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. 61

    This song is funny, and I do think women do this at least as often as men do.

  2. 62

    @JB Yup!!

    What most people are discussing here is actually a HOUDINI.

    But I suppose the basic idea of common courtesy is violated by both so…Tomato/Tomahto.

  3. 63
    Karl R

    Erica said: (#59)
    “considering that you don’t know how the guy’s message was actually worded,”
    Erica said: (#37)
    “I am with Mia on this, that letting someone know that you are not interested after only one date with them is awfully presumptuous.”

    You made a blanket statement covering any such occurence. If you want to refer to one incident, you might want to avoid such sweeping statements.

    Erica said: (#59)
    “allow me to reiterate that in my posts above I was only talking about what happens after one date.”

    While you don’t think disappearing after one date is a big deal, there’s a dating advice article specifically to answer that question for other women.

    You’re pretending to yourself that “it’s the nice thing to do.”

    JB said: (#60)
    “There seems to a lot of confusion in this thread as to what an actual ‘Fade away’ is.”

    Not really. We just don’t see a large difference between the motives behind someone fading away and someone who disappears suddenly. In both cases, they’re trying to avoid a confrontation which will be uncomfortable for them. In both cases, the other person is left with questions and no answers. There’s a lot more similarities than differences between the two situations.

  4. 64

    Karl R,
    JB is right. I was talking about plain rejection, not fading away. That you consider them to be the same is not my problem. I am done arguing.

  5. 65

    JB-Thanks for clearing it up. I was confused on what a fadeaway was.

  6. 66


    Well, if that is how you operate, that is how you operate.  I do not see how letting a man know, who paid for my date, and took me out, and did try to show me a nice time, know that I am not interested, how that is presumptuous in the very least.  I am trying to be fair, kind, and considerate.  I know how it feels to be ignored, and I’d rather be told “thank you but no thank you” than nothing at all.  Notice I’ve consistently said that I would just say “I don’t think this will work, that we should see each other again.”  I’ve never gone into detail (you’re too short, too old, too needy.)  That is unnecessary.  What matters to me is what I think, and how I live my life and treat others.  And I’ve never once regretted what I do.  And finally, treating men like I’d want to be treated, paid off, I have a really great guy now, and so I’m happy.

    @ David T: it was scary, it was upsetting, and it made me angry in return, to be verbally abused for just saying politely, “no thank you.”  There were moments where I just wanted to fly off the handle and cuss the guy right out.  But I stepped away, took a breath, and went stay on that high road.  I would just email back and say, “I’m sorry you felt the need to be so nasty and abusive.  Please do not contact me again, thank you.”  Unfortunately because I’d get some of those responses, it just made me think wow, men are just abusive jerks who hate women so why bother anymore.  And I actually did take some time off from dating because I felt so worn out from the meanness and the angry guys out there.  Those men did me a big favor though, because I learned who they really were, and they also helped me learn how to stand up for myself and protect myself, and that I do not ever deserve abuse or mistreatment.  I learned to handle mean people, and I grew even stronger as a result. 

    I appreciate what you said, that meant alot and I thank you.  It’s nice to talk to men who aren’t mean and nasty!  🙂

  7. 67

    I think there is a sense of entitlement on both sides women and men. That’s why i blame both genders. Women are too fast/easy to open up their legs, and men are basically sexual hypocrites with genetical desire to spread their semen to as many women as possible. I think if women made it harder to get the milk, more men would have taken better care of the cow.

