man emailing me was really about his own narcissism and needing to express his disappointment that he had built me up in his mind and drat, I wasn’t the one. Yeech and good riddance.

  28. 28

    I don’t think that declining contact after only one date even qualifies as fading away. Why is it not cool, Michael17? What are my alternatives, exactly? After an actual relationship (even if it lasted something like a month) I would indeed think that we both owe each other the courtesy of explaining ourselves if we don’t want to go on, but after one date I don’t feel that I owe them anything at all, and am unwilling to invest my energy and emotion into a possible confrontation.

  29. 29

    Yes, women are as bad as men in regards to the “fade away” approach and maybe worse as some women will try to rationalize it away as being a tactic to ensure their safety.
    In general, when men have a bad experience they blame the particular woman.  When women have a bad experience, they blame all men.  A few people who are outliers will chime in to say that their exception invalidates this generalization, 100%.

  30. 30

    One thing I don’t like about the fade-away is that it’s confusing. I had the weirdest thing happen to me once – after two dates, a guy really cut down on contact. No scheduling new dates, little or no contact otherwise etc. So I wrote him off assuming he’d done the fade, went on to meet other people, things got serious with two of them to the point where we were talking getting exclusive. A month had passed since my last date with the original man. All of a sudden I get a text from him asking to explain what he’d done wrong. To clarify, he was one of those recent divorcees with no dating experience (as was I, but I at least had a couple years on him). He also admitted to me on our first date that he thought he probably had Aspergers. Anyway there he was, telling me that, from my lack of contact, he’d assumed I wasn’t interested, but wanted to know why — things had been going so well — what happened? He wanted to know the mistakes he’d made in order to avoid them in the future. So I told him that I’d understood his lack of contact as the fade on his end, and that he should’ve taken initiative, because I as the woman wasn’t really in a position to do so myself. Boy was he surprised. I never saw him again, because at that point I was frankly too busy seeing other people, but I hope for the poor guy’s sake that he didn’t do the accidental fade with anyone else after that… Apparently someone had told him to go slow and take his time so the woman wouldn’t feel rushed, and that’s what this unfortunate man was doing. Except he went WAY too slow, to the point where it was mistaken for a fade. I realize this guy is probably a rare exception and most men have more common sense than that.

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