March 14, 2011
The ides of March are up on us and the Insomnia Club is back. This month we’re tackling a ‘touchy’ subject – The Fade.
For those of you who don’t already know, The Fade is a term used to refer to the disappearing act (i.e. a slow-ish termination of all communication with an ‘unwitting’ bedmate) some people pull at the three month (give or take a few weeks) mark in the relationship when they’ve decided they’re ‘done’, for whatever reason. (Word on the street is that it’s usually men in budding ‘relationships’ who do this, but perhaps we just think it’s that way because women are more likely to kick up a fuss when it happens to them?)
Some folks consider this to be the only practical and truly ‘sensitive’ way to end a casual connection, while for others The Fade is an absolutely abhorrent and hurtful practice: which of course means that there’s likely to be some very interesting and divergent perspectives on this issue.
So, in addition to reading what Elizabeth and Sam have to say about The Fade, be sure to look out for the #InsomniaClub hashtag on twitter tomorrow, so you don’t miss out on anything the rest of our crew has to say on this issue.
Happy reading folks!
Nothing hurts more than realizing he meant everything to you, but you meant nothing to him. – Anon?
Break ups suck. No one enjoys them, there is something soul destroying about that final conversation.
“It’s not me, it’s you.” (Or is that supposed to be the other way round…)
“I’m just not in the right place for a relationship right now.”
“Can we be friends?”
No amount of “closure” is going to help to deal with the reality that it’s over. No amount of tears, or cleavage is going to create something to rebuild your relationship. Which is why, so many of us avoid that final discussion by simply fading out.
Yes it’s cowardice, and yes it’s pretty unfair; but it also provides the same message that “it’s over” without having to slap someone in the face with it. You don’t hear from him in a few days… you know something is wrong. A couple of weeks and you know it’s over, but you’ve had 10+ days to come to terms with it. Plus, you’ve got all the comms out to your friends who are there to support you through the process.
The alternative? You can go for the corny, Hollywood break up scene. Lose your dignity and leave a public place crying and snivelling to make your way home while sobbing unintelligible nonsense into your friends’ voicemail.
You know that sounds all too familiar!
I’m not saying that just cutting off contact is an OK way to end ALL relationships. But for casual connections, ones only a few months in and where no future plans involving tickets or family have been made, it’s fine.
This one perplexed me at first. I didn’t quite understand why a man would pull a disappearing act. And I didn’t quite understand why it’s a big issue. More precisely, I didn’t understand why women were so worked up about it. I didn’t understand until I sat down to write why I didn’t understand. And then magically I understood the disappearing man. Here’s my thought process:
Okay. So you’ve been seeing someone. Or maybe just f*cking. It’s not serious. No commitments have been made. Repeated exposure to said person has led you to realize you’re no longer interested, or you’re not compatible. And maybe the reason is quite superficial or facile like you prefer big tits. Or they aren’t cute enough. Or they laugh like a hyena. Or maybe it’s more substantial like she’s not smart enough. So instead of telling her that you refuse to date someone who still wears a training bra or telling her she’s an intellectual midget you just disappear. Maybe you do it slowly but surely. Maybe you do it with Usain Bolt like quickness. Regardless how you do it, you do it. Disappear. Without as much as a peep.
Why? Why do this? Why not tell them something, anything? Why not just say something like “I don’t think we want the same things” or “I need to focus on_____________”. Those were my initial thoughts; I had a strong urge to exclaim:
“C’mon dude, man up and just be honest.”
“C’mon dude, man up and give her closure.”
This is what most of my break up 'closure' discussions look like. Please note the joyous expressions on their faces.
Hell that’s what I do (or did). And then I remembered real life, my real life experiences. The honest conversations where I express myself honestly only to be told that I honestly don’t know what the f*ck I’m talking about and I’m honestly just another a**hole man who’s too immature to know what he wants and if I were really honest with myself I’d see that the honest truth is that I’m afraid of love and even though I spoke what I thought was my truth when we first hooked up and I said I didn’t want anything serious God’s honest truth is that if I were really honest with myself I would see that even though I said those things my real feelings were expressed at night when we were f*cking. Honest.
That reads like nonsense doesn’t it? Especially that last part about honest feelings, especially when you consider we’re talking about relationships that weren’t all that serious to begin with, relationships that had yet to indicate they had staying power. How do I know that? Because people don’t pull a fade on something that was substantial. (Most) People just don’t up and disappear when there are or were plans, clothes left over or tickets to a Maxwell concert involved.
So though I’ve never done the fade, though I’m a huge proponent of being honest about my intentions as much as possible I’ve come to believe that pulling a fade can sometimes be the most prudent course of action. And ladies if you believe that in a situation like this a dude owes you some sort of closure that likely means you opened yourself up to a whole host of possibilities without consulting him. You alone opened that door. Don’t expect him to be there to close it for you.
Wanna see what the rest of The Insomnia Club has to say on this issue? Then check out the following links…
Feisty Woman, Lena FM, Jackie Summers, Jess Downey, Man Shopper Miss Melisa Mae, Miss Taylor Cast, Nikki B, Simone Grant, Single Much, Totally Tyler, and The Urban Dater.