  8. 68

    I am guilty of doing the fade away, and honestly, I do NOT feel bad about it. I had only one date with a guy who obviously had severe anger issues. He had been divorced for six years, and spoke ill of his ex wife. I did not know his wife, therefore, I found that to be inappropriate. Also, he kept asking me where I lived (we met up for lunch, so no need to pick me up at home), how many cars I own (just one, thank you), and then he told me how much money he earns. I did not respond to his salary. It was in poor taste for him to disclose that to me, and we were NOT a serious couple discussing marriage or at least moving in together, when that topic seems far more relevant. He then got terribly angry when I did not respond with my own salary. IT WAS A FIRST DATE. He told me he was a smoker (I don’t date smokers), so I responded, “oh, ya know smoking kills.” He then banged his fists on the table and asked me did I think I was funny?! I told the waiter to split the check, bring my check, and get me out fast, fast, fast!!! He yelled at the waiter for no apparent reason. I paid my bill, and proceeded to leave the restaurant. He followed behind me saying he would call. I replied, “don’t bother”. He then proceeded to call me multiple times a day demanding to know why I would not answer. He was as CRAZY as a Junebug on a hot Southern summer day. I have no regrets that I did not allow him to talk me into pursuing anything further with him. What a clueless soul.

  9. 69
    David T

    You are not guilty. You told him you weren’t interested when you asked him not to call.
    When you are protecting yourself and your boundaries against someone who is clearly hostile, it is OK to be rude, IMO.
    As a kid I used to love to watch and catch june bugs on hot southern days.  Don’t dis my pals. 😉

  10. 70

    @ Dria #68 ….Ummmm that’s not a “fade away”. That’s called a “date” followed by blow off. Obviously a bad one but a “date” never the less. You’re NOT guilty…lol

  11. 71

    Update. So glorious 8 days with the boy from Houston has resulted in a call (I’m in LA). I was patient, and didn’t call him. For a week he got back into the grove of things, and was distant (coming off from seeing him all day, everyday for 8 days, and phone calls the whole time-was distant). He finally called and said he was sorry he didn’t call in that week, but was dealing with work after a 3 week vacation, his boy and family stuff (his father had died the first week of the vacation and he had to fly back to bury him for 3 days). He said that he has been dating his boss, who was his best friend for a couple of years. That they were at an impass, no longer intimate and she wants to be married and have a child (he is 50 and doesn’t want more children she is 39). That being with me answered those questions, but he needs to clean up ending that relationship. I want to believe him and trust him. I told him to give me a call when that is resolved (she is his boss). Yikes! But you know what, wouldn’t trade those 8 days in for anything. Completely amazing. 

  12. 72

    in my case we were dating for 3 months. not once did he give me an indication he was not into me or that he was a flake, then he just faded out on me. the worst part was that he sent me a message saying that he was busy with work and promised me he wasn’t trying to be a D**k despite appearances. With that I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I just took a step back to give him the space he seemed to need. If he hadn’t of text me after that I would have gotten the hint but he text me a couple of times after saying that he hoped I was well/ok/asking how I was etc…. and then he just stopped.

    The added problem for me was that, when I felt this happening, whether or not the guy’s reasons were genuine, I retreated massively, because for me it was a red flag. It hurt like crazy because by this point we had been intimate and I was head over heels.
    Also you convince yourself the guy cares, and so you question whether he’d really do a fade out on you. It is the most confusing thing to do to a person. I’d much rather a phonecall/email telling me it was over than the fade out, because when you have so much faith in a person, it becomes really mind twisiting that they could do such a thing to you. 

    Im still ‘recovering’ not sure how long it will take. In fact whole I am here, does anyone have any advice on whether I should remove him from the various contact lists I have him on, i don’t want to appear childish, but at the same time, I’m certain that even if he did try to get in contact, i would not want that in the slightest…. sick of seeing his name/profile everywhere I go. 

    I think some people dont realise that if the person you’re fading out on has formed feelings for you, then the fade out hurts worse than a straight up phonecall…so much worse. anyway who I am to ask another to take responsibility for my feelings as well as theirs (or lack of?) I don’t know any more.

  13. 73

    Maria, I recently had something similar happen. I’m mostly but not quite over it, but what helped me considerably was just knowing that he wasn’t giving me a second thought. Knowing that he was not missing me one bit. That got me off my butt on dates, out socializing, and kept me so active that I never missed a beat. I’m now having an anazing, fun out of town fling with a friend’s friend while on vacation in his city, and could hardly care less. This guy wasn’t the last man on earth, and neither was yours.

  14. 74

    Thank you for sharing Mia. I keep myself busy, but things are still raw, so when I stop its there again. I know it will pass. So glad you’re enjoying a good thing after such a crap thing and thanks again for sharing. enjoy!

