I try to live my life being as much of a mensch as I can be. Being an asshole to people just yields more strife, so unless someone is being an asshole to me or someone else, I then I try to treat all with respect...except short people. I push them into snow banks...creepy little adorable munchkins.
I use this tenet in my dating life as well. Sadly, not many other people do. There is one practise that somewhat annoys me. It’s the Fade Away™*.
Garfunkel and Oates describe the Fade Away in verse, which you need to see.
An aside: Garfunkel and Oates are funnier than Flight of the Conchords. There; I said it.
If you don’t feel like watching a damn video, the Fade Away™ is when Hypothetical You®✝ date someone, and when you realise that you are no longer interested or have little good connection with the person, and instead of telling him/her that, you just kind of disappear from his/her life without actually verbalising that you are no longer interested, kind of like a wispy spirit or my dad. It’s a lame way to end a relationship, no matter how long or short or deep or superficial said relationship may be. It shows little respect for the other person, who is left wondering what went wrong and why you couldn't just say, “Sorry, not interested!” It also shows a little cowardice on Hypothetical Your® part. Grow a pair of testes and/or ovaries, and tell the person!
In a perfect world, it would be a sound train of thought to believe that people should own up to and express their thoughts to people they are dating. It is such a simple remedy to an annoying problem. Sadly, it is not. It is a world rife with complications and inequalities. Some people are hypocrites; some are unbalanced and take things much harder than they should. Some feel emboldened by their sense of privilege that they can do whatever they want without regard for the consequences of others’ well-being. This is partially why sometimes dating can suck. Therefore, the Fade Away™ must exist for some situations. There should be some sort of ground rules for implementation of the Fade Away™, though. Though I’m speaking from my heterosexual male perspective, I hope these can be universal truths for all relationships:
- (Universal) First Date Fadeaway™: Hypothetical You® went on one or two dates, and the chemistry is just not there...meh...If you didn't get intimate, then I don’t think it’s a big deal if you don’t finalise. It’s likely you both didn't feel the spark. Move on, and smile at each other and be cordial if you see each other on the street.
- (Universal) First Date Fadeaway™ with Benefits: Sometimes sex complicates things. So you went on one or two dates, and on one or two of them, you both decided that naked Twister is a good idea. If, for whatever reason you just weren't feeling the spark after the sexy times, then it would be a very good idea to tell the person who was lucky enough to see you in all your Venusian/Adonisian glory that it is not going to happen again. Some people take the act of copulation a lot more seriously than others, and that is why I think this should be. It may suck for one party to hear, but at least you both know where you stand. It saves a lot of headache. Again, move on, and smile at each other and be cordial if you see each other on the street.
- (Men) Multi-Date Fade Away™: Male You® went on multiple dates, possibly went on an hour road trip or two to see Trombone Shorty or Deftones live at the MegaDome, and eventually knew this was not going to work out. BE A MAN AND SAY SO INSTEAD OF STRINGING HER ALONG. It doesn't matter if your reason for losing interest that she cut your hair funnily or that she is a part-time coke mule, show some respect and tell her that it’s done, even if you don’t say the reason...though a reason would be nice. As much as men say that a woman is “crazy”, that is generally bullshit. Maybe she’s “crazy” because too many men with the lack of testicular fortitude tell her that they want to part ways keep crossing her path in her dating adventures! Stop the Cray-Shaming™, and TELL HER IT’S DONE.
- (Women) Multi-Date Fade Away™: Female You® went on multiple dates, possibly went on an hour road trip or two to see Trombone Shorty or Deftones live at the MegaDome, and eventually knew this was not going to work out. It would be nice if you COULD always state matter-of-factly that you are no longer interested in dating someone, but this is where most of the complication enters. You must contend with men who are unaware of the social power they wield, and men who are oblivious to the power even though they whip it around like a guy going commando with his fly open. If you are just getting to know a person, you don’t know if the person is going to be unreasonably verbally or physically abusive after hearing adverse news, or if he’s the stalking type, or if he’s a Nice Guy™ or Pick Up Artist®, or if he is just a reasonable human being who will be disappointed, but in the end will respect your wishes and be cordial to you when you cross paths in the street. The latter men will be annoyed with your mode of ending things since they ARE reasonable people who deserve more respect than that. They will be annoyed that you didn't get to know them enough to that they would not fly off the handle at rejection. However, they will be more annoyed with the belligerent dude-bros and Nice Guys™ and Pick Up Artists® who make the Fade-Away necessary for the sake of your own safety. If the reasonable men in the street, they will likely not hold your fading against you, and be cordial.
I must admit, I have been guilty of the Fade Away™ at times. I’m not proud of that and won’t excuse my actions, but I am trying to make amends for my past mistakes. Like I said, I try to be a mensch. It is sad that the Fade Away™ necessary for some, but safety is important, and sadly, there are a lot of man-boys around who think they are owed a human and act out quite badly when they don’t get one. They apparently never read the 13th Amendment; no one gets rights to a human anymore, no matter how much one complains. Until that is understood, We need to respect the Fade Away™ no matter how much we hate it.
*I am quite certain the term “Fade Away™” is not yet trademarked. I just learned the shortcut way to type ™ in Google Docs, and I am abusing my new found power.
✝Hypothetical You® refers to a hypothetical entity I concocted to more smoothly explain The Fade Away™. It may or may not apply specifically to you, the reader...also I learned shortcut way to make the ® symbol in Google Docs, and I am abusing my new found power.