You say Fade? I say Cop-Out.
Here it is kids! Round two of The Insomnia Club! This week’s topic is a good one… and I’m looking forward to what everyone else thinks, too!
The Blow Off… the Ghost Man… the Disappearing Act…
We all know this one. Whether we’ve had it happen to us, or we’ve pulled it, I bet every person reading this knows what I’m talking about.
The other person bails. Without warning, without explanation. They stop calling, texting, e-mailing…
ranted discussed with irritation on this before (here and here). Basically? I get it, ok. If you pull a Fade, it’s because you’re not interested any longer, for whatever reason, and you don’t want to hurt our feelings/make us cry/hear us yell. And, as I’ve said before, I think it’s a cop-out. I think it’s cowardice. Basically, I think it’s crap.
The Lower Frequency defended the Fade awhile ago, and while I see his point, I still say it’s fucking bullshit.
See, disappearing on someone is no less hurtful than telling them “hey, I just want to be friends. I’m sorry.” There is no less rejection in it.
The only difference? It leaves the other person wondering wtf??? for awhile. They will probably excuse/explain/defend your disappearance to themselves/their friends for some time – thus prolonging the time before they actually begin moving on. Further – afraid of hurting their feelings by pointing out something about them that is turning you off? If you just disappear instead, eventually they will probably come up with every flaw in the book on their own to explain why you bailed. These flaws will be real or imagined – not just the ones you left over.
In sum? You do no services by fading………….. Save one.
You don’t have to deal with the consequences. You don’t have to hear the other person cry or yell or ask you why. You leave the other person to deal with it on their own. You save yourself having to do, well, anything.
The thing of it is, in dating, as in life, people are going to get hurt. Just happens. What separates us is how we deal with the harm we inevitably, eventually, absolutely by definition will cause. We can either stand up, own the consequences of our actions, or we can pretend we really were thinking of them when we bailed.
How do we own our shit? First, by being generally honest. By being able to say “I don’t want this anymore.” That honesty is important because it’s clear. It’s a definite end. It’s how you make sure your act of rejection remains just that – a rejection. Not weeks of wondering wtf??? Not imagined flaws or excuses why you’re not calling back. And that, IMHO, is really critical in helping another person start the moving on process – and that’s why it’s important.
Second, fucking own your decisions – and their consequences. Face up to that shit, and allow the other person to cry/yell/rant/bitch at you. At least for a little while. This does not give them a free pass to rip you a new asshole on repeat for as long as they see fit – that isn’t helpful to either of you. But, at the onset? When you deal out your rejection? Stand up and accept the hurt or anger you might cause.
Now. A good question at this point, of course, is what kind of “relationship” am I talking about. Usually, people pull the Fade in dating circumstances, after several weeks to several months (if you’re in a committed relationship – don’t even think about the Fade. That just makes you a complete ass.). Yeah, I can hear the argument that you don’t really owe the other person all that much, after only a few weeks or a month, or that maybe you never had a “what does this all mean?” conversation so…
You know what I have to say to that? Bullcrap. One thing I wish we all considered more seriously was taking better care of one another. No matter how long you’ve been dating. I think we all can be a little less selfish, and a little more thoughtful towards the ones we date – as people who deserve clear, honest communication from us. I mean… how do you want to be treated?
Can you imagine the difference it would make in all the things we complain about, if we did unto others, if we did take better care of one another, took each other more seriously, and treated each other just a little more decently? Surely, at the very least, that can include providing a clear ending to someone else so they can move on.
And maybe the other person is waaayyyyy too attached and throws a complete fit after two weeks of dating. Not your problem. Spend ten fucking minutes of your time telling him/her it’s over and letting them flip shit, then leave and never return their calls. You did your part. Hey, you dated him/her for two weeks…
Of course, there’s another point to be made here. You shouldn’t assume you rejection is going to result in the other person falling apart. I’ve already laid that out in this post here. However, if you aren’t straight with them and you pull a Fade, they’ll probably spend some time wondering wtf they did wrong – something they probably wouldn’t have done, had you been honest.
Finally, the flip side. If we’re going to ask for honesty over the Fade, we had better fucking be able to handle it. We had better be able to accept the rejection, the reasons for it, all of that – and take a frank look at what it means. Is this person ending things for reasons we care about? Should we make some changes? If so, then do it. If not? Then fucking get the fuck over it.
Either way? Their opinion of you should not affect your own self worth. Make changes if they’re warranted, but otherwise? Move on.
All of this actually ties well into my current thoughts on honesty and insecurities (topics I will discuss again… soon….). I do say to be generally honest, because – as Lower Frequency points out – there may be significant flaws in the other person causing you to run. I argue that if those flaws are things the other person can’t change? Or won’t change? Or won’t even see? Then I can understand keeping them to yourself, but you can still just re-iterate that you aren’t feeling it any more (which, hello, is a perfectly legit reason to end things – happens all the time). Really, that’s all the explanation the other person needs – and I, for one, prefer it to complete silence.
However. If you think this person could make some changes? Then fucking tell them. If you can’t do it to their face, send an e-mail. Sure, it may hurt the other person like hell, but how the fuck else are they going to grow if you don’t lay it out? As I mentioned last week we should all be better with honesty, so here’s to getting that shit started.
Bottom line? I just think we would do well to be more honest, own our shit, handle it when someone else is not really interested in us any more (the reason IS NOT important), and accept criticism as a chance to better ourselves. I don’t really see how the Fade helps us to any of that.
And that, dear readers, is my two cents. But I’m only one voice in this discussion ~ check out what everyone else in The Insomnia Club has to say! Join us!