  15. 75

    Grrrr, sorry to hear that ladies.  In the end, they did you a favor as they are not the kind of men you would want to be with for the long term.  Keep reminding yourself of that…I’ve always loved the phrase:  Rejection is God’s Protection.

    Remember, we as women are the prize.  As such, we expect the men who are ‘worthy’ of us to step up and be the men we expect and desire them to be.  They don’t need to be perfect in any way, they just need to be mature, responsible men who take responsibility.  My most recent  mantra has been, “I’m looking for someone who is available, ready and chooses ME as his partner”.  He showed up.   

    I also have read that a relationship starts to form (dating and otherwise) after three times of spending time together.  So after 3 months, there are bound to be even stronger feelings. 

    #73, if removing him helps you to get the process, do it.  Who cares what others think?  It’s all about you and how you feel.  

  16. 76

    @ Michelle 75
    “Remember, we as women are the prize. As such, we expect the men who are ‘worthy’ of us to step up and be the men we expect and desire them to be.”
    I find this sense of entitlement causes many people a lot of problems dating. Surely men are just as much the prize as women?
    If I sense that a woman thinks she’s some sort of amazing prize and that I must step up and prove myself I’ll walk straightaway.
    None of us are that special!

  17. 77

    #76, it’s not about entitlement, and this comment is geared towards women…the comment is about a woman’s belief system.  Too many women believe they must prove to the man that they are worthy, to convince him that she’s the best woman for him.  She does this by overfunctioning, calling and texting him, doing things for him all the time, buying him stuff, invading his boundaries, chasing him, begging him to come back when he leaves.  She then becomes the victim.  All it takes is a shift in thinking, and all that changes.  

    I’m a huge believer in male/female romantic dynamics.

    And actully, I am ‘that special’ and want a man who believes that as well.  I wouldn’t date a man who isn’t interested in stepping up and showing me he’s a great man for me (and I’m a 48 year old woman on the 6-7 scale for looks, and have NO problem dating and retaining high quality men).  I don’t want him to bow at my feet and be a convincer, I want him to be a confident man who knows he is worthy of me and chooses me to prove that to.

  18. 78

    Thanks Michelle, your original post seems much softer in light of that additional information. Yes all those things you mention that some people do (begging, chasing, buying stuff etc.) smacks of desperation and neediness and is a real turn-off. 

    Your point is actually applicable to both genders; believe in your own qualities rather than trying to pander to someone else. 

    I’ve always found that having enough confidence to appear like you don’t give a damn (even if you do) is so attractive!

  19. 79

    Hilarious!  I WISH I could pull a fade-away. I am as blunt as I wish men would be.

  20. 80

    Well. There was this guy I was seeing who faded me out after we agreed to stop seeing other people.  
    I now use Evan’s advice when I date. Mirror what the guy does. I also now look at their actions not just their words. When I sat back and did my own thing, did notice after a while that I had never heard from him.
    I ended up asking what was up. He thought that I was the one snubbing him because I did not respond to his text. Well assumed he was blowing me off as in for good and never contacted him after. Since I had not seen him 2 weeks before that.
    We sorted things out. He made plans with me two days later. We pretty much picked up where we left off. He mentioned wanting to give it a shot before then but another week goes by and I get nothing again.
    I end up dumpling him feeling stupid I even gave him another chance. I have no idea why he went quiet on me. Why agree to stop seeing other people, say you want to give me a shot and then do nothing about it?
    Still a bit baffled by it! He was probably lying to get sex? He reckons he never lies though. Well the last week proved that wrong to me!

