Week 1: They send you exciting and fun messages almost every hour. They meet you right away for a date.
Week 2: They are still sending you pretty exciting and fun messages, occasionally, and they meet you again for a date.
Week 3: Their texts are fewer and farther between. They are less exciting and he or she can’t seem to meet any more.
Week 4: They are barely giving you any attention. They are getting really busy, with no time for a date or texts. You’re getting sick of it and decide to either accept friendship or move on.
Week 5: *Crickets chirping*
Sound familiar? Congratulations! You’ve experienced the “slow fade.”
Slow Fade Definition
It might sound like a soul song, but the slow fade is actually a term used in dating and relationships. It is when a person you like, rather than ending the relationship quickly and directly, slowly fades out of your life. This usually involves giving you less and less attention over time, both texting and in person, until they fully disappear.
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The opener to this article provides a great example of what the slow fade looks like.
Why The Slow Fade?
–Isn’t Interested In Commitment– Perhaps the person likes you, but doesn’t want to commit. Rather than tell you, it’s easier just to slowly fade out rather than directly make you feel bad. Or, it’s possible they did tell you they weren’t interested in something long-term or committal, but you expected otherwise.
–Doesn’t Really Like You– If you’re getting less and less attention, it might be that he doesn’t like you all that much. Maybe she’s changed her mind about you. Bottom line: if someone really likes you, that person will give you attention. Slowly fading could indicate a lack of attraction.
–Prefers Someone Else– It’s possible that the person you were dating wasn’t exclusive with you. So, after meeting someone else, he decided he likes her better. But, he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, so rather than be upfront, he pulls a slow fade out of your life.
–Weakness– Whatever the exact reason, some people resort to a slow fade because they are too weak to be direct. While some people make it clear they aren’t looking for a commitment, others would rather use a “slow fade” to passively send you the hint. I’m not judging. It’s human nature to want to avoid direct confrontation. But, it’s still weak.
What To Do If You Are Receiving the Slow Fade
–End it– If you believe you’re going to be dumped via this method, then you could save some dignity and just end it.
–Ask Them To Honestly Define the Relationship– You might not want to end the relationship for whatever reason, but still want answers. In that case, ask the person to be upfront with you about defining the relationship. The upside is that you’ll have an answer. The downside is that you might not like the answer. Be prepared to hear that the person isn’t committal.
–Nothing– Of course, you can always just do nothing and let it happen. Maybe you don’t really care and are relieved to see him or her slowly fade away. In that case, you both can preserve your aura of niceness while forever leaving each other’s lives forever!
So, now you know the definition of the slow fade. It’s not pretty and it’s not fun. But, at least if you see it coming, you know how to handle it.