How do you break up with someone you were never dating? This is a question that has plagued mankind for decades. You went out a few times, had a few laughs, saw each other on and off for a few weeks or months or years (if you fall into the years category then you are an asshole), but suddenly the spark is gone. The excitement and interest has left the building. But it wasn’t a one-night stand, they met a couple of your friends, they know where you live but you simply don’t want to see them anymore. Cutting off contact, changing your name and fleeing the state seems like a lot of work (especially for someone you have no interest in)… so instead you use option B… The Fade Away.
The Fade Away consists of slowly pulling back and fizzling all forms of contact all while maintaining a delicate balance between not be an asshole, but also not being interested. The key to The Fade Away is the perfect blend of the following: The Vague Factor, Slow Response Time, and The Bi-Polar Treatment.
The Vague Factor: When the person being ditched texts you to say “Hi”, which you know is code for, “Let’s hang out”… you respond (not immediately) with “Hi.” No questions, no “How are you’s”, no nothing. They will push harder, “What are you doing?” or “What’s up?” is popular. It’s best not to commit to anything, don’t give away dates or times… simply say, “I’m good, working a lot, barely time to do anything.” If they don’t get the hint that you are, 1. Not available, and 2. Clearly uninterested since you are making absolutely no effort, then they might go one step further, “It’s been awhile, let’s hang out on Friday?” You might think, oh crap I have to end it, I have to be mean. But this is not the case, A Fade Away Master will employ techniques which can possibly lead to a “Back Burner” situation, just in case of emergency. Therefore, you continue with The Vague Factor, “Oh, Friday sounds great! Can’t wait!” Wait 10 minutes, and then add, “Oh, I’m so sorry, this Friday I am out of town… rain check for sure :).” The smiley face is necessary in order to seem genuine and not like a big fat liar. Obviously the rain check is forever.
Slow Response Time (SRT): SRT is the amount of time in which you should respond to texts, emails and phone calls of the person being fizzled. Never respond to texts the same day. It’s always better to say, “Sorry, phone was off”, or “Sorry, didn’t see this text yesterday…that concert sounded awesome”. That way you never have to say “No” to anything- you simply just didn’t get the text in time. Same goes with emails… always wait 12 -72 hours to respond to an email. Anything sooner and the person might think you are still interested. If you have a stage-4 clinger, they might start calling you all the time… and even using unknown phone numbers to do this. That means don’t pick up any unrecognized phone calls and always let it go to voicemail. Also, NEVER return a phone call… if they call and you are “Fading Away” respond with a text: “Sorry I missed your call…I’m at work” or “I’m out of town”. Out of town and work excuses are the best because they are impossible to fight against.
The Bi-Polar Treatment: Sometimes, the person you are fizzling happens to be in your friend group, or your work scene or a neighborhood you happen to frequent. Thus, sometimes whilst fading away, you have to see them in person. No amount of texts, emails and non-returning of phone calls can inhibit that person from walking up to you and flirting, talking, touching or doing whatever they will do to get your attention. This is when you turn Bi-Polar…but only to them. Remember, the rest of the room must think you are fun, nice and NOT a jerk. Therefore if you are talking to them you must do the following: shift eye contact, look away, look bored, and answer sentences with mono-syllabic replies like: yes, no, uh-huh, yeah, sure…etc. Then, right when they think you are just in a bad mood, or not feeling well you make sure to talk to everyone else, be happy with everyone else and have a freaking amazing time with everyone else. This will hint to them that you are uninterested and they need to move on, all the while avoiding the “It’s not you it’s me” conversation, and by “It’s me” I mean I don’t like YOU.
In this day and age, with technology, Facebook and Skype… The Fade Away is becoming more and more popular. People hang on to relationships longer than they use to because non in-person contact in so much easier to make. In the old days you could simply never see that person again… but now we are stuck with viewing profiles, running into people at bars, or birthday parties and reading their blogs, so it becomes impossible to nicely end it with someone who we weren’t really dating in the first place. That being said… The Fade Away still makes you a jerk. No matter how nice you are trying to be, ending something with someone by lying is frowned upon, even though it is easier than being honest. I am both a perpetuator and victim of The Fade Away and so I speak of both its power and its faults. With great power comes great responsibility, thus this manual is not only to teach how to be a Fade Away Master but also to shed some light if YOU are the one being fizzled. If you find yourself in a situation and events mentioned above are happening to you… then take a hint and stop obsessing over someone who isn’t that cool to begin with! You’re welcome.