  21. 81

    Tom said: (#4)
     @KarlR – “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.”
    That’s not the only reason a woman plays it cool.
    Sometimes she’s taking EMK’s advice — “Do Nothing” — because she wants to know if you, the man, are really interested.
    So please, guys — don’t jump to the conclusion you “need” to be looking for  a different girlfriend.  All you need to really do is, you know, maybe pick up the phone and clear the air.
    Squarely on topic — personally, I hate the slow fade; I think it’s a cowardly cop-out (especially when men do it, because of the leverage they have in modern dating, though that’s a different tangent).  And also lazy.  What have we been, raised by wolves?
    However, I’m absolutely for it in situations where someone senses the other person they’ve been dating might get unhinged or violent if they hear “Sorry, it’s not a match”.  I hear that variation most frequently from my other dating girlfriends, but I’ve heard of a couple instances recently where there’ve also been women stalking men.
    (To which I say – ladies, please don’t do that. Yikes.  If you do, not only are you totally ruining it for the rest of us, shooting yourself in the foot, and exposing yourself to potential criminal liability … but whatever he did to make you think that was what the situation warranted (and knowing the way men can behave, I’m sure it was something), there are numerous other ways to make your point.)

  22. 82
    Gina Leary

    I think “Steve’s” comment about women blame ALL men truly sets the tone in dating. We all so over generalize. It is as if we are setting ourselves up for the divine let down! Gosh, why date with all the misery??? 

    It’s supposed to be fun, exciting and yes, some let down. If we take our pride/ego out of the picture, it can be a good time. I did a fade away a few times in my 20’s. Now, two decades later, I have been on the receiving end, very recent. I do not understand why anyone would want to contact the “fader”? Let them go, say a “Hail Mary, they are gone,” and move on. Yes, long term/committed relationships are so hard, in lieu of three months of roller coaster dates…Remember it is not YOU/me. Once we hit 30, my opinion is this is an adult, be an adult, mature and decent. Write this one more time, never take it personally and be thankful you/we have the depth to realize it is a pretty harsh way to treat another person. 

  23. 83
    New Yorker

    After five dates (and a couple of years of Facebook friendship before that) a woman I really like has done the fade-away and is now totally snubbing me. Yes, it does hurt.  It’s her prerogative if she doesn’t want me as a lover, but I never did anything to deserve being treated as a non-entity. I was always a gentleman to her.
    Except in rare instances (e.g., a mentally unbalanced person who might react dangerously to rejection) the fade-away is wrong, it’s inconsiderate and it’s something a decent person just doesn’t do.
    By the way, this isn’t just something that happens to younger singles. I’m in my late 40s and the object of my affection is in her 50s. So much for “maturity”, huh?

  24. 84

    I agree that both men and women do this. I also agree that a fade-away is pretty common and not all that bad after a casual date or two with someone you just met. I’ve had a lot of guys fade off after a few fun-but-not-amazing dates and I never had hard feelings; it was more a relief because I could just conclude that we didn’t connect.

    It’s officially sh*tty when someone does this after 6+ months of learning about each other and having relationship talks that seem constructive – because in that case you don’t know what to conclude, it’s just so confusing. My most recent breakup was the worst. We knew a lot of the same people, had gotten to know each other before we started dating, and seemed to be getting closer – he introduced me to his kids and his old college buddies, he told me his life story, he drew me out. Then, the communication started to fade. He cited being busy, and it seemed legit since he had a demanding job and some complicated family situations, so I accepted it at first. But he kept promising that he’d be better at remembering to call, and then he kept forgetting. He knew that our 10-minute nightly phone call was big to me – it was one of the few things I asked him for – and how do you forget that? (Once he said he fell asleep while putting his kids to bed – I said I hoped he didn’t crush them!) I tried asking him how I could help with his busy life, I tried being more flexible with the timing and mode of communication, I tried giving him more space, but after a couple months of this getting progressively worse, I knew I’d have to break up with him.

    But the worst part was this. Even on the day I broke it off, he was still just explaining himself and why he was so busy and overwhelmed. I said frankly that I thought the underlying issue was that he just didn’t love me. He didn’t argue with that. It seemed the only emotion he could muster was guilt. But he wasn’t apologizing with empathy for the way I felt with all the waiting and wondering and confusing mixed messages. The way he put it was, “I feel so guilty that I can’t meet your needs.”

