What’s the Deal With Guys Giving You the “Slow Fade”?

I remember reading a really thought provoking post on here a few months back about “ghosting“. At the time I was like, “YES! YES! Mental hugs to this author because she is describing my life and the lives of my friends’ and even the life of my dog probably!” (Editor’s note: This is the original post on ghosting, written by Rebecca.) So basically the situation with ghosting is that you’ll be talking to a guy…you know – “talking to”/hooking up with/so on and so forth…and then he just disappears. POOF! Into thin air, the guy you thought you had a connection with totally up and vanishes.

Suddenly you’re sitting in front of an empty text inbox and that guy obviously does not know that you gave him the best blow job that you’ve ever given to anyone — because if he did he would not have taken that beautiful moment for granted. “Chivalry is dead!!!” your heart screams as you shake your fists skyward, “It’s dead!!!” Your love disappeared faster than a SnapChat.

So yeah, I’ve been a victim of ghosting, and it’s certainly no trip to Disney Land. Still, there’s something worse. Girls, have you been introduced to the Slow Fade yet? I can only liken it to being told you have a rare terminal disease, and then watching your sad body weaken each and every day, knowing there’s nothing you can do about it. The Slow Fade is when you meet a guy and you think he’s great. Confession: I have met a guy, and he is great. I still think so, even after I know what his game is. (Herein lies the ultimate cruelty of the Slow Fade. More on this in a moment.) You guys hang out, things are going amazingly, you have a really great banter routine down and conversation is so relaxed. You’re starting to envision “In a Relationship With” added to your Facebook profile, when suddenly…wait, did he not respond to my last text?

But this is not ghosting, remember. He eventually responds to you — six hours later. No big deal, you think. He was busy, you think. HE STILL LOVES ME, you think. You think. Then it happens again, and instead of taking six hours to respond, he takes a full two days. But his response is playful and funny, so you can’t hate him. He’s still your other half, meant to be, BFF, Pinterest engagement photos style crush. Of course you text an “LOL” so he knows you don’t mind him taking his time to reply. You’re the cool girl, you know he’s got his own life. Whatever. But then nothing — no response. Dead air. Maybe you try texting him again a few days later, but by this point communication efforts on his part have become few and far between, and you haven’t seen each other in over a month. And yet, the ultimate cruelty is that you can’t hate him. You remember the good times and the inside jokes. There was never a fight to dwell on, never any cruel words screamed over dollar pizza slices. Your love disappeared faster than a SnapChat.

“What’s happening?” you whisper to yourself, still looking at your quiet phone. I’ll tell you what’s happening. You’ve just been the victim of a perfectly executed Slow Fade. You are me, I am you…we’re in this together.

As a casualty of a recent Slow Fade, I’m pretty sure I’m 100% single and still waiting for that next text that isn’t coming. How is it possible to live with hope from one empty text to another? Do you think you could ever have a relationship built solely around texts? Because I think I could…my fingers are really fast. I guess that’s just a side note, though.

[Lead image via Aaron Amat/Shutterstock]

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  1. danielletee says:

    Oh girl I've definitely experienced the slow fade.

    ….checking my phone for new messages as we speak

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      Still nothing…still nothing…still nothing…

  2. Great Article and I understand what you are talking about because I am a guy who has done it.
    The only times I know of doing this is
    1. When I don't want to talk to a girl
    2. When im not getting anything from a girl
    3. Busy

    The best way to find out what is happening is to be straight up and ask him what's going on. Honesty is crucial and communication is key. Maybe it's time to set up a face to face conversation and talk about everything. You don't need to be up front just ask him what is going on in his life and if he is naming off multiple things then he probably is busy. If he doesn't then you know that he had time to respond but didn't. Again you can also be upfront about the texting as well. Guys are simple. Don't overthink it.

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      Honesty is great, I totally agree. But what happens when you try to have a serious, open and honest conversation and your guy gets all defensive? I'm not attacking him, just trying to figure out what's up. Starting to think I'm dealing with a manchild.

