The fadeaway, a dating move in which you abruptly cut off communication with someone without explanation, is unequivocally rude…but often tempting. Otherwise known as “ghosting,” the fadeaway makes sense when you’re casually dating a slew of people and don’t have the emotional energy to send “sorry i didn’t like you that much, please stop contacting me” texts to each suitor. This isn’t The Bachelor; this is real life, you might think. There’s no rose ceremony. We’re all adults, here. We can take hints.
That’s where you’re wrong! I mean, you’re right about The Bachelor not being real life. But you’re wrong about people being able to take hints. Consider doing the hard, mature thing and officially letting the guy or girl off the hook in no uncertain terms, even if you only went on one date.
But how? A phone call, surely, is out of the question to most millennials, myself included. As Ellie Krupnick suggests at mic, all you need is one simple, formulaic text that will take you approximately three seconds out of your hectic life to send. Krupnick writes:
Ending anything can be uncomfortable. We know, sending a text as a revolutionary solution to ghosting is not exactly groundbreaking. And yet somehow, so many of us still can't be bothered. Perhaps we don't know the words to use, or find that even communicating a rejection over text is too awkward.
As I wrote earlier this year in an essay on the ethics of the fadeaway, I’d rather a guy text me "hi im done w/ u, boning my ex now" than inexplicably stop responding to all of my totally adorable conversation starters and late-night propositions.
For the betterment of society and youth-dating culture, I’ve put together a series of texts you can send (See? No effort!) to end a romantic liaison, depending on your situation and how many dates you've been on with the person you're rejecting. Feel free to implement any or all of these templates for your own use:
1. When the guy was nice but there’s zero chemistry; 1 or 2 dates deep
Even after a couple dates, though you're still a free agent and owe nothing to anyone, it's still considerate to take the 10 seconds out of your busy life to let the guy off the hook if he's still trying to go for date three. He probably thought the date went really well because you're charming and funny and legitimately enjoyed yourself. That's why you have to let him know you're not interested in moving forward romantically, so he can put his eggs in a more receptive basket.
2. When the guy was awful and rude and dismissive of Scandal; 1 date deep
Even horrible dates need a clean, definitive ending, because the only thing worse than having wasted your time on a bad date is wasting your time for days to come, answering his awkward booty texts and hang-out propositions, when you could have shut it all down in the time it takes you to brush your teeth.
3. When you've hooked up with the guy several times and it's too late to cut it off via text; 5+ dates
Sometimes, a face-to-face conversation is the only way to end a romantic liaison, especially when you've been hanging out with someone repeatedly for a few weeks. Pick a neutral, well-lit space so the conversation doesn't end in a hook up. Better yet, arrive with an exit plan. (Your therapy appointment is in 30 minutes, for example.)
4. When you've texted the guy for months but never had the emotional energy to meet up in person; 0 dates
You may feel a connection, but there's a reason you both have been "too busy" to spend quality human-to-human time together. Something is missing, and you don't feel like wasting your time on a dead-end romantic prospect. This text can be fun and warm; who knows, maybe you'll cross paths in the future?
5. When the guy is really, really into you really, really fast, but you're ambivalent, and you'd choose solo Seamless over him any day of the week; 1 to 3 dates
"A lot going on" = pizza delivery.
6. When you're legitimately too busy to date this guy, or anyone; 1 to 3 dates
Use the same text from Situation #5, only this time "a lot going on" = a lot going on.
7. When the guy is clearly hung up on his ex, or his ex is hung up on him, or he's carrying an unreasonable amount of emotional baggage; any number of dates
You don't want to get serious with a guy who's using you to a) get over his ex, b) prove a point to his ex, or c) pretend you're his ex. If a guy is still hung up on someone, he'll make it very clear to you within the first few dates — you just have to look for the signs. (It's no mystery why he called you "Marissa" in bed.) Shut it down ASAP before you're in too deep feelings-wise, and make the text short, concise, and to the point.
8. When you hooked up with the guy once and he's horrific in bed, but you still want to be friends. No, really; 1 to 3 dates
If you're serious about pursuing a friendship, propose a fun, but explicitly non-romantic hang-out. While the first few minutes will be undeniably awkward — as he tries to figure out why his moves failed in such a big way — but, then, if you still have a connection, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
9. The guy won't stop sending NSFW picks and you haven't even met yet; 0 dates
He's not using his words, so he doesn't deserve your words. (I suggest using the row boat emoji here; it signals you're moving on.)
Images: Fotolia; Maria Yagoda