    So, now I’m needy, and he’s this poor overworked misunderstood single dad. And he can go around saying, “Well, she dumped me, but I’m taking it like a man [whew]!” And what do you know, he’s finding time to go to a lot of social functions where I’ll run into him because of our mutual friends. And I’m heartbroken but he’s getting all the sympathy. If you ask me, he won’t even admit it to himself what his real motivations were and what he really was doing when he was failing to call when he said he would or return my calls. He had some song and dance about “I tend to get really focused on one thing, and I know that’s a problem for me, but I don’t know what to do.” You mean you’re just not that into me, dammit!

    I just wish he would level with me so I could figure out what lesson to take away from this relationship (besides that it’s a good idea to get out early when you see a bad pattern, which I already knew). When I asked, he kept saying there was nothing wrong with the relationship and that he felt good about it. I wish he could tell me, and figure out for himself, why he sabotaged it.

    1. 84.1
      Karmic Equation

      You don’t say so, but I’m guessing that you slept with him.

      And you thought that meant you were in a relationship. And he just thought you were sleeping together.

      Then when you tried make what he considered a casual arrangement into an official one, he balked and did the fade away.

      If you’ve been sleeping with a guy for 6 months and he doesn’t call you his girl friend, then you can’t make demands that gf’s make, like “calling every night”.

      It seems to me that you need to date the way Evan coaches women to date…which is DON’T sleep with a guy UNLESS he’s your boyfriend. Then your making such demands on him is expected, not “needy”.

      If you automatically feel that sleeping with a man makes you a couple, you need to make sure you’re a couple before you sleep with the man. Because most men don’t automatically think sleeping with a woman makes her his gf.

      1. 84.1.1

        He did call me his girlfriend. Yes, before I slept with him. He called it a relationship and said he wanted a relationship. And, I didn’t demand that he call me every night, I suggested it and he said that he agreed that was a good idea. Yes, all of that happened before I had sex with him.

        I think Evan’s advice is good, but waiting to have sex isn’t an automatic recipe for success.

        1. Karmic Equation

          Then he was a coward. He should have had the balls to break up with you in person. What he did was not right.

          I’m sorry that happened to you.

  25. 85

    And, yes, he talked about a future with me, also, without prompting from me.

  26. 86

    Thank you, Karmic. I know breaking up’s hard to do, but I do wish he’d have ended it the brave and honest way.

  27. 87

    I had the fade out happen to me and I think it is a coward’s way out of a relationship or dating. I have had the fade out happen to me in two significant situations and relationships. It is happening now and I am really upset–which is what brings me to this conversation. I tend to call men on the phone and let them know that I am not interested. If we did more than kiss, I will make the effort to meet then face to face. I have respect for them. If there is no chemistry on the first date on the guy’s end, I will follow up with a text along the lines of “I had fun meeting you, let me know if you want to get together again.” Then the ball is in their court. Sometimes they text back, sometimes they don’t. If I don’t like them, I will tell them I am not interested. I have made this promise to myself to do this. I don’t want someone treating me this way, so I am not going to treat them that way.

    There have been times (like the current time) where I know the relationship is on the outs and I try to arrange a time to see the guy to end things appropriately, yet the guy ignores me or constantly cancel plans beacuse they don’t want to deal with the confrontation. Also, I think it is away of avoiding responsibility for one’s actions. People these days are not responsible!! Everyone makes damn excuses all the time! In that case, I just say I would like to talk to you, but if you don’t want to talk, I understand.

    For me it is frustrating because I feel like I owe someone an explanation because I don’t want to keep them wondering. Doing the fade out is their way of dealing with it and non-confrontation. They don’t want to deal with someone being mad at them so it is better just to ignore the situation.

    I think overall, in the age of technology men and women shouldn’t hide behind text messages and we all need to reconnect in person. I think relationships would be stronger. We shouldn’t let conveniences of technology replace the people we strive to be and other people’s feelings. Breaking up in person or over the phone (I had text breakups. I have been forced to do them though just to set boundaries–like I don’t want to hear from you ever again!) I think it is a sign of respect towards the other person and self-respect. I would rather have a guy be mad at me for a while or a few days, than someone think I am a jerk which I am not.

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