  3. Guest says:

    Are you me?? This is my life to a T right now. Overanalyzing all of my text and Facebook messages to see what went wrong, but I guess I'll just never know…. Haha great article!

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      So happy to know I have a kindred spirit out there in the world!

  4. Jesse says:

    Seriously, ya'll are just too damn passive. If you want a relationship with a guy, you've got to get aggressive. Call the guy. Make a date. And if he dicks around, move on to the next one.

  5. Desi says:

    Girls today have their heads up their asses. They all want to be the “cool” or “down for whatever” girl. So basically they put on an act that they are cool with being friends with benefits or something equally lame, when in reality they want a boyfriend. So instead of being a woman about it, they hide their feelings like scared little girls because they don’t want to “scare him off”. Well I have new for you ladies, REAL MEN are not scared of your true feelings! Only little boys who are interested in getting some and nothing more run away when tell them what you really want. You want jokes, hire a clown because that’s bascially what you are wasting your time on with a guy who doesn’t think you are worth his time. For you to let any guy disrespect you like that makes you look absolutely ridiculous. Grow up and stop being playthings for dickheads and for God’s sake stop giving up the goods to any guy who “makes you laugh” so quickly. Make them work for it. It will keep them coming back for more. Stop reversing the roles already and learn how to act like WOMEN.

  6. mesosoup says:

    oh man the slow fade… this is a fun one, but then again i think i've done it to someone a time or two… i didn't do it with a malicious intent, but i did it. it's not fun when it happens to you at all, and like one of the guys above stated, we are way too passive. we are too forgiving, we allow ourselves to be treated as things and not people because we are afraid of scaring someone off! hey, i'm not going to lie, i really like someone now that although he's still around in my life, i haven't seen him in person for weeks, and the last time he planned something for us he never showed up, or contacted me to let me know that he was going to bail. i didn't let it slide like i normally would have, i told him i didn't appreciate him doing that. but he hasn't bothered to make it up to me.
    he's a guy that runs away when things are going well because of his indecisiveness and unfortunately i like him a lot. i used to be the woman that would kick a guy to the curb for these things, but this guy has me wrapped around his finger and i need help getting myself untangled. he's a boy, and i'm acting like a teen girl .. it's time i stop! so thank you for writing this, the slow fade bullshit has to stop. people need to be real with each other and say what they want to say without fear of rejection.

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      Amen! Where do things stand now with your guys?

  7. Joanne says:

    I’ve been a victim of this as well. George pursued me and i told him i really wasn’t interested. He did not give up. It seemed as soon as I became interested in George, he stopped initiating contact and it took him longer and longer to respond to my texts. I called him on it and he told me he didn’t appreciate being put on the defensive, he was busy and his feelings hadn’t changed. But he said he would make more of an effort. He did for a while but went right back into fading away. He is now history. What a relief! You deserve better than to be treated like an option, we all do.

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      "You deserve better than to be treated like an option" — SO wise, girl!! I'm remembering that one. :)

  8. Janti Cloete says:

    Personally I think you are lucky the guy disappeared on you. When this happen to men and she disappears he keeps on pursuing, since he is the hunter, and since she not really interested he will eventually ends up in the "Friend Zone"…. There is nothing worse on this earth being forced to be just friends with somebody you have feelings for. Best is to get out fast. It save you a lot of pain forward. So, rather forget about the guy as he is obviously not interested and you will save yourself a lot of pain…

    1. Heather Hunt says:

      I hope so! I think part of the problem too is that it's just so hard to meet guys in general. Once we think we've got one in the bag, we hang on for dear life — even if he's being a jerk!

  9. Confused says:

    Jesus Christ this is my situation right now 100%. I am still wondering why he bolted, and probably may never know. Half of me thinks well fuck off, your loss, and the other half is like what could have been? Everything was incredible and random and unexpected. We had major chemistry and a crazy connection. Before anything got off the ground, he dropped off the face of the earth. He claimed he was too busy, and I responded honestly and told him I was confused and didn't understand and have yet to hear back. I cannot stop thinking about him, and as much as I would love to hate him and move on, I still miss him.

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